Category Archives: Guest Post

Dressing for the Fourth Trimester

Guest post by Caitlyn from The Mummy Style Files

So my baby, my second child, was ONE this month! It seems absolutely crazy that I will have a two year old AND a one year old. Technically I will have a 12 month old and a 27 month old, but I wont say that cause no one likes that person…

It seems like just yesterday that my little preemie came rushing into the world at 34 weeks and we were unexpectedly thrust into the unfamiliar world of medical tests, doctors visits and the heartbreak of having our teeny tiny baby stay for weeks in the hospital alone while we would come and go. BUT even though that feels like yesterday, it was in fact a whole year a go and like most* preemies free from complications, he is doing amazingly well. Almost walking, wreaking havoc and breaking hearts with his smile on the daily.

baby-alexander-and-me

Those weeks after he was born were so hard for many reasons and at the risk of sounding terribly superficial, dressing and feeling comfortable was definitely towards the top of the list. The dreaded Fourth Trimester! You know, that awkward in-between stage where you are no longer pregnant (and you want to burn all your maternity clothes) but you also don’t fit into all (or any) of your pre-baby clothes? Yep, that’s the Fourth Trimester.

Most mummy’s leave the hospital still looking 6 months pregnant, more exhausted, sore and emotional then they ever were, even on the worst pregnant days. We also have a whole new body shape thanks to breastfeeding boobs and a very soft and squishy tummy that unfortunately is now ALL ice cream and NO baby. It’s a very weird and awkward stage. So what do you wear?

Well, today thanks to the brilliant online boutique Blossom and Glow, I have you covered. I first discovered Blossom and Glow when I was in the middle of my second pregnancy and I have absolutely fallen in love with the range that Kathryn stocks. Blossom and Glow stock Maternity, Breastfeeding and Post Baby clothes. They are all stylish, affordable and on trend but the best bit is that a lot of the pieces can work for you no matter what stage of the pregnancy / baby journey you are in. I am no longer breastfeeding and I am 12 months post partum with my second, but you will see below that all of the ‘breastfeeding’ and ‘beyond’ clothes still work for me a year on.

I’ve selected a little capsule wardrobe that can be mixed and match a million ways, will be super comfy and breastfeeding friendly for you. So it’s perfect for mamas straight after giving birth but as you start to get your groove back, you can style these pieces up and have some fun with accessories and layers too.

So let’s get into it.

Firstly we have the ‘Comfy-At-Home-But-Can-Go-To-A-Café-Outfit

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I’m wearing the Jersey Harem Pants in Grey and the Jayla Knit in Black. Both these items are so comfy and cosy, which is exactly what you need straight after having a baby (or even in the hospital). These pants can be worn during pregnancy as well; they have a loose enough waistband to wear either above or below your belly depending on how you carry, and what you feel comfortable with. Breastfeeding? Just layer your favourite nursing tank underneath the jumper and you are good to go. When you are feeling up to venturing out, throw on your white kicks and you’ve got an easy sports luxe look.

Next is the, ‘I’m-ready-to-wear-jeans-again-but-they-need-to-be-really-stretchy-oh-and-I’m-breastfeeding’-outfit

 

Havana Skinny Jean

I’m wearing the Havana Skinny Jean, the Stripe Cotton Shirt, and the Willow Hooded Cardigan.  No matter what kind of pregnancy or labour you have, there comes a point and time that everyone is ready to BURN their maternity jeans. These jeans are suuuuuppper stretchy and feel great on. If you have JUST given birth you may need to go up a size but it will still feel great to not have an elastic waistband pulled up all the way to your boobs. A button down shirt is the perfect breastfeeding friendly staple that will still have you looking chic while allowing that all important ‘access’ for your little babe. I don’t think I need to say much about this cardigan; it’s cosy, beautiful and will go with every item in your wardrobe. If you are breastfeeding, it can also give you a little extra coverage when feeding out and about.

And finally we have the, ‘Help! -I-need-to-wear-a-dress-what-the-hell-do-I-wear’– outfit.

