Hooray for the AUTUMN season and lots of lovely new breastfeeding tops at Bella Mama!
I love this time of year as the nights begin to draw in, the blackberries in the garden are ripe and ready meaning fruit crumbles are on the menu a lot, and around us the leaves turn glorious shades of crimson, ochre and gold. The good weather has continued this week, which is fabulous and has meant lots of family time spent outdoors in the countryside, catching up with friends, gorgeous autumnal home cooked cosy meals and squeezing in a few late camping trips to make the most of the good weather while it lasts!
I also really love this time of year as it sees the introduction of the brand new Autumn Winter collections from our designers, which means lots of lovely new breastfeeding tops arriving and being added to the Bella Mama website.
Annee Matthew raglan breastfeeding top
One of my favourite styles is from our fabulous designer Annee Matthew. We adore this Raglan sleeved breastfeeding top which is new from Annee for AW15. Gorgeous autumnal colours with contrasting black raglan sleeves, piping detail around the neckline and shoulders, and made from 100% soft lightweight cotton. This breastfeeding top is wonderful for casual everyday style, looks great worn with either jeans or jeggings and a pair of tall leather boots. Breastfeeding your little one is super simple, just pull aside the overlayer to access the nursing opening in the layer beneath. The floaty looser style of the top is brilliant for disguising any post baby tummy, and means it skims over the whole tummy area without hugging tightly or being uncomfortable. Love this!
This new breastfeeding top is available in a Grey/Black colourway, and also the gorgeous Wine/Black colourway below,and is available from Bella Mama UK £38.
“Shaken, not stirred”? Apparently not for expressed breast milk, which should be stirred and not shaken! Who knew?
Delicate handling is important for keeping your expressed breast milk in tip top condition. Swirling the milk gently is considered to be the optimal way to ensure you mix the proteins and fats in the milk.
Expressed Breast milk is amazing, containing living cells and filled with essential fats and proteins in the perfect blend for your baby. Rough handling may damage the delicate living cells contained within the milk, and after you’ve taken the time and dedication to express your breast milk for your baby, by treating the milk gently it will help to keep it in its original expressed form. Proteins contained within the milk are also left intact. These intact proteins help to protect the lining your baby’s gut, so it’s important that they are treated well. When breast milk is shaken, this can denature the living proteins contained within the milk, and they can become broken into parts.
As Linda J Smith (founder of Bright Future Lactation Resource Centre Ltd) explains:
“Imagine a set of beads assembled into a necklace or bracelet. When the beads are acting as a bracelet or necklace, they are doing their job as protective elements. When you break apart the beads, you have in your hand many individual chunks of amino acids which are then digested.
Cellular components are also susceptible to damage by physical stress. After all, they are living cells.
With mother’s milk, you get at least two functions for the price of one. With manufactured formula, you only get the individual beads, never the necklace or bracelet. And never the living cells.”
So, if you have expressed your breast milk for your partner or a carer to feed to your baby, let them know by gently swirling the milk to mix the fats and proteins, instead of shaking your expressed milk, will help to keep the milk in optimal condition.
Bella Mama has been selling pretty nursing dresses in the UK since we set up way back in 2007! Since then we have introduced so many new designers to the UK market, and helped thousands of new mamas in their quest to find pretty nursing dresses that will make them feel fabulous and look beautiful, whilst being able to nurse their new baby simply and quickly.
With Valentine’s day tomorrow, I thought this is the perfect time to have a quick chat about two of my favourite pretty nursing dresses in the UK which are available from Bella Mama
Cara Breastfeeding Dress from www.bellamama.co.uk
Cara is the second of our own label pretty nursing dresses which we launched back in 2011. The first (Thea) sold out really quickly, and we are considering re-cutting this Spring.
I love the floaty sleeves, which cover the dreaded upper arm area, perfect for anyone who dislikes having their arms on show. The dress is a fixed wrap, with a hidden nursing area underneath. Simply pull aside the faux wrap layer, and access the nursing opening underneath.
As you can see from the picture above, there is a modesty layer which remains in place covering your chest, so that nothing is on show whilst you are breastfeeding! I always recommend this dress to nursing mums looking for something lovely to wear to a christening, wedding or family occasion, and it’s really popular.
Sophia Breastfeeding Dress Annee Matthew
I love Annee Matthew’s dresses, as a designer she has her finger on the pulse of stylish clothing which suits new mamas from pregnancy through breastfeeding and beyond.
