Tuesday 13 December 2011

Finding the Perfect fit with your Nursing Bra

Nursing Bras & Accessories
Online Sales & In-home Fittings

Tips for finding a comfortable bra during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Why is it important to wear the correct bra size?

Pregnancy is a time when your breast tissue develops and you build up fat stores for nursing, so the breast can grow one or more cup sizes and also become a lot heavier.  Wearing a bra that doesn’t provide enough support may lead to stretch marks and permanent sagging, wearing the wrong size may lead to plugged ducts and back pain.

What bra choices are there for pregnancy and breastfeeding?

Wired Bra - Wired bras are not usually recommended for pregnancy and the first month of breastfeeding because there is a risk that the wires will press on the breast tissue and cause damage, discomfort and possibly plugged ducts.  Wired bras should be refitted frequently throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding to ensure the best fit.  You may want to wait until the baby is at least one month old so that your milk supply has become established.

Maternity Bra - is designed for pregnancy only, usually an over the head bra that is seamless and very comfortable and will grow with you throughout the pregnancy.  They usually come in a small number of sizes that fit a range of cup sizes.

Seamless/Transitional Nursing Bra - provides the same comfort as a maternity bra but can be used after birth for easy access nursing.  They usually come in a small number of sizes and fit a range of cup sizes which makes them especially ideal for all the changes your body goes through during pregnancy and breastfeeding. 

Sized bra - There are some really pretty and even sexy nursing bras available that are sized, but can often be fitted to allow for the growth of the abdomen and cup size.  Not guaranteed to fit after your milk volume increases, but are designed to fit a larger range of band sizes to accommodate you from the beginning of pregnancy.  These are a real confidence booster.

How to measure yourself for a nursing bra

There are many ways to measure for a bra.  This is just one way to do it, you will see online many other techniques.  At the end of the day, it is the fit that is important, and as with many items of clothing, different manufacturers fit a little differently.

1.  Wear a bra that you feel comfortable in and you think fits you the best.  Make sure that the bra isn’t too tight.  Sports bras will often squash your breasts and you will not get a true measurement.

2.  Use a soft measuring tape.  You may need to stand in front of a mirror to make sure you’re doing it correctly.
For the band size measure from the middle of your back at the bottom of your shoulder blades (where the bra band sits if you are wearing it correctly).  Take the tape measure up under your arm pits to the middle of your chest as shown below.

3.  To measure the cup start from the same point at the back and measure the fullest part of your breasts.

Difference between Band & Cup measurement
Cup Size
(40”-36”=4” difference)
So, this will give you an idea of your bra size.  But remember, bras will fit you differently and that is why I offer an unlimited free return and exchange policy so that you can make sure you are happy with your fit.

Return to www.boobiemilk.co.uk

Some common mistakes made when finding the right bra

The Band:

In this picture the band is too big and is riding up at the back.  The band should be parallel to the floor if fitted correctly.  If the band is riding up, then the straps are providing too much support.  The majority of the support should come from the band.  Try a smaller band size but remember to go up a cup size if you go down a band size.

The Cup:
Too Big

The breast should fill the cup.  Wrinkles could mean the cup is too large.  You may have one breast bigger than the other, and differences can be seen between feeds.  Fit the bra to the larger breast.  Try a smaller cup size to get rid of the wrinkles.

Too small:

The breast should be well covered with no breast tissue bulging out of the top of the cups or the side of the cups which could put pressure on your milk ducts.  Try a larger cup size.

Shoulder Straps

A tight strap will create an indented shoulder.  This may mean that not enough support is coming from the band.  You may want to try a smaller band to provide more support.

What you should see

Good breast tissue coverage and a band that is parallel to the ground.

Top tips:

1.  If you buy a nursing bra at the beginning of your pregnancy make sure you fit it to the tightest band setting so that there is room for growth.

2.  If you buy your nursing bra at the end of your pregnancy or after the baby is born make sure it fits on the loosest band setting.  Bras can stretch over time, so this will allow you to tighten the band and not lose support.

