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maternity & infant

SUMMER 2016 €3.75/£3.30








Happy holidays


9 772009 193014



Best Summer

r e v E


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r li v e sO ol by

Available from newborn to 8 years

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On The Cover


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BURNING TOPIC: LARGE FAMILIES Is there such a thing as having too many kids? Or is it a case of the more the merrier? And why are large families often criticized? We take a look at the issue of large families and ask our readers for their opinion. TODDLERS & SHARING There’s nothing worse than being on a play date and your child just won’t share his toys! We get some expert advice on encouraging sharing in your pre-schooler. HOW TO HAVE THE BEST SUMMER EVER! Gear up for a fabulous summer with our ten top tips on making the most of the season with your kids. Now all we need is the weather… TRAVELLING WITH BABY Make parenting look effortless with our top advice on navigating a plane ride with a baby. Smug looks all round. SLEEP SPECIAL How do you get your child back into a good sleep routine after the disruption of holidays and jet lag? Sleep expert Lucy Wolfe gives us her top advice.


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28 Features

36 Style

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MATERNITY From beachy separates to stealing Chrissy Teigen’s pregnancy style, we have all the best maternity pieces here. BABY & CHILD Perfect holiday wear and stealing Jessica Alba’s daughter Haven Warren’s casual style, this is your guide to dressing your little ones this season! YOU Get feminine with soft fabrics and bare shoulders.





SUCCESSFUL MATERNITY STYLE Do you really need to buy a whole new wardrobe when you discover you’re pregnant? Not necessarily with our great advice. DADS & THEIR BIRTH EXPERIENCES What do dads really think about labour and birth? We talk to some new dads, and get the perspective of Boots maternity & infant Awards host Brian Ormond, who’s eagerly awaiting a new arrival with wife Pippa O’Connor as we go to print. ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT… PLACENTA PRAEVIA What exactly is placenta praevia? Can you prevent it or solve the issue? And what does it mean for you and your baby? All your top questions answered here.

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2 SUMMER 2016


67 Opinion

17 21 22 51

52 42 46


PRODUCT GUIDE: BABY MONITORS All you need to know about buying a baby monitor. Plus, some of our top picks. DEVELOPMENT SPECIAL How your baby develops is as individual as her personality, but there are some general milestones over the first two years of life. We look at the different stages of babyhood. DOWN SYNDROME All about Down syndrome, and the support systems that are available in Ireland today. Plus, coping with the diagnosis.

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GENTLE PARENTING Is gentle parenting = out of control spoilt brats? Nope, and here’s why gentle parenting might just be a way forward for stressed-out parents. SUMMER STROLLERS A lightweight stroller might make travelling a lot easier with a toddler. We pick out some of our favourites. 10 WAYS TO KEEP THE SPARK ALIVE Babies change everything – including your relationship. But with a little forward thinking, there’s no need to let the spark between you disappear forever…

A DOCTOR’S PERSPECTIVE Our GP columnist, Dr Sinead Beirne, tells us how best to treat your little one’s temperature. MUMMY MY WAY One reader tells us her experience of being a mum of seven children. DAD’S DIARY The question of evolution is a hot one in Nick Wilkinson’s room – and he has the inside track… THE BREAST ADVICE NUK breastfeeding advisor Cliodna Gilroy counters some of the negative stories about breastfeeding in the media recently. BLOG WE LOG What made us laugh or cry in blogland this season.




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TOP TEN What’s on our shopping list this season. M&I ONLINE NEWS All the latest news, reviews and products. BOOTS MATERNITY & INFANT AWARDS 2015 The latest news from the 2015 Boots maternity & infant Awards! ANNABEL KARMEL Summer dishes that will be a hit with the whole family. STORE DIRECTORY SUMMER HEALTH SPECIAL All your summer health advice in one place. WIN A TWO-NIGHT BABYMOON This fabulous prize is the perfect treat for the mum and dad-to-be! DIRECTORY OF USEFUL CONTACTS

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W elcome Is there a happier time in the year than the anticipation of summer? Those long, sunny days, fun and frolics on the beach and the prospect of holidays abroad – it would put a smile on even the grumpiest of faces. But unfortunately, it’s not only the weather that doesn’t play ball sometimes – a crying baby on an airplane is enough to send any parent over the edge, and those cries of ‘I’m bored’ can get rather annoying as August dawns. But I’m an eternal optimist and now my kids are getting bigger (they’re five and three), I’m determined that this summer will give them lots of happy childhood memories that will linger long into the future. All of this brings me nicely onto the theme of this issue: how to have the best summer ever! We have loads of great advice on navigating summer successfully, from our ten top tips for summer fun (p58), to our guide to travelling on a plane with a baby (p60), to our special on getting baby back into a sleep routine after holidays (p82). And don’t forget our Summer Health


Special on p77, which contains everything from keeping your cool while pregnant during the heat to dealing with hayfever, pregnant, child or otherwise! We have lots of other great features and real-life stories, including dealing with a diagnosis of Down syndrome, how to teach your pre-schooler to share (hint: it ain’t easy), and what’s really going through your partner’s head when you give birth. We also have some great advice if you are investing in some baby kit – check out our guides to buying a baby monitor (p42) and summer strollers (p62). Finally, if you’re planning a great family get together, check out the recipes from Annabel Karmel on p67 they’ll be licking the plates!

Editor: Penny Gray Editorial Assistant: Rachel Murray Intern: Emily Crowley Editorial Manager: Mary Connaughton Creative Director: Jane Matthews Design: Antoinette Sinclair, Jennifer Reid Photography & Illustrations: Getty Images, Thinkstock Production Manager: Mary Connaughton Sales Director: Paul Clemenson Email editorialdesk@ashville.com 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

Have a great summer!

P enny G ray Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter








Heavenly Organics’ Crispy Vegetable Waffles were a big hit with my littlies and they contain over 50% vegetables. Score! These are certain to become a bag staple for days out. Available in Tesco & Super Valu stores nationwide.

My two will love a little beachy fun at home with this sand and water table from ELC. They’ll probably make a holy mess, but who cares? Sand & Water Table, €64.99, ELC @ Mothercare

My three-year-old daughter, Ellie, loves a dress but she also loves running around and getting into mischief! These shorts with a floaty top will be perfect summer wear for her. Shorts, from €12, Next

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1 HAIR HELP Motherhood takes its toll on your body, and even your hair. When you’re pregnant, your hair’s natural shedding slows down – only for it to catch up after the baby arrives. Sigh. If your hair is looking less than lustre, we love the new Viviscal Gorgeous



d e t n a Mo s t W Here’s what’s on our shopping list this summer…


IRELAND FOR LITTLIES Teach your kiddies about the wonders of Ireland with Sarah Bowie’s new book, Let’s See Ireland (O’Brien, €12.99), which follows Mollyas she travels around Ireland’s most famous spots, including Dublin Zoo, the Giant’s

Growth Densifying range, an advanced line of haircare


products that visibly improves

Lego Juniors is perfect for little ones who needs something more

fine, limp and thin hair. Available

challenging than Duplo but might be a tad too young for the bigger

from pharmacies nationwide, the

Lego sets. Now the range has been extended to include some

shampoo and conditioner cost

of the most popular cartoon trends, so your juniors can keep up

€11.95 each, and the Elixir leave-in

with their bigger siblings. On our list this month is Lego Juniors

treatment costs €24.95.

NINJAGO Lost Temple, €29.99.


3 Causeway and Bunratty Castle. See? Geography can be fun!

TRAVEL IN STYLE We’re in love with the the Stella system from Maxi Cosi, which features a slimline frame and big, shock-absorbing tyres. The system has an RRP of €499 and a carry cot and car seat are available separately if you want to make it into a travel system. NOW IN ALDI Irish company Pip & Pear has built up quite a name


for themselves for their all-

natural chilled weaning foods. The award-winning range was created by mum-of-two Irene

Quelly from Waterford when she couldn’t find good products for her own kids. The range is now in 61 Aldi stores nationwide as well as selected Super Valu shops.

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Y IS FOR YUM Irish brand Heavenly Organics has launched a range of snack foods, which include Mini Italian Breadsticks (in plain and rosemary flavours) and a real favourite among the maternity & infant minis, the Crispy Veggie Waffles, in Carrot and Cumin, and Sweetbeet and Shallot flavours. Both are available in Tesco and Super Valu stores.



One brand that’s always on our

shopping list is NUK, which this year is celebrating its 60th birthday. We’re long-time fans of their nospill cups and breastpumps, as well as their bottles and teats, which are among the best on the market. Pictured: NUK Luna Electric Breast


Pump, RRP €85.99


Kiehl’s is our go-to range for great skincare, and now they are catering to the needs of our little ones with their baby range. We love the Nurturing Oil for Mother & Baby, €21, an all-natural oil enriched with Olive Fruit Oil and Apricot Kernel Oil. Look out too for the Gentle Foaming Hair & Body Wash, €19, and the Nurturing Baby Cream for Face & Body, €19.50 – all great for your skin too!

