Fertility

Mask Inspiration to Prepare You for Your Fertility Appointments

Eloise Edington  |  5 Jun 2020


 


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I’m sure you’ve all noticed that masks are all the rage right now…

No, seriously. Unfortunately, it looks like masks are going to be a mainstay amongst our accessories for the near future and possibly for longer. With the perception of masks in western culture slowly shifting, it’s time to embrace them as a fashion accessory, given they take up half the face! But most importantly, they are aa vital instrument in the fight against the spread of disease when at your fertility clinic or elsewhere.

We totally get the heartbreaking wait and uncertainty you may have been experiencing whilst fertility clinics were shut. As if having to put your fertility help on hold wasn’t bad enough, we’ve received a ton of messages from FHH readers this week, feeling even more despair – despite fertility clinics re-opening, there is a backlog of patients which means the waiting game continues for many…

Related Article: ‘The Similarities Between Coronavirus Lockdown and a Fertility Struggle’


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Preparation

In the meantime, what we can do to help, is to show you how to make a face mask for your fertility clinic appointments. Let your creative juices run wild – why not repurpose an old dress? Or if you don’t have the time or energy, we’ve listed some awesome ones you can buy online instead.

Do I Need to Wear One? What do They Actually Do?

You’ve probably seen that guidance on wearing face masks varies greatly between international health bodies and governments. This information is constantly changing, so it’s best to keep yourself up-to-date using reliable and official sources. Your fertility clinic should be able to update you on what’s required for your appointments.

Information on mask effectiveness, who should wear them, and even what fabric to use are heavily contested, with new information and research continuing to surface. Regardless, if they make you feel safe, then there’s no harm, just don’t let wearing a mask give you a false sense of security. 

If you’re going to make or buy your own mask, there are some important things to consider:

  • Ensure that it fits well around your nose, mouth and chin, providing a tight seal that doesn’t let air in around the sides.

  • It’s easy to contaminate your own mask by touching it. Therefore, you should wash/decontaminate it often, as well as washing your hands frequently.

  • You can still become infected whilst wearing one. Continue to take all the necessary precautions laid out by your government.


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Hand Crafting Your Mask

For many of you, how you look when you go to the fertility clinic won’t even cross your mind, but this gives you something to wear at other occasions too, as restrictions lift. Equally, when trying to conceive looking good can help you feel good – a well-needed distraction during what can be a very tricky time. 

It may be hard and seem silly to think about fashion and masks when we’re trying to conceive and eagerly awaiting life-changing results, but sometimes it’s important to take your mind off things that you have no control over.

Read an article here: ‘Fertility Meditation – What is it and How Can it Help Increase Fertility Rates?’

Has There Ever Been an Easier Way to Craft your Own Accessories at Home?

With a few simple items and some creative flair, you can make a fashionable mask at home in 5 minutes! This is perfect for repurposing an old dress or T-shirt. 

The type of household material that works best is contested, but a number of sources report that a tightly woven cotton works well:

Step 1 – Take a 50cm square of cloth and fold it in half

Step 2 – Fold the top down and the bottom up

Step 3 – Place elastic bands or hair ties a quarter of the way in on either side so the cloth is through the band

Step 4 – Fold side into the middle over the band to secure elastic in place

Step 5 – Place the bands over ears to cover nose and mouth

Remember – Ensure that it fits well around your nose, mouth and chin, providing a seal that doesn’t let air in around the sides. With simple homemade masks, it will be hard to replicate the fit of a surgical mask. Adjust the size of the cloth and folds to fit your face.


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Feeling Ambitious?

Brush the dust off that old biscuit tin you keep your sewing equipment in and take out a needle and thread, or use your sewing machine.

Step 1 – Cut two rectangles of fabric (25cm x 15cm)

Step 2 – Fold and stitch the top and bottom edges

Step 3 – Place the elastic along the side edges, fold and stitch the fabric over.

Or – Fold and stitch the side edges first, leaving a gap to thread the elastic through – Tight knot and tuck inside edges of the mask.


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Why Make When I Can Buy?

Designer – Jessica Russell Flint

There are plenty of crafty people that have followed the trend and put their talents to use making beautiful masks for you! 

Our friends at Jessica Russell Flint have recently started stocking an array of exquisitely crafted masks. Having sold out instantly – they’re back by high demand!

Their non-medical, 100% silk face masks feature toggled elastic, allowing you to adjust the side straps for a comfortable fit. The masks also have a pocket to slide in a disposable filter. They include three filters with each mask and recommend that they be replaced every week depending on exposure. The masks are up-cycled from off-cuts of their elegant, printed silk material and are also hand-washable.

100% of the profits from the original masks went to the charity Refuge, who support thousands of women and children trying to escape domestic abuse.

JRF are incredibly busy, working around the clock trying to ensure their products are available for everyone who needs them during this difficult time.

You can purchase the masks or find more about them here.


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Designer – Prezzybox

Animal prints – an uplifting alternative to the surgical masks saved for health and care workers. A great way to lift your spirits and feel good and positive when attending appointments at your fertility clinic or even doing the shopping. If animal prints don’t take your fancy, they have other prints, such as ‘nature’ too!

The good news is that £1 from every purchase is donated to the NHS Charities campaign.

You can check them out here.


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Vintage – RE/DONE

The bandana mask – up-cycled from bandanas. Made in adult-sizes, 100% cotton lining on the back side, and elastic ear straps. Each mask is one-of-a-kind due to its reconstructed nature.

The great news is that with each purchase of a RE/DONE mask, five masks will be donated to front line heroes nationwide. This is brilliant.

You can check them out here.


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Prints – Boden

We love a bit of Boden. Each set of three masks include a mystery mix of their signature prints and a wire across the nose so you can fit them to your face easily. They’ve made these using the ends of fabric rolls, so they’re planet-friendly too.

£5 from each pack is donated to Helpforce – a charity which helps support NHS staff and patients.

You can check them out here.


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Organic – BAUKJEN

Baukjen do not make and profit from the sale of their masks – Their masks are double layered, using soft cotton leftover fabrics and off-cuts. They are purposely not treated with chemicals because they disagree with having chemicals close to your face. They are easy to wear, soft on the skin and secured with elastic fastenings. This is good news when trying to conceive and being cautious of avoiding toxins.

With every pack bought, Baukjen claim to send you an additional pack of 5 masks to share with your neighbours.

You can check them out here.


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Linen – Plumo

Hand-made face masks made from 4 layers of blue organic linen. Elasticated ear loops allow the mask to be put on and removed easily. Light, breathable, washable at 90 degrees and reusable. Please note that this is not a medical grade mask. However, linen is one of the oldest known fabrics used by mankind and is resilient and functional. More importantly, linen has naturally antibacterial properties. Woohoo.

For every mask sold, Plümo is donating to Masks for NHS Heroes.

You can check them out here.


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