Annie Matthew – Nursing & Maternity Wear

 

About

Annee Matthew is a local brand established in 2001 by Annee Neo, the quirkiest mom I’ve ever met. Then, there weren’t many stylish nursing labels around, so she decided to take things into her own hands and make some. From a small home business, her brand has now made its presence overseas, with distributors from as far as Europe. She also participates regularly in baby fairs. 

I’m not cut out to be a fashion blogger (no domestic helper on stand-by to take 100 shots of me posing, no Insta-worthy background), but I am pregnant with a bump, so Annee offered me a pick of three items from her collection to ~model~ in. 

Products

There’s sleepwear, maternity/nursing dresses, tops, bottoms, lingerie and a yoga collection. I chose two dresses and a pair of shorts because dresses are the easiest to wear and I happened to need maternity shorts. Too practical. Here’s what I chose: 

The model does it better than me so please look at her. I’ve had nursing dresses which had obvious horizontal zips across the bustline and were not suitable for discreet nursing. This dress accommodates my bump and the V-neck opens up for easy, convenient and discreet nursing. I’m okay with nursing in public but only when it’s done in a manner that’s almost unnoticeable, because there’s no need to tell the whole world that your kid is suckling. Anyway… I was rather surprised when I got hold of the actual product because I didn’t realise that the sleeves and nursing panel had animal prints… but it doesn’t show that loudly in photos (thankfully). 

Here’s Elise trying to pose together with me. The dress doesn’t hide the bump which is EXCELLENT because I managed to get seats in the subway in Korea even during peak hour. In the subway, there are rows of reserved seats which are almost sacred; NOBODY sits on those seats unless they fall into 1 of the 4 categories: elderly, pregnant, handicapped, parent with infant. If you don’t and you so much as attempt to sit down, you’ll get rebuked by the defenders of the reserved seats, usually an ajumma. They’re very vocal. A woman was talking on the phone a little too loudly and got shushed promptly “EVERYONE CAN HEAR YOU, mind your volume!”. 

So with this dress, it became very obvious that I had 1.5 kids with me and it became my claim to the reserved seats. Can’t risk falling down with a bump this huge. 

This dress is made from 95% cotton and 5% spandex. Cooling and comfortable, it’s still one of my go-to dresses.

I chose this dress because of its cleverly hidden opening. From the photo, it just looks like a normal dress but it suits moms from the first to third trimester and beyond. I brought this to Korea but didn’t manage to get any decent photos taken. Like the above dress, this also lets you nurse in a non-obvious manner. It’s perfect to get the job done yet not attract unwanted attention. This dress is made of 96% viscose and 4% spandex. Adding spandex allows the dress more elasticity. 

Both dresses have no scratchy parts and are very comfortable to wear. 

That’s not my tummy in the photo. This pair of shorts is heavier and of a thicker material than most shorts (100% neoprene) but is supportive for the bump and comes with two side pockets to store tiny essentials. I don’t think I’ll see such a tummy even after I give birth so there’s no way I’ll wear it like the first photo. I prefer it pulled all the way up and paired with a loose top to hide the colour of the belly support. It doesn’t feel tight or suffocating at all. 

There’s no giveaway currently, but there’s a huge summer sale with almost all the products going for very attractive prices. There’s free shipping for orders above $100, which shouldn’t be too hard to hit (just 3 sale items!) if you haven’t started shopping for maternity and nursing wear!

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** I received 2 maternity/nursing dresses and a pair of shorts for the purpose of this review. **

Singapore Lactation Bakes

UPDATE 11/2018

Two new products from SLB to introduce – milk silk nursing covers and brownies! 

SLB’s brownie recipe was passed down from Joanna’s grandma and they’re oh-so-chocolatey! Baked to perfection with a crust, these bites are packed with galactagogues, ingredients widely known to boost milk production. There’s a slight brewer’s yeast aftertaste. The brownie is dense and holds well together. 

 

Milk silk is a new type of eco-friendly fabric where milk that is deemed unsafe for human consumption is processed into powder and mixed with other ingredients to form a silk-like material. It’s luxuriously soft to the touch and cooling to wear. It’s a poncho style which drapes over your shoulders and provides all-round coverage – perfect for pumping mamas who don’t have a proper room to pump milk at.

There are four designs, all suitable for the workplace. It can be used as a shawl for when you’re feeling cold too!

 

 

UPDATE 12/2017

Joanna from Singapore Lactation Bakes sent us a care package full of delicious goodies and personally hand delivered the bakes herself. She currently offers FREE delivery for purchases over $80!. 

