Bullying and harassment during pregnancy

Article on bullying and harassment relating to the treatment of pregnant women. Below are some of the comments, statements and feelings that I have either personally experienced during pregnancy or overheard on the train said to other ladies.

Bullying and harassment isn’t about ‘name calling’ it is a lot of things including how you treat someone. If the recipient does not like the statements or treatment this can be classified as bullying. Yes there are times when certain statements need to be made which are unpleasant to hear such as bad news – these aren’t bullying. Statements such as your fat even if you are overweight maybe factually correct but are unnecessary to be continuously mentioned especially if said in a nasty manner (even if the teller thinks their been funny). Remember there’s a time and a place for comments and we all have feelings. Pregnancy exasperates a lot of emotions so us ladies are more prone to feeling upset by things even if before we would laugh off the statement.

1. Been dictated too about what you should eat because you’ll get ‘fat’

There’s two sides to this one being based on medical advice i.e. BMI was high to start with so you should be careful not to put in too much weight on.

The other side is when people won’t let you eat even though you’re hungry because they tell you are fat. Husbands partners who constantly go on about fat instead of praising their glowing beautiful woman who is growing a miracle.

I read an article for partners of pregnant women which said how to make her feel good. On the list was numerous mentions of give her food. Surely that isn’t healthy advice! Yes we are pregnant and there may be days we are starving like our mouths were sewn up but it doesn’t mean you should force feed us. Also there are some ladies that suffer horrendously from sickness all throughout pregnancy and certain foods could make it worse.

2. Not involving pregnant women in activities that are still safe for participation just because she’s pregnant. Believe it or not pregnancy is not an illness and as long as we are physically able we would love to be invited to participate in events. Let us decide whether we can or cannot do something don’t just assume because we’re pregnant we can’t do it. There are some pregnant womenfolk who continue to body build up until they give birth!

3. Social avoidance (similar to the above)

yep a lot of pregnant women regardless of their stage of pregnancy tend to be deliberately excluded from social events. We can go on nights out and still have a good time. Yes we will be drinking virgin cocktails and probably have to get an earlier taxi home but it doesn’t mean we won’t enjoy your drunken company and a boogie on the dance floor. However, don’t use us as designated driver that just makes us to be a convenience factor for your night out.

Some women (and men) just generally avoid pregnant women. The reasons are unknown but it’s like they treat us like someone with a grossly contagious disease. You can’t can’t pregnancy!!

4 constant bump size comments like oh your having twins when your only having one or you look ready to burst and your only 16 weeks gone.

Whatever the reason for the comments why not stop and think before you speak. At the end of the day we are human and have feelings and our hormones make us even more emotionally affected by your comments. We take things to heart quicker after all we’re not made of wood!

5. Been told we shouldn’t expect or receive any special treatment because we’re not ill!

Ok I know I mentioned above pregnancy isn’t an illness but some women do suffer certain pregnancy related illnesses and conditions. All that extra weight you’re carrying eventually hurts your back. You become exhausted quicker, cannot get comfy even sat on the comfiest chair known to man. You’re constantly up and down to the toilet to pass a teaspoons worth of pee. So surely after a few months letting us sit down in the dedicated seats on a train isn’t going to end the world. Let us be able to sit and stand as we choose ie if we operate a till in the supermarket let us have a chair so we can alternate. If we work in an office and sat all day allow us more frequent breaks so we are not sat there 8 solid hours. If we drive for Business don’t expect us to be behind the wheel of the car for the whole pregnancy!

6. Is it a boy or girl, have you picked names – why won’t you share that information

Some women don’t wish to share every detail of their pregnancy with friends and family let alone a total stranger so don’t presume you’ll be told. Also there are some ladies who (like myself) waited a long time to grow a miracle and didn’t want to find out the gender before the birth just to have that extra surprise. Also forgive us if we choose not to tell you the baby names we are deciding on because after all our little miracle might not suit the name and we decide to change it when we meet them for the first time.

7. Unwanted physical contact

Pregnant women are not your personal property! Yes, society in general becomes transfixed on pregnant women, we become the centre of wanted (and unwanted) attention. Strangers walk up to you and congratulate you, some open doors for you and give up their seat whilst others make snide remarks about weight or feel the need to touch your bump. Bump touching has a mixed response in the pregnant lady community some like it but most hate it. How would you like it if we touched your belly and said oh when’s it due when in fact your either a little overweight or have a hernia or something similar. Yes it’s crossing the unseen boundary of personal space yet some just assume that a pregnant woman is no longer entitled to that personal space.

