Tag: breastfeeding

Chronicles Of A Working Mum – Tips To Help On Your Breastfeeding Journey

Chronicles Of A Working Mum – Tips To Help On Your Breastfeeding Journey

I love being a working mother, I love being able to have my “own identity” at work and earning my own money. I love being a mother slightly more though, and my children are by far the greatest gift I have ever been given and the most important thing in my life.

The hardest thing you will ever have to do is “go back to work” after having a baby. I have been extremely blessed so far in my career to work for organizations that are flexible in terms of hours and working conditions, something I am pleased to say is becoming easier in South Africa. I only truly “went back to work” with my eldest, and I did that for 4 months before finding a role that allowed me to work from home and be with my boys for over 4 years. Now on baby 3 I find myself “returning to the workplace” once again, leaving a little 3 month old baba at home.

Yes, part of me wants to “run back to the office”. Lets be honest here, and don’t judge me, having been a “stay at home” mum and a “working mum”, it’s a hell of a lot easier on some days to run away to the office and let your caregiver take care of the crying, nap times and feeds. A large part of me however, also wants to stay at home and soak in every single cuddle and sweet smile. The years fly by and in the blink of an eye she will be walking and talking. But, like 90% of South Africa’s women, I need to go back into the office and I am beyond grateful that I have a super nanny to look after my babygirl and I don’t need to put her into a creche yet.

The hardest part of going back to work is always the preparation stage. If you are breastfeeding, it’s making sure whenever you have a free moment, that you are pumping milk to freeze. It’s getting baby used to the nanny/ caregiver and allowing them to learn each other. It means sitting in another room and using all your might not to run and hold baby at every single cry. Hearing your baby crying but knowing that you need to let another person get used to her and understand her cues, to learn her signals like you do as her mother.

The one thing I can do for my babygirl is feed her, and I wouldn’t give that up for the world. Breastfeeding for me is just the most special journey. I breastfed my eldest for over a year, my second son for over 2 years and although circumstances are different now, I fully intend to feed my babygirl for over a year too. Maintaining a corporate career and breastfeeding a baby is a full on commitment in itself and one that I certainly wouldn’t be able to do with some help along the way.

If you are planning on keeping up your supply whilst working there are a couple of things you can do to help you on your journey:

  • Firstly, a really great double pump, and make sure you get a hands free bustier. I’m currently using the Medela Freestyle and loving it! Its compact and small and has a fully chargeable lithium battery, meaning I can pop down to my car to pump (open plan offices and clear glass windows in meeting rooms aren’t great for pumping). It takes 17 minutes from start to finish for me to pump out a full feed for Raya, and with the hands free bustier I can even carry on working. Nothing makes you feel more like a superwomen then multitasking 🙂 They key is to try and pump as close to baby’s normal feeding times as possible. I make sure I have enough of a freezer stash available to last a week or two and then whatever I pump that day gets replenished. As soon as I am at home, baby feeds from me as normal.
  • Mrs Milk Lactation Bars – Different to traditional lactation cookies in that Mrs Milk provides nutrition, for both mum and baby. “Mrs Milk” bars are fantastic for busy mama’s, not only providing you with key “milk boosting” ingredients like fenugreek, flax and brewers yeast, but also providing you with nutrition and energy for the day ahead. Calories are important when breastfeeding and life is chaotic! We often forget things like breakfast or snacks when you are running between work and kids, and Mrs Milk bars are the perfect in between! They fill you up with all the right things and come in two flavours, the classic and the green apple and moringa (my favourite).
  • Lactation Cookies – I have also been munching my way through “Nursing Mama” cookies. The ULTIMATE pick me up treat 🙂 No more mid afternoon or late night choccies for me, because these lactation cookies curb every craving. They are super yummy and come in 3 flavours, coconut and almond (my favourite), peanut butter and chocolate as well as white chocolate and almond. There is even a range to help curb morning sickness.  I find some of the flavours a little sweet, but I love the fact that you can buy pre-mixes, because honestly, who has time to run around looking for ingredients like flax seed and brewers yeast? When I bake the pre-mixes I just add a little less chocolate or sugar in to suit my taste.
  • Hydration – Goes without saying. Water=Milk, in this case anyway. If you do not increase your hydration, you will not produce enough breastmilk. It’s that simple. So whether its herbal, nursing teas, or plain old water; drink drink drink!
  • Finally a crucial item you need to consider, and it just occurred to me whilst I was pumping in the car, is your clothing! So here’s a HUGE shout out to companies like Cherry Melon, Sophie and Jane as well as Mama Noo nursing, who make breastfeeding friendly underwear or clothes. There is a BIG difference in being able to pump or feed discretely when it comes to the clothes you wear. Cherry Melon has some fantastic feeding cami’s that unclip at the strap, I wear these under my work clothes everyday, which allows me to maintain a sense of dignity whilst pumping 🙂

