*Collaborative post*- I was gifted the Mama Hug- Bosom Buddy box below in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Well it has been one heck of a crazy ride folks! Full of frustrations, tears (mostly mine!), highs, lows, sleepless nights but mostly an overriding feeling of pride as I make it to 4 months of exclusive breastfeeding and my topaz boobies if fellow Mommas are familiar with the #BoobieAwards whereby you’re magical milk makers are bestowed the status of various material from liquid gold, to glitter, to precious stones, gold and even platinum with precious stone nipples! It is a whole THING… and rightly so. Our ducts are marvellous and something we take for granted. But when you come to nursing it is a whole new level of commitment, learning, but ultimately bonding and it is a very fulfilling thing to be able to count down the months that you are able to sustain your child with your own source of nourishment!
Breastfeeding is all kinds of amazing. If you recall with our first little lady I had a very tumulus journey and relationship with nursing (Here are my previous breastfeeding posts 1 & 2.) So this time I wanted to start the whole endeavour with as much help as possible!!
Queue MamaHug Postpartum boxes that are an excellent baby shower gift to an expectant Mother. It really does as it says on the box!!! A collection of the most useful and beautiful items to ease any new parent stresses. Our bodies go through so much carrying then birthing our tiny human beings the least we deserve is a great big hug wouldn’t you agree?!!
Even if you have previously given birth, I think you are never FULLY prepared for the journey of Motherhood. Read all the books and blogs you want but I think the experience is so individual each time there is no definitive source for the best way to Mum! With Bea breastfeeding was such a struggle because of her early entrance, however Jasper made it to full term and poor Daddy missed the birth because he practically fell out (well not so much fall as I was subject to a second degree tear this time! Ouch!) but I was deliriously happy as he was placed on my chest (that beautiful skin to skin moment) and he took to the breast like a duck to water! After such a challenging experience last time I was ecstatic that I wouldn’t have to express and I could exclusively breastfeed from the start.
The Bosom Buddy box collated all the items to start breastfeeding with force. I mentioned last time that there are so many gross body bits that happen postpartum (and people refrain from discussing!) Yes it is a little bit disgusting but Ladies, we need those huge pants, panty liners as long as a Viking Longships and cream for sore cracked nips!!! I must admit my reaction at the disposal hospital pants was hysterical laughter! GLAM they are not…. but they are amazingly fit for purpose (even if our daughter thought that Mummy was wearing a nappy too in hospital!!!)
Thank you MamaHug for sourcing the best of these items (it is a beautiful box then an easy to grab bundle of essentials for your hospital bag!!!) Because of my first premature labour I couldn’t wait to open the boxed and have the contents in my hospital bag that I brought EVERYWHERE with me!!!
Due to this fear of going to the hospital anytime from 30 weeks I wasn’t able to photograph the box very much in its entirety myself so through this blog I will share the professionals pics so all credit to MamaHug unless otherwise stated.
There are 9 beautifully presented boxes available ranging from essential at £34.99 to #TheBigGuns which are for almost every potential outcome (Cesarean section and breastfeeding help) at £79.99!! Literally EVERYTHING is covered! There’s a reason why this company is Award Winning!
Please see their easily navigable and equally pretty website (I am a sucker for Tiffany teal!!) for the full list of products available so you can plan for the most useful gift. (SHOP HERE!)
The Bosom Buddy contains
- Mama Designs Bamboo Nursing Pads (pack of 8).
- Nessa Nipple SOS.
- Natracare Maternity Pads (pack of 10).
- Mum Bub Hub Disposable Maternity Pants (pack of 3).
- Lansinoh Therapearl Hot and Cold Breast Therapy.
- Myrtle & Maude Milk Flow Tea (though my box contained HotTea Mamma “Milks Up” tea so this must have been an update:amendment.)
- Mama Bites Lactation Cookies.
(copied directly from the website.)
