Sweetcase is a most wonderful concept started by mother of two Murielle Sitruk. When Murielle was expecting her second child, and was preparing her hospital bag, she was looking for one place where she could find the most practical and beautiful bedding and clothing for her soon to be born baby. And unsuccessfully so! Thus, she decided to start producing her own suitcases, solely focussing on a mother’s stay in the maternity ward.
I’m super impressed with the design and functionality of the suitcase. It’s made from a thick and sturdy, mouse grey cotton canvas with leather details, and it is lined in cotton voile with one of the two gorgeous signature prints, designed for Sweetcase by studio Minakani — birds or triangles. There are some very handy pockets and compartments both on the inside as the outside of the suitcase (one being the perfect size for baby’s health book). This suitcase is not only perfect to bring to the hospital, but will continue to accompany you and your child on your future travels without a doubt.
The suitcase can be purchased by itself or pre-filled with a selection of newborn essentials of the best quality. There’s a beautiful collection of baby bed linen & accessories and newborn basics designed by Murielle herself for Sweetcase — all the clothing is made from the softest and finest pima cotton you can imagine, and the bedding and accessories are available in a thin cotton voile in the pre-mentioned darling signature prints. Besides this, Muriel has selected some great clothes for the first weeks of baby: organic, pima cotton pajamas by Limo Basics, and simple, soft and casual chic designs by kidscase, Pequeno Tocon and Bieq.
A complete Sweetcase pack (suitcase plus content) is available in different colour choices and can be completely customised (all the products are for sale separately as well). What a perfect and luxurious present — either to yourself, to your wife, or to a good friend!
I love the idea of this new hospital box from maternity label, Hatch. It’s a box of luxurious hospital necessities for new mothers to wear after they’ve given birth. The box contains a knee-length nightgown designed to feel like your softest t-shirt, as well as a grey jersey robe, a pair of Cosabella black briefs (full coverage, but still pretty), and a pair of luxurious grey cashmere socks.
I think it would make for a lovely gift to give yourself as you’re gearing up for labour… or for your husband to give to you! I don’t know about anyone else, but the outfit I wore after giving birth was always the last thing I thought about before I went into labour, and I often ended up snatching my husband’s t-shirt and throwing back on the outfit I wore into the hospital. There was nothing special about it at all. I sort of like the idea of adding a bit of luxurious comfort to the equation, and feeling that bit more elegant in the special first days after your baby is born. (Not that I will be doing it ever again! But still!)
As I mentioned in this post, I took my first yoga class when I was pregnant with Marlow and after just one class I knew it would become an important part of my life from then on. I don’t know what took me so long to start up yoga, but I am so thankful I finally did. I loved taking pregnancy yoga classes when I was pregnant, and I am so convinced it helped prepare me mentally and physically for the birthing experience I had always longed for.
When Marlow was 8 weeks old we started taking yoga classes together. Once a week the two of us hop on a bus and head over to Triyoga in Primrose Hill for the Mummy & Me yoga class with Nadia Narain. It is always a highlight of the week for both of us! I love that I get to practice yoga even though I have a little baby who still can’t be left with a sitter, I love that every Wednesday I wake up and my muscles are slightly sore from the previous day’s work out, I love being surrounded by other mums with young babies and chatting to them about motherhood and baby stages, and I love ending the class with a little dance with Marlow – a special time for the two of us to share with each other. Marlow loves the bit at the end when we sing songs (Incy Wincy Spider is her favourite!), and she loves checking out all the other sweet babies in the room — I’m certain that she loves our yoga class as much as I do.
p.s. Marlow’s romper in the photo above is from Marie Puce.
When Esther and I were in NYC last month, we stopped into the super stylish HATCH studio in Soho for a meeting with the impressively chic founder/designer, Ariane Goldman. She gave us a piece-by-piece tour through their collection, showing us the swanky new spring/summer items. Stylish, chic, swanky: three words that sum up the HATCH brand. Need I say more? Well… only to say that the clothing is truly meant for before, during and after pregnancy. The pieces are designed to be worn whether you’re pregnant or not. So, even though Esther and I will not ever be pregnant again (we promise!), we were still tempted by the weekend shorts, the boyfriend dress, the jumper and pretty much everything else!
There’s something so contradictory about the first weeks after giving birth. Of course there is that wonderful, magical feeling of bliss — the birth, that beautiful, earthy smell, seeing and holding your baby for the first time, admiring every detail of him (her), spending your days on the couch, in bed, being so proud, feeling the love, the connection between your loved ones, changing miniscule nappies, dressing that tiny wrinkly newborn in those tiny little outfits you so carefully piled in anticipation for the big day, hearing him, smelling him, learning everything once again. Amazing.
