Top tips Think snacks and things to do that fit with travel, fuzzy felts and magnetic sketch boards are great Break up long journeys with short breaks plan ahead Avoid rush hour if you can…eek nothing worse Tweak your journey to fit with nap times If you have two adults on board, switch about when things get a bit fraught and have an adult in the back Have a carrier bag and wet wipes on board for mishaps and mess.
Wondering when to move on to booster seats, check out this link:
Land on this page to do your homework about buying and fitting car seats safely: www.rospa.com/roadsafety/resources/videos/child-car-seats.aspx
It might be that your buggy isn’t just handy out and about! In the early days consider whether your set of wheels will fit in doors in the daytime. This can be handy whilst you are moving around, having baby up high and able to give them a little shoosh whilst they settle.
This can be an intimidating project with so much choice on the market. Start by thinking about how you will use your set of wheels. Will you need to lift it in and out of the car on a regualr basis? If so collapse those you like in store a few times and lift to check the weight and ask if you can see if it fits in your car boot and will allow for shopping etc!
Stuff! SO much information can often make you feel overwhelmed and lost. Write down a list of your priorities just for today and a list for tomorrow etc. Put everything you don’t need away until tomorrow, tomorrow is another day!
If you find your family’s well meant advice more pressurising than helpful, why not ask your health visitor for information or a leaflet to support what you know is updated info and share it gently. What was right then might not be right for you now and that’s ok.
Fancy a tipple? The alcohol from a drink ends up in your blood system and as breastmilk is made from blood some alcohol will end up in breastmilk. No need to panic if you are going out for a celebration and want a drink, The Breast Feeding Network is a fantastic resource regarding drugs and alcohol in breastmilk and what , if any, the effects may be. www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/drugs-in-breastmilk-information-and-factsheets
We all need a little sunshine in our life and especially to top up our Vitamin D levels. Here is a great link: www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/dibm/Vitamin_D_and_Breastfeeding_Feb_2013.pdf
On tiring and tough days its always worth remembering that you only need to be a “good enough” parent. Good enough is good enough, the perfect parent doesn’t exist and never will exist
Words of wisdom about how to love your body 1. Your body is in flux for the rest of your life. Think of your body as fluid instead of static — it’s always going to change. So get comfortable with those changes. 2. No one will love you or not love you because of your body. You are lovable because you’re you, not because your body looks a certain way. 3. The most intensely personal relationship you’ll ever have is with your body. It’s a lifelong relationship that’s well worth investing in and nurturing the same way you would with loved ones. (taken from: http://www.thefrisky.com)
A great Australian article that looks at the impact and talks to mums about sex before their baby arrived and how things have changed. It looks at ways to re-ignite the flame. x http://www.bellybelly.com.au/sex-relationships/sex-after-baby-%20what-will-happen-to-my-sex-life-with-baby#.Ujdh2BYuOlI
A great link about how they work and the safety considerations http://www.bellybelly.com.au/baby/amber-teething-necklaces#.UjdgbxYuOlI
Check out this great link with tips and info on what might happen http://www.bellybelly.com.au/birth/waters-breaking#.Ujdc3hYuOlJ
Check out this link that has lots of info and further links about continuing to breastfeed your little one http://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/breastfeeding-older-baby.html
Thrush can be hard to diagnose. Here are some facts Thrush rarely appears before 6 weeks It definately travels into both breasts It affects mum and baby Pain is severe and appears during and after breastfeeds To help explore this further check out the BFN leaflet http://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/dibm/Thrush_and_Breastfeeding_Feb_2013.pdf
Check out this handy leaflet from BFN which ask questions about when and where you are experiencing nipple and breast pain to help suss out the problem. http://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/pdfs/Differential_Diagnosis_of_Nipple_Pain_March_2009.pdf
Freecycle, Gumtree and Trash Nothing are great sites for finding good pre-loved and excellent condition baby and children’s goods and equipment etc. www.freecycle.org, www.gumtree.co.uk,www.trashnothing.com
Bargain hunt. NCT Autumn nearly new sales will soon be on, a great way to afford baby equipment, toys and clothes. Open to everyone find your nearest branch sale here http:// www.nct.org.uk/branches/events/nearly-new-sales
Babies on the move, now your little one can roll or crawl keeping them safe from hazards in the home is essential. One idea is to get down on the floor at your babies eye level to see any potential danger spots. A home and garden safety checklist here http:// www.rospa.com/homesafety/Info/home-garden-safety-checklist.pdf
Baby massage, baby yoga and sing and sign classes are run from nearly all children’s centres. Good for mums, dads and babies. find your nearest centre www.gov.uk/find-sure-start-childrens-centre. Alternatively check out your local library or ask other mums you meet.
Buggy walks are a great way to keep fit and meet other mums. Children’s centres often run buggy walks as well as indoor stay and play for little ones at very little cost or free. Find your local centre here https://www.gov.uk/find-sure-start-childrens-centre
Autumn Is upon us in the northern hemisphere and the weather is changing. It’s still an idea to keep getting out in the fresh air with your little one . Wrap up warmly and get your wellies on and watch the leaves fall and maybe a bit of puddle jumping is in order.
Avoiding some foods and alcohol are recommended during pregnancy as is cutting down on your caffeine intake . There’s more information here http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ pregnancy-and-baby/pages/foods-to-avoid-pregnant.aspx
All pregnant employees are entitled to: paid time off for antenatal care maternity leave maternity pay benefits protection against losing your job or being treated unfairly because you’re pregnant http:// www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/953.aspx?CategoryID=54&SubCategoryID=138#close
After 18 months of trying for a baby, we found out I was pregnant one weekend when I was suffering from a stomach bug and had spent the weekend being sick. It was all very emotional – for more reasons than one! At about 12 weeks we went along for our first assessment with the midwife. I remember being bamboozled by all the questions but when asked about where I wanted to give birth, I was absolutely sure that it would be in hospital. The midwife mentioned home births but I think my reaction went something like “only crazy people have home births!” Everything was going very smoothly with my pregnancy and I was surprised (I was totally paranoid throughout my pregnancy) to be told I was low risk so should be able to give birth in a midwife-led unit. We excitedly decided that we should go and have a look at the hospital so went along to the Saturday tour of the labour ward. My only experience of midwife-led units before was of one where my sister gave birth 4 years ago. She had a private room afterwards with a double bed so her partner could stay and amazing care and attention for several days afterwards. The tour didn’t start well – there were about 12 couples waiting in a warm corridor and eventually a member staff appeared and said “oh has no-one come to show you round?” So half an hour late, we were shown round a very busy birthing unit. I was shocked at how dated and also how clinical it was. Naively, I’d expected it to be much less like a hospital. After looking at the higher risk unit (not really much different to the midwife-led unit) and the post-birth ward which was so open, noisy and impersonal and being told that they expect you to be released 4 hours after birth, the final straw was all the people with the beer and cigarettes outside the maternity unit. I remember being what can be best described as terrified – I didn’t want to give birth here. My husband was incredibly supportive and wanted me to be happy. So we looked at our options. There was another local hospital, but although newer it didn’t seem much different and was further away. So I started to investigate home births. My midwife seemed delighted when I mentioned it and couldn’t have been more positive, telling me about how they’d been building up the community midwife home birthing team in the area and giving me all the information about it. I also spoke to a few people I knew who’d had home births and everyone was so positive. I also went to antenatal classes and afterwards I spoke to the course leader who was also very positive. People told me about the statistics around homebirth including how it was actually pretty much as safe as being in hospital. Another fact that stuck with me was how much less likely it […]
Free prescription medicines during pregnancy and until your baby is 1 year old http:// www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/953.aspx?CategoryID=54&SubCategoryID=138#close
You are entitled to free dental care during pregnancy and until your baby is 1 year old. Make the most of this service as pregnancy hormones can cause gums to become inflamed and may cause discomfort or infections. Prevention is better than cure. Link here http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/953.aspx? CategoryID=54&SubCategoryID=138#close
Pregnant and self employed, no job or a low income- Help! you may be entitled healthy start vouchers during pregnancy and after . heres the link http://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/
First trimester and feeling exhausted. Consider cutting out all be essential chores, maybe send out the ironing for a week or too, no one needs to know. Think about your iron intake and your diet as a whole. Good info here http://www.nct.org.uk/pregnancy/vitamins-and-supplements-pregnancy
Just found out your pregnant, whoopee. First few things to think about: Folic acid is recommended. Stop smoking and seek help from you GP and this APP from the NHS http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/iphonesmoking.aspx. Start to evaluate your diet and consider eating iron rich foods, such as red meat, apricots, dark green veg. It’s helpful to take orange juice with these foods which can aid absorption of iron.
Early pregnancy can be difficult while your body is making the necessary hormonal adjustments. You may be feeling a bit queasy or you may vomit. Whilst unpleasant these are positive signs that your hormones are doing their job in facilitating egg implantation. Ginger tea, using tea bags or grated ginger, ginger biscuits can help as can eating little and often which can help keep nausea at bay.
Ssh we can keep a secret, Your Pregnant! fantastic news.Exited but feeling wiped out and tired whilst your body is adjusting. Goes without saying but Get as much rest as possible. This tiredness will pass but not for quite a few weeks. If it all gets too much see your GP and maybe take a week or too off work. There is no need for your GP to mention your pregnancy if you don’t want anyone to know.
Check out these links for information on attachment www.thebowlbycentre.org.uk www.centreforattachment.co.nz
Try to think about dining with friends. We all choose different things from the menu we like and enjoy different amounts, babies are no different. Starting solids is an adventure in taste, texture and socialising. x
If you feel like ships that pass in the night, why not try this simple exercise. Let each person speak without interruption 5 minutes about your little one. 5 mins about how you each are feeling. 1 positive statement about how proud you are of your partner as a parent
Check out this site for a gentle video about postnatal depression by a world renowned expert, Kathleen Kendal Tackett www.uppitysciencechick.com/
While mum has hormones keeping her body going in labour, you have nothing extra to keep you going, so make sure you have regular breaks, as do the other support people. Its amazing what even a 5 minute power walk can do, or some fresh air, a coffee – anything to get your body stretched and refreshed. Don’t feel bad taking a break, you are only human and this is the benefit of having extra support people at birth.
It’s a natural reaction to tense up when we feel pain. There is a nasty cycle common in labour: Fear – Tension – Pain Some common areas where women tend to tense up in labour which you will probably be able to see is in the jaw, shoulders, hands and feet. Help her relax these areas by massaging or giving gentle cues
If mum is sweaty in labour a cool flannel is a great idea. Women in labour are like hot water bottles, so a regular cool wipe down is ideal and she may wish to suck on the flannel if she feels sick and doesn’t wish to drink. For an even cooler cloth, put some water and ice in a bowl and put it in that. If her hair keeps flicking in her face, help her tie it up, clip it back or put it behind her.
If she is holding her breath. A gentle reminder to breathe in and a big one out, will keep the oxygen circulating around her body, and to her baby.
It’s a good idea to avoid asking a mum in the later stages of labour too many questions. With things like offering water, there’s no need to ask, just offer it regularly and she will likely want it – if not she will just not have any or say no. It’s very hot and sweaty work being in labour and fluids are very important to keep hydrated through frequent drinks – alternating between water and sports drinks are ideal.
A labouring mum’s face is a very good indicator of things she might need. Watch her lips, if she is licking them or they are dry, offer sips of water, ideally in a drink which has a bendy straw in it, so you can hold it for her. Is she hot? A cool flannel. Follow her lead and respond silently to cues.
