Getting ready for baby

*This post was written before I had my daughter Bea and I have since written a follow up post on what we did actually use. To read it please click here.

This week is my last at work and although I’m feeling ok from a tiredness point of view I am looking forward to having some time to devote purely to getting ready for baby. At present (36 weeks) I have the sum total of a pram, 1 blanket, 1 cardigan, 2 sleep suits, 1 baby bath and a rocking crib with 2 sheets. No nappies. No car seat. In fact there are plenty of essentials still missing.

I had no idea where to start with baby stuff and even had to ask my sister in law what you even put a baby to bed in (clothes-wose) after getting very confused about swaddling and blankets or no blankets advice. I found the John Lewis Nursery checklist very helpful and not at all excessive in terms of things to buy and so I edited it and created my own version here.

Do bear in mind that the different sections of the list may not apply to everyone. The feeding section for example is geared towards breast feeding as I intend to give it a good go, and I’m not sure a play mat or bouncer are essential for the first few weeks of a baby’s life. Although I’m lucky enough to live close to supermarkets and John Lewis, and there’s always Amazon, I don’t want to be unprepared so these are my basics to stock up on so I can concentrate on baby for the first few weeks.

You can download the list by clicking on the image above if you want to, or just click here.

I’d love to hear if you think any of it is unnecessary or if I have missed any essentials off that you found you couldn’t live without in the first few weeks?


First Time Mum: The Early Days

Today, Becky is back with another update on her journey as a new Mum. When Becky first sent me this post she told me she had left a few paragraphs out as she didn’t want to scare any mums-to-be with the changes inevitably ahead. I asked her to send me them and we eventually agreed to include them here. Thankfully, these days the challenges of motherhood are more openly discussed along with the inherent joys and so I dont think some of the feelings Becky experienced will come as a shock to many, but if you are expecting and feel like today is not the day for a dose of reality, then feel free to skip down to her tips for getting thorough the first few weeks – about halfway down the page.

During the first few hazy days of motherhood, most people tell you that the first 2 weeks are the hardest but to enjoy every minute of it. I found it difficult to understand at the time but now, on the other side of the first three months, I totally get it. I think Mother Nature’s memory loss trick has a lot to answer for, but as I fought back the tears whilst packing Connie’s newborn clothes away recently, I realised that they are tiny for the shortest snippet of time. Blink and you’ve missed it.

Being a new mum is amazing in so many ways, but it’s also a time when you feel an enormous pressure to feel completely over the moon with life. I know that not everyone feels like that as not only is it really tough physically and emotionally, I think many new mums, me included, can feel completely overwhelmed by the responsibility of getting it right. No matter how many times you tell yourself that your life is going to change forever while you’re pregnant, the actual reality of it in the early days is mind blowing. All of a sudden you realise you are never going to be the person you were ever again. There were moments when I felt as if I was mourning the loss of my previous self but also feeling guilty for thinking it at the same time as Connie was everything I’d asked for. This was a post that I read, on Renegade Mothering, that I really identified with.

Most importantly, you must trust your instinct. Even in the first few days of motherhood when you think you haven’t a clue about the best way to care for your baby, just believe in yourself. You will know your baby better than any midwife or health visitor. You will be given ‘helpful’ advice from everyone you speak to. Most of it will be conflicting and everyone will suddenly have an opinion. I’d suggest quietly taking on board what they say and then doing things the way that you feel suits you and your baby. I was given some terrible advice by a health visitor and breastfeeding counsellor when I sought support in the early days. I knew deep down that it wasn’t the right advice for Connie and I but I didn’t have the confidence to believe that I knew better. As a result, I followed their advice and fell to pieces for a week. Thankfully my Mum was able to come to my rescue and we got back on track doing things the way we’d been doing them from the start. It was a tough lesson in self belief.

For today’s post, I wanted to share some of the things that helped us through those tough early days and hopefully, they might make it all seem a little more manageable.

