time flies when you're being a mum

Pregnancy tagged with '17 weeks pregnant'

Pregnancy week by week

06 Mar, 2012

I’m on a one woman mission to eat everything I see. My pregnancy diet today has consisted of a Chinese for lunch and pizza for dinner, so my mission to plan and eat healthy meals seems to have already gone out of the window after only 2 days at work!! So, I need to make sure that I only see healthy food or I’m going to get fat. Soon.

To get me back on the straight and narrow I’ve been reminding myself of these snacks so I’m at least not running down the hallway to the chocolate machine during my afternoon lull.

Nuts – sounds kind of boring and obvious but nuts are handy, it doesn’t require much of them to take the hunger edge off, they keep you full for longer and are great for you…Almonds protect you from the sun and help burn belly fat, hazelnuts are good for your foetus and are packed with calcium, brazil nuts fight cancer and are great for the skin, and walnuts make your skin and heart glow.

Little pesto couscous pot – make up 100g of couscous and cover with boiling water.

While the couscous is doing its thing prepare the pesto ingredients:

a handful of pine nuts, a good bunch of basil, 1/2 a clove of garlic crushed, 2 tbsp parmesan and a tbsp of olive oil. Mix this into the couscous then add whatever veggies you fancy. I added an avocado, loads of spinach, cucumber and some cherry tomatoes.

Mix all together then split into 2 or 3 pots for a healthy 11’s!

Mexican Ryvita – I always thought that Ryvita was shitty diet food, but it’s actually pretty delicious and fills you up quick. For my Mexican Ryvita I used leftover salsa (made with tomatoes, black-eyed beans, fresh coriander, red onion and lime juice) and guacamole (I like it pretty au natural – it’s just mushed up avocado with a bit of chilli and olive oil – mmm!).

Take everything in separate pots so nothing goes mushy while you’re at work… it’s ideal as pre-workout fuel.

Time to add some of these back into my pregnancy diet!


05 Mar, 2012

Well, I mentioned last week that it was all about to change and now it has.

I had my first proper day at work today, I’ve had to start wearing my jeans with the button undone, I’m pretty sure I’ve felt a few kicks, and in addition home life is a bit up in the air too as we have Gabriella’s teenage sister staying with us at the moment. It’s amusing that Mike would choose this morning to then announce that he wants to move house!

Work was OK but I’m feeling really slow – proper baby head going on. I had to go on a health and safety tour today and apparently my building is the most dangerous in the university but when he was telling me about the hazardous chemicals and the petrol engine labs that could go up in a puff of smoke, I kept finding my mind wandering off thinking about baby things. When am I going to start showing, what happens if I poke my belly (does it squish/harm the baby?), should I have a home birth, etc. So, focus for the next few days is work not baby!

In the meantime, on the pregnancy week by week front things are definitely starting to change in a noticeable way now I’m 17 weeks pregnant. Apparently baby bean has doubled in size in the last 2 weeks and is now the size of a baked potato, which explains the fact my jeans won’t fit anymore. My bump is still not obvious though, I just look like I’ve eaten a few too many baked potatoes.

Askamum.co.uk say the following in week 17:

How to get your baby moving at 17 weeks pregnant

No action down below yet? Encourage your baby to shake a leg by lying down for a while (give your stomach a few prods if nothing happens).

The advice for week 17 on 3d pregnancy connect is to start getting the nursery ready – but with all the changes afoot, a nursery in the last thing on my mind, which I’m a bit gutted about but since my bump seems to be a slow grower I think I’ve got a few weeks grace – plus, once I’ve settled in at work, I’m sure I’ll be spending my lunch times hunting for interior decorating ideas and non-toxic paint. Whether it’s in our house or another one remains to be seen.

02 Mar, 2012

I’ll be honest, at this stage strengthening my back (in particular the lower back) is mainly for vanity purposes – I’m going on holiday in 29 days and I want to wear a bikini!

Yesterday was my first day of my new job but unfortunately they didn’t have the paperwork for me so I couldnt really get started. As a result, I did a spot of shopping in the afternoon to see if I could find a nice bikini. I couldn’t and what was worse was the full and hideous view of my behind and love handles. Why anyone thought it would be good to put reverse mirrors in a changing room, I’ll never know. I near enough lost the will to live.

Instead, and thank god I had some time on my hands, I did some research and got myself straight to the gym to focus on my lower back, obliques (side of your abdomen) and love handles in the hope that I’ll have one of those cute bumps and not just all round bump by the end of the month…I’ve also been having visions of my bump pulling my clothes forward, extenuating hideous love handles on my lower back :S

Having said all that, any exercises done now to strengthen the lower back can only be a good thing later in pregnancy when we’re carting around all that extra weight, particularly on the front.

I’ve already been doing a few pregnancy exercises that ‘strengthen’ the back and core (as recommended by a trainer at my gym).