I have been stocking Annie’s designs since we met in Singapore whilst I was on maternity leave in 2007, with a new baby myself and setting up my other new baby Bella Mama.
I love the Sophia dress for it’s simplicity, it really is a pretty nursing dress and very flattering for new mamas. The dress cinches in under the waist, with a ties which wrap around the back. As the gathering on this dress sits higher than the natural waistline, it nips you at the slimmest part of your frame, and elongates your figure. This is a great shape to wear after you’ve had your little one, when your waist is higher than it used to be! The gathering also helps to disguise any post-natal tummy, I loved that!!
Breastfeeding access is hidden behind the deep v of the neck, and is easy to access and very quick. The modesty layer covers your cleavage at the front of the dress too. This pretty nursing dress is available in Beetroot (left) and Paradise Pink (right) colourways.
Transitional Maternity Clothing has become increasingly popular in more recent years with lots of gorgeous designer brands available to give a contemporary and stylish look throughout your pregnancy and beyond. As a pregnant mama you don’t have to resign yourself to shapeless, baggy maternity clothing which shapelessly covers your new figure and can leave you feeling rather frumpy – Transition Clothing (or “Fourth Trimester” Clothing) is the perfect choice.
In the first months of pregnancy you may find your pre-pregnancy clothes becoming a little snug, but you are not really ready for “proper” maternity clothes. Transitional Maternity clothing is a wonderful option for you at this stage in your pregnancy as the clothes are specially designed to fit and flatter your changing body shape as you transition through your pregnancy and back to your pre-pregnancy shape again. These clothes are cleverly designed without the traditional “bump”, A-line shape and the extra fabric of regular maternity clothes so you have a look which is sleek, fits and flatters your figure perfectly at every stage of your pregnancy and beyond.
Transitional Maternity Clothing is very cleverly designed giving you extra room in the bust and tummy areas, without actually looking like conventional maternity clothing. The extra room means that Transition Wear is a perfect choice for breastfeeding mamas too. The longer length, comfy stretch fabrics and pretty designs give this clothing an ultra flattering fit which is perfect for enhancing pregnant figures, but also provides a great fit for new mums, without that traditional “maternity” feel. Shirring , Ruching and Wrapping details ensure there is plenty of room for the clothing to fit beautifully whilst you are full-term, then allows the garment to drape softly over your new mum figure after you have given birth. Transition tops and dresses look fabulous at every stage of your pregnancy and post-partum period.
Transition Wear lounge pants are a great investment during your pregnancy. Made from high-quality material which won’t stretch out of shape during pregnancy and featuring a ruched fabric band which can be pulled over your bump in the later trimesters or worn folded over to give additional support to your post-baby tummy after your little one is born. These trousers flatter your shape, are comfortable and versatile, and a real essential go-to item in your maternity wardrobe.
Many women feel it can be extravagant to spend money on maternity wear which will last them for only a few months, mainly during the later stages of their pregnancy. The versatile nature, dual function and gorgeous design of transitional maternity clothing means it is simply perfect at every stage through your pregnancy and post-natally too. The Transition wear tops and dresses which we select at Bella Mama are designed to give easy nursing access for after your baby is born, giving you extra value for money. Their versatility enables you to wear the transitional clothing for at least a year as your body transitions through the pregnancy and breastfeeding periods and gradually moves back towards your pre-pregnancy shape, giving you excellent “cost-per-wear”. By planning your maternity wardrobe well, you will get plenty of use out of your garments and the more times you wear them, the better your returns on your initial purchase.
Bella Mama is the leading UK boutique for new mums specialising in Transitional Maternity and Breastfeeding Wear. Our gorgeous clothing is suitable for during and after pregnancy, all of the styles offer easy (but unnoticeable) nursing access and of course are ultra stylish, comfortable and flattering.
Here at Bella Mama we are getting lots of requests at the moment for fabulous nursing dresses for summer occasions that can be worn at a variety of special days out – weddings, parties, family picnics and christenings. The calls and emails that we get every day all follow a similar tale involving an upcoming special day and the utter lack of lovely clothes on the high street for breastfeeding.
I often hear about the panic which ensues in trying to find something that fits well whilst skimming over any post-baby lumps and bumps, lifting spirits and making new mamas feel fabulous. This is exactly the position I found myself in when my sister was getting married a few months after I had my second baby, so I know only too well how angst-making the dilemma for finding something both beautiful and figure-flattering, but that works really well for breastfeeding too.
