Oh my, I so love this time of the year! Amberlight’s Christmas mini sessions have quickly become one of my favourite traditions, and planning these special photoshoots gives me a legitimate excuse to get the Christmas Tree out early. (Much to my daughter’s delight). Thank you so much to all my lovely little clients, who get all dressed up in beautiful festive outfits which makes their photos extra special! I love how much excitement you bring with you to the studio and adore hearing about your letters to Santa and what treats you plan to leave out for Rudolph! It’s a real privilege for me to be told that for some of you, your family Christmas starts when you arrive for this Christmas mini shoot! So here’s your special Christmas Gallery with all your little Christmas Stars. Wishing all my wonderful clients a Happy Christmas and peaceful New Year with your little ones. Lots of love, Jo xx
Another lovely familiar family who kindly invited me back to meet their new little girl for her newborn session! I loved meeting tiny Margot, and it was so beautiful to see how much big sister Freya cared for her brand new baby sister! She was so gentle and careful whenever she was near the baby. Freya had visited me for her First Christmas photos as a baby, and it was so nice to see her again, all grown up! Tiny Margot slept peacefully through most of her newborn photoshoot, not even waking for cuddles with Freya for their sibling photographs. These two beautiful girls have a stunning gallery for their family to remember this precious time. ♥
I had been looking forward to meeting this little one for months! I had first met his family when I photographed his big sister as a newborn a couple of years earlier, and his Mum had booked in with me again early during her pregnancy. I love going back to families and seeing their little ones grow. Matthew kept us waiting though… Just like his sister had, he chose to make a late entrance and it was so lovely to finally meet him. Snuggly and sleepy at his Wirral home for his newborn session we took some beautiful pictures for his gallery, and I think this tiny baby is going to be a little football star soon! xx Matthew’s big sister’s newborn gallery can be viewed here. ♥
Today we’re handing the blog over to Tracy McGinn from The Daisy Foundation, Wirral. She provides Daisy Birthing, Daisy Parent and Daisy Baby workshops and classes. Tracy is passionate about helping Mums-to-be overcome their fears and prepare for a positive and empowering birth. Adrenaline vs. Labour: The Importance of a Calm Birthing Environment Picture the scene: a mammal in the wild feels the first stirrings of labour as her body begins the process of birthing her young. Suddenly, a predator appears! In a natural and instinctive response, the mammal’s adrenaline levels spike – causing the well-known fight or flight reaction. Internally, blood is diverted towards her brain, heart and lungs to prepare her for whatever lies ahead. The increase in adrenaline also inhibits her body’s ability to respond to oxytocin – the hormone that only moments ago was powering her labour. This causes the birthing process to slow or even halt, allowing her to choose flight – fleeing to a place of safety where she can birth her young away from danger. Pretty cool huh? How about if I told you that as humans we also possess this response and that if our adrenaline levels increase in labour this can cause the same reaction – the same slowing of labour. Again pretty cool….although there is often an absence of predators on the Wirral so its perhaps not as useful for us as it is for our mammalian counterparts! Nevertheless, lets think for a second about all of the other things in labour that could cause our adrenaline to rise: Fear of the unknown Transfer into hospital Bright lights/loud noises/unfamiliar people around us The feeling of being watched The list goes on! So, what can you do to turn this great nugget of information into a positive?? You can take positive and active steps to keep your adrenaline low in labour. Doing some birth preparation classes can really help to take the fear out of the process and help you to feel much calmer when your birthing day arrives. Making some changes to your birthing environment – dimming the lights, putting on some music, using a nice calming scent. Doing a couples’ birth preparation class can really help your birth partner to understand the key role that they can play in keeping your birthing environment calm and tranquil. These are small changes that can have a big effect. They can help you to stay calm during your labour and most importantly help you to keep your adrenaline levels nice and low to avoid triggering that innate response. Now that is pretty cool! Tracy has a Degree in Childhood Studies, a Certificate in Education (teaching qualification) and is a fully qualified Daisy Foundation Perinatal Educator. She offers Daisy Birthing weekly classes for mums-to-be, Daisy Parent Birth and Baby Preparation classes for couples and Active Birth Couples’ Workshops at her dedicated studio The Retreat, in Raby on the Wirral. Providing a calm and tranquil atmosphere for birth preparation, The Retreat is the ideal location for you to prepare for a calm, positive, low adrenaline birth. Find out more here.