If you are really desperate to touch the bump ASK first don’t just do it. A simple polite enquiry could result in you being able to share a kick from the baby or simply been denied the opportunity in a friendly tone.

8. Announcing the birth or details of the birth before the parents. Ok not directly pregnancy related more about the birth but still important.

The expectant parents have been waiting 9 months to meet their little miracle and have picked names and a going home outfit to dress them in. They may even have booked a newborn photoshoot so they have photos to share when they wish to announce the birth of their son or daughter then a member of the family or a friend announces the birth first. Boom! Magic has left the room, the expectant parents then feel rushed into announcing the birth sooner than they liked. In this modern society a lot of people demand to know every detail of someone’s live via social media the second it happens but a lot of us want to have a specially few days / weeks of privacy before letting the world know. Don’t take the experience away from the new parents even if you’re over the moon with excitement for them. It’s their child let them announce in their own time.

Oh and don’t demand every detail of their child’s birth or even a photo. If the parents want to share that they’ll tell you!

The above isn’t an exhaustive list but just a few items that are pet peeves to most pregnant women. Please feel free to share your pet peeves in the comments below.

Katherine xo

Birth announcement

For those eager eyes amongst you waiting patiently for news of our little miracle baby. Well today you are in luck. Yes it’s a little late (3 weeks late in fact), but we’ve been in such a rollercoaster since.

Our unicorn baby was born Sunday 26th November weighing 9lb 2oz – 2 whole pounds more than his estimate. Delivery was via caesarian section due to failed induction at 41 weeks gestation. Our little man was becoming quite stressed so the consultant wanted him born as soon as possible. The staff at Darlington Memorial Hospital were absolutely wonderful and looked after me and my husband during the whole process. They kept my spirits up and kept me informed of progress.

Our son is doing perfectly well but I’m not 😢 I’ve been quite poorly on and off with my gallbladder since the birth. I cannot thank the NHS enough for their help the last few weeks and I have more care to come in the new year.

Therefore, I shall continue to take a mini break from blogging for a few more weeks whilst I get to grips with been a new mummy (and recovering).

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year. Christmas is about love, family and friends so treasure each moment and make memories that last a life time.

Katherine xo

BABY LOSS AWARENESS WEEK 9th – 15th OCTOBER 2017

Each year 9-15 October is Baby Loss Awareness Week. Throughout the week bereaved parents, their families and friends, unite with each other and others across the world to commemorate their babies’ lives.

Baby Loss Awareness Week also provides a chance to raise awareness about the issues surrounding pregnancy and baby loss in the UK. This year we are calling for improved bereavement support for families affected by baby and pregnancy loss.

In the UK, Baby Loss Awareness Week is a collaboration between more than 40 charities.

featured-wave-of-light-1024x581.jpg

Join us for the Global Wave of Light

Baby Loss Awareness Week finishes each year on October 15th with the global ‘Wave of Light’. October 15th is also International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and is recognised across the world.

We would like to invite you to join with other families across the world and take part in the global ‘Wave of Light’. Simply light a candle at 7pm local time and leave it burning for at least 1 hour to join us in remembering all babies that have died too soon. This can be done individually or in a group, at home or in a communal space. Wherever you do this, you will be joining a global ‘Wave of Light’ in memory of all the babies who lit up our lives for such a short time.

This year we’re also inviting you to join a digital Wave of Light at 7pm local time on October 15. To get involved, take a photo of your candle and post it to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #WaveOfLight at 7pm local time.

 

BABY LOSS AWARENESS WEEK 9th-15th OCTOBER 2017 BREAK THE SILENCE

Break the silence

BLAW-buy-yours-now.jpg

Break the silence

Pregnancy and baby loss is often a taboo subject.  We want you to help us to break the silence around baby death. This could be by telling a friend about Baby Loss Awareness Week, talking about your experience or wearing a Baby Loss Awareness pin badge.

You could also use our specially designed social media images on your website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, work intranet or noticeboard.

Lets get talking about #babyloss and break the silence

Buy your Pin

Buy your Baby Loss Awareness ribbon pin badge to support families affected by the death of a baby

This Baby Loss Awareness Week we need your support to raise awareness that baby death is a tragic issue that affects thousands in the UK alone every year.

We want as many people as possible to wear the badge during Baby Loss Awareness Week 9-15 October. This will help us to raise awareness of baby loss.