 

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I’m wearing the Ally Shirt Dress and the Willow Hooded Cardigan. So maybe you are just a dress kinda gal, or maybe you aren’t but you need to wear a dress to an upcoming function or party? Either way, this dress is for you. It’s the classic ‘Little Black Dress’ made practical. The buttons down the front make it breastfeeding friendly while the tie at the waist allows you to cinch the dress in or wear looser, depending on your style. I’ve layered it with the Willow Hooded cardigan, tights and some ankle boots but in warmer weather you can just wear as is and dress up with heels or pair it back with sneakers!

So there you have it! Six great items that are comfy, practical and stylish to help you get through that awkward Fourth Trimester and then well beyond as well. Have fun and mix them up, you can wear the Shirt over the Dress, the Jumper with the Jeans, the Cardigan with…well, everything!  But mostly importantly, just make sure you look after YOURSELF during this time and soak up all that precious Newborn goodness, cause I know it sounds clichéd but it DOES fly by and then you’ll find yourself with a 27 month old and a 12 month old thinking where the hell did that time go??

 

The Pouch

Guest post by Roshnee from Pretty Tidy Roshnee

My name is Roshnee, I am almost 39 and I have a 2 and 4 year old. I’ve been a size 10 my whole adult life. Im 173cm and weigh 59kg.

And I have ‘the pouch’.

You know? The ‘ive had 2 pregnancies in 3 years and while I’m physically the fittest I’ve ever been, I have a gut pouch.

Even when I dipped to underweight (stress/heavy baby who ate half my meals/walking all day every day with crying kid strapped to me) I still had a muffin top. I still had the pouch.

I used to live in tank tops/blouses tucked in to slim pencil skirts. Or low slung jeans.

But it’s true what they say – your body shape changes.

Now if you’re a person who has either gotten lucky/worked their ass off /won the genetic jackpot and you don’t have the pouch OR if you think I’m a vapid person for lamenting my old body then now’s the time to turn off.

After I had my first difficult baby my whole life changed. I went from successful executive to ‘what the heck am I doing, why is my baby crying non stop (she had silent reflux) will I ever get more than 1 hour sleep at a time?’ and I lost a lot of my friendship circle.

The reason I brushed my hair and put on a lil make up every day (and refused to wear trackies) had little to do with vanity and everything to do with trying to find the ‘old’ me … the one that wasn’t anxious, the one that wasn’t sleep deprived and the one who wasn’t struggling with life every day.

This leads me to pouch concealment. I you looked at me you’d say I was slim. But in fact, I am a magician.

A pouch magician.

I realised very quickly that my old uniform of pencil skirts and tank tops wouldn’t cut it.

So I found clothing and brands that allowed me to become said magician.

My key items include denim shorts (because I’m walking all day and end up a sweaty mess) as they loosen up and ‘fit’ your body, tops that are fitted but not tight (yes, there’s a difference) or flowy but slightly cropped tops (because just flowy signals potential pregnancy).

I only wear jeans or pants that are super stretchy but thick (aka not leggings) … And the key – the rise. Go high. Not necessarily ‘up to your boobs’ uber trendy length, but high enough that the pouch isn’t highlighted. Its a smooth line from your legs to your tummy. It doesn’t ‘cut’ and therefore doesn’t highlight.

One of the things that drew me towards ‘Blossom & Glow’ was the fact that they get it. They get pouch concealment. Im looking forward to autumn when I can rock the Kylie Ripped Pants (not low waist, super stretchy and flattering with cool ripped knee detail to also detract from pouch) and the Call It A Day top (flowy but not too long, enough detail to disguise pouch (now sold out)).

Other pouch disguisers include the Arcadia Stripe Tee, Blush Transition Top, and Arcadia Draped Jersey Tee.

If you’ve gotten to the end of this blog post and still think ‘good lord! you’ve had 2 kids, just get over it’ I remind you again that at the heart of this, it’s about finding yourself after losing yourself.

And if you didn’t have that experience post baby then that’s really awesome and cool. But if you did then maybe you know why.

Roshnee is a gorgeous mum of two kids, an interior lover, and storage designer. You can follower her on instagram here.

