My Pregnancy Diary; 30 weeks!

How the hell did that happen? I literally have 9-10 weeks left, depending on when I have my C-section – and wow, look at the bump!

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This week, I’ve had a massive hormone surge! Sunday, I felt awful. Light-headed, sick and I had a horrible metallic taste in my mouth, which apparently is down to a surge in the hormone Oestrogen. Thankfully it has passed now, but for a few days I really didn’t fancy any food, so I’m so grateful for my frozen Ooosh juices, which I keep in the freezer and can defrost as and when I need them. They are cold-pressed, which prevents the loss of nutrients and separation of the ingredients and have such a high-level of fruit and veg in them, I’m confident that on days I don’t feel like eating much, I’m giving bubba plenty of nutrients, especially greens!

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These are also a must for new, busy mums, so check out Scott’s website and drop him a line to see how he can help you. The beauty is that you can mix and match your favorite flavours in your delivery, and it’s as simple as storing them in the freezer and taking one out to defrost for the next day – or for in my case for later on if I’m having one for dinner!  I’m certainly going to make sure I’m stocked up for those early days when you need food – but have very little time or inclination to cook, especially breakfast!

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Back to training; I’m still going. I’m training 6ish times a week, which includes two power walks/slow runs at the weekend. The TRX is helping me greatly when it comes to exercises such as one-legged squats and press ups, and it means I can work with my body weight, which, because it’s so much heavier than I’m used to means I’m not really using any free-weights. I’m determined to train right until the end.

To help me with my training, I’ve also been lucky enough to give the FitBump Box a try, which is a lovely box especially for pregnant women and new mums.IMG_2296 The box comes nicely wrapped and inside features a resistance band, a Pilates cushion and a mini Pilates ball.

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It also gives you access to a private membership area where you’ll get;
* Week by week pregnancy & new mum Pilates workouts (I’m looking forward to doing these after my C-section, where I’m going to have to really ease myself back into training!).
* Weekly food planning, recipes, tension relieving exercises, back pain workouts, postnatal “mummy tummy” cardio and strengthening workouts
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* a private forum where they cover everything from back pain, pregnancy worries and topics like postnatal ‘mummy tummy’ troubles! Again, it’s going to be great to talk to other mums, and possibly Joanna, the pregnancy & postnatal fitness expert behind the workouts when I’m ready to ease myself back into training and looking to knit my abs back together before I get back to anything hardcore! A bit or reassurance and training advice without having to leave the house!

I’m really looking forward to doing some of the Pilates workouts, as it’s easy to forget your core when pregnant. My core and abs are usually my favourite area to train, but I don’t want to overdo it in pregnancy and risk getting Diastasis Reci – aka my abs splitting into two! It makes it harder to recover and if I rush into working out too quickly I could end up with a permanent pooch!

If you are worried too, then I would certainly recommend doing your research and maybe investing in a box like the FitBump Box, which is expert lead and tried and tested. These tips should help you too;

  • Always focus on the TA or Transverse Abdominus during pregnancy.
  • Avoid exercises laying on your back during pregnancy.
  • Avoid moves such as crunches, planks, and sit ups as these are the prime culprits to Diastasis Recti.
  • Perform each move slowly and controlled to prevent injury or mishaps.
  • ….and, as always talk to your doctor before attempting ANY ab moves during pregnancy.

Keep an eye out for more on how I’m getting on with the workouts and how they are helping me through these final months!

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My Pregnancy Diet; 28 weeks pregnant

Help, I feel sick! First trimester type sickness but mainly at night and in the morning. What is that? I don’t remember having it with Lacie!? Tiredness perhaps? Low blood sugar? Hormones? I just don’t know but it’s really annoying. I just sat in the bathroom on Saturday morning not sure what to do with myself. It did pass but I literally had to force myself to just get out the house and get some fresh air. I hope it passes soon!

So what else has been going on? Well I’m 28 weeks now and feel very bumpy. Another half an inch around the waist this week (standard!) but no-where else which is good, although I do feel like I’m carrying water.