A number of the charities involved in promoting Baby Loss Awareness Week have the awareness pin badge available to buy from their websites. Money raised from sales of the badges will go to the charity you purchase it from, and will be spent on the important work they carry out.

To purchase a pin choose the charity you’d like to buy from here:

  Please select charity to buy from
Sands
Aching Arms
ARC (Antenatal Results and Choices)
Ectopic Pregnancy Trust
Group B Strep Support
Kicks Count
Life After Loss
The Lullaby Trust
Making Miracles
The Miscarriage Association
Please select charity to buy from

Wear the Pin

Post pictures of you wearing your Baby Loss Awareness pin badge to show your support and help raise awareness one ribbon at a time

To be part of this campaign take a photo wearing your pin badge and post to our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the #babyloss hashtag.

Break the silence

Pregnancy and baby loss is often a taboo subject.  We want you to help us to break the silence around baby death. This could be by telling a friend about Baby Loss Awareness Week, talking about your experience or wearing a Baby Loss Awareness pin badge.

You could also use our specially designed social media images on your website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, work intranet or noticeboard.

Lets get talking about #babyloss and break the silence

Common gripes of pregnancy

Congratulations you’re expecting a little miracle, you are either very very excited or super nervous (or perhaps somewhere in the middle).

Most books you will read will tell you how wonderful pregnancy is and how much you will bloom with ‘radiance’ whilst growing a tiny human instead your uterus. The books hint at some unpleasantries like ‘morning sickness’ but bad news doesn’t sell books. I’m not saying pregnancy is dire but there are a lot of gripes.

Below are some common issues you might have based many pregnant women experiences. I have tried to add some humour to lightened the subject so hopefully this will bring a smile to your face whilst you read.

Indigestion

It might feel like no matter what you eat or drink you’re suffering from ingestion.

Solution: The good news is Gaviscon and Rennie are safe to take during pregnancy as I’ve already mentioned. Again similar advice to trapped wind. Try to eat little but often. The further along in pregnancy the less food you find yourself able to eat at any one sitting.

Burping like a middle aged man

Yep, it’s very common to experience ‘wind’ and a lot of it during pregnancy. Whether your Donald Trumping in bed with your hubby or burping like a bloke after eating a dirty donor kebab and chips. You will inevitability succumb to wind at some point during your pregnancy. Trapped wind and bloating is caused by the hormone Progesterone. This hormone helps to regulate other hormones keeping baby safe. The side effects are it also slows down your digestive system to allow for better extraction of nutrients to your unborn child.

Solution: try to avoid / limit windy foods like beans. Eat slowly and have little bit often meals rather than big ones. Also Gaviscon and Rennie are safe to take in pregnancy.

Constipation Vs Diarrhoea

Not a great movie title but once again a fabulous issue pregnant ladies suffer. One minute you’re desperate for any relief to go to the toilet even it’s it’s just some rabbit pellets in the toilet bowl but then in the next heartbeat it’s like lava pouring out uncontrollably. It’s so very glamorous that every stomach twitch you’re left thinking is that the baby / wind or do I need to run-wobble to the toilet.

Unfortunately there isn’t a great deal of products available to take. You must avoid senna products at all costs during pregnancy which rules out a lot of constipation tablets. Try keeping a well balanced diet with high fibre and avoid foods that give you an upset stomach.

Grapes and not the edible type

If your one of the unfortunate women to suffer from ‘grapes’ ahem hemorrhoids. You can appreciate just how chuffing uncomfortable these can be. Best thing is to speak with your midwife as they can hopefully prescribe you some cream. Probably best to wear soft panties and perhaps made of cotton to help minimise discomfort.

Try not to strain too much when you are on the loo especially if you are constipated. This is how the majority of cases are caused. Straining also puts pressure on the heart and it has been known for people (mostly men) to die whilst straining for a poo. (what an awful image)

The revenge of the eye bags

There is no escape from those dark bags under your eyes (ok there’s makeup!). Early pregnancy you literally sleep for England and wake from 22 hours feeling like the world owes you a favour for lack of sleep. Then pow late second trimester / third trimester proper tiredness arrives. You tend to be shattered during the day for the near constant trips to the toilet that you’ve even contemplated making camp in the bathroom. Yes, I’ve wondered whether turning the bath into a bed would be a good thing or even investing in adult nappies ha-ha. Oh you laugh at the latter but I did find nappies for pregnant women on eBay of all places 🙈

Solution: well apart from using a bit of concealer the best cure is to try and sleep as much as you possibly can. Whether you can get 20 mins at your desk at work or a catnap as soon as you get home.

