We are moving our blog to our NEW website

13 Mar

To all our readers,

This will be our last post on this page.

Our blog has now moved to our shiny, brand new website – please visit us at

www.nurturingmumsuk.com/blog

New website details

New website details

nurturing mums new website

Come visit our new website

We hope you will leave us comments, follow our posts, tweet about us and like us on Facebook.

Thanks so much!

Elise and Gemma

Perfect posture for new mums

10 Mar

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It is all too common for new mums to completely disregard their posture when they have a baby.  They are far too consumed by lack of sleep and their newborn’s needs to worry about their own.  I have seen plenty of mums who have let their back or neck pain progress too far, and then the problem is much more difficult to treat.  If you pay attention to the following advice, your chances of maintaining a healthy spine improve and can keep you injury free, in turn giving you a better chance to look after your baby without pain!

New mum holding head in pain

1)       Pregnancy changes – your body will still have the hormone relaxin circulating for at least 5 months so keep in mind that your body is more susceptible to injury.  Pregnancy also changes your centre of gravity and leaves your abdominal muscles weakened, so be careful for at least up to 6 weeks after.

2)       Caesareans – many mums forget that this is surgery!  Following the incision, you are not using abdominal muscles for 6 weeks, and this can leave you vulnerable to back pain.  It is important to regain the use of these muscles to protect your back.

3)       Buggies – babies spend a lot of time being pushed in buggies, handle height is important in order to maintain lumbar lordosis and upright posture.

4)       Changing babies – it is extremely important to have a change table, changing a baby on the floor can really hurt your back, especially in the early days.

5)       Feeding – whether breast or bottle feeding, positioning is very important for posture and spinal health.  Use a pillow to bring baby up to you to prevent a stooped posture and try a footstool to help keep you upright.

6)       Car seats – these are heavy, especially with a baby inside!  Many mums carry the car seat on one arm and don’t realise the stress they are putting on their backs and elbows in the process.  It is also important to lift the car seat carefully, using your knees and not bending at the waist.

7)       Flat heads – with current guidelines suggesting babies must lie on their backs, babies are increasingly spending time in their car seats, buggies, playmats, and bouncy chairs.  Varying these positions is prudent e.g. using a sling, moving baby from one place to another, changing positions, moving their cot mobile etc.  If you are worried about your baby’s developing head, book in for an appointment.

baby over mum shoulder

Elise Mendelle, BA(Hons), Doctor of Chiropractic

Registered member of the General Chiropractic Council

Elise Mendelle has been in practice for over 10 years.  She has a strong clinical background and has treated a wide variety of complaints.  Elise takes a practical unhurried approach to treatment, enabling patients to resume activities that they enjoy whilst working towards a pain-free status.  Please see her full bio here.

Practice details: Sensus Health & Wellness, London Bridge

Phone for appointment: 020 7234 0664

Craniosacral therapy for babies

6 Mar

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You are at your wit’s end…your baby has colic and nothing has worked! You have heard of craniosacral therapy, but aren’t sure about it! Is it gentle? How does it work? Today’s guest post is to answer some of your questions about craniosacral therapy as an option for treatment.

Tanya Goodman Bailey is a craniosacral therapist working across North London.  She does visits in the comfort of your own home!  She will be working with us in order to give our Nurturing Mums a chance to benefit from her treatments. 

nurturing mums baby cranial

Mums usually bring their babies to me for craniosacral therapy through a recommendation from another mum or following a successful session with an older sibling. There doesn’t always need to be an ailment; some come for a health check or as a treat as it is a very relaxing time for babies, which mums of course love!

The first session begins by talking about the birth and how any intervention may have affected both mum and newborn. More and more mothers seem to be getting induced, yet some mums do not think to see this as an intervention.  I have found in practice that it is the induced babies that tend require and respond the most to treatment.  Sometimes, shock or trauma can be felt (amongst other sensations) as a contracted state in either the tissue or fluid body.  In turn, this may impede digestive function or the ability to fall asleep easily. Light sleepers tend to give birth to infants that adopt the same tone in their nervous systems as mum. I am a thorough believer in this saying: ‘When mum is OK the rest of the household soon follows’.

If the mum has come into the room overwhelmed by the birth or initial mothering experience, this may need to be given top priority to resolve, often by her telling her pregnancy and birth story before any treatment on their baby begins. Once everyone is settled or in a more neutral state (often when the baby is feeding or sleeping) then we can treat the baby.

So how does it work?

