Pregnant guest blogger - social media

Pregnant guest blogger – social media

Sometimes, when I’m experiencing a challenging day or struggling with all things pregnancy/parenthood and work, I try to imagine what being a mother 30 years ago might have been like. What it might have looked and felt like for my own mama who would have been pregnant, running her own business and taking care of a wild 3 year old (me).

I know she attended a local toddler group and made mama friends through my playgroup. She also had a keen interest in horses, riding and running a stable-yard. I sometimes wonder if life was simpler or harder back then? I wonder if she still felt the same pressures that I sometimes feel when trying to raise a happy, healthy little girl (and baby), do well in my job, balance home/life/love and still be a good friend to others whilst being ethical in my consumerism and using less plastic!

I guess the biggest difference between our experiences might be social media. It’s interesting to consider whether these mediums have any influence or affect on the way women (in particular) feel about themselves and their parenting choices. 30 years ago Facebook, Instagram, YouTube channels and ‘blogging’ didn’t exist. There were no glossy photos of influencer mamas hitting the gym 6 weeks after labour, wanderlust mamas backpacking with their baby in tow or writing e-books about baby-led weaning or toddler-friendly meal ideas. Equally there might not have been anyone “famous” to compare oneself to, no celebrity mamas promoting slimming teas and leggings, no fitspo mamas to compare post-partum tummies against and no Insta-perfect photos of interiors/tidy kitchens or healthy-looking dinners to wish (just ever so slightly) that you had the time/energy or money to recreate in your own life.I know some of my mama friends have spoken about feeling pressure to “bounce back after baby” etc. My own experiences are slightly different, but not dissimilar. As I have mentioned in my previous blogs I was VERY naive about birth and motherhood during my first pregnancy. This is particularly true when it came to postpartum recovery. My lack of research, understanding and awareness of how the body recovers and the time it takes was limited. I found this challenging during the first 6 weeks after labour as I scrolled through images of mothers running, hiking, shopping, travelling and just generally being able to play with their children without pain and tenderness (I wondered if I might ever feel energised again). But slowly, as my strength and energy returned and I started to get out into the fresh air I realised my body was quite literally amazing and promised myself the next time I started to compare myself to others I would repeat the saying: “comparison is the thief of joy”.

I detoxed my social media accounts shortly after having my first baby, I unfollowed pages that didn’t serve me and removed any accounts that didn’t resonate or fit with my personal interests or ideals. Instead, I started to follow fellow mama accounts – particularly gentle or natural parenting ones that inspired me or gave me ideas for my own family, home, lifestyle.

 

 

 

I personally think social media can be brilliant! Sure it has its weak points, but if you only follow accounts that bring you joy and inspiration – it can open so many new doors. I try to limit my own screen time and unplug regularly. I have a set timer on my phone which only allows 40mins of online “time”. I also place my phone away in the kitchen when Eden is with me so I can ensure I am not on my phone in her presence. I tend to reply to emails or non-urgent messages once she is in bed.

Social media has actually benefitted me! I have learnt so much from fellow mamas, local support networks and local group/pages that run children’s activities or events nearby. I have also made a large network of online followers who share the same ideas and passion about health, pregnancy, motherhood, local business, sustainability, nature, forest schooling and parenting. I also feel less “alone” with some of my parenting challenges (toddler emotions, pregnancy-related health issues, general mama-guilt and ulcerative colitis).

pregnant mother
Norfolk newborn photographer

It is said that “social media and technology can make your world smaller” (and to an extent I agree – it can take you away from the here and now if the “real world” if used inappropriately), BUT I would also argue that for some (particularly new parents) it can quite literally be a lifeline. There are so many wonderful accounts parents can turn to for advice and support, a friendly face, a cup of tea or extra help. I have listed some which my friends and I have found especially helpful;

Local charities supporting families/mothers;

Get Me Out Of These Four Walls (@gmotfw)
• Breastfeeding Norfolk (@breastfeedingnorfolk)
• Breastfeeding Mum Meets (@breastfeeding_mum_meets)
• Friend In Deed (@friendindeedinsta)
• Maddison’s Movement (@maddisonsmovement)

Days out/groups/family

• Routes For Little Boots (@routesforlittleboots)
Norwich Mumbler(@norwich_mumbler)
• Norfolk Playparks (@norfolkplayparks)
• Mama Plays (@thismamaplays)
• Mummandmore (@mamandmore)
• In The Day Feed (@thedayfeed)
• Mini Me Yoga Norfolk (@minime.yoganorfolk)
• Spinning Tots (@spinningtots)
• Roots and Wings Forest School (@rootsanswingsforestschool)

