Friday, 30 May 2014

Sleeping Bag Wish List

This week it's all about "Sleeping Bags" (max budget £20). I have an idea in mind that I need a sleeping bag for a little one as I'm very worried that she might be cold at night and of course I'm aware of SIDS. Here is my selection of sleeping bags with 0.5 or 1 Tog, do you think she will be warm or I need higher tog?

1. Mothercare Butterfly Baby Sleeping Bag 1 Tog- £14.99 

2. Purflo SleepSac 1 Tog – Mothercare £19.95

3. Baby Weavers 1.0 Tog Sleeping Bag (And So to Bed)Kiddicare £15.99

4. Baby Weavers Sweet Dreams 1.0 Tog Sleeping Bag- Kiddicare £19.99

5. Pink Hearts Sleeping Bag 1 Tog- BabiesRUs £12.99

6. Grobag Travel Sleeping Bag 0.5 Tog (Sweet Dreams)- Mothercare £20

7. Grobag Tea Party Sleeping Bag Exclusive 0.5 Tog- Mothercare £20

8. Baby Sleeping Bag Pink Fairy- Slumbersac From £14.99

9. Summer Sleeping Bag Mint Owl- Slumbersac from £16.99

Disclaimer: I have a written consent from all brands mentioned to use above pictures.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Common interventions antenatal class and pregnancy update 36 weeks

Last week we had our 3rd and last private antenatal class thankfully we didn't have any group exercises. We opted for 3 classes as I wanted to know more about labour as I thought it will give me a better idea of what to expect and what might happen. 
I think one of our teachers (student midwife) was more “open” this time e.g. she mentioned that unfortunately midwives tend to be very time oriented and due to that you won't normally have as much time relaxing or do what you want during labour as you will be constantly rushed.

We discussed interventions we may have:
- episiotomy
- c-section
- use of forceps, ventouse
- anti-d injections
- sweep
- breaking waters
- baby turning in case of a breech

As most of us are first-time mums-to-be we were told about induction. In our area when pregnant woman reaches 41 weeks she will be offered a sweep and induction-pessary (internal tampon alike medical device) which will be left for 24 hours to see if it works (woman stays in hospital), if pessary doesn't work she will be offered 2nd pessary for another 24 hours, and if 2nd doesn't work she will be offered c- section. In cases where pessary works (cervix starts to change) midwife will break waters and put on a hormone drip (artificial oxytocin). The whole induction process scares me the most as I never thought or even considered c-section and it will be a big led down for me if I can't do it naturally. 

In the second half of our lesson Helen- one of our teachers gave us a card with an acronym:
B- benefit
R- risks
A- alternatives
I- implications/instinct
N- nothing (to do nothing for a while)

This acronym can be used if mum-to-be will be offered an intervention and it is our right as a future parent to question it and make sure that we are making the right decision e.g. waters breaking or any other intervention.

The last part of our class was dedicated to massaging and breathing techniques. With breathing it was more of a relaxation session where we had to concentrate on the way we breath, it was very nice but I think that when you are in the middle of giving birth all these techniques will be forgotten. Massaging wise we were showed how to rub/massage back starting from shoulders and going down to bum area avoiding spine, massaging bum in 8 alike movements, massaging lower back area. We had some time to practice it in the class and after trying all these methods I felt more comfortable with a shoulder to bottom massage. 

Overall, I enjoyed classes certainly learned something but I can't say it gave me more confidence I am still scared of unknown. I guess I need to try it myself to know.

Bump update

Visible changes in my body: my bump is more visible but again not as big as some other mums-to-be have; swollen feet- nothing helps really.

Other: hospital bag is pretty much packed. I like staring at my bump all the time, waiting for little one to move as I know I'm going to miss it a lot. Slightly paranoid at times as wake up in the middle of the night or early morning and checking if my waters broke or not.

How do I feel: I still have pains in my back, sore ribs, feel tired quicker and often and of course started visiting loo at night again.

Cravings: still none.

Fitness: swimming once a week, our treadmill is currently in the garage due to us needing all the space for baby shower and we still didn't manage to put it back into house.

