Cruelty free gifts for a mum-to-be.

There are a number of gift sets available in stores for the pregnant momma in your life… but which ones are cruelty free? I’ve done the hard work and researched which sets you can give to your favourite pregnant lady. The brands below have gift sets or you can mix and match to buy any product separately.

Neal’s Yard Remedies – probably the priciest brand in this list but it’s also the only one here certified by Cruelty Free International. They have great sourcing ethics and use recyclable packaging to house its organic products. As well as having their own stores they are stocked by John Lewis and lots of independent shops as well as online.

Mama Mio – I *think* they are a US brand but I’m not totally sure. My cousin gifted me some of these products when I was pregnant and they smell delicious and made my skin feel soft and supple. They are available at John Lewis and various online shops.

Love Boo –  came across this one at the baby show. Lovely natural products using the best ingredients. There’s a range for babies as well as mothers. I’d suggest getting that perineum massage oil if you’re planning on pushing that baby out with minimal tearing! Find it in John Lewis (are you seeing a theme here with stockists?) or online.

Bloom & Blossom – made by mums for mums. Formulated with natural ingredients and none of those nasty chemicals. Find them in Space NK, John Lewis and other online retailers.

Burt’s Bees – a slightly contentious one to end with as their cruelty free status is a little hazy. They’re currently still certified by Cruelty Free International. I’ve always enjoyed using their lip balms and if you are not vegan then this could be a nice brand. You can find them at Debenhams, Waitrose, Boots, Holland & Barrett, and more.

Hope this post has helped a little if you’re buying for a cruelty free mama. Also, in case you were wondering, Bio Oil and Palmer’s Cocoa Butter are NOT cruelty free. The important thing is to use some sort of moisturiser on places where you might get stretch marks. This helps the skin retain some elasticity to prevent damage to the skin. I may do a future blog post on oils to use during pregnancy. Does that interest anyone?


Cruelty free Christmas gifts for men.

Like it or not, Christmas is less than five weeks away! You may not celebrate this holiday but there may be occasions in which you want to buy a male buddy a nice cruelty free “smelly”. Below I list some products I have found whilst trying to do my own festive shopping.

Oakwood Soaperie – as the name of the shop suggests they are a soap company using natural locally sourced ingredients. Your stinky man may appreciate the soap made using a Northumberian beer!

Empire Grooming – know someone with a beard? How about getting him a beard oil so his hairy goodness is always a pleasure to be around?!

Southsea Bathing Hut – uses the natural ingredients down by Portsmouth to make gentle shaving soaps. They also do the beard oils. These come together in a mens pamper gift set as well as separately (women’s products also available).

Create&Case – stocks a unique range of wallets, tablet and phone cases, and even cushions. They use vegan leather for their designs and use cool illustrations on their products.

Bulldog – this cruelty free brand is fairly easy to find in supermarkets and drugstores. Gift sets can include all the lotions and potions you need to treat manly skin and hair.

Molton Brown – on the pricier side but great to see a big brand with the ‘leaping bunny’ on their products. They have a bunch of products such as face washes, shower gels, eau de toilettes, and even candles in a range of ‘masculine’ scents.

If all else fails and you’re running around frantically on the high street on Christmas Eve then pop into Lush or The Body Shop for some cruelty free gift sets.

Have you been struggling to find cruelty free gifts? Have you got any recommendations for me?

What you REALLY need to buy for your hospital baby bag.


Everyone is going to have different experiences but I found that I packed and bought some unnecessary items. I ended up using a small suitcase as my hospital bag because I packed everything on the ‘suggested’ lists. Not only do you need to bring all the baby items, you need to bring your own things too!

– 3 x bodysuits (depends how long you will be in hospital)
– 3 x sleepsuits
– small pack of nappies
– pack of baby wipes
– a blanket
– muslin cloths (I personally didn’t use them in hospital)

What isn’t necessary? Gloves or socks!!! Just buy the sleepsuits that come with feet and mitts. Gloves are often too big and fall off anyway. Socks fit better but having them attached to the sleepsuit makes dressing so much easier. All in one suits are available at M&S, Morrisons, and Sainsbury’s.

Possibly buy ONE baby hat if it’s going to be cold or your baby may be born early to keep them warm. You will receive lots of hats as presents. Also do you really need a ‘going home’ outfit? If you’re having a big fanfare when you arrive home with lots of family gathering around then maybe but it’s another unnecessary purchase. The outfits you buy are probably going to be cute enough anyway.

– old T-shirt for labour
– loose comfy clothes for after (zips and buttons are good for easy boob access if you’re breastfeeding)
– 1 x nursing bra + 1 x box breast pads
– 1 x maternity pads (and more for use at home)
– old knickers instead of disposable underwear
– slip on shoes for toilet trips
– toiletries and hairbrush for that post-birth shower

I was definitely not in the mood for food during labour. Snacks and drinks are probably more useful for your partner but you will enjoy snacking once the baby has been born. Same for books and magazines. Contractions will probably prevent you from relaxing too much but they are a nice distraction afterwards if baby is sleeping and if you’re not sleeping.

This post is to help you decide what you definitely need to buy. We don’t need more rubbish like disposable knickers accumulating our landfills! Of course we are all different so perhaps you can speak to a family member or friend to see what they brought with them. Sometimes lists produced by companies are to convince you to buy more things from them!