Baby-friendly Holidays

I can’t believe that in less than six weeks, we’ll be jetting off on our first holiday. It wasn’t our usual spur of the ‘Lets’s book a holiday’ moment, instead me and my husband had to do quite a lot of research as it’s not just us anymore.

So, after lots of research, we decided to go back to a Kempinski hotel. We went to one back in October for our Babymoon and it was just amazing, so it was a no-brainer to look at other sites the chain had to offer. We agreed on Marbella. Not only is it a two and a half hour plane journey away, the hotel is baby friendly and the weather in May shouldn’t be too hot. We also felt that Spain isn’t too far away from home plus the hotel has private doctors on call should we need anything, a kids club (although Lacie will be too young), a gym for me and my hubby and also some lovely grounds that we can enjoy with Lacie, She loves walking with us in the Baby Bjorn One carrier.

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So now the holiday is all booked, I have the joy of thinking about what I need to pack for the three of us. I’ve never been on holiday with a new born before. So far my list is;
Nappies
Nappy bags
Nappy cream, moisturiser etc
Summer dresses
Cardigans
Baby grows
Bed sheets
Buggy
Car seat for taxi ride
Sun cream
Socks
Swimming costume
Towels
Sleeping Gro Bag
Sterilising stuff for dummy
Toys (rattle etc), comforter

I think that’s it for the moment…I will keep adding to my list though as I’m sure there’s something I’ve forgotten…..

How to fight the Rotavirus

When Lacie had her eight week jabs, she also was immunised against Rotavirus.

The immunisation is an oral vaccination and basically protects them from a highly infectious stomach bug that can cause an unpleasant bout of diarrhoea, sometimes with vomiting, tummy ache and fever. The problem is, they obviously give her a small dose of the virus, so it’s vital that for the next three weeks, me and mark wash our hands after every nappy change and don’t suck her dummy when it needs carrying or cleaning. Basically because the vaccine is given to your baby by mouth, it’s possible that the virus in the vaccine will pass through your baby’s gut and be picked up by whoever changes their nappy. It could also be on her dummy, so sterilisation is vital over the next few weeks.

Thankfully, I came across this Milton Mini Portable Soother Steriliser and it has come in really handy ever since.

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Basically, the cleaner allows you to sterilise dummies on the go, is compact and really easy to use. You  fill to line with water, dissolve a Milton tablet, insert the sponges and pour away any excess water. You’re then ready to go and can sterilise as many dummies as you wish for 24hrs! The sterilising process takes less than 15 minutes and is made by a brand that I really trust. I never leave the house without it. I can’t tell you how many times we have dropped her dummy – or I’ve found it in my 2-year old Nephew’s mouth. Cheeky little monkey!

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http://www.milton-tm.com/en/consumer/products/mini-portable-soother-steriliser; RRP £6.99 

Burn fat and lose your mummy tummy in your living room

Just last week, I posted a cool workout that I’ve been doing at home around Lacie’s sleeps.

I always thought it would be tough working out with a baby, but it’s actually not too bad. You just have to be über flexible with your time and fit them when baby is sleeping. Some days I won’t get a chance to do my circuit but I don’t stress too much, baby comes first and there’s always tomorrow. If I haven’t had a chance then there’s going to be a genuine reason. I don’t like not sticking to my plans!

When planning my workouts I’ve found these top tips from Chrissi Delapperal, Virgin Active Personal Training Manager and Mum of One very useful. It certainly helps me to fit exercise in when I can around Lacie.

1. Treat your house as your multi-level gym, and combine everyday tasks with a workout. For example, when you’re vacuum cleaning you could lunge instead of walk, and when wiping coving you could incorporate squats

2. Be imaginative and turn your favourite TV program into a workout. For example, every time a favourite character appears or a certain word is said, challenge yourself to do ten tricep dips on the sofa

3. Train your core muscles by balancing on one foot, or on a swiss ball, whilst teeth brushing, ironing, cooking or on the phone

I’ve also found that walking with a baby carrier is a great workout. Lacie loves being this close to me and carrying all her weight really gets your heart rate up, and I also have to really use my core muscles to help with my balance and posture. The only thing is, that having all that weight at the front of your body can make you feel like you are leaning forwards, so make sure you suck your belly button in as you walk and stand up straight like you have a piece of string attached to the top of your head and someone is pulling you up.

One of my favourite carriers so far is the Baby Bjorn One. I can use it for Lacie as a newborn (at least 3.5kg and 53cm) and until she is approximately 3 years old (max. 15kg or 100cm). When she is older I can carry her on my back too, which is perfect for weekend walks with my husband, one of our favourite past-times.

