Your 3-Minute Guide To Weaning

Learn the basics over a cuppa

It can feel quite daunting to start your weaning journey, but it’s actually SO fun!

And of course (like everything), there’s tons of reading you can do.

But these are the fundamental things you need to know.

Oh, and remember the shed load of muslins you bought? They’re about to become reeeally handy…

How do I know when my baby is ready to wean?

Start at around 6-months old or when they can hold their head sufficiently, pick-up food, put it in their mouth and swallow it.

How do you start weaning a baby?

It can be very entertaining to see how your baby reacts to new flavours, which is why most parents start by offering a bit of their own food. Ready to do things properly? Build positive associations with mealtimes by creating a calm environment, play some music, make eye contact and give them big smiles.

Don’t stress

Milk is your baby’s primary food source, so don’t fret if they turn down your pea and broccoli mash-up. “It can take up to 10-15 times for them to like certain flavours, so let them play with food and don’t push them to eat”, says baby food brand Omami.

Start with your greens?

“Offering veggies first can encourage more of an acceptance of them later on”, says nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed. But don’t worry if you offer fruits too – you haven’t failed! Adding in a small amount apple to make peas more palatable is totally ok. Remember, fruits are still nutritious, just try to make sure meals aren’t overly sweet.

What should I feed my baby?

“Weaning is a golden time to introduce your baby to lots of different flavours and textures. It helps create a love of food that will hopefully continue through toddlerhood and beyond”, says Omami.

What should you not feed a baby?

No salt, sugar, honey, whole nuts, non-pasteurised cheeses, runny eggs, raw shellfish or rice drinks.

How much should I feed my baby?

They’re all different, and it’s entirely normal for them to change day-to-day. Appetites can be affected by lots of things like teething, tiredness or illness. Just follow their cues for when they’ve had enough.

Pre-mades and packs are LIFE
Pre-mades and packs are LIFE

It’s SO frustrating when you boil and blend foods they refuse. Save yourself some time by trying out some organic pre-made baby food.

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Baby-lead or spoon-fed?

It’s totally up to you. Why not do both? Suggests Omami “Give your baby something to hold and chew on as you spoon-feed or have some meals as finger food and others as puree”.

Want to do more research?

Omami have loads of info on their blog and ‘How to wean your baby’ by Charlotte Stirling-Reed is available on pre order here. You can also follow Charlotte here.

What’s the Best Age to Become a Parent?

If there’s a perfect time to have a baby, we’re still waiting for the memo. 

However, the most popular age bracket to get knocked up is now 30-34, with the average first-time mum being 30 years old. 

And if you’re over 40, the conception rate is at a record high!

So could later really be better? 

Your Late Teens/ Twenties

The Pros
Just Call Us Fertile Myrtle

Since fertility declines with age, you have a higher chance of conceiving naturally the younger you are (bar any pre-existing issues). An estimated 25 percent of women between 19 and 25 get pregnant within the first month of trying.

You’ll Have the Gift of Time

With any luck, you’ll enjoy your kids (and their kids) for decades to come.

The Cons
The Financial Hit is Harder

At this age, you’re probably still finding your financial feet. Prams and nappies don’t come cheap, so if you’re dealing with student debt or working to get on the property ladder, it might not be ideal timing.

You Haven’t Found Your Village Yet

A solid support system is hugely important when bringing up a family. Chances are your mates are still making inappropriate life choices and partying 24/7. Which means they might not be that empathetic with your struggles. *They might be up at 3am, though!

Your Mid-to-Late Twenties

The Pros
You’ve Still Got the Energy

It wasn’t that long ago that you were stumbling out of the club at 5am and pulling all-nighters to finish your dissertation. Night feeds might not feel so bad.

You’ve Got Time for a Second Wind When the Kids Leave Home

An empty nest by your late forties, and you’re free to live your best life. Ibiza, here you come!

The Cons
Your Career is Just About to Take Off

Just as you find your dream job, you’re about to step away for a year of mat leave. It shouldn’t matter, but (let’s face it) it sometimes it does.

Thirties

The Pros
You Know Who You Are

You’ve survived the crippling insecurity years and finally feel happy in your skin. You’ve got this.

The Party Feels Tired

You’ve travelled and tried every sharing cocktail out there. And you’re a little over drinking out of inanimate objects (for a bit, anyway).

