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Soothe a child with dry and irritated skin. There’s no trick, but there is a science. We call it Oilatum. For babies with dry, irritated and even eczema prone skin, it soothes by instantly creating a milky bath that wraps your child in a protective layer. This layer softens and hydrates the skin, preventing future dryness and so helping to stop the itch/scratch cycle. Developed by scientists for regular use at bath time, Oilatum is clinically proven to act as a barrier to allergens and irritants, to help your child do what they do, in comfort.

Take comfort in our science. Oilatum Junior Emollient Bath Additive contains light liquid paraffin. Always read the label/leaflet. OILATUM is a registered trade mark of the GlaxoSmithKline group of companies.

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October November 2014

A family break at Ballynahinch Castle!



see PAGE


On the Cover 26 Autumn Fashion

Protect your little ones from the elements with our great fashion picks.


Get Crafty!

Indulging your creative side can make you a more fulfilled and happier parent – here’s how…


Maternity Leave

Sometimes new mums find


maternity leave far from the idyllic time they thought it might be – but instead isolating and lonely. Simone Kenny Glennon looks at how you can make the most of your time off. 50

Bullying in Pre-School

Finding out your child is being aggressive in pre-school – or that your child is the victim of another aggressive child – can be upsetting, but is it bullying? And how can we help it?


Boundary Issues

Grandparents can be a great


support, but what happens when they overstep the mark and interfere too much? Laura Bury



talks to the experts.

From great office wear to how to style a rollneck top (an autumn essential), we


have your maternity style










Baby & Child

All your great seasonal trends for your little ones,




MI Oct Nov 2014_Contents.indd 1


BOUNDARY ISSUES WHEN 9 772009 193014



€3.75/£3.30 OCTOBER/ NOVEMBER 2014

24/09/2014 18:42:08


along with our pick of the Halloween costumes. 68 You

Secrets to a five-minute face, plus translating a key runway look tino your wardobe.

24/09/2014 18:45:44

2 October November 2014



schoolers. We’ve rounded


Ask the Fertility Expert

up some great ideas from


Ask the Obstetrician

mums to help alleviate


Ask the Dietitian



Ask the Physio

72 Starting a Food Business


Ask the Sleeping Expert

Tempted to turn your cakes


Ask the Pharmacist

into cash? We talk to one


Ask the GP

mum who turned a simple idea in the kitchen into a successful business, and look at what you need to get started.



All the latest news, reviews

18 Mummy My Way


Annabel Karmel

Fun Halloween treats to

One reader tells us her

looks at the subject of

baby. We look at the world

bladder issues post-birth.

of baby crafts, along with a

No messing, no fancy stuff

great (and quick!) pattern

– this is your straightforward

for a portable changing

guide to helping this


potentially embarrassing issue.

Midwife to the stars and


Flat head Syndrome

fertility expert Zita West

An unfortunate side effect

tells us about the essential

of the “back to sleep”

links between fertility and

campaign is your baby

diet – vital reading if you’re

potentially developing a flat

planning on adding to your

spot on his/her head. Rachel


Murray talks to the experts about what you can do to help.

What is an insufficient

40 Getting Out and About

make with your little ones

cervix? Should you be

54 Boredom Busters

worried about it? And


Cliodna Gilroy on breastfeeding when

Our new health column

special item for your new

38 Insufficient Cervix

All You Need to Know… Bladder Issues

36 Eating for Fertility

10 News

experience as a mum

There’s something really lovely about creating a

Over to You

and products



8 M&I Online

63 33 Baby Crafts


maternity & infant Awards 2014

All the gossip from the product testing day!

outside the home 75

Dad’s Diary

78 Store Directory

Nick Wilkinson’s young son

87 Win a family break in

is friends with a hooligan – but is he being too harsh?

Ballynahinch Castle

This fabulous prize is the

88 Blog We Log

perfect pre-Christmas break


What made us laugh or cry in blogland this month


Midterm, Halloween and

how can you help the

darker days mean that you

condition? Dr Nicola Davies

might hear the familiar

tells us more.

“I’m bored” cry from your pre-schoolers and junior

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4 Editor’s Letter

Welcome A very big welcome to our special craft issue! As the evenings draw in, there’s a natural shift to activities inside, and we most definitely have jumped on the creative trend that seems to be have taken over the world. From supermodels knitting between runway shows, to the success of The Great British Sewing Bee, to new blogs and mags proving that making your own clothes is not a dying art, it seems that we’re embracing crafts more than ever before, whether it’s creating something special for your new baby or simply getting down and dirty with paints with your kids. To prove the point, our guest contributor is Jazz Domino Holly, the daughter of rocker Joe Strummer and a leading light in this crafting revival. On p33, she shows us how to make a funky (and useful) travel changing mat. Crafting is also a great resource for those familiar “I’m bored” cries from your kiddies. Turn to p54 for some great

The team

resources for parents looking to keep kids occupied and happy on their days off. This is real advice by mums for mums! But that’s not all. We have lots of great features on all aspects of pregnancy and parenting in this issue, from practical health advice on dealing with an insufficient cervix to avoiding your baby developing a flat spot on her head. And continuing our Mumpreneur series, we look at starting your own food business and find out from one mum who’s created a global business from a humble start in her kitchen how she achieved success. Great motivation for getting creative in the kitchen too… Enjoy the issue, and don’t forget to share your opinions (and your crafty makes) with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Editor: Penny Gray Editorial Assistant: Rachel Murray Intern: Louise Donnery Editorial Manager: Mary Connaughton Art Director: Jane Matthews Design: Antoinette Sinclair, Jennifer Reid, Colm McDermott Photography & Illustrations: Getty Images, Thinkstock Production Manager: Mary Connaughton Sales Director: Paul Clemenson Email or write to maternity & infant, Ashville Media, Old Stone Building, Blackhall Green, Dublin 7; Tel: (01) 432 2200; Web: All rights reserved. Every care has been taken to ensure that the information contained in this magazine is accurate. The publishers cannot, however, accept responsibility for errors or omissions. Reproduction by any means in whole or in part without the permission of the publisher is prohibited. © Ashville Media Group 2014. All discounts, promotions and competitions contained in this magazine are run independently of maternity & infant. The promoter/advertiser is responsible for honouring the prize. ISSN 2009 1931

Penny Gray Editor

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

My Picks This Issue 14



Christmas List

Witch Cupcakes

Jumper Lust

My little ones have no concept of decent timing when it comes to Santa lists. This doctor set from Imaginarium is already on my little daughter Ellie’s list!

These yummy cupcakes from Annabel Karmel have already been sampled by my little ones, Danny and Ellie. Best of all? They’re easy peasy to make.

I’ll be investing in this gorgeous colour block roll-neck sleeveless jumper, €43, from River Island for my autumn wardrobe.

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6 Your Say

Over To You

The Dilemma My daughter is 20 months old and she currently sleeps in the bed with my husband and I. We would really like to move her into her own bed but every time I’ve tried she won’t settle. Any advice?

What’s Trending?

Business minded I love your new section on mumpreneurs and going out on your own. Having a baby is such a huge change that it can impact your whole life – and sometimes your career needs a change too. Lots of inspiration and information in the feature! Sophie, Co Dublin

#DailyParentingTips Share a quick tip with us on @maternityinfant and you could be in line for one of our great weekly prizes!

81 ss MuM Busine


the only so that you are they want your target market be making when pregnant, you about choice they should hen you first get or service. Think you will go back to buy your product really appeal may think that can add that will job without too what extras you spend their to your current and make them and for some to your customers many changes, other thing business. The happen. But, money with your women this will you inject their baby to make sure that . We all they’re holding you can do is for others, when y into your marketing will that things have know personalit just your they as that in their arms, so be yourself, not want to and they might buy from people with you. changed forever people to do business job. attract their a to leave is go back your maternity This is why using customers’ your career and Speak your time to ty to evaluate you’ve taken the great opportuni your leave language If ideal customers, you want to do after decide what you a stay-atyour really get to know to your job, become their issues are what as a ends – return business should have discoveredto buy your product start your own home mum or want and why they’d up at night? ‘mumpreneur’. is keeping them you choose, just or service. What anything to Whatever direction prepared to pay what’s right for What are they you are doing to create a remember that this can help you don’t feel like please Knowing so that solve? them family that will show you and your if you do ‘the rules’. But marketing message perfect solution you have to follow start your own or service is the your product the plunge and big problems decide to take can help make can turn their they need. You six simple steps them say yes to business, these that will make into questions easier. the transition you. business time As a busy Decide on your clear right from your e very Manag idea. Let me be have limited time work mum, you only a business is hard so you the start: running on the business uick scheme. available to work important not a get-rich-q and get all the and definitely need to go friends on need to get focused you’re after, you of chatting to If that’s what important to why it’s really work done – instead so that you know to enjoy elsewhere! That’s up a schedule that you’re going to work Facebook. Set choose something you have available past jobs, exactly what time Think about your will be with doing a lot of. are – is there and when you th on the business what your talents for everyone in your hobbies, What can you a great visual your family – lurking there? working so is idea There mummy business a when about? get passionate house to know ons. do that you can out there, any interrupti opportunities that there aren’t get them on board and are lots of business products partner own Talk to your selling your of the whether you are Can they do some franchise or more or d to help you out. buying into a or services or out with the kids business, you help k, (MLM) your housewor that can free up multi-level marketing is a fit for your skills, that the cooking? Anything will help. will find something on the business focus to you time goals. work experience and to plan out what Take the time that you for the week so the type of need to complete you’re in Get clear on to it as soon as to work with tim can get straight client you want – and money, if of wasting valuable work mode instead should be doing. a lot of time You will spend , so you you – on marketing wondering what you’re not careful you do works. sure that what Map out your need to make the identity Plan for success as well as the getting clear on business This is where goals for your is key and something You of your ideal client Really achieve each goal. to do. to do to time you need take the to 90-day that you must you want to those tasks down type of person need to break is perfect to mak get to know the as this makes as this timescale service c or chunks, tasks buy your product is important. These focusing on one to focus on what much easier. By , you can marketing so your weekly planning foc be included on (instead of everyone) speak and stay type of person to get them done sure that you strugg marketing materials tailor all your targets. If you’re what will get i on hitting your people. This is in, ask yourself to only those trying to fit everything will move you on results. your list task to do on answer is no, the If crowd goal. the closer to your need to f is Stand out from date and you product or service wait until a later move you The sign of a good n, as this else that does some competitio on something keep y what if there’s already your goals to are already buying to your goal. Use do achieve exa means that people le so that you competitors. from accountab you’re offering you stand with your business. to make sure that what you want It is your job the eyes of competitors in out from all your


ss MuM Busine




on YouR

A Peter Rabbit Party Pack from Project Party! Throw a party to remember for your baby with a gorgeous Peter Rabbit-themed party from Irish company Project Party! The pack includes cups, plates, napkins, cupcake kit, cake stand, garland and straws – everything you need to bring your child’s favourite book to life. Project Party has a number of themed party items for all age groups, simply log on to for more. To win this great party pack, simply write, email, Tweet or comment on a Facebook post. If your comment is picked as our favourite and published, you’ll win this great prize!

Contact us


Try putting her in her cot during the day for her sleeps to get used to it again and maybe play with her in her own room until she gets used to the surroundings. Then slowly start making the transition to night. Give her one of her teddies in bed with her. When she shouts, go in and let her know you’re still there but walk straight back out. Noeleen Brogan Start a bedtime routine, story etc, where she’s sleeping, spend as much time there as you can. Put her into the cot and do a few jobs out of the room but tell her where you’re going and that you’ll be back in a minute so she understands that being left in the cot doesn’t mean abandonment. Neasa Madden O’Connor Maybe try her in her cot in your room for a few nights until she is used to it, then move it to her room? Lisa West

Pop her bed in your room, allow her to sleep between both for a while, then you can start saying that she’s getting so big and isn’t her bed lovely etc. Don’t rush it, but it’ll happen. Maybe go straight to a toddler bed as she’ll be too big for a cot soon enough Melissa Jarmon Your husband and you need to put your scent in the baby’s room... try putting some of her teddies or snuggies close to your skin for about an hour. You can then pop them in the cot when you put her down for naps and bed. Because she is so used to you both being there for bedtime her new bed feels lonely and strange. Kathriona Connolly McDonagh






➽ Emma Walker

the founder of Emma Walker is Mentor r’s The Mumpreneu (www.themumpreneur of two little divas. and a busy mum

Happy thoughts So much of the media today concentrates on problems associated with pregnancy – hospital overcrowding, complications, general misery – that I think lots of people forget that pregnancy is supposed to be a happy time! Yes it has its challenges, but isn’t it a miracle of nature? And aren’t we so lucky to be expecting? Fiona, via email

maternity & infant, Old Stone Building, Blackhall Green, Dublin 7

MI Oct Nov 2014_Mailbox.indd 6


to of your maternity leave Thinking of using some WALKER has some top start a business? EMMA hit the ground running. you advice to make sure

24/9/14 19:03:26

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8 Online sign up!

Be the first to know about our great competitions and the best content from Hit the subscribe button on the homepage.

Fashion & Beauty

Sort the myths from the facts on what beauty products should be avoided during pregnancy.


From celebrities making pregnancy announcements on an almost daily basis to all the latest baby and toddler products, we’ve got your daily update to keep you in the loop. fashion-beauty/trending

Baby All you need to know about those first two precious years. From caring for your newborn, weaning, sleep problems to each treasured milestone, it’s all here. Don’t forget to check out our dedicated health centre for all your baby’s health needs.

This weekend In our opinion the weekends go by far too quickly! Make the most of them and check out our weekly family events guide where we list all the fantastic family events happening around the country, for as little expenditure as possible. this-weekend This season’s high street hits are here http://maternityandinfant. ie/lifestyle/fashion-beauty/ latest-on-the-high-street/

Picture: Mamalicious

YOUR Pregnancy

It’s the A-Z of pregnancy; a week-by-week guide on how baby is developing and what changes to expect to your health and wellbeing during pregnancy. If you can’t find the information you need, ask one of our dedicated experts. ask-m-i

MI Oct Nov 2014_Web Page.indd 86


Follow us on twitter. com/maternityinfant Join our Facebook community maternityandinfant

24/9/14 17:22:46

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Fact v fiction


It’s not just us who love web maternity brand Seraphine - Gwen Stefani, Claire Sweeney, Kate Winslet, to name but a few, have all been spotted wearing Seraphine during their pregnancies, and we have no doubt that the celebs will be queueing up again now that the brand’s autumn/winter collection has been released. Check out the fabulous collection for yourself at

Sex during pregnancy

It is perfectly safe to have sex while pregnant, even right up to your due date. Your baby is protected by your uterus and will not feel any pressure even if your partner is on top. However, as your belly gets bigger you may start to feel uncomfortable during pregnancy; to ease this discomfort, have some fun experimenting with different positions. However, there are some things to be aware of: Be sure your partner does not have a genital infection. If you are in any doubt, abstain from sex altogether, as this could cause problems during pregnancy and can harm both you and your baby. If you experience bleeding at any time during your pregnancy, including after intercourse, make sure to tell your doctor. Oral sex is perfectly healthy; however, under no circumstances should your partner blow into your vagina, as this could harm your baby.

1 2 3

moving things along When you’re past your due date, you can be tempted to try almost anything to get labour started. Sex, spicy food, raspberry leaf tea - but do any of these work? According to research, the only thing that may work is nipple stimulation - but you’d have to do it for three hours at least. Ouch!

Made for mum-to-be

The Natural Birthing Company introduces the first midwife-led line of skin treatments, addressing specific concerns for women with pregnancy and breastfeeding. These include a perineal massage oil; Cool It Mama body spritz; Blissful Tincture to help ease discomfort after birth; and Bosom Buddies, a breastfeeding survival kit. Available from the Natural Birthing Company, www.




From sound financial advice to the best in nightwear and shopping, all your pregnancy news is right here!

#bumpwatch Lots of Irish ladies announced their pregnancy recently. Amy Huberman managed to keep her’s schtum for a whole seven months! The Saturdays’ Una Foden is also adding to her brood, sharing this adorable picture of two-year-old Aoife Belle on Instagram (left). Republic of Telly funny woman Jennifer Maguire and former pop star Samantha Mumba are also both expecting for the first time. Congratulations to you all, we will be watching your maternity style closely!

3 of the Best

Pregnancy books

Written in plain, simple, and non-technical language, Lucy Taylor’s The Mum’s Guide to Having Your Baby in Ireland is a straightforward guide to the momentous occasion.

MI Oct Nov 2014_News Pregancy.indd 10

The go-to guide for those who like clear and concise information delivered in a wellorganised manner, the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy covers the before, during and after stages of conception, pregnancy and childbirth, and is highly recommended for first-time mums.

Originally published in 1984, What to Expect When You’re Expecting has sold over 17 million copies worldwide. The book consistently tops bestseller lists and if that’s not enough, an estimated 93 per cent of all expectant mothers who read a pregnancy guide in America read this book!

25/09/2014 09:43:54

11 news


-- A GORGEOUS PAPIER PRINT! Launched in late summer 2014, Papier Prints creates beautiful personalised nursery art and inspirational prints. Perfect for a nursery, a personalised print captures a newborn’s memorable statistics: weight, height, length, time, place and date of birth. With striking colours and bold typography, the modern prints make a wonderful thoughtful new baby gift and can decorate a child’s room for many years to come. Each print is handcrafted, professionally printed, then mounted and framed in lined white wooden frames at We have two personalised Papier prints to give away! To enter, simply send your contact details to competitions@, with Papier prints in the subject line. Or send a postcard with your contact details, marked Papier prints, to maternity & infant, Ashville Media Group, Old Stone Building, Blackhall Green, Dublin 7




Superb support

Looking for a nursing pillow that can be used in a multitude of different ways? The unique ClevaCushion 10 in 1, €59.99, could be the one you are looking for. It provides back support for mum and helps create a secure and safe feeding environment for baby with the added benefit of shoulder harness cushions. The ClevaCushion 10 in 1 can also be used in a pram, bouncer, car seat and stroller. Available from Mothercare & Smyths.

When you’re a new mum sometimes it can feel like everyone wants a piece of your baby, or even worse, everyone has an opinion on how you should parent. Turn to p58 NOW for our feature on boundary control and how to nip it in the bud!

Changing bags have evolved - no longer are they big bulky bag that hang down to your knees, changing bags are now stylish bags in their own right. So one less bag to carry and a fabulous bag to add to your collection too! Splashing out: CocoBow Eva leather baby bag, €199, StyleMama

On a budget: Babymel satchel changing bag, €52.94, Mamas & Papas

of the best

Nursing bras Cache Coeur Lisa nursing bra, €49.95, Cherish Me

Second Skin organic range, €45, Amoralia

Carriwell seamless gel wire nursing bra, €39.95, Onceborn

2 pack nursing

Baby Blues

Splurge or steal?

MI Oct Nov 2014_News Mum.indd 11

Boundary control


It is still unknown what exactly causes the baby blues, that classic low feeling a few days after giving birth, but there are some medical theories. When a woman is pregnant her body produces the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone in much greater amounts. But in the 24 hours after childbirth, these hormone levels drop rapidly back to their non-pregnant levels. Researchers believe this sudden crash in hormone levels can take a new mum’s mood down with them.

bra, €39.50, Mothercare

Stripped nursing bra, €49, boobdesign

25/09/2014 09:52:06


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• Assemble in 15 minutes – no tools needed




the Hichair and the table and chairs

• Each pack contains two Handiholders

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 Did you know that it is recommended that a baby sleeps in its parent’s room for the first six months? Are you searching for the best crib to buy for your baby to sleep in?  Why not consider getting a Clevercrib, designed and The longer crib that madelasting in Ireland byturns Stackajack, a new Irish brand. It’s into alarger table and chairs. Simplebasket really. and smaller than a full-size than a moses cot. So it’s the ideal bed for those first 6 months.  The great thing about this crib is that when your baby outgrows it, you can turn it into a table and chairs. Then it can be used by children up to six years old!  It has four easy-adjustable heights – set it KIT high to make HICHAIR it easy to lift your baby in and out, if you have had a The (great bits that you to turn you Caesarean section) or low, to beneed level with your bed at night to Clevercrib into a high chair. • Suitable from 6 months to 2 years old keep your baby close and within (approximately) reach. There is also a built-in storage • Lightweight and transportable, easy shelf to keep nappies, blankets and spare clothes. to take apart • Removable tray included • Suitable from birth to height, 6 • Handy storage  At its highest theshelf Clevercrib stands at 92cm, 10cm higher than months • 4 adjustable heights • Assemble in 15 minutes – most cribs. Its three lower heights allows the Clevercrib to be placed no tools needed level with your bed so that you can easily see your baby without Convertsdesign means it can easily fit alongside your getting up. Its compact from a crib to a bed. The Clevercrib also be taken apart easily and stored flatly for tablecan and chairs in less than 2 later use. minutes!  The Stackajack was recently awarded silver winner in the National • Suitable from 1 to 6 years old HANDIHOLDERS • Chairs adjust to 2 heights Parenting product awards Best Cot/crib category and is a finalist in the • Keep those bits and pieces neat, • Table adjusts to 4 heights and to hand Maternity and Infant awards Cot. • Handy storage shelf for for Best • Can be used with the Clevercrib,

• Suitable from 6 months to 2 years old (approximately) • Lightweight and transportable, easy to take apart • Handy storage shelf

• Removable tray included

• 4 adjustable heights



• Suitable from 1 to 6 years old • Chairs adjust to 2 heights

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• Keep those bits and pieces neat, 24/9/14 16:36:38

• Table adjusts to 4 heights

• Handy storage shelf for books, games and jigsaws

and to hand

• Can be used with the Clevercrib, the Hichair and the table and chairs • Each pack contains two Handiholders


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For 125 Years The ISPCC has campaigned for the rights of Children across Ireland. We have worked tirelessly to support some of the most vulnerable Children nationwide in their time of need. Help us to make a lasting difference in 2014

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Introducing Russell, the dream sheepdog who has em*barked* on a mission to be children’s ultimate bedtime companion. Russell helps children sleep with his softly changing warm glow, which gently lights up the room with a calming colour therapy display of green and blue light. One thing is for certain, Russell is set to prove dogs really are man’s best friend as he offers companionship to your little ones who might need a helping hand to fall fast asleep. You can even record your voice reading your tot a bedtime story, so they can replay it whenever they need it. Russell is available from Boots, priced €43.



