One of the biggest words I would use to describe pregnancy is change. EVERYTHING changes from your sense of smell, the way you sleep, your eating habits, your tastes, and perhaps most importantly - your body. This can be one of the most difficult things to accept about pregnancy. Despite eating healthily and doing everything the "right" way, you still gain weight, become rounder and could become quite swollen, among various other changes that you might not be so excited about. You are delighted to be pregnant, but some of the changes can be less than desirable.
One of the biggest changes during pregnancy for a lot of women are their breasts. A lot of women go up a couple of bra sizes, can leak, and can experience really painful breasts and nipples. At the end of the day your body is busy making milk so that you are able to feed your baby (if you chose to) so it’s really not that surprising that there are a lot of physical changes and issues of booby discomfort from time to time. In fact, many women will say that one of their very first pregnancy symptoms was in fact painful or swollen breasts. I speak from experience!
At different points in your pregnancy you prioritize buying and doing certain things. One month it might be buying baby clothes and the next it might be reading your baby books and researching. But what about looking after ourselves? Sometimes we can forget that we also need to ensure that we look after our own bodies. It is an amazing thing that our bodies are creating little human beings and we really have to give it the attention it deserves and look after ourselves in the health and comfort department.
One of the things I wanted to do recently was to treat myself to a couple of ‘good’ bras. I was 28 weeks pregnant and experiencing a lot of different changes, particularly really uncomfortable ribs from the way the baby was positioned. When I sat down for long periods of time (such as at my desk in work, or on the bus) it would become particularly bad when my bra wire would dig in to my ribs and tummy. I decided to do something about it. I had heard great things about the Mothercare bra-fitting service and their bras in general. I skipped in there one Thursday evening after work because I knew they would be open late, and I was really impressed with the service.
I was met by a lovely friendly girl named Sarah who asked me a couple of questions before showing me to the fitting room. The first thing she did was measure my breast size. This was done through my t-shirt so it was not embarrassing or exposing at all (not that pregnancy in general is concerned with such modesty). I was surprised to see that my bra size had indeed changed, and my back was wider than usual. Once we established the right size Sarah went out to the shop floor and picked out a couple of different bras in my size and handed them in to me in the dressing room. Straight away I LOVED the colour of one of them. It was a gorgeous bright green, lacy, but also a really soft and comfortable material. I tried it on and straight away it felt really comfortable. It fell under the ‘t-shirt’ bra category but it had the look of a sophisticated ‘dressy’ bra also. It was just a really lovely bra. The biggest thing I noticed is that the underside of the bra was not a hard harsh wire like some of my other bras. It was a lovely soft material and this was so refreshing.
In the end I decided to go for the lovely green bra as well as a plain black t-shirt bra. It was perfect timing because I was going on holiday to Las Vegas the following weekend and I thought this would be the perfect time to try out my new bras. I would be wearing a variety of outfits and doing a lot of walking on this holiday so it would be a really good test! It’s now been two weeks since my visit to Mothercare and I have a lot of good things to say about these bras. They look nice but the most important thing I would mention is that they are both extremely comfortable. For me, comfort is just paramount in pregnancy and it really did make a huge difference to the pain I have been experiencing in my ribs. Overall the Mothercare bra-fitting service as well as the bras impressed me greatly. I would recommend this service to anyone. And just for fun, here is a photo of me on our last day in Las Vegas before we left for the airport. Now don't I look like I'm wearing a comfortable bra? I was feeling really comfortable in this outfit which was very important when we had almost 20 hours of flights and travelling ahead of us. Oh, and for the record, I'm wearing the green bra.
I decided to also pick out a couple of different items. I picked a black Mothercare support belt as well as a black and white maternity bump band. The idea behind these products are that they provide some tightness which can give you warmth, help make you feel a bit neater, and they are also excellent in helping you wear your older clothes when you are in the in-betweeny stage of pregnancy. You haven't quite changed dress size, but your clothes feel a lot tighter and uncomfortable at time (anyone else have to open their top button?). They also give you a bit of confidence when you are wearing a t-shirt or top that is that little bit too short when your bump sort of lifts it up. Nobody needs to be wearing a belly-top at 7 months pregnant right? I particularly found the black one (both belt and support band) to be very handy when wearing jeans and a t-shirt because I wasn’t self conscious about my t-shirt coming up and revealing my pregnant tummy to the world. Once again I decided that bringing these two items to Vegas might be a nice way to test them out. In the end I used both of these items once each and I found them to be very good. One particular day my t-shirt didn’t have as much stretch in it as I thought, and the support band gave me another layer and a bit of extra comfort. It also made me feel quite compact and tidy which actually made me look a bit leaner as well, which was definitely a good thing.
Here are the two products -
K2628 - http://www.mothercare.ie/blooming-marvellous-maternity-bump-band.html
K2038/40 - http://www.mothercare.ie/blooming-marvellous-maternity-bump-band.html
All in all I was very happy with all of the products. At €24.50 each the bras are not cheap but they are cheaper than some other outlets such as Arnotts or Marks and Spencer. It’s a small price to pay for comfort at a time where your body is changing on a daily basis. Every little helps!
On a side note, when I was leaving Mothercare I got talking to one of the sales agents (fyi it was the Stephen's Green Shopping Centre store in Dublin) and in the space of five minutes he helped me make my decision regarding a travel system. I didn’t even intend on looking at prams but I was so unbelievably impressed by what he showed me. It was the Xpedior which is Mothercare’s own brand and at the moment it is reduced to €319 if you have a Family Card. You can pick up a family card in any Mothercare store and registering online takes only a few moments. I ended up ordering and paying for mine just this weekend and I am absolutely delighted with my purchase. The sales agent in Mothercare went through everything with me in such great detail. He showed me (yes he) how to fold the pram, how to change it from a pram/carrycot to a stroller, and how to assemble and use the car seat. He answered all of my questions (I had a lot) and he pointed out things that I had never even thought about. It was such a light and nimble pram and it suited our needs perfectly. I chose the red colour because it is neutral and it also looks really nice. I love a pop of colour!
All in all I was delighted with the level of service and care that I received in Mothercare and at a time where there is so much change and so many things to think about it is really great to feel calm and reassured about such an important purchase for your first child.
Here is my little Mothercare haul -
And here is our gorgeous pram (not all 6 of course but it gives you an idea of the different colours available as well as how it looks as a pram and a stroller), The system also includes the car seat, rain cover and foot muff, and all for just €319 with a Family Card (this offer may no longer be available at the time that you are reading this. I believe it is discounted until the end of March 2014).