What I did When my Baby’s Movement Slowed Down

Reduced fetal movement is worrying, and I was definitely a bunch of nerves when my baby’s movement slowed down. I was just under 30 weeks when I noticed my baby wasn’t moving as usual, but the last thing I wanted to do was to go to the hospital again.

It had been a few days and I tried hard not to be anxious about it. I pushed my concerns to the back of my mind … it was easier than voicing my concern. I’ve had so many medical appointments with this pregnancy; much more than I could have imagined I’ll need.

I was filled with doubt about how sure I was that my baby’s movement felt different. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel my baby at all, but something felt different; my baby’s movement wasn’t quite like before.

You see, I’m terrible with ‘knowing’ the pattern of my baby’s movement; it was the same the first time round.

“Could it be all the other things that are getting me down? Perhaps that’s why I hadn’t noticed the movement so much … maybe my baby isn’t really moving any less”, I wondered.

My head was all over the place.

My husband noticed my subdued mood and kept asking me how I was. I mentioned my concern a few times but made light of it … not wanting to worry him or scare myself. However, I said it enough for him to suggest going to the hospital to put my mind at rest.

But I didn’t want my toddler going to the hospital yet again … I didn’t want to waste the NHS’ time and money; they’ve been so generous to me as it is.

Even then, I couldn’t shake off the fact that the midwife told me about the importance of my baby’s movements at my booking appointment; she highlighted the number to call in the green folder she gave me if I was ever concerned.

I can’t quite capture the thought battles I went through in words.

After about 2 to 3 days, I couldn’t take it anymore – my doubts about my concerns and worries about wasting everyone’s time couldn’t contain my increasing distress. I was clearly more worried than I was letting on, and definitely more concerned than I realised – not the best ingredients for a good mental health.

Kicks Count and Mama Academy‘s campaigns about the importance of baby’s movement subconsciously nagged me; I’m so glad I came across them after I had my first child. I tell you, knowledge truly is power at times like this.

So finally, I told my husband I was going to call Triage, and I asked him to get ready to take me to the hospital. And yes, my toddler had to come, but I don’t think he minded.

The midwife that we saw was kind and gently … unassuming and reassuring. I laid on the bed in a small private room, and she checked my baby’s heartbeat. She then put the monitoring device around my bump and covered my legs to keep them warm and maintain my dignity.

reduced-movement-check

I listened to the machine, heard my baby’s heart, felt my baby move, and watched my husband read to my toddler. The baby seemed to move more, or perhaps I noticed it more because I was particularly focusing on it; I’m not sure.

It was all over in about 20 to 30 mins. The nurse was satisfied all was well, and she told me to call again if I was concerned … even if it was tomorrow.

I can’t explain the delight I felt hearing my baby’s heartbeat and feeling my baby’s kicks.

Yes, nothing was wrong, thank God. I perhaps could have gone on worrying about the reduction I felt in my baby’s movement, but we were all better off for going to the hospital to check it out.

As the midwife told me, I didn’t waste her time, distract her from her duties, or hinder her from attending to other cases. In fact, she had no patient when we got there, and none waiting when we left.

I left the hospital with a reassurance that money can’t buy … and one I’m so grateful to have had. I’m the better for it … my baby, husband, and toddler are better for it … and the NHS is definitely not worse off because of it.

So, what did I do when my baby didn’t move as usual?

I worried, doubted, questioned, internalized, and made my mental health worse … then I allowed common sense to prevail, listened to my mother’s instinct, heeded vital baby movement messages, involved my family, shared my burden, called Triage, went to the hospital, underwent reassuring monitoring, improved my mental health and my family’s well-being. 


Have you ever worried about your baby’s movement?

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My Toddler and My Little Piccolo Review (Stage 1 Pouches)

My Little Piccolo Review | Introduction

I rarely ever bought food pouches when my toddler started weaning over 2 years ago; they just didn’t really ‘do it for me’. They were hit and miss with my little one; some he liked, others he couldn’t stand. So you can imagine my surprise at his many requests for My Little Piccolo pouches since I introduced them to him.

pp

My Little Piccolo Review | First Impressions

It all started when I went to one of My Little Piccolo’s weaning events, with my growing bump in mind. The session was down-to-earth, and they freely shared recipe ideas. I left, very pleased with my renewed confidence about weaning my future newborn to solids; and of course delighted that the samples I took home went down very well with my toddler. I suppose I wasn’t expecting it to be his cup of tea because he’s well past the weaning stage.

