December 16, 2016


When you find out you're pregnant, it'll help if you start to relax about how your body should look. Let's be honest here, your body will change, and you'll have absolutely no control over any of it.

But all those changes will be happening for a great reason: you're growing a baby! With that in mind, here are a few ways to feel good about your nine-month metamorphosis.

Harness the power of make-up!

Make-up can do wonders during your pregnancy. It can be used as a tool to feel pretty and in control. That's particularly important during a time when many women feel they've lost control of their body.

Your skin tone and texture may change during pregnancy. So go ahead and experiment. Makeup can be washed off, it isn't permanent, and it's a great way to make you feel good about yourself.

Don't mess with your hairstyle

During pregnancy, your hair goes into a growth phase. This is good news for some women who find they now have shinier, thicker hair.

If you normally have plenty of volume anyway, and fear that any more will be unmanageable, you may find a shorter style easier to wear while you're pregnant. You don't have to go through a dramatic change, though. Women get overwhelmed by the results when they do.

And remember, your luxuriant head of hair will thin out after you've had your baby, so that pregnancy hairstyle may not last well.

Your body is going through enough changes as it is. Work with your hairdresser to find a cut that suits you and will work for you as a new mum.

Stay active to feel good!

It can be hard just to get dressed every day when you feel bloated and sick. Believe it or not though, a little effort can leave you feeling upbeat and perhaps a bit like your pre-pregnancy self.

Besides, it may be a new experience to exercise not primarily to lose weight, but just to feel good.

As exercise promotes muscle tone, strength and endurance, it can:

    -help you to carry the weight you gain during pregnancy
    -prepare you for the physical challenge of labour
    -make getting back into shape after the baby is born easier

Hone your maternity fashion sense

Black - the colour of choice for chic, non-pregnant fashionistas - works wonders for mummies-to-be as well. It's worth investing in a pair of maternity jeans too, because they are comfortable and look great.

In early pregnancy, dresses that nip in at the waist and then flare out can flatter your changing body. In later pregnancy, make the most of your fabulous cleavage and go empire line.

Lavish love on your skin

The same pregnancy hormones that put your emotions into overdrive can wreak havoc with your skin. Your complexion may look great, with that much raved-about pregnancy glow, or it may become drier than usual and splotchy.

A good, gentle moisturiser can work wonders on your expanding belly or anywhere your skin feels dry. There's no evidence it will reduce stretch marks, but it will make your skin feel gorgeous, soft and supple.

Treat yourself

There's nothing like a manicure or pedicure to lift the spirits and give your self-esteem a quick boost. Throw in a pregnancy massage for good measure. Whether it's your partner, a friend or a specialist spa treatment, you're sure to feel the benefit.

Talk yourself into a good mood

If all else fails, tell yourself that even though you can't squeeze into a pair of size 12 jeans right now, you're still fabulous. Beauty is a state of mind, not a certain look, size or weight. Listen to your favourite music to make you feel good and happy!

December 6, 2016


Dear Parent,

You can't change your baby's round-the-clock schedule, or stop a sick toddler from getting you up at 3am. But you can improve the quality of the sleep you are getting in 10 easy steps.

1. Just say no

Don't drink caffeine or alcohol in the late afternoon and evening, as the effects can last for hours, and may keep you up at night. More than a glass or two of wine or beer may make your night-time sleep more restless. Bear in mind that chocolate, some medicines and many soft drinks also contain caffeine.

2. Get some exercise

Exercising during the day may help you to sleep at night, but stop at least three hours before bed, unless it's gentle stretching. Your body needs time to wind down after an energetic workout.

3. Stay cool

Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature and block out light and noise, which can wake you from a light sleep. Most people sleep better in a cool room.

4. Grab a snooze

A short nap during the day can improve alertness, sharpen your memory and reduce the symptoms of fatigue. Try to time it for when your baby takes his naps.

Aim to nap for around 20 minutes. Sleeping for longer during the day could disrupt a good night's sleep.

5. Stick to a routine

Once you've established a regular bedtime routine for your baby, do the same for yourself. An hour or so before bed, put aside the bills and turn off your phone. You could have a bath with lavender or camomile essential oil, or drink a cup of herbal tea or warm milk before you turn out the light.

6. Don't try too hard

If you can't sleep after 30 minutes, don't stay in bed tossing and turning. Get up, go into another room, and listen to soothing music, or read until you feel sleepy. You can't force yourself to fall asleep if you're not ready.

7. Bed is for bedtime

Use your bed for sleep and sex. Texting, emailing or watching TV are best done elsewhere, so that you associate your bed with bedtime activities only. Try to clear your mind, and don't use bedtime to worry about your daily problems.

8. Steer clear of bad habits

If you find yourself falling asleep on the sofa in the evening, or in the chair in your baby's nursery, go and snuggle up in bed before that happens. Getting into the habit of sleeping anywhere that isn't your bed may lead to sleep problems.

9. Eat light meals

Don't have a heavy or spicy meal close to bedtime. If you feel peckish before turning in, choose a high-carbohydrate food such as a bowl of cereal, toast or a banana.

10. Write your cares away

If racing thoughts are keeping you awake and anxious, keep a notepad by your bed and jot down your concerns. That way you have a place to unload your worries until morning.