For healing to begin there has to be an element of calm, a sense of ‘OK’ and centredness. Then with a very light touch, it is possible for a craniosacral therapist to sense the vitality that is already present in the baby;  whether their system feels stuck or compressed and whether something is working too hard. Because we are all sensitive to our health being followed or listened to in this way (similar to knowing when someone behind you is looking at you, perhaps) a gentle self regulated healing process occurs and the babies’ expression of optimal health returns. By self regulated, I refer to the important fact that baby leads the treatment, there is no manipulation.

Birth Process

Sometimes there may have to be a birth process to express itself… this is when the baby looks like it is still carrying a pattern of what happened during the birth.  Once the pattern is expressed and met with a more comforting outcome, the baby tends to seem very relieved and often falls into a deep sleep.  Sometimes mums then say that they have never seen their baby look so relaxed for so long. Mum and baby have been heard, their story matters. All is well.

These birth traumas hold more of an emotional cause for symptoms in the body but some mums come in with ideal birth scenarios and contended babies apart from a certain distress they can not figure out. Here we treat just on a physical level; a baby’s head, neck and spine may just need to realign itself and this is facilitated through the light, non manipulating touch.

On a finishing note, craniosacral therapists primarily relate to the health present in a client’s system. I am often amazed how resilient we are and how well we respond to reconnecting to our own vital energy.

To make a home visit appointment contact Tanya at tanyagoodman@yahoo.com

or call 0797 7070 187 or visit her website 

Low Cost Clinic at Coppetts Wood Childrens Centre on Tuesdays 1-3 0208 883 0248

I’ve had my baby … what shall I do now?

28 Feb

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You’ve carried your baby for the best part of 9 months, you’ve delivered him, brought him home, been showered with love, gifts and attention, your partner has shared every minute with you…and then…

BOOM…normal life resumes!

relaxed mum

For everyone else that is…you, meanwhile, have had your life turned upside down and inside out and as the expression goes, you’re left holding the baby!

You quickly establish that feeding, changing and sleeping take up the bulk of the day.  You also establish that you are spending far too much time spying on ‘old friends’ on Facebook, internet shopping and surfing the net to find out what your baby ‘should’ be doing at his age.  The days pass in a blur and you realise you are doing nothing productive, constructive or remotely normal!

addicted to facebook

Stop right there!

Get up, get dressed, shut down the computer and make some plans.  Routine or no routine, you need to get out and about.  Don’t be put off by the weather.  There are plenty of great things to do with your baby, whether he is asleep in the pram or sling, awake and crying, feeding or looking around.  Even rrom newborn age, your baby will absorb his surroundings, so it is as good for him to be out as it is for you.  You will find yourself brighter and happier outside your home than inside, even after a sleepless night.

So, bundle up your bundle and try out some of the following:

  1. Take a walk in a local park
  2. Mooch down a high street
  3. Meet up with NCT friends
  4. Try out some baby music groups (more details in an upcoming post)
  5. Join a sociable postnatal group (Nurturing Mums of course)! This will give you something to do every week, add some structure to your schedule and will make you friends for the future!!

Chat, learn and relax with Nurturing Mums at our spring course, starting April 16th in North London.  Email us for more info: nurturingmums@gmail.com.  Fill in the form below and we will send you new course details.

Nurturing Mums postnatal group

Help! My bundle of joy is a bundle of snot!

25 Feb
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When your baby enters your world, it is the start of a never ending list of exciting ‘firsts.’  The first smile, the first roll, the first giggle, the first food, the first clap and so it goes on.

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Of course there are some less exciting firsts too, of which the hardest one is probably the first illness.

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Whether it is a cold or a tummy bug, the first sign of your baby in discomfort can be a really tough time for the whole family. Being even just a little under the weather can make a baby feel really unsettled and the results could include disturbed sleep, difficult feeding and general grumpiness. (At least 2 of these will be experienced by mummy too!)

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So here are some top tips to deal with your baby’s first cold:

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1. Let your baby lead; he might drink (or eat) far less than usual. Don’t worry too much about this, as long as nappies are wet a few times per day. He will get back to normal as soon as he feels better. Do try to make sure he drinks frequently, even a few sips, throughout the day to keep hydrated.

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2. Take his temperature and don’t be afraid to give a little spoon of Calpol if necessary. Don’t let him suffer unnecessarily-especially if it helps relieve his symptoms at night.

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3. Let him sleep as much as he needs. Even a common cold can make a little one feel shattered, especially in the harsh winter months. Don’t worry about too much sleep-it’s unlikely this will happen.

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4. Make him more comfortable at night. You could use a humidifier to ease breathing, raise the cot or put some olbas oil in hot water in his room.

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5. Don’t be tempted to stay at home! Fresh air will do your baby (and you!) the world of good. In Scandinavia childhood illness rates are lower but babies nap outside even in temperatures as low as -23!

