Q&A Anna Sophia van Zweden: ‘Listen to your body, but stay active’
Anna Sophia van Zweden is a true beauty with brains. After living in Dallas where she worked as an art consultant and founder of art and music festival Soluna, where unexpected collaborations take place and are being produced between classical and pop music and visuals arts. In Dallas she has also been active with charity event MTV ReDefine. One year ago she moved back to Amsterdam where is active now with the Papageno Foundation for autistic children. She has co-produced their charity concert and auctioneered several auctions for them. On the 30th of July she is expecting her first child and she knows exactly how to dress her lovely baby bump.
How would you describe your own personal style?
Feminine. Classic. I love being a women and dressing up, usually that goes with a pair of heels.
Your favorite maternity brand?
I challenged myself to find pieces that I can wear after pregnancy as well. I found great (stretchy) pieces at Ganni, Sandro and Cavalli. James Perse makes amazing dresses that are comfortable and very flattering for your growing bump. I think summer is not a bad time to be in your third trimester since you can get away with flowy dresses 🙂 I did purchase some at Asos Maternity. I like the wide variety they offer such as feminine dresses to go out in and comfortable pajamas. I also got a pair of maternity leggings by Blanqi which I can highly recommend especially when your bump is happy with some support in the last trimester.
How would your friends describe you in 10 words?
I actually asked my two best friends to describe me in ten words. They said: Energetic, Honest, Humorous, Loyal, Keen, Perfectionist, Ambitious, Social, Caring, Dominant.
How did you experience your first pregnancy?
In the beginning I was shocked to be honest. I have had some issues with fertility and it was against expectation that I would get pregnant without any help or medication. I experienced the first three months as uncertain since you don’t know what will happen with the baby and I still had to get used to the idea of being pregnant and all the (physical) changes that come with it. I also suffered from morning sickness the first three months and have spent many afternoons on the couch. My mother promised me that by month 4 the morning sickness would disappear and she was right! The day I hit week 13 I started to feel better and I started to really enjoy the pregnancy. Especially from the moment you feel your baby moving and kicking, realizing that you always have someone there with you is so special!
What is/was your craving?
Carbs. I usually try to not eat much carbs but this was the only thing my body was asking for. Especially brown sandwiches with cheese or avocado. Basically the only thing I could eat the first three months.
Did you change your beauty regime during your pregnancy?
Not that much. The products by !QMS from KNAP that I use on my face are safe to use during pregnancy and they contribute even more to the so called pregnancy glow. I used pregnancy oil on my belly against stretch marks by Estelle & Thild and their body butter since my skin is very dry now. They also make baby products which are also organic. I am sensitive for pigmentation so I used sunscreen spf 30 or 50 on my face, especially during vacation.
What is your best kept beauty secret during your pregnancy?
I think listening to you body but stay active. I usually love working out and work out three times a week but during my pregnancy I worked out with a trainer once a week and went for walks. I only did specific exercises – no lunges or jumping exercises which I usually love doing. I discovered a trainer that specializes in pre and post pregnancy work outs named Sara Haley. I think a woman is most beautiful when she feels beautiful so keep on doing what makes you feel good. I love dressing up and wearing heels I think its different for everyone but that’s what works for me ;).
Did you do any reading during your pregnancy? What is the best pregnancy book?
I got my daily updates on the app “ What to expect when you’re expecting” or I would read articles online on websites such as The Tot. I also read some of The Dad I was curious on the man’s perspective on it all 😉 And I just started in “ French Children don’t throw food’ and I really like it!
Can you describe the interior of your nursery in terms of style and theme? Are there any specific brands you used to decorate?
I wanted a classic slightly romantic look that fits our interior and it had to be light grey and white. My taste is more French/Italian orientated than Dutch so I had to search of things. I love the nurseries from Restoration Hardware but it seemed a bit complicated to import everything from the US so I found the furniture at Theophile et Patachou at Baby en Co in Antwerpen. I love their detail and the embroidery on the products. I ordered monogrammed pillows and bed sheets at Sarah K. I also added some items with lions such as his sign will be Leo.