So when I was asked to review some of their flavours, it was a definite yes from me.

My Little Piccolo review - stage 1 pouches

Sent free of charge for my independent and honest review

My Little Piccolo Review | Our Experience

Flavours:

We checked out samples of their stage 1 flavours; what a lovely combination of fruits and vegetables, with spices.

  1. Spring Greens with a hint of mint
  2. Peach and Apple with a hint of basil
  3. Raspberry and Apple with soaked oats
  4. Sweet Potato, Beetroot, Apple, and Pear
  5. Cherry and Yogurt with wholegrain oats
  6. Apple and Apricot with a pinch of cinnamon
  7. Mango, Pear and Kale with a dash of yogurt
  8. Banana, Strawberry & Peach with a hint of mint
  9. Banana, Blueberry, and Apple with a hint of vanilla
  10. Squash, Red Pepper & Chickpea with a hint of rosemary

my-little-piccolo-flavours

They have other flavours in their Stage 1 vegetable patch and Stage 2 ranges.

To my delight, the vegetable pouches went down very well with my toddler, including tastes that were new to him.

pp2

Pouch Design:

Of the food pouches’ brands I’ve used, My Little Piccolo’s wins the day: right size for little hands, and attractive illustrations and colours for curious eyes.  The ingredient illustrations served as an empowering learning opportunity for my toddler; making it easier for him to ask for the flavours that particularly caught his fancy at different points. We had such fun moments identifying the fruits and vegetables and helping him to squeeze out every last drop.

pp4

My funniest pouch moment is the day my toddler discovered he could exhale into the pouch to enlarge it. My, the sounds of laughter that rang through our house … he got so excited about it that he ran around the house, blowing into the pouch over and over again … such fun.

Labelling:

The back of the pouch has a lot of information on it, but it’s easy on the eyes and arranged clearly. I also like the fact  that allergens in the ingredients, if any, are written in bold.

Safety:

I don’t allow my toddler access to the caps, a potential choking hazard as stated at the back of the pouch. Even then, I have some toddler craft ideas lined up for them during the holiday … watch this space for picture updates.

My Little Piccolo Review | Top 5 Likes

  1. Filling toddler snack
  2. Organic and nutritious
  3. Yummy flavours and very clear labelling
  4. Supports the NCT and 10% of their profits goes into food education
  5. Promotes current NHS weaning guideline of starting ‘around 6 months’

My Little Piccolo Review | Features

  • 100g pouches
  • 100% Organic
  • No added sugars
  • Eat warm or cold
  • Mostly gluten-free
  • Vegetarian friendly
  • Mediterranean inspired

pp3

My Little Piccolo Review | Overall

My toddler enjoyed all our My Little Piccolo stage 1 pouches much more than we thought he would. They are fab for snack times at home, in the car, and whilst out and about. In fact, they replaced a few of his meals during some of his most grumpy moments.

These pouches are ready-made food / snack that I’m happy to buy for my toddler and use when my next weaning journey starts.

I would love to recycle the empty pouches but I’m not sure you can.

Their website has lots of useful information about their products, weaning, recipe ideas, and so much more … including retailers that stock their pouches.

They retail for as cheap as 6 for £5.


How did you / are you finding weaning to solids?

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Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra | Review

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra | Introduction

I’ve got to tell you: breastfeeding with nursing bras is so much more comfortable than without; definitely less clumsy. I  should know, I spent the first few months of breastfeeding without using one. Now a ‘nursing bra pro’ with over 2.5 years of experience, I can tell you that the Bravado body silk seamless nursing bra is definitely tops.

How do I know? Well, I’ve heard and read about it, and I’ve now tried it.

As you can probably imagine, I was pretty chuffed when I was asked to check it out; even more when it arrived.

Bravado body silk seamless bra - garnet

Sent free of charge for my independent and honest review

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra| First Impressions

I liked what I saw … really neat and inviting packaging. My word, what exquisite colours … so gorgeously rich in depth, and appealing to the eyes. You should have seen the big smile on my face when I looked in the mirror with it on.