Remember though towards later pregnancy despite tiredness been common it can also be a sigh of low iron levels. Your midwife will schedule to undertake blood tests to determine your levels around week 28.

Pain pain go away

You might be a lucky woman and not have any pain until the day you deliver. However, for the majority of us mere mortals every day our pregnancy progresses another issue arises. Back ache, leg ache, shoulder ache. Itchy feet, swollen ankles, sore eyes.

Shoulder pain is often associated with trapped wind so try Gaviscon or Rennie so see if that helps. Sometimes (but not always) in late pregnancy shoulder ache can be a sign of early labour.

If you have horrendous back pain you can always self-refer to see a physiotherapist on the NHS. Just pop into your doctors and ask to complete a self-referral form. If it’s really really bad and paracetamol does absolutely nothing depending on which trimester you are in you can sometimes be prescribed Codeine. This is all based on speaking with your GP first.

Leg twitching and cramps

You’ve finally got comfortable in bed after the millionth trip to the toilet. Baby has stopped kicking enough to let you close your eye then pow your leg starts twitching. This is involuntary and can be somewhat painful. (Oh joy another painful thing to endure).

Sometimes this is caused by the way baby is simply laid and other times mineral / vitamin deficiencies. Remember, you’re little miracle is taking practically every nutrient you’ve consumed so you’re left with the bare minimal.

Solution: continue to eat a well balanced diet. Try drinking tonic water before bed this sometimes helps. Cramps can also be helped by adding a little more salt into your diet (don’t pour the entire contents onto some chips that’s not healthy). Avoid sitting with crossed legs during the day. You could also try having a pillow between your knees at night to see if that helps.

Oops I wet myself again

Cannot really see Britney singing this mind but yet another common dilemma. Whether you’ve just literally been for a wee and stood up you might dribble a little or sneeze and wish to god you were wearing a panty liner or some big ass tenner lady knickers. Many people will tell you to do your kegel exercises etc – yeah cheers I already know that but when you have a bowling ball resting on your bladder and you sneeze there is bugger all that kegel exercise is going to achieve at that very moment.

Solution: always wear a panty liner (tenner lady). You can continue your kegel exercises and then again more so after birth. From speaking to some mothers the majority of us get our bladder function back but a tiny amount of us still have issues. Not to panic though that’s why tenner ladies were invented. Don’t let it ruin your life.

Is that a gorilla?

Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought what the? Yep pregnancy can make hair grow faster. Sounds fabulous for your head but no where else. You might start to see the odd black hair on your chin, a dark line of hair growing on your tummy from your pubic region and then your legs which you only shaved this morning seem to resemble your man’s stubbly beard than smooth skin. It’s like going through puberty all over again.

Solution: if only there was a solution to slow or stop hair growth. Unfortunately, shaving, waxing, epilators are the only method of choice unless you want to go au-naturel of course. There is very little evidence to state whether laser or similar is safe in pregnancy.

Insane sex drive

You might suddenly develop a crazy high sex drive during the first trimester. Sounds great to some but it can be an absolute arse! Your poor partner might back off a tad because they can’t keep up with your ‘come on we’ve only done it 6 times today let’s go again’ attitude.

Then there’s the opposite. You might want sex but it’s becoming uncomfortable. You have your partner enter you only for your lovely unborn child to kick you in the groin (fanny daggers). Honestly until this happens you will have no idea what I’m talking about but let’s just say ouch!

Solution: get it on when you want but if your feeling really frisky and your partners a little out off you may have to do a bit of self love. As pregnancy advances you may have to experiment a little with your sex positions as the good old fashioned missionary position may be a tad too uncomfortable. I’m no sexpert but most pregnancy women swear by the doggy position with a pillow underneath bump for support or alternatively spoons.

Superhuman sense of smell.

Eeeww B.O. No not you personally but your sense of smell goes through the roof to the point were you’re convinced it’s you when in fact it’s the bloke at the other end of the train carriage.

You develop an almost inhuman sense of smell during pregnancy. In the early days this can contribute to your morning sickness. I actually felt sick at the smell of chocolate (my once favourite food). You will also smell things your partner can’t – like the dog which was bathed only this morning still stinks or your convinced someone is stood next to you smoking when their actually over 300 yards away at the other end of the carpark.

