The Risks of Sugar in Pregnancy

by on the 11th November 2015

Pregnant Woman EatingWherever you look at the moment, there are people talking about the risks of sugar. The likes of Jamie Oliver are leading the way by putting up the prices of children’s sugary drinks in his restaurants (though surely putting down the price of healthier drinks would have been more altruistic!). But what isn’t so hot in the headlines is the risks that too much sugar can have in pregnancy. And frankly, that is where we think it should begin.

What Is Sugar?

In its rawest form sugar is carbohydrate that originates from plant extract. Coming from either sugar cane or sugar beet, it is actually a natural substance. But unlike other forms of carbohydrate in our diet, sugar is a product that the body simply does not need.

Yes, it tastes nice and gives us more satisfaction in our drinks and food. But when it comes down to the crunch, it can be more dangerous than alcohol or cigarettes, yet no one gives you a second glance if you are walking down the street eating a Mars Bar at 36 weeks. If you did the same thing with a pint of beer, there might be a few more heads turning.

These days sugar is in everything, and the lower your food budget, the greater chance that sugar has been used to improve the flavour of your food. Take a look at a jar of Value Mayonnaise and each tablespoon could contain more than 10% of the recommended sugar intake for an entire day. Or investigate the label on your favourite ‘healthy’ fruit juice, the results could blow your mind.

The Risks of Sugar in Pregnancy

As recently as last month there has been research carried out showing that having too much sugar in pregnancy can be dangerous for the baby and for mum.

In the worst case scenario, a woman can develop gestational diabetes from having too much sugar in their diet. And though most women who suffer from this syndrome go on to have healthy babies, others will suffer from oversized baby syndrome which can make birthing difficult. Or in extreme cases can lead to brain damage or even death.

Even if you are not diagnosed with diabetes in pregnancy, a high sugar intake could lead to metabolic abnormalities, heart defects or a greater propensity to develop diabetes in the future, all without you even understanding the risks.

Even for those babies born healthily, the extra fat stores produced by elevated sugar levels in the womb can lead to other health issues, including childhood obesity and the resulting health issues that come with it.

Most mothers who develop gestational diabetes will recover after the birth, but the risks associated with birthing an oversized baby and the pressure it can have on your own internal organs can be tremendous.

What Can We Do Today

The simple answer is to reduce the sugar intake in your diet as quickly and as significantly as you can. And we’re not just talking about the sugar you know is there in terms of chocolate, fizzy drinks and breakfast cereals. More importantly, we are talking about the excess levels of sugar you can’t see in things like tomato ketchup, diet foods and crisps.

Bolognaise JarOpting for savoury products alone will not solve the problem. Just take a look at a jar of pre-prepared bolognaise sauce and you will realise that sugar is everywhere.

But the more you can reduce your sugar intake, the better opportunity you and your baby have for a much healthier life.

Once your taste buds have changed to accommodate a low sugar diet you will wonder why you ever needed it in the first place. Mood swings, cravings and slumps in energy are less likely to occur if you consume less sugar. And the risks of gaining weight or developing Type II diabetes in later life also fall dramatically.

No one is saying it is easy, and the food industry is definitely against this cause. But by making a few adjustments in your diet, the effect could be tremendous.

National Guidelines for Sugar Consumption

Currently the World Health Organisation states that any adult should consume no more than 50g or 12 teaspoons of added sugar in anyone day – far less than you would get from a single small bottle of Coke. Yet, a new UN survey states that even these levels are too high and that our daily intake should be closer to 25g or 6 teaspoons.

Sugar in TeaJust think, if you take two sugars in your tea and you have three cups of tea a day, you are already consuming as much sugar as the UN suggests you should for your entire diet. And that’s even before you start eating.

So think about what you are doing. If you can’t find a hot drink that doesn’t include sugar then try boiled water. Add lime, lemon or mint to give flavour and the improvement you can make can be incredible.

When you want a snack, opt for a few sliced vegetables or make your own granola bars. There are millions of healthy recipes out there. And the more you can change before your baby is born, the more opportunity your child has for a healthy life as they are growing up.

Recent reports suggest that sugar is now becoming the fastest growing health concern across the world. So make sure you are not its next victim.

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You Don’t Need the Crown Jewels to Look Like a Princess

by on the 19th March 2015

It was great to see Princess Kate Middleton out this week showing the world that you don’t need a Queen’s Ransom to look stylish during pregnancy.

In fact this latest get up from the future Monarch costs less than most people would pay for a maternity dress, yet she looked absolutely spectacular.