Bravado Body Silk Seamless Bra Charcoal Heather

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra | Key Features

  • Easy sizing for its dual maternity and nursing bra functions
  • 4 hook and eye extension for rib cage expansion during pregnancy
  • Firm and flat nursing clips that are easily opened and closed with one hand
  • Removable foam cups to give a smooth look with or without breast pads
  • A proprietary Bra Conversion Kit (BCK) to change it to a “regular bra” post-breastfeeding

  • Full skin-to-skin contact of baby to breasts when feeding – opened cups fully drop down
  • Seamless with stretchy material for comfy all-day wear, and adjustment to the changing pregnant / nursing breasts

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra | My Experience

Sizing:

During my first pregnancy, I learnt that you need to be measured every few months for the right bra size to support your growing breasts. As an eco-friendly savvy saver, big on getting good value for money, I wasn’t really keen on buying bras I could only use for a few months.

So stumbling on seamless wireless bras was a dream come true; they seamlessly (no pun intended) adjust to your changing breasts from pregnancy to breastfeeding, and beyond.

Bravado has a clear sizing guide on their website, as well the phone number and working hours of their certified bra fitters. I however decided to get measured for my Bravado bra size on the high street when I was around 25/26 weeks pregnant … just because … well … it was a kinda treat, I suppose.

Fit:

I am impressed with how comfortable and supportive this bra is; so much better than the cheaper seamless one I’d been using (from a different brand). I must also say that it’s made of really good quality material.

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra | Top 5 Likes

  1. Snazzy colours that feel good
  2. Good support without compromising comfort
  3. Excellent value for money for its superb quality
  4. Durable and super comfy to wear all day during pregnancy, whilst breastfeeding, and beyond
  5. Easy sizing which makes it a fab baby shower present if you know the size of the mum’s top

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra | Product Information

  • Price: £30 on Bravado UK’s website (£26.99 – £36.87 from other retailers)
  • Usual Colours: Ivory, Butterscotch, Pink Ice,
  • Seasonal Colours: Cherry, Silver Bell
  • New Colours: Charcoal Heather, Garnet (not yet available on Bravado UK’s website)
  • Size: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large

Bravado Body Silk Seamless Bra Pink

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra | Care Information

  • Machine washable
  • Wash before wearing
  • Wash with similar colours
  • No tumble drying or ironing

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra | Overall

I’m really thankful for this bra; they are now my seamless bra staple … so comfy for my expanding pregnancy rib cage whilst breastfeeding my toddler. It’s not surprising that celebrity mums like Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox, Jessica Alba, Miranda Kerr, Cate Blanchett, Pink Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Garner, Miranda Kerr, and others consider it a nursing bra to have.

You can buy the Body Silk Seamless from Bravado with free shipping; and Amazon has more colours and even XXL size.


What’s your favourite nursing bra and why?

Helpful review?

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Is it Time to Stop the Breastfeeding Emotional Disclaimers?

You’re reading about someone’s breastfeeding experience … nodding in agreement or not … empathizing … sympathising … connecting with it on a range of emotional and intellectual levels …  then you get to the point or paragraph … the one that tells you about how the writer’s points are not meant to cause offence … how other options are okay too … and so on and so forth. Oh yes, bring on the tiring and unnecessary ‘breastfeeding emotional disclaimers’! Continue reading

Win Free Tickets to the 2016 Baby to Toddler Show, ExCeL London

Did you go to the Baby Show at London Olympia? What fun! What a show to attend for expectant, new, and ‘experienced’ parents of young children.

Guess what? There is a brand new show in town, the first of its kind – The Baby to Toddler Show; with Peppermint as it main retail partner. Even better, I have 2 PAIRS OF TICKET to give away … that is 4 FREE tickets for 2 people and their friend or family! Yes, you read it right; you can win free tickets to the 2016 Baby to Toddler Show at ExCeL, London. Continue reading

2016 Christmas Gift Guide Linky

Another year ending, another festive season … oh yes, bring on the gift craze!

‘What should I buy for that person?’, ‘Where shall I start?’, ‘Any recommendations’? … so many of these questions at this time of the year.

Help is here; many bloggers and brands are happy to help.

Sharing and finding wish lists and gift guides for inspiration has never been easier;  here comes the 2016 Christmas Gift Guide Linky.

Lucy from The Parent Game and I, are hosting this lovely linky, to bring seasonal gift and wish lists of all kinds together.

Bloggers, what are you waiting for? Link up , your gift guides for the festive season. Relieve people of the stress of what and where to buy, and inspire the giving of quality gifts.

Brands, get in touch if you want us to check out your products for our guides.

