Being Pregnant in Switzerland

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Being Pregnant in Switzerland

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It’s been on my mind to share with you all about what it’s been like being pregnant in Switzerland. I’ve waited till now - the start of my 39th week to write it so I had a good idea of the whole journey. I will write about the birth experience (including the final week/s of pregnancy and how that was managed) separately so the post isn’t too long. Due to many friends and family giving birth in Australia, i know a little bit about what is normal there and being able to compare the experience with Switzerland, although it is important to note that my experience here may not be (and most likely isn’t) typical of all pregnancies here in Switzerland either. Anyone’s care here is largely dependent on the gynaecologist you choose to see. So let me jump in to the biggest things i learned, loved and hated about being pregnant in Switzerland.

How much you pay/How much is covered

In Switzerland, it is compulsory to have basic health insurance cover and its not very cheap! I’m not going to go into all the details of how health insurance works here, but here’s a small overview: We pay roughly CHF 800 a month as a couple for basic health insurance. For that, you receive care thats a little better than Australia’s free public health service. In addition to our monthly fee, we still have to pay our franchise (like an excess) - so we pay the first CHF2500 per year of all medical bills. After that, we only pay 10%.

For the first 13 weeks of pregnancy you are considered ‘ill’ which means all the bills are treated as such and dealt with normally through the insurance. From 13 weeks to birth you are considered pregnant and pretty much everything pregnancy related is 100% covered and you don’t have to pay the excess either. We were pleasantly surprised by this and its been a huge financial relief as there are so many appointments you need to go to plus all the unexpected appointments that pop up too, and I don’t know whether you’ve heard but Switzerland is expensive! haha. Its kind of been fun seeing all the expensive medical bills come in and zeroed out - Thank goodness!!

Thankfully we didn’t have any complications or anything go wrong in the first 13 weeks, but I feel for women who miscarry and perhaps need a D&C and then also have to pay for their surgery on top of it all because as per the health system you’re ill not pregnant! I really believe if it is pregnancy related - it should be covered regardless of how many weeks you are.

Routine Scans and Appointments

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Here in Switzerland, your pregnancy is managed by your own ob/gyn of your choosing which you go back and see throughout the whole pregnancy. I could be wrong, but this seems to be opposed to being managed largely by your General Practitioner in Australia and only occasionally seeing an obstetrician at milestone dates. I chose an ob/gyn based on some recommendations on facebook, however I wish I would have settled with a gynaecologist before hand and got to know the style of my doctor as I have never really felt 100% happy with my choice (more on that later), but felt like it would be too much trouble to change part way through.

I saw my obstetrician, every 3-4 weeks and at each appointment I had blood drawn, urine sample, weight check, blood pressure check and a growth scan by ultrasound. This is in addition to a short chat with the ob/gyn about any concerns either one of us had. I loved that everything was done in one building and directly before my appointment. Unlike Australia where your blood samples and ultrasounds are usually done somewhere other than your appointment and not likely on the same day either!

I know in Australia, they only do around 3 ultrasound growth scans over the entire pregnancy and initially, i thought the Swiss way of an ultrasound every 3-4 weeks was good. Why wouldn’t i want to see my baby on the screen each month and make sure everything is on track? Well… my baby has always measured on the smaller side pretty much the whole way through the pregnancy. I know that ultrasounds can be slightly inaccurate too. However all these scans just caused a whole bunch of stress that really wasn’t necessary. My doctor became concerned at my baby’s size, and also at her head circumference so we were referred a couple of times to a specialist for more ultrasounds (on slightly more accurate equipment) which showed she was small, yes, but everything was completely fine. This period felt like a rollercoaster of worry and relief and it really made me question what the point of all these ‘extra’ ultrasounds were - does micro monitoring these babies really benefit the health of the pregnancy, or just cause undue worry? Do they pick up more abnormalities in Switzerland than Australia?

You and your baby’s stats are printed on a ‘Mutterpass’ which you continually get updated at each appointment and take home with you and take to the hospital or to any health care provider that needed to see it. I actually loved this sheet of paper. I felt like it was a great overview of how it was all tracking, the information was transparent and I could refer back to it anytime i wanted rather than it all kept for the doctors only.

Patient Treatment

Overall, the care in Switzerland is at a very high standard - Doctors are well educated and knowledgeable - all the tests were completed quickly and easily and I was updated on results very quickly too. I do believe however that bedside manner and how patients are listened to and spoken to was not so great. Now, I know this is not everyone’s experience here. My ob/gyn came highly recommended by many and I felt she was professional and met my needs medically 90% of the time. Perhaps this was a cultural thing (most likely i think) but i really clashed with my doctor. She is definitely more serious and blunt and maybe its because i’m Australian, but i prefer things a little friendlier. One thing i had to get used to was when she greeted me into the room and asked ‘How are you?’, the answer was carefully written down in my notes and not mentioned again. The stock standard answer for ‘How are you?’ is always ‘good’! I didn’t know I had to pour out my soul to her as I entered the room!

