Nearly One

 How is it that time seems to get faster and faster with every little one you have? It's extra bittersweet when they're your last baby - Emma will be one in three weeks, and I'm not sure my heart can handle it! 

FitAzFk: A Work in Progress - use 10ALY to join!

If you're a new (or old!) Mama, or just someone looking to get their fitness and their energy back, definitely check out FitAzFk - it's been such a game changer for me! 

It's been five months and I'm down 13kg so far - feeling happier and healthier in my own skin, and prioritising the time to move and make myself active again. I have a ways to go yet, but I'm feeling good and I know I'll get there at my own pace.

By signing up, you'll get access to 6 months of the app itself - full of fitness workouts to do at home, meals to try, and the facebook group accountability. The workouts are 5 days a week, 28 minutes long - so definitely achievable, especially if you are time poor like me. If you sign up for the TRANSFORM challenges, you'll have 8 weeks all planned out for you - it's amazing.
Make sure you use 10ALY for a discount when you start with FitAzFk - and follow me on Instagram for even more of my ongoing journey. :) 

Cake Maternity/Nursing Bras: A Review

Emma is seven months old, and still breastfeeds like an absolute champ! I'm very lucky in that all four of my babies have fed well (even through some initial hiccups like premature births and tongue ties!) - I've been at this nursing gig for some time now. I wonder how many hours I've been feeding over the last decade - I think it would be a pretty impressive figure! 

I was so pleased when the lovely team at Cake Maternity reached out to see if I'd be interested in trying and reviewing some of their favourite nursing bras. I've followed their brand for some time now, but hadn't had the chance to purchase - so this opportunity was perfect. Before we start, here's a little about the brand: Cake Maternity are nursing bra specialists who are passionate about breastfeeding and the many benefits it offers to both mum, bub and the environment. Breastfeeding, whilst natural, doesn’t always come naturally and they understand that every woman’s experience is different and at times challenging. Their mission is to empower women as they mindfully navigate the world of motherhood and help make breastfeeding easier, through experience-driven innovation.

When you're breastfeeding, it's important to choose bras that are not only supportive, but also comfortable - if there's one time in your life you're going to be up close & personal with your breasts, it's now! After confirming my measurements and using the fit guide, we narrowed down the selection to three styles:

 I've been wearing each of these three bras for the past several weeks, and can happily say that they're both comfortable AND supportive - so much so, that I will struggle going back to my everyday bras now! Now... on we go to my review!

The Tutti Frutti Nursing Bra is one one of the prettiest nursing bras I've encountered. It has a lovely low pluging neckline, a supportive racer-back design, and is so soft and luxurious. Emma can't take her hands off it when I wear it - see below! 
Its nursing panels are easy to unclip, and it still has a good amount of modesty covering, even for someone who's bigger busted like myself. Such a beautiful staple piece, I feel really well supported when I wear this bra - and it doesn't feel like your typical dowdy nursing bra. A+ for glam! 
The Zest Nursing Sports Bra has been fantastic, especially as I've been jumping back into my fitness after getting the all-clear from my postpartum physio. It's supportive without being restrictive, and being able to nurse while wearing active wear is a game changer for me. 
If you're a Mama who loves to get out and go for walks or gym classes with your baby, you're going to love this one.
And last, but certainly not least, my favourite - aka the bra that I'd happily wear every single day for the rest of my life, is the Lotus Hands-free Pumping & Nursing Bra
This is the COMFIEST lounge bra I have ever worn, and it's not only easy to nurse in, it can also convert to a hands-free pumping bra. Winning! I am planning on heading back to snap up some more of these bad boys.
All in all, I'm thrilled with the selection and the support that these bras have provided, and will be wearing them for many months to come. If you're currently pregnant or breastfeeding, I highly recommend visiting the website and adding some Cake Maternity pieces to your postpartum wardrobe. The hardest part will be decided which ones to add to your cart! 

Breathe Gently was provided with a complimentary selection of nursing bras from Cake Maternity for review - all reviews are my own. If you are interested in a product review appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me. #gifted 

You can also get in touch with me via my @mamajags Instagram page.

'I do it myself, Mama!'

‘I do it myself, mama!’

The phrase that makes all parents, even seasoned ones who have been around the block a few times, cringe and beam at the same time. You celebrate the fact that your little one is growing up and learning new skills.. but you feel your already stretched patience bursting at the seams.
‘I do it myself, mama!’ We are going be late. You’ve already had breakfast, we don’t need more food. It’s winter hun, you can’t wear shorts outside. Please wait a moment, I’m helping your sister. One step at a time, so you don’t fall…
‘I do it myself, mama!’ Here, let me help you, I can do it a little faster. Let me show you an easier way. How about we do this together? Maybe your big sister can give you a hand.

‘I do it myself, mama!’ Meltdown. Meltdown. Meltdown. Baths at 7am. Cuddles and disaster naps on the couch at 9am. ‘I do it myself, mama!’ And one day, they really do just do it themselves - and you’re so proud you could burst, but you’re also sporting just a few more grey hairs from the process. Let’s normalise that parenting (especially parenting toddlers!) isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, and that you can be both proud and incredibly frazzled at the same time. We’re only human after all, and so are they - just tinier versions. Now… someone please pass the coffee and chocolate.

The End of an Era

 It’s the end of an era. There will be no more babies in this household. 

I’ve thrown out the expired ovulation kits, the clunky old fertility monitor, the countless pee cups and even the stash of IVF medications living in my back fridge that I was too superstitious to discard until now.

This week marks the official end of our journey to parenthood. Now, it’s all about the journey THROUGH parenthood.

To those still struggling, hoping, grieving or worrying, you are strong. I’ll never forget this phase of our lives - where it taught us to be bigger, stronger, wiser, kinder on a path that nobody should have to face.

To those who supported me over the years, the excitement, the frustration, the jealousy. Through the darkest days of my life. Through the most joyous days of my life. To the ones who sobbed with me after we lost our babies. To the ones who cheered on a positive ovulation stick, who picked me up after yet another failed cycle. To the ones who celebrated our pregnancies even while going through their own journeys. You are the strong ones.

I will hug my girls tight every single day, and know that I’m going to raise them into their own strong warrior women, who will know how much we fought for them, and how much we love them.

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