Recently I had the pleasure of meeting up with Lindsay Browning to talk all things pregnancy. Lindsay is a personal trainer with two sons. Having been in fitness for 15 years, Lindsay now writes a blog on fitness, and focusses on creating nutrition and training programmes to help mums hit their fitness goals.
Here’s Linday’s pregnancy story:
This isn’t your first pregnancy, so tell us a bit more about your family…
I have two sons, Ethan who’s 12 and Monty who’s almost 3
How are they feeling about the baby’s impending arrival?
Ethan, my eldest is pretty excited, because it’s a girl and he says he already knows what it’s like to have a brother. Whereas Monty I don’t think he quite understands what’s coming. He talks about his baby sister being in my tummy, but I don’t think he quite gets it, especially the fact that he’ll have to compete for Daddy’s attention.
How far along are you?
36 weeks, so about 4 weeks to go.
How has this pregnancy been treating you?
It’s been much harder than with my other two. Not because anything has been wrong, it’s been totally fine, I’m very fortunate, but I don’t know if it’s just I’m older, or I have a toddler to look after. When I had Monty, Ethan was 9 so he was quite independent so I hadn’t experienced being pregnant with a toddler which definitely makes it harder. All the bending down and picking up, and I’ve generally felt more sick and more uncomfortable. It just feels like it’s really taking it’s toll, and perhaps that’s because it’s the third time, and my body’s like OK, I’m done now. Nothing left to give. Also though, I know this is my last pregnancy so I want to enjoy it, but quite looking forward to not being pregnant anymore, though that might sound awful.
Have you been experiencing any anxiety in this pregnancy?
I have been more anxious but I don’t think allowed it to surface. I’ve been more conscious of things which could go wrong which I never even let enter my head with either of my other two. Not that I have any reason to think that, it’s definitely been in my head more, like what if things go wrong. Perhaps because I’ve had two healthy pregnancies/ children maybe it feels more like I’m pushing my luck with a third. Also I’m a little more anxious about the birth.
Do you have any birth preferences you’ve thought about?
I’m going to try and have a water birth. I had a really bad first birth, the second was as good as they can be, and I managed on just gas and air. Whereas with my first I had everything and a forceps delivery, so this time, I’m hoping it’ll be fast because they say the third one can be…
How would you describe your pregnancy style?
In all honesty it’s a bit of whatever fits. I thought this time I would make more effort, but I’m not sure it’s happened, I’m all about comfort. I do try and wear non-maternity where I can though, and really use layering to make me feel good. Because I’m quite conscious of my love handles, so I love a big cardi. I’m definitely more about comfort at this stage in the pregnancy.
Hide the bump or show off the bump?
Not a show off the bump in a kind of celebrity body-con way, so I guess more hide the bump. I suppose my natural style is more about less fitted dresses, and t-shirt styles and things, so I’ve kind of maintained that through pregnancy. Which is great because it means I’ve been able to wear a lot of my non-maternity stuff throughout pregnancy.
In terms of clothes, what are your maternity essentials?
I had a lot of stuff from my previous pregnancy, and have made the most of my sister having recently been pregnant, and inherited a lot of stuff from her. I did invest in a couple of maternity dresses early on though which have seen me through. Plus fisherman pants, I got some of those at the start of the summer, and they’ve been great! In term of essentials I’d definitely say cardigans, and a good pair of maternity leggings which help get longevity out of non-maternity dresses.
What’s your favourite maternity brand?
Are there any high street or independent brands which aren’t maternity but you feel work really well for pregnancy?
I like to shop in local independent shops. There’s one near me called Sage and Onion, which unfortunately isn’t online but has been great, I’ve got some staples in there. So little boutiques can be really good, plus you know not everyone else who’s pregnant will be wearing it.
What beauty products do you swear by for pregnancy?
Palmers Cocoa Butter is my go-to. I got such bad stretch marks with my first though, I’ve not been too bothered about preventing them this time, as the damage is done. I do find I need a lot of extra moisturiser for my boobs though, which have grown a lot and did with both my previous pregnancies. It’s important not to forget about them.
What can you not live without in pregnancy?
Extra pillows at night! I usually sleep on my tummy, so that’s one thing I really miss. I have to get extra pillows, and use it between my legs, and under my bump so I can be almost on my front but not really. So that’s been something I would struggle to live without. But I’ve not invested in a special pregnancy pillow.
Are there any style/ fashion lessons you’ve learnt along the way?
I would say buy stuff at the beginning which will see you through. Plus layers, so things will see you through seasons. And try and stay true to what you want to wear normally, you need to keep an element of yourself, because it’s frankly a long time to potentially lose yourself. That’s where non-maternity can be great.
Is there anything you feel is still really missing from the maternity fashion market in the UK?
More and more there’s nicer underwear available, but that’s only just changing recently. The bras can be so hideous, and how you feel starts with that. Put on grotty underwear and you feel grotty. So there’s definitely room there, especially for women with bigger boobs. A lot of the nice maternity styles are designed for people with much smaller busts, which just wouldn’t work for me. So I’d say pretty underwear which works for fuller busted women!
Have you done a lot of reading / research about pregnancy and childbirth?
Not really this time around but I did with number one and number two!
What have you done to prepare for birth?
Again, this time around I have done very little. Although, I did just buy some perineum massage oil!
Sum up pregnancy in 3 words…
Emotional, Incredible, Tough
Is there anything you miss being pregnant?
I genuinely miss exercising, not just the physical but the headspace it gives you to do a workout or go out for a run. I know that some women manage to carry on but I haven’t been able to manage much at all since about 24 weeks! I know it’s really obvious and a bit dull but I do miss have a glass of wine (or three!) and I also REALLY miss sleeping on my tummy
What’s your favourite thing about being pregnant?
Feeling the baby moving, I find it really comforting and a bit strange after giving birth that there is no longer this wriggly little thing inside you.
What would you say is the worst thing about being pregnant?
I think this time, the thing I have found hardest is not being able to be as physical with Monty (my 2year old). When I was pregnant with him, Ethan was 8 so passed the stage of wanting to be picked up or sit on my lap. Monty is still very much in that stage and I find it really hard that I can’t do as much for him in that way… there just isn’t a lot of lap left for him to sit on now!
What have you done to prepare for the birth?
Genuinely not much. I did pack my hospital bag a few days ago!
What advice would you give to other pregnant women?
Take a nap whenever you can… it’s a tough job growing another human and you’ll be grateful you did once the baby arrives and it’s much harder to get away with it and don’t ever feel bad for finding pregnancy hard!
Do you feel different in this pregnancy to your other two?
Yes, very! I have found this pregnancy a lot harder physically. I feel much more uncomfortable, which is maybe to do with having a toddler to run around after or perhaps because it is my third and my body has had enough but definitely harder than my other two.
If you could go back and give your pregnant first time around self one bit of advice what would it be?
Try to enjoy it… although it doesn’t feel like it at the time, it is over so quickly!
What would your one bit of advice for new mums be?
You are enough! Whatever way you decide to do things, you are doing the best job that you can for your baby and that is enough. It is so easy (especially in a world of social media) to feel like you’re not doing things as well as someone else but that really isn’t the case. We all need to remind ourselves that it is hard work being a new mum and if you have made it to the end of the day with everyone still alive, then you are doing pretty well! If you’ve managed a shower too, then you should consider yourself some sort of super woman! And never be afraid to ask for a little bit of help!