If there was one thing that drove me mad when I was pregnant (and there were lots), it was the assumption of high street stores that because I had a bun in the over I must want to dress like a sailor. Why, just because I was ‘with child’ did all the clothes on offer have to be blue and white striped, and adorned with anchors?!
And now I’m a mum, I’m facing a similar problem. Yes, I need bras that accommodate feeding my baby without exposing a whole lot of boob to the café crowd, and there’s a hell of a lot more that needs to go in my bag nowadays, but being a mum shouldn’t mean you have to give up your sense of style.
Trying to maintain your sense of self has a lot to do with how you look, but you have to be practical too. So I’ve picked a few of my favourite products that keep me feeling glamorous, even with bits of baby vomit on my shoulder….
The Christmas collection from Bibee Dresses has been designed to make sure mums (and mums to be) can still enjoy the party season. My favourite is the new navy dress that sits nicely under the boobs and has a sequinned t-shirt that slips on underneath. The outfit comes with a Dress Front buttoned over the top so nursing mums like me can feed baby discreetly if they need to.
And it’s not just looking good on the outside that makes a mum feel like a woman. Decent underwear always helps! My Mothercare nursing bras are good enough for the day, but decidedly unattractive under anything sheer. And forget wearing these whoppers while trying to ‘get in the mood’ (as if you have time!). So for those rare nights out, or in, I found Bravado’s Sublime nursing bra offers the perfect mix of lace, colour and support. And at £35.90 from John Lewis it’s not too taxing on the wallet, either.
When it comes to changing bags, some shops seem to think they either have to be boring black nylon, or crazily coloured, neither of which is, exactly, er, my bag. On my Christmas list this year (in the place of wine) is Sugarjack’s Bea bag, a rich tan leather bowling bag with a cross shoulder strap. Inside there’s a detachable baby organiser for essentials as well as a changing mat, insulated bottle holder, wet pouch and plenty of compartments. It’s on the pricey side at £229, but as this is my first baby I’m telling hubby if he wants any brothers or sisters for little Henry he’ll have to fork out, and this will cater for them too!
Finally, an ongoing problem is finding accessories to wear which won’t rip your ear to shreds when baby pulls them, or cause a choking fit that ends up in a trip to A&E when he tries to eat them. Crown Chewels is a new jewellery brand designed with both mum and baby in mind. Each necklace has been cleverly designed to ensure it’s not only something you’d want to wear, but suitable for baby to chew on too. The Guinevere necklace that young Henners seems to like is a silver plated chain with a semi-precious stone and – the secret ingredient- a pink quartz teether made from non-toxic material. There are loads in the range to suit all tastes, starting at around £30.