Solution: sorry there isn’t one unless you want to walk around with a respirator. Good news it does wear off after pregnancy. For some it’s days / weeks unfortunately for most it can be a couple of months. Some women even find they still love smelling certain things they didn’t before pregnancy like freshly cut grass or painted sheds.

Sick as a dog

Literally sickness or nausea is so very common in early pregnancy.

Then there’s the fact your immune system is next to non-existent. You may feel like you’ve caught every cough and cold going round and your right.

Skin like a teenager

So you had wonderful blemish feee skin and now you’re pregnant. Your skin may become itchy, sore, flaky, covered in blemishes etc.

Solution: invest in a good skin creme for your face. E45 does wonders too for itchy and flaky skin. Alternatively, why not use your baby’s products like Johnsons baby oil after you’ve had a bath followed by Johnsons baby lotion. It’s not just for baby’s it’s great for sensitive skin – I should know I’ve been using it for years.

Headaches and then some

You are more likely to suffer from headaches or migraines

Solution: You can take paracetamol during pregnancy but if you’re looking for a non-medicinal item try one of the following;

  • 4head stick
  • Cool patches
  • Upping you’re intake of water

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article. If you have an issue that isn’t listed please share your pregnancy gripes below in the comments.

Katherine xo

Is it safe to fly while pregnant

If you have an uncomplicated pregnancy you should be able to fly up to 35 weeks. Most airlines will only accept pregnant flyers 28 weeks and over if they have a letter from their GP to show they are safe to travel.

You should be aware of the heightened complications of travelling whilst pregnant:

Before you travel

Before you travel you should double check you are OK to fly via your GP or midwife. You should also check your airline and insurance will permit travel.

Take a look at our Fitness to fly. Download today and take to your GP’s surgery to stamp.

Blood Clots (thrombosis)

Any long-distance traveler (typically journeys 5 hours or greater) are at an increased risk of blood clots. Pregnant women are no exception to this however, there is no firm evidence to suggest pregnancy courses higher risk.

Wearing correctly-fitted compression socks can held reduce your risk as well as getting up and walking around the cabin.

Most pregnant women tend to avoid travel in the first trimester due to exhaustion and nausea. If you feel well then there is nothing stopping you from travelling. I did, I actually flew a couple of during my first and second trimester without any issues.

Multiple pregnancy

If you are pregnant with twins or multiple’s you can only travel up to the first 32 weeks of pregnancy. You will need to complete your return journey before the end of your 32nd week. Again, airlines may request notification before you travel.

Long-haul Vs Short-haul flights

Airlines don’t hold differentiate between short-haul and long-haul flights. Some women just tend to avoid the long-haul flights due to exhaustion.

Tips for travelling on a plane

  • Wear compression stockings
  • Wear the seat-belt under your bump rather than above it
  • Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Pack snacks in your hand luggage
  • Get up as often as you are able to walk around and stretch out your legs
  • Consider reserving an aisle seat in advance (it will help with the toilet breaks and stretching)

Insurance

There is no special pregnancy insurance as most insurance policies cover pregnancy. You may need to read the fine print before purchasing though as there are sometimes clauses with exemptions to IVF pregnancies. Although the NHS classifies all pregnancies the same once IVF is successful.

Airport Scanners

The scanners used at airports use low-frequency electromagnetic field and are considered safe for everybody. There are pregnant women who work airside (the part after security) who use these scanners on a daily basis. If in doubt you can always ask.

Viruses and vaccinations

You should double check with the NHS website regarding vaccinations whilst pregnant. There is some general advice that vaccinations that are safe during pregnancy however, it is always advisable to double check before booking any travel.

Traveling with a newborn

Mother’s who have recently delivered their baby won’t be permitted to travel in the first 48 hours following an uncomplicated birth. If you have had a caesarean or if other surgery was needed than there is a minimum of 10 days with some airlines. It is also advisable to check with the medical staff prior to travelling.

Newborns are to be at least 8 days old before being allowed to travel on a plane. However, check with your airline prior.

If you are going away I wish you a safe and pleasant trip.

Katherine XO

My maternity wardrobe

Hello everyone, I’ve had a butt load of comments about how nice (and girly) my maternity clothes are so I thought I’d share with you a selection of items I purchased (and wear regularly). As I am pretty camera shy so stock images will have to do 🙂

When I was first looking at the maternity clothes back in Spring 2017, I was appalled at the options available. It was mainly trousers and tops that just make you look frumpy and figure less. Obviously, I had to purchase a couple of these ‘staple’ items for days when you just want to stop on the sofa with a film and cuppa of tea. For the staples I got one pair of jeggings from matalan and a couple of pairs of black leggings and vest top.