This is me on Mother’s Day, we walked for around two hours and Lacie slept the whole way. She really does love being in the fresh air. She definitely takes after me!

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http://www.babybjorn.co.uk/products/baby-carriers/one/baby-carrier-one/; RRP: £119.99

 

Eight week Jabs

Lacie had her eight week jabs yesterday. These are given by injection (one in each leg) and then by mouth via a dropper. She was such a brave girl and had no real bad side effects apart from lethargically and sleepiness.

I was so proud that she was super brave that today we spent the day having lots of cuddles and playtime, which is where her new toy this Fisher Price Rainforest Friends Crib to Floor Mobile came in. We had fun for a good hour, with smiles and everything. She even played with it whilst me and Daddy ate our dinner. A whole dinner without any cries or cuddles – result!

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Basically, the mobile sits on the floor and plays up to 20 minutes of music and features 8 colourful friends that spin overhead. The bright colours and patterns really caught her attention – she didn’t know where to look!

There is also a mirror and bat-at rollerball which keeps her happy during tummy time and encourages her to lift her head up and play with what’s in front of her, plus the Tiger, Lion, Monkey and Frog plush characters on the mobile can be brought down and attached to the base, providing great bat-at and reach & grasp play. There is so much to play with.

Most of all the music isn’t annoying AT ALL. It’s upbeat and fun and include lullabies and nature sounds to calm and soothe.

This is her in action…well and truly amazed by the colourful animals.

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Fisher Price Rainforest Friends Crib to Floor Mobile. £49.99

Bath Yourself Better

I’m not going to lie, I’m still not quite recovered from the whole birth thing yet.

I’m having to be super careful what I do exercise wise. Who would of thought it after 8 1/2 weeks?
That being said I appreciate that my body has been through a huge ordeal so not panicking about the long recovery. I will recover, I just need to give it time.

One thing I’ve religiously done since the birth of Lacie is have Epsom Salt baths. Not only do the salts help with water retention, but they can also help heal the perineum after a tough labor.
They also help soothe tired muscles (especially my back) and reduce stress, while helping draw out toxins, the problem is they don’t smell nice. Infact they don’t smell at all, which is why I thought all my Christmases had come at once when I found this Shea Mooti Mama’s ‘Take the Rough with the Smooth’ Soothing Bath Soak.

Its packed with Oatmeal, Burdock Powder, Epsom Salt, Sea Salt and Shea Butter, to help soothe sore perinatal muscles. It also contains  antibacterial Witch Hazel, which helps ease pain and promote healing.

All you do is add a handful of the salts to a warm bath. They smell lovely and are so relaxing. The only problem is you have to stay in the bath for 15 minutes for them to work their magic – and as all you busy mummies know, 15 minutes to yourself is a VERY long time!!

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http://www.sheamooti.co.uk/mama-s-take-the-rough-with-the-smooth-soothing-bath-soak

New Mum home workouts. How to shape up after a baby

As you all know, I’m a real gym bunny. I worked out throughout my whole pregnancy and was even in my local Virgin Active the very morning I was induced. It’s certainly helped me whip back into shape since having Lacie, although I do still have a lot of work to do. My muscle tone just completely disappeared during pregnancy, despite lifting weights four times a week!

That said, Lacie is now eight weeks and although I’m not ready to leave her in the gym creche just yet, I have been sneaking in some short home workouts whilst she sleeps. Just 30 minutes here and there is enough to get those endorphins flowing and make me feel happy that I’m starting to work towards my goals again.

Here’s just one workout I’ve been doing in my lounge. I always thought I would hate working out at home but actually I’ve been really enjoying it. I simply put on a TV programme that I’ve been itching to watch, grab my dumbbells and resistance band and off I go.
It’s true that your priorities really do change once you have a beautiful baby – it’s no longer about you. However, it is important that you do take some time out and with home workouts that means you still get to spend time with your baby, whilst doing something positive for yourself.

As Chrissi Delapperal, a Personal Training Manager at Virgin Active and mum of one says, “The pressure of being a ‘super mum’ whilst trying to balance various commitments with family life means that exercise can fall way down on our priority list.”

Here’s Chrissi’s top six exercises that could be done at home in the living room, kitchen or bedroom – it’s a great workout and will wake up those muscles again. Enjoy :)

1. Tricep dips x 15
“Tricep dips will make you look at your sofa or armchair in a totally new light, as they make the perfect apparatus for tricep dips. Sit on the edge of the seat, with hands resting either side of your hips, fingers forward. Lift up your body and shuffle your feet away from the sofa. Now bend your elbows, gently lowering your hips towards the floor, hold for two seconds, and raise body up again.

