Sunday 4 August 2013

Review: What To Expect When You're Expecting UK

The lovely people over at What To Expect When You're Expecting UK recently sent me some goodies to review - being an already enthusiastic follower of the UK site and twitter page and USA-based phone App I was more than happy to receive these goodies and give them a go. 


Perhaps the most useful item I was sent has been the official 'What To Expect When You're Expecting' book by Heidi Murkoff (4th Edition)...this book is literally a pregnancy bible - what it can't tell you about pregnancy isn't worth knowing! It's your one-stop-shop for info, advice, medical explanation and pictures to guide you through every stage of your pregnancy and beyond. 

The book is split up into 23 chapters, and as you can see from the chapter titles below pretty much covers every base necessary for expectant mums and dads:

Chapter 1: Before You Conceive

Chapter 2: Are You Pregnant?
Chapter 3: Your Pregnancy Profile
Chapter 4: Your Pregnancy Lifestyle
Chapter 5: Nine Months of Eating Well
Chapter 6 - 14: The First Month - The Ninth Month
Chapter 15: Labour and Delivery
Chapter 16: Twins, Triplets & More
Chapter 17: Postpartum: The First Week
Chapter 18: Postpartum: The First Six Weeks
Chapter 19: Fathers Are Expectant, Too
Chapter 20: If You Get Sick
Chapter 21: If You Have A Chronic Condition
Chapter 22: Managing A Complicated Pregnancy 
Chapter 23: Coping With Pregnancy Loss

I have found the month by month chapters especially helpful and interesting as a first time mum-to-be - as each chapter outlines your baby's development week by week, what you may be feeling, what to expect at your midwife/doctor check up, a 'what you may be wondering about' section which gives lots of useful info about a variety of things related to your month of gestation, and then finally, each month's chapter has a final word regarding lots of pregnancy issues such as weigh gain & pregnancy, pregnancy & work, exercise during pregnancy, sex & pregnancy, breastfeeding etc. 

What I love about this book is that its so easy to pick up and put down - you read what is relevant to your gestation, or you look up a symptom or worry using the very detailed index, and then pop it back on the shelf until you next need some information. It is clear, concise, and doesn't give you mixed messages like so many websites, blogs, forums and chat rooms online - this book simply gives clear expert opinion without preaching or scaring you our of your mind.

A definite must-have for all you expectant mummies and daddies out there!

available at Amazon priced £10.78


All my regular blog readers will know that over the past two years I've been battling with a nasty slipped disc in my back - not fun - especially since becoming pregnant - all that pressure on an already damaged area is not cool. One of the hardest aspects of coping with my slipped disc has been managing exercise, and weight-loss. 

Before becoming pregnant I embarked on a weight-loss journey which saw me lose 3 stones through a calorie controlled diet, and lots of walking, going from a clothes size 20 to a size 16. My main motivation was slimming down for my wedding day last summer, and to help me conceive/have a healthy pregnancy. It did the trick & here I am a year after the wedding, 38 weeks pregnant and about to drop! :-) 

What has been hard has been trying to exercise without causing lots of pain, and doing any more damage to my back. The large amount of daily walking I was doing (minimum 3 miles max 6-7 per day) soon took its toll on my poor disc, and soon it became very uncomfortable for me to walk too-long a distance - as my pregnancy has progressed this just got worse and worse. 

When I received the pregnancy workout DVD from What To Expect I was sceptical about whether or not it would be any use for me with my back problems, however, the DVD has been cleverly designed so as you can do as much or as little exercise (time wise) as often as you can cope with. It really can suit any level of fitness, and any stage of pregnancy. 

The DVD is broken up into 6 small ten-minute "exercise bites":

1. Barefoot & Pregnant (CARDIO)
2. Baby Bump Bootcamp (CARDIO)
3. Baby Steps (CARDIO)
4. Cute to the Core (STRENGTH)
5. Buns in the Oven (STRENGTH)
6. Mind, Body & Baby (STRETCH & RELAX)

Not only is the DVD fun and easy to follow, you don't need to be super-fit or super-thin to manage the work-outs; the key is just to do what you can manage for as long as you can manage. Because the workout's are written especially for pregnant ladies they are gentler, and designed to be safe for you and your bump at any stage of gestation.

Exercise Advice for Pregnant Mums:
  • check with your GP or midwife before embarking on any new fitness regime, especially if you have any health conditions or are new to exercise.
  • ensure you have a healthy snack before embarking on a workout, and drink plenty of water during and after your workout. 
  • make sure the room you exercise in is cool, and you use a safe surface to exercise on such as carpet or a yoga mat.
  • wear suitable clothes - not too tight or dangerously loose, cool, breathable fabric and a good supportive bra!
  • DON'T DO IT IF IT HURTS - this is so important - none of the exercises should be physically painful, and you shouldn't be getting so out of breath that you can't talk or sing along to the music you are moving too. If it hurts, stop straight away and rest. 

Workout DVD available from Amazon priced at £6.00

Not only will I use this DVD until my Little Mr makes his arrival but I plan to use it at home post-pregnancy to help me shift my baby-weight & stay active. It is certainly much cheaper and easier than going to the gym, it is kinder on my back, and I can exercise while my little monkey sleeps, or bounces away in his chair alongside me! 


And finally, for some light relief from all this preparing for a newborn malarkey, the guys over at WTE sent me a copy of the 2012 film with the same title. 

"Inspired by the perennial best seller, WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING is a hilarious and heartfelt comedy about five couples whose intertwined lives are turned upside down by the challenges of impending parenthood." 

The film has a glittering cast-list including: Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Dennis Quaid, and Chris Rock to name but a few! 

Hubby and I settled down to watch it a few weeks ago, and really enjoyed it - a nice easy watch - funny and honest about all aspects of having a baby - a must-see if you too are expecting! 

DVD available on Amazon priced at £7.00

Do any of you other expectant mummies and daddies have any favourite books/websites or DVDs that have been useful during your pregnancies? 

I'd love to hear about them. 

Happy Expecting Everyone!

Mrs B

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of the What To Expect When You're Expecting book, film and fitness DVD for the purpose of this review. All words, opinions and images are my own.