Babies lose much of their heat from their heads, so ensure that they’re kept snug when outside with one of these cool hats from Next. The Dude hate costs €8, and the Fairisle hat and mittens set costs €11.




The latest fashion, interiors and must-have accessories for your little one.


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THE CRADLE HOLD. Hold your baby in your lap, so he/she is lying on their side, and tuck their lower arm under your own. Cradle your baby’s head in the crook of your arm and let baby latch on. THE CLUTCH HOLD. In this position you tuck your baby under your arm (on the same side that you’re nursing from) like a football or handbag. You can support your baby’s head with your hand, while they comfortably feed. RECLINING POSITION. This one is great when you’re lying in bed. With your baby facing you, draw your baby close and cradle their head with your arm and allow them to latch on. This one is so comfy for mom and for baby. You can experiment to find a nursing position that you find most comfortable. Many women find that the best way to avoid getting clogged milk ducts is to regularly alternate breastfeeding holds, because each hold puts pressure on a different part of your nipple, which may avoid developing sore nipples and increase breast milk production. Happy nursing!



Research shows that having your baby sleep in your room for the first six months lowers the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome - if you can’t fit a full-sized cot in your room, go for a crib or similar, which will last your baby until he is big enough for his own room.

Best Positions



Ever noticed that when we smile or laugh at our babies we always over dramatise it? This is because it actually helps your baby learn to associate certain facial expressions with certain emotions. So keep up the amateur dramatics!


Hungry tums M&S has created a range of baby food that is designed to meet your child’s needs at each stage of their development. The Tiny Taste Buds range is available at M&S, priced from €1.89.


season As the cold and flu season creeps up on us, we have just the thing for your little tot if they have a few sniffles: Jackson Reece’s natural wipes and tissues, Kinder by Nature. These wipes are naturally soothing for your babies’ tiny noses and little bums. They are unscented and environmentally friendly, so you can feel earth conscious when using them as well! Kinder by Nature wipes are available at Boots, from €3.50.

24/09/2014 18:45:28

Mater floral Mater floral shorts both N

14 News

Going nuts at the zoo! Every now and again we get an invitation at the maternity & infant office that we just have to accept – and in September it was an invitation to see the naming of the two baby elephants in Dublin Zoo. Sponsored by the Natural Confectionary Company (liberally sampled by the ed’s two little ones), we got to meet the two cuties, named Kavi and Ashoka by competition winners Sally Cullen and Katie Bush (pictured) – believe us, these little ones are worth a visit alone! Cuteness overload.

Kids’ Corner


We Love...


of the best

winter coats Parka, €75, J by Jasper Conran @ Debenhams

Cat print padded jacket,

€37.50, Next

To Be… Doctor’s Set, €29.99.

…the new collection from Imaginarium, which has given the little ones in our office plenty of food for thought for those Santa lists! See www. for more.

Boys’ Parka, €20, Heatons

Lego play Parents everywhere are already sweating about Christmas and those Santa lists, and some may even have started the buying – but what if your child changes his mind between now and Christmas? Play it safe with Lego, which is always a hit. We love the Lego Juniors range, which is designed to bridge the gap between Duplo and the older sets.

Cos style Cos, which now has a standalone store on Dublin’s Wicklow Street, is known for its ultra-cool minimalist fashion – but its childrenswear is also great for your little hipsters. The new collection is full of essential pieces, plus bursts of pattern and colour to liven up the dark days. Girls’ printed dress, €29, and boys’ contrast zip up-top, €35.

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2B navy duffle coat, €19, Penneys

Brain food We all know that fish oils are great for kids’ memory and concentration, essential during the pre-school and early school years. But the yucky taste means that many kids won’t take them. Enter Eskimo-3 Kids Formula, from €11.80, which features a pleasant lime flavour with no fishy aftertaste. Problem = solved.

24/9/14 17:28:58

15 news


3 2

messy Play Encourage your child’s inner artist with these crafty finds



1 Make Your Own Cupcake Set, €13.99, Early Learning Centre @ Mothercare 2 GloGlo Inkoo, €29.99, Smyths 3 Truck crayons, €4.95, Melissa & Doug @ Kilkenny 4 Galt Magnetic Shapes, €8.99, Debenhams 5 Stampa Kit Pirata, €14.95, Imaginarium 6 Little Tikes Splatter Spinning Station, €87, Littlewoods Ireland 7 Play Doh Cake Mountain, €24.99, Smyths 8 Green Sculpted Crayons, €9.95, Mira Mira 9 My First Crayola Washable Finger Paints, €8, Littlewoods Ireland 10 Aquadoodle Classic, €28, Littlewoods Ireland

5 9


7 6

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24/9/14 17:30:16

16 news

great for older kids

5+ years The BFG

By Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake (Penguin Books), €10 A real modern classic and a great introduction for younger children into the magical world of Roald Dahl, The BFG (short for The Big Friendly Giant) tells the story of Sophie (named after model and Dahl’s granddaughter, Sophie Dahl) who one day is taken by a giant to his home in Giant Country. Once there, he reveals himself to be the world’s only friendly giant and together they battle to stop all the bad giants from eating people, winning over the world’s leaders along the way. This is a beautifully illustrated book that appeals to both boys and girls. We like… The clever story with lots of facets to keep children of all ages engaged. They’ll love… The exciting plot and happy ending.



BOOKS Bring back memories with classic children’s books that have survived the test of time.

classics for all ages

3+ years

2+ years

By Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler (Macmillan), €10.45 “There’s no such thing as a Gruffalo” – or is there? So begins the classic tale by Julia Donaldson, a favourite with children of all ages. The Gruffalo is celebrating its 15th birthday this year, with a whole new generation of kids enjoying the tale of the smart mouse who manages to fool all the animals in the deep dark wood that he is the scariest animal of all. We love… The rhyming couplets that allow you to easily bring the characters to life for your children. They’ll love: The stunning illustrations and repetitive verse.

Books), €10.45 First published in 1969, Eric Carle’s engaging book (a staple in crèches everywhere) tells the life cycle of the butterfly is simple terms using bold blocks of colour and minimal language. The Very Hungry Caterpillar emerges from the egg and chomps his way through various foods before finally transforming into a beautiful butterfly. We love… how it encourages young children to count. They’ll love… the interaction with the story and clever layout.

The Gruffalo

0-2 years

Goodnight Moon By Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd (Macmillan), €8.95 Written way back in 1942, Goodnight Moon is a classic nighttime book for the tiny ones. Designed to help develop the imagination of a small child, and introduce the concept of settling down to sleep, the book goes through the contents of a room, and then tucks each item in for the night. The star of the book is a little bunny rabbit in striped pyjamas who is tucked up in bed as we say goodnight to the room, the moon and the cow jumping over the moon. A great way to develop early vocabulary too. We love… The beautiful rhyming text that lulls baby to sleep. They’ll love… The characters and being able to point out simple objects.

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle (Puffin

3+ years

Where The Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak (Red Fox), €10.45 This 1963 picture book is an American classic, but it’s equally as beguiling for kids over on this side of the Atlantic. The simple story focuses on a young boy called Max, who is sent to bed without his supper for scaring everyone with his wolf costume. His bedroom transforms into a jungle, and Max ends up sailing to an island where the “wild beasts” live – will he be able to overcome these evil beasts? At just 330+ words, this is an easy book for young children to enjoy, but the exciting plot will engage early readers too. We love… the story that appeals to young and old alike. They’ll love… the battle between boy and beasts and the likeable hero of Max.

For great children’s book reviews, competitions, recommendations and interviews with some of your favourite authors and illustrators, visit 24/9/14 17:32:48

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22/9/14 09:50:49 13:22:12 25/9/14

18 Mummy My Way

“The years of

negative results and disappointment are all worth it to see them smile and to

imagine all we will share over the coming years”

Paula Doyle is mum to two-month-old twins Roisin and Sarah, who were conceived after years of fertility treatment.


fter getting married in 2007 I was eager to start a family sooner rather than later. By mid 2009 nothing had happened, so we had some tests and we were diagnosed with “unexplained fertility issues”. We tried two rounds of IUI, but both failed, and at a consultation, we were told that we had roughly a 2 per cent chance of getting pregnant naturally and IVF/ICSI was our best bet. With this being significantly more expensive we decided to take a few months out and save for it, but when our house was broken into, our savings had to be spent on a house alarm and increased security. Bang went the IVF. I tried to accept that I might never be a mammy but the longing was too much.  Then last year we decided we’d try one round of IVF/ICSI. We hoped to get about 12 eggs and use ICSI on most but also plain IVF on others to try determine why things weren’t happening naturally. We also said we’d do MapCare, a new process for monitor egg/embryo progress prior to insemination.  The day arrived for retrieval and we only got three eggs. I was devastated. Then we were told that only two survived overnight – so literally all our hopes were pinned on those two eggs. We did the insemination and were told to test 14 days later on 27th December 2013. Christmas was either going to be the best or the worst one ever. I decided to test on 23rd December just to see. Lo and behold, a faint positive. I couldn’t believe it. I tested again the next day and the line was a little darker this time but still positive. I tested every day up to the day the hospital said to test each day getting stronger and stronger. OMG we were pregnant. This was actually happening.  All was going great until at seven weeks I started bleeding. Panic set in. We eventually got in for a scan, and two sacs and two strong

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heartbeats were found. I was pregnant, and with twins. Pregnancy itself was good but difficult. Not having anything to compare it to though I just thought it was normal. I did end up in hospital twice with Hyperemisis Gravardium and also attended physio for my back but I didn’t care what was thrown at me. As long as the two peanuts were fine and healthy that’s all that mattered. After a couple of tricky weeks, the obstetrician decided to take them out via C section at 33 weeks and two days. On Thursday 17th July, Roisin (left) was born at 11:23am weighing 4lb 6oz and Sarah (far left) was born at 11:25am weighing 3lb 2oz. Both perfect and healthy. They spent a few weeks in Special Care Unit just getting bigger. Roisin came home first followed by Sarah five days later. Both are thriving and amazing – total miracles.  People ask would you do it again and the answer is definitely yes. The years of negative results and disappointment are all worth it to see them smile and imagine all we will share over the coming years.  Since their arrival life as we know it has changed dramatically, but definitely for the best. Gone are the nights of a movie and a glass of wine and now it’s nappies and bottles of milk but it is amazing.  It has, however, made me appreciate my own parents and all parents out there. It really is the hardest job in the world. Sarah had developed bad colic, which is currently testing my patience. It’s so hard and upsetting when she is crying in pain and nothing I do will ease it. But hopefully over the next few weeks, things will ease a little. For the moment we are coping, and loving the quiet times watching them grow and develop more and more every day. We wouldn’t change a thing. 

24/9/14 17:33:39

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17/7/14 09:51:39 13:02:35 25/9/14 If you’ve got a baby, you’ll understand. *Weighing more than 4kg and not premature. New easy dose syringe is only available in CALPOL® Infant Suspension 140ml packs.

Contains paracetamol. ALWAYS READ THE LABEL.

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We know what it’s like - your baby’s had their first immunisation and is feeling unwell. Giving them medicine can be a little tricky. Thankfully, CALPOL® Infant Suspension 140ml now comes with an easy dose syringe, to help provide relief gently and effectively for even the tiniest of mouths.

25/9/14 09:52:06 28/08/2014 12:46:07

21 trend



Before & after dress, €44, long wool mix maternity cardigan, €50, Vertbaudet

Dressing for anything but a comfy day on the couch can be challenging when you’re pregnant, especially when you are having one of those days. In this issue, we focus on a formal wardrobe for work- kitten heels to ease the pressure on those pregnant feet and power clothes for the office that are secretly super comfy. Trimester Trends this issue is all about the turtleneck and how it can be worn both for going out and for staying in. Our Steal Her Style star this issue just had to be Zoe Saldana - her maternity style has us green with envy, but we’ve had fun recreating her look on page 24!

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24/9/14 17:35:07


Trimester trends Forget statement necklaces, the turtleneck is the accessory of the season and we bet you already have one or two hanging somewhere in your wardrobe.















3 3

On Trend

3 M&I

4 M&I






6 6 6

7 7


On Trend 1 Colour block roll-neck sleeveless jumper, €43, River Island 2 Faux fur panel parka jacket, €155, River Island 3 Aquamarine square series ring in silver and gold, €345, Eva Dorney Goldsmith 4 Spot print bag, €39, Carolyn Donnelly The Edit @ Dunnes Stores 5 Over the bump leggings, €16, Mothercare 6 Earl Gray polish, €8.95, Sally Hansen 7 Kaishi runners, €70, Nike

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1 Red crystal earrings, €45, DyrbergKern collection at the Kilkenny Shop 2 Red collarless coat, €64.99, New Look 3 Maternity turtleneck, €56, Isabella Oliver 4 Transparent jewelled box clutch, €45, River Island 5 Relaxed maternity jeans, €120, Isabella Oliver 6 Lipstick 424, €13, INGLOT 7 Contrast toe cap point court shoes, €60, River Island

1 Cashmere tunic, €413, Blossom Mother & Child 2 Maternity 1/2 sleeve waisted shirt, €17.99, New Look 3 Leather shopper bag, €89.95, Zara 4 Maternity Leigh jeans, €49, Topshop 5 Silver knitted pearl bracelet, €85, Juno james 6 Laura Mercier shimmer block (pink), €42, House of Fraser 7 Austine shoes, €85, Dune

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Be boardroom ready in these stylish maternity pieces designed to make you feel confident in the office with a burgeoning bump. 6

Ivy woven dress, €34.95, mamalicious







1 Jill kitten heels, €58, Topshop 2 Touchscreen leather gloves with thinsulate, €32, Marks & Spencer 3 Victoria Satchel, €37, The Vestry online 4 Epsom shoes, €84, moda in pelle 5 MAMA tights, €9.99, H&M 6 Linea butterfly conversational scarf, €10, House of Fraser 7 Breton stripe maternity mini skirt, €26, JoJo MaMan Bébé 8 Wrap maternity top, €36, JoJo MaMan Bébé 9 Boucle coat, €79.99, H&M 10 High neck wrap over bodycon dress, €44, ASOS 11 Ashwell maternity top, €88, Isabella Oliver 12 Ponti pencil skirt, €33, Mamas & Papas

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24/9/14 17:48:09

You Are The Apple Of My Eye gold necklace, €129, Chupi

24 Trend

Light wool blazer, €59.95, Zara Maternity scoop neck t-shirt, €8.99, New Look

steal her

Style Zoe Saldana kept schtum about her pregnancy for quite some time preferring to let her bump do the talking - and it really has, Zoe’s bump has to be one of the most stylish and well dressed we’ve seen in a long time. Maternity Zoe is rumoured to be expecting twins; this was apparently confirmed by her friend Britney Spears, who was said to let slip in an interview: “She’s pregnant with twins right now so I’m sure she has a huge future ahead of her.” Twins or not, we wish Zoe and her husband of one year, Marco Perego, the best of luck with their new arrival or arrivals and until then, we look forward to watching Zoe’s trend-setting maternity style.

sport rib tapered trousers, €33, Topshop

Zoe Saldana

Getty images

Collection bag, €50, Marks & Spencer

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Pensive pointed high heels, €42.65, ASOS

Beige nail polish, €8, Topshop

24/9/14 17:49:19

“When Jackson had his first fever I gave him Nurofen for Children, soon after the fever had reduced and he was getting back to his own self.”

Laura and Jackson Doyle, Wicklow


*Contains Ibuprofen. Date of preparation: January 2014. Item number: IRL/NFC/0114/0002

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18/9/14 09:55:57 15:32:49 25/9/14

26 Trend 13



Monster hat, (3mths6yrs), from €11, green puffa, (3mths-6yrs), from €23, skinny jeans, (3mths-6yrs), from €10, dinosaur wellies, (size 4-12), from €16, Next










Rainy 6


From raincoats to wellies, we’ve got your kids covered for the wet and rainy weather ahead 1 Hat, (3mths-6yrs), from €7, Next 2 Dinosaur bones print raincoat, (1-2 yrs), €39.99, Bumps’N’Babies 3 Star anorak, (3mths-6yrs), from €29, Next 4 Car print raincoat, (9mths-3yrs), €26.95, McElhinney’s of Donegal 5 Truck print wellies, (size 5-13), €28, Cherish Me 6 Truck print raincoat, (2-6yrs), €39.95, Clerys 7 Farmer Jack umbrella, €16, Cherish Me 8 Owl raincoat, (2-6yrs), €40, 9 Spotty wellies, (size 6-4), from €18.19, Muddy Puddles 10 Hat, (3-14yrs), €8.95, Zara 11 Pramsuit, (0-12mths), from €50, Fruigi 12 Fisherman raincoat, (2-7yrs), €45, JoJo Maman Bébé 13 Hat and mittens, (3mths-6yrs), from €14, Next

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25/09/2014 09:59:30


AUTUMN’S HERE The cold weather has arrived – and so have the beautiful clothes to match. Rust dino applique t-shirt, (3mths-6yrs) from €10, Next

Leather fringed bootie, (size 8-6), €49.95, Zara Gilet, (3-8yrs), €12, Top, (3-8yrs) €6, Heatons

Jasper Conran jeans, (9-14yrs) from €22.50, Debenhams Ladybird embroidered cardigan, (3-16yrs), from €25, Next Top, (5-12yrs) €19.95, name it

Hat, (0-6mths), €36, Arnotts

Panda coat, (0-6mths) €34, Arnotts

Rabbit applique skirt, (1-7yrs) from €22, Marks & Spencer

Converse runner, (size 11-2) from €40, Schuh Fairaisle cardigan, (1-7yrs), from €24, Marks & Spencer Owl backpack, €45, Accessorize

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Leggings, (5-12yrs), €12.95, name it

24/9/14 17:53:37

28 Trend

Spook-tacular Here’s to the fashionable trick’or’treaters this Halloween. We’ve found all the best spooky looks from the best boo-tiques in town.

11 1

2 10

Pirate outfit, €22.49, Mothercare



7 5 5 4 3

7 6

1 Wooden skeleton decoration, €16.95, Mira Mira 2 Flashing light treat bags, €3 each, Dunnes 3 Skeleton all-in-one, €12, M&S 4 Coffin box of sweets, €8, M&S 5 Scaredy cats sweets, €2, M&S 6 Pumpkin t-shirt, €7, M&S 7 Firefighter two-piece, €16.99, Mothercare 8 Ghost cups, €1, Tiger Stores 9 Witch costume, €22.49, Mothercare 10 Witch’s broom, €5, Littlewoods Ireland 11 Vampire all-in-one, €26, Mamas & Papas

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24/9/14 17:50:14

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24/9/14 09:56:44 10:13:32 25/9/14

30 Parenting


Find Your Happy Mojo To kick off our special issue on the power of creativity for you and your kids, author CLAIRE BURGE argues that unleashing our creative side is the key to contentment both as a person and as a parent

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25/09/2014 11:45:07

31 Parenting


n his exploration of happiness through 10 years of research, designer Stefan Sagmeister delivers an interactive, multi-media exhibition called The Happy Show. The entire experience is an exploration of all the factors that contribute to (or diminish) our experience of happiness. Two elements within the show are particularly noteworthy: Most people cite their children as their biggest source of happiness. However, when this research is measured alongside other findings an entirely different picture emerges. Working women are asked at irregular intervals to state what activity they are busy with and how happy they are doing it. Child-rearing activities came in at the very bottom of the list, nestled in between things like doing dishes and cleaning the toilet. Participants and viewers are regularly encouraged throughout the show to challenge themselves to actively seek discomfort, to push a boundary and to move out of a comfort zone because this is essentially what years and years of research keeps revealing: difficult situations that we fully engage in ultimately make us happy. These two points almost contradict one another, but not really. Parenting can easily be listed as one of the greatest boundary-pushing experiences for most people. I have yet to speak to a parent who has not used these terms to describe their experience. And herein lies the secret: happiness is not necessarily a feel-good thing. So the big question is: how do we find this happy mojo in the middle of the dishes, the toilet, the screams, the sulking and the very-littletime-for-myself-realities? Cue creativity. Creativity is one of those blue-sky concepts that seem beyond most of us. I know this because when I ask people whether they consider themselves creative, most would answer “no” unless they are directly in the line of work that would be labelled as creative such as designers and makers. This is where we get it all wrong. Every single one of us is hardwired to create. It’s a skill we all can learn. I think creativity should be a mandatory part of every school curriculum. That however is a very long conversation over many a cup of tea for many days on end. What can be done here and now is more important. Below I outline some fun, possibly unusual and inventive ways to find your happy creative place in this big wide world:

Lean into your fears The popular opinion when it comes to fears is to face them and to rid your life of them. I reckon you should stay with them for a while. Lean into them and let them teach you a thing or two. Make a list of things that scare you.