When she first started, she only offered cookies. Her range now includes muffins, cookie cups, pancake mixes and even non-edibles like nursing wear. Her resource page has been updated with loads of useful material for lactating mummies to read. Recently, she also opened a store to cater to customers who self collect. SLB has come a long way. I first got to know about SLB through sample cookies given out at an event I attended when Elise was an infant. Two years on, SLB is still going strong. SLB is always recommended when people ask for lactation cookie recommendations. 

As Joanna is a mom of 3 herself, she frequently supports baby bashes organised by moms of various EDD groups by sponsoring cookies and sets up booths in baby fairs to reach out to more moms. 

A very generous care package comprising cookie cups, cookies, muffins and a cupcake! 

Look at these babies. 😀 The muffins were rich and dense yet not overly crumbly and dry. My favourite was the Red Velvet with its cream cheese filling. Next up on my to-try list is the Sinful Chocolate lactation muffin. It’s a chocolate muffin topped with chocolate ganache. Maybe Joanna can consider a Triple Chocolate muffin where the inner filling flows out like molten lava? #fatdie #肥死 

The sinful cookie cups with a decadent filling of everybody’s favourite spread, Nutella. It tastes like a mini molten chocolate tart. There’s another flavour with malt chocolate. 

Their cookies are just as how I remember them to be – crumbly with loads of chocolate chips and oats.  SLB’s bakes contain galactagogues which are widely known to boost milk supply like rolled oats, brewer’s yeast and flaxseed. Brewer’s yeast has a strong smell and taste which Joanna has managed to balance whilst still ensuring that the lactating effects are present. 

There is a version with no sugar if you’re watching your waistline or have diabetes.  Joanna recommends that 10 to 12 cookies be eaten on average. I armed myself with a cup of milk and snacked on them without counting… Calories don’t count when I have to make milk for two kids! Since I’m at home most of the time, I can’t tell if my supply increased significantly though I felt engorged and could still hand express after latching both Elise and Emmett. 

 

In general, the main tips to increasing or maintaining milk supply is to have adequate rest, consume enough fluids, and empty your breasts frequently to stimulate production. Every woman reacts to each ingredient differently and one person’s milk booster may be your milk killer. Lactation bakes are a temporary boost for your supply and more importantly, mood! 

“Mummy, what are those?”
“I want whatever you’re having!”

ORIGINAL POST 16/11/2015
 

She has the strength of a hippo and makes all sorts of funny noises. Sometimes she sounds like a mouse or a kitten but when she’s angry or annoyed, she sounds like a dog. She actually goes “GRR!” while flailing her arms around.  Hungry hippo over here loves bath time and will quietly sit in the tub the entire time but it’s a miracle if she doesn’t cry when we change her clothes. She pushes us away with her two tiny arms and sometimes two people are needed to control her. A tiny baby who hasn’t even turned a month old. Someone at the focus group thought she was 6 or 7 weeks old. I don’t think she’s that huge for a girl…

I’ve either created a hulk, or my body must be making some really potent breast milk. So far, I’ve not yet needed to supplement her with infant formula. I do have a tiny 400g can of Friso just in case of emergency. It was the most affordable brand around. Direct breastfeeding is convenient (saves time on bottles and temperature checking). I love shortcuts and time savers but I read an article yesterday which was very interesting.

Like over here, it says that breast milk is more than food. Breast milk is individually formulated by the body for each infant and signals are sent to the mother’s body via the baby’s saliva so it also works as medicine. I wonder how it works for twins or multiples…It’s also the reason I frown upon donated breast milk. It’s dangerous because the donor might have some disease that even she may be unaware of. I’d rather feed infant formula than someone else’s breast milk.

Speaking of breast milk, I went to a focus group last Saturday and received some lactation cookies in the door gift. I’ve always felt that these cookies were a waste of money, so I was rather excited to try it and see if there were any effects. The packaging is really cute with rabbit ears! It’s from Singapore Lactation Bakes and the pricing looks affordable.

This is how the cookies look like: It’s more on the crumbly side and reminds me of a Chinese New Year tapioca cookie, but there are raisins and hints of chocolate inside which makes it so palatable, I finished the entire bag. The next morning, I broke my personal record. She had more than enough to drink, so I froze some and poured the rest into her daily milk bath. Actually, I’m pretty relaxed when it comes to supply and don’t compare with other moms. I’m happy as long as my baby has enough to drink plus a bit more as backup milk in case I’m not around in the house or need to rest. That’s all I need. 
The hungry hippo with her daddy.