Third Trimester

For me personally the third trimester was the hardest of the three. I think this is mostly because I finally felt like I needed to slow down a bit and I am definitely not a “slow down and take it easy” kinda gal!

To be honest I really put up a good fight against slowing down, but at 30 weeks the tiredness you experience during the first trimester can really kick back in and force you to take a minute.

I used all my willpower to continue my work outs 2-3 times per week until I was 39 weeks pregnant, reducing the intensity down to doing long walks mixed with yoga classes and low impact hit training for the final two weeks. But this would often be all I could manage in a day and I would end up sitting in the sun with an iced coffee and a good book for the rest of the day. On the days I didn’t train I would tackle a little house work to get myself moving instead.

BRING ON THE Third trimester SYMPTOMS!

If you have escaped any major symptoms so far then you are one lucky lady… but brace yourself! Even though I had such an enjoyable pregnancy from start to finish and rarely complained, I did turn into a bit of a “Moaning Mertle” from 35 weeks pregnant onwards. There is no way you can grow a tiny human to full term and not really start to ‘feel it’ in the final month or two. But I genuinely really enjoyed seeing my bump get bigger, and feeling my baby’s kicks getting stronger.

Here are a few symptoms that affected me personally during my third trimester…

  • Heart Burn – Now I did mention this symptom during my second trimester blog post but it can ramp up further during the final trimester and that is what happened to me. I really had to pay attention to what I was eating to avoid it flaring up.  
  • Rib pain – This was the only symptom that really got me down. Baby River’s feet were tucked up like a little buddha underneath my ribs, so therefore my ribs had to move out of the way and widen quite significantly as he grew. This caused a constantly strong dull ache in my ribs followed by sharp pain that could go on for quite some time when he would wake up for a wriggle. If you suffer from this my advice would be to see a pregnancy specialist chiropractor to help ease the pain. Try using a cold compress on the area to encourage baby to wriggle down away from the cold spot giving you some temporary relief. When it get’s too sore try to get yourself moving, when you move it encourages baby to move too and sometimes that little adjustment makes all the difference. I’m not going to lie, rib pain is super jarring to deal with but as soon as River was born the pain was instantly gone and it was all worth while 
  • Piles – For some reason I got really worried about this happening to me during pregnancy. I think because I had heard that the only way to get rid of piles is to have an operation, therefore the recovery would be out of my control. Full transparency; I have one fookin bastard pile that I noticed at around 37 weeks pregnant! No, I’m not happy about it Lol, but I can live with it, it doesn’t bother me at all and me and Tony laugh about it as I was so determined not to get them.
  • Back Ache – It is no surprise that with carrying around an extra stone or two your back will begin to twinge or ache on a daily basis. Mine hurt the most when I was in the car driving or sitting in the same spot for too long. Tony treated me to an awesome electric massage machine that really helped relieve some of the tension.  Perhaps you could treat yourself to a pregnancy massage to help with the problem and also to give yourself some “me time” in the run up to your little one’s arrival.
  • Thrush – So this was a new one for me, pre pregnancy I had never once suffered with thrush however during my third trimester I had it twice. This is caused by hormonal changes and is easily treatable with over the counter creams. But be wary you can pass it onto your partner so no sexy time until it has gone. To be on the safe side both of you should use the treatment.
  • Constipation –  I mean isn’t this list just dreamy Lol … Yep so this one wasn’t ideal, when everyone tells you that pushing a baby out is like pushing out a huge poo and you start to struggle to do that you genuinely start to panic. I mean how am I going to push a baby out when I can’t even push out a damn poo Lol. For me a big bowl of fruit would do the trick, failing that prune juice is tried and tested!

These were my personal list of third trimester pains in the ass (literally). But the third trimester can come with many other symptoms such as swelling, head aches, stretch marks, urine infections, oily & spotty skin, dizzyness, trouble sleeping.