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Study the list. Notice connections and patterns in the list. Notice commonalities between the fears. If facing them, reflect on the process and notice how your thinking changed towards the fear throughout the process. By sitting with your fears for a while, you are forcing your mind into a place of creative problem solving. So you are actually killing two birds with one stone here: getting a handle on the fear and developing your creativity.

Take regular creative breaks I do this yearly. I take a week out for just me. Most years I have taken writing or photography workshops. However, this year I asked my personal assistant to put a week of meetings together for me in New York City. Every day was filled with new people and excitement. I needed energy and life, whereas before I needed the quiet. I go with what my body is craving most.

Meet random people

Follow your intrigue

This is a hard one for many people because strangers scare us. Call it our survival instinct that draws us to what we know but meeting new people is like getting a new batch of blood pumped straight into your veins. It’s really healthy if not a bit uncomfortable. What makes meeting new people a little easier is if you make it all about them. Try finding someone who really interests you, ask them for coffee and tell them that what they do really intrigues you and then spend the hour or so talking to them about what they do. Quite easy really. You do very little talking and lots of listening.

Make a list of things that fascinate you, that capture your imagination and that intrigue you. Take 15 minutes every day to explore these things over a cup of tea. Lightning and thunder have been a recent fascination of mine. Until very recently I thought the two occurred separately from each other. A conversation with a friend revealed that in fact lightning is a result of thunder. One would think that a girl growing up in Africa where electrical storms happen every day would know this, but turns out she is never too old to learn anything. “Life is one big adventure,” a businessman recently said to me. We hear these words often but being a mum can sometimes keep us so entangled that we forget all about the fun part. We forget that happy can be happy and that it doesn’t always look like a brightly coloured fizz pop. Claim back a small piece of the happy by climbing inside of your own creative self. Go on, I know you want to.

Be a child Explore a new place like a child would: use every one of your senses. Smell the air within the space. Touch textures around you and take note of the sensations that your body registers. Close your eyes and listen to what is happening around you. Taste dew on a blade of grass if you are outside. Taste rain as it falls out of the sky. Walk barefoot in mud or on a gravel surface to expose your skin to something that is completely unfamiliar. Look at what is happening around you and make a mental note of each activity as it takes place in front of your eyes. The grown-up word for this act of play is mindfulness.

The Happy Show

Claire Burge is the author of Spin: Taking Your Creativity to the Nth Degree and runs a business called Get Organised. Connect with Claire @claireburge


Currently touring the States, The Happy Show by graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister, is a set of installations and interactive artworks designed to be thought-provoking about the very concept of happiness. The pieces also incorporate some fascinating research findings about how happy we really feel - and if we’re not happy, how to make ourselves happy! For more on The Happy Show and to see some of the work, log on to

25/09/2014 11:54:35

• r e n n i •W u o y ank

font is helvetica Neue 95 Black, 54pt


to our sponsors! N E X T D I R E C T. C O M

The Baby Elegance maternity & infant Awards will take place at the Double Tree Hilton on October 10th. Stay tuned for all of this years winners and keep an eye on IrelandAM for footage from the event!

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33 Craft Special

Baby crafting ideas Many women find that they get the creative buzz when pregnant and want to make something special for their baby. maternity & infant editor PENNY GRAY looks at the world of crafting for your baby and introduces an easy-as pattern for a travel changing mat that can be whipped up NOW for your little one.

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24/9/14 18:01:39

34 Craft Special


’ll admit it – I used to be quite creative as a child, making entire collections of clothes for my Barbie with curtain lining and sequins, but having no natural ability for painting and drawing, this was something that I left behind when I hit my teenage years. Apart from a couple of stints of dress design in my early twenties, which I eventually gave up due to lack of time, my creative side went into my writing work and my sewing machine gathered dust in a cupboard. It was only when I was pregnant on my second baby, Ellie, that I felt the urge to make something again. I knitted a blanket and a cardigan for her (in an attempt to stop eating all. the. time. Quick tip – this works), and then got an urge to make a quilt for her crib. That was it – I was hooked. Fast forward 18 months and I’m making little dresses for her and even attempting some self-drafted patterns for myself. A quick survey of fellow mums reveals that I’m not alone, with more and more mums seeing their babies as opportunities to get creative again. You don’t even have to be pregnant or a mum – sewing, knitting and even crochet have become popular pursuits again, with blogs popping up everywhere and indie pattern designers making fashionable home made clothes possible for both adults and children. Need more convincing? Get yourself along to the Knitting and Stitching Show at the end of October at the RDS and see what a buzz there is about crafts right now. Want to get going NOW? Try this easy-as pattern for a travel changing mat, an exclusive extract from Sew Tiny, by Jazz Domino Holly, the daughter of rocker Joe Strummer and the founder of the Shoreditch Sisters, the UK’s hippest WI branch.

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24/9/14 18:02:27



Craft Special

to inspire Make your mat




Want something beautiful to leaf through? Try one of these!


✹ The Great British Sewing Bee Sew Your Own Wardrobe, by Tessa Everleigh, €37.50 (Quadrille) ✹ Sew Step By Step, by Alison Smith, €18.75 (Dorling Kindersley) ✹ My Rag Doll, by Corinne Crasbercu, €15.50 (David & Charles) ✹ The Ultimate Book of Baby Knits, by Debbie Bliss, €19.99 (Quadrille)



1 metre cotton fabric 1 metre lightweight wadding 1 metre vinyl lining fabric Matching threads 3 metre double fold bias binding 1 pair of 18mm sew-on snap fasteners

Tape measure Ruler Fabric marker pen or chalk Fabric scissors Pins Sewing machine Hand-sewing needle




Knitting & sewing resources As well as the nationwide Hickeys Home Focus chain, there are knitting and sewing (especially quilting) shops popping up all over the country, many of which offer classes or social crafting circles. Check out any in your area, or if you’d rather shop online, here are our favourite Irish online stores.

Wool: Fabric:

MI Oct Nov 2014_Baby Crafts.indd 35

Method: Using the dimensions diagram as a guide, measure and mark the shape onto the back of your cotton outer fabric, wadding and vinyl lining fabric. Cut out all three shapes. To define the fold lines and add some extra cushioning, the travel changing mat outer fabric and wadding can be quilted together using matching threads and a long straight stitch. Pin the cotton and the wadding together with the right side of the cotton facing outwards. Using the measurements given in the diagram, follow the stitching lines to quilt, working from the centre outwards.

Double-fold Bias Binding

Pin the vinyl fabric to the quilted mat top with wrong sides of the fabric together (vinyl against the wadding) and stitch all the way around the edges using a 0.5 seam allowance. To encase the raw edges of the travel mat use double-fold bias binding to finish off the open seams (see box). Fold up the mat by bringing both long sides in to meet in the middle. Then roll and fold the mat, using the quilting lines as guides, towards the protruding rectangle to create a folded flap in the front. This is where you will need to secure the popper snap.

Attach a sew-on snap fastener to the folded mat with the stud part of the snap on the inside lining at the top centre of the flap. Hand stitch with a neat and secure whipstitch. Stitch the socket part of the snap onto the front right side of the mat at the point where it will comfortably meet the stud, again with a neat and secure whipstitch.

Taken from: Sew Tiny, by Jazz Domino Holly, published by Kyle Books. Photography by Laura Edwards.

Double-fold bias binding has a shorter fold and a longer fold. Open it out and place the shorter fold lined up against the raw edge of the back of your fabric. Stitching into place along the creased fold line using a straight stitch. When you get to a corner, stop approx. 6mm in from the edge, then fold the binding up to a 45-degree angle to create a neat corner, and continue stitching 6mm in from the edges as before. Continue folding and stitching the corners until all sides are bound. Once you get back to the beginning where the two short ends meet, fold in the raw edge of the binding and stitch into place overlapping the unfolded binding to encase and finish. To secure binding to the top of the fabric, fold the binding onto the right side of the fabric, pin into place and secure using hand-sewn slipstitches or stitch on the machine as close to the edge as possible.

24/9/14 18:02:58

36 Fertility


for good fertility The fertility expert and midwife to stars including Kate Winslet, ZITA WEST, introduces us to her Eat Yourself Pregnant fertility diet, and outlines the importance of good quality supplements to a healthy diet.


ertility and nutrition are inextricably linked, and equipping your body with the essential nutrients will increase your chances of conceiving naturally. My research and experience as a practising midwife and fertility expert has shown me that good, wholesome food (and supplements as necessary) forms the bedrock of getting your body baby-ready and of making healthy eggs and sperm. Over the course of my many years in the field, I have come to the conclusion that micronutrients play a big role in getting pregnant – both naturally and through assisted conception – with deficiencies having significant effects on fertility for both men and women. Good nutrition is the foundation of the Eat Yourself Pregnant programme. The following is your one-stop-shop for the general principles you should follow when you do your food shopping. Then, with a little bit of luck and good timing, the rest will follow naturally.

Eat natural, whole foods First things first – the quality of your food is paramount. Nutrient-dense foods both nourish and satisfy you. Keep processed foods to a minimum. Base your diet around fresh vegetables, sea vegetables, nuts and seeds, fermented foods such as yogurt and kefir, beans, pulses and, if you eat animal products, include

MI Oct Nov 2014_Eating for Fertility.indd 36

free-range eggs, wild-caught fish, game and naturally reared animals. Ideally switch to organic.

Eat low-GL carbs Slow-releasing carbohydrates avoid insulin spikes. Pile your plate full of vegetables; limit fruit to two portions a day; and consume between one and two portions of whole grains daily. Avoid white refined carbohydrates, processed foods and sugars.

Eat your antioxidants Aim to include a minimum of three portions of vegetables daily and two portions of fruit.

Include gut-friendly foods Probiotics or healthy bacteria are essential for gut health and immunity. Eat fermented or cultured foods daily – including natural yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and pickled vegetables.

Focus on alkalizing foods

Plan your plate

A more alkaline diet is easier on your digestive system and will help your body maintain an acid–alkaline balance. Include plenty of alkalizing vegetables such as leafy green vegetables with each meal.

How do you fill your plate? Aim to fill half of your plate with low-carb colourful vegetables; one-quarter with good-quality protein-rich foods (fish, seafood, meat, eggs, nuts, beans, lentils); and the remaining quarter with some starchy vegetables, such as potato or sweet potato, or whole grains (for example, rice or quinoa).

Avoid low-fat foods Healthy fats and cholesterol are vital for your body, enabling the absorption of key nutrients and the production of hormones. Egg and sperm health depend upon an adequate supply of omega-3 fatty acids from oily fish and seeds. Include healthy saturated fats such as coconut oil, wild-caught fish, grass-fed meats and organic dairy and eggs, as well as monounsaturated fats such as those in extra virgin olive oil, nuts and avocados. Choose full-fat dairy foods rather than skimmed or semi-skimmed.

Drink plenty Water is essential for digestion, nutrient absorption and transportation, cell health and the removal of toxins via the liver and kidneys. Keeping hydrated will promote energy levels and clear thinking. Aim for eight glasses of water or water-based liquid daily. Herbal teas, green juices and smoothies will contribute to this target; caffeine and carbonated drink will not.

24/9/14 18:03:52

37 Fertility


The Western population shows an increasing trend towards large-scale deficiencies in iron, folic acid and magnesium; omega-3 fats; and vitamin D. There are two main reasons why. First, modern farming and processing techniques deplete food of essential nutrients. Second, modern lifestyles expose us to more toxins and chronic stress, and keep us indoors and away from natural sunlight (which we need to manufacture vitamin D). The net result is that many of us need to take supplements to put our bodies back in balance. As a baseline, I recommend that both you and your partner supplement with a quality multivitamin and mineral formula, which studies show can increase your chances of conceiving. I also recommend daily supplements of omega-3 fats (EPA and DHA) and perhaps of vitamin D and of folic acid. I also think most people will benefit from a highquality probiotic, as well as perhaps an iodine supplement (ask your nutritionist to check your iodine levels first). Use the following to guide you when choosing your products.

Multivitamin & mineral formula As well as all the main vitamins and minerals, this formula should include antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, and the minerals selenium and zinc. Ideally, it should contain at least 100 per cent of the RDV (recommended daily value) of all the main vitamins and minerals. It is available in capsules and in powdered form.

sunblock, not allowing any part of the skin to be exposed to sunlight at any time does diminish your ability to make vitamin D. In the clinic we find that almost every person we test shows some level of vitamin D deficiency. Black and Asian men and women tend to be particularly depleted, as are those who suffer from PCOS, are overweight or have coeliac disease. Spend 10 minutes every day out in the open air with sun on your face, but avoid the hours when the sun is at its hottest. Vitamin D supports the immune system and helps build healthy bone and muscle mass. It can improve blood-sugar balance and libido. Some IVF studies showed that women with higher levels in their follicular fluid were more likely to fall pregnant. For the man, higher levels of vitamin D means much better sperm motility. Check the levels of vitamin D in your daily multivitamin and mineral and then consult a nutritionist or doctor and ask for a blood test to determine whether or not you could take a further vitamin D supplement. Ideally blood levels should read between 60 and 80nmol/l. At high levels, vitamin D is toxic to your body, so don’t be tempted to supplement if you don’t need to. If your blood levels show that you do need a boost, ensure you take your supplement in the right form. Look for vitamin D3 cholecalciferol, not D2. After supplementing with vitamin D for between two and three months, ask for a further blood test to see if you should continue.

Vitamin D

Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA)

Also called the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is manufactured in your skin when you expose it to ultraviolet light. Although there are important reasons why you should use

Vital for cell membrane health, lowering inflammation and promoting good prostaglandins, omega-3 fatty acids also improve insulin sensitivity, helping to balance blood-sugar

MI Oct Nov 2014_Eating for Fertility.indd 37

levels. Fish oils are the best source of these essential nutrients, but vegetarian options are also available – ask in the store for advice.

Myo-inositol: super supplement Inositol is a term used to refer to a group of naturally occurring carbohydrate compounds that exist in various forms. The most common is myo-inositol. Often sold as a dietary supplement, it can improve insulin sensitivity and it is thought to have many benefits for hormone balance and overcoming reproductive problems. Some studies show that deficiency in this compound is linked to PCOS and that supplementation can help even out otherwise irregular cycles and perhaps even improve egg quality. Talk to your nutritionist about adding this supplement to your prepregnancy supplementation plan.

Specific supplement requirements In addition to your basic plan, consider the following according to your symptoms. For PCOS ❋ Myo-inositol (see above) ❋ N-acetylcysteine ❋ Alpha lipoic acid ❋ Chromium ❋ Magnesium For endometriosis ❋ Gamma linolenic acid ❋ Vitamin E ❋ Vitamin C ❋ Betacarotene ❋ Calcium D glucarate

24/9/14 18:04:10

38 Pregnancy

Coping with an

Incompetent Cervix An incompetent cervix can result in miscarriage, pre-term labour, or waters breaking early. DR NICOLA DAVIES looks at the risk factors for this condition, and what to look out for and ask your doctor. As pregnancy progresses and your body prepares for giving birth, your cervix gradually softens, decreases in length, and opens. In rare cases, these processes occur too early – this condition is called ‘incompetent cervix.’ An incompetent cervix can result in miscarriage, preterm delivery, or preterm premature rupture of the membranes (water bag breaking before full term). It also increases the risk for early preterm delivery (giving birth before 32 weeks).

If you experience any of these symptoms during your second trimester or if you are at risk for incompetent cervix for any reason, it would be wise to consult a doctor. MI Oct Nov 2014_Cervix.indd 38

Who is at risk for incompetent cervix? You are most likely to develop this condition if:


4 5 6



You were exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) before your own birth. DES, a synthetic form of the hormone oestrogen, was a drug formerly given to pregnant women in order to prevent miscarriage. It was later found to have many side effects on babies later in life, one of which is reproductive tract abnormalities. You have undergone cervical surgery. Some surgical procedures can contribute to the development of incompetent cervix. You have an unusually short cervix (i.e. under 2.4cm).


You have a history of incompetent cervix in previous pregnancies. You experienced cervical tearing during a previous delivery. You’ve had a second-trimester miscarriage without any known cause, or a preterm delivery that was not caused by preterm labour. You have experienced trauma to the cervix. Dilation and curettage (D&C), a procedure used to treat heavy bleeding and clear the lining of the uterus after miscarriage or abortion, can damage the cervix and sometimes lead to the condition.

How do I know if I have incompetent cervix? If you have an incompetent cervix, you might experience discomfort by week 15 to 20 of your pregnancy. Observe and listen to your body and be watchful for: a A sensation of pelvic pressure

a Back pain

a Mild abdominal cramps (like menstrual pain)

a A feeling of “heaviness”

a An increase or change in vaginal discharge

a A small amount of bleeding or spotting.

24/9/14 18:06:42

39 Pregnancy

incompetent cervix How is it diagnosed? Diagnosis of cervical incompetence is primarily based on a previous history of second or third trimester miscarriages. Some of the tests used to diagnose the condition include:

Questions to ask your healthcare provider: a Is my cervix opening? If so, how

much? a How can I make sure my

Transvaginal ultrasound: a specialised probe is inserted in the vagina to obtain images of the cervix and lower uterus.

to be present, a sample of the amniotic fluid (amniocentesis) may be tested to rule out infection of the amniotic sac first.

Pelvic/vaginal exam: this procedure enables a direct view of the cervix, allowing the examiner to check the size and shape of your uterus. It can also reveal evidence of cervical injury, congenital abnormalities, or contractions.

MRI SCANS Tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and hysterosalpingography can help detect abnormalities in the uterus that might lead to incompetent cervix, but they can’t accurately predict its occurrence. An MRI creates detailed images of the organs and tissues within the body, while hysterosalpingography uses X-rays to examine the uterus, fallopian tubes, and surrounding area.

pregnancy goes full term? a What treatments might you


Lab tests: if an ultrasound shows signs of inflammation of the foetal membranes but no infection appears

a a

a a a

recommend to help make sure my baby is born healthy? Do you recommend bed rest? Do I need to be in the hospital? What signs or symptoms might I have, and should I call you if they occur? Under what circumstances should I go to the hospital? What would happen if my baby were to be born now? What should I expect in the next weeks or months?

What your healthcare provider might ask you: a When did you first notice any

signs or symptoms? a Have you had any contractions or

How is it treated? Once an incompetent cervix is diagnosed, your doctor might advise you to rest in bed for several months. Other treatments include: Progesterone supplementation: if you have experienced a premature birth, your doctor might recommend progesterone shots during your second trimester. This treatment is only available to women pregnant with a single baby. Cervical cerclage: during this procedure, the doctor stiches a band around the opening of the cervix to keep it closed. The stiches might be removed during labour or in the last month of pregnancy. The procedure can’t be performed if the cervix is dilated by more than 4 cm, or if the water has already broken. Medications: your doctor might ask you to take medicines to prevent or stop labour contractions. Corticosteroids and Tocolytics are the most commonly prescribed medications for this condition. Use of a pessary: a plastic or rubber device that fits inside the vagina and is designed to support and lift the cervix. Further research is still needed to determine whether this is an effective treatment for incompetent cervix. Being diagnosed with an incompetent cervix can bring about feelings of anxiety about your pregnancy. However,

MI Oct Nov 2014_Cervix.indd 39

feeling anxious can negatively affect your health and your baby’s. Focus on keeping yourself healthy throughout the pregnancy. Ask your health care provider about ways of calming yourself. Research has shown that listening to soothing music and thinking about pleasant events have a calming effect. Soon, your cervix will do its job and you will be ready to give birth to a healthy baby.

a a a


changes in the amount of vaginal discharge? Have you been pregnant before? Have you had any miscarriages or cervical surgeries? How long would it take you to get to the hospital in an emergency, including the time needed to arrange for childcare and find a method of transportation? Is there anyone who could help you out with your family if you should need bed rest?

Prevention You can’t prevent an incompetent cervix — but you can do a lot to encourage a healthy, fullterm pregnancy. For example: Obtain consistent prenatal care. Prenatal visits allow for monitoring of your health and your baby’s health. Mention anything that you’ve felt or noticed, even if it seems unimportant. Maintain a healthy diet. Pregnant women need more of particular nutrients such as folic acid, calcium and iron. A daily prenatal vitamin can help prevent any deficiencies. Monitor weight gain. Gaining the proper amount of weight is important to your baby’s health. As a bonus, gaining wisely makes it easier to lose weight after delivery. A weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds (about 11 to 16 kilograms) is often recommended. If you’re overweight before you conceive, however, it would be wise if you gained less. Your health care provider can help you determine the right level of weight gain for your circumstances. Avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs. Smoking, alcohol and illegal drugs are known to be extremely dangerous to a developing foetus. And, medications of any type — even over the counter — aren’t necessarily advisable during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor first.