This gorgeous ensemble came straight off the peg at Asos, where their maternity range is just going from strength to strength. And after this little fashion show by Mrs Windsor, you can bet that everyone is going to think that the £35 it would cost to duplicate this style is a real bargain.

Brookhill Children’s Centre

During the visit to Brookhill Children’s Centre, Kate was presented to many young families that suffer from a range of issues from bereavement and illness through to metal disability, making it even more appropriate that Kate’s outfit was understated yet still incredibly stylish.

Brookhill is a centre that helps many people in the surrounding community, and further afield, through any type of family crisis. And the interest that has been created by the Royal visit is simply incredible.

The Prince is Coming!

But it wasn’t just the dress everyone was talking about on this Royal visit. Kate also let it slip to one of the other guests that there would be another arrival pretty soon, confirming her due date is between mid and the end of April.

This means we could have another new Royal member in just a few short weeks!

Get the Middleton Look

Asos Wrap Around Maternity DressThis dress is now available from Asos for a mere £35. But you can bet it isn’t going to be in stock for long. So make sure you order yours soon.

For the full on Kate look, add a pair of coordinating high heeled court shoes to finish the outfit.

But if you just can’t bear heels in the run up to your due date, opt for a pair of lower heels or even sandals that are still going to look beautiful.

As we’ve said so many times before, it’s not the price tag on your maternity clothes that matters, it’s how you wear them.

And with one of our most prestigious Mums now showing us how it’s done. Who are we to argue?

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50 More Shades of Grey

by on the 3rd March 2015

You may have seen the movie, you may be reading the books. But this spring, Grey is more about the colour of your clothes than anything else.

Though we can’t actually say it’s going to be in the ‘in colour’ – after all it’s not actually a colour. Every high fashioned mum-to-be needs a bit of Grey in their wardrobe. And we’re just the people to show you where to get it.

Get Tied Up in Luxury

Grey Maternity Car CoatThough we should be welcoming the first day of Spring in the middle of March, it’s definitely too early to go out without something warm to snuggle up in, even if baby is giving you the sweats.

And this Hudson Knit Maternity Car Coat is perfect in terms of style and comfort.

The blue and grey tones mix together beautifully to give all the depth of colour needed to carry this style off with true elegance. But the gorgeous soft fabric and flexible tie belt mean you’re going to be comfortable no matter how far gone you are.

Retailing at £159 it’s not the cheapest maternity coat on the market. But when you feel the quality of the fabric, you are going to be praying for colder weather, just so that you can wear this gorgeous maternity coat over and over again.

And because of its beautifully tailored lines, once the baby arrives, this car coat is still going to fit perfectly, giving you a snuggly treat whenever you want, and it’s big enough to breast feed with confidence wherever you are.

All Over Pleasure

Grey Maternity DressDrench yourself with head to toe (or at least knee) in grey this spring, this gorgeous Jersey Dress from the new range from Blooming Marvellous at Mothercare.

It’s so good to have Blooming Marvellous back with us, and this dress is the epitome of everything they stand for.

Style, elegance, and easy wearing, but you still won’t need Christian’s bank account to pay for it, this gorgeous soft cotton maternity dress has everything you need for a smart lunch, a day at the office or even a night on the tiles.

We love the way the cowl neck brings this dress right up to date, and offers emphasis away from the bump to look great no matter how big you get.

Team this with some nice wedges as the weather gets warmer. But for now, pop on a pair of good maternity tights, add a jacket or throw, and you are ready to go.


The Classical Touch

Grey Wrap Maternity TopThe classic wrap over pregnancy top is a fashion item that is never going to go out of fashion. It is flattering, it is comfortable, and you can carry on wearing it long after the baby is born.

For the best effect, choose a high quality jersey material. And when it comes to the best jersey, we really don’t think you can beat JoJo Maman Bebe.

This stunning wrap top is completely versatile, covering any size of bump and then fabulous for nursing after the baby is born.

It’s sleek, it’s stylish and will make you feel like a million dollars every time you put it on, even though it costs less than a night down the pub!

It even washes up well too, making it the ultimate maternity top for this season.

And if you feel like a splash of colour to brighten up that day, choose from jade, red, grape and beaujolais, for an elegant effect in any grey theme.


Something For The Weekend

Sexy Maternity UnderwearOK, we couldn’t do a ‘grey’ promotion at the moment without adding a little sexy maternity underwear, and (of course) Figleaves have got it down.

