Mama & Papas Parent-approved Panellist Rae Duke’s guide on the mamas to follow on Instagram
This morning I put on a breastfeeding-friendly yet respectably on-trend dress (bless the fashion world for deciding to let button-down fronts have a moment), purchased via a handy ‘swipe-up’ on an Instagram account I follow. I nibbled on a tasty milk-promoting lactation cookie I’d come across on the account of a star baker who’d written a post about the realities of breastfeeding. I then headed out, daughter in tow, to a baby-yoga-cum-sensory class, once again endorsed by a trusted account on the ‘gram.
There’s no doubt, mum influencers are in the ascendant – and being perfectly honest, their advice, recommendations and virtual company have featured prominently throughout pregnancy and since birth.
My daughter, Aurora Wren, was born in April and ever since I have benefited no end from the knowledgeable and friendly mama community on Instagram. The app allows mums to stay perpetually connected to others following the same convoluted life path that is parenting. And I’m hooked.
I’ve got no time for naysayers preaching its sleep-inhibiting flaws. We’ve got little people at home – as if we’re sleeping much anyway! So, long live the little screen (in night mode of course, I’m not that stupid) continuing to fill my mind with parenting tips and laughs during the midnight (feeding) hour.
Here’s my round-up of the accounts with the best and most engaging mum content. Get following!
These girls are a wonder duo. Samantha Silver and Gemma Rose Breger are a beauty editor, and a fashion/celebrity stylist; they also each have a toddler and baby – forever in sync it seems! Together, they boast a 360-degree understanding of the fashion and beauty industries and this, coupled with their experience as mums, means they’re uniquely placed to pass on the best buys for you, your babe and your house (they love an organised cupboard). They magically cut through all the crap you might otherwise innocently pick up – and I trust them completely. N.B. Make sure you’re tuned for their bi-annual #cakegate, charting the ups and downs of trying to create the cakes of their offspring’s dreams.
Another sublime duo! These two provide a jolly good laugh and are the perfect caveat to more, dare I say, glossy accounts. I adore their willingness to embrace a fish-finger supper for their kids and to share their marigold-donned hands prepped for a house clean. And how could I ever forget their gold catsuits: a sight to behold. The comediennes also host an exceptional podcast but beware, their catchy tunes are sure to get stuck in the old noggin. ‘I need a vino’ (to the tune of Bonnie Tyler’s I Need a Hero) being a personal favourite.)
I attribute much of my happy pregnancy and calm birth to the Yes Mum, Hollie De Cruz. Her hypnobirthing workshop was a highlight of my second trimester and her affirmation cards and mp3s peppered bump life, labour and delivery with positive thoughts and outlook. The range of cards has now expanded to include helpful daily reminders for kids, teens, students, managers, and breastfeeding mamas, among a few others – just turn over a new card every morning for a bit of direction. If you can get yourself onto one of her first-class courses, then 100% go for it – otherwise make use of the tracks you can purchase from her website, London Hynobirthing. Whether it’s your first pregnancy or third, Hollie’s gentle yet empowering approach to hypnobirthing (‘a well-known, logical and effective form of antenatal preparation’) will be sure to enhance your birth experience, allowing you to trust your body and your baby.
The go-to place for pre- and postnatal fitness. Get stuck in with their home visits and mobile training or simply keep abreast of the best squats and lunges for your mumbod via their Insta account. Run by a team of professionals, you really sense their passion for helping women feel good in their bodies wherever they may be in their pregnancy or postpartum journey. Bumps and Burpees regularly post workout ideas that you can do from the comfort of your own home while baby naps. They understand that an hour’s workout is often not possible, and so curate endorphin-releasing and toning quickies that will slot into your life seamlessly. A great selection of motivating squares to enhance your scrolling moments.
Franki, AKA the Middle Mama, is the lady behind this lesser-known yet brilliant account. The name reflects her views on parenting – as she reliably takes a middle-of-the-road approach; bottle-feeds and breastfeeds, pushes and babywears, purees and baby-led. Franki’s account goes some way to balancing the often polarised camps that pop up in the parenting world. She writes honestly about real-life mum conundrums such as nursery drop-off guilt and party planning while adding regular small-brand shoutouts. A great little feature of Franki’s account is the weekly big reveal of what’s made its way into her virtual shopping bag or saved items. I have numerous jumpsuits, dresses and baby bits and bobs that I bought after being inspired by Franki’s exceptional taste.