The Cons
It Could Be Harder To Conceive

Mother Nature is glorious, but she can also be a bit of a bitch. While your career and confidence are in full bloom, your fertility takes a hit.

Forty+

The Pros
You’ll Have High Achieving Kids

A recent study in the US suggested offspring of ‘advantaged maternal age mothers’ had better educational outcomes, including higher test scores and better graduation rates.

You’ll Have More Patience (hopefully!)

With life experience comes an understanding that sometimes things are outside of your control. If anyone can sit back and ride out the tantrums, it’s you.

The Cons
Pregnancy and Birth Can be Riskier

Women over the age of 35 are typically at a higher risk of health issues.

There’s no single right time to have a baby that works for everyone. Whenever you decide to try for children is entirely up to you and it’ll all work out in the mix.

Most Popular Baby Names In 2022

Where do we start: too on-trend and your parents will never get on board, but when does traditional tip over into dull? Whatever you choose, it will be with them for the rest of their lives, nicknames and all. The pressure is on – but this list might just help.

For Girls

  1. Lily
    From the flower, a symbol of purity in Christianity. It’s a short version of Lillian and Elizabeth. Well-known Lilys: actress Lily Tomlin; Harry Potter’s mother.
  2. Sophia
    From the Greek for “wisdom.” The name was used by European royalty in the Middle Ages. Common variants: Sophie, Sofia. Well-known Sophias: director Sophia Coppola; actresses Sophia Loren and Sofía Vergara.
  3. Olivia
    Olivia is a Latin name that means “olive tree.” This sweet, vintage-sounding name lends itself to many winning nicknames and shorter versions including Liv, Livvy, Livia, Olive, Ollie, Via, and Vivi.
  4. Amelia
    Amelia is a name perfectly suited to girls who approach life with a desire to do their best. It means “industrious” or “hardworking,” and has a long history as a favored name among royalty. The name is German in origin, derived from the name “Amala.”
  5. Ava
    Ava’s origin is uncertain, but it ‘s widely suspected to be the diminutive of several medieval German names beginning with the element av, which may have meant “desire.” That said, this short and elegant name, pronounced “AY-vah,” could well have roots in Persian, Urdu, Hebrew, and Latin as well.
  6. Isla
    Isla is a Scottish girls’ name derived from Islay, the name of an island off the coast of Scotland. The name is also linked to the River Isla, a waterway in northeast Scotland. “Isla” also means “island” in Spanish, though it’s pronounced with the “s.”
  7. Freya
    A classic name steeped in Nordic tradition, the name Freya possesses a strong and modern vibe while giving a nod to Old Norse mythology. Derived from the name Freyja, it means “a noble woman.” It is the name of the Norse goddess of love, beauty, and fertility.
  8. Aria
    Aria has Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Persian roots and has various meanings depending on the culture it’s in. Aria is a gender-neutral name that can be used for boys or girls, and it ‘s primarily a name for boys in some parts of the world. In the U.S., however, it’s mostly given to girls. Possible nicknames include Ari, Ri and Riri. Aria can also be a nickname for longer names like Ariana and Ariadne.
  9. Ivy
    The name Ivy has English and Latin origins and means “vine.” It’s derived from the Old English word for the ivy plant, “ifig.” Ivy also has roots in ancient Greek culture as a sign of fidelity. Ivy is a short and sweet name on its own and doesn’t lend itself too well to nicknames, but some possible options include Vee and Vivi. Ivy could also be used as a shortened version of the name Ivanna.
  10. Mia
    Mia is a shortened version of the name Maria, which is derived from the Hebrew name Miryam. Mia has also been used as an abbreviated version of the Israeli girl’s name Michal. Mia has roots in Latin languages, like Spanish and Italian, where it means “mine.” This short and sweet name doesn’t lend itself well to many nicknames, but some options include Mimi and Mi.