This stunning maternity bra comes in sizes 32B to 38GG, so that you can look as hot as you feel. And has coordinating briefs, shorts and lounge pants to choose from.


It doesn’t matter whether you are hanging from the rafters every night of the week, or just want to settle down with a cup of tea in front of Corrie, the right underwear boosts your body and boosts your confidence.

And this is definitely the right underwear.


So are you ready to go grey? It’s time to start shopping!

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Make the Most of the Secondary January Sales

by on the 6th January 2015

For most of us, Tuesday 6th January is the true start of the year. The kids have gone back to school, we have all gone back to work and the Christmas decorations are finally back in their boxes.

But today doesn’t have to be all gloom and doom, in fact it marks the start of a fantastic opportunity for pregnant women and new mums everywhere – and it’s something we like to call the Secondary January Sales.

What Are the Secondary January Sales?

Asthall Maternity  Dress

Snatch up this gorgeous Asthall Maternity Dress for just £42, down from £105.

Unlike the traditional January Sales, the secondary sales usually start quite a bit after the first flurry of sale shopping is over. But while the interest may not be as high as it usually is during the first few days after Christmas, the discounts that are available quickly make up for it.

And for those of us that have an unquenchable thirst for designer maternity clothes, but don’t have the budget to match, these secondary sales give us the opportunity to really indulge in our favourite pleasure.

High street names and designer labels give us the opportunity to snatch up some of those best loved items for a fraction of the cost, so who are we to resist!

Hamilton Maternity Dress from Isabella Oliver

This Hamilton Dress is close to a third its original price!

Just take a look at leading names such as Isabella Oliver and you will see exactly what we mean.

As their man sale comes to a close ‘end of season offers’ provide greater discounts than ever before.

This gorgeous Asthall maternity dress, suitable for day or night is discounted by 60%,

While this gorgeous Hamilton design is down to nearly a third of its original price.

And it’s not just maternity dresses that enjoy these sort of discounts, nor is it only at Isabella Oliver that offers such huge price cuts.

Tops, trousers, skirts, in fact anything you can think of when it comes to high quality maternity clothing enjoys the same incredible offers, from all manner of retail provider.

The reductions are going on absolutely everywhere, and it would be absolutely criminal if you missed out.

How To Make the Most of the Secondary January Sales

1. Plan Ahead

Thankfully, when it comes to the changes us women experience during pregnancy, things pretty much run along one course. Though you are going to get wider and a little larger (sorry!) those wonderful maternity retailers have taken all that into consideration when designing the clothes that you want to wear. So you can pick your usual dress size, knowing that even at the very end of your pregnancy these clothes are still likely to fit you.

And in knowing that you are most likely going to be the same size for the next 3/6 months means you can buy clothes for this season, the next season and even the one after.

And because you are buying stock that is out of season, you are going to be able to get even bigger discounts than you can on clothes that you can wear now.

2. Don’t Forget the Baby

But this doesn’t just apply to the mum. Now is also a great time to buy baby clothes too. Whether you are expecting a winter, spring, summer or even autumn baby, there are fabulous discounts across a massive amount of stores. Just work out how old your baby will be in each season and get the clothes to suit. It may seem crazy to plan so far ahead. But when it comes to the first few months of parenting and you don’t want to be out shopping for you or the new baby, you will be glad you took this step.

Just think, almost a year’s worth of clothes bought and paid for in one easy shop. After today, January 6th is likely to become more fun than Christmas!

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How To Get Help With Your Childcare Costs

by on the 7th November 2014

working tax creditWhether you choose to return to work after the birth of your baby by choice or due to financial pressures, childcare costs can be astronomical.

In the UK, the average cost for a full time place at nursery is around £177. Which means some people will be paying considerably less, but others will be paying considerably more.

But there are ways to get help with your childcare costs so that you don’t end up going back to work just to pay to keep your child safe.

Childcare Tax Credits

Unlike most other types of credits that are only applicable to those out of work, Childcare Tax Credits are specifically designed for those that do have a job to reduce the cost of childcare.

But in reality, this tax credit is not actually called the Childcare Tax Credit, although that’s what most people call it. Instead it is titled the Childcare Element of the Working Tax Credit, much more official and far more difficult to remember!

How the Childcare Element of the Working Tax Credit Works

Basically, the Childcare Element of the Working Tax Credit is a sum of money that is paid to you on a weekly or monthly basis to help with the cost of raising your children.

Eligibility will depend on the number of hours you work, your salary and the number of children you have. And all credits must be applied for to ensure you get them.

