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.


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. 


mumbler blog

Guest blog 20 week scan Norwich Mumbler

20 Week Scan Norwich Mumbler 

What is the question you’ve been asked most when pregnant?

I honestly thought, having two girls, that the question I would get asked most would be, ‘So, you’re trying for a boy then?’ but instead, when we’ve told people we’re having a third, most people have gone with something along the lines of, ‘Are you mental?’ – ha!

If I’m completely honest, one of the reasons I REALLY wanted a third was because my mum’s friend is one of 3 girls and I loved the idea of my two being part of a trio of sisters when they grow up.  Obviously, I can’t guarantee that they’ll all get on and want to be friends, but that’s what I’m going to aim for…we just have to get through the teenage years!

The second question we’ve been asked most is, ‘Are you going to find out what you’re having?’.  We waited the full 40+8 weeks and 39+5 weeks to find out what the girls were and there was nothing quite like having my husband tell me they were girls when they ‘popped’ out - in fact, these are some of my favourite memories from their birthdays. 

But this time around, I thought maybe we should find out and have a different experience by knowing what flavour the little bun in the oven is.  Friends that I’ve spoken to have said the moment of birth wasn’t any less special because they already knew what they were having, it was still a surprise when they found out at the 20-week scan…and I was SO TEMPTED when the scan came.  We still weren’t sure whether we would find out as the sonographer was checking the little bun over, but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to say those words, ‘Tell us!’.

And then it was done, scan complete, gender still a mystery.  I have no idea what I’m looking for those scans…was that a gender part? Why does my unborn baby resemble a turkey? Is that a foot or an arm?

20 week scan Norwich

All will be revealed at the end of June and one thing is for sure, whether it’s a boy or a girl, it’ll be part of our very own trio.

Kartin aka Norwich Mumbler

 

 

If you considering some maternity photos please email me today or use my contact form  ^^ contact me tab above to chat and book in - Jess. 


Maternity Photographer Norfolk

5 Ways To Keep Cool When Pregnant

The summer months are here (hurrah!) but not so much fun if you are pregnant, so here are 5 Ways To Keep Cool When Pregnant.

You begin to frequent supermarket freezer aisles a bit too much, you have the Dyson fan sitting in your Amazon basket and an unhealthy obsession with ice pops.

Have no fear we are here to help!

Bump photographer Norwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are our top 5 ways to keep cool when pregnant whether you are at home or out and about.

Take A Swim

This is probably one of the easiest ways to keep cool when pregnant, whether it be in the sea, the local pool or my favourite chucking your toddler out of the paddling pool and occupying it despite is protests of ‘MUUUMMMMMM get out’, being in the water is great for keeping cool when pregnant and also good to reduce any swelling you may have too.

Stay Indoors

Remember when you saw the first glimpse of sun grabbed the tanning oil (okay the cooking oil from the cupboard) and your bikini and whiled away the afternoon worshipping the sun? Yes, summer is a very different story when your pregnant I am afraid. If you can try to avoid the midday Sun by keeping inside with your feet up and curtains closed to cool the room down. Well, it’s the perfect excuse to catch up on The Handmaid’s Tale at least and it will keep you cool when pregnant.

Water Spray

Never before will you look at a tiny plastic squirty bottle with as much love as when you're pregnant and hot. Keeping a little spray bottle of water in your bag, or when at home in the fridge is a quick way to cool down when you are pregnant. You can also buy sprays that claim to cool you down as well. Try running your wrists under the cold tap, and wetting a flannel and placing it on the back of the neck too for a quick way to keep cool when pregnant.

Fan

What’s that noise? Oh, it’s just the gentle whirring of a fan in every single room of the house! Soon you will find that you will only suggest to meet in places with amazing air conditioning and buy lots of extension leads so you can buy more fans! Don’t forget to get a mini fan or two to carry with you to keep cool when your pregnant, and one for the hospital bag is an essential if your due to give birth in the hot summer months.

No Cold Showers

As much as your tempted to jump and have a cold shower, try to avoid it, being pregnant you're running slightly hotter so to cool down you must do it gradually. Try a lukewarm shower or bath and put on some loose-fitting clothes. If all else fails, kick the toddler out the paddling pool again!

Are you currently heavily pregnant, or have been pregnant during summer?

We would love to hear how you kept cool when pregnant!

 

Find more useful blogs here.

 

Vicki aka NICU Mum.

 

Family photographer Norwich


lady in black dress

How to Dress Your Bump Maternity portraits

How to Dress Your Bump for your Maternity portraits 

 

Deciding what to wear for your maternity portraits, when none of your clothes fit you anymore can be a real challenge. Luckily, getting your maternity photoshoot outfit right is easier than you think, all you need is a few carefully selected accessories and a bit of know-how.

 

A belt

 A belt can be used to adjust your outfit, make it more flattering and emphasise your bump. Place the belt just above your bump and below your bosom to draw in any loose clothing, add a splash of colour to your outfit and make your bump really stand out.