During the later stages of pregnancy, start cooking in batches to stock your freezer with home cooked meals that are easy to re-heat. This is the most useful thing I did on my maternity leave.

Sleep when your baby sleeps – even if you have a house full of visitors. Newborns don’t know night from day and need to feed every couple of hours.

It’s common for babies to go on feeding frenzies at night time (called cluster feeding). Connie regularly fed until 4.30am. After the first few nights, I was starting to struggle as I’d been staying up with her watching TV, reading or online. On day 6, a midwife suggested I try to keep night as restful as possible even if I wasn’t sleeping and she showed me how to safely feed in bed. This was the best piece of advice I was given. It saved me from becoming nocturnal and eventually, your baby will start to recognise the difference between the bright, noisy day, and dark hushed night.

For settling your baby, I cannot recommend this advice enough. We also used a hot water bottle to warm the moses basket before placing Connie into it. White noise is also your best friend. There are white noise apps available which we used regularly, along with the hairdryer!

Make sure you’re clued up on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). You’ll find everything you need to know on The Lullaby Trust website

The long nights can get very lonely and overwhelming. Remember that everything seems better in the daylight.

If you’ve attended any ante natal groups and classes and have met new mums to be, try and suggest setting up a Facebook group so you can all keep in touch. It’s invaluable to have an instant support network of people who are going through almost exactly the same thing. I regularly posted questions in the middle of the night and got a response within minutes.

Ask your visitors to run errands, help with housework, bring meals etc. Play to their strengths and you should have all bases covered.

And finally, a few things I was grateful for…
Comfy loungewear – treat yourself to some nice pyjamas and a dressing gown for home rather than the hospital – something you don’t mind visitors seeing you in.

A baby swing/ bouncy chair to give you 5 minutes in the shower when your partner has returned to work.

A minimal make up bag and speedy way to style your hair.

A repertoire of songs you can sing to your baby – 10 green bottles is always a good starting point.

So readers, do you have any advice to share that got you through those newborn days?


PS Some of Becky’s previous posts:

First Time Mum: Changing bags

Hurrah! Becky is back with more of her fascinating insights to being a first time mum. I know that lots of new mums don’t want to lose their style identity along with their sleep when a new arrival comes along, so finding the perfect changing bag that is both functional and fashionable can be a difficult task. Thankfully Becky has done the leg work for you and shares her finds today…

During the later stages of my pregnancy, the piece of kit I was most looking forward to purchasing was a changing bag. After all, having a baby is a genuinely valid excuse to purchase a new bag.

The bag had to fulfil 3 criteria:
1. My taste
2. Less importantly, but a definite consideration was my husband’s taste, and
3. It had to be practical to take everywhere, every day.

Here’s a roundup of my favourites…..

1. Ashley, coral // 2. Elizabeth, leather // 3. Tania Bee // 4. Firenze // 5. Coromandel // 6. Isabella, leather // 7. Amanda Quilted // 8. Satchel

When my husband and I couldn’t agree on a ‘purpose built’ bag within our budget, I widened my search to create our own changing bag. I’d been given a separate changing mat and put the nappy change essentials into a washbag which could be thrown into any of my existing large handbags. Then I treated myself to a new bag in the sales and we bought my husband this.

Bottle warmer and matching changing mat, BabyMel // Jonathan Adler for Skip Hop changing mat // Kissing stags toiletry bag>/span>

Both bags sit packed and ready to go in the hallway. We just transfer the mat and washbag into whichever bag we’re taking out. I can’t say that accessorising my outfit is back on my radar yet but I’m sure with time it will be, and I’ll be pleased to be able to swap and change the bag with my mood and outfit.

One last thing… a tip I was given was to join the Boots parenting club. You get more advantage card points when you buy baby items (nappies, cotton wool etc. all included) and you get a free changing bag for joining. The bag itself isn’t great, but it includes a really large and lightweight changing mat which you can stuff into any bag or take away with you on holiday.

So readers, do you have a favourite changing bag? Any tips for choosing the right one? Or what are your essential or unusual changing bag contents?