Wherever you are in your breastfeeding journey, know that you aren’t alone. Its tough but it is manageable. Its also a very personal journey, so if you feel that the natural cycle has come to an end, that okay too. This post though is here to encourage you. You can do it, if you want to. There will be ups and downs and ebs and flows, but we have incredible support in this motherhood community, and if you feel you don’t have any, I am here for you!

Love Local – Mama Noo Nursing Wear

Love Local – Mama Noo Nursing Wear

Its been a while since a proper blog post, in between feeds and winding and trying to make various kiddos sleep a moment to type is quite rare these days. This is one post however that I cant put off any longer, because their products have made such a difference to me post-partum. In today’s Love Local Blog I feature the dynamic duo behind Mama Noo Maternity and Nursing Wear, and not a moment too soon with their winter range launching in 3 days.

I have the lifestyle maternity bra and it honestly is super comfortable. The cotton is soft and is not too tight at all. It has just enough stretch in it. There is nothing worse then a maternity bra that is too tight or “scratchy”, but the lifestyle bra has been fantastic. I love the fact that it is a sports bra style (there are various styles available), ideal for mums getting back into an exercise regime. I also received a pair of the delicate knickers. These are brilliant for your post-partum needs and are high waisted, which allows extra comfort especially if you have had a c-section. I actually wouldn’t take these to the hospital because I wouldn’t want to ruin them with those first few days after birth, I kept mine for when I was home and things were a little less messy 🙂 Either way a set of these and a bra would be the perfect gift for any mama to be!

Tell me more about yourselves and what you currently do?

Sisters by law, friends in awe. We are two sisters-in-law who became best friends through the journey of getting married and becoming stay-at-home mothers. I (Imne) live in Paarl with my husband and two little buttons (4y old boy and 20mnth old girl). Emsie lives in Stellenbosch with her husband and they have a boy (4y) and little girl(2y).

We love motherhood and try our best to embrace the joys, challenges and daily curve balls that life can throw. However, it is such a privilege to raise our children and be able to have our own business and work from home.

How did “Mama Noo” come about?

We love everything about breastfeeding and truly believe in all the rich benefits it holds. We breastfeed our children for at least 18-24 months. So, whilst on this adventure, we realized the complete lack of beautiful (but still functional and comfortable!) maternity underwear. We certainly did not want to flaunt the ones we then wore for months on end. We started out in October 2016 when our first imported bras arrived. It sold like hot cakes, and we realized the opportunity in our hands. Soon after we decided to start manufacturing locally. This allows us to tailor our products to mothers’ exact needs, and provide outstanding quality, whilst supporting ethical businesses in our own economy. 

What did you study – was it in this field or something different?

Hahaha, not at all. In our previous lives (before children) Emsie is a qualified dietician and I’m a social worker and play therapist.

What was your first job and how did you progress to this?

We both worked for a couple of years in traditional 8-5 environments. Emsie had the natural business skills (developed by having her own dietetics practice), and I always had a knack for art and design and was eager to learn more. We both thrive on creativity applying it in a dynamic environment. The interest in textiles, patterns and fashion grew as we started to develop our own collection of maternity panties and nursing bras. Mama Noo is a great channel for us to utilise our creativity and business skills.

What have been the highlights of starting your own business?

There is something so special about developing your own brand when you believe in its value and difference it can make in mothers (and of course dads 😉 ). Developing our own maternity wear and seeing the result of all the late nights of work (working hours are usually from 21:00-01:00) culminate in one-to-one moments with our clients on a personal level is the heart of what we truly do and enjoy. It is rewarding to see a need in the market addressed through our products while improving our products and in the end generating income.