Pregnancy Health

Baby Fit Norwich (@babyfitnorwich)
• Pelvic Flaw Fairy (pelvic_flaw_fairy)
• Wellfit Mama Physio (wellfitmama_physio)
• Mama Me Time (@mamametime)
• Rowan House (@rowanhouse)
• Cherished Placentas (@cherished_placentas)
• Motherly Love UK (motherlylove.uk)

Local Birth/Pregnancy/Babies

Jess Wilkins Photography (@jess_wilkins_photography)
• Positive Birth Movement Norwich (@positivebirthmovementnorwich)
• Bloom Hypnobirthing (@bloom_hypnobirthing)
• Love Hypnobirthing (@lovehypnobirthing)
• MLBUH (NNUH) official (@mlbunnuh)
• Your Happiest Day (@yourhappiestday_hypnobirthing)
• About Birth And Babies (@aboutbirthandbabies)
• No Milk Like Mamas (@nomilklikemamas)
• Lactation Motivation (@lactation_motivation)
• Hey Wolf Mama (@heywolfmama)
• The Family Sleep Coach (@thefamilysleepcoach)
• Blossom and Breathe (blossom_breathe)

• Mini First Aid (@mfanorfolk)
• Yoga With Lucya (@yogawithlucya)
Mama Well-Being / Movement / Fitness
• BabyFit Norwich (@babyfitnorwich)
• Grow Her Wild (@growherwild)
• ZenMuma (@zenmuma)
• Synergy Health & Fitness (@synergyhealthandfitnesspt)
• Mamas_Mind_Menu (@mamas_mind_menu)
• Sam James Mama Coach (@samjames.themumcoach)

I have possibly missed a few as I follow so many amazing local businesses, inspiring mama’s and pregnancy/parenting accounts. There is a wealth of knowledge, support and expertise out there and so much of it is in our doorstep. I never even knew so many local mama businesses existed.
So whilst the debate on social media as a good or bad entity exists, I would say it is as positive and as helpful as you make it. Streamline the accounts you follow, detox yourself from unnecessary content that doesn’t fit your life or makes you feel pressured, focus on pages that mean something to you or inspire you, look in to local groups, research local events, support local mama business and reach out for support (if you need it).
To read Cristi other blogs click here.


hospital bag

Guest Blog - Packing my hospital bag - then and now

Guest blog Packing my hospital bag then and now. 

 

Why am I considering packing my hospital bag at only 32 weeks I hear you ask? Well… in all honesty, during my first pregnancy I left everything until the last minute, a few weeks before I was scheduled to be induced and my hospital bag choices were poor to say the least.
In my last blog I mentioned how naive I felt during my first pregnancy. I never truly informed myself of what giving birth entailed and how best to prepare for a positive and calm birth. Instead, I followed everything the consultants told me.. I never questioned anything or researched what terms such as “induction” or “birthing plan” meant. My hospital bag was no different. I downloaded a small list (probably from Pinterest) of the ‘general’ things mamas-to-be should pack and left my little mini suitcase in the baby nursery until the date arrived for me to be induced.
I was so excited about meeting my baby (Eden) that I naively assumed being induced meant I could simply meet her quicker. My hospital bag contained a few baby grows/sleep suits and vests, nappies, muslins, blanket and a going home outfit for the baby (I was so excited about it I forgot to pack my own “going home clothes”). I also remembered a towel, a night dress, tooth brush/hair brush, some knickers and I had read that I would need thick sanitary pads (I took a handful). I was most excited about the snacks I had chosen to munch during labour (a big bag of dried pineapple and some jelly babies!). I didn’t have a birth plan because my belief was it was better to go with the flow and not have any plans set in stone.
It is safe to say I was a little overwhelmed after giving birth and I definitely remember having to call my mum and ask her to bring me some disposable mesh panties and more pads! (I walked out of hospital the same day as giving birth wearing my pyjama bottoms and partners coat (it was snowing).
Fast forward two years to this (my second) pregnancy and I am incredibly keen to learn from my first birth experience.. including my hospital bag!

hospital bag

So what have I packed so far and what do I intend to take with me? (A lot more than jelly babies and a hair brush this time!)….

For the baby… I am keeping it simple! A friend has kindly gifted me some of her baby boy sleep suits and my mum has bought some cute new baby vests. Of course the usual blanket, muslin cloth, going home outfit (it will be November so we plan to wrap him warmly) and a newborn hat I bought recently that was knitted by someone’s nanny, all the proceeds went to a local breastfeeding charity and as I plan to breastfeed again the hat was a given. I am trying to be more eco-friendly in my choices this time. We plan to use cloth nappies (re-useable nappies) and I have spent a long time researching the different types and styles. I am still learning but I have managed to source around 40 (recommended for a stash) from local pre-loved groups and for-sale sites. Baby wipes (I also have some reusable cloth wipes), some disposable nappies to start us off and Edens old baby car seat for the journey home… (I think I have remembered everything?).