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2. Push ups x 10
“Use your sofa to perfect the art of the push up. Start with incline pushups, with your hands on the seat and feet on the floor. This makes pushups easier and is a great way to get used to this type of exercise. Once you feel you have mastered the move, you can graduate to decline pushups with your feet on the seat and hands on the floor. Be careful to keep your back straight, and don’t let your hips sag.

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3. Bicep curls  x 15
“You can grab any piece of kitchen equipment to do some quick and easy bicep curls. Use a tin can, bottle or saucepan – whatever feels the right weight for you. Standing with legs shoulder-width apart, hold your chosen weight by your side with your palm facing away from you. Bend your arm at the elbow and bring the weight up to your shoulder.
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4. Squats x 15
“Squats are a brilliant exercise to master, they work your bum, legs and core. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and slowly bend your knees, lowering your body. Squat down as low as you can, keeping your head and chest high and shoulders relaxed. Hold for a second and then straighten legs to stand up.”

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5. Stomach crunches x 10
“Doing stomach crunches on your mattress will actually force those abs to work harder to stabilise yourself. Lying on your back, bend your knees and put your hands behind your head. Use your abs (NOT your neck muscles) to lift your torso off the bed, and release.

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6. Star jumps x 15
“Jump out of bed and start your day with some star jumps. This childhood throwback will not only put a smile on your face, it will also work A LOT of muscles, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, gluts, abs, biceps, triceps, and obliques. Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees into a squat position and jump vertically as high as you can. While jumping, extend legs and arms out to your sides, into a star shape. Land with arms by your sides and knees bent.

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I tend to do these moves as a circuit, starting with the first move and then doing the second move as soon as I can after I’ve finished all 15 reps. I’ll then work through the 6 moves, rest for two to three minutes and repeat the circuit again. If Lacie sleeps long enough I’ll do three circuits before having a quick stretch and a recovery snack of an apple with almond butter or a Slender Blend Protein smoothie with a banana. I’ll aim to do this every other day and walk on the other days.

As always, please check with your doctor before exercising. I had to wait eight weeks until I was physically and mentally ready to exercise again. I really didn’t want to sabotage my recovery so make sure you listen to your body.

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The Diary of a Breast Feeding Mum

Breast-feeding can be pretty demanding. It can be so rewarding too, and I’m so glad I’ve done it and stuck it out for over eight weeks now.

During the first few weeks my nipples were so sore, which is pretty common and I had mastitis, which thankfully I managed to cure with warm flannels, ibuprofen & self-massage. It was a really painful time but the best thing to do is carry on feeding through it. It helps block the inflamed milk ducts.

Anyway I came out fighting and still feeding. It definitely gets easier, so this is how my day usually goes.

Wake at 5pm.
Lacie now goes from 10pm – 5am, which gives me 7 hours sleep. I always feed her in bed with me, and doze off. It’s so much easier than having to get up and make up a bottle.
Night-time feeding is definitely easier thanks to my Anita breast-feeding PJs, which are comfy and really easy to feed with. No fiddley straps or buttons, they have a chest opening for feeding. Great for ease and cold nights too, when you just really don’t want to strip off.

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Back to sleep until 8am
This feed is always followed by smiles and a bit of playtime. Our favorite story book at the moment is Wilson the Whistling Tree Frog, which is part of her Babycademy set. We read the book whilst doing the actions with Wilson the Frog. It’s great fun for both of us.

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Up at 9am
This is when I do my exercise. I pop Lacie straight in her pram and off we go. I either walk for an hour or jog around the park with her pram, stopping en-route at the children’s playground for some toning work with my resistance band and dumbbells. I will post one of my workouts soon.

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Back by 10:30am
Breakfast. This is usually a Be Skinny Me shake or a Slender Blend shake with Maca powder, a banana and some cinnamon. I also have a bowl of home-made granola, made by soaking oats overnight in apple juice and then mixing with seeds, nuts and dried apricots. I then bake it until golden brown. I love Maca powder because it helps balance out your hormones and help reduce the stress hormones caused by sleepless nights and being a new mum. 

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11:30 Feed then playtime
My feeding app ‘Nursing Time’ really is my bible. It times between feeds, times how long she feeds for, from what side she’s fed and also records all her feeds for the day. Great to look back on. Especially when baby brain kicks in and you can’t remember which side you fed from last.

