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Staying Safe in Summer Sun

Looks like Summer is finally here Everyone!

Still we need to take care in the heat especially if like us you rarely see heat like this!

Did you know in the summer between 11am and 3pm, the sun is at its strongest? 

Babies, young children, pregnant ladies and the elderly can become very ill during very hot weather. Their health can be seriously affected by dehydration, heat exhaustion, heatstroke and sunburn.
Try these tips for keeping you and Baby healthy in the heat.

Try to keep your baby cool and protect them from the sun.

Babies less than six months old should be kept out of direct sunlight. Older infants should also be kept out of the sun as much as possible.

When out, attach a parasol or sunshade to your baby’s pushchair to keep them out of direct sunlight. But do not cover them or their car seats with a blanket or Muslin as these can trap the heat and cause your little ones to get ill.

Apply a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to your baby’s skin every couple of hours. Apply the suncream regularly, particularly if your child is in and out of the sea or paddling pool. 

Pop on a sunhat with either a wide brim or a long flap at the back, to protect the neck from the sun.

Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids or having ice lollies. So make sure you carry water for yourself and everyone in the family. Plenty of fruit and salad will also help keep their fluid levels up.

Did you know, if you’re breastfeeding your baby, you don’t need to give them water as well as breast milk. Your breastmikk changes consistently to adapt to the needs of baby. But you should offer feeds more than usual.  

If you’re bottle feeding, as well as their usual milk feeds, you can give your baby cooled boiled water throughout the day. If your baby wakes at night, they’ll probably want milk. If they’ve had their usual milk feeds, try cooled boiled water as well. 

Playing in a paddling pool is a good way of keeping babies and children cool. Keep the pool in the shade.   

A cool bath before bedtime can also help at night. Check out what they should wear tonne using the picture in our useful photo album

You can keep rooms cool during the day by closing blinds or curtains. You can also use a fan to circulate the air in the room.  

A room thermometer will help you monitor the temperature of your room. Your baby will sleep most comfortably when their room is between 16C (61F) and 20C (68F).

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After Maternity Leave: 6 months later

I have found returning to work so hard as many of you will. It’s an agonizing decision whether to leave your career to be a stay at home mum (SAHM) or try to have it all whether party time or full time.

I went back part time, to a different role due to having had an extended maternity leave. I thought it would be good gave plenty of notice but alas things didn’t turn out quite as planned…

A Positive Performance Appraisal was lovely this past week especially as it included an apology for not having had a plan in place for my return to work, no training given relating to the new role etc… any wonder why I’ve been chomping at the bit etc

Then in this time there were the bitchy comments of staff and non communications, definitely made some days harder than others. See and that’s without the hormones and achy breasts or other worries of being a good parent.

Before I went on maternity leave I didn’t have the best experience either I felt stressed due to undue comments of HR staff discussing the return of another person from maternity leave, and just how difficult both they and the MP planned to make it. I was 6 weeks pregnant at the time and it ruined the rest of my pregnancy it haunted my every decision. I didn’t want to lose my job I wanted to show them I could do it all. It made me sick.

During those difficult times I held on to my faith, tried to remain calm and professional albeit sometimes I wish I had the confidence to call people out on their horrid ways.

I found solice looking into areas of other interest. I even found a great website to read where other women shared their stories of returning to the office post baby.

If you find yourself unhappy having returned to work know that you can find happiness outside of work, at home within yourself again. Just do some soul searching & an ear to lean on.

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Breast Feeding: Your Essential Guide

What to expect:

Think about the hardest thing you have ever done – now think breast feeding after child birth is the hardest. You have no control over it. When your milk will come in, how long you will be able to breast feed for (unless you chose to stop), and the agony you can be in is ridiculous!

Resources – websites/facebook page/books/classes/consultants/ breastfeeding groups

Website most useful was Kelly’sMom

Facebook pages: local breastfeeding support groups and NCT FB groups

Books: none lol

Classes: NHS vs NCT Ante natal classes – NHS won hands down.

Establishing Breastfeeding

It took a month with the help of a Lactation Consultant. 