As for me.. although I always travel light, I am certainly more prepared than I was with my first birth experience. Although I wouldn’t change anything about my first labour, Im aiming for a calmer, more positive and less clinical birth than before. For this to happen I have ensured I have packed the following:

  • – BIRTH PLAN! This time I have fully researched all my options and know what I want/need to have the birth I wish for. Expressing my wishes on paper helps the midwives and consultants, although I am flexible to adapt should there be a necessity to do so.
  • – affirmation cards to place all around the room whilst I’m in labour to help my mind guide my body.
  • – battery operated tea lights to add to the relaxing environment
  • – affirmation MP3 and relaxing music
  • – iphone with surge (contraction timer) app
  • – positive birthing book (hypnobirthing) giving me the tools I need to have a positive birth
  • – I’m still researching essential oils but I have heard Clary Sage can have a calming effect.
  • – Positive notes I have made, little mantras to read and guide my breathing
  • – wireless headphones (I may need to borrow some) as I wish to be as mobile and free to roam around as possible… I don’t want to be “connected” to anything
  • – birthing ball (i will likely use one supplied) I want to remain active and upright
  • – A large refillable canteen (drinks bottle) as fluids are essential to ensure all the oxygen and blood flows around your body to your uterus. (I also got dehydrated last time!)
  • – SNACKS! This time I’m opting for lots of dried fruit, salty oat cakes, home made granola and energy balls (usually made up of dates/seeds/nuts/cocoa). Pineapple and raspberry leaf tea… quite possibly a big bag of sweets.
  • – As for my body… a big pack of disposable knickers and pads (I learnt the hard way last time), coconut oil for my lips (they were blistered and cracked in my first labour), a familiar t-shirt or top to give birth in and a bikini top if I am lucky enough to get a room with a birthing pool. Going home trousers/top, hair brush, tooth brush and paste. I have heard witch hazel can help with postpartum healing and indeed many people recommend something like “spritz-for-bits”.. but I need to research those options further. Oh and a picture of Eden.. as this will be the first time I have ever spent more than 8hours away from her since she was born.

I have roughly 8 weeks until my “due date”, so I am sure I will discover more essentials to pack. However – it is clear my choices this time are more informed and geared towards making the environment relaxing, calm and positive. I am excited and I finally feel prepared.


FESTIVE MINI SHOOTS

Festive Mini shoots - Christmas Mini shoots are back for 2019

Festive Mini shoots – Christmas Mini shoots are back for 2019

I am ready to book you in for my festive Mini shoots , I cant wait my Christmas Mini shoots are back for 2019 , last year they sold in record time! Taking place at my home studio in Norfolk.

 

 

This year is the theme is snowy sparkle – white and silver stars !

You don’t want to miss out on these – spots will go fast and are available on a first come first serve basis.

These sessions are designed to provide you with super adorable images,  to design Christmas cards and gifts. The Christmas set up can fit a max of 3 children only or 3 and a baby. Family images will be taken on my light grey plain backdrop.

FESTIVE MINI SHOOTS

I’ll be keeping it super simple.

simplicity = super cute images of your child/children!

I have sweet reindeer ears – feel free to bring your own bits.

I recommend Christmas jumpers or Christmas PJ’s as outfit choices for your children!

This year I am donating £5 from every booking to East Anglian Air Ambulance !

The time slot is very strict and we will only have time for one Christmas outfit and one non-Christmas outfit change.

Mini sessions are perfect for single children or 3 siblings. Please note these mini are only suitable for babies at the sitting up stage from 6 months old unless coming with a sibling who can hold them upright to give you some variety.

(Mini’s not suitable for babies under 6 months especially newborns due to the strict time slots )

Cost?

2019 Christmas  Mini Session Package:

20 minutes in the studio

5 digital images via download to print as you wish, max of 10 to select from

kids & siblings only (no cousins or friends)

£75

(extra images can be purchased after at £5 each)

When?

(avalaivlity update 9/10)

Extra date added Sunday 27th October – 4 slots left

Friday 8th November – 3 left

Saturday 9th November – 2 left

Friday 29th November – 3 left

Sunday 1st  December – SOLD OUT

To book in follow the

 

 select the date, choose the time and then pay for the package in full £75.

you will then receive confirmation and my information sheet!