For Boys

  1. Muhammad
    Arabic origin meaning “praiseworthy”. This name has a truly iconic status, staking its place as the most popular name in the world. This name can hold reverent weight to followers of Islam, who can share it with family members as a way of commemorating their commitment to their religion. Along with its religious importance, Muhammad is no doubt a classic name. It has a style and sophistication that will withstand the ages.
  2. Noah
    First and foremost, Noah comes from the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament. A less widely known story about Noah has him as the man who planted the earth’s first vineyard and discovered fermentation and its effects. Somewhat fittingly, the meaning of this sonorous name, pronounced “no-ah,” comes from the Hebrew word noach, which means “rest” and “comfort.”
  3. Jack
    A nickname for John and James that has become a name in its own right. It has long been used as a way to refer to any man, especially from the working classes, as in the expression, “a jack of all trades.”
  4. Theo
    A shortened version of the masculine name Theodore and has become very popular in its own right. Theo is already a pet form of the name Theodore, so it can be considered a nickname in its own right. However, since it is related to Theodore, a related nickname could be Teddy.
  5. Leo
    Lions are considered kings of the jungle, and we often associate the regal beast with leadership and dignity. This is one of the reasons why the name Leo, the Latin word for lion, has been a favorite of parents in the Western hemisphere for centuries.
  6. Oliver
    From the French name Olivier, probably derived from the Late Latin word olivarius (olive tree). Well-known Olivers: Oliver Cromwell; the main character in Oliver Twist; TV personality John Oliver; celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.
  7. George
    George is a traditionally masculine name with Greek and English roots. The prevailing meaning of George is “farmer” — in Greek it comes from “georgos” which indicates a tiller of the soil.
  8. Ethan
    Ethan means “firm, enduring, strong, and long-lived” in Hebrew. The most notable, and perhaps the earliest Ethan, is mentioned in the Bible several times. In books and on screen, characters named Ethan are often handsome and mysterious heroes. Tom Cruise’s infamous secret agent Ethan Hunt in the Mission: Impossible film series is just one example. But Ethans are more than smooth heroes, as the name has been given to actors, scientists, politicians, and athletes.
  9. Oscar
    The name Oscar is boy’s name of English, Irish origin meaning “God spear, or deer-lover or champion warrior”. Oscar, a round and jovial choice, is a grandpa name that’s fast taking over from such urban trendies as Max and Sam. Actors Hugh Jackman and Gillian Anderson chose Oscar for their sons.
  10. Arthur
    The name Arthur is both a boy’s name and a girl’s name of Celtic origin meaning ” bear”. Arthur, once the shining head of the Knights of the Round Table, is, after decades of neglect, now being polished up and restored by some stylish parents, emerging as a top contender among names for the new royal prince.

Things We Wish We Had Discussed As a Couple Before Having a Baby

You might think that the decision to have a baby is the biggest one you’ll ever make. But you’d be wrong.

Starting a family sets a multiple of other critical decisions in motion, all to be made before you’ve quite grasped the impact of the last.

It’s important then, to make sure you’re on the same page as your other half – but this is a conversation to be had while you’re awake, lucid and not harbouring a motherlode of resentment (ie before you’ve even made that baby). It’ll hurt, but it’s worth it…

Can We Afford One?

It reportedly costs an average £150,000 to raise a child to the age of 18, and we’d estimate about 50% of that goes on nursery fees alone. Having a kid means sacrificing all of the nice things, like four city breaks a year and your pricey Net-a-Porter habit. Statutory maternity pay wouldn’t keep most kids in Ella’s Kitchen pouches, so it’s a good idea to think about how you plan to fund your new venture.

Will You Go Back To Work?

When you first give birth it’s impossible to imagine being parted from your little bundle of joy but give it seven months and you might find you’ve developed a nervous twitch every time you hear the first three chords of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Before your partner finds you camped out on the doorstep at 5pm desperately waiting for some adult conversation, it’s good to have a rough plan for if/when you’d like to go back to work. Which leads inevitably to the next question….

Who Will Look After It?

Nursery? In-Laws? Au-Pair? Looking after a kid post-maternity leave is 10% parenting, 90% logistics. The weekly childcare schedule is like a giant game of Jenga, it just one brick to be taken out with Norovirus and the whole thing comes tumbling down. Unless you want to find yourself in a screaming match over whose afternoon meeting is more important, you’ll need a plan with more resilience than a nuclear power station.

How Will You Discipline Them?

Who’ll end up playing Bad Cop? We’ll tell you right now, it’s not the absolute charlatan who’ll let them eat ice cream for breakfast if they can watch Football Focus in peace.

Where Will They Go To School?

Someone will want them to have ‘the best possible education regardless of the cost’, someone will bring politics into the issue. It’s a conversation that could get personal so be prepared.

How Many Kids Do You Actually Want?

If someone else want a five-a-side football team, ask how many they’re planning to push out of their genitals. Start negotiations low with just one kid. Anything more than that seems like a win.

How Can You Protect Our Relationship?

