Great Britain

Dr Zoe reveals her top tips for mums-to-be as she goes on maternity leave

I’M over the moon to share that I’m a mum. Our little bundle of joy has arrived and my partner Stuart and I are head over heels in love.

We are taking some time together, as a little family of three, so I will be on maternity leave for a little while.

But I’m leaving you in the capable hands of a wonderful group of my friends who are going to locum for me.

In the coming weeks you will get tips and insight from A&E specialist (and Strictly star) Dr Ranj, fellow This Morning GP Dr Sara Kayat, and menopause expert Dr Louise Newson.

Cosmetic specialist Dr Tijion Esho, nutritionists Rhiannon Lambert and Jenny Rosborough, and skin specialist Dr Amiee Vyas will also be on hand too.

I will just leave you with a few tips I was hoping to share with all you other expectant mums, before baby arrived.

In terms of getting my body ready, there are a couple of things I would recommend to other mums-to-be.

One key thing is preparing the perineum, the area between the vagina and the anus. It’s where a woman can often tear, or need an episiotomy – a cut to help the baby on its way out.

I’ve been using an EPI-NO, a device that involves inserting a small balloon into the vagina.

You inflate it until you can just feel the tension, and leave it in for ten minutes a day. It stretches the area in preparation for birth.

I also took a hypnobirthing course, to better help me understand what happens in childbirth. Every night, Stuart and I listened to meditations before bed, and I tried to repeat positive affirmations each day.

It really helped me cope with the pressure on mums-to-be and couples when it comes to the birthing process.

Finally I also did some colostrum harvesting, where a mum-to-be collects the milky, nutrient-rich pre-lactation secretion from the breasts during pregnancy and freezes it.

You take it to the hospital with you and it can be defrosted and fed to the baby if required.

It is not a necessity and is absolutely a choice. Not every mum will want to do it or find it possible to do, even if they try.

It’s usually advised that a mum-to-be starts from 36 weeks. I’d been trying half-heartedly without much success so I asked my midwife to show me.

It’s vital to discuss it with the midwife before trying, because mums at risk of premature birth shouldn’t do it. And every mum-to-be is different and what works for me may not work for others.

The key is doing what’s right for you, to prepare you for one of the most exciting chapters of your life.

Enjoy every moment and I’ll be back soon to share more.

Stacey Solomon laughs as she reveals eating three courses for EVERY meal in the same day

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