Mum & Me book review: perfect for Mother’s Day

It’s almost Mother’s Day and if you haven’t sorted out a present yet I’ve got just the thing: a Mum [...]

By |March 13th, 2015|Baby, Books, Family life, Parenting, Pregnancy, Reviews|0 Comments

Elemis cellular recovery skin bliss capsules review: tiny but fabulous

Four months, seven days and 10 hours: that’s how long it’s been since I last had a full nights’ sleep. [...]

Baby swimming lessons: are they worth it?

It’s a good question, because at around £13 per class they’re not cheap. Although I took BB swimming regularly when [...]

Is getting your baby’s stem cells frozen as an ‘insurance policy’ a good idea?

As a journalist I meet all sorts of people from all walks of life. This week I met a mum, [...]

By |March 4th, 2015|Baby, Family life, Health, Newborn, News, Parenting, Pregnancy|0 Comments

How to work from home with a baby and stay (relatively) sane

I’m coming to the end of my second month being a stay-and-work-at-home-mum (SWAHM - yes it does exist!) and to say [...]

Why don’t pregnant women use wheelchairs?

That’s among the questions three ‘pregnant’ dads have posed just days into their mission to wear pregnancy suits for a whole month. I left BB and Little B in the capable hands of Misery Guts on Sunday to go and write about their story, among others, and it really is an interesting one. There’s no doubt the world would be a different place if it were men who gave birth. The three dads are wearing 15kg ‘empathy bellies’ – the average weight of a full term pregnancy – day and night in the run up to Mother’s Day to see what it’s like for all us mums out there. […]

Getting to the job interview has required military-style planning & industrial-scale milk pumping

I’ve got an interview for my dream job. It’s writing features on a freelance basis for a national newspaper (which for now will remain nameless). If you’d asked me when I was starting out as a lowly trainee reporter in the newsroom of a local paper where I’d like to end up, this is it. And it couldn’t have come at a worse time. With Little B almost 14 weeks old he still feeds every couple of hours. I work from home and coffee shops with the help of Granny, but we have no professional childcare so I can really only commit to an office-based job at weekends, when Misery Guts is on hand to take over. But when I saw the job advertised – it’s the first time there’s been an ad for this publication in more than two years – I couldn’t not apply. And now I’ve got an interview. Today. Which fills me with dread for a number of reasons: 1) I don’t have anything to wear 2) It’s based in central London = separation anxiety (for me, not Little B). We haven’t been that far apart geographically yet. When we left hospital with Little B I nearly had a panic attack when I temporarily lost sight of him because I couldn’t keep up with Misery Guts who charged on ahead as I waddled behind. 3) It involves re-entry into adult-only office life. Just the thought of the politics makes me shudder. 4) What if I get a leaky boob during the interview? As a result I had one too many white wine spritzers on Saturday night – not in celebration at landing the interview, but in sheer terror at the prospect of it. […]

Thrupenny Bits nursing cushion – hands free breast feeding!

I used to think nursing pillows were one of those things they try and sell you but you don’t really need. That was until I started back at work nine weeks after having a very hungry baby. So when MadeForMums asked me to review a Thrupenny Bits nursing cushion (so called because it’s cockney rhyming slang for you-know-what) in which you’re supposed to be able to feed hands-free, I jumped at the chance. And would you adam and eve it, you really can (pictured)! The pillow comes in two sizes, small and large, which you lay in your lap. There are two straps which you tie around your waist to secure the pillow, meaning, unlike other cushions on the market, there’s no gap between you and the pillow which the baby can slip into. […]

My bum is a depot for building my baby’s brain

Excellent news: curvier girls produce brainier children. I’m not joking. Scientists have this week said that the fat found in our bums helps to build our babies brains because fat cells in our derrieres are ‘routed’ directly towards them. Apparently these ‘fat banks’ are depots for building a baby’s brain via breast feeding, and women with larger stores of fat are likely to produce brainer children. And there was me turning my back on a rather lovely looking slice of blueberry frangipane in the coffee shop yesterday, which really did have my name on it. […]