And then there’s the part no one ever really talks about. The pain! Piles of enormous pads between your legs. Walking as if you’ve been horse riding for 3 weeks straight!
Being so tired, so drained. Being angry, being sad, being emotional. The tears! The confusion! The frustration. Endless hours of breastfeeding, every 3 hours, every 2 hours, every hour. Cracked nipples, strong afterbirth pains that make you cringe, the thirst, the sweat, and then, the engorgement. Boobs the size of melons, so big, so hard, and so painful.
I wish I had these Relief Pads from Boob Design when I was suffering from engorgement after the birth of my children. Especially after Ava it was pretty bad! It took a whole week — my boobs were huge, painful, hot, they were red and white and purple and I had to ’sleep’ sitting up which wasn’t so agreeable to start with! I SO needed these pads. Made out of 100% organic cotton and filled with natural flax seed, the Boob Relief Pads can be chilled in the freezer to soothe or heal tender and swollen breasts, or help relieve blocked ducts. They can also be warmed in the microwave or oven to warm up your breast before nursing, stimulate milk flow and prevent blocked ducts. And, they have a healing effect when breasts are inflamed or if you have mastitis.
Boob Design gave me a pair when we met at the Playtime fair, and even though my boobs are now doing fine, I still like to warm my pads in the micro and stick them in to my bra every now and then. It’s just so soft, warm and comfortable! They can also be used to pre-warm baby’s bed or push chair, or to stick around your neck for some relief after carrying a baby around for too long. All in all, if you’re (planning on) breastfeeding, I definitely recommend getting a pair!
I had never done yoga before… until I found myself at 32 weeks pregnant with a breech baby. A good friend (and fellow pregnant mama) recommended I try yoga, both for the physical benefit as well as to calm my mind and find a sense of peace with my pregnancy and baby. I figured I would give it a go… if, for nothing else, just to have the quiet time to myself and to dedicate a small portion of my busy day to the baby inside me.
Anyone who’s ever taken a pregnancy yoga class at Triyoga will, no doubt, be familiar with Nadia Narain. Her name is practically synonymous with yoga. I can’t tell you how many people recommended Nadia’s pregnancy yoga classes to me before I even took my first step into her class. ‘You want yoga? Oh you must speak to Nadia’.
One pregnancy yoga class with Nadia and I was a changed woman. I felt so empowered by her words, so comforted by her support, and, for the first time in my life, so prepared for my impending labour. I really believe it is thanks to her (and this book!) that I was able to achieve the labour and delivery I had always wished for. I still remember hearing her words in my head as I entered the final stages of labour. ’Relax your body, relax your mouth, slow down your breathing…’.
It is a subject I almost find difficult to write about. You know the feeling where you have so much to say, you don’t know where to begin? Where your thoughts get so jumbled up in a rush to be spoken?! I feel this way when I think about the transformation that took place in the final weeks before Marlow was born. I just want to stand on a big soapbox and preach the benefits of yoga, to sing the praises of Nadia, and to tell every pregnant woman to read this book.
Instead, I will simply say that if you live in London, you should definitely take one of Nadia’s classes. If you don’t live in London, you can buy her pregnancy yoga CD which is awesome (and nearly as good as the real deal!) as well as her gorgeous aromatherapy candles… so that, no matter where you live or how busy you are, you can still benefit from her yoga and her teachings.
Jumping down from my soapbox now. : )
Feeling is believing! The layette Welcome collection by Oeuf, made from 100% unbleached, untreated, organic pima cotton (‘the cashmere of cottons’), is truly as soft as it gets. Blankies, hats, beanies, onesies, mittens — you will find everything you need to dress a newborn baby, and you can be sure it is all lovely, of great quality, and free from impurities or harsh chemicals that could irritate your baby’s skin. What a wonderful selection to shop from when you’re about to give birth, or when you’re looking for a truly special (and practical) gift for a pregnant friend. Those little Welcome bags are just too cute.
I have gotten to the point in my pregnancy where the only thing I can comfortably wear are leggings. (I had a funny conversation with my 7-year-old the other day where he asked me why I always take him to school in my ‘pyjamas’. I told him they weren’t my pyjamas, they were ‘leggings’ and he said ‘but they look like your pyjamas’. I had to set him straight right then and there: there are the good leggings I can wear out of the house and then there are the thinner, grosser leggings I wear to bed! And the two are DIFFERENT!) My poor kids probably think I’ve been running around town in my pyjamas!
Anyway, I’m so thankful for my good leggings – the Koka Mama pair that has gotten me through this pregnancy… as well as this tunic style dress, which is SO comfortable it practically feels like pyjamas! Actually, the entire new collection at Koka Mama is both stylish and cosy, and definitely worth the investment to get you through the 40th week of pregnancy, both stylishly and comfortably.
