Five Star Babies – Too Posh to Push?

The BBC have gone behind the scenes at the Portland Hospital – where woman pay £40k+ to give birth in luxury hotel surroundings. The synopsis states…

“The first episode reveals how the Portland Hospital’s army of consultants, midwives, chefs and cleaners serve some of the UK’s most pampered parents. We meet high-society it girl Hui, who isn’t ashamed to admit she is too scared to give birth naturally.

No-nonsense Scottish nurse Pat is adamant she is not star struck but baby struck as she looks after the newborns of celebrities and royalty while they enjoy afternoon tea.

And the Countess of Bradford reveals how her career as a consultant delivering newborns has a disastrous effect on her social life. “

Oh where do I begin? I just feel sad, baffled and confused after watching this programme. And I really didn’t expect to. I thought it would be light entertainment to have on in the background for my half-asleep standard new parent attempt to stay up past 9pm! But no, after watching through my fingers as the new mums declared just hours after giving birth that they must now start to worry whether or not their husbands will be cheating on them if they don’t get back into perfect shape right away… Is this the real world? I thought that was just a line that Hello & The Daily Mail fed you & we all ignored knowing it is COMPLETE NONSENSE! YOU JUST CREATED A HUMAN WITH YOUR BODY!!

Next we see 9 screaming babies in a nursery, as the Mum’s sleep through the night, eat their 3 course restaurant quality food & apply their perfect makeup and yet can’t even pick their own baby up… Why have a baby if you don’t want to be a mother? I’m all for Mothers getting the support they need, but where is Dad? Surely that’s who should be offering support, not flying in for a few hours to film the birth on his gold plated iPhone? The only thing your baby needs in the first few weeks is you. It’s that simple.

The consultants try valiantly to keep repeating their beautifully polished ‘PR friendly’ lines so they don’t get sued but you start to see the real frustrations as the midwives are more honest than their seniors and even recount tales of Mothers’ asking them to pass them a glass on the table next to them… Is this what money does to you? You literally can’t lift a finger. It’s as if they’ve been promised they won’t have to endure any pain or discomfort at all if they just throw all this money at it. Am I going to have to be the one that breaks it to them…? That’s not how it works.

Am I too old fashioned? Am I being naive…? Possibly. But it makes me sad for these babies that will grow up as a fashion accessory for the most part. To me, being a mother is about being completely selfless, whether you end up with stretch marks or an extra 15 lbs those things don’t matter when you get to watch this beautiful baby grow into a wonderful little person! Life is about so much more than you and being a mother is the quickest way to teach you that lesson.

Right at the end of the programme you see one mother who actually wants to deliver her baby naturally and wants to keep her baby by her side through the night. This should be seen as completely standard and yet after 50 minutes of bafflingly casual remarks about how they would ‘just die!’ if they had to look after their baby by themselves this becomes a great moment of relief. Thank goodness!! Someone showing some maternal instinct!!

What did you think of Five Star Babies? Would you consider having your baby privately after watching it? Tweet me @Poppy_Carter or join the conversation over on Facebook!

fivestarbabies

Labour & Hospital Survival Guide

So it seems every where I go I end up being asked to share advice with other woman that are about to pop, and the recurring theme is, ‘I wish someone told me this…’. So I thought I should write it all down and just put it out there…