Many antenatal classes invite mum and partner, so if you can go, it’s a great idea. You can get a better feel of what to expect and you may even see a birth video or DVD to prepare you for the event. Ask your midwife for details of local NHS classes or perhaps explore NCT classes at http://www.nct.org.uk/courses/antenatal
For the baby cranial osteopathy can help them to settle and recover from a birth where they may have been squashed or compressed or where labour has been a long and drawn out process.
“It looks like you’re doing some really hard work, but I can also see that you are doing a really great job. I know you can do this – you are doing this! Let’s do the next few contractions together.” (breathe with her)
Chances are if mum declares she ‘can’t go on’ or she’s ‘changed her mind’ and wants to go home during labour, she is now fully dilated and ready to push. Look out for the signs, your baby is nearly here. Stay positive and remind her of this stage.
Sympathy is a wonderful thing to offer, however during labour, encouragement is the key. If mum is struggling to work through a contraction reminding her of the gift at the end, your beautiful baby is a wonderful incentive to keep going. Stay positive and share any worries aside and out of ear shot if possible.
Calling all birth partners listen well with open ears, an open heart and without judgement. This is her birth and as a birth support person you are there to support her choices – whether you would choose them or not is irrelevant. Encourage her to talk about her feelings as much as possible, because it’s only going to give you more information and tips on how you can be the best support person for her. Open ended questions are very useful, for example ‘Tell me about what you imagine your birth to be like…’
Does anything scare or frighten you about childbirth? What concerns does you have? What do you truly want? What are the most important things you’d like to happen at the birth? These are all really good questions to ask yourself when building a ‘birth intentions’ list. (sometimes called a birth plan)
The role of the birth partner is to give support and comfort to the birthing mum throughout and after labour in many different ways. Chat about what she is expecting of you as you may be singing from different hymn sheets, don’t be surprised if she changes her mind as labour progresses.
Being a birth partner is someone mum can rely on in their time of need and vulnerability. Do your homework what will you do if things don’t go according to plan. Agree who will stay with mum, who will you call in as back up, chat to your midwife to explore the sort of questions you should be asking.
Don’t underestimate the importance of being present at the labour and birth.You can have a huge effect on how the labour goes and what mum’s experience of birth is, which she will remember for the rest of her life. It will take a lot of energy so plan to have support for yourself after the birth, food and a warm bed. x
Being asked to be a birth support person is such an honour – it’s probably not something you have been invited to do very many times in your life, if at all! But make sure you feel you can offer positive support. Your fear may transfer to mum if you are not confident. Any worries do your own homework, this may include debriefing your own birth experience if you are soon to be grandma! x
Once your baby is born osteopaths can help to support a mums posture which may be strained due to feeding positions and recovery from the hormonal changes of pregnancy and labour. Ask other mums for a recommendation, a good osteopath will not treat you or your baby if they feel there is nothing wrong. www.osteopathy.org
During pregnancy it can help with the aches and discomfort of a rapidly changing body. Once your baby is born osteopaths can help to support a mums posture which may be strained due to feeding positions and recovery from the hormonal changes of pregnancy and labour
Keeping your baby awake when he’s tired during the day in the hope that he’ll sleep better at night usually results in an overtired, cranky baby. Babies need to nap and sleep, research shows that an overtired baby may find it more difficult to wind down at the end of the day.
A nights sleep for a baby is a block of about 5 hours, interspersed with feeds. Remember little babies have tiny tums and need to feed frequently in order to grow, thrive and put on weight. As they get bigger they will take more breast milk or formula and the gaps between feeds will lengthen. “To sleep is an act of faith” Anon. Have faith it’s not forever x
A bit of science: new borns and babies up to 3 months do not produce Melatonin which helps us to sleep. Getting your baby and yourself out and about in daylight to start aiding melatonin production. When putting your baby into their Moses basket/ cot ensure the room is dark and at about 18 degrees centigrade. The contrast between daylight and dark will help to stimulate the production of the hormone Melatonin.
Babies do not usually have sleep problems, we do as parents.Follow your babies lead and sleep when they nap. Draw the curtains, lie down , sigh out and relax each part of your body in turn. Talk with other mums , chat with your partner , your health visitor or your GP. Check out this link for more research based info: www.isisonline.org.uk
Sit on your large gym ball with your little one and Gently bounce up and down , saves walking around and comforts baby. Pelvic floor practice while sitting on your ball is comfortable and no one know what you are up to.
Parenting, a job where no 2 days are ever the same , the trying days will be as short lived as the best days and at most will be similar for 48 hours. The best medicine in rocky times is often to share with someone in the same boat. Seek out mum and baby groups by popping in antenatally or dropping for a short while to see how you feel about going along regularly.
Babies are all consuming and leave little time for daily chores. The cleaning can wait, nursing and cuddling your little one, letting them know they are loved, teaching them what love and security feels like releases a love potion, Oxytocin , for all the family, mums, dads and babies to enjoy.
Just when you feel you’ve got some kind of pattern or order , our little ones have a growth spurt or have another developmental leap. Chances are if you feel things are running a little out of control after a period of calm this is what they are up to. Hold tight it will pass!
Take stock, you’re a few weeks in and doing a great job, broken nights take their toll. Your baby has only ever known a 24 hour clock, instead of thinking how you can change them, think perhaps how you can adapt. Sleep in the day when they nap, go to bed in the early evening to prepare for the night time feeds. Snack little and often to keep your energy levels up.
The early days when your partner goes back to work can be a bit daunting. In advance think about who else can pop round. If you can get outside pop you little one in a sling or the pram and go for a walk in the park. Take your time an reconnect with nature , treat yourself to a coffee or an ice cream, enjoy
Your milk has come in and you and your little bundle are learning the dance of feeding. It takes two to tango and two to get to know each other and work together to get your milk supply established. Think of every feed as a practice, it will be intense, but it will get easier. The secret, ask for help!
Babies need to learn how to breastfeed and mums are also learning a new skill. Remember how long it took you to learn to ride a bike, drive a car, learn to swim! It takes time. A couple of tips Little and often helps build your milk supply and if it hurts you need to support with positioning to help get your nipple past your baby’s hard palette and floating at the back of their mouth.
Friends and family are great if they ask ” what can I do do?” Have a list of jobs handy. The supportive people will gladly help and if you ask and you don’t see some of them again they weren’t there for you .
Seeking the indulgence of A-few hours by yourself? Here a few different options for different budgets Budget :Why not ask your partner to take your little one out of the house so you can chill, have a bath etc. High street: Treat yourself to a massage at a local beauty salon book a baby sitter and go to the pictures Splurge: Some new underwear to help you feel back to your old self. Totally extravagant: A weekend away , wining and dining in a wonderful hotel Week 1 The hormonal highs and lows of the first week can seem like a roller coaster ride of emotions and you are adjusting to being a family.
Feel the love and give your little bundle a massage, exchange a massage with your partner and let the hormone of love, Oxytocin , flow
Parent from your heart. Believe in your self and trust your instincts. You know what feels right for you and your family unit. If it’s hard to share how you feel get someone you trust to drop some hints.
Take a photo once a week of your new family and create your own time line. In a few weeks look back at the photos and see how far you’ve come. In the confusion of conflicting “advice” and “helpful ” relatives.
Yay whether you have been feeding for 24 hours, days, weeks or months. Pat yourself on the back! you have given your baby a fab start! x
A great day out doesn’t have to be expensive, a picnic in the park, feeding the ducks, an afternoon in a friends garden. It’s all about being with friends. Babies love sensory play so a bowl of water and a few plastic cups will probably keep them busy for a good while.
Even though your baby can’t speak yet, they will be watching and imitating your behaviour. Check out this fab video that demonstrates how social babies are.
Mummy you are really important! You will be amazed how quickly you know your baby’s smell,cry and touch and within days your little one will have a preference for you and your smell. You are a team and no one can replace you! So be confident you know your baby best.
The story of The Bear and Miss Rabbit So this is us, I am the taller one (or the grown up one!) and the little ones are The Bear age 3, and Miss Rabbit, now age 2! The Bear The Bear has always been called ‘Bear’ since he was very small! And as a baby who had some feeding issues and reflux he was small for quite a while. I thought he would never grow out of his 0 – 3 month clothes! But he did! I now I find it hard to believe that my dinky little Bear is now one of the tallest of his age group! Miss Rabbit Miss Rabbit came along in May 2011. A girl! What a surprise that was! We are a family full of boys, so after the question of ‘Are you sure?’, suddenly pink entered the house! The name ‘Miss Rabbit’ came from The Bear. The ever loving big brother…..well, most of the time The life change January 2012 saw the looming return to work date. Out of the blue, the phone call came. Can you come for a chat? Childcare frantically arranged, work clothes dusted off, and off I went. The dreaded restructuring. The next few months were a haze of work chats, reapplying for jobs and before the final news came – redundant – one month before my return to work date. Such mixed emotions. If I’m honest; I was dreading the return to work. I worked 2 hours from where I lived, and although I worked from home, there was still overnight stays, lots of travelling and childcare to juggle. How do you arrange a meeting 3 hours away when you can’t leave until the 8.00am drop off, but also ensure you are home for the 6.00pm collection? Plus with 2 children under the age of 3, full time nursery fees would take all that salary. So the stress of work, travelling, and not financially better off in the short term – I guess it was a welcome relief. I also had my children in my late thirties. Did I really wait all that time to have them to put them in nursery from 8.00am – 6.00pm everyday? But I have always worked. And I have always enjoyed working. It gave me more confidence, a sense of purpose. So becoming a full time stay at home mum was daunting. I love my children to bits – but they can be real monkeys – and like most mums, we have good days and bad days! And it is constant – at 3 and 2 there is no time to just sit and do nothing! Self employed So what next? Every cloud has a silver lining! I love traditional toys, wooden toys and creative play. I am also lucky to have a son with the most wonderful imagination. All this combined, the business name was a natural choice, and therefore, with a push from the other half, in July […]
It’s perfectly normal to make exagerated faces and sounds when chatting to your baby. This is known to attract their attention and therefore enhances their communication and is the first step toward developing speech and language
Babies and parents do not dance like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, but instead mostly dance frequently stepping on toes apologising and enjoying the fun of dancing.The message here is that we don’t always understand our babies and its Ok to apologise and start again.
Sometimes helping others actually makes you feel better in yourself. Maybe explore voluntary groups in your area that might benefit from your experiences e.g NCT and Baby Cafe or at your local Childrens Centre. Its sometimes nice to use your skills and do something different from being mum!
Research from http://www.cpcs.org.uk/index.php?page=about-cpcs Caring for a baby takes up an additional 35-40 hours per week on average. Infant crying is the most distressing aspect of baby care Up to 50% of women and 20% men feel less sexually responsive in the 6-12months after the birth of a baby. You are not alone, don’t be hard on yourself! Maybe meeting up with other mums and sharing how you are all feeling might lighten the load.