 *If you have a shy child  or want longer time in the studio with no time restraints ,  more outfit changes ,  different set ups and props , and more images in your gallery then you can book a full length package off my main pricelist these start at £200. 

Christmas Mini Sessions 2019 T&c

The number of images is dependent on the little/s one on the day but you can expect 5-10 images in your online gallery as a rough guide. Images will lightly edited but nothing excessive. As these are mini sessions extra editing can be requested but will be charged for. This includes removal of nail varnish, tattoos etc. as this is more time intensive than a simple scratch on a cheek or spot.

Due to the time limited nature of the session where a child may become shy or unwilling no guarantees are offered to provide a specified number.

You can purchase any extra images for £5 each. Images include print permission to print as you wish.

Your gallery will be ready to view approx 1 week later

The images will be sent via a download link / dropbox

If your baby becomes unwell or upset, we may reschedule at the photographer’s discretion.

My studio is small and with 3 setups, its gonna be a squeeze so only parents can attend, a max of 2 adults per time slot.

 

I can’t wait!  Book in here by clicking this link https://jesswilkinsphotography.as.me/schedule.php?appointmentType=category%3AChristmas+Mini+Specials

FESTIVE MII SHOOTS NORWICH
FESTIVE MINI SHOOTS BOY DRESSED UP FOR CHRISTMAS

baby sleepiNG

Norwich Mumbler Birth Story

Norwich Mumbler Birth Story

 

Norwich Mumbler is back with her final guest blog and birth story . …

 

Bathroom Floor Baby…

Baby number 2 was an accidental bathroom floor baby and it was actually such a lovely experience (I would absolutely recommend considering a homebirth, if you can!), that when I found out I was pregnant with number 3 I immediately knew I wanted to do it again…but planned this time!

The plan was to stay at home and give birth in the bathroom again (wipe clean).  My dad even bought some Galaxy ripples so I could have one afterwards, just like I’d had the time before.

The meeting with the midwife at 36-weeks went well and she went through the checklist of things I should get ready.  I figured I had plenty of time and still didn’t have anything ready when the day came. Typical that I went into labour early!

The Best Laid Plans…

But as with all the greatest plans, you have to be ready for them to change.  Two weeks and a day before my due date, I woke in the early hours of the 14th June with some ouchy twinges, but went back to sleep.  Then when I went to the toilet at 5am I realised I was wet.  I’ve never had pelvic floor problems during or after pregnancy, so I felt a bit annoyed that it had randomly started now…or had it? I didn’t feel like I’d wet myself as I still needed a wee.  It was then it came to me that it could possibly be something else…ah crap, I was going to have to push out a baby today!

I told my sleepy husband I suspected I may be in labour and went back to bed to see if I had any twinges that indicated I was right.  I then started to bleed, which told me something was definitely starting, so I rang Medicom at around 6am.  They said a midwife wouldn’t be able to get to me until 8am (something they hadn’t mentioned at my homebirth appointment), but as I was bleeding they would prefer me to go to N&N to be monitored.

 

Cue very mild panic that I a) hadn’t sorted any form of childcare plan for child 1 and child 2 b) hadn’t packed any kind of hospital/labour bag c) could potentially give birth in the car if things move as fast as they did with baby number 2.

My eldest’s ex-childminder thankfully said she’d come round straight away to look after the girls.  My husband sorted out breakfast for them as they were now awake, and I threw some basics in a bag.

 

The Main Event…

 

I needn’t have worried about giving birth in the car as everything slowed down en route to the hospital (a good job because there were roadworks stopping us going the way we would normally and we had to queue for a bit!) and were still going slow when we got there.  I was hooked up onto the monitors in Delivery Suite by a lovely midwife, Wendy, and student, Shauna.

We chatted about Dougs.  Wendy’s husband is called Doug and loves talking to everyone, my dad is called Doug and loves talking to everyone…all of this in between contractions that were quite mild, but a bit ouchy, and not lasting very long.  I told Wendy of my birth experience with baby number 2 and she agreed that when things started properly she thought it would go fast.

 

After around 15 minutes of monitoring everyone was happy that baby was fine and I was fine, so I was unhooked and could stand up again.  And that is when it happened.

You know that picture of different foods that represent a dilating cervix, cheerio size to bagel?  I literally felt like I went from cheerio to bagel in an instant.  Bam.  I’d gone from chatting Dougs to suddenly only being able to say ‘mat’ (as in I wanted a mat to get down on the floor) and ‘Gas and air’.

20 minutes and I think two pushes later out popped baby number 3…’It’s a boy!’