Here’s a pic of me this morning in the gym. Another workout in the bag. Yay! As you can see I’m rocking a bump – I feel heavy!

 

So what have I been doing in the gym?

  • Core Well there have been no more ab exercises! I was never really big into doing isolated ab work anyway, as the big moves I tend to do like squats, deadlifts, clean and press etc tend to work my core anyway BUT since about 12 weeks I have stopped any twisting movements and any crunch type moves, and instead doing things like bird dog and side planks.
  • HIIT Although I was mega careful in the first 12 weeks and kept my heart rate right down and the intensity low, I’m now back to my beloved HIIT routines and usually following the 50 seconds hard, 10 seconds rest protocol. Since my body is used to this type of training, I was more than happy to introduce this again. Please take note though you need to know your body before doing this sort of training and it’s advised that you check with your GP and midwife before undertaking any sort of training. My midwife knows how I like to train and is happy for me to continue as long as I listen to my body.
  • Running I’m still going – JUST ABOUT! I can manage about 15 minutes before I get stitch like pains and then I just walk until any pain has subsided. I then do 60 second run and 2 minute walk intervals for around 30 minutes or until I reach home. I’m usually out for round 60 minutes and do this on a Saturday and Sunday morning.

Todays workout.
Today I did an hour in the gym first thing and started with my usual 5 minutes on the bike before some sun salutations and side to side tube walking.

I then did a HIIT circuit; 50 seconds work/10 seconds rest
* Deadlifts x 4, star jumps x 4
* press ups x 2, burpees x 2
* Lunge kick through into lunge glute lift, and jump and change
* Side lunge, side lunge, jump forward, jump back (stay low the whole time).

I did this for three rounds and then did finished with some bird dogs, side planks, raised planks and a slow spin on the bike.
I kept my weights low in the deadlifts and did my press ups on my knees to help prevent splitting my abs (Diastasis recti).

How have your workouts change throughout your pregnancy?

 

 

 

 

Day 3 of my 21 day diet challenge

Hello day three…it looks like it may be hungry one as I woke up hungry today!

Determined not to venture of track though, I popped Lacie in her running buggy (read my review on the Out ‘n’ About Nipper Sport V4 here) and went out for an hour run before breakfast. There’s a park about 10 minutes from our house, so I walked there as part of my warm up and the set my timer to three minutes running & 30 seconds rest. I did this 10 times before walking back home again. It took about an hour and according to my heart rate monitor I burnt 500 calories.

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When I got home I had a Protein shake with 1/2 a banana followed by some sourdough bread with almond butter. That certainly knocked the hunger pangs on the head and the combination of protein, carbs & good fats helped my recovery too.

For lunch I had Tomato soup followed by a chicken breast with courgette noodles marinated in homemade pesto made from spinach, avocado, basil & pine nuts and then a apple mid afternoon and a sugar free lolly….it was either that or something extra naughty. I always struggle in the afternoons with cravings!

I always go to the gym on Thursday nights too, so as soon as Lacie was in bed I ventured to my local Virgin Active.
I always run there. It takes 8 minutes, which is perfect for my warm up.
I then did 20 glute raises and 20 deadbugs to switch on my core, followed by 20 Kettlebell lunges holding a 12kg Kettlebell to work my lower body. I did this five times, and not only were my legs burning but my heart rate was nice and high too. This is the strength phase of my workout.

To finish off, I did a nasty met-con finisher, where I did 150 Russian Kettlebell swings using a 12kg Kettlebell. I didn’t however just do 150 straight off. I did as many as I could in a minute, then did 10 jumping lunges and did another load of swings until my buzzer went off. Basically on the minute every minute I did my jumping lunges, then carried on doing my Kettlebell swings inbetween.
The whole thing took me 6 1/2 minutes – it was horrible. The first time I did this though it took me 11 minutes so I’m definitely getting fitter!

I then finished off with some tricep dips and side planks and walked home. I usually run but my legs refused!

When I got home I had a nice hot bath with my favourite Liquid Yoga bath soak followed by a pot of CO YO mixed with some lemon juice and lemon zest. It reminds me of lemon meringue pie…and is a perfect post without treat.

