This pregnancy is going by so fast, I can’t believe I am 7 months already, with only 12 weeks to go! Although we cannot wait to meet our little man this Autumn, and feeling so desperate to cuddle and touch his little face and body – I am personally finding it all a tiny bit daunting… I guess it’s the unknown, and all those question marks. Do I have everything for the labour, for the nursery, for the house? Car seat, pram, enough clothes, will I be able to breastfeed, how will I know what he wants? Luckily I am a firm believer in trusting your own instinct, and I am pretty sure the strong mother’s instinct will help guide me along the way, if I ever feel a bit lost and overwhelmed (which I am sure I will)… But for now I am going to run you through the remaining of my 2nd trimester and the unknown of moving into the 3rd trimester.
2ND TRIMESTER: BODY, MIND & SOUL
Pampering & Regular Self-Care
I mean, if there was ever a time to indulge in weekly/monthly facials and massages – pregnancy is the time! I am all about pampering and self-care on a regular basis anyways, but I have been particular vigilant with dedicating time for soothing massages and facials these past few months – to keep my skin and body soft, nourished and with as much glow it can get. I am sure anyone who has been, or are currently pregnant, can vouch for how the need to be pampered and touched is stronger than ever when you’re pregnant (hope that doesn’t sound too weird!), so I have really been cherishing my monthly appointments at the House of ELEMIS in London, for their signature Peaceful Pregnancy Face and Body Experience – which is 2 hours and 15 minutes of pure bliss, combining a soft, yet firm body massage, alongside a bespoke facial (I particularly love their Pro-Collagen Age Defy).
Speaking about facials, I have been so impressed with a particular one at the gorgeous boutique clinic, Pfeffer Sal, nestled in the heart of central London. Their recently launched Gently Does It facial, was specifically created for sensitive, pregnancy skin – and is entirely personalised for each client; combining the power of scientifically led, with selected natural and chemical-free ingredients and technology. This treatment has been designed to deliver advanced results, and is the first treatment in the world to incorporate live probiotics – boosting collagen and skin radiance in just one treatment, as well as deeply nourishing and soothing it, whilst firming and improving skin texture. Oh, and not only does this super “clean” facial work wonders – but the salon itself is 100% dedicated to creating the purest environment, using NASA, an air purification system that removes moisture, airborne viruses, bacteria and volatile organic compounds. All the fittings are crafted from copper throughout the clinic, which is also all naturally anti-microbial.
Other lovely things I can recommend (if you’re based in the UK) is a visit to the gorgeous Daylesford Organic Farm in Kingham, Gloucestershire. I went there with my friend Madeleine Shaw, who is also pregnant, for a lovely day out including a few hours at their Cooking School, learning to cook for our babas, followed by a lunch at their café and an afternoon pregnancy massage at their dreamy Bamford Spa. Only 1 hour and 3o minutes on the train outside London – it’s the perfect country escape.
Another well-worth country escape is to Babington House – a heavenly spot in the heart of Somerset. We checked into one of their spaciously cozy Coach House Bedrooms, followed by a pamper session at their Cowshed Spa and lots of swimming in their indoor and outdoor pool.
Keeping Up my Fitness Levels
Although I really laid off all training and hardcore fitness before I got pregnant and during the 1st trimester of pregnancy – it’s felt so good to get back into more of a routine with my fitness. Although I am still taking it relatively easy, only doing more low-impact exercises such as Yoga, Barre, Reformer Pilates and some swimming – it has felt so good to feel stronger and more energised during this 2nd trimester.
When it comes to Yoga, I have been enjoying weekly Pregnancy Yoga sessions at a local yoga studio nearby me. Although it’s not the most challenging Yoga I have ever done (to say the least), but it’s a pleasant hour of soothing stretches and physical and mental body awareness, which has been great for my growing belly.
I also tried out a 1-to-1 Pregnancy Yoga session, which I booked via the Yogassential app – which was much more challenging, incredibly energising and lengthening for the body. I do love more personal sessions; not only does it feel much more beneficial workout wise, but also so great for corrections and alignment.
One of the things I’ve loved about yoga during these last months, is how good it feels to stretch the body. I am still suffering from my lower back pain, and an otherwise pretty stiff body, so doing some kind of daily yoga routines – be it in a class or via my favourite YouTube channels – is working wonders on my bod.
For more intense, yet still low-impact training, I am seeing my personal trainer, Eva Bergstrom, once a week. Her sessions are always unique and full of burning exercises (all good things) – fusing Barre with Reformer Pilates, the best combo. Other than that, lots of daily walks in the park and swimming in our nearby pool or in the sea during recent holidays, have been keeping me active and fit.