Your baby’s brain development is constantly making connections! It is known that their brains actually make 200,000 connections every minute at the peak of their growing. So hang in there they are working really hard on that smile, cooing and sitting. Ref: South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
Did you know,when your baby is born their brain is only a quarter developed. So all your love and nurture will actually shape your baby’s brain and development
A great blog about resisting the temptation of opting for induction when you are fed up waiting for baby and 10 good reasons to wait and let nature take its course http://privatemidwife.co/natural-birth-2/avoiding-induction-of-labour/
In the early days when you may be worrying how much milk your baby is getting, the answer often lies in your baby’s nappy contents. This leaflet spells out what to expect in your baby’s nappy, colour, consistency etc. which tells you your baby is getting enough milk. http://www.nct.org.uk/sites/default/files/related_documents/What%27s%20in%20a%20nappy%20%28ENGLISH%20VERSION%29%20FINAL%20WITHOUT%20BLEED.pdf
Want to know more about having a home birth? Here is a lovely series of photos of one couples home birth to give you a flavour of what you can expect.http://www.viralnova.com/home-birth/#.UbJPFRYRnXQ.facebook
For lots of research based information about the benefits of ‘kangaroo care’ with preterm babies check out Kanga Wrap who also sell wrap slings that support a charity for women in Delhi India www.kangawrap.co.uk/kangaroocare.htm
It can be hot and sticky holding your little one in hot weather. Why not try wetting down a muslin square and laying it between you and baby to keep you both cool. A great little tool, muslins can be used for a multiple of things, including pinned over your pram or used as a blanket on the grass.
The joys of reflux My beautiful little boy was dragged into this world 5 weeks early by cesarian kicking and screaming, we were over the moon to hear him crying and even more so to be told that at 4lb 4oz he was big enough not to need to go to the special care unit that we had been prepared for. I was even more pleased when he then also tried to feed in the recovery room, but this was the last good attempt at feeding we were to have for a while, by the time the night staff came on duty I was lucky to meet a fantastic midwife who listened to my concerns, looked at my jittery baby and realised that even though he was too sleepy he needed feeding so they set about cup feeding him overnight. Over the next couple of days he picked up a bit and was managing to have more feeds albeit brief ones. His feeding continued to be poor once at home and I found myself having to strip him naked and bounce him up and down to rouse him enough to convince him to feed. By the time he was a few weeks old his weight plateaued and then dropped. By this time he was also having difficulty with his breathing and ended up in intensive care on a ventilator with bronchiolitis. It was after this when we were back on the children’s ward at our local hospital for over a week that I first really thought that reflux may be an issue. He had always been uncomfortable during feeds, coughing and frequently having hiccups but now things were getting steadily worse. After every feed I would have a nurse come into our room to check he was ok as he would be screaming and arching his back in pain. I discussed the possibility of reflux and the nurses agreed that it probably was and I even had someone recommend a local osteopath. I decided to wait until he was over this illness and back home to see how thing settled. How did things settle? Well they didn’t and when we went for our follow up with the paediatrician he felt it was important to start medication as my son was already a low birth weight and he didn’t want him to start refusing feeds. The medication (Domperidone & ranitidine) helped a little but the symptoms of reflux were still there. At around 6 months of age we started another medication Omeprazole and after a week it suddenly seemed like we had an answer as we had a baby who was now happy for a large majority of the day. The reflux was by no means gone but it was being controlled a great deal better with this new medication. We were still getting little sleep though and by this stage I had resorted to sleeping with him propped up on my arm in bed, anything to get a bit of […]
Chances are your new baby will be completely different in their feeding patterns to any previous little ones. You may be adapting to looking after a toddler and a new baby and accommodating everyones needs. Try not to compare and go with it, let your baby lead the way.
Even if you don’t intend to breastfeed it might be worth investing in some comfortable maternity or even soft sports bras as your ribcage expands after 36weeks. Avoid underwired bras or ill fitting as these may lead to problems. Check out this link for a handy guide: http://www.nct.org.uk/branches/glossop-district/expectant-parent-support/maternity-and-nursing-wear/nct-bra-fitting
A bit of homework whilst waiting for baby! Give your breasts the once over, be familiar with any lumps or bumps and changes that may have occurred. Check out where your nipples are facing, a little to the left or right, up or down, recognising this will help you position your baby when breastfeeding. Here’s an informative link: http://www.breastcancercampaign.org/about-breast-cancer/breast-cancer-risk-factors/pregnancy-and-breast-feeding
Some mums need these whilst pregnant.as your body starts to prepare for baby’s arrival you may find you leak milk from 5months onwards. Some mums will never need breast pads as they may never leak. It’s good to remember everyone is different and your body will step up to supplying milk for your baby each time they feed. There are a few different options, disposable or reusable. Check out this link http://www.simplylily.co.uk/LilyPadz-Starter-Kit-p-4.html for an award winning product.
Looking for gentle products for sensitive skin, with no chemicals? Check out www.cheekywipes.com These environmentally friendly cloth wipes are reusable and come with wet and dry storage bags. Although they seem like an expensive outlay they claim to save mums £250 against disposable baby wipes.
Make the most of the summer days when introducing solids! Feeding your little one in the garden helps take the stress out of the mess. www.babyledweaning.com
To find out more about and try cloth nappies, why not contact your local nappy library, there are lots now all over the UK Check out this lovely website that has lots of fab information and locations: http://www.clothnappy.info/29-11-2012/uk-cloth-nappy-libraries/
From six months onwards your little one will start to be able to use an open cup for drinking water, when offering alongside solids and in the hot weather. A Doidy Cup is slightly slanted and makes it easier for your nipper to make the transition to an open cup. Cheap and handy find them at http://www.bickiepegs.co.uk/acatalog/Doidy_Cup.html
This fab little video clip shows a baby finding it’s way to mum’s breast in the first hour after birth. A great example of a baby’s natural instincts.
Sometimes its hard to be brave and speak up about feeling low. Perhaps share this poem with someone you trust as a way of sharing how you feel. Does this poem sound like you? http://birthwithoutfearblog.com/2012/12/15/the-hole-a-poem-about-ppd/
It’s ok,not to be okay! The early days are often exhausting and thankless. Don’t feel bad if some days you feel like pressing pause and spending some time on your own. Being a mum is probably the toughest job you’ll ever do, be kind to yourself x
Week 2 with Mini Me So I thought it was time to share with you my top tips for labour. You may be wondering why given that it wasn’t exactly straightforward but every labour is different, and mine was no exception. Firstly don’t bother looking up how to know when you are in labour. I didn’t have to worry about this given that I was in the hospital the whole time but contractions were not what I expected them to be like. Also people say you’ll know when you are in labour. If I had been at home, I would have had no idea. If you feel something unusual, call the hospital and check in, just incase. Secondly, take the pain relief. It’s worth being aware of your options and if you really want to, write a birth plan but don’t expect it to go the way you plan. Childbirth is unpredictable and unless your child is super advanced and has x-ray vision, they cannot read your birth plan so will do whatever they want anyway. Moving on, many people go on and on about having a natural birth. It doesn’t matter, there are no heros for not taking the pain relief and being a martyr. Your baby doesn’t care. Don’t rule anything out. Especially if you are induced. The midwife told me being induced is about 3 times more painful than naturally going into labour, however I have no way of knowing if this is true, I just know it hurt. I had to have an epidural to bring my blood pressure down but I would have it again. And don’t believe everything you read. I have a mobile epidural so I could still feel when to push. Just take whatever you need. And don’t forget to squeeze your husbands fingers very very hard. That also helps. Thirdly, be nice to the staff. During my labour there was a lot of medical staff in the room including the most senior people working that night but screaming and swearing at them isn’t helpful. Midwives especially put up with an awful lot but remember they are just doing their job and they are trying their best to help you. If the epidural doesn’t’ work on the first three attempts, it’s not because they’ve done it on purpose. They commented after to me about how polite I was which was nice. Don’t get me wrong, you need to deal with the pain somehow but try and think beforehand how you could do this without shouting at the midwife. Finally, don’t beat yourself up when things don’t go as planned. I was gutted when breastfeeding didn’t work out, all the pressure that is put on you means if it doesn’t work you will feel awful. Don’t. It doesn’t work for everyone and in some cases like mine there is a physiological reason that is out of everyone’s control. Give it a go but don’t blame yourself if it doesn’t work out. I felt […]
A lovely idea! Why not write to your unborn baby, telling them what you have been up to whilst they are bump on board or how you are feeling about introducing them to the family. Here is a fab example to get you started. http://birthwithoutfearblog.com/2013/01/08/a-mothers-letter-to-her-unborn-baby-birth-story-to-follow/
Take time to fall in love with your partner again. It sometimes takes more effort to make time, but nothing changes if nothing changes. Start by telling each other what you thought of them the moment you met and create a little laughter to get the ball rolling,
Surround yourself with the people who make you feel good. Don’t take anymore annoying calls pop the answer phone on with a message that says ‘nothing yet but you will be the first to know!’ Check out this great blog post for more positivity: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/surprising-lack-evidence-postdate-birth-induction?utm_source=www.GreenMedInfo.c
I’ve been taking Hannah swimming since she was 9 weeks old, once she had had all her jabs. Her swimming pants were nearly bigger than she was, they were up under her armpits and she looked like she’d been taking fashion advice from Simon Cowell! (see attached photo) Neil and I are both very confident swimmers and it’s important to us that Hannah is confident and safe around the water, even if she turns out to be rubbish at swimming, so we decided to start her young. Thanks to some fabulous teaching she has been able to hold on the the side on her own for a quite a few seconds since she was about 9 months and is confident at being underwater and can kick herself to the surface. She even managed a ‘2 foot swim to mummy with arm floats’ at only a year old. After some research we chose to go to a ‘Birthlight’ Baby Swimming Class which is method of teaching that primarily promotes safety and confidence in the water. Of course there have been tantrums, mostly when she has been too tired or teething. There were also some bumpy phases when she was learning to crawl and walk but these pass. The most important thing is that I remain calm and relaxed in the water and if the class is getting all too much for her I just take her to one side and we just cuddle or splash in the water.
A great article that discusses the ‘surprising lack of evidence for post date birth induction http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/surprising-lack-evidence-postdate-birth-induction?utm_source=www.GreenMedInfo.c
The last little bit, called ‘Zwischen’ by the Germans which means ‘the time between,’ often brings discomfort and anxiety as mums wait for a sign that baby is finally on its way. Having a name for this time gives it a ‘dimension’ or purpose. This uncomfortable period is the beginning of ‘greeting’ your baby! Focus on the soon rather than the waiting.
