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!)
I went to visit the Rasselfisch boutique in Stuttgart a few weeks ago and kind of wished there wasn’t a certain someone waiting for me in the car because I would have ended up with a lot more than only a couple of things. It’s one of loveliest boutiques I’ve ever seen. Full of little treats in every corner — I had to use all of my moderate-shopping strength!
And there is something I saw and just can’t get out of my mind – the most darling vintage inspired baby cots which are actually their own creations. They are divine!
The cots are made of a light wood called MDF and custom made in Germany. The height can be adapted to the parents’ bed height and you can also choose your preferred colour and type of bed – with legs, with rockers, with wheels — there’s even a co-sleeping cot bed. It’s true, beds of this size (80×40 cm or 90×50 cm) don’t last that long but they have also thought this part through – you can buy a matching lid and turn the bed into a toy storage (or the co-sleeping one into one gorgeous looking kids’ book case). Perfect or what?
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!
After our recap about the Playtime fair in Paris, we’ve been asked a few times what sort of sling we’re using in the above photo. I’ve written about it before, here and here, so I won’t go into much detail, but the combi cotti sling remains my favourite baby carrier for the first months! It can be used immediately from birth (with the baby laying in a pouch-like fold), the baby can sit up in it facing in or out, it can be used as a hip carrier for toddlers and is handy to have around as blankets or play mats. It’s so much easier to put on than the complex one piece slings I find. I love having my baby close to me (plus — the babies love to be in there as well). It’s also very comfortable to wear — the weight distibution of the jersey bands is really good. I have bought our combo-cotti slings from here, it’s a Dutch website but if you have questions you can send an email to this contact email.
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’m a big fan of my Babybjörn bouncing chair, but after the extensive use by three children (plus all of their little friends) it really has seen its best days. So I was really excited to discover Fun*das, a Spanish company that makes ‘prêt-à-porter’ covers for mentioned bouncing chair, buggies, and car seats. How clever! All the Fun*das designs are produced in Barcelona, and I especially love how modern they look, with the fresh star and stripe fabrics. My Babybjörn bouncer looks like new again. Well, actually, better than new!
PS Find out below how relaxed Casper is in his bouncing chair…
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…)
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 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).
I have an old photo of my dad, using a pinard horn to listen to my heartbeat on my mother’s very pregnant belly, the morning of the day I was born, 38 years ago. There was no ultrasound and no fancy doppler technique. There was no way they could have seen their baby before it was born, there was no way of finding out if I had all of my 10 toes and fingers, if I was a boy or a girl. What a different feeling it must have been — the excitement, the insecurity…
I’ve personally always found out the sex of my babies, taking full advantage of modern technology. I really like to know what we’re having, I love that moment of finding out, the slight confusion immediately after (a boy?! a girl?! really?!) and then, the excitement, the anticipation. Talking about the future with my husband, imagining what our family will look like. Thinking about names for that little baby, searching through the baby clothes, decorating the baby’s room… For me, finding out the sex of the baby makes me feel connected to my baby, makes me look forward to meeting that little girl or boy.
But — I can also fully understand that it must be SO wonderful to give birth, and meet your little baby for the first time, and only then find out if it is a boy or a girl! That moment must be priceless, and so, so special and emotional.
What did (or would) you do? Did you find out the sex of your baby before giving birth, or did you wait? I’d love to know your thoughts and opinions!
PS Photo of me, three days old, with my mum and dad.
PPS I’m having another…. (more…)
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!
Tadaaaa! We’re excited to share the BIG news with you: both Courtney and I are pregnant with our fourth babies!! A FOURTH baby!! We feel so very lucky, blessed, and excited too! (A little nervous as well — we hope we’ll be able to manage it all!) We also feel very lucky to be pregnant at the same time. We were pregnant together with our second babies, and it’s so nice to be able to share the excitement, joy, insecurities, inconveniences, etc.
So, for the next coming months, we’ll be focussing a bit more on maternity and newborn essentials. So fun to be back in baby mode again!
Love, Courtney and Esther
p.s. Any guess as to which baby above belongs to whom? Extra bonus points for people who get it right!
I am so excited for all you pregnant mamas to announce the launch of Koka Mama. Finally… here is a maternity label which is perfectly spot on in every way. It’s stylish and modern, it’s also quite practical and it’s very thoughtfully designed with clever cuts and special details to fit and flatter the pregnant body.
Tamara Hema, the (very stylish!) founder and designer, came over to my house recently with a big suitcase filled with her collection. She set each piece out on my kitchen table and walked me through all the tiny details which make each piece wonderful. All the trousers, for example, have not one elastic band in the waist, but two — to support the belly from below, and also to rise a bit high in the back to fit, support and stay up. Clever!
Each piece is better than the next, and all available to purchase directly from the Koka Mama website.