Preparing for re-opening my baby studio

Preparing for re-opening my baby studio.

Preparing for re-opening my baby studioAs there feels to be a shift in lockdown, a very slow re-emergence from a lockdown chrysalis I felt it sensible to start preparing my back to work plan not only for myself but for any customers booked in later in the year or yet to book. I won’t be opening (for both studio and outdoors) unless completely in line with government rules and regulations but I am preparing and will be working on a waiting list.

The very nature of my work demands for utmost respect and adhering to safety regulations so you can rest assured you will always find that in my studio, however I have decided (especially with this time on my hands) to up that level (especially with a little more time on my hands)

Sadly it is very hard to keep to the 2m social distancing rules so please bear with me, support me if you can and as soon as it is safe for me to do so I’ll be back photographing your gorgeous families.

Whilst closed I have been under taking courses ready for when I return to work

opening baby studio

So what does that mean?

My cosy baby studio is repeatedly washed down and cleaned in between all shoots anyway but when all is open again I am super pleased to tell you that it will have had a revamp. Fresh paint, Fresh fabrics and a fresh set of rules to ensure our safety.

I have also used my time to take some online courses to assure you I am 100% prepared for your safety with hygiene. These courses include a standard precaution hand hygiene achievements, my COVID-19 barbicide certificate and participation in a certificate for the infection prevention and control of coronavirus with the WHO. These were free and I can share the links. 

 

When you arrive at the studio it will likely be very different from the process I have posted previously on my social media and website. I will be asking everyone to wash hands thoroughly and remove shoes and coats before entering. Ideally if we can limit to immediate family only – so no extended relations. i have plenty of antibac etc. 

Sad as it makes me, I will be wearing gloves and a facemask, this is for all of our protection. I would also ask you to do the same (please provide your own where possible) and I’ll provide clear instructions on where to leave any items you have brought.  By the time the studio can open , I will be doing a few outdoor shoots these used to be at Waterloo and Catton park but if i feel these are too busy I will be doing them at Harrison’s wood its local and usually quiet , I really want to avoid photo-bombers and parents worried about passers by.  

 

Rest assured I will have a fresh uniform on for each individual booking and the studio will have been deep cleaned before your arrival. I use a minimum of props anyway, but for now I will be removing wooden toys, fluffy rug,  and the snacks and drinks I normally provide (I’m so sorry I know a hot drink is meant to be part of the experience!)

I will be logging mine and my family’s temperatures daily and will ask the same of you, if any of show any of the symptoms we will isolate and shoots postponed, if any health reason prevents the booking we can rearrange no problem.

 

I know it all sounds very clinical and it isn’t the normal, however with safe measures in place I can guarantee keeping you safe within my premises; even though the snacks and props are cancelled, your baby’s beautiful smile and wrinkly feet are not. There will be plenty of laughs and smiles as I capture your new bundle and making memories for a lifetime seems so much more important now wouldn’t you agree?

This might be the new way for now, but I promise I will make it the very best experience I can under the new rules.

Jess XX

PS I am monitoring the situation daily and will edit this blog should any of the current information be updated.

opening baby studio

nursery hospital bag

Guest blog 30-36 weeks pregnant - nursery and packing the hospital bag 

Guest blog 30-36 weeks pregnant – nursery and packing the hospital bag

Nursery and packing the hospital bag 

Since finding out I was pregnant one of the first things I thought about was how I would like the nursery to look.  Having grown up on a farm and been lucky enough to visit some amazing countries with wild animals I have decided to go for a neutral colour and safari theme.  I know baby will be in our room for a while, but the nursey has been ready for a few months now!

Over the last few weeks I have been preparing my hospital bag.  I have read many articles online for what I need to pack and have also spoken to friends about their experiences and what they recommend.  I actually made a spreadsheet of what I needed for me, baby and a joint list. I then ticked the items off as I packed them.

nursery hospital bag

I was due to have a scan at 36 weeks however, 2 weeks before, baby’s movements had been quiet and not half as active as normal.  I know that baby is normally active morning, night and a couple of times throughout the day but, I hadn’t felt baby move much for a day and a half.  I called my midwife and she suggested drinking some cold water, eating something sugary, laying on my left side and having a ‘poke and prod’ to see if any of these things would get baby moving.  Baby did move a couple of times, but nothing like it normally does.  An hour later I called the hospital which is what the midwife told me to do.  I was told to come to the hospital where they would take a closer look.