Thousands of people every year miss out on this basic entitlement just because they don’t know about it or think they earn too much to be eligible. But even if you think this isn’t the case, isn’t it worth a few minutes of your time to ensure you couldn’t benefit?

How To Apply

The easiest way to find out if you are eligible is simply to pick up the phone and ring the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900.

As a guideline, Childcare Tax Credit is offered to individuals or couples who work a minimum of 16 hours per week with an average income of less than £41,000 per year.

But with different options for those with more than one child and for parents who have a disabled child, or are disabled themselves, even if you do not think you are eligible, it is always worth a call.

It’s Not Just For the Childminder

It is important to also realise that this support is not just for individuals who put their children in full time nursery. It can also help parents who have older children that go to afterschool clubs or summer camp.

Anyone with a child under 16 years of age, or under the age of 20 and in full time education, can apply. And there’s no penalty if you apply and you are not eligible, so why not give it a go.

Working Tax CreditRemember to Renew

Once you get your tax credit, the key to long term success is to make sure you sign and return the annual renewal statement when it comes through the door.

Thousands of people every year are losing their benefits, just because they don’t realise that the form has to go back.

In fact, the deadline at the moment is the 1st July every year, and if miss this deadline it can cause all sorts of problems.

Take Action Now

Though you may not want to think about it just yet, returning to work can be a difficult time for your whole family. So make sure you are as prepared as you can be using every means possible to get the best support.

And when you have a few moments putting your feet up with the PC, browse the HMRC Website and get the latest up to date information on all the support you are entitled to from Childcare Tax Credits.

You never know, it could make all the difference.

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Top Christmas Presents For Pregnant Women

by on the 13th November 2013

Christmas when you’re pregnant can be a bit of a bore. No drinking, watching what you’re eating and coping with all the added stress of the festive season can be a nightmare. But it’s not all gloom and doom. The excitement of a new arrival in the New Year and a few good Christmas presents can make it all worth while.

So we have scoured through one of our favourite department stores, John Lewis, and put together our top 5 ideals for Christmas presents for pregnant women , to make sure every mum-to-be gets the attention they deserve this year.

1. A Touch of Elegance

When you are expecting a baby, most of your normal clothes are going to feel tight and uncomfortable. But a little bit of chic can transform your wardrobe and revive your entire outlook.

We love this wool-bamboo fibre shawl from John Lewis. Pregnant women especially love the soft and sensual feel of this gorgeous cover. It is perfect for comfort and glamour during pregnancy and for a long time after. And at £42, it is a great price for your wife, girlfriend or even a family friend .

The cut of this shawl is wonderfully sophisticated, but it is so accessible anyone care wear it. Even if you are just in a jumper and t-shirt, throwing this shawl on can upgrade your look and make you feel wonderful.

In the evening, this is the perfect item to keep you warm and happy. It even offers a little bit of comfort when your feeling a little bit less than your best.

And for all those times after the baby has been born when you just want to need to feel a little bit more than a mother, this elegant shawl can brighten your mood so that you feel so much better about the day. It’s soft, it’s comfortable, it’s flattering and incredible useful. If you need an idea for a pregnant women’s Christmas present, then this has to be top of your list.


2. Making It One To Remember

Beautiful Notebook for Pregnant Women

We all know that pregnant women sometimes forget a thing or two. All those extra hormones give you feelings and sensations that you wouldn’t normally ever experience. Which is why a personal journal is such a fantastic Christmas present idea for a pregnant women. It gives her the opportunity to let out feelings that she may not want to share with another human being and gives her a way of recording all those special moments that she will want to remember forever.

For an extra special touch, add a special pen to her journal and she will not be able to resist making a few marks straight away. Though the art of writing might soon to be forgotten, consider buying her a fountain pen with some beautiful coloured ink. It will encourage her to write more and let out all those feelings that she is keeping inside.

And then in years to come, she will be able to look back at this special time and remember the good, the bad, the beautiful and the downright ugly. All wrapped up in a gorgeous gift that she will always thank you for shared with her.


3. Don’t Ignore the Obvious

While any woman wants to hear that she hasn’t changed during her pregnancy, the fact of the matter is that our bodies and mental attitude will always differ when our hormone levels rise. And when choosing a present for someone who is pregnant, it is worth showing her you appreciate everything that she is going through. Though smellies are often considered a last resort for many women, when it comes to pregnancy, getting some pregnancy safe toiletries can be a wonderful and thoughtful gift.