I think with this phase of pregnancy yes the symptoms start to ramp up, but the thing that made it all okay was that I was on the home stretch. I wasn’t that far from meeting my little bean. I kept reminding myself to try to enjoy the slower pace whilst I could, even if slowing down isn’t my normal vibe.  


pelvic floor training

Pelvic floor training was something I took very seriously during pregnancy. At 8 weeks pregnant I went to see a women’s  physiotherapist  to get an assessment on the strength of my pelvic floor and a measurement for my abdominal muscles. This allowed me to know exactly where my pelvic floor strength was at as a starting point.  I really upped the regularity of my exercises during my third trimester. Both my mum & my aunt suffered with post birth bladder problems and it played on my mind heavily during my pregnancy so I did my best to avoid the same fate. I started off with gently focusing on my pelvic floor more during my yoga classes. Then I started doing a daily squeeze workout, but to be honest I would often forget to do it! However, just before lockdown I went to ‘The Baby Show’ in London where I discovered a new brand called Elvie; they make breast pumps and also pelvic floor trainers. The pelvic floor trainer is genius and it worked really well for me. It a small soft egg that you insert into your vagina, it connects to an app on your phone that takes you through a 5 minute work out that gets harder over time as you built strength and control. It logs your progress on the app so that you can track how you are doing. It was great for me as I would take the time to go somewhere private and quiet to do my work outs without distraction, where as before when I was just doing my squeezes randomly throughout the day it would often end up with me being distracted or not completing my pelvic floor training goal. Instead I would end up answering that whatssap message or forgetting I was even doing it. 

I would say my pelvic floor was very strong towards the end of my pregnancy, tracking my progress allowed me to be confident I had prepared enough for delivering my baby. But, due my long pushing phase during birth, unfortunately it still caused some damage to my pelvic floor and bladder. I cant imagine what state I would be in had I not done any work at all on my pelvic floor during pregnancy. 


The third trimester is definitely the time to embrace the bump! The female body is absolutely incredible… I loved the experience of watching my belly grow week by week and I was in awe of seeing my baby poke his little limbs out through my skin for a stretch every day. I was very keen to have a pregnancy photoshoot at around 37 weeks when my bump was a good size and I still felt a little sexy and hadn’t quite hit the “feeling like a whale” stage yet. I booked my first shoot with Anna Fowler as she is a photographer who’s work I have always admired seeing on Instagram. Then I was blessed enough to have two photographers ask to shoot me as well. The first was Lazara Storm from Zips & Jpegs who captured some amazing images in our home of both me and Tony. Secondly Amanda Akokhia who captured some stunning images for me in her studio. Each shoot had a different look and feel, so I ended up with three separate shoots that I can always look back on remember how special it was to be carrying my son for 9 months and how happy Tony and I were during my pregnancy.

I would definitely recommend booking a professional photoshoot if you can! But if you cant afford it then don’t fret as you can take some beautiful images on your phone these days. Take your time to do your hair and make up properly, find a room at home with great natural light or get out into your garden or a beautiful lavender field and snap away.  You can play with floaty fabric with a fan on you, get some underwear pics with you caressing your bump. I promise you, you wont regret documenting this moment in your pregnancy and having pretty images for you to look back on.

The other thing we did to document my bump was a belly cast. Tony and I did it together and we both got really into it, giggled a lot and made a mess, so it was a lovely intimate thing for us to do together. You can order the kits online, they only take about an hour to do and the end result is pretty cool!

Colostrum Harvesting

Whether you intend to breast feed or not it is said that Colostrum harvesting is a must if you want your baby to get that liquid gold goodness and the best start in life. I started harvesting when I was 37 weeks pregnant, it isn’t recommended to do it any sooner as it can induce labour.

I have to say I found this task to be a two man job… and one that Tony and I giggled about the first few times whilst we tried to master the collection technique!

In my personal opinion colostrum harvesting is a must! It contains vital properties that develop your babies immune system and helps to colonise the baby’s gut with healthy bacteria that protect against allergy and disease.

It contains the ideal balance of proteins, fats and micronutrients needed for babies as well as acting as a laxative to help the passing of the first tarry meconium poops!