24/9/14 18:06:59

40 opinion

Getting out

& about Mum-of-two and NUK Ireland breastfeeding advisor Cliodna Gilroy gives some valuable advice on breastfeeding when out of the house.


ne of the most daunting prospects for new breastfeeding mothers is the first feed in a public place. I remember trying to stuff my little man before my first venture to the local shopping centre and travelling with an arsenal of bottles, readymade formula, expressed bottles, nipple shields and feeding covers and praying to God that he would sleep the whole time we were out and about. The inevitable of course happened, and after a very tentative lunch watching the baby and not listening to a word anyone was saying I thought I’d brave the shops. Finally, there in the middle of Penney’s he squirmed, he wriggles and then he wailed. Inside I could feel the ‘terrible mother alert’ and was full sure that everyone present was watching me and reporting me to the authorities. I felt an instant panic and couldn’t process the idea of getting to a private area. I grabbed the first bottle I could find in my bag and shoved it in his mouth. Crisis over and I got to keep my baby, phew. This is a feeling a lot of new mothers have about the idea of breastfeeding in public. I often meet mums-to-be who plan on breastfeeding at home, but have already made the decision not to feed in public; one of the first questions I get asked about breastfeeding is ‘when can I express?’. If you do feel like this, look at the options that are available to you before you write off breastfeeding while out and about altogether. All Irish pharmacies have a private consultation room. Don’t forget that your local Irish pharmacy is not just the shop you buy your pregnancy test in but has compassionate and well-trained staff who will try and offer you help and support if you explain your situation to them. The best thing I did to build up my courage and start breastfeeding in public was find other mothers who were in the same boat. I was following a Blog,, and Lisa (mama) encouraged me to join my local ‘Boob Group’. This was the breastfeeding support network run by the local public health nurses and was the secret

to my breastfeeding success and also where I have made some life-long friends. Every Wednesday we would meet in the local hall, talk about anything and everything from weaning off nipple shields to where you get the cheapest nappies! Then we would all pop our precious cargo in their little prams and head down to the local hotel for cake (have I mentioned that every ounce of breastmilk is worth 20 calories?) This is where I first fed my baby in public and once I’d ripped the plaster off, it didn’t seem so bad. Practice makes perfect and by the time he was four months old, I had such a good knack that I was feeding him in a full-length gown at a wedding and people didn’t bat an eye. If you are nervous about breastfeeding in public there are a few things you can do. I found wearing a string top under my t-shirt or top very handy, I could pull one up, one down and there was no (slightly untoned) tummy on show. Joining a breastfeeding group will give y o u r wonderful support as a mother and gives you the opportunity to make friends who understand what you are going through as you will have so many shared experiences. We all rely on the internet for so much these days, and when it comes to breastfeeding support it’s no different. Groups like Extended Breastfeeding Ireland are wonderful for giving you the encouragement you need. I will never forget a new mum from Roscommon putting a comment up on the site that she was in a local café and nervous about public feeding. Within minutes she had words of support and a number of local mothers who were getting into the car to join her for a cuppa! Pink swing cami, Public breastfeeding may seem scary but there €3.50, Penneys are lots of people out there willing you on, and if you ever feel that you don’t have support rest assured that I’m happy to be your cheerleader, just give me a yell on the NUK Ireland Facebook page or on Twitter @NUKCliodna.

String topg-reat makes a for cover-up ! feeding

“Practice makes perfect and by the time he was four months old, I had such a good knack that I was feeding him in a full-length gown at a wedding and people didn’t bat an eye.”

MI Oct Nov 2014_Breastfeeding.indd 40

24/9/14 18:08:06

When it comes to your baby

only the No.1 for pregnancy will do Helping to make healthy mums and babies over the last 25 years, Pregnacare® has always contained the recommended level of folic acid† and is supported by unique clinical research with mums-to-be1,2. Trust Pregnacare® for the most important time of your life.

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Before taking any medication, always check with your midwife or doctor first, as your problem may be an indication of other pregnancy related conditions which require urgent treatment.


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Prof. A. H. Beckett ** OBE, PhD, DSc (1920-2010) Professor Emeritus, University of London

Ireland's leading supplements for specific lifestages

†Folic acid contributes to maternal tissue growth during pregnancy. Pregnacare has always contained 400mcg folic acid, the level recommended for all women from the start of trying to conceive until the 12th week of pregnancy. For more information on this research, please visit 1 Agrawal, R. et al. Prospective randomised trial of multiple micronutrients in women undergoing ovulation induction, Reproductive BioMedicine Online December 2011., 2. L Brough et al. Effect of multiple-micronutrient supplementation on maternal nutrient status, infant birth weight and gestational age at birth in a low-income, multi-ethnic population. British Journal of Nutrition (2010), 104, 437-445. *A beneficial effect can be obtained from a daily intake of 200mg DHA in addition to the recommended daily intake of 250mg DHA / EPA for adults - Annex 1 of Commission Regulations (EU) No. 440/2011. ** Professor Beckett is not cited in the capacity of a health professional, but as a product inventor and former Chairman of Vitabiotics.

232755_1C_Kelkin_CMD_M&I.indd 1

25/09/2014 16:18:00

42 Maternity

Maximise your

maternity leave

Some mums relish their maternity leave while others find it lonely and hard to adjust to the change in pace and lifestyle. SIMONE KENNY GLENNON, mum to 18-month-old Étienne, offers some practical tips for getting the most out of these precious few months.


hen was the last time you had a few months off from work? For most of us, maternity leave is the first long period of work-free time in our adult life. Some women revel in this break away from the daily office grind to bond with and care for their newborn, while others find it a difficult adjustment leaving a position they were confident and competent in to undertake the new daunting role of ‘mum’. However, there is so much to look forward to during your maternity leave, and here we help you get the most out of it.

Pre-baby Most mums recommend starting your mat leave a few weeks before your due date – to unwind from work and practically and mentally prepare for your new arrival. I wish I’d done this but a week-and-a-half didn’t cut it! Sarah Cameron (32) is expecting her first child and says that although she had planned to finish work at 36 weeks, she was unprepared for the tiredness of the last trimester. “My job involves a lot of travel and this got very hard after the 32nd week. Thankfully I was able to finish up at 34 weeks. I’m so glad I have these weeks, just getting the house ready and catching up with friends and family for a cuppa and advice is well worth it.” As well as assembling all your essentials (cot, pram, installing car seat etc.) it’s a good idea to conduct some maternity leave research in advance of your baby’s arrival. Check out the locations of some groups you might like to attend (breastfeeding, mum and baby etc.), find your local health clinic where you’ll visit the public health nurse and familiarise yourself with your area generally, as you’re likely to

MI Oct Nov 2014_Maternity Leave.indd 42

spend a lot more time there once baby comes along. Admittedly this is not something many mums think to do in addition to the other 101 things! “You just assume you will somehow ‘know’ all that stuff at some point,” says Sarah, echoing what a lot of mums think.

The first few weeks You’ve probably heard this a thousand times already but it really is best to avoid making any plans during the first few weeks after the birth. That’s not to say you won’t actually do anything in the early weeks, it just means you’re not putting yourself under undue pressure to be anywhere in particular. Your birth, support network, hormones and individual little baby will all determine your level of activity so go with the flow and try to enjoy the lack of routine for now. I had no problem with this unstructured chaos but not everyone thrives under such circumstances so be mindful of your own needs. You’ll be surprised how much time is taken up with staring/cooing/feeding, changing/ soothing your new baby as well as attending appointments. However, when time allows, grab a cuppa with people you feel comfortable with and don’t have to make a huge effort with, get out for a walk (this is a must to clear your head and get some light exercise) or dip in and out of one of your parenting books to reassure yourself you’re doing a great job.

“I found it particularly helpful speaking to mums with babies who were of a similar age to my own baby.”

The first few months You will eventually establish some semblance of a routine, though this happens at different stages for each mum. Once baby starts to settle in to their own sleep and feeding pattern, it’s a bit easier to make plans. Now is a good time to catch up with people you haven’t seen or to

24/9/14 18:09:00

43 Maternity

How to maximise your maternity leave Get social While you don’t want to overstretch yourself with too many classes or commitments, most mums advise having some form of new mum network. Being at home can be lonely so other mums can be a godsend, as Ashley Healey (26), mum to threemonth-old Shay, discovered. “I think it’s important to get out and go to classes with other mums so you can share your experiences and meet new people. I’ve felt a bit lonely sometimes as it’s a long day for the two of you so if you’re feeling down just to talk to other mums or family.” Between mum and baby groups, breastfeeding support groups, baby massage and the exercise classes mentioned below, there are usually lots to choose from, and although they may not all suit, you’re bound to find one that’s a good fit. I found it particularly helpful speaking to mums with babies who were of a similar age to my own baby. You and your baby go through so many stages in such a short space of time that it’s not always easy for mums of older children to remember or relate to your particular stage. It’s also lovely sharing each of your little one’s milestones as they grow into toddlers and beyond.


start venturing further afield but don’t take on too much too soon. You may be raring to go but you’ll feel tired following the (formerly) simplest of outings. For instance, a trip to your favourite shopping haunt required little effort before. Now you’ll spend close to an hour just getting out the door and once you get there you’ll likely make several pit stops in between shops to feed/change/comfort your baby. Add in navigating your pram through crowds, clothes rails and narrow doorways to the mix and you’ll get some idea of the amount of stamina that’s required. Rest assured, however, it won’t be long until you have this down pat, but be prepared to feel exhausted after the first few excursions.

MI Oct Nov 2014_Maternity Leave.indd 43

This doesn’t have to be a gruelling workout (your baby will probably put you through one of these anyway) – anything that gets you out and keeps you active will reap great mental and physical rewards. I loved walking with my new baby, proudly showing him off while catching some sunshine and getting fresh air. I still do. Whether you choose to incorporate your baby (mum and baby yoga, sling and dance, baby swim classes) or go solo is up to you.

Useful resources n Active classes for you and your baby as well as local parent meet-ups n A directory of nationwide parent and baby groups and classes n A breastfeeding support resource that holds many local groups nationwide

Establish a routine Most babies laugh in the face of this one, but a general morning, afternoon and bedtime routine is great for you and baby if you can establish one. With a little support from loved ones, try to get your own ‘me time’ routine going too. This could consist of a designated shower time each day (maybe in the morning before your partner leaves for work or in the evening while daddy does bathtime), a weekly exercise class or a regular nail appointment.

24/9/14 18:09:15



TO WORK After so much time off to bond with your baby, the thoughts of going back to work can be difficult. Here are some tips to make the transition easier.


hether or not you have enjoyed your maternity leave or not (and don’t worry, it’s no reflection on you as a mother if you are dying to get back to work), the transition from maternity leave back to work can be tricky. Your routine might have changed, now you have childcare to think about. Or work mightn’t assume the same importance as it once did. But before you know it, you’ll be back in the thick of it - and there are some ways to make the transition as easy as possible. Firstly, you need to give your employer at least four weeks’ notice of your intention to return to work. But while that’s legally all you’re obliged to give, it’s a good idea to decide when you want to return and inform your employer as early as you can, as it gives both of you plenty of time to prepare.

MI Oct Nov 2014_Maternity Leave.indd 44


Some countries encourage ‘keeping in touch’ days, allowing women to return to the office for up to ten days to keep abreast of any changes within the company without maternity leave coming to an end. While there is no legal provision for keeping in touch days in Ireland, an informal arrangement with your employer, or an occasional coffee with colleagues will give you the chance to a) show off your little bundle of joy, b) keep up with any changes that have happened, i.e. new projects or colleagues, and c) remind you of who you were before you became a mum!



When you’re assessing your childcare situation, it’s important to factor in your finances. Childcare can be expensive, so it’s important to start your search early and consider all possibilities - créche, childminders and family members. Shop around and visit all facilities at least once or twice with your child. It’s easy to blame yourself and feel guilty that you’re in some way letting down your baby or being a bad mother for working, either for financial or your own career reasons. If you’ve made the decision to return to work, take heart in realising that it’s the decision you, as your baby’s mother, have made and that you know what’s best for your family. Plenty of women have made this decision and made it work for them. Just take it at your own pace and if you feel you’re struggling, speak to your partner and family or chat with friends and see how they manage.

If you’re leaving your baby with a regular childminder, start a routine about a month before you return. Build it up from one morning a week to at least three days just before you go back. By increasing gradually, it’ll help you build trust in your childminder and make it easier to hand your baby over in the longer term. Plus it’ll allow your baby to get used to being cared for by someone else. Separation anxiety can be crippling for mums going back to work, who might be feeling guilty about their decision and are forced to leave their baby while in distress. It’s a lot easier to walk out the door to work if your baby isn’t crying and you know they’re in safe hands. If you have chosen a créche as your method of childcare, ask about settling in days or even if you can stay with your child for an hour or so. Or, if you can afford it, pay for a few half days at the end of your maternity leave to settle your baby into the facility.


If after you’ve returned to work you’re finding it difficult to juggle motherhood and work, talk to your employer, as the options for working mothers and parents have definitely become more favourable. Have a chat with your boss about your situation and possible options such as flexitime, a cut in hours or working from home. With the current market as it is, most employers are looking to cut costs in any way they can, so a day off a week for you will cut your overall salary but also reduce your childcare costs and make you feel more present in your baby’s day-to-day life.

25/09/2014 11:22:09

232262_TWO_1C_Mothercare_CMD_M&I.indd 1 Untitled-2 1

23/9/14 10:07:27 17:42:49 25/9/14

For further information visit Available in leading pharmacies and retailers.

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All you need to know about…

Bladder Issues


“Leaking” and temporary incontinence is a potentially embarrassing problem post-childbirth – but it’s also quite common. Here’s what to know…


What causes post-partum urinary problems? Your


Am I at risk of urinary incontinence after birth? Stress incontinence is more likely among women who

ligaments and pelvic floor muscles support your bladder and keep the entrance closed to prevent urine from leaking out. These can get overstretched or strained during pregnancy (especially later in the pregnancy when the baby moves down and puts more pressure on the bladder), leading to leaking or having to visit the toilet more often. It can often continue after birth too, if the muscles don’t recover quickly enough, or if they suffer more straining during the birthing process.


give birth vaginally than by c-section, although some mums do report the problem after a section too. Some studies have shown that an assisted delivery, especially the use of forceps, can contribute to urinary issues after birth. Other risk factors that can play a part (but not necessarily) include obesity (a study has shown that women who are obese are about four times as likely to have stress incontinence), smoking, genetic predisposition, a long pushing phase during labour and repeated pregnancies and vaginal labours. Urinary issues can also affect women around the menopause, regardless of how many pregnancies they have had.



How can I help it? Firstly, remember that it’s a common problem and it will pass, so don’t feel embarrassed or panic. Stress incontinence can affect up to 70 per cent of women after giving birth. Talk to your caregiver if it is upsetting you, to rule out an infection, especially if you experience pain when urinating. Use a sanitary towel to catch any leakings, and tense your pelvic muscles when you feel a cough or a sneeze coming on. Perform regular Kegel exercises (see below). If the stress incontinence lasts for more than a month despite taking all measures to help it, talk to your doctor or obstetrician, who may eventually refer you to a specialist if the problem is ongoing. Pelvic rehab therapy can help, and occasionally surgery can fix the problem, but in the vast majority of cases this is not needed.


What are Kegel exercises and how can they help? Kegel exercises, when performed correctly, can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles – those muscles that support your bladder, rectum and uterus. They are named after a 1940s gynaecologist called Arnold Kegel, and are recommended for all women at all ages, not just during pregnancy. Regularly performing Kegel exercises can reduce the risk of stress incontinence and anal incontinence. As it also improves the muscle tone of your vagina, they can help make sex more enjoyable too. To perform a Kegel exercise, imagine that you’re trying to stop the flow of urine as you pee. The feeling is one of “squeeze and lift”. Make sure you’re not squeezing your legs or pulling in your tummy – in other words, all the work should be done by the pelvic floor muscles. Keep practicing and you’ll soon find it easy to isolate the muscles. Work up to holding a contraction for 10 seconds, resting for a few seconds and pulling in again. Make these a part of your daily routine. If you are suffering from stress incontinence, try performing a Kegel exercise when you sneeze or cough.

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How long will it last? For

many women, stress incontinence passes shortly after birth, but some report it lingering for a few weeks or months afterwards. The majority of issues clear up by themselves within a few months. The muscles supporting the bladder naturally weaken as you get older (although keeping fit and performing regular Kegel exercises can help, however), so it is not uncommon for the problem to come back a few years later or around menopause.


24/9/14 18:12:59

48 Health

Positional plagiocephaly

Flat spots or a misshapen head may look serious but it is a perfectly normal baby ailment that usually goes away of its own accord, writes RACHEL MURRAY.

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49 Health


ver the past two decades, the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) rate in Ireland has declined gradually from an average of 134 deaths per annum in the 1980s to a low of 22 deaths in 2010. This dramatic decline has been credited to the ‘Back to Sleep’ campaign, which began in the early nineties. The ‘Back to Sleep’ campaign recommends parents lie their babies on their backs to sleep, in order to reduce the risk of cot death; however, this has led to an increase in the number of babies with non-harmful positional plagiocephaly, known more commonly as flat head syndrome. Positional plagiocephaly usually develops after birth when babies spend time in a position that puts pressure on one part of the skull. Because their skull is soft and pliable when they are born, the pressure can sometimes lead to a flat spot or their head to be misshapen. Professor Naomi McCallion, for neonates at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and consultant neonatologist at the Rotunda Hospital and Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, explains why the condition occurs: “The newborn flat head syndrome is generally just a response to a baby lying in a certain position for a lot of the time and some babies prefer to turn their head one way over the other. Because a baby’s head is very soft at that age, you can have a short term flattening of a baby’s head due to lying in the same position for long periods. “For most children there is no underlying cause, some children, a minority, might have a little tightening of muscle on one side of their neck. When that happens, baby needs a little bit of physiotherapy to sort out the flat head but most of time simple positioning of baby’s head to the opposite side when they are asleep and encouraging babies to look in the other direction works really well. You can do this by feeding and talking to them from another angle or by putting stimulating toys in the opposite direction.”

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common problem Flat head syndrome is incredibly common and is usually seen by the time a baby has her six-week check-up, according to Professor McCallion. “We would say to parents that it’s important to get your GP or paediatrician to examine the flat spot at a routine check-up just to make sure baby is moving the head properly. Occasionally flat head syndrome can be seen in the womb when babies have been sitting in a certain way but most of the time we see it at the normal six week check-up.” A study carried out at Calgary’s Mount University, Canada, found that nearly half of the 440 babies studied between the ages of seven to 12 weeks had the condition. Of the babies with flat head syndrome, the study found that 78 per cent had a mild form, while 19 per cent of cases were moderate and the remaining 3 per cent were severe. In the US flat head syndrome is sometimes treated with the use of helmets, however, Professor McCallion says these are not recommended in Ireland. “Helmets are expensive, they’re awkward and this is a condition that goes away whether or not a child wears a helmet.” If baby has tightness in the neck muscle called the torticollis, there are simple, very gentle physiotherapy exercises that parents can be shown how to do. Flat head syndrome is what is called a benign or self-limiting condition, meaning it is not harmful and will go away of its own accord. It’s a short-term issue that usually clears up once baby gets a bit stronger and starts to lift his head.

Tips to treat

✹ Sleeping: Alternate the direction of baby’s head when he is sleeping. Do this by turning your baby’s head to the opposite side or lay him down at opposite side of his bed at night. Approach baby’s cot from the other direction or hang baby’s mobile outside the cot to focus his attention on the opposite side of the flat spot.

✹ Warning: Do not use positioners to get baby to keep their head to one side. This increases the risk of SIDS and suffocation. ✹ Feeding: If you are bottle feeding, alternate sides (this is automatically done when you are breastfeeding).This will reduce pressure on the flat spot. ✹ Sitting: Avoid leaving baby for long periods of time in a car seat, bouncer or baby swing where his head is most likely to rest in the same spot.

✹ Tummy time: Supervised tummy time is essential to a baby’s motor skills development and it helps to prevent flat head syndrome by strengthening baby’s neck muscles. Stronger neck muscles enable babies to move their head around while sleeping so it doesn’t always rest in the same position. Tummy time can start from when baby is just a few days old. The earlier you start the better as some babies do not like lying on their belly and need a little getting used to. Tummy time should start with just a minute or two and gradually increase as baby gets stronger. ✹ Physical therapy: If baby has a little tightening of the neck, your doctor may recommend physiotherapy therapy exercises to help increase the range of motion in your baby’s neck. These must be done gently but consistently.

“Occasionally flat head syndrome can be seen in the womb but most of the time it has developed by the six-week checkup.”

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50 Development

Pre-school bullies? Children of pre-school age often display aggressive behaviour towards their peers – but does this mean that they’ll be bullies in the future? And can you do anything about it? BRENDA MCCORMICK investigates...

