Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Things That Go Bump in the Night; Reason Clemmie FROM OTHER MUMS' BIRTH HORROR STORIES TO STARTLING CHANGES IN YOUR BODY, BEING PREGNANT CAN BE A SCARY TIME. HERE, MIDWIFE CLEMMIE HOOPER, ADDRESSES SOME OF THE MOST COMMON FEARS WOMEN HAVE

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Things That Go Bump in the Night; Reason Clemmie FROM OTHER MUMS' BIRTH HORROR STORIES TO STARTLING CHANGES IN YOUR BODY, BEING PREGNANT CAN BE A SCARY TIME. HERE, MIDWIFE CLEMMIE HOOPER, ADDRESSES SOME OF THE MOST COMMON FEARS WOMEN HAVE

Article excerpt

FROM tales of agonised pushing to unbearable pain, the chances are every pregnant woman will hear at least one - often unwanted - birth horror story.

They're also likely to be told gory pregnancy stories too, often ones including vomiting, violent aversions and more pain.

All legitimate areas to discuss - when prompted - but not particularly reassuring when preparing for labour. Midwife Clemmie Hooper is acutely aware of how off-putting these topics can be.

"Women tell me they'd be talking to someone at a party, who would go, 'I had the worst labour ever', and a competitive thing of who had the worst time would start," says Clemmie, who is mum to four daughters.

"If you had a friend who had cancer and was going for chemo, you wouldn't be like, 'I know someone that died. All their hair fell out and they were sick and had to give up their job.' You wouldn't. You would probably offer them support and love."

It's part of the reason Clemmie has written her first book, How To Grow A Baby And Push It Out, in which she addresses common anxieties around pregnancy and birth in a big sisterly style, backed up with the experience her career has brought her.

And here, she shares her advice on how to cope with the most common bodily anxieties during pregnancy: DON'T BE DOWN IN THE BUMPS IF you feel down about the size of your stomach, consider the reasons behind it.

"Rather than feeling like it's a burden or you're being punished, try to think that your body is growing a whole other human and in order for that to happen, it has to change. Not everyone is a size eight with this bump popped on. Most women get big around the thighs, the hips, the breasts, the back, the arms, because your body is laying down fat stores to feed your baby. You'd never expect an animal to look skinny with a little bump. Can you imagine if an elephant had a tiny little bump?" YOUR BODY MIGHT CHANGE IN SURPRISING WAYS "YOUR tummy might get hairier. It's a hormonal thing. Your belly button goes flat as your tummy gets bigger and it might pop out. But again, think about what's happening to your skin. Your skin is incredible. It's stretching to allow this baby to grow. …

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