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SPOIL YOURSELF We do love a bit of Clarins here in M&I headquarters, and the good news is that this summer’s collection definitely has the busy mum in mind. Our standout product is the Fix’Make-Up Spray, €28, an innovative ultrafine mist that is enriched with plant extracts and is designed to set your makeup for the day while hydrating and refreshing your skin.


FASHION FORWARD We’re in love with the children’s fashion department in iconic Dublin store Arnotts. The expertly curated collections include something for every budget from designers like Ralph Lauren to niche labels like Frugi and Billieblush (pictured above). There’s even offerings from Baby Elegance and Mamas and Papas if you’re in need of equipment as well as fashion for your littlies. If you can’t make it to the store itself, there’s always online too: www.arnotts.ie

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maternityandinfant.ie BABY

Read in-depth features on life with a small baby, including six superfoods for baby, everything you need to know about reflux, foods to stay away from if you are breastfeeding and 10 insanely cute things all babies to do. www.maternityandinfant.ie/baby



W in W in W in!

a Newborn Baby Package Worth Over

Vote for your favourite products in the Boots maternity & infant Awards 2016 and be in with a chance to win a family breakaway with Select Hotels. www. maternityandinfant.secure-platform.com.


Share your must-have baby products with us on Facebook www.facebook. com/maternityandinfant or Twitter www.twitter.com/ maternityinfant and be in with a chance to win €1,000 worth of winning products from the Boots maternity & infant Awards 2016. @RachCoffey @maternityinfant #bootsmiawards2016 I loved baby massage oil to #relax my baby and great for circulation and healing skin.


Read in-depth features on life with a small baby, including six superfoods for baby, everything you need to know about reflux, foods to stay away from if you are breastfeeding and 10 insanely cute things all babies to do. www.maternityandinfant.ie/baby



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SCHOOL’S OUT Log on to maternityandinfant. ie for tips on travelling with your family, including how to keep the kids entertained while flying, games to play in the car and the latest child-safe apps to download before travelling.

@KathrynLaing Muslin cloths and lots of them! For the spit up, puke and everything else in between. @KarenClarke  New mums can never have enough bibs! Emulsifying ointment, dummies and babygros with mittens.


If you have a query and you would like the opinions of other mums and dads, go to www.maternityandinfant.ie/ask-m-i. All questions are posted anonymously and we always get a great response and helpful suggestions from all of our lovely Facebook followers.

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TIME PASSES The first few weeks feel endless but blink and they’re off to school.



Stop feeling smug about your baby eating veg. It’ll be different when he’s two!

3 SLEEP ISSUES You’ll never have a proper lie-in again…


HAPPY MORNINGS …but nothing’s nicer than cuddles with kiddies


in the morning.

EASY STARTS Babies are not the hard part – wait ‘til they’re teenagers…


HARD SLOG Parenting is relentless; make sure you have time for yourself.

7 EMOTION OVERLOAD You’ll never cry or laugh

TOILET FUN Who knew that poo was such a hot topic of conversation?


CHILDHOOD FUN Having your own children is an excuse to enjoy life like a child again!

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Gwen Stefani and her son Apollo Rossdale.

so much in your life.

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There are a number of vaccines recommended during pregnancy to protect both you and your unborn baby - and we’re not just talking about flu. Here’s why you should get the whooping cough vaccine NOW. Thankfully we’re finally out of the flu season (but remember you should get the vaccine during the season, which runs from October to April), but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the issue of vaccination during pregnancy altogether. The whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine is essential during pregnancy as the mother’s immunity to whooping cough diminishes as the nine months progresses. Babies under the age of six months are too young to be vaccinated against whooping cough, yet the disease tends to be most serious in this age group. The answer is for the mother to be vaccinated during pregnancy, therefore passing on the immunity to the baby who is protected then for the first few months of life.

“Simple – bribery! The baby brought a present (smuggled into the maternity hospital by my mum) and that formed an immediate bond between them. Three years on, that Mickey Mouse teddy still goes everywhere with my five year old. I like to think it’s because his baby sister gave it to him!” Jenny, mum of two “I told my three-year-old boy as soon as my tummy started to grow. We talked a lot about what a fantastic big brother he was going to be, and each night, he chatted away to the baby and looked at the scan pictures. That way, the new baby was a part of the family even before he arrived.” Sylvia, mum of two

What is whooping cough? Whooping cough is highly contagious and causes long bouts of coughing and choking making it hard to breathe. A child with whooping cough may turn blue from lack of air, or vomit after a coughing spell. As mentioned, it tends to be most serious in babies under the age of six months, and many are hospitalised with complications such as pneumonia and brain damage, according to the HSE. Data from 2012 and 2013 reveal that most cases were in babies less than six months old, and two babies sadly died as a result of whooping cough in 2012.

What vaccine do I need? The vaccine given during pregnancy is called a Tdap vaccine, which is a low dose tetanus (T), diphtheria (d)

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and acellular pertussis (ap) booster vaccine, protecting against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough (pertussis). Vaccination is recommended between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. This is considered the best time in pregnancy to provide protection for the baby during the first few months of life.

protected for the first few months of life. However, the levels of antibodies rapidly decline, so it’s essential that your child gets the routine childhood vaccines at two, four and six months to stay protected.

Do I need it every pregnancy?

The vaccine is perfectly safe during pregnancy, and if you are breastfeeding or planning on breastfeeding. Your maternity hospital or GP can organise the vaccine for you and answer any questions you have. The HSE’s website also has an excellent information section on all vaccinations during pregnancy; log on to www.hse.ie for more.

Yes – as your immunity wanes during pregnancy, you need a new vaccine each pregnancy so the antibodies can be passed on to each unborn child.

How long is my baby protected from whooping cough? If you get the vaccine during pregnancy, your baby is

Where can I find more information?

“If your child is older, involve them as much as you can in caring for the baby. Even if it’s easier to do it yourself, give your older child a job such as getting the wipes or the cream. If they are helping, they will feel busy and important, and part of the baby’s life.” Mary, mum of four “Make sure you schedule in one-on-one time with your older child. Life is busy with a new baby, but it’s really important for your older child to feel as if you have time for them as well. Make the little time you have count – concentrate completely on them, and make them feel as special as they are to you.” Joanna, mum of two

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TEETHING MYTHS BUSTED! Everyone has advice when it comes to teething (heck, with everything to do with a baby), but what is the real advice from the old wives’ tales? We sort the myths from the truth. Myth: Babies get sick and have a temperature when they are teething Not necessarily. There are plenty of people who swear that their baby gets sick just before a tooth appears, but the general consensus is that this is merely a coincidence. Mild colds and bugs are incredibly common during the first year or two in a baby’s life, so your baby might have a touch of something else while teething. Or, your baby could be putting his hands or any objects into his mouth to ease his gums, and may have picked up bacteria that way. A very slight temperature, runny nose or diarrhoea can occasionally be associated with teething, but this tends to happen on the day the tooth appears or just afterwards. Chances are, however, that any sickness is merely a coincidence – and if the sickness is bad, you should see your GP rather than dismissing it as teething.


When researching our feature on baby monitors (see p42), we came across a really interesting study by BT, the manufacturers of the excellent award-winning Video 7500 Lightshow and 350 Lightshow monitors. The research centered on lullabies, and found that pop hits were as popular with parents these days as traditional songs – with Pitbull and Vanilla Ice even featuring in the Top 10!


Moon River, Audrey Hepburn 2 There Must be an Angel, Eurythmics 3 Ice Ice Baby, Vanilla Ice 4 My Way, Frank Sinatra 5 Islands in the Stream, Dolly Parton 6 Sing, Ed Sheeran 7 Sweet Child O’ Mine, Guns ‘N’ Roses 8 Timber, Pitbull Ft. Kesha 9 Groovy Kind of Love, Phil Collins 10 Stay With Me, Sam Smith

Myth: There’s a set time for teething Nope; babies can be unpredictable when to comes to teeth (like everything else!). The general time for the onset of teething is four to six months, but there’s no need to worry if your baby is early or late. Babies can begin teething at any time. Some babies are born with teeth (known as “natal teeth”) – if these teeth are stable, there’s no need to do anything, but see your dentist if you’re worried. Similarly, there are some babies who mightn’t have any teeth at all by the time their first birthday arrives. Rest assured, it’s incredibly rare for a child to not have any teeth – but again, see your dentist if you are worried.

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Myth: It doesn’t matter if baby teeth go bad It’s essential to look after a child’s teeth, even if they are going to replaced by adult teeth. Your child not only needs good strong teeth for eating, but teeth are also important for speech development. In addition, baby teeth keep space in the jaw for adult teeth, and if a tooth is lost too early, the other teeth may drift into the area, making the space too small for the adult tooth when it eventually comes through. Remember that a child generally doesn’t get all of his adult teeth until the pre-teen years.

Myth: Teething is not painful While teething doesn’t generally cause sickness, teething can be uncomfortable for a baby and cause some not-so-nice symptoms. Some lucky babies have no symptoms, but others can have sore gums, causing them to wake up at night and be uncomfortable during the day. Excessive drooling can also cause a mild rash around the mouth. Help your baby by massaging the sore gum with a clean finger or by giving her a teething ring. If your baby is showing signs of being really uncomfortable, try an over-thecounter pain reliever – ask your pharmacist for advice.