Norwich Mumbler Birth Story
Norwich Mumbler Birth Story

Fast forward…

I didn’t mind having to go into hospital in the end as I’m so pleased I got to have support from Midwife Wendy, who just kept telling me to trust my body, which I did.  The tea and toast afterwards on Delivery suite always tastes amazing and I was so well looked after!

Now it’s 8-weeks later and I’ve so far learned that having three children is HARD, but seeing how much the girls absolutely dote on him and start to get smiles from him in return makes all the sleepless nights, crying (me!!) and constant plate spinning worth it.

 

Katrin aka Norwich Mumbler 

Below are images from Remy’s newborn shoot, Katrin wasnt keen on having her photo but i think you will all agree she looks great! to book a shoot click here to get in touch.

 

baby and mum
baby yawning
baby sleepiNG

family of 5

Why I booked Jess three times to be my newborn photographer for my family

Why I booked Jess three times to be my newborn photographer for my family – guest blog

Kirsteen kindly answered some questions for me  for this blog, as to why she booked for the third time this year, to be her newborn photographer for her family. They are the first family I have captured 3 babies for and it was lovely to do so!

What was important to you when choosing your photographer?

The style of the images was first in my mind. Jess had just started when I found her. I’d met a lady at a birthing class and befriended her on Facebook – she posted a photo Jess had taken. It was stunning and I wanted the same for my baby! I hadn’t thought about getting professional photos done until I saw that image. But it is Jess’ calm nature with the children and clear passion for what she does that is the reason we go back time and time again. Since meeting Jess I’ve also realised how important it is that a photographer is trained in how to handle and pose tiny babies.

newborn photographer for family

What stands out for you about your experience with me?

Your calmness. Getting 2/3 children dressed up, stopping them from getting filthy, in the car and all in a happy good mood is hard work! We’ve had a couple of trips where our eldest didn’t want to play ball but something about the way you interact with the children brings calm and means you always get great shots. Of course that is so important with a sleeping newborn too!

Was there anything that surprised you?

There was one Christmas shoot which for me was a disaster. The kids were unruly and rude and I was so embarrassed. Jess was amazing. She wasn’t fazed at all and even offered for us to come back even though it wasn’t her fault at all and we’d used up our allotted time. But actually somehow, I’d say by a miracle but actually that’s an injustice as it’s due to her skill, she managed to get done amazing photos. I was pretty speechless when I saw them

family of 5

What was your favourite pose & why?

On a newborn shoot the naked curled up photos are my favs. They are adorable, simple and natural. Very often on the family shoots though my favourite are natural ones Jess has caught when we are laughing or looking at each other.

how do you feel when you look at the photos ?

Oh I just adore them. I treasure photos. They are my memories and I pore over them to see how the children have grown and changed from year to year. I feel proud of my family and very lucky to have such beautiful images of them.

What’s your favourite memory from each session?

I loved at the last shoot the little welcome bored with our names on. It was one of the first times I’d seen the three boys names together and also just helped the elder too feel included as it was mostly about the baby really.

The Christmas shoots have become a bit of a family tradition. I love sourcing their outfits but I have to do it quite early as the shoots are in November! It’s the first but if Christmas shopping I do and the photos are fab to get us into the Christmas spirit. Jess also have an enviable collection of cute wooden toys and baby outfits. What’s not to love about looking at all of those?

newborn photographer for family

why did you choose me again with so much choice?

Two things: the quality of your photos which are always faultless and the way you interact with the children.  I love your style of photography. It’s simple and beautiful. But equally as important is the positive experience we have every time.
I hope this blog gives you a little insight as to why families trust me time and time again. To have an informal chat about any type of photoshoot I offer please use my contact form! Jess x

newborn photographer for family

baby smiling Norwich

Am I too late to book my baby in for a newborn shoot ?

Am I too late to book my baby in for a newborn shoot ?

This blog is from Mum Hannah,  who thought she may have been too late to book her baby in for a newborn shoot and her review of her newborn mini shoot.

As soon as Isabella was born I knew I wanted to have some newborn photos taken of her. I had seen Jess’ Facebook page pop up and liked her natural style and the fact she specialised and had trained in baby photography so decided to book in with her.

But as I’m sure lots of new mums can relate, weeks went by in a newborn haze and I had forgotten to book in. I also felt very anxious about taking my daughter out when she was so little.

I was (I now realise irrationally!) worried about what I would do if I couldn’t stop her crying/ if she needed to be fed/ if she needed to be changed.

So I ended up waiting until Isabella was 11 weeks old before I messaged Jess. Thankfully she had a convenient free slot a week later and we popped along to her studio for a newborn mini shoot.