Pregnancy Toiletries for ChristmasWhen buying toiletries for pregnant women opt for quality rather than quantity for the ideal present. Any woman can go out and buy the run of the mill stretch cream or foot spray, so get her something a bit special so she can enjoy a bit of indulgence at Christmas.

We love this trio set from Bloom and Blossom Mother. It contains bath oil, anti stretch mark cream and leg and foot spray which have all be specifically designed for a mum-to-be, and each one emits the most gorgeous natural scent you are ever going to encounter.

The entire set uses essential oils and rich, luxurious ingredients to take pampering to a whole new level. Just what she will need when the hustle and bustle of Christmas has passed.

At £45 this isn’t a product that most people would want to buy themselves, especially with a new arrival on the way. But if you are in a position to give a pregnant woman a little extra treat this Christmas, then this could well be the perfect gift.


4. It’s Not Just For Christmas

The birth of your first baby is the ideal time to give your wife an eternity ring. It solidifies the commitment you made to her on your wedding day and is a symbol of the love and dedication you now have for your new family.

And the Christmas before your baby is born is the perfect time to give a gift such as this.

Diamond Eternity RingWhen your wife is feeling like a baby making machine or is rushing round getting the house perfect for the Christmas season, an eternity ring will show her that you are now life long partners and that the baby provides a connection deeper than anything else in the world.

What ever paths your lives take, you will be inextricably linked by the life you have created, and that is one event that is definitely worth celebrating in style.

Our choice would be this stunning 12 stone diamond platinum eternity ring, just because of its elegance and its beauty. But if your budget is a little more limited, there are a range of options you could chose that would still provide the same thought and commitment that this ring would symbolise.

But remember, this is a gift that you will only ever give once, so maybe push the boat out a little bit more that you normally would and make sure the ring you choose expresses the feelings that you have.


5. Make a Promise

When money is tight or you are on a budget at Christmas, one of the best gift ideas is a ‘Promise Bag’ for a pregnant woman.

Fill your bag with promises of all the things you could do for that special lady and then include them in a small festive bag so that she can call on you and spend her promise vouchers whenever she feels the need. From ‘a foot rub’ and ‘massage’ for your wife or ‘two hours cleaning’ for your best friend. A promise of this nature will make her realise just how much thought you have put into her gift. If you are feeling generous, you could include a couple of hours baby sitting either for existing children, or the new born when it arrives. Or how about including a cooked meal that you can then deliver whenever she wants a night off. Such a promise bag will not only make a fantastic gift this year, it will also show any lady just how much you want to support them during this challenging time.

And there you have it, our favourite ideas for Christmas presents this year. Each individual gift is sensational and is going to make any pregnant woman feel special. But if you want to go the whole hog, look back over the page and you will realise, the best Christmas gift would be to put them all together. What a stocking that would be!

Happy Shopping.




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The Best Vitamins to Take During Pregnancy

by on the 24th October 2013

Carrying a baby is an incredible responsibility for most women, and we want to make sure we do everything we can to have a happy and healthy baby. And one of the key factors in this process is getting our diet right.

But as most of us do not have the time or ability to make sure we eat everything we need to give our babies the nutrients they need to grow. Which is why more and more of us are turning to pregnancy vitamins to help us do our very best for our babies.

The Advantages of Pregnancy Vitamins

1.        Reclaim Your Freedom

The main advantage of pregnancy vitamins is that you can eat what you like, when you like, and still be sure that your baby is getting all the vitamins and minerals that it needs.

We are not suggesting you go out and eat burgers all day long, of course you still have to watch the salt, sugar and fat you are putting into your body. But a pregnancy supplement will stop you having to be an eating machine that tops up on broccoli and cabbage even when it is the last thing you feel like putting in your mouth.

The best-selling pregnancy vitamins in the UK combine together all the essential elements of a well-balanced diet and put them into one small tablet for you to consume throughout your pregnancy. Giving you the freedom to get on with life.

2.       Laugh in the Face of Morning Sickness

Pregnancy vitamins are also really great for anyone suffering from severe morning sickness.

Not only will they replace the lost nutrients in your own system but will also make sure your baby doesn’t lose out when you are feeling less than formidable.

Even if you find it difficult to keep a normal meal down the nutrients in the vitamins will help your baby to thrive.

Choose a time of day to take your vitamins when you are less likely to feel nauseous and you can ensure a lot more goodness gets to both you and your baby.

