WHEN I first found out I was pregnant I didn't know much about pregnancy - thank goodness for the internet.
I'm now 37 weeks, and like most new mums I've been learning things along the way (such as it's extremely difficult to paint your toenails with a third trimester bump).
As much as I wanted to keep healthy for my baby , I wanted my body to look great during pregnancy; my biggest fear was stretch marks.
Without having to endure sickness and back pain, being pregnant has been such a wonderful time (I know, I understand I'm very lucky) and we've been keeping busy making preparations for when baby arrives and organising baby's room, and cooing at all of these adorable small clothes - I'm also surprised by how excited I've been to receive a new stroller (see here).
As a fashion blogger, throughout my pregnancy I didn't want to compromise my personal style. One of the challenges during the nine months was to stay looking and feeling like myself.
While many new mums clamber to the high-street to buy a hoard of super elasticated maternity wear, from the beginning I refused to buy any.
I was bothered by visions of unsightly smock dresses and mummy jeans and because my clothes are oversized anyway (I tend feel great in clothes a few sizes bigger) I didn't want to have buy plenty of new outfits. For the first six months I experimented with loose fitting tops, high waisted a-line skirts and floaty maxi-dresses (see below):
Of course with time, when the baby bump started to show, my jeans didn't fit me anymore and I reluctantly decided to buy a few pairs of maternity jeans. I was surprised to find great quality stretchy jeans at H&M, Next and also Primark. While I'm still wearing tops from before my pregnancy, the high-street has upped its maternity offering, and I have been impressed by the number of fashionable outfits available. Who knew?
Like the majority of women, I also had an ongoing problem with my changing bra size. Within the first couple of months my bra size increased drastically - from cup side B to DD. Hands down, the most comfortable bras are from Triumph. Triumph's Magic Wire Bra (£34.00) is made with 'new technology' and the silicone underwire makes you feel comfortable and keeps everything in place. This bra was my saviour when my breasts were at their most tender.
Fashion aside, I knew I wanted to keep very healthy and fit during all of my pregnancy. My diet is usually healthy, apart from chocolate and coffee addictions (I quit and switched to decaf), and I made sure to stock up on vitamins, especially folic acid.
As much as I want to keep healthy for my baby, I also wanted my body to look great during pregnancy; my biggest fear was stretch marks. From very early on, I started using stretch mark prevention creams like Palmers (£2) and Bio Oil (£14.99 for 125ml)and also body scrubs to prepare my skin for a big change.
With time I came across an amazing product: Support Band with day gel and night cream from Secret Saviours (£69.95).
At first I was skeptical, and thought it would be too much of an effort to wear the support band every day, but I got used to it and I even forgot I was wearing it. I'm happy to say that this product works because by 34 weeks I didn't have any stretch marks (Secret Saviour pack cost £69.95 and you can order directly from their web page or from Amazon).
Now as my bump is getting bigger and heavier, I'm still enjoying every single minute of having this little person inside me - yet hurry up baby, I can't wait to meet you.
Find her on Twitter @el_martina
(All images belong to Martyna Sobol).