Baby: At 36weeks baby is still gaining weight – about 28g a day. She weighs nearly 2.7kg and is about 47cm long from head to toe. Baby’s lungs are now complete and are producing a lubricant called surfactant that will help the lungs when they take their first breath. 

Monday, 26 May 2014

Balance Active pH Balanced Intimate Wipes review

If you remember I took part in blogging about Bacterial Vaginosis awareness day which was on 16 April (you can read about here).

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is the most common form of vaginal infection. It is caused by an imbalance in the naturally occurring bacteria within the vagina and leads to a variety of symptoms, including embarrassing odour, abnormal discharge and discomfort”.

I never heard of this infection before until I was made aware of it by Balance Active. I was not only provided with the information about BV which I shared with you, my lovely readers but I was also sent a sample pack of Ph Balanced Intimate Wipes (£1.79) to try out.

The pH Balanced Intimate Wipes have a unique formulation with Lactic Acid. Proven to reduce odour, the wipes leave you feeling clean and fresh and are ideally balanced at a pH of 4.5. The wipes benefit from being paraben and fragrance free and are flushable”.

I must say that it is the hardest review I have done so far, as you can't really see or feel any difference. I do hope that those who actually have BV notice the difference.

The pack (10 wipes in a pack) itself looks similar to wet wipes we all know with a resealable strip. When I have opened the pack I couldn't smell anything as they are fragrance free. I'm not sure if it's good or bad, from my point of view it would be more reassuring if they were fragranced.

As it is a small size pack it can easily fit into a small clutch. It can be perfect for freshing up if you know that you won't be able to take a shower but need to get rid off that unpleasant odour.

Ph Balanced Intimate Wipes are:
- proven to reduce odour
- leaves you feeling clean and fresh
- ideal pH Balance of 4.5
- paraben free- fragrance free

The wipe is long enough to be folded twice to make it thicker if you want to make sure all is thoroughly cleaned.

I used it to freshen up and if I felt that I might be “sweaty” and it did the job, but like I mentioned before I would like it to be fragranced or at least to have a choice- fragrance free and fragranced wipes.

If you are interested to know more about these wipes or other Balance Active products and where to buy them please follow this link.

DISCLAIMER: I was sent the above item for the purposes of this review. All thoughts and opinion are my own. 

Friday, 23 May 2014

Nursery Wish List

This weeks it's all about "Nursery". We are not planning to have a cot just yet, as our Little L will be sleeping in our room (when she moves to her own room that's where we will need lots of furniture and other bits). We are also not planning to have a changing unit, we have a quite wide chest of drawers which will be used to store baby's clothes and to change our little one. 
Please note, I have picked only one items from each company as it's impossible to fit all items I like into one post, but feel free to browse their website for other options and colours.
As always if you can think of anything else please let me know.

"Bed nests"/cribs:

1. SnuzPod 3 in 1 Bedside Crib- £169.00

2. Chicco Next 2 Me Bedside Crib- Mamas & Papas, BabiesRUsMothercare £149.99

3. Saplings Bethany Swinging Crib comes in white- Argos £58.99 

4. Kiddicare Swing Crib- £59.99 

5. Mothercare Swinging Crib- £59.99

6. Bednest- £299, rent from- £79

Moses baskets:

1. I Love My Bear Pink Spot Moses Basket- BabiesRUs £39.99 (comes in blue)

2. Little Rocker Moses Basket- Asda £25 (comes in white, blue)

3. Prickles And Two Moses Basket- Lollipop plane £64.50

4. Mothercare Little Lane Moses Basket- £54.99

5. Bedtime Story Palm Moses Basket with Quilted Liner- Clair De Lune £59.99

6. Moba moses basket- £99

Disclaimer: I have a written consent from all brands mentioned to use above pictures.

Binky Linky!

This linky is for bloggers who have been blogging for a year or less. It's your chance to link up your favourite post of the week. It's a great way to find new blogs to read and to raise your blogs profile.