I love being able to make suggestions for dresses to try, working with each customer to suggest a dress which suits their shape and colouring, working around the types of nursing access that they like or want to avoid. The benefit of having lots of different designers in our range is our ability to find nursing dresses for summer occasions, for any mama. Some designers are slimmer cut than others, some shorter dresses, some offer longer hemlines, others different fabrics and a whole range of different nursing accesses.
Pomkin’s beautiful Berenice dress was a sell-out as soon as we launched, and this was already the designers second cut of the season. Next time round I will definitely order more to cope with the huge demand!! The feedback on the dresses has been wonderful, with new mamas loving the silky soft fabric, complimenting the pretty design and variety of colours in the dress – being able to mix and match your nursing dresses for summer occasions with different shoes, clutches, handbags, jewellery and accessories each time you wear it rings the changes, and gives a different look each time! The nursing access is pretty ingenious too, hidden away in the folds of the seam of the dress, it is virtually invisible – this dress really looks NOTHING like a nursing dress at all. Well done Pomkin!
New mamas want nursing dresses which are practical for breastfeeding, but that fit well and look amazing. If you have an event coming up and you would like a beautiful dress to make you feel special and gorgeous, check out our lovely range of breastfeeding dresses at BellaMama.co.uk
We are so very excited to keep adding to our lovely collection of Annee Matthew’s nursing tops UK!
Annee’s SS14 maternity and breastfeeding collection has just launched, and this season is full of bright, peppy colours and gorgeous prints, designed to perfectly flatter both a pregnant baby bump and a new mums figure. We love Annee’s pretty designs, her fabric choices and her youthful, fashion forward thinking.
Absolutely nothing frumpy or mumsy in this collection – fabulous!!
We have been stocking Singaporean designer Annee’s tops since our launch in 2007 and they have proven to be super popular with nursing mamas over here who love the fit and the style of the range. We are working as quickly as we can to get the full range loaded onto the website ASAP.
We adore her beautiful styles, which show that you don’t have to give up fashion or style whilst you are pregnant or a breastfeeding new mum!
The latest head-turning breastfeeding top to hit Bella Mama’s e-boutique this week has been the fabulous Georgia nursing top, a stylish and sleek top designed with easy nursing access and a fashionable loose-fitting cut.
Annee has shown her love of brightly coloured, stylish prints with this top, selecting a funky geometric inspired pattern in a gorgeous blue/red colourway, and the same print in a dazzling orange mix.
The tie along the hemline can be adjusted to alter the fit of the top, so you can choose to wear it looser or cinch in more tightly to create a blouson effect.The ties can be worn loose, or styled into a bow at the bottom of the nursing top.
The top can also be worn during pregnancy, the lightweight nature of the fabric making it a great pick for Summer! We adore the loose fit of the nursing top too, it’s perfect for covering a post-baby tummy.
Bella Mama’s Persephone Breast Feeding Top is bang on trend for 2014!
Every year Pantone, the global authority on colour, announce their colour of the year. This year the captivating, magical, enigmatic purple, Radiant Orchid, has been selected for 2014.
Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute® explains their choice
“While the 2013 color of the year, PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination. An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”
“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”
Fashion with Radiant Orchid
Radiant Orchid has rosy undertones which radiate on the skin and produce a fabulous healthy glow. Perfect for lifting your complexion after a broken night’s sleep, what more could a new mama ask for from her breast feeding top!
The beautiful shade is a modern and versatile shade which enlivens the skin, and can apparently when you wear it, the shade makes you feel more healthy and energetic. As this pretty hue blends both cool and warm undertones, purple is an appealing colour choice for distinctive combinations and is very flattering to a variety of hair, eye and skin tones.
Pantone explain that “This multifaceted hue is seductive when combined with red and pairs well with its sister shades of lavender, purple and pink, which provides an assortment of lipstick and blush options. Radiant Orchid’s exuberance also acts as a brilliant finishing touch to nails.”
Bella Mama’s Persephone breast feeding top is available exclusively from BellaMama.co.uk and is £19.00. The breast feeding top has a pretty pleated detail at the neckline, giving a looser effect over the tummy area brilliant for disguising post-natal tummy. We love the super soft jersey fabric with added stretch as it is comfortable to wear and looks great worn with jeans or capris. Easy to nurse, simply lift the top layer to access breastfeeding openings in the inner panel. The top is also suitable for wearing during pregnancy, due to the looser drape of the top.