 

Maxi dress

 When it comes to dressing for a maternity photo shoot, the maxi dress is very much your friend. Available from most maternity clothes shops and high street fashion brands, maxi dresses help to draw attention to your bump while making your silhouette look slim and smooth. What’s more, maxi dresses are very comfortable, so you’ll feel happier and more at ease throughout the shoot.

image of pregnancy bump

 

 

 

 

 

 

Block colours

 

To ensure the photos don’t look too busy, try to stick to block colours when selecting your outfit. As well as giving the photos a lovely aesthetic, this will help to ensure your bump isn’t obscured by patterns, prints, and textures. To add a unified look to your photo series, select a colour palette, using accessories and outfits that complement and enhance each other throughout the shoot.

 

Accessories

 

Accessories are a fantastic way to add colour and detail to your maternity look. Chunky necklaces work well with maxi dresses as they add visual interest to the top of your outfit and help to balance out your look. You can also add layers like wraps, coats, and scarfs to your outfit to make it more vibrant and eye-catching.

 

Make it classic

 

Though you’re capturing a specific moment in time with a maternity photoshoot, it’s a good idea to choose a classic, timeless look to ensure your images don’t look too dated too quickly. Try to avoid clothes that are faddy or trendy, opting instead for outfits that will stand the test of time. As well as helping your photos to look great, this approach will also ensure that your maternity wear is still on trend next time you’re pregnant.

smiling lady

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sourcing fashionable maternity clothes

 

Though shopping for maternity outfits can be fun, sourcing clothes that are fashionable, as well as practical, isn’t always easy. The best place to start is word of mouth recommendations, so the other pregnant women you know where they buy their clothes. If that fails, you can either hit the high street or, if you want to take the weight off your feet and avoid trawling shop after shop, go online and see what specialist brands have to offer.

My favourite picks are

https://www.isabellaoliver.com/

http://www.debenhams.com

http://www.newlook.com/shop/maternity/view-all-maternity_1920039

 

If you’re thinking about planning a maternity shoot of your own and want to find out more, give us a call today.

 

 

 

Maternity portraits


studio

 Jess Wilkins Photography:  Inside my newborn baby studio

 Jess Wilkins Photography:  Inside my newborn baby studio

 

Over the past five years, I’ve welcomed hundreds of wonderful families from across Norfolk into my purpose-built studio. Located in Norwich, the studio is specially set up to be welcoming, convenient and comfortable for families. I have a lot of experience photographing babies and young children. So know exactly how to ensure your family is happy and comfortable for the duration of your visit.

 

Parking

 

When you’ve got a baby, changing bags and maybe another child in tow. Easy and accessible parking is very important. When you arrive at the studio you’ll find parking right outside my house. This makes it easy for you to carry your bags, belongings and baby inside.

 

Looking after baby

 

Before, during and after the shoot your baby is my number one priority. At the studio, you’ll find everything that new parents need to care for their baby. Including nappies, wipes, a changing mat and plenty of space for bottle and breastfeeds.

 

Refreshments

 

When you arrive at the studio you’ll find a selection of snacks to keep you going, with tea and coffee available for parents. Full-length studio sessions are never rushed so there’s plenty of time for you to relax and enjoy a cuppa.

 

Older siblings

 

Older siblings are always welcome to come along to the shoots, even if they don’t want to join in themselves. There are wooden toys to play with and if you have a tablet you can plug it into the Wi-Fi. If you feel they may get restless in a newborn shoot.  One parent is welcome to go off and explore the local woods/parks. Or pop to White House Farm café which is just a short drive from my home studio.

 studio

 

The shoot

 

During the shoot itself, I’ll work hard to ensure your baby is comfortable and happy at all times. The shoot will last between two and two and a half hours and is always baby-led. I’ll capture your baby both asleep and awake. I use a small heater, white-noise maker and a collection of delicate rompers and wraps to keep your baby warm and snug.

 

studio

 

 

 

Your baby will be photographed on a beanbag surrounded by blankets and soft things. I don’t use props in order to ensure all the focus is on your brand new baby. As all babies are completely unique, each shoot is unique. We’ll work around you and your baby making sure everyone is happy at all times.

 

studio Norwich

If you’d like to find out more about my home studio and photo shoots, or if you’d like to arrange a newborn session of your own, get in touch or take a look around the rest of my website.


pregnant birth Norfolk meeting

What is the Positive Birth Movement? Norfolk - Guest blog

What is the Positive Birth Movement Norfolk - Guest blog

Happy New Year everyone! Thank you, Jess, for inviting me to let you all know about the Positive Birth Movement.

 

pregnant birth Norfolk meeting

In 2012 the founder (amazing writer and campaigner Milli Hill) had a free meet up in her living room to chat about pregnancy and birth. This has now become a global network of over 400 groups!400 groups!

We believe that every woman deserves a positive birth in which:

· Women are where they want to be · Choices are informed by reality not fear · Mothers are empowered and enriched · Memories are warm and proud

We aim to:

· Challenge the culture of negativity and fear that exists around birth · Share positive birth experiences · Share information about choices and rights in childbirth · Encourage women to raise their expectations of childbirth

I’m Chloe, I run the Norwich group at Silver Road Community Centre, which is a lovely space with a relaxed atmosphere, toys and a cafe area. There is also a second monthly meet up in NR12 at the home of Joanna Collins.

