Absolutely Mama September 2020

Page 1

Mama S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 0 • I S S U E 41

The Magazine for Modern Mums

SCANDI PARENTING A science-based approach • POSTNATAL TRAUMA Advice on how to recover • PREGNANCY SKINCARE Top tips from Caroline Hirons • POTTY TRAINING The Montessori method




Get ready for the season shift with the best new arrivals for mamas and minis, back to school buys and lots more


29/08/2020 23:06

Tripp Trapp® Designed by: Peter Opsvik

T H E C H A I R T H AT G R OW S W I T H T H E C H I L D™ TRIPP TRAPP® Bringing your Tripp Trapp® home is the start of a new story that will span generations. Tripp Trapp® is designed for every stage of childhood and beyond. This is longevity in its purest form. Let your story begin. stokke.com | @stokkebaby

STOKKE.indd 1

22/07/2020 10:18

Stokke® Sleepi™ Design: Susanne Grønlund & Claus Hviid Knudsen

T H E B E D T H AT E VO LV E S AS YO U R C H I L D G R OW S S TO K K E ® S L E E P I ™ The distinctive oval shape of Stokke® Sleepi™ gives your baby a cozy nest-like environment. Its small footprint combined with lockable swivel wheels makes it easy to move and efficient in even the smallest of spaces. Best of all, it grows with your child expanding to accommodate their changing needs and size.

STOKKE.indd 2

22/07/2020 10:18


NC.indd 1

28/08/2020 14:43


contents SEPTEMBER 2020




80 14 18

FASHION 36 Autumn Days


42 Kids Fashion Notes

Going green with musthaves for your little one

22 Tot Gear

Key kit to make parenting easier

MAMAHOOD 26 Woman in Work

@atelierparsmei atelierparsmei.com


AGENDA New Books

September’s new releases



Th e founder of organic mama and baby skincare brand Little Butterfly

30 Birth Rights

Illiyin Morrison, founder of Mixing up Motherhood

New season style for mamas and minis from Atelier Parsmei

Th e best looks and launches for little ones

50 Nordic Roots

Absolutely Mama meets Finnish brand Reima

WELLNESS 56 Everyday Eating Recipes from the new mymuybueno cookbook

60 Beauty Notes

September’s brand new products for mamas and minis

66 Birth Trauma How to recover from a bad birth

HOME & INTERIORS 80 Nursery Notes Beautiful decor and furniture for your little one’s space

82 Home Tour

Inside the founder of OYOY Living Design’s holiday home

RESOURCES 88 Scandi Parenting How to parent the Scandinavian way

90 Potty Training Th e Montessori method

September 2020

MAMA_September20_CONTENTS_CG.indd 5



28/08/2020 14:59

Quote Absolutely Mama & Save


every newborn baby’s umbilical cord is packed with life-giving cells The stem cells in your baby’s umbilical cord have an extraordinary power to heal. When lives are touched by disease or injury these parent cells can restore health. BV.indd 1

Get in touch

01752 753 723 @Biovaultfamily hello@biovaultfamily.com biovaultfamily.com

02/03/2020 11:42







eptember feels a bit different this year. The new season start holds so much more meaning after months of lockdown – especially if you have been juggling homeschooling with endless Zoom work calls. Whether you’re sending the kids back to class, heading back to the office or carrying on managing it all at home – you’ve got this mama! This month’s issue is packed full of brilliant advice about everything from potty training (the Montessori way) to birth trauma. We have pregnancy skincare tips from Caroline Hirons, and we also delve into the practical Scandinavian approach to parenting. Elsewhere in this issue, we meet Illiyin Morrison, founder of Mixing up Motherhood, to talk about rights for all birthing people. We also have new season style for mamas and minis, last minute back to school essentials and eco-friendly buys for babies. And fi nally, we take a trip to Billund – Europe's most kid-friendly destination and the home of Lego. Enjoy!

C a rly Gl e n di n n i n g E DITOR

@carlyjglendinning carly@zest-media.com


Part of the

Mid-weight Designer: REBECCA NOONAN Brand Partnerships Manager: NAVINDER LALL

T h e M a g a z i n e Fo r M o d e r n M u m s @ A B S O L U T E LY M A M A

absolutely-mama .co.uk Editor UK: CARLY GLENDINNING Features Editor: HELEN BARON Social Media Editor: JESSICA SHALTOUT Marketing Manager: LUCIE PEARCE Art Director: PAWEL KUBA Senior Designer: MIKE ROBERTS

Finance Director: JERRIE KOLECI Director: LEAH DAY Managing Director: SHERIF SHALTOUT For editorial enquiries please email: carly@zest-media.com For advertising enquiries please email: navinder@zest-media.com For media partnership enquiries please email: lucie@zest-media.com

Absolutely Mama supports

U n i T G 0 6 We n l o c k S tu d i o s , 50 -52 Wharf Road, London N1 7EU 020 7704 0588 zest.london To read the latest issue of Absolutely Mama subscribe at gb.readly.com/absolutelymama

Zest Media Publications Ltd. cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs. While every care is taken, prices and details are subject to change and Zest Media Publications Ltd. take no responsibility for omissions or errors. We reserve the right to publish and edit any letters. All rights reserved.

September 2020

MAMA_September2020_EDS LETTER_CG.indd 7



28/08/2020 15:01

10 things we Absolutely

LOV E The products and brands getting our attention this month

Good Knits

KOW TOW We love this cosy knit from Kowtow. It has been hand knitted in India by women from refugee backgrounds, who have been empowered to use their traditional skills to make a living. ÂŁ364; kowtowclothing.com


MORI The new collection from MORI features lots of soft, cosy pieces for snuggling up in this autumn. We love the muted colour palette, and super sweet cloud prints. babymori.com



PLANET FRIENDLY PEACHI BABY British brand Peachi Baby make zerowaste, reusable nappies. Their clever designs are adjustable so you can use them from birth right up until potty training, and they are available in a range of cute prints. peachibaby.com

Go Eco HA P S N O R DIC From reusable baby food pouches to snack pouches, Danish brand Haps Nordic will help you reduce waste and up your eco game. Lots of clever products to choose from and we love the muted Scandi colour palette too. hapsnordic.dk


_MAMA_September20_Ten_Things_CG.indd 8

28/08/2020 12:55

ma m a LOVE S

Fresh & Clean

Q+A Starting the school run again calls for a refreshing morning skincare routine. Packed with active naturals, this zingy peppermint cleanser from clean beauty brand Q+A is just the ticket and what’s more, it won’t break the bank. £7.50; qandaskin.com


L IEWO O D Just in time for back to school, Liewood has launched a cute new range of lunchboxes. We love this lightweight stainless steel style, with a silicone lid. €30,00; liewood.com


TH E BR I G H T COM PA N Y The temperature drop calls for a new pair of PJs and The Bright Company is one of our favourites for mama and mini matching styles. Classic and cool, we love their new stripe set. thebrightcompany.uk

Snuggle Up B IN IBAM BA X L IB ERT Y LO N DO N Binibamba has teamed up with Liberty London to create a small collection of limited-edition designs. Look out for their popular wriggle mats and snugglers in delicious earthy tones. binibamba.com


NINA Limited edition prints that celebrate women, NINA donates 10% of their profits to charity. Their motherhood collection features artworks that would be perfect for a nursery. When Two Are One by Harlie Briggs, from £40; ninababy.co.uk

JA M I I Founded by entrepreneur Khalia Ismain, Jamii is a discount card and discovery platform for Black British businesses. Support the betterment of Black communities whilst you shop. lovejamii.com

or’s Editick P

September 2020  |  9

_MAMA_September20_Ten_Things_CG.indd 9

28/08/2020 12:56


20/07/2020 11:27

agenda AC T I V I T I E S FO R LI T T LE O N E S p . 1 2 • O U R M O N T H LY R E A D I N G R O U N D U P p . 14

Play Time


Somerset House has now reopened their spectacular fountains in the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court. A special new food and drink offering will benefit from socially distanced outdoor seating and there are two new installations to explore. somersethouse.org.uk

September 2020  |  11

Mama_September20_Agenda_Opener_CG.indd 11

28/08/2020 13:00

W H AT ’ S O N

From outdoor trails to cinema under the stars, we round up September’s best socially distant events...

W o r d s C A R LY G L E N D I N N I N G

London Wetland Centre Ongoing Various Locations

All of the London Wetland Centres are now open, with socially distanced measures in place to keep everyone safe. Perfect for wildlife lovers, there’s plenty of space for little ones to run around and discover nature. wwt.org.uk

we love

The Luna Cinema Until 4 October •  Various locations

Taking place in the fresh air, The Luna Cinema has created socially distanced pitches to allow audiences to stay safely apart at all times. The summer programme has family favourites including The Greatest Showman, Jurassic Park and Back to the Future. Tickets from £39; thelunacinema.com

ZSL London Zoo Ongoing The Regent’s Park

After shutting to the public for the first time since WW2, ZSL London Zoo has reopened its doors. Limited to 2,000 per day, visitors will be able to follow one of three carefully mapped out routes around the site. Pre-booked tickets only. zsl.org

12  | absolutely-mama.co.uk

MAMA_September20_Whats On_CG.indd 12

28/08/2020 13:01

agen d a


Virtual OUTDOOR FAMILY TRAILS Ongoing National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum has launched two self-led outdoor family trails. Created in collaboration with ‘Cuffs and Collars Co’, a sensory theatre company for children with complex needs aged 0-7, the trails will challenge families to try different activities linked to the Maritime world. rmg.co.uk


Three digital activities for staying in with littles this autumn


Every Saturday 2 .30pm Ni Mi Projects

Following the success of their recent lockdown Zoom Origami Workshops, NiMi Projects – the contemporary Japanese homewares boutique based in Sevenoaks, Kent have decided to keep the fun going with more tutorials for little ones. nimiprojects.com

THAMES TIDEFEST 6 September Strand-on-the- Green

ising to the challenge of creating a safe, socially-distanced arts festival for all the family, Totally Thames has reimagined itself for 2020. There’s lots for little ones to enjoy, including live-streamed performances, outdoor exhibitions, and virtual and walking tours.


P O LK A O N LI N E Ongoing Polka

Despite not being able to reopen until spring 2021, Polka children’s theatre continues to support families with its newly launched Polka Online programme and tailored creative learning activities. Storytelling, activity packs, workshops and more.



Story Time with

SITA THOMAS Sunday 13 - 20 September Arts Depot

oin Channel 5’s Milkshake! presenter Sita Thomas for an interative story time, recorded especially for Arts Depot. She’ll read some well-loved children’s books and show you how to make your very own mini-theatre at home. Ages 3 - 7.


S E LEC T A Q U E ST Ongoing Pins & Needles Productions

Aimed at ages 6+, Select a Quest offers an interactive and fun theatre experience without having to get off the sofa. Meet characters such as Bigfoot, a swamp monster and mutant plants and navigate through 27 scenes set across six levels. selectaquest.co.uk


September 2020  |  13

MAMA_September20_Whats On_CG.indd 13

28/08/2020 13:03

We love

BOOKS This month’s new releases to enjoy with your little ones W o r d s C A R LY G L E N D I N N I N G

GERM ATTACK S T O P T H AT V I R U S By Susanna Rumiz

Save Our Seas

CLEAN UP! By Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola

Clean Up! is the much anticipated sequel to debut picture book Look Up! which was shortlisted for Foyles Book of the Year, British Book of the Year and Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in 2019. Follow the passionate main character Rocket as she rallies the community on her grandparents’ Caribbean island home to clean up plastic pollution. Published by Puffi n, illustrations © Dapo Adeola, 2020. £6.99  penguin.co.uk



This colourful board book follows a virus as it tries to attack a body. Meet the team of cells, enzymes and antibodies that work together to fight back and defeat it – in an interesting and informative look at how the immune system works. £10.99;  quartoknows.com


Mama_September20_Books_CG.indd 14

29/08/2020 23:41

agen d a


WHAT A HERO LITTLE PEOPLE , BIG DREAMS, C A P TA I N T O M M O O R E By Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara and Christophe Jacques

Discover the life of the inspirational Captain Tom Moore, the veteran who raised over £30 million for the UK’s NHS during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic. 3% of the cover price will be donated to NHS Charities Together. £9.99;  quartoknows.com



Set up as a game with visual and narrative clues, this book invites little readers to examine six animal skeletons and guess who they belong to. A playful, funny and informative introduction to bones for the youngest readers. (Ages 2-4) £9.95;  phaidon.com

The fi nal installment in the bestselling Bear and the Piano trilogy, this beautifully illustrated book shows that while fame and fortune might be temporary, the best songs stay in your heart forever. £11.99;  quartoknows.com



Little ones are invited to identify and experience the Earth’s amazing geography in this beautifully illustrated book. Rhyming verse makes learning curriculum focused facts fun and will inspire kids to engage with the world around them. (Ages 2-5) £12.95;  phaidon.com


This clever little book brings together 35 full-page artworks from a variety of periods with the aim of introducing toddlers to the emotion of happiness. With tender read-aloud text, little ones will be able to connect their own experiences to those on canvas. (Ages 2-4) £14.95;  phaidon.com September 2020

Mama_September20_Books_CG.indd 15



29/08/2020 23:39


20/07/2020 10:49

T H E B E ST ECO - F R I E N D LY E S S E N T I A L S FO R BA B I E S p . 18 TOT G E A R : I N S P I R E D K I T TO M A K E PA R E N T I N G E A S I E R p . 2 2

Sleep Anywhere BUGABOO

Bugaboo has launched its new Stardust travel cot. The unique design requires no assembly, has a built-in multilayered mattress for comfy sleep, and is super lightweight and easy to move from room to room, take on holiday or to grandparents’ houses. From £199; bugaboo.com

September 2020  |  17


28/08/2020 13:11


Eco Baby

Carly Glendinning rounds up the best green products


CH A NGI NG TIME Editor’s Pick


For a stylish, sustainable changing bag, look no further than Jem + Bea. Their eco collection includes the Edie Holdall, which is made from reclaimed fishing nets and certified by the GRS (Global Recycle Standard). jemandbea.com

Out & About JOOLZ

The Joolz AER in black is made using recycled plastic bottles rescued from the ocean. An innovative lightweight design, it can be folded in just one second and with a single hand and is compact enough to fit into the overhead storage on a plane. joolz.com




Treated with eco-friendly paint, the Sebra Bed, Baby & Jr is extendable from birth until 6 years – so there’s no need to keep buying new furniture. Slow shopping for the nursery at its best. sebra.dk


MAMA_September20_THE ECO BABY EDIT_CG.indd 18

30/08/2020 20:42

essentials ECO


5 Ec o Fr ie ndl y




Studio Romeo’s baby carriers are made from 100% organic cotton, with natural fibers from pesticide-free organic farming. All of their fabrics comply to Oeko-tex 100 standards and their colourants are natural. studio-romeo.com




For baby bedding and nests, Cam Cam Copenhagen has a great selection of eco-friendly options. Better for baby’s skin and the environment, their beautifully printed fabrics are all GOTS certified organic. camcamcopenhagen.com

Bath Time


Packaged beautifully, French brand Minois create really gentle formulas. All of their bath time and skincare products for little ones are made using natural, organic ingredients. minoisparis.fr


5 1. Organic Zoo, Wrapover Bodysuit, £28; organic-zoo.com 2. Sebra, Organic Cotton Muslin Blanket, £34.95; scandiborn.co.uk 3. Hevea, Natural Rubber Pacifier, £8; cissywears.com 4. Kit & Kin, Eco Nappies, £8; kitandkin.com

5. Liewood, Organic Cotton Towel, €27; liewood.com

September 2020

MAMA_September20_THE ECO BABY EDIT_CG.indd 19



28/08/2020 15:08

y e h t l l i w e r e h W ? u o y take



Reach Tested

Podiatrist Approved

Best Design Award Winner 2019

Award winning kids footwear in sizes NB - 33EU. Available online at bobux.co.uk and in stores nationwide.