Pumping: the advice is don’t pump for 6 weeks until your supply regulates… hold on but if my milk wont come in and baby won’t latch what do I do? PUMP & FREEZE! Freeze any excess so that you save those amazing antibodies and nutrients for later on!

Other fundamentals: drink plenty of water, eat lots of protein, sleep as much as you can as all these things affect your milk supply

Increase Milk supply: 

Lactation cookies/ oats/ oat milk/ hob nobs/ porridge/flap jacks / fenugreek tea (makes your pee smell like treacle lol)

What you need

A pump: manual or electric – you can rent electric ones however if your baby was premature you may be able to get one from your local PEER group via the HV.

Hot showers and flannels – when your milk comes your boobs are hard as hell! And sore!!! Omg the pain!!! So you’ll need to take warm showers and massage the shit (pardon me please here), as in form a fist and commit self harm kind of massage until your milk and tender boobs hurt no more. If you can’t self harm like this get help seriously… mastitis is worse from what I hear!

Breast pads for impromptu leakages

Maternity bras – god send!

Nipple shields/ nipple shells – the first can help to establish latching (though didn’t in my case) and the other catches any milk that escapes in your bra allowing you to give it later on

Pros

It’s natural & helps babies immune system for the first 6 months

Great time for you to bond with baby

It’s a lovely thing to do and helps create an amazing bond x

Cons

You don’t know how much baby is having and you depend on how many wet nappies. See our Facebook page for the picture on this!

Blocked ducts

Mastitis – requires antibiotics

Thrush of babies mouth your breast both require treatment!!!

Lipstick nipples mean poor latch! Painful nipples due to this or biting!!!

You feel judged for how and when and how long you chose to breast feed (bf)
We do not judge here so feel free to ask away

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Pregnancy and Weight Management 

During the duration of your pregnancy you will hear about how important it is you have a wonderful and healthy pregnancy. Included in this rhetoric is how much you are expected to gain weight wise.

A good weight gain depends on how much you weighed at the beginning of your pregnancy. There’s usually 3 categories for the weight gain: underweight/average and overweight.

A good app to track your weight gain is:

Pregnancy +

This app helps you to track lots of aspects of your pregnancy including your weight. But it doesn’t tell you if you’ve gained too much or too little.

See our Pregnancy App Reviews for further information.

And a good website which breaks down your weight gain allowance per week is:

Pregnancy Calculator

Weight gain in pregnancy is different for everyone. Some lose at the beginning and barely put on the whole time and then there are others who put nothing on til the end and all of a sudden out comes a bump out of nowhere.

Follow the advice of your medical team and keep a healthy diet (with a few treats).

Below is a table from the Baby Centre website to help as a guide:


And remember most weight gain is after 20 weeks.

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Preparing for New Baby: Items you Need & Want

Preparing for a new baby can feels so over whelming. What do you need vs what isn’t a necessity- is what we hope to help you with here:
Cot/Cotbed/Crib/Moses Basket/SideCot

In essence your baby definitely needs somewhere to sleep. Moses baskets are good for other rooms but side cots allow baby to sleep next to your bed and led you fed them in the night without getting up. Check out the Chicco one.

A Cot bed is a good investment after 6 months when you transition little one into their own bed as it lasts up to 4 years old.

Baby Bath – some people wash little ones in the sink but I think babies need their own special place to be washed. There are so many styles such a pods and your traditional baby baths.

Pushchair/Pram/Travel Systems 

If you buy a travel system well you’re likely to get a car seat and a pushchair that it can attach to,as well as convert into a pram. Downside these things need adaptors sometimes, can be heavy and all the parts they can have means they’re cumbersome for both traveling and storage!

Car seat – whilst baby should spend no more than two hours at a time in these things they’re essential for planned journeys. Unplanned you can have little ines on your lap but hospital will want baby in a car seat. There’s a group on fb which give advice about car seats and how little ones should be strapped in but a reputable store will help you with the correct installation- such as universal (car seat belt) or ISO fix.