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51 Development do’, but when it comes to these actions in preschool children, the situation is not that clear cut. In fact, the term ‘bullying’ shouldn’t really be used at all.

By any other name


t has to be one of the most upsetting situations for parents: a child being bullied or indeed a child being a bully. It’s an emotional minefield too with defensive parents, upset children and angry accusations often bandied about. And when the problem starts in very young children it can be all the more worrying. If that kind of behaviour develops in a pre-school child, are they destined for a life of being known as ’the bully’? Not necessarily. The Cambridge Dictionary defines bullying as: ‘to hurt or frighten someone who is smaller or less powerful than you, often forcing that person to do something they do not want to

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For this sort of behaviour to be termed bullying there has to be a particular intention behind it and an awareness of the effect it will have on the other child. According to Jennifer Ryan, psychologist and founder of My Life Solutions, a not-for-profit organization that offers support in environments where bullying occurs (, small children are just not capable of that yet. “Bullying has a very specific definition and in order for bullying to happen it has to have power,” she explains. “There has to be an intention to cause harm and there has to be repetition. No child of pre-school age has the understanding that they’re causing somebody else harm, they don’t have that level of empathy development. There’s no intention, so we can’t call it ‘bullying’. Is there another term for it? Not really, I think it’s just kids finding their position in a peer group.” Marie Therese Quinn, owner of Blossoms Montessori in Rathfarnham, Dublin, agrees that the bullying label doesn’t apply to such young children. “Most pre-school children can be very selfcentred at times and children with strong personalities can tend to domineer and be overbearing towards their peers,” she says. “Sure, pre-school children can be a bit aggressive at times, but it comes from their lack of understanding of how to behave socially and how to negotiate for what they want and regulate their emotions.” Removing the label of ‘bullying’ from aggressive behaviour in such small children may seem a little irrelevant; after all, there is most likely an upset child at the receiving end and the effect on them is very real, but to be branded a bully is something a child can carry through life. It’s also important for parents to understand that this behaviour is just a part of their child testing the boundaries (much like the crying fits in the shopping centre or stubborn refusal to eat vegetables). It does not mean that their child will grow into a bully, but if it is left unchecked at this stage, it can undoubtedly develop into a problem.

Solving the problem Children of this age are always supervised, which gives the adults in their lives the opportunity to catch such behaviour before it

becomes problematic. Parents and childcare workers need to call a halt to the child’s action and it has to be handled gently, firmly and, most importantly, consistently. “Consistency is the key to tackling the problem,” Marie Therese explains. ”If each time the child behaves aggressively, it is clearly explained to them in a serious tone that this is not acceptable, then he/she will learn over time.” Ignoring the behaviour (as long as another child is not being harmed) can also be effective. If the child is lashing out for the attention, and are ignored every time, they will soon realise it’s not worth the effort. Focusing on the hurt child, rather than the ‘perpetrator’ can also emphasise the idea that this acting out isn’t really producing the right response for them.” The situation also gives parents a chance to help develop empathy in their child. Focus on self-empathy, ask them how they‘re feeling and acknowledge that it‘s okay for them to have those feelings too. “A lot of parents rush in and say, ‘don’t be silly, why are you angry about that? That’s silly’. It’s not silly, anger is perfectly normal and it’s fine that they’re angry about whatever they’re angry about.” Jennifer says. “I would sit down and explain to your child, ‘When you do this you make somebody sad,’ and in the next situation, ‘Are you sad when that happens?’ You’re getting them to understand their own emotions. Encourage that sense of responsibility. Instead of ‘You’ve done wrong’, say ‘You’ve made them sad, what are we going to do about this? How are we going to make this better?’” The other side of this situation, of course, is the other child, the one who has been at the receiving end. No parent wants to hear their child has upset another but the problem does have to be addressed, calmly and without accusation. If the incident happened in day care, talk to the staff and ask if they’d seen anything that occurred or if not, if they could keep an eye out. It can be even more tricky if your child was in the care of another parent when the incident occurred. “I usually advise not engaging with the other parent but if your child comes home upset from a play date approach the other parent in an non-accusatory manner,” Jennifer advises. Ultimately, this sort of behaviour in young children is a part of them testing the boundaries and seeing what behaviour is appropriate, which is all a natural part of their development. It’s important to remember too that a problem at this age doesn’t mean a child will be aggressive or a bully in the future.

“Pre-school children can be a bit aggressive at times, but it comes from their lack of understanding of how to behave socially and how to negotiate what they want and regulate their emotions.”

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52 Development

Dealing with aggressive behaviour n Respond quickly: As soon as you see aggressive behaviour, intervene with a time out. n Be consistent: The sooner your child realises that aggressive behaviour results in a time out, the sooner she will learn that it’s not a good idea. n Discuss the situation: After your toddler has cooled down, talk about the situation and what made her angry. Show that it’s okay to be angry, but suggest better ways to communicate this anger. n Encourage responsibility: Show your child how to take responsibility for her actions, e.g. clean up the spilt crayons or say sorry to her friend. n Reward good behaviour: Instead of always punishing your child, show them that good behaviour gets rewards. n Team up: Make sure the other adults in your child’s life (eg teachers or carers) act the same way when she displays aggressive behaviour.

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54 Activities

Beat the Boredom The evenings (and afternoons) are getting darker, midterm is loomng, and that familiar plaintive cry “I’m bored” is getting louder and louder… What can you do to help keep them occupied this autumn (and save your sanity in the process?)

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55 Activities

Dealing with the whine


here is a curious time between babyhood and the ages of eight or nine, where children are getting more and more active, yet still need guidance on what to do. They’re not quite at the age where they can occupy themselves for long periods of time with hobbies and their friends (although playdates are an excellent idea), but they are very active, inquisitive and easily bored. Their attention span isn’t great too, so simple activities lasting for a maximum of half an hour or so is needed. Trouble is, there are a lot of half hours in a long day! So what do you do? You want to help keep them occupied and happy (more experienced parents will tell you that a bored child is a naughty and whiny child), but you also want to encourage them to be more independent and creative with their play, rather than leading them in everything. We reached out to some Irish mums and asked them for their eight best tips on dealing with bored children – with darker days on the way, this is invaluable advice to cut out and keep!

Get out and about “My biggest piece of advice is to forget about the weather and just get out and about. Invest in raingear (Dunnes always has a great selection of wellies and rainsuits) and go out and splash in puddles. Parks are beautiful at this time of the year with lots of leaves to crunch through and things to see. Forget about the washing and the mess in the car and get out and remember what it’s like to be a child again.” Aine, mum to Sean (4)

Masking tape fun

Furniture obstacle course “Children are energetic and need to run around, but if it’s wet outside, it can be difficult to burn off all that excess energy. Try bringing an outdoor activity inside by creating an obstacle course with cushions and furniture, pitching a “tent” with sheets, or even investing in an indoor bouncy castle if your room is big enough. Create an indoor tournament with homemade medals and prizes – hopping, catching a soft ball or balloon, balancing or dancing can all be deemed “Olympic” sports.” Denise, mum to Finn (5)

Lego towns “Don’t underestimate the power of the brick! Forget about the fancy sets that build just one thing and instead get bumper packs of plain bricks. Paint a piece of chipboard with a road and grass, and help your child build a number of houses to make your very own Lego town. Hours and hours of fun!” Amanda, mum to Kerry-Ann (6) and Thomas (4)

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“I discovered the power of masking tape purely by accident when we were doing up the house. It can be used for all manner of things – from making race tracks for cars on the floor to creating indoor hopscotch without any lasting mess. Or simply create a “goal” with masking tape and have a competition to see who can score the most goals by throwing a ball or a beanbag into the masking tape area.” Maria, mum to Sean (6) and Connor (4)

If there’s one thing that grates on parents’ nerves, it’s whining children. But unfortunately kids learn at an early age that whining is a great way to “get” at their parents and maybe even get what they were looking for – all by being as annoying as they possibly can. Whining is to toddlers as crying is to babies – as a way of getting attention. It is usually borne out of tiredness or frustration. Here’s how to deal with the whine:

✹ Rule out issues like hunger or tiredness by sticking to regular meals/snacks and good naps for younger children. Remember that boredom can sometimes end in whining so make sure your child has an outlet for pent-up energy, eg a bit of fresh air and a run around the park can help immensely.

✹ Whining can happen in kids as young as two or three, but often they don’t know what they sound like. Try talking back to them in an exaggerated whine – “why areee youuuu talkiiiing liiike thaaat?” – at best they might realise how silly they sound, and at least they might laugh and forget about whining. ✹ Making a game of it can work – or at least, again, make them laugh. Offer to bring them through the Whine Wash, a washing machine to get rid of the whines, or tell them to put the whine in the bin and come back and talk properly. ✹ For older kids, tell them that you can’t understand what they’re saying when they put on a whiny voice. When they’re ready to talk normally, then you can listen and reply to them. It’s important to be consistent and ignore them until they start talking normally again. ✹ Again for older kids, a charting system or a “whine jar” can help. Every time they whine, they have to put a few cents of their pocket money into their jar, or they lose a privilege. ✹ Use praise when a child resolves something without whining – or changes their voice when you tell them to.

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56 Activities

Pumpkin Know-How Make the most of occasions like Halloween “Halloween is like a beacon of activity in the long days of autumn. We prepare for weeks for it, getting and carving a pumpkin, making spooky cupcakes, painting masks and ghosts, crafting our own trick or treat bags and decorating the house. There are loads of great Halloween costumes in the shops, but whatever we get or decide to dress up as, I encourage the kids to think about how they can customize their outfit. For instance, a witch needs a broomstick and perhaps a bag shaped like a cauldron. We then get creative and make these together.” Alicia, mum to Hayden (7), Charlie (5) and Millie (3)

Get messy

Halloween ain’t Halloween without a pumpkin! Follows these tips to make sure this year’s pumpkin is the envy of the street ✹ Take your time in choosing your pumpkin, opting the biggest one you can find (bigger ones are easier to carve). Avoid any with bruises or moldy stems as they will spoil faster. Look for a pumpkin with a lighter colour, as these can be softer and therefore easier to carve. ✹ To prepare the pumpkin, wash it well and dry it. Cut out the top with a sharp knife held at a 45-degree angle to create a little “ledge” for the top to sit in once the inside is cleared. Clean out the pumpkin thoroughly, using an ice cream scoop or a metal serving spoon. Scrape the back wall as smooth as possible as the light will be reflected from this surface. The clean pumpkin can be soaked for a couple of hours in a weak bleach solution (a teaspoon to about four litres of water) to improve its lasting power. Dry well and rub a

little vegetable oil or petroleum jelly to stop it from shriveling. ✹ To carve, first choose your design – the internet has lots of inspiration! If you are a beginner, go with something simple. Create a template with paper, and trace your design on the front of the pumpkin. Use a very sharp knife to cut your design into the pumpkin. To make the pumpkin more stable, consider cutting the bottom to help it sit better – but make sure the hole in the bottom is big enough to sit over your light or candle.

✹ If you are using a candle to light your pumpkin, leave the top off or create a “chimney” in the back of the pumpkin. Never leave it unattended. ✹ The best and safest way to light a pumpkin is to use a small battery-operated flameless candle.

TIP: Sprinkle the bottom side of the pumpkin lid with nutmeg or cinnamon to create a lovely scent in the room.

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“Nobody makes a mess quite like a child – and nobody loves it more when a mess is actually allowed and encouraged by their parents! Clear away anything valuable, cover the surfaces with old cloths or newspapers, put the kids in overalls, and let them mess with washable paints or papier mache. Try painting with feet and hands, or creating shapes by making stamps with household bits and pieces like egg cartons or even fruit and veg!” Sinead, mum to Amelie (3)

Cook it up “Kids adore cooking and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Rice Krispie cakes or a cupcake kit is enough cooking for them when they’re little. As they get bigger, graduate to cookies and let them cut out the shapes and decorate with icing. Even better, let them wash up afterwards – you’ll be amazed at how much pleasure they get out of messing with bubbly water in the sink (just turn a blind eye to the inevitable water everywhere – it’s only water!)” Katy, mum to Daniel (8), Bobby (5) and Cillian (2)

Pirate adventures “Impress your kids by setting up a pirate island in your living room. Create a pirate map, decorate a box like a treasure chest and designate part of the room as the pirate island. Give your kids bandanas and eye patches and tasks to complete and treasure to find. It takes a little bit of preparation, but your kids will be engaged for hours playing adventures made up in their own heads long after your idea has been exhausted!” Mary, mum to Jenny (10), Maggie (8), Ann-Marie (6), Grace (4) and Jack (1)

Ditch the phone “If you’re a busy working mum with lots of projects on the go, it’s difficult to let go when your work is so easily accessible on a smart phone. But believe me, children know when your attention is elsewhere and before you know it, they are fighting and whining and torturing the dog! Leave your phone in your bag and concentrate on them while you are playing with them – you can catch up on emails when they are having a snack or a break.” Penny, mum to Danny (3) and Ellie (1)

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58 Family Relationships

Boundary control

Your parents and in-laws are the best; they’ll look after your little ones, pick them up from the crèche and bring them for days out. But what happens when your child’s grandparents push the boundaries or undermine your parenting? LAURA BURY discovers how you can deal with a tricky situation…

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59 Family Relationships


randparents can be an extremely positive influence on your children’s lives. It’s wonderful for them to have a relationship with your little one, but when you feel they’re overstepping boundaries or undermining your parenting, it can have a detrimental effect on your relationship. “I come across this issue a lot,” says relationship expert and psychologist Trish Murphy. “And it’s not just between parents and their son or daughter – it can often be an issue with in-laws.”

Different strokes Different families have different ways of parenting and views on comfortable levels of contact, and access can vary from family to family; this can often cause difficulties for daughtersand sons-in-law. “You have people who have, what they would see as, quite normal contact with their grandchildren; however, their daughter- or son-in-law simply don’t have the same view,” explains Trish. “You can have grandparents who would see themselves as quite competent, however, they’re not allowed have the kind of access to their grandchildren that they’d like and they’re afraid to tackle the issue because they’re afraid to upset their son- or daughterin-law.” And boundary issues don’t just crop up in relation to access, it can also be unwanted advice or nit-picking that can be not only irritating, but also quite upsetting. “It can be very hard on parents, particularly new parents, because it feels like criticism. “Grandparents will always give advice on what they think you should or shouldn’t do, but if they’re overdoing it or it’s upsetting you, remember they can say what they want but you absolutely don’t have to take it on board or implement it,” Trish explains.

Mum knows best It’s probably difficult to see things from their perspective when they’ve gotten on your last nerve; however it can be hard, particularly for Irish mammies, to let go of the matriarchal role in the family. Trish explains further. “The position of power in families has been the mother –

“It’s probably difficult to see things from their perspective; however, it can be hard, particularly for Irish mammies, to let go of the matriarchal role in the family.”

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60 Family Relationships


case study “I got so stressed out that my partner practically forced me to sit down and talk to her about it” Clare, 34, her partner and their 20-month-old son moved in with her mum in January to save money for their own house. “Myself, my partner and our 20-month-old son moved back in with my mum in January as we’re trying to save up to buy our own place. Now, my mum is amazing and I love her dearly, but she started to grate on my nerves pretty much the instant we moved in. She’s very active and would spend lots of time playing with my son, who she completely dotes on. But when it came to me she would constantly criticise my parenting – telling me how I should put him to bed, what I should be feeding him, how I should be feeding him, even how I should be washing his clothes. And that just made it a really uncomfortable environment for all us to be in. It felt like constant nit-picking and criticism of me as a mother and it got to the stage that I just wanted to move out. Don’t get me wrong, I was grateful to her letting us stay, but I just couldn’t put up with it any longer. Eventually I was so stressed out, my partner practically forced me to sit down and talk to her about it. I took her out for a coffee and pretty much poured everything all out – probably saying more than I should have. She was initially taken aback that I’d kept all this in and that I felt that she didn’t think I was a good mum, but we had a proper chat then and I found out that she didn’t mean to be calling my parenting skills into question, she was just trying to be helpful. So we agreed that I’d be more open to listening to her advice, and she’d be less open about giving it! And three months later we’re all in a much better place. I’m far less stressed, my son is happy and I try not to let my mum’s “helpful suggestions” get to me!”

they have traditionally looked after the household, the finances, and the family – and when you move to grandmother, some of that goes, and I suspect that a lot of nit-picking and advice is just them trying to hold on to that sway. “There’s a shift for them once they become grandparents and I think it puts them in a position of accepting that they are now in a different place. But also, within that there’s a possibility that they could get so much joy, fun, such a huge amount out of this that it would be a shame to not allow that to happen.” So if your parents or in-laws are being overbearing when it comes to your children, what should you do? “Not seeing what they say as criticism is the key,” says Trish. “In other words, you try to listen to what they say, but you give yourself complete freedom not to act on their advice.” In Ireland we’re not the best at speaking about our problems, and although tackling the issue is essential, Trish says it’s important to pick a suitable time. “When you find that you’re annoyed about something your parents have done with your child or said to you, it’s not the time to deal with it. You should wait until you’ve calmed down. Tackling it when emotions are high is really not a good idea.”

Review and review again Financial issues and more families with both parents working have meant that grandparents

are taking on the role of childminder more and more. It’s fantastic to be able to put your children in the hands of someone you know cares for them, but to make sure that you don’t have issues in the future it’s important to sit down and discuss how it’s going to work and come to an agreement that you’re all happy with. So you need to lay down the boundaries before they get crossed. “The earlier you tackle something the easier it is, the more honest you sound, the more real it is. If you wait, resentment can build and what you’re trying to get across can come out all wrong.” Trish has this advice: “We have to be brave enough to have those conversations that we don’t have in families. Sit down together and discuss the situation, discuss the plan – what kind of food you’d like your little one to have, when you’d like them to nap – and then you say let’s try this for, say, two months. Don’t just allow it to go on, you sit down and review the situation then so everyone in the equation is happy – both sides have a voice in this. “We must also acknowledge that children have been minded by their grandparents and extended family for generations, that there’s something very natural about it – so the first thing is to be optimistic about that, because you know the grandparents are going to love the child, which is crucial. Knowing that, having someone mind your child that you know actually loves them, it’s fantastic.”

“The earlier you tackle something the easier it is, the more honest you sound, the more real it is. If you wait, resentment can build and what you’re trying to get across can come out all wrong.”

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Home is the place where memories are made. There are 5,000 people homeless in Ireland. One in seven people accessing homeless services is a child. By remembering Focus Ireland in your Will, you can provide more people with a place to call home, a place to create their own happy memories. We understand that when making your Will, you’ll want to care for those closest to you first, but once you have, any contribution to Focus Ireland can make such a big difference. Please contact Pauline Costello in Focus Ireland, in complete confidence, on 01 881 5900. Thank you.

1850 204 205


25/09/2014 10:59:22

62 Annabel Karmel recipes



Get the kids involved in these yummy Halloween recipes from Annabel Karmel. They’re easy to make and tasty for both the small and the big kids in your house – perfect for your own spook-tastic October feast!

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24/9/14 18:21:40

63 Annabel Karmel recipes

See opposite

Mummy Muffins Preparation: 25 minutes Cooking: 20 minutes Makes: 12 ✹ ✹ ✹ ✹ ✹ ✹ ✹ ✹ ✹ ✹ ✹

225g (8oz) plain flour 1 tbsp baking powder 125g (4 ¼ oz) butter softened 125g (4 ¼ oz) caster sugar ¼ tsp salt 1 egg 200ml milk 1 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp ground cinnamon 100g (3 ½ oz) sultanas 125g (4 ½ oz) pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and grated

10g butter, softened 25g icing sugar, sifted 1 tsp vanilla essence 1 tbsp boiling water Mini Smarties Black writing icing

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/ Gas 6 and line a muffin tin with 12 muffin cases. Put all the ingredients into a freestanding electric mixer and whisk until blended. Spoon into the cases. Bake for 20–25 minutes until well risen and lightly golden on top. Transfer the muffins to a cooling rack. To make the icing, gradually mix the butter with the icing sugar, and then stir in the vanilla and enough boiling water to make a good piping consistency. Using a flat piping nozzle, pipe the strips of muslin onto the mummy. Add mini Smarties for the eyes, and draw on the pupils using the writing icing.

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Icing and decoration: ✹ ✹ ✹ ✹ ✹ ✹


Witches’ Cupcakes Preparation: 10 minutes Cooking: 25 minutes Makes: 12 cupcakes ✹ 110g unsalted butter at room temperature ✹ 200g caster sugar ✹ 2 large eggs ✹ 150g self-raising flour, sifted ✹ 125g plain flour, sifted ✹ Half tsp baking powder ✹ 150 ml semi skimmed milk ✹ 1 tsp grated lemon zest

Icing and decoration: ✹ 200g icing sugar ✹ 80g unsalted butter at room temperature ✹ 1 tbsp lemon juice ✹ 2 tbsp cream cheese

✹ ✹ ✹ ✹

(Or use ready made frosting) Oreo Cookies Hershey’s Kisses Matchmaker chocolates Red fondant (or white fondant coloured red)

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper cupcake cases. To make the cupcakes, measure all of the cake ingredients into a bowl. Whisk together until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases until two thirds full. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until and they are raised and lightly golden. To check they are cooked you can insert a skewer or toothpick into the centre of one of the cakes and it should come out clean. Remove from the

oven, allow to cool down a little and then arrange the cupcakes on a wire rack to cool down completely. To make the frosting, sift the icing sugar and gradually beat it into the butter using an electric mixer until smooth. Slowly beat in the lemon juice and cream cheese at the end. Chill until needed. Pipe the icing on top of the cupcake using a piping bag with a star shaped nozzle. Alternatively use ready make frosting. To make the witch’s hat, separate the Oreo cookies that are sandwiched together and scrape out the filling. Using a little of the icing attach a Hershey’s Kiss to the split cookie to form the hat.