There are so many ways these days to celebrate and share the excitement of pregnancy, from the moment you find out, to announcing your news to your loved ones. From planning weekly or monthly ‘bump selfies’ to booking 3D & 4D scan photos for a gender reveal! And with birthing classes, pregnancy fitness, baby showers, bump casts and newborn photoshoots to plan, not to mention the regular dates to check-in with your midwife, your 9 months of pregnancy will pass quickly and before you know it, your little one will be here! The various Social media channels give you the option to share this growing anticipation with your friends and family if you wish, and can provide you with a lovely record of your pregnancy. Or you may choose to keep things a little quieter, saving your intimate bump photos for your personal album, choosing to not find out whether your much longed for little one is a boy or girl, and so preserving that wonderful guessing game right til the end! Your pregnancy journey is unique and personal, it’s the start of your child’s story. Choosing how you document and share your pregnancy now is something you and your child will love to look back on as they grow. ♥ It’s such an emotional time, and whilst it may seem like a long time waiting for your baby to arrive, it really is over very quickly, and you can’t go back! Make sure you capture these special days for your new family. xx
Today, we are welcoming Anna, from Relax Therapies, Birkenhead to our blog. Anna is one of our fellow local business owners here on The Wirral. We love her ethical and natural approach to all the therapies she offers. She has very kindly written this article to share her knowledge with you about the benefits of Reflexology during Pregnancy, and is offering our readers an exclusive discount on a pregnancy reflexology treatment. What is Reflexology? Reflexology is a specialised type of massage, usually carried out on the feet but also on the hands or head. It is based on the theory that there are reflexes or zones on the feet that correspond to areas of the body and by stimulating these zones you can encourage healing and relieve stress and tension. It feels relaxing and many people report a feeling of wellbeing after a session. What are the benefits of Reflexology in Pregnancy? In the first trimester Although reflexology is a very gentle treatment as a precaution most reflexologists do not carry out reflexology treatments in the first trimester. In the second trimester Many women find reflexology useful to relieve some of the symptoms of pregnancy such as swollen ankles, anxiety, fatigue and nausea. Reflexology helps to promote a sense of wellbeing and gives you some much needed rest and “me time”. In the third trimester There is a lot of anecdotal evidence of women trying reflexology to help bring on labour when they reach their due date. It is thought that this is due to it promoting relaxation and reducing the levels of stress hormones in the body so the body starts producing the labour hormones such as oxytocin. Is Reflexology Safe in Pregnancy? Reflexology is a gentle, drug free treatment and is suitable for the vast majority of people. Make sure you go to see a properly trained reflexologist who should be registered with a professional body such as the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT). This ensures they have been trained to a high standard and gives you peace of mind that they are fully insured to practice. What happens in a Reflexology session? The session will start with a consultation to find out why you have come for treatment and to check you don’t have any medical issues that would make reflexology unsuitable for you. You will then need to remove shoes and socks and sit or lie on the massage couch. The treatment will be carried out on your feet and lower legs. The movements range from firm sweeping movements carried out over the whole foot to firm pressure applied to specific zones. Sometimes it can feel a little uncomfortable at times but shouldn’t be painful. Many people fall asleep during the treatment as they feel so relaxed. Following the treatment you should drink plenty of water and take it easy. About Anna Anna is the owner of Relax Therapies, Wirral. She’s a practicing Reflexologist, also offering Aromatherapy, Indian Head Massage and Sports Therapy treatments. She has been awarded the prestigious Top 3 best rated massage therapist in Wirral award two years in a row. Anna enjoys working with people to help them feel their best and offers treatments from her clinic in Birkenhead or by mobile visit. She is offering our readers a special offer of £5 off a Pregnancy Reflexology Treatment. Please quote code ‘Amberlight’ when you book. To find out more visit her website www.relaxtherapieswirral.com