Pretty Tidy Roshnee Pretty Tidy Roshnee

The Bebe Glory Box

Guest Post by Kyree from Miss Kyree Loves

I’ve always wanted a baby. I’ve always craved that new born smell, those wee snuggles in the early hours of the morning when it’s just the two of us. I’ve always wanted a mini Ben and I and I always felt that wanting a baby, was a tabu subject.
Women don’t talk about it, and if they do then it’s frowned upon and you get looked at with cray cray eyes. I wanted to step outside of that negativity and make it known that I was proud of this longing, proud of this urning to be come a mummy. I wanted the world to know I wasn’t ashamed of what I wanted and that’s when the Bebe glory box was born.
This box (is more like a room now) is full of timeless, classic, unique items that I know will be perfect for either gender when the time comes. This box symbolises everything Ben and I love and are working towards making it a reality.
I love collecting from smaller businesses. I am truly passionate about shopping and supporting small. The mummas behind each business are hard working and I just know that everything is made with pure and undeniable love. Hand made vintage pieces are a serious addiction and I can’t wait for the day that I can dress out very own Chub in the stunning items that are available now.
We hope that a little baby comes into our lives soon, and I will never shut up about wanting that day NOW! So, until that times comes, I’ll continue to collect what inspires me and what makes my ovaries burst.
Kyree is an amazing blogger & stylist. You can follow her incredible Instagram page here, and read more from her blog here!  

My Baby Is Schooling Me!

Guest Post by Siobhan from MeOhMy

 

My baby is schooling me!

As mums we’re charged with teaching our little ones about the world. We’re their providers, protectors, carers and educators. We teach them their early learning ABCs, their hand eye coordination, their first words and how to behave. We’re meant to be the fountain of knowledge.

But I have a confession to make – I don’t know shit. I’m winging this. And the majority of the time, I feel like my little guy is the one doing the teaching.

I once heard the saying “I gave him life, he taught me the meaning of it” and it’s so true. I am definitely the one being schooled!

As I’m sure many mums would agree, how much he’s taught me since he was born 15 months ago astounds me.

Little buddy, not only have you taught me what life means, you’ve also taught me so much about myself, such as…:

Unselfish love – I would put your needs before my own every single time. Just yesterday I bought you (yet more) clothes when I haven’t bought any for myself in weeks, and that really hurt 😉 No, in all seriousness, I would throw myself into oncoming traffic if it meant you didn’t get hurt. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for you.

Patience – I’ve always known how impatient I am, but you’re teaching me to just take things as they come, go with the flow and take life as it happens. It’s a work in progress, but I’m learning. Like when you climb into the dishwasher while I’m trying to unpack it, and I literally get just one glass put away before having to give up, yet again. I’m trying to learn to love those repeated trips across the room to save you from almost breaking your neck after climbing onto the couch then windowsill!

Goodbye order – I’ve learned just how much life will never be orderly again. It’s now full of vomit, poo, snot, mud and dirt! Baby poo stains that never come off, walking out of the house with rusk in your hair despite having just washed it just before you left…these are the realities of mum life.

To enjoy the little things – I used to have a life jam packed with ‘stuff’. Things to do, plans to make, jobs to complete, exercise to fit in, material things to buy, projects to work on. Now, I can be happy spending an entire day with you and no one or nothing else. Just us, a walk or two, your smiles, your giggles, me trying to do funny voices when reading stories and that’s it. Oh, but I do need to at least head out for a coffee, sorry pal 😉

Not to overextend myself – I get way too stressed too easily and life just isn’t meant to be that high paced all the time. I’m learning to slow down, smell the roses and take pleasure in the little things.

That nothing goes to plan – Life with you is unpredictable, something that my routine-obsessed OCD pre-mum self would have hated. But now, I’m trying to be ok with mess and a lack or organization.

Be patient with me, little one. I’m learning as I go, and as you grow.

Over and above this list, you’ve taught me that nothing really matters but family – That you, your dad and your sister who will be joining us shortly are my centre and my universe. That this is the most important job in the world and is all I ‘need’ to be doing.