During the current Covid situation I had to attend the appointment alone, I had to follow the signs in the hospital and stick to the left side of the corridor.  There were nurses and hospital staff walking round with mask’s on, but nothing too scary or out of the ordinary.  At the reception I was greeted as normal and asked to wait in the waiting room.  The chairs were spaced out around the room and there were only a few of us in there so we could stick to the social distancing rules.

When I was seen by the midwife, she could not have been nicer or more friendly, she made me feel totally at ease, you would never have known that there was a pandemic going on.  She was extremely reassuring and treated me like she would have done any other time.  She scanned my tummy with a hand-held screen, we listened to the heartbeat and saw baby. We also saw that baby had turned around and was no longer breech!  This was a huge relief, meaning that I can plan for a vaginal birth again.

I was then connected to a monitor which detected the heartbeat, oxygen levels and baby’s other vitals.  While on the monitor I had to click a button every time baby moved.  Luckily in the car on the way to the hospital baby had moved a couple times, again while I was waiting to be seen and then during the time being monitored baby was pretty much back to normal!  The monitor turned green which indicated that it was happy with all the checks and I was happy with baby’s movements again.  The midwife signed me off and told me that I did the right thing to get checked out, and if the same thing happens again to come straight back, even if it is tomorrow.  I have been told so many times that if baby’s movements change, I should not hesitate to call the midwife.  One thing I will do before calling the midwife next time is go for a drive, I have realised that baby either really likes being in the car, or really hates it.  Either way it is normally very active in the car!

Since my last blog I have had 2 phone appointments and one face to face with the midwife during lockdown.  On the phone the midwife and I discussed my birth plan, which is now written and in my folder ready for the big day.  I understand that this is an ideal plan, and anything could change, but it is definitely worth discussing with your birth partner to make sure you are both on the same page.  We also discussed the changes the hospital has put in place during lockdown such as Sam will not be able to come into the hospital on arrival with me, instead I will be examined and if I am in active labour he will be allowed to join me.  If for any reason I have to stay in overnight, Sam wouldn’t be allowed to stay with me.  I think the temporary procedures are very fair and I am looking forward to the birth just as much as I was before lockdown.

Since about 35 weeks pregnant I have started to feel a lot less mobile.  If I sit down for too long I cease up and take a few seconds to be able to move freely again, likewise if I stand for too long my back aches and I need to sit down!  I am now struggling to put my socks and shoes on and it feels like I am wearing a tyre around my waist which is really restricting my movement.  I am told that baby should move lower down into my cervix soon which will relieve the pressure and as I write this I can feel baby pushing up under my ribs, which is quite uncomfortable! Today I felt baby had hiccups for the first time (that I’ve noticed).

During the current Covid pandemic, using Instagram has been an excellent way to keep up to date with any changes that are being made.  I receive notifications from the Midwifery Led Birthing Unit at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital; which is where I hope to give birth.  They have been excellent at posting relevant information and putting expectant mothers’ minds at ease.  I also follow different baby pages and often watch the live videos.  So far, I have watched a couple about breastfeeding, hypnobirthing, going through labour and once baby is here. I have found many of the videos very helpful and definitely learnt a few things too – this is one of a few positives to come from lockdown!

This will be my last blog before baby arrives, I am extremely excited about finally meeting our baby and finding out if it’s a boy or girl!  My next blog will be all about my birth experience, so fingers crossed it will all go smoothly!

Eloise xx

You can read Eloise other blogs here and I can’t wait to hear her baby news I have loved her real yet positive blogs especially with all that’s going on.


pregnant with a toddler

Welcome to the world party – alternatives to a baby shower

Welcome to the world party – alternatives to a baby shower

Welcome to the world party – alternatives to a baby shower

I am so sad to hear so many of you are having to miss out on planned baby shower parties. I can’t imagine how hard this must be for so many reasons, it really is meant to be a once in a lifetime event.