I also got very little information on my first appointment with her back when i was 7 weeks pregnant - she briefly touched on some foods to avoid - raw fish/meat, unpasteurised cheese - and gave me a booklet that was in German which was sort of like a handbook about pregnancy. Needless to say, i didn’t read the book and was left with a lot of questions, not only general questions on pregnancy, but also the process in Switzerland. What could I expect from her, how many appointments will I have, who do I call if I have problems during the pregnancy? I felt like a lot was missed out and i learnt more from support groups online, and through books than I did through my own doctor. I realised they are not in the habit of telling you anymore than you need to know. Results sent through to my doctor weren’t really elaborated on apart from a ‘yes its okay’ - instead, if a copy was sent to me, i would be googling translations to really understand what was tested and what my results meant. For anyone going through the same experience - i 100% recommend purchasing Emily Oster’s book ‘Expecting Better’. She compiles all the information women need to know about what to eat, the risks of various foods and tests, what tests are necessary and all the facts and statistics directly from the research studies with no spin! It really gave me peace of mind and confident in the decisions I was making for myself.

It’s a sad thing to say, but I often left my appointments feeling dumb, depressed or worried. My questions were often met with replies that made me feel silly for asking, I was unnecessarily worried about potential risks that hadn’t even happened or been confirmed yet, and any concerns of pain I had wasn’t really questioned and just brushed off as ‘normal’ which may have been true but i felt like they weren’t investigated adequately. Immediately after failing my gestational diabetes glucose test, I was told I would most likely have to be on insulin at some point in the pregnancy and ‘have’ to go to the main hospital for birth (which was not the hospital I preferred) - Both of these facts turned out not to be true as my blood sugar levels have been in the right ranges since and my choice in hospital is available and safe for me to be at. In hindsight, i wish I changed doctor from the beginning, however i continually doubted my own feelings and that maybe i just ‘took it the wrong way’. I had a much better experience with the specialist doctor I saw at regular intervals - i guess being a specialist and having to give a range of good and bad news, her bedside manner is a little more developed and crucial for the wellbeing of her patients.

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All in all…

I sit here now, at the tail-end of my pregnancy pretty happy with my journey and experience. Despite jumping through all the hoops they threw at me, my pregnancy had no complications, my baby is healthy according to all their measurements and tests and I feel really good heading into this birth. I have learnt so much through this journey though- most importantly to trust myself and my body. I have learnt that no one cares as much about your own body and health than you and you need to advocate for yourself, realise that while doctors are incredibly knowledgeable, you also need to understand what is happening and it needs to feel right for you. There is so much information out there and I encourage you to speak to a wide variety of people, read books, hear other peoples experience and educate yourself - knowledge really is power and it gives you the confidence to ask more questions and take ownership over your health and care.

I also learnt to relinquish a little control in some aspects (which is big for me!) and have worked hard to get my head in a good, happy place. Naturally, i haven’t felt like this all the time, and i’m sure i’ll still have doubts in the final week or so - but i feel like i’ve grown as a person. Perhaps I needed to go through this - to become a better human, woman and mother.

After the birth i’ll discuss all the ways i prepared for the delivery - antenatal classes, books i read, podcasts i listened to, my experience in hiring and doula, and hypnobirthing!

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Susanne + Philippe Maternity | Basel Photographer

Susanne + Philippe are new in our apartment building and hosted an apero for their friends and tenants of our apartment building to get to know us! When I found out she was pregnant and has pretty much the same name, I took it as a sign that I should go! SO glad I did because not only are they lovely, but I also got to know quite a few others from the apartment building too! Was a really fun night!

Another pleasant surprise is that they were wanting some maternity pictures which I was more than happy to do for them. We split the shoot between indoor and outdoor and I think it gave them some great variety - we got the classic maternity portraits as well as some lifestyle shots inside the home. We also had such nice weather which was lucky because rain had become a familiar friend at that point.

I’m so looking forward to capturing their newborn soon! Our little ones will be around a month apart so it will be baby mania soon! These are my favourites from the session:

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Carla's Dreamy Maternity Shoot - Basel Photographer

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Carla's Dreamy Maternity Shoot - Basel Photographer

Carla has a talent for creating visual feasts for the eyes - with flowers, invitations and styling - so i was absolutely ecstatic when she asked me to take some pictures of her to remember her pregnancy. I love that we have the same taste in style and picture taking and I think we really make a good team working together to create some beautiful images. So its no surprise i absolutely adore these photos - they’re light, soft, feminine and oh so dreamy.

I kind of have a love/hate relationship with beautiful maternity pictures - as they really do speak to how incredible the journey is. How a woman’s body can nurture a tiny cell by growing a whole new organ to sustain and give energy and love to grow a whole new person. However, unlike the photos, the whole pregnancy journey is not all pretty dresses, perfect hair and flowers - its an up and down mix of emotions, lack of comfort, a whole host of weird body changes and a flurry of medical appointments but it’s really not as fun to look at those pictures! haha. While i whole-heartedly believe in, and love creating these maternity pictures (every pregnant woman needs to bask in the beauty of her body’s capabilities), I need to remind every pregnant woman out there feeling ‘less than’ (me, right now!) - that all pregnant women feel the lows and the highs. We need to sit with those lows (and know we have the strength to get through them) but we should damn-well celebrate those highs and thats what i try and do with maternity shoots!