Ireland’s Call was a popular choice with dads, while classics still remaining popular are Humpty-Dumpty, Rock-a-bye Baby and Three Blind Mice.

Bruin Baby Play Gym and Mat, Babies R Us, GBP 29.99

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What is whooping cough (pertussis)? Whooping cough (also known as pertussis) is a highly contagious illness that can be life threatening. The disease is most serious in babies less than 6 months of age – many babies are hospitalised with complications such as pneumonia and brain damage. Babies less than 6 months of age are too young to be fully vaccinated.

Whooping Cough Vaccine for Pregnant Women What are the symptoms of whooping cough? Whooping cough causes long bouts of coughing and choking making it hard to breathe. The ‘whoop’ sound is caused by gasping for air between coughing spells. A child with whooping cough may turn blue from lack of air, or vomit after a coughing spell. Not all children get the ‘whoop’ and often older children and adults just have a cough. The disease can last up to three months. Infection with whooping cough does not give long lasting protection so re-infections can happen.

How does whooping cough spread? Whooping cough is spread from person to person by coughing,

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sneezing or close contact. Someone with whooping cough can spread the disease for up to three weeks after the start of the cough. Many babies who get whooping cough have been in contact with family members who have had a cough for longer than 2 weeks.

How can whooping cough be prevented? The best way to prevent whooping cough is by vaccination. Whooping cough vaccine is offered to all children • as part of the 6 in 1 vaccine at 2, • 4 and 6 months of age • at 4-5 years of age (4 in 1 vaccine) • in 1st year of second level school (Tdap vaccine)

All children should get these vaccines on time to protect them and babies too young to be vaccinated.

How does the whooping cough vaccine protect you and your baby? The vaccine stimulates your immune system to produce high levels of antibodies to the whooping cough bacteria. These antibodies will also pass to your baby in the womb and protect them during the first few months of life. If you or your baby are in contact with whooping cough the antibodies will attack these bacteria and will protect you and your baby from whooping cough. The antibodies you pass to your baby in the womb decline rapidly in the first six months of

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life so it is important your baby gets the routine childhood vaccines (which include whooping cough vaccine) on time at 2, 4 and 6 months.

You should not get a tetanus or diphtheria containing vaccine more often than every 10 years if you have a severe local reaction.

How often should pregnant women get the vaccine?

When should vaccination be postponed?

The antibodies you develop after vaccination decline over time so you need to get the vaccine again in your next pregnancy. You should get whooping cough vaccine during every pregnancy so that high levels of these antibodies are passed to each of your babies in the womb.

There are very few reasons why vaccination should be postponed. Vaccination should be rescheduled if you have an acute illness with a temperature greater than 38°C.

What vaccine should pregnant women get? You should get a Tdap vaccine. This is a low dose tetanus (T), diphtheria (d) and acellular pertussis (ap) booster vaccine which protests against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough (pertussis).

When should I get the whooping cough vaccine? The best time to get the whooping cough vaccine is between 27-36 weeks of your pregnancy. Giving the vaccine at this time will give your baby the best protection.

Is there anyone who cannot get the vaccine? The vaccine should not be given to • those with a history of a severe allergic (anaphylaxis) reaction to a previous dose of whooping cough vaccine or any part of the vaccine. It is not recommended: • if there is a history of a severe local reaction to a previous dose.

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What can I expect following vaccination? You may get soreness or redness around the injection site.You may experience a mild generalised reaction of fever and fatigue for up to 48 hours after receiving the vaccine.

What if I don’t feel well after vaccination? If you have a temperature after the vaccine, take paracetamol, as it is safe in pregnancy, and it’s important for you and your baby to avoid fever. Do not take ibuprofen or aspirin (unless advised by your obstetrician). Remember if you are unwell after getting a vaccine, it could be for some other reasons – don’t assume it’s the vaccine and seek medical advice if needed.

Is it safe for pregnant women to be vaccinated? Yes. The vaccine is safe for pregnant women. Whooping cough vaccine is recommended for pregnant women in the UK, US, New Zealand and Australia. This whooping cough vaccine has been studied in pregnant women in the US and no risk has been found. Reactions are

generally mild and serious side effects are very rare.

Can the vaccine give me whooping cough? No. The vaccine cannot give you whooping cough because it does not contain any live viruses.

My baby was premature so what can I do? Babies born before 32 weeks will not be protected as they will not get enough antibodies from you while in the womb. The best way to protect them is • to make sure other children in the house are fully vaccinated. • to make sure all adults in the house get a whooping cough vaccine if they haven’t had one in the last 10 years. Ideally they should get the vaccine 2 weeks before contact with the baby. • to keep your baby away from anyone with a cough until they have had two of their routine vaccinations (at 4 months of age).

How do I get vaccinated? Contact your GP or maternity hospital to arrange for vaccination. The vaccine is free but you will be charged for the administration (even if you have a medical or doctor only card). You should also talk to your doctor about getting the flu vaccine. For more information please see www.immunisation.ie

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Studies show that kids involved in gardening have more positive bonding experiences with their parents, and are better equipped for learning and problem-solving. Plus it gets them outside and keeps them busy! Here, the GroMór campaign gives us five ideas for getting kids into gardening. Bosch gardening set, €29.99, Smyths

Pink lawnmower, €21.99, ELC @ Mothercare

Recycling fun We’re all told to reduce, reuse, recycle, and the garden is the best place to start these green habits. You’ll need seeds, preferably runner beans or tomatoes, compost, the cardboard inside of toilet rolls and a plastic tray. Toilet roll tubes are great because they provide more depth for roots as well as being biodegradable. Fill the cardboard tubes half full of compost. Compact the soil down to form the base. Then place the seeds in the soil. Next cover the seeds in more soil. Beans usually need to be an inch under the soil, whereas tomato seeds only require just a small dusting of soil. Finally, water your tubes sparingly while on the plastic tray and leave on a sunny windowsill. In no time you’ll see sprouts! The great thing about this growing method is you can do it even with limited or no garden space.

Mini greenhouse

To make a mini terrarium for small plants, use a mason jar. Terrariums and greenhouses keep in the heat, so even with the unpredictable Irish weather you can grow plants that

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need a little more warmth. Make sure to choose the right jar for the right sized plant. Fill the jar about half way up with soil and seeds, leaving room for growth. The seeds of herbs like coriander and small shrubs work well in these jars. Simply water it and leave it in the sun. You will have a tiny greenhouse that will look great on any windowsill or lining your garden!

Get creative

A great way to make decorative markers for seeds you have planted is to use painted rocks. The rocks can also be simply used as decorations for flower beds.

Family tree

When your young ones are old enough, plant a small tree in the garden and tend to it each year. As your child grows your tree will grow with them. There are trees suitable for all sizes of garden, and even for container growing – check with your local GroMór expert on the

best tree for your space. Firstly, dig a hole that is slightly wider than it is deep. Loosen the roots of your young tree and place it in the hole. A vital part of the process is the stake. Make sure you hammer it firmly into the ground, without rubbing too much off the trunk of your tree. Then fill the hole back up and layer some compost or mulch on top. Finally, about one third of the way up the tree, tie it to the stake, and it will grow into a healthy tree.

Minnie Mouse Bowtique Wagon, €12.99, Smyths

Get messy!

What child doesn’t want an excuse to dig in the dirt? Kids can have fun looking for worms and bugs, while also helping to break up soil to plant seeds. By breaking up the soil, your children will have a messy old time while also helping water to get into the roots. The GroMór campaign seeks to promote gardening by giving easy tips and expert advice through a network of garden centres and nurseries throughout Ireland and through its website, www.gromor.ie

Little Tikes Gas ‘n’ Go Mower, €20.49, Argos

Mega Bloks John Deere Garden Cart, €36.49

06/05/2016 16:01



Smart Ways to Skip Ironing We think we know the secret to a happy and peaceful family life – avoiding desperate jobs like ironing! Hassle.com, the online marketplace that connects busy people with local, trusted cleaners, gives us six tips to minimise the pain of ironing…


Chores for children ages 2 to 3 Put toys away Put clothes in basket Wipe up spills Dust Pile books and magazines

According to a recent survey, ironing is the second most hated task with a staggering 18 per cent calling it their “worst chore”. Yeah, we can understand that. But did you know that it’s possible to minimise the amount of stuff that you need to iron? Try these handy tips from hassle.com


Shake that fabric

Set the washing machine spin to 800 rpm! This is not only gentler on the fabric but also means less ironing for you. Then, give them a shake and hang them out to dry. The clothes will dry without any creases. Top tip: Shaking the clothes instead of wringing them will mean less creases.


Get steamy

Who said multitasking needed to be difficult? This is a great solution for any last-minute ironing you’d normally try and do. Just hang your clothes up in your bathroom, turn your shower onto hot and let the shower steam get to work. Within ten minutes your clothes will be crease-free and ready for a night on the tiles. Top tip: Shut all your

MI Summer 2016_News Family.indd 13

doors and windows to really get the steam working.