The concept of a ‘due’ date is something that is very abstract in many cultures. If, like in Uganda, you count a pregnancy by the moons, you end up having a ‘due month’ and baby comes when she is perfectly ripe without causing mama lots of anxiety. (From Ten Month Mamas) Plan ahead for going overdue, think of some nice things to do to keep you busy x
Check out this great link that has notes for mummies wanting a home birth http://www.homebirth.org.uk/overdue.htm#refuse
By understanding and being informed sometimes it is easier to know the questions you wish to ask. Take a read of this link to help you. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/induction-labour.aspx#close
Understand a bit more about induction by checking out this link http://midwifethinking.com/2011/07/17/induction-a-step-by-step-guide/
Wondering if you should bath your baby after birth? Lots happen throughout labour and birth and it is natural to want to clean yourself and your baby as quickly as possible, but washing your natural scent away may make it harder for your little one to recognise you and may make breastfeeding a bit more challenging Check out this link: www.theboobgroup.com
Latest update on bed sharing from www.isisonline.org.uk says ‘we use the term normal infant sleep for what is biologically expected for humans.’ Here is their response to the recent news from Carpenter et al 2013 in BMJ Open http://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/new-design-website/media-centre/media-centre-bmj-bed-sharing
The longed for baby… My baby is my rainbow baby, that is the forever baby after a loss. It was a long hard journey to get our baby. I met my husband when I was 28 years old and we quickly realised that this was it, we were going to spend the rest of our lives together. The topic of children came up within the first few months and we both agreed that we wanted them, but not before we had enjoyed time together as a couple, and to this end we had five wonderful years before we married, travelling every summer. In August 2009 we got married and had the family orientated wedding we dreamed of, a day full of family and friends, sharing laughter and happiness. We decided that we would try for a family immediately assuming that it might take a month or two, but no longer than that. The months passed by and there was no sign of a pregnancy. This hit both of us hard. You always think that you won’t have problems conceiving, yet 1 in 6 couples in the UK do have issues. After over a year of trying we found out that we would need help. Our infertility doctor was positive that we would be able to have a child and we attempted ISCI IVF full of hope. The first cycle was full of hurdles, but every time we overcame a setback we felt that we were one step closer to our baby. When you first attempt IVF you believe it has to happen… that it is the answer to your problems… sadly we were bought back to reality with a big bump when it did not work. A failed IVF cycle leaves you grieving for what you dreamt could have been. A few months later we tried again, this time with a more realistic view, and I was far more relaxed about the whole thing because I knew what was going to happen at each stage. This time success!!! We were pregnant, the best feeling in the world. I was going to be a mother. Everything with the pregnancy was going well. I had morning sickness, food aversions and all the other classic pregnancy symptoms. I was loving being pregnant and I loved feeling my baby move for the first time. Yet fate played her worst card yet on me. At the 20 week scan the world stopped spinning for me, everything stopped, and life went into slow motion with the words this baby is not viable and will pass soon, there is nothing to be done. Three days before Christmas 2011 I delivered the most precious and perfect baby. I cherish the hours I got to hold my baby. I loved her so much and still miss her every day. January and February 2012 were a blur. The days passed me by, but I decided early on that I was not going to be defined by the sadness I felt. […]
I’ve always been looked at funny. As a kid I wore what I wanted, as a teenager and a young twenty something I was a goth. I dress somewhat “normal” now, but I still get stared at. Why? Because I have two heads. Well, not really but it looks that way. There’s always my daughter, right there, snuggled on my back. She’s social, she chats to me, to people walking past and she tells me about everything she sees. She sees the world from my point of view, from my height. She is included in everything I do. My babywearing journey started out of necessity. I had a baby with reflux and I was on crutches or in a wheelchair, you really can’t push a buggy then. My daughter was only comfortable upright so I had to find a solution. I bought a cheap high street carrier and although it kept her upright and my hands free it wasn’t comfortable for either of us for long. My friend lent me a stretchy wrap and I never looked back. I have two degrees and, maybe for that reason, I like to know a lot of normally useless information, but my greedy brain absorbed the world of babywearing. The benefits for mum and for baby and the pure and simple ease of it. I tried more carriers and wraps that I can even count and learnt everything that I could. I am finally happy and confident in my abilities and have seen the benefits of baby and toddler wearing first hand. I believe that my daughter is more sociable as a result, she is more confident and independent, if she is ill or scared slinging her provides instant calm. Public transport and shopping are so much easier and convenient and crowded places induce far less panic for her when she is worn. Sadly information on baby and toddler wearing isn’t found in the mainstream yet (although it is becoming more so with time) and most people have to have an interest and actively seek it out. Knowing this and how it has changed our lives myself and my friend Kat decided to set up a sling meet for our area. We hold meetings once a week in various places and allow people new to the babywearing world to come and try wraps and carriers and get instructions on safety and correct usage from those more experienced. My top 6 tips for babywearing: Wraps are great for naptimes. My daughter is warm, snuggled and safe, cuddled up to mummy and I have my hands free and the ability to go anywhere without having to wake her! Win, win! Wearing my daughter for the majority of her life has created an amazing bond between us, she is happy and confident and more independent than I had every imagined. This picture, to me reflects how amazingly happy babywearing makes us both. Babywearing isn’t just for England, for cold weather, there are wraps and carriers manufactured […]
Imagine sitting in front of the TV on a Friday night watching your favourite movie, feet up and relaxed. This relaxed position has been found to a great trouble shooting position for breastfeeding in the early days with baby.
Check out this great soundbite link from a male midwife that has a question and answer session about how blokes can support their partner at the birth of their baby. soundcloud.com/arkharris-1/birthing-for-blokes-sample Find him on Twitter at @Birthing4blokes
Check out this link written by Cheryl MacDonald Yoga teacher at Yoga Bellies http://www.frostmagazine.com/2013/05/why-yoga-makes-mummies-happy-the-role-of-yoga-in-creating-the-love-hormone-oxytocin
Often the elephant in the room, discussing the risks might change your choices in labour. Check out the link below written by Lesley Page, President of The Royal College of Midwives http://theconversation.com/weve-become-blind-to-the-risks-of-having-babies-by-caesearean-14067
Find some great information about looking for, choosing and the rights of a birth partner in this article: http://www.birthrights.org.uk/library/factsheets/Birth-Partners.pdf
It’s easy to lose the plot when you are so tired! Here are a few wise words from the book ‘No Cry Sleep Solutions’ by Elizabeth Pantly – We wouldn’t leave a young child alone for 10 minutes during the day so how can we expect a little one to be totally independent for 12 hours from 7pm to 7am.’
Reasons to go the full distance! 1. End right by starting right—keeping all of your prenatal appointments helps ensure a healthier ending 2. Savour the journey—soon you will meet your baby 3. Let nature take over—there are fewer complications and risks for both you and baby through natural birth 4. Recover faster from a natural birth than caesarean, which is major abdominal surgery that causes more pain, requires a longer hospital stay and a longer recovery 5. Birth a brainier baby—at 35 weeks your baby’s brain is only 2/3rds the size it will be at term 6. Set her thermostat—baby will better regulate her temperature when born at term 7. Boost breastfeeding—term babies more effectively suck and swallow than babies born earlier 8. Delight in those kicks and flips—marvel at the miracle of the life inside 9. Enjoy your convenient excuse for every mood swing and crazy craving 10. Nourish your body—a healthy diet and breastfeeding will help you lose the baby weight reference: http://privatemidwife.co/natural-birth-2/avoiding-induction-of-labour/
Darkness + love hormone Oxytocin + Melatonin (sleepy hormone produced in the dark) = more effective surges/contractions http://t.co/AMFUZ2n3K3
Ask for help as soon as you develop pain and find a physiotherapist. Keep your knees together when getting in and out of the car Sleep with a pillow or cushion between your knees Use the birth ball to sit on and avoid hard chairs Try to do as many pelvic floor exercises as possible Sit down to get dressed and put your undies on ref: www.yogabirth.org.uk
I understand that it is becoming more common these days with babies being put down to sleep on their backs. I have read that there are many factors that can be involved and Ben seemed to have them all, which made him a severe case that we felt we had to treat. Our doula recommended we have Ben seen by a cranial osteopath when he was 10 days old because of his difficult birth. He didn’t cope well in the labour and kept having decelerations (he had a scalp monitor), which led to a quick decision for episiotomy and forceps delivery. He didn’t breathe on his own after birth and was rushed to the special care unit, where he spent the next 5 days on his back attached to machines. No cause was ever found for it and all the tests they did came back clear. The cranial osteopath pointed out the flat spot on his head and showed us some stretches and gave us info on repositioning. Ben always slept with his head turned to his right and over the months the flat spot got worse and worse. When a stranger pointed out his asymmetrical ears and eyes at around 3 months we became concerned. We started taking him weekly for osteopathy but the asymmetry kept getting worse. Once he reached 5 months old, the osteopath was very frank with me and told me if it were her child she would seriously consider band treatment. We went for the free consultation and decided to go ahead with the band immediately. The only other alternative was do nothing and hope it becomes less noticeable as he gets older, but 3 different osteopaths all told me his case was too severe to ever correct itself completely. Even the GP was concerned, and referred me to a specialist. I was initially worried that Ben might not like having the band on, but from the very first day he didn’t mind at all. By day three, I realised it was going to be fine and from that point on it was easy to manage. He had to wear the band 23 hours a day. There were 2 half hour breaks a day, during which I had to clean the band and wash his hair. We started seeing results really quickly and that was reassuring. We chose a plain band so we could decorate it ourselves to make it look like a sports helmet. He had a Roger Federer logo around Wimbledon, then American baseball team New York Yankees for the summer, and finally a New York ice hockey team in the autumn. He was very popular on his trips to NY, particularly at airport security for some reason – all the guards seemed to be sports fans! Ben’s band treatment didn’t keep us from doing anything at all. I still took him to swimming classes, on a beach holiday (twice!) and on three long-haul flights to the USA. Other parents were understandably curious, […]
I wasn’t one of those ‘glowing’ pregnant mums. I didn’t have the perfect pregnancy. I am cynical at the best of times but add 6 months of severe nausea, vomiting, sleepless nights, mood swings, bad skin… Not to mention watching my size 8 body get stretched and contorted beyond recognition- a blight that remains, I was struggling to ‘keep my eye on the prize’. Like a lot of independent women these days I never wanted to admit gushingly and unashamedly how much I wanted to be a mum… Scrap that. Not a mum, a mummy. I met my now husband at the tender age of 21. I had moved to London from Australia just 2 years earlier on a whim and was enjoying ‘city life’ with all the trimmings (but a portion of the money!) I had found a job in an office. I was reserved in telling people that my main ambition in life- my dream, did not conform to their career centred ideals. I was surprised when by chance I met my husband and we shared all of the same ideas about what we wanted and how we would get it. 3 years later, surrounded by 100 family and friends we married in Phuket, Thailand. Just 3 months after the wedding I was pregnant with our precious first child. I worked up until my 35th week of pregnancy, catching the tube (underground metro) to work and back as long as I could, until it became too difficult, when my husband would drive me in. He was very supportive. We had a ‘routine’ when I felt the urge to throw up, he would know, lift his newspaper up while I held a doggy doo bag up behind so that no one would see me being sick. It was not a smooth ride to motherhood but by the last trimester the nausea alleviated and was replaced with a much more manageable heartburn/general whale like feeling. At the 20 week scan we were eager to find out the sex of our baby. Not only are we the worst at being patient, but we can’t keep a secret, especially one as exciting as this! I also had another reason for wanting to know. All of the yuckiness had made me lose sight of the big picture. I was feeling less and less like I was growing a beautiful baby inside me and more and more like I was carrying a life sucking parasite. I needed to envisage this baby and the life we would have. The scan revealed to our DELIGHT- a baby girl!!! I immediately saw ballet shoes, chubby legs in fluffy bloomers, mary janes and handing down my childhood toy, beloved baby doll ‘Rebecca’. I was ecstatic! 6 weeks after taking maternity leave I had just finished eating a plundered ice-cream- stolen from my dear husband on the grounds that pregnant women get first dibs on everything, and stolen food always tastes better, and decided I should get […]
