Tag Archives: pregnancy

Kate’s pregnancy essentials…

Based on former pregnancies, we’re guessing The Duchess of Cambridge might be stocking up on the following…


Tommy’s launch their #AlwaysAsk campaign

Each day in the UK, 10 babies are stillborn and 152 babies are born preterm, causing untold heartache to parents and extended families.

Tommy’s, with King’s College London and BabyCentre, has launched a safer pregnancy campaign to empower pregnant women to overcome fears about speaking to professionals about health concerns.

The aim of the campaign is to reduce the number of women who end up with serious pregnancy complications or loss. A body of research from King’s College London has shown that women’s knowledge about their own changing body is invaluable in contributing to safer pregnancies but that they often struggle to voice their instincts and concerns.

‘Always Ask’ challenges the fears that prevent women from seeking information on how to recognise potential problems and gives them tips on how to manage the appointment, get listened to and taken seriously by healthcare professionals.

Find out more here.

Are fizzy drinks during pregnancy really that bad…?

So the latest hoo-hah is all this business about avoiding fizzy drinks (even the sugar free ones), because let’s face it, you’re already having to give up your morning double espresso, evening G&T and mid afternoon bowl of oysters laced with blue cheese and pâté … So why not add Vimto in there as well?

Obviously the logic here is that fizzy drinks may or may not contain: caffeine, sugar, no nutrition whatsoever, saccharine, stevia, artificial colour – none of which do you or any kind of babymaking any good. And now – apparently – drinking fizzy drinks leads to fat babies after birth as well.

But hands up who hasn’t reached for the ginger beer to curb morning sickness?  Or downed gallons of Lilt one day when all the water tasted metallic? Guilty as charged…

If you’re worried about all of this, but still can’t actually face drinking plain ole water (us neither!) we’ve recently acquired a taste for Ugly Drinks – which are flavoured waters with no sugar, sweetener, colour or any sort of nasties at all really. The grapefruit one comes billed as ‘a disco in a can’ (and as giving up discos was kind of on the list after the first child came along, this one seemed like a bit of a winner to us…)

The ‘Get More’ range are also pretty nice – these actually have added vitamins, so you’re not just swigging carbonated water. The Vitamin D one is meant to be the most preg-beneficial and it tops up calcium too .

Another new one on us – although not in the fizzy drink family at all – was the range of Caffe Ottavo teas for one’s Nespresso machine. ‘Tea in the Nespresso?’ we hear you cry – well, apparently it’s a thing and actually a darn site easier than brewing yourself a pot and having most of it go cold/get too strong. We’re loving the Moroccan mint and Chamomile ones (there’s also good ole fashion English Brekkie in the range if you’ve got builders ’round – and obviously lots of lovely rich coffees that for the minute you’ll just have to sniff the cartons of…

But gosh-darn-it,  if you still really crave a fizzy drink then we (who aren’t doctors or midwives or scientists of any sort – and often known to quote things we read in Mallory Towers) totally suggest the odd glass of really good champers …

A week in the life of a pair of Wolky Shoes

Wolky shoes might have a less-than-glam sounding name, but they have been specially and anatomically designed for walking (shopping/running for buses…) in comfort. And unlike a lot of ‘functional footwear’, the Wolky range is packed with super cute choices – from ballerinas to boots – with fabulous craftsmanship and on-trend colours.

Editor writes: I have spent the last week wearing a lovely pair of ‘Aspe’ suede espadrille wedges from Wolky. The shoes come in a gorgeous rainbow of colours but I opted for taupe as it goes with everything. At six months pregnant, comfort is important – but I’m not quite ready to throw in the style towel just yet – but with two kids already I also need a shoe that allows me a turn of speed when I need to chase after which ever one of them has run off with my car keys…

Monday: when the shoes arrived, all boxed up, I was wondering if I’d made a mistake ‘sizing up’ as the website suggested – but actually a size up was the perfect fit. They are great shoes, with a two inch heel (so enough height to give the simple Baukjen jersey dress that has become my pregnancy staple a little bit of ‘oomph’) and the colour is lovely. 

As I said, I am in the land of the puffy ankles at the moment, so I wasn’t expecting to be slipping these on and pirouetting; I wore them for the first few hours with a pair of socks (yep, really sexy!) in case there were any bits that rubbed. 

