safe motherhood

The rest of your life

Other mothers' tips

“When you're first-timepregnant it's easy to fall for the line that you have to keep being‘superwoman’ at work and see friends in the evening and every weekend. Ifound things much easier once I’d had the baby as that made me face upto the reality of how things had changed.

“While I was pregnant, I tried to carry on as if everything wasnormal, when in fact it was a completely different life - I wish I'dwised up to that earlier and just done whatever I felt liked duringthose nine months. Real friends will understand if you want to opt outof wild parties for a few months - as long as you keep in touch and makeit clear that you’re still interested in what they're up to.”
Karen, mum to Isobel, four months

“I wish I hadn’t got so hung up on creating the perfect nursery. Ibecame almost obsessional about it and we were hanging duck borders andpainting late into the night on several occasions. As it turned out itwas pretty much a waste of time as Kieran slept in our room for thefirst 14 months and the pastel ducks looked a bit twee by the time hemoved into the ‘nursery’. If I had the time again, I’d just chill outwith my partner, or spend the money on a holiday and build up somerelaxation reserves for the two of us - it's your time and energy as acouple that gets really squeezed after the baby is born.”
Alex, mother to Kieran, two

“I wish I’d taken a few more weeks of maternity leave before thebirth - I wanted to work right up until the last minute so I had moretime afterwards. But in fact dragging myself into work when I waseight-and-a-half months pregnant just meant I was exhausted by the time Ihad Jack. And because I was at work right up to the last minute Ididn't get a chance to get together with any other mums in my antenatalclass, who all really bonded as a group. After the birth, going to NCTBumps and Babes coffee mornings was really important to me as it openedup another channel for friendships.”
Nicky, mum to Ashleigh, six months