What are the Pregnancy Blues and how can you Overcome them?

Over the past few weeks, I have been a bit ashamed to admit it out loud, when I know I shouldn’t be. the pregnancy blues are a perfectly normal thing to experience, but I just feel slight failure and disappointment.

You see, being pregnant is a marvellous experience for the most part, and there are so many wonderful women around the world who don’t even get the chance to experience it. So what right does a 28 week long pregnant woman have to complain about her situation of emotion? Well, to be honest, she gets every right.

I have experienced the odd  occasion of feeling a bit bluesy, maybe even a little depressed and down beaten.  It won’t be that I feel sad necessarily, but there is a sort of sad atmosphere going on inside of my head that I just cannot shake. I go through these periods of time frequently throughout my life, but the past 5 months have been nothing short of perfect and blissful. 

So why is it that nowadays, 6 months pregnant, I find myself standing in the shower in the morning with no song to sing and just staring blankly at the corner of the tiles on the wall opposite me without a thought, or shred of emotion on my face? Is it normal to feel slightly… numb inside? Is the feeling multiplied by my intense hormonal mood swings? Perhaps! That could explain why I have those days where every little thing makes me blubber like a baby when I don’t even feel a tickle of sadness or upset, or anything really. Is it normal to feel slightly… numb inside?

The answer is yes. I would put it down to antenatal depression, but the thing is, this feeling is not a stranger to me. I have experienced this exact sense of “ennui” before, many times. But its nothing to worry about because everytime I experience it, it goes away overtime and I realise that it is only temporary. 

Still, though, I feel slightly guilty over the fact that I feel this way when I am carrying a miracle within me. I am filled up with 2 hearts beating away contently and sharing these beautiful “bump and me” moments. I am truly so so happy but I am just going through a bit of a rut, and that’s perfectly normal! I think adding the pressure of remaining positive and happy for everyone can be a bit too much and I think this makes the situation worse.

Overcoming the Pregnancy Blues by…

Eating Healthier

It seems like one of those things that everyone tells people to do, and it can make us question if it really has any weight of truth, but it does. Eating healthier, cleaner and greener meals and snacks can actually help our mentality! I found that by cutting out some of the crappier foods I was consuming from cravings, I regained a sense of control and felt better with less guilt.  It also helps me to think that I am giving my baby the best start to life with much needed proteins and legumes!

Pregnancy Blues

Exercising Gently

I know, I know… Exercising while you are pregnant is a bit of a difficult one. In my opinion and in my experience, its not sensible to do anything too intense, ie jogging as it takes too long to recover for me. I decided recently that I am getting back into swimming. Apparently swimming is a great, gentle way of exercising aching muscles and your weightlessness in the water can actually help to alleviate some of the pains. We got to stay fit and healthy some way! Exercising releases those endorphins that swim around your body. I always refer to endorphins as little dolphins of hope as I can just imagine them swimming about, flipping and spinning happily within your body and it automatically makes me feel happier. By doing some gentle exercise for about 30 minutes 3 times a week, you will be doing yourself a kindness!

Stop putting pressure on yourself

Its all too easy for pregnant ladies to feel guilty for complaining about our qualms. Over the past few weeks I have really noticed this being the reality for me, but it hit me that I shouldn’t! Growing a baby is hard work, and I think its a miracle that we can get through it, especially when aches and pains can get a bit too overbearing sometimes. We have earned the right to have a little whine every now and then. Read my thoughts on this matter by clicking here. By adding additional pressure to yourself, you are making things worse mentally. You are bottling up the weird unexplainable emotions that you are experiencing and that really is no way to feel better. Accept the fact that you are feeling low, but don’t let it become you! 

Pregnancy Blues

Know that it will all be worth it- write down your worries about the baby coming

Some nights when I was growing up, I would remain awake in bed for hours upon hours worrying about things that were outwith my control… school… friends… family… just the usual things that everyone worries about. For some reason these worries would remain at the front of my mind for hours upon hours and I would get no relief whatsoever until I got them down on paper. I know that not all people work the same way, but for me, writing my woes down helps me to express them, which relieves some of the frustration pent up in my mind.

With pregnancy, comes worry, comes anxiety and panic sometimes. We just have to find a way to deal with it so it doesn’t ride its way throughout the 9 months. What are your fears or worries about having your baby? The room available? The fact that your life going to change drastically? Being able to afford life? Note down your worries. Sometimes just getting them out on paper can help you realise that these issues are fixable if you give it some logical thought. Writing them down turns the tidal waves of worry into small, manageable and hoppable waves that you can overcome.

Speak to someone

If your thoughts are overburdening your mind to the point you can notice yourself getting quieter and quieter with those you love, maybe you can’t smile as much as you did during the first trimester, or you might find yourself becoming less excited for the little bundle of joy to join you in your journey through life. These are all perfectly normal feelings that pregnant women experience and its extremely okay to talk about without feeling judged. Avoid those who may judge you about these things and talk it over with your midwife, your partner, your parents, your siblings, your friends, heck… talk to me about them if you need an ear! Sometimes you just need to hear someone saying out loud that you aren’t going crazy, that the thoughts you are having are perfectly normal. Without sounding ridiculously corny, a problem shared is a problem halved and once I speak about the issues I experience, with my wonderful partner or family, I always feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Other parents will know exactly how you feel usually and might even be able to offer a bit of hope for you with their advice- afterall, they have been through it all before. 