 

Siobhan is a mum of one gorgeous boy, with another on the way (due October 2015).  From news to celeb gossip, lifestyle, beauty, fashion, interiors, events, wellness, fitness and all things in between, Siobhan will keep you entertained while you’re trying to get your little one off to sleep, or when you need a quiet moment to yourself to laugh, enjoy, learn and realise that you’re not alone on this crazy rollercoaster that is motherhood.  Follow her journey on her website or on instagram.  Siobhan wears our amazing Stripe Tube Tee which is available here.

Whose body is this?

Guest Post by Sophia Jay from Six Feet Deep

Whose body is this?

I’ve asked myself this question multiple times since having baby number three! When I try squeezing into something from my pre pregnancy wardrobe that I know used to fit like a glove, or when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror before jumping in the shower. Even when I see my reflection in a shop window! But it’s also a question that kinda played on my mind during all three of my pregnancies – ‘Whose body is this?’ Surely this leaky, kinda jiggly, awkward looking body that I see after three beautiful kids isn’t mine?

Falling pregnant with my first baby at nineteen, I remember so clearly thinking ‘how the f*#@ do I dress this body that no longer belongs to just me? A body that I have no real control over anymore!’ I felt completely uncomfortable in my own skin. Totally new to the world of maternity clothes and all the new and unknown things that come with being pregnant for the first time, I was lost.

When I look back at the wardrobe choices I made during my first pregnancy I actually cringe. I had no idea there were stylish, comfortable options to cover that big belly of mine. I struggled to feel beautiful and can quite clearly remember sitting in a blubbering mess on the floor, surrounded by clothes that didn’t fit, wondering how I was ever going to go at least another five months with absolutely nothing to wear!  I am embarrassed to say I gave in to those hideous 3/4 maternity work pants, and they sadly made their way from my maternity work wear to my every day wear in those last months of pregnancy (eek) because that was all I knew.

How is a young woman who already feels uncomfortable with her ever changing body, supposed to feel beautiful about herself or even have a chance to enjoy those amazing moments that come with pregnancy, when the clothes she has to wear in no way reflect herself or her personality?

A little over two years later I fell pregnant with my second daughter and I flat out refused to buy any maternity wear. I wasn’t going down that 3/4 pants road again. I squeezed my way into bigger sizes and made do with clothes that again, didn’t reflect me – but hey, at least they kinda fit!

As women we all want to feel beautiful and comfortable in our own bodies. We give up so much of ourselves for these gorgeous babies of ours and YES of course they’re worth it all- The leaky boobs, sore bits, jiggly bits, bags under our eyes and all the rest that come with being pregnant and being a mum. But why do we have to completely lose ourselves just because we are pregnant? That’s exactly how I felt. Like I’d lost myself during my first pregnancies.

Flash forward another two years, and call me crazy, I’d decided ‘hey what’s one more to add to the mad house?!’ Pregnant with my third baby and in a very different headspace, knowing this baby would more than certainly be my last, I honestly tried to embrace all things pregnancy. I loved that growing belly of mine so much. But if you have had more than one baby, you will know that generally the second or third time round in my case you are generally bigger than the first time. This was definitely true for me. I grew out of my every day clothes pretty quickly, but unlike with my first two, the world of Instagram kind of saved me. That sounds ridiculous, but totally true. I was introduced to stylish maternity wear and OPTIONS, that weren’t available to me before.

To be totally honest Blossom and Glow changed my outlook on maternity wear and I’m definitely not being paid to say this! It’s cold hard truth. Kathryn made my pregnancy wardrobe choices not just bearable, but enjoyable, and for the first time ever I got to completely enjoy and appreciate my pregnancy without those stressful worries of trying to find something that would not just fit over my big belly, and be comfortable but would also flatter it and make me feel beautiful and confident about myself.

I was lucky enough to get to work with the beautiful Kathryn for a good part of my pregnancy and the time, care and love that she gives in picking each item of clothing is so evident. She truly thinks about the woman who will be wearing her clothing and to her I am forever grateful for giving me the opportunity to be able to comfortably enjoy my very last pregnancy wearing beautiful clothes.