This gorgeous little bundle came to visit me recently with his Mum and Dad. Edward settled into some lovely sleepy poses in our natural light studio for his newborn photography session. It is always such a privilege to be able to capture precious first memories for brand new little families. Edward brought his tiny first teddy bear with him to share in some photos, together with a heirloom blanket that has been passed down through generations of new babies in his family. Including his own special teddy & blanket helped make his gallery so individual and unique, creating a beautiful photographic story to remember those fleeting newborn days. ♥
Our newborn sessions can last for up to 4 hours- because we work at baby’s pace. If baby needs a feed or a cuddle, we stop for exactly that. Our tiny clients have timescale all of their own and we work around their needs. While babies are being fed and soothed we have lots of time to chat to parents about the wonderful and amazing experience that is having a new baby. Over time from listening to our new Mums, we’ve been able to pull together a ‘must have’ list of baby essentials for new parents. So (apart from the obvious pram and car seat), if you’ve been wondering what you really need and what is just a gimmicky waste of money – have a look at these… 1 : Swaddling Blanket We wrap newborns for some of our poses, especially if the baby is wide awake. It helps keep little arms and legs neat and tidy, and avoids cute fists or tiny toes stealing the focus of every photo. An added bonus of wrapping though is that it helps the baby to feel secure and safe and 9 times out of 10 they instantly settle and fall asleep. Samuel and Kieran in particular loved being swaddled, as you can see. And so many new parents swear by swaddling to help their newborns sleep soundly. 2 : White Noise Leilani is sleeping soundly on this photo, but what you can’t see is just out of shot of our camera, there is an iPhone playing white noise to help her sleep. We like to use an app called sound sleeper during our newborn sessions, it has various choices of white noise, from mum’s heartbeat & womb noises to vacuum cleaner and waves on a beach. We have found different babies have their own preferences, we just wish an app like this had been available for our firstborn… would have saved us constantly leaving the vacuum cleaner or hairdryer going to help her settle during those first few weeks! 3 : Lansinoh cream For breastfeeding Mums, we see so many that just couldn’t get through those early weeks without this wonder stuff! Slather it on to prevent chapping, in fact, we swear by it ourselves! Anyone find another brand that works as well? Please add to the comments! 4 : Muslin squares New Mums find these so versatile, equally essential for both bottle fed and breast fed babies! Buy several, so you can wash and use as you go… Use instead of a bib for dribbles, great for those inevitable accidents at changing time, also can be used to throw over your shoulder when baby needs feeding; it can give you a discreet way to help latch baby on during those early days if you are both getting the hang of breastfeeding, and it’s instantly to hand if needed for any milk spills! 5 : Nappy Cream Whilst you probably won’t need this during the first few days, at some point you will, and it’s good to have things ready rather than having to rush out and buy under pressure while your little one is distressed. There are several different brands, and you will probably find some will suit your baby’s skin more than others. Childs Farm, Sudocrem and Bepanthen, are all popular, but there are plenty of others out there. Take some time to research organic chemical free options, that will best suit you and your family. And a little extra tip: Family and friends will shower you with gifts to welcome your beautiful baby. Whilst too many visits can be a little intrusive when you are adjusting to being a new little family, and Great Aunt Amy arriving unannounced just as you were trying to catch up on sleep while baby naps can be difficult; don’t be afraid to ask for their help. Most people are pleased to be asked, and their help can give you precious time to bond and enjoy your baby, or just catch up on some much needed sleep. A ready made dinner, or an offer to help with your cleaning can be much more useful than your relatives sitting in your lounge, cuddling the new baby while you run round making the cups of tea! Be selfish! Ask for help! And don’t feel guilty for sitting snuggling with YOUR new baby whilst your visitors make YOU a cup of tea! ♥ If you found this article helpful, you may also like 20 things to do to prepare for your newborn.
Beautiful Molly! It was lovely to arrive for her newborn session and be greeted at the door by big sister Lucy! I’d last seen Lucy over two years ago at her newborn session, and couldn’t believe how much she’d grown into a gorgeous lively toddler. With a family dog to add to the mix, Molly’s newborn session was hectic and fun, but still with plenty of calm sleepy moments for Molly to star as the new addition to this lovely family. I want to say a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to their Mum & Dad for inviting me back! It’s a such a privilege for me to be able to return to capture precious moments for families, and to witness ‘my’ little newborns growing up! x♥x♥x