I feel quite vulnerable and self-conscious posting these photos and this article today. I feel so passionately about women being madly in love with their bodies, while at the same time fearing that I am coming across as self-important, vain, attention-seeking and whatever other insults […]
I have never found gift-giving particularly difficult. Those that I buy for, I generally know pretty well whether it be a family member, a partner or a friend. I actually love the lead up to Christmas and writing a list of ideas for presents for each person. Usually it is mum, brothers, partner and a friend or two – I have never once had to think of what to buy a pregnant woman though. Sure, I have been to baby showers before but more often than not there is a gift registry that you can look at and choose from, as well as the fact that most of the presents that you receive at a baby shower are for your baby. Choosing a gift for a woman in your life that is pregnant can be a daunting task – do you get them something for the pregnancy, or something for after? Do you still get them something for the baby or will she be offended (because #hormones)?
Being a pregnant woman myself, I thought that it would be the perfect opportunity to shed some light on gift ideas for expectant mothers. I am going off my own personal experience; I know what I would love to receive this Christmas (besides books and another one-eyed kitten), but maybe more importantly, I know what I would appreciate as a larger-than-life pregnant mama right now.
At work last week, my team and I somehow got onto the subject of robes. I told them that I have never owned a robe nor did I see the point in one, “Just wear your pyjamas?” This remark was met with each and every colleague and dear friend of mine absolutely chastising my opinion – the adjectives glorious and luxurious and comfortable and incredible were thrown around easily as they each told me where, when and why they wear robes. As I thought about it more I realised how desperately I needed a robe, but not for any of the reasons that they were so aggressively pointing out. I am at the point in this pregnancy where most things don’t fit me anymore, even my ‘comfy’ clothes for around the house. I have a pair of shorts that I live in at home, and they are getting far too tight to be considered comfortable anymore. At home, I am comfiest in a crop top and my underwear. I don’t feel comfortable cooking or preparing dinner in only that though and I have never been someone who is comfortable walking around the house naked (or pretty much naked).
A ROBE – THAT IS THE ANSWER. All of a sudden, a lifetime’s worth of not understanding robes faded away and I knew that it was going to be the key for a comfortable and heavily pregnant summer.
Another thing that people should know is that, just because a woman is pregnant, does not mean she wants to give up looking good or feeling desired – it’s true for me at least. Sure, there are comfortable things I could wear like a big baggy t-shirt with no bra, but all that does is make me feel fat, not pregnant, and then I get hormonal and wonder how anyone would ever find me attractive. A robe covers me enough that I feel comfortable cooking in it, or sitting on our deck drinking coffee, or lying on the lounge of a night whilst also making me feel feminine and soft and attractive and even a little bit sexy.
The mecca of all robes and dressing gowns are the impossibly soft and incredibly light kimono robes from Peter Alexander. My personal favourite is the Paisley Blossom Kimono that you can pick up for $109.
From Cotton On Body, I love their Kimono Gown (particularly in the misted bloom and hazel colour) which you can snatch up for a sneaky $10 at the moment or $24.95 normally.
As for Big W, their B Collection Printed Woven Kimonos are where it’s at. Especially this pretty little number, the Black Print. Swoon.
Something that I have really come to appreciate as a result of this pregnancy is just how important it is to take care of my skin. In the first trimester and right through my second, the skin around my mouth and on my cheeks was dry, red and irritable. Then, of course, there is the most obvious factor when caring for pregnant skin which is your skin’s elasticity when it comes to your growing bump. Looking down at my belly I am in complete shock and awe that it has been able to stretch to the size that it currently is, and completely dumbfounded by the fact that according to my mother, I will still double in size in these last few months. Stretch marks are a real possibility, and though I don’t mind getting stretch marks whatsoever (I have had stretch marks for all of my adult life anyway), I do care about what my skin is going to do post-partum as well as wanting to keep my tattoos as fresh-looking and non-droopy as possible!
