10 Ways for you to be Pampering your Pregnant partner

Pampering your Pregnant Partner

I think we can all agree that pregnancy can be a bit of a tough time for a woman. A lot of energy is consumed by our body preparing itself as an optimum habitat for our lovely bambinos. While the changes might happen invisibly for some time, it can definitely be telling in our attitudes and appearances. I can’t even begin trying to pick up the dark bags (that are so not Prada bags) under my eyes, or walking any type of distance with the sciatic pain that I am experiencing every day. The sleepless nights caused by my hatred of side-sleeping (being a flat chested non-pregnant lady, I traditionally sleep on my front without an ounce of discomfort because of my well… flat chest) cause me never-ending exhaustion.

When I say its “telling”, what I mean is that the people who are closest to us can easily see the toll that this special time takes on our bodies, mentality and faces. People like our partners.

Tama has been wonderful throughout my so far 32 weeks of pregnancy and it has certainly made my experience that much more special. I think what is even nicer about being treated like a Goddess during this time is that I know its not going to be forever… not saying that my wonderful boyfriend won’t treat me nicely after having had our little darling, but that after the birth, focus and concentration will be zoomed in on our little bambino and not so much on me.

Having a partner or friend pay so much attention to you so much can be a lovely feeling, and here are 10 ways for you to be pampering your Pregnant Partner

Pampering your pregnant partner with: 

Massages

Now, I don’t know about you lovely ladies, but this clueless Mama is blessed with seriously swollen feet and fingers after a full day of work all topped nicely with back, pelvic and hip aches that can make getting up from the sofa a tad difficult. Once I’m home from work, I tend to plonk myself down on the sofa to watch some Gilmore Girls, blog away, pinterest away and relax my aches and pains away. But when it comes to getting up to make some dinner, I struggle. Tama usually gets home from work quite late (he is a chef), but he will tend to come home, pick up my feet and rub away. Its. The. Best. 

Having my feet rubbed and massaged is quite frankly life-saving for me- I can’t even begin to explain the relief it offers not only just my feet, but my entire body. Seriously, even if your partner isn’t there, if you grab some moisturiser and rub the soles of your feet or if you are too big in the bump department at the moment, place a tennis ball on the floor and roll it under your feet; you will feel so much more relaxed and comfortable.

Painting her nails

I know, we might not be able to trust our partners to do a great job of painting nails… but with practise comes perfect and this can be proven in how Tama paints my nails. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than unpainted toe nails (on myself, so no judgement here for others), but with my ever increasing bump, I am finding it that little bit harder to reach my tootsies and it does feel like I put the brush down to where I think my feet are and just go ham. This results in painted ankles rather than toe nails and its not the greatest look in the world. 

So Tama took my nail polish and began painting my toe nails with grace and such a delicate hand. He had mastered the art of painting my toe nails and I was never going to complain about it. Just having one less worry for when you are heading out with your comfy sandals on and your toes out, makes the world a brighter place- especially in the hot summer months. 

Give in to her cravings

Lord knows, they might not always be the healthiest option on the nutrition cards. I would have struggled so much in my pregnancy if I didn’t get a chance to give in to my unhealthy cravings every now and then. Having a partner who didn’t judge the weird food combinations made it a wee bit easier to get some enjoyment out of it. Just keep in mind that she is eating for two and needs to get some fun out of it! So why not pick up a bar of that chocolate that she has been swearing off of for weeks? Or her favourite type of cereal? Its the little things that go a looooong way in pregnancy- I can attest to that!

Help out with chores

Nothing worse than coming home from a long day of work with swollen legs, a killer headache and an apetite that would Shrek would envy, and then seeing that there are dishes piled up high in the sink, or that the freshly washed laundry was sitting in a pile waiting to be hung up to dry. Make her life a wee bit easier by spending an additional 10 minutes a day on chores. I’m not saying you have to do everything around the house, but just by helping out with things like dishes means that she can come home from work and go about her business without having to stall to clean up. It makes a difference. 

Get her some comfy maternity wear

Pampering your Pregnant PartnerTama was actually the reason I decided to buy some maternity clothes so early on. I was happy with making do with my pre-natal jeans and trousers until they couldn’t fit anymore, but he could see that my belly was struggling with strangulation of waist bands and in order to protect the baby (how cute is he!?) he kept hinting to me to go shopping for some maternity trousers. I eventually gave into his demands and purchased the comfiest maternity joggers I have ever come across (I know I mention these joggers in practically every single post, but if you had them, you would understand, ok?). 

It was the sweetest thing too when he came back from a day of shopping himself and confessed that he was looking for maternity dungarees for me as he thought I would look “cute” in them. Fella’s and ladies, I am not saying go out and spend a tonne of money on maternity clothes (lord knows they are expensive), but even if you are out and see something that you think looks comfy in the maternity section, perhaps purchase it and bring it home. It shows her you were thinking of her and her comfort.