Am I too late to book my baby in for a newborn shoot

I needn’t have worried! As soon as we arrived Isabella needed feeding so we snuggled up on Jess’ comfy sofa in her beautiful studio and fed, whilst Jess got me a drink and discussed what sort of photos we wanted taken.

The whole session felt incredibly relaxed and I felt completely comfortable with Jess handling my daughter. In fact Isabella loved her and we have several beautiful photos that Jess managed to take of her smiling!

Before the shoot I was definitely worried that we had missed the boat for newborn photography,

but having her photos taken when she was a little older enabled us to capture her growing personality, facial expressions and us as a family in a more relaxed state.

Jess even got some photos of me breastfeeding which I will really treasure.

too late to book my baby in for a newborn shoot

For anyone who feels like they’ve missed the opportunity to capture their babies when they are tiny I would definitely recommend booking in with Jess.

I’m now really glad we waited and am so grateful to Jess for making the session so laid back, and for the amazing set of photos she captured. (I had to have them all!!)

Thanks so much Jess for the care and attention you put into your work. We will be back!

 

If you are wantig to discus a booking your baby it really isnt too late i’d love to hear from you!Contact Me

 

Jess


How to choose your newborn photographer?

How to choose your newborn photographer?

There are many newborn photographers in Norwich, and when choosing how on earth do you pick a photographer when every one of us has different pricing packages, different offers, locations, styles and more?

Well if you are looking for a natural baby photoshoot ensuring the capture of candid family moments in a safe and serene environment then I hope you would consider me as your family photographer.

Photographer Norwich

While price remains an important decision maker, I would also stress that the main factor you should be looking for is specialism and safety. Someone who has been working with newborns (ideally for years, but everyone has to start somewhere! In this instance look for training) and who offers transparency and publicly shows their training and insurance (You can read more here about my experience). Your newborn is the most precious thing in your world and you need to ensure that you have a photographer who respects that and someone who knows how to soothe and comfort in a shoot.

Safety must come first and is paramount to a newborn shoot. A great price may sound like a reason to book, but are they experienced enough for that price? I ensure I have ongoing specialised training and experience (plus I’m a mum to two myself) and they don’t call me a baby whisperer for nothing!

I’ve talked about posing on this blog but I’ll recap here that sometimes images may require composite images. Now whilst my style is much more natural and relaxed, a composite image is one that requires two images to be photoshopped together to make one. This way your baby has hands on safely at all times. This requires knowledge of safety, temperature, circulation and how to adjust properly – does the photographer you are considering have that?

Quality. I believe quality cannot be gained overnight, it has to be earned with hard work and experience. Now, the quality varies in Norwich – from new starters to old timers like myself! When I look back, I can see how far I have come in the last 7 years. So, if you want quality look for lighting, style, baby comfort, parents’ comfort and so on, check out the photographers gallery and if you think those poses would make you comfortable then that’s really positive.

Props, I’m not a prop user and that’s just because my unique approach is that babies should be captured just as they are in all their wonderfulness. Personally, for me I don’t need tutus and pearls, just a pair of wrinkled new feet, a gummy smile and a curled up ball of perfect!

photographer Norwich baby sleeping

I always encourage anyone looking to book a natural baby shoot to get in touch first and ask all the questions you need to ensure I’m the right person for you!

To book your newborn photography shoot, please email me via my contact form.


pregnant with a toddler

Guest Blogger -  Being pregnant with a toddler 

Guest Blogger –  Being pregnant with a toddler

 

Being pregnant with a toddler – So, I am standing on the front driveway, wearing men’s over sized jogging bottoms, a large hoody and flip-flops shouting to my partner who is cleaning the car: “Oh, wow.. I’m actually 24 weeks pregnant! Not 21 weeks as I have been telling everyone!”…

The realisation came as somewhat of a surprise to me. I had been writing down the antenatal appointments on our calendar (if I don’t write them down I miss them – thank you baby brain) and on the left hand column I had neatly written out all the weeks of my pregnancy to track each trimester.

Having temporarily skipped by almost 3 weeks of my pregnancy made me feel a little sad. With my first pregnancy I had downloaded every baby/pregnancy APP available.. I read about each trimester with interest and we were excitedly planning the nursery, shopping for clothes/buggy/cot/bedding/baby toys/teddies and a Moses basket.

