Monthly Archives: June 2017

maternity photographer london

Maternity Photographer London – second pregnancy

As an Italian maternity photographer working in London, it can be hard to please some friends in Italy. But you can’t say no to an old dear friend, can you? 🙂

 

So I went to Italy and took some photos of her beautiful pregnant belly. This is actually quite an old session, back in 2015, I just never blogged about it.

Being pregnant with the second child is a very different experience than being pregnant with the first one. Of course I cannot really talk as I just have a girl, but talking with my clients give me quite a nice picture.  With the first pregnancy, you are kind of a princess, a delicate flower that is careful of what to eat, you’ve been told not to lift heavy stuff, to rest, to pamper yourself . . . All good things that probably you would dream to do with a second pregnancy, especially if you have a busy toddler.

It was quite tricky to get this little boy to stay still! It may look calm and well behaved but we had to hide small cars near the belly so he could get near it and touch it. It’s a lot of work to get a simple photo when there is a toddler around, but it’s quite funny as well. And I always love the challenge! But that’s the beauty of the second pregnancy.  Having maternity photos with your first child is priceless. Especially making him part of something important, involving him in simple choices.

Here some of the photos we took on the day.

 

maternity photographer london maternity photographer london maternity photographer london maternity photographer london maternity photographer london maternity photographer london maternity photographer london maternity photographer london maternity photographer london

 

The best time for maternity photography is around 32-35 week. While you are expecting, it is also the perfect time to look into newborn photography, so you are prepared and you have the chance to meet and get to know your photographer.

Valentina will arrange a free consultation for you and you can see the beautiful range of products and the different options according to your budget. You can learn more about maternity and newborn photography clicking on the links.

 

 

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cool baby in summer - bath

How to keep my baby cool in summer

London is getting warmer every day!

 
I just wrote a few days ago a post about how to stay cool when pregnant, but I thought it was a good idea to quickly write about how to keep your little baby cool.
 
Babies could become quite ill when it’s hot, so keep them safe.
 

Avoid dehydration.

 

Like adults, babies need plenty of water and fluids to keep them hydrated.
 
  • If you have a little baby and you are breastfeeding there is no need to give them water, but you may want to breastfeed more than usual. And of course, remember to keep yourself hydrated as well and have a full glass of water while you are breastfeeding.

 

  • If the baby is over six months, you could try giving cooled boiled water throughout the day. You could give some cooled baby chamomile as a variation.

 

For older children, plenty of water and/or fruit juice, fruit and salad will also help keep their fluid levels up. Ice-cream will probably be their favourite choice! 😉

 

 
keep baby cool in summer

 

Be safe in the sun.

 
Babies and children must be protected from the sun at all times.
 
  • If the baby is less than 6 months keep him/her out of direct sun. Their skin is super sensitive, they don’t have much melanin, which is the pigment protecting from the sun and they will easily get burned. When you are in a park stay in the shade of a tree, which can be breezy as well. Keep baby out of the buggy with a hat.

 

  • Do not cover your baby with a heavy blanket when you are out and about. The heat will create a very hot environment for the baby that could be dangerous. Just have a light parasol, an umbrella that let circulating air and only protects from direct sun.  If you are travvling with the car be careful baby is on the shade, never let them unattended. Look for signs of heatstroke such as hot, red and dry skin, rapid pulse, restlessness, confusion, dizziness, rapid, shallow breathing, vomiting and unconsciousness.
 
  • Babies more than 6 months should stay away from the 11 am 3 pm window when the sun is at its strongest. Adults should avoid that timing as well if possible. If you have to get out using any form of parasol sunshade protection to keep babies out of direct sun, wearing hats and sunglasses are recommended.
 
Use sun cream with high protection 30-50 SPF for children. Apply it regularly if you are staying out for long.
 

 

Keep babies and children cool

 
  • Playing in a paddling pool is a good way of keeping babies and children cool. Just remember to keep the pool in the shade during very hot weather and supervise the children at all times.   