Pregnancy Blues

Take care of yourself

This tip is one of the most important in my book. How are you ever going to start feeling happier if you are abandoning yourself? When the baby comes, you are not going to get much time to yourself, so enjoy it while you can. Enjoy the last few months that you will have before your baby arrive and take yourself out for a hair cut, or get your nails done… even better, spring out some cash and get a foot massage! If you are on a budget, treat yourself to a facial, a hot bubble bath, or purchase a lush bath bomb or massage bar and luxuriate yourself. This time is wonderful and its yours. Do with it what you want and enjoy it. You will feel better, more positive and happier soon. I promise!

Pregnancy Blues

Hints and Tips for Maternity shoots

There is something to be said about the endless possibilities of maternity photos. They allow your 9 months of miracle-baking to last a lifetime and will help you to remember the true, raw and natural beauty of your body for ever. Our bodies will never stop changing throughout our lives, but the idea of capturing such a powerful period of time is truly something else.

I self-run my own maternity photoshoots as I would find it difficult to be as comfortable with a photographer as I do myself. This is such a personal time, and I like to imagine it as an activity that me and squish are able to do together since we are both working the camera.

Trust me when I say that taking maternity photos is a fun experience, but also trust me when I say that if you are doing it yourself, you will have a giggle a few times at the awkward poses you make trying to make the bump look more flattering. I noticed this at my earliest “shoots” where I was not used to the bump in any way whatsoever and it was very evident in the pictures I took… just look….

20 weeks

I mean, hello… dear caught in headlights much?

So what are some tips on posture and body positioning for a maternity self-run photoshoot?

The “Thigh Swivel”

I find that sometimes when taking a picture of myself front facing can lead to a slightly chubby façade. I obviously do not like this, but one thing I found that combats this for me, is the “Thigh Swivel”, which is basically what you do to make yourself appear slightly slimmer but doesn’t denounce your gorgeous bump- it actually shows it off more, which is what we really want in our maternity photos.

Notice how in these pictures that one side of the thigh is being shown more than the other? It oddly draws your bottom half in which can give the illusion of a slightly larger bump but a leaner stance. Also, excuse the camel toe in the middle picture, I am aware of this but I love the way my body looks so not caring over here!

“The Bump Cradler”

We have seen (and drooled over) Khloe Kardashian’s gorgeous maternity bumps where she cradles her delightful baby girl (and oddly enough, she felt she had to defend her poses and explain why she felt the need to cradle the baby… I mean really? Can’t we just let a mama-to-be decide her own photograph poses please?), and there have been countless other gorgeous maternity photos where the mama-to-be holds onto her stomach which can project her Mother Bear instincts in protection, her love for her soon-to-be child, and the excitement of the fact that she just can’t wait to hold her baby in her arms for the first time. 

I know that I cradle my bump in practically all of the pictures I take of myself. I find it to be comforting and a lovely touch, as well as the fact that it can highlight the true size of my bump. 

maternity photos

I just love to feel that she is within and its such a special moment. You can cradle your bump in whatever way you wish, but I would always suggest having a hand touching the diagonal side of your bump to give it dimension and the other hand over the top of your bump and across your diaphragm. I think this allows anyone to see the true size of your belly and you are also showing your nurturing angle. 

“Tilt-a-head”

You will notice in the pictures on my Maternity Shoot Inpo page that my head is always tilted one way or another. I find that keeping your head dead straight is never an option if you want a flattering picture. The main reason I do this in any pictures, let alone Maternity pictures is because I am extremely lucky in that whenever I gain any type of weight, it goes straight to under my jaw. Yupp, I’m talking 5 chin Emma over here. 

Its not an option for me to keep my head in a naturally straight position for photos, unless I want to show off my extra chins. 

So what I do is observe in the mirror before taking any pictures, which angle works best for me to show a more profound jawline- and its always by tilting. It will feel natural when taking the pictures! But the reason I suggested this is because, I know that many mamas-to-be are suffering from increased water retention and it can make our faces appear slightly more puffy. And while its not a problem to capture the rawness of pregnancy in our maternity photos, it might not be one of those side affects that we want to capture for a lifetime. 

You should try to tilt your head in different angles during your self-run maternity photoshoot. You are bound to find an angle that works for you!

Looking down can symbolise your protective gaze of your baby-to-be, looking up might show a more “holy-esque” angle. 

Dressing for the occasion

I know that there are thousands and millions of mamas who have taken the most stunning maternity photos, drenched in silks, laces and gorgeous floor length gowns, but there are also mamas like me who likes to keep things simple. Don’t get me wrong, I will be taking these stunning pictures too in mountainous areas but only when I am a bit further along and the bump is more pronounced. In the meantime, I am using the smaller bump as a means to prepare and get ready for the bigger and more production-y photoshoots to come when I am 30+ weeks pregnant. 