Also, if you (or the pregnant woman in your life) is anything like me and have never really been that big into pampering or skincare, what I have also discovered is how vital it is to take time out for yourself, to devote time to yourself and to look after yourself in any way you can. It is also a really beautiful way to remain connected and aware of your body and the beautiful changes that it is going through; there have been times where I have felt so out of my body that I didn’t recognise myself, but taking some time every morning and every night to moisturise has been so important when it comes to me appreciating and loving how I look and how I feel.
If you are after skincare that is specifically for pregnancy and stretch marks then I can wholeheartedly and confidently suggest anything Palmer’s. If you are looking for a simple gift, then the Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks at $15.99 is a sure thing.
Or, if you are feeling more generous of have a bit more cash to play with, may I suggest putting together a pack for the special mama-to-be with a few of the Palmer’s product range? Grab a gift box or a gift bag and fill it with Massage Cream for Stretch Marks ($15.99), Skin Perfecting Ultra Hydrating Serum ($24.99), Coconut Oil for Hair Repairing Shampoo and Conditioner ($14.99 each) and Tummy Butter for Stretch Marks ($15.99). I would be over the freaking moon if I got a goodie bag with all of that in it.
And now, you’re going to have to indulge me a little bit here. The (Oblivious) New Mama skincare range that I designed with Gina from Behind the Pages was created specifically for pregnant mamas-to-be. A beautifully wrapped gift pack is only $25 and includes the Goats Milk Soap Bar, Bath Milk and Body Lotion. The range is all natural and uses all organic products. Not only are they impossibly pretty and feminine, but they smell incredible whilst maintaining a very subtle aroma. I can send them anywhere, to anyone and promise that they will come STUNNINGLY wrapped. Promise.
I am also SO EXCITED to offer one lucky winner a T(O)NM Skincare Pack! Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on instagram at @theobliviousnewmama and tell me your ideal, most perfect, wonderful, AMAZING way to relax! Simple!
Pregnancy Massage Voucher
This gift will mean EVERYTHING to the pregnant woman in your life. EVERYTHING. I cannot tell you all the ways that my body aches. I ache and am exhausted in parts of my body that I didn’t know I had. During the first trimester, you are a kind of tired that cannot be expressed in words, you are exhausted on a cellular level and nothing seems real anymore. Then, in the third trimester, you start to feel the tiredness in a much more physical way. My muscles are always tight and cramp constantly, my shoulders are tired from carrying my enormous breasts around all day every day, and I feel exhausted in my bones. What no one told me was that when you get to the 25 week mark and beyond, when your bub is not so little anymore and getting stronger by the day, their constant movements and kicking completely drains you of ALL of your energy. All of it. Gone. Poof. Bye.
The Yummy Mummy Package from Yummy Mummy Day Spa located in Clovelly, Sydney is everything that I could ever hope, dream, wish, yearn and pine for right now. The Yummy Mummy Package is their most popular package and includes an hour long full body aroma massage followed by an organic spa facial. The package is priced at $300 but I cannot stress to you enough (CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH) at what gifting this would mean to your beautiful goddess of a partner/wife/sister/friend. I completely melt when Pete simply squeezes my feet or tickles my back, having someone dedicate a whole hour to rubbing out my kinks and aches and pains makes me weep in gratitude.
Not only is the Yummy Mummy Day Spa Sydney’s most exclusive days spa for mums and mums to be, but there are also a wide range of products that they have available as well. If the pampering packages are a bit out of your price range there are a number of beautifully packaged, all natural gift packs that you can purchase as well as natural wraps for newborns, skin products and journals.
If you are set on gifting a massage voucher but are looking for a cheaper alternative, Sydney Mobile Therapies offer a wide range of treatments for pregnant women that range from $95 through to $139. This is also a brilliant option as the massage therapists come to you which is ideal if you are already a mum with young children and can’t get out of the house, or if you are at the stage of your pregnancy where the idea of driving somewhere (anywhere) is too much to even consider. Sydney Mobile Therapies service most of the Sydney region.
Personally, I would go for the Beauty and the Bump 90 minute treatment. It is a specialised pregnancy pamper package that focuses on every part of the body and face to ensure total body wellness that will leave you looking and feeling fantastic. Mamas to be will receive a stimulating and soothing full-body exfoliation, followed by a gentle and relaxing pregnancy massage and then a mini Fresh Start facial to end the treatment. Sign me up, immediately.