Everyone looking for gift ideas and inspiration, scroll to the bottom of this post, look, click, and read to your heart’s content; comment and share your finds.

Lovely linky for your festive gift guides and wish lists; to share ideas and inspire.

The 2016 Christmas Gift Guide Linky:

Bloggers,

  • Link up as many guides as you want, with your post’s web link, title, and twitter handle.
  • link up your guides from 8am on Friday 11 November to 11.55pm on Monday 5 December 2016
  • tweet us for retweets at @theparentgame and @aNoviceMum
  • request to join the 2016 #ChristmasGiftList’s group board to pin / repin your guides, and others’
  • comment on this post if you will

Linky Rules:

Share the blog love: comment on the hosts’ posts, the post before yours and another you fancy.

Hashtag: Comment and share posts with #ChristmasGiftGuide hashtag, to help spread the word.

Share the linky love if you want: by adding our badge to help promote the linky.

Adventures of a Novice Mum

Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

What you can expect from your linky hosts:

We’ll read and comment on all linked guides.

We’ll retweet all guides tweeted to us with the hashtag.

We’ll promote the linky on social media, to increase the potential audience reach of your guides.

 

What are you waiting for? Link, love, and share away; knowing that we value your support for our linky.


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Lovely linky for your festive gift guides and wish lists; to share ideas and inspire.

Tomy’s Push Me, Pull Me Puppy | Review and Giveaway

Push Me, Pull Me Puppy | Introduction

I didn’t grow up with pets and I’m not keen on the responsibilities involved in owning one. However, I cultivate a love of the natural world in my toddler, and I encourage him to engage with animals when we have the opportunity, and within a safe environment.

So, when I was asked to review the Push Me, Pull Me Puppy, I was totally up for it.
Tomy Push Me, Pull Me Puppy inside its packaging

This is the closest thing to a real dog my toddler would ever have in our home. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect too, as he started going to our childminder who has a dog

Push Me, Pull Me Puppy | First Impressions

I was very excited to receive this toy puppy, and we weren’t disappointed … my son was ecstatic!

We tore through the thick transparent wrapping around the box, and cut the cords holding its pieces firmly in place.

Everything else was already assembled, except the top half of the lead that we had to key in. The colours are bright, warm, and attractive for toddlers – and the puppy’s eyes are so cute and inviting.

Tomy's Push Me, Pull Me Puppy - doe eyes with bone | @aNoviceMum Reviews

Push Me, Pull Me Puppy | Key Features

  • Dog bone
  • Water bowl
  • Moving legs
  • Wagging tail
  • Movable ears
  • Doe-eyed puppy
  • Removable lead
  • Music on and off button
  • Moving head with the leash
  • Music plays when walking Puppy
  • Puppy barks and pants when its nose is pressed

Push Me, Pull Me Puppy | Our Experience

Design:

It is constructed to maximise toddler engagement, and it supports the ongoing development of their cognition and coordination. Its colours are attractive and inviting, it’s smooth to touch and stroke, and just really nice to look at. All these makes it a good stimulus for imaginative conversations and interactions, as well as a fab reference for discussions about caring for animals.

The curved hoop at the top of the leash helps my toddler to securely hold it when he walks the puppy. He continues to improve on how to manoeuvre it to turn the puppy’s head, and master how to control it to push or pull the puppy, depending on whether he is standing in front of the puppy or behind it.

He also sometimes ties his dad’s belt through the hoop to extend the lead – I wouldn’t have thought of that. 🙂

Tomy's Push Me, Pull Me Puppy - lead hoop | @aNoviceMum Reviews

Size:

It’s not too small or too big; its size makes it realistic enough as a puppy that can be walked and indeed engaged with.

Durability:

I also like that the fact that it is not flimsy; I’ve accidentally dropped it on the floor a few times whilst tidying up, without any breakage. Its smooth plastic body makes for easy cleaning if needed; we haven’t had to clean ours yet despite lots of toddler handling.

Usage:

My toddler gave his Push Me, Pull Me Puppy a name on the day he received it – Dog Show. You see, we attended a dog show whilst on holiday in the Summer and we suspect this inspired his chosen name for his toy puppy.

He enjoys walking Dog Show at different points in the day, and he sometimes walks him really fast. This makes for louder noise than we would like, when on our tiled floor. However, I think (unlike his dad) that the noise is bearable, especially as we see his obvious enjoyment of the toy.