How to hand express:

  • To start wash your hands before expressing or you can have a hot shower, a warm bath or apply a warm flannel compress to your breast to help the flow of colostrum.
  • Get comfy… I would always like to sit on the sofa with a cushion behind my back.
  • Start with a gentle breast massage, stroking from the back of your breast towards the nipple to encourage the let-down reflex.
  • Next you will put your thumb above the nipple and your first few fingers below the nipple. You will be cupping the breast in a ‘C’ shape.
  • With your thumb and fingers, feel a few centimetres back from the nipple.
  • Press back towards your chest, then compress (press your fingers together), and release.I would also get successful production from giving a gentle squeeze either side of my nipple.
  • Repeat this process, building up a rhythm. Press, compress, release.
  • Get your partner to collect the colostrum using a sterile syringe (Amazon).
  • Next store them in the freezer ready for taking them to the hospital with you when you go into labour. 
  • You tube has plenty of useful videos demonstrating this technique in more detail so have a look online.

I’m not going to lie it feels super time consuming for not much reward! On some days it would take me 40 minutes just to produce 0.3 mls. However, once River was born on days one to three, I continued to hand express colostrum in between feeds and at this point I was filling the syringe to the top which was a lot more rewarding. We took five syringes from the freezer to the hospital with us when I went into labour. Tony gave them to River whilst I was getting some post birth medical attention, so they really came in handy. Overall my advice is persevere with the colostrum harvesting and anything you can collect is amazing for your baby so it is totally worth it.


The third trimester is when shit gets real and you start to think to yourself “Holy shit i’ve actually got to get this baby out of my body”. This happened to me when we had around 8 weeks to go. This can be quite an overwhelming thought and fear can take a hold of you real quick! Try not to spiral out of control, in fact I actively did the opposite. I took control of my fear and I was pro-actively and  deliberately positive.

I watched positive birth videos on Instagram, read my birth plan with Tony, I practiced my hypnobirthing breathing techniques, did some yoga and meditation. But one of my biggest tips is… print off some of your favourite birth affirmations and stick them onto your fridge door so that you see them every single day. Just reading those reassuring and positive little quotes every time I popped to the fridge  (which was often Lol) helped me to feel more prepared on a subconscious level. I also put a print out in my hospital bag and during labour whenever I said something a little negative such as “I cant do this” Tony would reply with the appropriate affirmation to steer me back on track. It turned out he had also been learning them from seeing them on the fridge and he was equipped to help me stay focused and positive on the day.

So there you have it my personal experience of the third trimester! Some of the other things I did whilst in the last few months of my pregnancy were…

Organising my “new mum wardrobe”. It occurred to me that the clothes that worked for my bump weren’t necessarily the clothes that worked for breast feeding. So, in my last few weeks I started packing away my non breast feeding friendly clothing and putting it into storage making room for any garments that had easy access to the boobies!

Tony and I ensured we got in a few date nights and I arranged catch up brunches and lunches with my close friends and family. I figured it would be a good idea to ensure I was up to date with all my nearest and dearest lives whilst I could still give them my full attention. I know from experience when my friends have had babies that it is  pretty difficult to have a fully focused conversation over lunch with a demanding newborn in attendance. 

Next Sunday I will be uploading the blog post many of you have DM’d me about… My birth story. So check back Sunday lunch time!

Shanie Xx


The Second Trimester

The Second Trimester

Let’s get into the second trimester…. 

Hopefully you have now made it through the ickyness of the first trimester and you are starting to see a tiny little bump as a reward for all of the exhaustion of growing your placenta and your little bean. 

The second trimester was by far my favourite few months of pregnancy. Once the fog of exhaustion lifted I felt quite like myself again, I had bags of energy, an urge to get organised, my appetite returned and I was back to enjoying my work outs. This time also really represented celebration in sharing our news with friends and family as well as getting organised for our little ones arrival.

Sharing the good news!

I am sure you have heard the general rule of thumb is that it is best not to share your good news until after your 12 week scan has gone ahead and you are reassured that all is good with baby. BUT… I personally think it is a personal choice and you should do what ever is best for you. Tony and I found out we were expecting at just 5 weeks pregnant, but after a brief conversation we had agreed to tell our immediate family at just 8 weeks pregnant. Two reasons prompted this decision; firstly we were approaching Christmas and our families would definitely notice that I wasn’t drinking and secondly if the worst was to happen and something did go wrong with the pregnancy, it would be something that we would want family support with anyway. So for us there was no real point in keeping it a secret. However, we didn’t tell any friends or extended family until after 12 weeks, and I didn’t share the news on social media until after my 20 week scan, so just pick who you tell and when according to what is best for you.