So let’s get into it… the Bosom Body Box. Team MamaHug (Catherine & Vicky) saw a gap in the market for a gift for Mummies. I asked Catherine how her personal experience of pregnancy and birth contributed to the creation of MamaHug-
“We’ve been friends for many years and went through two pregnancies and two postpartum experiences together. Having experienced birth every which way, including an emergency C-Section, a V-Back and a cardio ICU baby, we knew only too well the pressures on mum post birth. That said, we both recognized that Mums really get pushed to the back of the queue when it comes to postpartum recovery. All the gifts are for baby (who doesn’t even know what pink or blue is!) and while it’s lovely that everyone wants to cuddle the new arrival – who cuddles mum? This got us thinking, why don’t we care more for mums? Why don’t we prepare mums? Why don’t we discuss postpartum? Why aren’t postpartum products common gifts (being that they are so useful!) That’s even the idea of Mama Hug was born.”
As previously mentioned sometimes Mothers care so much for the life they grow, we forget about ourselves (yes I admit to five days of dry hair shampoo!) What seems to by resonating with Mother’s, and I speak for myself too, is that even basic care in those days surrounding the end of pregnancy and birth is a luxury. Your body has essentially not be your OWN for nine months so you almost forget what to do for “self care” and MamaHug reminds you with a sense of practicality but also love!
I asked Catherine what she thought makes the hug boxes a firm Mummy favourite-
“I think they make great gifts because not only are they very practical but they are also beautifully packaged and designed to make mum feels special at a time she is likely to feel exhausted and uncomfortable. Childbirth, while beautiful, can be painful and messy. Mums often feel very battered and bruised (whichever way they deliver) and our care kits are there to relive discomfort, make them feel beautiful and to help them heal.”
And getting back to some kind of version of my best self, this box delivered in spades. I could spend time in the hospital knowing I was protected and cared for at the most basic level. I could let me body bleed and heal and concentrate on my baby and setting up a great breastfeeding system. I had started drinking the HotTea Mamma “Milks Up” tea about five days before I ended up going into hospital for my surprise induction!
During this second pregnancy I did extensive reading about ways to ensure my supply was optimum. I must admit I was slightly sceptical about the milky credentials of teas and cookies. But I love both of these things so was thrilled I could try it out for myself. In my opinion increasing my Milk Supply would be an added bonus!
I genuinely believe the properties of the Milks Up tea boosted my milk supply. It is a powerful, natural mix of rosemary, fennel seeds, star anise, lemon verbena, nettle leaf and possibly the “magic” ingredient fenugreek seeds (although I have seen posts that say that it doesn’t actually effect supply either way!) I was positive that the tea would be a milk making ally So who knows whether it was a placebo?!! I don’t know but all I can say is that the tea was tasty and the tea bag was just so pretty. The tea was the first thing I drank following the birth.
As for the lactation cookies… pure heaven. I had the batch ready to claw at in my bedside table. Perfect for munching on long, late nights! The hubby pinched a few and there was hell to pay with my wacky hormones. Again, I am not a lactation expert but all I know is that these little bites kept me going during operation Cluster Feed (Days 10-13 postpartum.) It was nice to have an easy to grab treat. Really yummy. Again, no scientist but the mix of oats, brewers yeast and flaxseed is meant to support feeding and “galactagogues” (there’s my Googled science bit!!!) It’s good to know the ingredients selected are so wholesome and no unrefined sugars so you can snack guilt free.
My personal favourite product that was most useful for me was the Nessa nipple SOS. The company have an ethical/organic/vegan ethos so it’s nice to know you are using a product that has no skin irritants and any animal product so you know it will be safe to use around your precious bundle. Sometimes creams and balms can be claggy or unnecessarily sticky. That is not what you want from your breast cream products as if you are feeding on demand you may need to hydrate and care for you nipples quickly. SOS was definitely the hero of the box for me because it was instantly hydrating once applied to sore, tired nipples. The formula is smooth and buttery and doesn’t have to be removed from the nipples before feeding so you and your baby can both feel comfortable.