On the brink of giving birth we asked our super talented photographer friend Sue Cowell to shoot some photos of pregnant me with my family. It is, after all, my last pregnancy! I really like the outcome of the shoot — I love how natural Sue’s style is, the moments she captures are just full of character, and nothing is too ‘over-posed’ or ‘perfect’.
Here are some of the photos of the shoot — such a wonderful documentary to have for all of us! (I also asked Sue to come after the birth and shoot some images of the new baby and us — so more photos to come soon!)
Check out Sue’s website here, and her blog too with even more beautiful photo. Sue lives in Amsterdam but is British and travels around a lot, so don’t shy away of contacting her if you would like her to capture the essence of your family too!
I love how Sue came in the morning and stayed while the kids got dressed, capturing daily moments like Ava waking up with her dummy and ‘bearbear’, the kids getting dressed in their bedroom, Sara putting on her tights on her bed, me in the kitchen preparing sandwiches for a picnic…
The bed for baby is ready! Set up in our bedroom, waiting, waiting… The one very special thing about this little bed is the sheet that was embroidered by my late grandmother in the 1940s of last century, for the birth of my mother (her oldest daughter). It’s 70 years old! I love that little sheet.
I also like Pablo, the Oeuf pigeon on the nightstand, guarding the crib. Now that everything is ready, I’m starting to wonder — when is this little baby going to announce himself?
The Il Tutto Georgie Hobo is a changing bag in good disguise. Not made from wipeable plastic material with ugly prints, no oversized shoulder straps or giant buggy clips in sight. Instead, it is made from luxurious and soft Italian leather, featuring the most beautiful detailing, with a cool and relaxed, slouchy look. In fact, it is as fashionable and stylish as any other it-bag of the season! But don’t be tricked — this is, in fact, a proper baby bag, with all the necessary and handy practicalities you could ever wish for. Like insulated pockets, large zip pockets, a removable change mat, bottle holder and wet pack, a dummy clip, phone holder, pen pockets… And it does come with that extra, strong and adjustable buggy strap. The waterproof lining can be easily zipped out and washed, and, best of all, once it is removed the bag is also fully lined, making it super easy to transform it into a regular handbag. Clever!
I keep thinking I have a couple of months left, but the reality is… that today I have only two weeks left until my due date! So it’s about time I prepared some things for the imminent arrival of our baby. This morning I packed my hospital bag. I must say I feel a bit more relaxed now!
So this is what I packed… (more…)
Being in the final stages of pregnancy, walking around with a nice plump bump, I’m reminded of that wonderful, sweet secret of pregnancy: there is some sort of unspoken yet certainly acknowledged ‘club’ that pregnant women belong to. Other pregnant women will always acknowledge you, even if it’s just in their eyes, and you feel this comfort in knowing that someone else understands what you’re going through. It’s a special bond you can have with a complete stranger, someone you have never even seen before…and there’s something so wonderfully supportive about it.
What I also love is that everyone, strangers even!, become so much more friendly. There seems to be different rules of engagement whenever pregnant women are involved. You suddenly become so much more approachable. People will smile and ask you how much longer you have to go. Are you having a boy or a girl? How are you feeling? etc. It’s so nice! I really wish it were always like this.
And, as I remember from previous babies, the funny thing about it is that… boom! the minute your baby is born, you are no longer a part of this ‘club’. Pregnant women will no longer send you that little knowing, comforting look, and you suddenly feel like you’ve lost a whole support system, just because you no longer have a baby bump. Does anyone else know what I’m talking about? I remember very specifically after my first pregnancy, trying to give a pregnant mom ‘the look’ and she just looked up and looked down, and there was nothing in her eyes that showed we shared anything in common. Isn’t that so interesting? I quickly learned that if I wanted any sort of supportive ‘I know what you’re going through’ looks, I should specifically look for other new mothers.
Please share your experiences. Do you know what I’m talking about, or have I just imagined it all? I would love to hear.
Madderson London is a new London-based maternity label that is chic, comfortable, luxurious, and easy to wear, no matter what sort of occasion you’re heading off to. Be it something fancy for work, looking dressy for an evening out, or a simple but stylish dress for a weekend lunch with friends? Bingo: a Madderson London dress will make you look beautiful and make you feel ever so comfortable and relaxed. For instance the gorgeous Saturday dress: it’s much more agreeable to wear than jeans, and paired with sandals it’s great for wearing during the day, whereas with heels or cute ballet flats and some chunky jewellery the perfect option for evenings. Or the Juno dress, made from beautifully printed stretch-silk — such a statement piece! Pregnant or not: this dress is a winner no matter what. Personally, I’m wearing the Olivia dress today. It’s really flattering in all the right places, and so comfortable to wear. What a wonderful new maternity brand (I’m glad I can still enjoy it for a little while longer)!