 

cool baby in summer - bath

 
  • Try to keep the rooms cool during the day by closing blinds or curtains. If you have a fan to circulate the air great. Do not allow the fan to face baby. Otherwise you could hang wet towels over chairs or windows when it’s really stifling. The evaporating water will help the air to cool. You could also place a bucket of ice or frozen water in the room to cool it down.
 
  • Dress the baby appropriately. During the day a thin cotton vest is enough when you are outside and it’s over 26 degrees. Inside they might be fine just with a nappy if it’s over 25 degrees. In my flat on these days the temperature is stable on 26-27 degrees, and so I guess most of London houses. Older children will be okay with light short clothes.
 
  • Remove any waterproof sheets from your baby’s cot.
 
  • Give them a refreshing cool bath before bedtime to lower body temperature.
 
  • At night time remove all the unnecessary bedding and keep bedclothes to a minimum. If your baby kicks or pushes off the covers during the night, consider putting them in just a nappy with a single well-secured sheet that won’t work loose and cover their face or get entangled during the night. Older children can wear vest and underwear with a light sheet. Open windows and doors in several rooms to allow a through-breeze before bedtime.

 

keep baby cool in summer

 

What to do if your baby has been sunburnt?

 
If your baby or small child has been sunburnt, it is likely they will also be suffering from heat exhaustion and you should seek medical help. Cool the affected area and give plenty to drink to rehydrate.
 
For an older child:
 
  • Cool the area under a shower for at least 10 minutes, or apply repeated cool wet towels for 15 minutes.
 
  • When completely cooled, apply neat aloe vera gel on the affected area. This will soothe, reduce swelling and promote healing.
 
  • Give the casualty plenty to drink and seek medical advice.

 

The latest tips are from “Burns, falls and emergency calls” from First Aid for Life.

Please check your GP if you have any concerns.

 

If you are interested in a newborn or baby photography session I will be happy to discuss your needs. Email me to book your free consultation or you can reach me on 07577 978246.

 

 

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How to stay cool in summer when you are pregnant

Right now in London is very hot,  it makes you even wonder if it’s London 😉  Weather forecasts say it will be hot all week and next week as well. Yay! Picnics, BBQs and outdoor life!

Unfortunately if you are pregnant, you might not enjoy yourself that much . . .

I had an autumn baby, she was born mid October so the last few months were fine here in London. However I rememeber summer 2011 was quite warm and sometimes I was getting more uncomfortable.

maternity-photographer-london

 

Summer pregnancy can be challenging

Well, we all know pregnant women feel always  hot. That’s because of all the extra blood circulating around your system. Do you know that during pregnancy, the amount of blood in your body increases by as much as 50 percent?  To better handle all that extra blood, your blood vessels dilate slightly, allowing the blood to come of the surface, which can make you feel hot. So imagine in days like these, I can feel your pain.

In the last month of pregnancy you are doing such an incredible work carrying the weight of a baby who is constantly growing. I remember I felt like an hot air balloon 🙂 And my clients who come for their maternity session tell me the same. Well not such in an extremely way, but you know at the end you feel very heavy and exhausted and surely a warm weather makes things even more difficult.

So please take care of yourself! 

 

A few tips to keep you cool

 

  • Avoid direct sunlight

Sit under an umbrella if you are out in the garden or on the beach. Sitting in the shade will help you to keep your cool. If you are still working probably you will have air con in your office.

  • Drink plenty of water

Hydration is always important, and during pregnancy those fluids are even more precious than usual.  Your body needs the water to form amniotic fluid, build new tissue, carry nutrients, help indigestion and flush out your wastes and toxins. You should aim to drink at least 10 glasses a day in general, even more on days like these! You could also eat your water and have watermelons, cucumbers, strawberries, celery . . . all the fruits high in water.

  • Avoid the hottest hours

Try to avoid the 11am – 3pm window when the sun is at its strongest, if you can. This is just a general rule for everyone! I remember when I was little my mum was telling me the same. If I was playing outside I was recommended to stay in shade. Or better option stay inside and have a nap. But this was Italy. You know, in warm countries people have siesta after lunch for some reasons 😉  When indoors, open the windows and close the curtains to prevent the rooms getting too warm.

