The first 5 months

Last week I became an ambassador for the First 1,000 Days movement alongside Maura Derrane and Neven Maguire. I’m really excited about being involved in this project. I’m currently 5 months pregnant and totally immersed in the world of being a mum to be, so having a resource to go to is really important to me.

So far I consider myself very fortunate that I’ve had a really straightforward and trouble free pregnancy. The toughest time was the first 12 weeks. Firstly it was strange having this big secret that myself and my husband kept to ourselves. It’s definitely hard to keep a secret of that size but I really wanted to wait until the 12 week scan to start telling family and friends. Even after this scan we still kept it fairly quiet.

Secondly, the first 12 weeks was tough physically. I was fortunate not to experience too much in the way of sickness but I did feel exhausted. I was in bed most nights by 8pm and slept for 12 hours straight. I’m normally very active but I found the first trimester a real challenge to keep fit. My advice to anyone that is hoping to keep fit is to try to just keep moving. Even on the days that I felt extremely tired I still tried to get out and walk. Even just for a few minutes. Staying fit in a group or with a friend is also a great idea because it gives you someone to go and work out with.

Now that I’m in my fifth month of pregnancy I feel great. I still need to sleep a lot but not as much as the first few weeks. I get around 10 hours sleep a night, hopefully some of this will be banked for the sleepless nights ahead! When I was a professional athlete I always slept a huge amount so I almost feel that being pregnant is like preparing for a big race!

I’m still working out but my exercise regime is lighter compared to my pre pregnancy routine. I lift light weights with circuits 2 days a week, run 1 day and I do pregnancy pilates 1 day a week. I’m trying to stay active and fit because that’s how I was before the pregnancy and I feel that’s the healthiest option for me. I really hope to keep doing my fitness work the whole way though my pregnancy, but I’ll listen to my body as I go. So far so good.

I’m very interested in healthy eating and cooking. Being pregnant has opened my eyes up to a whole new world of nutrition! For the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy I found eating healthy food a real challenge. I had to remind myself that eating a healthy balanced diet was really important for the little person I was trying to grow! One way that I found easier to get good nutrition at this early stage was by making soup. I found in my early pregnancy eating soup was a real comfort. Eating regularly also helped when I was feeling a little queasy! I found the First 1,000 Days recipe book is a great resource for ideas and tips and I can’t wait to try some more of Neven’s recipes from it.

Knowing that the food I eat will really help the baby’s health and development in the long term has been a big motivator for me. When I’m choosing what to eat I try to keep that fact in mind. Today for example I was out for lunch and decided to have mackerel, mainly because oily fish is good for me and the baby. At the same time I’m also not depriving myself too much and the odd bar of chocolate is definitely being eaten. Balance is the key!

So far I have bought nothing to prepare for the baby, I’m planning on starting a list soon and beginning to prepare. There is just so much out there I find it a little daunting! I never realised the amount of stuff a baby needs! Fingers crossed that by my next blog post I will be more organised.

Thanks for reading!



Derval O'Rourke

As a former athlete with a love of cooking and keeping fit, I have always been passionate about ensuring my body receives the right nutrition - so when I discovered I was expecting my first baby this summer it was a natural fit for me to come on board with the First 1000 Days movement. Becoming an ambassador for the movement has opened my eyes to the profound long term implications good nutrition can have during this important time. I have the power to set my baby up for a lifetime of good health. Through my blog, I hope to share my journey through the first 1000 days of my baby’s life and inspire other mums-to-be to take action during this unique window of opportunity. I hope you enjoy my blogs!

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