Sling/Wraps/Ringsling/Buckles Baby Carriers

This is a luxury item – cheapest new (not including woven wraps) is approx. £50. Not for the feint hearted if you wish to buy woven either as they’re often a couple of hundred £££. A baby bjorn is in the region of £100 as well. That being said if you google the forth trimester – baby wants to be close, if you’re struggling to settle little one off to sleep or if they have reflux/colic – this item can turn out to be an essential item in your baby care item arsenal! Especially if you have a toddler in tow.

Towels – essential

Cellular Blankets – essential to keep baby Cosy 

napisan – not essential but if you want stain free clothes – this helps.

Bottles – essential if you bf or ff as to give others a chance to feed baby and give yourself a break.

Steriliser – essential (unless you’re going to boil hot water on the stove) for everything babyfied- bottle/ dummies/teething rings/ sippy cups etc

Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep – the baby milk espresso machine. When first on the market this gen retailed at £120, but soon was seen around as little as £60.  HOWEVER this is a god send luxury item. Less than a minute and you have a bottle of formula ready to give to baby. If you have the budget and there was one luxury item you needed – this is it!

Breast Pump/ manual/ automatic/ double or single – Pumps are as cheap as £20 of manual or £400 new automatic double pump. Or you can rent various automatic brands through their websites or mothercare at about £40 a month. Hospital grade pumps are fantastic but then again I also had success with a manual although they’re a lot of work.

But if you can master hand expressions- you may need neither.

Muslins – baby essential for the spit ups, projectile vomiting etc. 

Bouncer/swing/rockers – this is a hard one as some babies like them and others don’t. They free up your hands which is great but should only be used for 20 mins at a time – depending on babies size and age.

Gro bags/swaddling cloths etc – my little one hated them all – still refuses to sleep without a blanket as he’s a hottie. So again individual preference.

Mittens – you could use socks instead as scratch mittens

Booties – not essential especially in summer – but a must in winter

Socks – not essential especially in summer – but a must in winter

Nappies – whether you decide to use cloth diapers or disposables – you’ll be shocked at how many you get through. 

Baby events at Asda & other local super markets are amazing as is an Amazon Prime account for next day bulk order deliveries!

Cotton wool/Flannel or sponge – Baby skin is so delicate and sensitive which is why we recommend plain water to wash them in. To moisturize at a push oil but nothing else. I used cotton wool at first for washes and nappy changes, eventually moved on to water wipes and a sponge for baths and then a flannel.

Teething powder/granular/ Anbesol -a necessity once your little one starts teething. Babies can be born with teeth and teething can start from as soon as 3 months old. Check with your pharmacy first, just to make sure you get the right advice for your little ones age and size.

Calpol ibroprufen – you’ll need this for the immunizations which start at just a few months old and for any fevers.

Formula – even the best intended mothers who decide they’re going to bf – you need a can of formula – just in case… YOU CANT BF! I know you’re thinking to yourself nope that won’t be me I’ll be fine – bf can be one of the HARDEST uncontrollable and even painful battle you will have (after child birth) and when you have a frustrated hungry baby, who if they haven’t eaten in days it can be an issue of FED IS BEST.

Dummies – not essential and it’s recommended you wean them from dummies by 12 weeks old as well.

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Preparing for New Baby: Clothes

Some go absolutely crazy buying every cute item they see once they get the news their expecting – Don’t!! At least don’t buy everything all in the same size!

First of all you dont know how big baby will be once they put in an appearance and secondly – they grow THAT quickly you won’t have a chance to put them in everything.

So as with everything different shops sizes vary, but in general you have tiny baby up to 5lb/7lb, new born up to 10lbs, 0-3 month, 3-6 months, 6-9 months and 9-12 months. There after it’s 12-18, 18-24  months and then 2 -3 years.

Now for terminology:

Sleepsuits/Onesies – with feet

Rompers – without feet

Vests – can be sleeveless, tshirt style or long sleeves but still button underneath nappy

What you need;

New babies really can live in onesies: they’re easy and convenient to change especially as you get into the swing of things. You can get them in multipacks and this is true of vests as well. If I were doing it all again I’d do it the same way – few baby outfits but mostly onesies for the first few months.

I’d buy a few tiny & new born sizes, and then get more 0-3 months. Gifts from babies arrival certainly will pad out what you have so don’t go too crazy!