  1. Be patient.
    I know… It’s so hard and you just want to get this thing bundle of joy OUT of you. But the only thing you can do is rest, relax, take a bath, eat a shit ton of cookies… And repeat. Until your little one is ready, theres no point stressing yourself out, you are going to need all the energy you can muster soon so just try and wait it out.
  2. Don’t hold on too tightly to your birth plan.
    While it’s great to have a plan, anything can happen – the only thing that matters is that you & your little one are healthy, so if she/he arrives a little differently than planned, it really won’t matter when you get your first cuddle.
  3. Know your options.
    If this is your first baby you might be thinking that you know you want an all natural labour (So did I!), but things may change that are out of your control – so the best thing is just to read up on every pain relief option available to you, so that when you are asked you can make an informed decision!
  4. Clue in your birth partner!
    Make sure whoever is supporting you through the birth knows exactly what you want incase you can’t tell the doctor yourself for whatever reason.
  5. Bring a packed suitcase… just in case.
    Of course we all hope that we’ll have the baby & be safely out of the hospital & back home in just a few hours. But anything can happen so take with you three days worth of PJs, underwear & everything you might need (see below!).
  6. Leave a packed suitcase at home… just in case.
    And just incase your hospital stay gets a little longer, leave a packed suitcase with all your favourite things in it ready to go at home so your wonderful birth partner won’t have to run around the house frantically guessing what you might want.
  7. Put on your Tens machine and don’t take it off until it stops working…(And by that point hopefully you’ve got some stronger drugs!) Tens doesn’t work for everyone but it was amazing for me & I would highly recommend getting yourself one

How do I know what I will need, I hear you cry? Well, here’s my top birth & hospital must haves…

Hospital essentials -Adventures With Isla Baby and Lifestyle Blog

  1. Comfy PJs/Nightys… Lots of them – the softer, the better! Don’t even think about wearing ‘real’ clothes for a while. Some lovely soft bed socks, slippers or flip-flops are a great idea too. I had ultra squishy soft Nike pair that I wore for the last few weeks of pregnancy & in the hospital that were so comfy! Available here.
  2. Maternity Pads… So, you are going to bleed, a lot. For around 6 weeks. I know, you thought you’d just finished with all the gross stuff, but no! You are just entering a whole new chapter. Hooray!
  3. Face Wipes… And any of your toiletries that make you feel human again. Deodorant, Toothbrush, nice smelling creams and oils, just throw it all in the case, why not?!
  4. Breast Pads… So once your milk comes in you are going to start leaking milk at all times of the day. So breast pads are a must to avoid an embarrassing wet patch. I love Medela’s as they are ultra absorbent & have never leaked on me – I started with Tesco’s own brand but gave up on them pretty quickly! Don’t forget to put them in at night unless you want to wake up in a puddle…!
  5. Supportive pants… If you read my Week 1 Survival Guide, you will remember I noted how strange my body felt as it got used to life without a bump. The best way to stay comfortable is with really REALLY big soft pants to hold your stomach. I struggled to walk for a few days after but having support helped me so much.
  6. Tangle Teezer… One of my biggest regrets was that I didn’t put my bloody hair up. By the end of three days in labour it was knotted beyond belief and truly disgusting. (I couldn’t use my hands as I was shaking so much from the epidural going wrong.) So after what felt like the best shower of my life I covered my head in leave in conditioner and attacked it with my Tangle Teezer. Within minutes it was back to normal & with no pain at all!
  7. Evian spray mist… I had a serious temperature immediately after Isla was born (are you getting the joyous picture that was my birth experience! Ha!) and this was a god send! One spray and you feel so much better and refreshed, a must have for the birth bag!
  8. &9. One of the best pieces of advice we were given was to remember that it’s a hospital not a hotel – so take your own Towels & Pillows. If we hadn’t done that I would have had a small hand towel to dry myself after showering and only one rubbish pillow. I took 2 giant super soft towels (not white!) and 3 pillows – a bit of a pain in the arse to fit in when you are packing but so worth it!
    10. Pack a serious snack bag – even if you can’t enjoy it during labour you sure will need it for after! Fruit, flapjacks, crisps, croissants, chocolate… You just gave birth, you are officially super woman so eat whatever the hell you want! Barney brought me food into the hospital every day as the hospital food looked like a BushTucker Trial… I’d highly recommend you avoid it at all costs if you can! Don’t forget some nice flavoured drinks – I was obsessed with blue PowerAid for some reason!

And that’s it… Remember to breathe – deep, slow breaths and just focus on what you have to do. Your body is amazing & before you know if you’ll be out the other side & holding the most beautiful baby you’ve ever seen in your life!

Leave me a comment & let me know what were the best things in your hospital bags!

 

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Kim Kardashian West Hates Pregnancy…and That’s OK!

