Lau­ren Schae­fer, 26, a blog­ger, lives in East Anglia with her part­ner Paul. She is 20 weeks preg­nant.

Mother & Baby (UK) - - BUMP & BIRTH -

‘As my cousin’s six-year-old daugh­ter, Naimah, ran to­wards me, I ex­pected her to fling her open arms around me. In­stead, she made a bee­line for my bump. “Hello, lit­tle baby,” she whis­pered, gen­tly stroking my stom­ach. It was the first time Naimah had seen me since my bump had grown. I looked on, happy and a lit­tle sur­prised at how af­fec­tion­ate she was be­ing to­wards some­one not yet born. She’d clearly recog­nised there was an ac­tual per­son liv­ing in­side me, and she didn’t hold back like adults would! She con­tin­ued run­ning her hands over my bump, chat­ting away. Watch­ing Naimah com­mu­ni­cate so nat­u­rally with my baby was a real turn­ing point. Be­fore then, I’d felt the kicks and no­ticed my stom­ach swelling, but now I truly ap­pre­ci­ated that in­side my bump is a real-life lit­tle per­son. And thanks to Naimah, not a day goes by now when I don't talk to my baby.’

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