Ruth Griffin: Good to glow - looking after mama during pregnancy
For every woman, falling pregnant is a life-changing occurrence. Arguably, for a model, this change can be felt more dramatically.
A pregnant model stops working after the first trimester, and as a self-employed person with no maternity leave, there can be added pressure for a miraculous body bounce-back post-baby.
When you pay your mortgage with your appearance, it's obvious that a model has to mind her looks. Throughout my career I became wholly used to the notion that my face and body were essentially my work tools and I believed that I had total control over them.
When I became pregnant, however, my attitude to my body fundamentally changed - but in the loveliest way.
I've always loved pregnant women. I think they are very powerful yet disarmingly vulnerable looking, all at the same time.
While pregnant, I simply made peace with the fact that my body, skin and hair was not my own anymore and that my body was doing what it was designed to do - create, grow and nurture my little baby. I relinquished control over my body, and just let the ego fade away when I realised that I was creating a perfect little human for whom I could create food/milk to nourish! A little miracle, really.
Pregnancy changes our bodies (I gained nearly four stone!) but also our skin, hair, nails and emotions. I have a few stretch marks, or as Joyce Amor describes them "pregnancy service stripes" - I would gently encourage women to celebrate these bodily reminders of what a mother does.
Yes, I realise that every woman and her pregnancy is different: some sail through unscathed and others can suffer throughout the nine months.
My personal advice for Mama Bears is to eat well, enjoy your treats, rest and go easy on yourself as much as possible.
Don't give in to societal pressures and give yourself a year to get back to feeling yourself after the birth. A happy mama makes a happy baba.
"Making the decision to have a baby is momentous. It is to decide to forever have your heart go walking around outside your body." Elizabeth Stone
Chrissy Teigen (pictured) — always hilarious and willing to make fun of herself, her growing bump and her pregnancy food cravings — while still looking glowing and gorgeous throughout her pregnancy
6 of the best pregnancy products
TIP TO TOE
This is the perfect kit to nourish your pregnant skin from tip to toe. Mama Mio products are rich in organic omega oils that hydrate and elasticise, antioxidants that strengthen skin and stop sagging and green cabbage leaf extracts to help ease swelling. Mama Mio Pregnancy Essentials Kit, €40, from pharmacies nationwide
Excessive perspiration is a common pregnancy side-effect. MooGoo, an aluminum–free, roll-on deodorant, will keep you dry and confident without the chemical nasties. MooGoo fresh cream deodorant, €8, pharmacies nationwide
This nourishing, all-natural option from Burt’s Bees will help soothe tight pregnant skin. Remember to smoothe this not only over your growing bump but also over breasts, nipples, thighs and back area. Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Balm, €16.95, pharmacies and health stores
For pregnant ladies who love a good manicure but want to eliminate the chemicals — get your mitts on butter London. This brand doesn’t add formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, DBP or any other nasties to their nail products. butter London nail polish, €16.95, Boots
For a chemical-free hair dyeing option during pregnancy, look for your nearest Aveda salon — its products and dyes are 97pc natural. If you’re looking for a DIY hair dye alternative, check out vegan brand Surya Brasil — its formulas are free of any harsh chemicals and safe to use during pregnancy and/or while nursing. Surya Brasil hair colour, €13.80, pharmacies and health shops nationwide
Tracey Ryan, creator of bia beauty, came up with the idea for her all-natural Irish beauty brand when she was pregnant with her first child. It’s no surprise then that her Mom & Baby set is an inspired gift for new mums. The set includes multi-purpose baby cream, shea body butter and a soothing eye gel. bia beauty Mom & Baby Gift Set, €45; biabeauty.com, Avoca, and selected health stores