Pregnancy is a journey that can be truly a incredible and beautiful time; bringing new life into this world, it really is amazing what your body can do. But what if the journey is not what you thought it would be? What if you just don’t feel glowing and special like you’re constantly TOLD you are supposed to?

When people asked me how I was doing? I lied. Every time. I told them, ‘Oh you know, doing great.’ or just dodged the question. And why? Because I felt this unbelievable guilt for NOT loving it. And not even just a little – quite frankly I hated almost every second. Don’t get me wrong, I felt incredibly lucky and grateful for getting pregnant so easily, but should I just put a brave face on through all the morning all day sickness, or the fact that my hip problems got so bad I could barely walk by the end & my partner had to lift me out of bed?

It’s just not something that we are allowed to be honest about. For the first time I find myself relating to Kim Kardashian West (something I never thought I’d write!), she has an incredible platform to voice her opinion and in a new post on her blog announced, “For me, pregnancy is the worst experience of my life!” I read this and thought FINALLY, someone was brave enough to just say it. I can only imagine the backlash she is getting, but why? Motherhood is wonderful but life shouldn’t always been seen through Instagram filtered perfection. She continues with fervour: “I don’t enjoy one moment of it and I don’t understand people who enjoy it. Maybe it’s the swelling, the backaches, or just the complete mindfuck of how your body expands and nothing fits. I just always feel like I’m not in my own skin. . . . I don’t feel sexy either—I feel insecure and most of the time I just feel gross.”

Kim Kardashian West Hates Pregnancy and That's OK

So many other mothers have said to me, ‘Oh I had the perfect pregnancy.’ and I can’t help but feel incredibly jealous. I wanted that – so badly. I wanted to get over my morning sickness and start glowing but that never happened for me. I trawled the internet for other mums’ feeling the same but I couldn’t find anyone willing to just come out and say it how it was. I had no idea that you get a new set of symptoms every two weeks – you just start to learn how to deal with them and a whole new batch arrive for you to figure out. Or the fact that you bleed for weeks after giving birth – or how long it will take you to even START to feel like yourself again. Joy of joys!!! Maybe if someone had come out and said it, I would have been more prepared for what I was heading into?

But you know what, the second she arrived, none of this mattered anymore. I finally got that glowing feeling that I’d been looking for when I held my beautiful baby girl.

I just want to be allowed to say, honestly, how I felt during pregnancy without fearing a pitch fork carrying mob! Maybe Kim’s brave declaration is the catalyst for many women to feel able to be honest about how they are really feeling, which I think can only be a good thing.

What do you think? Please do share your pregnancy experiences good, bad or ugly in the comments below..!

T-Minus 3 Weeks… Top 10 Things I’m Looking Forward To After Pregnancy

Well it’s just three weeks to go until my due date, and the excitement is mounting.

Top 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To After Pregnancy Adventures With Isla Blog

I’ve not had the easiest ride through this pregnancy with some pretty nasty morning sickness until Month 7 & continuing hip problems (SPD) from week 15 – but it has been amazing to feel her kick, grow and dance along to her Daddy playing piano. While I’ll miss having her all safe and sound in the bump I am more than just a little excited to get back to being just ‘me’ and also the new ‘me’ as a Mum! As the big day approaches I’ve been thinking more and more about what I just can’t WAIT to do again…

1. Eat Sushi.
ALL the sushi. An embarrassing amount of sushi. In fact, just leave me alone with the sushi and come back in a few days…

Top 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To After Pregnancy Adventures With Isla Blog

2. Stand up/get out of bed without making some sort of involuntary groan…
Remember when you used to be able to just stand up and that was no big deal…? No, I can’t remember any more either.

Top 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To After Pregnancy Adventures With Isla Blog

3. NOT need to pee 87654 times a day…
Enough said.

Top 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To After Pregnancy Adventures With Isla Blog

4. Sleep on my stomach!
I’m not sure I even did this before but I’d just like the option you know?!

Top 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To After Pregnancy Adventures With Isla Blog

5. Walking more than 50ft without being tired…
Or up a hill slight slope without having to be dragged up by my partner.

Top 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To After Pregnancy Adventures With Isla Blog

6. Drink as much coffee as I can…
All this decaf nonsense is just not right.

Top 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To After Pregnancy Adventures With Isla Blog

7. Speaking of drinking…
Anyone for a cocktail? Or three?
Top 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To After Pregnancy Adventures With Isla Blog

8. Not hitting my stomach into doors, tables, people…ok…literally anything..
My spacial awareness has officially gone out the window in these last few weeks & it’s been embarrassing more than a few times.