The puppy’s walking music – a short upbeat tune mixed with a puppy barking and panting – is repetitive, but not annoying. My toddler switches it on and off at the base of the puppy, as he wishes.

We discovered early on that pressing the puppy’s nose results in hearing the puppy panting or barking – good fun for any toddler.

I use the open box the toy came in as a kind of dog cage, to store it and its accessories when not in use.

I also like the fact that its ears and tail are made of a rubbery material, for a softer feel.

push-me-pull-me-puppy-ears

Engaging with this puppy toy is so easy and comes so naturally. My toddler talks to it, strokes it, and we have conversations about him and his ‘puppy’ with reference to his interaction with our childminder’s dog. We’ve found it to be both a fun and educational tool that promotes learning through play.

It has definitely given us lots of opportunities to encourage positive behaviour towards dogs specifically and animals in general.

This is one toy I wish my son had from when he was one;  and one I see him enjoying for a while to come.

Push Me, Pull Me Puppy | Top 5 Likes

  1. Portable
  2. Fun and functional
  3. Sturdy and long-lasting
  4. Excellent introduction to pet ownership
  5. Imaginative, interactive and educational

Push Me, Pull Me Puppy | Product Information

  • 12m+
  • 001 kg
  • 60 x 8.66 x 9.45 inches

Push Me, Pull Me Puppy | Overall

Reviewing this toy has been enjoyable for us; it’s given us a ‘pet dog’ without the accompanying responsibilities – no dog hairs to deal with, no insurance or vet visits, no outdoor dog walking, no dog sitting plans if we’re away for long etc. Yet, it is a good introduction to pets for our toddler, and it has inspired so many lovely conversations and moments.

push-me-pull-me-puppy-playing

I sighed when I first realised it was another battery operated toy, but I’m pleased that the batteries last long. We’ve been using ours for over a month and the batteries are still going strong.

The Push Me, Pull Me Puppy is a toy that will be enjoyed for a very long time in our home; definitely good value for money.

It’s available on Amazon and other retailers for around £20 to £30; though currently on sale at Amazon for less.

Push Me, Pull Me Puppy | Giveaway

As usual on my blog, you can win this fabulous toy – thanks to Tomy – by accurately completing the options on the widget below.

All the best with your entries, and I hope you found my review helpful.


What do you like most about the Push Me, Pull Me Puppy and who would you like to one for?

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The True Company Mirai Toothbrush | Review and Giveaway (£195)

Mirai Toothbrush | Introduction

Keeping my teeth healthy has been one of my body-care battles for as long as I can remember, despite knowing how vital this is for my dental hygiene. So, when I came across the opportunity to review The True Company’s Mirai toothbrush, I had to check it out. It’s an electric toothbrush like no other I’ve come across so far.

Mirai Toothbrush | First Impressions

I was / am impressed with its sleek packaging … it oozes luxury. The toothbrush is not too big or too small, and it feels nice to hold. You see, it’s made of silicone and doesn’t have the hard plastic feel of other toothbrushes.

The True Company's Mirai electric toothbrush in its box

The True Company posted this to me from America, free of charge for this review; 
as usual, my opinion of the toothbrush honestly reflects my experience.

Mirai Toothbrush | Key Features

  • Gentle gum massage function
  • Elegant and functional design
  • Silicone bristles don’t retain bacteria
  • Once yearly toothbrush head replacement ($7.99 from The True Company’s customer service)
  • Built in 30 seconds pauses whilst brushing
  • All-in-one self-sanitising electric toothbrush
  • Non-porous silicone prevents bacteria build up

Mirai Toothbrush | My Experience

In the box

I opened the top quality looking and feeling box, to find the toothbrush in a transparent-ish good quality plastic sleeve, placed in a foam-like mould. Underneath this were the instruction manual, warranty card, and USB charger lead. I was pleased it didn’t have a USB plug; I’ve got enough of this around the house.

There is an authenticity card attached to the front of the box, with a serial and model number, as well as a statement to confirm the quality of the product … all very reassuring about its value.

Mirai toothbrush unboxing

Charging

As per the instruction manual, I charged it for some hours before my first use. The indicator light at the end of the brush blinks consecutively for a period of time when it needs charging. It also emits a prolonged glow when it is fully charged.

I sometimes used the unit for days after the recharge blinks stopped, without any problems.

The indicator light also comes on briefly when you press the vibration button, on and off.