However, I hope I can share some knowledge that will ease any sadness around this and hopefully suggest some ideas for how to turn that party into something else altogether when the time comes that yourself, friends and family can unite.

I am hearing lots of fabulous plans for ‘welcome to the world’ parties – a chance for everyone to shower you and your arrival with love and affection and really in lockdown there’s no better time to plan it. It’s a concept that has been around for a while – in many cases, it can act as an alternative to a Christening, for anyone that didn’t fancy a baby shower or for couples that have family stretching around the globe.

Welcome the world baby

I know the idea of planning a gathering in the hazy fuzz of new-born days may seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be large and extravagant – and I bet people would love to help plan and arrange on your behalf. Alternatively, why not wait until your little one is 2-3 months old?

In fact, I really like this idea full stop and not just as a solution to a global lockdown!

I have collated some ideas below for you, themes, props, and my favourite places to purchase items. I hope it helps and please share any of your thoughts, tips and ideas with my social community.

Jess x

Top tips for a party: digital or physical

WISHLIST I know when my friends have had babies, I have actively wanted to gift them something and I always worry about getting them something useful. Amazon wish-lists are a great way to let people know what you need if they ask. Fortunately, they are up and running during lockdown so people can always make sure you have gifts even if they can’t deliver themselves. My top tips on things you need for a baby… Ewan the dream sheep (is that still a thing?) and muslins… you can never, ever have enough. Also try looking local since lockdown I’ve sought out even more local suppliers.

DECORATE  you can go mad or simple… whether you choose to celebrate as a family or with guests. and best of all if you have your new baby you will know the sex and decorate accordingly (and I don’t mean just blue and pink!) bunting and a beautiful cake can be simply enough on its own or you could order balloon arches and a full on feast. Pinterest can be a wealth of inspiration ranging from traditional blue and pink set ups to full on boho glamour. It’s about suiting you and your baby. Currently, a lot of my favourite places aren’t trading at the time of this post, but Google is your friend… simply type in party decorations – Amazon can also come to the rescue once again. Another idea is a balloon display and Claire is amazing at Claire Carney Floral and Balloon Designs

PHOTOGRAPHY If you host a party ask everyone to take photos – it’s too easy for Mums to be the ones behind the camera but if you ask everyone to take pictures and share you can choose the best of a bunch. If you are at home and choose to have an isolation celebration, you can look at my photography guide for some simple tips using just your phone – these can apply to bump, baby and family!

CAKE doesn’t need an explanation! A lot of cake makers are going online you can test their cake before the party.  I highly recommend Sugar Buttons for cookies and also Vanilla Cloud Bakery who offers afternoon teas delivered too (check this might not be available at the moment)

LOCATION – I see my home as my sanctuary so would always have it as my go to place to host a gathering, but you could organise in a local park or café (this is assuming that lockdown rules are more relaxed) however you could host it digitally. An alternative to combat the lockdown would be to hold a zoom shower or party. Its not quite the same I know, but aren’t we lucky to live in times where we can connect like this. You can tell everyone your theme (see below) and ask them to decorate their background, you could even (if you wanted to push the boat out) have deliveries of cakes or biscuits for your guests (support a local business and brings everyone together over cake).

Maybe just scrap a party and have a shower with your partner! I loved seeing Millie Mackintosh on Instagram recently – her baby shower was cancelled so she and her partner celebrated with a dinner date, dressed up and took some beautiful photos. I can’t think of a nicer more intimate type of shower; special for all the reasons you would never have thought of.

THEME – not for everyone but they can be a great place to start when considering decorations. Here are some I came across when I was researching this piece: Local business Epic Event Hire cater for weddings and events check them out for ideas too.

  • Bees – simple natural foliage and lemon, yellow cupcakes -Pinterest has some lovely inspo for this.
  • Animals – jungle themes seem popular – with helium jungle balloons and green garlands.
  • Peter Rabbit – you can’t go wrong with anything Beatrix Potter!
  • Disney – you can pick and choose all your favourite elements to pull together a Disney theme for your prince or princess.
  • Traditional – pink or blue simply theme your party around a colour. Throw tradition out of the window and go for a trendy monochrome theme!
  • None at all – simply enjoy your favourite things with your favourite people.