  • Wear something light

Wear soft cotton or linen fabrics that will let your body breath and loose clothes. Maxi dresses are lovely and will keep you fresh. Also remember to wear cotton underwear. Possibly stay away from synthetic materials that will make you more sweaty and uncomfortable.  If you are out in the sun, cover your head with a large hat. And of course plenty of sun cream. 

stay cool in summer - pregnancy photos london

 

  • Use fans or water sprays

Consider investing in a fan—maybe having one on your desk at work (but probably you have aircon there) and one in your bedroom. You can have little ones that don’t cost much. Also little hand held fans be really handy, fits in your handbag and can be used anywhere when needed.

  • For the Londoners who needs to commute

Bus, trains and especially tube are really crowded during peak hours and that means really hot as well. If you can try to negotiate different hours with your boss. Maybe starting early and finishing early to avoid the crowd, I bet you are awake pretty soon anyway.  If you can work from home some days, this will be gold 🙂

Wear your “baby on board” badge when on public transport and ask for a sit if not offer. Always take with you a bottle of water and a hand held fan to keep you a bit cool.

  • Listen to your body

Keep activities to a minimum. Light walking is fine but listen to your body. If you are tired rest. Take a nap. Have a siesta 🙂 Actually, try to store as much “sleep” as you can.

I hope you found this post helpful. Any other advices you feel will be gold feel free to comment below.

cool in summer when pregnant


If you are interested in maternity photography to document and remember your pregnancy, the best time is bewtween 32 and 36 weeks. You could have a nice intimate session in the studio or a natural session on a park with your husband.  Get in touch to know more or to have a free consultation with me.

 

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Newborn Photographer London – Interview with parents

Baby Melissa came to my studio in SW London when she was just 6 days old. 

I already knew the parents, as I photographed her big brother a few years ago, so everything was easier and quite relaxing. I remembered him very well because his was the quickest newborn session I ever did 🙂  The look so adorable together, right?

newborn photographer london- siblings

I asked mum a few questions and I hope they can help other parents too.

We met a few years ago and I took your first baby photos. I wasn’t the closest newborn photographer to you, coming from outside London, but you still decided to come to Battersea. Why did you choose me? What did you like about my style?

 

We saw you the first time at  the  Baby Show in London in 2013.  We liked you the most out of other photographers because of your timeless style of photography and the way you capture the babies in your photos and also your friendly and easy going nature. My husband and me are realy pleased we had the photos done.  It’s something we can look back on in years and enjoy.

newborn photographer London - sleeping baby

 

How was the experience having your newborn photographed? Were you nervous or relaxed? Did you feel your baby was in safe hands?  

 

Our first session with Joseph was very relaxed. At the time it was really helpful that you came to visit us in our house .  From that we knew Melissa’s session would also be very relaxed. We had no problem trusting you with our baby and trusting that we would end up with some really fantastic photos!  This time we enjoyed visiting your studio and seeing your set up (which was great), and loved it when we saw that Joseph’s photos were up on your wall 🙂

baby photographer London

 

Do you have other children? How do they react to the baby?  Do you have any cute stories about their relationship?

 

We just have Joseph (3) and Melissa.  Joseph does like giving Melissa cuddles and talking to her. The cutest thing was actually this morning when Joseph said to Melissa ‘you are a pretty girl’ and then gave her a kiss.

newborn photographer London - sibling kiss

 

2 children later, what’s your top parent advice tip?

 

We find Joseph gets bored, and therefore into mischief quite easily (as I’m sure do all toddlers)!  Getting him out of the house for a run around on a daily basis or making time to do activities with him (eg crafts) tends to keep him focussed and out of mischief and therefore equals happy parents.
Melissa is quite young to have too many top tips yet, other than whilst its nice to get a routine established it doesn’t always work that quickly so easier and less stressful to go with the flow, they get there in the end!

 

What’s your favourite family place in London for a day out?

We enjoy the Natural History Museum with Joseph, he loves looking around there. 