Check out us telling our parents below…  (They thought we were taking a family photo Lol)


Now, prior to my entire pregnancy being highjacked by a global pandemic I had the usual first time mum idealistic ideas of hypno-birthing courses, pregnancy yoga classes and Antenatal classes galore! Sadly they all got cancelled when lock down began BUT, prior to that I did get myself organised by signing up to several courses.

When it comes to Antenatal classes you would be surprised how quickly they get booked up, so I would definitely recommend that you book early! Check out what your local hospital has to offer as they often offer either complimentary classes or more affordable options. A friend of mine recommended the ‘Bump & Baby’ antenatal classes (available across London £250.00 per course), the course included infant first aid classes and an afternoon tea with the other parents at the end which I thought would be fun and a nice way to connect with other new parents so we booked onto this instead of the hospital one. 

However, my hospital was offering a 4 week hypno-birthing course for just £100, which was cheaper than most out there so we booked ourselves onto this to compliment the Antenatal course. I knew being the closet hippy and yogi that I am, that my birth plan had to include hypno-birthing as a big part of my experience, so for me this was a no brainer. 

If you are in your second trimester right now, then the likely hood is that like me, your pregnancy journey has probably been affected by Covid 19 and the above options are not likely to be available to you in person. If so, don’t panic just go digital! Now, I’m not going to pretend its the same because its not, it sucks and you will feel like you have missed out on a part of your pregnancy experience, I know I certainly did, but sometimes you have to make the best out of a bad situation and keep positive especially when you are pregnant. 

Tony and I signed up to ‘The positive birth company’ hypno-birthing course. At just £39.00 for the digital pack it covers quite a lot in the easy to watch videos. It also provides you with downloadable content containing helpful tools such as a birth preferences template, audio support materials and printable positive affirmations to name just a few of the helpful downloads. 

As for antenatal courses ‘Bump & Baby’ did offer us a digital version of the course but without the afternoon tea, and without the hands on baby first aid course it felt too pricey for just an online option. So we got our money back and instead I simply read what turned out to be one of my favourite books during pregnancy; ‘The Positive birth book’ by Milli Hill. This book covered everything and more that any antenatal course would cover, so save your pennies and get reading instead (Check out my last blog post ‘The new mummy book club’ for more recommended reads)

An essential course for us to partake in was a baby first aid course we signed up to the E Learn Baby first aid course ( ) It only took around 2 hours to complete and cost us just £10.00 ! I know… what a bargin and it covered all the basics including choking, burns and CPR. 


take care of your second trimester symptoms

As you will know already the first trimester is all exhaustion and feeling less than your best. As much as the second trimester is a welcome relief it does come with its own niggles. For me the biggest one was a common problem called pelvic girdle pain also known as (PGP) or symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). It is basically uncomfortable AF and symptoms are caused by a stiffness of your pelvic joints or the joints moving unevenly at either the back or front of your pelvis. The solution for me personally was a visit to a pregnancy specialist chiropractor ( Polly really helped me out, by ensuring I had great alignment, and relieving my symptoms quite quickly, I also had follow up appointments with her whenever I felt like the niggly pain or aches were returning and by the third trimester I had no pain whatsoever. Another thing that lots of women say works a treat is getting a support belt, I personally didn’t but lots of ladies swear by it. A pregnancy pillow also works for some, however I hated mine and gave it away quite quickly, instead opting for a regular pillow between my knees whilst adjusting to sleeping on my side (Im a front / back sleeper usually). I also kept up with my Zoom yoga classes once a week to help with my stability, strength and alignment being careful not to over extend my body as the relaxin hormones kicked in meaning I was more flexible than usual. 

