Before your baby is born, it's important to take some time for yourself to unwind, relax and prepare for your new arrival — even if you're already a parent.
SoGlos rounds up seven ways mums-to-be in Gloucestershire can get ready for their new arrival, with everything from reassuring pregnancy scans and baby first aid classes, to relaxing spa days.
Get a pregnancy scan from Early Life Ultrasound
Early Life Ultrasound in Cheltenham offers a wide range of ultrasound scans without needing to be referred by a doctor. The clinic is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and managed by expert healthcare professionals and sonographers, with a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist on hand, too.
Offering pregnancy scans from as early as seven weeks; gender scans from 15 weeks and four days; 3D or 4D scans to capture incredible pictures and videos of your unborn baby; to wellbeing and growth checks in the third trimester, prospective parents can get the reassurance they're looking for at any stage of the pregnancy.
Throw a baby shower
There's no better way to celebrate your pregnancy than with a baby shower. Whether it's a small and intimate affair at home, or an all-out celebration at one of Gloucestershire's beautiful private hire venues, it's a chance for mums-to-be to let their hair down and have some fun before their bump becomes a little bundle of joy!
Get your friends guessing with baby predictions, choosing things like the date and time they'll be born, their weight, hair colour and even which parent they'll look more like; create a photo wall of baby pictures; see who knows mum best with a quiz; and most importantly, enjoy some quality time with friends and family.
Relax with a mum-to-be spa session
When your belly is the size of a beach ball, carrying all that extra weight around takes its toll on your muscles, especially if you're contending with swollen ankles, too. Thankfully mums-to-be in Gloucestershire are spoiled for choice when it comes to pregnancy treatments and spa packages to help them unwind.
If your tummy has gotten so big you can barely reach your toes, let one of Gloucestershire's expert beauty therapists paint them for you; relax with an Elemis Peaceful Pregnancy Massage from Ellenborough Park in Cheltenham, Hatherley Manor in Gloucester or Calcot in Tetbury, which promises to relax the body and hydrate the skin; or for the ultimate indulgence, C-Side at Cowley Manor offers a full day 'mum to be' pamper package, including a 90-minute treatment, two-course lunch and full use of the spa facilities - with fluffy towels and robes included, too. See pamper days for mums-to-be in the Cotswolds for more inspiration.
Have a sober celebration
When you're staying booze-free for the sake of your bump, it's easy to feel left out when you're hitting the town, so head to one of the county's bars and pubs that take their alcohol-free options seriously - like Cheltenham's completely alcohol-free venue, The Sober Parrot.
For more ideas, check out SoGlos's list of 10 places to find non-alcoholic drinks in Gloucestershire, which has something for everyone whether you're a craft beer connoisseur or craving a cocktail.
Plan ahead and book some mum and baby activities
As your due date approaches and your baby is getting more active, give yourself something to look forward to and book in some activities to enjoy with your little one after they arrive.
Gloucestershire is bursting with options, from maternity clubs that offer regular activities like baby sign language, mummy and me Pilates and baby massage; to baby led swimming lessons, sensory sessions and soft play, with SoGlos rounding up 11 parent and baby activities to try in Gloucestershire.
Take a baby first aid class
Give your future self some peace of mind with a baby first aid course. Mini First Aid Gloucestershire offers baby and child first aid classes both in person and online and covers a variety of subjects including CPR, choking, bumps, breaks and febrile seizures, to help parents feel prepared for any eventuality.
Two-hour in-person courses run at venues in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Quedgeley and Thornbury and parents are welcome to bring their babies along. Mini First Aid also offers a three-hour family first aid course, private first aid classes delivered at home, and even a baby proofing class, too!
Try pregnancy yoga
Practicing yoga has benefits for most bodies, with this gentle form of exercise being particularly helpful for expectant mums. BusyLizzy Cheltenham offers pregnancy yoga classes to members, while Ella & Fleur Hot Yoga offers drop-in pregnancy yoga classes with the option to purchase a five- or ten-class pregnancy pass, too.
There are also weekly pregnancy yoga sessions at Kingshill House in Dursley and Stroud Yoga Space; while Barefoot Yoga offers six-week pregnancy yoga courses at Longlevens Community Centre in Gloucester.