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Branding session for Kellie

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Branding session for Kellie

I absolutely loved working with Kellie! She is (relatively) new to Basel and settling in after a previous life in social work back in the USA. She came to me wanting some photos to use on social media and for her blogging (which you can find at https://4passion.blog.) Since our first meeting we hit it off - she was such a stylish, positive and inspiring person to be around, so we’ve become great friends too! We ended up shooting in a few spots in Basel city as well as her apartment where I got to witness first hand her obsession with workout clothes and fun accessories. I only wish I had a collection as awesome as hers.

Apart from having a blast together, we got so many great photos, and it was so hard to pick favourites but this selection gives a great glimpse into what our shoot was like:

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Life in Switzerland: Two years on

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Life in Switzerland: Two years on

I’m a little late with this blog - so much so, it’s almost 2 and a half years now! This last year has really flown by since my 1 year anniversary blog post: An Australians experience living in Switzerland. I wanted to again - stop and reflect for a moment on our current circumstances - on the good we have here, and also the frustrating things I encounter here too. I won’t repeat what i wrote in my first blog post (linked above) but they still ring very true so check it out. So here’s a little summary on what’s on my mind two years in from my big move to Switzerland.

Having a baby in Switzerland

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To be honest not a whole lot has changed circumstantially for us here, apart from the fact we’ll be welcoming our first baby (a girl) here in June! It’s an exciting time for us, an adventure of a different kind. It’s brought up all different thoughts for me in terms of what it will be like for this little girl to grow up here in Switzerland. For me, I always envisioned having a family in Australia, having a similar childhood to my own. I never anticipated, even a few years back, that i would be having a baby in another country and that baby will be bilingual and whose first culture will be different to my own. I went through all the emotions when I first got pregnant (i’m mostly going to blame all the hormones here) but I was grieving, not only for the childhood i thought my daughter would have in Australia close by to my family, but also at how I envisioned my own motherhood journey to be - a place supported by my family and friends, a place where i felt comfortable, and knew what activities were available to kids. Essentially, in Australia, I know exactly what that time in my/our lives would look like. But here, it is relatively unknown. I still don’t have many close friends here, even less that are mothers, there are only a limited amount of activities for kids in English (where i’d be most comfortable without Patrick), and a medical system I am relatively unfamiliar with. I do have a fear that i will feel isolated here and to be honest, that fear could very well be realised.

But like with homesickness, I really feel like perspective and gratitude is that only thing that can get us through these moments. I need to choose to see all the positives we have by being here, because:

  1. This daughter will be bi-lingual - I don’t know how many times I wished i was exposed to another language from birth. Bi-lingual kids put in all the hard work before they even realise it, and will reap the benefits of two languages for their whole life.

  2. She’ll have two passports - some may say they are the worlds most coveted (might be biased here). She will always have the choice of these two beautiful countries. She will always feel more at home in Switzerland than I ever will - she’ll know the language and culture natively.

  3. I can stay at home with her with less financial worries than we would in Australia. A privilege that is becoming less and less common in todays society. Switzerland is giving us an amazing gift of financial freedom and one that I don’t take lightly. It will mean that one day we can return to Australia and be in a very good position, and give our child/ren a good head start.

  4. We can do all these amazing short trips together- showing her the world when she is young. I believe travel is one of our greatest teachers of compassion, open-mindedness and tolerance (amongst many other things) and above all my wishes for my her - I hope she is kind and compassionate.

Nothing is ever 100% perfect no matter where you live, and you have to choose to see the good in any situation. I do get sad, anxious and stressed about my worries of the unknown sometimes, but the most important thing is that i come back to the positives before my worries do too much damage.

The medical care here in Switzerland is amazing and a little different from Australia - I think this is something i’ll talk more about after the baby is here.

Swiss Postal Delivery

As everyone knows, living in Switzerland is expensive - everything costs more - so naturally, people go online to find products. I also go online because Switzerland doesn’t have much variety. When I was in Australia, i used to think living in Europe would be so much better in terms of shopping - more variety, less cost etc. But I was wrong. I am still frequently buying things from America, Australia or the UK. And because Switzerland needs more money (insert eye roll), they apply customs charges to everything!! I might buy something for $80, then pay $20 postage, and then when it gets to Switzerland, I have to pay an extra CHF20-40 (AU$30-60) just to receive it! There are some rules around it (and a few exceptions), but it’s pretty complex so it’s hard to know if you’ll get hit by it and by how much. We also found problems in getting things shipped to Switzerland because Switzerland is not technically part of the EU, so often times they won’t even post here! Don’t worry, we have a work around - we have a mailbox in Germany and we get things shipped there instead. I still find it weird though that we have no problems in receiving things in Germany which is less than 5 minutes away from our apartment.

Politeness to the extreme

Me having my first Rösti in Switzerland in 2012.

Me having my first Rösti in Switzerland in 2012.