 

Here a few more photos from their newborn session.

newborn photographer SW Londonnewborn photographer London - baby in basket newborn photographer London - close up newborn photographer London- black and white newborn photographer London - baby sleeping in basket newborn photographer London - baby in pink newborn photographer London - baby feet newborn photographer London - sleeping newborn photographer London - natural pose newborn photographer London - face close up newborn photographer London - curled babynewborn photographer London - details newborn photographer London newborn photographer London- black and whitenewborn photographer London - family newborn photographer London - family

 

 

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child accident

Child Accident Prevention and First Aid Advice

This post contains very important information to prevent common child accidents. The post comes from First Aid for Life, first aid experts who provide adivce and training. On their website you can find lots of useful free resources too.

Every year, around 2 million children attend A&E due to accidents. Over 76,000 of these require admission to hospital – that is nearly 1500 children a week!

 

Accidental injury is one of the biggest single causes of death in the UK for children over the age of one. More children die each year due to accidents than from illnesses such as leukaemia or meningitis.

Children should never be over-protected or wrapped in cotton wool. They do need to take measured risks and the inevitable bumps and bruises are a healthy part of growing up. However, it is vitally important to have the knowledge to anticipate and prevent serious childhood injuries that can cause long-term damage and have life-changing consequences.

Children develop at different rates; they reach milestones at totally different times and some miss out stages altogether. You will know your child well, but may not anticipate at what point they will suddenly roll, become mobile or be able to reach new heights.

It is exciting to see how quickly children grow, and to revel in new developments such as grabbing things, rolling over, crawling, standing, climbing, opening bottles and turning handles. However, it’s when these new abilities take us by surprise that serious childhood accidents can result.

When my children were younger, we had regular visits from older cousins and friends’ children. This gave us some insight into the next stages for our little ones. Things of no interest to our children, or things way out of their reach, became a source of fascination for our visitors. Anticipating possible risks was incredibly useful as it meant we were always one step ahead in the battle to stay safe!

The six most common childhood accidents are:

 

  1. Falls
  2. Burns
  3. Choking
  4. Suffocation/Strangulation
  5. Poisoning
  6. Drowning

There are simple safety precautions that all households can easily adopt to minimise the risk of children having accidents.

 

Preventing falls

 

  • Never leave a baby in a bouncy chair or car seat on a raised surface.

 

  • Babies and children should always be strapped into highchairs, buggies and car seats.

 

  • Always hold onto the banister when carrying your baby up and downstairs.

 

  • Fit safety gates to your stairs before your baby starts crawling and ensure you keep stairs clear from clutter.

 

  • Teach your baby to come down the stairs backwards.

 

  • Fit safety locks to windows.

 

  • Never leave chairs, large plant pots or furniture near windows, work surfaces, balconies or anywhere dangerous a baby or child could climb onto.

 

  • Secure furniture – particularly bookcases, chest of drawers and TVs – to the wall to prevent them toppling and crushing a child if they try to climb up them.

 

  • Bunk beds are not recommended for children under 6.

 

  • The safest place to change your baby’s nappy is on the floor – be incredibly vigilant when using changing tables.

 

childr accident - fall

Preventing burns

 

  • Microwaves cook unevenly. Get rid of hot spots when heating bottles or food by shaking or stirring thoroughly. Test the temperature before giving food to children or feeding a baby.

 

  • Run cold water into the bath first to stop the bottom overheating. Use a bath thermometer as well as checking the temperature yourself before bathing babies. Ideally fit a thermostat or temperature regulator to bath taps.

 

  • Keep hot drinks out of reach, use a kettle with a short flex and keep it at the back of the work surface.

 

  • Don’t drink hot drinks while holding a baby and never pass hot drinks over anyone’s head. A drink that has been sitting for 15 minutes can still be hot enough to burn a baby.

 

  • Use the back rings of the cooker, turn pan handles away from the edge.

 

  • Fit fireguards and radiator guards, turn off heated towel rails.

 

  • Be very careful of irons, hair straighteners and other hot implements and keep them and their flexes well out of reach. Remember how long they take to cool.

 

child accident - burn

For more advices continue to read here

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