Babycademy – Start teaching them young

While baby is sleeping I had to quickly log on and tell you how impressed I am with Lacie’s brand new Babycademy Music Time kit.  

This arrived on my doorstep the dar after I got back from hospital and we both love it. 

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Basically the box which contains ten lesson plans, a CD soundtrack, a toy maraca, a story book about Wilson the Whistling Tree Frog, a Wilson The From hand puppet and an orange silky scarf allows me and the little one to spend some quality time together every day singing and having focused playtime. 

At first I thought she was too young to do this but we have been doing it since she was two weeks old and every time I now put the CD on, her eyes widen and she’s started to smile, knowing that its time to have fun and sing. 

We are only on lesson plan one at the moment but we are learning to wave hello, touch our nose, touch our toes and wave goodbye – it’s great fun doing the actions with her. 

I would definitely recommend this nifty little box set to everyone with babies and children. Research shows that early exposure to music can offer enormous benefits to a baby’s development and it definitely provides us with fun, mummy and daughter time. 

I can’t wait until the next session plan that encourages tummy time. I’m hoping that when she hears the song that goes with tummy time, she will look forward to being placed on her tum and kicking her legs around. It’s a great way to give them some routine and of course help them learn new skills in a fun, original way! 

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https://www.babycademy.co.uk

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Walking Away My Baby Weight

At three weeks postpartum, there isn’t a lot I can do exercise wise apart from walk and eat clean and lean.

As you know from my birth story, I had a bit of a traumatic birth with Lacie, so I am still recovering with lots of stitches and a few pains ‘down stairs’, so I’ve really rested up so far but now itching to get outdoors.

All this week I’ve made a conscious effort to get outdoors with my pram and walk for at least 45 minutes. Not only does this help my mood and energy levels but its giving me confidence with getting outdoors in the morning. With a new-born its easy to stay indoors and before you know it the day has gone.

With 4kg to go until I reach my pre-baby weight I’m determined to get rid of it slowly and sensibly without putting myself under pressure, so to start things off, I will start with daily walks.

A few products I have found really helpful when walking – especially around busy roads is my BuggyTug. You simply attach it to the pram them put it around your wrist to stop your pram from rolling away. It just makes me feel more secure and confident with my precious baby. I would hate my pram to roll away in this horrendous weather…

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Before my walk, I’ve also had to make sure I eat a decent pre-walk breakfast. I hate going out on a full stomach but what with breast-feeding I need to make sure I keep my energy levels up and calories high. To make sure I have something in me, I’ve been having Protein World Slender Blend shakes with fresh berries and 1/2 a frozen banana and a pinch of cinnamon. The protein based shake is just 130 calories but really filling thanks to its unique blend of vitamins, fibre and nutrients. I’m still having my lemon water and Lucy-Bee coconut water too. Both are easy to make and take no time at all.

SLENDER-BLEND

Lastly – a good sports bra is a must – even when walking. My boobs feel very full and heavy from the breast-feeding so its vital they are well supported. Therefore I was ecstatic to come across the Freya Active sports bra that has been  specifically designed to support the fuller bust and is available for larger cup sizes going up to a H cup. The bra features microfibre fabrics for moisture control, whilst also featuring a centre front extension for extra support. I love the padded straps  too, which stop any chaffing on my shoulders.

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There really isn’t anything stopping from walking now – if only the weather was better…..it’s nearly Spring time I suppose. Now Where’s my waterproofs?

Breast feeding – why new mums need Coconut oil and breast feeding

I’ve made it pretty clear in the past that I’m a big big fan of coconut oil. Not only have I used it for fat loss, cooking and on my skin in the past, I’m now using it to help me produce the best breast milk possible for little girl.

Coconut oil, especially my fav brand Lucy Bee contains large amounts of lauric acid, a powerful anti-microbial fatty acid that protects the immune system of my newborn and increases the quality of my breast milk.

The fact is a healthy balanced diet contains mixtures of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, whereas the composition of human breast milk contains about 45 to 50 % saturated fat, about 35% unsaturated and 15-20% polyunsaturated.  Lauric acid and capric acid comprise about 20% of total saturated fatty acids found in breast milk and have potent antiviral, antibacterial, and parasiticidal (kills parasites) properties that support the immune system. These fatty acids offer our babies protection from illnesses, viruses and bacteria.

Coconut oil is also extremely easy for an infant’s immature digestive system to absorb and utilise, whilst providing energy in the form of medium chain fatty acids to help the baby grow and develop properly.

According to the research, when a lactating woman adds foods rich in lauric acid like coconut oil to her diet, the amount of lauric acid available in her breast milk increases substantially to levels three times the original level and nearly double the amount of capric acid.

Pregnant and nursing women also tend to store fat to aid breast feeding, and any lauric acid and capric acid in the diet becomes part of the adipose fat stores. The milk fat of a lactating mother is made up of these stores as well as her current diet.

What this means is that a mother’s diet while lactating directly affects how quickly she sheds pounds once she stops breastfeeding. And since nursing mothers especially need fat in their diet, the trick is making sure it’s the right kind of fat.

To make sure I get the right amount I start every day with a hot cup of water with lemon and teaspoon of Lucy Bee coconut oil, which is an excellent source of fat since it is a medium chain fat as opposed to animal fat which is long chain and much harder for the body to break down.  Long chain fat stores will linger a lot longer on our thighs and hips than medium chain fats like coconut oil, which quickly convert to energy.

So before you do anything in the morning, make yourself a cup of hot lemon water with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Even if you don’t have time to eat before 11am (yes that’s what happens with a new born) you would have kick started your metabolism with the lemon and you’ve have a healthy dose of good fats to get your milk flowing (literally!)