Tuesday: I actually had a midwife appointment today and wasn’t expecting to be standing in a queue for 45 minutes (those striking Junior doctors…) but the shoes did me proud. One thing it did make me think (whilst standing in line) was that greige toenail polish and taupe shoes wasn’t a great combo – so killed a bit of time wondering what might be more complimentary… rouge noir? neon yellowInstagramCapture_7226d141-7f51-448d-bbbc-d053903840bb

Went home and opted for a sort of pale lavender… 

Wednesday: ‘designed for walking’ says the Wolky slogan and today we were shooting products for the Summer issue of the magazine. The studio was on the third floor and I’d say I walked up and down three flights of stairs around 50 times over the course of the day, carrying everything from cushions and scented candles to coffee and croissants. Totally fine – although there was a moment of panic when I spilled latte on the suede (it wiped clean, it was fine…)

Thursday: my youngest had a play date at a friend’s house where they hadn’t mentioned that they had the paddling pool up. The two-year-olds thought that the muddy puddled garden (and resulting muddy paddling water) was a dream come true; I picked my way daintily through the swamp (well, as dainty as you can be at 26 weeks) but the wedge heels worked well and I didn’t skid. Unlike a lot of espadrilles, these ones actually do have a rubber sole, so a little bit of water doesn’t totally ruin them – I probably wouldn’t recommend *actually* paddling, but being  caught in a shower won’t do any harm…

Friday: we were off to the South of France for the weekend and trying to pack for four in just one hold bag – so basically it was ‘wear the shoes or leave them behind’. You’ll probably read loads of ‘advice’ to the contrary of wearing heels whilst pregnant on a two hour flight but it was totally comfy (and I did my usual kicking them off and sitting cross legged thing anyway…) 

Definitely chic footwear for strutting up and down promenades and jetties,  cobbled squares and hilly villages – I did feel a bit like Malibu Barbie wearing them beside the pool, but hey-ho… 

Want to #Win a pair of Wolky shoes from their Summer range? Just RT and follow @WolkyShopUK on Twitter to enter…

See Wolkyshop.co.uk for full t&c’s – no cash alternative

SM tests… Secret Saviours Stretch Mark Prevention System

Says Sophie Hooper, Secret Saviours co-founder and mum, “Women tend to spend their hard earned cash on their baby rather than themselves during pregnancy, in fact our research revealed that over 90% of users spent up to just £1,000 on themselves during pregnancy, but 96% spent up to £5,000 on products for their baby.  So if pregnant women are going to buy a product to prevent stretch marks, they need to know it will work. We already have a clinical trial proving the product works, but to have customers across the board give Secret Saviours such a massive thumbs up is fantastic.  We can now categorically say that we are THE product to prevent stretchmarks. Nearly 90% of respondents expected to get stretch marks during pregnancy but with Secret Saviours, stretch marks are no longer inevitable, but preventable.”

Sound  too good to be true…? We tested the system out…

SM tester writes: ” with a first time pregnancy we are so worried about any little marks – nightly slapping on anything that claims to soften, smooth, prevent… A few kids down the line and it’s just par for the course… But according to Secret Saviours, this doesn’t have to be the case and they have invented a system involving a band (like a bump band), plus day and night cream.

Before the kit arrived, I must say I was stuck in an NHS waiting room for a few hours and watched the advert for the product on Baby TV about 25 times. There were lots of red arrows; it looked complicated (and somewhat painful!)

But then my lovely, marshmallow pink band arrived – you measure your bump as they come in different sizes (and colours) and you wear it just like a bump band – for daily support. The inside of the band looks a bit like bobbly Artex and the idea is you rub in some day lotion (very light, fresh smelling, sinks in quickly) to your belly in the morning, pull on the band, wear it all day and when you take it off you apply some of the (slightly richer, just as lovely smelling) night cream before bed. The bobbles in the band disperse the pressure, making for fewer stretch marks… 

If this seems like a lot of faff, it really isn’t – especially if you’d be wearing a support band anyway.  And it just goes in the washing machine too.