3.  Your band should not stretch more than 1” away from your body, if it does try going down a band size (and up a cup size) example: 38C to 36D.

4.  When you put on your nursing bra open the cups.  Lean forward and scoop your whole breast into the cup before you fasten it.  You want to make sure that all of your breast tissue is inside the cup and not bulging out the top/bottom/side etc.

5.  If buying a sized bra when you are pregnant make sure there is a little room for the increase in milk volume that happens after birth.  This will increase the chance that you can continue to wear it when breastfeeding.  Remember that you may still have to wait until after your milk volume settles at about four weeks to wear it again.

Return to www.boobiemilk.co.uk

My reason for nursing

BoobieMilk stocks a selection of nursing bras, matching knickers, nursing camisoles, sports nursing bras and breastfeeding accessories for pregnancy and breastfeeding with the option of unlimited free returns so that you can find your perfect fit

Hawthorn Cottage    Greenlands Road    Kemsing    Sevenoaks    TN15 6PG
07951 600777    Karen.mccully@gmail.com    www.boobiemilk.co.uk

Friday 9 December 2011

Romshed Farm - Local, Organic, Yummy!!

Before my family moved back to the UK, I was interested in sourcing organic meat in large quantities.  If you've ever seen Kate plus 8 you'll know that they often bought organic meat in bulk, by the cow or half cow.  Kate plus 8 is a reality show in the US about a family that consists of a set of twins and a set of sextuplets.  The parents have recently split very publically and hence the Kate plus 8.  Actually, I can't even remember her ex-husbands name, he was that interesting.

Anyway, when we got to Sevenoaks I was interested in finding some local organic meat and Sainsburys and Tesco just weren't doing it for me.  A google search brought me to Romshed Farm, a farm providing organic meat in a responsible way just outside Sevenoaks in Underriver.

Once you sign up on the website you are included in any emails sent out about available produce.  Our first purchase was half a lamb.  My Mum loves lamb, and the price of lamb can be pretty high.  We purchased half a lamb for £80.  We received a leg, a shoulder, a breast, neck fillets, liver and lots of chops.  I have never been a huge fan of lamb, but OMG, this lamb was delicious!!  Every time we cooked the lamb everyone was scraping every last scrap of meat from the bones.  The leg was cooked for a big Sunday family roast and was a huge hit.

At the end of the Summer Romshed Farm held a charity walk and lunch which we took part in.  The whole family walked from Sevenoaks through Knole Park and on to Underriver, 3 miles in total.  Ellie slept in the sling, William was carried a lot by Ryan, but we had a great time and the food provided at the end of the walk was phenomenal.  We also picked up a tray of free range, organic eggs for £5.

The last visit we made to Romshed farm was a few weeks ago to pick up our beef.  We could have purchased a whole or half cow as well as a whole or half pig.  We also had the choice of any cut at an individual price.  We decided on a long cook box of meat, minced beef, stewing meat and a large beef joint at a great price.  My brother chose some beef ribs and pork loin steaks.

When we went to pick up the meat I took William with me because I had been told that the piglets would be there to look at.  William loved to see the piglets and spent a long time talking to them and stroking them.  I had also told him that we were going to pick up some cow meat and he asked me if he could see the cows.  I told him that they had been killed and cut up so that we could eat it.  He asked me if he could watch (should I be worried?).

The meat is great, the service is friendly, and the price is pretty decent.  I really recommend people buy locally reared, great produce.

More local resources are listed on my website

Otford Playground near Sevenoaks TN14 5PQ - Dads favourite

I've mentioned before that my husband Ryan likes to take William to Otford Playground.  It's the next village over and the "Kent Village of the Year".  Otford is a large village with a beautiful village centre marked with a duck pond at the centre of a roundabout.  There is a large car park on the high street which is FREE, and the playground and playing fields are behind the car park next to the allotments and Otford Builders Merchants (my Dad is a builder).

I had the pleasure of being invited to Otford playground with my husband and son a few weeks ago, and I thought I'd capture a few pictures of the great facilities they have there.