Binky is the American term for a dummy which babies obviously use. Emily (the host) thought the name Binky Linky would suit seeing as this linky is aimed at newbie bloggers! 

This is Emily from Twin Mummy and Daddy your host! 

And your co-hosts are...

Lucy from Baked Potato Mummy


Victoria from My Little L

The rules are simple...

1. Link up your best post of the week below
2. Visit other peoples posts and leave a blog comment on at least 3 other blogs
3. Share this linky via Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest etc using the hashtag #binkylinky
4. Follow other bloggers via their social networks
5. Every Friday at 12.01am until 11.59pm on Sunday, this linky will be open to share your posts
6. Please include the linky badge or a textlink onto the linked blog post or sidebar so people can find the link easily and to see other peoples entries

Binky Linky

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

What happens in Labour & pain management options workshop and home visit from my midwife

Last Tuesday we had our second antenatal session with Helen & Jo (this time we paid £10), I was looking forward to it as we were told that we will talk about labour and that's mainly why I wanted to attend classes on the first place.
As usual we have started our session with a small chit chat between us-couples (I know we need to get used each other and to socialise, but I would really prefer to get on with midwife talking about important things). 
So when this bit was done we were divided into 2 groups with 2 couples in each, one group had to write everything they know about 1 stage of labour, 2nd group had to write about 2 stage of labour. I didn't really like that bit as the new couple who joined us started asking all sorts of questions and it didn't really help me to remember what the stages are about.
From what I remember we were told that 1st stage in the longest and they would want us to stay at home as long as possible, but if we notice that we can't cope, have heavy "show" or waters breaking to call triage.
2nd stage of labour starts when a woman is fully dilated (10cm), we were told that at this stage we will be able to push and to have a small break, but we have to remember that not all midwives let mums-to-be to have that break.
Next, we spoke about pain control options available: gas & air, bath (relieves pressure, relaxes, women feel lighter, free movement), massage, movement, relaxation, distraction, cuddles, paracetamol, TENS machine.

Other pain control options:
- opiate
- sedative
- injection + antisickness injection
- crosses placenta
- affects baby's heart rate+ respiration
- nausea
- high
- wears off on 2-4 hours
- takes 24 hours for baby to get rid off it

- pain relief (total block or low dose) can be done by midwife
- injection (catheter into spine)
- 6 hours to wear off
- catheter to wee
- crosses placenta (baby can be sleepy)
- more likely to have forceps and ventouse
- lax pelvic floor
- can't use standing up position
- not mobile
- headache
- sometimes not effective
- can make a mum very itchy after
- can dicrease blood pressure
-  need fluids
- continual monitoring
- starts working in 15-20 minutes

We were very interested to know pethidine's and epidural's drawbacks and lots of us were questioning why on earth pethidine is still used as none of us from what I know will ever consider using it. 

As for epidural, my husband and I have decided that we would like to have a natural birth without epidural or pethidine, but as we don't know what lies ahead of us we are planning to be open-minded.

Home visit

Home visit was exactly what I didn't expect it to be, my midwife turned up with a student, who was looking around almost everywhere and was very eager to go to the kitchen, which I thought was firstly weird and secondly, rude.

Then we had a routine check- they checked my urine (and found keytones, meaning I had to see midwife again in couple of days), blood pressure, measured my bump and we listened to baby's heart beat. After that my midwife was totally confused with my health history, I had previously heart and thyroid issues but all was cleared at least throughout my pregnancy, so my midwife for some reason thought that I am taking medications and looked very puzzled -should she send me to do more tests or not and at this stage I had to tell her (like I do over and over again) all my medical history and all the history of my appointments with a consultant. I didn't know should I laugh or should I cry (and she is the best community midwife..NOT).

Next part was extremely fast, I wasn't told that we are discussing my birth plan she just quickly asked me questions about who is going to be my birthing partner, will I OK students to come and check on me (mentioned they will be supervised at all times), gave me a list of what to bring, list of pain relief options, asked for how long I'm planing to stay in hospital, what kind of birth I want, gave me the list with massage techniques, leaflet about Vitamin K,  leaflet about labour and off they went. 