As I mentioned before, this isn’t my first child, so before I started testing this, there were already a few marks ready to pop – as it were. But four weeks in, they haven’t – despite my belly being larger in trimester two than I was at due date with my first and the only other TLC I’ve had time for (besides this) is a bit of moisturising shower gel in the morning. So (unlike baby one) no yoga, no forcing my other half to massage the bump whilst reading it Kafka, no special diet …

There is no doubt this system does work; whether there are other methods that might work just as well for you I guess depends on your physique before you were pregnant and how much time you have to devote to banishing stretch marks. Personally, I think it’s great and works for me in the eleven seconds of ‘me time’ I am currently allowed…”

Find out more, buy online or from Amazon 

Emma’s Diary predicts if your newborn will be a grumpy bricklayer…

This infogram from Emma’s Diary (that advice guide given out during pregnancy following the story of Emma and her indie band loving, slightly hapless other half Nick…) made us smile…

40 weeks of growing a watermelon is definitely worth it if the end result is a jolly debt collector called Ethan, right…?

For pregnancy advice, mums to be and baby information, Emma’s Diary has medical advice to help you from RCGP.

Pregnancy app Bonzun launches in the UK

Maybe the first time ’round you had time to read all those Bounty alerts about what vegetable your baby was the size of, or how to fit a carseat…

But the Bonzun app is different in that it doesn’t just give you schmultzy ‘look, it has fingernails now’ style updates – it actually helps you track your test results, check warning signs for conditions like pre-eclampsia, assess any symptoms and the app will soon also allow you to chat with a medical professional directly. Phew!

Already loved by UNICEF and over 800,000 Chinese parents, you can get the app on iOS or Android here.

The Pudding Club: Miller & Carter review

With a few of our writers pregnant at the mo, we decided to introduce a new (sort of self-explanatory) foodie section. This week we review Miller & Carter Steak House in Epping.

SM reviewer writes: I recall (when pregnant with child number 1) reading Pamela Druckerman’s ‘Why French Children Don’t Throw Food’ which poignantly stated that French mothers-to-be only gained around 10kg and slinked into frothy underwear nightly (possibly with a sip or two of Pol Roger from a ‘proper’ glass in a manicured hand). During ‘la grossesse’ of enfant deux I spent a few months in France, thinking I would nibble on a Sables biscuit and drink Perrier – but nothing of the sort happened. Enfant Deux was hungry, I was cold (and mon mari tucking into the vin rouge in front of me didn’t help my moodswings). It was a cheese and baguette frenzy. So now, at the dawn of Enfant Trois (or, The Last One) I’ve vowed to roll with the punches, eat what my body is asking for – and scribble a few reviews here and there when the service is good, the food hits the spot and by and large the restaurant can cope with my unruly brood tagging along.

Miller & Carter in Epping Forest is a stand alone steakhouse. The sort of place that despite being amidst rambling country-walk territory, one most definitely drives to. It’s the kind of steak vibe that was big in the 90s (ie retro decadent) rather than the latest meat-wave vogue for chowing down on a side of cow on a slab of marble.

Personally, I am gagging for iron, protein and for someone to discover a foodstuff that my two year old (who has been off nursery for best part of a week now with a vomiting bug, been ‘clear’ as it were for two days but the school policy insists he stay home, yadda yadda…) might actually like to eat.

They actually offer a two course lunch deal (which, to my sleep addled nappy brain needs some explaining) – the gist is that you can add in another course for £3. Collectively we ordered two burgers, chicken wings, cheesy garlic mushrooms, bread and oil – plus a side plate for my two year old.

The bread arrived along with the mushrooms and chicken – we can’t quite recall which dish actually came with the side order of melted blue cheese, but everything got dipped into it – including enthusiastic  toddler fingers. Doubtless no food groups were represented but it was amazing. (And if anyone’s going ‘blue cheese!’ and doing that shakey head finger wave thing right now, rest assured, the blue cheese in the sauce – along with the mayo I slathered on my chips – had definitely come direct from a chain retailer and not from some rural farm devoid of pasteurization) 

Main course burgers were fairly substantial (again, not those sort of burgers you win food challenges for eating that have become popular) and the chips were double fried, salty… definitely not soggy french fries.

Image: Miller & Carter

Obviously another crucial part of pregnancy is needing to pee all the time and the loos here were pretty sparkly clean, with nice Baylis & Harding handwash.

If I wasn’t pregnant I would probably come back and order the Steak Hache with a large glass of Pinot Noir (and maybe a cocktail to start). And if they delivered to my house at 3 in the morning I’d probably be ordering the rose sugar glazed lemon tart…

Book a table online here.