If you've read any of my other playground posts you'll know that a fence is a top priority for me, and Otford has a great fence and gate.  This one leads to the car park.  The gate leading to the playing fields is locked for some reason and numerous families tried to open it during our time there??

There are great choices for younger toddlers and older kids.  My son loves the roundabout.  It's unusual in that it rotates from under the ground and the platform that turns is flush with the floor.  This may be safer than the usual ones that turn above ground, but my son still managed to almsot get his finger inbetween the roundabout and the ground.

William loves going really fast, and it's quite hard to push, so my husband gets quite a workout too.  The whole area of the playground is a great space for riding a bike and scooter, watch out parents and young children a race around the equipment is commonplace.

This photograph makes the weather look amazing, but it's actually really cold and quite dark.  This piece of equipment is really good for the older kids with a great slide and monkey bars.  How do kids have such amazing strength, I know I couldn't do more than one monkey bar if that!  I watch it in awe.

This is a rare instance.  I have now been to the playground twice and never seen this play equipment empty of children.  The smaller kids love this, it's great for slide races as it is wide enough for two little bottoms.

Unlike the springy ride on toy at the Kemsing Nightingale Road, this one can take my weight and me with Ellie in a sling had great fun on this ride and the swing.  There are two swings for smaller kids and two for older kids and adults.

While watching William on the slide I noticed a great addition to the Otford playground that should be added to the Kemsing playgrounds - a sign listing two phone numbers.  A contact phone number to report problems both during the week and out of hours.
What a great idea!! a number that you can call to report any problems any day of the week.

This is a great, well used playground with a nice selection of equipment.  Parking is ideal and free, I just don't know where the nearest toilets are.  But, if they are anything like the public toilets in Kemsing I think I'd rather go home.  My husband is right, a great destination if you need to blow off some 3 year old steam.

Get in touch if you have any great ideas for things to do with small children in the Sevenoaks area.  There are some great resources on my website for local services and breastfeeding related sevices.

Monday 14 November 2011

Tonbridge Park - Even Busy When it's Damp & Dark

The greatest thing about Tonbridge Park is the trains that you can ride each Summer on the weekends.  This is just one of the many attractions available in Tonbridge.  The park runs behind the high street from the Castle almost to the Station.  My son doesn't look especially happy to be riding the train, but believe me he loves it and just doesn't like having his photograph taken at the moment (he might tomorrow!).

Just next to the train line is the swimming pool.  I haven't been to the Tonbridge swimming pool in many years, but I do love the outdoor pool.  One Summer I purchased a seaon ticket for the pool for a really good price and made great use of the outside pool, steam room and jacuzzi.  The best thing about the outside pool is that no one uses it if it's raining and you get it all to yourself.

There are many other activities going on in and around Tonbridge Park.  Judd Rugby Club shares the car park by the swimming pool, and many football games and Cricket matches can be played on the playing fields which are pretty huge.  There are also tennis courts, a basket ball court and skate ramps for the older kids.  New exercise equipment has also been installed in the same area for those that want to go to the park to use a step machine.

Awful photo I know, but remember I did say it was dark and damp.  This is the exercise equipment area with the basket ball courts to the right and skate park in the background.

Again as happened at HollyBush Playground last week, William fell asleep on the way to the park and woke up grumpy.  He walked straight past the crazy golf course on the way to the swings (when I say walked I mean he was being carried by my husband who was walking, grumpy kids don't walk).  The snack stand was closed so late in the year and day.  In the Summer they often have a bouncy castle which you can pay to play on.  The main kids play area meets my criteria of being fenced in, and Tonbridge park had the forsight to add sand to the mix which William loves.

This sand pulley is a nice touch, but they failed to realise that kids don't like to share and there is only one sand bucket to play with.  Go to Godstone Farm and you'll find out how you should do sand.

We actually got William to participate by letting him play with his shoes on (bribery).  The trucks had been left there.  The red digger my husband is modelling is sadly too difficult for my son to work (again Godstone did a better job).  My son loves to dig for hours in the sand, watch out anyone who brought a spade with them, he loves to share other peoples belongings.

