Gabriela is from Brazil and currently lives in London with her husband and her dog, Arya. She is 32 weeks pregnant with their first baby. We caught up with Gabriela before the shoot, to talk to her about everything from maternity style, to preparing for motherhood.
Are you excited for today’s shoot?
Yes, very excited!
Is this your first maternity shoot?
I’ve done a few before with a fake belly. This is the first with my own bump.
How do you think today is going to differ from non-maternity shoots?
I will probably get swollen feet towards the end of the day, but I guess we can all rest when we get home.
Describe your typical pregnancy style?
I tend to wear more jeans and tops or loose trousers, definitely a lot of loose trousers at the moment. Before I was pregnant, I wore skinny jeans all the time. So, loose trousers and a top and dresses – a lot of dresses. They’re just so easy, I love them.
Your go to pregnancy outfit?
Who’s your style icon?
Pregnant or not. I wouldn’t say I have an icon but there are a few ladies that I follow on Instagram, who are pregnant, who I take inspiration from. One main one is this girl called @healthyalibi, her pregnancy style is nice. And I also like Melissa Woodhealth, she’s not pregnant but I love her style. Yeah, Instagram is a big influence for me.
What has been the hardest part of this pregnancy so far?
It was more in the beginning when I was just getting used to my body changing and putting on the weight and carrying all this new weight I wasn’t used to. I was really tired in the first few months but then I think you just kind of get used to it and also, I had a lot of reflux and that was really bad in the fourth month. But now, the last trimester is definitely the easiest. I think I’m used to everything by now. It’s just the waiting game!
Do you know if you’re having a girl or boy? Did you have any idea what it would be?
It’s a boy! And not really. I thought about it a lot, and my family were pretty split on what they thought it would be. Me, I couldn’t really tell. I found out at my 16 week scan and the doctor asked if I wanted to know the gender and if I wanted a boy or a girl and I just thought as long as it’s healthy I don’t mind.
What are you most excited for after the baby arrives?
Just spending time with him, to know what he looks like, and to breastfeed him. Also, to see what he will become to be as a person, to get to know his character and his personality. I can’t wait.
Do you have any thoughts yet about the birth? Any specific plans you want to put in place?
Yes, I’ve thought about it quite a lot and what terrifies me most is the pain. Everyone I speak to who has been pregnant have said it depends on each person. Some people take more pain than others. I want to have a water birth. It’s easier to relax in the water but it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy. Someone told me to just keep your options open I think that’s very good advice because anything can happen in labour. You could plan to have a water birth and no pain killers and then it’s the opposite. But I’m open to painkillers, epidural, and if it has to be by caesarean then so be it, as longs as the baby is healthy that’s what matters to me.
What makes you most nervous about motherhood?
Having someone to look after and to actually be someone’s mum. I think all new mums worry that they’re not going to be the best mum and that they can always do better, and they feel guilty for not having done enough.
I’m trying to be calmer and more relaxed to things and to take one day at a time and not put too much pressure on myself. People want to be the perfect parent and sometimes that pressure is too much. It’s normal to make the wrong decisions sometimes and that’s fine. And I’m just mentally trying to realise that it might be difficult, but everybody goes through it so my husband and I will learn together.
How have your beauty/fitness routines changed since becoming pregnant?
My beauty routines are the same, I just apply a lot more moisturiser on my body especially around my belly, and a lot of oils. Fitness wise, I’m doing what I used to before, so reformer Pilates and now antenatal classes. Everything is a bit harder now because I’m getting heavier and even going up a flight of stairs is a lot harder, but I’m still trying to keep active and take my dog for long walks.
Any diet changes at all since becoming pregnant or any weird cravings?
If I feel like eating something, I’ll eat it. Whereas before I was more like, oh maybe I shouldn’t have this croissant and now if I feel like having two cupcakes a day, I’ll have two cupcakes a day.
Mental health is a big topic surrounding new mamas and mamas-to-be. How do you think this pregnancy has affected you (if at all)?
I must say some days I feel more, depressed is not the right word, but you just feel more down and some days it’s different you have all this energy and feel really good. I guess it just really depends each day.
What’s on the menu on a typical day of eating while pregnant? Any go to meals?
If I’m at home I make overnight oats and I have that with strawberries, maple syrup and nuts or avocado on toast, I love that. For lunch I’ll make a sandwich. Then for dinner it’s usually pasta or a nice piece of fish with some vegetables. I try to eat green vegetables every day. And then sweets, obviously!
What does a normal day look like for you?
I wake up quite early around 7am, take my dog for a walk, and then go back home have some breakfast, read some books. Usually about babies and pregnancy. I do a lot of research online, as well. Then we go again for another long walk, me and my dog, come back have lunch, pretty much chill and do as much research as I can try to get ready for the birth.
What are your go-to pregnancy food/tech/music/beauty/fashion must haves?
I’m reading this book, The Blissful Baby Expert by Lisa Clegg. It’s really good. The lady who wrote it is a midwife and also a nanny. She writes it in a really nice way that’s easy to understand. I really recommend this one.
Have you developed any rituals or habits throughout this pregnancy?
I guess things like moisturising my belly a lot, which obviously I didn’t used to do before. And going to bed really early, getting lots of sleep.
What does 8am and 8pm look like in your household?
8am: quite chilled. My husband goes to work, and I stay with the dog.
8pm: Probably cooking dinner.
How do you think you’ll find the work/mama balance?
I think that’s going to be very hard. Some friends are telling me you should get an au pair to stay overnight, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think we will make it work. In the end when you have the situation on hand you work it out somehow.
How do you find ways to relax and indulge in a bit of ‘me time’?
I go for prenatal massages and lymphatic drainage massages as well. It’s a soft massage that focusses on the lymph glands and helps your swelling go down. It’s really good for clearing out toxins. And I go for a lot of manicures and pedicures.
Any final tips for other mamas-to-be?
I think just to relax and take it easy on yourself and everything is going to be fine.