Much love,

Becky x

Florence’s Gift Guide #6: Newborns and New Mums

This morning, Becky is back with a gift guide that although it’s timely, will remain useful to you guys 365 days of the year. When my friends have babies I’m always unsure what to buy. I want to buy them something practical and I usually want to spoil mum too. I was pleased to see many of my favourite purchases on this list that Becky has complied with the aid of her new mum friends. I hope it also gives you confidence to give the ultimate gift, that of time, whether it’s helping out at home as Becky suggests or spending time cooking something lovely for them.

Before I had a baby, I never knew what would be the most useful and appreciated gift to buy friends with newborns. Now I know, and as it’s the season for gift giving, I thought I’d share some present ideas with you.

To assist me with this post, I asked my trusted group of new mum friends for their suggestions. Everything comes with a personal recommendation.

For Baby

  • Clothes are always much appreciated but it seems most people give 3-6 month sizes. It’s nice to receive newborn basics too. Vests and sleepsuits with built in scratch mits are very useful and difficult to have too many of. If you’re going to buy for when the baby is a little older, make sure you consider the seasons. Cardigans are essential for a winter baby but not a summer one. And ‘Sock Ons‘ are an essential accompaniment to any pair of socks
  • Baby Bundler – Great for quick, popper free night time nappy changes
  • A bouncy chair or musical cot mobile – essential for Mum to grab a shower. The mobile also helps to calm during nappy changes.
  • A fleece wrap or footmuff for a car seat – saves having to wake a sleeping baby to put a coat on
  • Ewan the sheep lullaby soother
  • Grobag 
  • A music box – can act as a distraction for nappy changes
  • Extra large muslin wraps – indispensable for spillages, swaddling, and great for your modesty if you’re breastfeeding in public
  • A Cuddledry bath towel can help to make bath time a little easier
  • Most Jellycat toys are suitable from birth and have been very popular
  • Sophie the giraffe – for when they start teething
  • Beautifully illustrated classic books make great lasting gifts for children as well as providing pleasure for parents.
  • Baby hand and footprint ink set
  • Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Healthcare And Grooming Kit 

For Mum

  • A homemade dinner in a disposable container (pies, casseroles, and pasta bakes are great options) or a homemade cake
  • A good book or magazine accompanied by a clip on book light – great for those lonely night time feeds
  • A scented candle
  • A luxurious bath or shower treat that can be enjoyed in 5 minutes off
  • A pedicure – it doesn’t have to be professional, a home pedicure from a friend would be equally appreciated
  • The offer of help with the housework

So readers, I’d love to hear what your favourite newborn/ new mum gifts are for giving and receiving.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, and the happiest and healthiest of New Years.

Love Becky

First Time Mum: Bringing Home the Baby

I’ve been a Mum for over a month now and have no idea where the time has gone. Looking back, the last 6 weeks are a haze of euphoria, love, tears, feeds, broken nights, nappy changes, washing, gifts, visitors and cake. It’s been the toughest thing I’ve ever done and I know it’s a cliche but it really is also the most rewarding.

I’ve learnt a couple of things about myself during this time too. Firstly, I have a lot of patience and secondly, I’m pretty good at multitasking. I’m sat writing this in bed with Connie attached to one boob, the breast pump on the other, having just finished a telephone conversation with one eye on the TV in the background.

Connie’s first few weeks haven’t been the smoothest of rides and there’s so much I want to share with you all but for now, here’s my take on labour and birth and the few days after.

My labour was straightforward and lasted just 23 hours. I was very lucky and got the birth that I’d hoped for. I spent almost half the time at home with a TENS machine for pain relief. On arrival at hospital, I had a short stint in both triage and the ante natal ward before being moved to the midwife led birthing unit where she was born, pretty rapidly, in the pool using gas and air. As she came out so quickly, I needed a lot of repair work and ended up in theatre afterwards. That part wasn’t what I’d hoped for but once Connie had arrived, I couldn’t have cared less about my own body.