There are areas for larger kids and smaller kids.  I think Tonbridge did a really good job at providing a large choice of play equipment.  You could stay here all day, bring a picnic, play some ball, get some exercise etc.  I'd really like to see something like this in Sevenoaks.

The bigger kids area with the complicated climbing equipment.

Plenty of equipment for smaller children

All slides are easy to navigate

My Husband and Son, couldn't keep still for the phone camera that doesn't do movement.  These swings can be used by less able bodied individuals (adults or kids) with the use of harnesses which are kept in the box in the background.

Every kid will love Tonbridge Park because there is so much to do.  The play equipment will never get boring because there is just so much of it, and if you do take a picnic, you can feed the leftover sandwhiches to the ducks swimming past in the Medway.  There are toilet facilities which I have always been too scared to use after my encounter with Kemsing public toilets while 8 months pregnant (you need seats people!!).

If you want to find out more about what's going on in the Sevenoaks for kids check out my website.  I will warn you to take your wellies to the park if the flood barrier is open.

HollyBush Playground, Sevenoaks Kent TN13 3UN

As you pull into the car park at HollyBush recreation grounds you will see The Lodge Coffee Shop, a great place to grab a coffee after a workout with Fitmums (postnatal exercise with your baby) or to keep warm when you have to get out of the house in the Winter months.

To the left is an all weather astro-turf pitch which I have played hockey on many many years ago (primary school).  Past the coffee shop are the tennis courts, and to the right you have the local indoor and outdoor bowls clubs.  My Dad plays for the indoor club, you may see him mentioned occasionally in the local newspaper (The Chronicle), they play in lots of tournaments all over Kent.  Actually, they are looking for players so why not check it out, they need some new blood.

If you walk around the coffee shop you will come to the main attraction (for the kids at least), a small but beautiful playground surrounded on all four sides with a gated fence (an absolute must for my 3 year old).

It was a cold day that I took these photos, and William was not excited at all about playing.  We whisked him up to HollyBush on a cold weekend afternoon to make sure he could use up enough energy to get him to bed early but he fell asleep in the car and was very grumpy when we got there.  We walked over to the bowls club to see Grandad play and show off the baby to all the other players, and then practically had to drag William over to the playground.  He wanted to be back in the warm at home watching the Chipmunk movie.  Did I also mention that the Bowls Club has a new cook, and meals are available if you want something more than the Lodge has to offer for lunch.

There is play equipment available for the older and younger kids.  The play equipment shown above is a little small for William now, but great for those that have just started to walk.  There are also baby swings and one of the ones that is a big concave circle that babies can lie on to swing (if you wait for the teenagers to get off that is).

For the bigger kids there are swings, a zip line and this climbing structure.  Some of the climbing is actually quite hard as my husband is demonstrating (William is still refusing to participate), this is the medium sized slide.

There is a bigger slide, but it's really hard to get to.  I think you either need to have really long legs to climb the ladder rungs, or use the monkey bars and then swing you entire weight up into the tree house structure in order to go down the slide, neither of which I can do.  This is how William uses the slide:

 Up he goes
Higher and higher
And now we go home

I do wonder sometimes who decides what is placed in each playground and whether anyone actually tests them out before they are built.  There must be some superstar playground testers out there that could win gold at the olympics if they can get onto this slide easily.

William was so grumpy that he wouldn't even play on his favourite roundabout.

I've never seen this playground empty, and in the Summer the area just buzzes with the kids and parents drinking coffee.  Most weekday mornings there are more than one exercise class going on in the play field, and it's just minutes from the centre of Sevenoaks.  It's an oldie but a goodie, I used to play there as a kid and now bring my two to play (I'm so glad they improved upon the equipment I used to play on in the 80's).

For more information about my family or the local resources in Sevenoaks click here.

