You’ve done the pregnancy test, perhaps several times to be sure and it’s starting to sink in that yes, it’s true, you really are expecting a baby! Cue: popping corks, hugs, tears, general hysteria and happiness. The journey over the next 9 months will amazing, tiring, possibly anxious at times and information on what to expect will be at an all-time premium. The good news is that there are abundant sources of advice and support about pregnancy and birth from your mum to Mumsnet, to random strangers at the bus stop. But nothing beats curling up with a good book that reassuringly sets out how your body will change, what equipment you need and – our favourite at Bumpalicious Maternity, what baby looks like at different stages of development. Here are five of our favourite pregnancy and birth books to be getting on with. Continue reading
When it comes to life-after-bump decisions, whether or not to return to work after maternity leave is likely to be front of mind for most mums and their partners. For many, family finances and/or a commitment to their career means returning to work is a no-brainer. For others, the cost of childcare or simply a desire to focus on the family means they have already decided to give up their jobs once the baby arrives. If you’re fortunate enough to have a choice, how do you go about deciding what to do? Continue reading
It’s not an issue whilst your little one remains in the same place as you put them but as soon as they’re on the move you need to turn your attention to the best ways of babyproofing your home. If you are Beyoncé this extends to babyproofing backstage. For those of us not on tour here are our top five tips for keeping your baby and toddler safe at home. Continue reading
First of all, please let me say that however you feed your baby is best; bottle or breast. It’s just important that they are fed. Any feeding whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding helps you to bond with your baby and helps them to grow and thrive.
It’s World Breastfeeding Week this week
The theme this year is to raise awareness of the links between breastfeeding and sustainable development;
“By recognising that breastfeeding is a key to sustainable development, we will value our wellbeing from the start of life, respect each other and care for the world we share.” (worldbreastfeedingweek.org).
So, I thought I’d look at breastfeeding from this point of view. Here are some great facts to ponder:
► Breast milk is a “natural, renewable food” that is environmentally safe and produced and delivered to the consumer (your gorgeous baby) without pollution, packaging or waste.
► It is estimated that more than 400 litres of water is needed to produce 1kg of breast milk substitute powder.
► Breastfeeding helps the transition to a low-carbon economy from one based on fossil fuels. No electricity is needed to produce it (other than your trusty electric breast pump to get it out!) and it requires no fuel for transport thus reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
► Breastfeeding reduces the need for water, firewood and fossil fuels in the home.
► Scarce resources in some parts of the World.
► Breastfeeding produces less waste than formula feeding. Waste pollutes the seas and affects marine life.
► Formula production generates Greenhouse gas emissions which accelerate global warming.
If you do breastfeed; that is amazing. If you don’t breastfeed; that is amazing too!
Information and graphics kindly provided by worldbreastfeedingweek.org.
So, seriously, how is your diet at the moment? Is it packed full of all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients a busy mum needs? Or, do find yourself constantly eating on the run, not making time to eat, and you are therefore constantly tired? OK, so life with a newborn certainly is not easy. You’re not sleeping, and your baby’s nowhere near in that “routine” all your friends are talking about yet.
Nutrition plays a massive role in weight loss. So, “What foods will help shift your ‘mummy tummy’”.
Hopefully, with a bit of tweaking here and there to your current eating plan, you’ll feel less sugar cravings, feel less hungry and feel more energised in the process (even when you have the worst night’s sleep ever!).
Ok, so you’ve probably heard the food adverts that claim that if you eat this meal you’ll feel “fuller for longer”. In theory, yes, if you eat a protein-rich meal, it will help fill you up. You need to eat a lot more protein-rich meals which include ingredients such as eggs, chicken, liver, fish, seafood, beef, pork and lamb. Eat whatever protein you like, as long as it’s clean and lean. No, creamy sauces, no additives and make sure any excess fat is removed.
GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES
Pump your body full of green leafy veg at every opportunity; breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pack your salads full of spinach, rocket and watercress (watercress is particularly useful for ridding your body of cellulite, by the way), and get used to eating lots of stir fries on the side, with veggies such as: peas, green beans, courgettes, broccoli, sugar snap peas, asparagus, leeks, mangetout, cabbage, kale. These vegetables are particularly good at cleansing your system and stabilising your blood sugar levels because they’re quite low in GI and full of antioxidants.