So below is a list of key items that will hopefully provide you some inspiration to move away from the ‘essential’ black trousers and shirt combo for work.

DressesMost of the time I’m swanning around in a maternity dress. Makes it feel like the olden days when all women really wore were dresses. Before pregnancy I rarely wore dresses – despite having a wardrobe full of gorgeous 1950 style frocks. During i pregnancy I have since found my girly roots and now a dress is my absolute favourite go to item – so much so I bought a few. These are the brands I purchased:

Next maternity:

Purchased in the clearance sale during April (£18) and was great for my holiday. I don’t often wear this maxi out and about in Britain mainly just round the house but it’s great for any day time occasion. To be honest add a nice necklace and bracelet combo and it’s good for an evening out with the other half.

4-piece maternity essential kit (£32) with black dress, vest top, skirt and leggings. The leggings and vest are fabulous fit. Well to be honest they all are however, they attract dog hair like it’s going out of fashion. I tend to wear these around the house when I can’t be bothered or having a ‘fat’ day.

Rochelle Humes Maternity

I absolutely love this grey dress (£35) it’s great for both work and during the weekend. At first I was sceptical because it’s clingy but it’s clingy in the right places and shows off your bump nicely. I’ve had my money’s worth out the dress because I started wearing it about 12 weeks (that in between stage where pants fit but don’t).

Well you’ve got to have a LBD in the wardrobe. This off the shoulder dress (£35) is great for evenings or parties. Does feel a little bare on the shoulders and the straps can dig in a little. It’s a good length and floaty so you don’t over heat. Team up with a pair of nude heels for instant glam.

Shirt dress in navy blue (£27). Quite long on my 5ft6 frame and definitely not for early pregnancy. Sleeves can feel a bit tight but good for casual and even work. Only downside it creases so easy! It’s not the most flattering of designs but as your bump gets bigger and fills out the extra material it does start to feel better. When wearing for work it’s great with a pair of black pumps and oversized bag.

Nice white crochet dress (£45). You do need a good white or nude bra underneath as can look a little bare. Good length (mid thigh) nice and floaty and very girly great for an event when teamed up with either wedges or nude heels. I actually wore this to an event at Buckingham Palace and worked really well with a statement fascinator and a pearl necklace.

One of my absolute favourite Rochelle Humes tea dresses (£45). I wear this for work on most days alternating between this and my grey one. It can feel a tad short when sitting down but it’s lovely and floaty and very girly. I tend to team up with a pair of black or neutral pumps and an oversize bag. When wearing in slightly breezy weather best to have a lace jacket or similar just to stop it blowing and you do the Marilyn Monroe scene.

Pink lacy top great for work or an evening. Best teamed up with a pair of black trousers but equally good with jeggings/jeans. Only downside is after a couple of washes the material starts to fray.

Nursing bras

The best bra I purchased is by Emma Jane Maternity available from kiddicare.com £12-£16.00 each black or white. I bought a couple of bras from Next but they dug in after a few hours leaving marks on my breasts. The Emma Jane ones feel nice and soft you purchase by band size not band and cup like some bras. Great feature is you can purchase non padded or padded options.

Underwear

To be honest I purchased some maternity knickers and hated them! I have stuck to my trusty Debenhams basic knickers. Nothing glamours about them but they still fit lovely under my growing bump. I found the over bump knickers very uncomfortable and made my stomach hurt after a couple of hours so I binned them. Also stay away from eBay if something looks a bargain it usually is.

Swimwear

I purchased an all in one swimsuit and a tankini set from Matalan. After comparing the types against various stores I settled on Matalan. I was not disappointed.

The all in one (£16) has enough room to accommodate a growing belly but doesn’t look too baggy in the first couple of months. I purchased when I was 18 weeks as I went on holiday at 19 weeks and it looked fab. Just a shame it can’t give you a peer bottom like the model has (ha-ha)

The tankini (£14 in total) was also a godsend. I love two piece swimsuits and was reluctant because some swimwear items advertised as tankini’s were actually one pieces. This wasn’t, it is a great length and has bands on both sides to make looser as your belly grows. This is easier to get in and out of against the one piece. The top gave good breast support although I haven’t grown as big as some women might.

I hope some of this inspires you to dress up a little more during pregnancy and not hide behind jeans and vests the entire 9 months.

Katherine xo

*prices correct March-June 2017