So, I’ve had another great day. I’ve eaten around 1500 calories again but burnt 500 during my run and 400 at the gym – leaving me well under my calorie allowance. I think I may be hungry again tomorrow so will plan a nice big breakfast. I’m thinking protein pancakes! Yum!

Walking Away My Baby Weight

At three weeks postpartum, there isn’t a lot I can do exercise wise apart from walk and eat clean and lean.

As you know from my birth story, I had a bit of a traumatic birth with Lacie, so I am still recovering with lots of stitches and a few pains ‘down stairs’, so I’ve really rested up so far but now itching to get outdoors.

All this week I’ve made a conscious effort to get outdoors with my pram and walk for at least 45 minutes. Not only does this help my mood and energy levels but its giving me confidence with getting outdoors in the morning. With a new-born its easy to stay indoors and before you know it the day has gone.

With 4kg to go until I reach my pre-baby weight I’m determined to get rid of it slowly and sensibly without putting myself under pressure, so to start things off, I will start with daily walks.

A few products I have found really helpful when walking – especially around busy roads is my BuggyTug. You simply attach it to the pram them put it around your wrist to stop your pram from rolling away. It just makes me feel more secure and confident with my precious baby. I would hate my pram to roll away in this horrendous weather…

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Before my walk, I’ve also had to make sure I eat a decent pre-walk breakfast. I hate going out on a full stomach but what with breast-feeding I need to make sure I keep my energy levels up and calories high. To make sure I have something in me, I’ve been having Protein World Slender Blend shakes with fresh berries and 1/2 a frozen banana and a pinch of cinnamon. The protein based shake is just 130 calories but really filling thanks to its unique blend of vitamins, fibre and nutrients. I’m still having my lemon water and Lucy-Bee coconut water too. Both are easy to make and take no time at all.

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Lastly – a good sports bra is a must – even when walking. My boobs feel very full and heavy from the breast-feeding so its vital they are well supported. Therefore I was ecstatic to come across the Freya Active sports bra that has been  specifically designed to support the fuller bust and is available for larger cup sizes going up to a H cup. The bra features microfibre fabrics for moisture control, whilst also featuring a centre front extension for extra support. I love the padded straps  too, which stop any chaffing on my shoulders.

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There really isn’t anything stopping from walking now – if only the weather was better…..it’s nearly Spring time I suppose. Now Where’s my waterproofs?

A little Visit to see Vivien Kay at Simply Healing Detox Retreat – Juicing, Healing and Catching Up.

I can’t praise Vivien Kay and Simply Healing enough for all the support they’ve given me and my husband over the last year.

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It’s crazy to think that this time last year I had my first fertility appointment with a specialist, who told me I probably had PCOS. As you know from older posts it wasn’t that at all and I just needed to give me body a bit of TLC, eat more, cut down on the exercise and get more in tune with my body, which I did with the help and advice from lots of incredible experts.

I remember, this time last year I felt so incredibly helpless. My sister was pregnant, it was coming up to Xmas and I was waiting to hear from my doctor about my next plan of action. It’s crazy. I was down in the dumps big time. I’m now 38 weeks pregnant and counting down the days until my due date…was a difference a year makes!

So today I thought I would pay Auntie Viv a visit. Its hard at this stage of the pregnancy – you feel so close – yet so far. The due date is in sight but you feel tired and you are winding down so the days feel longer and you feel like you are just waiting. You also haven’t been scanned since week 20 (well most of haven’t unless you pay for a private scan or have had a problem) and you just want to know that you’re baby is ok and ready to come out. Re-assurance was defiantly needed.

As usual my healing session with Vivien started with a warm welcome as I walked in to her gorgeous Sussex home.
I then laid on the couch as she placed her hands on my bump. The first thing Viv said was that baby was very cozy and sleeping. She tends to sleep lots in the day and wake me up at 5am in the morning so this didn’t surprise me. After a few minutes, Viv expressed that she was slightly concerned about mine and the baby’s energy levels. I must admit, this rings true. My energy has been awful recently, and I just haven’t had an appetite – it’s a catch 22 as you obviously need to eat for energy. She said that she wants me to eat more (at least every three hours) because the baby needs energy to get into the prime position and get ready for birth. At this rate it looks like she might be late as she’s slightly lethargic – and not engaged.

