Elle Timms shares her tips on keeping things pretty whilst pregnant 

A little while after discovering my pregnancy last year, someone asked me about my ‘birth plan’. I remember thinking: “Well, I’ll definitely need to get my eyelashes done, and maybe even look into the possibility of an at-home hairstylist for a blow dry… that would be really helpful.”

Nearly nine months on and needless to say, I’m more clued up and of course have a proper ‘B-day’ plan in place. The health of my new addition – and myself – has taken priority, but I can’t deny that the prospect of tackling the visual side of being pregnant has been important.

Most women will admit that this is a daunting time; your body is suddenly shared, drained and changing – and ultimately it’s responsible for your child. I’ve looked towards key celebrity case studies for advice, and in my opinion Julia Restoin Roitfeld is a shining example of a new mum doing it right. Her recently launched website, here, has been a useful, style-led find – covering familyfocused features, beauty and must-haves.

These days my personal beauty cabinet is predominantly made up of oil. A soak in warm, Epsomsalted water followed by an oil slick works wonders for aches and pains as your bump gets heavier, and I’m luckily still sans any dreaded stretch marks for it. The best oil products are Bio Oil – a great allrounder, quite literally, everywhere; I even use it on my face now. I also adore White Almond Oil by Perlier, it smells and feels utterly delicious – I use it before bed and drift off in no time. Also highly recommended is All In One Body Oil by human+kind – simple, natural oil for daily use, and the Mii product range at Just Kidding is absolutely worth exploring. 

I’ve found that smelling, and therefore feeling, good has calmed me, too. The scent I’ve discovered whilst pregnant is Pomelo by Jo Loves. The Mothers Balm (a solid skinhealer) and Beauty Sleep Concentrate (a lightweight face serum) have also become particular favourites; sniff for yourself and see.

On the subject of keeping your spirits up, when limbs start to swell it’s easy to feel down. Interpret this time as a signal to put your feet – and hands – up and treat yourself to a really luxurious mani/pedi. The Nail Spa  offers fabulous ‘mother-to-be’ and ‘baby shower’ treatment packages.

I also managed to rectify an unfortunate feet and ankle swelling episode with a slathering of Spa Fitness Gel by Natura Bisse, plus a night spent lying on my left side, propped up by a mountain of pillows. Apparently the vein in control of the blood flow to your lower half sits on your right hip, and so taking the pressure off gets things back to normal.

Just like Julia R R says: “Motherhood shouldn’t signal an end to sensuality and femininity; rather, it should heighten them.