Swiss politeness is a little strange. Even though the swiss don’t like queuing, they push in to get on the bus and tram before people get off, and leave passive aggressive notes to their neighbours, when it comes to saying ‘En guete’ (equivalent to ‘bon apetit’) and 'Gesundheit’ (equivalent to ‘bless you’) they are 1000% committed. I was in the supermarket and seemingly alone when I sneezed. I heard a “gesundheit” shouted at me from a few aisles down. At every meal with others, you could be at Maccas or a 5 star restaurant, the swiss will wish you ‘En guete’. Patrick told me that when he enjoyed a 4 course meal with co-workers recently, they wished each other ‘En guete’ at every course! Haha. No… too much for me. I think in Australia its just a “2, 4,6,8.. dig in, don’t wait”.



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Bread vs Toast

It’s a little thing really… but kind of strange to an aussie. They don’t really toast bread here - I’m sure people have toasters at home, but if you’re out at a cafe or the supermarket - when they sell ‘toast’ it really just means pre-packaged bread. It’s taken me some time to get used to the fact that i will probably never get a piece of toast with my scrambled eggs at a cafe (thats the one of two places they actually sell scrambled eggs!). as they just bring you regular untoasted bread, even if it says toast.

Also - how can you call it toast when its not technically toasted? Its like selling bottled water as ice…

Final Thoughts

I can already feel myself noticing less ‘weird’ things about Switzerland now. Its becoming a normal way of life - the church bells blend into the normal living sounds, catching the trams/busses is my normal life (i’m only annoyed when its cold and rainy!) and I can easily walk past the old buildings in the ‘altstadt’ without taking a picture each and every time!

I’m not sure it will ever feel like ‘home’ here - without as much independence, sunny weather and english speakers…. But i’m grateful for the experience of being here everyday. Not many people in Australia have the pleasure or opportunity to live in Europe (much less Switzerland) for an extended period of time. It has taught me much about culture, history and beauty.

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Travel in Switzerland: Mount Pilatus

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Travel in Switzerland: Mount Pilatus

We made a split decision one day to visit the beautiful Mount Pilatus in Summer last year. I only just realised i never blogged about my experience. I have many friends visiting beautiful Switzerland and I always recommend a trip to Mount Pilatus as we just had an incredible experience here. So here’s my run-down of our overnight stay.

Getting there

As with all the mountain tops in Switzerland, i recommend going on a clear day, which usually means a last minute booking. However i would much rather this, than spending a whole night looking out on to complete white nothingness of clouds! We actually booked to go up there at christmas time last year, we were packed, bought our train ticket and was just sipping on our Starbucks at the train station when we received a call from the hotel telling us they had to cancel the reservation as the winds were too stong and access to the peak had been closed. At the time I was pretty sad we had to cancel our trip, but in the long run it was better as we visited in the Summer when we had beautiful views out.

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Mount Pilatus is very close to Lucerne so we first took an hours train ride there from Basel. From Lucerne, there are two ways to access Pilatus-Kulm - Cogwheel train or Cablecar/Gondola. We decided to go up via the cogwheeel and down via the Gondola the next day. To get on the cog-wheel you have to first make your way to Alpnachstad - which you can do via train (about 20 minutes) or by boat. We went by train, but I think the boat could have been a really great experience.

Once at Alpnachstad, we purchased our tickets - the price is CHF72 for a return ticket (36 with the half fare card). You can take a cheesy tourist photo pretending to be on the little red train here too. See right for my cringeworthy moment! There is also a cafe at the base to enjoy some food and a cup of coffee too.

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I recommend trying to get in the lowest level of the cogwheel, from here you have a very nice view out of the bottom of the train as you go up. You do have to change trains half way up so it’s a good opportunity to switch position on the train if you want. It takes about 30 minutes to reach the top on a gradient of 48% which makes it the steepest cog-wheel in the world! The views are really beautiful so its a pleasurable 30 minutes.

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At the top

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When we first arrived, we actually checked in to the hotel straight away so we could put our bags down and have a look around. We chose to stay at Hotel Pilatus Kulm in their standard double room. There is a cheaper hotel on site also called Hotel Bellevue. We were really pleased with the room, it was nice and large, clean, and had beautiful views out onto the mountains. The cost of the hotel also includes dinner and breakfast in the price, which i’ll touch on more later.

We set back outside to have a look around. At this stage it was about 5 or 6pm and still bright outside. One side had clear views, while the other side was covered in white clouds making the view a complete mystery to us until morning. Apart from a large viewing platform, there are about 3 different paths/hikes you can do. It was much bigger than I anticipated. We set off on a hike on the side we had the clear views. The pathway was all level making it a pretty easy walk. Heights make me a bit nervous and there were definitely parts that made me a little anxious - mainly because all that was between you and a steep decline was a flimsy little wire fence! The hiking trail was virtually empty as most people had to catch the last gondola and train down the mountain. We maybe came across 2 other parties walking back. Aside from the breathtaking views, there were many alpine flowers in bloom and we saw a few Ibex drinking water very close to us.

