bravado maternity nursing bra

I definitely didn’t look after my boobs during my first pregnancy or whilst nursing. I continued to wear the same old underwired bras I’d always worn and just stuffed them in as best I could. Not ideal. As I have been through each pregnancy and nursing journey I have definitely come to appreciate my boobs. They might not be in the best state now but it’s what I have and I like to make them look the best they can as well as being comfortable at the same time.

I came across a post on Facebook the other day where a group of women were all discussing how pregnancy and breastfeeding had ravaged their boobs and they had been left with flaps of skin or ‘pancakes’ where they used to have perky D cups! It was actually quite sad to read.

Now, during my pregnancies I have tried pretty much every maternity and nursing bra out there but the one I’m currently wearing is a real game changer. It’s from Bravado Designs, I’m sure you’ve heard of them, and it’s the Body Silk Seamless Yoga Nursing Bra. I have the bra in the limited edition shade ‘Dove Heather’ and have been wearing it for three days straight (I did take it off for bed)! I really don’t want to have to put it in the wash as it’s so unbelievably comfortable and soft against the skin I know it will make my other bras feel like torture devices. The Silver Breeze™ technology prevents the growth of odour-causing bacteria thus keeping the bra fresh and odour-free.

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It has all the usual features of a maternity and nursing bra; for example it has the easy to use nursing clips on the shoulder straps for easy nursing but it also has extra features which I think make it a cut above the rest.

bravado designs nursing bra

For example, the back of the bra has a multitude of clips and fastening which you can adjust throughout your pregnancy and breastfeeding journey and the back strap is lovely and wide for extra support. I love the elasticated band; it’s deep and provides enough elasticity to feel supportive yet comfortable. The bra itself also comes with a conversion kit to convert the bra to a regular bra once your nursing days are over or you can opt to have the straps in a criss cross formation – ideal for all you gym bunnies and yoga fanatics.

And, as you might be able to see, it’s not underwired but it doesn’t leave your boobs as a trip hazard. The bra uses the patented Silverbreeze™ technology to support low impact activity such as yoga or pilates or, if you’re more like me, shopping and getting your nails done. It provides a lovely shape even for my spaniels ears.

bravado designs nursing bra

Adjusting to being a mum to a newborn is hard enough already – give yourself one less thing to worry about and opt for the multi award winning Bravado Designs to keep you comfortable and secure throughout your pregnancy and nursing days. Check out the website as not only is it full of lovely products and images but it has useful information too such as how to fit yourself for a nursing bra.

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23 weeks pregnant bump

It doesn’t get any less exciting, for me anyway. No matter how many babies I have I still get that nervous excitement and at 23 weeks pregnant I feel like I’m somewhere in the middle of this pregnancy. I feel as if I’ve been pregnant forever but still have a lifetime to go before I reach my due date. I’m wishing the time away but not because I’m having an awful pregnancy I just really want to get to the finish line, meet this little girl and start our life as a family of six. SIX!

I’ve been feeling great. The pregnancy seems to be going swimmingly. Our scans have shown that little lady is growing along the average line and she seems to be developing well. That doesn’t make being pregnant easy. It’s so hard this time around. Carrying Elsie up the stairs makes me feel dizzy, lifting the pram out of the car four times a day hurts my back and if I sit for too long I seize up when I go to move. Most noticeably in the last week I seem to have developed SPD.

I’ve always had aches and pains during pregnancy but this time it’s different. When I get a bout of it I feel crippled. I get the most awful shooting pains in my lady area and a numbness down one leg. It’s usually when I’ve been carrying Elsie a lot or been sitting for a while. My pelvis feels like it’s crumbling. I don’t have another midwife appointment for four weeks so I’ll just grin and bear it until then. I’m not the sort to make a fuss. I’d rather die in agony then put anyone out.

I took a few bump pictures to share with you all yesterday and I compared them to my bump shots with Elsie. I am so much bigger this time around. I look now as big as I did at 30 weeks pregnant with Elsie. But I have been eating like someone’s starved me. I was also carrying an extra stone when I fell pregnant as I was only 4.5 months postpartum. I’m enjoying the kind of care free side of just letting my body be but I do feel uncomfortable and very, very unsexy. I’m looking forward to getting back in some normal clothes. I feel like I’ve been in the same maternity clothes for 18 months. Matt must wonder where his wife has gone!