Here is Beatrix at two weeks old, she has nearly grown into her tiny baby clothes and so I thought she was getting really big. How tiny she looks to me now compared to her 1-year-old self. For once she was having a happy nap in her Moses basket. I am glad we photographed it as it didn’t happen very often (much to my mother’s disappointment as she had bought a very smart basket and stand for us). We thought we were destined for Beatrix to want to sleep on my chest forever but a friend recommended a sleepyhead and it was the best, best, best, best, best thing ever. BeaBea would stay sleep in it by herself and it sat on my bed next to me for easy night time feeding. Mango anyone?! Quite an impressive feat given the lack of teeth! Purée wasn’t Beatrix’s thing so we followed the baby led weaning route and found it hilarious watching our tiny wee girl chomping on a whole pear or plum, which she always favoured over slices. A great way to enjoy the introduction to solid food and make your child look like a squirrel! Astonishingly I don’t have any pics of Beatrix in the close caboo – our soft sling – which is amazing as she basically lived in it for the first 14 weeks of her life. I can’t emphasise enough how brilliant it was for us having a sling. We also loved our Baby Bjorn for getting out and about once Beatrix was a bit older. This picture showsmy view of her in the grounds of one of the Oxford colleges. It was a chilly day and I was very grateful for the little cosy hot water bottle on my chest! This is Beatrix in the sleepyhead, with one of my nighties as a sheet. I used to wear it one night and then use it as her sheet the next, so the bed smelt reassuringly of mummy, then pop it in the wash and swap for the night before’s nightie! I did spend quite a lot of time panicking that she might suffocate on it as it would get slightly wrinkled from her sleepy wiggles (as you can see in the picture), so every time we had a feed the sheet was re- tucked under the sleepyhead! Sleepyhead is sold by John Lewis and is very often sold out, but if you read the reviews of hysterical parents who’ve finally had some sleep you can see why…
Conformity, peer observations, the gulf between what ‘should’ be and what is. I heard the phrase, ‘well at his age he should be…’ again today. Well, at 8 months he is not doing what he ‘should be’ and defying many books and opinions on what is expected and average for his age. he doesn’t sleep through, has continued problems with wind, and what feels like a billion feeds a day (and night) and thats just the tip of the iceberg. This constant reference to an what is expected and the average level for you babies age, can be, and is, very unnerving to new mums. As humans we like a yard stick to measure against. We come to motherhood from a life long career of school and otherwise, made up of targets and attainment at various stages and ages. For most of us these have been the mainstay of our lives, guiding us through with achievements to tick off and levels to reach. However, this is often not the case with our new bundles of joy, they just won’t follow the stages in the book. As a result many hours are spent questioning our own methods, be it on feeding, sleeping through, weaning, breast feeding, co sleeping, dummy use, etc. It goes a bit like this, ‘8 months, he shouldn’t need the night feeds and should be sleeping through.’ ‘She shouldn’t be having that many feeds a day if she is eating surely’ ‘He should be in his own cot by now, and shouldn’t need to co-sleep’ ‘At this age colic isn’t a problem, they should have grown out of it’ ‘3 naps a day seems far too many/few should you be putting her down more/less’ I’m sure you can think of many more (these are some that my friends and I have heard). After many hours worrying that in not reaching these goals I was somehow ruining my baby, I decided enough was enough. I reminded myself, these are rough ideas of where my baby could be at, and not where he should be. I also tell myself, that they are averages, and by its very mathematical nature an average is made up of a range of different numbers. Often with some lows and highs quite far from that average itself, and that without these high and low outliers the average wouldn’t be an average. I think of the second time mums who are floored by the sheer number of differences between their new baby’s habits and ways, when compared to baby number one. and take a moment to consider if two siblings can be so different, ‘why should’ my baby always conform to these ‘shoulds’. I think of all these different things, take a deep breath and know my baby and I will work through it together. So I have binned off the books and Internet (expect of course the encouraging words of Baby Wisdom) and smile sweetly and say ‘of course he is an individual’ if any […]
Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction is the name given to pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy. Caused by the hormone that soften the ligaments in pregnancy it can vary from mildly irritating to quite disabling pain. If you think this might be you speak to your midwife or GP and explore a referral to a Physiotherapist. Check out: www.pelvicpartnership.org.uk
After your little one arrives you may be tired but at the same time keen to get going with a little exercise. Be kind to yourself the more rest in the beginning the more chance your body has to repair. Check out this link about exerise after having a baby: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/keeping-fit-and-healthy.aspx
You may want to consider contraception early on after your little one arrives unless you feel you are ready for a small gap in age between your children. Check out this link: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception-guide/pages/when-contraception-after-baby.aspx
Sometimes called an angel kiss or port wine stain. Check out this informative short video: http://www.nhs.uk/video/Pages/portwine-birthmarks.aspx?searchtype=&searchterm=&offset=17&
Check out this link that outlines your rights: http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/953.aspx?CategoryID=54&SubCategoryID=138#close
Unbiased financial information about childcare options https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/categories/childcare
Check out this link that sends you to various up to date info about the benefits available http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2293.aspx?CategoryID=54#close
Did you know you could get an upgrade to first class on the trains in the last 8 weeks of pregnancy. Check out this link http://www.greateranglia.co.uk/travel-information/your-journey/mums-to-be
Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better To paint a picture or write a letter, Bake a cake or plant a seed, Ponder the difference between want and need? Dust if you must, but there’s not much time, With rivers to swim and mountains to climb, Music to hear, and books to read, Friends to cherish and life to lead. Dust if you must, but the world’s out there, With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair, A flutter of snow, a shower of rain. This day will not come round again. Dust if you must, but bear in mind, Old age will come and it’s not kind. And when you go – and go you must – You, yourself, will make more dust. ~ Rose Milligan Originally Published in The Lady (1998)
Do you feel comfortable with the carer/s? Are they easy to talk to and do they listen to what you are saying? You need to be able to work closely and trust the person or people you have left your little one with. If it doesn’t feel right trust your instincts!
It’s fine having lots of toys but. Is t here someone who is able to be with your baby and show them the possibilities of the toys and playthings. Babies are sociable and enquiring mammals and need the kind of play that is stimulating and appropriate to their age and development.
Is there a special person who will be the main carer for your baby while you are not there? Babies need continuity and stability and a regular carer with whom they can build a trusting warm relationship. This will not replace you in your babies affections. Babies like all humans are capable of making warm. Loving relationships with a number of people but they have only one primary carer and that is usually mum, and she is irreplaceable.
This a minefield particularly if you need to go to work outside the home . The quality of your child are is what matters the most. You ,may want to write a list of your priorities which may help you decide what child are is right for your little one and your family. Ask around , word of mouth may be useful but other parents may have different priorities you you.
This is a tough one and each parent will have their own views. Please remember your situation is unique and your baby is unique so what suits your friend’s baby may not suit yours.
Maybe ask mums what coping strategies they used when they went back to work. Perhaps chat to other mums about your concerns, you will probably find you share the same worries
Some positive birth mantras to help you through your contractions/surges My body is strong and beautiful Each day brings me closer to meeting my baby My body know just what to do My baby and I are working in perfect harmony As my birthing progresses my relaxation deepens
Chat with your partner about the type of birth you would like to have . Think about a birth preference or birth plan list. You could start by chatting over your hopes and concerns with your partner and discuss your ideas for your birth and immediately afterwards
Some women and their partners may want additional support for themselves during the birth. Maybe a trusted friend or relative can provide you with some additional emotional support. A doula, professional birth companion http://doula.org.uk/. There is a doula hardship fund available and also questions to ask a prospective doula to see if this is the right person for you
The time and date aren’t relevant, we’re blessed with days, not cursed. My baby can’t read dates as yet, because he/she’s very new. So there’s no cause to fuss and fret, if he/she don’t come on cue. So stop your worry, stop your asking, there’s no hurry we’re relaxing in this golden pregnant time, this pause, which is just his/hers and mine. You leave us be, we are just fine
Be ready for your brain to turn to mush slightly after baby is born. Don’t panic this is totally normal and will pass. The hormones help relax mums brain into a gentle mode, to help her switch over to thinking about the basic needs for her and her baby. You may find it hard to remember things so a pad and pencil is a handy aly. Especially when it comes to recording who bought what present!
Communicate with your baby, playing music, singing, massaging your belly. (babies are aware of touch from 7 weeks after conception). Chilling and relaxing are good for you and your baby –let those calming hormones flow
Breastfeeding a premature baby can be a frightening experience. In an unfamiliar and medicalised environment expressing for your little one is something that only mum can do! It’s great to know that mums breast milk is often produced and ready to go from about 5 months pregnant.
0-2 months – discomfort cries (for mum and baby sometimes!) 2-4months – pleasure sounds 4-9months – babbling mmm, bbb and ddd 9-12 months – vocalisation with meaning da, ma 12-15 months – first words dada, dog (ref: M Sheridan From Birth to Five Years 2008)
So tempting to pick or rub, but this is temporary and will go away. Gentle brushing with a baby brush may help lift it a little and invigorate the scalp. It will pass
We all love the smell of baby products but nothing smells better than real baby smell. Avoid perfume products that people buy you, and instead indulge yourself with them instead.
Even if you think your little one has your dark complexion, baby skin is so sensitive they really do need to stay in the shade. Perhaps you can take it in turns to sit in the shade with your little one. Explore pop up sun tents for the garden not just holidays.
If your little one likes sleeping in the outdoors you might want to invest in a net for your pram to prevent cats and bugs from joining them.
It’s a difficult balancing act being mum. Getting help can sometimes enable you to be the mum you want to be, until you get back on your feet. If it’s offered say yes
In simple terms being close and responsive to your little ones needs. This develops over the earlys weeks and months as you get to know your baby. A baby learns how to love by receiving love. The more you give the more you get back x
All babies are social, they learn from their immediate carers rather than other little ones. Check out the book by Penelope Leach ‘The Essential First Year.’
Think space and do you need it all? Do your homework before you spend. Ask yourself or other mum, how long will we actually need the item. Borrowing is the greatest space saver!
Why not keep it simple and maybe celebrate your achievement as a family unit. Lots more birthdays to come that your little one will actually remember.
Don’t let little worries sit in your mind whilst waiting for baby, as little worries have a habit of taking over when you least expect. Share them with someone you trust and seek the right knowledge and support to help you feel in control.
Even if you are planning a home birth you will be packing bags in case you take a visit to hospital. Sharing this project with your partner adds to the excitement and also familiarises them with the contents of each, so they know where to find things when the time comes.
Plan things to do for the days following your due date in case you are still waiting. Visit friends or baby groups you like the sound of, or maybe to a bit of batch cooking to stock up the freezer.
The big news! Why not create a text list before baby arrives and send everyone on it a message saying, ‘you are on the list and will be first to know.’ Maybe add your plans for visiting, like we plan to have a few quiet days first or bear with us if we have the ansa phone on. This way all you have to do is add your birth announcement to your txt conversation and hit send!
The joy of summer, a trip to the beach ! If you are wondering about swim nappies and what to look for, check out this handy guide before you buy: http://www.goreal.org.uk/guide/index/view/id/78
Love the idea but feel overwhelmed that it will be more effort. Why not try doing a bit of both, real nappies in the day or when at home and disposable at night? Think of the savings just by doing this. Check out this link for more information: http://www.goreal.org.uk
Sometimes early days can feel like a confusing time. You could try keeping some notes or a little diary to help you remember what you want to discuss with your Midwife or Health Visitor. You may find that this helps order your thoughts x
It may sound obvious but are you drinking and eating enough? It is easy to forget yourself in the early days with a baby. Try to snack to keep energy levels up and keep a drink alongside you for every feed. Perhaps get your partner to prep some snacks or a sandwich the night before to help you through the following day.