 

I hope that was helpful – I’ll keep adding as I’m inspired and please feel free to message me with ideas of your own.

Newborn baby photographer Norfolk

giving birth in COVID19

Guest blog: Giving Birth during the COVID19 Pandemic

Giving Birth during the COVID19 Pandemic

Sam has kindly blogged her experience of giving birth recently during the COVID19 situation.

I was due to be induced on Monday 23rd (10 days overdue) but was called to go in on Sunday 22nd evening as they had a space for me, at this point the lockdown hadn’t started and everything seemed normal going into NNUH. I had a sweep on the Friday 20th and the midwife was relaxed about the COVID19 situation and was taking each day as it came . Following any new guidelines as they were released,  I wasn’t worried about how it would affect my birth experience. The only concern I did have was I wanted a water birth but was told as long as I didn’t have symptoms and my labour progressed naturally this was fine to go ahead.

I had my waters broken on the Monday morning as I was 2cm dilated and was told to keep active to help get things going. We were free to walk about the hospital but were mindful of keeping distance from people and hand cleaning when re-entering the delivery suite.  I had been out 3 times but when we returned from our last walk a midwife said that they didn’t want us leaving the ward anymore due to the what was going on.

I hadn’t progressed enough so I was given Oxytocin and couldn’t have my water birth. With just Gas & Air, Oscar was finally born at 2.11am 24th March weighing 9lbs 1oz.

We were moved to Blakney ward mid-morning and was told they would only keep me in for as short time possible. This was when we found out the country was in lockdown as we hadn’t seen the news. We were lucky as there wasn’t any restrictions in place yet for partners being on the ward.

When being discharged we were told that we shouldn’t have any visitors and my husband should isolate with us also due to spending time at the hospital. Unfortunately due to his job he wasn’t allowed to take extra leave and returned back to work the following Monday.

giving birth in COVID19

Before having Oscar I hadn’t taken much notice of what was put on social media regarding COVID19 as I know there’s so much fake news posted online. I tried to only watch the news and check the MLBU/NNUH Facebook and Instagram pages for updates. This is what I would advise expectant mums to do, as since being home I have seen on local mum group pages so many different stories/opinions that aren’t always up to date or helpful.

I managed to have 2 follow up midwife visits at home but only me and Oscar could be in the room, so my husband had to take our daughter into another room. They also phoned prior to arrival to ensure no-one in the house had a temperature or new cough. My discharge appointment however was different, this was a phone call to ensure things were going well. If this had been my first baby I’m not sure I would have felt comfortable with this so I feel for any first time mums at this time not having the follow up appointments as usual to give support. I then had to drop off my notes to the midwife unit in Hoveton.

Health Visitor appointment was also a phone call as they aren’t coming to homes either and they have booked another phone appointment for our 6 week review.

Being in lock-down with a newborn is without doubt tough, especially as I have a 2 year old to entertain also who is used to going to nursery 2 days a week and spending another 2 days with her Nanny’s.

The advice I would give to new/ expectant mums in lock down is this isn’t going to last forever, it’s tough and not ideal but there’s nothing we can do so try not to dwell on it. If you can prior to having baby, batch cook meals to have in the freezer. It’s one less thing to worry about! Make the most of the time at home with little ones, they’re really not little for long!

Take each day at a time, it’s ok to be emotional, overwhelmed or be in your pj’s all day (kids included) Who’s going to see you anyway. Go out for a walk when you’re ready/can, the fresh air does help and it breaks up the day. Also don’t compare yourself to what you see other mums doing on social media, everyone has a different situation, do whatever makes you happy. Use technology! Facetime, Zoom, Whatsapp video to keep in contact with family and friends. Get group chats going so you can have a good catch up! Finally make plans for what you want to do when this is all over!

giving birth in COVID19

If you have given birh during the COVID19 Panedmic and wish to share any tips please pop a comment below – I have lots of other blogs you can read here.

 

I also have a FREE guide to photographing your baby at home you can read and download.