23 weeks pregnant comparison

Sleep is as good as can be expected with a 10 month old baby in the house. If it wasn’t for her I’d probably sleep right through with one or two wee breaks. I feel constantly shattered and I’m trying to carry on like a normal, non-pregnant person but it’s getting harder and harder. I’ll have a few good weeks and then I’ll just crack and feel awful until I get some decent rest. I have no more rest or downtime than a person who isn’t pregnant and it’s hard. Sorry for moaning so much but I don’t really have anywhere else to say these things!

I hope you’re enjoying these little updates….I should imagine my next one will be when I am 28 weeks and have seen the midwife.

Read my last pregnancy update here.

scan 22 weeks

 

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16 weeks gender reveal

Daddy’s about to be very outnumbered – we’re happy to announce baby number four is yet another girl! We found out on Wednesday at a private gender scan and it was quite clear to see! I really didn’t know what to expect as my cravings have been so similar to my pregnancy with Logan; very salty and savoury. However, after two girls I couldn’t imagine having anything else but another girl. There has been a little gender disappointment but I’ll probably chat about that in another post.

We’ve been throwing a few names around and I feel like the pressure is really on with this being our final child. I’d love to know what names you love? My favourites are all the old fashioned names; the sort of names your gran or great gran would have had.

Lets not forget about the clothing either; I have enough girls clothes to open a store. I’m most excited to be able to use our The Essential One sleep suits again as Elsie barely got the chance to wear them and they’re just beautiful!

I’m not going to waffle on for too long but wanted to share our news with you all.

 

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pregnancy incontinence tips

Pregnancy should be an enjoyable time but it comes with challenges. Incontinence during pregnancy is common, with many women relying on incontinence pads to manage the problem.

But why is incontinence an issue? Is there anything that can be done to alleviate the symptoms? HARTMANN Direct give us the answers.

What types of incontinence are experienced during and after pregnancy?
Stress incontinence is one type of incontinence that pregnant women can experience. This means that accidental leaks of urine happen because of increased pressure on the bladder.
As the baby grows, more weight and pressure is placed on your bladder which can make controlling it more difficult. For example, coughing or sneezing places a quick and sudden pressure on the bladder, leading to a sudden and unexpected leak of urine.

Incontinence during pregnancy can also be a result of an overactive bladder. This means that you may feel the urge to urinate more often than usual. The bladder muscle may be in spasm and the muscles surrounding the urethra, the tube through which the urine passes, can also be affected.
In this case, the muscles prevent the urine leaving the bladder but are overridden by a strong bladder muscle contraction. Unfortunately, this happens at inopportune moments leading to leaks of urine.
Surging hormones in pregnancy, especially early and late pregnancy as your body prepares for the birth also have an effect on the pelvic floor muscles and the bladder.

Does incontinence go away after pregnancy?
Many women face no difficulties with incontinence after giving birth but for others, it can be a continuing issue.
The good news is that dealing successfully with incontinence is possible, through a combination of exercises and lifestyle changes. It is not a problem that you ‘have to live with’ and neither is it an inevitable part of motherhood.
Giving birth vaginally or by caesarean section can lead to problems with the bladder and pelvic floor muscles. It can damage the muscles, although there are other conditions that can result too, such as;

  • Damage to the bladder nerves
  •  The bladder and urethra may have moved during pregnancy
  •  An episiotomy, a small cut to the pelvic floor muscle to allow the baby to pass through more easily may also lead to incontinence problems

How to manage pregnancy incontinence
Being incontinent when you are pregnant is not a welcome or comfortable thought. But there are some small changes you can make to help in managing it easier;

