Friday, 19 August 2016

#3things: gifts for a mum-to-be

Got a baby shower to go to? Friend who's about to give birth? Or maybe a friend who's already given birth? Often around this time, mums-to-be and new mums can get forgotten in a pile of baby grows. I've picked out three gifts to make those mamas feel extra special:

3 things to buy for a baby shower

  1. If you haven't heard of the amazing site Don't Buy Her Flowers - get on over and check it out. Don’t Buy Her Flowers was founded with a simple aim: to provide thoughtful gift packages for new mums because they deserve something lovely just for them. How nice is that? There are lots of gift options but I like this Care Package, complete with magazine and chocolate!
  2. This Maternity Essentials Hospital Set by Asos is ideal for any mum-to-be. I'd totally wear the nightdress for daywear too - in either outfit you'll feel ready for visitors in those early days after having your baby. The eye mask will help you to sleep in the hospital ward - they can be quite bright even at night. And the socks are something you'll forget to pack but you'll be surprised about how cold you can get.
  3. The Boots Mum to be Essential Kit has all of those toiletries you need postpartum. The maternity pads and breast pads have long since been used from my pack but I'm still using the nipple cream. And although I didn't have too many stretch marks, the oil is really nicely moisturising.
Last but not least, if you're in a real bind over what to buy your mum-to-be friend, buy her chocolate! I didn't realise what a great gift this was until a couple of weeks postpartum and was needing snacks while breastfeeding - chocolate is a must!

    Mama to be bunting via Etsy

    Monday, 15 August 2016

    #3things: nobody told me about after giving birth

    Nobody told me you can’t use toilet paper
    Nobody told me that you bleed
    Nobody told me you might need a secret place
    where you can scream.
    My mother in law gave me a book for my birthday (at 35 weeks pregnant) called Nobody Told Me, by Hollie McNish. Nobody Told Me chronicles three years and nine months of poet Hollie McNish’s life from finding out she was pregnant, through to becoming a mother. I've been reading the book in realtime - so at the stage that I'm at, as each time I've read on, it's started to freak me out!

    If you're pregnant, you might be advised to look away now! There's probably a reason that nobody talks about this stuff until afterwards but to be honest, sometimes it's good to be prepared.

    1. You'll be losing fluids. Think your waters breaking is a worry? Turns out that's nothing compared to what happens after giving birth. Make sure you stock up on maternity pads because however you give birth (vaginally or caesarean) you will bleed. And for the first few days, at least, it'll be pretty heavy. You'll also find that there is a whole lot of other fluid to get rid of from your body. My feet swelled up like balloons for a good few days - the best way to get rid of them was to sleep flat on my back with my feet raised up on a few pillows. Add on to that the night sweats - as well as your feet swelling, you'll be sweating out all of those fluids every night. Seriously, as if you didn't have enough to deal with after giving birth!
    2. You'll still look pregnant. And you might feel like you're still in labour. For the first few days (at least) you'll still look about six months pregnant. And you'll continue to look pregnant for weeks afterwards. Unless you're a model and you snap straight back into shape within days. But who really does that? Six weeks later, I've returned to my pre-baby weight but still have a pretty sizeable bump! As your bump does start to go down, you'll feel contractions as your uterus begins to shrink back. If you're breastfeeding, these contractions will be most noticeable as you're feeding.
    3. You will cry! A lot. The first 24-48 hours, you'll be on an adrenaline high (as well as high on whatever pain killers they're giving you) and will be feeling so elated over what you've done and the baby you've got. Then suddenly on the third day (usually when your milk comes in - whether you're breastfeeding or not) you will cry. You'll suddenly realise that you have a baby. And that you are responsible for this small person for the next 18 years - at least. And that will scare the **** out of you. I cried for two weeks, nearly constantly. The baby blues - as this period is known as - are so common that they are considered completely normal and are not to be confused with postnatal depression (PND). PND normally occurs four to eight weeks after giving birth but can start any time in the first year after giving birth. If you think you might be suffering from PND, you can find out more here.

    What surprised you about after you'd given birth?

