Nobody should ever judge mothers on the choices they make when it comes to balancing work and family life; it should always be a personal choice. But this choice needs to be a meaningful one, not simply picking the least worst option. Unfortunately, this still isn't the case for far too many women. We can and we must do better.
Many say January is the most depressing month of the year but I love it. It's a time for new beginnings, a fresh start, refocusing and looking ahead to the next 12 months. January is also awards season, meaning that red carpets all over the world are, for a brief few weeks, the focus of the world's media.
In the 80s there wasn't much on the market except for unflattering pieces, commonly referred to as 'tents'. They disguised the bump and the design tended to have a one-size-fits-all approach, which usually ended up adding 10 years and goodness knows how many pounds on even the slimmest and most youthful mum-to-be.
But all I can say is that this actress is a sensible mother. Not only are our cosy outerwear styles stylish and fun to look at but they are also environmentally responsible. This fabric, developed by us over years of testing, is cosy, very warm, soft, bright and more important than anything - made from 100% recycled fibres, mostly plastic bottles.
I spent most of my pregnancy in some form of unity with baby. She was always at the heart of everything I did, even if I was doing nothing or was consumed by a task. Alongside this I made sure I had special time for exclusive bonding. And you know what, it worked. When baby arrived I felt I knew her.
Off my face on painkillers and hormones after an emergency c. section and haemorrhage, I was repeatedly pressured by a sales rep to buy baby photographs. She kept returning to see if I'd 'made a decision'; I could barely decide which way up my baby was supposed to be. Of course this should be banned. It's borderline barbarism and places commercial factors above maternal wellbeing.
Exhausted, time-poor new mothers relish the beautifully packaged bundles of nutritious goodness carefully crafted by clinical experts, together with advice from their Chinese Physician at Thomson Chinese Medicine. The 28-day menu is catered to mothers who have more discerning palates, whilst maintaining the nutritional aspects of the herbs used in preparing the meals.
Being 'baby ready' is so much more than purchases and the inevitable pushing. You can make heartfelt attempts to sort your self out. You can do a whole lot of growing up. You can deal with your inner issues, your angers, your resentments, your bitterness, your issues with your parents, your addictions etc
Childcare is more likely to be divided more equitably between parents too. Many of our mums commented that their partners are more involved than their dads were when they were growing up - and others noted that the shift towards greater sharing of the baby care workload is inevitable, given that most mums (as dads) are juggling parenthood with a career.
Today, the Government relaunches its Start4Life (little sister of the Change4Life) campaign to help mothers-to-be have healthier pregnancies. And it is definitely 'mothers' they're out to educate.