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When me and my husband were trying to concieve our baby, this was the first website I joined for the use of their online forums, which had a specific forum for women and men who were trying for a baby, and wanted advice or just to talk to other people in their situation.
The website is made by the popular and well known company Cow & Gate, who make baby milk and foods which we have all seen or heard of, the site is not only a group of forums, but also is full of advice for people who are trying for a baby, pregnant ladies and the baby daddies, and also for mums (with advice about weaning and sleep patterns etc).
TRYING TO CONCEIVE This section of the website has lots of information about trying for a baby, from the simple to the more complicated. Not only does it give advice about how you should be "trying" to get pregnant, but also the things you should be eating, the way to get your body healthier to ensure a healthier pregnancy. It also gives advice about trouble when concieving which I know can be a very tough time for couples, this site has all the information which you might need about fertility treatments, or things which may be preventing you from having a baby naturally, and any ways you can remedy it.
There is advice from the professionals at Cow&Gate but also there are the forums where you can go to talk to other people in your position, other women who are going through the same thing, or for men, other dads who are feeling how you are about not been able to make a baby.
As well as the forums and the practical professional advice, there is also an online live chat session which is manned by mums, nurses and other health professionals, this is open 9-5 Monday to Friday and you can either call them or use the online chat facility and ask them any questions you want, this is available for all users of the website, and can be used to ask any questions you may have, whether your worried about something nd would like advice, or if you just want to know what you're doing wrong.
When I used the site when we were trying to conceive, I found it very helpful, listening not only to other women who wanted a baby but were finding it hard to make it happen, but also mums who HAD been in my position before falling pregnant and having a healthy baby. Which not only gave me hope that it would eventually happen to me, but also made me realise I was not alone in it, that it was not just me going through it.
PREGNANT MUMS AND THEIR PARTNERS This section of the website is much bigger than the first, and has advice for all sections of the pregnancy, giving a week by week account of what is happening to your body and your growing baby, how to control weight throughout the pregnancy, how to be healthier, what supplements you should be taking, and what you should be doing to prepare for the baby! If you sign up to the website and put in your due date, you will get regular emails from the site (you can opt out of these if you want to) updating you at each stage!
Not only this but you also get advice on controlling your symptoms be it constipation, headaches, morning sickness etc etc, and also what is normal and what isn't.
Again there are lots of pregnancy forums which are great help, and I have never had a bad experience on them, always getting lovely advice from really nice people who try their best to give good advice about things, from their own experience usually! It really does put your mind at rest about many things, but also you can share your emotions: how your feeling about the baby coming, if you are happy or sad, as well as getting advice about where to buy the best baby things!
Again the online advice is excellent for pregnancy advice, and I have held off trips to A&E a few times because I have realised my "problems" are actually completely normal and nothing at all to worry about!
There is also lots of advice for daddies too, and a whole forum dedicated to dads and THEIR feelings/worries too, which I think is great for dads who want a big input in the pregnancy!
MOTHERHOOD This is the second biggest part of the website, and gives lots of advice to new mummies and daddies about everything baby or child related! Every worry you may have for you childs upbringing you can get advice on with cowandgate.co.uk, from bottle vs breast feeding (something I love about this website is that is doesn't ram breast feeding down your throat as I find most other parenting sites do, it allows you to make an informed decision either way, probably for selfish reasons in that they want to sell their baby milk- but on a mums point of view, I like this as I don't want to breast feed and hate it been rammed at me left right and centre), going from breast to bottle, weaning, winding, sleeping patterns, clothes, weight, development, speech! Everything you can think about to do with young children!
Once again there is a forum dedicated to Mums and babies, where you can get advicce from other mums, but also again the professional and live chat to give you peace of mind and advice about your children!
Joining the site: Joining cowandgate.co.uk is simple. Just go to the website and register your details, you can opt out of the emails and letters if you do not wish to receive them, you can either tell cowandgate how far along you are, if you are trying for a baby or if you have children- if you are pregnant or trying to conceive, you will get a pregnancy diary within a couple of weeks of joining in the post which is nice to keep in your handbag to record any appointments or notes written down. I also got a little cow and gate plush toy too when I joined which is all ready in the babies room ready for a cuddle from our newborn in September, but I don't think this offer is on any longer!! But keep an eye out it may come round again!
All in all I think this website is fantastic I go on almost everyday, whether its to go on the forum or to look up information about my pregnancy and how the baby is growing. I love it, I think it is a nice way to keep updated on your pregnancy, but also to get some advice on various things you may be concerned about- or just to have a general chat to other mums!!!
This is definitely a must for all women (or men!) who are trying for a baby, pregnant of have a young child, it's great! I will definitely be using it for the first few years of my childs development and also in subsequent pregnancies! It's a wonderful site which is very helpful and friendly unlike many forums which I can find very bitchy sometimes.