I was so naive to think that she will spend all this time discussing properly all my options and talking through birth plan. But she doens't know yet that only made it worse for herself as now I have a huge list of questions for my next appointment.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Baby Shower!

As far as I remember I have previously mentioned that I'm organising my own baby shower. We have ordered our vintage invitations on Zazzle website, all the wall and table decorations, entertainment (e.g. bunting, table centrepieces, photo props, prediction & advice cards etc) I decided to do myself.

I must say I was slightly nervous about the whole thing as I wanted my baby shower to be better than I have ever done (organised events) as it's my own, once in the life time event.
The evening before the Baby Shower I was told that we are not going to have a proper Baby Shower cake which upset me a lot, but I did say I'm extremely organised right?! I had 2 letterbox cakes from BakerDays which were kindly sent for me to try them. Well, actually I was sent 1 cake but it was with incorrect wording and design, therefore BakerDays sent me a replacement cake which was perfect.
BakerDays is a cake website, you can order a cake for any occasion, pick from a selection of designs or create your own (i.e. choose a size, flavour and add a special message and design).

"We have developed an almost unlimited selection of cake designs with messages that can all be personalised to create a unique centre piece to any occasion. We are also able to produce your own special designs.
Creating your very own Personalised Cake has never been easier!
All our cakes are made specially to order and shipped in rugged packaging and we guarantee it will arrive safely and on time".

I have received a letterbox cake, which is a 5 inch round cake suitable for 3-4 portions. I think it's such a great idea, cake comes in a tin with a card from BakerDays and balloons or love hearts and a card, it was packed in a small box which can fit through a letter box, I even didn't have to open a door to a postman or be at home!

Letterbox cake can be perfect for a couple, a small party or maybe even a surprise present for someone, we had 5 people tasting 1 cake. It was a simple sponge cake but even after being almost 4 days in a tin it was still fresh and tasted very nice.
Design wise with the first one it was a bit of a cock up, and to be honest with you I was slightly disappointed as I specified which design and what wording I wanted on a cake, end result arrived with a wrong design, which wasn't even on a website at the day of my order, the background was yellow-ish colour which was weird as on a website it looked white.

 But the second cake was perfect, see for yourself.

I would recommend cakes from BakerDays but do make sure (maybe even several times, which to be fair I didn't do as didn't expect any problems) that BakerDays have your cake with correct design and flavours so you or someone else won't be disappointed with it.

So cake was sorted (even though I was disappointed with a person who offered to bake a cake and then pulled out), some of the food preparations I shared with in laws and oh my we had lots of food, now we are left with no space in a fridge at all and still 2 tables full of different snacks, at least it will last us a week!

As for drinks, we had a variety of pop drinks, juices and wines, I had a special bottle of Eisberg alcohol free Chardonnay wine for myself.

"Eisberg alcohol-free wine is made in exactly the same way as your favourite wine, but with one difference. At the end of the process the alcohol is gently removed using one of the world’s most advanced processes, leaving all of the flavours of the wine, but none of the alcohol.
There are four variations in the range: A refreshingly aromatic Riesling, a crisp Chardonnay, a juicy succulent Rosé and a fruity red Cabernet Sauvignon.
Suitable as an accompaniment dining with friends, or enjoying on its own, Eisberg contains 0.05% alcohol and only 34 calories per 125 ml glass, making it a great alternative to calorie laden booze".

I was sharing a bottle between myself, my mother in law and one of the guests who was driving. What I have noticed straight away is that for me it tasted like a normal wine, at first I wasn't even sure if I should carry on drinking, for other non-pregnant guests it tasted like a fruity Shloer.
As I have stopped drinking alcohol 3 months prior to getting pregnant and never had a sip of alcoholic drinks during my pregnancy trying Eisberg alcohol free wine was a completely new experience for me. I have tried non-alcohol wines before but they tasted more like a pop drink, Eisberg is completely different you won't spot a difference. Great alternative for mums and mums-to-be, those who don't drink alcohol or those you would like to have a drink but driving.

