Pregnancy websites

<em>Time Out</em> sifts through the best mum-to-be websites


Sign up, enter your due date and get weekly updates on the development of you and your bub – with just enough detail to keep you informed without bamboozling you with the biology. There’s a very informative (and often highly amusing) community forum to answer those questions you’re dying to ask but don’t for fear of looking like a wally; such as, can you wear magi-knickers to cover your bump? (Not advisable, we discover.) And what to do if your bosoms are inflating, it seems, on a daily basis. The official articles are informative and to-the-point, and you receive regular, helpful emails. The site is a loyal thing, even sticking with you after your child is born, giving advice on feeding, sleeping, potty-training and so on. A brilliant resource.

Colourful, clear and concise, this is another fab site that gives great advice while not taking itself, or the whole pregnancy palaver, too seriously. That said, it deals with issues such as miscarriage in a sensitive and comforting manner while answering all your questions. If you’re keen for the ins and outs, so to speak, sign up to view members’ birth stories, or simply check out the ‘ask the expert’ search engine.

A funky site great for Antipodean mums-to-be who will either feel at home or home-sick with its local feel and reviews of shops and classes. Zip past the local community areas and the info hubs are well laid out, clear and packed with useful information on a range of topics, from the importance of finding the right maternity bra, to games to play with babies, to infant safety. We love the review section where parents post their honest, no-frills advice on topics as broad as pushchairs, nappies and breast pumps.

Hooray! At last, a site aimed at UAE mums and mums-to-be. This new online social community is still in its early stages but promises to be a valuable tool for mums across the country. Local advice, including exercise options during pregnancy, coping with a new baby and being a parent, is currently being expanded, and there are online forums that hook up mums from all emirates and backgrounds, encouraging them to talk online and make new friends. Mums can email their questions to a midwife who will respond in a few days, and the site encourages the sharing of recipes, eco-tips and money-saving ideas while offering local discounts, freebies and invitations.

The website for the US magazine Fit Pregnancy, this glamorous, bright site has a strong focus on fitness, nutrition and style. Create your own pregnancy calendar by entering your due date and receiving a week-by-week guide to your pregnancy and your baby’s development, as well as newsletters tailored to your fitness preferences (although we couldn’t see one for lying on the couch munching HobNobs).

‘Being told that you are pregnant is in many ways equivalent to being told you’ve only got so much time left.’ Not the most optimistic approach to pregnancy but this US guide doesn’t beat about the bush. On the plus side, there’s plenty of sensible information, particularly for first-time mums, such as how to prepare financially, practically and emotionally for your new addition. There are also – if you can face it – real-life birth stories and pictures, but some of the sections – such as the area on kitting out your nursery and developmental milestones – are a bit skimpy on the details. Fine for a quick perusal, but not the tome to accompany you through pregnancy, birth and motherhood.

A comprehensive website constantly refreshed with new topics. Owned by the New York Times, it contains everything you need to know – and, if we’re being frank, a whole host of stuff you don’t, including a slightly bizarre ‘belly gallery’. For those who pore over every childcare manual and for whom no detail is too gory, this is a must. For others who prefer the fluffy, sanitised version of pregnancy and birth, look away now. Useful links include due date groups for online chats with mums in the same boat, as well as articles on baby naming, hosting a baby shower and advice on how to get back to ‘normal’ life once bub is on the scene.

A hip site with great topical articles (when we checked it out there were swine flu prevention tips), as well as quirky but useful advice for yummy mummies on, for example, the best photo poses for mums-to-be and how to choose a great pair of maternity jeans. At first glance it looks a little light on the medical facts, but with an A-Z on getting pregnant, pregnancy, labour and beyond, there’s some serious stuff buried in there too.

We loved this website’s name, and clicked away expecting lots of genuine stories of pregnancy, birth and parenting. In fact, this is a personal record of one mum’s experience and more a blog than a guide. But it’s easy to read and has some useful links for mums from – or heading back to – the UK.

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