This will make you both get stronger and a lot happier

3.       Keep Your Food Intake Safe

Though fish oils and some seafood based nutrients are essential for the healthy development of your baby, there are a number of fish based products which are not recommended for pregnant women. By taking your nutrients in tablet form, you can be sure you are getting all the benefit of the supplement without risking the health of you and your baby.

The Best Time to Take Supplements During Pregnancy

The best time to start taking pregnancy supplements is actually before you get pregnant. A good prenatal vitamin can prepare your body for pregnancy and make the entire process of being pregnant far more enjoyable.

Prenatal supplements prepare your body for pregnancy and can also replace some of the nutrients you may not be getting in your day to day routine to make you feel better about yourself.

Take prenatal vitamins for a few weeks and you can easily feel healthier, look better and some say they even make you conceive easier. There are even prenatal conception tablets on the market, claim to rapidly increase your chances of conceiving, just with a few additional nutrients.

But when you are pregnant, the best time to start taking supplements is NOW. The sooner you start taking them, the more of an effect they can have and the better you and your baby will be.

Some pregnancy hormones are marketed to certain trimesters of pregnancy, but a good solid pregnancy vitamin will be able to taken from the start of the pregnancy to the very end. And even after you have given birth, these little tablets can provide an incredible boost to a tired new mum.

Why Can’t You Take Normal Vitamins During Pregnancy

Even if you have been taking standard vitamin supplements your entire life, pregnancy is a time to reassess what you are putting in your body.

There are certain substances which should not be consumed in large quantities during pregnancy that can be included in a standard vitamin pill. These include too much Vitamin A and certain food colourings or dyes which could be harmful to your baby’s development.

It is therefore essential that any vitamin you take during pregnancy is specifically designed for pregnant women, to avoid the risks associated with these substances.

But pregnancy vitamins also contain many substances that simple aren’t added to a standard vitamin. Things like Folic Acid, which is essential for the healthy development of your baby is simply not incorporated into a standard vitamin in sufficient quantities.

The average pregnant woman should consume roughly 600mcg of folic acid every day. Yet a standard vitamin not designed for pregnant women is highly unlikely to include anywhere near this volume folic acid added, if any at all.

Furthermore any flavourings or colourings used within pregnancy vitamins are safe for both you and your baby. Though standard vitamins will not include anything toxic, even the most benign herb that can be included within these tables could have a detrimental effect to your pregnancy.

Choosing Your Prenatal Vitamins

There are a whole range of pregnancy vitamins to choose from to suit varying budgets and tastes.

The top post natal vitamin in the UK.

The top post natal vitamin in the UK.

At the moment, the UK’s number one pregnancy vitamin is Pregnacare from Vitabiotics, who offer a range of pregnancy vitamins designed for conceiving, carrying your baby, breast feeding and even one for new mums.

But to find the one for you, try a few. You will soon understand which one makes you feel better and, probably more importantly, which one tastes the nicest!

They don’t have to cost a lot (no more than £10-£15 a month) but the results can be amazing.

Look out for special offers in places like Boots and Superdrug who often do three for two on this sort of product, and you can get some really good deals.

When it comes to the health of our baby’s, we can’t be too careful. So if you feel that your diet is anywhere near off balance during your pregnancy, maybe now is the time to consider getting yourself some vitamins.

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Loving The New Isabella Oliver Nile Collection

by on the 16th September 2013

Nile Maternity Dress RangeWith the sun now a distant memory and the cold, windy autumn starting to put a grey hue over every day, it’s good to see that we can still add a little colour into our lives, and Isabella Oliver are certainly showing us how.

I know what you’re going to say, I’m always harping on about how skilled the designers at this maternity site are, but really it is true. And this season, never has that been more apparent.

Even their website has had the once over, so that the weather outside may be grey, but the splash of colour you can add is always going to be on their site.

Right now, we are loving the new Nile range of maternity dresses. Whether you choose the wrap dress, the midi or the tank, the colours and the pattern that decorate this stunning range are both stylish and flattering – and it’s going to make you feel fabulous every time you put it on.

All the colours that you will see in a good autumnal sunset seem to have been included in this pattern, which makes it ideal for the new season and a fantastic addition to any maternity wardrobe.

As usual, the cut is perfect meaning it’s going to flatter your figure and keep everything in proportion but is not going to be so tight you will feel restricted, no matter how big you get.

These maternity dresses are ideal for wearing for that special occasion when you need to look your best, but they are so comfortable, you will want to them every day. As office wear when you are pregnant, they are smart yet feminine or for a girly night out, nothing could be better.