Pantone quite literally combs the world looking for color influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films that are in production, travelling art collections, hot new artists, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from technology, availability of new textures and effects that impact colour, and even upcoming sports events that capture worldwide attention.
Oooh, talk about glowing, the pregnant stars who graced the red carpet at the Golden Globes certainly looked dazzling and let their baby bumps shine in style. Definitely one of our favourite red carpet trends! There were plenty of stunning style on show as Hollywood leading ladies, top designers and their stylists pulled out all the stops to ensure the pregnant mamas looked at their glamorous best in gorgeous maternity dresses.
Olivia Wilde, who was presenting an award, looked beautiful in a long-sleeved shimmering full length Gucci gown in an elegant shade of deep emerald green.
Her gorgeous look was completed with a Rodo clutch in silver, Charlotte Olympia shoes and jewellery from Forevermark. Some fashion commentators thought she looked slinky and graceful in the form-fitting sequinned gown, just like a pregnant mermaid.
She joked with Ryan Seacrest that she’s having trouble getting used to one thing that comes with pregnancy – big boobs!
Drew Barrymore is well known for her love of flowers and prettily patterned dresses. She chose to wear a graceful Monique Lhuillier gown embellished with delicate chiffon flowers and beading. The gorgeous maternity dresses perfectly complemented Drew’s style and was sweetly stylish. Her outfit was completed with scarlet Roger Vivier shoes, a sparkling Edie Parker clutch and jewellery by Chanel.
Scandal actress Kerry Washington (nominated for best actress in a television series) publicly confirmed her pregnancy for the first time. She showcased her blossoming baby bump at the awards in a stunning cream Balenciaga dress.
The loosely fitting dress with its flared overlayer perfectly hugged her pregnant figure, showing it off in all its glory. Referring to her cute baby bump, she told Ryan Seacrest “I feel like I have the best date of the night, my little accessory here”. The Bella Mama girls totally agree with you!
Elsa Pataky looked gorgeous in a flowing black jewel embellished dress, which showed off her cute baby bump to perfection. Her doting husband Chris Hemsworth proudly caressed his wife’s tummy as the pair posed for photographs on the red carpet together.
Elegant, stylish and wearing gorgeous maternity dresses, these mamas-to-be perfectly captured their gorgeous pregnancy glow, but who do you think wore their baby bump best?
With the polar vortex currently swirling over the US, and the UK set to experience a plunge in temperatures next week, I wanted to give a quick introduction to one of our best-selling cosy breastfeeding tops at Bella Mama.
Milk Nursingwear’s gorgeous gathered breastfeeding top has longer sleeves and a figure flattering draped gather to the midsection. I’ve had loads of feedback from nursing mamas who have really appreciated this tops ability to disguise their post-natal tummy. It drapes beautifully and works so well in the post-natal period, right the way through to regaining your pre-pregnancy figure.
Breastfeeding access is oh-so-simple, just pull aside the nursing layer at the neckline to access the nursing openings in this comfortable top. To ensure these are super cosy breastfeeding tops, you can wear layered with a woollen warm cardigan, that way you have easy nursing access whilst keeping warm.
Your tummy, back and sides remain covered whilst wearing this top and breastfeeding, another reason why this top has proven to be super popular amongst nursing mamas!
I put together the simple cosy styling suggestions above to show that this is such a versatile top and looks great worn with a scarf, or topped with a warm figure-skimming cardigan. These cosy breastfeeding tops look great teamed with jeans, and is equally fabulous worn with slim black trousers. It’s a brilliant choice for every day comfort and style, and washes and wears so well. Milk Nursingwear’s tops are great quality, and a real essential to any breastfeeding mum’s wardrobe.
The tops are made from a lovely soft modal fabric blend, with a smidge of extra stretch for comfort. These cosy breastfeeding tops are available in a pretty deep plum colour, as well as a very flattering soft indigo blue colour.
Both colours are great for perking up a tired complexion, and I think it can be a better choice than black in the winter-time. Both the gathered loop top colourways are still as slimming to the figure as black, but less draining to the complexion. You will certainly look sleek and perky in these cosy breastfeeding tops in either the plum and indigo colourway.
A well designed baby changing bag will make it easy for you to tote around all your baby’s essentials, ensuring that you are well prepared for nappy changing, feeds or clothing changes required when heading out with a little one. There are so many styles of baby changing bags available, so how do you know what you need to look for when buying a bag?