Can you prepare for birth?
I’d read somewhere that to have a positive birth experience, it’s not about the way you give birth, but instead it’s being happy with all of the decisions that are made during your labour and birth, whatever happens. I didn’t have a birth plan. I had written down a few preferences in my maternity notes but had always wondered how I’d know what I wanted if I’d never experienced any of the feelings before. I went in with an open mind, hoping for a natural as possible water birth but open to any sort of pain relief should I need it. After all, there’s no golden pelvis award for doing it without drugs. I knew that if I’d written down a detailed plan of how I wanted my labour to go, I’d always feel disappointed if it didn’t happen that way. I truly believe that having an open mind is the best preparation you can give yourself.

Your Hospital Bag
You’ll find endless lists in books and online to assist with your packing. You’ll most likely take a lot that never gets taken out of the bag. I would suggest packing for one night only but have a second bag ready at home with extra clothes in that your partner or a friend can bring to you in hospital should you have to stay in for longer. You don’t want to be explaining which pair of comfy knickers you want and where they might be in the chest of drawers.

Take a look here for a great list of things that you’ll be very grateful for that you won’t find on most other lists.

  • My own top labour bag items were the following:
  • A bendy plastic straw -enabling water intake from any angle.
  • A bath pillow which I used in the pool.
  • A flannel for brow mopping.
  • A playlist of my favourite songs on the iPod.
  • A sandwich for my husband which he ate while I was in theatre. It’s a long and exhausting experience for them too. Forget the food for you, you won’t want to eat!

The First Few Days
Your baby will most likely sleep a lot during it’s first 24 hours. They are sleeping off labour. Although it’s really hard to sleep when you have so much adrenalin running through you, not to mention a newborn to stare at in amazement, I can’t recommend enough that you try and make the most of sleeping during that time. I had to stay in hospital for an extra night and so the Grandparents visited us throughout day 1. The moment that my husband left that night, Connie came alive. I hadn’t slept for almost 2 days and had a fractious newborn to cope with. A couple of hours sleep during the day would have certainly made that night a little easier for me.

When you get discharged from the hospital, there’s nothing like coming home as a family. It’s an important time to be together as a family and start to get to know your baby so really think about who, if anyone, you’d like to visit. We had a few days on our own which I can’t recommend enough if you’ve had a relatively straightforward delivery. If you do have visitors, make sure they’re useful at the same time. Ask them to bring meals or pick up some shopping for you. You certainly shouldn’t be the one organising the tea and biscuits.

And finally, there’s no escaping the fact that having a baby is painful. If the thought of giving birth fills you with fear, please don’t fret. The pain will be virtually erased from your memory very quickly by Mother Nature. I’m sure it’s her way of ensuring the continuation of the human race. In the short term however, these are the things that I swore by to aid the healing:

  • Arnica tablets for bruising
  • A salt water and lavender oil bath twice a day if you’ve had stitches or are tender. I did this religiously for 2 weeks.
  • Lansinoh nipple cream – use it from day 1 if you are breast feeding. Don’t wait for cracking or soreness.
  • Plenty of fluids, lots of iron rich food, and a serious dose of rest.

So readers, did you have a labour bag essential? Any advice for the first few newborn days? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Love, Becky x

The Whole Nine months… [Part 2]

Good afternoon readers! I’m excited to share Part 2 of Becky’s pregnancy diary with you particularly as last weeks Part 1 was so popular! I’m also delighted to tell you that Becky’s pregnancy is now over – Becky had a beautiful baby girl on Sunday 14th of October – Constance Elizabeth, who weighed in at a very cute 7lbs 8oz. Mum and baby are home now and doing well – I can’t wait for a cuddle!

My heart melted when that little face landed in my inbox!

Now, lets finish the rest of Becky’s pregnancy guide.


