Recently The Bump Edit had the pleasure of meeting up with Laura Williams to hear a bit more about her pregnancy story. Laura runs the amazing online business The Modern Nursery which specialises in contemporary nursery decor. She started the site when she was pregnant with her first child and has built it in to an incredibly successful business alongside being a full time mum. We talked pregnancy style and what Laura can’t live without, the challenges of being pregnant with a toddler in the mix, and the importance of taking care of yourself as a mum-to-be.
Here’s Laura’s pregnancy story:
Is this your first pregnancy?
This is my second pregnancy; I have a little girl Alba who has just turned two. I am expecting another girl so my husband is starting to get thoroughly outnumbered!
How far along are you?
34 weeks due in early October.
Do you know if you’re having a boy or a girl?
A girl: we like to find out. I think it’s each to their own and I fully respect people that decide to wait and keep it a surprise. I think it’s the most special thing at whichever point you decide to hear the news. Given what I do for a living, I am overly organized and like to have the nursery finished and everything exactly as I want it when the little one comes home.
How has this pregnancy been treating you?
It’s so much harder second time around. I think the pregnancy itself has been harder, I wasn’t sick at all with Alba and this time I felt sick until week 25. I had perfect skin with Alba and this time, horrible pregnancy acne. Then throw in extreme tiredness with a toddler to look after, and your own business to run and yes it’s been more difficult for sure.
Have you been experiencing any anxiety in this pregnancy?
Only with regards to my toddler. She is so funny and courageous and full of energy but she has also suddenly hit the “tantrums and tiaras” stage. It’s been hard to pick her up from the supermarket floor whilst being really pregnant or trying to reason with her. I worry about how I will cope with a tiny baby that needs me as well at the same time, and also how she will cope with sharing Mummy, As with everything I am sure we will make it work!
How would you describe your pregnancy style?
In my first pregnancy I was all about body con maternity dresses. This time around I have been more relaxed and worn floaty printed dresses and just sized up instead of buying specific maternity lines. The few body-con dresses I do own have had a serious upgrade this pregnancy as I discovered Isabelle Oliver. The quality is amazing and you always feel nice in them. I’m wearing them all the time now I’m in the later stages with a denim or embroidered shirt over the top. I have felt the bigger I have got, the more I want to “dress the bump” so I feel nice and less like a whale in a tent!
Hide the bump or show off the bump?
A bit of both depending on your mood, but comfort should be number 1!
In terms of clothes, what are your maternity essentials?
Body con dresses, Long shirts or cardigans so you can “dress down”, floaty and comfortable dresses and of course maternity leggings! Past 30 weeks I gave up on maternity jeans, I just can’t cope with pulling them up all the time!
What’s your favourite maternity brand?
Isabelle Oliver, Asos Maternity, I also got some great bits from Boohoo Maternity.
Are there any high street or independent brands which aren’t maternity but you feel work really well for pregnancy?
I sized up a lot in non-maternity Nobody’s Child dresses. They have great prints and are all quite relaxed in their cut. I decked out my whole holiday wardrobe this way.
What beauty products do you swear by for pregnancy?
Bio Oil, and some really nice face cream. I love Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm, it’s really luxurious and smells of lemons!
What can you not live without in pregnancy?
My bbhugme pregnancy pillow (we sell them at The Modern Nursery). It has been an absolute game-changer. I suffered terrible back problems with my first pregnancy and had physio for a whole year after having Alba. The bbhugme pillows are designed by 3 Norweigan female chiropractors in Norway. Made from thousands of tiny silicone beads (instead of a polyester pillow) they offer full support for your back, pelvis, legs, and head. It’s a miracle product.
Are there any style/ fashion lessons you’ve learnt along the way?
Each stage of pregnancy is an opportunity to have fun with fashion and your bump. I disagree with the mentality that you shouldn’t spend money on clothes because they will only last 9 months. Pregnancy can sometimes make you feel a bit bleurgh – and retail therapy to get items that genuinely make you feel nice is a good thing. Embrace it! You will also get plenty of use once baby is here too! I don’t think I gave up my maternity clothes until about 6 months post partum with Alba, and that’s normal.
Is there anything you feel is still really missing from the maternity fashion market in the UK?
Zara need to do a maternity line!
Have you done a lot of reading / research about pregnancy and childbirth?
No and I didn’t with Alba either. Time is obviously an issue but I don’t really believe in reading how to do it – I think a mothers instinct is the most powerful thing in the world. Trust your gut!
What have you done to prepare for birth?
This time I am going to be attending hypnobirthing classes. It’s something I knew very little about with Alba and then learnt about after. I have only heard wonderful things so I am excited to practice it this time.
Sum up pregnancy in 3 words…
Miraculous, Exciting, Exhausting
Is there anything you miss being pregnant?
What’s your favourite thing about being pregnant?
Wondering what the little person growing inside me is going to be like. It’s pretty amazing when you think your body can produce life in the way that it can.
What would you say is the worst thing about being pregnant?
How uncomfortable it can get at the end, the constant loo trips!
What have you done to prepare for the birth?
We’ve had a good sort through the house, emptied drawers and wardrobes that have been gathering “stuff” for two years. It’s therapeutic to have a clean out and make room for a new member of the family.
What advice would you give to other pregnant women?
If it’s your first baby, sleep, read a book and watch films from beginning to end no distractions! You will have very little time to do these simple things once baby is here. If you have a child/children then be kind to yourself and try not to achieve too much within one day. Somedays we just go to the garden centre to get out of the house, and that’s fine.
Do you feel different in this pregnancy?
Yes, I’ve had less time to focus on the pregnancy and now I’m nearly due. In a way that’s been great, less time to worry – but I feel like I have paid this baby less attention!
If you could go back and give your pregnant first time around self one bit of advice what would it be?
Nap during the day.
What would your one bit of advice for new mums be?
Trust your instinct. Take people’s advice on board but if you don’t agree with it that’s fine, it’s your baby. Do what feels right.
Photos courtesy of Emily Gray Photography