Hello from Helen!
Hello, I’m Helen, and the other half of Ruma, and I thought it was dam time I introduced myself!
I have worked in product development for well over 10 years for various small brands.
I have been lucky to work with some fantastic people along the way who have taught me so much. I have experienced garment factories in the UK, Europe and many countries in the Far East. This was a real eye-opening experience.
Firstly, I want to say not all Far East factories are bad ones. For example, I have seen very well-run factories where staff are valued and fantastic training centres for girls who otherwise would have no chance of learning a trade.
I have seen factories offering healthcare to people who have no other means of accessing it.
There are people out there trying to do the right thing by their employees, as well as many who aren’t.
In fact I think a big problem is the western demand for cheap throw-away fashion.
This drives down prices and forces factories to make their clothing with little or often no profit just to keep business.
This where we we can all make a change!
Ellen and I met several years ago, working in the fashion industry and teamed up together over our interest in responsible and ethical fashion.
I have always admired Ellen’s style and amazing approach to motherhood and thought Ruma sounded like a project I wanted to be part of.
I have loved being part of the Ruma team, and relished problem solving the important ‘feeding’ element to Ruma’s clothing. But I have to rely very much on Ellen to help give the breast-feeding experience comments!
But all this is about to change, as I am currently 28 weeks pregnant with my first baby.
I wanted to share a few thoughts about being pregnant with you, as it’s a club I feel very privileged to be part of.
The start seems so long ago now. I remember waking my husband up at 5am, after I had taken my test, thinking nothing would come of it! His initial reaction? ‘Am I holding something you’ve just peed on?” Not the romantic, dream moment I had imagined this moment would be, for the last 30 years!
I think I had hoped and expected pregnancy to feel like a very natural mothering process, where I would feel connected to the child growing inside me with warm, mothering instincts and a sense of purpose, adding a new being to the world.
But the reality, is very different! Here are 7 things which have been my real pregnancy:
Tiredness feels like nothing else.
I’m not sure how much longer I can politely smile and nod when someone says, ‘You think you’re tired now… you just wait’ (side note- this is usually from someone who has never been pregnant!) I’m in no doubt I will be tired when the baby comes, however, I am legitimately really, really tired now too!
Relaxin is powerful stuff!
Thanks to that hormone pulsing around, I have had back ache from the beginning! No amount of stretching, pilates, walking, sitting, resting, exercising, sitting on a gym ball is shifting this!
Scans are stressful
Disappointingly, not the romantic, amazing moment you dreamed of. They are for a very good reason, to check you are having a healthy baby. I have actually found them a worrying experience.
I have no will power over food
Before being pregnant, I imagined that I would want a healthy diet, full of nourishing organic fruit and vegetables, sending every last vitamin I can to my child. However, the reality is that that is very tiring to prepare, and sometimes, crisps and a cheese and coleslaw sandwich are the only thing you can manage… and that is actually an achievement!!
Even though I have many amazing wonderful friends who have recently been through, or are going through pregnancy, you have days (and many long nights) where you think you are very much on your own! I have learnt the importance of a walk in the park or a coffee with a mate.
It’s not all bad!
You have an excuse to not worry about diets, accept offers of help and just not attend every social event in your calendar, and that can be a good thing sometimes.
In fact, currently at the beginning of my 3rd trimester, the worry is beginning to subside, I am coming to terms with 6 moths of back ache, and I am embracing an afternoon nap.
I am finally beginning to enjoy being pregnant – I know the next comment coming… ‘you just wait a few weeks!’
Maternity clothes are awful!
At a time, when your body is doing things it has never done before, and knocking your confidence, why do I want to dress like my mother in a ‘serviceable’ jersey wrap dress with a sensible print?
This last point leads me to a seamless introduction of our new style suitable for both pregnancy and breastfeeding, the Victoria Leopard print nursing dress.
The ethos of Ruma is to offer mums a chance to keep their previous independent sense of style, whilst still being able to breastfeed in comfort.
For our new collection, we wanted to incorporate this into a piece suitable for pregnancy too as we do feel that maternity clothes are also lacking in great fit and prints.
At a time when you may not have as much disposable income to spend on your wardrobe, investing in a great piece to see you through both pregnancy, postpartum and breastfeeding seems smart and kind to your purse too!
The Victoria has been designed with a relaxed smock fit that’s comfortable, accommodates your bump and is forgiving on the “mum tum” post birth.
We’ve also added handy pockets for all your mum stuff (or pregnancy snacks).
I think this dress would look great with summer sandals or boots in the winter months, the purpose was to design a hardworking, fashionable and functional dress to act as a staple in your maternity and breastfeeding wardrobe.
I hope you like the finished product as much as we do!
Love Helen X