The Prime Minister in New Zealand, Ruth Davidson in Scotland, it seems like there is something catching in female politicians getting pregnant at the moment.
That was really brought home when I found out a few months ago that I was expecting my first child in October, an absolutely wonderful surprise and one that came not long after being chosen by the Labour Party to be the next parliamentary candidate for Plymouth Moor View.
So when I agreed to do a column for Plymouth Live outlining what itâ€™s like being a pregnant politician, I joked â€śAre we talking full on politics or more about missing being able to grab a cheeky pint in the Tamar and the, erm, very occasional cigarette? Do I talk about how I’m a fan of baby related Facebook posts on Plymouth Gossip Girls?â€ť.
â€śKeep it lightâ€ť was the reply… so here goes my first column… gulp.
The reaction to sharing the news about my pregnancy made me feel so lucky and so supported. Iâ€™ve had politicians from different political parties get in touch to wish me their best – and offering pregnancy tips.
People have been lovely about my growing bump when Iâ€™ve popped to Crownhill shops for a pint of milk. Even my regular social media critics said nice things – babies make even internet trolls go gooey, it would seem.
So I thought I might share answers to the questions Iâ€™ve been asked most so far:
Have I had any odd food cravings?
Nothing too odd, but I could very happily eat Fish and Chips for every single meal. Iâ€™m not even joking. I didnâ€™t need the recent National Fish and Chip Day as an excuse. But then again, that was true before I was pregnant.
McDonaldâ€™s milkshakes (vanilla and strawberry) are also a pregnancy favourite to grab en route to a political meeting or heading to go speak to potential voters – sugar for energy and calcium for babyâ€™s bone development, thatâ€™s perfectly healthy, right?
What will you do if thereâ€™s an October election, as was speculated in some newspapers recently?
If thereâ€™s an October election then Iâ€™ll be fighting an election in October! Watch me waddle my way round Ernesettle and Estover, Southway and St Budeaux and more. And if my waters break whilst debating Mr Mercer on Sure Start Centre closures or policing cuts then so be it…
Have I had bad pregnancy symptoms?
I must admit Iâ€™ve been pretty lucky with pregnancy symptoms so far. Aside from occasionally wanting to throw up when being interviewed on the telly, and finding new levels of tiredness after 32 hours awake for campaigning and results for the Local Election last month.
But I really canâ€™t complain, and any small symptoms are blown away when I feel my baby move – I’ve been feeling first kicks over the last few weeks – itâ€™s indescribable. My partner John is already convinced that our little one is a future Argyle star in the making!
How are you going to juggle having a baby, politics, and having a day job?
They say if you want something doing, ask a busy person, and Iâ€™ve always had a fairly jam-packed schedule. Iâ€™ve had to admit that the next few years are going to be a bit of a juggling act, particularly as there could be an election at any time given just how chaotic the Conservative Government is at the moment.
For now, Iâ€™m carrying on as normal, fitting in midwife appointments around the day job (where I work across the south west for a charity) and dealing with political engagements around that. If youâ€™re not independently wealthy, itâ€™s what any mums-to-be, or indeed MP candidates, have to do.
Most days off work, evenings and weekends are spent talking to voters and dealing with political emails, helping people with their own issues and campaign planning.
Finally, this year is the 70th anniversary of our National Health Service, and I must say just how brilliant the NHS staff have been.
I have to thank Dr Garstang at Knowle House Surgery, Sophie my midwife, and the scan team at Derriford for everything theyâ€™ve done.
They are just some of the quiet heroes of Plymouth who help young women like me navigate the daunting but wonderful journey of preparing to be a mum for the first time.
Charlotte Holloway is Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Plymouth Moor View. You can follow her at www.fb.com/CharlotteForPlymouth .