If you are looking for a gift for a friend or simply need to budget just that little bit further, the Happy Feet 30 minute treatment will be the best $45 you have ever spent on a grateful expectant mother. Carrying extra weight that you aren’t used to takes its toll on your feet, and you only realise just how much of a toll when someone touches them. Seriously, most days I think I am fine and then Pete will squeeze my foot and I am almost immediately in a coma. The treatment focuses on pain relief and involves a foot bath, a gentle exfoliation and a massage. Yep. I’ll take one of these as well thanks.
Ahead of our baby shower last Saturday, I took myself for a pedicure which is something that I haven’t done in years. I never have my finger nails painted and am rarely able to justify spending money on something like my feet.. I have never been comfortable with treating myself or doing nice, selfish things for myself but I thought, well it is a special occasion after all, so why not?! My god. I forgot how much I love pedicures.
More often than not, the chairs at nail salons will be massage chairs which is already a big tick for me. What follows – if you aren’t aware – is forty minutes of bliss. First, your feet soak in hot water. Then, your feet and toenails are cleaned and trimmed and exfoliated. Then your legs are massaged (and then where I go, they get these hot stones out from some kind of oven and wet them and rub them all over your legs and feet and it is heaven) and moisturised. And then finally, your toe nails are painted (all the while you are in this huge chair that is massaging you). When I got home and told Pete how relaxed I was he told me that I should take time out to do that for myself more often. I started to come up with excuses as to why not when he interrupted me, “Leah, how much does it cost?”. When I told him that it cost $30, he shook his head, laughed at me and informed me that I am to go and get a pedicure every week. He said, “if something that inexpensive can make you feel this good, then why wouldn’t you do it?” And by god, the man is right.
Even if you or the woman you are buying this for isn’t really into beauty stuff (like me), I promise you that she will appreciate this even if she doesn’t know it at the time. I have no specific suggestions as to where you should buy a gift voucher from, however I suggest that if this is a gift you are interested in, research local nail salons, read reviews and compare prices – the treatments are all very similar so find somewhere that you think will suit you, or whoever you are buying this for!
If you have a work colleague or a cousin or a friend, or if the woman you are buying for has a good sense of humour, then a novelty mug is something that I would highly recommend. My ritual of making coffee on a weekend morning and hopping back into bed for an hour or two of reading has quickly become one of my favourite things during pregnancy. You will find that a lot of herbal tea will be consumed during pregnancy to counter nausea, morning sickness and to substitute coffee, and everyone needs a mug (and a laugh).
Ranging from $12 to $25, these handmade mugs from various Etsy creatives are the perfect stocking fillers, secret Santa gifts or last-minute presents for any expectant mother who is a little bit crass. Click on each image for further information and purchase!
Also – something a bit exciting.. I am so happy to offer the following two mugs as a giveaway to one lucky reader! From Amanda at SheThatLaughs, these mugs are crafted from high-quality ceramic and microwave/dishwasher safe. They are also incredibly, incredibly true. For your chance to win a set of these mugs simply email me at email@example.com or message me on instagram at @theobliviousnewmama and tell me who you are buying these for and why! And feel free to enter if YOU are the pregnant one. Do it, do it now!
Lil Soph + Co. Products
Some of you may remember me mentioning Lil Soph + Co. in my post about the One Fine Baby Expo where Pete and I bought one of their beautiful burping cloths. Well, little did I know but this Australian company offers absolutely STUNNING gift packs. Now, I know that this present focuses on bub and not the mama herself but let me tell you, the products that Lil Soph + Co. offer are of the highest quality, are unique in their design and are quite simply the most beautiful baby products I have come across yet..
With products ranging from $13 through to $90, I am sure that you will find something for ANY mama to be. Offering bandana bibs, cotton blankets, burp cloths, teething rings, nappy clutches, play mats, cushions, organic gauze wraps and gift packs there really is something for everyone and every bub. Whether you know if you or a friend is having a boy or a girl, or whether you are wanting to gift something neutral, there is something from Lil Soph + Co. for you!