It is different as being pregnant with a toddler, pregancy with baby no.2 has been a very different experience. The obvious difference is that we don’t really “need” anything. We kept Edens Moses basket, buggy, cot, teddies and toys. I’ve not downloaded the weekly tracking Apps and indeed I have quite forgotten how many weeks pregnant I am. But I don’t believe this is necessary a negative thing. As a newly pregnant mama I was very naive, completely overwhelmed and overjoyed and very inexperienced. My body had never been through pregnancy before… we were learning together – week by week. With baby no.2 I feel a powerful trust in my body, it knows what it is doing and I’m used to the subtle cues (the cute little kicks reminding me I’m doing a good job, my breasts feeling fuller as my body prepares to nourish my baby and lets not forget the restless legs at night).

Being pregnant with a toddler is also a whole new world! During my first pregnancy I could take a long bath when I wanted, lay down and watch a boxset if I fancied, book a massage or even sleep in the day if needed to. There are no such luxuries with a 2 year old who depends on you for everything. The days are long and my feet and legs are beginning to feel the increased weight gain, yet my little human wants to go outside, to the park or on an adventure, to get paints out, play hide and seek or go for a bike ride. I don’t want the pregnancy to change our daily life, although some adaptations have been made to help ease ‘life’s little stresses’ (thank you grocery home delivery!)

pregnant with a toddler

But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Although the days are certainly more tiring, the look on Edens face when she feels her baby brother kicking is priceless. And I love nothing more than cuddling her to sleep and feeling the baby kick as we all lay together. It’s a magical feeling and I can’t wait for her to meet him.

Although this pregnancy is different to my first, I am definitely MAKING THE MOST OF IT! I feel like I wished my first pregnancy away, desperate to meet her and feeling fed up with the aches and pains (boy do I wish I made the most of those long days alone on the sofa!) Yet this pregnancy is already speeding by and I find myself clinging on to each day, each memory as it will most likely be my last pregnancy and I will never get to experience these moments again. Having a lively toddler AND being 6 months pregnant is one wild ride! I’m embracing each day and enjoying it as I know it will all be over too soon.

If you wish to read more blogs you can find them here , or wish to discuss a shoot you can look at my galleries or chat to me. 


baby sleeping baby studio norwich

The dangers of an untrained newborn photographer - the importance of looking for a trained newborn photographer

The dangers of an untrained newborn photographer -the importance of looking for a trained newborn photographer.

 

Becoming a photographer is a journey and mine started in Norwich 7 years ago, from the start I knew I wanted to be a highly trained newborn photographer. Through my own pregnancies I discovered newborn photography was one of my callings .  I decided early on that I would be investing money to ensure that not only did I become highly skilled in my field, but also that I became the safest.

Newborn photography calls for new parents to put their trust in you and many aren’t even aware that this field is sadly not regulated; meaning photographers are posing babies with little, or even no training. I am proud to be a PRO LEVEL Member of the British Association of Newborn and Baby Photographers

I have invested £1,000s into my training, working with a mentor, and ensuring I did hands on training. Not only to ensure that my posing was safe and gentle, but also to ensure I could soothe and settle a baby coming into a new environment. Whilst of course I had my own two babies at the start of my career. It was important I was able to have the skills to recognise cues of an unsettled newborn from any family and not just my own.

trained newborn photographer

Doesn’t it look easy!?

Newborns all curled up, fast asleep, relaxed and calm, it looks like it’s a doddle, but it’s not! The gentle moulding of a baby into a pose takes patience and care (even the most relaxed styles) There are lots of ‘standard’ poses and many are what the industry call ‘composites’

I don’t offer the complex composites, that’s just not my style. My style is simple and relaxed, so everyone gets the most natural of shoots but if you do like the style then its important you find out about the photographers training to ensure the safest of shoots for your little one.

What is a composite pose?

A composite pose is one that requires a lot of manoeuvring and more than one image merged to create one single image. For example, the ‘froggy’ pose (you can Google this) not only does it take an experienced photographer, but also involves the parents. The photographer will ask a parent to hold the baby’s head first, then the baby arms and after in edit, will merge the two images together.

There is a fear from myself and many others that new photographers will attempt this without the necessary training, so always make sure you ask the questions I have provided below when you are choosing a photographer.

What poses do I offer?

Most require training and hands on experience because the strength these little babies come out with is amazing. My main rule of thumb is I never leave a baby when on the bean bag, they can push themselves forward, some almost roll. (See my examples below)

Head on hands – most babies can gently go into this pose, with experience and being aware of their cues it ensure they are happy and relaxed.  If a baby has a good set of cheeks, they can need a parents finger lightly supporting their head (this then gets edited out). The one-to-one training provided me guidance on exactly how this is executed safely.

Tummy / bum up pose – another pose that looks quite simple and with gentle manoeuvring it is, however, going in with no training you could easily lay baby on their arm and cause distress which is the last thing any new parent needs when they are meant to be enjoying their time with you.

trained newborn photographer


Who is policing newborn photography?