BOBUX.indd 1

The Best Shoes for Growing Feet @bobuxshoes


13/08/2020 12:03

mamah ood COLUMN

“Parenting in a pandemic has forced everyone to be creative, and birthdays are no exception”

real mum talk...

Telling it like it is

Anna Woolf on maternity leave and first birthday parties during lockdown...


ots of parents and carers have undergone pregnancy, then maternity and paternity leave in lockdown. None of this is normal. I’ve had friends who have laboured alone on maternity wards, only for their partner or family member to be allowed in at the last minute. Strange and isolating. But what about post birth? Lockdown has meant that lots of babies and toddlers have missed out on groups and activities – as much a benefit for them as the adults who care for them too. Lots of parents and carers have suddenly found themselves in isolation with no physical baby groups to join. I know that I certainly have been so focused on (trying!) to provide my five year old with activities and crafts,

that thinking about the baby and her developmental needs has been pushed to the back of the queue. Luckily there is help online, from lockdown solidarity threads on Mumsnet, to the epic ‘Lockdown Family Tips and Ideas’ Facebook group (which now has over 1 million members) it feels at least via the Internet as though we are all in it together. Luna turned one in August, and

although I’m not usually one for big fussy birthday parties (I’m not sure she even knew what was going on!) it still felt strange to not really be able to celebrate in a ‘normal’ way. Parenting in a pandemic has forced everyone to be creative, and birthdays are no exception. With both sets of grandparents effectively shielding, having a ‘mixed’ yet socially distant party with other friends and children was out of the question. We didn’t want to overly expose any older grandparents to risk by mixing with others, so instead opted for a small lunch, with both sets of parents in the garden. I’ve heard of some people coming up with really inventive ways to celebrate little one’s birthdays, from Zoom scavenger hunts, to ‘drive in’ cinema screenings (someone set up a projector at the front of their house and everyone sat in their cars!); anything to try and make, and mark an occasion. And the best thing we’ve found? As many photos as possible. When our children look back on lockdown, I hope they notice how joyful and happy everyone was, despite the lack of ‘normal’. And to be honest, who wants to be normal anyway? Anna Woolf, Marketing Consultant and mama to Alba 5, and Luna 1 @socialmediamum annawoolf.net September 2020

Mama_September20_REAL MUM TALK.indd 21



28/08/2020 13:42

e s s ent i al s


ent parroved app


Just in time for autumn, Nuna has launched a new fabric for their popular TRIV and MIXX pushchairs. The Ellis Collection is a smart Glen Plaid design and is paired with luxe finishings such as leatherette detailing. nunababy.com


Inspired kit to make parenting easier


A new monthly subscription box of toys, activities and essentials for little ones, EkoBambino provides a more sustainable way to play and grow. Aimed at ages from birth up until 4 years and full of eco-friendly goodies. From £13.45 per box; ekobambino.com


The new Wave 2020 is an updated version of Silver Cross’ luxurious single-to-double travel system. The lightweight design offers 30 configurations to carry one baby, siblings or twins, and has better-than-ever handling and stylish design details. £995; silvercrossbaby.com 22



The mama behind Absolutely Mama’s Instagram feed, Jessica Shaltout, puts the latest parenting kit through its paces @absolutelymama


nbelievably, baby monitors have moved on in the 3 years since our last baby was born and the Nanit Plus is no exception. Bulky monitors are out and phone apps are in – you can see what your baby is up to wherever you are and the HD video and night vision quality give a crystal clear view, unlike our grainy old monitor. Being a bit of a numbers geek, what I love about the Nanit Plus is the daily stats you get – how many wake ups, how many hours they actually slept etc. They then send you a weekly summary email which offers tips and advice based on your baby’s sleep pattern that week. It’s like having a sleep trainer on hand! If you are like me and often forget what actually happened the night before, not only do you have the daily stats to remind you the next morning but there is actual video evidence! The camera captures all the significant moments in a digital scrapbook. There are plenty of other features, like the breathing vests, that provide peace of mind in the early days, but for me, this baby monitor is best for parents who are looking to start some sleep training.

Prices start from £299;



MAMA_September20_TOT_GEAR_CG.indd 22

28/08/2020 13:45

GB.indd 1

08/01/2020 12:21

NUNA.indd 1

20/07/2020 14:26

mamahood I N STA M A M A C A R O LI J N B R A E K E N O N T H E F I R ST Y E A R O F M OT H E R H O O D p . 2 8  I LLY M O R R I S O N O N F I N D I N G YO U R VO I C E I N B I R T H A N D B I R T H R I G H T S p . 3 0

Mama Says


This month we meet the founder of organic mama and baby skincare brand Little Butterfly; we talk to Insta Mama Carolijn Braeken about the first year of motherhood; and we also meet Illy Morrison, midwife, hypnobirthing teacher and the founder of Mixing Up Motherhood.

September 2020  |  2 5

Mama_September20_MAMAHOOD_OPENER_CG.indd 25

28/08/2020 13:47

woman in

WOR K Absolutely Mama meets Gudrun Wurm, founder of organic-certified mother and baby skincare brand Little Butterfly

I n t e r v i e w C A R LY G L E N D I N N I N G

Q Tell us about Little Butterfly. What made you want to launch it? A Little Butterfly London is the UK’s first luxury organic-certified mother and baby skincare range. We sell online through our own website and we are also stocked in retailers including Harrods, Childrensalon and John Bell & Croyden. Pregnancy and early motherhood are fleeting times that we as women should be able to treasure, indulge and pamper our incredible bodies and later look after the precious skin of our little ones. It’s a time that flies by, and in my mind, should be treasured not only by using the safest products, but also ones that are luxurious and represent the preciousness of creating and nurturing new life.

26  | absolutely-mama.co.uk

MAMA_September20_WOMAN IN WORK_CG.indd 26

28/08/2020 13:50

mamah o o d

Q How did your own motherhood journey play into your decision to start the brand? A When my son Lucas was born, I couldn’t really find products which ticked all my boxes – certified-organic, dermatologistapproved for reactive skin, ultra-gentle and safe, yet highly effective and beautifully packaged so they would look lovely on the nursery or bathroom shelf. So, I set about creating my own baby skincare range. I later added pregnancy and beauty products for mums, which really was an organic evolution of the range, as I felt that pregnant women and new mums deserved their own products that could align with their amazing journey into motherhood. Q How are Little Butterfly’s products made? A Our products are designed in London and are exclusively made in England using carefully sourced ingredients from all over the globe. We focus on highly sophisticated formulas using safe and highly effective active ingredients. All our products are certified organic by Ecocert, which audits and evaluates every single raw material included in our products – from source to the finished product – guaranteeing that they are derived from renewable sources, manufactured by environmentally-friendly processes and are free from synthetics and any potentially harmful substances.

“Pregnancy and early motherhood are fleeting times that we as women should be able to cherish”

Q How important is sustainability to the business? A The whole premise of Little Butterfly London was to create a range which never compromises on quality, efficacy or safety for both mother and baby, while considering the planet we live on. This is why we work with the most carefully selected ingredients and blend them to ultra-safe, highly effective formulas. We want to look after the environment which our children will inherit and as such, all our packaging is recyclable, and we only use trusted suppliers with sustainable and responsible production methods and environmental accreditations including the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). We are members of Cruelty Free International, a nonprofit organisation that peacefully campaigns against animal experiments. We never test on animals and do not use ingredients that are manufactured by companies that commission animal testing – we believe that beauty products should be cruelty free.


Q What should new mamas and mamas-to-be be looking out for when they choose skincare products for themselves and their little ones? A What most new parents don’t know is that a baby’s skin is up to five times thinner than adult skin, making it more permeable and susceptible to damage. This is why it is so important to think about the products we use. The ingredients in a baby skincare range should be as natural as possible, free from mineral oil, paraffin, parabens, SLS and silicones as well as no synthetics or inappropriate strong essential oils when it comes to the fragrance. And in many ways, we should be setting the same high standards when it comes to our own skincare products. I wanted to make sure that the products would be safe to use during pregnancy but also whilst breast-feeding. Bringing powerful active plant ingredients that could deliver visible results was equally paramount, but so was the ability to offer products that could bring pleasure and lift the mood. Q And finally, how do you make time for yourself whilst juggling running a business and being a mama and what are your favourite ways to relax? ​ A My source of regeneration comes from my daily spiritual practices. I meditate twice a day, after I wake up and most times in the evenings. I have learnt through my own personal challenges that as long as you keep working on your inner balance, ultimately reality will reflect that. This has never let me down even through some of my most difficult times. littlebutterflylondon.com September 2020  |  27

MAMA_September20_WOMAN IN WORK_CG.indd 27

28/08/2020 13:50

INSTA MAMA Author and mama-of-two Carolijn Braeken

@bycarolijn • bycarolijn.com



Q Tell us about your book ‘Motherhood – a memoir of our first year’… What made you want to write it? A What I struggled most with during that first year of motherhood weren’t the countless diapers, the sleepless nights, the lack of metime – those practical things you read about in magazines, blogs, and on social media. I found the deeper layers the hardest. Losing and finding myself again, the fear, the insecurities, the overwhelming feeling of happiness – all strengthened by an enormous amount of hormones. What made it even harder was the thought I was the only mother feeling this way. I wasn’t depressed or anything, it was just hard from time to time. Really, really hard. I started writing about it, for myself, so the feelings and words wouldn’t be stuck in my head and heart any longer – as I always tend to do when times get rough. I started sharing bits and pieces of my feelings online, and soon I noticed that I really wasn’t the only mother experiencing the first year this way. I received tonnes of messages from women thanking me for putting their heartfelt feelings into words, telling me they showed my texts to their partners so that they would finally understand what was going on in their motherhearts. That’s when I knew I had to publish our story, to share it with the rest of the world, so that all those (new) mums out there would know those feelings of insecurity, doubt, and loneliness are normal, and most important: that they will go away. That they too will grow from an insecure, young mum into a strong, confident woman – just like I did. And that in the meantime, while being on that magical journey, they’re doing a great job.


“I still get messages from other mothers thanking me for putting their feelings into words”


MAMA_September20_INSTA MAMA_CG.indd 28

30/08/2020 20:44

Q The book has been such a success. Have you made connections with other new mamas since it launched? Has anything surprising come out of it? A Yes, it has been such a crazy, wonderful rollercoaster since I published the book last year. It was super scary to publish it, but the response has been so overwhelming and great. I still get messages from other mothers thanking me for putting their feelings into words, almost on a daily basis. I treasure each and every one of those messages. I think writing and publishing it and receiving all the positive feedback on the book has been really healing for me after that crazy but beautiful first year with Olivia. I never expected that the whole writing process would be such an emotional, life changing experience.

Q Your second daughter arrived last summer. What’s the transition been like from one baby to two? Have things been easier? A I remembered women around me warned me to enjoy those last silent moments with only one child, because you know, two is a zoo. And oh boy, were they right. It’s exhausting, but only in a physical way though. It isn’t emotionally challenging for me at all, it’s nothing compared with that first year with my first daughter. I didn’t have to become a mother again. There are less insecurities, less doubts. I have so many blurry moments with Olivia during those first months because I was struggling with myself at that moment too, but with Filippa I remember everything so vividly. How I felt during labour, how she was placed in my hands, her smell. Of course there are still hard moments, lack of sleep and days with 0 energy, but there’s always this little voice in my head saying “it’s just a phase, this too shall pass, you’ve got this”. I have embraced the chaos and I enjoy every minute of it. Q What are your thoughts on Instagram. What do you like and dislike most about the platform? A It’s a love/hate relationship, but ever since I finally realised ‘it’s just an app’ the love prevails. You have to be aware that most people are just showing the best version of their lives



mama h ood Q&A

on it. My goal isn’t as many followers or likes as I can get, so I think that takes a lot of stress and pressure away. I only follow accounts that inspire me or make me smile. I have made so many amazing connections all over the world these past few years and of course it is thanks to the support of my friends on Instagram I was able to self publish my book. Q And finally, best and worst bits about motherhood? A Seeing those little, vulnerable, dependent humans growing into their own people – it’s the biggest gift to witness it all. The worst? The heart-wrenching fear that something bad will happen to them.

