Today we interview the wonderful Emma a.k.a. CIBII (Can I Breastfeed In It?) over on Instagram! We talk about all things motherhood and breastfeeding; including breastfeeding friendly fashion styling tips with options from Joanie.
Emma selects some of her favourite pieces from our latest collection and tells us how they work well for on-the-go mums. Keep reading for some top tips and styling suggestions…
How did you decide that breastfeeding was the best option for you and your baby?
The merits of breastfeeding are undeniable and it is just the most natural way to feed your little ones, it is what our bodies are designed to do. I know it does not work out for everyone and we have had difficult times too, but once you settle into it, it is has such benefits for you both and it can become so easy!
I didn’t know much about babies, breastfeeding and birth before my first baby came along, but we went to some parenting sessions to hopefully arm ourselves with some facts and feel slightly less overawed by the impending change to the world as we knew it! I didn’t put myself under any pressure with breastfeeding to begin with and tried to stay relaxed about it, this allowed us to find our own feet and establish how breastfeeding worked for us. With my second baby I feel confident enough to rely on my instincts a lot more. Once you are confident and comfortable with the fact your little ones will have as much milk as they need and when they need it, that is a big stress lifted! I know that my milk provides my babies with everything they need, adapting to changing requirements such as when they are ill and as they grow… our bodies are truly amazing. I also especially love the closeness breastfeeding gives you, it provides both you and your little one’s comfort and a truly special bond. I very much believe in gentle parenting and breastfeeding is at the heart of that.
Emma Wearing our Corey Swallow Print Dress.
What blogs/Instagram accounts did you look to the most for inspiration and advice as a new mum?
Our CIBII Facebook Group is a massive inspiration, our followers share so many fantastic breastfeeding friendly fashion finds but also offer such support to each other, giving people that confidence they are maybe just lacking as a new mum. We also have a support group too for offering advice and support to those breastfeeding. There are so many accounts from Facebook Breastfeeding Yummy Mummies to breastfeeding celebs on Instagram and also mums that just want to share their lives and journeys through parenthood. I think you find people to follow for inspiration that resonate with you and what you believe in. With so many questions about this new world, social media is amazing for helping you realise that you are not the only one trying to make your way through this new exciting but daunting maze of being a new parent.
There are specific breastfeeding accounts offering advice but also social media accounts such as @Littlepeachlondon who offers insights and knowledge as a breastfeeding mum herself. For fashion inspiration, in addition to CIBII and Joanie of course, I love to follow mums with a great sense of style, they don’t have to be breastfeeding specific to be an inspiration for fashion that is suitable for breastfeeding! After my first baby I relaxed into the amazing new found and magical feeling of being a mummy, but there is a time when you realise you need to be yourself again too and that’s where social media provides excellent inspiration and that boost you maybe need! There are such communities of support through social media but also support from friends is pretty special too.
Emma Wears our Corey Leopard Dress.
New parents can often be bombarded with lots of information and advice but what is your number ONE tip that you would give to a new mum?
Do what feels right for you.
You can be bombarded with “help” from well-meaning friends, family, support services, professionals, social media but it all comes down to what do you really believe in and what is right for you and your family. The second time round I feel a lot more relaxed and comfortable making parenting decisions and know that some of the advice I have been given is questionable. The quality of breastfeeding support can vary greatly which is such a worry for new mums who can rely on this support. With my first baby I now realise I listened to others’ voices more than perhaps I should have, when I should have just followed my heart. With baby two it can be so difficult at times just juggling everything, but I do feel more assured in my own decisions, although there always seems to be something new to challenge you!
As a busy mum, what do you do to relax when you get some ‘me time’?
Haha, when not spending the evening sorting endless washing and clearing up the devastation of the day, I sometimes like to go for a run. It may not seem relaxing, but I enjoy the feeling that for a very short space of time there is just me, without a child under each arm or struggling to keep the peace, it helps me clear my head and make plans. I love the outdoors but heading out for some “me time” obviously isn’t quite as easy with children, so we do enjoy a good binge on a box set with copious amounts of chocolate! It can be tricky when breastfeeding especially to find that time for yourself, but I absolutely wouldn’t have it any other way.
Emma Wearing our Black Courtney Dress.
Are there any books that you found really helpful when you were pregnant?
There are the books that tell you what to expect week by week through your pregnancy and I remember reading ahead as I was too excited to wait. A book I found really interesting was “What Every Parent Needs to Know” by Margot Sunderland. I really like to know a bit about the science behind stuff and this book explains how love, nurture and play can affect your child’s development-therefore how important it is to show love and affection to your little ones.
Books are also a fantastic way to relax when feeding your little ones, especially if you are nursing a lot through the evening and night. A great time to catch up on the latest bestsellers, we have done lots of book sharing amongst mum friends!
What are your Fave breastfeeding friendly pieces from our new collection?
Velvet just oozes Christmas time and makes you feel all warm and festive. Velvet type fabric hangs so well, and I especially love the blue colour option. The wrap font is perfect for nursing and a jumpsuit is a great option when there may be lots of chasing little ones required. I can just imagine this one being worn on Christmas day!
This dress definitely has a retro feel with the slim collar neckline, polka dot print and tie waist. A waist tie is a great option for pulling a dress in to show off your curves.
The button front is perfect for breastfeeding without being an obvious “nursing dress” and a super A/W option with long sleeves. The dress has a gorgeous retro feel with the print and contrast detail. A flattering shaped dress with the nipped in waist that Joanie design so well, and the cherry on the cake-pockets!
Dungarees are a really popular choice for breastfeeding whether by dropping a strap or pulling to the side. These cord dungas are a great fit available in sizes 8-22, they a fab retro look to them with gold metalwork and pockets so you can just look cool with hand in pocket.
I absolutely love the print on this dress, both quirky and gorgeous autumnal shades. A great dress to have fun accessorising with! I love this shape and style of dress with the half button front that is ideal for breastfeeding in a lush dress you maybe wouldn’t think suitable. I also love the belted waist to add a bit of shaping and I am partial to a neat little contrast collar. This is such a flattering length on both the arms and legs, great for chasing children!
Barbara Book Dress-All the great retro styling of the Red Dress but with a retro book print-happy reading.
As per the Book Dress the shape of this dress is lush and creates a winning feminine silhouette. This dress has the funkiest, retro cocktail print, totally perfect for cocktail hour and parties!
(By dropping the shoulders??) I like this dress for its different shape with the off-the-shoulder detail. A shorter dress for parties more than chasing kids but one to feel glam in!
The wrap front of this star-studded dress is ideal for nursing and it is a great dress to make a statement with the jazzy star print. I like the little collar detail that just gives the dress that retro edge.
Daddy I Want a Pony Dress with this adorable, funky pony print! It is great to wear something unique and well-made and be able to breastfeed in it-wrap fronts are great for breastfeeding. I do like a little belt and this helps to create that beautiful feminine shape.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this interview! For more information on breastfeeding friendly styles check out CIBII on Instagram or their website www.cibii.co.uk and to check out our latest pieces head on over to our Instagram.