And if you are worried that paying up to £130 is too much for one maternity dress, then never fear, opt for the wrap dress and you can wear it before you are pregnant, during your pregnancy and for many years after. You may not think that is possible, but you only have to try one of these gorgeous dresses once to understand the possibilities.

Imagine dressing the midi down with a comfy long cardigan and comfy boots for a great walk through the woods. Then put on your high heels and a bit of bling and you are already for a good night out.

And every time you put it on, the soft soothing material means you will stay relaxed and comfortable without compromising on your style.

As with all Isabella Oliver orders, as long as you spend over £30 on non sale goods, even delivery is free, giving you yet another incentive to get on and try this fabulous designer.

Yes, you can definitely buy cheaper maternity dresses and yes, one shape doesn’t fit all, but with this collection of styles, there is something for everyone. And once you’ve tried an Isabella Oliver maternity dress, I’m not sure you will ever look back.

If you are looking for something special for the Christmas season or just want to enjoy a little bit of luxury during your pregnancy, then one of these dresses will make you look sensational and feel just as good.

Everyone deserves a treat now and again, and for me, the new Nile collection at Isabella Oliver has to be at the top of my shopping list.  So why don’t you try it today and see how great you can look in something a bit special.

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Key Myths About Breastfeeding

by on the 24th June 2013

One of the key issues that pregnant women usually worry about is whether they will be able to feed their baby themselves.

For some, there is no question that they will be able to do it, for others even the thought of breastfeeding turns them off. But in actual fact, breastfeeding is still the best thing for all our babies and if you can do it right, it can be the best thing for you too.

To help you decide whether you will be able to breastfeed, we have listed our top five myths about breastfeeding, to put some of those basic misconceptions to bed.

Breastfeeding1. Anyone Can Do It

If you are one of the lucky ones that have found breastfeeding a breeze, then congratulations. But that doesn’t mean everyone has the same experience. Personally, I had a really hard time trying to feed my first daughter even though I had practiced and practiced with the baby doll at my NCT classes. But when the time came, there wasn’t a natural fit and it was something we both had to work very hard at.

2. You Will Get All The Support You Need

It may be a controversial thing to say but there are some places were breastfeeding support is not what it should be. In fact in a number of hospitals it has been said that the staff are more concerned about your baby being full to stop them crying and disturbing other babies than whether they are breastfed. A lot of hospitals will also have a time limit by which point you have to have fed your baby sufficiently or they say it is medically required to bottle feed your child. If you get to this position and are determined to breastfeed then ask for help and ask again. If you are worried about the side effects of your new born being hungry then consider giving him an ounce or two of bottle milk to get him going. But do this too often and he will never learn to breastfeed.

It has been proven that the more support you get, the more likely it is that you will learn to breastfeed naturally. And if your partner is supportive of your desire to breastfeed, then the probability of a positive outcome gets even higher. So make sure you and your partner are on the same page and that they are willing to help you through it, even when times are tough. Don’t stop asking for help until you get it. You may feel like a nag, but there are going to be plenty of times you need to fight your corner to get your child what they deserve, so why not start now.

Breastfeeding a New Born Baby3. Bottle Feeding Is Easier

When you are in hospital and the nurse is bringing you disposable bottles of milk that are pre-heated then bottle feeding may seem easier. But as soon as you are home there is sterilisation, preparation and cleaning to consider before you even get into the cost of all the equipment and milk powder. Breast milk is on tap at any time of day, at the right temperature and the right consistency. You don’t have to worry about different water if you are going on holiday and there is no emergency runs to the pharmacy when you run out of milk powder at 2am. Simply open up your breastfeedting top and you are off. Though it may take some time to master at the beginning, as soon as you have the hang of breastfeeding, it can be a lot easier for you and your baby.


4. A Baby Should Breastfeed Naturally

This myth is probably one of the key reasons that people give up on breastfeeding. If your baby cannot feed from you immediately then it must be your fault. Maybe it is the shape of your nipples. maybe you are holding him wrong or maybe you will even go down the route of thinking you just don’t produce enough milk. But however much you try and blame yourself, the truth is that babies do not know how to breastfeed, just as they don’t know how to walk, talk or feed themselves. They need to be taught. And with a lot of patience most of us can do it. So bear with it and give your baby their first lesson in how to help themselves and you could find yourself fulfilling your baby’s basic needs in no time.