Despite the lists you may be bombarded with during your pregnancy, you don’t need a huge amount of kit before you have the baby. If, like us however, you have no idea where to start, I can thoroughly recommend a nursery advice appointment at John Lewis. Ed was sceptical when I told him we had an appointment booked. He assumed we’d leave with a list containing overpriced items we’d never use. He was pleasantly surprised.

You can use the service like a wedding list and give your list number to family and friends if they want to buy you a gift. We however used it as a two hour advice session for prams and nursery essentials and a shopping list tool for ourselves. Your list is compiled by the nursery advisor you see and you can then add or remove items from it online. You can spread the cost by purchasing items here and there but they’ll be stored for you until you arrange a one off delivery that suits you. It’s also good to watch the prices on your list before purchasing each item as John Lewis will price match any competitors’ current offers. The service is free and you get a voucher for a hot drink and piece of cake in the cafe. What’s not to like?

Your pram is likely to be the most expensive piece of kit you purchase so make sure you do your research. We went to 3 different shops to look at the different options that would suit our lifestyle. We spoke to advisors in each shop and then went home to research reviews, videos, and advice online. I then went back on my own to try collapsing, lifting and pushing each pram on our shortlist. After all, I’ll have to manage it once Ed’s back at work. The best advice we were given was to look ahead to the longer term. Think about what you might need in a year or two’s time when your baby has grown and will the pram you are purchasing for your newborn baby be able to adapt for your future needs?


There are two camps to fall into here…….Knowledge is power v. Ignorance is bliss. Early on in my pregnancy I thought I’d fall into the latter but as time has ticked on and I’ve exposed myself to more and more information I’ve found that I definitely fall into the first camp. I’ve signed up to every workshop or learning session the midwives have offered me on labour and breastfeeding. We’ve also attended NCT classes (these are often oversubscribed, so be sure to book early). Along with what I’ve learnt at yoga, I feel almost excited about my labour, as if it’s a challenge like a marathon that’s just around the corner. I don’t think you can ever be prepared for what’s ahead but with a little training, you can certainly feel a lot more confident about tackling it.


It may seem a long way off but if you are planning on returning to work, you need to think about childcare early on in your pregnancy. We started looking at nurseries when I was 30 weeks and couldn’t be guaranteed the days and dates we really wanted for the end of my maternity leave. At the time, we were planning over a year ahead. It’s a very daunting prospect to choose childcare before you’ve even met your child but as we’re in the middle of the biggest baby boom since the 1950’s it’s something you just have to get on with.



NHS choices – sign up to the parent information email to get a weekly newsletter relating to your week of pregnancy.

Gas & Air – written by a Mum and Midwife. A refreshing, down to earth, and personal insight into the labour ward and motherhood.



Your Pregnancy Week by week, Lesley Regan – This has been my no nonsense pregnancy encyclopaedia. It’s got the reassurance of being like a school text book.

The Rough Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, Kaz Cooke – A humerous book giving sensible advice amongst witty diary entries following the authors own pregnancy. Split down into short sections for each week which makes for very easy bedtime reading.

Hypnobirthing, Marie Mongan – I haven’t attended hypnobirthing classes, nor did I purchase the accompanying CD. The book was recommended to me as a resource to learn relaxation, breathing and visualisation techniques to help during labour. It certainly helps to reassure you if you are frightened by the prospect of labour. It may seem a bit ‘hippie’ for some but you can learn more about hypnobirthing here. I have found it ties in very well with the breathing and relaxation techniques I’ve learnt in my yoga classes.

Babies: The Mumsnet Guide: – Another recommendation that I’ve recently purchased. I’m only just delving into it now that my pregnancy and labour books are coming to an end. Well, I’ll need something to read in hospital won’t I ?!


What to Expect – A concise app that gives you a weekly update comparing the size of your baby to a different vegetable or fruit as well as providing you with a countdown. It’s American so take some advice with a pinch of salt but it’s a fun and easily accessible resource to have on your phone. Be warned, things start to become scary when you reach butternut squash!

