A talented mama-to-be and her beautiful bump
One half of the amazing fashion label Dinz (which she runs with her sister), Dina Zahran was born and raised in Spain before moving to Dubai almost 20 years ago. Mama of teeny newborn baby girl Haya, we caught up with Dina during her pregnancy to chat about everything from her preggo fashion tips to the inspiring mamas in her life – and our fab photographer Monica snapped some gorgeous shots along the way.
What was your reaction when you first found out you were pregnant?
Excited, scared, nervous, grateful, in disbelief; so many emotions at once! I knew this was the beginning of something amazing.
Your funniest memory over the nine months?
Mostly looking at myself in the mirror in disbelief at the changes happening to my body and the size of my belly, I would just look at myself and laugh! The funniest is when I thought I could fit into pre-pregnancy dresses or t-shirts and they would be crop tops instead of full length tops with my massive belly, I would just laugh at myself for thinking I could actually fit into them!
Any great books and resources that you turn to for baby preparation?
There are so many apps; Baby Center and What to Expect are my favourites. I did some light reading here and there such as ‘The New Contented Little Baby’ and ‘What to Expect the First Year’ just to give me a vague idea of what I should expect because I knew absolutely nothing about babies. I had never even seen a diaper being changed or fed a baby so the idea that I was going to have to do all this without knowing how really scared me. Of course everybody says no book will ever fully prepare you, and that’s true, but you can still learn something from everything you read!
What was the easiest trimester and which one proved most difficult?
It’s true what everybody says, the second trimester is the best! I was full of energy, not too heavy yet, and had minimal discomforts. I took advantage of this time by traveling with my husband and enjoying our last holiday as a family of two. The first trimester was the most difficult. Constant nausea, heartburn and fatigue really wore me out. And as a first pregnancy, the things and changes that were happening to my body really caught me off guard and were a little difficult to accept at first.
Do you follow a fitness programme while pregnant?
I avoided any and all exercise during my first trimester. But after that I started walking a lot and went back to my usual twice-a-week Physique 57 classes because I needed to feel like I was still active and healthy. Eventually I had to stop because I suffered from severe back issues due to the pregnancy, so instead I started doing pre-natal yoga and pre-natal Pilates all the way up until the day before I gave birth.
Any fashion tips and tricks for maternity dressing?
For the first couple of months when your body is in the awkward in-between phase you can try to wear looser clothing and hide the awkward mini-bump. But once you pop, I say embrace the bump! Don’t be afraid to let it show, and at the same time accentuate the parts of your body that haven’t changed. If your legs still look great, then accentuate them with tight leggings or a dress, or if your arms are in good shape go for a sleeveless style. I hate maternity clothes because they’re extremely unflattering, they’re loose all over and do nothing to accentuate the beautiful pregnancy figure.
What have you struggled with most since being pregnant?
At the beginning it was really difficult to accept my new body. My belly hadn’t fully popped yet and my weight was increasing very rapidly. I’m very health conscious and like to stay in shape so not being able to fit into my clothes from the very beginning and feeling like I didn’t officially look pregnant yet, but at the same time didn’t look like myself, was difficult to accept.
The other difficulty was when I had my back issue I was barely able to walk or move for over a month, it was excruciatingly painful to the point that I could barely go grocery shopping. I’m the kind of person who likes doing things myself and I don’t like to ask others to do things for me, whether it’s carrying bags for me or getting me water from the kitchen, I like doing it myself. So being in a situation where I had no choice but to ask for help and accept that I wasn’t able to be my usual active self was difficult.
Name a mama you find inspiring and why?
My mother and my sister are my mama idols. Both of them dedicated their lives to raising their children, giving them everything they want and need and beyond. My mother spent so much time with us as children, teaching us, playing with us, making sure were taught the right things, and my sister is the same way. They sacrifice for their children without even thinking of themselves for a split second. If I can be half the mother they are, then I will be very happy.
What are your thoughts about finding out the sex in advance?
I’m all for it! I couldn’t wait to find out the gender of mine! It makes it so much more exciting and then you can start shopping and decorating and thinking of names! I don’t have the self-control that it takes not to find out in advance!
Did you or do you have any weird and wonderful cravings?
My food cravings would change every month! The first trimester was all about hotdogs, burgers, cheese sandwiches, cereal, and anything with bread or pasta! I tried my best to choose healthier alternatives but it wasn’t easy. After that my cravings have mostly been cherries (these weren’t easy to find out of season!), burgers, Zaatar W Zeit (a MUST once a week), avocado, eggs, and anything cooked in a tomato sauce!
Thanks to our fab photographer Monica Chindalia for these beautiful snaps of Dina and her bump! Check out her website here.