Jess Wilkins Baby Photographer’s Guide to Photographing Your Newborn at home

Jess Wilkins Baby Photographer’s Guide to Photographing Your Newborn at home

Jess Wilkins Baby Photographer’s Guide to Photographing Your Newborn at home

Photographing Your Newborn at home

I’m so sad that during these times I’m unable to photograph beautiful new babies but, I thought long and hard about how I can help new parents capture those moments from afar; with whatever camera and props you have available! As much as I love having families in my Norwich studio, I can’t bear the thought of  families missing out when there are some simple ways to create a good photo from home.

These moments are fleeting so don’t think you can’t treasure them always because of the crisis we currently find ourselves in. You don’t need a DSLR, a simple smartphone camera can do a brilliant trick so, find below a series of tips, poses and ideas on how to set up some shots.

Photographing Your Newborn at home

Don’t forget to share them with me on Instagram @jess_wilkins_photography – it will make my day to see how you are being creative with your at home shoots! As a baby photographer, I am trained to pose babies, please don’t attempt to re-create what you see on my website (and others) at home and always put baby safety first.

 

Safety – this is one of the most important points.

 

The safety and comfort of your baby is more important than any photo. Please do not attempt any poses that you see newborn photographers do. We are trained in newborn safety and posing, remember this is about what you can do at home, not how to recreate a studio perfect image.

 

Pets and siblings make for wonderful baby photography but should never be photographed without another adult right there to keep an eye (and hand!) on the baby. 

It may seem obvious but if using a large camera and when you are taking photos above baby, always wear the camera strap around your neck.

 

Listen for baby’s cues. Your little one may start to tell you they have had enough. Pace yourself, you just had a baby and will need rest! If you need to break it up over a few days then do so.

Get ready – how to set the room and mood:

 

First off, know that your photos are not going to look the same as professional photos, and that’s ok! You are capturing some precious memories, and that is all that matters. Babies are energy-based and will pick up on your anxiety and frustration, so just relax and go with the flow. If it doesn’t go to plan, take a break and try later.

 

Turn up the thermostat so the room is warm, then give your baby a good feed, and be sure to burp them, so they are happy and sleepy! (But remember that awake baby images are beautiful too – the first smile, those scrunched up faces and altogether strange shapes they make).

 

Your baby will probably poop or pee if you take photos without a nappy on, so have supplies ready for quick clean ups – this is a common occurrence in the studio so don’t think this is just happening to you – I highly recommend Dr Beckamsn cleaning products! 

 

I find white noise can really soothe a newborn during a shoot so that’s another option to create a calm room.

 

Some initial starting tips

 

  • Spread a blanket, swaddle wrap, or sheet on the floor near a window. (neutral works well, greys whites and patterns such as arrows or polka dots)
  • Position the baby with light coming from the side or top of the baby’s head.
  • Take photos looking straight down – do not take photos up baby’s nose.

Equipment

 

Don’t worry if you don’t have a DSLR, any smart phones will work, first up clean your lens and secondly, (if you have it) try putting your phone on portrait mode to get some deep focus with a yummy blur. I tend to avoid props but you may want some lovely snuggly blankets/a sheepskin and a favourite teddy to nestle your baby with.

 

What to wear

 

To really capture your newborn I always recommend having the family wear comfortable, simple, neutral-coloured clothing. Stay away from logos, words, and characters on shirts, and neon colours. It can really help to have some colour coordination too… you can see some family shots HERE for inspiration.

 

Newborns photograph best in a simple white onesie – because really is there anything better?

You can add a little hat or headband for variety (but not one so big it takes the focus away from the baby!)

 

Lighting and position

 

Any photographer will tell you the trick to a good photo is the lighting, at home you can achieve great results with the following:

 

  • Try to take your photos in the rooms that get the best gentle window light (not direct sunlight). 
  • North/south facing windows are great! If there’s enough window light, turn off your overhead lights.

 

  • When positioning the baby close to the window, make sure the light is coming from the side or towards the top of the baby’s head – but remember not direct sunlight on your baby.

photographing your newborn at home

Editing

 

It’s always great to take lots of images so you can choose the best of the best. VSCO app is a great editing tool that you can use instantly as is Lightbox. With a little cropping, brightening and sharpening you can really enhance your already beautiful pictures.

You can get into super detail and purchase a pre-set package if there’s a certain ‘style’ you want to recreate.