The range of bandana bibs are an absolute must for all new mums and newborn bubs, and these are in a league of their own. At $13, these handmade, cotton bandana bibs make for a stunning, thoughtful and affordable gift. And, not only that, but you can be assured that they will be used (and needed) again and again and again.
If you are looking for something a little bit more substantial to gift, the range of printed cotton blankets are a great option. Ranging from $45 to $65, the cotton blankets are made from 100% organic cotton knit backed with a high-grade smooth polyester Minky fabric. As all of the Lil Soph + Co. products are handmade, there is also the option to customise your blanket to fit a cot or a single bed!
The gift packs available take out any guess work you may have on which products to buy! There is a newborn essentials pack that include a bandana bib and burp cloth, or a teething ring and bandana bib! The packs range from $24 to $50 and again, trust me, once you see and feel the quality of these products you will never buy outside of this brand again.
I know that many of you probably don’t buy magazines anymore and instead read their online counterparts. I get it, I do. But all I can think about are those early mornings or warm afternoons where I will be on maternity leave, sitting on my deck nursing an iced tea or a coffee and flicking through a book or a stack of my favourite magazines. I keep getting told that taking time out for myself is something that I need to be really mindful of, and for me there really is nothing more alluring than a quiet pocket of time to flick through a magazine. My favourites are Frankie, Smith Journal, Delicious and the Donna Hay magazine.
Magshop Australia offers subscriptions to all magazines available on the Australian market, offering free delivery as well as the option of gift vouchers if you aren’t sure what title to get! Each magazine subscription comes in at a different price and for some, there is the option to choose how long the subscription is for (a certain amount of issues, six months, one year, etc.). For example, six issues of Frankie (which equates to a one year subscription) comes in at $60.71, while six issues plus one bonus issue of Delicious comes in at $39.95.
What I love about this gift is that it isn’t something you would automatically think to get someone who is pregnant. More often than not, the gifts will revolve around being a new mum or around the baby itself. What this gift does is provide a quiet outlet for the mama to be, it will serve as a reminder to press pause, put her feet up and lose herself in the pages of whatever magazine she delights in. Also, it means she will get a package that she looks forward to every week/month/two months and who doesn’t love that?!
Yesterday, as some of you may have seen on instagram, I had to go into hospital to have the Gestational Diabetes Test. Taken from Diabetes Australia, “Gestational diabetes mellitus (sometimes referred to as GDM) is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. Most women […]
Today is a very special day – and one that I have been overwhelmingly excited to share with you all! Partnering with Gina from Behind the Pages, I am beyond proud to announce that The (Oblivious) New Mama has its very own, all natural skincare range!
The range was created with pregnant mamas in mind, offering very subtle, clean scents as well as the benefits of all-natural ingredients. One thing that I have noticed since being pregnant is that heavily scented products and perfumes just do not agree with me, at all. Headaches, nausea, you name it. Not only that, but I have become incredibly conscious of my body (which sounds pretty obvious seeing as it is changing and growing right before my eyes). When I am showering, or the few times that I have had baths to relax my muscles, I have taken notice of how my skin feels and its elasticity. My mum has always been a stickler when it comes to beauty products and what she uses on her skin and, in part, it has rubbed off on me as well. Skin is our largest organ, and we really should be considerate and mindful with what we use when it comes to skin care.
Each of the products is handmade by the incredibly talented Gina from Behind the Pages who I met through work when she created a range of products that were themed to one of our books (how cool is that?). When it came to the scents, I sent an email to Gina explaining how I wanted softer, more neutral scents for these products so they weren’t too harsh for mamas-to-be. I suggested that we use jasmine, vanilla or coconut. Each of these scents by themselves are delicious enough, but Gina went above and beyond.. each product that we designed has scents of vanilla, coconut, jasmine and lime – and let me tell you, it absolutely works.
I am humbled and honoured and excited and KEEN to introduce you all to The (Oblivious) New Mama’s Signature Skincare Range – get on it!