Chloe and her boys

I'm also the pbm regional representative for the East of England you can read a bit more about me and team pbm here http://www.positivebirthmovement.org/team-pbm.html

Meetups are free and informal. A safe space to chat about birth and share stories. It’s ideal if you are pregnant or have given birth, like the sound of our aims and want to surround yourself with positivity and support

You can also hire great quality maternity clothes from the 'waddling wardrobe' for just £1-3 per item. There are lots of great quality jeans and work clothes, saving you the expense as you bloom! We also have x2 birth pools which you can hire for free! (Just a security deposit needed).

 

Hope you can make it to our next meet up: Sunday 15th January at 3.30pm. Our topic will be ‘Choice in Birth’. There is free parking too! Really looking forward to meeting some of you soon,

Chloe xx

Contact: chloe-willis@thedaisyfoundation.com or 07905 936 960

More info/ where to find us online:

The Norwich and Norfolk Positive Birth Movement is on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/pbmnorfolk/

I'm also a birth and baby mentor for the Daisy Foundation, running pregnancy and baby classes from the same venue.

 


lady with bump

Maternity photo - simple and about the bump

Maternity photos  - simple and about the bump!

Maternity sessions are a great way to capture your bump and capture this precious journey, with some simple maternity photos to treasure I hold maternity sessions at my studio in Norwich.   

Maternity portraits are lovely to look back on and show your children when they are older.  Generally, bump sessions are done around 32-37 weeks.

I keep them simple, like all my sessions I want the focus to be on the bump and that connection between you and your growing baby.

 

Also if you have other children I love capturing your child/children and also getting Daddy involved.

 

 

Lucy bump Lucy bump-11

 

I will advise you on what to wear and I have two elegant maternity.  I always suggest outfits that are simple and will not date. H&M maternity section and Zara are all good for natural clothing.   This is a relaxed session, and a great way to stop and cherish your bump.  I love capturing bumps, it is an amazing journey! All the mums I meet whether first timer or whether they are already a mum, are so excited and glowing. Being asked to capture this moment in time is an honour.

maternity studio Norfolk Norwich-9

 

 

Lucy bump-26

 

I advise we book it in around 32-37 weeks pregnant,  your bump will be lovely and round, but also to avoid the last few weeks where you may feel tired.  However, I have photographed ladies just days before their due date.

Often ladies contact me unsure whether to book a maternity session but no one ever regrets it "I love my bump photo's and so pleased I had them taken,  these are special moments to capture and that is all anyone else will see " Penny.

I know all too well how hard it can be to get in front of the camera that's why I create a laid back environment for you and your family.

 

naked bump image

Maternity sessions are about you and what you from it, some ladies want to be covered up and some do not. Some have the family involved,  and some mummys-to-be want it as a treat just to themselves.

 

gallery_ maternity photos If you want pure and simple maternity photos email me today or use my contact form  ^^ contact me tab above to chat and book in.

 

Jess xx

 

maternity studio Norwich


mum with bump thern with abby

Maternity sessions - capture that bump !Norwich studio

Maternity sessions - capture that bump! Norwich studio

I am not just saying this I truly believe maternity sessions and capturing bumps and pregnancy is an awesome thing to do, and these are held at my cosy home studio in Norwich.

Why? You are only pregnant once, twice or a few times in your life, and you soon forget what it is like to have that beautiful bump. I have never been one for having my photo taken. I love being behind the camera but when I was pregnant both times I wanted to document that time. I do not regret having my photos taken by Cass Davies Photography. But if I didn't have them, then I know I would have regretted that. I took many iPhone snaps but it's not the same! Please  see the comparison below

 

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It is easy to take your own photos of your growing bump. But I feel it's lovely to have some taken by someone else. To have that time in the studio or on location to capture you and your bump.

 

 

I have recently had the pleasure of photographing lots of pregnant ladies! As I said the pregnancy was the one time I booked a shoot and had my photos taken willingly. I loved being pregnant first time around (when not suffering from sickness), the second time was more tiring but I still loved my bumps. I am so pleased I booked Cassie, even though I was nervous.

 

Here are some of my maternity images :

 

Maternity sessions  Norwichlady with bump

I have a few images framed from my maternity sessions,  but mainly have my bump images in my children's photo albums. I love the fact that they will be able to look back and see what I looked like then carrying them.

bump photos Norfolk

 

 

 

Maternity sessions are fun and about how you want them to look, some ladies want semi-nude, some more casual and some ladies prefer getting outdoors in a location across Norfolk.

 

I now offer a NEW maternity mini package experience!

Maternity experience £225

A maternity shoot best between 32-36 weeks pregnant to capture your beautiful

bump (family members welcome too) includes the session and 10 digital images (extra can be purchased at a discount) if you wish to book this at the Norwich studio? Then please contact me or email me info@jesswilkinsphotography.co.uk

 

Jess x