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6. A tip for mum: eat healthily and nap in the day if possible! You will need energy and patience to deal with your under-par little bundle!

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7.  Don’t stress about your routine.  It is more than likely that your baby’s regular schedule will be disrupted whilst they are not well, and possibly a few days after as well.  Try to take it in stride, hopefully you can get back on track quickly.

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8.  Lots of cuddles are necessary!

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The mums in our postnatal groups have found it extremely helpful to have a sociable network, it really is a time of the week where you can unwind.  Colds, coughs and runny noses are every mum’s worry, so having a comforting ear can be helpful.  Please fill in the form below to enquire about our April course.

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Please note: this is not medical advice. You should always consult a doctor if you are concerned. Always read the labels on any medication including over-the-counter remedies, paying close attention to the recommended doses.

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Sick of sick! Tips to deal with reflux and silent reflux

12 Feb

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Does it seem like everyone else’s baby feeds like a dream and is happy all the time?  Are you constantly mopping up regurgitated milk and trying to calm your fractious baby?  Have you heard of reflux?  It is often wrongly confused with colic and even the medical professionals can be reluctant to talk much about it.  One of us at Nurturing Mums has had not 1, but 2 refluxy babies; one of whom was on medication for 9 months, the other thankfully grew out of it quite quickly.  We know firsthand how it can knock your confidence and be extremely hard to deal with.  So, through this post we want to try to help you understand what you can do if your baby does have reflux or silent reflux.  Please remember, though, that this article is based on our own experiences and should not precede or take the authority over medical advice.  The golden rule is if you are concerned, please see your GP.

infant-reflux

What is reflux?

Reflux simply means the the contents of the stomach washing back up from the stomach into the oesophagus. It can wash up to the throat and be swallowed again (silent reflux) or can be ejected out of the mouth, sometimes with force.  Reflux can sometimes be simply a matter of a young baby having an ‘immature’ digestive system that is struggling to cope with milk.  It can also be a sign of an intolerance, or allergy, to milk or milk proteins.

Watch to look out for:

1. Discomfort or pain whilst feeding

This could include arching his back away from the bottle or breast, or drinking half a feed and then refusing more after being winded.

2. Excessive possetting or projectile vomiting

It is really common to bring up a little milk after a feed, but if your baby is bringing up what seems like a whole feed on a regular basis, or projectile vomiting (where the milk comes back up with force in an arc, sometimes up to 3 metres away), then you should think about a visit to the GP.

3. Lack of weight gain (or interestingly excessive weight gain)

Bizarrely, both these signs can be an indicator of reflux, because the baby is too uncomfortable to feed, or because they feed to mask the pain of the acid.

Top tips to help a refluxy baby (and his mum!)

1. If you are really concerned, please go to your GP and keep visiting until you are satisfied that you are helping your baby.  We found some GPs to be dismissive of reflux, waving it away as colic that will pass on its own.  Our miserable babies, however, were not too satisfied with this response, so they pushed their mummy to seek the advice of a paediatric gastroenterologist who took them seriously.

2. Raise your baby’s cot.  If your baby has milk or acid travelling back up his oesophagus, it could be painful for him to lie on his back.  Simply putting a few hardback coffee table books under the legs of his cot can help the acid to stay in his tummy.

3. Wind your baby frequently and well during and after feeds to minimise his discomfort.

4. Keep him upright after a feed for longer than you think!  This will help the milk stay down too.

5. Avoid over feeding or feeding too frequently – refluxy babies don’t like their tummies to be too full – they need time to digest.  This is especially true during the night – where possible, try to encourage your baby to drop night-time feeds, which will make him more comfortable.

What NOT to do

1. Don’t make any changes to your baby’s regular milk (if bottle feeding) without consulting your doctor.  Every baby is different and although friends may suggest an alternative formula, tread carefully.

2. If you do change formula, or if whilst breastfeeding you cut out dairy, then these changes need to be given at least 7 days to take effect.

3. Do not start any medications, even over-the-counter remedies like Gaviscon, without the advice of a doctor.

There is a lot of excellent advice here: Living with Reflux 

To make you feel just a little bit better, REMEMBER: 90% of babies grow out of reflux by their 1st birthday!

Did any of your babies suffer with reflux or silent reflux?  Do you have any other tips to share?  Fill in the form below to get more details of our upcoming April postnatal course.

New baby, new career?