A little water goes a long way Just


We need to straighten a few things out Okay

noticed the clothes you want to wear later are creased? Don’t panic! Just spray a little water on the creased areas and leave it hanging for around an hour. When you come back to it, all the creases will have disappeared. Top tip: Be careful not to go overboard on the spraying, your garment will only end up soaked. Think more of a light spritz, less of a drenching.

okay, so this next one may seem a little bit like actual ironing, but we promise you, you won’t have to touch an ironing board for this. In a matter of minutes, your straighteners can iron out the creases of your collar, to the wrinkles of your skirt. Top tip: Make sure your straighteners are clean. You don’t want to end up with hair product cooked into your clothes (we know this from experience!).


Just one more reason to love your bed This


Tumble out the creases A super easy

effortless ironing trick is all down to the roll. Grab your wrinkled garment and carefully roll it up smoothing out the creases as you go. Pop the rolled garment under your mattress, and take a nap for about an hour. When you wake up, pull out the garment and voilà, a crease-free readyto-wear garment. Now, who says you can’t be productive while you nap? Top tip: Clean your mattress first, to avoid dust mites getting into your clothes (yuck!).

fix for crease-riddled clothes. Spray a little water on the creases and pop them in your tumble dryer. After just a few minutes your clothes will be warm and crease-free; it’s a win/win. Top tip: Make sure to take your clothes out as soon as they’ve finished spinning, otherwise they’ll crease up again and you’ll be back to square one.

Chores for children ages 4 to 5 Any of the above chores, plus: Make their bed Empty wastebaskets Clear table Pull weeds Sweep up crumbs Water flowers Unload dishwasher Wash plastic dishes at sink Fix bowl of cereal

Chores for children ages 6 to 7 Any of the above chores, plus: Sort laundry Set and clear table Help make and pack lunch Weed and rake leaves Keep bedroom tidy

09/05/2016 11:13




Revisit your carefree childhood with your own children with one of these blasts from the past…



British Bulldog

One or two players start as the “bulldogs”, and stand in the middle of the play area, while the other players stand at one end of the area. The aim is to run from one end to the other without being caught by the bulldogs. When a player is caught, they become a bulldog themselves. The winner is the last player “free”.




Also known as Freeze Tag or Zombie Tag, players who are tagged are “stuck in the mud” or “frozen” and must stand in place with their arms stretched out until they are unfrozen. An unstuck player has to unfreeze them either by tagging them or crawling between their legs.

Duck, Duck, Goose

A good one for young children, the players sit in a circle, and one player, the “fox”, walks around tapping each player in turn, calling each of them a “duck”, until finally announcing one to be the “goose”. The goose then rises and runs around the circle in the same


A derivative of the traditional hide and seek game, Sardines is when only one person hides and the others must find them. When someone finds the hidden person, they must hide with them, and the hiding places become progressively more cramped, as more people must hide there.

Stuck in the Mud


line and break the team’s linked hands. If the player successfully breaks the link, he/she can choose one of the players whose link was broken to join their team. If they don’t succeed, they have to join the other team. Then it’s the turn of the other team, and the game continues until one team wins all the players.

direction as the picker, attempting to tag that player before they can sit back down in the empty place.


Red Rover The players (as many as possible) are divided into two

lines and stand on opposite sides of the play area. Each team holds hands. The game starts when the first team, calls a player out, by singing “red rover, red rover, send [player’s name on opposite team] right over”. The person called must run to the other

The hopscotch course consists of 10 numbered boxes in alternate single and double rows. The first player throws a stone or a bean bag into the first square and must then hop through the course, missing the square with the marker, turn around and hop home, collecting the marker on the way. If the player manages to do this, he/ she can continue with the second square and so on. If the player misses the square with the marker, or doesn’t manage to hop through the course without falling over, he/ she misses her turn and the second player gets a go. The first player to complete every numbered square wins the game.


Chad Valley Tennis, Badminton and Volleyball Set, €18.79, Argos

Airflow Bouncy Castle, €52, Smyths

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Little Tikes My First Slide, €39, Littlewoods Ireland

Sand & Water Table, €64.99, ELC @ Mothercare

Bestway Interactive Pool, €52, Littlewoods Ireland

06/05/2016 16:01


TELLING TALES Reviewed by maternity & infant editor Penny (mum), Danny (5) & Ellie (3) PICK OF THE PILE The Three Ninja Pigs By David Bedford; illustrated by Becka Moor (Simon and Schuster), €6.99 Like big bundles of energy (that any mum can understand), the three ninja piglets are always on the go – but they also come with a good dose of trouble. But, as we find out, not everything is their fault – the big bad wolf is one step ahead of them… Both Danny & Ellie loved the energy of this book, along with the busy pictures and the key phrase: “no more TROUBLE”. I have read this book every night for the last three weeks… We like … the zippy story that’s a perfect length for preschoolers They’ll love … the little piglets playing a trick on the big bad wolf.


2I +Have y earsAn Orange

3The+ y Cloudspotter ears

+ 4Little y ears Worm’s

+ 5Irelandopedia y ears

By Alan Sanders (Fat Fox), €6.99 When an alien, dinosaur and elephant try to take a boy’s orange drink, they get squashed by some very big objects. But when the boy’s little brother asks for it, he hands it over willingly – because he asked nicely. Awww! The beautifully cheeky illustrations were a big hit with Ellie, in particular. We like ... The positive message that sharing is caring. They’ll love ... The gentle, simple pictures with oodles of personality.

By Tom McLaughlin (Bloomsbury), €6.99 Franklin is known by everyone as The Cloudspotter, but he doesn’t have any friends. He spend everyday by himself spotting not just clouds but adventures in the sky. But then an unexpected visitor shows up – is there a second Cloudspotter? This is a truly beautiful book with a gentle message of friendship – both kids enjoyed this. We like ... The exquisite illustrations and colours. They’ll love ... The Cloudspotter’s vivid imagination and adventures.

By Eva Schlunke & Polyp (New Internationalist), £7.99 Little Worm always felt worthless – until Grasshopper tells him he’s unique and special, just like every other creature. Eager to discover what makes him special, Little Worm sets out on an adventure around the world to ask other creatures what makes them unique. This longer book is great for older kids keen to learn about nature. Danny loved this, and pored over the detailed imagery. We like ... The detailed illustrations and positive message. They’ll love ... The sheer variety of creatures Little Worm meets.

By Fatti & John Burke (Harper Collins), €13.99 The must-have book last Christmas was Irelandopedia, an exciting collection of natural wonders, exciting experiences and fun festivities that summed up this great little country of our’s. This is the activity book companion and great for any Junior or Senior Infant learning more about Ireland. I have not seen this book since Danny took it into his room… We like ... The peace generated by busy and occupied kids – and they’re learning! They’ll love ... The variety of things to do and colour.

Juicy Drink

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Big Question

Activity Book

06/05/2016 16:00


The new ŠKODA Superb. From €289 per month including three years servicing. Imagine a car that blurs the line between beauty and functionality. Where style and spaciousness are in perfect harmony. Where there’s room for everything, except compromise. We imagined such a car and we call it the new ŠKODA Superb. Longer, wider, taller, lighter and packed with the latest technologies, the new Superb represents 120 years of forward thinking. From €26,995, the Superb will be one of the most talked about cars of 2016. Call into your local ŠKODA dealer and see the all-new Superb for yourself.


Clever inside The most popular Superb model, the Ambition, is available with a host of standard features such as: Bi-Xenon Headlights with LED day time lights

Smartphone compatible with latest Infotainment Systems

Largest interior in its class

Terms and conditions apply. RRP prices displayed exclude dealer delivery and related fees. Typical Finance Example: Superb OTRP €27,595. Deposit / Part Exchange €8,519 monthly payments of €289 (Including service plan of €13.99 per month). Optional Final Payment €10,798. Total cost of credit €1,772.50. Total hire purchase price €29,386. Minimum deposit is 10%. Subject to lending criteria. This offer is made under a hire purchase agreement. ŠKODA Finance is a trading style of Volkswagen Bank GmbH Branch Ireland, authorised by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority in Germany and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct of business rules. Images used for illustrative purposes only.

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06/05/2016 03/05/2016 14:43 12:28


Is there anything scarier than your child’s temperature spiking? Our GP columnist DR SINEAD BEIRNE has some sage advice for dealing with fever...