Motherhood a memoir of our first year by Carolijn Braeken is out now September 2020  |  2 9

MAMA_September20_INSTA MAMA_CG.indd 29

28/08/2020 13:53

Q For anyone who might not know, what is birth advocacy and birth rights and why is it so important to find your voice in birth? A Advocacy means to essentially ensure that someone is heard. For me, advocacy and birthrights go hand in hand. Birth rights are the rights of birthing people and if you are an advocate you do everything in your power to ensure said peoples



lliyin Morrison is a midwife, hypnobirthing teacher and mama of one. She qualified as a midwife just over three years ago. Illy also runs an Instagram page called @mixing.up.motherhood where she discusses all things motherhood, pregnancy and childbirth, maternal mental health and racial disparity in maternal healthcare. Here she talks about finding your voice in childbirth and birth rights for all birthing people...

30  | absolutely-mama.co.uk


30/08/2020 14:21

mamah o o d INTERVIEW



Illiyin Morrison, mama of one, midwife, hypnobirthing teacher and founder of Mixing Up Motherhood… I n t e r v i e w C A R LY G L E N D I N N I N G birthrights are adhered to at all times. The importance of finding your voice in pregnancy and childbirth is that it could be the difference between a positive and negative experience. Your body is not simply a vessel, you are a human being with a mind, with needs and wishes and with rights that need to be heard. Your voice is the most important of all and that’s why you need to be heard.

The number one piece of advice I give to all birthing people, and particularly Black birthing people is, if it doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t. Seek care whenever you are concerned and don’t stop. If you aren’t being heard, speak to someone else and another person if it’s necessary until you are heard and reassured. This may mean speaking to another member of staff or even changing hospital trust. Trust your gut and listen to your body.

Q Was your own personal birth experience something that made you want to advocate for birth rights? A As a midwife, I have always been passionate about advocacy and birth rights however, my own birth experience was not a positive one and this reinforced the passion. I don’t think anyone would consider it particularly traumatic but I would and that’s all that matters. Following the birth of my daughter I wanted to make sure that no one had experiences like mine and that they felt listened to and heard at all times.

Q Why is it so important to make a birth preference list? A Birth preference lists are so important. They are often the first thing your midwife will look at in your notes. Sometimes it’s also hard for birthing people to verbalise what they want so it’s easier to write it down, the birth preference list is a great place to do this. Writing your birth preference list is also a great opportunity for you and your birth partner to get on the same page and this will help them to advocate for your wishes should it be necessary. Things to include first and foremost would be your name and what you would like to be called and the same for your birth partner. Next if you have certain preferences during labour such a music, mobilising, type of monitoring, if you are happy to have a student midwife, the type of lighting you would like, if you prefer minimal talk or are happy to be

Q What advice would you give to anyone giving birth and particularly black mothers-to-be who feel they are not being heard by their medical professional? A The latest MBRACE report showed that Black birthing people are five times more likely to die in pregnancy, childbirth and up to six weeks later when compared to their white counterparts. The suggestions for this startling statistic are: - Poor management of high risk pregnancy - Racial bias leading to stereotyping Black people and neglecting individual concerns - Limited access to resources - Substandard communication between healthcare professionals meaning issues get missed

“Your voice is the most important of all” spoken to, if you are using hypnobirthing and your preference in regards to the type of birth – land or water. Then you can add if you are happy for the injection to expel the placenta, if you would like direct skin-to-skin with the baby, who you would like to cut the cord and how you would like to feed. I think it’s also key to point out here if you have had any previous traumatic experiences. You don’t have to go into great detail but it’s very helpful for those caring for you to know what may trigger you and how to deal with certain situations. Q How can you seek help if you have already experienced a birth trauma? A Firstly I think it’s a good idea to book a birth debrief. You can do this with the trust you had your baby at. These can be really helpful in terms of understanding processes and why things happened. Secondly there are specific birth trauma counsellors that can be great. If you feel that you need more urgent help please see you GP and they will refer you accordingly. Q And finally, what is the one piece of advice you would give to anyone feeling worried about birth? A Seek antenatal education, this includes hypnobirthing. This will help you to understand the different processes that take place during birth, it will also help you to know what is right and what isn’t. Good antenatal education will help empower you to go into child birth with confidence and belief in your body and ability. I couldn’t advocate for it more! @mixing.up.motherhood September 2020  |  31


28/08/2020 13:55


*Offer valid online or in store when you spend over £80, until 30/09/20. Full price items only, excludes gif t cards.

VISIT OU R U K STO RES 45 Marylebone High Street, W1U | 179 Kensington High Street, W8 102 Northcote Road, SW11 | 10/12 Victoria Leeds, LS1

SERAPHINE.COM SERAPHINE.indd 1 AbsolutelyMama_FULL_Dec19.indd 1


Follow us @SeraphineMaternity 03/02/2020 13:40 10:33

B O L D A N D CO LO U R F U L N E W S E A S O N S T Y L E F O R M I N I S F R O M M A I N S TO RY p .4 4 TA L K I N G E CO - F R I E N D LY O U T E RW E A R W I T H N O R D I C B R A N D R E I M A p . 5 0

Limited Edition ARKET

Highstreet favourite ARKET has teamed up with Swedish visual artist KG Nilson to create a limited edition capsule named ‘Colours’. The collection interprets seven original artworks from Nilson’s archives and includes ready-to-wear for grown ups and little ones as well as accessories and homeware. arket.com

September 2020  |  33

MAMA_September20_Fashion_Opener_CG.indd 33

28/08/2020 13:57


The month’s best styles, collaborations and collections


we love


If lockdown has inspired you to support independent businesses, look no further than Birdsong. The brand’s beautifully designed pieces are ethical, sustainable and made in London by women who are paid a living wage. birdsong.london


Putting fit and comfort first, Nudea’s Easy Does It Bralette is ideal for mamas-to-be and can be worn after your little one arrives too. We love the easyto-wear, non-wired shape and the pretty but minimal design. nudea.com

Fresh Picks YO L K E

From gentle flares to bow blouses, Yolke’s new ready-to-wear collection has a distinctly ‘70s feel. We love the painterly orange print on this silk blouse – inspired by Mediterranean citrus trees laden with fruit. yolke.co.uk

34  | absolutely-mama.co.uk

Mama_September20_MAMA STYLE NOTES_CG.indd 34

28/08/2020 13:58

fash i on

Easy Vibes


nd Bra us Foc


Focusing on maximum comfort and style with minimal effort, Baukjen’s new collection has easy-dressing covered. The brand has added even more eco-friendly fabrics this season, honouring their continued commitment to sustainability. baukjen.com

SERAPHINE The French maternity brand launches new eco-friendly designs for AW20...



A new sunglasses brand that combines the therapeutic benefits of colour therapy with timeless frames and Italian artisanal craftsmanship. Said to enhance happiness, focus, wellbeing, relaxation and anxiety management. victoriousbeings.com

5 o f t he b e st C H A N G I N G B AG S

KERIKIT Lennox Bag Oxblood, £295; kerikit.com

TIBA + MARL X SELFRIDGES Elwood Eco Black, £140; tibaandmarl.com STORKSAK Eco Backpack, £98; storksak.com

JEM + BEA Jamie Eco Orange, £140; jemandbea.com MAMAS & PAPAS Changing Bag Onyx, £99; mamasandpapas.com

aternity wear doesn’t always have the best reputation for being ecofriendly. Giant tent dresses worn for just a few months often end up in landfill. The good news is that the maternity industry is suddenly getting a lot smarter with innovations that address the lifecycle of their designs. One of the brands addressing this is Seraphine. A favourite among celebrities, the French brand has long been a go-to for mamas-to-be as they offer a wide selection of comfy basics, fashion-focused designs and everyday pieces such as jeans and outerwear. For AW20, Seraphine has launched a clever new eco down padded coat, which is made from post-consumer plastic bottles rescued from landfill. The style also features the brand’s signature zipoff babywearing pouch, so you can wear it right through pregnancy and then after your little one is born. Many of the dresses, tops and knits in the collection are designed to be worn during pregnancy and also work for nursing. Look out for carefully placed poppers and buttons. And when you’re finally ready to let go of your maternity wardrobe? Pass the pieces onto another mama. seraphine.com

September 2020  |  35

Mama_September20_MAMA STYLE NOTES_CG.indd 35

28/08/2020 15:05

Autumn d a y s

Get ready for the new season with sustainable style for mamas and minis... a t e l i e r p a r s m e i .c o m

MAMA_September20_Mama_Shoot_CG.indd 36

28/08/2020 14:01

MAMA_September20_Mama_Shoot_CG.indd 37

28/08/2020 14:02

MAMA_September20_Mama_Shoot_CG.indd 38

28/08/2020 14:03

MAMA_September20_Mama_Shoot_CG.indd 39

28/08/2020 14:03

MAMA_September20_Mama_Shoot_CG.indd 40

28/08/2020 14:03

MAMA_September20_Mama_Shoot_CG.indd 41

28/08/2020 14:03

kid s

FA S H I O N NOTES Carly Glendinning rounds up the month’s best styles, looks and launches

we love


The new collection from Nellie Quats is giving us prairie girl vibes. Sweet and wholesome, it’s full of cute detailing and the Liberty print florals the brand is so well known for. nelliequats.com


Organic Zoo's new collection aims to spread a feeling of happiness with a collection inspired by nature. Look out for a cool new terrazzo print and fun slogans such as ‘animals are my friends’. organic-zoo.com

Far & Away WA N D E R & W O N D E R

Transporting us to Morocco, Wander & Wonder's new collection is full of artisan embroideries, cosmic prints and crafty trims. Perfect for free spirits – even if travel is mostly in our imaginations right now. wander-n-wonder.com




MAMA_September20_KidsNotes_CG.indd 42

28/08/2020 14:07

fa s h i on


nd Bra us Foc

True North FUB

Danish brand FUB’s design principles are inspired by their Scandinavian heritage. Clean, contemporary and designed to last, the AW20 collection is made using OEKO-TEX® certified non-mulesed merino wool and is free from harmful chemicals. fub.dk

KIDS ON THE MOON Eco-friendly brand Kids on the Moon aims to spark creativity and imagination...




Girlswear brand The Middle Daughter has become a firm favourite for impactful dresses. Bold prints this season include optical waves, William Morris-worthy florals, and a helping of candy-coloured stripes. themiddledaughter.co.uk

5 o f t he b e st BAC K T O S C H O OL

LIEWOOD Rain Boots, £34.95; scandiborn.co.uk

ROCKAHULA Pom Pom Clips, £6; rockahulakids.com

BOBUX Piper Shoes, £55; bobux.co.uk

REIMA Heiberg Jacket, £100; reima.com

STICKY LEMON Small Backpack, £41; toastiekids.com

sustainable brand from Poland, Kids on the Moon design each piece with the aim of sparking little ones’ imaginations. The brand’s founder and creator, Magda Rams, has an interesting philosophy that aesthetical education begins at a very early age and therefore it is important to surround children with beautiful things. And this is something she certainly achieves with the brand's new season collection. Inspired by nature, it’s full of delicate prints (think raindrops, waves and wind gusts) in a deliciously earthy colour palette. Our favourite piece is a golden mustard skirt with a delicate leaf print. Produced in Europe, fabrics are natural and soft – including high quality jerseys, organic cotton flannel and muslin as well as delicate corduroy. And each piece is sustainably made in Poland with a commitment to quality and fair trade. Impressively, even the brand’s packaging is environmentally friendly – with orders being packed in plant-based bags which are fully compostable. Beautiful and eco-friendly, Kids on the Moon gets a big thumbs up from us. kidsonthemoon.com

September 2020

MAMA_September20_KidsNotes_CG.indd 43



28/08/2020 14:07

N E W MAMA_September20_KIDS SHOOT_CG.indd 44

28/08/2020 14:09

Bold and colourful new season style for little ones... m a i n - s t o r y .c o m

Photography: LEONIE FREEMAN Hair and Makeup: BROOKE NEILSON Styling assistant: ALICE TIMMS

M O O D MAMA_September20_KIDS SHOOT_CG.indd 45

28/08/2020 14:10

MAMA_September20_KIDS SHOOT_CG.indd 46

28/08/2020 14:10

MAMA_September20_KIDS SHOOT_CG.indd 47

28/08/2020 14:10

MAMA_September20_KIDS SHOOT_CG.indd 48

28/08/2020 14:10

MAMA_September20_KIDS SHOOT_CG.indd 49

28/08/2020 14:11

Nordic Roots Absolutely Mama meets Finnish kids brand Reima I n t e r v i e w C A R LY G L E N D I N N I N G

Q What can we expect from the Reima AW20 collection? A Sustainability plays a big role for Reima,

and we approach it from two angles: technical and material innovations as well as classic design. This autumn, we present several new ecological advancements in our materials, and turn a spotlight on our best-selling, durable classic styles, which are an essential part of our brand’s DNA. Q What’s the inspiration behind it? A The inspiration for our Finnish designers

has been the ultimate North and its legends. The prints especially in our baby, toddler and play age kids’ wear invite you to a wintery fairytale forest, with animals that both kids and parents love. Nordic folklore and folk art with their strong colours are also visible influences. Q What should parents be looking out for when they are investing in outdoor wear for their little ones?

