A Beautiful Mama-To-Be & Her Bump! We Chat All Things Pregnancy With Marie Manuel
Instagram; It’s an amazing source of information, a place to find pretty pics about things you love and be inspired by mamas all over the world! We love French mama-to-be Marie Manuel’s beautiful instagram images (check out her account @cocoandrama) and her lovely account of her growing bump (a little baby girl is due end of April), living in Dubai and traveling to some seriously swoon-worthy places. From keeping fit while pregnant to staying stylish and loads more, we caught up with Marie to chat all things pregnancy.
Where were you when you first found out you were pregnant?
It was at the end of summer on the French Riviera, I was in our family house in a small village near Antibes, I found out just a few days before coming back to Paris as we were there for the holidays between Cannes, Nice, Italy and Monaco.
How many weeks are you and when are you due?
I am now 25 weeks pregnant! I am due end of April, beginning of May.
Where will you be having your baby and who is your OBGYN?
I don’t even know yet! I think I must be the least prepared mum to be ever. I have just decided to deliver my baby in Paris instead of Dubai as it will be close to my family, and the medical system is very good in Paris. I still have to subscribe to one of the hospital here though, calling every hospital now and trying to figure out which one is the best for me!
Read more: The Birth Plan, Is There Such A Thing
Any great books and resources that you turn to for baby preparation?
Google has been my best adviser! From what to do to stop the nausea to stretch mark cream and shopping list to prepare for the baby first 6 month, I love it, everything is online! I m also chatting a lot with my girlfriends who already have a baby, they give me good advise. One of my best friend in the US is also pregnant in the same so we call each other all the time and exchange tips and good addresses about maternity and babies! (she is the one who talked to me about Kate Middleton maternity fashion brand Seraphina, so I went to find it in Dubai and they have very pretty and comfortable maternity dresses – in festival city mall).
What was the easiest trimester and which one has proved most difficult?
First trimester has been the worst for me. Now I am in the second trimester and since the third month was gone all the uncomfortable symptoms luckily disappeared with it! I was so happy and relieved and could do sport and have a normal social life again! So the easiest I guess is right now! 2nd trimester.
Do you follow a fitness programme while pregnant?
No I don’t, but I try to eat more healthy than usual (which was just impossible in the first three month) and I also do mild exercise because that makes me feel good to stay active. I do much less than usual but have been doing walks in the mountain snow (in the French alps near Geneva where I have been spending Christmas and New Years holidays with my family) I have also done stand up paddle in kite surf beach (the surf shop guys were very impressed with my baby bump haha), yoga in House of Om and Life n One and bicycle in the sand dunes of Al Quadra.
Any fashion tips and tricks for maternity dressing? How do you manage to look so awesome?!
I actually found it hard to find stylish maternity fashion shops in Dubai, so I ordered most of my dresses online. In Paris I didn’t really need maternity clothes so far as its winter so most of my winter clothes still fit and look cute on my baby bump, I just got a good pair of maternity jeans and comfortable black leggings.
In Dubai I just bought so many maternity clothes because I can’t fit anymore in any skirt, shorts, trousers and most dresses. My tip would be to wear fitting clothes and show off that baby bump!
What have you struggled with most since being pregnant?
My biggest struggle was the non stop nausea I had during the first three month and I felt extremely tired all the time too! I survived on Netflix and ice cream!
What kind of delivery are you hoping for?
To be honest I wish I could deliver my baby in my house in the swimming pool surrounded by caring and professional doctors, nurses and my husband on a lovely afternoon while the sun set. But in reality what matter the most for me specially for my first baby as I have no experience or ideas of what to expect is definitely health and safety. So I just hope for a fast and easy delivery where I and the baby will be super healthy and recover fast. I hope that I can go without an anesthesia as I don’t like the idea of taking medicine while delivering my baby but I have no idea what to expect in term of pain so I might change my mind until then ! 😉
Name a mama you find inspiring and why?
The Australian fitness blogger and mama Tammy Hembrow because she looks both beautiful, active, a strong entrepreneur and she is so cute with her kids, I love to follow her little family on Instagram.
What are your thoughts about finding out the sex in advance?
I think it would be great to be surprised when the baby is born but I don’t think I could ever be that patient to wait 9 months to discover it. I was willing to find out as soon as possible because its a great surprise and so I could project myself, start thinking about names and shop for cute baby girl clothes. I was more into having a baby boy first as I didn’t have an older brother and thought that would be cool to have first a boy then a girl, but my girl friends mother of girls convinced me otherwise. They say rising a girl is much more fun, they are wiser, stronger and smarter, more independent and shopping to dress them up is so much fun! I couldn’t agree more even though boys are the cutest too.
Any local businesses that make your pregnancy journey easier?
The city of Dubai itself I believe is a amazingly comfortable place to be pregnant! I love the fact that in Dubai its easy to order anything home delivery at any time of the day and night, this has really made my pregnancy much easier so far. The fact that I can find so many options to keep being fit and healthy easily is a must too! From the running tracks on the beach, to all the new facilities at kite surf beach or La Mer and all the gyms and classes options like yoga, I love the sporty vibe in Dubai its so easy to keep active.
One local business which I must say has always been my relaxing place of heaven since I moved to Dubai 6 years ago and which I love even more now that I am pregnant is Tips and Toes. I book an appointment, come relax have a nice green tea and get pampered with a manicure and pedicure and head and shoulder massage! The best…I love it and try to refrain myself from going too much but I m pretty much there every week changing my nails color! 🙂
Since I m trying to eat healthy and vegan I also love to go to ‘Life n One’ cafe in Jumeirah for their delicious numeric smoothie and vegan breakfast omelette, this is a perfect sport too to relax while loving yourself, meeting people and learning more about meditations and all while waiting for baby to come.
Do you have any weird and wonderful cravings?
I did specially in the first trimester. I suddenly had the urge to eat immediately I had no patience otherwise I would feel sick. I developed this very weird aversion for tomatoes for some reason ! I couldn’t see even anything red in my plate. I usually love tomatoes, so that was very strange. I had cravings like cookies and cream ice cream, coke and Bolognese pasta (I know its tomato sauce lol). But all this stopped as soon as the I passed the first trimester (except I still can’t eat tomatoes, haha).
Will you have any family or friends here to help after the baby’s born?
I don’t have family in Dubai, that is one of the reason why I think of going back to Paris for a few month to deliver my baby. However, I have wonderful friends in Dubai since I have created my life here for the past five years, they have become a little like family and are very supportive, they are all very excited to meet and play with our baby.
Read more: A Chat With Foodie Queen Annabel Karmel
What are you most looking forward to about motherhood?
I love babies, my older sister has two beautiful daughters (3 and 1 years old), so I can’t wait to have a baby which is actually mine, it is still hard for me to believe. I can’t wait to see how she will look like as we are a mix couple French, Emirati with my husband, to see her personality evolve, watch and guide her growth as a little human being. I can’t wait to make her dream, create our own family traditions and make life a little magical for her.
All images by Marie