You may feel a bit of a fraud visiting baby groups antenatally, but this is a great way to check out those you fancy for when baby arrives ( you don’t have to stay for the whole session). It is also a great way to meet other mums and pick their brains about the types of things they have bought and found handy or never used.
Introducing solids is just that an experimental experience in taste and texture. By offering a milk feed then solids a little while later when your baby is between feeds it helps ensure their calorie intake continues to be fulfilled, as milk is higher in calories than say a little carrot puree. Check out this link: www.babyledweaning.com and http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/solid-foods-weaning.aspx
It maybe that your birth partner has had a completely different experience to mum at the birth. If your partner is feeling a little shell shocked it maybe they need to debrief the experience. Check out this link: http://www.birthtraumaassociation.org.uk/help.htm
If you are feeling a little wobbly on and off whether pregnant or have a new baby, hormones often play a role. Feelings normally peak and trough but if you feel that your roller coaster is only heading downwards try to talk to someone you trust about seeking support.
Want to tailor help to suit you, when all you are hearing is ‘why don’t you try’ from friends and family. Its hard to adjust to new roles, be strong and lead the way! Let others know gently you and your little one have had a chat and your baby likes things just the way they are x
Every parents worst nightmare. Knowing what to watch out for is the first layer of protection. You can speak to experienced staff on freephone helpline, available 24-hours a day: 0808 80 10 388 Check out this link: www.meningitis.org
It may feel like everyone else is having an easier time than you. Hang in there, no one has perfect, their up maybe coinciding with your down. Next week it may be the other way round. It’s better if you take turns so you can support each other
If things are stressing you out, explore your options with someone you trust. You don’t have to be a super mum! You are good enough!
Tiny feet, tiny toes, so much washing, time just goes x Give in to this tiny moment and enjoy it! Before you know you will be buying your little one’s first pair of shoes
Check out our Pinterest page that has lots of positive statements to keep you going x http://pinterest.com/babywisdom/positive-thinking/ http://ow.ly/ef8AQ
We need SUNSHINE! The hormone melatonin, which is produced when we are exposed to sunshine and released when we are in a dark environment, helps us sleep! Getting plenty of daylight will help to reset yours and your baby’s body clock. Most little ones start to readjust after a few days and achieve a normal pattern after about a week.
Remember, you may need car shades for the window (you can create makeshift shades by tucking baby muslins in the top of the window) and some baby ‘singalong’ music to calm everyone.
Try making up a small ‘quick change’ kit as well as your ‘all singing, all dancing’ changing bag. This should include two nappies, wet wipes and nappy bags.
Plan some stops on your route for feeding and nappy changes and to stretch your legs if going on a long journey. This is especially important if you haven’t had much sleep before leaving home. Check out more on this topic: http://babywisdom.co.uk/out-and-about/road-trip/
A lovely quote from an antenatal teacher ‘You have the power to influence your birth experience in a positive way. You and your baby are designed to work through the birth journey together – have faith in your ability! Seek out the info you need to make good decisions for you and your baby and don’t worry if they are different to others around you’ x
A lovely quote from mum to mum ‘It is completely normal to not feel that ‘rush of love’ after birth, especially a traumatic one. My son is now nearly 3 months old and I feel like I love him more and more everyday as I get to know him better as his personality is really shining through now x
‘when you become a mother you wear your heart outside of your body’. Lovely and so true!
A tip mum to mum – Labour and birth can be described as a doorway from one life to another. It’s important you get through it but in the grand scheme of parenting it’s not really that big a deal. x
If your baby is premature, many neonatal units encourage ‘kangaroo care,’ or skin to skin for baby and mum. It doesn’t have to be in the first few hours, it can really help, in the first few days and weeks. If things are getting a bit busy and baby seems unsettled perhaps some quiet time ‘skin to skin’ might have a calming effect. Xx
In the unique time following your baby’s birth if possible, keep the lights low, keep it calm and warm and greet your baby. ‘Skin to skin,’ mum or dads bare chest on baby’s bare chest and allow your baby to make eye contact for the first time.
Help your baby, make the adjustment to its arrival by offering ‘skin to skin’ in the arms of the people it has been waiting to meet. Baby’s skin on mum or dads skin, keeps baby warm, helps their breathing, calms, soothes and regulates their heart rate and nervous system
Before the big day, take time to chat with your partner about the ‘what if situations.’ If birth takes a different route to the one you envisaged, how will will both of you manage this?
Worried about giving your little one there immunisations. You can always chat about your concerns with your Health Visitor or practice nurse at your GP surgery. Check out this link: www.immunisation.nhs.uk
Most mums have moments when they would like to stop the bus and get off. Meeting up with other mums can’t change the lack of sleep and the beautiful chaos of early days, but it can help you feel a little more normal.
If your little one wont take a bottle why not try feeding them by drizzling gently from a spoon or out of a tiny cup like the top that covers your baby’s bottle.
Looking forward to a night off, sharing feeds with dad or just need to feel you have a choice. If your little one wont take a bottle, it is easy to get caught up with buying lots of different bottles. You could try letting someone else give a feed so your little person can’t smell mum and distract them.
La Leche says that research shows that the use of nipple shields can reduce the amount of milk transferred between 22% and 58% Your little one may have to work extra hard to achieve the milk intake they need but at the same time mum may feel the benefit of the protection of shields whilst she works toward more comfortable attachment. Check out this link for more info: http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/lv/lvjunjul00p39.html
Sometimes the use of nipple shields are what keep you breastfeeding a little longer when the going gets tough. Don’t stress about using them, take a feed at a time and try slipping them off when your little one is part way through their feed and not too hungry. Alternatively you could try attaching baby without the shields when they are sleepy, making practice more gentle for both mum and baby.
Finding yourself in a confusing mix of feeding combinations is not unusual in the early days. Maybe you are mixed feeding, using nipple shields, topping up, expressing? Why not write down what you are doing and see where you could simplify things. You could share with your Midwife, Health Visitor or Breastfeeding Counsellor for a bit of support
A couple of tips for reflux self help. Sucking and milk itself acts as an antacid so may give the baby some comfort Expressing before a feed to slow the flow may mean the baby takes less volume and feeds more on the hind milk.
This is where there appear to be no outward symptoms, but baby may appear to be in pain especially when lying down or might have a persistent cough. If any doubt a trip to the GP might be a good idea
Some signs are commonly found in many babies but might not necessarily be reflux. All babies have a degree of reflux as their digestive system is still developing and adjusting to the flow of feeds, for example, sicking up a little milk, restlessness or arching away when feeding. Check out this link for more info: http://www.livingwithreflux.org/index.html
At the entrance of baby’s stomach there is a little ring of muscle (sphincter) which is still developing and the muscle can be a bit floppy. This sometimes allows the stomach contents i.e milk feeds plus some stomach acid to splash back up the gullet, causing discomfort and pain for some babies.
Check out this great article on La Leche page http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleaderweb/lv/lvfebmar03p12.html
Check out this article where mums have reviewed breast pumps: http://www.mumsnet.com/reviews/baby-feeding/breastpumps
A fab article: http://babygooroo.com/2013/01/how-do-i-breastfeed-twins/
Expressing is another skill just like learning to breastfeed, you will take a while to find what suits your body when expressing. Think of each session like a practice. Take a peek at this video that starts with the early stages expressing collostrum: http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeeding/HandExpression.html
Check out this link http://www.achildgrows.com/can-certain-foods-increase-my-milk-supply/
Check out this link: http://www.whattoexpect.com/toddler/ask-heidi/bilingual-children.aspx
What a gift! Check out this link that tells you a bit about how baby’s absorb two languages http://www.whattoexpect.com/wom/baby/0219/bilingual-babies-can-pick-up-grammar-rules-by-7-months.aspx?xid=fb_wte#
Check out this facebook page that supports the benefits of delayed cord clamping. http://www.facebook.com/delayedcordclamping
Your little one is primed to feed at night as a protective factor and mums hormones that make breast milk are highest at night. This can be really tough to adjust to! Instead of trying to change their pattern it is probably easier to change your behaviour. Sleep in the day or enlist a bit of support. It’s not forever, this too will pass x
Baby’s do a huge amount of growth and development in the first two years of their life. Their sleep pattern is all part of this. Sleeping in a light sleep state is also a means of survival. Check out the reviews on the book ‘No Cry Sleep Solution’ by Elizabeth Pantley all about helping develop your baby’s sleep pattern gently http://www.mumsnet.com/reviews/books/parenting/14330-no-cry-sleep-solution
A lovely video clip that tells you about the lovely way your singing supports your baby’s development. Check outhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-SizqK_0AI&list=UUe0KaiBQmIVUNd0qPLN4SAQ
Check out this lovely page that tells you all about bonding with your little one through music http://musicalbabybonding.com
Check out this article that tells you how singing can support your little one’s language development http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/may/08/singing-children-development-language-skills
Check out this link to find out a bit more about how it protects their tiny tim: http://lactationmatters.org/2013/01/22/the-milk-machine-learning-more-about-how-breastmilk-protects-the-gut/
Check out these fab illustrations that offer a couple of solutions for staying mobile whilst being monitored http://www.baby-birth.com/blog/181-sarah-buchanan/851-get-off-the-bed.html#.URgiKqWTGlL
Having a new baby is like an adventure to a foreign land. You may have prepared but when you arrive it may take a while to orientate yourself. Check out this lovely article at www.birthbliss.wordpress.com http://birthbliss.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/recipes-for-starting-labourlabor/
After spending the last few months in maternity wear you are probably ready for something different. Top tip – remember if you are buying new clothes whilst pregnant you will be smaller when you wear them. So aim to buy for the size you were at 5-6 months pregnant
Maybe a top or button through shirt that is long enough to cover your bum if you want move around and can open up to receive your baby skin to skin so you don’t have lots of fabric bunched up between you.
It’s not exactly you but if you slip your own soft, unwashed tee-shirt over baby’s mattress, she may be comforted by your familiar smell as she sleeps.
Chat well in advance to prevent any misunderstandings, about your plans for letting people know when you go into labour . Let everyone know how you are going to manage this to prevent surprise visitors
Falling asleep on the breast is one of the easiest ways for most babies to settle. This will be self limiting and as babies get older they can learn other ways of self soothing and falling asleep.
Babies don’t know the difference between day and night. At night keep the lights low and attend to your little bundle quietly, saving play and chatter for daytime. Melatonin, the sleep, inducing hormone, isn’t produced until,12 weeks old so until then babies are usually dependent on us to sooth them to sleep.
Just before you go to bed you may want to gently offer a little feed to your sleeping baby, He will suck in his sleep and,may sleep a little longer.
If you are breastfeeding, caffeine can create a vicious circle: You drink coffee, tea or cola to help keep you more alert but baby gets a boost of this stimulant through your milk – and becomes restless. Herbal teas and decaf drinks can make a positive difference to your baby’s sleep
Swaddling in a muslin or light sheet , to prevent overheating, can help to calm a baby whose startle ( Moro ) reflex jerks them awake . How to swaddle safely in a hip friendly way. http://www.hipdysplasia.org/developmental-dysplasia-of-the-hip/hip-healthy-swaddling/
The calming repetitive, rhythmic sounds of lullabies really can help babies relax and fall asleep. Singing also releases Oxytocin (the cuddly love hormone) in the singer which helps to calm mum and dad. Music that incorporates heart sounds or ‘white noise’ also has calming and sleep inducing effects.