5. You Must Breastfeed For At Least A Year

Breastfeeding is all about mum and baby being fulfilled by a natural process that it is good for you both. Not only does breast milk contain all the natural ingredients that your baby needs but it can also reduce the chances of you contracting certain types of cancer and can also help you burn off your pregnancy pounds. But such a process is only beneficial for as long as you are both happy.

The first few days of breastfeeding are the most important as the milk contains a lot of natural antibodies which will help your baby fight certain illnesses and infections. So even if you only manage a few days then you have done more for your baby than you will ever know. I had the target of feeding my daughter for a full year which meant that when she got her first tooth at 12 weeks and I had to stop, I felt like a complete failure. This time round, I am firm, my goal is to feed for as long as it works and not a second longer.

If you would like to know more about breastfeeding then take a look at the World Breastfeeding Week website. It contains a wealth of information that could help any expectant mother make the right decision for her family.

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Five Ways To Keep Cool When You Are Pregnant

by on the 17th June 2013

It doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of summer or the middle of winter, when you get hot when you are pregnant, it can make you tired, miserable and very uncomfortable. Which is why we have put together our top five tips of how to keep cool when you are pregnant.

1. Layer It Up

Layer it UpThey key to a healthy pregnancy temperature is to remember your layers. Because of the increased level of blood flowing around your body, you get hot quicker and cold even quicker so make sure you are always prepared. Even on the very coldest days make sure you have several thin layers rather that one big layer.

This means you can easily peel down to reduce your temperature but also that you can put the layer back on when you start to feel the chill. But remember, each of your layers needs to be able to be shown out in public. So don’t put on your oldest worn out top just because it is comfy. If you get too warm, you may soon be showing it off to all and sundry.

Keep clothing loose and air can circulate enabling your entire body to cool down a lot easier and try to stick to breathable materials when choosing summer maternity clothes that will provide extra ventilation.

2. Take It Easy

One of the things that’s get us all hot under the collar is when we have to rush to events simply because we didn’t prepare sufficiently in advance and this is never more important than when you are pregnant. If you can, always leave a little extra time to get to places so that you don’t have to hurry at the last minute. This can be incredibly tiring and very embarrassing if you are running to catch a bus or a tube with a great big bump on the front. Keeping calm and preparing also stops you getting stressed out and stops your blood pressure rising. This will be a more comfortable environment for you and your baby, and make your entire life easier.

On very hot days, consider the time you travel. If you are a commuter then try to avoid peak rush hours when transport will be at its hottest and most busy. Instead consider discussing flexi time with your boss or maybe coming in and going home a little later to avoid the hottest periods.

3. Keep Hydrated

Basic stuff, I know, but drinking is so important during pregnancy. Water is a great way to keep cool as the more hydrated you are the more you can sweat to relieve the extra warmth in your skin.

bottle of water

If you don’t like water than try adding a little flavour to encourage you to drink more. Even a slice of lemon or lime can make boring old tap water more interesting.

If you like very cold water then consider freezing a bottle of water the night before so that it can defrost during the day giving you constantly cool water on the go.

If you do go down this route, make sure you leave a little air in the top of your container when you put it in the freezer so that there is room for the liquid to expand when it defrosts without you having to worry about it bursting in your bag.

For added comfort, apply a little cold liquid to your pulse points such as on your wrists or on your neck. But avoid submersing your feet or your body in cold water, the shock can be uncomfortable for you and your baby.

4. Become a Night Owl

On the hottest days of the year, one of the best ways to keep cool is simply to put off the major tasks of your day until it gets dark. This way you can do all the hardest chores when it is a lot cooler. Obviously, the children still need to be put to bed at the same time and hubby’s dinner probably still needs to be on the table, but why not consider making the meals the night before and waiting until it gets dark to hand out the washing or tackle that mountain of ironing. If it is done at night, it gives you more of an opportunity to take it easy during the day and wait for the cooler air to come. And with all those extra chores late at night, it may even encourage your body to actually get a good nights sleep, ready for when the weather gets a bit less extreme.

5. Let It All Hang Out

let it hand outFor a wonderful way to stay cool when you are pregnant let it all just simply hang out and cool down.

There is nothing more wonderful than feeling a cool fan over your naked skin after a hard day or simply walking around your house with your belly out, free to breathe again.

We spend so much of our time trussed up and covering our bumps that we forget how beautiful nature can be. Besides, while the tummy is stretched with bubs inside, at least you don’t have to look at those stretch marks that are probably on their way.

Even if you can just walk around without the binds of any clothes for a few minutes with the curtains closed and the windows open, it can make all the difference to your day and make you feel great.


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