  •  Incontinence pads – most pregnant women experience a small leak of urine every now and then. No matter whether you are suffering from stress incontinence or have the urge to urinate come on quickly and urgently – or both – incontinence pads can help to prevent ‘embarrassing leaks and accidents’.
    Incontinence pads are made with urine in mind and will absorb both the wetness and the smell too. Sanitary ware is not designed for urine, thus the wetness can remain on top of the pad and can contribute to soreness. Incontinence pads are affordable and discreet.
  •  Drink plenty but over longer – decreasing the amount you drink is not the answer as this leads to urine becoming more concentrated, leading to the bladder being even more irritated. Instead of drinking drinks ‘all at once’, spread out drinking water over the course of the day, tailoring off your consumption of drinks later in the day to make for a more comfortable night’s sleep.
  •  Decrease caffeine and fizzy drinks – there are some foods and drinks that can make incontinence worse and caffeine in tea, coffee, hot chocolate and some fizzy drinks is one of them. Cut down on these drinks or stop them all together.
  •  Watch what you eat – foods that are acidic, such as tomatoes, lemons, limes, vinegar based salad dressings and so on can also irritate the bladder. Spicy foods can also impact on the body, producing more urine leading to increase incidence of incontinence.
  •  Gentle exercise helps too – clearly, pregnancy is not the time to start a new, high-impact exercise regime but there is nothing stopping you from taking gentle exercise. Yoga and Pilates, along with swimming, allow you to exercise without placing stress on your joints.
  •  Pelvic floor exercises – these exercises are safe to perform during pregnancy and after the birth too. These clench and release exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and not only help to control your bladder but are useful during the birth. They are also great for helping you heal once you have had your baby.
    Incontinence during pregnancy can be managed by using pads, as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle and exercise.

HARTMANN Direct have incontinence pads in a range of absorbencies ideal for use during pregnancy. Discreet and effective, they make managing pregnancy incontinence much easier.

 

*This post was written in collaboration with Hartmann Direct.

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breastfeeding, stay ay home mum

At one time; not so long ago, all I ever wanted was to be a stay at home mum. I wanted to spend the day housekeeping and caring for my kids. I wanted to research meals and make healthy dinners ready for when the husband came home. I wanted to be there for the kids when they’re sick instead of sat on the underground on the way to a meeting. I thought managing the house would satisfy me. But it just doesn’t.

If I have to pick up one more barely worn nightdress from Florence’s bedroom floor or scrub pasta sauce out of the grout in the floor under Elsie’s high chair one more time I think I’ll scream.

I love being at home, I’ve always been a bit of a homebody and like my home comforts. I like having control of my day and I like not having to answer to anyone. I love that I can do all the things with Elsie that I never had the chance to do with my other kids because I went back to work. I love that I don’t have to pretend to like the people at work or make ten coffees every time I want a hot drink because the polite thing is to make one for everyone. I like being home to accept parcel deliveries and having the freedom to pop to the post office during the day.

Despite all the things I love about being at home I’d never want to be a stay at home mum EVER again. There are two particular reasons which have led me to this conclusion; not only do I feel like I’m getting dumber by the day but I just can’t leave Elsie – and that’s not because I don’t want to.

Even when Matts holding her she’s looking over to see where I am. If a family member comes into the house she clings to me like a limpet. I’ve never had such a clingy baby and as much as I really, really want to go out and do stuff with my husband I can’t leave Elsie with someone knowing she’s going to cry. I know that sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind and I don’t mind a bit of that but it’s the person looking after Elsie I feel sorry for.

Last week Matt and I had to go to hospital for our 12 week scan and we left Elsie with one of our good friends. We left her for about 1.5hrs and we came back and I could hear her crying before we even got in to the house. I felt awful for our friend and I felt awful for Elsie as she just looked so sad.  Matt and I haven’t done anything together in months and I’ve not been away from Elsie for more than about two hours since she was born.

It’s hard being a stay at home parent who doesn’t earn too. I have to somehow pass the time without spending any money. I’m not used to earning nothing and it’s really hard. I’ve worn the same boots day in day out for years and they only cost about £12 to begin with but I just feel so awful buying anything for myself when it’s me who put us in this position. People say “oh go and grab a coffee, get out the house” but a coffee will cost me £3 and I’ll have to juggle a 7 month old baby who just wants to twist and turn and grab and pull at everything she can find. It’s easier just to stay home and make yet another instant coffee for myself. I’m longing for the warmer weather so we can go for walks a little more frequently. However, when you’re hurtling into the second trimester with baby number four, walking will soon be at the bottom of my to do list.

I feel as though the ten years of work I did get under my belt before leaving to be a stay at home mum are now null and void. Who’s going to care about what I did before I had all these babies? I’m not saying I want to go back to working in a corporate environment or try and build a massive career for myself but I do want to work and whether that’s at home or elsewhere I want to work without trying to juggle it around children. I want to put 100% into what I do. I want to feel improvement. I want to do something I enjoy.

I’m not ready for the scrap heap just yet.

 

 

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