So what’s my plan of action? I need to start setting my alarm for every three hours and even if I don’t fancy food, have a juice or something with plenty of nutrients in. Here is a link to some of Simply Healing’s famous juices. There are loads to choose from and they are all super easy to make!
I also need to make sure I have a snack before bed to stop me waking up so hungry and eat more good carbs like Rye Bread, Brown Rice, Sweet Potatoes and quinoa. Stuffed peppers with brown rice sounds nice!

Another funny thing that Viv said was that the bubba liked the colour lemon yellow – which made me laugh as her nursery is very pink! We may have to start buying some yellow bits….

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To Breast Feed, or Not? That is the question….

For most women it would be a no brainer – but I’m going to be entirely honest with you I’m slightly nervous about it!

Yes,

  • Breastmilk contains all your baby needs: proteins, fats, lactose, vitamins, iron, minerals, water and enzymes in the exact amounts required for the optimal growth and development.
  • Breastfed babies are healthier. Breastmilk contains substances which prevent harmful bacteria from growing in intestines and causing gastrointestinal and diarrhoeal infections.
  • Breastfed babies have fewer middle ear infections, fewer respiratory infections and a decreased risk of developing allergies, cancer, childhood diabetes and obesity.
  • Breastfed babies have a decreased risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • Breastfeeding a premature baby decreases his risk to develop necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).
  • Breastmilk is clean, free from bacteria and has anti-infective properties.
  • Breastmilk has the right temperature and needs no preparation. It is readily available whenever your baby needs it.
  • Breastfed babies are less prone to develop diabetes, heart diseases, eczema, asthma and other allergic disorders later in life.
  • Breastfeeding enhances brain development. Research shows there is better visual development and visual acuity in breastfed children.

But what about me? I will find it awkward if my baby needs feeding when out and about with friends and family and what if it hurts? According to breast-feeding experts, Medela breast-feeding is not meant to hurt, although some nipple tenderness in the early days of breast-feeding is rather common.

After spending hours reading up on the Medela website (there’s so much information on there, which is great!), I’m adamant I’m going to give it a go. So to set myself up, I have got some breast-feeding essentials. In my mind, breast-feeding needs to be as comfortable as possible for me as well as my baby, as it’s too easy to give up when formula is so available and easy to get hold of.

Here is what I have got so far!
Medela Swing Breast Pump
According to experts at Medela, 82% of mothers use a breast pump, whether it is because of going back to work or to help overcome a temporary separation or problem. I’ve decided to get one to help with those awkward moments when I know I’m going to be out for a few hours and won’t feel comfortable to feed in public. It also means my husband can get involved with the feeding too, as I think this is important for father and daughter bonding time.
This award-winning pump is meant to be very quiet and boosts 2-Phase Expression Technology the breast pump simulates the natural infant sucking behaviour at the mother’s breast.
£129; from Mothercare

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Bravado Essential Nursing Tank
This tank not only has a built-in bra but is also long in length and unclips at the shoulder to give your baby full access to your breast, without you having to expose your tummy or too much flesh. As it will be winter when I have my baby, I will wear this under a jumper or poncho which will allow me to feed her discretely and comfortably. The fabric is also really soft and stretchy and comes in a range of colours to match any outfit.
£36; Bravadodesigns.co.uk
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Aleva Naturals™ Nursing balm
According to Medela, 73% of mothers get outside help for breastfeeding problems, which includes sore nipples, which is why a good organic nursing balm is essential to help moisturise nipples  and soothe painfully cracked nipples.
What I like about Aleva Naturals is that their cream is specially formulated with Plant based Edible Oils, which is safe for both Mom and Baby – the balm absorbs in within a few minutes after application.  Aleva Naturals recommended that you apply the cream after breastfeeding and because there is usually a couple of hours between feeds there shouldn’t be anything left over to be wiped off. It’s also not necessary to wipe off any trace amounts as they are edible oils!
£9.99; www.vitalbaby.co.uk 

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This is my essentials to start with. I am on the hunt though to find more, so when I do, I will of course share these with you, as I think every women should be confident to try breast feeding as the benefits are huge. I think like everything new, it will feel weird to start with BUT practice makes perfect and I’m not one to give up, especially as I know the benefits for my baby and MYSELF are so good.