If you are tempted to try here is a little bit more about the range:

CHARDONNAY The perfect party tipple. A fruity, non-alcoholic white wine with soft vanilla aromas and crisp apple flavours and a hint of honey on the finish. Best served with: Chicken and salad dishes.

CABERNET SAUVIGNON A rich, non-alcoholic red wine with deep ruby colour and aromas of cherries and plums. Best served with: Lamb or beef dishes.

ROSÉ A refreshingly juicy, non-alcoholic rosé with succulent aromas of ripe strawberries and a hint of cherries. Best served with: your favourite spicy food.

RIESLING A fresh, aromatic non-alcoholic white wine with honeyed aromas of rosy apples and juicy melons. Best served with: Fish or chicken.

You can buy Eisberg alcohol free wine in Morrisons, Waitrose, Asda, Nisa Local, Londis, Budgens, Spar, Ocado, Bargain Booze,

Entertainment wise we decided as a baby shower is not a traditional english event to keep it that way. 
We had a scramble game, consisted of 15 codified baby related words; baby shower variant of "pin a tale on the donkey" game- 3 pictures of a baby which we placed on a wall and baby bottle stickers, all guests we divided into 3 teams and were given baby bottle stickers where they had to write their names so we can pick the winner. I decided to take part in this game as well and I must say that being blind-folded is not so nice, but we all had so much fun! Then we decided to divide our party, I have invited all ladies upstairs where I offered to listen to my baby's heartbeat by using doppler and to do some bump painting.
Both of these experiences were quite emotional for myself and my female friends and family. I would say bump painting more so for myself, I had few designs on my phone which I showed to ladies and they picked a cupcake one. To create a masterpiece we used Snazaroo face paints. 

"Snazaroo face paints are specially formulated to be gentle on the skin and are fragrance free.
all Snazaroo face paints are manufactured using only ingredients fully compliant with EU & FDA toy and cosmetic regulations and are non-toxic. Snazaroo face paints are all water-based. This makes them as easy to get off as they are to put on. Simply remove with soap and warm water; there is no need for scrubbing or harsh removers".

Ideally I wanted my bump to look slightly bigger to capture our special time, but what ladies have created was fantastic! 
I was lying on a bed as ladies thought it would be easier for them and me. They have agreed who draws what and as the painting was drying quickly it was easy for them to swap roles or sides and it took us around 15 minutes to finish  my bumpcake. 

I think Little L enjoyed it as well as the only party of the cupcake I could see-cherry started moving which was fascinating to watch and after the cupcake was finished ladies started singing "Twinkle, Twinkle" to my moving cherry which made me cry a little. Such a special moment which I will never forget!
I can't thank enough all guests for their contributions and when I feel less “hangover” I will thank them for lovely present and evening!

Disclamer: I was provided with BakerDays Letterbox cakes, Snazaroo paints, Eisberg alcohol free wine for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions are honest and my own.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Health & Safety items for a baby Wish List

This weeks I am starting new section "Health & Safety" and as always I picked the cheapest options I could find. Please let me know if you can think of any other newborn essentials.

Digital Video Baby Monitors:

1. Summer Infant Secure Sleep Digital Video Baby Monitor- BabiesRUs £39.96

2. Summer Infant Baby Zoom Video Monitor- BabiesRUs £39.96

3. Motorola MBP20 Digital Video Monitor- BabiesRUs £49.96

4. Motorola MBP26 Digital Video Monitor- BabiesRUs , Kiddicare £69.66

5. Chicco Essential Digital Video Monitor- BabiesRUs £69.96

Non- contact thermometers:

1. Kinetik Non-Contact Thermometer- Argos £19.99

2. Janosch FT90 Non Contact- Kiddicare £24.99

 Room thermometer:

Grobag Egg Room Thermometer- Kiddicare, Mothercare £13.50

Nasal aspirator:

Baby nose-clear Nasal Aspirator- 4 Little 1 £7.29

Disclaimer: I have a written consent from all brands mentioned to use above pictures.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Breastfeeding NHS session and Birth Choices Workshop

Breastfeeding NHS session:

Last week I attended a breastfeeding session in my local children's centre. I was told about this session on one of my appointments with a midwife and I thought that even though I'm reading a book about breastfeeding and can research online it's very important to meet expectant mothers and to talk to a specialist.