What’s the best part of your job?

We love seeing a mommy’s face light up when she has fit and felt our lingerie nursing bras or maternity panties and loves the fabric, comfort and support that they offer. We believe in our products and it’s a joy when our customers experience the value of it.

Flexible working hours and being able to work from home with the privilege to be with our children is a blessing. 

What is the most challenging part?

We love being mothers and raising our kids from home, but with this privilege comes a few sacrifices as well. We work during the day when we find a gap and after hours which means work is often delayed and take a little longer to finish to accommodate our family life. We have had ups and downs and needed to climb a few mountains to be where we are today. Everyone in the clothing design business would know how technical a nursing bra is. It has taken us two years to design, test and develop our first Lifestyle Nursing bra that is supportive, sports friendly and gorgeous to wear. We are super proud and cannot wait for our next style to launch soon!

South Africa is still quite conservative when it comes to online shopping. Therefore, mom & baby expos and markets are still the way to go until. Expos can be very time consuming, extra hard work over weekends and time away from our family.

Describe a typical day in your life.

Haha, this can really be subject to change as we have our children with us the whole day without nannies. So our children are part of our business and we plan to accommodate them first…then our business 😉 But a typical day might look something like this: 

06:00-08:00 Read and reply to emails regarding orders for stock, arrangements for fittings and discussions around our patterns and adjustments.

08:00- 12:00 Courier comes to collect parcels for clients. At least once a week we will have a fitting as well. 

12:00 when our youngsters sleep we do some more admin. Sometimes we would get an au pair to help us out during the afternoon.

21:30-00:00 After tidying the home and spending some time with our husbands we would attend to customer queries, reply to emails, budget, prep for new orders to go out the following day.

What are the “secrets” to your success?

We believe in our product’s value and that we really address a need amongst pregnant and nursing moms of all types and sizes that look for comfortable, supportive and functional yet beautiful maternity lingerie.

How do you balance being a mummy and starting your own business.

We are on the journey of figuring it out. As a new online business there is so much that still needs to be developed and mastered. We are only two in the business and working from home (apart from our husbands and grandparents that have their own share as well in supporting us 😉 ).

So, it can be challenging when we are in work mode and when we switch off and just relax and give our full attention to our kids without distractions.

What is your dream for Mama Noo?

To be able to manufacture all our products locally and only sell our own garments.

To be in retail so that moms have a store to go and fit and feel our products.

To export to such an extent that anyone anywhere can be able to buy our products online.

Any tips for people wanting to take the leap and start their own business? 

If you have a dream and the determination to fulfil it and know your “Why?”, the “How?” will come in the process and nothing will stop you.

The truth about breastfeeding, and products that can help you along the way.

The truth about breastfeeding, and products that can help you along the way.

So there is phase of motherhood that no one really “tells you about”… You know all about the milestones and a little about the burping and sleep patterns, but everyone fails to mention those first 8 weeks, where as a new mother, your body aches in places you never knew existed. If you have chosen the breastfeeding route, you feel as if someone has put you through 12 rounds of a boxing ring. The one thing you don’t see in those cosy cute pictures of mammas breastfeeding their babe’s is the endless hours of “back end” work to get them there. Soothing hot towels, cabbage leaves to reduce swelling, nipple creams slathered on 🙂

So let me set the record straight, Breastfeeding, in the early days is PAINFUL! Before everyone jumps on and shouts at me to say Breastfeeding shouldn’t be painful, I’m not referring to the ACTUAL act of breastfeeding, I’m referring to everything around it. Your breasts are adapting, your milk kicks in and they are they are full, hot, swollen and bruised and then dealing with a baby learning to latch correctly you can get all sorts of issues happening with your nipples (I looked for a more kosher word but sorry, there isn’t one 🙂 ). Let me say this does only normally last for about 3 weeks, the pain does go away, but in that moment, it can feel like a lifetime. I encourage all mums to HANG IN THERE! Please, continue on in your breastfeeding journey, if you can, it is one of the worlds most beautiful experiences.


