There must be something in the water. Or is it the air? Suddenly pregnancy is in the headlines, from the acres of newsprint devoted to an expectant Duchess of Cambridge, to the celebrity bulges of Kim Kardashian and Coleen Rooney, Romola Garai discussing her stitches at the Baftas and now, even on the radio, bumps and babies are everywhere. This week, in a radio first, Radio 5 Live launches a weekly show aimed at expectant mums, hosted by Edith Bowman and her one-time Radio 1 DJ partner, Colin Murray. For Edith, who has two young boys, pregnancy isn’t new. But to newly married Colin, an expert on sport but an innocent in the nursery, it is all a bit of a mystery. So, Colin, what would you like to know.
Babies cost a lot. Do you ever think about what you would have spent that money on, or what you might have been able to do if you didn’t have any children?
Of course, there are times when you can’t do everything that you used to do but I really don’t mind. I still do things that I want to do. I go to the cinema, out for dinner, I see mates, go to gigs, but just not as much. And, to be honest, I don’t really want to do that all the time. I have the most amazing two little things who are learning about the world so I’d much rather do that. Also, secretly, I love our sofa.
Breast-feeding in public. I’m not a fan. Are you?
I am a big believer in breast-feeding in public. It’s the most natural thing in the world, and it’s not as if I just walk about with my boobies hanging out. You can get some amazing contraptions that help you be as discreet as possible. As a mum who is still breast-feeding, it’s so convenient. Just yesterday I went for a coffee with my friend Rose, who has a little boy ten days younger than my son Spike [who was born in February] and we were both sat feeding. No one batted an eyelid.
You do realise that many men will sneak a look. I’ve not noticed it.
You do get some people where you can feel their uncomfortableness or disapproval – weirdly it’s mostly women and that’s a real shame. But I’m sure there is a level of intrigue there, for sure.
Do you understand why some men don’t want to have sex with their wife when she’s heavily pregnant?
I understand why they wouldn’t – but get over it. You are not going to hurt the baby, your partner still has needs, as do you, and semen is actually very good for the unborn child.
OK, so... hold on, what?
It is. And it’s a nice bit of exercise for mum. She needs to still feel sexy and wanted, so get jiggy!
And on a similar note, is it true women get really lusty when they are pregnant, especially late on?
Yes! Well, speaking from personal experience... For nine months your hormones are all over the place, you’re not quite sure if you will laugh or cry from one day to the next. I’m not sure if there is a medical reason behind it, but it would be interesting to see some kind of scientific report into what your body is producing during those last few months. But, yes, you get past a certain point and you just want to have sex – a lot. So that’s good news for your future, Colin.
I’d say. Do you dress your kids in designer clothes? I hate that!
Agreed. Also dressing siblings in the same clothes. Let them have their own identity. The only thing I dress my boys Rudy [who’s four] and Spike in the same is their Thing 1 and Thing 2 T-shirts. When I think of designer clothes, though, I think of those really awful “almost adult” clothes for kids, like suit jackets and leopard-print head bands and...
... and fancy shoes. I saw a toddler in Armani shoes once.
Ridiculous. It’s nice to treat yourself now and again, but you have to remember they’ll grow out of them so quickly. My brother is about to have a baby girl and my mum and I went to have a look at a shop in north London that does sell the most gorgeous, but expensive, kids’ clothes. Mum looked at this amazing little dress for a baby girl – it was £300! It would probably fit her for a month.
Not to be too negative, but pet hates... mine is a kid screaming on a plane for hours and hours. Surely that still annoys you?
Yes, but I think slightly differently. There are ways you can stop the crying, so I get more annoyed at the parents for not trying to calm the child down.
Exactly! We agree on something!
Whether kids are having ear problems due to the pressure or don’t like the seat-belt, think in advance about what might come up and prepare for it – it’s not hard. Also, breast-feeding is the easiest thing for flights. If they get upset you just stick them on the boob, and then they sleep.
OK, let’s not go back there. If you could give one bit of advice to someone who is about to have their first baby, what would it be?
Gut instinct and common sense are really all you need. Don’t let books scare you or tell you how to bring up your child. Your child will help guide you, too, so listen to them.
Like a mini Obi-Wan Kenobi. When you are pregnant, does everyone have an opinion on something about your pregnancy or birth?
Yes, they do. It amazes me how sometimes people can be so thoughtless when they come to give you their opinion, especially around Caesarean sections and breastfeeding. I had no choice in having two C-sections and I can’t believe the lack of understanding of people who assume I have not “put the work in” or don’t have the same connection with my child that I would have had if I’d had natural birth.
Tune in to Bump Club Sunday 11.00am Radio 5 Live