A First of all, no product is sustainable if it’s produced and then left unused. Therefore, comfort and performance always go hand in hand in our kidswear. A garment has to do what it promises, and feel good, or kids and their parents will not be happy – there simply isn’t any other way. Because of sustainability reasons, the durability of the outerwear is also very important. One can act against throw-away-ism by buying classic, high quality wear. Think of it as a long-term investment: you can easily sell (or donate) quality kids’ clothes to the next user and thus save not only money, but also resources. Another important factor is easy care. When a garment is used for a long time, the amount of laundering it needs (and the associated water, energy and detergent use) play a significant role in how big its environmental footprint will be. Therefore, buying kidswear that is easy to wipe clean, can save a lot of your time and effort, as well as resources. Plus,

50  | absolutely-mama.co.uk

Mama_September20_REIMA INTERVIEW_CG.indd 50

28/08/2020 14:13

fash io n INTERVIEW

washing a garment less also helps keep it in better condition, because it reduces the stress on the fabric and the finishing. Q Tell us about the role of sustainability in the business? A Since we’re equipping the next

generation of active, happy kids, preparing them for the world to come, sustainability is of course vital for us. For Reima, a sustainable product means it is safe to use, and made from fit-for-purpose materials and respecting human rights and the environment. The sourcing chains today are geographically long, but in our production, we’ve made them structurally as short as possible, meaning that we cooperate very closely with the makers of our fabrics, trims and garments as well as the first-tier factories that make the final products. We work with amfori BSCI and BLUESIGN, among others, to make sure there’s always a third party auditing us and our partners. We have ambitious sustainability targets for 2023: 50% recycled origin polyester, 100% recycled origin synthetic wadding, 50% bluesignapproved materials and carbon-neutral own operations – to name a few! Already next year, all of our cotton will be 100% GOTS certified. Finally, we see circularity as one of the industry’s biggest challenges:

“We’re equipping the next generation of active, happy kids” it’s not enough to use recycled materials, if the clothes themselves become mixed waste. That’s why we’ve created the monomaterial collection, including this autumn’s beautiful, lightly padded Kulkija jacket. It is made from polyester only (apart from the metal parts that are easy to separate), so it’s easily recyclable back to polymers that can then be made into new products. Kulkija means ‘wanderer’, and each jacket has a unique code that you can use to track its journey to other users and finally to recycling! We will collect the jackets at their end of life and make sure they end up in textile recycling. We believe designing for circularity is the future of the clothing industry. Q How do Reima’s Nordic roots play into the ethos and aesthetic of the brand?

A We started our business in very poor post-war times by recycling old army uniforms into work wear and kidswear. Finns have always been good at making ends meet in an economy of scarcity, and this has probably also affected our design. ‘Form follows function’ is the golden rule for a lot of Scandinavian design, and we’re strong fans of this rule. Another clearly Nordic trait is kids’ outdoor activity. In our kindergartens, all kids spend at least two hours outdoors every day. They need to be equipped appropriately to enjoy the special fun that rainy days, snowstorms and heavy frost bring to outdoor play, and those are the conditions Reima has been designing for decades. Q And finally, what should we be looking out for from Reima in the coming months? A Our latest addition to the Reima range

is our HOPEA collection: a compact selection of extremely high quality, you could even say luxury, outdoor items for kids. All made with special attention to the eco-friendliness and equipped with a unique code you can register for receiving support from Reima for lengthening the use life of the garment. Top level in performance for the slopes yet looking classic and cool in the city too. This collection has been our little secret, but now it’s finally time to share it with the world. reima.com September 2020

Mama_September20_REIMA INTERVIEW_CG.indd 51



28/08/2020 14:13

We provide a specialist bespoke maternity nurse service that offers personal and professional postnatal care to parents and babies

Maternity Nurse Services Maternity Mum offers consultancy services, both online and offline, for any issues regarding breastfeeding and sleep training. In addition, they also offer overseas maternity nurses, either for those who are travelling overseas or for clients who live abroad. • Live in 24 Hour Maternity Nurse • Daily Maternity Nurse • Night Nanny (Night Maternity Nurse)

maternitymum.co.uk admin@maternitymum.co.uk

MM.indd 1

• Travel Maternity Nurse • New Starter Maternity Nurse • Specialist Maternity Nurse

Tel: +44 (0) 755 713 3711 Tel: +44 (0) 795 029 5758

28/08/2020 14:42

wellness P R EG N A N CY S K I N C A R E T I P S F R O M C A R O LI N E H I R O N S p .6 4 H OW TO R ECOV E R F R O M A BA D B I R T H p .6 6

Write On


If self-care has become a priority in lockdown, this one’s for you. Traditional journal meets DIY therapist, The Positive Planner features sections dedicated to daily reflections, a weekly mood tracker and mindfulness activities as well as everyday organisational extras such as meal planners and shopping lists. £20; thepositiveplanners.com

September 2020  |  5 3

Mama_September20_Wellness_Opener_CG.indd 53

28/08/2020 14:16

babyzen.com BABYZEN.indd 1

01/11/2019 14:45

wellnes s




Luxury boutique fitness studio FLEX Chelsea has launched Hot Mama – pre and post-natal training to get you back to feeling your best. The safe and structured exercise plan is tailored to each stage of the pre and post-natal journey to help you feel your best. flexchelsea.com


WELLNESS NOTES Yoga for kids and pre and post natal fitness


South West London family wellness destination ALMA has launched a new interactive yoga audio series. Kids (and parents) can tune in at home and practise mindfulness with each episode, discovering music and movement. From £9 per episode; almadeli.com/audio-series


Equi London’s Pregnancy Formula takes you from conception through to pregnancy and breastfeeding. A tailored blend of the most premium, bio-available vitamins, minerals, oils and herbs, it helps to boost fertility and support a healthy pregnancy. Pregnancy Formula £41; equilondon.com


Laundry brand smol has launched a super-concentrated fabric conditioner that is animal fat free, uses fewer chemicals and comes in a 100% recycled and recyclable plastic bottle. Available via subscription; smolproducts.com

September 2020  |  5 5

MAMA_September20_Wellness_Notes_CG.indd 55

28/08/2020 14:18

Q &A



Chef, author and CEO of mymuybueno,® Justine Murphy, on all things food and two recipes from her new cookbook

Q How did you get into cooking, was it something you were always interested in growing up? A I had a very unhappy and unhealthy childhood, and food was not an area of positivity for me. It was along my journey into adulthood that I recognised it as having the power to make me feel happy. I then started to fall in love with food and cooking, and the joy it brought, and the happiness it not only gave me, but would give others too. It became the very thing that healed me and is at the heart of my business and life.

I n t e r v i e w C A R LY G L E N D I N N I N G

56  | absolutely-mama.co.uk

MAMA_September20_RECIPES_Justine Murphy_USE_CG.indd 56

30/08/2020 14:12

wellne s s RECIPE S

Q What's it like raising a family in Mallorca? A Amazing. It’s a quality of life here like no other. The beaches, the mountains, markets, the produce, it’s almost like stepping back in time. I split my time between London and Mallorca, and the differences are vast. I love the fast pace of London, but coming back to Mallorca and our sleeping village life, the community and people. It’s a much slower life moving at a different pace, and good for my children to enjoy the simple things that much more. Q Do you cook with your boys? A Yes, all the time. They love cooking and baking with me. They are so proud at what they make, and seeing their faces light up, the understanding how they can turn different ingredients into a finished dish or cake and be like "I made this" is massively rewarding for them, and for me. It’s time well spent together and it’s so important. It does require some major patience at times, but it’s worth it. Q What are your favourite easy go-to meals when you're cooking for your family? A A roast... I love, love, love making a roast chicken and all the trimmings, especially on a Sunday afternoon for a leisurely family lunch. Ramen – I make a ramen bowl once a week for dinner, it’s quick, easy, like a hug in a bowl, comforting and delicious. And then ‘pickies’ – I make a lot of sharing platters that everyone can tuck into, whether it’s with hummus and flatbreads, or chicken satays and making a Med style board or Asian. Q Any tips for getting little ones to eat less sugar and more healthily? A Changing over to using coconut sugar, pure maple syrup, brown rice syrup is a start. Adapting their, and your tastes. Once you do so, when you try the processed refined sugar it is SO sweet and sickly, it hurts your teeth. With using pure ingredients such as cacao powder, again their palate adjusts to that because it tastes good, and when it

HUMMUS Plain and Beetroot

tastes so good, and it’s healthy, you don’t want anything else. When you do have it – such as some ice cream or sweets, they really won’t want much, because it just simply isn’t as nice, it’s too sweet. Q How do you juggle such a busy career and motherhood? A Good organisation, getting my ducks in a row. As women and mothers especially, we juggle more now than we ever have, we have just so many

“I love, love, love making a roast chicken” expectations put upon us, and we are delivering on them. Being in control and planning your day properly, writing to do lists, and living a better quality of life with the people we choose to allow it. How we live each day, and then eating good food, having time together eating it, all makes a vast difference and enhances your quality of life. Constantly prioritising and re-prioritising in order to juggle all the balls, picking things up and putting them back down again. Looking after yourself and your family, and enjoying those moments that good food brings and quality family time, between the rest of the crazy and busy times that our day-to-day life brings.

Serves 4


could eat hummus all day long, it’s creamy, it’s moreish, it’s delicious. We eat a lot of hummus in our house, simply with carrot sticks, baked tortillas, flatbreads and as a side with a Moroccan style feast. I love both options.

Ingredients • 400g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed • 2 tbsp tahini • 1 clove of garlic, roasted • 1 tbsp lemon juice • 2 tbsp olive oil • 3 tbsp water • 1 tsp ground cumin • Pinch of flaked sea salt • Grind of black pepper For the beetroot hummus • 200g cooked beetroot, drained

DIRECTIONS 1 For plain hummus, place the chickpeas, tahini, roasted garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, water, cumin, salt and pepper in a food processor then blend until smooth. 2 For beetroot hummus, use half the amount of tahini and ground cumin, leave out the water and include the cooked and drained beetroot. Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor as above.

September 2020

MAMA_September20_RECIPES_Justine Murphy_USE_CG.indd 57



30/08/2020 14:13

PICCOLO.indd 1

28/08/2020 17:34

wellne s s RECIPE S

“So hydrating and a winner with children” DIRECTIONS 1 Add your apple juice to a blender with the pineapple and mango. 2 Blend until smooth then pour the yellow mixture into your lolly moulds, filling them a third of the way up and insert your lolly sticks. 3 Freeze for about half an hour to make your first layer. 4 Next, add your apple liquid to a blender with the strawberries and mango. 5 Blend until smooth then repeat the layering and freezing process to make your second layer. 6 Add your orange juice to the blender with the chopped orange and mango. 7 Blend until smooth then repeat the layering and freezing process to make your third and final layer. 8 Leave the lollies to freeze overnight and set completely. 9 Run a hot cloth over the moulds to loosen the lollies and help you get them out. Enjoy.


Ingredients Yellow • 180ml fresh apple juice • 80g pineapple, peeled and chopped • 80g mango, fresh or frozen


hese are so delicious, and you can add whichever fruit you like to change the colour and flavours. Try kiwi for green or blueberry for purple lollies. You can change the fruit juice too, using apple for lighter colours, and orange for darker. Beetroot is also fantastic. So colourful, so hydrating and a winner with children and adults alike, every time.

Red • 180ml fresh apple juice • 120g strawberries, hulled • 60g mango, fresh or frozen Orange • 180ml fresh orange juice • 1 whole orange, peeled, deseeded and chopped • 80g mango, fresh or frozen

MYMUYBUENO The mymuybueno Cookbook by Justine Murphy is published by Meze Publishing and is out now. RRP £25; mymuybueno.com September 2020  |  59

MAMA_September20_RECIPES_Justine Murphy_USE_CG.indd 59

30/08/2020 14:14


B E AU T Y NOTES Hair, make-up and beauty news for the month ahead


we love

Kjaer Weis’s new Invisible Touch Concealer provides high coverage without revealing itself on the skin. Mask the telltale signs of sleepless nights, without looking like you’re wearing makeup at all. £33; kjaerweis.com


The baby range from The Organic Pharmacy contains mild, organic ingredients such as chamomile and calendula and natural scents. Gentle enough for everyday use on little ones’ skin. theorganicpharmacy.com

Beauty Revolution VO L I T I O N

Available exclusively at Cult Beauty in the UK, Volition is the first consumer-powered beauty brand. Members of the Volition community put forward ideas for new products and if they are selected, they work with the US brand to innovate, create and bring the idea to market. cultbeauty.co.uk

60  | absolutely-mama.co.uk

MAMA September20_BEAUTY NOTES_CG.indd 60

28/08/2020 14:20

wellnes s

No Waste


n Salo w e i Rev


A clever new skincare concept, Bolt Beauty’s seaweed capsules are biodegradable and dissolve in water in just a couple of minutes or can be composted. Their packaging is based on a circular solution – buy one jar and refill it. Just brilliant. bolt-beauty.com



Wo r d s A B B I E S C H O F I E L D


Infused with 22 of the world’s most nutrient-rich botanicals, Vintner’s daughter’s Active Botanical Serum is a potent tool in your beauty arsenal. Magical stuff, each bottle contains plants from conscious growers and takes three weeks to make. £175; spacenk.com

5 of t he b e st LI T TL E S M I L E S TRUTHBRUSH Tiny Truthbrush, £4.50; thehambledon.com

GEORGANICS Kids’ Natural Floss, £4.90; georganics.com

ORGANIC CHILDREN BY GREEN PEOPLE Toothpaste, £4.50; greenpeople.co.uk THE BRUSHIES Pinky Toothbrush, £7.50; naturalbabyshower.co.uk

SPOTLIGHT ORAL CARE Children’s Toothpaste, £5.95; eu.spotlightoralcare.com

y thick, wavy locks are in serious need of some TLC having not seen a hairdresser’s chair for longer than I care to admit. The Goldilocks liquid gold hair treatment at Neville Hair and Beauty seems like the perfect solution. Like a Brazilian blowdry, it’s a keratin treatment designed to revitalise hair, reduce frizz and repair the bonds and damage from sun, heat and colour. The best part? It’s chemical free, unlike normal Brazilian blow dries. The formula combines ingredients including cocoa, pure keratin and real 24 carat gold. My hair is washed and rough dried before the shimmering liquid is brushed from root to tip. Then, it’s a 25-35 minute wait. My hair is blow dried again and the treatment is sealed in with hair straighteners, leaving me with a super shiny do. The treatment takes over time, so I can’t get my hair wet for three days. When I finally wash it (a sulphatefree shampoo is a must to maintain the treatment), I don’t need to use a conditioner or style my hair at all. It naturally dries to perfection – it’s not dead straight, but it’s a lot less bushy which highlights my gentle waves. A fast frizz fix, with brilliant results lasting two to three months. From £250, 5 Pont St, SW1X 9EJ; nevillehairandbeauty.net

September 2020  |  61

MAMA September20_BEAUTY NOTES_CG.indd 61

28/08/2020 14:21

THE Motherload How the global pandemic is impacting the well-being of mothers and their mental health... Wo r d s S H E RY L F R A N K L I N