The True Company's toothbrush, front and back views

Brushing

The bristles are not as thin as that of your typical manual and electric brushes, and their top are not pin pointed but rectangular; making them gentler on the teeth and gum.

The Mirai toothbrush, brush head

As stated in the manual, I used it like my manual toothbrush, albeit with the vibration function. My teeth feels clean after each brushing session, and I think it’s more effective than my manual toothbrush.

I really like the fact that the vibrations pause for about a second, after every 30 seconds of brushing; making it easier to know how long you spend on each part of your teeth, and how long you brush for.

Mirai Toothbrush | Top 5 Likes

  1. Chic and functional design
  2. Adjustable vibration … for your desired intensity
  3. Inbuilt rechargeable batteries and easy to charge
  4. Gentle bristles … vital for sensitive gums like mine
  5. Lightweight: not bulky like your typical electric brush … fab for travelling

Mirai Toothbrush | Product Cost

  • £195

Mirai Toothbrush | Overall

I’m pleased with The Tru Company’s Mirai electric toothbrush. It’s lovely to have a toothbrush whose brush head only needs to be changed once a year – better for my pocket and better for the environment. Its 2 years limited warranty is reassuring, especially considering its cost. The instruction manual is straight forward and easy to understand, though I wish the print was bigger to make it easier to read.

Least I forget, yah to the fact that toothpaste doesn’t stick to the bottom of the Mirai!

Nonetheless, I must confess that I wish it was cheaper; it’s the most expensive toothbrush I’ll probably ever own. I also wish the recharge reminder light didn’t blink so much.  Even then, I can’t deny that it does a good job and I’m pleased to have it.

You can buy it online from the The True Company’s website in the UK.

Mirai Toothbrush | Giveaway

Thanks to the The True Company, one of you can win your very own Mirai toothbrush!

All you need to do is to accurately complete the following entry options on the widget below; terms and conditions apply.

Hope you found my review helpful; all the best with all your entries.


What do you like about electric toothbrushes?

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Hotmilk Lingerie’s Eclipse Nursing Bra | Review and Giveaway

Eclipse Nursing Bra | Introduction

Nursing bras are one of my current motherhood staples, and not surprisingly …. or perhaps, silly as it might sound to some, they are one of the things with the potential to get me excited. So, you can imagine how pleased I was when Hotmilk Lingerie asked me to check out one of their nursing bras.

“Lush”, I thought … “most definitely, bring it on”. I enjoy checking things out, especially things that fit well with my life.

Even better, I’ve consistently heard good things about Hotmilk on the nursing outfits’ grapevine – ‘stylish’, ‘comfy’, ‘good support’, ‘popular’ ….

So, this is one review I couldn’t say ‘no’ to.

After exploring their nursing bra range, I decided to go for the Eclipse Black Nursing Bra.  

Eclipse Nursing Bra | @aNoviceMum Reviews

They posted it to me free of charge for this review, and as usual, my opinion 
of the bra is independent and honest.

Eclipse Nursing Bra | First Impressions

I liked the look of the bra on their website and I wasn’t disappointed when I received it … the silky feel, the lacy rims, the cute little bow and the beautiful diamanté hanging from it – what a gorgeous ornament, give it that extra oomph.

Can you keep a secret? Shhhh … don’t tell anyone. It’s the most stylish nursing bra I’ve ever owned.

It looks good and feels good, both to touch and wear.

Hotmil's Eclipse bra, won by a pregnant womanEclipse Nursing Bra | Key Features

  • Underwire-free soft cup for comfortable support
  • Wider straps on larger cups for added strength
  • 100% cotton lined cups and straps for breathability
  • Stretchy at the top of the cup for pregnancy breast growth
  • 6 hook and eye extension for pregnancy rib cage expansion
  • Full cup with an A-frame for support and coverage when nursing
  • One-handed drop down cups for quick and easy access for breastfeeding

Eclipse Nursing Bra | My Experience

Sizing:

I got myself into knots trying to decide my size. You see, I like products that I can use for a long time; it’s better for my pocket and the environment. Hence, I wanted a size that I could use for the rest of my pregnancy, my next breastfeeding journey (however long it is), and if possible, beyond. Ambitious, I know; but I’m quite a ‘use-for-as-long-as-possible’ kinda girl.

It’s worth noting that I was around 25/26 weeks pregnant when I got my sizing done for this review. It’s not uncommon to go through 2 to 3 bra fittings and cup sizes during pregnancy, thanks to all the changes it brings about in the body. This will of course vary from one person to another.