T(O)NM Goats Milk Soap
I don’t know what it is about goats milk soap, but I am a fan. I am a huge fan. Every time that I have splurged and bought myself goats milk soap, I revel in how gloriously soft my skin feels (if you have never used it before, seriously, get on it). It just feels like I am doing myself a favour simply by using it. Not only has Gina made the soap impossibly pretty, she completely nailed the level of fragrance (she also included a little surprise with each bar – freshly pressed flowers for something just that little bit special). Made from all natural ingredients with absolutely no nasties, the soap bar is smooth in application and couple that with the steam of the shower makes for the most aromatic, delicious and relaxing experience.
Not only is goats milk packed with skin-loving vitamins such as vitamin D, vitamin C and vitaman E, the pH levels of goats milk is very similar to the levels of our skin. This means that the moisturising effects of goats milk are absorbed into our skin easier (and faster!) while also protecting our skin from bacteria and chemicals. The high fat content (much like the bath milk you are about to read about) also leaves skin soft and smooth.
T(O)NM Bath Milk
I have never been one for a bath.. it’s this vicious cycle that I have gotten myself into; I love scalding hot water, so I make the bath the temperature that I want, but then when I get in, I get dizzy because it’s too hot which inevitably sees me getting out about ten minutes later. I like to pretend that I am refreshed afterwards, but I never am. During the end of my first trimester and early into my second, baths became a necessity. It wasn’t just my back that was aching, it was every single muscle in my body including ones that I have never even felt before. I had to sacrifice some of the heat for the sake of bathing longevity. I also used epsom salts to further ease the tension I was feeling. Luck for me, and for all of you, Gina has baths covered like an absolute boss.
The fat and protein in the milk leaves your skin feeling soft and supple while it also moisturises the skin, softens your hair and can reduce skin irritations. Gina has gone a step further and also added epsom salts to the bath milk, meaning you will benefit from those additional soothing and relaxing properties. Mixed in with the bath milk we have dried rose petals, lavender, cornflowers and chamomile that not only add to the aroma of the bath, but will also leave you feeling pampered and maybe even just that little bit fancy. I cannot tell you how beneficial this is, especially for all of you pregnant mamas out there. I have found that I get so caught up with every day life and then completely collapse at the end of the day due to exhaustion that I often forget to take care of myself, and do nice little gestures for me. The T(O)NM Bath Milk completely and utterly relaxed me, and I really did feel like I was doing something taboo by enjoying it so damn much.
T(O)NM Body Lotion
Though I use cocoa butter on my belly for stretch marks and to improve the elasticity of my skin, I have been searching for a body lotion whose scent was exactly what I wanted to smell like. A lot of the time I have found that lotions and moisturisers are either too floral, too strong in their scent or too medicinal. So when this opportunity came up I knew there was no way that I was going to pass on designing my own signature body lotion. I love the feeling of moisturising after a shower (and especially after a shave), taking those few extra minutes to do something nice for myself that will make me feel good; there really is something to be said about pampering oneself.
Keeping in theme with the rest of the products, the lotion is soft in scent, infused with the signature fragrances of vanilla, coconut, jasmine and lime. Gina, again, used all natural ingredients which means the lotion is absorbed into the skin quickly and won’t leave you feeling greasy. You can use the lotion anywhere on your body as it is suitable for sensitive skin. Using body lotion regularly rehydrates your skin (which will make you glow even more, you goddess), while the massaging motion of applying the lotion will improve your blood circulation and can even stimulate cell generation – plus, you will smell HEAVENLY.
I want to sincerely thank Gina from Behind the Pages for making one of my dreams into this beautiful reality – she really is a professional and completely understood my vision and desire to create gorgeous, feminine products for glorious mamas-to-be.
If you want to check out Gina’s entire range, shoot on over to her instagram at @behindthepagesstore.
Alternatively, if you are a mama-to-be, or have a friend who is about to pop and want to purchase any of these products (it is so close to Christmas after all!) shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or a direct message on instagram (@theobliviousnewmama)!