Here are just a few more of my fav coconut products!

Lucy Bee
Lovely and creamy, and nothing else but high quality coconut oil, I wont use anything else when it comes to coconut oil. Not only do I put it in my morning hot water, but I also use it on my skin and baby’s skin too – it’s great for making you super soft with no hidden nasties!

CO YO
CO YO is a gorgeous creamy coconut yogurt made from nothing else but coconut milk. It’s dairy free, vegan and sugar free too. Again it’s perfect of you need a quick snack to help keep your energy up and top your milk producing calories up. It’s estimated that you need an additional 300-500 calories a day to support breast feeding.

Coco face
Coconut water is gorgeous. It’s full of potassium and great for rebalancing your electrolytes and keeping you hydrated. Have you ever noticed how thirty you get when breast feeding? I love that it comes in a coconut – fresh from the tree. No packaging required!

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42 weeks pregnant – it’s time to be induced

Yup that’s right. I reached 42 weeks, despite walking every day, having reflexology with the lovely Keah Lan, drinking raspberry leaf tea and eating pineapple and curries. Bubs just didn’t want to come.

I had a sweep at 41 weeks and 1 day, which is where a midwife will disturb your cervix by basically using her fingers to separate the membranes of the amniotic sac surrounding your baby from your cervix. This separation releases hormones (prostaglandins) which may start labour. It’s not pleasant but not as bad as it sounds. Anyway it didn’t work so I had to go to hospital on a Thursday and have a pessary  inserted into my cervix for 24 hours. This meant hanging around the hospital overnight on an induction suite hoping for things to happen.

Nothing happened in those 24 hours to be honest. I had a few niggles and period pain type pains but it wasn’t until 12am on Friday evening that I started having contractions and being violently sick – a common symptom of labor which apparently happens because your digestive system shuts down. Your body needs to conserve as much energy as possible.

That evening I went from 1cm dilated (I know!) to 5cm in a matter of hours. It was a huge shock to my body and I had awful back pain, sickness and just simply didn’t know what to do with myself.

At 5am I called the midwife and told her I’d had enough and didn’t want to do it anymore (the transition period). She examined me and said right let’s get you to a delivery suite straight away. Thank god. I needed drugs by this point – something that had never crossed my mind before.

Once in the delivery suite with my allocated midwife I said I wanted an epidural. The pain was so intense and I was questioning how I was going to carry on. By this time I was 7cm dilated so she agreed that it should be done quickly before I went too far into labor.

The epidural was ok. I was so scared if having a big needle inserted into my spine but it blocked the pain out pretty quickly and I managed to get three hours sleep after the hooked me up to a oxytocin drip to help strengthen my contractions. I was only having two or three every ten minutes and by this time they wanted four and they needed them to be stronger.

Three hours later they decided they still weren’t strong enough so they upped the dosage of the hormone drip and have it another hour. Again I took this opportunity to have a nap. The epidural was disguising all the pain and I needed to recharge my body for the next stage; pushing!

An hour later they woke me up and told me it was time to push. They would only let me push for an hour before calling a doctor to intervene.

The pushing is where all my yoga breathing and exercise came in. I knew how to breathe in and out of the contractions and I was fit enough to put lots of effort into the pushing despite now being in labour for 13 hours with no food in me.

Even after two hours of pushing she didn’t want to come so they called the doctor who had to do a episiotomy and use the ventouse to help get her out. It was very uncomfortable but sure enough she came and my bubba was born at 8:57pm, two days after being induced.

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As you can see I went through a long process. It was so far away from the water birth plan that I had planned and spoke about at my hypnobirthing session with Marisa peer but it doesn’t matter we got there in the end and I’ve got a gorgeous girl to show for it!

Here are a few things you can do to help you prepare for labor. It was NOTHING like I expected so if it helps prepare just a few people then I’ve done my job. Good luck and don’t forget that which ever way your baby comes, the most important is that she or he is healthy and that you are safe and well too. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

Marisa Peer
Marisa is not only a great friend but a great hypnotherapist who has helped me overcome fears, food addictions and also helped me stay extremely positive when trying to conceive. Just a few months before my due date I saw Marisa for a hypnobirthing session. I listened to her CD every night before being induced and during my labor too and although my labor didn’t go to plan it did helped me stay relaxed and positive. Just knowing I was one step closer to my baby when the pains intensified made it easier to cope.
To book a session with Marisa visit http://www.marisapeer.com

H3O hydration
During labor you just don’t fancy eating or drinking and if you do, then you just sick it back up again. The problem is you need energy to get through it. Fancy doing a marathon without any food? This handy powder was great. It has all the minerals and ions essential for hydration at a cellular level to create healthy hydrated cells balanced my electrolytes and really kept me hydrated throughout the 23 hours that I was in established labor.
It’s berry flavour made it easy to digest and it’s Electrolytes and Hyaluronic acid, which can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water was great for hydration

Swiss ball
I had the worse back pain during labor. It was just someone was pushing into my bottom and it was just so uncomfortable to sit or lay. The best position for me was to put my Swiss ball up on the bed then lean over it and just roll the ball from side to side. It helped keep my hips moving (which encourages the baby to go down the birth canal) and also let’s gravity take hold. I didn’t talk to anyone just rolled side to side and breathed in for four and out for four.

Snacks
Although I didn’t eat much once the epidural was administered I did snack when I could during the labor. Bananas (well a nibble here and there), Nakd bars and coconut water were my saviours.

Lacie