This blog is focused on products that can help you through that, and hopefully, get you on track to one of the most rewarding experiences ever. I managed to exclusively breastfeed both of my boys for over a year each (I don’t have anything against formula, I personally just found it more convenient to breastfeed.) Here are some of the things that helped me through:

A lanolin based salve can do wonders for sore, cracked nipples in the early days. I tried both Medela and Lansinoh. My personal favourite was Lansinoh – it has no horrible “stickiness” to it.

Seamless nursing bra – A good nursing bra is a God send, you will literally spend 24 hours a day, and then some in them 🙂  Personally I used “Carriwell”, and used both the normal t-shirt ones and the ones with extra padding. The extra padding can really help especially when baby starts sleeping for longer stretches.

Electric pump – Personally for me, this was my best friend and I would never have lasted so long in my breastfeeding journey without my Medela swing pump. I actually started off with the single swing pump, and after spending 20 mins each side expressing thought I should switch to the double. Ironically, the single pump was waaay more effective and remains my staple. Going back to work when expressing is always fun, I would hide myself in a locked interview room pumping while interviews were taking place in the rooms around me J. I will say I HATED the time spent pumping, I felt like I was wasting time (though I know the end result was far from that), often I considered pumping on the way home whilst stuck in traffic and I know many mums that successfully do so. Pumping also helps to stimulate milk production if you have a dip in your supply.


Nursing pads – I started off using the Phillips range and to this day that was by far my favourite. Soft, non itchy and disposable but for some reason I couldn’t find them anymore in South Africa, so I switched to Pigeon. Once your milk is more settled and more of a routine formed I switched to cotton based, washable ones which were a big cost saver.

Cooling Gel Pads – Can be used hot (to stimulate your milk production) or cold (to soothe the pain). I will be honest, I didn’t use mine . I found them a bit uncomfortable and heavy, and in the early days the ONLY thing that worked for me was warm wash cloths and cabbage leaves J YES, Cabbage leaves. However I know a lot of new mums that swear by them.

Extra Vitamins – This is a must! breastfeeding, coupled with lack of sleep, or rather broken sleep, drains you! You need essential vitamins to promote healthy supply. Continue with your prenatal vitamins even after birth. You need all of those extra vitamins for breastfeeding. Personally the found the hugely popular Preg-Omega disagreed with me, the Salmon Oil content (or something) was too high and made me terribly nauseas. I switched early on to a generic pharmaceutical brand and that worked like a dream. My best breastfeeding tonic was Vitaforce’s Schlehen Blackthorn Berry Elixir (with my firstborn I swore by it). I would make up litres of jungle juice to store in the fridge. With my second, I just took a good old tablespoon every time I felt I needed it. The other thing you desperately need is WATER, and lots of it!


C Shaped nursing pillows – These are life changing. They take all the weight off your arms and baba sits at the perfect position, so no wriggly awkwardness. If you have had a c-section, it also protects your scar.

Nursing Cover/ Breastfeeding blanket – Debatable … Ummmm I will admit I never really used it. Nothing that a good old muslin blanket won’t quickly cover up when you need it to and IF your baby doesn’t mind the cover over him/her.



Whatever your breastfeeding journey is, or for however long it lasts, remember each day is an accomplishment. You have given your baby precious anti bodies and created a beautiful bond. Try and join your local la Leche league to invaluable advice and encouragement.

I’d love to hear your breastfeeding stories, one thing I have learnt is to talk about it more. Every woman who has had children and gone through the same thing but for some reason, the struggles around breastfeeding aren’t spoken about enough. The aim of this blog is to open that up. Its okay, we have been there, and as fellow mother’s we should all support each other. Every way we can.

My Mummy blog – essential items for a newborn baby

My Mummy blog – essential items for a newborn baby

Ok, so I have taken a very long hiatus from my blogging. In fact I was actually ashamed to write this blog in a way, I’m very sheepish because of how long it’s been. But this is my blog and my rules right?
I started blogging for my company on articles specifically pertaining to recruitment and career development so a lot of my time was taken by that. And of course this……………….



My beautiful, cheeky baby boy. I’ve felt the urge to write this blog for a while now, specifically as a new mum. I found while I was pregnant, everyone gives you advice (of course) BUT they forget all the yucky, important stuff!