Monday 31 October 2011

Tenterden Playground - A Lucky Mistake

I forget the date, but it was the day before Thomas the tank Engine was due to arrive at the Tenterden Steam railway this summer.  We did not know this fact at the time, but we planned to take my two children on the train that Friday because it was a beautiful day and both my parents were free to go.  As we arrived at the car park we noticed that it was very quiet but assumed that people were at school or in bed at almost 10 o'clock in the morning.  We jumped out of the car, got the kids out, moved a tonne of junk from the car to the bottom of the buggy and walked up to the station.  On looking at the calendar we then realised that there were no trains running on that day (the only Friday of the season that they would be closed). 

As you can imagine my 3.5yr old son was very upset at not being able to ride the train, and a worker/volunteer took pity on us and let us onto the platform to see the trains.  It was then that we discovered that Thomas was going to be there the following day which only made matters worse with William.  We've seen Thomase before, one year earlier at the B&O Railway Museum in Baltimore.  It had consisted of a ten minute ride on the regular train pulled by Thomas, a photo opportunity that cost an additioanl $20, and the being pushed into a tent stacked high with Thomas toys surrounded by screaming children whose parents could not afford the inflated prices.  In the US, you can easily get at least 40% off Thomas wooden train sets at local hobby shops.

So, we got to walk along the platform telling my son numerous times that the train was broken and all the men there were trying to fix it.  They already had some of the equipment there for the following day so we did get this photograph.

Sir Topham Hat/ The Fat Controller

A bit of a wash out, but we were determined to have some fun.  Funnily enough as we had driven onto Tenterden high street we had passed a playground on the left hand side and William had shouted "Can we go to the playground PLEEEEEEASE!".  So my son got his wish and we went back to the playground for the day.

I wish that I had taken more photographs because I dont know when we'll go back, it's a bit of a drive for a trip to the playground.  There were lots of areas to play in.  A smaller kids area, a wooden train, bigger equipment for the big kids and an exercise equipment area which William LOVED.

Exercise Equipment at the Park

I don't know when this happened, but it now seems the norm to put actual exercise equipment in local playgrounds.  Isn't the whole point of going to the playground to have fun and exercise without even knowing it.  A few years ago I was shopping in Neiman Marcus in Washington DC and happened through the baby department where they had miniature exercise bikes and treadmills for those of us who can't get to a park?  The mind boggles.

We had a picnic while William played with the other kids he met there.  He absolutely loved the huge slide they have there on the side of a small hill, although most of the kids were actually sliding down the hill next to the slide and thought it was a lot more fun.

There was something for everyone.  Even Ellie got to ride on the egg cup shaped ride thing that spins around (as also found at Kemsing Recreation Ground).

William looking cool with his collar up

 William and his adoring sister Ellie

Ellie wondering whether to puke or not

As you can possibly tell, this was my Mums favourite ride, and we spent a lot of time pushing Ellie and William around.
When Ellie wasn't on the egg cup ride, she laid out on the grass and made friends with the lady bugs.

Ellie and her new friend

Tenterden playground has some really nice facilities including a large green space, tennis courts, exercise equipment, plentiful playground equipment, and it's right in the middle of town.  We did have to pay to park, but locals may know of free alternatives.  There was a Waitrose nearby that could possibly provide parking if you are shopping there as it does in Sevenoaks (let's not go there!).

It's a park you could spend the day at and never really get bored.

If you want to add more photos which give a better picture of what's on offer at this playground don't hesitate to let me know.  My contact details can be found at www.boobiemilk.co.uk or here.

Thursday 27 October 2011

Carriwell Seamless Drop Cup Nursing Bra Review

If you have been following my previous reviews, you'll know that I have reviewed other seamless nursing bras, the Emma-Jane 361 and Emma-Jane 365.  I love seamless nursing bras because they are so comfortable and are so versatile.  The Carriwell Seamless Drop Cup is not different.  The seamless design makes it super comfortable throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding.  There is no irritation when breast and nipple can be so tender.  This makes it perfect for both day and night wear, so the ideal gift for a newly pregnant woman, or a new Mum.  The side sling support is definitely more supportive and substantial than the Emma-Jane 361 side sling support, and if a woman does not feel enough support from the 361 or the 365 then I always offer this bra for a larger cup size and additional support.