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11:30 is also playtime
Lacie either goes on her playmat, in her Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rocker, which comes with comes bright and colourful fabrics to stimulate her little brain and a vibration unit to calm and soothe your baby or simply on her blanket on the floor. She loves having a kick around.
Whilst this is keeping her entertained, I’ll have a snack of sliced chicken pieces, 1/2 avocado and cucumber. Protein is essential for maximising your milk flow, whilst the good fats in the avocado will help improve her  growth and development. I find that I’m really thirsty also when breast-feeding so the cucumber helps keep me hydrated.

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2pm: Lunch
This is usually homemade tomato and lentil soup, which is full of iron and vitamins, followed by some fruit.

2:30: Out and About 
I find this feed the hardest as I’m usually out and about with my NCT friends, mother in law or  mum or sisters, so I need clever clothes that allow me to feed discreetly. I’ve found the Breast Vest to be über helpful, which makes any top a breastfeeding top. It works by  sitting  just under your nursing bra, so when you feed it covers your tummy and doesn’t interfere with your bra straps.  Babes with Babies is another great clothing line, which make stylish clothes especially for nursing mums. I have the Cloud 9 Nursing T-Shirt, which has an elegant scooped neckline and soft draped pleats that flatter a postnatal tum.

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4pm: Juice Time
I’m always tired and hungry in the afternoon so I always have a juice to pick myself up. I love Plenish Juices. They come in handy little bottles, are cold-pressed and full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients to help keep my milk quality high. I also love making my own juices. I tend to do a batch on a Sunday night and freeze. My favourite at the moment is one beetroot, one apple, 1/4 inch of cucumber and 1/2 lemon. I add this to 1/2 a litre of water and sip throughout the afternoon.

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5:30: Feed
Feed time again. If I’m out and about still, then I’ll take some expressed milk, which I’d expressed earlier using my Medela Swing Breast Pump. I love it. It’s so quick and easy – and not stressful. I always thought I’d hate expressing but it really isn’t that bad. I like to give Lacie a bottle every three days just so she’s not fussy and I know she will take a bottle, which is especially important for when the grandparents have her and mummy and daddy want to pop out for some dinner or a spot of shopping. My breast pump came with a Calma bottle, which enables Lacie to maintain the natural feeding behaviour that she’s learnt on the breast. I don’t want her getting confused when going from bottle to breast and back again.

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6:15 : Core Workout 
My hubby usually arrives home about now, so I hand her over for daddy time, whilst I head to our home gym and get some core work in. Just 20 mins is enough to help heal my recti diastasis, which is abdominal separation caused by pregnancy. It’s all about consistency, so I do my exercises little and often. I need a strong core again before I start running any sort of distance or start lifting heavy weights.

7pm: Dinner
Protein & vegetables for us. If I’m extra hungry I’ll have a sweet potato too.
Dinner is usually followed by a chopped apple and almond butter.

7:30: Bath time
Bath time. Lacie usually goes in first. Now her skin isn’t so sensitive I love adding some special Cussons Mum & MeSleep Tight Baby Bath‘. It’s infused with lavender to help her sleep and most importantly its hypoallergenic and paediatrician approved. I always finish her bath with a massage. I wrap my hands around her legs, then gently pull my hands down to her feet before tracing circles on the soles of her feet with my thumbs. I use the Sleep Tight Balm for this. She loves it – and it makes her really relaxed and sleepy.
I’ll have a bath after her whilst she sleeps on daddy. My fav products are also from the Mum & Me range. Especially Calm & Soothe Bath Soak and the New Mum Firming Butter, which contains Oat and Marine Algae Extracts, helps to leave skin feeling tighter, firmer and more toned.

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8:30: Feed
Milk time again. This tends to be a long, relaxed feed, to full her tummy for the night. She’ll then sleep again either on daddy or in her crib downstairs with us, which allows is to get a few chores down or spend some quality time together.

10:30: Last feed
I like to give her a little top up before bed. If I’m really tired, I’ll go to bed at 9ish, then set my alarm to give her a quick feed. She’s sleep 7 hours at the moment so I know if I give her a little top up now I won’t have to wake again until 5:30ish.

Sports Bra’s for New Mums. Perfect for Breast Feeding & Running

Sports Bras are absolutely essential for all exercising women, breast-feeding or not – and now I’m back exercising gently I was eager to find a breast-feeding sports bra.

Thanks to my job, I’ve come across some great bras in the past but none that allow you to run and breast feed (not at the same time :)).