62  | absolutely-mama.co.uk

MAMA_September2020_MENTAL HEALTH_CG.indd 62

28/08/2020 14:22

wellness MENTAL


ecoming a mother at any time can take some adjustment. Whether it’s your first, second or third child, it’s not only the birth of a child, but a birth of a mother. A mother – that with each pregnancy, each birth; can be entirely different to the previous. It’s a given that each woman’s experience will not be the same, as motherhood is our own unique personal journey. It can be a struggle to adjust to a new identity, shift in priorities, work/ life balance when juggling a multitude of tasks. The ‘motherload’ is often eased by visits from loved ones, meeting with other mums in postnatal classes, a drink at a local café or taking a stroll in the park; allowing some time to breathe and get some kind of human interaction. When the global pandemic hit and the world came to a standstill, both expectant mothers and new mothers faced more challenges. For pregnant women, it was the fear of contracting Covid-19 and passing it onto their baby. Not being able to have their loved ones present at check up appointments meant the mother standing alone. Partners missing out on scans of their child. For new mothers, it was similarly

the fear of contracting Covid-19, but also the lack of support. Less medical support, social distancing restrictions in place meant less human interaction and connection. The saying that ‘it takes a village’ to raise a child... what happens when there isn’t a village in place? The mother is unfortunately alone, with only immediate family household members available to support. Even in this instance, a partner’s due attention may have not been there as more people were having to work from home. With pregnancy, the focus is entirely on the mother, her wellbeing and ensuring that she is happy and healthy, ready for the arrival of her little one. After birth, with the hormones, the sleepless nights, the feeling of huge adjustment, it can take a toll on a mother’s sense of ‘self’ and overall well-being. Without the right support in place, feelings of anxiety and sadness can creep in, leaving a mother in a challenging position and quite often alone and distressed with the demands of not only being a new mother, but the anxiety around a global pandemic. There is now an increasing concern about Covid-19’s impact on mental health. Thousands of women are now in unprecedented circumstances, so, it’s no surprise that Pandas, the charity that supports mothers with pre and postnatal depression, saw a 75% increase in calls just 12 days after lockdown was announced. Postnatal depression can be experienced at any time post birth. It most commonly occurs when the baby is around 4-6 months old. Symptoms can come on gradually or become debilitating quite quickly. During the pandemic, women have been experiencing the lack of support they need and in turn, it’s unfortunately having an impact on their mental health and well-being. There has been a shift in the way we


think about life in general, the value of human connection and looking after our health. The concept of ‘self-care’ has been around for a while now, however, there needs to be more attention paid to ‘postpartum self-care’ when PND figures are on the rise. If mothers do not attend to their physical and emotional wellbeing, as well as their newborn’s, the figures will only rise. It’s vital that mothers take the time to adjust into their new role in these uncertain times and not put too much pressure on themselves. It’s time to think more about a mother’s well-being and putting self care as a priority, not just ‘when we have time’. From my own experience, I suffered from both pre and postnatal depression. It really hit when my son was about four months old. The shift in identity was huge and the adjustment to motherhood was hard. My symptoms were mild, however, it lasted for about six months. I had neglected self -care at the beginning of my motherhood journey, however,

“The adjustment to motherhood was hard” when my son was six months old, I made a decision to look at holistic ways to support myself. I wanted to improve my well-being and my beautiful son’s. I started to regularly practise yoga again and meditation also gave me a sense of calm and balance. I ensured that I wasn’t neglecting my body, by eating nutritious foods to increase my energy levels and be healthy. My son is now five and after a difficult start to motherhood, I now feel happy and healthy (with an equally happy little boy). My hope is that more mothers will not only look at their own well-being as paramount, but look at holistic ways to support postnatal depression. Now is the time, as women, as mothers, to aim to be our most optimal selves. There is no perfect mother, but a happy and healthy one should be our goal. Sheryl Franklin is a holistic wellbeing advocate and founder of No Judgement Mama.

@nojudgementmama September 2020  |  63

MAMA_September2020_MENTAL HEALTH_CG.indd 63

28/08/2020 14:23


Tips and advice for hormonal pregnancy skin and postpartum complexions from the new book by skincare queen Caroline Hirons


Hormones can wreak havoc with your skin, but there is no way of telling which way your skin will go, so: • Invest in a hyaluronic facial mist to spray on your face when you are hot and flustered, or dry and dehydrated (or both). You’ll love it when you’re in labour. • Buy a good-quality fragrance-free facial oil to apply if your skin is inflamed. • Switch out your vitamin A for something like bakuchiol. This is a plant-derived product considered a suitable alternative for vitamin A during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as it’s shown to have a similar effect on the skin. • Surges in hormones frequently result in breakouts, and despite old wives’ tales, low

64  | absolutely-mama.co.uk


30/08/2020 13:33

wellnes s SKINCARE

levels of salicylic acid are completely safe for pregnant women. Doctors recommend using no higher than a 2 per cent product to tackle pregnancy breakouts, and most over-the-counter products are sold at levels lower than 2 per cent.

A word on supplements...

Omega oils found in either flax or fish oil supplements will help both dry and dehydrated skins, however you need to be using them for at least 3 months before you’ll see the benefits on your skin.

All other acids are fine, although I wouldn’t use anything that your skin is not accustomed to during this period.

It is quite common to have skin that is both dry and dehydrated, but if the definitions above have helped you ascertain that your skin is either dry or dehydrated (or both), these dos and don’ts might help:


Dry skin is normally a skin type but it can also be a temporary skin condition. It is caused by lack of oil in the skin. Characteristics of dry skin include: • Small pores • Skin feels ‘tight’ • Skin may be flaky • Milia, blackheads and spots may be present • Skin looks dull • Skin is not plump • Skin doesn’t absorb products easily • Skin is easily irritated and more likely to suffer reactions to products skin is aggravated by poor skincare


A skin condition such as dehydration can affect any skin type, including dry and oily skin. It is caused by lack of water in the skin (not lack of water taken orally!). Characteristics of dehydrated skin include:

• Pores can be large or small • Skin feels ‘tight’ and dry, although confusingly, in the case of oily skin, it can still look shiny and have breakouts • Skin absorbs moisturisers really quickly • Blackheads and spots are still visible • Makeup disappears (and goes patchy) throughout the day as the skin is absorbing any water in your foundation • Skin looks ‘ashen’ • A possibility of suffering from headaches In normal circumstances, your hydrolipidic film (on the surface of the skin) acts as a regulator and barrier – retaining moisture and protecting your skin against germs. If, for whatever reason, that film’s effectiveness is affected, the moisture in the epidermis evaporates too quickly and the normal, healthy state of the skin is compromised. The reality is that most of us at one time or another have dehydrated skin. Any and all of the following can cause dehydration: Environment

• Do upgrade your moisturiser to one suitable for dry skin if you recognise the signs – go for products using the words ‘nourishing’. • Do change your moisturiser to one labelled ‘hydra’ or ‘hydrating’ if you suspect you are dehydrated. • Do use balms, oils and serums for dry skin. • Do use milks, specified oils and treatments for dehydrated skin. • Do not use products that are too harsh or too stripping. • Steer clear of foaming products – keep the bubbles for your dishes. • W hether your skin is dry or dehydrated, adding a little hyaluronic acid to your routine won’t hurt. Try these...

– Bioderma Hydrabio Cream – Clarins Cleansing Milk with Alpine Herbs – Darphin Rose Aromatic Care – Weleda Skin Food – Murad Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence – Neutrogena Hydro Boost – N IOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex –H ada Labo – range is made for dehydrated skins – Zelens Daily Defence SPF30

Wind, cold air, dry air, too much sun, air conditioning, central heating Diet

Eating the wrong foods, consuming alcohol and caffeine, not eating enough water-heavy foods or not drinking enough water Lifestyle

Stress, poor skincare routine, using the wrong products, medication (including birth control) or smoking Genetics

Monthly cycle, pregnancy or hormones

Skincare by Caroline Hirons is out now and published by HQ, HarperCollins; £20

September 2020  |  65


30/08/2020 13:33

“Give yourself the

time and space to recover in the ways you need ”



Rachel Clarke, founder of Hey Mama Hypnobirthing on how to recover from a traumatic birth

f you’ve had a baby and you are struggling to move on from the birth, you may be in the 30% of women who find their labour or birth to be traumatising. You might be feeling disappointed that the birth experience wasn’t what you expected it to be or angry at the way your care team handled aspects of your labour or birth. In this article we will look at what makes a birth traumatic and what you can do to take steps towards healing and recovery.


Post-traumatic stress from childbirth or birth trauma can have a long lasting and significant impact on your ability to live day to day. It can affect your relationship with

66  | absolutely-mama.co.uk

MAMA_September20_BIRTH TRAUMA_CG.indd 66

28/08/2020 14:32

welln es s BIRTH

your partner and stop you from enjoying your new baby. You may have had a long, difficult labour that resulted in emergency treatment. You might have had a very quick and intense labour that made you feel helpless and out of control. There may have been an experience that was shocking or unexpected in the immediate postnatal period. Either way, when you are reminded about your birth you feel overwhelming and intense negative thoughts and feelings that can be hard to manage.


You might experience these common signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress: re-living aspects of your birth through nightmares, flashbacks, recurrent thoughts or physical arousal reactions like sweating or nausea; alertness or feeling on edge including anger, irritability or lack of sleep; or avoiding feelings or memories, such as feeling emotional numbness, avoiding anything pregnancy or birth related, using alcohol or being unable to remember parts of the birth.


If you feared for your or your baby’s life, you thought you were in immediate or prolonged danger, you were scared and felt out of control, it is likely to have left you feeling traumatised. It’s likely that during a difficult birth, the switch to our acute stress response (known as ‘fight, flight or freeze’) is triggered. This sympathetic nervous system is a normal, biological response to life-threatening situations. It is unhelpful if it is switched on every time we are reminded of birth and we are unable to regulate or turn it off. Being constantly in this stress response leaves us feeling drained and exhausted.


Everyone has an individual recovery journey that will take time and patience.

What is helpful for one person might not be for another and may require a combination of steps or approaches.


Making time to debrief with a senior midwife after your birth can be a helpful first step. This is your chance to understand what happened, talk through your thoughts and feelings from your birth and learn more about any future health implications.


Learning some simple breathing exercises, relaxation techniques and practicing mindfulness will help you manage your triggers. Over time reconnect with yourself physically through yoga, pilates or other movement based exercise to help you become more aware of your physical signs of arousal. Get creative with poetry, drawing or writing to help express your inner thoughts and feelings associated with your birth.


Practice self compassion when you think about your birth and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You could only make the decisions with the inner resources and information to hand at the time. Give yourself the time and space to recover in the ways you need.


There is help for you if you need support with recovering from your birth. Talking to someone will help you understand the impact of your birth and how it is affecting your day to day life. Organisations such as the Birth Trauma Association and Make Birth Better have resources for parents who have experienced a traumatic birth. Visit your GP for a mental health assessment and if appropriate ask for a referral for EMDR therapy or traumainformed CBT (NICE Guidelines, 2014). Sadly there isn’t a single magic cure for moving on from a traumatic birth but you can and will discover a healing pathway that is right for you. Often a combination of different approaches over a number of months or years, and for some having additional positive birth experiences, will provide healing relief. If you are struggling with moving on from your birth then consider the Traumatic Birth Recovery 3 Step Rewind as an option alongside other therapeutic interventions. Over only 3 sessions, this safe and gentle technique can help you feel significantly relieved of the heavy feelings associated with your birth.

Rachel Clarke is a birth coach who is skilled in KG Hypnobirthing, Traumatic Birth Recovery 3 Step Rewind technique and is currently a trainee Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist. Her passion is improving maternal wellbeing in the pregnancy period and healing birth trauma experiences.


September 2020  |  67

MAMA_September20_BIRTH TRAUMA_CG.indd 67

28/08/2020 14:32

CM.indd 1

05/11/2019 09:25




Encircled by a wildlife refuge, natural lagoon and pine forest, five-star hotel Elivi Skiathos makes the perfect getaway this autumn. Little ones will enjoy access to some of the island’s best beaches and the hotel also has enhanced safety protocols in place to safeguard guests. elivihotels.com

September 2020  |  69

Mama_September20_TRAVEL_OPENER_CG.indd 69

28/08/2020 14:33

organic, fresh baby & toddler food www.bellotababy.com

next day, to your door.


BB.indd 04/12/2019 13:551

LB.indd 1

13/01/2020 09:38

Sylvia’s Happy Childcare is homebased nursery in Queen’s Park. Our aims are to provide outstanding Early Years Education for children through creative hands-on play and learning experiences in a stimulating, safe and relaxed environment. We want children to feel excited about learning and aim to give them a positive first experience of life.

We are open 50 weeks of the year including school holidays

Monday to Friday from 8:00am - 6:00pm To arrange an appointment to view our nursery or for more information please don’t hesitate to contact us.

www.sylviashappychildcare.london SDC.indd 1


T: 0208 9602 217 M: 07908 667 509 05/02/2019 11:37

28/08/2020 15:43



BEACH ESCAPE IKOS RESORTS The award-winning Ikos Resorts are reinventing the beach holiday accross the Mediterranean. Five star touches include brilliant kids clubs with activities that cater for every age group from tots to teens. ikosresorts.com



Carly Glendinning rounds up the most exciting travel kit and destinations we love





With the travel ban to Turkey now lifted, the Hillside Beach Club makes the perfect destination for a family holiday. There’s lots for all ages to enjoy – from pristine beaches to action packed activities. hillsidebeachclub.com

A travel essential, these vegan and compostable plasters are also hypoallergenic, organic and made of bamboo. The new activated charcoal range even has naturally enriched gauze to promote healing. £6.99; hollandandbarrett.com

3 d e s t i n a t i o n s f o r a R E U N I O N H O L I DAY Sani Resort

Villa Clarisse


Set in a 1,000 acre ecological reserve, Sani Resort has plenty of space for family groups. Take in the sandy beaches, gardens and pools and get together with the outdoor activities on offer.

Often dubbed the ‘French Cornwall’ Ile de Ré’s picturesque villages and sandy beaches make it perfect for a family getaway. Villa Clarisse has a relaxed feel and staff can organise activities for all ages.