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We actually didn’t reach the end of this hike as we decided to head back after about 40 minutes so we could get some dinner before watching the sunset. Our walk was definitely at a leisurely pace - we probably stopped for about 15 minutes just to watch the Ibex alone!

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Dinner at Hotel-Kulm

There is a set 4 course menu at dinner - you have a choice of two main dishes. I’m not sure how they handle allergy requests but i’m sure they would have a process if you mentioned it at the time of booking.

I could not fault the dinner. It was of really high quality, especially as this was included in the price. We ordered a glass of wine each that we had to pay on check out. Totally worth it though - it was a really relaxing dining experience in a beautiful room and it wasn’t too busy either. I just wish the windows were lower to you could take in the view from your seat. All i could see was a tip of a mountain and blue sky which i guess isn’t so bad.

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Sunset

The best thing about staying at one of the hotels is that the whole place empties out quite a bit - so you feel like you get the place to yourselves! We decided to hike up one of the lookouts to watch sunset. It is a steep short ascent but you are rewarded with absolutely beautiful 360 degree views including of Lake Lucerne.

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Sunrise

We got up very early in the morning the next day to catch the sunrise - totally did not feel like rolling out of bed before 5am, but I also didn’t want to miss an opportunity that doesn’t come around too often. I am so glad i did get up because we had such a magical morning. The clouds that were covering the other side of the mountain had cleared too. We hiked up to the other lookout this time and we were the only ones there. It was so quiet, with only the sound of these big bees and cowbells ringing in the distance.

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There is a place around the back of the hotel that you can exit on to the mountain and climb to a photo spot. It is very dangerous as the pathway is very narrow. I know i couldn’t have done it myself, however Patrick had more courage than I and did it for the picture… all while i was begging “please do not fall and die!” bUt with that beautiful morning light, it created a pretty epic picture in the end!

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Going Home

After our leisurely walk basking in the golden morning light, we packed up our things and got some breakfast. The breakfast wasn’t incredible - stock standard croissant, eggs, and meusli. We have had better at cheaper hotels to be honest and I was expecting a little more considering our wonderful dinner the night before.

We had one last leisurely stroll to take in the views before getting one of the early gondola’s down the other side of the the mountain. The gondola down is a new panoramic one that fits quite a lot of people but we were so lucky to have the gondola to ourselves. The trip down was honestly so amazing! The views were incredible - i wish it went a little slower! You can see some of these views in my video below. On the way down in our spacious huge gondola, we saw one going up the other way which was packed out with tourists. I felt so grateful to not be in there!

After the panoramic gondola, we had to take two other smaller gondola’s down toward Lucerne. We didn’t stop at the changeovers but they had playgrounds for kids to play on there.

Final thoughts

I felt like we did Pilatus right - going in the afternoon and spending the night. I really don’t like crowds and being squashed in gondolas and I feel like we escaped all of that doing it the way we did. I would recommend anyone visiting Pilatus to consider staying overnight. I’m glad we did it before kids as there really wasn’t any playgrounds or entertainment for kids that i could see. But for us, It was peaceful and relaxing. I got that feeling I always sought when travelling - that awe of how big and majestic our landscapes can be. It humbles you.

I put together a little video that strings together all my little iphone clips. It’s not artfully or professionally done but thought it gives a good idea of what its like for those thinking about going.


**Just in case you were wondering - this post isn’t sponsored, we paid full price for everything so this is my honest review.



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January Favourite Things

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January Favourite Things

I’m continually finding awesome stuff on the web that I thought i would share with you each month! These are my new discoveries for January! Feel free to drop me a comment with the best thing you’ve found in January - could be art, a recipe, a new clothing piece, a book… whatever! Please note that the images in my favourite things are not my own and belong to the companies with products i’m featuring.

Feeling

Morgan Harper Nichols poetry - Think I might add some of her words to baby’s nursery.

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Shameless Podcast - these girls are my favourites to listen to while photo editing. My sister got me on to them (thanks Beth!) and I love listening to the familiar aussie accent to make me feel i’m not so far from home.

This song - Gives me old TLC vibes. Happy place.

Home

How gorgeous are these coffee cups from It’s a Public Holiday. It’s funny how now that I DON’T live in Australia, I seem to only find things from Australia that I love. Why is that? Am I sub-conciously drawn to products aussie-made? Hmm…. jury’s out.

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I absolutely adore Design Love Fest and lately she’s really gotten into food and making fresh, tasty colourful food - the type of food I like to eat!! I’m on a lower carb diet right now to keep my blood sugar controlled, and I came across this delicious chopped salad which still has plenty of yummy fats and protein in it.

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Baby/Kids

Susukoshi Clothing - again, Australian brand, but couldn’t resist picking up a couple of their gorgeous Terry Towel onsies.

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Alma babycare - beautiful organic bodycare for mothers and babies. Love their packaging too.

Maybe it’s the hormones, but I can’t stop gushing over these baby headbands at Little Daisy Dot. No… pretty sure i’d still find these absolutely adorable without the pregnancy hormones!

