Archive for the ‘Maternity & Nursing’ Category

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Why it’s been a little quiet on the blog…

September 26, 2013

Dear lovely readers,

Please accept my sincere apologies for disappearing from the blog scene for a while. 

As you may remember I was pregnant, and in August I became the mother of a beautiful little baby boy! 

Of course it has been a huge adjustment for us and has left me with precious little time to eat or sleep, let alone blog about interesting things. Fear not, as I stumble my way through these early weeks, I am slowly getting on board with motherhood enough to pick the rest of my life back up, and resume service as normal. 

Bear with me, the Sophia Jenner blog has not gone off the radar, rather just on hold for a brief period of time.

Love and hugs to you all,

Sophia x

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Cake Maternity and Nursing Lingerie

February 26, 2013
Cake Lingerie

Cake Lingerie

As some of you may already know, the HB and I are expecting a little bundle this summer. Fear not my lovely readers, my blog will not become solely dedicated to writing about maternity and nursing lingerie, but at least you now know why I have been a little quiet as of late.

In the mean time, this does give me the opportunity to test out maternity & nursing products, and discuss the best options for a fuller bust.
This particular post is about Cake Lingerie, a company that started up in 2008 to design beautiful maternity and nursing lingerie of excellent quality. Not only that, but they do cater for the fuller bust with certain styles going up to a J-cup; a rarity in the lingerie world (even maternity lingerie).

I was fortunate enough to win one of their fab Facebook competitions which they currently hold every month (check out their page here), and was delighted to be sent the gorgeous Apricot Sorbet Nursing Bra and Brief set.

Apricot Sorbet Maternity Bra & Brief

Apricot Sorbet Maternity Bra & Brief

Since becoming pregnant, my size has been all over the place. You may remember from previous posts that my pre-pregnancy size was 30GG/32G – now it’s somewhere in the realm of 34H. I requested the Apricot Sorbet bra in a cup size up at 34HH, because being only halfway through my pregnancy, I am fully aware that my size will increase (again!) the closer I get to full term, and possibly more so after birth. 

Apricot Sorbet Nursing Bra

Apricot Sorbet Nursing Bra

The package was beautifully wrapped, and came with it’s own special ‘Cake’ fold-away bag. The first thing I noticed as I took out the set, was how amazingly well constructed it was, and how soft the material felt. The fabric is absolutely lovely, and the set fit very well (bra slightly on the big side as I had hoped).

Apricot Sorbet Nursing Bra & Brief

Apricot Sorbet Nursing Bra & Brief

The 34 band felt very nice and snug, and as I measure about 33ins underbust at the moment, I’m pleased to see it’s not going to get loose too quickly. Not only that, but there are 4 hooks with 6 levels of eyes to tighten it with, giving it a much longer life than your standard everyday bra. I absolutely cannot fault this set for comfort or support. It is beautifully detailed with lace panels, and has great snap-open sides for nursing. Whilst the bra is full-coverage, it doesn’t feel frumpy, and the straps aren’t so thick that they will show obviously under a sleeveless top.

Apricot Sorbet Nursing Bra

Apricot Sorbet Nursing Bra

I got the pants in a size XL which I think probably equates to a UK size 16. Again, just like the bra, they are made of a wonderfully soft and comfortable material – during pregnancy, that’s bound to be your main requirement from any lingerie.

This particular bra is an angelic pale apricot colour, and it also comes in Lavender Sorbet too. If you’re after something with a bit more eye candy, they do have numerous variations of patterns and colours. This Shortbread Maternity Bra especially caught my eye! Click here to see a range of their other styles.

Cake Lingerie is a brand I have never had an opportunity to test out before – it’s always unnerving trying a new brand when you perhaps feel more comfortable sticking with your old faithfuls. However, I can safely say my Freya and Panache maternity bras are nothing compared to this (much as I love those two brands as well).

I highly recommend testing this great company out, they are worth every penny, and I wasn’t at all surprised at all to hear they won the UK 2011 maternity brand of the year. I can see why!

Love

Sophia xxx

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What to do with that ever expanding bust?

January 25, 2013

Being big busted, or even just an awkward bra size can be a nightmare. We all know this, we have all dealt with the trial and error of finding that perfectly well-fitting bra, but what do you do when your bust hasn’t stopped growing yet?

There are many reasons why breasts continue to grow, or start growing all over again. These reasons are numerous and include things such as; pregnancy, weight fluctuations, age (both younger or older), hormones, diet, or even just that time-of-the-month.
The fastest growing of these is usually pregnancy – it can be quite an overwhelming situation, and you may end up living in the biggest bra you own, afraid to buy anything new because it won’t fit you a few months down the line.

So, what can you do to deal with this constant growth? Well, I’ve put together a few solutions that may be of some use. Sure you’ve gotta ride out these hormones, but you shouldn’t have to be uncomfortable whilst doing it.

Before we get on to the bras, let’s talk about nightwear and around-the-house wear. You may remember a post I wrote a few years ago about Hot Weather and Big Bras, and in this I very briefly mentioned some of the M&S Secret Support tops. Well I’m pleased to say they are still around and still as useful as ever. While they are generally ‘inside’ tops, perhaps a little too free flowing to be worn in public, they are certainly good enough for the home. Having said that, they have now produced a version which has a bra clasp underneath, which actually is good enough to wear in public! They are fairly similar to Bravissimo’s supported cami tops, but an awful lot more affordable.

The M&S tops are listed as size DD-G; I know what you’re thinking, that doesn’t sound very big. True, it’s not huge, but it will also depend on the clothing size you pair it with. A size 10 DD-G is going to be at the smaller end, the equivalent of a 30-band perhaps, but if you’re concerned about comfort more than looks, a looser top in a 12, 14, 16 or whatever size you choose, will give you a much more adequate bosom space. Of course if you do happen to be pregnant, then this is a wonderful solution for you, as you will need to be buying a bigger clothing size to make space for that bump anyway!