Treating a Fever


s one of five siblings, I often wondered how my mother coped, particularly when we were all under seven years old and sick with high fevers. I and a few of my siblings used to get recurring tonsillitis. We were lucky that our mum was a nurse. We kept her busy trying to control our high temperatures…Calpol, cooling fans and tepid sponging were all par for the course in our house. I used to hate the sight of wet towels as a kid…. thank God tepid sponging is no longer recommended! Fever is a temperature over 38 degrees Celsius. I always encourage parents to have a reliable thermometer at the ready at home. If your toddler becomes quieter in themselves and feels hot to touch, you need to take their temperature. If your child has a temperature, the first thing to do is to examine them for a rash. Don’t just eyeball them but instead check them everywhere by removing all their clothes including their nappy if they’re wearing one. Even look between the toes. What you’re looking for is a non-blanching rash, which can be associated with meningitis and septicaemia. You can use a glass to check for it. Press a glass against the skin: if the rash disappears once pressure is applied it’s a good sign. If not, you need to contact your doctor immediately. With the rash check behind you, for a child in distress, you can give them either ibuprofen or paracetamol. It’s best not to given both at the same time. If one medicine is given and there’s no response after 30 minutes then try giving the other. You can cool your child’s body by stripping them down to their vest. Give them regular small sips of water. As a guide give a teaspoon of water for every commercial break if you’ve got the TV on. Ice pops can

work a treat too as well as ice cream. It’s really important that every dose of medicine that’s given to your child is recorded, no matter who gives it. It’s all too easy to give too much or too little paracetamol or ibuprofen to your child if you, the crèche staff or grandparents don’t write it down. The trick to getting your doses right is knowing what your child weighs. You really can’t go by the age written on the side of bottle. Once you know what your child weighs in kilos, do the following calculation: Paracetamol is 15mg per kg every 4-6 hours, while ibuprofen is 7.5mg per kg every 6-8 hours. I learned this when I worked in paediatrics and show it to parents on an almost daily basis. Infrequently a child will develop a febrile convulsion. Parents who witness this are often terrified and believe that their child is going to die. The child typically turns very blue, shakes dramatically and froths at the mouth. If this happens to your child it’s usually benign. The fit is unlikely to last more than 5 minutes but if it does, call an ambulance. We always advise parents to bring their child to hospital after its first febrile convulsion, just for observation and reassurance. Most temperatures can be managed safely at home and convulsions are the exception. Even more rarely a fever may be cause for greater concern and the following symptoms are red flags: a spreading rash, headache, vomiting, pain, poor colour, limping, stiff neck or reaction to bright light. With any of these symptoms, a fever lasting more than four days or children under three months old, seeing the doctor is essential. However, when treating most childhood fevers, the mantra ‘right dose, right interval and write it down!’ is a great place to start.

Dr. Sinead Beirne is a GP in Irishtown in Dublin and the resident doctor on TV3’s Ireland AM and Newstalk Breakfast. She is a presenter of TV3 series Doctor In The House. Follow her on Twitter: @DrSineadBeirne All content in this column is for general information only and should not be treated as a substitute for the advice of your own doctor. Always consult your own GP if you are concerned about health matters.

MI Summer 2016_ Prescribing Advice.indd 17

06/05/2016 15:23



TOO MANY CHILDREN? Growing up in a large family in Ireland was the norm not so long ago but nowadays people are choosing to have smaller families. Is this down to choice or are socio-economic factors stopping us from having the families we want?


n our parents’ time, a large family was considered the norm, and it was fairly unusual to have a family with only one or two children. In our grandparents’ lifetime, it was virtually unheard of to have anything less than three or four children. A big family was considered a blessing, and the focus was on family get togethers and siblings looking out for each other, rather than expensive foreign holidays and lots of possessions. In the 1960s, higher order births were exceptionally common in Ireland. In 1960, for example, for every 100 firstborn children, over 150 children were the fifth-born or higher. By 2006, for every 100 firstborn children, only 11 children were the fifth-born or higher. This shows the very large family, which little more than a generation ago was very common, has now become rare and although there are now more families than ever before, family sizes are smaller. The proportion of large families has fallen, while the number of children growing up without siblings has risen. A report carried out by Eurostat in 2015 found that Ireland has the highest proportion of children in the European Union. In our parents’ generation, having big families was common and this was seen as an advantage, mainly because children began working at an early age to help provide for the family. But with the changing times and the cost of living getting higher, having a big family is no longer considered to be a practical option. In fact, more couples are now considering having only one child and some do not have any desire to become parents at all. There are many reasons for this sudden and steady decrease but mainly, it comes

MI Summer 2016_Burning Topic.indd 18

down to choices, choices that weren’t available in the 60s and even 70s. The first choice is, of course, contraception. In 1978 the Health (Family Planning) Bill was introduced, legalizing contraception, but limiting its provision to family planning or for adequate medical reasons; in November 1980 the Act finally came into operation. This was just 36 years ago. The sale of condoms without a prescription was introduced in 1985. This begs the question, if society was given a choice would things have been different? The fact is, greater access to contraceptives has given more adults control over the timing and occurrence of births. Another obvious contributing factor is women’s equal rights in the workplace; it wasn’t that long ago that a woman was ex-

pected to give up work after starting a family. While that has changed in our generation, both men and women, for many reasons, say they want to establish a career before starting a family – the need for expensive childcare being a big factor. Hence, the age of mothers at first childbirth has risen and with it, the probability of having fewer children than previous generations. Choosing to establish a career and wanting to earn enough money to be able to support and provide for your children is perfectly acceptable if not, admirable but there is no denying this has an effect on fertility rates. We asked Allison Keating, a well-known psychologist and owner of the bWell Clinic, for her thoughts having a larger family in Ireland today. “People from larger families


WE ASKED: Are children in a large family at an advantage?

53 % 47 % YES No

WE ASKED: Do you think large families are frowned upon in Ireland today?

58 % 42 % YES No

09/05/2016 17:13


WE ASKED: If money was no object, how many children would you have?



would have four or more

WE ASKED: How many children do you have?



1 Child

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2 Children



3 Children



4 Children



5 Children+

09/05/2016 17:13



“Financially, it is very difficult to have more than three children in Ireland today...”

✱ CAROLYN ZENKER O’SULLIVAN I think I’d have four if I could (I’m on my first at the moment). I’d like to have an even number so no one feels left out although once you’re at four you might as well have six. If money was no object at least you could hire help and just have lots of fun with your kids, no housework to keep you stressed. I’m not sure how many is too many though. I know someone who had 18 siblings and they loved having so many brothers and sisters. The more the merrier. ✱ KIRSTY-THEO COOK Five max as I would love a nice sized family. ✱ TARA BRADY Three is just perfect. ✱ SHARON CLINCH I have three and I have to stop there; if I have anymore I won’t have any hair left. ✱ ANNA FINLAY I have three, if money was no object and my body could handle it I’d have about six or just keep going till I felt I had had enough I’m only 27 so loads of time. The size of our house and on our wages three children is plenty. ✱ ROSEMARY MURPHY I have eight and wouldn’t have it any other way. I really don’t think there is a number that’s too many children. Every family is different and what suits one family may not suit another. There’s definitely no one size fits all. I really wish there wasn’t so much negativity around big families in Ireland these days. The amount of stupid comments you get once you have a certain number of kids is ridiculous. People have no right to judge or say how many kids a family should have unless it’s them paying the bills, giving birth to the babies and taking care of the kids! Growing up in a big family children have the advantage of growing up with lots of siblings to learn from and they will always have each other in years to come. It’s so lovely watching them play together and seeing their relationships develop. Despite common misconceptions my children do get individual time and get opportunities to do after school activities the same as a child in a smaller family. As long as a family can afford food, clothes and a place to live it’s up to them how many kids they have.

MI Summer 2016_Burning Topic.indd 20

are more cooperative, they are more altruistic and able to take on responsibility at a younger age in a positive way but like in all families, it really comes to the parents because they are going to create the family dynamics. Parents also need to consider their resources from both a financial and an emotional point of view. The reality is, if a couple decide to have a larger family it is very hard to divide your attention evenly amongst them.” “Nowadays finances play a huge in the number of children couples have and people are getting married a lot later in life so the possibility of having 10 children is a lot less. There has been a big cultural shift in terms of what age people start having children and, women making choices for themselves and their bodies. They are all practical reasons but they are choices we didn’t have not so long ago,” Allison adds.

Personal insight

Kathleen Brennan, mum to William, Aaron, Sophie, Hollie and baby Emily, believes that financially, it is very difficult to have a big family in Ireland today. “I think the advantages of people growing up in a large family is definitely support, and safety. Older siblings can act as a role model, which can be good or bad, children learn to share their knowledge, the importance of teamwork and love. As a parent to a large family it’s impossible to give one child your full undivided attention but I try to share myself equally between them. Trying to financially and emotionally support my children in their activities is difficult; some kids might struggle in certain areas as you’re trying to concentrate on other areas. Time management and support can be huge for

me because sometimes their plays for school or parent teacher meetings are on same day or time and I can’t make it to both so it’s a choice you have to make. “Coming from a big family and growing up in a house with four boys and three girls and later half brothers and sisters, it has been tough but also rewarding. I have learned so much from living with my siblings and although we are all very close to one another, we all have different personalities. There were times when my mam would struggle to provide for us all or try take us away on sunny holidays like other families. Sharing a room with other siblings was hard especially when I hit puberty and needed my own space. Sharing a three-bedroom house with a huge family was difficult there was never enough space to sit do homework or relax. “But there was always advantages too, it was great to have big brothers and sisters to look up to and be there to support you or give you advice, especially starting secondary school. Having siblings in the same school, made it easier for me because I knew I had family with me in this scary new environment. Growing up I have always been able to confide in my older sister about relationships and any other problems I’ve had and, I am thrilled my daughters will have that support too. “I think society has changed so much over the last few years, there is so much peer pressure on both parents and children to have the best phone or clothing brands it’s nearly impossible for parents to support more than two children. Financially, it is very difficult to have more than three children in Ireland today. The cost of living is far too expensive.”