While not regulated, organisations like the Baby and Newborn Photography Association BANPAS  are helping to spread the word to parents and I would always encourage you to do and ask the following:

  • Research the photographer, would you be comfortable with your baby in their signature poses?
  • Do you believe your baby would be comfy?
  • Would you be happy to work with them?
  • Have they any evidence of insurance and training?
  • Can you see what their studio looks like?
  • Get in touch and discuss any concerns

I am all for new people embarking on this as career, it’s an amazing and fulfilling job, however, the industry must be respected by newcomers and it’s important for them to build up skills for posing babies and making parents aware of their training.

See my work

You can see all of my background infomation here . I am a trained newborn photographer and welcome anyone thinking of booking with me to check out my gallery and to contact me.

Jess x


Newborn Photographer Norfolk

Ulcerative Colitis in Pregnancy Norwich

Ulcerative Colitis in Pregnancy Norwich

Welcome to my new guest blogger Cristi, she will be chatting all things pregnancy related and letting us know what is like to have Ulcerative Colitis in Pregnancy.

‘We have a problem’… those were the exact words the nurse whispered to me whilst I was laying in a hospital bed waiting for possible stomach surgery.
‘Your test came back positive, congratulations you’re pregnant’. Almost 3 years ago I was admitted to hospital for a flare-up of Ulcerative Colitis (a condition I suffer with). I was waiting to see if I needed stomach surgery when they asked the question “is there any chance you could be pregnant?” I struggled to remember when my last period was, so tests were done and to our (happy) surprise we were diagnosed with Colitis and pregnancy all in one day!

Fast forward 3 years and I’m still breastfeeding my now 2-year-old daughter, Eden. Whilst we were not “actively” taking precautions to prevent pregnancy – we were certainly not trying as my periods never returned following my first pregnancy and 2.5 years of breastfeeding, we just assumed “hey, no period, no ovulation, no problem… right?”

In March I started to become quite unwell again, another flare-up of Ulcerative Colitis had my consultants talking about chemotherapy treatment and further hospitalisation. I was sad, reluctant and anxious about starting the treatment and I was beginning to feel really sick… almost like morning sickness… but it couldn’t be. Could it?

One evening I almost threw up looking at my dinner, the next morning I had to tip my coffee down the sink because I was revolted by the smell. I jokingly said to my partner, I feel like I have “morning sickness”, we laughed about how impossible that might be and I carried on my day feeling nauseous and dizzy.

A few days later my Ulcerative Colitis had become so uncontrollable that I had to work from home. I decided that the morning sickness feeling was getting worse, so to ease my mind I would take a test. Within seconds of peeing artfully on that tiny strip, it came back POSITIVE. I was so happy, excited, surprised, shocked and slightly worried about how my illness would impact the pregnancy.

I was approximately 8 weeks pregnant when we found out our happy news. The first trimester was a real whirlwind blur, I definitely felt more unwell with baby no.2 than I did with Eden. I didn’t fancy any food, even the thought of eating or the smell of cooking made me nauseous. I actually lost weight and felt really worried – but the midwives reassured me that whatever I could manage was better than nothing. Crackers, toast, and Weetabix became my staples, my poor nipples were so sore and tender, I was dizzy and tired (all the time)… then suddenly 14 weeks of pregnancy appeared from nowhere and all of the symptoms stopped, I felt like a human again.

Sadly during week 15, my milk dried up and my toddler self weaned with ease and happiness. I had been hoping she would gently wean when she was ready, the timing just felt right. She now strokes my rounding tummy and says she will feed the baby when it “pops out”.

At our 12 week scan, the sonographer told us we had a wiggly little baby who simply didn’t want to keep still. Our estimated due date is the 2nd of November and as I am a high-risk pregnancy I will be monitored closely and need a consultant led birth. I am pleased I am being cared for but slightly disappointed that I might not be able to have a midwife-led birth as I had hoped to have a water birth in the maternity unit at NNUH. I am keeping a very positive mindset and have started to read Ina Mays book on childbirth and am researching hypnobirthing for a calm, positive, joyful birth experience… I shall keep you all updated on my journey so far. PS. I am 20 weeks now and we just had our gender scan… ITS A BOY!

Ulcerative Colitis in Pregnancy Norwich

Thanks, Cristi for your blog and congratulations on your pregnancy. For more information about my shoots or book a pregnancy shoot please contact me on info@jesswilkinsphotography.co.uk  or you can see more on all my packages HERE. I can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Jess X

antenatal
Bump photographer Norwich