Why not try a regular daily massage for your baby before bedtime. It can promote relaxation and make it easier for babies to fall asleep http://www.iaim.org.uk/benefits-of-baby-massage.htm
Bedtime routines provide a comforting pattern that help babies wind down creating the best conditions for sleep. Many babies enjoy a warm relaxed bath, maybe with mum and dad, just before bedtime. ( if you have a bath with your baby remember to have another adult with you to help.)
A nights sleep for a little baby = about five hours. this may seem like unimagined luxury at the moment. learning your baby’s sleepy time cues/signs can prevent her becoming overtired and difficult to settle. Check out this link: http://www.bellybelly.com.au/baby-sleep/15-ways-to-help-your-baby-sleep
Knowing how to hand express, whether you are Breastfeeding or not, is a a useful skill as your breast may become engorged when your milk comes in. Knowing how to ease the pressure using hand expression might make you much more comfortable. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZViuYKX5LU
Essentially YES you do, however tiredness and stress can all play a part. Check out this link for more information http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supply-worries/low-supply/
Heres a great link on some comfortable Breastfeeding positions you could try for you an your baby http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/fd1b97aa#/fd1b97aa/8
If you were scared, upset or distressed, a cuddle and being held in loving arms would probably be just the thing . Loving, Cuddling and holding your little one cannot spoil them . For more info check out http://www.llli.org/faq/spoil.html
Breastfeeding twins? Here is a lovely story with some useful ideas to see you through and lovely pics. http://www.hellobee.com/2012/09/13/breastfeeding-twins/
Mary Cronk, expert midwife , talks about the birth dance of twins who are born in the time honoured way check out her guidelines written after 40 plus years of midwifery experience http://www.birthdance.co.uk/uploads/7/1/5/1/7151683/twins_guidlines.doc
Here are some activities that can help get your babies into the best position for birth. http://www.nct.org.uk/birth/good-positions-your-baby-birth
Birth options explored here http://www.aims.org.uk/Journal/Vol10No3/breechCSvsNormal.htm
Check out this link that shows the journey your little one takes through you in order to be born. http://www.spinningbabies.com/about-spinning-babies
most babies are in a head up, bottom down position until 36 weeks pregnant , only after this is A baby considered breech. To help turn your baby check out: http://spinningbabies.com/baby-positions/breech-bottoms-up/flip-a-breech
Yes, baby being head down with their back to mum’s left side can make for a more straightforward birth for both mama and baba. http://www.nct.org.uk/birth/good-positions-your-baby-birth
Sore, achy and bruised, nether regions. You could try arnica cream to ease the bruising and take gentle sitz baths (herbal) Most importantly a quicker recovery is likely to come to those who manage to rest. x Check out: http://voices.yahoo.com/the-sitz-bath-post-birth-healing-comfort-new-645557.html?cat=52
Oouch! Getting your underneath as comfy as is possible whilst breastfeeding will help you rest and help you focus on learning to breastfeed.
Dads doing it for mamas and themselves Bit of fun but the messages are sound and you’ll be her hero http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=relmfu&v=5X3G-pe42dw
Great visuals of how to give a mama a lovely massage, if that’s what she wants, and positions which may help her and her baby during labour. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=63pM0oQjT_Q
How to massage a labouring mama http://www.pregnancyclasses.co.uk/docs/Massage%20and%20breathing%20techniques%20during%20labour.doc
A few myths busted here! http://www.homebirth.org.uk/law.htm
Yes you can . Have a look at these 2 sites for current information , statistics etc http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/15850329. And http://www.aims.org.uk/ hbchoose.htm
This article may help and explain your options http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/15850329
How to know if my birth centre / hospital is the right one for me ? This great site to have a look at your local birth centres, midwife led units and maternity units which may help you choose the birth place that is right for you and your baby www.birthchoiceuk.com
Robust. Information for mamas wanting a straightforward birth following a previous c-section “With proper care the risk for a scar rupture can be as low as 0.5% or 1 in 200 healthy women labouring for a VBAC” http://www.vbac.com/
For all you need to know and where to find a doula for you as we’ll as questions to ask a prospective doula check out www.doula.org.uk or www.the birtishdoulas.co.uk or www.nurturingbirth.co.uk
A lovely story on how a doula helped Jane and her husband to have the birth they wanted in Bermuda Jane has now returned to her home in England with her son, and is now a doula herself http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/intbermuda.asp
Why not watch this video clip from Best Beginnings with your partner and use it to help start a discussion about how you both feel http://vimeo.com/11715262
A fab video from Best Beginnings that brings tears to your eyes. A dad cuddling two of his triplets! Dads just shows you can get involved with skin to skin to! http://vimeo.com/16655242
Check out this lovely video clip from Best Beginnings that shows a mum holding her little one skin to skin for the first time. http://vimeo.com/16654816
Take a peek at the video on this page that talks about how a premature baby develops http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/soothing-crying-baby.aspx
Take a peek at this NHS video clip that suggests how to look after your baby’s umbilical cord, until it falls off! http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/your-baby-after-birth.aspx#close
When a baby suffers with severe wind, colic or is generally grouchy, it’s easy to blame yourself and think it’s something you are doing. Probably not and even if they still cry when you work to soothe them, you are helping!
A crying baby is distressing and exhausting. Check out this link for some practical tips on how to soothe your little one during their colicky time of the day http://www.babycenter.com/0_colic-how-to-cope_1369745.bc
Check out this article that talks about the difference it makes to both mum and baby http://onyababy.com/blog/2012/06/benefits-of-babywearing-vs-carseat-carrying/
Follow this link for a great workout whilst wearing your baby in their sling. http://onyababy.com/blog/
Think how often your baby is feeding, mum you will need to keep your energy levels up, especially if you are breastfeeding. Breastfeeding burns approx 500 extra calories per day, hoorah!
Make whatever you eat count! Plan to eat a good breakfast of things like scrambled eggs on wholegrain toast or porridge. These are better at storing energy than sugary cereals that spike and crash, making you more sleepy. Check out: http://www.babycenter.com/0_best-foods-for-new-moms-energy-boosters_1458856.bc
Sometimes baby’s have spots on their face at birth or suddenly break out at about 2 weeks. This is called Milia. Don’t panic it will pass as your baby gets used to living in the outside world. If you are worried ask your Health Visitor or GP to check it out.
Whilst waiting for baby, ask friends and family with children who and where they found support. What made the difference? Plan your support now, ready for your big arrival x
Often the hardest thing to do is ask for help. Think of it as a way to go it alone quicker. Someone getting a bit of shopping, holding the baby whilst you have a shower or just popping in for a chat, can really make the difference and makes the helper feel good to!
Feeling cheated? Even your closest friends didn’t tell you about the realities of having a baby. Truth is when you are pregnant its hard to think beyond the birth for you and for them. Lean on those who love you and let them know how you feel! Look after your self first, your baby needs you to be well and OK
Not surprising, your body has just gone through a huge physical and hormonal change and added to which you now have that little bundle to care for twenty four seven. Be kind to yourself take a moment to step back. Deep breath, one day at a time. In a week look back and see how far you’ve come.
Hey be kind to yourself! It takes 40 weeks for a baby to make its way into the world, so it makes sense your body will take a while to get back to its original shape.
Chances are before you have your baby you may have never seen anyone breastfeed. Whilst waiting for baby take the opportunity to visit a local breastfeeding support group. You can chat to other mums and observe them feeding, by chatting you will probably find they all have their own rhythm and patterns.
Keep things simple with Skin to skin in the early hours, days and weeks All baby’s find their own style of breastfeeding. Remember if it feels ok and there is no clicking or lack of suction, then you are on the right track.
Did you know your baby can respond to sounds from 20 weeks pregnant! Chatting to your baby whilst they are in your belly, is the beginning of their language development. Playing your favourite tunes will tune them into what you find calming or uplifting when they are born. You will be amazed how quickly your little bundle knows your voice. Exciting times ahead! Check out http://www.nspcc.org.uk/inform/trainingandconsultancy/learningresources/socialbaby_wda47886.html
If you know your baby or babies might be born early, it can be a daunting thought wondering what to expect. Best Beginnings charity have done a collection of video clips that help parents prepare and understand their little ones care and needs. Check out the Small Wonders collection at vimeo.com/bestbeginnings/videos
Sleep, such a hot topic in the early days with your baby. Everyone seems to ask about your baby’s sleep pattern and you probably feel that everyone else seems to have a baby that sleeps more than yours.Check out the link below that gives research based information about how babies actually sleep and provides safe sleep strategies. http://www.isisonline.org.uk/how_babies_sleep/
Next on the list of essentials, the car seat. Check out the Which guide car seat review, which identifies the safest car seats on the market. http://www.which.co.uk/baby-and-child/baby-transport/reviews/child-car-seats/
Why not do a bit of research on line before spending out. Check out the Which guide to ‘choosing a cot’ A cot for every budget and information about using a second hand cot. http://www.which.co.uk/baby-and-child/nursery-and-feeding/guides/choosing-a-cot/
It makes sense that mother nature intends mum and baby to relax whilst breastfeeding, so mum can rest and repair in the early days. Check out this fab video clip that shows a baby attaching whilst mum is full reclined and relaxed. It shows the clues a baby gives when it is getting ready to feed. http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html
There is no wrong way to position your baby at the breast. If its comfortable and it works its fine! take a peek at the following link for more information www.nct.org.uk/parenting/breastfeeding-positions
Worried that your baby is getting enough breast milk? One of the best clues is to look at what comes out the other end. A little bit in and a little bit out! You’ll be amazed what a nappy can tell you. For a visual tour of pooey nappies and what they mean check out http://www.nct.org.uk/sites/default/files/related_documents/What’s%20in%20a%20nappy%20(ENGLISH%20VERSION)%20FINAL%20WITHOUT%20BLEED.pdf
Every day is different! As you gaze and wonder at your baby as you feed and cuddle them, take a moment to think how far you have come and pat yourself on the back. Keep up the good work, you are doing a fab job! x
Labour and birth can often feel like a marathon more than a sprint. Good strength of your legs and arms will help you endure, keep mobile during labour and take advantage of the best positions to help your baby be born. (link to class http://www.pilatesod.com/classes/class-026/
All babies are good babies! If someone asks you if your little bundle is ‘good’ it is worth thinking about what good means. If your baby cries often to tell you what they need, its the only way they can communicate which makes them a great baby! If they wake often in the night, its because they are growing big and strong. Check out www.thewonderweeks.com
It’s normal to feel out of breath during the middle and end of your pregnancy. You are supposed to be breathing for two… yet your bump is restricting the movement of your diaphragm… If you feel breathless, lean your back against a wall (legs wide and knees bent). Pull your tummy in and reach your right arm towards the ceiling. Now breathe deep into your right side. Do the same on the other side. (link to http://www.pilatesod.com/bumps-and-mums/third-trimester/
Its true even hugging yourself can give you a boost of Oxytocin the feel good hormone. So don’t hold back if there is no one around to give you a hug, help yourself. Check out this link www.self-compassion.org
With the extra weight of pregnancy and the strain of looking after a new baby your upper body can get tense and tight. Try to open up your chest as much as you can by stretching your arms up and backwards and taking a deep breath in. Do this stretch when you wake up, when you wait for the kettle to boil, or while waiting for the bus… (link to http://www.pilatesod.com/classes/class-030
Love my baby but don’t want another one this year! Refresh your thinking about contraception. There are 15 types of contraception. Check out this link http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Contraception/Pages/Guidetocontraception.aspx
Am I allowed to give birth standing up, sitting down, squatting, at home, in the woods? The answer is YES YOU CAN! It is your right and your birth. The book ‘Am I Allowed? ‘Written by Beverley Lawrence Beech ( ISBN 10: 1874413150. ISBN 13: 9781874413158. www.aims.org.uk/pubs3.htm) Gives you all the info on what you can do and how to get the right support for the birth that you want.