Good luck ladies – please feel free to share your stories !

Pregnancy countdown – 41 days and I indulge in….

.a Neom Feel Amazing Treat box – For New & Soon To Be Mums

Wow – I’m now over 34 weeks pregnant and feeling the effects – especially at night time. The day is fine. I’m still active, writing features from my desk, sitting on my Wellness Ball and still training one or two clients (I had my last one today – boo!) but the night is painful. My hips go numb from where I lie on my side – all I want is to lay on my belly. No chance!

They say that at night its best to sleep on your left hand side as this position helps blood and nutrients to flow to your baby and uterus (womb) and helps your kidneys get rid of waste and fluid. You should also avoid laying on your back because the weight of your uterus lies on the spine, back muscles, intestines, and major blood vessels, which can lead to muscle aches and pains, and impaired circulation, which is uncomfortable for you and can reduce circulation to your baby.
Don’t worry I often find myself on my back at night. I just move straight back to my left. You’re body will soon let you know when it’s time to move, just try and get out of the habit of it!

So to help me sleep, this Neom box of goodies, has been a saviour!

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The Cocooning Bath Oil ( 50ml ) is soothing and relaxing. Great for unwinding before bed and helping you to get nice and sleepy so you doze of quicker and easier.

The Cocooning Travel Candle is perfect for having on as you dry yourself off and rub yourself down in the Cocooning Body Oil which will help keep your skin soft and supple, whilst avoiding stretch marks. It’s smells divine too – light and fruity with a hint of Ylang Ylang, Chamomile and Jasmine. Delicious!

It’s so important to really look after yourself at this time of pregnancy as you do tend to forget about yourself and sometimes feel a bit fed up of all the effort of everyday life. Enjoy these last few weeks – I am. Because before I know it I know I will have my little bubba in my arms and missing these long relaxing baths and pampering sessions!

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Three ways to stay stretch mark free during pregnancy

Research suggests that stretch marks, those small, depressed streaks in the skin that appear mainly around the stomach in the later stages of pregnancy have a lot to do with genetics: If your mother or sister got stretch marks during pregnancy, you’re more likely to get them, too. Other studies show that younger moms, particularly teens, are more prone to getting stretch marks.

The key to keeping them at bay is to make sure you don’t pile on the weight too quickly. The recommended amount of weight during pregnancy in most cases, is 25 to 35 pounds. Gaining it slowly may help reduce your chances of getting stretch marks, as will drinking lots of water, which helps keep your skin cells plump and supple.

Foods rich in Vitamin E (seeds and spinach), zinc (beef and lamb) and silica (celery), will also help to form collagen, while Vitamin C (oranges, peppers) in particular is an important antioxidant that helps protect tissue from damage, while helping it to form collagen.

There are also lots of fantastic creams on the market that are designed to be used day and night to keep the skin hydrated and smooth and help build tensile strength.

Here are three of my favourite that I have used everyday of my pregnancy. At 34 weeks, I can safely say that I’ve not got an inkling of a stretch mark – I must be doing something right…

1) Zita West Beautiful Belly Balm
This restorative moisturiser from fertility and pregnancy guru Zita West contains all natural plant extracts, designed to help keep the skin of your stomach in good condition throughout pregnancy.
It’s really rich, smells gorgeous – and is not greasy making it perfect to put on in the morning before you get dressed.
£18.95; www.zitawest.com

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 2) Mama Mio Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Butter
This is great for all over protection from stretch marks as a little goes a long way. It’s made with super-elasticising Omega 3, 6 and 9’s oils to help build your skin’s strength and has a rehydrating shea butter base, making it super thick, and really smooth to apply.
£23; www.mamamio.com