With all the bust size changes I’ve been through – due to almost 3 years of breastfeeding and months of pregnancies – my correct bra size is oftentimes a mystery to me.

Hotmilk’s customer service to the rescue ….

They have a bra size chart and guide on their website, with clear instructions. However, I wasn’t sure whether my size judgement was correct. So I did what anyone in my position would do, and contacted their customer service. Their response was prompt and helpful. I emailed my underbust and cup size measurements to them, and they told me my bra size for their brand … simples.

Hotmilk Bra Size Chart

 

A woman unhooking a Hotmilk eclipse braFit:

I was quite surprised at how supportive it felt, given that it’s an underwire-free bra … it’s just as you see it in the picture on their site.

Unlike some of the nursing bras I use, the inner A-frame of the strap covers the top of the breast, and maintains the firm support of the bra when the cup is unclipped for breastfeeding. The hook and eye extension is also brilliant; giving ample room for adjustment during pregnancy and beyond, without compromising the firm support the bra gives.

The main part of the cup isn’t stretchy, but its top is; I reckon this and the adjustable straps will accommodate the size changes of the breastfeeding breasts.

 

A frame of the inside of a Hotmail nursing bra

Eclipse Black Nursing Bra | Top 5 Likes

  1. It’s adjustable and gives excellent support to changing pregnant and breastfeeding breasts
  2. It’s multi-functional; serving both as a maternity and nursing bra and I reckon you can continue to use it post-breastfeeding too.
  3. It’s made of comfy fabric … you can see and feel that it’s good quality
  4. It’s stylish and attractive … pleasing to look at and wear
  5. It’s good value for money … its price reflects its quality.

And I really appreciate Hotmilk Lingerie’s customer service. It makes such a difference to buy from companies that respond quickly to one’s concerns, doesn’t it.

Eclipse Nursing Bra | Product Information

  • £39.95
  • Sizes 32 to 42
  • Black and Nude
  • Cups B to H, including DD, FF, and GG

Eclipse Hotmilk website

Eclipse Nursing Bra | Care Information

  • Cold machine wash at gentle temperature
  • Line dry in the shade: no tumble drying
  • No ironing, bleaching, or dry-cleaning

Eclipse Nursing Bra | Overall

I’ve enjoyed reviewing this bra, and I’m glad it’s part of my wardrobe. I know there are cheaper nursing bras out there; I’ve got some myself … without doubt though, you get what you pay for. The quality of this bra means that it will most definitely last longer than some of my other ones.

You can buy the Eclipse from Hotmilk Lingerie, with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and 30 days return and exchange process. And you can get 10% off on your first order if you join their mailing list. You can also buy it from Amazon, where it is currently on sale, and from other online and high street shops.

Hotmilk Lingerie's guarantee and 10% discount on first order

You can also get matching bikini briefs from Hotmilk Lingerie, maternity / nursing sleep bras, and other kinds of underwear.

This is one maternity / nursing bra I’m happy to recommend.

Eclipse Black Nursing Bra | Giveaway

Now, regular visitors to my blog know that I always try to accompany my reviews with giveaways. Well, this review is no exception, thanks to the generosity of Hotmilk Lingerie.

For your chance to win an Eclipse Nursing Bra for yourself or a loved one that could really do with it, accurately complete the following entry options on the widget below; terms and conditions apply.

All the best with your entries.


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Barack Obama is not the first Black President of America

Exactly 8 years ago, Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States of America, at the age of 47. Different media outlets declared him as the first BLACK president of America, not just the next president of America like his predecessors. I remember watching one such broadcast on November 4 2008, and shouting at my TV that Barack Obama IS NOT the FIRST BLACK president of America.

Barack Obama IS NOT the FIRST BLACK president of America.

I have since read and heard the statement repeated again and again over the last 8 years, and I really can’t keep shtum any more. This is a post I’ve meant to write for a very long time, and one I’ve hesitated over for a range of reasons.

I mean, who I’m I to challenge what seems like the belief of the majority; especially one that is considered to be positive, and one that is held by people from all walks of life. Yah, a Western country has a black president!

Better not to rock the boat, hey … but not after I heard that statement again on CNN this evening (4 Nov).

Yes, Barack Obama’s dad is from Kenya and he is definitely black … black in complexion and black because he originates from Sub-Saharan Africa. I get it … so, what’s my problem?