09/05/2016 17:13


JEN HOGAN is mum to seven children, ranging in age from 14 down to seven months, and tells us why she loves having such a big family.


ver since I was a little girl and for as long as I can remember I have wanted a big family. Surprisingly as a child I was never bothered with dolls especially, but I knew that children were a big part of my plan in life. I was the sort of person who liked to browse in Mothercare just to admire the tiny little clothes. The fact that little clothes were my point of focus shows I really hadn’t a clue what I was getting into! I met my husband at university and by the time I was 24 we had bought a house, got married and baby number one was on the way. Every aspect of pregnancy fascinated me and I couldn’t get enough of the parenting magazines and books that were available. I excitedly looked forward to each and every doctor and hospital appointment just so I could hear my baby’s heartbeat and learn about their size and position. I still couldn’t really believe that I was really growing a little person. In the summer of 2001, my beautiful baby girl was born and my life as I knew it was turned on its head! Motherhood was nothing like I expected. I had never even held a baby before and the constant stream of feeding, crying, pooping, repeat blew me out of the water. The first few weeks passed by in a blur of exhaustion and there were times that I wondered what on earth I had done. Thankfully as I started to find my feet and learned to cope without sleep, I realised that this gorgeous, demanding bundle of pink was the best thing ever to happen to me. I knew, if I was lucky enough, I wanted to do this again. And do it again we did, but it was not as straightforward as it might have appeared to some. In between the birth of my next six children I had four miscarriages, which left me distraught and utterly heartbroken. I learned that pregnancy didn’t guarantee a baby and I spent subsequent pregnancies anxious and worried until I held my newborn in my arms. Each time I was handed a new precious bundle I was eternally grateful for their safe arrival and forever appreciative of my good luck. As my luck held out, my family grew and so it began. Families have gotten smaller, this is undeniable. People are having less children for many different reasons, some by choice, some by circumstance. I’ve heard all the jokes from “haven’t you figured out what’s causing it yet?” to “you need to get a television”. I have had all sorts of questions put to me as to why I have worked my uterus so hard. Two people asked if it was driven by religious beliefs. It is not. Many more have suggested it’s because of my uneven gender balance. I’ve explained here that had gender been the driving force, I’d have stopped after two. I had a much more socially acceptable “gentleman’s family” then. The reason I have such a large family is much more simple. It’s because I love children and I’ve been fortunate enough to have seven. Getting there and the journey since hasn’t all been plain sailing. Rearing children is very hard work, we all know that, but I never take my good luck for granted. I count my lucky stars every day that this crazy, hectic, exhausting, life full of love is mine. Being a parent is a privilege. A privilege that I have been blessed with seven times. A privilege denied to many.


Jen Hogan blogs about big family life at mamatude7.blogspot.ie/

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10/05/2016 09:01



EVOLUTION You don’t have to be a scientist to understand evolution, says NICK WILKINSON. Simply have children and you’ll know all about it…


haven’t read any books by Charles Darwin, but I have watched a few nature programmes so I think I’m well-placed to explain to parents what he meant by his theory of evolution. It all comes down to the kids. They are cute, adorable and give parents a sense of responsibility and purpose in life. Plus, we get to re-live our own lives vicariously through them. With this in mind, our house has become something of an anthropological playground. What I want to know is, are we evolving as a species? One of the ways of testing this is to have a look at gender stereotyping. Science fiction would have us believe that in the future, men and women will all wear some sort of titanium-threaded, silver one-piece that leaves very little to the imagination. I put it to you that in a thousand years’ time, little girls will be wearing pink fairy dresses, while little boys will be figuring out how to fasten the velcro on their Bob The Spaceman overalls. We might all be living on the moon, but parents will still have to decide whether to paint the nursery pod pink or blue. One area in which I hope we will have reached some kind of equilibrium is how grown-up girls and boys take it in turns running the moon or whatever galactic colony they choose to live on. Excuse me if this sounds sexist but it seems to me that in the adult world at the moment, too many men are in charge. How come when children are small, females are the bosses, and males, despite the odd rebellion, do exactly what the little girls want them to do? How do men suddenly take over? Yesterday, my daughter’s best friend from school came over. She calls him Little Paul, because although

they are the same age, he only comes up to her shoulder. When Little Paul arrives at the house he is ordered to the dressing-up box and after a lengthy fitting, is kitted out in an appropriate prince costume. Any attempt he makes to wear one of my son’s Spider-man outfits is immediately dismissed. Little Paul then spends his entire play date following my daughter around in a kind of wide-eyed wonder as she tells him what to do. His task yesterday was to turn her bedroom into an exact replica of a Disney princess castle. To us it might have looked like a mess of duvets, cushions and tinsel, to them it was Arundel. In an attempt to replicate the ballroom scene from Frozen, he was ordered to scatter a bag of ice cubes across the floor. When we got cross, she told us that Little Paul had done it. He just gulped like a fish. Luckily, the dog, who had been decked out with antlers, ate them all up. Today, I had Little Paul over again, along with three five-year-old girls. His prince outfit and the castle have become even more elaborate. The girls had commandeered a bedroom where they held court. Nobody was allowed to enter. Except for Little Paul, who brought whatever treats and trinkets took the ladies’ fancy. I felt sorry for the poor kid. Until I heard shrieks of terror coming from Arundel. I ran upstairs, and found Little Paul with a satisfied grin fixed on his face. The girls were cowering in a corner of their castle. On the floor, blocking their way out, was a strategically placed, very realistic, rubber dog turd. The girls were convinced it was real. They remained trapped in their own fairytale while Little Paul went to put on a Spiderman outfit. That, I believe, is the theory of evolution.

“How come when children are small, females are the bosses, and males do exactly what the little girls want them to do? How do men suddenly take over?”

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06/05/2016 15:35




Image: mamalicious

Keeping your cool in the summer when pregnant can be a tricky prospect, but thankfully the brands have taken note and produced some stunning pieces in light fabrics to keep us comfortable and stylish. In Trimester Trends on p24, we take a look at a perennial summer trend – stripes – and show you how to incorporate the look into your maternity wardrobe, no matter how big your bump. Our Trend page looks at cool and floaty looks in sunny colours for those very hot days. Finally, we take inspiration from one of our favourite celebrity pregnancy wardrobes this year, Chrissie Teigen.

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06/05/2016 16:04


Trimester Trends You can’t go wrong with stripes, especially in summer – a fail-safe choice no matter the occasion.













2 2


3 4 3 4


4 5




1 White long contrast waistcoat, €59.95, Zara 2 Silver twisted earrings, €9.95, Zara 3 Maternity blue stripe bardot neck dress, €22.99, New Look 4 Everything stick in Naive, €13, Topshop 5 Maestro glow in blanc, €46, Armani @ Brown Thomas 6 White leather plimsolls with bow, €59.95, Zara

mi summer 2016_trimester trends.indd 24



1 Blue lace gilet, €45, River Island 2 Maternity stripe sundress, €40, Topshop 3 Fuchsia lip giftset, from €83, NARS @ ASOS 4 Ocean blue aviator sunglasses, €15, Accessorize 5 Silver premium spike choker, €14.99, New Look 6 Denim lace-up sandals, €53.95, ASOS

1 Isle of Wight cotton and silk scarf, €23, National Trust 2 Maternity stripe strappy cami, €26, Topshop 3 Bucket style bag, €149.90, Tommy Hilfiger 4 White cropped under-the-bump maternity jeans, €59, Seraphine 5 Bright red matte lipstick, €19.50, Urban Decay @ Debenhams 6 Alexa hearts nail polish, €21, Nail Inc @ Littlewoods 7 Navy leather slider sandals, €85, Dune

09/05/2016 12:30

25 TREND 12




Who knows what sort of weather we’ll get this summer - but that shouldn’t deter you from brightening up your maternity wardrobe for the season ahead 11

3 4


10 6

9 8


Main: Maternity cotton dress with cold shoulder and embroidery, €40, ASOS 1 Blue braid floppy hat, €19, Accessorize 2 Rectangle cuff bracelet, €16, Topshop 3 Maternity nursing drape blouse, €40, Topshop 4 Floral woven maternity skirt, €29.95, Mamalicious 5 Simple cut-out lace ring, €6, Diva at Miss Selfridge 6 Coral off-the-shoulder top, €10, Penneys 7 Yellow fringed slingback wedges, €50, River Island 8 Beach bag, €56, Next 9 Blue jersey jumpsuit, €34.95, Mamalicious 10 Maternity cheesecloth dress with embroidery, €38, ASOS 11 Black premium handmade cat eye sunglasses, €68, Next 12 Maternity midi dress with floral embroidery, €53, ASOS

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09/05/2016 12:35


Siren velvet round sunglasses, €20, Topshop



Gold wisdom necklace, €480, Golnar Gorgin @ Boticca

STYLE John Legend and wife Chrissy Teigen welcomed their beautiful daughter Luna Simone on April 14 - while we’re so happy for them both, we admit to already missing Chrissy’s pregnancy style! Her stunning maternity wardrobe made her nine months one of the stand-out celebrity pregnancies in recent years.