Here are some examples of protein and vegetable meals you could try: Have an omelette for breakfast on a bed of spinach, rocket and watercress, drizzled with olive oil. Prepare a simple chicken and avocado salad to eat at lunch to keep you going for the afternoon. Complete your day with oven-baked fish and a green stir fry on the side. Green leafy veg is the key secret to weight loss. These types of vegetables are packed full of all the vitamins, nutrients and minerals you need, without spiking your insulin levels sky-high so that 20 minutes after you’ve eaten, you feel as though you need a Nanna nap on the sofa because you’re on the “come down off that sugar high”, and/or you could eat your way through the entire chocolate aisle of your local supermarket because you’re craving something sweet.
Ok, so not technically a “food” but, oh my lord, if only more new mums drank more water! Ideally, you should be drinking at least 2-3 litres of water a day. Bottled, if you can. The reason? Well, tap water is riddled with oestrogen (due to the amount of women on the contraceptive pill peeing it into our waterways – eeewww!). High levels of oestrogen contributes to weight gain and weight gain encourages excess oestrogen, so you can kind of see how this hormone really affects you as a woman and a new mum. During pregnancy, your body was busy producing oestrogen and progesterone. If the levels of oestrogen and progesterone aren’t balanced out postnatally, this creates a fantastic environment for your body to store fat. By drinking water, and lots of it, it literally flushes your body of toxins and helps restore balance. You’re probably already aware that 70% of the muscles in your body are made up of water, so feeding them more water, helps hydrate you, which in turn helps stabilise your metabolism, making your body better at burning fat and ridding itself of toxins. Phew.
I know that being a new mum can be exhausting.
Why not prep a few salads at a time that will last a few days. Buy prepared veg as a treat every now and then so you’re not busy peeling and chopping away each day. The plus side is that eating well should increase your energy levels as well as help to trim up that beautiful tummy of yours!
As well as living in a world of maternity dresses, I also spend a big chunks of my week teaching yoga to pregnant ladies, new mums and their beautiful babies. It’s a real privilege to meet ladies during their pregnancy and to be a part of their journey into motherhood. For some, it’s a breeze. For others, becoming a new mum can be pretty tough, especially the first few weeks.
My eldest daughter, Grace, is now 13 but I still remember (very clearly), feeling as though my life had been turned upside down when she arrived; upside down in every way!
I’m a pretty organised “have it all written on a list” kind of person. Well, my orderly, routined life went out of the window. I found it hard to adjust to there being no pattern in my days and I had high expectations of the kind of mum I needed to be. That wasn’t good for either myself or Grace.
When Neave came along four years later, I was much kinder to myself. Doing one thing a day was enough.
I had no lists, I spent time just “being” with the girls and more time with other mums and babies. I tried to make it more fun as it made me feel less anxious and I smiled more. We were all fed, clothed and in the right place at just about the right time. Yes, the house was far from perfectly tidy and tea was often a random combination of whatever we had in the house at the time but I was a much more balanced mum and wife. I just felt happier with myself.
I am always telling the ladies in my classes that they are all doing a wonderful job at being a new mum and to be kind to themselves whenever they can; even if that means something as simple as sitting down on their own for five minutes a day, closing their eyes and taking some long relaxing breaths. It’s almost as good as a power nap!
Another one of my favourite things is to remind them that that are each being absolutely the best mum they can be at any given moment. Motherhood isn’t always easy. We are all learning as we go.
Mummies; you know who you are and you know that I think you are AWESOME!!
Over the past 12 months, I’ve seen a huge increase in the number of blogs, Facebook postings and Pinterest pins about pregnancy announcements. It seems to be something that has gone big time in the States and I was just wondering how long it will take before it becomes the next thing you must do over here?
Some of the images are inventive, original and just plain brilliant. Some come with their own music or original songs (must be with baby number 1 as they’d never have the time with the second!). Some are not quite so but we are all entitled to announce our news in our own special way. My cousin told me by texting her scan photo to me!
So, if you have been original in telling your family and friends your news, please do share your story and images with us. We will pick the very best (which really means me and 2 of my very best girlfriends will be picking). The sender of the best image can then choose one of our lovely bola necklaces for yourself or a friend. Please do share this post as the more stories/images the better.
Here are a few I’ve come across