Here’s my list of what I had before my lo arrived:

Long sleeved vests: 8

Romper: 4

Sleepers: 18

Trousers: 4

Short sleeves popper vests: 9

Velcro vests: 9 *
Socks: 6

Booties:2

Internal Hats: 7

Wooly hats: 4

Mittens: 4 pairs

Bibs: 9

Cardigans:

Snowsuits: 2

Track suits bottoms: 4

Swimming suit: 1

Tshirts:2
Cot Cellular blankets: 2

Moses basket cellular blanket: 2

Blanket: 1

Moses sheets: 3

Towels: 4
*velcro vests – are thin cotton tshirts that open up but fasten with Velcro. These are perfect for when you’re in hospital and even for doctor/hv appointments. You find them in Mother Care as a multi pack of either 2 or 4.

Hopefully this will help you prepare clothes wise for baby’s arrival. A post in necessary items coming soon!

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It’s Positive!

Whoo hooo! Congratulations you have just found out you’re preggers!

What next?!

  • Make a note of when your last period was – you’ll need this information repeatedly
  • Think back to when you might have conceived – make a note
  • Do you know your blood type and that of the father – might seem strange but all will be revealed
  • Think about both of your families medical histories and make a note

Now if you didn’t already do a clear blue digital pregnancy test which tells you roughly how many weeks you are – I would do if I were you! It’s exciting to know how far along you are pus your doctor will need to know too.

Otherwise don’t panic: we will explain here:

Your pregnancy will be calculated in weeks from the first day of your last period. 

So if your last period was on Jan 1st but today’s date is 17th Feb, you will be 5 weeks pregnant. A calendar really helps with this. And throughout the pregnancy you will be referred to as 5+2 or 23+6 which means 5 weeks & 2 days pregnant or 23 weeks and 6 days pregnant
Now here’s the trickier part – what about ovulation and implantation – what if you didn’t have sex way back then but only a few weeks ago? This is how pregnancy is calculated albeit your embryo in reality might be only 2 -3 weeks old.

Once you have either done a digital test or calculated how far along you are, it’s time to tell the Doctors. 

Get an appointment to discuss any issues on your mind, family medical history, blood pressure, get checked for sti’s, talk about your weight, thyroid issues if u have any as well as your blood type.

Blood type is important in pregnancy IF you are a negative rhesus ; i.e. O negative the rhesus is the positive or negative status. The reason it’s important is because if you have a negative rhesus and your baby has a different blood type, you can end up building anti- their blood cell type which can affect you in future pregnancies.

So it’s very important to know what your blood type is and to let your medical team know what your blood type is.

You’ll also need to be aware that duringnyour pregnancy any vaginal bleeding will mean you will require an anti-d injection to counteract any potential issues.

Now if you haven’t been already- start taking folic acid supplements – it may already be part of the prenatal supplements you have. HOWEVER if you have a BMI over 30 you will need a higher dose of folic acid and this is important for the first 12 weeks. I’d also throw in omega3 supplements too you can get those with ginger which may help with morning sickness.

Thyroid issues – if you have hypo or hyper theyroidism during your first 12 weeks the baby depends 100% on your thyroid working. So you need to get your levels checked and medication adjusted if required.

Now you have seen the doctor you need to get booked in with your local community midwife (mw). You should be seen around 8weeks – they won’t see you before this (which is bizarre considering folic acid requirements noted above) but don’t panic if it’s not til a bit later.

At your first appointment (it’s called a booking in appointment) the mw will glean as much information about you and your partner as she can including medical history. So it’s easiest to be prepared with your notes from above. They’ll ask you whether you smoke,drink, drugs, diseases, medical conditions you and your family have had, immunisations etc. It definitely takes some time.

This is also a good time for you to ask any questions that’s on your mind too. So be prepared.

She will give you a pregnancy book where a record of how your pregnancy is developing will be recorded. You take this to all appointments. She will also give you other booklets and information on pregnancy, breast feeding, diet etc. 

She will tell you the date of your next appointments and when you can expect to have scans of your baby. 

Remember if you don’t wish to have a student present for any of your appointments you have the right to ask them to leave.