SingaporeMotherhood | Pregnancy

September 2020

Esther Kwan’s Lushly Gorgeous Bohemian-style Maternity Shoot

At 37 weeks of pregnancy, you could be feeling like an over-pumped blimp, bursting at its seams, and ready to pop anytime. Then again you could be like human resources executive Esther Kwan, who resembles a fertility goddess come to earth in this Bohemian-style maternity photoshoot with her husband, compliance executive Tyrell Lam, 37.

“Most people do their maternity shoot earlier, around 34 weeks, but mine was pushed back because of the circuit breaker when studios and photographers were not allowed to operate,” says the 32-year-old, who posts pretty, blush-tinged photos of travel, beauty, and style on her wildly popular Instagram account. 

“Luckily I did not give birth early, else I would have missed the photoshoot. I was blown away! I mean, just look at the pictures!” adds the new mum, whose daughter Estelle Rae Lam was born on 20 July 2020 at Thomson Medical Centre. Yes, Just look at the pictures; we’re blown away too!

Why did you decide to do a pregnancy photoshoot? 

“I figure I will only be pregnant once (or twice) in my lifetime. Hence I wanted to have pictures to remember this milestone forever. 

Did you have to persuade your husband to do it too, or was he willing?

Haha! Good question, I think he is quite used to photoshoots already as I have dragged him along to travel shoots when we were overseas. So you could say that he was “involuntarily willing”. 

What was your first experience of pregnancy like, since part of it took place during the circuit breaker. 

I actually felt like the timing was quite good! I was already staying home by choice because I was having a tough pregnancy due to bloating 24/7, so I felt too sick to do anything but sleep. The circuit breaker made me feel like everyone was also staying home just like I was.

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A post shared by *ESTHER Travel•Beauty•Style (@estherksz) on

You gave birth during Phase Two of the circuit breaker. What was the experience like? 

Yes I did! We had to wear masks during childbirth and we also couldn’t have more than two visitors at any one time. I was induced on Estelle’s due date. A pill was inserted for inducing, then I took meds to empty my bowels, and then my obgyn burst my water bag. It felt like warm pee flowing out, and there wasn’t a lot, not like what I had seen in the movies where it looked like a waterfall.

At that point, doc said that I was 2cm dilated and that everything was looking good. We just had to wait for the dilation to get to about 10cm. I also got epidural done almost immediately because I was afraid of labour pains. This was at 10am.

A couple of hours later, I started to become breathless and almost blacked out. Apparently this was because of my low blood pressure and the nurses had to quickly turn down the epidural. It also meant that I could not have too high an epidural dose, so I might actually be able to feel the contractions. 

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A post shared by *ESTHER Travel•Beauty•Style (@estherksz) on

At 5.30pm, I was still only 2-3cm dilated even though my contractions were very regular. Doc said that if I didn’t dilate further by 8-9pm, I’d have to do an emergency C-section. No way was I going to do that after what I went through during the induction. So I prayed very hard for dilation.

At 7pm, my dilation had increased to 6cm, thank God! Contractions started to get more intense and I could feel the pain so my epidural dosage was increased. Then at 9.30pm I was good to go, and I did some pushes with the nurse. When the doc arrived, I pushed four times and my baby was out! The umbilical cord was wrapped twice around her neck but thankfully she was fine. 

What has being a new mum been like for you so far? 

It’s everything I imagined, and more 🙂 I didn’t have a lot of knowledge on how to take care of a baby, as most of my close friends don’t have babies yet, so the learning curve was really steep for me. Thankfully I’ve learnt quite a bit from my nanny, and Google! The first two weeks postpartum was the most challenging, because I needed to breastfeed my baby while recovering from childbirth, and this was harder than I imagined. But I realised that every time I looked at my baby, the recovery pains really minimised. 

Motherhood really taught me that I am stronger than I thought I was.

Back to the Bohemian-style photoshoot: what was it like?

It was done at Changi beach, and everyone was so positive and encouraging, which made it fun and not awkward at all. It was an amazing experience.

Did you have to prepare anything?

Well, I had to sleep early haha, cause I had to get up at 4am for hair and makeup. I also got my hair dyed (with henna hair dye) because my hair ends were a horrible shade of orange. 

What was your first thought when you first saw the photoshoot set up? 

I was blown away! It was my first time shooting with such an extensive backdrop of props. They really exceeded all my expectations. I mean, just look at the pictures! Apparently the vendors had been there since 4am to set the whole thing up. Big kudos to them.

Another lovely idea for a Boho-style shoot: with two sisters, one who is getting married, and one who is expecting her baby!

For someone who has just given birth not too long ago, you look amazing (we saw your IG pictures 🙂

Ah thank you 🙂 To be honest, I think it was because of my 24/7 pregnancy bloat, which prevented me from eating much. I did not gain much weight during my pregnancy. Hence after giving birth, I pretty much returned to my pre-pregnancy size albeit with the flabby tummy haha.

Who is your parenting inspiration? 

My mum 🙂 Because she used to breastfeed my brother and I when we were babies, and back then there were no such things as breast pumps so she had to feed us on demand. I can’t imagine how I would have done that, she’s my hero. 

Which are your favourite maternity must-haves?

For the first few days of breastfeeding, nipple balm and breast shells were a necessity for me, to prevent cracked nipples and nipple abrasion. I would also recommend hands free pumps, and wireless pumps so you can do other things while pumping. I’m using the cimilre motif luna breast pump with their hands free breast shields and I love it! 

(See also: Top Breast Pumps for Breastfeeding Mums in Singapore)

What’s your advice for new mums in Singapore?

Don’t be too hard on yourself or compare yourself with other moms. Just do your best. That’s enough for your baby.”

Bohemian-style maternity shoot

Models @juleneang @estherksz
Photography @knottiesframe
Wardrobe @whimseyjune
Florals @oharaweddings
Decor/Stylist @idoforyousg
Hair and makeup @tiffiningbeauty
Calligraphy stones @mylittlecraftersg

:: GIVEAWAY :: We have two Bohemian-style Maternity Photoshoot sessions (worth $1,700) to give away!

You can look like a goddess mama-to-be too, with our Bohemian-style maternity shoot giveaway! The giveaway Bohemian-style maternity shoot will be smaller than what you see above. However it will have the same theme, and a similar colour palette. We have two bohemian-style shoots to offer. Each shoot includes: 

  • Up to 45mins of photography
  • Bohemian decor set up 
  • Hair and makeup, including hair accessories (flower crown)
  • 1 maternity robe rental
  • Bonus: personalised agate stone for each winner (winner can customise a name or words on the stone and bring it to the shoot)

and of course, the dad-to-be is welcome too 🙂 

Note: Shoots will be done on a weekday of the last two weeks of October 2020. The exact date and time is to be confirmed. Makeup and hair will be done at the winners’ respective homes. The gown will be sent to winners a few days prior to the actual shoot day. Remember to bring it along for the shoot! 

How to win this Bohemian style maternity shoot: 

  • Like and share this article post on Facebook (make it public so we know!)
  • Tag a fellow boho babe mum-to-be in the comments 
  • Double-tap and re-gram this article’s post in Instagram (from 6pm today) for an extra chance 

Closing date of this giveaway: 12pm, 7 October 2020

Want to see your maternity, baby, or post-maternity shoot featured on SingaporeMotherhood? Email us at [email protected]

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Esther Kwan’s Lushly Gorgeous Bohemian-style Maternity Shoot