12 Feb

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mumpreneur1

Mumpreneurs, kitchen table tycoons – whatever we call them, there is a growing number of mothers who start a new career when they become a mother.  There can be many reasons: lack of reasonable childcare, job dissatisfaction,  scheduling difficulties, and the all consuming guilt!  In early motherhood we often think it is a time when the brain is stifled; however, it seems that motherhood breeds some excellent business ideas.  Self-employment or entrepreneurship can also partner very well with a work-life balance, rather than commuting to an office daily.

Use your maternity leave wisely to enjoy these precious moments with your little one, but if an interesting idea pops into your head, then embrace it, explore it and don’t be nervous to see where it takes you.  Let’s reinvent the term Baby Brain with a positive spin!

Some of the most successful businesses of our time were set up by women at home, whilst their baby napped peacefully.  Ultimo, MySingleFriend, Obelisk Legal Support and Sweet Dreamers cover a wide range of industries, with one common denominator; women leaders!

Childcare fees can be daunting and time is precious, but we say seize the day. Grab a pen and paper (or iPad with stylus for the 21st century) and get cracking.  Maybe you’ll be up for a Mumpreneur Award next year!

working-mum

Top tips for success whilst working at home (with a little bundle in tow)

1. Don’t mix up mummying with working; in our experience, it’s extremely difficult to do both things WELL together.  It is far better to separate your roles and dedicate quality time to each one.

2. Don’t expect your little one to sit quietly whilst you tap, tap, tap on your computer, or make important calls.  He or she is likely to wreak age-appropriate havoc whilst you are trying to concentrate.  Don’t be cross, this is the only way he knows to grab your attention.  If you really have a deadline or something extremely important to get done, put some toys together on the floor beside you for your baby to play with.

3. Make a plan; any business needs a business plan, but a working mum also needs a schedule.  Work when your baby naps, or when you have someone else to help you with childcare.  Evenings can be a great time to get work done, if you’re not too sleep deprived!

4. Working and mummying can be extremely rewarding, but very tiring too.  Don’t forget to look after YOU too, whether it’s taking a bath, popping out with a friend one evening, having dinner with your partner, or just crashing out in front of some reality TV!  If you are calm and refreshed, your baby will be happier and your business will thrive!

Competition time with Nurturing Mums

11 Feb

Please visit us at our new website!

*WIN* *WIN* *WIN* *WIN*

We are pleased to introduce our new amazing Nurturing Mums logo, and to celebrate it being released, we are holding a competition!

New logo for us at Nurturing Mums

Win the gorgeous owl cushion seen below provided by the amazing online shop Little Ragamuffin Children’s Interiors. Run by two mums, they provide an exciting range of children’s bedroom and nursery accessories.  Follow them on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook and have a look at their fantastic items for sale.

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To enter our competition, you need to:

1) Like our Facebook page

2) Answer the question below

3) Fill in the contact form below

Easy as a hoot! Winner will chosen by random draw and will be announced on 26 February!

Getting out and about in the cold with a baby

8 Feb

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It’s freezing – the wind is blowing, the air is sharp, gloves don’t seem to be doing a thing to keep your fingers warm…it feels much more sensible to stay indoors and not venture outside.  At all!  Our basic instincts tell us to keep out of the cold, eat hearty foods and hibernate! However, your little one begs to differ.  Your baby is cranky, has cabin fever and wants out.  What to do?

Being Canadian and living there for the first 27 years of my life, I feel that I can shed some light on the subject of accepting the cold weather.  After all, this isn’t really that cold is it? Try -18 degrees on for size and then tell me if it’s cold today!! In any event, these handy tips will help you embrace the cold and maybe even enjoy it!

1)      Bundle up really really warm and go for a nice long walk with the baby.  I’m talking real thermals, a hat that covers your ears, a thick scarf and proper boots.  You may not look stylish, but who cares when you are warm?

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2)      Have a really decadent hot chocolate at home waiting for you for when you come in from a cold day out. Ok, some chocolate brownies too!

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3)      Invest in a snuggle blanket (e.g. Snugglebundl) for the baby’s car seat, where you can wrap baby up warm and snug while you are out, but that you can loosen easily once you are indoors without waking them up!

4)      Take a walk / adventure with your partner.  It is always fun to do things as a family.

5)      Try an outdoor activity class like Pushy Mothers, a boot camp or going for a winter run.  I know this sounds mad, but you will feel amazing after, both for exercising and for being outdoors.

6)      Layer up – a lot of people don’t know this, but the more you layer, the warmer you’ll be!

Woman out walking in the cold

Hopefully by the time you put these tips into action, it will have warmed up!!

Why not join our next postnatal group starting 12 March to get out and about, with a cup of coffee / tea, lots of lovely mums, and advice from our expert guest speakers.  Please leave your details below for more info.

 

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