When you have a baby, you will quickly come to realise that for a little person, a baby requires is a lot of paraphernalia – nappies, creams, snacks, wipes, bibs, bottles, toys and spare clothing are required for just a simple trip out of the house. Of course you could carry your items around in your everyday handbag, but it’s often a tight fit to squeeze in all the pieces you need to carry around. You might find that the extra weight might stretch the bag out or damage the lining, which is why many mamas choose to upgrade to a specially designed baby changing bag.
Practicality – how can it be carried?
Think about whether you will be carrying your baby changing bag around with you, or whether you will be largely using it when you are out with the baby in a pram.
Some baby changing bags are made from leather and can be quite heavy even when empty, carrying a fully laden bag around on your shoulder will get pretty tiring.
If you are able to attach the baby changing bag to the pram or pop it underneath the buggy then the size and weight of the bag are less of a consideration.
Consider how your bag could be attached to your pram or pushchair – does the bag have a stroller strap attachment? Will you need a special adapter?
Babymel baby changing bags feature a specially designed stroller strap which means that the bag can easily switch between being worn over the shoulder, or fastened to a pram or pushchair, giving great flexibility.
Style – how is it to be worn?
Rucksack style baby changing bags have two straps which can be worn over the shoulders. These are really easy to carry around if you want to be hands free when out and about.
Messenger bags can be worn cross-body. They are also pretty unisex which your partner will surely thank you for when it’s his turn to change baby.
Zippered changing bags often have grab-handles on the sides, in addition to a shoulder strap, making this style a clever choice as it can be carried a few different ways as well as attaching easily to a pushchair. Always test the bag’s straps for comfort before you buy, some straps are more padded than others.
How you wear the bag will make a difference to how comfortable it is when in use.
Style – what does it look like and what’s it made from
Pretty patterned baby changing bags are incredibly popular and there is a wide variety available, from gorgeous girly cupcake and pink bow styles, to funky graphics and stylish dots or stripes.
I fell in love with a pretty Pink Lining bag when pregnant with my daughter, I swear she somersaulted when I was looking at the bag she is obviously a girly-girl too!
Patterned bags are often made from a practical wipe-clean material, which keeps them looking good day to day and are generally pretty low maintenance. They can take a lot of wear day-to-day and still look great.
Luxurious leather baby changing bags are very covetable and are really a particularly cleverly designed larger handbag. They are made from super-soft leather, and will need treating carefully to keep them in gorgeous condition, much like your favourite leather handbag. Scotchguarding or a special leather treatment spray is required, the designers will usually recommend the one which works best with their baby changing bags. Once treated, these bags are generally pretty weatherproof, but you should avoid contact with wet surfaces, and keep away from direct heat or sunlight in order to extend the life of the bag.
What is inside of the bag?
Some designers have also cleverly designed bags which have a removeable zip-out lining, so once your baby is a little older you can zip out the sectioned areas of the bag, and the bag reverts to being a conventional leather handbag. This gives fabulous value for money, and ensures that you will have years of use from your wonderful investment baby changing bag.
An insulated changing mat is really useful item to have with the bag. Most are designed to be folded easily and tuck neatly into the bag. A soft, but wipe-clean surface on the changing mat is essential. If the mat is padded this makes nappy changing time much more comfortable for baby too. Many baby changing bags come with a specially designed waterproof bag, so you have somewhere to put any dirty or wet items of clothing, bibs etc.
Having a multitude of pockets, elasticated or zipped areas on the outside of the bag will help you to quickly locate the items you require. If the bag has pockets look to see if they have magnetic poppers which will easily snap back into place once you have opened the pocket. Fussing around with time-consuming, fiddly buckles is not something you want to deal with whilst tired and juggling a hungry or wet baby!
Check whether the zips have decent pull-tabs on them. Do they look strong and durable. They need to be able to stand up to a lot of zipping and unzipping.
Look inside of the bag to see if there are separate sections in there, many bags have elasticated sections which make it easy to separate out your baby items. This also makes it easy to see at a glance when you need to restock wipes or nappies before heading out.
Having an insulated pocket on the bag is fabulous for keeping milk or juice cool on warm days, or keeping snacks fresh. Some bags have an insulated zippered section within the bag, and some have a separate removeable insulated bag.
Have a look to see if the bag has a secure zippered section. This is useful for securing your purse or other valuable items when you are out and about. Some baby changing bags also have a strap for your keys, and a section for your mobile phone so you don’t need to take another handbag out with you when you go out.