I’d love to hear any of your thoughts on this or anything about your own pregnancies that may help other bump free ladies. I’ll try to check in regularly to answer your questions, but please bear with me if I don’t reply straight away!

Becky x

First Time Mum: The Whole 9 Months [Part 1]

I’m very excited about this afternoons post. Becky Hay, who normally writes Florence’s Florals, is about to have a baby and as such, she will now be writing a column about her experiences as a first time Mum. Hopefully (baby permitting) these will be monthly and I’m equal parts excited and nervous to see what motherhood may have in store for me in future. I also know that so many of you reading are considering starting a family, pregnant or have small ones around, so I do hope you’ll get involved.

Welcome back Becky!

I’m writing this on my due date. 40 weeks of pregnancy quite literally under my belt. In an attempt to take my mind off my impending labour, I thought I’d write a little about my experience of pregnancy as an introduction to my ‘new mum’ posts.

I’ve been very lucky that my pregnancy has run extremely smoothly. It’s been a much easier ride in comparison to getting pregnant. I’ve never taken it for granted though; especially as I’ve seen some of my closest friends really suffer with sickness in their pregnancies.

Each and every pregnancy is different but I hope that some of my experiences which I’ve broken down into sections will give at least a few of you an insight into life with a bump.


I’m yet to find a pregnant woman who didn’t experience nausea at some point. Mine wasn’t morning sickness, it was all day sickness. I was never physically sick but the best comparison I can make is to a hangover from hell where you don’t know if you need to throw up or eat to feel better. This is the time when plain white carbohydrates are your friends…..potatoes, crackers, crisps etc. I found that constantly grazing was the best way to get through it.

The other way to keep your mind off it is to keep yourself busy. My nausea was at its worst during my busiest time at work. With hindsight, this wasn’t such a bad thing as I had no choice but to plod on through.


You’d better get used to it. Unless you are the most chilled out person ever, there’s always something to worry about. The 12 week scan, the 20 week scan, the fact you’ve not felt the baby move yet, then when you do, is it moving enough? What you’re eating and drinking, every twinge, the size of your bump etc. etc. We all deal with worry differently but my only advice would be to stay away from the internet when you’re feeling particularly anxious. My husband Ed very sensibly banned me from searching forums and googling symptoms early on in the pregnancy. The easiest way to calm yourself is to ask your midwife or your GP. If you do use the internet, make sure it’s a reputable UK based site such as NHS Choices, Mumsnet, Emma’s Diary or Bounty


You’ll be given it by the bucket load from friends, relatives, colleagues, acquaintances, and total strangers. Sometimes it’s great, other times, not so much. I’ve jotted down all the good bits in a notebook or on my phone throughout my pregnancy. The stuff that reduced me to tears is what I’ve tried to forget. What you have to remember is that the majority of people are only trying to help. There are a few who will try to make themselves feel better by making you feel worse. It’s best to put some distance between you and that sort of advice.

During my pregnancy I’ve learnt that timing is crucial. At 30 weeks, I thought I should start considering what to purchase for my hospital bag. As I left the M&S underwear department in a hot sweat, I realised I wasn’t quite ready for that stage. At 36 weeks however, I took Primark by storm in preparation. The best piece of advice I can give is to trust your instinct and do things when they feel right for you.


My job is pretty active. I’m on my feet for large chunks of the day and I also have a dog who needs walking twice a day so staying active throughout my pregnancy was essential. From around 20 weeks, I started to incorporate activities that are better suited to pregnancy. I started swimming on a regular basis and took up pregnancy yoga. I’ve continued both activities right up to the end of my pregnancy. Even later on, when the drag of my bump in the pool made swimming lengths a little more challenging, I’ve found as much enjoyment from midwife run aqua-natal classes.

The weightlessness that the water offers is a total relief from the pull of gravity your bump experiences on dry land. I’ve also loved being able to get my heart rate up whilst jumping about in the pool, safe in the knowledge that the water is cushioning me.