So, here are the M&S tops:

Secret Support DD-G V-Neck Stretch Camisole

M&S Secret Support Stretch Camisole

M&S Secret Support Stretch Camisole

I can say from experience that this is a lovely and very comfortable top. It keeps you supported and in place, and it’s great to sleep in. Unfortunately it only comes in white, which is slightly boring and also makes it a little see-through. But as I mentioned before, this is more of an around-the-house top in any case.

Secret Support Cotton Rich DD-G Bra Vest

M&S Secret Support Bra Vest

M&S Secret Support Bra Vest

This is the top with the bra clasp at the back, which makes it fully usable to wear in public, but not so comfortable for sleeping. Fortunately it also comes in black as well as white this time. I found that a size 14 DD-G was very comfortable, not too loose, and fits my currently 32H chest. In fact, there is even a fair bit of room to grow in there!

And lastly..

Limited Collection Secret Support Modal Rich Floral Lace DD-G Vest

M&S Secret Support Lace Vest

M&S Secret Support Lace Vest

Well, this one is fairly indecent for the bigger bust, but nice to look at. I have this also in a 14 DD-G, and it is particularly low cut. By far my least favourite of the three, but it is still comfortable, and still great for sleeping in.

So, on to the bras. What exactly do you do when you don’t even know your size anymore?

The first thing to do is to try and re-establish your bra size. Ok, they may not stay that size for long, but you need to have a starting point. If you are comfortable being professionally fitted, try Bravissimo or Leia Lingerie, as they are some of the few shops likely to fit you into your correct size. If you’re not comfortable with that, here’s how to work it out yourself.

Image from All Sports

Image from All Sports

Measure under your bust, this is your band size. If you are inbetween sizes, say 33 underbust, try both a 32 and a 34 band and see which fits you best. Next, measure your overbust (around the middle of your breasts) – the easiest way to do this is to lean over forwards. This is the more difficult measurement to take, what with breasts flopping about all over the place, so don’t assume it will be 100% accurate.
For example, if your underbust measures 32 and your overbust measures 42, that is a difference of 10. So, count 10 bra size letters. 1: A, 2: B, 3: C, 4: D, 5: DD, 6: E, 7: F, 8: FF, 9: G, 10: GG and so on. Match that with your underbust measurement.

You would then have a starting point size of 32GG – this does not necessarily mean that is your exact bra size, but you can be sure that if it isn’t, your size will be very close by. The next step is trial and error with different brands and styles of bras, not much fun but worth it once you find one that fits the best.
There are of course lots of criticisms of using the tape measure, mainly because measurements do not set your bra size in stone – breast shape and comfort play important roles too. However, the quickly and constantly growing breast often has to be measured – it’s the one time when you may struggle to keep up with your body.

One of the must-have bras for growing breasts, is a sports bra. Usually they are very boring and no fun, but perhaps you will change your mind when you see this one.

The Panache sports bra:

Panache Sports Bra

Panache Sports Bra

I have this in the purple-blue-grey combination, but I’m very excited to purchase the pink version. Plus, if you buy the pink sports bra, Panache donates 10% of the profit to the charity Coppafeel, who try to raise awareness about breast cancer.

Panache Sports Bra - Pink

Panache Sports Bra – Pink

I found the band true to size, and the cups fortunately run a little big. It is an underwired bra, but weirdly (to me) it does not really ‘feel’ underwired. If you are actually using it for sport, it has that brilliant racerback clasp option, which makes the bra even more firm and supportive if that’s what you’re after. When I used it for sports I much preferred it in the racerback style, but now that I’m using it to keep my growing breasts under control, it’s useful to have the standard option too. It is without a doubt, the most comfortable sports bra I have ever owned – just wonderful. I recommend it for everyone.

Image from Threads Magazine

Image from Threads Magazine

If you happen to be a whiz with a needle and thread or a sewing machine, you may be able to get some good bargains on bras, both in stores or on places like ebay. Looking for a 32HH, but can only find a 36G? Then grab one for cheap and turn it into the 32HH you need. Having the skill to alter a band can be a lifesaver, but remember you can also pop to a local seamstress (sometimes a dry cleaner’s as well) and ask them to alter it for you. This can become especially necessary if you get to JJ/K/KK and so on, when bras your size become increasingly difficult to get hold of, not to mention expensive.

If you are still eager to buy the same bras you’ve always loved, and not let breast growth or pregnancy get in the way of those pesky sizes or wires, you may want to think about the purchases you make. So you’re a 34J and you want to buy a bra that will fit you right now? Good idea, but while you’re there, why not buy a 34JJ as well to save you some time? With my breast growth I have been doubling up on my purchases. I buy bras less often, but when I do, I grab an extra bra one cup size up to make sure I have something to wear for next month.

One last thing would be to head on over to Ewa Michalak’s website. If you don’t see your bra size listed, sometimes they can custom make one in your size, so it’s always worth asking. This becomes especially useful when you are out-sizing most other brands.

Bust increase doesn’t have to turn into an ‘attack of the giant breast’ horror movie, even though it may feel that way. Just try and put your comfort first, and make sure to have a few fall back staple items to get you through each month. Remember to keep an eye out for any bra swap/sell groups online, and always keep one eye on ebay in case any great bargains pop up. If you are going through pregnancy breast growth, and perhaps have friends that have been through it too, make sure to ask them what sort of ideas they came up with, they may surprise you with some great growth solutions!

Love

Sophia xxx