Another thing that I started to experience in the second trimester was heartburn. At times it definitely felt like I was carrying a baby fire breathing dragon over a human child Lol. With heartburn it was all about paying attention, if I ate too late, if I ate anything too spicy or certain foods like peppers would aggravate the heartburn big time. So the key for me was to try to notice what triggered my heartburn and avoid it. I very nearly gave in to Gaviscone once or twice, but I held out and opted for some cold coconut milk instead which always helped soothe the symptoms. 


I gotta admit I genuinely thought that “pregnancy brain” or ‘Baby brain” was a crock of shit, until I got struck down with it BIG TIME! I mean genuinely, overnight I became actually stupid. They say that “Baby brain” refers to memory problems, poor concentration and absent-mindedness… To me personally It felt like half the information my brain was capable of processing got deleted one day and i’m still trying to find it Lol. It was the extreme forgetfulness that surprised me the most. Tony could ask me to do something and within 30 seconds I would be staring into space wondering what it was I was supposed to be doing. Simple words and names would just vanish from my brain, or I would have driven to the shop to buy bread and bananas, then I got there I simply couldn’t remember why I was there so I would come home with milk instead having guessed what it was I was there for Lol. If it wasn’t so ridiculous I would cry but I gotta say it did become quite comical after a while, my fella and my best mate banter me about it all the time, at least it amuses them! 

The fact is this is a real thing and from what I have read it is caused by hormones. A recent review of 20 studies assessing more than 700 pregnant and 500 non- pregnant women concluded that general cognitive functioning, memory and executive functioning were significantly poorer in pregnant women. So if you’ve noticed you’ve become a total moron lately then honestly don’t sweat it, its not your fault and i’m just as much of a hot mess as you are!

The solution… write lists! I started keeping a pen and pad by my bed as I tend to remember things before bed. I also made notes in my phone (Granted I then forgot to read the bloody notes, so the pen and paper definitely worked better!) 


Prior to pregnancy, I was pretty fit and into a good exercise routine that I enjoyed. My average week consisted of boxing, hot yoga & bootcamp and I loved it! 

We knew we wanted to try for a baby in 2020 so in the year leading up to it I really tried to get into the best physical shape possible. I wanted to ensure I was fit and healthy going into the journey, also we felt with both of us being healthy it would make it easier for us to fall pregnant in the first place.

I made a decision from the day I found out I was pregnant that I was determined to stay in shape and to stay consistent in my exercise routine, it would be mind over matter all the way. Even in my first trimester when I had zero energy and I felt pretty rough I still showed up to every class… granted some days I really did just go through the motions, on other days when I felt better I would try to push myself a little… but, I always made sure I showed up which I believe was key! But the second trimester is where you can really get back into your training and actually enjoy it. Your energy is up and your bump is small enough not to to interrupt too much with your usual activities. The general rule is you can continue whatever activities you did before you became pregnant, but don’t try something new. You can maintain your existing fitness levels, but don’t try to improve, and you can do almost everything during your second trimester except Ab work such as crunches and sit ups. I would definitely recommend doing a little research on You Tube or booking a session with a pre natal qualified PT for guidance on what is safe and what movements you should avoid. 

Now let me keep it real, lockdown could have absolutely obliterated my fitness plans and thrown me off my game plan. But thanks to so many PT’s and fitness programmes going digital and offering free online classes I managed to train 3/4 times per week during my second trimester which not only kept me in good shape, but I genuinely feel like it kept me mentally strong during a challenging time. I actually think its a bit of a blessing, as lets face it with a new born baby its going to be super tough getting to classes so getting into the habit of working out at home with digital support is probably going to be the way forward for me now anyway.

Some of my online recommendations are;

  • @ResultswithBump & @RWL –  Owned by new mummy Lucy Meck & PT Cecilia The website / App provide plenty of workouts as well as nutritional advice for both mummies to be and fitness enthusiasts. This is a paid subscription so keep an eye out for the free trials to decide if its for you or not. [Ad]
  • @HassanYoga – Hassan is my hot yoga teacher who started his weekly zoom classes during lockdown. It is donation based classes and he has continued them on Friday & Saturday mornings despite lock down being lifted. I love his way of teaching and his energy and flow and did my last class at 39 weeks pregnant. 
  • @CarlyNewson – I love mix and matching Carly’s work outs. You can do them whenever you like and stitch 3-4 of them to together to create a bespoke work out. It is all available for free on her Instagram page or you can join her subscription service for live daily work outs.  She offers some pregnancy friendly options if you scroll back to when she was pregnant herself, she has low impact options for those with injuries as well as hardcore workouts too. You can do whatever suits you throughout pregnancy and then up the difficultly when you are ready post partum.



