My tips to cope with returning to work after maternity leave

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When maternity leave comes to an end its a very stressful time for parents. When I left work on maternity leave I opted to take 9 months, waiting as long as possible until my due date so I’d have as much time as I could with my baby, then I left fully intending to return soon after Christmas. I hadn’t even dreamt of not going back, I left my cup in my locker, papers in my tray and didn’t return any keys… But things change in a way you can’t really comprehend when you have a baby. Your plans come secondary, and often go out of the window, instead of putting yourself first and morning this new little addition to the family rules the roost. Pre-baby my focus was money, how can I make lots and lots of money to buy nice clothes, cool ‘stuff’, and go on holidays, I worked long hours on a 7 day week pattern including weekends, bank holidays and late nights if it meant I was racking up the overtime.

After having a baby and began contemplating returning to work I soon realised there was more to life than money. I’d invested so much physically and emotionally into my child that I didn’t want to go back to work, and I didn’t really mind that that meant I’d be financially worse off. My little boy HATED nursery, we went through the visits and the longest I could leave him was 7 minutes before I was called to come back to my sobbing child. I already knew this would be the case and thankfully had just waited in the car. It broke my heart. So much so that I couldn’t do it and I was very lucky in that I job I was interested in came up, I was successful at interview and crucially it meant I just work weekend mornings, so still have all week with my boy and he has important daddy time for 14 hours a week.

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The Caesarean Debate

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The state of our countries NHS is in constant news at present with the proposed government changes to hours of work, forcing junior doctors to work hours they deem as unsafe and unfair. When I went to hospital to give birth to my son, due to the need to be induced then my son being poorly, I stayed in hospital for a week in total, and cannot fault the care both myself and my son received. All the staff were amazing, very caring – and the food wasn’t even that bad! But what was clear was that they were very short staffed for their demand, my experience on the delivery ward may have been improved and shortened had the ward been less busy, (the midwife admitted other people were taking precedent) or, they had more staff to deal with demand. In the post-delivery ward staff were very stretched, some mothers were waiting all day to be discharged as the midwife was just too busy, and one midwife was literally dashing from patient to patient.What is particularly topical at present is the NHS view on birth by caesarean section. The leader of the country’s obstetrician’s warns that there is an “incessant increase” of children being born by c-section. He believes some hospitals are carrying out far too many sections on first time mothers who have a normal, full term, head first baby – this leads to further issues through increasing the chance of their subsequent births also being by section. An issue due to costs of surgical teams, operating theatres, equipment, women having to stay in hospital longer – all cost pressures on an already stretched service.

Rates of sections have been rising, from around 10% of births 30 years ago to near 25% of births today. So why is this? Read more

Money off at New Online Baby Shop

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If you’re an avid social media user, chances are you may have come across this new, online only, baby supplies shop called Kidly –  which has been teasing its 318 Twitter followers and 11,740 Facebook ‘likers’ for around a year.

Advertised as being based in St. Albans, made by parents for parents, and simply ‘Opening Soon 2016’ it promises to be a funky new shop for cool baby gizmo, gadgets and gifts.

There are a lot of amazing things on their Facebook page and Twitter feed so it was a struggle to choose, but my top 3 items in my basket already are… Read more

999 – What’s your emergency? 

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So, Monday was a bit of a different day in our household, I had to take little guy to the doctors first thing due to a little poorly patch he has on his neck, is it excema, is it ringworm? We’re still none the wiser but got some cream to try anyway! He napped late and then we headed off to his Grandma’s house, which we do most Monday’s. Off we went listening to our sing and sign cd, the little chap was quite happy playing with my car key which he does most trips. It’s only around a 20 minute journey and my son is always so excited when we arrive he definitely knows where he’s going.