THE PLANK – this is the exercise that is probably most hated…lay face down balancing on your forearms and toes, keeping your body off the ground. The rest of your body should resemble, well, a plank – keep it straight and parallel with the ground and hold this position for 30 seconds (if you can, work up to it, especially if you have never done it before and then on to 1 minute). Obviously, this is only suitable for earlier in pregnancy. Once you can no longer hold the position due to the weight of your baby, STOP doing this exercise.

SIDE PLANK – a mean relative of the plank, this is performed on your side. Lie on your right side and, keeping your body poker straight, raise yourself onto your forearm and balance on the side of your foot. You should not be leaning either backwards or forwards. Hold this position for 30 seconds or so. Repeat it on the other side.

SUPERMAN – this is a gentle exercise that puts your body off balance requiring your core, including lower back, to keep you upright. You’ll often see the older generation doing this exercise if you frequent the gym so it’s probably a good one to keep doing through out your pregnancy. This is a controlled exercise, so focus on contracting your core and moving slowly. On all fours, slowly raise your left leg and right arm until they are parallel to the ground; hold the position for a count of ten, then slowly lower your arm and leg. Repeat with the opposite arm and leg. Alternate 10-20 times.

These exercises, particularly the plank family, are good but I’m looking for something a bit more hardcore, so I’ve been on a few good websites to see what they have to say. Anything that requires you to lay on your front or back is pretty much off limits so I’m not including them. As ever, check with your midwife before you start doing any of the exercises mention in this blog!

Livestrong have a few good suggestions, some of which, however, I’m struggling to see how they can help the LOWER BACK, which is my main focus at this stage, but here are what I think are the best:

SIDE CRUNCH – Livestrong suggest this as an exercise to do during pregnancy and I’ve actually been doing this as part of an oblique/love-handle-be-gone workout by women’s health magazine (see below), but this version is a bit more stable so I’m going to stick with this one… “Begin by lying on your left side with your knees slightly bent and your left hand slightly in front of your body to keep your body stable. Place your right hand behind your head and raise your right knee as far as possible, trying to touch your elbow to your knee. Repeat this exercise for up to 25 repetitions or until your obliques tire out. Perform the same number of repetitions while laying on your right side.”

DEADLIFT – as mentioned in my legs section, this is also good for the arse/legs – hoorah! Livestrong say to do this exercise with a weighted barbell but I’d feel like a fanny in the gym with one of them so I’m just going to do it with some dumbbells (probably 6kg each). Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and soft knees, bend forward at the hips until your body is approximately parallel to the ground, allowing the weights to drop towards the floor. Slowly raise your body, using your lower back and arse to pull you back up to standing. Repeat 10-20 times.

PULL-UPS – pull-ups are something I have never been able to do but would love to! Mike used to have a pull-up bar in the kitchen doorway and I spent many a time dangling under it in the hope that I’d be able to one day magically pull myself up. No wonder he fell in love with me! Fortunately the gym has one of those assistance pull-up machines so I’m going to give it a shot. These not only target your back all over but also give you guns to die for! To perform, grip the bar with your palms facing AWAY from you and raise yourself up to chin level and slowly lower. Repeat 10-20 times or until it hurts.

Women’s Health Magazine has a GOODBYE LOVE HANDLES workout that you can download here and take on your phone to the gym. I’ve had a go at it a few times but find that half of the exercises don’t feel right for pregnancy (mainly the twisting ones). The ones I do are OBLIQUE V-UP (although I’m going to adjust it slightly and do Livestong’s SIDE CRUNCH, above), SAXON SIDE BEND, SIDE JACKKNIFE. My sides were killing the next day so it’s got to be doing something! The other exercises would probably be OK but I don’t like the TWO-HANDED WOOD CHOP as it requires you to do a stand up crunch. See what you think though and let me know how you get on.

If you are struggling with backache during your pregnancy ignore all of this until you are feeling better, and concentrate on gently strengthening your back back to health. Spine-health.com have some good, gentle exercises, ideal for pregnancy, so get your love handles on them…swimming is also good for your back and overall health, so I’m going to start going one or two times a week to get me back into the swing of it. Get some goggles though so you can put your face in the water, keeping your neck in line with your spine.


David Lloyds Health Club (aka one of the trainers there)

Livestrong – they also have lots of other exercises specifically for pregnancy.

Women’s Health Magazine


01 Mar, 2012

6 weeks ago, I had the worse experience of my life when I got my bikini line (and a bit more) done. You may remember me begging ‘just leave the other side!’ I was hoping someone out there might have advice or at least just confirm my suspicions that being extra sensitive during pregnancy was another symptom.

Well, 6 weeks later and I’ve been back to face up to the music. I was rather apprehensive, to say the least, but either I was being a major drama queen 6 weeks ago or, of the early pregnancy symptoms, extra sensitivity was high on my list. The wax was totally fine and probably hurt as much as it normally does – maybe a wee bit more. I did take a couple of paracetamols and kept my promise not to shave in between waxes. So, that’s it. Very boring, drama over. I am ready to take the dreaded/threatened hairiness head on. Muff crisis averted!