“Within my mother’s arms” by Marija Smits Within this soft enchanting place I’m given all I need- Sweet rich milk, a warm embrace; And in this soft, enchanting place, I find my mother’s wondrous face, Then sleep, then wake , then feed and feed.. Within this soft enchanting place, I’m given all I need. With thanks to Marija x http://shop.junopublishing.co.uk/product-category/current-issue/ www.marijasmits.wordpress.com
Hum a happy tune, Singing and humming helps to shift our brain activity from the left to the right side of our brain. This signals to the brain to start removing our stress hormone , cortisol, according to Dr Susan Andrews. Download your favourite songs for your personal playlist.
Promise yourself a bit more me time, even if it is just a few moments here and there. When you feel tension in your neck – sit tall, pull your tummy in and roll your shoulders backwards 5 times. Do it slowly while taking deep breaths and see how good it feels. Check out http://www.pilatesod.com/bumps-and-mums/third-trimester/
Remember to take a memorable photo to see in the New Year, whether its mum with a bump, baby with a smile or newborn snoozing. A moment saved and cherished forever. x
The story and the journey continues. No matter where you are at, on your parenting adventure, look at how far you’ve come rather than how far you have to go x Celebrate the new year and look at all you have achieved
Probably not. Avoid feeling deflated that you can’t party like your friends without kids. Treat yourself to an early New Year and tuck up with your baby the best little present. This time next year things will be different again. x
You may be relieved or disappointed its over, either way you are probably quite weary. Be kind to yourself, time for a day on the sofa! The jobs can wait another day, remember Father Christmas rests up for a whole year before he gets going again!
Travelling a distance with your little one between Christmas and New year? Prepare well for your journey. A condensed changing bag with one or two nappies instead of the full kit, makes it easier to do quick pit stops especially when packing is tight on board. In your head plan a few stops into your journey and if you get there quicker its a bonus! x
Extended family Christmas gatherings are often an opportunity for everyone to ask how you are doing and offer some well meaning advice. When everyone goes home and you switch off the fairy lights, take a deep breath, shelve the stuff you don’t agree with and rejoice that Christmas comes but once a year! x
Remember to take photos of those special moments amid the chaos! Your baby having their first Christmas dinner, sitting on Nana’s lap or snoozing amid the wrapping paper. Kids love to see photos of themselves when they are older even if they don’t remember attending the event. Enjoy x
Enjoy every moment with your little bundle and remember to take a moment to pat yourself on the back whilst everyone fusses around your baby! You are doing a fantastic job!! Very Merry wishes to all!! xxx
Whether you’re carrying your bump or busy looking after your little bundle it’s easy to forget about your own body. Remember to make time for yourself and take a moment to think about your posture – Try to keep your knees soft when you’re standing and pull your tummy in to avoid excessive arching of the lower back. Check out http://www.pilatesod.com/classes/class-036/
If your baby has started to become more constipated, why not ask your health visitor or nursery nurse to show you some baby massage moves that might help get things moving a little Check out http://www.iaimbabymassage.co.uk
It is easy to be swept along on the tide at christmas with extended family requests to see their new family member. It may be too late to change arrangements for this year, but make a resolution to prepare family and friends well in advance that you may do things differently next year.
A little dot of nail varnish on one of their nails might help you identify who is who in the early days. Not long and you will know them by their little characters x
A small note pad and pen can be one of the most invaluable items in the early days with your baby. Handy for writing down questions for your midwife when she pops in. Also useful for making a list of who has bought what gift or just jotting down your baby’s progress. Keep by your side whilst feeding when you have a little thinking time.
Pregnant and buying all your baby stuff? Why not consider borrowing some bits or buying second hand. It’s lovely to have new, but some of the more bulky items like baby bath or bouncy chair are used only for a short while and are a pain to store when no longer needed
Thinking of a water birth. There are many benefits to being in water during labour Check out http://www.aims.org.uk/choosewater.htm The Royal College of Midwives also support water births http://www.rcog.org.uk/womens-health/clinical-guidance/immersion-water-during-labour-and-birth
Your guide to Breastfeeding, alcohol, drugs and rock and roll http://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/pdfs/BfN_how_safe_is_leaflet_2009.pdf
It can help to take a few minutes everyday to switch off and chill out. if you can Lie down relax and roll on to your left side, this may help get your baby into a good position for birth , particularly after 30 weeks .
little ones don’t know it’s Christmas and family and friends may be keen to buy all manner of gifts. To avoid being swamped in plastic and running out of storage space, make a gift list if items your little needs( no matter what you will always be bought an irritating, noisy unbreakable toy!)
The current recommendation is to avoid using a dummy for the first 4 weeks to allow your baby to learn Breastfeeding first. Have a peek at this UNICEF Link http://www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/Baby_Friendly/Statements/4/dummy_statement_08.pdf?epslanguage=en
With cold nights ahead check out The foundation of sudden infant deaths for the latest information and research about how to help keep your baby warm at night http://fsid.org.uk/page.aspx?pid=416
Niagra falls or a slow trickle, either are a perfectly normal sign that baby is on the way. This amniotic fluid should be clear and a pale straw colour. Contact your midwife or the hospital for guidance for what to do next. Good luck you are on your way! PS Some women never have their waters break and the baby can be born in the sack. Check out http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/labour-signs-what-happens.aspx#close
The curtains about to go up! Look out for a mucus jelly (sometimes called ‘the plug’) in your knickers, sounds lovely, but its often the first sign that labour is fairly imminent and mum’s cervix is ripening ready to roll.
Waiting for baby can feel like eternity. Here are a few subtle signs to look out for Feeling a bit strange, can’t put your finger on it. A bit more emotional Loose poo, (for want of a nicer way to put) Baby a bit quieter whilst they get ready for the big day Check out http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/labour-signs-what-happens.aspx#close
Baby on the way at last but you feel like you have forgotten everything you’ve learnt about birthing your baby. Keep calm, take a deep breath, remember the midwife will be there to guide and support you and your birth companion through this exciting adventure with the best gift ever at the end of the journey! x
Heard that phrase recently? They are probably not criticising you but just offering their own experiences. This probably worked for them and their baby but if you don’t feel comfortable with it just say thanks and do it your way!
Feeling pressure to keep putting your baby down? Cuddling and keeping your baby close is known to help shape your baby’s brain and their development and make for a social and confident baby and toddler. Check out http://www.continuum-concept.org/cc_defined.html
Really tough !! But really normally, and in fact your baby is pre programmed to wake frequently for not only feeding but emotional reconnection and stimulation of optimal brain development. Frequent waking is also a protective factor against sudden infant death. Check out http://www.centreforattachment.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=category§ionid=6&id=15&Itemid=45
After about 7 months your baby’s development means they prefer the security, comfort and protection of those they know and are more wary of strangers. This is a developmental phase, means your baby is firmly attached to you. This clingy phase will pass usually after a few months Check out www.simplypsychology.org/attachment.html
The mum and baby attachment relationship builds up gradually over about a six month period. Love grows! Grow with it! Check out www.simplypsychology.org/attachment.html
Finding time to share your building frustration with someone you trust, can sometimes help you avoid becoming physically unwell. Unresolved stress is known to lower your immune system and lead to colds and flu. Check out www.simplypsychology.org/stress-immune.html
Letting off steam can be really liberating, whether that be tears, tantrums or leaving town. Realistically its not always that easy when emotions are running high. Keeping the lines of communication open can be hard but is the best medicine and sometimes prevents an explosion.
You may find your emotional suitcase starts to unpack itself and a jumble of emotions arrive with it alongside the birth of your baby. Often this is influenced by how we have been parented ourself and is different for everybody. This is a really good time to address anything that is bothering or causing concern. Ask your midwife, health visitor or GP for support so you clear the path to being the parent you want to be.
Post birth, mums are vulnerable to catching infection especially in the front bottom region. Good hand hygiene is essential to prevent mums getting infections. Wash hands before and after changing sanitary pads. Stay well and Here’s how http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=vYwypSLiaTU&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DvYwypSLiaTU&gl=GB
Some food is best avoided when pregnant as there may be adverse effects for the baby. The good news is this is for a limited time only. You can look forward to all the foods you have missed to celebrate your baby’s arrival http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/why-cant-I-eat-soft-cheeses-during-pregnancy.aspx?CategoryID=54&SubCategoryID=216
The jury’s still out, but think of all the money you’ll save and non alcoholic cocktails can be a good alternative with less Olly’s sham-pagne ( from the Hairy Biker’s) Ingredients 60ml lime cordial 60ml elderflower cordial 3 drops orange blossom water 250ml ice cold soda water Preparation method Pour all the ingredients into a jug and give it a stir. Serve in champagne flutes to blend in at a party ( more recipies http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/olys_sham-pagne_59307) The current guidance is here http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2270.aspx?CategoryID=54&SubCategoryID=130#close
In the early weeks and months babies, like us , have a range of emotions but cant tell us why or how they are feeling Frans Plooji of the wonder weeks, describes these emotions as The Three C’s: Clingy, Cranky and Crying. Here’s more info By Frans Plooij 2011 http://www.modernmom.com/blogs/frans-plooij/the-three-c-s-clingy-cranky-and-crying-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly
What Can Your Baby See? Find out here. By Frans Plooij on April 20, 2011 http://www.modernmom.com/blogs/frans-plooij/your-baby-can-see-this
Dental care and prescriptions are free for all mums during pregnancy and for a year after you little one is born. Here is a link for more information on these and other benefits, call it financial easing. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/maternity-paternity-leave-benefits.aspx#close
All babies are lovely and we love them. Managing a baby and finances can be a tricky issue. Are you getting all the financial help your are entitled to? http://www.midwivesonline.com/parents/parents1//521
Having a baby ? Eating well will help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. There are loads of free recipes on line or you could borrow a recipe book or two from your local library www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/nutritionpreg.asp
A little dot of nail varnish on one of their nails might help you identify who is who in the early days. Not long and you will know them by their little characters x
What real mums consider essential, from conversations with lots of new mums: Muslins, baby’s Sling ergo, swaddle blanket, white noise machine, online community support. Postnatal groups of any sort are a great way to pick up more tips from real mums.
For those little ones born too soon , Kangaroo care has many benefits for mums and teeny tiny ones. Special care staff will be there to support you. Your baby knows your scent, touch and the rhythms of your speech and breathing, and he will enjoy feeling that closeness with you. http://www.unicef.org.uk/BabyFriendly/Health-Professionals/Going-Baby-Friendly/FAQs/Breastfeeding-FAQ/What-is-Kangaroo-Care/
Lots of positivity here for mum as well as babies Feeling closer to your baby Gaining a deeper understanding of your baby’s behaviour, crying and body Fun time with your baby Mum becomes relaxed as an effects of giving your baby a massage Increased confidence as a new mum www.IAIM.org.uk
It can help to take a few minutes everyday to switch off and chill out. if you can Lie down relax and roll on to your left side, this may help get your baby into a good position for birth , particularly after 30 weeks .