Top 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To After Pregnancy Adventures With Isla Blog

9. People not saying (the same few) ridiculous things to me every day…
New favourite: ‘Ooh your bump is huge, theres no way you are making it to your due date.’ Errr… Thanks a bunch, Asshat.
(See also: 10 Things Not To Say To A Pregnant Woman!)

Top 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To After Pregnancy Adventures With Isla Blog

10. Fitting back into my wardrobe. And heels.
Oh to wear cute shoes again and actually be able to reach them to do them up…

Top 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To After Pregnancy Adventures With Isla Blog

What are you most looking forward to? Comment below or tweet me @Poppy_Carter.

30 weeks today…

30 weeks today & we can’t wait for our adventure to start! Photos taken by my wonderful partner at Center Parcs Woburn Forest this weekend.

Adventures With Isla Blog Maternity Photography

Adventures With Isla Blog Maternity Photography

Adventures With Isla Blog Maternity Photography

Are you planning on booking a maternity photo shoot to remember your pregnancy? As someone who is always behind the lens I forced myself through the painful experience of posing and I know I’ll be glad I did in years to come. If you are nervous, like I was, why not take a prop or make a Pinterest board of poses you want to achieve so you feel like you know what to do when the moment comes?

Booking a photographer can be difficult but you should be able to get a good sense of someone from their website & work – email back & forth, ask lots of questions and make sure you are completely comfortable with them before you shell out lots of money!

My photographs above were taken using my Canon 5D Mk ii & processed in photoshop by me.

2015: The Year of the Gender Neutral Baby

We are only half way through the year and already we have noticed this promising trend growing stronger every day. BabyCenter‘s mid-year report shows gender-neutral names like Amari, Karter, Phoenix, Quinn and Reese are rising in popularity. “As usual, baby names are reflecting a larger cultural shift,” says BabyCenter’s Global Editor in Chief Linda Murray. “Millennials are an open-minded and accepting group, and they don’t want their children to feel pressured to conform to stereotypes that might be restrictive.”

And names are just the beginning, with campaigns like ‘Let Toys be Toys’ vast numbers of people are calling out to the big toy stores and supermarkets to think before they label their shelves with Pink or Blue stereotypes.

My partner and I both decided early on that we wanted to leave these choices to our little girl and have already asked family and friends to avoid anything that brands her ‘Little Princess’ before she’s had a chance to decide if she even wants to be one! Her wardrobe has been filled with a healthy mix of dinosaur print baby grows and equally lovely florals – ignoring the ‘Baby Boy’ or ‘Baby Girl’ sections has led us to just choose what we think is fun and cute for our daughter.

If you too are hoping to give your little girl or boy more choices and less negative stereotyping – here are just a few ideas…

Having a baby shower is slowly becoming more of the norm here in the UK & my Mum and Sister are busy planning an English Tea Party for me next month… The easiest way to avoid gender stereotyping here is going for a more neutral yellow, grey or cream colour scheme instead of the usual Pink or Blue…

Adventures With Isla Blog Cream & Brown Baby Shower

Adventures With Isla Blog Yellow & Grey Baby Shower

The nursery is the next best place to keep things neutral. I love all things Scandinavian, simple and clean so these ideas will feature heavily in our little one’s new room…

Adventures With Isla Blog Gender Neutral Nursery

Adventures With Isla Blog Gender Neutral Nursery

Adventures With Isla Blog Gender Neutral Nursery

You have only a limited time until they learn to say no and want to pick out their own clothes… So for now here are a few great sites that give you the option of staying neutral for every budget.