It’s ironic that nothing can single-handedly destroy your relationship quite like producing a miniature version of yourselves. You’re stressed, you’re knackered, and your poor vagina has been through enough. Get a solid plan in place pre-baby and there’s a 50 percent chance you’ll keep your kid (and your relationship) alive.

Quick Beauty Fixes That’ll Make It Seem Like You Made A lot Of Effort

Once upon a time if all you wanted from the weekend was to drink a boatload of tea in a Hush onesie, you could do it. Since then, the Life of Mum has injected other more challenging itineraries into our lives (playdates to go to, parks to see) and so we need some quick fixes in our lives that feign to the outside world that we totally have our s**t together. Take five minutes to throw some of this in the air and walk through it. Ok, not quite. But it’s almost that easy…

Wow Root Cover Up £29.50
Wow Root Cover Up £29.50

Ah Color Wow Root Cover Up; why do we love you so much more than others on the market? Firstly, this is completely mess-free, which is something you can’t say for tinted aerosol sprays. More like make-up application in fact, with a handy compact and brush you can use to touch up your roots on the go – have one in your handbag ready for the moment you notice those unwanted greys rearing their ugly heads in your car mirror (we blame natural daylight.). Secondly, the blonde shade lightens even dark hair – which is no mean feat. Thirdly, it’s water resistant so lasts until you wash it out, yet doesn’t contain any waxes and so won’t weigh your hair down or make it feel greasy. In our book, a total winner.

Buy now

Tan- Luxe Gradual Drops £36
Tan- Luxe Gradual Drops £36

Joyous as modern tanning products are (hello Tan-Luxe gradual drops!), keeping a consistent colour going takes quite some focus. For days you’ve left it just too late, this is a liquidised version of the brand’s cult powdered bronzer. It doesn’t require precise application – even less than applying your foundation, in fact. Just slap on a small amount after your moisturiser and blend it over your face and neck for an instant healthy healthy-looking glow. It’s super lightweight so no one will know you’re wearing it, and it lasts all day.

Buy now
Living Proof dry shampoo £22
Living Proof dry shampoo £22

We were particularly gutted recently to discover that one of our favourite ever quick fixes (Christophe Robin Hair Finish Lotion, which uses the cleansing power of vinegar to reboot unwashed and neglected hair) had been discontinued. We’ve managed to move on thanks to Living Proof, which makes a brilliant dry shampoo that’s more like an instant cleanse rather than a thick and drying Batiste-style spray. The silicone-free formulation absorbs oil and sweat, doesn’t leave hair with an unsightly powdery residue, and smells deliciously fresh all day due to time-release fragrance.

Buy now
Yves Saint Laurent Rosewood Supreme £31
Yves Saint Laurent Rosewood Supreme £31

In the beauty biz there is a something known as the “Lipstick Index”, which is the correlation between a negative economy and positive lipstick sales. Basically, when the going gets tough, we buy more lipstick. If you aren’t a lipstick lover already, try giving it a go – a little pop of colour really does make you feel better and can even detract from the under-eye bags. Ease yourself in with a lightweight cheek and lip colour that you can carry with you and top up throughout the day (Bobbi Brown’s are pretty and wearable), or pick a long-wearing option to cut down the upkeep.

Buy now
Glossier Boy Brow
Glossier Boy Brow

Some of us can’t leave the house without having done our brows and yes, haven’t seen the inside of a salon in ages but bare with! Who needs a brow tint when you can just whack on Boy Brow and be ready to take on the world! No, really, it’s that good. This brow pomade can very easily be used on it’s own to fluff up, colour and leave you with insatntly groomed brows.

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Our editorial team has selected all products on this page, however, we may make a commission on some products.

9 Skills Motherhood Can Add To Your CV

Maternity leave isn’t without its career worries. Will your job still be there when I go back? Will having kids affect your chances of promotion? How will you juggle childcare with your career? And the biggest anxiety of all… after nine months of broken nights and zero adult interaction, does baby brain ever really go away?

So let’s reframe: you’ve learnt some bona fide transferable skills on that year-long ‘break’ (and don’t get us started on that one). Don’t believe us? Read on…

Military-style Organisation

Mums achieve more before breakfast than most people do all day. Kids up and dressed, laundry on, lunches prepped, unscheduled morning bath due to unprecedented poonami, house tidied… and you still managed a flash of mascara while simultaneously breastfeeding the baby and helping your partner find his keys (where he left them; always). A good mum thinks ten steps ahead at all times – you can’t say that’s not transferable.