25/09/2014 10:09:25

64 Annabel Karmel recipes

Pumpkin Oranges Preparation: 5 minutes Cooking: 10 minutes Makes: 6 oranges ✚ 6 large oranges ✚ 2 x 135g/5oz packets of jelly

Prepare the jelly according to the packet instructions, but using slightly less water so it is a little firmer, then put in the fridge to set. Cut a slice from the stalk end of each orange. Cut out eyes, a nose and a mouth shape using a sharp, pointed knife. Hollow out the oranges using a small sharp knife and spoon so that you are left with just a shell. Fill with chopped jelly.

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24/9/14 18:22:36

65 Annabel Karmel recipes

Vegetable Skeleton Dip Preparation: 10 minutes Cooking: 5 minutes Makes: One large skeleton to share Sweet Chilli and Sour Cream Dip: ✹ 100g cream cheese ✹ 100g soured cream ✹ 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce (or to taste) ✹ 1 tsp lime juice

Decoration: ✹ ¼ cucumber, sliced ✹ ½ carrot, peeled and sliced in half

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✹ ✹ ✹ ✹ ✹ ✹ ✹

3 mushrooms, sliced 2 sticks celery 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced 2 broccoli florets A handful of salad cress Black pitted olive, sliced Red pepper

First make the dip. Beat the cream cheese until smooth, then beat in the sour cream, sweet chilli sauce and lime juice. Cover and chill until needed. Arrange the vegetables on a board to make the skeleton (save a little of the carrot and pepper for the face). Transfer the dip to a small bowl and add the cress, olive slices, carrot and pepper to make the face.

For lots more fun ideas download Annabel’s Essential Guide to Feeding Your Baby & Toddler app. Access more than 200 delicious recipes, as well as a host of features to keep your family on track and enjoying meal times. Download the new version from the App Store now (£3.99/€4.98approx) or visit

24/9/14 18:23:22

The Essential App for Feeding your Baby & Toddler

Download Annabel’s best-selling Guide to Feeding Your Baby & Toddler for instant access to 200 delicious, easy-to-follow recipes as well as a whole host of new interactive features.

Download now Join us at for exclusive recipes, competitions and offers annabelkarmel

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25/09/2014 11:07:13

67 Life after baby

Chores Romance V

It looks like us Irish women need to get our priorities in order – new research conducted by P&G Ireland shows that over half (57 per cent) of women would prefer a clean and tidy home over a romantic night in with their partner. But nearly seven out of ten (65 per cent) of men would prefer a romantic night in than a clean house! There are two ways to take this – either the women surveyed are yearning for their partners to do a bit of tidying up after themselves or Irish men are a lot more romantic than we gave them credit for! Either way, we reckon there’s a lot to be said for leaving the washing up until the morning and enjoying some couple time with the one you love.

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24/09/2014 18:35:37

68 style

secrets to a:


minute face

You’re a busy mum on the go – but you don’t want to look like you’ve just fallen out of bed (even if you have). So how do some other mums look so effortlessly flawless? The secret is in clever products that work quickly and some nifty little tricks…


e’ve all been there. The baby is teething and you’ve been up half the night with her, the toddler is whining all. the. time, and you’re knackered. But you still have to head into work or do the school run and face the public. What

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do you do? The temptation is to scrape back the hair into a ponytail and throw on a coat over the jeans that your baby helpfully spat up on, but just a few minutes and some clever products can help you feel so much better about your day, and yourself in the process.

Face facts First we’ll tackle the face. The secret to a complexion that’s easy to deal with on even the worst of mornings is maintenance. So no matter how tired you are, clean your face and apply moisturiser before you go to bed. You’ll appreciate it in the morning. Even better, if you have a minute to spare, try a quick-acting brightening mask like REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial, €38, a gel formula that contains boswellic acid, magnesium and stabilized 10 per cent Vitamin C. This is a powerful product so if you have particularly sensitive skin you may want to opt for a simpler exfoliant like Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, €51.20, and use it regularly.

24/09/2014 18:39:21


MAKEUP IN A MINUTE If you look after your skin, makeup should be a relatively easy process. Naturally good skin doesn’t need a foundation at all, but to even out the skin tone and minimise fine lines, a good primer like Smashbox Photofinish Foundation Primer, €35, can be worn alone. If you need a little more coverage, a good BB cream, or a CC cream if you need to correct uneven pigmentation, can be quickly applied. We love Garnier BB Cream, €14.99. If you prefer more of a bronzed look, SEVENTEEN Instant GLOW Skin WOW Tan, €7.59, is a clever all-in-one product that can applied in a flash.

CLEVER DISGUISES All this is well and good, but what about if you don’t have even a couple of minutes? Try these little tricks:


DIRTY HAIR? If you have a fringe, dampen and blowdry just your fringe while slicking the rest back into a neat ponytail. Or have a tin of dry shampoo, such as Batiste Dry Shampoo, €3.79, to hand for any days when your hair could do with a wash but you don’t have time. Or, if all else fails, try a hat!

2 3

DISGUISE TIRED EYES While most of us are au fait with brightening and lightening undereye concealers (but beware of using these to excess if you’re a fan), real signs of tiredness can be seen between the lashes and the brows. Well-defined brows can take years off a face – and add hours of sleep – but if your’s are looking less than perfect, try using a bit of Vaseline to groom any unruly hairs and a product like BeneFit’s High Brow, €21.50, which can define your brow shape and even disguise little out-of-place hairs. To take away any redness on your lids, opt for a matte flesh- or cream-toned powder shadow, or a specific product like BeneFit’s Lemon Aid, €24, which counteracts any redness. If you want to really open up the eyes, use a coat of a glossy mascara like No.7’s Lovely Lashes, €16.95, a fuss-free formula that contains Argan oil to nourish your lashes.

CHEEKY BLUSH & NATURAL LIPS If running around has you looking a little wan and pale, a little cream blush rubbed with the fingers into the apples of your cheeks can give you a warm glow. Go for an easy, portable product like No7’s Pop & Glow Cream Blush in Watermelon, €12.95 – simply smoothe a little onto your cheeks and rub in gently. Lips need little work other than gentle exfoliation with your toothbrush and some tinted glossy lip balm like Burt’s Bees’ Lip Shine, €9.95. Slick on and pop into your pocket for later on!

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Fedora, €28, Next Batiste Dry Shampoo, €3.79 Cape, €59.99, New Look


Instead go for a nice compromise such as a cover-all cape or a wrap coat. A QUICK WAY TO LOOK GROOMED with only 30 seconds to spare is to concentrate on perfect red lips – we like Yves Saint Laurent’s Rouge Pur Couture The Mats in Red Rhythm, €33. Use a lip brush to apply and remember to blot and reapply. Add sunglasses and you don’t have to worry about your eyes looking tired. (Just promise us that you won’t try this trick on a dark Irish rainy morning – it’s not worth the odd looks you’ll get!)

Wrap trench, €99, Michelle Keegan @ Lipsy

Sunglasses, €315, Giorgio Armani @ Brown Thomas

ON OUR SHOPPING LIST Five things we’re splashing out on this autumn Bag, €57.50, Star by Julien Macdonald @ Debenhams

Burgundy PU dress, €35, Dunnes Stores 2

Kimono top, €313, Pennys

Dunnes Stores recently wowed the Irish fashion world with a forward-looking impressive Autumn/ Winter fashion show – and all at their trademark bargain prices!

looks great with skinnies and boots. This one from Penneys is a bargain at €13.

The Kimono top is the perfect coverup for chillier days and

Eye Quartet Mineral Palette, €41, Clarins

Haircare from €18.50, Kiehls

We are ridiculously excited by the new Damage Repairing & Rehydrating Haircare range from Kiehl’s. Inspired by the brand’s extensive apothecary and botanical

expertise, the collection consists of shampoo, conditioner and a leave-in treatment, with prices starting at €18.50. A cross-body bag is so handy when you need your hands free to deal with the kids, and this one from Debenhams adds

a gorgeous pop of colour to any dull wintery outfit. We will take anything from the Clarins Autumn/ Winter collection! Full of natural shades that can be built up for dramatic looks, this collection is literally for everyone.

24/09/2014 18:40:23

Stockists of leading brands including:


Protect your baby’s chest ( from dribble and goo) with


- Midwife endorsed The new built-in liner keeps wet out. Natural, breathable yet waterproof, thermo-regulating & hypo-allergenic. Road-tested by babies - (loved by Mums)

Also expert advice & fitting of carseats guaranteed Riversdale Shopping Centre, Mill Road, Midleton, Co. Cork

Available at selected McCabes Pharmacy Online: (10% Discount Code - Maternity1) (worldwide Free Shipping - Over €30)

021 463 6060 •

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16/7/14 12:16:46 26/8/14 17:08:36


HER LIFE .ORG Nowing oll Enr


We provide full & part-time care for babies, wobblers, toddlers, pre-school, ECCE, CETS & Afterschool children. Sibling discount available. want the best for your child. Call 01 - 419 9999

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Page 70 SELF HELP FILLER.indd 1


In Africa, the hand that rocks the cradle also tills the field. In addition to raising children, preparing food, carrying water and collecting firewood, African women do up to 80% of the farm work. But they get as little as 5% of the support in training, seeds, land and credit. You can change this. Add your name to the petition to demand increased support for African women farmers. Find out more at

Text ‘PETITION’ followed by your name to 57856

Petition organised by

Texts will be charged at your standard network rate

12/9/14 12:00:50

25/09/2014 11:05:08


Blanket stitch cape, €45, Topshop Best of British dress, €202.99, Marks & Spencer

Gold tone multi chain statement necklace, €17, River Island

Tipped loop boyfriend waist and hip belt, €14.22

Frontstrap handheld bag, €45.50, ASOS

Tinkerbell, €225, Dune




Scala chunky platform sandals, €78, Topshop

This issue we take our inspiration from the Burberry Prosum AW14 collection to create outfits featuring autumnal colours, trench coats with a sheepskin finish and the must-have accessory for winter, the blanket poncho.

Leopard print sheer crop top, €33, River Island

Jacquard scarf, €29.95, Zara

Vernon brocade flared skirt, €320, Harvey Nichols Suede shopper, €83.95, White Stuff

Mary Portas faux sheepskin aviator jacket, €164, House of Fraser

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Kurt Geiger Jupiter heels, €150, Brown Thomas

25/09/2014 11:42:40

72 Mum in Business

Food entrepreneur Starting your own food business can be a steep learning curve, but with some of the best ingredients on our doorstep it can be a logical choice for mums wanting to go it alone. We talked to Shauna McCarney-Blair, the founder of award-winning baby food business Heavenly Tasty Organics to see how and why she started her own company.

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rish food businesses are undergoing something of a boom at the moment – artisan food businesses using our excellent natural ingredients seems to be popping up everywhere, and if they are done right, they appear to enjoy quite some success. The advantage of food businesses is that they can start small, even in a family kitchen and sold at a farmer’s market. All this means that a food business appeals to mums looking to start something on their own. Shauna McCarney-Blair was inspired to start her food business, Heavenly Tasty Organics when she was weaning her two older children, who are now aged eight and nine. “When I was weaning my oldest child onto solid foods I made everything myself from scratch, as I was passionate about organic food. When my second child arrived not long after, I really found it difficult to find the time to make all my own baby food from scratch. Both my children had serious food allergies too, and finding convenient baby food that catered for their allergies was impossible. So the seed was sown to start my own company and on doing some research I decided that this was the business for me.”

DO YOUR RESEARCH Shauna had always wanted to start her own business, her father having started a very successful engineering firm, and knew that good research was key. “I carried out lots of research, through face-to-face conversations with mums, presenting my ideas to retail buyers, online research, scouring industry and market reports, sourcing suppliers for ingredients, packaging etc – it was a huge learning curve!” Shauna started where many food businesses do – at the kitchen table, but then moved on to a local facility. “For two years prior to launching I used the kitchen table as my office. Then I approached Loughry College in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, and I was able to avail of their food business incubation centre where small food businesses can access their own manufacturing facility. Loughry College was also able to give me some advice when needed.” Financing is an important issue for any small business. “Anyone starting in business must always look for financial support and I was no exception. Funding mostly came from


my own savings and family, but I also was able to gain support from InvestNI, both from a financial perspective and through advisory support.” Heavenly Tasty Organics now has a wide range of convenience foods for babies at every stage, from first tastes to 12 months+. All products are fresh (and are stocked in the chilled section), organic, slow-cooked for maximum flavour, gluten- and dairy-free with no added sugar, salt, artificial flavourings or colours. “We have changed so much since I first started out in my kitchen a few years ago.” Shauna says. “Back then it was just me, with no one to bounce ideas off, and no one to help out with the huge workload. Now we have a team of people who work hard every day to ensure that little ones have access to our award-winning food. “We have won many awards, including scooping Gold, Silver and Bronze in the Irish Food awards, and most recently winning two gold star awards at the Great Taste awards 2014. We also export to countries as far away as Dubai – something I never dreamt would happen.”

WORKING PARENT GAP IN THE MARKET Shauna cleverly noticed a big gap in the market for convenience foods for your baby that were fresh, organic, nutritious and suitable for babies with sensitive stomachs or allergies. We all want to give our babies the best start in life, but sometimes it’s not easy to find the time to locate organic local produce and slow cook our own meals. The next best thing? A convenience food like Heavenly Tasty Organics!

As a busy mum, Shauna naturally is familiar with trying to balance work and family life. “Like any working parent probably I do a lot of juggling! It is hard at times, but my husband James is also working in the business, so if one of us needs to go and look after sick children or something, the other is always there to keep things going.” Getting enough emotional and practical support is the number-one piece of advice Shauna has for mums looking to start a business of their own: “When I first started my business I was a single parent, so I would say to anyone that if they have the support from family to go for it. If I can do it then anyone can. But support is a must. None of us are superwomen and support is key. Also, structure and determination is a must. Structure your day – set yourself goals and stick to them – getting to the end of the day knowing you have done what you set out to do is very satisfying and will help you reach your end goal. You need to remain determined as you will have lots of days where nothing goes right and your determination will see you through.” For more information on Heavenly Tasty Organics, see

See Over ➽ Our guide to starting a food business of your own.

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74 Mum in Business

How To…

Start a Food Business Try these tips and resources to start a food business of your own


Find your niche

Firstly, you need to work out what you want to sell. Is there something that you’re particularly good at? Your product doesn’t necessarily have to be completely new or unique, but it must have some sort of “unique selling point” – a reason why a customer would buy your product over everyone else’s. Is it organic, locally produced, cater for certain allergies, an unusual flavour, gorgeous packaging? Or perhaps it’s a service that’s not offered in your area, eg artisan bread or cake decoration.


Do your research

Once you have decided what it is you’d like to sell, it’s time to look at what’s out there. Is there anyone selling what you are selling? How is your product different? Who would buy your product? Is there enough of a market out there for you?


Check your finances

The good thing about a food business is that it’s possible to start small. You can, literally, start it from your kitchen and sell at a local market (once you are compliant with regulations). But it’s essential to check your finances in terms of product – how much does it cost to produce the item? What about packaging? Add in other costs, such as electricity, your time and any incrementals (remember that you need to maintain a clean and efficient, compliant kitchen). Do you need to pay for your place of business or marketing? Many people price themselves too low at first, but it’s important to have a realistic view of exactly how much it costs to produce your product; if this works out at higher than competing products, you may have to do some research into how they manage to sell at a lower rate and perhaps look at some of your costs – could you do better with the packaging, for instance?


Do up a business plan

This can be as simple as “I want to be making enough money to make this a full-time job within two years”. Once you have your goal, you need to work out how to get there. How many units do you need to sell in order to support yourself financially? How many outlets would you need to stock? How will you increase volume – and finance expansion – over those two years? Do you want to bring more products onstream? The more you plan now, the more likely your chances of success.

MI Oct Nov 2014_Food Business.indd 74


Find your market

Now it’s time to assess where you will sell your products. Somewhere like a farmer’s market is ideal for starting off, as you are selling direct to the public, you can gauge their reactions to the product and any money you make over the cost of the stall and your expenses is for you and your business. If you want to provide to a local business, remember that packaging is usually a key component of the product and you will have to sell at wholesale prices so the store can make a profit too. A website can be a valuable tool if you are providing a service, such as cake decorating or cooking to order.


Check the legals

This is possibly the most important step of all. Your premises (ie your kitchen) must be registered with the HSE and be compliant with food safety legislation. This includes hygiene rules, training, enforcement of a food safety management system and a traceability system and recall procedures should something go wrong. There may be further legislation if you are working with certain foods like eggs or meat, or marketing to vulnerable groups like babies or the elderly. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has a number of publications aimed at small food producers and people intending to set up a food business on their website, www. Labelling guidelines can be found on the website too.

Useful resources n Bord Bia’s website has all sorts of useful information such as a list of farmer’s markets around the country. n Grab a copy of Guide to Food Law for Artisan/ Small Food Producers Starting a New Business from www. or by calling 1890 33 66 77 n For advice on starting up a small business, including what’s available in terms of government support, see and n Your local enterprise office may have a training or mentor scheme for entrepreneurs. See

24/09/2014 18:07:00

75 Dad’s Diary

The Delinquent What do you do when your small son has a hooligan for a friend? Is he really a bad influence or is he just “misunderstood”? NICK WILKINSON is suspicious…


ne of my son’s friends is a delinquent little hooligan. From the day we first met, I had him pegged as a bad influence. Let’s call him Beelzebub, or Bob for short. Whenever he visits, disturbing things happen. I pass them as they play and a hush descends. Sniggers follow me down the hall. My kids give potty-mouthed backchat. It galls me to say it, but they seem to think he’s cool. Even my spaniel starts acting up when he’s about. I didn’t think I’d have to filter their friends until they were teens. My parents had it completely wrong when they appraised my pals. The ones that they thought were bad were just a bit surly. The teenagers who could look parents in the eye and say please and thank you were usually the worst miscreants. They were clever enough to disguise their misbehaviour behind charm. They got away with murder while the grumpy kids who couldn’t look an adult in the eye got blamed for everything. But Bob is no charmer. He is a quiet, moody little loner who has latched onto my son in order to lead him astray. We were having a bonfire party sleepover for my son’s birthday. Marshmallow cake. Ghost stories. My son was so excited – because Bob was coming to stay. I spent the days leading up the party locking up valuables and hiding matches. (I heard from another parent that Bob is a known pyromaniac.) So, before Bob arrived, I took my son aside for a little chat. I explained that some of the things he seemed to admire in his friend were not cool. The surliness. The wanton destruction of toys. The unacceptable language and terrible manners. I pointed out that if my son continued to emulate him, he’ll alienate all his real friends and probably end up in prison. “So why did we invite him over?” my son asked. “I believe in being charitable.” I didn’t have a choice. We were stuck for a babysitter a few times and the only people who would take our son

were Bob’s parents. (Double standards don’t apply when a sitter lets you down.) The party went brilliantly. My zombie costume terrified the children. My ghost stories even made some of the little ones cry. Things only started to go awry later on, when the sleepover began. I heard strange noises coming from the living room and found a bunch of four-to-eight year olds watching Not Another Teen Movie. (Rated 15). Luckily I caught them as the opening credits ended. I would have had some explaining to do to their parents. The ringleader? Have a guess. I went to hide the remote in the kitchen. But I stepped onto something soft and sticky. I snapped on the light. It was horrifying. Marshmallow cake strewn all over the floor. Presents shredded. I marched young Bob in and demanded a confession. He burst into tears. My wife heard the commotion and came running. I told him to apologise to her before I took him home and told his parents. “It was your dog,” she said, taking Bob’s hand. I looked at his snivelling face – and was transported back 30 years. I was standing in the playground of my national school looking up at the huge Garda in motorcycle leathers who towered over me. “I know you threw the stone,” he growled. “I wasn’t trying to hit you,” I said. “I was aiming at my friend.” The guard just stared. The worst excuse he’d ever heard. But it was completely true. I still remember the burning injustice of it all. Later, while my wife convinced Bob not to tell his parents to sue me, I found a card among the birthday detritus. Homemade. Brilliant. A funny little cartoon strip with my son as the hero. It was signed, ‘Love from Bob’. Maybe he’s just artistic, I thought. Then my spaniel vomited marshmallow cake all over my shoe.

“I pointed out that if my son continued to emulate him, he’ll alienate all his real friends and probably end up in prison.”