I should have been more assertive and insisted on breast feeding

Little B’s gorgeous, podgy legs are now sporting a pair of plasters thanks to the administration of his 8 week jabs (pictured). It was an ordeal, in more ways than one. As if getting us all up, breakfasted, dressed and out of the door by 9.15am wasn’t bad enough, it was raining cats and dogs and we had no option but to go on foot. In order to get to the surgery in the fastest possible time and avoid unnecessary drenching, there was nothing for it but to put BB in the pushchair with the rain cover (I was hoping her pushchair days were over) and Little B in the papoose, under the cover of my coat. We couldn’t have got any wetter. The rain was so torrential (and too windy to attempt balancing an umbrella on my head/shoulders while pushing) it soaked through my coat and onto Little B within minutes, and we arrived literally dripping. […]

By |January 9th, 2015|Breast feeding, Family life, Health, Parenting, Pregnancy|2 Comments

The best Christmas present in the world ever: a 30 year old dolls house

After a two-week Christmas and new year break (bet you didn’t even notice) we’re back. And while we might be [...]

By |January 7th, 2015|Craft, Family life, Parenting, Pregnancy|4 Comments

Bedside cribs: a ‘safe’ co-sleeping solution?

At just six weeks old Little B has outgrown the moses basket. Not that he slept in it much anyway, preferring to sleep in our bed spread-eagled between us. But while this would send him into a deep, peaceful sleep, it of course meant I slept terribly, worried one of us would roll onto him, accidently pull the duvet over him or that he would shimmy himself against one of the pillows in his sleep. The health visitor advised putting him on my side of the bed rather than between us because as his mum I naturally sleep more lightly, but that’s hardly a long-term solution for the next few months when he’s too small to go into a cot in his own bedroom. So, after a bit of research, I think I’ve come up with the answer: a bedside crib (pictured). There are lots on the market, some as much as a couple of hundred pounds, but we went for the cheapest, Chicco’s Next2Me (£149.99), given he will have outgrown it by six months old. Even Misery Guts, who was predictably sceptical about buying yet more paraphernalia, admits it’s a nifty bit of kit. (You can hire other brands through the NCT, but the waiting list was until the middle of January, so not much help). […]

Running after pregnancy: I’m pounding the pavements again

It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for: at long last I can pound the pavements again. After hanging up my trainers at 36 weeks pregnant I then had four weeks ‘off’ after Little B’s birth and went for my first run exactly four weeks later. Without a bump I felt like I was flying. My running bible throughout pregnancy has been Runner’s World Guide to Running & Pregnancy by Chris Lundgren, one of only a handful of books I’ve been able to find on the subject. She advises waiting until you’ve stopped bleeding and then adding another week before attempting your first post-partum run, and then if you have any fresh blood afterwards wait another week before going out again. I followed this advice with both BB and Little B, and it seems a sensible approach to me. I was careful to stick to my pregnancy pace – you’re actually more at risk of injury in the months immediately after giving birth than you are during pregnancy – and not to take too big strides owing to my recent date with the needle and thread, but wow. As it did after BB was born, it felt brilliant. […]

Stretch mark creams review: Bepanthen, Palmer’s & Bio Oil

They say there’s nothing you can really do about stretch marks: it’s in the genes and you'll either get them, [...]

Little B’s first smile: the most rewarding moment so far

At 5 weeks and 4 days old I’ve managed to capture Little B’s smile on camera for the first time. There have been fleeting mini smiles over the past week or so – and never with a camera to hand – but now he’s properly beaming and throwing in gurgles for good measure. After almost six weeks of not sleeping longer than a couple of hours at a time, the pain of bleeding nipples and stinging stiches, the indignity of big pants and industrial strength wadding, scraping poo from under my fingernails (not mine, obviously), soothing colic, cold tea, snatched baths and even colder dinner, to be rewarded with a smile is the most momentous, fulfilling moment so far. […]

By |December 10th, 2014|Breast feeding, Family life, Health, Parenting, Pregnancy|2 Comments