Fourteen weeks after baby number three, I’m sitting here writing this and even though I still find myself looking in the mirror asking ‘whose body is this?’ I am now learning that if I absolutely love what I am wearing, generally I will feel beautiful no matter what the rest of me looks like. Of course I still have those days where I really don’t want to get out of my pyjamas because the thought of having to throw together an outfit that’ll work on this new body I’m just getting to know, really just seems like to much to deal with. But the key is to try and embrace the changes to your new mumma body and make clothing choices that are going to flatter the parts of you, that you do love! I myself am still trying to learn this and trying to embrace all the changes that have come with having my beautiful baby boy.

So to all the mummas who find themselves staring at a body that they aren’t quite sure is really theirs still, I feel ya! Remember you aren’t alone!

 

Sophia is a mum of three gorgeous children.  She shares her beautiful motherhood journey on her blog, Six Feet Deep, and on instagram.  Sophia is wearing our beautiful Island Boho Maxi Dress available here.  

A Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Cuppa

Guest Post by Emma from A is for Avocado

Many women feel unsure as to which hot beverages are safe or beneficial during pregnancy/lactation. The daily (or hourly) ritual of having a cuppa can be so important for Mums to maintain their sanity and keep up their hydration. It’s a good idea to reduce caffeine at this time – both for Mum to stay optimally well and baby to stay settled. These great tea options provide ways to get back that ‘ahhhh’ moment from a chill out cuppa as well as gaining some therapeutic benefit from the beverage. Enjoy!

Rooibos

A delicious naturally caffeine free black tea alternative which is especially loved in South Africa. It has a high mineral content – particularly iron – making it great for tired Mummies and growing babies. I enjoy it with milk and a little honey, but it is also wonderful on its own. It is easily found in the tea section of the supermarket. Choose organic so that the antioxidants and minerals are highest.

Chamomile and Lemon Balm

These two herbs make a great calming and settling cuppa – on their own or together. They settle the nerves, reduce anxiety, enhance sleep and help bloated tummies. They are enjoyed without milk or sweetner and the stronger you make the tea the more likely you are to get the relaxing benefits. Buy them loose leaf if you can get to a healthfood shop or in organic tea bags from the supermarket.

Nettle

Yes. You can (and should!) drink stinging nettle tea. This commonplace weed is so rich in essential minerals like calcium and magnesium for helping with cramps, stretching bodies, energy and stamina. The flavour is kind of ‘grassy’ so combined with other yummy flavours like some squeezed lemon juice or honey would make it more palatable if you don’t LOVE it. You can buy Nerada Organic Nettle tea in the supermarket now or easily from healthfood shops. It’s nice as iced tea with some frozen raspberries in it too.

Ginger, Lemon and Honey.

Probably the most widely used of all pregnancy herbal teas is ginger. It settles the tummy, reduces nausea, helps keep the bowels regular and improves circulation. Most people however are buying it in tea bag form – where lots of the medicinal benefit is lost. Ginger tea is easily made from fresh ginger grated or chopped straight into the mug. It’s perfectly complemented by the freshly squeezed lemon and honey both wonderful for supporting pregnancy nausea and energy levels. About ½ tsp of grated ginger per cup with ¼ lemon juiced and 1 tsp of honey. A great little kitchen remedy from foods – no need for any packets, tea bags, processing etc.

Roasted Dandelion Root

Last but not least is a great coffee alternative due to it’s roasted and slightly bitter flavour. Naturally caffeine free and nicely supportive to digestion – this often becomes a favourite. You can buy it in tea bags or granulated – my pick is the Bonvit brand in the supermarket. Make it the same as you do coffee (ie: if you like milk and sugar then try your ‘dandy’ the same).

Watch out for:

Peppermint – can increase reflux and reduce breastmilk production.

Decaffeinated Tea – the decaf process uses chemicals which are better off avoided.

Guest Post ‘A Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Cuppa’ from Emma from A is for Avocado.

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