Negotiation Tactics

Whoever said ‘never negotiate with terrorists’ has clearly never dealt with a toddler; getting a vegetable past one of these requires the skill set of a highly trained FBI agent. “Just smell the broccoli sweetheart, then have an ice cream”. Bargaining, persuasion, bribery: you name it, you’ve mastered it.

Communication Skills

After a year of juggling multiple WhatsApp groups (including three different configurations of the girls from NCT) your comms management is on fire. Not only can you run seven conversations in tandem (“looks like just a rash babe, but I’d get it checked anyway”) you’re managing a weekly diary more complicated than your average CEO’s.

Relationship Building

Walking into a dusty church hall 15 minutes late with leaking boobs and a screaming new born used to be unnerving. Now? You can flash a boob at a stranger without missing a beat of your carefully honed small talk. In fact, you’re instant mates with anyone old enough to string a sentence together.

Teamworking

There’s no better feeling than handing a clean, dry and well-fed babe to your other half when they get home at the end of the day… and tapping out for a bath/essential online shopping/a very slow walk around the supermarket. Working together is tricky, but on the days you nail it you’ll feel like the dream team.

Multi-Tasking

We love dads, we really do, but it’s no secret that when they’re ‘looking after the baby’, they’re just… looking after the baby. By the end of mat leave you’ll have 12 things on the go at any one time, all meticulously completed while you rock the bouncer with a spare foot and catch up on Netflix.

Problem Solving

Sally has 12 minutes to do the Aldi shop before the school run. The baby has fallen asleep in the car seat, she’s forgotten the pram, it’s raining, and she doesn’t have a pound coin for the trolley.
Discuss.

Financial Planning

Anyone who’s attempted to get by on statutory maternity leave for six months has serious fiscal skills. You fed your family, kept them (and yourself) entertained 24/7, and switched gas and electricity providers more often than Kim K posts selfies. Stick that in your YOY.

Creative Thinking

No toys, no problem; there is no scenario you can’t make a game out of. Dried pasta and a colander are the new soft play and you are Mary Poppins in activewear.

First Baby Vs… Every Other Kid After That

You can’t jump in the same river twice, and that’s never more true than in pregnancy. The romance, the glow, the putting-your-feet-up-at-the-end-of-the-day. Yup, you don’t get that back after the first (it was romantic, right?). And that’s not the only thing that changes; here’s how…

The Announcement

First Child

Each individual reveal carefully rehearsed and fully documented, with especially purchased ‘You’re going to be a Grandma/Grandad/Auntie/Niece/Cousin/Next Door Neighbour’ cards containing scan photograph and handwritten note. Then, the whole lot filmed and edited into an emotional video montage (to the soundtrack of that sad song from Twilight) and uploaded to a box fresh Instagram channel with baby’s newly secured handle.

Second Child

After stalking you on Insta, your best mate texts you ‘pregnant or fat?’ to which you reply: ‘oh, yeah. Due in June’.

The Nursery

First Child

Gender neutral jungle theme, featuring hand-painted orangutans on wallpaper sourced painstakingly from Paris. Matching cot, changing table and wardrobe, packed with tiny, twice-ironed outfits, each with coordinated shoes and accessories. All completed and ready at three months to go.

Second Child

You scream at your husband to ‘get the Snuz Pod out of the loft’ as you mop up your waters from the kitchen floor.

The Hospital Bag

First Child

TENS machine, lavender oil, make-up, three matching ‘coming mome’ outfits, baby shoes, oil diffuser, hair straighteners and kindle.

Second Child

A onesie for them and the pyjamas you were wearing when you went into labour.

The Labour

First Child

£200 in hypnobirthing birthing classes, 12-step birth plan featuring fully-considered ‘pain ladder’ featuring precisely zero drugs.

Second Child

You train your husband to bark ‘EPIDURAL’ at every medical professional he sees.

The Name

First Child

After filling two purpose-bought notebooks with potentials, you settle on two middle names only, and mark the decision with a hand-embroidered blanket for the nursery.

Second Child

Six weeks into calling them ‘baby girl’ you let your older kid pick out a name from the less obnoxious characters in Peppa Pig, on the night before you’re due to register the birth.

The Nappies

First Child

You change them the second the line changes blue, including four times a night for a reliably dry bum.

Second Child

You remember to change them when they waddle past with junk like Kim Kardashian.

