Name: Emma Gullström
Profession: Content creator social media and stylist
Background: Has studied marketing and business, served as Head of Branding and Business Development at Isabella Löwengrip, and worked as a consultant in brand strategy and content creation.
Home: Apartment in Stockholm, Sweden
Family: Daughter Billie and partner Joseph
Right now: On parental leave with 5-month-old Billie
You have been a new mother for five months. Has your life changed and if so, how?
Life has really changed. At the same time, I’ve hardly noticed because it feels so natural. The change is clearly for the better. For me, children are the meaning of life. We adults have so much to learn from little ones because we’ve lost it along the way. To see the world through the eyes of a child is magical.
What was your pregnancy like?
Unfortunately, my pregnancy was horrible. I was extremely nauseous and had migraines throughout almost the entire pregnancy. At week 30, the migraines began to lighten up but they were replaced by pelvic girdle pain (SPD) and varicose veins. I would like to have more children in the future but I am afraid of having to go through such a pregnancy again. I was on sick leave and could barely do anything. I completely lost myself. But in hindsight, with my daughter in my arms, I can say it was worth it.
Emma in Scirocco dress in black.
Name three things you don’t want to be without as a new mom.
A really nice breastfeeding bra that you can have around the clock is a must. As are comfortable, preferably loose-fitting clothes that make it easy to nurse. For me, the first few months were about making everyday life as easy and comfortable as possible so that all the focus could go to the new little one. The third and perhaps most important thing I would say that you need as a new mother is a supportive partner. If you have a child on your own, you might have a mother/father or friend who can be there for you. Being pregnant and going through a birth is a transformation unlike any other. With all the hormones flowing and the emotions, having someone there to support, encourage or just listen was incredibly important for me.
You have just returned from your first trip with Billie. What was the biggest challenge and/or surprise about traveling with an infant?
Traveling with Billie exceeded my expectations, but it took some planning and trying to predict the unpredictable, so you are prepared. I like to avoid unnecessary stress and you can come a long way with a little planning. But I’m also a bit of a control freak. Hehe. When things don’t go the way you expect, you just have to accept it and make the best of it. I must say that you become very inventive as a parent! If I should mention a challenge, it is to pack light but at the same time have everything you need. That feels like an impossible equation, but we solved it by adding a checked bag.
What are your best packing tips for a summer vacation with a baby?
The sun is so strong for the little ones, so a parasol with UV protection, UV blanket, UV hat with fabric that comes down over the neck, cool cotton clothes and hydration are important. If you are going to fly, it’s handy to have a sling. A change of clothes is something that’s easy to forget about when flying but if you get a bit of baby vomit on yourself, it’s nice to be able to change. And for moms a lightweight dress with a nursing function is a big hit!
Emma in Scirocco dress in Vintage Indigo
Do you have a favorite spot you can’t wait to show Billie?
I grew up on Mallorca so the island is especially significant for me. I want to bring Billie there and show her all its natural beauty. But it will also be incredibly fun to show her Sweden, and its incredible natural beauty. The Swedish archipelago is hard to beat!
You and your partner Joseph, who is a photographer, often work together. How has your cooperation been affected by the fact that you now have a child?
I would say that we have become even more welded together. We have amazing fun together and like to brainstorm for new ideas. Now, with a child we have become better at listening to each other. We live more in symbiosis than before. Of course, we are incredibly tired with just a few hours of sleep, but so far we have not taken it out on one other. (Haha.) And we hope never to start!
With a background as a stylist, how did you think about clothes when you were pregnant?
I tried to think long-term so the maternity clothing I bought would also work when my big belly was gone. My uniform during pregnancy was comfortable pants or tights and an oversized shirt as well as dresses. I still use all of those items, right now as I write this I am wearing Boob’s pregnancy tights. They are so incredibly comfortable and still look good!
What does sustainability mean to you?
It means thinking long-term and cyclically. If you have tired of a garment, sell it or give it to a friend. I have also become much better at researching materials - the better the material the longer the garment lives. I have inherited some of my mother's old clothes that she had at my age and that’s so awesome. It is important to take care of your clothes. For example, I want to get better at sewing, and at the moment my grandmother is helping me mend garments that are ripped or torn. My goal is to be able to do it myself so that I can mend Billie’s clothes when she starts running around and her clothes wear out.
Emma in The-shirt dress
What do you hope to pass on to Billie?
Hm, great question! I hope to pass on a curiosity - curiosity about the world and people. I believe that much of the hatred we see today between ethnic groups is based on ignorance and fear. Understanding builds bridges, and to understand each other, we need to be curious.
What do you want the world your child grows up in to look like?
Oh, there is so much pain in the world right now. It feels like there is a lot one can want. World peace would be lovely. Can I order it? I also want a cleaner world, cleaner air and cleaner waters.
What’s at the top of your wish list?
Number one on that list will always be that Billie is healthy and happy. She was a little lethargic for a few days recently and nothing pains a mother's heart like seeing her little one feel bad.