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Currently reading “Expecting Better” by Emily Oster. She talks a lot about the specifics on all the rules you have to abide by in pregnancy - breaking down the real risks of these seemingly arbitrary rules such as “you cannot eat sushi in pregnancy”. etc. It’s a pretty good resource for those wanting a bit more explanation when your medical professionals don’t really explain it to you.

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At home with the Haüsler's

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At home with the Haüsler's

This sweet family shoot has stayed on my mind for quite a while. They have a beautiful home in Oberägeri, Switzerland that overlooks the beautiful Ägerisee and mountains. Their home was nice and bright but cosy and full of love. And Ursi is one home decorator! Just beautiful! We took the photos in their home and then finished the shoot walking back to the town and lake.

I really love these home shoots as they really show life how it is… comfy clothes, in your own home, just spending quality time with each other doing the things you do every day - snacks, reading books, lazing on the couch and going for walks in the park. I’ve put soo many photos from the shoot up here because i just can’t narrow it down any more! But i hope this gives you a great glimpse in what sort of images to expect after a home shoot.

P.S.Anyone thats had a shoot with me generally knows i see famous people in my clients all the time and couldn’t stop seeing Kaley Cuoco in the gorgeous Ursi, What do you think?

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Fasnacht Mini Sessions 2019

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Fasnacht Mini Sessions 2019

Basel really comes alive during Fasnacht and is one of the most unique experiences to have while in Switzerland. Is this your first Fasnacht? Check out my guide to Fasnacht here. This year, I’m offering Fasnacht Mini Sessions for all those that want to remember this fun and crazy time in Basel! These sessions are perfect for families who have kids participating in the festivities and have a costume, or lovers of the Basler Fasnacht and want to have photo reminders of this unique event.

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Fasnacht Mini Sessions

290CHF

Inclusions:

  • 20-30 minute photo session

  • Small bag of confetti to throw around during your session

  • Quality time with your loved one/family to have posed and action shots amongst the colourful and crazy Fasnacht atmosphere.

  • A minimum of 15 digital high-resolution images for you to download in high resolution

  • For an extra 70 CHF, you can also receive two copies of a custom designed 16-page magazine. Design your own magazine using my easy-to-use online gallery. To fill your pages you can use the images from your session plus my personal library of Fasnacht pictures to truly capture the essence of Basler Fasnacht.

LIMITED sessions available on Tuesday 12th March 2019. I have chosen this date as it is the kids parade and streets are a little less crowded. However, If you would like to have your photo session on Monday or Wednesday, Please let me know so we can discuss options.

Enquire Now

These spaces won’t last, so please enquire using the form below and I will email you the times available. Please write in the notes if you want a session time outside of Tuesday 12th March.

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Hello 2019!

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Hello 2019!

I know we’re already over 2 weeks into the new year but i’ve been taking things at a leisurely pace. It’s been a pretty good start to the New Year. On January 1st, I told the world (or maybe just my followers) that i’m pregnant. I’m nearly half way now and it’s kind of scary how fast the time goes. I was pretty sick in the 1st trimester but now that it’s calmed down i can enjoy it a bit more - Like seeing the baby wave to us on the ultrasound, the little bubble kicks i’m feeling and browsing the internet for cute little clothes and nursery items. I know that soon my tummy will grow uncomfortably big so i’m trying to enjoy the now while things are great.

We had an awesome session with Amanda Joy Photography (fellow Basel Photographer - Thank you Amanda!) at the christmas markets. I used these pictures to give to our family’s and announce our pregnancy. Here are my faves:


I’ve had time to organise our home a bit (Marie Kondo anyone!?) and set some goals for the year - even though that’s probably naive given we will be first time parents and people always underestimate the challenges that will bring. But all in all, I’m feeling good about 2019.

Photography-wise, I’m hoping to explore video - taking on a few clients at a discounted rate while I build my portfolio. I want my sessions to really focus in on family and motherhood and how precious and fleeting time can feel. I want to freeze time for you so instead of saying ‘don’t grow up’ to your littlies, you can continue to enjoy every day knowing you’ve captured this time in their (and your) life. Feeling free to revisit these beautiful memories any time you want. If you’re interested in a family film or photography. Please get in touch, I’d love to work with you!

I’ll be blogging a little more about my own journey to motherhood, some material things like the ultra cute baby items and some more reflective thoughts on this shift in my life. Having a baby is this weird mixture of feeling terrified and excited but for me, an overwhelming sense of being ready for this new chapter. I know i’m not the first person to have a baby, but I feel this is a great place to share what i’m learning along this road. So stay tuned if you want, and if you’re not interested, it’s okay for you to just scroll by!

I hope you all have a wonderful 2019 and I hope you are all taking the time to capture your life so it won’t forgotten! Treasure the good times.


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Motherhood Story

I had the most wonderful opportunity to meet Dee and her baby girl Nara for a special motherhood session at sunset. This session launches a whole new segment and journey for me - celebrating a mothers journey - from maternity to growing as a mother. It is such a BIG moment in a womans life that brings so much beauty, transformation and memories - i want to honour that.

Soon this session will be turned into a beautiful storybook accompanied with Dee’s words and thoughts on her motherhood journey. I can’t wait to share this with you soon.