    Wednesday, 10 August 2016

    style: what to wear when breastfeeding #4

    Who doesn't love a Breton striped tee? I know I have a whole host of such tops in my wardrobe. So it is no surprise that I also have this nursing striped top. In fact, this is one of my favourite tops that is specifically designed for breastfeeding. It is a dual purpose, maternity and nursing t-shirt from Marks and Spencer. I got the green stripe version in the sale and have since bought the blue version because it is just so good! (You can see it in action when I was pregnant here.)

    If you're after some stripes for your nursing wardrobe, I've also found this Topshop double layered nursing dress - which also works while you're expecting.

    m&s nursing striped top

    Shop the post: Marks & Spencer Maternity Feeding Striped Top with Modal; and Topshop Maternity Stripe Nursing Maxi Dress.

    Monday, 1 August 2016

    style: what to wear when breastfeeding #3

    This week, it's all about the shirt for breastfeeding. It seems like the obvious choice but that doesn't mean it has to be boring. I'm actually loving the excuse to wear all of the shirts in my wardrobe. I seem to own a fair few but don't think that pre-baby I was all that keen on wearing them. I'm so glad I didn't ever get rid of them as they are certainly coming in handy now.

    The jeans are still my maternity jeans. I'm still finding I need the band because of my c section scar which is a little uncomfortable from time to time and the band means that it's not rubbed. I'm hoping I can get back into my old jeans soon though.

    breastfeeding friendly shirts

    Shop the post (left to right): white stripe sleeveless shirt; mint green sleeveless shirt; and pink stripe rolled sleeve shirt.

    Friday, 29 July 2016

    style: what to wear when breastfeeding #2

    Continuing the breastfeeding outfit series, here is number two! I've been raiding my wardrobe to find pieces that will work. This dress is from last summer, from one of my favourite brands, Hush. The buttons at the front make it work really well for breastfeeding. The loose fit is great when you still have a bit of a stomach - and also for when it's boiling hot (which it was when I wore this outfit).

    I've been scouring the internet recently (usually whilst breastfeeding!) for outfit ideas - the Dorothy Perkins' sale has a lot of breastfeeding friendly options, including these:

    breastfeeding friendly outfits

    Shop the post (left to right): black dungaree jumpsuit; navy bandeau lace dress; utility shirt; and navy maxi shirt dress.

    Thursday, 28 July 2016

    #3things: helping me to fake the 8 hours sleep look

    The baby is sleeping really well - for a four week old. But the breastfeeding means that I'm up two or three times a night - and have been for the past month. So right about now, I'm not looking too fresh come the morning. So I've found a few things that help to fake it - and I thought I'd share them.

    1. Washing my hair (and even just showering) is proving difficult with a newborn who doesn't like to be left on his own for even a second while I jump in the shower! So I've been relying on dry shampoo A LOT. This Extreme Volume dry shampoo by CoLab (which comes from a collaboration with Ruth Crilly of A Model Recommends) is my newest find - it smells divine and helps to rejuvenate my hair - even after four days!
    2. Mascara is a must for making me look awake in the mornings. An eyelash curler really helps too. Right now I'm loving this Limited Edition Bourjois Tropical Festival Volume Clubbing mascara (which is on offer right now) - it really helps to curl my lashes and makes my eyes look wide awake (or a little awake!).
    3. Finally, this Rimmel London Sculpting Palette by Kate Moss is a new addition to my make up bag and I totally love it. I wanted to try it for a while and picked it up as a little treat earlier this week. I've not actually used it to contour yet (no time!) but I have been using the highlighter and blusher every day this week and both give me a lovely glow.

    Any other tips for looking awake after a night of newborn feeds and nappy changes?

    Monday, 25 July 2016

    style: what to wear when breastfeeding #1

    If you're a breastfeeding mama, you'll know that finding outfits that work for feeding and don't make you feel like you've lost all sense of style can be a challenge. I'm taking up the challenge for my maternity leave and will be documenting my outfits here on the blog.

    I spotted this Mango jumpsuit over on amothersedit the week before I was due to give birth and ordered it immediately, thinking that the button front would be ideal for breastfeeding. It took a week after giving birth for the jumpsuit to fit (despite it's baggier fit) but now I'm living in it!

    Unfortunately this particular jumpsuit is out of stock now but I've found a few others in the sale at Mango which are breastfeeding friendly:

    breastfeeding friendly jumpsuits

    Shop the post: (left to right) long printed jumpsuit; flow long jumpsuit; and printed short jumpsuit.