My favourite thing to do in the world is to organise, tidy and declutter! Tony is someone who loves a good DIY project, so the second trimester was that time for us to create the ultimate to do list and get organised. We tackled a massive wardrobe clear out, emptying and decorating the spare room so we could turn it into our babies nursery and we refreshed the decor in the rest of our flat.  As I am writing this, I am just two days from my due date. Trust me when I say use your second trimester to tackle these bigger jobs as when you hit the third trimester you really don’t have the same levels of energy or motivation and the belly really just makes everything more difficult. 

Another thing to do that takes time, is to get your gift registry started. I thought I would fly through this task but genuinely it takes bloody hours! When selecting things you will need for your newborn there is a lot of research that goes into it and that takes time! For example; which bottles to get, what steriliser you want, what dummies are best. These decisions aren’t easy to make as you are learning about these things for the first time and there are soooo many brands to choose from. So give yourself plenty of time to get this done prior to your baby shower or little ones arrival as people will 100% ask you if you have a list of things you need / want and its always best to be prepared instead of ending up with everyone buying you a bunch of dodgy outfits you don’t even like! 

I used it was super easy to use and everyone who brought us gifts said the same. 

Check out my ‘Ultimate New Parent Shopping List’ blog post from a couple of weeks back if you need some guidance.

The Ultimate New Parent Shopping List…

I hope you enjoyed this blog post ! Don’t forget to get in touch via Instagram @Shanie_Ryan to let me know what you think, hit me with any questions you might have or to let me know if there are any subjects you would love me to write about in the future! I love receiving all of your lovely feedback so much.

Baby Sincs is due in just 2 days, so it may be a few weeks until my next instalment but I promise to be back picking up where I left off soon enough… 

Love Shanie & Bump xX


“Yay I’m Pregnant” (& loving it), This is a positive vibes only zone!

“Yay I’m Pregnant” (& loving it), This is a positive vibes only zone!

It’s been a hot minute since i’ve posted on my blog, so welcome back! 

If you follow me on Instagram you will know that my  incredible partner Tony and I not only got engaged this year but we are also expecting our first child together in August. We were blessed enough to fall pregnant super quickly, and despite experiencing my first pregnancy during a world wide pandemic and as a result of that, then spending most of my pregnancy in quarantine…. so far I have had a very positive experience with only a few shitty moments along the way. But mostly its been great and rather than shy away from that fact, or keep quiet about it, I wanted to share it with you and speak openly about my positive pregnancy for the following reason…

Its funny, as soon as you tell people that you are pregnant, their first reaction is always surprise and excitement, however  what I wasn’t prepared for was that within 5 minutes of the  buzz and excitement dying down, “it” begins!

What is the “it” I hear you ask?

Well here “it” is…. I noticed quite quickly that despite their good intentions, people have a strange habit of projecting their own experiences of pregnancy and birth onto you and your partner even if its super negative! It is often unsolicited advice, inappropriate comments or detailed story telling, and i’ve got to be honest, in my experience so far, more often than not, it isn’t the positive kind of story telling, comments or advice that you would hope for from people who are supposed to be happy for you. Where is the positive energy guys???

Tony and I heard everything from… Tony should “Move out for the next 9 months, as with all the hormones I would be a nightmare to live with”, to people describing how “awful” their birth stories were; sharing gory details and displaying their trauma for us to see in plain sight. People were even telling me that my pregnancy was going to be this miserable experience that I needed to strap myself in for, oh and then there is the insensitive “your gonna get fat” jokes! I mean really guys? How is this helpful?

Overall people tend to be pretty negative, however, they don’t actually realise they are doing it because everything is said as some sort of joke or in jest which is the worst part about it I think. They don’t even realise how insensitive they are being, or that what they are saying could negatively impact our experience and conjure up anxiety and fear at a time where it is vital to be calm and relaxed!