I was lucky enough to have the amazing Sandra from Boholicious who took care of Dee’s hair and Make-up. She is worth every penny and i love the way we work together as a team! Be sure to check out the little video on the makeup/photoshoot experience Dee had (at the bottom of this post).

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Romance in Bloom | Basel Photographer

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Romance in Bloom | Basel Photographer

I had the most amazing opportunity come my way to collaborate with some local vendors (who I absolutely love) for a beautiful shoot. I’ve been dying to share these with you for some months, but have had to keep them secret as we’ve been waiting patiently to have this photoshoot featured on the popular Hochzeit Guide. You can read the publication here.

I worked together with Carla from Festum Artis to create an incredible creative vision for this shoot. Carla designed all the floral pieces and dressed the beautiful table. Our brilliant makeup artist was Sandra from Boholicious. Can’t say enough about her beautiful artistry on our model - Paulina Urba.

The shoot took place in an old antique store in Basel. We were able to use a few corners of the house which was full of beautiful nooks and crannies. It felt magical being able to shoot there, amongst all the little treasures and aged and worn walls. It was sensual, intimate and romantic, soft and feminine yet strong and sexy.

It is my aim in everything I photograph to evoke some sort of emotion, to make the viewer feel like they are right there with me, taking a moment to pause and observe how grand the small moments are, how (sometimes imperfectly) beautiful it is. I hope you also take a moment to view this gallery and the beauty it holds!

If you ever want to be the subject of a beautiful moment - contact me for your own shoot!


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Raluca

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Raluca

This lovely lady is gorgeous on the inside and out.  I absolutely adore photographing her (who wouldn't!?). Raluca is someone I can get creative with, have fun and see some beautiful moments captured.  We were faced with some challenges on this day - a threatening storm and some seriously crazy winds!! 

I am so proud of this set of images.  These are the types of images i live for and the reason i love photography so much - it makes you feel something!  

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Musician Ellie Del Cashin

My great friend is also a super talented musician in Perth (Ellie Del Cashin) and one stormy afternoon we ventured to the river for a quick, moody, beautiful photoshoot.  It's been a while since we did this but today is the day I finally got round to sharing these beautiful pics of her.  

i love working with small business owners to create branding pictures which are heartfelt (and anything but cheesy!) . Get in touch so we can design your shoot. 

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Pirraca Family | Basel Family Photographer

I just love this family!!  Repeat clients - Raquel and Nuno are expecting their second bundle of joy and I couldn't be happier for them.  If their new baby is anything like their little girl Matilde, they're going to have one super sweet family!  

This session was so vibrant and summery! The flowers were in bloom and it was the perfect backdrop for some family time spent together.  Even Matilde got a little present surprise from her parents and I feel so lucky to have been able to capture them.  As she was opening this gift you see not only the joy from Matilde receiving the doll she wanted, but also the happiness it brought the parents.  The true joy of giving!  

If you want your own sunflower session - get in touch today! 

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Travel in Switzerland: Niesen

I've been working on a couple of shoots I can't post yet, however i've also been taking advantage of this beautiful summer weather by making a few short trips here and there!  I have a friend over from Australia so we thought we'd venture to the top of a mountain.  The Niesen is a mountain which i first spotted in Spiez - Patrick an I thought "what a perfectly shaped mountain!"... It's featured in many of my Spiez photos. like this one:

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its been dubbed the Swiss Pyramid because of its beautiful shape.  We went up on a gorgeous day in June first thing in the morning.  We left Basel at 7am and were on the funicular to its peak at 9am.  I like being the early bird so its a little quieter.  The funicular is red (in true swiss-style) and takes about 30 minutes - you have to change train half way.  Tickets were quite expensive - its CHF57- return but with day ticket on the trains or a swiss pass its CHF28.50.

The views are pretty spectacular at the top - it has 360 degree views, a cafe/restaurant (apparently also a small hotel) and a pretty cool playground for kids. We stopped for a coffee and took in the views, snapped a few pictures and went back down around 11/11:30am. 

If you're thinking about going here are my tips:

  • Choose a clear day - it was just starting to cloud up when we went and it's pretty pointless going up if all you can see it white... unless you're into clouds...

  • If possible, get the lowest row in the train on the way up, you'll get beautiful views! Second best is close to a window.

  • Have a hot drink at the top and soak in those views!

  • There's a particular point on the pathway that doesn't have a fence. Sit for a picture here and it looks like you're right on the edge of a cliff (in reality, there's a steep hill but you can still put your feet on the ground.

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Travel in Switzerland: Laufenburg

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Travel in Switzerland: Laufenburg

I was on the train to a client in Schaffhausen when I noticed the most gorgeous little city with a bridge in the middle of it.  It was leafy green with terracotta roofs peeping out and the beautiful green Rhine flowing at its heart.  My eyes literally bulged out, I quickly got out my phone to open maps to find out exactly where I am, but because I was in Germany at the time, my phone didn't have any internet so I couldn't work it out.  