Top 3 destinations to shop during your pregnancy
Your favorite restaurant and what to order there?
In Amsterdam I love Izakaya and The Duchess. I don’t eat meat but I love fish but during my pregnancy I was craving vegetables and carbs more than anything. I would order the roasted cabbage and the mushroom toban at Izakaya. The Duchess also has many vegetable dishes that I love and also, we had our first date there so it will always be one of my favorites.
Your favorite drink
Ginger beer with fresh mint or just sparkling water with lemon. ( I know boring but I get nauseous from sweet drinks ;).
The best baby gift you got so far?
That is a real though one to answer. I have friends all over the world with babies and older kids. They have sent me such great gifts and products the found useful; from the cutest outfits, Dr Brown bottles, maternity leggings and mini basketball outfits from my friend who is married to an NBA player. My Dutch friends threw me an amazing baby shower and gave me a baby food steamer and the most adorable baby shoes by Hermes. That gift came from them all so I would pick that.
What’s on your wishlist for your baby?
A high chair. A stroller for running.
The top 3 websites you visit on a daily basis
I check my App: “What to expect when you’re expecting” daily. So many different websites to find the perfect products.. baby clothes, a pillow for bathing. I found that it requires suite some web surfing to find the perfect products for you.
The top 3 Instagram accounts you follow.
2. The Tot
What is your guilty pleasure?
That would have to be online baby shopping.. I love searching for the perfect products and the cutest outfits. But hey which new mom doesn’t? 😉
Which fashion mom you look at for inspiration?
Rosie Huntington and Ciara had great maternity style. My friend Nasiba Adilova has amazing style throughout her pregnancies and founded the one stop shop The Tot which I love. But my own mom is my ultimate inspiration. She has had four children at a very young age, one with autism. She founded the Papageno Foundation for music therapy and young adults with autism who want to live independently. She is the sweetest and most patient person I know with very feminine and elegant style. A classic beauty. On top of that she is releasing a book so she is definitely an inspiring mom!
What inspires you most in life and where do you find creativity?
Art and music. I studied and work with art and music so I keep up with what’s happening internationally in the art world. There is always music playing at our house. Whether it’s a Bach piano concerto or the latest hip hop release. 20.Are there any fun (childhood) traditions that you share with your kids? We are a very close family and spend a lot of time together when we can. One of the reasons why I left the USA is because I missed my family too much after 5 years. We love to celebrate so most holidays are celebrated pretty big with as many family members and friends as we can accommodate. That is definitely happening at our house as well. My mother exposed us to a lot at a young age such as traveling, museums, concerts that is also something I am planning to do.
What keeps you relaxed in stressful times? Describe your ultimate Me-time moment.
I love being at home in our bedroom with my pregnancy pillow and air-conditioning watching a new series on Netflix GLOW. (tip!)
How do you stay healthy? Are there any beauty and lifestyle tips you would like to share?
Honestly I ate everything I wanted and gave in to any cravings but luckily there weren’t many unhealthy ones I had to resist 😉 Listening to your body and staying active with light work outs or walks is what I did. I kept doing my massages at Bodyfix which are great since they have the special supportive pillows so you can continue those while pregnant which is helps against retaining fluid. When I wanted to pamper myself I did a maternity massage at The Rub.. The best!
Which mom would you like to introduce for the next Prêt à pregnant talks with and why?
Fallon Houtman has a toddler girl and a baby boy. She moved from London to Holland. I got some great tips of products that she uses for her kids.
Nasiba Adilova founded The Tot so she knows all there is to know when it comes to great products mostly organic from all over the world.
And last but not least…… Share the best tip for other pregnant ladies.
Buy a pregnancy pillow, book a massage every once in a while, schedule a photo shoot, keep on doing things that make you feel pretty and ENJOY!