The matching briefs come in two different styles, both designed for after pregnancy.  The hipsters are shown in the photograph above, and a higher waisted post birth brief is also available which has additional support to pull that tummy in.

Both nursing bra and brief wash really well in cold water on a delicate cycle, and I usually hang to dry out of the sun.  The tag says that they will be fine at 40C and the white can wash up to 60C.  The Seamless Drop Cup is available in Black, White and a Deep Red (my favourite), and a range of sizes as shown.

You definitely get what you pay for with this nursing bra: Quality, Support, and Comfort.

Saturday 22 October 2011

Kemsing Playground - Nightingale Road TN15 6RU

The playground on Kemsing recreation ground and Nightingale Road were recently updated, which is great because they had not been touched in probably 15 years at least.  I remember playing there when I was a kid.  So, I got my kids together along with the neighbours daughter to go and check out Nightingale Road.  You may not know about it, it's pretty hidden behind Castle Drive away from the Village proper.  While we were there a lot of children made use of the new equipment which is really nice to see.  I even met a Mum with her two boys who had travelled from Sevenoaks because she liked it so much and it isn't as busy as HollyBush.

William & Isla on the slide

There are two main areas to the playground which is located in the middle of a large playing field with good off street parking past the local allotments.  There is a fenced off area with a gate which caters to smaller children, and behind this area there is a large area with equipment tailored towards larger kids.

In the fenced off area there are 2 swings for older kids and 2 for toddlers.  There is also a slide (pictured above), a roundabout (below), seesaw and bouncy/spring four seater thing that my Mum nearly broke when she sat on it.  The seesaw does not move a great deal with small kids on it, so a bit of muscle from Mum or Dad is needed.

William & Isla on the roundabout

The Roundabout is Williams favourite playground toy, so he was happy.  They didn't put one at the Kemsing recreation field location.  For whatever reason, he loves to just sit on them and drag his feet on the ground.  I'm sure that this as why they all got removed from playgrounds when I was a kid.  Hopefully they have fixed the problem with kids getting their feet stuck underneath, it's not good for shoes either (luckily I got them from an NCT nearly new sale for £2).

 There is the four seater springy thing

So imagine William sitting in the middle of the ring pictured above with Isla sitting on the far side.  Now imagine a granny, not too tall, and a little over weight (aren't we all?) sitting on the seat closest to the camera.  I don't know how the kids didn't launch into outerspace, but my Mum did land on the ground, and the spring is not looking as it did before we got there.  This one is NOT for adults!

View of the toys for bigger kids (and adults)

A closer view of the zip line and death trap

The kids soon got bored with the little kids playground, seeing kids playing out in the playing fiedl they wanted to join in the fun.  In the larger field there is a zip line which nearly killed an unsuspecting Mother just after we arrived when she decided to go on it while being pushed by 5 teenagers.  I really thought she was going to fly, and when she dismounted I grinned at her, but she was really angry (probably embarrassed too).

The death trap refers to the green structure in the background.  It has two chains hanging from it with a disc to sit on.  The two swings then spin around like a twirly washing line.  When we arrived at the playground there were a couple of older kids on this equipment with their Dad pushing them.  He got them up to such a speed that the two swings were horizontal to the ground.  Oh, if only I hadn't been wearing a baby in a sling, I would have been right on that?!?

The last two pieces of equipment can be seen in the background of the third photo, a climbing frame of rope and a swing that you lay in also made of rope.  The kids had the most fun climbing the rope climbing frame.  The first time William climbed it he got stuck and an older boy helped him down (Thank You), he got straight back on and by the third time managed to get down from the top all by himself.

We had a great time at the playground, made some new friends and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  I am a little upset that we didn't get a zip line at the other Kemsing playground, but I can live with it.  The only negative was the trash.  There was a lot of trash outside the fenced in playground, but this may have been due t the fact that no trash can had been provided in that area.  Of course that is never a good reason for littering, but another trash can would be nice Sevenoaks County Council.

Find out more about me, my family and my nursing bra fitting business on my website.