Chrissy Teigen is a close friend of the Kardashians, and is thought to have taken the inspiration for some of her maternity looks from Kim, such as this simple yet glam look, which is perfect for a night out. Thankfully she seems to have steered away from some of Kim’s more “experimental” looks, preferring to keep her style down to earth and infinitely wearable. Go for navy rather than black to lift the look for the summer months.

Navy coat, €135, Autograph at Marks & Spencer

Maternity navy split front dress, €19.99, New Look


Navy low-heeled sandals, €95, Dune

Heritage tricolour pink handbag, €500, Longchamp @ Arnotts


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Four-piece ring set, €210, Alexis Bittar @ Brown Thomas

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The product most recommended by pharmacists for scars and stretch marks. 3Gem, 2015

“I think your greatest fear when you’re pregnant – apart from being a new mother – is that your body just won’t be the same anymore. You’re so conscious about stretch marks. And I carried huge in my pregnancies. My midwife recommended Bio-Oil, but I’d also heard about it from other women that said they had amazing results. And that’s why I used it. It helps when somebody actually tells you from experience if something works.” Lyndall with Emiel

Bio-Oil® helps reduce the possibility of pregnancy stretch marks forming by increasing the skin’s elasticity. It should be applied twice daily from the first trimester. For comprehensive product information, and details of clinical trials, please visit bio-oil.com. Bio-Oil is available at pharmacies and selected retailers at the recommended selling price of €11.95 (60ml). Individual results will vary. Distributed in the UK and the Republic of Ireland by Godrej Consumer Products (UK) Ltd.

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Baby’s holiday essentials Bringing a small baby on holidays is not an easy task; we’ve put together three essential outfits that you shouldn’t board the plane without! BABY’S DAY OUT




2 2

3 3







1 Navy spotted sun parasol, €24, Baby Elegance 2 Navy striped hat, €10, Mamas & Papas 3 Pink print frill dress, €43, Mamas & Papas 4 Sailor linen dress (0-12mths), €44, Mamas & Papas 5 Organic stripe sun hat (01yrs), €17.90, Polarn O. Pyret

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5 5

1 Strawberry babysuit and hat gift set (324mths), €120, Burberry @ Childrensalon 2 Floatsuit (0-24mths), €32, Konfidence 3 SPF50+ aqua poncho, €37, Cuddledry 4 White two-piece shortie set (3-24mths), €120, Burberry @ Childrensalon 5 Pack of four under the sea reusable nappies, €7, Bambino

1 Dobby folded waist dress (3-24mths), €45, The Little White Company 2 Striped romper suit (1-24mths), €21.95, Zara 3 Reversible sun hat, €21, Toby Tiger 4 White newborn cardigan (2-4mths), €24.90, Polarn O. Pyret 5 White nautical cotton sun hat (0-3yrs), €11, Childrensalon

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Pale blue single-breasted cotton blazer (1 1/2yrs10yrs), €29.99, H&M


Floral summer hat (3mths-3yrs), €7.95, Mothercare Three piece safe in the sun shark suit (1-7yrs), from €24, Marks & Spencer


Pink cut frill tankini (3mths3yrs), €14.95, Mothercare


White roshe one runners (0-3yrs), €46, Nike

Pale blue dress trousers (1 1/2yrs-10yrs), €12.99, H&M


Bucket and spade set, €4, Tiger

Pink floral socks (3mths3yrs), €11.95, Mothercare

Cool stripe sweatshirt (9mths3yrs), €19.95, Zara


It might be summer time but in Ireland you have to be prepared for four seasons in one day!

Embroidered jeans (9mths-3yrs), €17.95, Zara

Yellow raincoat with lining details (3mths-3yrs), €17.95, Zara

White ribbed t-shirt (03yrs), €8, River Island

Turquoise sunglasses, €100, Sons + Daughters @ Childrensalon

Daisy print dungarees (0-4yrs), €31, Frugi

Two-pack stripe t-shirt (3mths-6yrs), €12, Next

Main: Striped pinafore dress (3mths-6yrs), from €16, Next


Red stripe pleated dress (3mths-3yrs), €14.95, Mothercare

Fish swim shorts (28yrs), €95, Jim Moon @ Brown Thomas

Blue cuffed chino (1-7yrs), €13, Marks & Spencer Red lollipop wellies (3mths-3yrs), €29, Aigle

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Black flat jelly sandals (3mths-3yrs) €10, River Island

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White twill jacket (3-14 years), €23, Zara Mirror mosaic tassel bag, €16, Monsoon

Pink oversized round sunglasses, €8, River Island




Three-pack print hair scrunchies, €7, Accessorize

Haven Warren, daughter of actress Jessica Alba, normally stays out of the spotlight, but when she comes out to play she makes sure to don a super cute laidback style.

Pink embellished lace top, (5-14 years), €40, Yumi @ Debenhams


Summer is all about having fun outdoors while staying cool. Here, Haven dresses perfectly for a fun afternoon at the park with mum. With the sunglasses and perfect shoes, the only thing missing from her outfit is sunscreen! We can’t help but smile along with Haven and admire her effortlessly stylish look.

Blue leather sandals, €72, Childrensalon

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Denim shorts, (3-16 years), from €12, Next

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Ref 1: Testimonial available upon request.

Julianne Buckley (mum of three)

Generations of soothing, healing & protecting. For the science bit go to



Parenting nting Product Pr oduct Awards ds IRELAND

Paren t & Expert Panel Approved


Always read the label carefully. FADG-129-02. Date of preparation: November 2015.

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06/05/2016 22/04/2016 14:48 12:01


VOTE AND WIN TODAY! Win a 2 night family break for 2 adults & 2 children under 12 B&B plus 1 evening meal in the beautiful Falls Hotel, Co. Clare, courtesy of Select Hotels.

To enter, simply visit the Boots maternity & infant Award website and vote for all your favourite baby & family products!

www.maternityandinfant.ie/awards | #BootsmiAwards2016

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06/05/2016 05/05/2016 14:50 09:57



of dressing in pregnancy

Choosing what to wear, or more importantly what to buy, in pregnancy is not as easy as you may think. RACHEL MURRAY has the complete guide of what’s essential and what’s not so essential.

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confidence and discomfort relief will do wonders for your mood.

’m sure at some point in your life someone has advised you to try and plan your pregnancy in winter. Although having a summer baby is great, looking stylish and being comfortable does not come so easy in the height of summer. Luckily for you, you live in Ireland so our complete lack of summer hot days goes in your favour. But there is the odd hot day or if we’re lucky, a hot week, and no matter what, your office will still get stuffy, which can cause a pregnant women to perspire profusely. Then, of course, there’s the ‘holiday wardrobe’ – the ultimate fear that comes with pouring your newfound curves into swimwear and trying to feel confident at the same time.

Added bonus: Rumour has it, good bust support will decrease the likelihood of stretch marks later on.

Be yourself A lot of women panic when their body starts to change its shape, not because they’re getting bigger, but because they don’t know how to dress their growing shape. Sometimes mums-to-be feel like they need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. This is a complete WASTE of money. The best piece of advice I was ever given was ‘be yourself.’ If boho chic has always been your preference – stick to it. If you’re a jeans and t-shirt kinda gal – dressing your bump will be a doddle, and if you like skintight and fancy – Kim K is your new style inspiration. Whether she’s your cup of tea or not, she brought maternity wear to a whole new level.

Beginnings Usually mums-to-be get away with wearing their prepregnancy clothes until around the three- to four-month mark. At that point, they begin to feel the squeeze. Tip: to get a little extra wear out of your jeans, use a bobbin around the button to release the squeeze but keep your jeans firmly secure! The first big change will most likely be your bust. Most women have no complaints about that in theory, but jumping up three cup sizes in a matter of weeks means a trip to your chosen lingerie department is a must. You will not believe the comfort and probably joy a maternity bra will bring you. Along with folic acid and regular exercise, finding the right bra is the best thing you can do for your baby. The increased

Invest in jeans There are a few key pieces that you will find yourself living in during pregnancy; number one has to be maternity jeans. At the beginning of pregnancy you might find this a challenge. This is usually because there are so many types available it’s confusing (a bit like baby shopping) and then there’s under-the-bump or over-the-bump, I’m

TOP TEN ZARAH HARTUNG, who runs online baby store CherishMe.ie and is mum to son Josh and daughter Jenna, writes about her top ten picks for mums-to-be this summer.

M ax i D ress D enim S h orts W h ite J eans FLORAL MAXI DRESS, SERAPHINE, €83 Be iconic with a flowing maternity maxi dress because it is a great way to keep cool during the summer. Maxi dresses drape beautifully over your curves, elongate your silhouette and hide swollen ankles during the last trimester!

