Yes I know, I know. You’re sick of advice. You’ve already been told what to eat and what not eat, what to drink and what not to drink, how many vitamins to take, the best exercise to do, what side to sleep on (yes seriously, they really do tell you this when you are pregnant). The last thing you want is yet another know-it-all to chirp up and put their tuppence worth in.
But I’m going to anyway.
Because I have a valuable bit of advice for you that you are unlikely to hear in your next antenatal check up. They don’t talk about this on Babycentre or Netmums or Mumsnet or any of the other Baby Guru sites.
My advice is this: make sure your bra fits.
And this is why I’m telling you…
I had a doctors appointment today (don’t panic, I’ll live yet) and it reminded me of an episode in my life I thought I had buried forever. But it has come back to haunt me so, as a kind of therapy I am going to write it all down, never to dwell on said episode ever again.
Last May I was heavily pregnant (heavy being the operative word). We had just moved out of town to a village and were settling into rural life. Everything was rosy and sunny and home-grown and Cath Kidston-style lovely. In my head. Anyway, this was a particularly sunny day and I was rocking a rather trendy (if I do say so myself) check maternity shift and skinny jeans combo. I would never have admitted this at the time, but it took me about an hour and a half to get ready for my check up at the doctors. I needed to create the impression of an effortlessly fresh faced fertile beauty, when the real material I had to work with was fat haggard old crone.
Rather pleased with the final result, I headed out of the house. On my way to the car I bumped into my next door neighbour’s gardener. Community spirit got the better of me and I stopped to chat. We had a good old laugh about something or other. And off I merrily drove, to the doctors, safe in the knowledge that I was settling into village life. I sauntered (as much as a pregnant woman can “saunter”) up to the receptionist and signed myself in for my appointment. Buoyed by my recent conversation with the gardener and keen to further my Community Spirit credentials at the village doctors, I probably made some crack about the lovely weather. I didn’t just go in and sit down quietly anyway.
And that was my mistake. That, and not wearing a bra that had expanded to fit my heavily pregnant boobs.
Because, as I took my seat in the waiting room I noticed an old lady looking at me with disapproval, and an elderly man sniggering into his Country Life magazine. And then it started to dawn on me. The reason the gardener had been so friendly. The reason the receptionist was so keen to chat. You know what’s coming next. My oh-so-cool check maternity shirt had flapped open over my huge swollen bump and boobs. Not only that, but my huge swollen pregnant boobs had made a bid for freedom from my badly fitting bra. I had flashed not only the entire waiting room (which was full because it was OAP clinic day) but the entire village.
And then I had to sit there for twenty minutes because my doctor was running late.
So, pregnant women, forget folic acid or staying tee-total. The most important thing you can do for yourself is invest in a bra that fits. And don’t book a doctors appointment on an OAP clinic day.
[NOTE: This sequence of events is entirely true, as much as I wish otherwise.]