Don’t judge her for the endless southern winds

We all do it, pregnant or not… everybody farts. Don’t like the word? Then everybody toots/panty whispers/ pumps etc. It is biologically necessary for us to release our southern winds throughout life and pregnancy is DEFINITELY NO EXCEPTION. pregnancy brings with it, the many delights of excess wind. I can’t even begin to explain my embarrassment but secret gloating when I was stuck in a train full of people who refused to give up their seat to a pregnant woman and a toot came from nowhere (well, it came from me, and I think EVERYBODY knew it). That’s what they all got for not offering their chairs to me. 

My point here is that the pregnancy wind is something that is sometimes involuntary, and not only catches you as a spectator as surprised, but the mother-to-be too. Accept it and move on, some women can be mortified when it happens- if that’s the case, don’t make a big deal out of it. Others (like myself) tend to giggle away at them, and if that’s the case then laugh along too- they are pretty funny afterall. Just don’t judge/turn your nose up/ look disgusted- ain’t nobody got time for that. 

Have some Frequent Date Nights

Sure, she might complain about feeling like a whale… and a bloated one at that, sometimes. She might not want to do anything but sit with her feet up, or maybe she just wants to eat some snacks and watch a movie. Lord knows we don’t need a lot, but knowing that you are thinking of us when we are feeling down-trodden is a lovely feeling. Especially if you are going to the effort of organising a date night. Take her to her favourite restaurant… if she isn’t up for leaving the house then order her favourite take away! Buy some candles and run her a bath- it doesn’t have to be fancy.

Plump up her Pillows

Pampering your Pregnant PartnerNO, I am not talking euphemistically here. I literally mean her bed/couch pillows. You need your woman to be comfortable before she plonks herself onto the bed at night for her much needed rest for two. Help her out, just plump them up once in a while to give her that extra bit of support!

Spend some time in the bathtub/shower together

Pampering your Pregnant PartnerMy aim here is to suggest that it will be more difficult than ever when the baby gets here, for one of you to take a bath or shower let alone having one to share. Enjoy it while you can before it gets interrupted by the soon to be screaming cries of your baby. Run a nice warm bath, pop in a Lush bath bomb or bubble bath, light some candles and dim the lighting, find some fluffy towels and help her into the bath of dreams. Either pop yourself in there next to her and enjoy massaging each other and washing each other, or you can wash her hair for her while not getting into the tub/shower- she might be taking up most of the room and there is nothing worse than being cramped up in a bath. Its romantic, its sensual and its relaxing. These are all things that your pregnant lady will be wanting (well, these are things that THIS pregnant lady is wanting, so hint, hint Tama!)

Make the dinner one night

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy… make her some pasta or her favourite home cooked meal! Or better yet, bake some dessert and surprise her with your chef skills. I am very much lucky as Tama is a chef and knows what he is doing! If your pregnant partner is anything like me, she probably cant be bothered coming home from a long day of work and getting to cooking the dinner straight away, even though she may be famished. A little effort goes a long way my friends, and its important to remember that!

You don’t have to move mountains for a pregnant lady to enjoy herself with you; just make the small efforts and she will definitely be feeling pampered. The above tips are just simply tips that I believe would help me feel pampered, but if you have your own idea, comment them below- I would love to read them!

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! 

What is the First Trimester really like in pregnancy?

You’re pregnant! Its amazing, you are so uncontrollably happy and excited about what is to come! That was the case for me, or at least I thought it would have been when I would eventually see that positive sign on the pregnancy test. What came after the test was somewhat different from what I would have expected- and it got me to thinking… what is the first Trimester really like in pregnancy?

Before even Knowing for sure that I was pregnant

The realistic side of first trimester in pregnancy

I have to say that before I even found out I was pregnant, and before it was even an inkling of possibility in my head, I was going through a bit of a different and strange mental state. My emotions were quite literally flailing all over the place as if independent from my body. It was a bit of a worrying time filled with anxiety and dread when it came to my job and other personal problems. It baffles me now that the possibility of being pregnant never really popped into my head at that point, especially when I had a rather embarrassing breakdown in front of my boss about stress. 

Looking back now, it could have been SO obvious that I was pregnant just by looking at my behaviours and attitudes- it was so unlike me to be acting like this. It even got to the point where I was becoming so worried about my mental health that I booked a doctor’s appointment to talk over my anxiety and stress. The first trimester is all about the hormonal moodswings and emotions!

The initial shock of finding out

I always used  to imagine my immediate reaction to be super excited or super distraught… but what I didn’t expect was  the full on theme park of rollercoaster emotions that went on. You can read about how it all went by reading my Pregnancy Discovery post.

What was your reaction to finding the positive sign on the pregnancy test?