Like how incredibly sore breastfeeding is in the first few weeks. Or how long you actually take to recover from a c-section and the fact that your scar still hurts 5 months down the line. Various feminine issues going on and how it feels to first actually have a proper bathroom session (I hope no men are reading this 🙂 ) Then there’s the fact, we all know, that newborns sleep all the time yaaaay but what about when they get to 5/ 6 weeks ? Then its like HEELLLLOOOO World! “I’m not sleeping now …”

There is so much advice I would love to give to new mums out there, fact is a lot of it you just learn for yourself. BEST TIP EVER? Certainly the main one I WISH I had taken! Yes, while its so nice to have your baby falling asleep in your arms DO NOT start rocking or swaying him to sleep. While they are still newborn get into the habit of baby falling asleep independently. Its no fun having to walk/rock/sway a 9kg 6 month old who fights every inch of sleep for hours on end…

Onto the lighter stuff. Here are some products that changed my world and I believe are a MUST for new baba’s. Not your standard 6 babygrow, changing mat type of list, rather products that made my life a whole lots easier:
1) Telament-T colic drops – WOW how this saved my life in the early weeks. When baby is crying on end and nothing calms him down? Pop a little drop into a dummy/ pacifier and its like INSTANT calm ! Amazing! Either that or it just gives baby’s a huge sugar rush.
2) Telament- T Gripe water – No other brands worked as well as this did and my Baby B LOVES the taste! Great for when hiccups occur, take about 2ml in a dropper and voila ! Hiccups be gone!
3) A reclining seat/rocker – (For baby not you) I didn’t have a sway chair. Mine was a standard reclining chair with a soothing vibrate function and detachable “friends” to entertain baby. Best place to put baba for a change of scenery and a great place for him to fall asleep when you are busy ironing 
4)Physiogel Lotion/ Cream – Newborns have the most sensitive skins so you cant go lathering on lavender scented aqueous cream straight away. I learnt this the hard way and baba broke out in eczema! These creams were so gentle on baba’s skin. Lotion for body and cream for face.
5) Lasinoh nipple cream – enough said. I found it to be better then the Medela brand (which was too sticky) this was non scented non sticky and super calming.
6) Medela breast pump – If you are a breastfeeding mum this is a MUST have! I bring it down to expressing in those first few weeks that helped my establish a proper milk supply. Its also allowed me in the first few weeks to get extra shut eye. Grannies would do “night duty” and I got a full 8 hours ! Of course when returning to work it also made sure my baby didn’t starve ! They are super industrial quality, easy to use, pretty quiet and compact! I’m lucky enough to have the normal single electric pump and the double swing maxi and both have been brilliant. One word though if you invest in the swing maxi its essential you get the support bra/holder. Otherwise you sit there like a muppet with both hands occupied holding the bottles and you cant even adjust the speed!

7) Phillips Avent disposable breast pads (in the beginning) were the softest by far of all products on the market. After a while I swapped to the Phillips re-usable (washable) kind.
8) Schlehen blackthorn berry elixir. A MUST again for all breastfeeding mummies. A tonic/ vitamin/ magic juice to increase your milk supply. A God-Send. Mix it up with some rehydrate and juice to make a yummy “jungle juice” that works miracles.
9) Cotton Wool – This simple/ humble item proves its weight in gold with babies. People forget to tell you about the explosive poops 🙂 Funniest and messiest thing ever! I find plain old cotton wool more effective then any “wetwipe” and generally reserve the wipes for when we are out.
10) A Muslin Cloth – I bought a whole lot from “Baby Sense” to keep baby cooler when we went to Botswana for summer. I quickly found it has a multitude of uses and baba loves it! Almost like a security blankie. It’s a changing cloth, a blankie, a shield over the pram, a wiper-uper… the list is endless.

Those are my top 10 things that made my life a great deal easier. I’m sure I’m missing out on a few but the old wives tale around porridge brain and memory is NOT an old wives tale. I’ve lost my mind…but the reward is so much greater 🙂

If you have any more suggestions feel free to comment! Wishing you all happy baby days……………….

Ps x the stilettos? not so high anymore………..