Adventures With Isla Blog  Cute Baby Gender Neutral Clothes

Mammas & Papas, The White Company, Etsy, Babies “R” Us, Carry Me Home, Bob & Blossom, Caramel Baby & Child, Mothercare.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be looking forward to getting creative with your little one and that starts right from the birth announcement.

Adventures With Isla Blog Birth Announcement

Adventures With Isla Blog Birth Announcement

Leave me your great gender neutral ideas in the comments below or tweet me @Poppy_Carter

10 Things NOT to say to a pregnant woman

Getting pregnant is a wonderful, joyous & exciting time but during your 40 weeks you’ll probably encounter more than just a few people who say the wrong thing. I’m assuming (hoping) the majority are just woefully un-informed or lack any tact, but the only way to make it through is just to laugh it off…

1. ‘Was it an accident/planned?’
Errr… Is it any of your business? Either way, thanks for being excited for us!

Adventures With Isla Blog Ryan Gosling GIF

2. ‘Is it Twins?’
Oh yes, that’s only the 80th time someone has made that joke today. And I really can’t even pretend to laugh along anymore. Buying two of everything is exactly what we want right now…

Adventures With Isla Blog Demi Lovato GIF

3. ‘Say Goodbye to your sleep!’
Another painfully common reaction to announcing your pregnancy. How about, ‘Congratulations, that’s wonderful’ instead?

Adventures With Isla Blog Emma Stone GIF

4. ‘Can I touch your bump?’
No. The answer is always no. If I say yes, it’s only because you have made me feel uncomfortable in a social situation and I feel like I have to say yes. I’m British and being uncomfortable is easier than confrontation.

Adventures With Isla Blog Adele GIF

5. Every disgusting & painful thing that will happen during pregnancy & birth…
It’s too late now and I know this thing is going to have to exit somehow, but I really don’t need your horror stories to add to my already active imagination!

Adventures With Isla Blog Funny GIF

6. Your bump is so small/big…
While you may think your comment is just idle small talk, you have no idea about all the details of the pregnancy and every little worry that runs through a pregnant mother’s head every second of the day. Is my baby growing properly? Is something wrong? So why not just say, ‘You look incredible’ and leave it at that?

Adventures With Isla Blog Anna Kendrick GIF

7. ‘Have you thought about how you are going to lose all the baby weight?’
Are you serious? Because there isn’t already enough pressure on women to look a certain way? I just successfully grew a HUMAN with my BODY. How about I do what I want and you run along now…

Adventures With Isla Blog Jon Stewart GIF

8. ‘I was still running 15 miles a day when I was 8 months pregnant…’
Good for you! Do you feel better about yourself now that you’ve made a hormonal woman feel bad about herself? I’m active, a healthy weight and my baby is growing perfectly but great… thanks so much.

Adventures With Isla Blog Honey Boo Boo GIF

9. ‘You just wait…’ And everything that follows this line..
You think you’re tired now, you just wait until the baby is here! You think your back aches now, you just wait until week 38! And you just wait until I head-butt you…

Adventures With Isla Blog Funny GIF

10. ‘You don’t need to buy anything’
But you see…the thing is… It’s my baby, I’m excited & why should everyone else get all the fun?

Adventures With Isla Blog Meryl Streep GIF

What are the worst things anyone has ever said to you? Leave them in the comments below or tweet me @Poppy_Carter

Oh Mama… It’s hot!

Well I think we can officially say summer is here and my goodness what a start we are having here in London! Dressing for this sticky, humid weather is never going to be easy but with a bump in tow it’s essential to stay cool whilst braving the tube & tourist packed streets! I’ve found maternity shopping more than a little tricky, especially when so few stores actually keep it in stock! Even knowing what size to order is problematic when you are growing everyday. Things that I bought thinking they would last me the whole pregnancy are getting to be far too small already (12 weeks to go!). So far I’ve stuck to Topshop skinny maternity jeans and a rotation of the same few bump friendly T-Shirts, but it’s time to step it up a gear now that summer is here! So here we go… A few top picks for staying stylish and cool in the city…

Adventures With Isla Blog TopShop

TopShop Denim Dungarees

For an everyday look that’s as easy as it is cute, why not throw on these Denim Short Dungarees from TopShop (£38)… So simple, comfy and practical. What more could you want?