The iconic sporting estate offers plenty for family groups including a ‘sensory adventure’ where younger guests can try sound mapping and den building.








September 2020

MAMA_September20_Travel_Notes_CG.indd 71



28/08/2020 15:42


CORNWALL Little Cottage PR A A SA N DS


he Cornish family holiday home of Soho House architect Alex Michaelis, the not so ‘little’ Little Cottage is a striking family beach house overlooking the beautiful Praa Sands beach. The unique home sleeps up to 10 guests, and includes three sea-view bedrooms, an outdoor jacuzzi, hot tub and its very own trail leading to the soft sands. Ideal for those looking for a coastal stay with a modern twist.


STYLISH Hideaways

Absolutely Mama rounds up the best UK boltholes for family staycations this autumn…

W o r d s C A R LY G L E N D I N N I N G

From £281 per night & minimum 3 or 4 night stay depending on dates. sandandstoneescapes.com

NORFOLK Nor-Folk Stays, The Water Cabin BROA DS NATIONA L PA R K


ocated on the bank of the River Thurne, in the heart of the Broads National Park, this 1930s cedar-clad cabin is filled with stylish design furniture and has a lack of wifi to encourage you to unplug and

72  | absolutely-mama.co.uk

MAMA September20 UK STAYCATIONS_CG.indd 72

28/08/2020 14:35

escapes UK



DEVON Braunton Bolthole BR AU N TON


his stylish two bedroom home is a throwback to the 1970s. Relax on the huge orange leather daybeds and watch a retro box set, or get outside and enjoy the surrounding Braunton Burrows dunes. You’re also only a five minute drive away from the golden Saunton Sands – one of the best beaches in Devon.


From £75-150 per night depending on dates. Sleeps 2-4. kiphideaways.com

unwind. With two bedrooms (it sleeps four), you are surrounded by stunning river and countryside views as far as the eye can see. From £370 for four nights depending on dates. Sleeps 4. nor-folk.com/nor-folk-stays



n elegant Georgian townhouse, medieval forge and row of cottages beautifully converted into a twelve-bedroom hotel. The perfect retreat from city life, the decor is inspired by the arts and crafts movement with lots of cosy touches. Eat at partner restaurant Osip and enjoy strolling around Bruton – which is considered to be the coolest town in the West Country. From £130 per night depending on dates. numberonebruton.com





Cabü By The Sea

Architect’s Cabin



abü by the Sea lies on a natural stretch of privately owned grassland, next to the seafront between Romney Marsh and the English Channel. A 10 acre gated community of eco-conscious cabins, it’s the perfect retreat for families – with immediate access to the beach, a chic heated pool, hot tubs and a sauna. Cabin decor has a stylish Scandi feel and there’s an open air summerhouse and a shop where you can stock up on provisons and treats. They can even arrange activities for you including water sports and wine tours.

n architect-led conversion, this Scandi minimalist cabin was once a farrier’s shop. Light and bright and filled with magazine-worth 50s-style furniture, it has a homely feel with comforts including a woodburner, Spotify and board games. The kitchen table even doubles up as a ping pong table and there’s a hot tub in the garden. Three bedrooms make it perfect for a family or multi-generational holiday and there’s scenic walking in the surrounding countryside, which plenty of space for little ones to run around.


From £128 per night depending on dates. cabu.co.uk/holidays


From £170 per night depending on dates. Sleeps 6. kiphideaways.com September 2020  |  73

MAMA September20 UK STAYCATIONS_CG.indd 73

28/08/2020 14:35

“Our first stop was the Lego House, an epic shrine to the humble plastic brick” The kids at the Lego House

Family friendly Denmark

Off to

LEGOLAND Why Billund, Europe’s Capital of Children, makes the perfect mini-break

Wo r d s Z O E Y G O T O

74  | absolutely-mama.co.uk

MAMA_September2020_DENMARK_CG.indd 74

28/08/2020 14:37

escape s DENMARK


Legoland, Billund

s the birthplace of Lego, Billund has fun in its DNA. Zoey Goto took her children, aged 3 and 9, to find out why this Danish town is known as Europe’s most family friendly destination... Ask a child to dream up their ideal town and it would probably look a lot like Billund. In fact, that’s exactly what happened, when the city planners consulted children on how to create Europe’s Capital of Children – the kind of town where learning through play is the mission of the day, everyday. This child-centric ethos is apparent from the moment you step off the plane at Billund airport, a refreshingly brisk 90-minute flight from London. Most of the town’s star attractions – Legoland, the Lego Hotel, Lalandia holiday park

and the Lego House museum are within a condensed area of a couple of blocks, making it super easy to navigate. Our first stop was the Lego House, an epic shrine to the humble plastic brick. This beautifully designed museum has been structured to look like a stack of Lego bricks, with a 15 metre high Lego tree growing right through the centre. Inside there are 25 million Lego bricks to play with, divided into six colourful interactive zones. We tried our hand at making stop-motion movies, created Lego fish to release into a digital aquarium and ran wild at the Insta-worthy rooftop playgrounds. Our Lego House highlight has to be the brilliant onsite Mini Chef restaurant, where we were served lunch by Robert and Roberta, the resident Lego robots. The kids found the tech-novelty wildly entertaining, the food was delicious and finishing off our meatballs and mash, we collectively decided that Mini Chef was probably the most fun family meal we had eaten to date! Admittedly, I may have arrived at the Lego House slightly sceptical – having not given Lego much thought beyond trying not to step on it – but I left that afternoon a total cardcarrying AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego). That evening we bedded down at the Lalandia holiday park, in a spacious wooden cabin complete with its own jacuzzi and sauna, surrounded by trees and birdsong. Lalandia’s big draw is that it boasts Scandinavia’s largest waterpark, a tropical climate aquadome filled with excitable kids whizzing down water slides. Not quite brave enough to attempt the lightning fast Turbo Racer slide, I ducked out and found serenity in Lalandia’s field of adorable miniature goats. Although Billund boasts plenty of child-focused attractions, we decided to factor in a couple of days of local

The Lego House waterfall

The Mini Chef restaurant

exploration. A 20 minute drive from Billund’s centre, Givskud Zoo is a safari park where you can spot lions, rhinos and giraffes from the comfort of your car, which works particularly well for young children unable to trek long distances. Our Be Happy pass (see over the page) allowed our kids to join a complementary zookeeper session, where they fed the mighty water buffalos their lunch. An hour from Billund, Ribe is Denmark’s oldest town and worth visiting for its picturesque labyrinth of cobbled side streets and historical architecture. Just outside the town you’ll find the Ribe VikingeCenter, a huge outdoor reenactment village. Vikingwear is wholeheartedly encouraged (we must have missed the memo) and the site is teaming with families brushing up

Givskud Zoo

September 2020  |  75

MAMA_September2020_DENMARK_CG.indd 75

28/08/2020 14:37

Hawkesdown House School

For Boys & Girls aged 2 to 11 years

27 Edge Street, Kensington, London W8 7PN Telephone: 0207 727 9090 Email: admin@hawkesdown.co.uk www.hawkesdown.co.uk


28/08/2020 16:54

escape s DENMARK

Wow Park

on the ancient arts of archery, warrior training and coin making. As luck would have it, our eldest had recently learnt about the Vikings at school, so it was a timely way to bring history to life. We also headed over to Frederica, a fjord on the East Coast famous for its whale safari expeditions. When I heard that children were allowed to steer the antique boat, I’d assumed it would be a token effort. But in keeping with the Danish philosophy of giving children freedom and responsibility, my eldest was soon learning the difference between port and starboard, whilst navigating the 87-ton fishing boat through the scenic harbour! This section of waters in Lillebælt is home to the world’s largest concentration of porpoises, and the keen-eyed Ribe town

“It was a gorgeous example of how well Denmark understands the importance of play” skipper helped us to spot eight whales during our maritime outing. Back safely on dry land, our final days were spent enjoying Billund’s many attractions, including the original Legoland theme park, a more spacious and relaxed alternative to our UK version. In keeping with the Lego theme, we spent a couple of nights at the Lego Hotel. It was absolute kid-utopia and our children adored their adventure themed room, plus the Lego-tastic play areas. Our farewell adventure was to the newly opened Wow Park on the outskirts of Billund. This huge amusement park doesn’t have a ride in sight. Instead, it’s all about nature, with aerial tree houses hidden deep in the woodland, streams to splash in and campfires to melt s’mores over as dusk falls. It was a gorgeous example of how well Denmark understands the importance of play, and we left that evening with little doubt as to why the Danes are the happiest nation on earth.

Legoland, Billund

B I L LU N D N E E D TO K N OW: Book into the 4* Lego Hotel and you’ll receive a complimentary Be Happy Pass, giving access to lots of free merch and activities across Billund’s top attractions. Rooms from £185 per night based on 4 people sharing a pirate room, me hearties!

H OW TO G E T T H E R E : Both British Airways (from £40 per person each way) and Ryanair (from £20 per person each way) have direct daily flights between London and Billund. For further information on fabulous Danish family holidays see: visitdenmark.com September 2020  |  77

MAMA_September2020_DENMARK_CG.indd 77

28/08/2020 14:37


28/08/2020 14:41

home &

T H E B E ST N E W I N T E R I O R S L AU N C H E S FO R LI T T LE O N E S p . 8 0 I N S I D E T H E H O M E O F OYOY FO U N D E R LOT T E F Y N B O E p . 8 2

Smart Storage MAMAS & PAPAS

The new Melfi furniture collection from Mamas & Papas focuses on luxurious storage solutions for style conscious parents. We love the on-trend colour palette and the super-sleek brushed metallic handles. mamasandpapas.com

September 2020  |  79

MAMA_September20_Interiors Opener_CG.indd 79

28/08/2020 14:38


N U R S E RY NOTES Carly Glendinning’s interior picks for the month ahead


we love

Danish interiors brand OYOY has added three new rattan designs to their collection. Doing away with the need for plastic, look out for a dolls bed, a dolls high chair and a sweet little shelf. oyoylivingdesign.co.uk


These animal head hooks from Ferm Living will help to make hanging up coats and school bags a little bit more appealing this autumn. A fun addition to any space, they look pretty good in a wildlife themed nursery or kids room too. fermliving.com



Falling Leaves CA M CA M C O P E N H AG E N

Nursery interiors favourite Cam Cam Copenhagen has added a beautifully delicate leaf print to their new season collection. On everything from muslins to accessories and wallpaper, it won’t fail to make you feel autumnal and it’s a great unisex option too. camcamcopenhagen.com


MAMA_September20_NurseryNotes_CG.indd 80

28/08/2020 14:40

h o me & interio rs

Rainbow Days


d Bran s u Foc


Make tummy time, play and exploration a little bit more colourful with this rainbow blanket from Fabelab. As your little ones grows bigger, it also makes a bold statement as a wall hanging. fabelab.dk

NIMI PROJECTS A family lifestyle store that’s the go-to place for contemporary Japanese design...




They’ve got the pram, bed and now they can have a carry cot too. Is it us or are doll’s accessories just getting cuter and cuter? We love this mini wicker basket design from Sebra. sebra.dk

5 o f t he b e st NIG H T L I G H T S

BLAFRE Magical LED Nighlight, £60; kidly.co.uk

HOUSE OF DISASTER Moomin Nightlight, £13.95; sorenshouse.co.uk

MR MARIA Boris Nightlight, £65; kidly.co.uk

LIEWOOD Rabbit Nightlight, £28.95; scandiborn.co.uk

EGMONT Mushroom Lamp, £42; smallable.com

he founders of NiMi Projects, a Japanese homeware store based in Kent, bonded over a love of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design. Nicole Bargwanna and Mio Yamada both lived in Tokyo for many years and have a talent for sourcing unique items. Their store is full of beautiful pieces for the family home and has a small but perfectly curated selection of toys for little ones. Amongst the origami paper sets and design-led touches for the nursery, brands to look out for include Dou? and Kiko+ and GG*. Dou? have become known for their playful, handmade wooden designs. Their toys not only look good but help to educate little learners. We love the simplicity of the Little Chef play kitchen (above – a cooker complete with play food), and the nostalgic Little DJ wooden decks. Kiko+ and GG* by Japanese toy maker Kukkia brings together play, art and nature. The brand’s toys are made from eco-friendly and sustainably sourced wood and all of the toys have a little added quirks, whether moving parts, magnetic pieces or fun details. nimiltd.com

September 2020

MAMA_September20_NurseryNotes_CG.indd 81



28/08/2020 14:40

LIGHT FA N TA S T I C Absolutely Mama takes a peek inside the holiday home of Lotte Fynboe, founder of OYOY Living Design I n t e r v i e w C A R LY G L E N D I N N I N G

“The first time I saw the holiday house I was sure it was perfect”


otte Fynboe is the founder of family lifestyle brand OYOY Living Design. She launched the business straight out of design school in 2012 and some of her very first pieces are still part of the collection. Playfulness meets simplicity and functionality in her design aesthetic and much of Lotte’s inspiration comes from her childhood memories. Here, the mama-of-two invites us to take a tour of her magical holiday home on the Danish West Coast... Q How did you come to buy your holiday house and what drew you to it? A I have a passion for the raw brutalism architecture from the ‘50s and up to the early ‘70s where functionality is in

focus, the light fantastic and everything unnecessary is gone. The first time I saw the holiday house I was sure it was perfect. I just love the way the house is divided in two with a yard between the two sections. The perfect place for outdoor living with a location close to the sea and with surroundings of the most beautiful nature. Q What was it like when you bought it and did you do any renovation work? A The holiday house has not undergone a major transformation but we have added our own furniture and interior and painted a bit to make it appear as original as possible. As the house is not that big, we are planning a major renovation in the same architecture as the original, which will be completed spring 2021.

82  | absolutely-mama.co.uk

MAMA_September20_INTERIORS TOUR - OYOY_CG.indd 82

28/08/2020 14:41

hhoome me & & interio interiors rs INSPIRATION INSPIRATION

September 2020

MAMA_September20_INTERIORS TOUR - OYOY_CG.indd 83



28/08/2020 14:41

LTV.indd 2

02/03/2020 10:20

h o me & interio rs INSPIRATION

“When I do change things around, it gives me good energy”

Q What was your decorating vision and where did you look to for inspiration? A The house must invite and encourage relaxation whilst remaining calm with functional simple items that are usable. It must be a place totally relaxed with a cosy atmosphere where you want to stay. The colours and materials must be natural, clean and make you feel good.

