Alice is a beauty journalist and currently on maternity leave with her baby girl Belle (She also has a 4 year old called Poppy).
Alice joined forces with her sister-in-law, Chloe (also a mum of two), who is a midwife of 12 years. Chloe is so insightful and experienced when it comes to pregnancy, birth and newborns, Alice felt Chloe's authority would be a welcomed voice on social media. So they've put their combined experience into a new Instagram space called @what_the_f0g. It’s a mixture of wellbeing, shopping lists, practical and emotional advice, longer features (discussing topics such as PND and clusterfeeding), and snapshots into our lives.
"There are so many (me included) confused and drowning mamas who want the solidarity, honesty and ‘togetherness’ of other mums but with the reassurance and expertise of a professional. We only started it last month but the feedback has been phenomenal!" Alice tells us.
- WHAT TO PACK IN YOUR HOSPITAL BAG – CHLOE DU PARCQ
First of all – don’t bring the car seat in with you! So many parents-to-be do and it just takes up space! Wait until you’re ready to go home to bring it in.
Baby bag essentials - pack light! Blankets for the baby to go home, hats, snacks, individual zipped bags that are see-through so partners can find things easily. Portable phone charger, quiz book/pack of cards if you are going to be induced. Camera. Baby name book.
Comfy clothes (not necessarily just nightwear!), socks (for labour), lots of pairs of knickers (I would say to invest in some cheap, very big, supermarket cotton one that you are happy to either boil-wash or dispose of, instead of packets of disposable briefs that are often uncomfortable and generally small. It’s all about support and the ability to get a couple of maternity pads in there!
A few baby outfits (layers ideally).
This and that: Cotton wool, nappies, formula milk (in pre-made bottles) if required (many hospitals do not provide formula if you have decided to bottlefeed), maternity pads (not sanitary towels - there is a difference. Go for big straight towels for use in the first few days moving to thinner ‘wing’ pads once you feel confident).
Click to see all of Chloe's HOSPITAL ESSENTIALS.
- POST-BIRTH PRODUCTS FOR MUM - ALICE DU PARCQ
In the early weeks straight after both my girls were born, my skin, mind and body felt utterly shredded. Like someone had taken a potato peeler and stripped me of my ‘shell’, leaving my skin dry and hyper sensitive and my mind totally sleep-deprived and melting. I’m so glad I had a collection of lovely products for myself to use once I got back home, making my 40 seconds of me-time feel at least somewhat pampering and self-loving.
ALICE'S 3 TOP TIPS
- Have a really beautiful hand cream that’s gentle enough to use post-birth. And pack it in your hospital bag too in case you’re there for a couple of days. Chloe’s selected one for her hospital bag collection: Compagnie de Provence Orange Blossom Hand Cream 30ml £4.50 - it’s lightly scented and the bright tube is so cheery! Hand cream is the one product I use constantly as a mum of a newborn; I have never, ever had such dry hands than in the first few months of motherhood as I’m washing them all the time.
- Brush your hair really well before washing it. About three months after birth your hair will naturally shed, and there is nothing more depressing than picking out tons of wet strands from the shower plug during your precious alone-time in the bathroom! Do it beforehand (Tangle Teezer £12.50 is your friend!) and you won’t have to deal with too many when your hair’s wet.
- Finding time to blow-dry your hair is virtually impossible with a newborn, so get yourself an Aquis hair towel starting at £30.00. Wrap up your wet hair and it miraculously absorbs tons of water, and it stays put brilliantly too. Eventually when you do finally get a moment to dry your hair, it takes barely a couple of minutes.
AS USED BY JON CHAPMAN, MEGAN MARKLES HAIRDRESSER
Jon explains that he use the product on Meghan – "I wrapped it in the hair towel, which dries hair 50% faster than standard towels. I then applied a heat-protecting volumnising spray and a nourishing serum throughout to further protect hair from weather and frizz."
- ALICE'S FAVOURITE BRAND ON A LITTLE FIND
It is SO luxurious and quite pricey, but I absolutely adore Bamford products. The scents are exquisite, and the ingredients are considerately curated to feel beautiful and work efficiently without needing industrial chemicals. The Baby Bath and Massage Oil 100ml £30.00 is a star product: I do a little leg and tummy massage on Belle every evening before bed and it’s gorgeous to use.
ALICE'S TRAVEL HACK
When we travel I try to make the room where my daughter sleeps as cosy and ‘safe’ feeling as possible (anything to prevent pre-bed tears / middle-of-the-night frights!). She sleeps with low lighting in her room, so I always pack a dimmable plug adaptor and attach it to a lamp and replug it near her. If there isn’t a lamp in the past I’ve asked the concierge and they’ve always manage to locate one for me. Although I have just seen a little lovely company's gorgeous night lights on A LITTLE FIND so I maybe taking one of those away with me now
NEW IN: the gorgeous fawns night lights. We love them!
ALICE'S FAVOURITE QUOTE
It’s all shits and giggles until someone giggles and shits!