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3) Fushi Really Good Stretch Mark oil
Rubbing anything unnatural on my tummy is a no-no for me, which is why I love this stretch mark oil. It contains Holy Basil, known for its superb skin healing powers and renowned benefits for stretch marks, African Baobab oil, which holds the properties of omega 3, vitamin E and D, and is ideal for scars, blemishes and stretch marks. The oil is a little greasy but keeps my  skin hydrated for hours, which is why I like to put it on last thing at night.
£14.45; www.fushi.co.uk 

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32 weeks pregnant and counting…

I thought I would give you a quick update as to how I’m feeling.

I’m now 32 weeks and yes still working out five to six days a week but starting to wake up more tired and also feel the effects of working out with a little person inside of me. It’s not a case of sitting down on the mat for tricep dips and then just getting back up again. Everything is taking that little bit longer. I feel like a granny 🙂

Saying that – my energy during the day is still good and I’m setting my alarm on my phone to remind me to eat every three hours. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a slap up meal every time my alarm sounds but I will head to the kitchen and have a big glass of water and a healthy snack like some avocado on rye bread or hummus or veggie sticks.

Sleep – it’s ok. I have one of these amazing pregnancy pillows from Mothercare – which I recommend to EVERYONE! (I even got my husband one because it kept stealing mine!) Sleep is so important for recovery an growth and there is tons of research out there also that says it can help stablise your blood sugar levels and stop you reaching for sugary snacks. There is alot to be said for 8 hours a night – if you can get it!

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My pregnancy pillow from Mothercare is definitely my new best friend! http://www.mothercare.com

Top pregnancy supplements to help look after your bump

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Eating a healthy diet is always a good idea, especially during pregnancy, but since falling pregnant 32 weeks ago, I’ve taken a pregnancy supplement every day without fail to help cover any nutritional gaps in my diet.

Even with the most solid diet, it’s extremely difficult to make sure that you’re getting enough nutrients for both you and baby. While I don’t recommend going crazy with the supplements, there are a handful that have been shown to help with pregnancy and your baby’s health.

Here’s a round up of what I’ve found to be effective:

Solgar Prenatal Nutrients Tablets

Solgar is a brand I’ve always trusted and I took these for a good few months before I fell pregnant.

The NHS recommend you have 400 microgram of folic acid every day while you are trying to get pregnant and until you’re 12 weeks pregnant, which is why I like this supplement.

Each tablet has the perfect amount of vitamins/minerals, without exceeding 100% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA), except for iron (which is supposed to be higher for pregnant women anyway, to help fight fatigue).

It also had an adequate level of folic acid, which as I said before is extremely important prior to conception as the neural tube develops in the first 30 days of pregnancy (before most women know they are pregnant) and supplementing folic acid can prevent many cases of conditions like spina bifida.

Viridian Pregnancy Complex 

I like this brand because it has a healthy amount of DHA, which is vital for helping your baby’s brain develop. You can get DHA from eating fish such as salmon, sardines and herring but what with my morning and afternoon sickness, the last thing I wanted was fishy fish!

It also contains a healthy dose of vitamin D, which is good for regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, and is needed to keep bones and teeth healthy.

The NHS recommend you take a supplement of 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day when you are pregnant and if you breastfeed to provide your baby with enough vitamin D for the first few months of its life.

Zita West Vital Essence 3

I knew of Zita West, since I had read many of her books when planning to conceive, so it was a no brainer to try her  supplements, which are tailored to suit each trimester. You take one, three times a day with food and they will then provide you with everything you need to safeguard your everyday diet, including 400mg of folic acid plus lots of protective ingredients such as Beta Carotene (a safe way to help support your intake of vitamin A), copper, magnesium, manganese and zinc, all of which support normal cell division and help to protect DNA.

I also brought her Vital DHA, which you have twice a day and contains Omega 3 essential fatty acids (necessary for baby’s brain development, and to ward off inflammation), plus a small amount of zinc.

Please speak to your doctor or health adviser before taking any supplements.