At first it was slightly awkward as mums-to-be didn't really talk much between each other and we had to wait for the midwife who was running late. When she eventually turned up I was under impression that she has a very "vibrant" personality, to be honest with you I didn't know should I laugh or should I sit there with a face "what's going on here". Anyway the story is not about her (she turned out to be a very knowledgeable person in the end), so we spoke about:

Benefits of breastfeeding for a child:
- lowers risk of gastroenteritis
- lowers risk of ear infection
- lowers risk of diabetes
- lowers risk of obesity

Benefits of breastfeeding for the mother:
- lowers risk of breast cancer
- helps to lose pregnancy weight
reduces risk of depression

We were told though that it can only work out if we breastfeed exclusively.

Midwife also showed us comfortable positions for breastfeeding:
- to hold a baby like a rugby ball (can be good for those mums who had c- section)
- a position when a baby is lying on a side and his/her face, stomach and knees facing mother
- to nurse while lying on a side in a bed
In all positions showed we had to hold baby's head with our hand by making a C-shape around the neck, which I felt was slightly uncomfortable for me.

How to express milk by hand:
- to slightly massage the breast
- to use thumb and the rest of our fingers in a C-shape and gently squeeze the area (where texture of the breast feels different)
- if milk doesn't flow to try moving fingers slightly towards nipple or further away

Benefits of using our own expressed milk and/or Lansinoh cream and how it can soothe sore and cracked nipples, feeding cups and syringes as it can be an alternative to breastfeeding in these early days when a new mum struggles with breastfeeding.

Midwife also showed us breast pads and nursing bras, we were told that it is more practical to use washable breast pads and the most comfortable and cheap nursing bras are from Mothercare.

At the end of the session we had Q&A, everyone decided to use their opportunity to ask not just breastfeeding related question but what bothers them the most, but here I will mention only few of breastfeeding related questions:

Can I get pregnant while breastfeeding? Yes.
Do I need to use both breasts for nursing? Yes and no, we need to watch our baby, if we feel she\he might be hungry to offer a second breast.
How do I know that my baby is latched on correctly? We need to check the position of our baby, to place our baby with his/her nose level with the nipple.
Can flat- chested women breastfeed? Yes.
Can I breastfeed in public? Yes, all women are different and some feel comfortable without covering themselves, where as others may prefer to go somewhere quieter and/or cover when breastfeeding.
Can breasts leak when I hear mine or someone else's baby cry? Yes they can, therefore we were advised to use breast pads as it can happen in the public place.
Do I need to burp my baby if I'm breastfeeding? Typically breast fed babies don't need to be burped as much as bottle fed babies, some breast fed don't need to be burped at all.
Why baby can seem drunk after breastfeeding? It is a satisfying look of a well fed baby.
Do I need to avoid food or drink while breastfeeding? No, but obviously be very carefully with the food we eat and watch what we drink.

Birth Choices Workshop:

The first free 2-hour workshop we had last week was more about us all getting to know each other, therefore it is hard to say that I have learnt something new except from learning more about other mum/dads-to-be. Sessions themselves are facilitated by 2 local antenatal teachers, one of them is a student midwife and the other one knows parenting from a practical side.

We have discussed benefits and drawbacks of home and hospital births through a small group work (hands up who likes group works) and generally it was more of a discussion between all of us rather than teachers talking to us.

During these 2 hours we were divided into groups most of the time where we had to guess from pictures what does the baby do (my husband had to show it to the class by using toys, I actually thought that mum do all the job), what does the woman's body do and how can we make the process of birth work effectively.

Our teachers also covered physiology and the role of hormones (Adrenaline stay away!!), dispel myths and talk about our options of where to birth our baby (I think most of us picked hospital anyway).

I can't say that I have learnt much but before we even started antenatal classes I knew that I want to know more about labour and coping skills more. Let's see what we will do on our next paid session.