Oh, and I have just signed up to MumHood by Move Your Frame – a programme currently built around the three trimesters of pregnancy (yes, I am a bit late to it) and includes yoga, pilates and barre classes for each stage. As well as weekly classes at their various London studios, they’ve also recently launched their very own online platform, with several dedicated videos and workout tips and tricks for the three trimesters. I can’t wait to get started with the videos (I will report back in my next Baby Diaries).
Maintaining a Strong and Balanced Diet
In my first Baby Series post, I spoke about my worry about being so unhealthy during the 1st trimester, not wanting anything else than beige and simple food (no greens in sight!). Luckily, my appetite for my regular clean and lean diet came back at around week 12/13, and I’ve been loving fuelling my body with all the missing goodness these past few months. When that said, I am still being incredibly balanced and relaxed, focusing on the 80/20 rule for most of the time, but if I fancy carbs and ice cream, I will certainly not be denying myself anything, and it actually feels to liberating to just tune into what my body is actually craving (luckily for me, my two number 1 pregnancy cravings are still watermelon and salty green olives!). All-in-all my overall diet has been relatively strong and balanced – with some examples below of what I usually eat in a day…
I start the day with warm water, lemon and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar, followed by my go-to morning tonic. Then for breakfast I either have one of my go-to smoothies, my homemade superfood muesli, cacao and maca porridge or eggs, avocado and salmon, for an extra punch of protein.
Come lunch time, I either have a large superfood salad for lunch, rice cakes with avocado, boiled eggs and sardines, or a simple omelette, with lots of veggies and spinach in.
I alternate between fish and veg dishes bursting with flavour, a stir-fry, soups (I am loving Gazpacho at the moment), brown rice pasta with prawns, or more healthier versions of classic hearty dishes, such as this Vegan Butternut Mac & Cheese.
3RD TRIMESTER: THE LAST STRETCH
I officially moved into the 3rd trimester one week ago, so there is not that much to say as of yet… But the few things I’ve definitely noticed a change with, is tiredness, sluggishness, and feeling a lot heavier and more uncomfortable when walking about, as well as during sleep…
Sleeping & Feeling Sluggish
My sleeping in general has been quite good throughout the 1st and 2nd trimester, but during the last few weeks I have definitely been struggling with getting comfortable in bed. For someone who’s default sleeping position is on the back (which is to be avoided after the 1st trimester as the weight of your uterus presses on the major vein that returns blood from your lower body to your heart, which can make you feel dizzy and interfere with the flow of blood and nutrients to the placenta and your developing baby) – so I am constantly waking myself up to check that I am lying on my sides. I have been using a lot of cushions and space in the bed (luckily we have a Super King Bed), and slowly getting used to it. But all this tossing and turning around, has not been so easy with the intense city heat we’ve been having in London, so the fan has been on full blast.
Another pain during sleeping, is my sinuses, which has just gone from bad to worse during the pregnancy, with nasal swelling (gross, I know) and headaches – which has naturally also been affecting the way I sleep and feel. I recently invested in a humidifier for the bedroom, to keep the room fresh and moist – and have been propping myself more upright during sleep – both of which has been helping it slightly.
The sluggishness and tiredness is normal, and something I was warned would happen when I moved into the last trimester. So I have just been taking it a lot easier in general, and really just prioritising the things that are important or that I want to do, these past few weeks. I have been cutting down on the amount of work load and meetings in town; basically, making sure that I am not running around like a headless chicken, as per usual.
The Growth Spurt
I have definitely noticed a sudden growth spurt these past few weeks. Although my bump is still pretty neat, it’s definitely becoming heavier and more pronounced. No more wearing loose fitted tops and hiding it away – the bump is in full bloom (and I am loving it).
On that note, I hope you have been enjoying my new Dressing the Bump blog series, where I have been styling up different looks showcasing the bump (from breezy to body con). Adjusting to the new body and wardrobe has definitely not been plain-sailing, and I am still experimenting with non-maternity and maternity clothing so far. In terms of maternity clothing, I have been shopping lots on ASOS, NEXT and Topshop – all of which have such a great selection…
Here are some of my favourites for the summer so far (click through slideshow):
But in general, I feel I’ve been pretty lucky being pregnant during the summer – as although I have been struggling a bit with the heat – I have mostly just been living in breezy and comfortable summer dresses – feeling more low-key, happier and relaxed then I’ve ever felt…
Let me know if there is anything else you want to read about in my next Baby Series, going live in a few weeks!