IRELAND’S FINEST PREGNANCY AND PARENTING MAGAZINE maternity & infant
P R EGNANC Y * B AB Y * TOD DLER & C H IL D
20 BAD WEATHER SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR KIDS
WE’VE GOT THE WHOLE FAMILY COVERED!
MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR TIME OFF
D O E S IT E X IS T ?
GRANDPARENTS INTERFERE TOO MUCH
PLUS FERTILITY ADVICE * EXPERT TIPS * BOREDOM BUSTERS MI Oct Nov 2014_Cover.indd 1
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Soothe a child with dry and irritated skin. Thereâ€™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.
October November 2014
A family break at Ballynahinch Castle!
On the Cover 26 Autumn Fashion
Protect your little ones from the elements with our great fashion picks.
Indulging your creative side can make you a more fulfilled and happier parent – here’s how…
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?
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
IRELAND’S FINEST PREGNANCY AND PARENTING MAGAZINE maternity & infant
have your maternity style
P REGNANCY * BABY * TODDLER & CHILD
20 BAD WEATHER SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR KIDS
WE’VE GOT THE WHOLE FAMILY COVERED!
M A K I NG T HE M OS T OF Y OUR T I M E OFF
DOES IT EXIST?
Baby & Child
All your great seasonal trends for your little ones,
GRANDPARENTS INTERFERE TOO MUCH
PLUS FERTILITY ADVICE * EXPERT TIPS * BOREDOM BUSTERS MI Oct Nov 2014_Cover.indd 1
MI Oct Nov 2014_Contents.indd 1
BOUNDARY ISSUES WHEN 9 772009 193014
OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014 ISSUE 47
€3.75/£3.30 OCTOBER/ NOVEMBER 2014
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.
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
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
experience as a mum
There’s something really lovely about creating a
Over to You
8 M&I Online
63 33 Baby Crafts
maternity & infant Awards 2014
All the gossip from the product testing day!
outside the home 75
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?
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or write to maternity & infant, Ashville Media, Old Stone Building, Blackhall Green, Dublin 7; Tel: (01) 432 2200; Web: www.maternityandinfant.ie 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
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My Picks This Issue 14
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.
MI Oct Nov 2014_Eds Letter.indd 4
EST. 1933 LONDON
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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?
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
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 www.project-party.com 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!
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 smentor.com) (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
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Sort the myths from the facts on what beauty products should be avoided during pregnancy. maternityandinfant.ie/beauty-productsavoid-pregnant/
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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. maternityandinfant.ie/baby
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. maternityandinfant.ie/lifestyle/out-about/ this-weekend This season’s high street hits are here http://maternityandinfant. ie/lifestyle/fashion-beauty/ latest-on-the-high-street/
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. maternityandinfant.ie/ ask-m-i
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10 NEWS M&I
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 www.seraphine.com
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. naturalbirthingcompany.co.uk.
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
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.
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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!
-- 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 www.papierprints.com. We have two personalised Papier prints to give away! To enter, simply send your contact details to competitions@ maternityandinfant.ie, 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
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
Splurge or steal?
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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
WHY BUY A CRIB THAT YOU’LL USE FOR ONLY 6 MONTHS WHEN YOU CAN BUY ONE THAT YOU CAN USE FOR 6 YEARS? dl
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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
from crib to a THE STACKAJACK RANGE IS AVAILABLE INaMOTHERCARE table and chairs AND TONY KEALYS OR ONLINE AT WWW.STACKAJACK.COM in less than 2 minutes!
• Suitable from 1 to 6 years old • Chairs adjust to 2 heights
• 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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13 NEWS M&I
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.
BREAST IS BEST
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.
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.
Mater floral Mater floral shorts both N
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.
of the best
winter coats Parka, €75, J by Jasper Conran @ Debenhams
Cat print padded jacket,
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. imaginarium.ie 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.
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
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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
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.
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
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 Gobblefunked.com 24/9/14 17:32:48
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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.
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www.calpol.ie 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
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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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.
6 6 6
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
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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You Are The Apple Of My Eye gold necklace, €129, Chupi
Light wool blazer, €59.95, Zara Maternity scoop neck t-shirt, €8.99, New Look
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
Collection bag, €50, Marks & Spencer
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Pensive pointed high heels, €42.65, ASOS
Beige nail polish, €8, Topshop
“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
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL.
*Contains Ibuprofen. Date of preparation: January 2014. Item number: IRL/NFC/0114/0002
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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
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, WelliesandWorms.com 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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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
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.
Pirate outfit, €22.49, Mothercare
7 5 5 4 3
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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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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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. http://claireburge.com/creativity-book/ 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 www.sagmeisterwalsh.com
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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!
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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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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JDH BABECRAFT - TRAVEL CHANGING MAT
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: www.thewoolshop.ie www.thisisknit.ie/shop www.theyarnemporium.com www.theconstantknitter.ie www.knit1purl1.ie www.kitnknit.ie www.springwools.com Fabric: www.theclothshop.ie www.floppyfabrics.ie www.homefocus.ie www.craftersbasket.com http://thefennelshed.ie http://fluffysheepquilting.com www.klarasilks.com www.appletreefabrics.com
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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.
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
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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.
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.
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
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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
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.
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
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,
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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.
& 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, mama.ie, 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.”
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†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 www.pregnacare.com/mostrecommended 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.
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
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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
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.
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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 Activemum.ie Active classes for you and your baby as well as local parent meet-ups n Meetmums.ie A directory of nationwide parent and baby groups and classes n Cuidiu-ict.ie 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.
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.
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1 KEEPING IN TOUCH
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.
4 WORK ISSUES
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.
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All you need to know about…
“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.
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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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.”
Pre-school bullies? Children of pre-school age often display aggressive behaviour towards their peers â€“ but does this mean that theyâ€™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 (www.mylifesolutions.ie), 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.”
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 itâ€™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 itâ€™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 childâ€™s life (eg teachers or carers) act the same way when she displays aggressive behaviour.
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