MI Oct-Nov 2014_Dads's Diary.indd 75

24/09/2014 17:57:07

76 awards

And the results are in... font is helvetica Neue 95 Black, 54pt

The maternity & infant Academy of Judges have chosen the Product Award winners for 2014. Don’t forget to pick up our next issue for all the details of the worthy winners!


he Baby Elegance maternity & infant Awards 2014 are just around the corner (Get those diaries out ladies, October 10th 2014!), and we recently picked all of the winners for the Product Categories - how exciting! We followed our tried and tested approach from last year’s Awards and sent out dozens of products to parents all over the country to test using criteria such as value, style and quality. Using these results, and the votes cast through our wesbite, we are confident that the right winners will be chosen by parents, for parents. This year we gathered together a wonderful bunch of mothers, with their little tots in tow, in the Double Tree Hilton in Dublin, to test our larger products and to give us their view on everything from cots to car seats. It was an early morning for the maternity & infant team, who were busy assembling cots and buggies from the wee hours, eagerly anticipating the arrival of our product testing team. The mothers and babies did a wonderful job putting a wide variety of products through their paces. Each mother was given a booklet at the

beginning of the day, and asked to fill in any positives and negatives about the products. They were given the opportunity to pick their overall product winner in each category based on quality, functionality, value, style, safety and user friendliness. This involved a lot of hard work on their part so we want to say a huge thank you to them all! It was a wonderful day for everyone involved; the mummies, the experts and the maternity & infant team. “It was a fun day with amazing women testing the lastest and greatest products in Ireland,” says product tester Kellie Kearney. The mummies mingled and shared stories and tips, meaning there was a lot of baby wisdom to go around! TV3 even popped by to catch up with some of our product testers; that’s how much in demand their advice was! The Baby Elegance maternity & infant Awards will take place at the Double Tree Hilton on October 10th. Be sure to keep an eye on IrelandAM for exclusive footage of the Academy testing day and the Awards, and don’t forget to look out for our winners’ badge on all of your favourite products after the Awards.

Get involved MI Oct Nov 2014_Academy2.indd 76

win €3,000 worth of our tested products We have already raffled off over €2,000 worth of products all in aid of Make A Wish Foundation, raising a lot of money for the charity (go you!) and we still have loads more prizes to give away! For your chance to win keep an eye on our website and Facebook page: www. or Facebook. com/maternityandinfantmagazine.

We will be recruiting product testers for the 2015 Awards in April 2015. Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for more information.

25/09/2014 10:31:41


77 awards

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24/09/2014 17:55:31

78 shopping

store directory


Aldi Stores nationwide Accessorize Stores nationwide; www.accessorize. com Amorila www.amorila. com Argos Stores nationwide; Arnotts Henry Street, Dublin 1; tel: (01) 8050400; ASOS


Baby Moos www. Barbour Boohoo Brown Thomas www.brownthomas. com Bumps ‘n’ Babies www. Butterslip 31 Rose St, Kilkenny; tel (056) 7702502;


Cake Lingerie www. Christys London www.christys-hats. com Clerys Dublin 1, www.


Dealz Stores nationwide; www. Debenhams Stores nationwide; www.

MI Oct Nov 2014_Store Directory.indd 78 Dorothy Perkins Stores nationwide; Dune Stores nationwide www. Dunnes Stores nationwide; www.


Elverys Stores nationwide


Harvey Nichols 16 Sandyford Road, Dublin 16; tel: (01) 2910488; www. Harvey Norman Stores nationwide; Heatons Stores nationwide; H&M Stores nationwide; www. House of Fraser Dundrum Town Centre, www.


Ikea Isabella Oliver www.isabellaoliver.


JoJo Maman Bébé www.

Kilkenny Stores nationwide; www.


Land’s End www. LEGO Stockists nationwide; www. Littlewoods Ireland Lifestyle Sports Stores nationwide; Littlelife L’Oréal Stockists nationwide;


Mamalicious Selected stores nationwide; www.mama-licious. com Mamas & Papas Stockists nationwide; www. Marks & Spencer Stores nationwide; Matalan Maureen Lynch Jewellery Mc Elhinneys of Donegal


River Island Stores nationwide; www. Sally Hansen Stockists nationwide; www.

Ballybofey, Donegal; tel: (074) 9131217; www.mcelhinneys. com Messy Me www. Mira Mira 3 Sandymount Green, Dublin 4; tel: (01) 2196668; www. Monsoon Stores nationwide; www. Mothercare Stores nationwide; www. Muddy Puddles

Schuh Stores nationwide Seraphine www.seraphine. com Smyth’s Stylemama www.stylemama. ie



Name it Stores nationwide; www. New Look Stores nationwide; www.newlook. com Next Stores nationwide; Nike


Office Stores Dublin;

Penneys Stores nationwide; Pumpkin Patch Stores Dublin and Cork;


Thrupenny Bits www. Tiger Stores nationwide; www. Topshop Stores nationwide;


Vertbaudet www.

Wellies and Worms www.


Zara Stores nationwide;

24/09/2014 17:49:29



EXPERTS We have a wide range of experts on hand to answer your questions on everything from pregnancy and birth to sleeping, feeding, fitness and general wellbeing. If you have a question that needs answered, get in touch!


Dr Julius Parker


Dr Declan Keane


Dr Parker is a general practitioner with HSF Health Plan’s free 24-hour GP advice line and answers healthrelated questions for young families. For more information on HSF Health Plan, visit or Lo Call 1890 473 473.

Dr Keane is a senior clinical embryologist with 20 years’ experience. He is director of ReproMed fertility clinics in Kilkenny and Dublin, with a third clinic opening in Limerick this year. For more information, call Declan on (01) 685 6755 or visit

Jenny is a chartered physiotherapist and partner at Total Physio in Sandyford, Co Dublin, and sees many women during and after pregnancy., treating issues like pelvic girdle pain. She is also mum to Jamie and Holly. For more information visit

Sleep Consultant

Lucy Wolfe,

CGSC, MAPSC Lucy is a paediatric sleep consultant and mum of four. She runs a private sleep consulting practice where she provides knowledge, expertise and valuable support to families across the country. Visit


Jenny Branigan



Dr Sam Coulter-Smith

Sarah Keogh

Joanne Kissane

Dr Coulter-Smith is a consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology, master of the Rotunda Hospital and a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Royal College of Surgeons. Visit

Sarah is a dietitian with the Early Feeding Clinic, which offers advice on becoming pregnant, nutrition during pregnancy and feeding your baby. For more information, visit

Joanne is the Superintendent Pharmacist with Lloyds Pharmacy, which has 86 pharmacies around Ireland. Each pharmacy offers experts in pain, skin and child health. Come to the pharmacy that cares.

Ask the experts... If you have a question regarding any aspect of your pregnancy, new baby or toddler, please get in touch. Email us at or write to us at maternity & infant, Ashville Media Group, Old Stone Building, Blackhall Green, Dublin 7.

MI Oct-Nov 2014_Ask the experts.indd 79

24/09/2014 17:38:16

80 ask the Fertility Expert



IVF with frozen sperm My partner and I are planning to have IVF treatment soon but I will be out of the country for work around the time of treatment. We are considering freezing my sperm. Would this affect our chances of success? Sperm freezing has been available for more than 40 years, and it is used routinely for storing donor sperm, for example. Men may also consider freezing sperm for future use, for example patients undergoing cancer treatment. Sperm can also be frozen as a back-up if producing a sample under pressure is difficult, or if it is not possible for the man to be present on the day of treatment. While the freezing process will kill some sperm cells, the cells that do survive the freeze/thaw process can be used for treatment. Most clinics will do a semen assessment before and after freezing of the sample to ensure that sperm cells survived the freezing process. The sperm is frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen. Success rates of IVF or ICSI treatment with frozen sperm are no different than when a fresh sample is used. In addition, there is no evidence of increased risk of miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies or birth defects using frozen sperm.


PCOS & not ovulating I have been told that I have PCOS and am not ovulating, what can be done about this? Anovulation is when the body does not ovulate during a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle. It can be an isolated occurrence or a continuing problem. It is due to either a hormone or chemical imbalance, or is a functionary problem with the ovaries themselves. Thankfully, there is a treatment known as ovulation induction, which your fertility specialist will be able to discuss with you in detail. There are different options available regarding ovulation induction medication. Clomifene citrate, otherwise known as clomid, is generally the first medication to be tried in this case. There are many other options that may be better suited to your specific needs too. But be sure to talk to your specialist as there are treatments to help you conceive.  

Abnormal fertilisation I have been told some of my eggs were abnormally fertilised. What does this mean and why does it happen? Each cell in the human body (except eggs and sperm) contain two copies of our genetic material (chromosomes). Eggs and sperm each contain one set of this genetic material so when they combine (normal fertilisation), the male and female chromosomes meet and form the full set required for ongoing embryo development. During an assisted reproductive cycle, a trained embryologist can check for normal fertilisation by looking for the presence of pronuclei (circular membrane structures containing the genetic material) within the oocyte. The presence of two of these structures within the egg indicates a normally fertilised oocyte. In some circumstances there may be more, or less, pronuclei within the oocyte, indicative of abnormal fertilisation. Possible causes of abnormal fertilisation include: • The entrance of more than one sperm into the egg • The abnormal division of chromosomes in the egg • Failure of the male or sperm chromosomes to “activate” In each one of these scenarios the resulting embryo will have more/ less genetic material than is required for successful development. These embryos are not capable of creating a successful pregnancy, therefore are not used as part of your treatment cycle. As each egg/sperm is individual, if you have abnormally fertilised embryos within your assisted reproduction cycle, this does not mean that in another attempt the same will occur.

Quick Guide


Tip... Healthy lifestyle and fertility


How to.... cope with fertility issues

The link between good

Struggling to conceive is

fertility and a healthy

tough for any couple.

lifestyle cannot be

Try these coping strategies:

disputed. Cut out

✹ Approach it together.

smoking and limit alcohol to one or two units a week maximum. Eat plenty of fruit,

✹ Spend time on other interests and hobbies to give yourself head space. ✹ Talk to professionals


and other couples

lean meat,

having similar issues.

wholegrains and legumes. Get plenty of exercise. This advice applies to

✹ Get a mix of optimism and realism when going through treatment.

both men and women

✹ Educate yourself about

who wish to conceive.

the medical side of fertility treatment and conception.

MI Oct-Nov 2014_Ask the experts.indd 80


What do… his sperm test results mean? There are several variables tested for in sperm analysis. These include volume, count, motility, morphology and anti-sperm antibodies. Some of these are obvious enough, eg you need enough healthy sperm that can travel well in order to conceive naturally. But there are some other factors that can only be analysed when other test results and clinical history are taken into account. Always talk to your fertility expert when interpreting test results.

24/09/2014 17:39:26




Birth intervention decision

Prenatal depression I thought pregnancy was going to be the happiest time of my life but instead I’m sad and I’m crying every day. Is it possible to be depressed when you’re pregnant? Who should I talk to about it?

Can you refuse a birth intervention in hospital? I really don’t want to be induced, but can I refuse it if I go over my due date? The short answer is yes, you can refuse an intervention, but it’s not really a good position to get into and will add considerably to the stresses of late pregnancy when you want things to be as uncomplicated as possible. If your doctors wish to induce you, then there should be good rational grounds to intervene. Try to get an understanding as to why induction is being suggested, as there may well be a good reason that has not been explained. It would be better to ask to see one of the senior doctors looking after you and have a full and open discussion about it. You can air your concerns and listen to their opinions. In general, prolonged pregnancy is not a great idea as it does increase the risks and you are better off having your baby before 42 weeks’ gestation. Try to come to an agreement with the team looking after you and avoid conflict if possible. Remember, you can always ask for a second opinion from another clinician if you require further clarification.


Ectopic pregnancy What is an ectopic pregnancy? Is it more difficult to have a successful pregnancy after an ectopic one? An ectopic pregnancy is one that implants outside the womb. The most common site is the fallopian tube. The reason we worry about these pregnancies is because as the pregnancy grows, the tube can rupture causing extensive and sometimes life-threatening blood loss. Sometimes the ectopic is caused by previous damage to the tube as a result of infection or inflammation and the fertilised egg cannot get back into the womb before it implants. The treatment can involve either medical or surgical intervention; in either case, the tube can be damaged further by the ectopic or removed altogether. It is still possible to have a successful pregnancy after an ectopic but you are at increased risk of a similar problem in a future pregnancy. When you do find out you are pregnant next time, make an early appointment at about 6-7 weeks and have an early scan to establish the site of the pregnancy.

For most people, pregnancy is an emotional rollercoaster, and it’s very common to feel down from time to time especially when you’re tired. However, mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are very common in pregnancy and people don’t realise that 10-15 per cent of all pregnant women will have issues in this area. Most pregnancy services have mental health support teams in place to assess and assist and provide advice and support for women. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or midwife to refer you to these services; it’s not a sign of weakness and no one will think you are losing your mind. It is important to find the right person to talk to and regain control of the situation. The midwives and doctors are well used to dealing with this and will be able to assist you.



Yay or nay? THE FLU VACCINE Sam says: “We always advise pregnant women who have not been vaccinated against flu to have the vaccine in pregnancy. We also advise to get the whooping cough vaccine as well. Having the vaccination in pregnancy will allow you to pass on immunity to the baby, so the newborn period will be covered. Babies who get flu or whooping cough can get very sick so vaccination is a good idea.”

MI Oct-Nov 2014_Ask the experts.indd 81


What is.... AN EPISIOTOMY? An episiotomy is a cut performed by the midwife or doctor conducting your delivery. The cut is made to the skin at the back of the entrance to the vagina slightly to one side to avoid the muscle of the anal sphincter. Episiotomies are only done when delivery of the baby needs to be expedited, if the baby is distressed, or if it is thought more room needs to be created to prevent a bad tear. Episiotomies are often performed if an instrumental delivery is required. An episiotomy generally heals very well and most people have no difficulty with them afterwards.


Tip… CHOOSING AN OBSTETRICIAN If you are opting for private care, you may have the option of choosing your obstetrician – here are four things to consider: ✹ Cost: depending on your insurance policy, you may have to pay the obstetric fee upfront. ✹ Special issues: Obstetricians generally specialise in certain areas, so if you have a health issue, look into who’s most suitable for you. ✹ Recommendation: While every pregnancy is different, a recommendation from a friend is often a good way to find an obstetrician. ✹ Availability: Check holidays and availability when booking.

24/09/2014 17:39:48

82 ask the DietiTian



Weight loss after birth

Gestational diabetes

I had my first baby four weeks ago and I am keen to get going on losing my ‘baby weight’. However, I am breastfeeding so I don’t want to do anything that might upset my flow. Any advice?

I have just been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and I have read up on how bad this can be for my baby. I know I am overweight and that losing weight will help, but I am not sure if I should be losing weight while I am pregnant. What should I do?

You need to wait at least six weeks before you even think about weight. Give your body time to get over your pregnancy as well as heal after the birth. Also, you are breastfeeding, so you need to make sure that what you eat is going to help you make the most nutritious breast milk for your baby. When you do feel you are ready to do something about your weight, then start slowly. Depending on how well you feel, start with walking. When it comes to food, resist the urge to go on a crash diet or restrict certain foods. Your baby and your body need good nutrition and one of the best ways to start managing weight is to listen to your body when it comes to food. Very simply: have breakfast, lunch and dinner every day – even if you just have time to grab something small. In between meals, only eat if you feel hungry. If not, try to wait the half hour or hour until you are hungry. Also, stop eating when you start to feel full. This may sound strange, but most women increase their appetite by the end of their pregnancy, however, they forget to go back down to their normal portions once they give birth. Listening to your body and not automatically clearing your plate will help you eat the right amount to be a healthy weight.


Snacks for breastfeeding My wife and I have recently had our first baby and my wife is breastfeeding. I thought I could get some snacks together for her to eat during the day while I am at work. Have you any suggestions about some good foods to try? A new baby is hard work for everybody and breastfeeding can take a while to get established. Many women simply do not get time to eat – or drink – when looking after a new baby and having snacks to hand will make life a lot easier for her. Try making a couple of sandwiches for her before you go to work – a bit like a packed lunch. Chop up some carrot, cucumber and celery sticks and leave them in a tub in the fridge. Stock the fridge with yoghurts, portions of cheese like Babybel, pots of rice or custard – things that can be quickly and easily eaten. Buy some nuts like Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts and some dried fruit to make a quick snack. Leave this near where your wife usually feeds the baby so they are in easy reach. Baked beans make a quick, nutritious lunch so make sure you have tins of beans in the house. Crackers are very handy. Eggs are also quick or you can hard-boil some eggs that your wife can use during the day. Fluid is also very important as not drinking enough can slow down milk flow. Put some bottles of water near where your wife feeds the baby and stock the fridge with some low fat milk and pure fruit juices. Finally, try to take over making the evening meal as often as you can. Although you will have been at work all day, your wife has probably been working non-stop since 2am and she will really appreciate you looking after this. Good luck!

MI Oct-Nov 2014_Ask the experts.indd 82

As long as you look after your diabetes, everything should be fine with the baby. The problem with having diabetes during pregnancy is that your blood sugar levels can get too high. This can cause your baby to grow much larger than normal and there can be some problems with giving birth. However, if you look after what you eat and take any medicines that you are prescribed, this shouldn’t happen. The first thing to do is to see a dietitian who is qualified to advise you about gestational diabetes. You need to do this within seven days of being diagnosed. The dietitian will help you make the dietary changes required to help the condition. You will need to look at all of the carbohydrate that you eat – this includes foods like bread, pasta and potatoes, as well as any sugary foods. You do need some carbs but the times you eat them as well as the amount will change. It is also important not to try to lose weight at this time. Exercise is also important. Once you have your baby, your blood glucose levels usually go back to normal, although you are more likely to have diabetes again in your next pregnancy. Weight loss will help, but talk to your dietitian about the best way to approach this after you give birth.

Quick Guide


What is… Vitamin D? Otherwise known as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is synthesised by the body from ultraviolet sunlight and is good for building the immune system and boosting the body’s bone and muscle mass. Thanks to our lack of sunlight in the winter, many Irish people are deficient in Vitamin D; the HSE recommends that babies under the age of 12 months are given 5 micrograms of Vitamin D3 to help their development.


Tip .... 5 superfoods for breastfeeders ✹ Salmon: The DHA in


Get … Find a Dietitian Your GP can refer you

salmon helps to develop

to a good dietitian

your baby’s nervous

or you can find one

system. Limit to twice a

yourself in your area.

week because of mercury

Check that your


chosen dietitian is a

✹ Low-fat dairy products:

member of the Irish

Essential for calcium, B

Nutrition & Dietetic

vitamins, protein and

Institute, which is

Vitamin D.

the professional

✹ Lean red meat: The iron in

organisation for

red meat will give new

dietitians in Ireland.

mums an energy boost.

Log on to www.

✹ Blueberries: An easy-to- for more on

eat way to get essential

dietitians in Ireland

vitamins and minerals.

or to find one near

✹ Water: Dehydration can


play havoc with milk production so drink plenty of water, milk and juice.

24/09/2014 17:40:27

83 ask the Physiotherapist



Recovery after C section

Upper back pain

I am booked in for a Caesarean section in a few weeks. My physio has told me I will need to see her afterwards for some recovery exercises. What should I expect?

I am 30 weeks pregnant and working at a desk full time. Recently I have noticed that my upper back gets very sore when I sit for long periods. Should I see a physio or is this just part of being pregnant?

Be guided by your physio on when to start these; this will depend on how quickly you recover after the C-section. Deep breathing exercises should be done as soon as possible after the C-section, and frequently. Inhale deeply (into the sides and backs of the ribs), hold that breath in for three seconds and gently exhale. Do five every hour. Ankle rotations and gentle ankle bending movements can be done immediately while still recovering in bed. Practice for 30 seconds every hour. As soon as you are able, get out of bed and walk slowly around your hospital room (with help if you need it), trying to stand straight. You can support your wound with a pillow firmly pressed against it. Begin pelvic tilting in bed or when sitting as soon as you feel able. This works your abdominal muscles without stressing your spine. Once you are at home you can practice walking around the house, and going up and down the stairs as soon as you are able. Get outside for short but frequent walks as much as you can and gradually build up your tolerance. Do not begin any classes, such as Pilates or aerobics, until at least 10 weeks after the C-section or until your obstetrician has given you the all clear.


C section scar tightness I had a C-section two months ago and my scar is feeling quite tight when I move. Will this just loosen out with time or so I have a problem with it? What can I do to help? Scar tissue is tighter than normal tissue and can pull (sometimes painfully) when you move into positions that stretch it. Once the scar is well healed (approximately 9-12 weeks after the birth), it is beneficial to gently massage the scar to make it supple again. This should be continued until the scar feels pain free to touch and is no longer tight (which could take several months). Massaging your abdominal muscles is also great for improving your circulation. This has the effect of flushing out all the toxins and excess fluid in the area. Use scar oil for decreasing the colour of scars daily after your bath or shower and you will soon notice the difference. This advice applies to any scar, not jut a section scar.

