Weeks pregnant: 38
Baby size in vegetables: Leek
Friday was my last day of work, which was kind of awesome and totally weird all at the same time. I went for a lovely lunch with my closest colleagues, was given a touching leaving speech with an absolutely hilarious leaving card and I made a final visit to the roof terrace bar of my building for a bottle of water. And then I said goodbye and went home and cried little because work isn’t just work to me. It’s my second family and I love what I do. On the other hand I have had quite a few bouts of really bad nausea over the last week or so… kind of like my morning sickness has come back and I can no longer pretend that I am not really… unwieldy… so not having to make the journey across the city isn’t the worst.
As we have a rough idea when Little O is going to be here I know I won’t be on maternity leave very long so I am trying to balance relaxing with making sure I use the time constructively, including:
- Dying my hair
- Getting a haircut
- Getting an manicure and pedicure
- Buying some extremely sexy feeding bras (anyone who has had a baby will be able to appreciate the sarcasm)
- Getting some last minute things for my hospital bag including a giant bar of Oreo chocolate and some jelly babies that I plan to eat as soon as I have given birth
- Catching up with friends
- Cooking some meals we can put in the freezer to eat when we only have time to microwave things
- Watching all six seasons of Sex and the City
- Packing up some things we don’t use regularly ready for our imminent move
- Sorting through the pile of shoes I have amassed and donating 3/4 of them while wondering what on earth possessed me to ever buy anything so hideous
My final activity is something called colostrum harvesting, which I promised the midwives at the hospital I would blog about. Colostrum is the very first food your body makes for your baby. It is super rich and packed with essential nutrients, fat and protein and only a few mililitres is enough to provide your baby with everything it initially needs.
Colostrum is particularly important for babies who are born to mothers who have gestational diabetes. A baby born to a healthy mother can go for a couple of days without feeding while mum’s milk is coming in but GD or “sugar” babies as they are affectionately called are at risk of hypoglycemia so they need to feed immediately and often. While there is nothing wrong with topping up with feeds with formula if necessary (or exclusively feeding with formula) there is a benefit to giving a sugar baby extra colostrum if it takes a while for breastfeeding to get going if that’s what you want to do.
When you are pregnant your body starts making colostrum at around 20 weeks so it can be possible to hand express and freezer it before you give birth to have a store available if it is necessary. I was extremely fortunate to be offered a lesson and storage supplies by the hospital and had a great one on one lesson with an antenatal feeding specialist. Since then I have been one of the lucky ones who has found it relatively easy to get Venezuela and Columbia (as I call the lady chesticles) to produce and I am building up a good supply just in case there is a reason Little O needs it.
Colostrum can come in handy in the case of any kind of difficult birth and since you can store it for up to six months and it’s apparently great for a sick baby later on so it’s something all expectant mums might want to consider doing. So if you are pregnant and reading this, ask your midwife!