 

Photo Check List and suggestions:

Sibling Images

 

  • Spread a comfy blanket or rug close to a window. Tuck some rolled up

receiving blankets underneath to create a place for siblings to rest their heads.

  • Have siblings lie down with the top of their head angled towards the window.
  • Place wrapped baby right up close to sibling, with baby’s head

supported by sibling’s arm/s.

  • Ask the sibling to place their other arm on the baby’s tummy or somehow connect.
  • Take your photo standing over them, looking straight down.

 

Parent and Baby images

 

  • Place the parent sitting or standing so window light comes from the side.
  • Try to always angle the top of the baby’s head towards the window.
  • Hold baby in different ways: lying in arms, held face to face, up on

shoulder, facing out, etc.

  • For each position, take photos from different angles – straight on, from

side, from behind over parent’s shoulder, etc.

 

Whole Family Images

 

  • Position your family members with window light coming from the

side – on a couch, or even on the floor of the nursery.Make sure you

leave a spot for you to sit or stand

  • Use a tripod if you have one, or simply set up your camera/phone

against something sturdy, getting the whole family in the frame.

  • Activate the timer (10 seconds), and run to get into your assigned

position with your family. Smile!

 

Capturing the details

 

  • Lie the baby down on a simple white or neutral coloured blanket or

sheet, close to a window.

  • Focus on just one body part at time, and make the whole photo

just about that body part.

  • Take photos of your baby’s hands and fingers, feet and toes, nose,

lips, belly button, and wisps of hair. Most importantly don’t forget the little rolls and

flaky skin.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you want any further help or information. For anyone expecting later in the year I will be offering vouchers for newborn shoots. 

For your own downable guide to photographing your newborn at home please click the button below. 

Full PDF Version Here

pregnancy and coronavirus

Guest Blogger 24-30 weeks pregnancy and coronavirus

Guest Blogger 24-30 weeks pregnancy and coronavirus

Eloise is back with her next blog its a bit crazy to think last time she blogged coronavirus wasnt big news.

24-30 weeks-Time flies

After a slightly concerning chat with my midwife at 28 weeks, and her wondering why I hadn’t had my scan to see if my placenta has moved, she found me an appointment a few days later.  She made sure I knew which numbers to call if I experienced any bleeding and what to do if this happened.  This was a little disconcerting because I wasn’t aware that it was such a complication.  Before the scan I told the sonographer that we didn’t know the sex of the baby just in case we saw something we shouldn’t.  She gave the baby a full examination and then showed me my placenta, it had moved, way up out of the way!  For the two days before the scan I was extremely down in myself, worrying that I would have to have a C-Section.  I wasn’t worried about the actual operation or the recovery, my main concern was that I want to experience everything about birth.  The not knowing when the baby is coming, the wondering if those are labour pains, going to hospital and wondering how long until your little pride and joy will make an appearance, but most of all I want to make Sam proud of me and for him to think that I did a ‘really good job’.  I know that this all sounds like sunshine and roses and in reality, I will be in a lot of pain – but you can only hope!

I am still exercising regularly although my running has turned into a slow jog with walk breaks at regular intervals.  I am purposely not pushing myself as I have noticed that my pelvis is beginning to ache.  I feel particularly fragile in the mornings the day after a run and I now must be careful getting in and out of the car.

I have read many articles about how in your 3rd trimester you shouldn’t sleep on your back.  I never knew I slept on my back until a few months ago! I always thought that I slept on myside, but since waking up several times in the night on my back I thought I need to do something about it.  So… I now sleep with a bra top on and a little pot of Vaseline in the back of it (other brands/tubs or pots are available). This way, when I roll over the pot digs into my back causing me to turn onto my side!  I am sure other women have come up with much more commutable ways of stopping themselves laying on their back, but this is working for me.

pregnancy and coronavirus

Kicks are coming strong and fast.  The baby is beginning to have a routine morning and night when it’s most active. Especially when Sam is home and we are having a conversation, the baby loves to interrupt. I can now feel bulges and hard lumps which I think is a foot and watch my tummy move around.  During our scan the sonographer found it quite funny how baby was laying, he/she was fooled in two with its feet over its head; we are not sure when baby is getting its flexibility from because it certainly isn’t us!  The lady also explained that baby is in Frank Breech position with its bum down and feet up, because of this I will have another scan at 36 weeks to see if baby has turned.

