Week 20: "Your baby is around the size of a banana... Make sure you're eating a good diet, and are getting enough iron." After months of nausea and vomiting, the stomach is only ready to deal with iron now. As for the "good diet", all fruit and most veg still must be pureed. Don't even talk to me about bananas. All the sausage rolls in the world can be scarfed no bother, mind.
OK, so it's near to impossible to do a pregnancy blog without there being some TMI's peppered along the way. Here's the first of many; I have FIERCE itchy nipples. Sorry, but it feels good to get it off my chest (to a degree, anyway). Trying to find new covert ways to alleviate the itch in public is the main sport of late.
At first, I thought there was something wrong; they were so hot and red the natural presumption was "crap, am I getting pregnancy mastitis again?" or some form of infection? After a quick consultation with Lord Google and a mandatory phone call to the GP, it seems it's perfectly common (despite not having a hint of it on previous pregnancies). It's just the skin stretching. No biggie. Just another one of those more delightful symptoms no one talks about.
My first port of call was a vat of Sweet Almond Oil (specifically Atlantic Aromatics; you can usually pick up a massive litre bottle in a health store for around €25) that saw me - a very fair skinned redhead and therefore extremely prone to stretch marks - entirely stretch mark free after pregnancy uno. To put into perspective just how amazing this is; I was sent to the doctor aged 14 with vicious purple marks all over my bum and boobs after a growth spurt. My mum had never seen anything like them and assumed there was something drastically wrong. At the time she said "God, you'll be riddled when you have a baby." Thankfully, thanks to Sweet Almond Oil, I managed to escape.
Every day, after a shower before drying off, the bump would be slathered with the sweet almond oil and then patted dry, a practise repeated in the years between pregnancies too - I've fierce scaly skin and feel like sandpaper most of the time, therefore the momentary suppleness is a welcome novelty. OK, so it does do something funky to your bath towels (my husband likens my [now] dedicated towels to "drying oneself off with a cardboard box"), but - as downsides go - it's hardly a deal breaker.
Another bonus with this wonder oil is that it can be used on your more intimate areas in the weeks leading up to birth. You know, when you're meant to be doing your "perineal massage" every day in a bid to avoid an episiotomy, but really you're just lashing a load of oil down there and hoping for the best (just me?). For any first time mums not familiar with perineal massage, it's something we'll save for a major TMI instalment in later weeks. Feel free to Google it in the meantime. There's videos and everything...
Back to the nipples. Surely my industrial sized tank of trusty Sweet Almond Oil would do the job? Nope. Not quite, anyway. I've been administering quite a lot; it's helping but it's not quite hitting the mark. I've tried Bio Oil and Trilogy organic rosehip oil (great for scars, usually retails around €30 for a weeny bottle), but to no avail... Does anyone have any additional recommendations for the dreaded itchy pregnancy nipples?! Failing that, have you a fail safe stretch mark technique? Please share...