Adventures With Isla Blog ASOS Swing Dress

ASOS Swing Dress

I love this light, pretty look. It’s easy to dress up or down and will keep you cool no matter how much running around you still have left to do before your little one arrives! ASOS Swing Dress – £25.

Adventures With Isla Blog Arizona Two Strap Birkenstocks

Arizona Two Strap Birkenstocks

You really can’t go wrong with a good pair of Birkenstocks. I love the double strap on these to make sure you feel secure in every step as your balance starts to go. And they are adjustable if your feet do start to swell. Plus, it’s the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a pedicure! £54.95 at Office.

Adventures With Isla Blog Mamalicious Maxi Dress

Mamalicious Printed Maxi Dress

This lovely print is great for summer & would double up well for everyday or even for a Wedding. Unfortunately, I’m 5″2, so Maxi dresses are always at least a foot too long for me… So this one is for you to wear and me to live vicariously through you! Mamalicious Printed Maxi £38.

Adventures With Isla Blog Salon Skater Dress - Silk Organza

Salon Skater Dress – Silk Organza

Speaking of weddings… I find it so difficult to find anything pretty and formal that would fit my bump. But this gorgeous number would be absolutely perfect for any summer occasion and it’s only £65 from ASOS.

Adventures With Isla Blog ASOS Striped Swimsuit

ASOS Striped Swimsuit

The whole way through your pregnancy one of the things you’ll hear again & again is how important it is to stay active, so why not do it in style? I’ve found swimming outdoors in Richmond Park in the sunshine a perfect way to get some Vitamin D and take the weight of my bump off my hips and back for an hour or so! ASOS Maternity Stripe Swimsuit £28.

Adventures With Isla Blog Sophia Webster Adele Banana White Sneaker

Sophia Webster Adele Banana White Sneaker

I am obsessed with my Sophia Webster Banana Sneakers (£140). I’ve pretty much worn them every day since they came out – they are supremely comfy and as your bump gets bigger bending down to tie your laces gets trickier so these solve that problem! Oh and whats even better…? They also come in mini sizes (£70) for when your little one arrives! I can’t tell you how tempted I am…!

Adventures With Isla Blog Sophia Webster Kingston Banana White Mini

Sophia Webster Kingston Banana White Mini

So there we go… Just a few picks to get your summer maternity wardrobe started! It’s a tricky balance between wanting to look and feel good but not breaking the bank for something you (hopefully) won’t fit into for very long once baby has arrived! What are your top picks? Leave them in the comments below! Happy Shopping!

Adventures With Isla Blog Bump and Sophia Webster Banana Sneakers...

My Bump and Sophia Webster Banana Sneakers…

So much to buy… So little time…

The first thing you will notice about being pregnant is that EVERYONE is trying to sell you something that you just absolutely can’t live without… It’s a minefield that you have to navigate your way through so I thought I’d try and help with a few recommendations that I really actually couldn’t live without.

Adventures With Isla Blog  Pregnancy must haves

My pregnancy must haves…

1. Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate –
I had this before I got pregnant but fell in love with it in a whole new way once I got pregnant. Your little bump will start taking all of your nutrients and leaving your skin looking less than perfect – but with this you can try to stay hydrated while also feeling supremely pampered. It also smells incredible and the lavender is perfect for helping you to sleep if you are suffering from insomnia like so many pregnant mum’s! It’s quite pricey but lasts such a long time that it really makes it worth the £36.00.

2.Sanctuary Body Butter
At only £10 this is a steal for such an indulgent product. I cover myself in this every night before bed and although my other half isn’t a fan of quite how strong it smells I always feel hydrated and great by morning.

3. Pregnacare Plus
This handy little box comes with everything your growing baby could need in just two pills – never mind taking 20 different things when you can barely remember where you put your keys or if you even put underwear on today… Thanks baby brain!