They are usually so fiddley to get on and off and so secure (quite rightly) that when you have a hungry baby it can be quite stressful to get off meaning you have a stressy baby wanting food NOW – while your boobs are all over the place as you try to get them out as quick and as ladylike as possible.

So when I came across this Cake Lingerie Orange Zest Sports Bra. I had to get it. It means I can get ready for the gym in the morning, and not worry about having the right bra on to feed her and then have to get changed again when I eventually manage to get my workout in. I literally have to get my workouts in when I can at the moment – and it’s usually when Lacie is asleep. I don’t want to be wasting my precious workout time having to change in to my sports bra – I need to be ready for action!

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So after a few road tests I’m glad to say that this bra is a breast-feeding mothers dream. It’s supportive, sporty, has drop down cups for easy feeding. mesh panels for breathability and a racer back conversion clip, which fits perfectly under your sports tops and I find gives me more support.

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I literally put it on first thing and wear it under my sports top (which I wear with leggings) so I’m ready for feeding, ready for working out and still feeling comfortable and stylish.

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The bra comes with boxer style briefs too, which are also moisture-wicking, supportive and comfortable. You can’t beat a matching knicker and bra set.

Who said new mums can’t be stylish?

http://www.cakelingerie.com/nursing-bras/underwire/orange-zest-sports-bra

Post Baby Fat Loss – Time to clean up my diet

Last week I had an amazing week. I really got back on top of exercise. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t go crazy BUT I managed to walk most days for around an hour and did a core/postural circuit for 30 minutes a total of four times. I either did this in my home studio once my hubby came home and was having his quality time with Lacie or I did it in my living room whilst Lacie was sleeping. She only tends to have little cat naps so it was a case of – she’s asleep – let’s go – quick! I managed it. It was just a case of being flexible and doing it when I could.

This week I’m going to really focus on my diet. Lacie is 6 weeks and I want to clean things up a bit. I generally eat well but if I want to get my baby weight off then I need to eat super clean and lean for a few weeks.

So…I’ve been shopping. I’ve got salads and soups for lunch, I’ll be having a juice of beetroot, apple and cucumber and lemon in between meals to keep my energy levels and nutrients high and I’ll be having eggs and smoothies for breakfast. As a personal trainer and nutritionist I feel I have enough knowledge and experience of how to lose weight sensibly without affecting my energy levels and breast milk so if anyone needs help out there please get in touch.

Ok so first things first, it’s time to weigh myself. I’m going to do this every three to four days to make sure I’m on the right track and the scales are going down sensibly. Here goes…..

Finding My Feet

Now Lacie is five weeks old I’m definitely starting to think about my post-pregnancy shape up plan and actioning it.

It’s hard coming from such a hectic, active life to being very busy with almost not a lot.
Yes I have a perfect new born baby girl but who would of thought all my time would be taken up with her. I’m not working, I’m not exercising, not doing the housework but still the days seem to fly by. It’s crazy! Breast feeding and changing nappies takes up a lot of my day and I feel ready to start adding in some me time – although it makes me feel incredibly guilty that I’m thinking if leaving her for an hour here and there to get to the gym.

To ease myself in I’m going to start with power-walking every morning with the pram. Just 40 minutes a day will be enough to start with and help wake up my muscles and cardiovascular system again. I’ll also be with Lacie throughout the entire walk so I guess I have no reason to be guilty.

Depending on how I feel, I may even find myself a good hill and power up it as fast as I safely can, then stroll back down. Have you ever tried walking up a hill with a pram? It’s hard work!

I’ll also take my Gym Boss and perhaps set it so I do one minute powerwalk, one minute recovery with a slow walk. I’ll see how I get on. I get bored very easily!

I obviously have to be very careful to start with. If my bleeding increases then I’ll know I’m doing too much and take a few rest days. I also need to be careful not to do to much so it affects my breast milk, so I’ll make sure I have a good breakfast before I head outside of a smoothie or some eggs. Water is important too, so I’ll pop my water bottle in the basket underneath the pram to keep me hydrated.

As for diet, I need to work that out. As I said I am breast feeding so I need to keep my nutrients and calories high for my little one, so when I have some time this week I’ll sit down and write a plan that allowed me to feel good and shed some baby weight without compromising my milk supply.

I’m also going to look into what supplements I need to support my activity and my milk.

So that’s one positive step taken. A daily morning walk before anything can get in my way. We’ll get up and head out straight after feeding so then we have the rest of the day to do whatever it is we get up to.

me & mum