Dare I mention the C word (coronavirus) . I am currently working from home and self-distancing myself from everyone other than Sam.  I haven’t been watching the news, only checking the NHS website infrequently for updates for pregnant women.  So far, the virus hasn’t affected me in a big way at all, we had planned to have a little holiday before baby arrives (the last time for peace and quiet – for a while anyway) which is obviously now on hold.  I did also have a baby shower planned which is now going to be a ‘Welcome to the World party’, hopefully! In the grand scheme of things, these are very minor ways that the virus has affected us, and I know things could be much worse, which they are for so many other people.  To help me cope with the whole situation and rather daunting times, I have found myself doing various DIY tasks around the house to keep me busy and help keep my mind astray from reality. I have also been going for walks regularly to get fresh air and keep a clear mind. I have found staying busy and active is a real key success to my mental wellbeing during these difficult times whilst being pregnant.

Until Eloise’s next blog stay snug and cosy – read other blogs here 


The juggle is real - motherhood guest blog

The juggle is real – motherhood guest blog

The juggle is real

So I often get asked how do I manage with 3 under 3. My reply, I just do… It’s amazing how quickly we adapt. I remember being pregnant with Maverick and honestly being overwhelmed with responsibility and sleep deprivation. I remember thinking how the hell do women have more than one child?! It’s exhausting and all consuming

Yet a mere 6 months later I found myself pregnant again. Fast forward 2 and half years AND here we are 3 children in, eye bags down to my knees and my heart so full of love!

1) Leave your guilt behind. There’s no time for it and quite frankly you can only do what you can do. Acknowledge your feelings and then move on. The world is still turning and your children won’t love you any less because you prepared beans on toast for dinner AGAIN.
2) Preparation is key. 9 months is a loooong time so plenty of time to talk about the new sibling joining the family, time to read books about new babies and get the other small people in your lives involved. Could they help choose and outfit or pack the hospital bag?
3) Stay calm, easier said than done right, we’re mothers after all. But everything will be okay in the long run, your children will adapt, normality will resume. I often hear expentant mums worry about how their first born will cope with sharing them, but honestly they just do, it’s a massive transition in their little lives but they take everything in their stride.
4) Quality time, don’t worry about the state of the house or keeping up with everyone. Spend your spare moments spending quality one on one time with your older babies. This massively helps them with the transition as they know they still get attention from you, so it may not be the same as before but you haven’t forgotten about them.
5)Look after yourself, yes be “selfish” have a social life, go up to bed an hour early, have some me time. Do what ever it takes to fill up your cup mama, as a happy mum is a happy baby!

Motherhood is such a journey, make sure your surrounded by a tribe of supportive people and you will flourish!

All the love, Kels x

MOTHERHOOD

You can read Kels other blog here and check out my newborn work in my gallery.


8 years in business - newborn session giveaway!

Last month marked 8 years in business as a newborn baby photographer – my first year i was mobile and then we built my home studio in Norwich.

I have photographed hundreds of newborns (one day i’ll go back and total it up) and families over these wonderful 8 years.

To celebrate I am giving away two newborn packages you can see what you can win and how to enter here https://wp.me/P371zL-cdf


Messy play tips from This Mama Plays

Messy play tips from This Mama Plays

 

Messy play has always been high up on the agenda, a staple in the childcare industry. It engages children and teaches them no end of new skills. Including communication and building up muscles in their little hands.

But as I entered the world of motherhood, I realised so many parents squirm at the thought of cornflour gloop or even playdough. I mean I do get it, we have enough to do, life is busy and with the whole “hinching” trend it’s gardly cool to grab a cold tin of beans and let your baby explore.

Here’s why I love it so much…

1) HOT cuppa at least twice a day
2) Endless new words and phrases being used.
3) Encourages problem solving
4) Encourages responsibility – setting up and tidying away.
5) The SMILES on my little humans faces!
6) Doesn’t cost the earth!
7) No plastic tat, clogging up the toy shelves and making annoying repetitive noises.