Baby bumps in the first trimester

what is the first trimester really like in pregnancy?
                     8 weeks                          16 weeks

It Might have been a bit pre-emptive when the day after finding out I was pregnant (1st December 2017) I was checking for a bump. Wishful thinking! I have always been obsessed with baby bumps and wished that when I was lucky enough to become pregnant I would have a cute little bump that I could balance a cup of tea upon (ah lets see if this happens) while munching on Jammy Dodgers and Rich Tea Biscuits, so when I found out I was pregnant I was already imagining a baby bump forming. It got even more ridiculous when I forced my sister to take a photo of me and my bump literally the day after finding out about being pregnant (this makes me cringe now, lol).

I knew that bumps were not an immediate thing to show, but being pregnant, I was just so excited to start seeing a change, afterall, how could I be feeling so significantly different within myself and not  show any change whatsoever on the outside? It was just bizarre to me!

My bump didn’t start showing til the usual 16 week mark, but even then I expected  it to be larger than it was!

Morning Sickness in the first trimester

As a bit of a pessimist, I expected my morning sickness to be one of hellish nature having heard all of the horror stories. I used to have a bit of a phobia of being sick and the thought of putting my body through something that would promote being sick on most days made me hate the idea of pregnant. 

My surprise reaction to finding out I was pregnant was partly due to the fact that I never once had a day of being sick or feeling sick- just mood swings and a lack of period. I always heard that being sick was one of the first symptoms of being pregnant and because of the lack of morning sickness for me, pregnancy never floated across my mind as a possibility.

Funnily enough though, I had my fair share of sickness the very next day after finding out I was pregnant and a few days after that it happened again. I wasn’t sure if my mind had just convinced itself to throw up, knowing I was pregnant and knowing that it was a side effect of pregnancy, or if it was actually a bout of morning sickness.

So I got away very lucky for morning sickness, but when it hit… oh boy it hit. I would walk around the city centre to work, covering my nose and mouth with a scarf, focusing so much on not throwing up, when all I wanted to do was barf up my guts. I have never exercised bodily control in such a successful way- and don’t even get me started on trying to control it when I was on one of the Glasgow First Buses to the city centre.

The good news was that the suggested methods to avoid or prevent morning sickness worked for me- ginger nuts before getting up and a cup of tea with some sugar, sparkling water, ready salted crisps and just remaining full at all times helped. 

Cravings

What is the first trimester really like in pregnancy?

I have heard of some of the wildest cravings EVER for women who have been pregnant. From a woman who craved lumps of coal, to a woman who woke up at 3am with the oddest craving of cheerios and milk, not in a normal china bowl, but in a carved out watermelon bowl… I was expecting to eat some of the weirdest stuff. My biggest fear being that I would start craving my most hated food ever… (and don’t judge me for this) cheese (seriously, this hatred of mine has ended friendships before because some people just can’t handle another me hating on their beloved cheese). Thankfully the only craving I have had including cheese, was pizza and oddly enough I love pizza so it wasn’t a problem.

I had cravings for Flaming Hot Monster Munch (I CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF THESE BAD BOYS), mangos, pineapples, vinegar, sparkling water (I used to hate sparkling water because it just tasted like spicy water without a flavour). Thankfully I haven’t desired a lump of coal or a watermelon bowl of cheerios and milk, so its reasonably easy to feed these cravings.

Aches and Pains

Sciatica, leg cramps, sore nips… these were just a handful of the aches and pains I have experienced during my first trimester and unfortunately these have all carried over to my second trimester so I am praying that they go away eventually!

One of the worst was when I had a solid 4 weeks of killer headaches that were so bad I couldn’t even sleep. The leg cramp I experienced a week ago was up there with one of the worst cramps I have ever experienced in my entire life.

Exhaustion

Ugh, this one was a killer during my first trimester, and it is extremely common. Its important to try and keep your iron levels up because feeling tired can be a common sign of being anaemic and being anaemic during pregnancy is a big thing to avoid if possible! Thankfully it has eased up a bit in the second trimester but for the first trimester, I was just a walking bag of snoozeville. The trouble was that I was on holiday for Christmas for 2 whole weeks which meant that I got into the habit of taking a mid-afternoon nap every day. Returning back to work in January felt a bit like a cruel joke. It was the most difficult thing ever to go through a solid 8 hours without being able to retreat to my bed half way through. Coming home from work,  I would be a crabbit mess and demand my bed before dinner but it wasn’t always like this thankfully. 

so… What is the realistic side of the first Trimester in pregnancy? Well…

The realistic side of pregnancy

What I have learned through my first trimester of pregnancy is that no two pregnancies are ever the same! Take it from the Mums who post on forum boards, blogs and even your midwife. Something that I experience could be entirely different from what you experience. Its quite to cool to think a pregnancy is such a unique experience.

There is no general side to pregnancy, so what might be realistic for me might be the dream of yours and vice versa!

It will all be worth the exhaustion in the end (plus a couple of months lol) and I cannot wait to meet my little bumble bump!