4. What To Expect When Expecting
The worst thing for me about being pregnant is the waiting! I just want all the fun to start but for now I want to feel proactive – I’ve found reading every book I can get my hands on has helped. But don’t forget to just take what you like from each book and ignore the rest. Theres no right or wrong and what works for one baby, might not for another!

5. It’s Just Water, I Swear
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things at this exciting time, so why not get a fun cup to make this a little easier – after all, when you can barely get up off the sofa thanks to your huge bump – having a massive cup full of water that you don’t have to refill all the time is priceless.

6. Widgey Plus Pregnancy and Sleep Pillow
I know there are a million of these on the market but there really are no words to express how in love with this pillow I am! My partner bought it for me when I was just 8 weeks pregnant and I really didn’t think I’d need it. Boy, was I wrong! Getting comfortable with your bump gets harder and harder as the weeks go by – and this pillow makes it just so easy. It’s called 5 in 1, but I think it should be re-named 4567 in 1 as it just works on so many levels – and once your little bundle of joy arrives it works as a nursing pillow too. Just… buy one… you won’t be sorry.

7. CowShed Maternity Gift Set
My lovely sister bought me this for my birthday and everything in it smells delicious and feels even better. It has shower gel, body oil (which you can never have too much of!), and a really refreshing leg and foot treatment that will feel great when everything starts to swell up… (Yup, pregnancy really is a joy!)

8. Bio-Oil
I have covered myself in this from before my bump was even starting to stretch in the slightest and (so far) not a stretch mark in sight! Buy it in bulk, put it on as often as you can and hope for the best! They say stretch marks are genetic so you will get them (or not) no matter what you do. But better safe than sorry, right?

My other top pregnancy purchase was the app ‘Pregnancy+‘ – it has absolutely beautiful pictures, helpful blogs links and a great timeline for you to follow your progress. I don’t think it was free but my partner and I love reading the weekly updates that help us feel connected to our little girl and find out what amazing milestone she has reached each week. Worth every penny!
Adventures With Isla Blog pregnancy+APP

What are your top maternity picks? Share them in the comments below!

I’m pregnant… Now what?

I can’t be the only one that found out I was pregnant and immediately googled… ‘WHAT ON EARTH AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW?’. If your little miracle was planned or a surprise you will be filled with so many emotions and it’s ok if they aren’t all positive right now. Panic is natural and actually, google is your friend.

The first thing to do is to contact your doctor & set up your first appointment to start your care. It can feel like weeks before you even get your booking in appointment – but don’t panic. Head out and grab yourself some pregnancy vitamins (if you aren’t already taking them), grab a big glass of water and relax – all the fun is about to begin.

To me, these first few weeks felt like they were the slowest of my life, your body is about to go through some serious changes and if you are as unlucky as me – some serious morning sickness. I found sites like MumsNet absolutely wonderful for making me feel better – for some reason reading that 2000 other women are also going through exactly the same thing – AND IT’S COMPLETELY NORMAL – is so very comforting.

It’s natural to be nervous and unsure, especially if this is your first child – but there is nothing wrong with googling to check something out… Obviously use your common sense here and don’t panic yourself – but I’m taking about all the little crazy things (like having incredibly itchy armpits) that you really just don’t need to call a doctor about every 5 minutes of the day!

I’ve found the most important thing, are the people around you. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have the most supportive partner and best friend that is my fiancé. And not to mention my incredible parents, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and friends who have given me so much advice, love and support from the word go!
So once you’ve calmed yourself down – start to think about who you want to tell and how…

Some people wait till after the 12 week mark or even later when you just can’t hide your growing bump anymore. Just know – there is no right or wrong but whatever you choose make sure you and your partner are on the same page.
We just couldn’t wait to tell our immediate family but decided to only tell our closest friends in person from week 10 and then sent out the first scan at 12 weeks to a slightly larger group of friends. We kept everything off social media until I went to vote and couldn’t resist sharing our bump with the world in my first picture as a pregnant lady (at around 22 weeks)!

Adventures With Isla Blog

Time To Vote…

How did you feel when you first found out your news? And did you make a big announcement or keep your little miracle to yourself? Leave me a comment below…