Fast forward some months and I took Patrick back to Schaffhausen to see the Rhinefall.  I told Patrick about this little mysterious city i saw... I didn't know when it would pop up but I told him to keep an eye out... Together with his Swiss knowledge and my investigative-reading-road-sign skills, we worked it out to be Laufenburg!  

Fast forward some more months later and we finally got our act together to make a day trip of it. We went on a Sunday so the city was quiet and quaint - we hiked up a mountain (okay, it was a hill) to reach this gorgeous lookout (okay, it was someone's driveway) overlooking these cute goats and picture perfect views of the city.  The bridge in the city acts as a border between Switzerland and Germany and a border control office sits on the Swiss side as a reminder.  

This town has to be one of my favourites I've seen so far... so picturesque - I definitely recommend a visit!

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Fisher Family | Perth Family Photographer

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Fisher Family | Perth Family Photographer

This session, is of course, very close to my heart as it features some of my favourite people! This is my sister, her husband Shane and my niece Caitlin, and nephew Lachlan.  I was also lucky enough to style this shoot and choose a gorgeous location, so I went with the beach and chose all the outfits (except Shanes') from Rylee and Cru - they have the most gorgeous clothes.. I can't get enough!  

I love this session because it was all just in the moment - there was lots of laughing, cuddles, dancing, picking up shells, making patterns in the sand... and my niece might have shed a few tears because she was suddenly scared of waves...  (expect the unexpected with 4 year olds!)

I am so proud of this work, and feel like this result comes about with less posing, and more natural lovely moments.  I would love to shoot more unposed sessions - please get in touch if you would like me to capture a special session for you.  

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The Barber Shop

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The Barber Shop

While we were in Perth, we stumbled across the coolest barber shop in the Treasury buildings! I have to say i've always wanted to take pictures of Patrick in a cool old-school barber shop, so I seized the opportunity to tag along and take some pictures.  Luckily the staff there at 'Ugly Men's' were super nice and let me click away.  I loved everything about the shop, the magazines(I thought it was quite coincidental that the monocle magazine they had on display was featuring Switzerland!), the clippers and tools all laid out, the whiskey bottles, the red brick, the deers head (although totally hoping it's not real), and the fact that they made this simple act of getting your hair and beard tended to an awesome experience. This would be a great treat for all the exhausted dad's out there who need a bit of pampering.  I also thought what a great location it is (right next to Como Treasury Hotel) for grooms to head there before their wedding - it would make such cool shots right!?

Anyway... I wanted to share with you the pics I took of Patrick while getting his beard trimmed. I love that these photos capture something ordinary... going to the barber, but the location has made it a bit special.  I can just imagine us going through these photos when we're old and grey (maybe with our future children) and pointing out how brown his hair was, thinking how dated the decor was, or just marvelling about what cool people we were! hehe.

 

 

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The best gift you can give your kids

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The best gift you can give your kids

Hi Super-mums!

You know better than anyone, how quickly the time passes.  It feels like yesterday that you spent hours just staring into your precious newborns eyes.  You’ve been excited for them to grow up while at the same time wishing for time to stop so you can enjoy them at this age a little while longer. 

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In the pursuit of the perfect childhood for you kids, you’re tirelessly and selflessly making it happen. You’re up late at night sewing sequins on to ballet costumes, you’re cutting out shapes in their sandwiches to make mealtimes fun, you cave and spend another 20 minutes pushing your child on the swing because they keep shouting ‘more!’, you’re reading multiple storybooks before bedtime and you’re kissing their scraped knees to stop the tears.  Your little ones rarely notice in the moment how much work it is to give them this adventure-filled and beautiful childhood, and that’s okay.

It wasn’t until I was an adult, looking back on my childhood photographs that I said to my mum:

 ‘I don’t know how you did it all!’. 

My wonderful memories aren’t of my mother putting in all the effort, but they are because my mum put the effort in! Toasting marshmallows on family camping trips, getting to wear sparkly costumes for dance concerts, and collecting freshly-laid eggs from our chicken pens.  I remember my mum making a ‘pouch’ out of a sweater so us kids could hold and feed our baby kangaroo - Yes, i am that Australian.  These were the days that I had not a care in the world - our days were filled with adventure, fun and opportunity.

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These photographs, that hold all these special memories (even the ones I was too young to remember) are priceless and if I take good care of them, they will last even longer than me.  After my care-free childhood, my childhood photos are the most precious gift my parents have given me.

So much love goes into giving your child a great childhood and I know you are pouring in all your time, effort and love into doing just that -  but you can leave the capturing of that love and those memories to me.  My ‘Real Sweet Life’ sessions capture the moments that sometimes go uncelebrated and I will make it easy on you - I’ll join you for a morning where you don’t need to get all dressed up, or make your house look like a show-home, you can even carry out your normal daily routine of breakfast, walks in the park, story-time and naps.  I will document all the beautiful, small moments that happen every day.  It will reflect the crazy, beautiful, love-filled family you have and will be the same images that your kids look back on one day and say

‘Mum, I don’t know how you did it all!’

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Let’s capture your Real Sweet Life together!  You can find out more and book your session HERE.

Love Suzy

P.s.  The photos in this post are some of my treasured memories from my own childhood!

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