Yoga was something I’d never tried before but I cannot recommend it enough. It gave me a guaranteed hour and a half every week of total relaxation; a time when I could focus on my posture and breathing, both very important tools for labour I’m told.

I don’t know for certain yet but I’m hoping that having remained active will stand me in good stead for labour. It’s also meant the extra weight from all the cake I’ve been eating hasn’t attached itself to every part of my body. The other huge benefit from these classes has been the group of Mums to be that I’ve met through participating. Many of us are due around the same time and we’ve already formed friendships outside of the classes.


Pregnancy and fashion can go hand in hand, it just becomes very time consuming. Most shops devote little or no floor space to maternity wear. You’ll find the majority online. Normally I’m happy to shop online but when you have no idea what size your bump will require and getting to the post office to return parcels is more difficult, it can become a bit of a drag.

Don’t go overboard with buying new clothes early on. Your bump will change every week and you’ll be surprised by how much you can adapt from your existing wardrobe with the addition of a long vest. Anything that stretches is your friend. Leggings are a lifesaver, as are long vests, low cut waistbands and shirts. A winter pregnancy will require more layers. Wrap style cardigans and scarves are both bump friendly.

If you’re going out somewhere special, try to plan your outfit a day or two in advance. I’ve been caught out at the last minute on too many occasions where I thought I knew what I was going to wear, only to find my bump had outgrown it when I went to put it on.

My favourite pick of shops:

Topshop – the large stores have a small selection of maternity wear in store with more online. I found a good selection of varying length jeans and the Tall range also gives extra length to cover your bump without being ‘Maternity’ wear.

GAP – Good for jeans, casual tops, and knitwear. The sales are always great and I had success buying regular t-shirts in a larger size to normal. The larger stores have a selection of maternity wear in stock but for the best choice you need to look online.

ASOS – Fashionable and very affordable. Like Topshop, less ‘Maternity’ in style which is always a bonus. They do a great selection of dresses if you have a party or a holiday looming. The tankini I bought has been my most useful item of clothing throughout my entire pregnancy.

Isabella Oliver – If your budget stretches, the quality of their leggings and jeans are excellent. They were all a little snug for my ‘chunkier’ legs but I was very sad to have to return them. I was lucky enough however to be loaned one of their wrap dresses from a friend for a Christening. I’ve never had so many compliments on an outfit beside my wedding dress. A little out of my price range for a one off party outfit but if you are pregnant over the Christmas period or a Summer where you have a few weddings to attend, I’d recommend having a look at their collection.

Primark – comes into its own when you are shopping for your hospital bag. Nightshirts, pyjamas, big packs of granny pants, slipper socks, and dressing gowns. These are not items of clothing that you will want to be spending a lot of money on!

NCT online shop – this is a great resource for bras (maternity & nursing)

Other shops I should mention are Dorothy Perkins, Next, and Mothercare. I personally didn’t have much joy but different shaped pregnant friends have rated them very highly.

And finally, for those who are on their feet a lot and suffer from swollen sore legs. These maternity support leggings were a lifesaver for me. I loved the fact they were more like leggings and not tights so they’ve seen me through the summer and into the Autumn with a pair of socks inside my boots.


Nothing needs to change from your usual routine here apart from the fact you have a little more skin to cover. I’ve used Bio oil on my bump from 12 weeks of pregnancy and touch wood, not a stretch mark in sight. If you’re lucky, you might be treated to some ‘Mum to Be’ products from loved ones. My favourites have been The Sanctuary Mum to Be range, Burt’s Bee’s Bump Butter, and Clarin’s Tired Leg Emulsion.


A coffee and a piece of cake, a pedicure, a massage, a bubble bath, a girly lunch, a daytime trip to the cinema or a weekend away with your other half. Make sure you organise plenty of treats to enjoy throughout your pregnancy. I thoroughly recommend saving a pedicure for near the end when you really can’t reach your toes anymore!

Amazing advice Becky! Please do get involved in the comments box below with any of your tips and look out for part 2 coming soon 🙂


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