Well, what about his mother? You know, the one who contributed 50% of his DNA, as well as carrying and nourishing him in her womb for the best part of a year. What about his maternal grandfather and grandmother who brought him up from the age of 10?1

Barack Obama with his grandparents

They are white … you know that, right? Does their contribution to his existence and development count for anything, especially when it comes to the ethnic and cultural labelling of Obama at the top of his game?

Does it matter that his black Kenyan father left him pretty much when he was still a baby? Does it count that after his parent’s divorce when he was 2, he only saw his father before his death one more time, when he was 10?

Seriously, does all the loving and personal white influence in his life matter, in the way his heritage is classified?

Interestingly, I can’t remember ever hearing other presidents of America so formally identified based on their ethnicity. I mean, I have no recollection of George Bush before him, being called the 43rd white president of America; do you?

I like to think that the content of one’s character is of much more value than the colour of one’s skin, or one’s ancestral heritage.

I cringe when I hear Obama’s blackness being pronounced over and over again. Why does his African heritage, with its ‘little’ impact in terms of his upbringing, override his European background?

I mean, who cares about his maternal largely English heritage, and their significant contribution to his life.2

If his father was of … say … Swedish origin, or Chinese origin, or Asian origin … would his whiteness be so discounted?

Good job, I’m not his mum or maternal grandparents; I’ll be fuming at his declaration as the FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT of AMERICA. This is not because I want the acknowledgement of my influence, but because it’s unfair and it perpetuates the long-held American racist ideology of the ‘one-drop rule’.

It’s unfair because DNA wise, Barack is as white as he is black. It is unfair because the really nasty and costly centuries-old one-drop rule is steeped in injustice.

The one-drop rule basically assigns the minority ethnic status to children of multiple heritage parents. And guess what? It only applies when the minority ethnic status is black – how unfair is that … one black ancestor and you’re excluded from the privilege of white classification.

Barack Obama and his family

Thankfully, the ramifications of this stupid rule in modern America is not the same as when it was instituted in the 1600s. Even then, it’s somewhat shocking that Americans of African / Caribbean descent historically embraced this rule, and many continue to do so today.3 But you know what, it’s not shocking considering the horrible discrimination their ancestors were historically subjected to and indeed the forms in which this continues today.

The black parents of dual heritage children from forced and chosen relations historically knew better than to encourage their children to acknowledge the white bit of their ancestry … oh yes, they knew that their children’s lives depended on it … you’ll do the same if you were on the wrong side of the KKK in those days.

I don’t think Barack Obama worried about being lynched by the KKK, but like other mixed heritage people, he sure suffered from being treated differently. You can’t even imagine how this messes with your perception and conception of yourself, except you’ve gone through it.

His 50% whiteness didn’t save him from wondering what was wrong with him, and struggling to find his place, given how some treated him … the price minority ethnic groups continue to pay.

It’s definitely no surprise that Barack Obama identifies as African-American, the one-drop rule continues to win the day, like it has done for centuries. Whilst the resulting hostility and brutality of this rule is expressed differently in modern times, it’s such a shame that its ugly head is still there at all. Check it out in Halle Berry’s custody battle and life. The same rule makes Colin Powell, another person of mixed heritage, the first ‘African-American Secretary of State’ … on and on and on the examples continue.

Obama’s 1995 book, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, will be very interesting to read.

I wonder how he would have identified, if he was treated without reference to his ethnicity. I wonder how his peers would have treated him during his presidency if he was 100% white.

In my view, Barack Obama is not the first black president of America … Barack Obama is not the first African-American president of the United States … Barack Obama is the first mixed-heritage president of American …

I think Morgan Freeman agrees with me, and a few others perhaps.

You know what? Actually, Barack Obama is simply the 44th president of America, like George Bush was the 43rd president of America, and Bill Clinton the 42nd.

I wish I didn’t have to wonder what his presidency would have been like without the dark cloud of the one-drop rule … with regard and respect for his humanity despite his blackness and whiteness … I wonder … I will never know … but I wonder still. 🙁

1Barack Obama: Biography              2Family of Barack Obama             3One-drop rule persists

So, what do you think? 

If this article got you thinking, please consider sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Let it be forever known that Barack Obama is not the FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT of AMERICA. How can he be? He is as white as he is black; so what makes him the first African-American president of the US?  Have you heard of the one-drop rule? Time to get your thinking cap on, with @aNoviceMum.