Bathing

First Child

Every. Single, Night. Followed by a massage with organic coconut oil (until they’re six months old, when you can choose something in a nice bottle from Space NK).

Second Child

Twice a week. Swimming pools and rainwater count.

Sterilising

First Child

Everything. All the time. Constantly.

Second Child

*Googles ‘does spit clean stuff’*

Weaning

First Child

Seasonal produce, puréed in state-of-the-art baby food maker. Annabel Karmel eat your (organic) heart out.

Second Child

If it doesn’t come in a jar or a pouch the kid doesn’t believe it’s food.

Screen Time

First Child

Never. Montessori-approved wooden toys chiselled by Hungarian monks, thanks.

Second Child

Has his own Netflix account.

10 Parenting Moments That Leave Us Seething With Rage

We used to think we were pretty chill; then we had a baby. The Mum rage is real people, and we can’t blame it all on postpartum hormones…

When Someone Parks in Parent & Child Who Isn’t a Parent and Does Not Have a Child

We endured 9 months of pregnancy and ripped our lady bits in two to earn this parenting perk; and we’ll be damned if a spotty teenager in a sodding Vauxhall Corsa gets to enjoy those 2 extra feet of door-opening space.

When Another Kid Hits Your Kid

Your voice might be saying: ‘Oh don’t worry, they all do it, he gives as good as he gets!’ but your brain is thinking ‘you stay away from my baby you little shit’.

When Your Toddler Waves At Someone And They Don’t Wave Back

Who hurt you?! How could you resist the greeting of my adorable baby’s chubby little hand?!

When People Get Your Baby’s Gender Wrong

A pink dress and a giant bow isn’t enough of a clue for you people?! How about the blanket with her name on it or the sippy cup that says ‘Mummy’s Little Princess?’ NO? REALLY?!

When Your Baby Hurts You

For someone who can barely hold a spoon, toddlers can’t half pack a powerful punch. When they’re not cutting their teeth on your nipples they’re ripping chunks out of your already-balding-postpartum-head.

When Your Mother in Law Favours The Other Grandchildren

We know it’s probably us being totally irrational, entirely unreasonable etc etc, but is it too much to ask that everyone in the whole world thinks our child is the most special human being on the entire planet?

When Strangers Touch Your Newborn

Even pre-Covid this was 10/10 not okay Hun. We have no idea who you are, or where your probably filthy germ-infested hands have been, but back the hell off and STEP AWAY FROM THE BABY.

When Older Kids Won’t Give Your Kid a Turn

Ever stared out a 10-year-old because they wouldn’t get their skinny little bottom off the baby swing? We have, and we have absolutely zero shame.

When Someone Judges You For Feeding Your Baby

Oh hey there! These are breasts! 50% of the population have them! We haven’t whacked them out for shits and giggles, we actually require them to keep our tiny human alive. Move along people.

When Someone Comments On Your Baby Body

‘You’re so big! When are you due?’
The kids in pre-school Karen, go mind your goddamn business.

10 Pregnancy Myths That Are Total BS

The ‘joy of pregnancy’ comes with a whole host of side effects and an extra serving of unsolicited advice. Growing a human is tricky enough without having to navigate your way through a sea of misinformation. Here’s our TMC guide to those pregnancy myths that are total BS..

Morning Sickness Just Happens In The Morning

Let’s start with the obvious. Pre-pregnancy we naively presumed we’d just wake up and vom before cracking on with the rest of our day. OH HOW WRONG WE WERE. The reality is pregnancy sickness doesn’t seem to give a shit about punctuality; it can actually happen any time of the day or night.

You Have To Stop Exercising

Gym bunnies of the world rejoice! There’s no need to stop exercising the moment you discover you are avec bebe; in fact, it’s actually recommended by the NHS. As your pregnancy progresses, you may have to tailor your workout to accommodate your ever growing bump (READ: No Rock Climbing) but for the most part, you can carry on as normal for as long as you feel comfortable.

You Have To Wear Maternity Clothes

Let’s be honest; whilst there are a handful of amazing maternity brands out there most pregnancy-wear is pretty grim. If you don’t fancy splashing out a wedge of cash on a ‘Baby on Board’ t shirt that won’t fit you a few weeks from now; try sizing up, elasticated waists and a few key investment pieces that will last (we’re still wearing maternity jeans and our kids go to school now).