Kelsey aka This Mama Plays and her babies

messy play mama

How to minimise the mess…

If your children are old enough to understand, set clear boundaries before play begins.

Use a table cloth as a way to protect your floor. (ours was £2.99 from B&m)

If possible use trays to contain the mess, tuff spots are great but take up a lot of room, we love Gardeners trays which are much smaller! If you don’t have either of those and you don’t want to buy one then a cat litter tray is a good size and can be bought cheaply from pretty much any supermarket!

Take it to the bath, yup strip your little one off and bung the mess in the bath, contains the mess and you’re all ready to clean down afterwards.

Our go to Messy play set ups…
Cornflour gloop, simply mix cornflour and water together, add some food colouring and watch your child explore this fascinating texture! A great sensory base to clear away, leave to dry and the gloop will flake off or add extra water and it will wash away! Add pots, pans and spoons to extend play!

Cereal, offers a great sensory experience and if your children are anything like mine then it will double up as snack, saving you the tidy up too. Rice crispies make for a great moon surface, wheat biscuits are great for hay bales in farm small world! The possibilities are endless..

Water, always a winner here. Water has such a calming effect on my too. Adding natural found objects such a leaves and petals make for interesting play, will your child make potions or soup?

Give some sensory play a go today! You may just enjoy a few minutes peace. All the love, Kels x

https://www.facebook.com/Thismamaplays/

You cna rea dmore guets blogs here.

messy play Norfolk

Pregnancy Guest Blog - flutters turned to kicks

Flutters turned to kicks

New Year’s Day seems so far away now.  It is already a very memorable day for me as it was the day that Sam asked me to marry him.  New year’s is now even more memorable as it was the day that I felt the first kick whilst lying on my side trying to fall asleep.  I wondered if the flutter I felt in my tummy was the baby moving, until I felt it again and again, that’s when I knew it was definitely the baby!  For the first few weeks I could only feel the movements when I was concentrating and laying still in bed.  Now I am 24 weeks, the kicks are much more regular and noticeable, I feel them all the time; at work, whilst driving and even in the bath.  I called Sam to come and watch the baby moving in my tummy, luckily the baby perked up and moved right on cue.  He’s felt the baby lots of times now and we can’t wait for them to get even stronger so that we can work out if it’s an arm or a leg!

flutters to kicks

At 21 weeks, Sam and I went to the hospital for my second scan, it was amazing to see how much the baby had grown and the level of detail that could be seen.  Before the scan we were asked if we wanted to know the sex of the baby, we had already decided that we do not want to know and for it to remain a surprise.  When it came to that area, we were asked to look away.  This was easy for me laying on the bed, I just closed my eyes, whereas Sam was sat right in front of the screen.  I asked him after the appointment if he had a sneaky look, he told me he didn’t.  I do believe him as I know there’s no way he could keep it a secret!

The scan went well, and the baby is growing nicely. Their only concern was that my placenta is covering my cervix thus blocking the baby’s exit.  I will need another scan at 32 weeks to see if it has moved.  We were told that 90% of the time it will have moved before the scan, so fingers crossed!

flutters to kicks

A few weeks ago, I was ill, just suffering from a cold but it caused a bad headache which had kept me off work and made me rest for a few days.  I realised that I hadn’t felt the baby move much over the last couple of days, so I made an appointment to see my midwife where she put the doppler on my tummy and we heard the heart beating away perfectly.  I have read in so many places that you should get the baby checked if you are concerned about lack of movement, and not to wait.  My midwife said that she sees around 4-5 ladies a week with concerns about movement.  I was so glad I didn’t hesitate to contact her!

I am continuing to stay active by doing whatever type of exercise I feel like doing.  This is usually running, swimming or strength training in the gym, except last week was slightly different.  We are adding a conservatory to the house which Sam wants to do most of the work himself.  He spent a solid eight hours in the garden last week digging out the footings which I helped with most of the time.  I set my fitness watch to ‘mixed cardio’ and included it as my exercise for that day!  My job was the fun part, to jump up and down on a fork and dig out the top of the footings ahead of Sam, who then came around and did the heavy lifting part of moving the soil – team work makes the dream work!

 

Keep your eyes peeled for another blog soon!