I’m a big fan of Elle MacPherson nursing bras. They’re elegant, fit well, and stay in super shape (I still have a pair from when I was nursing Sara, now 7 years old)! I love the Maternelle (it’s super comfy), the La Mere (it’s sexy), and I was excited to discover that there now is a new model, the Light of the Moon, which I ordered immediately. And again — a winner! I think a nice selection of well fitting and elegant nursing bras are essential when you’re planning to breastfeed for a longer period of time, which I am, so I’m super excited with my new bra.
Available through Séraphine (online, or for locations in the UK check here).
I love the versatility of this nursing shawl from Séraphine! What a perfect piece — lovely to wear as a throw or a scarf when you’re pregnant (it’s super comfy to wear and looks very stylish), great to use as a nursing cover when it’s a bit chilly or you feel very exposed, and handy to have around as a blanket or swaddle for the baby. Best of all — this piece won’t lose it’s attractiveness after pregnancy and nursing — I’m sure it will stay a staple in my wardrobe! Available at Séraphine (online or at one of the shops).
I recently got some photos taken with my kids by the talented Sara Welch when I was home in the US this summer. Because I’m usually the one behind the camera it’s rare to find a photo of me with my kids, so it’s a special treat to have these photos. It’s also sort of fun to document my growing baby bump, no matter the qualms I have of my big pregnant body. I keep telling myself that this is the last time I’ll ever be pregnant, and I should enjoy my body, enjoy this feeling of carrying around a baby inside of me… and all the pains (and gains!) that come with it.
I wore my shirt dress from HATCH for the photos. I finally decided to invest in a few of their dresses, and I’m so happy I did. I’m really psyched about them because I think I’ll still be able to wear them even after the pregnancy is over and my body has (hopefully) gone back to normal. A worthwhile investment for sure!
Anyway, I wanted to share these photos with you. Might be the last time I ’show off’ this baby bump. I’ve got 10 weeks to go!
I met Fanny Granier at Playtime in Paris and she introduced me to her innovative product, the Oeuf Mood Kit. The kit is aimed at pregnant women of all shapes and sizes and consists of a legging, a spaghetti strap top and a long sleeved top. The tops are snapped to the legging with little buttons, and the result is a very soft and comfortable layer that serves as a base to dress further (or to simply wear as is for lounging or yoga). I’ve been wearing an Oeuf Mood Kit recently and I’ve completely fallen for it! It is indeed super, super comfortable, perfect for hot or cold days, and it gently stretches around all of those curves. It’s just so easy to wear! Throw something cute over it, pair with comfortable flats or boots and voila, off you go! I’m sure I will wear the mood kit loads, even after pregnancy — and beyond!
Last week I made a quick one-day visit to London, for the opening of the Koka Mama pop-up shop in the Hop Like a Bunny store near Holland Park. I felt quite like a business woman, traveling from Amsterdam to London like that, and despite the stress of nearly missing my flight both ways (guess I’m not so much of a business woman after all), I had a really fun day. Hop Like a Bunny is a darling little shop with the best selection of some of our favourite brands, and I’m glad Maria (the owner) partnered with Tamara from Koka Mama because the beautiful children’s clothes and maternity fashion truly complements each other.
Koka Mama is a new maternity brand, with wonderful, easy-to-wear pieces that can be dressed up or down, and will also make extremely flattering additions to your wardrobe after your pregnancy. (In other words — these are gorgeous, timeless items that every woman will love, cut in a way so you can also look beautiful in them if you happen to be pregnant.) Courtney and I are so happy that we invested in a few key pieces from the Koka Mama collection — already getting a lot of use out of each piece. In the photo, Courtney is wearing the gorgeous Dress with Tie, and I’m wearing the silk chiffon Full Length Dress which I love.
The Koka Mama pop-up shop will be at Hop Like a Bunny until the 15th of July, and there will be a great discount on all the wonderful fashion. If you’re not in London, Koka Mama is also offering an exclusive 20% off to all Babyccino Kids readers (check here for details).
My fourth pregnancy, my poor boobs. The last 7 years, they’ve gone from a nice, average C cup to an enormous size F (no kidding), and after breastfeeding periods (having to endure engorgement and nipple cloves and the like) back to pitiful creations barely having the chance to recover from it all or hey, there we go again. One thing I found out over the years is that it is essential to wear a good fitting bra at all times, whatever the size or shape or function of your boobs at that particular moment, giving the right support and pushing and lifting a little in the right places whenever possible. The newly developed Seamless Maternity and Nursing Bra from Cake Lingerie is great. I’m wearing it all the time. It’s seamless, soft, super comfortable and its stretchiness allows it to sort of ‘grow’ with your changing boob size during the pregnancy and after. And I like that powdery pink colour (it comes in grey as well), and the fun halter shape at the back!