You Can Eat For Two

You might be as devo’d as us to learn that most women only need an extra 200 calories per day in the final trimester of pregnancy. Personally, we demand a recount. We were told there’d be more cake.

You Can Guess The Sex From The Shape Of Your Bump

There’s actually no evidence to support that the shape of your ever-expanding tummy gives a clue to the gender of your baby. Unfortunately, this won’t stop your Mother-in-Law declaring ‘it’s definitely a boy’ because you’re ‘carrying it all in the back’ (whatever that means).

You Can’t Have Sex

Unless you’re advised otherwise, sex is completely safe and there’s absolutey zero chance of poking the baby in the head (a common worry amongst totally modest men). Let’s file this under things you don’t necessarily HAVE to do just because you CAN….

It’s The Most Magical Time

Some women enjoy every second of pregnancy. Those women are magical pregnancy unicorns. For the rest of us, there are moments where the weight gain, nausea, swelling and internal battering from tiny baby feet get all too much; and that’s pretty normal.

You’ll Get That Pregnancy ‘Glow’

Firstly; not always true. Many women actually complain of increased breakouts, dry or acne-prone skin during pregnancy; as fluctuating hormone levels send your skin into overdrive. Secondly; we’re not ‘glowing’ so much as ‘sweating’.

You Can’t Eat That!

Dippy eggs, sushi, cheese; if it’s delicious and you want it, the chances are there’s some article somewhere about why you shouldn’t be eating it. The truth is the guidance changes all the time, so make sure you do your research and take guidance directly from your doctor or midwife.

Pregnancy is 9 Months Long

40 weeks = 10 months. BASIC MATHS PEOPLE!

Your Easy-Peasy Healthy Eating Plan

And guess what? You can still have chocolate (and wine!)

Comfort eating has become a trend nearly all of us have gotten into. And boy-oh-boy do we deserve it.

We’ve enlisted the help of healthy living gurus MUTU, an NHS-approved online exercise programme for Mums, as they share their easy-to-follow healthy eating rules with us.

“We need to stop calorie counting and focus on being happy, and mentally clear – because for many women, stress, anxiety and lack of sleep can all lead to comfort eating and sugar addictions. Losing weight is as much to do with the mind as it is the actions we take,”

MUTU Founder Wendy Powell.

Your easy-to-follow healthy eating plan

The general ethos of MUTU is to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, more good fats and protein, fewer grains and NO processed foods. But here’s a little more detail…

  1. Avoid processed and refined foods.
    Keep your food as close to its natural source as possible. If you can’t identify a natural source, don’t eat it. This means NO ready meals, commercially baked pastries, biscuits, cookies or cakes, take-out food, sweets, white bread, bagels, cereal bars, packaged cereals with added sugar and fizzy drinks.
  2. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables.
    At least three times a day, eat fresh fruit and vegetables. Try to eat raw veg and as many green vegetables as possible.
  3. Drink lots and lots of water.
    Drink lashings of purified water as well as herbal teas, very diluted fruit juice and green tea.
  4. Eat protein with every meal.
    Limit dairy-based protein and add more fish, pulses or beans to your diet. When eating meat chose organic free-range eggs.
  5. Upgrade your chocolate.
    Yes, you can have chocolate. But make it higher quality with a greater percentage of cocoa and lower amounts of sugar. Organic dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa solids is the best and no more than a couple of squares.
  6. Limit caffeine and alcohol.
    Ok, this might be hard, as we often live for our morning coffees and wine-time (especially when home-schooling). But don’t worry, you can still drink one cup of coffee a day and enjoy one glass of wine no more than three times a week.
  7. Eat these things at least twice a week
    Oily fish (like sardines, salmon, or mackerel) good oils, a handful of nuts and seeds (like hemp, pumpkin and sunflower)
Are Fats good for you?

“When looking towards our postpartum diets, fats aren’t the problem, but sugar, stress, processed food, not enough good fats and not moving might be”, says Wendy Powell founder of MUTU. She adds, “For years we were fed the ‘low fat’ mantra of losing weight – there was something so simple about it: fat makes you fat. This was entirely misleading because we need fats! Natural, healthy fats like those in nuts and seeds, oily fish like mackerel or salmon, avocados, eggs, and good olive oil, are important for us”.

Approved by NHS digital, MUTU is a medically recommended online exercise programme for Mums.

For more expert guidance, and information on the MUTU plan, head to www.mutusystem.co.uk