The big brand in the box comes in the form of the Lansinoh Therapearl Hot and Cold Breast Therapy. My personal preference was the hot therapy as I suffered from mastitis (big ouch!) so it was ideal for the terrible pain caused by that and a blocked milk duct! It is advised that the therapearl should only be used for 20 minutes at a time (medical advice!) – though I often used them for longer! It depended on my pain level.
I loved the bamboo breast pads. They were so comfy and brilliant that they are reusable. Ideal as I used only one pair whilst in hospital 3 days postpartum. A useful tip- Wash before use to increase absorbency!! I didn’t have any leaks using these slimline yet super absorbent pads. I often struggle with breast pads (major leakage) and they do not stay put in my bra. No issues with the bamboo pads. They stay at body temperature when wet unlike disposables that get cold and can cause discomfort- really clever and comfortable product. Big tick for including these pads MamaHug. I probably shouldn’t but I still have three pairs of pads that I still use if I plan on going out for a long day as I know the absorbency won’t let me down and no awkward milk patches.
All in all this lovely box became my breast friend! it is a box that truly improved my breastfeeding experience with thoughtful products that take the extra stress out of a time that you should be enjoying bonding with your baby. If you feel your best, your baby will be happy, in turn you will be happier (a beautiful feedback system.)
As mentioned my favourite product was the nipple SOS as alongside the hot pad therapy I could continue feeding easily through the most uncomfortable times.
I asked Catherine how her & Vicky source their wonderful products from these empowering Mummy brands and she said:
“We have tried and tested every single product in our care kits, as well as getting feed back from many other mums (we did a focus group during our pre-launch phase and we also have an army of mum mates who’ve been only too happy to be guinea pigs). One of the things we pride ourselves on is that many of our products are from female-founded companies, much like our own. In terms of favourite products, it’s really difficult to say as we love them all.”
There is such a genuine love and belief in the brands and MamaHug love and respect fellow Mamma’s. Because there is such care and attention in the assembly of the boxes. Each one will speak to a woman on her own individual journey.
This time round I am enjoying breastfeeding much more! I think my top top is to put into place a system that works for you and your baby. Remember nursing is very hard despite it being a “natural” process. Sometimes you need the help so this box will give you some useful tools to br confident in your breastfeeding journey.
Vicky is a very experienced Milking Momma to 3 boobies monsters for a minimum of 2.5 years per baby and also had the challenge of exclusively pumping for an ICU baby; so she gave me her Top Breastfeeding Tips to share with my readers:
“Prepare to breastfeed by finding a lactation professional or breastfeeding charity who can help you if you find it tricky.
Skin to skin as often as possible.
Feeding on demand or responsively to help establish your milk supply in the first few weeks.
Read about newborn feeding behaviour and cues.”
This is another reason that I would recommend this company as the lovely ladies really know their stuff. They have put their boxes together with insight and care.
Four months in and I really feel confident in the breastfeeding I have established. I think having great resources at the start has ensured that I have a good milk supply and continue to enjoy the experience. The “yucky bits” of postpartum healing did not bother me as much this time around but physically (because of the quality products) and mentally because I was on a happier place.
I do not know what the process for healing is like following a C Section but should imagine the “Caeser Easer” box gives section mums the same confidence and care they need to recover as promptly as possible.
It’s nice to feel fully supported and know that “you got this Mamms!” Cos MamaHug Box got you!
Use code Mamahug20 for 20% discount off your own box.
Here are all the available boxes.
SLEEP SAVER/ CAESAR EASER / BOSOM ESSENTIALS/ ARRIVAL SURVIVAL / SLEEP SURVIVOR/ BOSOM BUDDY / ARRIVAL ESSENTIALS.
– Bea’s Mummy. xx