We arrive, I got out the car, closed the door and went around to get him, I discover the doors locked which often happens – I have to unlock it from my side. But hang on, my door is locked too. Then, it slowly dawns on me, in the time it’s taken me to walk from my door to his, he’s managed to lock himself in and there’s the keys sitting bold as brass in between his legs! He’s looking at me thinking “Come on then, get me out” I’m looking at him thinking “My goodness you are gonna kick off any minute”, I frantically check all the doors and the boot, just in case they’ve miraculously opened themselves but no use. So what do I do? What anyone would do in a situation of major trauma, run for my Mum of course! I reach the door “He’s locked in the car, I don’t know what to do…” Turn and run back, mother in toe. Like some sort of comedy sketch my mum starts playing peek-a-boo with him whilst we discuss the best option, but only option really was the fire brigade!

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Is Pilates a good post partum exercise? 

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If you’re looking for a gentle post partum exercise I would highly recommend you try out Pilates. Like any other exercise you’d definitely want to wait until after your 6 week check and have fully healed, but after this if you’re looking for something gentle, low impact, but challenging form of exercise to get you back into shape, it’s a great idea.  Read more

I tried three top selling baby wipes to see which comes out best!

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I use a lot of baby wipes! I use them for pretty much everything, nappy changes of course, washing sticky hands, washing hi-chairs before and after eating – in and out of the house, washing faces, spillages etc etc the list goes on. I also like to have a few packets on the go at the same time – one in nappy change station, kitchen, changing bag. So, am I getting the best wipes that offer me the best value for money? I put three different types to the test! Read more

My Spring Outfit

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Well, it doesn’t look like it as I type this and rain is teaming it down outside but Spring is most definitely here! The daffodils have already made clear for the tulips, the clocks have changed and once or twice I’ve considered leaving the house without a coat!

I adore clothes shopping and browsing so what am I loving for an affordable, high street, Mummy Spring outfit… Read more

The Wonder Weeks

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For those of you who haven’t heard of the Wonder Weeks it really is brilliant! Written by Franz X. Plooji who really is a child expert and current President of the International Research  Institute for infant studies, it explains child ‘fussy’ periods in easy to understand developmental leaps. It prides itself on not offering parental advice, but baby insight and has won so many awards voted by parents. Every time I have noticed a difference or grumpiness in my son – low and behold, consulting the book he’s been going through or is just about to start a ‘leap’ and it has been pretty spot on every single time. As a parent I’ve found it so reassuring – my child isn’t a monster, in fact he’s going through an important leap in his development which is why he is behaving as he is, and I can actually help him with this.

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Why is reading so important to our children?

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Before my son was born I was an avid reader. I love books and reading, very little makes me happier than having a good browse in Waterstones – you’ll typically find me in the history or historical fiction section, playing ‘got, got, need’ with all the Victorian books, buying a crisp new smelling book is my euphoria (even if it does just sit on the bookshelf for months). In fact, writing this is making me crave a trip to Waterstones.

No surprise then I hope my son also loves books, I want him to have that feeling of escapism and enjoyment of reading a book you just can’t put down when he’s older. I bought my husband this lovely little hard back Dr Seuss book (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Oh-Baby-Places-YouLL-Go/dp/0679885722) for Christmas whilst I was pregnant to read to the bump, and will never forget the moment he read it to him at only a couple of weeks old and it settled him, as if he could remember and it provided some comfort. At the moment he does enjoy books, he flicks through the pages and grunts, points and particularly enjoys pealing flaps off flappy books or scratch those with touchy feely bits. He hasn’t quite grasped the enjoyment of being read to yet, no surprise at 11 months! But I’ll still persevere, due to the numerous following benefits; Read more

Baby Trapped!!

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I love my son incredibly. My life is so much richer with him in it and he’s helped me fight those under confident demons in my head. But sometimes, occasionally and selfishly, I feel baby trapped! I think (and hope) other mothers out there can relate to this. Baby trapped is when you really want to do something or go somewhere but you can’t for fear of how they will react or how it will affect vital routines like their sleep or eat patterns. I am baby trapped most mornings until I’ve got the morning nap out of the way – my son goes down for his nap, I grab a quick shower then we can get on with the day. I daren’t have it any other way as without this sleep I know he will be horrible for the rest of the day! Read more