Q How have you incorporated OYOY designs into the house and do you have any favourite pieces? A The summer house is of course decorated everywhere with interior items, tableware, lighting and small furniture from OYOY Living Design throughout the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms and living space as well as older Danish furniture and lamp classics.

Q What have you done to your children’s rooms? A They are quite small rooms but again they are cosy and relaxed with room for creativity and at the same time set up to be together as a family when we are in the house.

Q Being a designer, is there a temptation to change things all the time? A Now that I work with design every day where we are constantly developing new products, I need to make sure I am not constantly remodelling. It is important to me that I am personally surrounded by tranquillity where I do not have to continually consider my surroundings. Of course I can also feel like redoing it all and then when I do change things around, it gives me good energy. Q And finally, how do you create a sense of hygge. Is there a room that you gather as a family the most in? A There must be room for everyone and everything in the room must be used and worn so you can see people living there. As a family we gather a lot in the kitchen around good food and as soon as the weather is good it is in the yard between the two houses which is our favourite place to spend time together. @oyoylivingdesign @lottefynboe oyoylivingdesign.co.uk September 2020  |  85

MAMA_September20_INTERIORS TOUR - OYOY_CG.indd 85

28/08/2020 14:42

SC.indd 1

28/08/2020 14:48

resources H OW TO PA R E N T LI K E A S C A N D I N AV I A N p . 8 8 P OT T Y T R A I N I N G T H E M O N T E S S O R I WAY p . 9 0

School Cool DJECO

For those looking to boost learning, Djeco has a brilliant selection of educational toys and games. The Parisian brand is also one of our favourites for beautiful back to school stationery – including notebooks, stickers, colouring pencils and pencil cases. djeco.com

September 2020  |  87

Mama_September20_Resources opener_CG.indd 87

28/08/2020 14:44


PA R E N T I N G 5 ways you can parent the Swedish way


he Scandinavian style of childrearing is practical, egalitarian and free from outdated myths. In Parenthood the Swedish Way, two leading Swedish medical specialists, Dr Cecilia Chrapkowska and Dr Agnes Wold, guide parents through a maze of information to help them raise healthy, happy families in the twenty-first century. Here are 5 tips they’ve shared to help you parent the Scandi way.



Resentment occurs when one party in a relationship feels that they are not getting their fair share of something — often freedom, time, or money. The emotion of resentment can be a healthy and natural defence mechanism. Resentment should be taken seriously as a warning sign that one person in a relationship may be being exploited. Sharing parenting duties equally, down to the most minute level, will help guard against resentment and allow your child to have an equally strong relationship with both of their parents. When a baby is born, there will always be a certain amount of chaos, so you will need to plan in advance to avoid falling into the 80–20 model or

the default model of your society, whether it’s 80–20, 70–30 or 99–1, ‘out of habit’. We suggest you draw up a partnership contract before the baby arrives. It should contain a plan for the split of parental leave and care in the first year. A partnership contract lays the foundation for active and equal involvement by both parents.



“Draw up a partnership contract before the baby arrives”

There are masses of companies that thrive on expectant parents who want to be fully prepared and who don’t know yet how few things a newborn really needs. Don’t be taken in by special offers, and don’t buy anything unless you’re absolutely sure you’ll need it. A newborn needs a few clothes, a lot of nappies, something to be carried around or pushed in, and a car seat (if you have or use a car). If you choose to feed your baby Dr Cecilia Chrapkowska

Dr Agnes Wold

88  | absolutely-mama.co.uk

MAMA_September20_SCANDI PARENTING_CG.indd 88

28/08/2020 14:46

reso urces PARENTING

on formula, you will need to spend money on the formula and bottles; if you choose to breastfeed, the mother will eat more, and so groceries will be a little more expensive. A changing table can be handy, but it isn’t an absolute must. A bed sounds important, but in fact homes are full of cots that babies have never slept in, so hold off on buying a cot — there are other alternatives that may be more suitable to start with. In particular, be sceptical about any type of product that is said to monitor or improve your baby’s health and safety – many monitors create more anxiety than peace of mind.



It is completely unnecessary for women to pump and discard their milk if they have drunk alcohol. Breast milk will always contain the same concentration of alcohol as the blood. If you weigh 60 kg and quickly drink two glasses of wine, you’ll have around 0.05 per cent alcohol in your blood (50 milligrams per 100 millilitres). Your breast milk will then also contain 0.05 per cent alcohol, which is 40 times less than the alcohol concentration in low-alcohol beer (2.1 per cent). Such a minimal alcohol level is not going to harm your baby. In fact, many natural foods — including yoghurt, fruit, juices, and other products containing alcohol-forming yeasts — have such minimal levels of alcohol.



Around 97 per cent of Swedish parents choose to vaccinate their children in accordance with the national immunisation program – one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. The effectiveness and safety of public vaccines is constantly monitored, and no vaccine is added to the schedule unless there is a thoroughly satisfactory safety margin. Vaccinations are medical interventions that save many lives every day. By following your national immunisation program, you can provide your child with excellent protection against seriously dangerous diseases. Do it.



The definition of an allergy is having allergic symptoms to something that is not actually harmful. You may see offers for ‘allergy tests’ at clinics and online. The term ‘allergy tests’ is misleading because these tests can’t reveal whether or not a child is allergic. Instead, they show whether a child has IgE antibodies against various allergens, which is called being ‘sensitised’. The presence of antibodies in a child’s system is not a symptom and, hence, is not evidence of an allergy. It is pointless finding out whether a child has been sensitised to something if they don’t exhibit any symptoms. Sensitisation without symptoms is very common, and should not be treated. There is no research which suggests that a child should avoid a substance to which they have been sensitised.

Parenthood the Swedish Way Scribe UK, £16.99

September 2020  |  89

MAMA_September20_SCANDI PARENTING_CG.indd 89

28/08/2020 14:46


90  | absolutely-mama.co.uk

MAMA_September20_MONTESSORI_CG.indd 90

28/08/2020 14:48

reso urces POT T Y


TO I L E T I N G The Montessori Way Simone Davies shares potty training tips from her book, The Montessori Toddler...

“The most important thing is to follow our child. It is not a competition”


he period when a toddler learns how to use the toilet does not have to be dreaded. After all, it is a completely natural part of being a human. Our children pick up our attitudes toward dirty nappies from infancy, and if we are screwing up our face, they will learn that it is a dirty thing instead of a normal bodily process. I love this analogy from a fellow Montessori teacher. When a baby pulls themselves up to standing, falls down, stands up again, and then falls down, over and over until they master it, we think it is cute. When our child is learning to use the bathroom and they pee on the floor or poop in their pants, they are also practicing until they master it – except there is pee and poop. So with open minds, I would love to help make this process a little less stressful.


The child will slowly build skills around using the toilet, starting with being able to manage their own clothing. At first they practice pulling their shorts or trousers up and down, and then later their underwear. We can offer a potty/toilet when we change their nappy never forcing them, but making it part of the daily rhythm. “Would you like to sit on the potty/ toilet?” “Now that you’re finished on

the potty, I’m going to put your nappy back on.” Using cloth nappies can also help the child feel wet when they have peed, increasing their body awareness.


The most important thing is to follow our child. It is not a competition. I’m not including any ages here, but rather, signs that the child may be ready: • P ulling at their nappy when it is wet or soiled • Squatting or going to a private place while they poop • Telling us they have peed or pooped • Resisting having their nappy changed (sometimes) • Taking off their nappy


Have a potty or a small toilet seat on the toilet. If they are using the toilet, we will need a step that the child can manage themselves and as a place to rest their feet to feel secure while sitting on the toilet. We can also have a place in the bathroom for soiled clothes and a pile of clean underwear. A pile of cleaning rags for puddles is useful, too. Having everything at the ready and being prepared will help us remain relaxed and not rushing about, looking for things. If they don’t make it to the potty/toilet, we can calmly say, “Ah. I see you are wet. We have everything we need right here. Let’s get dry.” September 2020  |  91

MAMA_September20_MONTESSORI_CG.indd 91

28/08/2020 14:49

YS.indd 1

20/07/2020 13:35

reso urces POT T Y


private. Then we can start to invite them to sit on the potty with their nappy on. Gradually they will feel safe on the potty/toilet without the nappy/ underwear on. Again, we are simply supporting them and scaffolding skills.


We don’t force a child to use the toilet. This is their body. We can’t rush it or do this for them. We can only support them and find ways to work with them. We can make sure we aren’t interrupting them to take them to the bathroom. We can keep offering the potty/toilet and trust that they will learn to use them. We accept them for who they are and where they are in this process.



Involve the child in the process. Buy some underwear together, as well as a potty. We can also find training pants that hold a little bit of pee to help when they are trying to get to the toilet in time. As we are scaffolding skills, we can start by letting them wear just their underpants when we are at home so there is less to have to take on and off, and less to wash. They are learning what it feels like to be wet and may even stand to watch the pee run down their leg. That’s the first step. Increasing body awareness. Next we can help them go to the bathroom to change. Montessori teachers generally say, “You have wet clothes. Let’s go change,” rather than, “You had an accident.” Offer the potty/ toilet regularly at first. If we ask a toddler if they need to go to the toilet, they usually answer “no.” It’s a common response for a toddler who is developing autonomy. Instead, we can wait until they aren’t in the middle of an activity and simply say, “It’s time to go to the potty,” leading them to the bathroom. After some weeks, they generally will begin to have more awareness of their body and sometimes tell us that they need to go to the toilet. We will also

observe that they are able to hold it in for longer periods at a time. Eventually they won’t need reminders at all.


We can move to underpants at nap time and night at the same time or when we notice they can hold for longer periods and wake with a dry nappy/ underwear. Place a thick towel across the child’s sheets and tuck it in, or use a bed protector; either can easily be removed during the night if needed.


Sometimes a child becomes scared of pooping. It may have hurt once to poop, someone may have had a reaction that made them scared to poop on the toilet, or we may not know why. Check with a doctor if you believe there is a medical issue. If all appears healthy, help the child relax by being calm and supportive. We can tell them, “The poop will come out when it is ready. It may take a week, it may take two weeks, but it knows when to come. Our bodies are very clever.” Then try not to talk about it too much. Rub their tummy if their abdomen hurts. If they usually go somewhere private to poop, gradually invite the child to move to the bathroom to poop in

Sometimes a toddler who knows how to use the toilet will suddenly start to pee on the floor intentionally. Observe them. Often they are telling us through their behavior that they are unhappy about something in their world, for example, a sibling who has started crawling and taking more of their space. They want us to see them, and we can look from a place of curiosity, in order to understand them. We can acknowledge their feelings but set a clear limit about the behavior. “You’re upset about something? I can’t let you pee on the floor. But I want to work it out with you.” We can go back to creating connection, finding ways to work with them, and do some problem solving together with them.

Excerpted from Montessori Toddler: A Parent’s Guide To Raising A Curious and Responsible Human Being. By Simone Davies, Illustrated by Hiyoko Imai. Workman Publishing © 2019 September 2020  |  93

MAMA_September20_MONTESSORI_CG.indd 93

30/08/2020 20:49

Claire MAGEE

Claire Magee is the MD at Nannycare, specialists in goat milk based nutrition for babies. nannycare.co.uk Q Why did Nannycare choose goat milk to make their Follow on? A It provides parents with choice; traditionally infant formulas have almost all been made from cow’s milk. In some ways, goat milk is considered more similar to breast milk than cow’s milk. Recent studies have found goat milk formula contains some of the same health-boosting properties that are also found in human milk¹. Due to its protein make-up, goat milk forms soft curds in a baby’s tummy making it a soft and gentle choice for use in Follow on. The milk fat is nutritious; by choosing to use the whole milk, we hold onto its goodness by including the milk fat. Nannycare is all about minimal processing with no unnecessary additions, whilst ensuring all the vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients are included to support a baby’s health.

Ask the




Parenting and medical professionals, as well as leading entrepreneurs, answer some of your most pressing questions 94


If you’d like to talk to us, call our Careline UK: 0800 328 5826 ROI: 1800 937 375, email us on enquiry@nannycare.co.uk or visit our website for FAQs www.nannycare.co.uk You can find Nannycare Follow On in selected Tesco, Boots, Waitrose, Asda and Morrison’s stores and available on Ocado and Amazon. You can also order in local independent pharmacies. Important notice: Goat milk formula is not suitable for infants with diagnosed cow’s milk protein allergy. Breastfeeding is best for your baby. Follow on milk should only be used as part of a mixed diet and not as a breastmilk substitute before 6 months. Consult your healthcare professional for feeding advice. 1. It is similar to human milk in that it contains numerous cytoplasmic particles that are broken off from the cell during apocrine secretion (Boutinaud & Jammes, 2002) jfhc.co.uk/goat-milk-measure-formulas


Mama_September20_Ask the experts_CG.indd 94

28/08/2020 14:52

reso ur c es ADVICE


Caroline Hartwell is a specialist baby practitioner who has worked with children for over 30 years. maternitymum.co.uk Q Will I still bond with my baby if I have a maternity nurse? A If you have chosen the ‘right’ maternity nurse then yes of course you will still bond with your baby. It’s the maternity nurse’s job to make sure you do. It’s their role to support, guide, and help you get rest, at this very special and difficult time. And also to make

sure you get lots of cuddles, skin-toskin and as many cooing moments as possible with your precious little one. It’s your baby and no one can ever take that away from you. If you’re breastfeeding then that’s a great way to have moments of closeness, cooing, eye-to-eye contact – it’s all classed as bonding. For those who choose to bottle feed, again just holding your baby and feeding them is a great bonding experience between mum and little one. Your baby will also know who is who – people smell different and they resonate their feelings differently. And there is NO other feeling like the feeling that a baby gets from their mum! Other relatives, friends and any help you have (including your maternity nurse) will never have that same feeling for your little one and that’s because your bond with your baby is like no other.