So with that said, VERY quickly Tony and I decided, that we needed a plan to protect ourselves from anything that might cast fear or uncertainty over our journey to becoming parents.


Step number one in our quest to have a positive experience was, we were going to have to get comfortable with being blunt and perhaps at times even quite rude to people who try to protect their negative experiences onto us!  We made a pact that from now on neither he nor I would not be allowing anyone to get past the first sentence of any story or comments that might make us feel worried or fearful of the journey ahead. We would literally shut down the conversation with “i’m sorry, but we aren’t open to hearing anything that isn’t 100% positive at this time, so we are going to have to stop you there”.

Next we booked a consultation with a holistic pregnancy coach (@Lacinne & @CoupeDC). I got to know them when they featured on episode 12 of my podcast ‘Influence Me’ CLICK HERE TO LISTEN. They themselves had a holistic pregnancy, followed by a free birth (aka unassisted birth) and they have raised their daughter exclusively on breast milk and a plant based diet. They seemed like our sort of people, and “parent goals” so we decided to book an appointment and they didn’t disappoint. They were super positive yet honest about their pregnancy, birth and parenting experience and gave us lots of confidence that we too could have an enjoyable journey and birth. This was the kind of people and energy we wanted to be influenced by, so we sat down with them before we even saw a midwife to establish the balance between the holistic approach and the medical led approach to pregnancy and birth.

Shanie with Lacienne & Coupe 

We also did some research and put together a reading list; One of my favourite books that both Tony and I listened to on Audiable was ‘The Positive Birth Book’ by Milli Hill. After reading this book I felt instantly empowered, educated in both pregnancy and child birth. I felt in control of my journey to becoming a parent and confident that I could have a positive birth regardless of how it played out. Tony also read this one with me and now feels confident that he will know what is happening during every phase of labour and he knows how best to support me when the time comes.

My final step was to follow some positive birth accounts on Instagram such as @ThePositiveBirthCompany @Birth_ed @BadAssMotherBirther , you would be surprised how powerful it is the randomly take in incredible birth photos, videos and positive stories every day whilst scrolling. Even on a subconscious level it helps eradicate fear and fill you with excitement at meeting your newborn baby when the time comes.


It is such a shame that so many women and men automatically pull for the negative pregnancy and birth stories, and i’ve actually found that the women with the positive experiences are the quietest in the group and the least likely to share and speak up. I’m sure a lot of it comes down to people not having dealt with the trauma of their own experience properly so therefore they project it onto others whenever they get the chance because it is their truth, even if it is a case of the “wrong audience”. Then the people who had a great experience end up feeling guilty or uncomfortable sharing a positive version of events as they don’t want to boast and brag so instead they keep quiet.

However, as a first time mum to be, it can be pretty toxic to be hearing awful stories, especially when you are feeling so vulnerable already. So I wanted to write about my experience so far by adding some pregnancy focused blog posts into the mix that are still super honest about the tough parts of pregnancy, but that have a little more  balance between the tough moments and the positive magical experience of growing a human being.  Over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing my personal experiences of the first, second and third trimester, exercise in pregnancy, the truth about expecting during a pandemic, as well as sharing lots of useful and practical information from writing my birth plan, packing my hospital bag and what was on my new baby shopping list!

Overall, my pregnancy has been awesome, i’ve loved feeling my baby grow, wriggle and kick over the past few months. I have loved this new developing bond between Tony and I as we get closer to becoming “Mum & Dad”, and i’ve even loved the experience of watching my body change (which honestly I thought I would hate! I’ve genuinely surprised myself there). Pregnancy does not need to be a list of crappy things you go through, or that happen to you. Yes some of it is bloody hard, and I know plenty of women have it really tough and don’t enjoy it at all and I honestly don’t envy them whatsoever. But some women have a beautiful experience, enjoy pregnancy and that should be allowed to be spoken about and celebrated openly too, so here I am saying its not been easy at all, but i’m pregnant and i’m loving it! (most of the time).

Check back soon for my first trimester post!

Shanie & Bump Xx