The upper back (thoracic spine) is a common area of pain during pregnancy and should be promptly treated. The upper spine supports the weight of your growing breasts and has to accommodate for postural changes due to your changing breast and bump sizes. These postural changes can cause the upper spine to become stiff and sore and may even result in pain when you cough or take a deep breath. Luckily this area is very straightforward to treat. Your Chartered Physiotherapist can treat you lying on your side or in a sitting position to ease out those stiff joints and tight muscles. Taping can be very beneficial for postural re-education and reducing pain. You will also be given some safe and simple postural strengthening exercises that you can do to fully resolve your symptoms.

Quick Guide


How to... Help carpel tunnel syndrome Carpel Tunnel can be a painful complaint in late pregnancy. Try these tips: ✹ Avoid forceful, repetitive hand movements. ✹ Check your office work station via an ergonomic assessment. Make sure your wrists are not flexed as you type by adjusting the height of your chair. ✹ Take frequent breaks from computer work and stretch your hands. ✹ Avoid sleeping on your hands or sleeping with your wrists bent.


Can I.... Continue weighttraining when pregnant? If you are used to lifting weights, then it’s fine to continue when you’re pregnant but with some moderations, such as not pushing yourself too much (now is not the time to start increasing your weights), and avoiding exercises above the head. It’s a good idea to book in with a trainer to see if there’s anything you should avoid and if your technique is good. Finally, always check with your midwife or obstetrician first.

MI Oct-Nov 2014_Ask the experts.indd 83


Tip… Walking post-birth Walking is an excellent exercise to begin with when you are recovering from the birth. Begin with walking around the house, and then short distances as your energy returns. Avoid walking for fitness until you have been cleared by your doctor, especially if you have had a C section (wait at least six weeks). Build up any exercise slowly, increasing it each session and letting your body guide you.

25/09/2014 10:27:29




Early waking

Sleeping at 10 weeks

How can I get my child to sleep past 5am? It’s far too early to start the day!

I am finding it difficult to get my 10 week old to sleep longer than 30 minutes and she will only sleep in my arms!

Early rising is a big problem with a lot of parents with young children waking before 6am ready to start the day. Make sure your child’s bedtime is not too late. Bedtime close to and beyond 8pm can mean that your child is over-tired going to sleep and this can cause a chemical reaction that contributes to early wakening. Ensure that your child is getting enough daytime sleep for their age group. Make sure that your child’s naps are not too early in the day. This is a vicious cycle with early risers. If your child requires two naps a day, then you really shouldn’t have the first nap until after 8am and the next one after 12noon. If your child is 15m or older and on one nap, you will need to move the nap so that it happens after 12noon. Maintain not more than 4-5 hours of wakefulness between waking from the last nap and being asleep at bedtime. Finally, rule out issues like hunger, light entering the room, noise disturbances and being too hot or cold. Correcting this particular sleep issue can take at least 3-4 weeks. During this time, it is important to treat any awakening before 6am as night time, even when you know your child will not go back to sleep; this way you can help to adjust the body clock and enable the correction of the early sleep phase.


Back to routine My three-year-old daughter has been finding it very difficult to settle into a bedtime and sleep routine since we returned from our holiday. How can I help?

I don’t recommend a formal sleep learning process at this age but there are certainly lots that parents can do in an effort to lay a solid foundation for healthy sleep. In the early days, your baby is mostly governed by waking to feed. You will be able to start identifying their sleep signs and discovering what signals that your baby gives you when they are starting to get tired. Waking periods should not last more than two hours. As the body is designed to“fight”sleep, it is a good idea to tune into the sleep signs and to prepare a sleep environment for your baby so that they can fall asleep more easily. If you are attempting to help your baby to sleep, then you should try this practice at bedtime first and then introduce it during the daytime period. Remember to support your baby as they are trying to fall asleep: they will respond well to stroking and patting and shushing them, and in general I think it is a good idea to stay with them instead of coming and going. If your baby does not seem open to this yet, then leave it for a while, she may not be developmentally ready to learn to sleep without assistance and you can try again in a few weeks.






Try these tips to settle

Follow this routine for

Behaviourally, the shape of your child’s sleep can become redefined in as little as one to three days. Firstly, you must be sure that she is capable of going to sleep independently at bedtime: that means without a bottle/ drink/reading all the way to sleep. When I see young children taking ages to settle at bedtime it is normally indicative that she is over-tired at bedtime and that inadvertently you have missed the optimum time for her body to go off to sleep. Try to watch her in the evening time for tired signals and then try to facilitate her sleep process. Typical bedtimes for young children can be anywhere from 6-8pm, and if she has recently dropped her nap, then bedtime will need to come forward to bridge the gap from wake time to sleep. Have a calm, predictable bedtime routine, kept exclusively to her bedroom, in a dim environment:

your child down if they

safe swaddling:

wake during the night:

✹ Use a sheet or a

✹ Do stories/have a chat about the day.

✹ Make sure there’s

✹ Tuck her in and kiss her good night. ✹ When the lights go out, keep everything low key -

stay with her if she needs reassurance.

✹ Don’t bring your

cellular blanket and

child out of the

fold it into a wide

bedroom or give


her a drink or read

✹ Place the baby in the

to her as this will

middle of the blanket

confuse her.

with her neck at the

✹ Be consistent with a routine, e.g. tuck

top edge. ✹ Put the baby’s arms

her in and kiss her

high up on the chest


and gently wrap the

✹ Stay with her for

two corners of the

reassurance if that

sheet around the

is needed.

baby and securing

not a genuine

the ends underneath the baby’s body.

reason for waking,

✹ Make sure the baby is

e.g. feeling unwell

lying on her back and

or being hungry.

is not held in place by a cushion.

MI Oct-Nov 2014_Ask the experts.indd 84


What is… GOOD ROOM TEMPERATURE FOR BABIES? The chances of SIDS, while still small, increase if the baby gets too hot. Use a room thermometer and follow these rules: ✹ Keep your baby with you for the first six months. ✹ Check your baby’s temperature regularly by feeling the back of her neck or her tummy. If it feels clammy, remove one or two layers of bedding. ✹ A room temperature of 16-20°C is ideal. ✹ Don’t use hats indoors or duvets or quilts. If your baby has a fever, reduce the amount of bedclothes

24/09/2014 17:45:14




Hayfever & pregnancy The change in seasons has me choking with hayfever – but I’m pregnant! Can I do anything to help it? Absolutely! Although it is preferable to avoid the use of antihistamines during pregnancy, there are a number of measures that can be taken to prevent symptoms including spreading petroleum jelly around your nostrils to help catch pollen before it is breathed in, and changing your clothes and washing your face and hands after coming inside, as pollen can cling to clothes. Your pharmacist will also be able to recommend a number of strategies. Using a saline nasal rinse like Neilmed may be helpful, and can be used safely throughout all trimesters. Another option is Prevalin Allergy, a nasal spray for relief and protection from sneezing, runny nose, blocked nose and itchy/watery eyes. It is non-drowsy, and antihistamine and steroid free, and again is suitable throughout pregnancy. The LloydsPharmacy Allergy Reliever may also be an option. It uses red light therapy in order to suppress the cells that release histamine, which may help to reduce the symptoms associated with hayfever and allergic rhinitis such as watery eyes and runny nose. We would, however, suggest you check with your doctor or midwife before using this device.


Travel sickness in children My five year old suffers terribly with car sickness. Can I do anything to help? Motion sickness is very common in children, particularly between the ages of three and 12. It is caused by mixed messages to the brain from your eyes (which may think you are standing still) and your ears (which feel movement). On occasion symptoms may persist after the journey finishes – in this case, a GP should be seen to rule out other complications. A number of strategies have been shown to reduce motion sickness: Minimise head and body movements – if possible, choose a seat in the middle of a boat or plane where movement is least. Using a pillow or a headrest may help keep the head as still as possible. Alternatively closing his eyes may help. If he can go to sleep all the better! Open a window – fresh air often helps. Avoid eating before a trip (although ginger biscuits may help!) Your pharmacist will be able to recommend an appropriate preventative medicine for your son. You may also use a motion sickness band, which works by applying pressure on the Nei Kuan acupressure points on each wrist by means of a plastic stud. These bands can help relieve many types of nausea including travel sickness (and morning sickness!) and are suitable for young children and pregnant woman alike.

MI Oct-Nov 2014_Ask the experts.indd 85

Baby with sticky eyes My 18 month old keeps getting “sticky eye” – do I have to go to the doctor or can I get something in the pharmacy? Infective conjunctivitis (sticky eye, red eye) is very common and is usually caused by common germs - often the same ones that cause coughs and colds. In the vast majority of cases, infective conjunctivitis is not serious and clears within a week or so, but it is contagious. Bathing the eyes using cool boiled water has an important place in treating sticky eye. This has the dual effect of soothing and removing most of the stickiness. No further treatment is a common option for mild or moderate infections. Your pharmacist may recommend an eye drop over the counter that will treat a mild infection; however, if symptoms do not improve or get worse within two days then you will need to see a doctor to check your toddlers eye and possibly prescribe antibiotic drops. If at any time your toddler develops a temperature, seems to have pain in their eye, or you are worried about them in any way, a GP should be contacted. Until the infection has gone, to help prevent passing it on wash your toddler’s hands regularly, particularly after touching their eyes and do not share towels, pillows or utensils.



What is… NORMAL BLOOD PRESSURE Blood pressure is measured in two ways – on contraction (systolic) and on relaxation (diastolic). Normal blood pressure is defined as 120 (systolic) over 80 (diastolic) or lower. Readings consistently higher than 140/90 are considered high and may need medical attention. LloydsPharmacy offers free blood pressure testing in every store; the quick test takes less than 20 minutes in the


Tip.... MULTIVITAMIN TIME As we head into the winter months, a multivitamin is often a good idea for your family. If you are feeling tired and zapped of energy yourself, ask the LloydsPharmacy Pharmacists about a new Irish product called Revive Active. This product has more antiageing effects, immune system boosters, cardiovascular protective effects and natural energy nutrition in one sachet than any other product on the market. A must for any mum feeling the effects of broken sleep.


How to... STOP SMOKING Still try to give up the evil cigarettes? Your pharmacist is best placed at advising you of the best aids for giving up smoking once and for all. There are a whole host of products out there to help, from nicotine replacement gum and inhalers to nonnicotine containing aids that keep your hands busy.

Brought to by Joanne Kissane, Superintendent Pharmacist

privacy of a care room.

25/09/2014 10:28:07




Chicken pox & siblings Our youngest child, aged six, has just come through chicken pox but, seven days after the event, there is no sign of marks on her siblings. Her two eldest siblings, however, (13 and 10) have had flu like symptoms, and vomiting, intermittently for the last few days. Could they be fighting off chicken pox? Chicken pox is highly infectious; the secondary infection rate from a household contact can be up to 90 per cent. This means your other children are very likely to catch chicken pox. You will know by the time you read this, but a short illness with fever and general malaise can precede the development of the typical rash. The incubation period can be between one to three weeks and people with chicken pox remain infectious until all the blisters are crusted and dry. Of course, some people don’t get chicken pox even when everyone around them does. This might be luck, but a more likely explanation is they have already had it, and are immune when exposed again. Some cases of chicken pox, especially in young children, are very mild and if no or only one or two blisters occur the illness may not be recognised by parents for what it is. If your older children have been in contact with cases of chicken pox in the past and not developed a rash this time the most likely explanation is they’ve already had the illness. This is good news, as chicken pox tends to be a more unpleasant illness in adults.


Febrile convulsions My 16–month–old son recently had a febrile seizure. I am now on red alert, watching his temperature constantly. Is there anything I can do to prevent another seizure?

Headaches in children My six-year-old daughter suffers from headaches, which seem to be triggered by strong sunlight. Lately, she has started to complain about her head “going black” and temporarily losing vision. What should I do? By six years old most children are able to describe a headache, but may struggle with more unusual symptoms. If your daughter is consistently complaining of recurrent headaches she should see your GP, although I suspect, from what you say, your daughter may be experiencing migraine. This is particularly likely if there is a family history of this condition. Other symptoms that may occur, especially in children, include abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and emotional upset, such as crying or irritability. Typically being able to rest and sleep improves migraine symptoms. Migraines can be triggered by a variety of causes, including emotional upset or stressful situations, environmental factors such as bright light, dehydration, or specific foods, and tiredness. If your GP suspects migraine it will be helpful for you to keep a diary of your daughter’s symptoms to try and identify any avoidable triggers. Of course, there are other reasons for headaches. One step you should take is to have your daughter’s eyesight tested. Tiredness and anxiety can also cause headaches, so it’s definitely worth having a word with her teacher to check all is fine at school. You’ll know if there have been any changes at home that may be causing your daughter to be upset and you’ll hopefully be able to talk about these.



Question... How to.... DO VACCINES TREAT VOMITING Encourage your child to ALWAYS WORK? The HSE says: Vaccines

As your doctor has probably told you, febrile convulsions are common and about 1 in 20 children have at least one. The average age of occurrence is 18 months. It’s something that can run in families, so it’s worthwhile checking this with your partner and your parents. Febrile convulsions occur whilst a child has a temperature, usually above 38 degrees centigrade. The most common reason for this is an infection. Your child will not have a febrile convulsion unless they have a fever. If your son develops a cold, or for example an ear infection or tonsillitis, it’s reasonable for you to give paracetamol and/or an anti-inflammatory suspension on a regular four to six hourly basis. You should check the correct dosage on the bottle, and not exceed this. Studies have not proven this approach to be successful, but it remains helpful for parents. Your GP will understand your concerns, and as it can sometimes be difficult to assess whether or not a child needs antibiotics for their infection your GP may have a lower threshold for such prescriptions in children with a history of febrile convulsion. The risk of another febrile convulsion reduces the older your child gets, and they are comparatively rare after three years old.

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work most of the time, but not always. Most

take small sips of water to prevent dehydration

Avoid solid food until the

childhood immunisations vomiting has stopped When your child can protect 90-99 per cent of the children who get them, but sometimes a child will not respond to certain vaccines. This is another reason why it’s important for all children to be immunised. A child who has not responded to immunisation depends on the immunity of others around them for protection - another reason for vaccination!

tolerate food, try small amounts of the BRAT diet: bananas (v ripe), rice, apple puree and toast. Always seek help if your child can’t keep anything down for more than 24 hours, seems confused or lethargic, complains of pain in the middle or lower right side of the abdomen, or is vomiting blood or passing black, tar-like stools.


Tip… WHEN TO AVOID ANTIBIOTICS Antibiotics are useless in fighting viral infections, which are usually the causes of colds and flus and common ailments like fifth disease and chicken pox. Taking antibiotics unnecessarily might cause your body to become immune to antibiotics – meaning that when you really need an antibiotic, your body may have built up a resistance to it. An antibiotic can also kill your “good” bacteria as well as your bad, so taking an antibiotic when you don’t need it might unbalance your system.

25/09/2014 10:28:38




a two-night stay for two adults and two children at the remarkable

Ballynahinch Castle

in Connemara, on the Wild Atlantic Way of the spectacular west coast.


ith dinner on one night in the atmospheric Fisherman’s Pub, and a guided walk of the nature trail led by one of Ballynahinch Castle’s professional and enthusiastic guides, along with a family pass to spectacular Kylemore Abbey, enjoy authentic and relaxed Irish hospitality at its best at Ballynahinch Castle. Kids will love feeding the chickens, pigs and Connemara ponies on the nature trail, and the grown-ups will enjoy the mellow and relaxed pace of life at Ballynahinch Castle, a Victorian country house and estate full of authentic character, luxury, history and style in the gorgeous heart of Connemara. Surrounded by 450 acres of mature wooded grounds and walks and one of Connemara’s oldest and most exquisite landscaped gardens, Ballynahinch Castle is casually elegant and comfortably modern. With quirky details, artworks and furniture that make it unique, Ballynahinch Castle also has plenty of comfy couches, bright corners and cosy nooks by the fire for those whose biggest challenge is what good book to read next. The prize includes two nights’ accommodation in a superior room overlooking the river, and breakfast daily. The maximum age of kids sharing with parents is 12 years.

How to Win To be in the draw for this amazing prize, simply answer the following question correctly:

In which county is Ballynahinch Castle Hotel & Estate located? Email your answer and contact details to, with Ballynahinch in the subject line. Or send a postcard with your answer and contact details, marked Ballynahinch, to maternity & infant, Ashville Media Group, Old Stone Building, Blackhall Green, Dublin 7. Maternity & infant competition Terms and Conditions: Closing date for all entries is 20th November 2014. Prize is nontransferable. Competition is not open to employees of Ashville Media Group or Ballynahinch Castle. No cash or gift card will be awarded in lieu of stated prize. If any of the items offered are unavailable or out of stock, a suitable alternative will be provided. Winner will be selected at random from a draw and will be contacted by phone. Competition entrants must be resident in the island of Ireland. One entry per person. Competition is also subject to all usual terms and conditions.

MI Oct Nov 2014_competition.indd 87

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel & Estate Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland +353 (0)95 31006

24/09/2014 18:57:23

88 Blog we log

Crafting with Children I’m Nicola and I blog over at, where I share my ideas and experiences of the arts and crafts activities that I do with my three children aged two, four and six – here’s a simple idea we tried recently.


rts and crafts have always played an important part in my role as a stay-at-home mum. After having my first child I couldn’t wait until he was old enough to start painting, colouring, making and sticking. Thankfully, he along with my following two children have all shared this desire and we have great fun making and creating our own mini masterpieces each week. Painting with three young children is certainly not without its challenges, but the rewards certainly outweigh the post-paint session clean up operation and the odd temper tantrum. My crafting ideas are all simple and easy to achieve. All have been tested and enjoyed by my own children and it is only their own artwork that is displayed on my blog. 
 I get inspiration for our activities from my children’s current favourite things as well as trips we have taken, places we have seen and by asking my children what they would like to make or paint. We often have friends over to join us as well. When dealing with a group of children of different ages all together, planning ahead is very important and make sure to keep the activity simple and straightforward. We had friends over recently and I set up a kitchen utensil painting session for them all to do alongside each other. I set up a table with a few paper plates filled with different coloured paints and laid out a sheet of white paper for each of them. I then added a potato masher, a washing-up brush and some kitchen sponges and scourers. With a little help from their friends’ mum we settled the kids down around the table and basically let them have free reign to create their own pictures. We let the

children choose which utensils they wanted to use and then encouraged them to take it in turns with each of the different utensils. The younger ones did have a few teething issues with this, so it was great to have another adult on standby to help referee the inevitable squabbles, all in all though they did a pretty good job of sharing. It was great to stand back and watch them exploring the different utensils and deciding what pictures to make with them. It was great to hear them chatting to each other about what they were doing and swapping ideas along the way. They thought that the potato masher paint prints made great spaceship shapes. This led to some great “Outer Space” pictures being created with planets and stars being made with the sponges. My four year old also had a great idea for the scourers. He pulled it apart lengthways and dipped it into the paint and then shook it all over the paper to make splatter like fireworks. It was great to see my two year old working alongside the older kids. She can often get distracted during our craft sessions, but she really seemed to relish copying what all of the other kids were doing during this activity. Inevitably she did end up with her hands in the paint and even started to smear it up her arms at one point, but this was nothing a few baby wipes and a hasty trip to the kitchen sink to wash the paint off couldn’t sort out!

Follow Nicola’s crafting ideas on If you’re a parenting blogger, we want to hear from you! Email us at

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24/09/2014 17:30:29

You accepted it immediately.

“Do babies always have tummy pains after their bottle?” If babies drink too quickly, it can happen that they swallow quite a lot of air – that causes tummy pains. This is why the First Choice Teat has a vent with ensures a natural and regular flow of formula and helps to prevent colic..

*Study of the act of sucking in healthy babies in breastfeeding and artificial feeding using NUK Teats. Ortodontia 3 (35) 2006

NUK is a registered trademark of MAPA GmbH/Germany

“What lies behind the shape of the NUK Teat?” We found out that a mother’s nipple changes shape as she breastfeeds, adapting optimally to the baby’s mouth. Taking this as our example, we developed the natural NUK shape for our teats and soothers, which is exceptionally well suited to the jaw. So babies hardly notice any difference between the breast and the bottle.

First Choice Teat

“Is breastfeeding not the best for babies?” Breastfeeding is the best for babies but if it is just not possible, NUK First Choice Teats and Bottles are a good alternative. They have a soft tip and are especially well accepted by babies who are both breast and bottle fed, which is clinically proven.

For relaxed drinking just like breastfeeding:

NUK First Choice Teats & Bottles

NUK. Understanding Life.

First Choice Bottles

Available in pharmacies nationwide.

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22/9/14 10:10:17 11:19:54 25/9/14

snuggle pouch cot top changer

bed in a box

travis cot bed and healthguard mattress

gel filled teether

moses basket and stand

salt n’ pepper high chair 4 x wide neck feeding bottles

non-spill cup 3 x 2pk teats

beep twist complete travel system

top & tail bowl bath bather pram hook

everyday tote bag car seat


duck & 3 baby duck set

your door o t d ! re e ...a v i el ll th d , is and more for your local stockist

• Delivery to anywhere in Ireland is free of charge • Wide range of colours available

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22/9/14 10:10:43 13:16:12 25/9/14 04/06/2014 10:15:50

Profile for Ashville Media Group

Maternity & Infant October/November 2014  

Maternity & Infant October/November 2014  

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