Angela SPENCER Baby wellness expert and awardwinning author Angela Spencer is the founder of Babyopathy. babyopathy.com

Q How can I enjoy a positive pregnancy from the beginning? A Positivity is crucial to a pregnancy but we seem to be in a generation of focusing on the negative which worries me. Why is it, when you tell anyone you’re pregnant they have a horror story to tell you? So, my first tip is to politely say “thank you, but can I stop you there, I’m focusing on the positive, and have decided not to listen to negative stories”. Now, that’s not to say you won’t hear or learn about some things that could be considered negative, BUT,

they should come from a position of knowledge and empowerment to be able to make informed choices instead of emotionally charged and enhanced stories. For example, one important issue you should be aware of so that you can make positive choices from the very beginning and reduce risks is stress. Maternal stress during pregnancy can have a detrimental impact on both your pregnancy wellbeing and your baby’s development and wellbeing, it is a scientifically proven fact. I have an online course that explains this to mums, but it is important to empower mums with ways to combat it at the same time. Being aware and making personal choices from the very beginning helps you to be positive throughout your pregnancy. However, positivity also comes from within, so choosing to be positive, seeing the positive and making positive choices starts with us. September 2020

Mama_September20_Ask the experts_CG.indd 95



28/08/2020 14:53


20/07/2020 15:04

reso ur c es ADVICE


Founder of Hibou Home, designer children’s wallpaper and bedding brand. hibouhome.com

How do I create a stylish nursery? Using a wallpaper with a subtle theme is a great way to add instant interest to a nursery. Choose a wallpaper with a sophisticated colour palette and an interesting design that will inspire children’s imaginations. Add beautiful furniture such as a hand woven rattan cot or a Scandinavian wooden bed then layer with organic cotton bed linen in toning colours and patterns to create a cosy and inviting space. Add soft sheepskin rugs so your little one has somewhere soft to crawl and play. Displaying a selection of your child’s favourite books, pictures or toys is a great way to add personality to a nursery. Finally, don’t forget a comfy chair so you have somewhere comfortable to sit whilst nursing or cuddling up for bedtime stories. Q A


Clare Bourne is a specialist Women’s & Men’s Health Physiotherapist at Six Physio Chelsea. sixphysio.com Q Pelvic fl oor muscles... Where are they? What do they actually do? Why are they so important? A Like any muscle, if we don’t use our pelvic floor and strengthen it, it weakens. Urinary leakage is not normal and should not be accepted as a new norm. It is common, and many women do experience urinary incontinence

after birth, however there is a lot that can be done. Women’s health physiotherapists are trained in helping women recover postnatally, with special pelvic floor training – which is the first line treatment for urinary continence in the UK, as stated in recent NICE Guidelines. Pelvic floor exercises are often described as ‘oh when you squeeze down there’, which is essentially not wrong, however it is not all about squeezing (or contracting as physios like to call it). The relaxation of a muscle is as important as the contraction and lots of women struggle to let go of their pelvic floor, allowing it to fully relax. When we are stressed, not breathing deeply, or relaxed our pelvic floor naturally sits quite tight. So before starting your squeeze try and take a deep breath in and see if you can feel your pelvic floor relaxing – it is as important as the squeeze. September 2020

Mama_September20_Ask the experts_CG.indd 97



28/08/2020 14:54

We’re here to help when you and your family are ready to find your new home. Visit kfh.co.uk 9864_KFH_Spring Campaign_Absolutely Mama_Banner_420x28_art_v2.indd 1

Henry Fawcett Community Nursery (Leaf ) Clayton St, London SE11 5BZ 020 7582 0509

to know Mama’s guide to London’s best nurseries and preschools

Base Zero Nursery Happy Days 109A Randlesdown Rd, Gramsci Way, London, SE6 3HB 020 8461 3510 The Villa 54 Lyndhurst Grove, London SE15 5AH 0207 703 6216 Chairbears Day Nursery 9-12 Deptford Broadway, London SE84PA 020 8305 6588




North Bridge House Nursery School/Pre-Prep 33 Fitzjohn’s Ave, Camden Town, London NW3 5JY 020 7267 6266

Les Trois Oursons 4 Collins Yard, London N1 2XU 020 7099 0452

Hatching Dragon Nursery School 1 Viscount St, London EC1Y 0AA 020 7256 9365

Little Stars Nursery 58 Allen Rd, Stoke Newington, London N16 8RZ 020 7254 4367

Sahan Preschool Day Nursery 12 Stukeley Rd, London, E7 9QZ 020 3719 7002

The Mulberry House School 7 Minster Road, London, NW2 3SD 020 8452 7340 Living Spring Montessori St Michael’s Church Annexe, St Michael’s Road, London, NW2 6XG 020 8830 7331 Nuffy Bear Nursery Brondesbury Park Fitness & Wellbeing Centre, Sidmouth Road, London, NW2 5JY 020 3432 8708

Sylvia's Happy Childcare 119a Chevening Road, London, NW6 6DU 020 8960 2217



Puddleducks Nurseries Puddleducks House, r/o 75 Friern Barnet Road, London NW3 5JY 020 7267 6266 Hackney Care For Kids 61 Evering Rd, London N16 7PR 020 7923 3471 William Patten Daycare Nursery William Patten School, Stoke Newington Church St, Stoke Newington, London N16 0NX 020 3844 4227 Creative Explorers Day Nursery 18 Gisburn Rd, London N8 7BS 07956 809748

Oliver Thomas Nursery School 1 Mathews Ave, London, E6 6BU 020 8552 1177

The Lyceum Nursery 6 Paul Street, City of London, London, EC2A 4JH registrar@lyceumschool.co.uk lyceumschool.co.uk 020 7247 1588

SOUT H E AST Dulwich Montessori Nursery School St Stephen’s Church, College Road, Dulwich, London SE21 7HN 0208 766 0091

Eaton Square Nursery School, Belgravia 28 & 30 Eccleston Street, London SW1W 9PY Eaton Square Nursery School, Knightsbridge Rutland Gardens, London SW7 1BX Eaton Square Nursery School, Pimlico 32a Lupus Street, London SW1V 3DZ nursery@eatonsquareschool.com eatonsquareschool.com 020 7931 9469 The Knightsbridge Kindergarten St Peter’s Church, 119 Eaton Square, London SW1W 9AL 020 7371 2306 The Willcocks Nursery School Holy Trinity With All Saints Church, Prince Consort Road, London, SW7 2BA 020 7584 5054


Mama_September20_Nursery Listing.indd 98

28/08/2020 15:16

reso urces DIRECTORY

London. Property. We get it. 07/05/2019 10:37

Melrose House 55 Finlay St, Fulham SW6 6HF 020 7736 9296

Wee Ones Nursery 4 St Ann’s Cresent, London SW18 2LR 0208 870 7729

Hatching Dragons Westminster Units 3&4 Westminster Quarter, 2 Monck street, London, SW1P 2BQ 0203 912 2902

The Orchard Day Nursery 201-203 The Broadway, Wimbledon, London, SW19 1NL 020 3880 7373

Tadpoles Nursery School 68 Park Walk, Chelsea, London SW10 0NQ 020 7352 9757 The Barnes Village Nursery 3A Station Rd, London SW13 0LP 020 8878 5111 Gwendolen House 39 Gwendolen Ave SW15 6EH 0203 441 2450 London Early Years Foundation 121 Marsham St, Westminster, London SW1P 4LX 020 7834 8679 One World Nursery 9 Knowle Cl, London SW9 0TQ 020 7924 9505 Dee’s Day Nursery (Wimbledon) 2 Mansel Rd, Wimbledon, London SW19 4AA 020 8944 0284 Learning Ladders Nursery Ground Floor, Falkner Court, Francis Chichester Way, London SW11 5HX 020 7622 9300 Kiddi Caru Day Nursery 2 Piazza Buildings Empress State, London SW6 1TW 0207 386 4505 Tiggers Nursery School, Putney 87 Putney Bridge Rd, London SW15 2PA 020 8874 4668

Tiny Thinkers Childcare 192 Tudor Drive, Kingston upon Thames KT2 5QG 0203 441 2450

W EST Little Chepstow Nursery 108 Lancaster Road, W11 1QS 0207 243 0243 Rolfe’s Nursery School The Little House, 34a Oxford Gardens, London, W10 5UQ 020 8969 5805 New Studio Pre-School Kelfield Mews, Kelfield Gardens, London, W10 6LS 020 8969 5805 Denbigh Under Fives Group 5b Denbigh Road, Denbigh Road, London, W11 2SJ 020 7221 5318 Kids Unlimited 34 Ladbroke Grove, London W11 3BQ 0845 365 2918 St Peter’s Nursery School 59a Portobello Road, London W11 3DB 020 7243 2617 Ladbroke Square Montessori School 43 Ladbroke Square, London W11 3ND 020 7229 0125 The Square School 18 Holland Park Avenue, London W11 3QU 020 7221 6004

Holland Park Nursery School Kenley Walk Hall, Kenley Walk, London W11 4BA 020 7792 0323 Jack in the Box Kelmscott Community Hall, Ashchurch Grove, White City, London W12 9BT 020 8811 8099 Stepping Stones Nursery 5 Gayford Road, London W12 9BY 020 8811 1646 Bright Sparks Montessori School 142 Sinclair Road, London, W14 0NL 020 7371 4697 Vanessa Nursery 12 Cathnor Road, London W12 6JA 020 8743 8196 Little Owls Nursery 108 Lakeside Rd, London W14 0DY 020 3266 0044 The Kensington Kindergarten St Barnabas Church, 23 Addison Rd, Kensington, London W14 8LH 020 7371 4848

Iverna Gardens Montessori Nursery School Armenian Church Hall, Iverna Gardens, London W8 6TP 020 7937 0794 Caterpillar Montessori PO Box 105 11 London W4 5WU W4 5LG 020 8747 8531 Maggie and Rose 55 Finlay St, Fulham SW6 6HF 020 7736 9296 Millie’s House Nursery and Pre-School Distillery Lane, Fulham Reach W6 9US 020 8748 4303 Windham Nursery School Windham Road, Richmond, Surrey, London TW9 2HP 0208 831 6060 Merchant Square Day Nursery 13 Harbet Rd, Paddington, London W2 1AJ 020 7402 2227 Busy Bees at Hammersmith 3 Bute Gardens, London W6 7DR 0208 741 9945

Millie’s House Nursery and Pre-School Distillery Ln, London W6 9PL 020 8748 4303

The Corner House Day Nursery 82 Lavington Rd, London W13 9LR 020 8567 2806

One World Montessori and Pre-Preparatory 69 - 71 Brook Green, London W6 7BE 020 7603 6065

Bunny Park Day Nursery & Nursery School 37 Manor Court Rd, London W7 3EJ 020 8567 6142

Little Cherubs Nursery School Our Lady Of Victories Church Hall, 16a Abingdon Road, London W8 6AF 07810 712241

Hatching Dragons Twickenham 2 The Green, Twickenham, London, TW2 5AA 0203 912 2901

Carmelite Parish Centre Pitt Street W8 4JH 07810 712241

September 2020  |  99

Mama_September20_Nursery Listing.indd 99

28/08/2020 15:16



r e s ou rc es REVIEWS



Nuna Tres Car Seat


Re vie we d by SOPH I E H E L SBY

Cybex Eezy Twist +2


Re vie w e d b y M I M I N E W B E R RY

he Eezy Twist +2 is the latest addition to CYBEX’s stroller range, an update on the brand’s 360° twist model. Suitable from birth in the lie-flat position and until 4 years (approx 22kg) in the forward facing position, it can be used as a 4-in-one travel system by replacing the cot with the COT S, the COCOON S or one of CYBEX’s car seats. We got the CLOUD Z i-Size, which slots onto the frame easily with the adapters and is a good option when you are out and about and need to collapse the frame down on the tube or in a busy cafe. The Eezy Twist +2 was easy to assemble (just slot the wheels on) and the all-black version we opted for is sleek, minimal and stylish. The 360° twist is super easy to manoeuvre with just one hand, allowing you to change the seat from parent facing to

forward facing. The stroller itself is really lightweight and the one hand fold is smooth. The seat can be easily configured into a lie-flat position. We also really loved the all-wheel suspension – making it easier to steer than some of its competitors. All in all, we’d really recommend this stroller for city dwelling parents or families who travel a lot.  £369.95, cybex-online.com

ow our daughter is getting a bit bigger, we’ve realised we’ve made a bit of a rookie error. Car seats can be an expensive essential, and the one we bought for our daughter when she was born only goes up to 18 months. For other parents at the kitbuying stage, we’d really recommend the Nuna TRES. Suitable from birth all the way up to 12 years old, the clever design grows with your child. Genius! From birth up to four years old, the seat can be configured to face the rear and then from four up to age 12, you can turn it to face the front. It has six recline positions and 10 headrest positions, for extra comfy napping. Safety is a huge factor for any parent looking for a car seat, and the TRES takes impact protection to the next level. The design is i-Size safe, with a reinforced steel frame, ultra-resilient plastics, removable inserts, Tailor tech™ memory foam and EPP energy absorbing foam. Finally, it’s spillage safe, with two seat covers (one for winter and one for summer), which can be thrown in the wash. All in all, a stylish, clever car seat that’s really worth the investment.  £300, nunababy.com


MAMA_September20_REVIEW_CG.indd 100

29/08/2020 23:04


Streets Ahead

C O M PA CT W I T H O U T C O M P R O M I S E In store and online at mamasandpapas.com

MP.indd 1

20/07/2020 17:06


DESIGNED MAKE LIFE GOING EASY NO MATTERTO WHERE YOU'RE NO MATTER WHERE YOU'RE GOING DESIGNED TO MAKE LIFE EASY For more details visit our website www.venicci.co.uk or email customerservice@venicci.co.uk

NO MATTER WHERE YOU'RE GOING For more details visit our website www.venicci.co.uk or email customerservice@venicci.co.uk

DESIGNED TO MAKE LIFE EASY NO MATTER WHERE YOU'RE GOING For more details visit our website www.venicci.co.uk or email customerservice@venicci.co.uk

VENICCI.indd 1

20/07/2020 11:45