For the period of about 15 weeks to now (24 weeks), I have been keeping it simple and fresh by wearing very little but trying to maintain a classic vibe. For the shoot that I did at 20 weeks, I used some coral coloured crepe fabric and fashioned a bandeau (which I tied into my bra) and skirt (which was tucked into my undies) and exposed my belly. The colour complimented my skin tone and with the warm overlay I edited the pictures with, It really made the colours pop in my opinion. 

In my most recent shoot, I decided to keep it simple again with a black crop top and undies, but added a little pattern by tying a gorgeous head scarf around my noggin. It added the extra something that this photo otherwise lacked against the dark background.

Is that all?

Well I would say that this post will be updated as I continue throughout my pregnancy as there will be many more shoots to come and that I would love to share with you. Hoping to ensure the grandeur improves as well as my camera skills- lord knows I am no photographer. But for now, these are the main tips I would suggest for your maternity photos and I hope you enjoy them!

Good luck, and be sure to share the results with me!

 

How to run your own Maternity Shoot! Soft and Feminine results.

Soft and Feminine maternity shoot

Maternity is one of the most spectacular stages that a woman can go through, and what is a better way to appreciate this time than capturing it in a soft and feminine maternity shoot to last a lifetime and then some? #nothingthatswhat

soft and feminine maternity shoot

Creating that Soft and Feminine Maternity Shoot

I am a firm believer in creating raw, realistic photos to really capture the emotion behind them so that when you view the photo in years to come, you are reminded exactly of the feelings you experienced in them. I don’t know about anybody else, but I would probably struggle to become my real self and portray my honest emotions in front of a professional photographer, so that’s why I would prefer to run my own maternity shoots. To me, maternity is a really personal thing that can be shared honestly with yourself, your partner and your little Bambi growing away within so personally, being able to have creative control over my own little shoots is incredibly important to me. 

Knowing your body, your angles and your colours are all factors that are very important in putting together your own maternity shoot (or any type of shoot for that matter), but it can be difficult to keep up with the changes of your body while going through maternity so its all a bit of a personal journey. 

So, here are my tips on creating the most magic little shoot to show your most soft and feminine side to share with your loved ones and future child. 

Colours for a Soft and Feminine Maternity shoot

My aim for these pictures was to create a very soft and feminine vibe and in my opinion this meant that warm colours needed to be integrated. I would hate to be the person to cause a rage by saying that I decided to go coral or pink as a “feminine” choice of colour, but for me, nothing makes me feel prettier. 

You also want to take into account your hair and skin colour. Generally go with the colour that makes you feel the most beautiful, but if you are going for a soft and feminine look, perhaps take the colours below as your inspiration:

soft and feminine maternity shoot

 

What to wear for a Soft and Feminine Maternity shoot

I decided to use some old fabric that I bought during a material store sale from a couple of years ago. It is a creased type of fabric and I have the sewing skills of a pigeon so I decided to just cut the fabric into strips and tie it around my body. What I like about this is that I can use the same fabric throughout my pregnancy and I can actually see how much I am growing over the weeks! So its not absolutely necessary to have to jump to the stores to purchase lacey long gowns, because this “outfit” literally cost me about £7.50 and look at how good the shots came out? 

soft and feminine maternity shoot

Lighting for a Soft and Feminine Maternity shoot

To create a soft and feminine vibe, you should try creating a creamy-toned light. Please note that I am definitely not a photographer by any means but in my opinion, the soft glow that appears “creamy” is the best option for this shoot. If your light isn’t natural and you don’t have access to lightboxes or special lighting tools, you can add a warm filter onto the top of a photo taken with camera flash. I also ensure I am wearing just enough highlighter on my face’s “higher” points, so that the camera flash creates the more “glowy” pregnant look that we all desire!  Wearing very minimal makeup with lots of highlight makes it look very natural and “glowy”, I mean can you see what I mean below?

soft and feminine maternity shoot

Your angles

Only one thing I can suggest to create a photo with the best angles… EXPERIMENT! Before your shoot, watch yourself in your mirror and take some lower-scale selfies. Find out which angles of your face catches the light the way you want it. Try to get at least 3 or 4 angles where you feel your most beautiful or radiant and stick with them! You will develop more angles that you might feel are more artsy or unique as you go through your weeks of shoots. It might feel a bit unnatural at first to set the self-timer and put across a “comfortable” persona but give it time and go through as many shots as you can before quitting! You will warm up eventually and this will come across.

Take advantage of your changing self and document it. You will never regret taking too many pictures. You can even surprise your partner with a gorgeous photo book of your self-run maternity shoots over the 9 months- this could make the most wonderful post-pregnancy gift for your loved one and can show your most intimate side. Don’t be afraid to be “racey” or “risqué”, because who is to say that you need to share it with the world if you don’t want to? 

Feel beautiful, take care of yourself and document your maternity journey… more shoots to come! This is only week 18 for me afterall!