DENIM MATERNITY SHORTS, JOJO MAMAN BÉBÉ , €33 A must-have in summer because denim shorts are timeless and can be worn with basic tee and sandals or dress your shorts up with heels and a dressy top for a summer evening out.

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WHITE CROPPED UNDERTHE-BUMP JEANS, SERAPHINE, €59 White jeans are a summer staple because they look fabulous with a nautical tunic and white runners for a laid back look or dress them up with a blouse and heels for a more sophisticated look.

N autical NAVY AMD WHITE DOUBLE LAYER FRONT WRAP NURSING TOP, MOTHERCARE, €31.95 One piece that has proven to be very popular every summer is fresh nautical stripes. See p24 for three ways to wear stripes this summer.

S ummer D ress RED MATERNITY DRESS, ASOS, €35.21 It’s always great to have a dress that will see you from night to day. This season, the collections offer so many directional prints and new styles that will flatter your bump and brighten up your summer wardrobe.

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en months’ pregnant, accentuating your stomach looks great. If like me, you couldn’t face the thought of giving up heels, chose carefully. Stick to kitten or chunky heels but always carry some flats, you’ll never know what your day might bring. At the moment sports gear is fashionable, which is great for all mums-to-be because it is super comfortable and supportive. If you haven’t made the transition to sports-luxe this is the time to do it.

afraid it’s a case of trying on as many as you can until you find the style that makes you the most comfortable.

Tip: Over-the-bump is the most popular and I’ve only ever heard rave reviews of H&M’s maternity jeans, they’re easy on the pocket too.

Up top Your burgeoning bust will force you to rethink your neckline. A modest v-neck creates the illusion of a flatter bust, but giving a stunning cleavage. Maternity shirts are another pregnancy staple – these are perfect for all occasions, be it, work, weekends and everything in between. Maternity shirts are your go-to when you want to look like you made an effort without actually putting that much effort into your look. Long t-shirts and tank tops will probably be your everyday staple, especially in the final trimester. They go with everything, they’re comfy and they don’t keep slipping up over your bump. Long cardigans from your pre-pregnancy wardrobe should be enough to fight the summer chill as long as you don’t mind it not fitting over bump!

Holiday wardrobe If you are going on a sun holiday this summer don’t get too stressed about what to pack. Packing shouldn’t be any different to what you usually packed for a holiday but there are some things to keep in mind. The most important being supportive swimwear, underwire gives optimum support, and light padding is another support while a v-shaped bikini top is great for flattering your cleavage. Pack light and loose summer dresses, a kaftan, comfortable flat sandals and you’re done.

Final tip: You’re nearly at the finish line, and you’re so uncomfortable you could cry. Stay away from buttons, zippers, and even waistbands, they could send you over the edge. But remember, not long left until you’re back in your skinny jeans with your beautiful baby in tow, which makes all of these stresses quickly evaporate into a distant memory.

Stretch the bump You don’t want to look bigger when you’re pregnant, so it’s a fine line, but stretchy Lycra dresses will show off your shape in a good way. When you’re five, six or sev-

S w imw ear SMOOTHIE ONE-PIECE SWIMSUIT, CAKE MATERNITY , €69.90 Maternity swimwear can make you feel so confident by the beach or pool because it is designed to flatter your bust, bump and bum!

O ccasionw ear Active W ear BLUE LACE DRESS, MAMALICIOUS, €49.95 Lace dresses are extremely popular and finished off with a satin bow tied under the bust line, a pair of heels and matching clutch just brings the whole look together for a timeless elegant look.

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BOOB ‘ONCE ON NEVER OFF’ LEGGINGS, CHERISH ME, €40 Whether you have taken up pregnancy yoga or are enjoying daily walks in the park, you will want clothes that feel comfortable and cool on the skin. We recommend Boobs‘ ‘once on never off leggings’.

W ork w ear

L oung e W ear

THE BUMP KIT, CHERISH ME, €109 Stick with black, whites and neutral shade for a smart professional look. ‘The bump kit’ is €109 and comes with a stretchy black maternity skirt, a supportive white vest, black leggings and a little black maternity dress.

MATERNITY STRIPE PYJAMA SET, TOPSHOP, €42 Pamper yourself with luxurious sleepwear that will make you feel beautiful and comfortable every day and night. Make sure to choose nightwear that will expand with your bump and is made from pima cotton.

09/05/2016 16:00




SIDELINES The focus of childbirth is on the woman and the baby, naturally enough – but what about the dad standing anxiously at her side? What are they really thinking? LANA CITRON investigates…


ot to put too fine a point on it, giving birth can be messy: blood, gore and stitches. When one’s feminine mystique disappears in a puff of smoke, how can it not affect your partner’s sexual view of you? While researching this article, I was surprised by the reactions received. Firstly, there were so many! It quickly became clear that dads may be standing on the sidelines supporting their better half, but were they also feeling slightly side-lined? Ex-farmer Tony wrote about feeling left out after the birth of his daughter by emergency C section: “I can still remember the disappointment as Emily was given the baby to hold and I was told to get out while they stitched my wife back up. I realised I was no longer the only one my wife loved and I worried her love for me would be diluted or reduced because it was now going to someone else. I wasn’t prepared for the emotion. It bothered me for a long time. It took me a month to really bond with Heather and to feel that she was mine to love as well.”

Frightening experience According to a survey of expectant fathers carried out by the National Maternity Hospital in 2014 as many as 17.7 per cent of Irish dads said they were frightened by the delivery, while 62 per cent described labour as a “great experience”. “The first time you don’t really know what to expect,’ said Sean, father of five. Recent first-time dad David described it as, “Not how I expected [but], how I’d hoped it would

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be – with some twists and turns.” Scott, dad of three, recalled his first time as slightly surreal and Gary, a dad of two, said: “I had always heard about the ‘Miracle of Childbirth’ but until you are actually in that situation it doesn’t really mean much. It is truly amazing.” Each birth is of course a unique experience for you and your partner. Ronan, a dad of two whose his wife had a scheduled C section wrote, “it meant we were both going through the experience together – it felt like a big day. But I thought I’d feel more elated. It was clinical and a bit of a non-event.” Clichéd views of dads attending births often cast them as swearing punchbags and handcrushing providers, bumbling fools or worse, upstaging the moment by fainting. I asked the group whether their presence was a help or a hindrance? Gary said, “I would say help. My wife may say I wasn’t that ‘helpful’ but not a ‘hindrance’. She likes to take 100 per cent of the credit and that’s ok with me!” Nick said, “it was our moment, I was as much a part of it as my wife.” David agreed, “I definitely was a help by using massage and aromatherapy to help keep her relaxed and focused and in a meditative state.” For others it was frustrating not to be able to help more. Diarmuid, a father of two, felt like a bystander for most of the labour, but when the baby arrived, “…at last a job for me. (I) ripped off my shirt ready for skin-to-skin, sat back in the comfy chair, unwrapped the towel from our daughter and placed her tiny crumpled body on my tummy. Then I felt it: a warm trickle of green-brown meconium made its way down to my waistline. Her first poo.”

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Physical reaction I was heartened by how resilient the dads were regarding the visceral reality of birth. Sean described the process as an ‘unusual but normal’ situation. Scott concurred, “I don’t want to sound crass and insensitive but it felt entirely normal and natural.” David responded, “I did not find it scary…. there was a natural process happening. She seemed to be transcending her conscious state into some ‘other state.’ She was in a uncomfortable state yet it was one of true euphoria.” Gary added he ‘felt guilty’ he couldn’t do more: “Until that baby comes out safe and sound and without any major issues it’s very scary. You just don’t know.” The responses were varied when asked if it was upsetting to see their partner suffer. “Yes you don’t ever want to see your loved ones in pain,” says Sean. Scott said, “No it didn’t, but we have known each other so long I know how strong she is.” David added: “Her suffering was not experienced in the sense of pain. It was that of transition. I know this may seem conceited, but I’m being totally frank here. We really – she really worked so hard before labour day on positive visualisation.” Nick said: “We seemed to ride the waves of pain together, it was never like she was actually suffering... it was part of nature, incredible that her body could do what it did, and beautiful and emotional.” How many were brave or curious enough to watch the baby crowning? Ronan declared he stood well back “at the top of the bed next to my partner’s head and then later took a peek behind the curtain,” whereas Gary watched “every little detail and procedure… before, during and after, I was in total awe with the entire thing.”

Impact on sex life Robbie Williams famously said that seeing his wife give birth was like ‘watching his favourite pub burn down’ and Gordon Ramsey claimed his sex life ‘would be damaged by images like something out of a sci-fi movie.’ Thankfully any of the dads I talked to didn’t share their views. Was witnessing the birth a sexual turn-off? Scott said, “This was not the case, even slightly. I have always and continue to find my wife amazing. I think true love and a deep physical and spiritual bond makes that irrelevant or even more bonding.” Sean agreed, “What I saw was a source of life, not pleasure.” Nick sums it up nicely: “In terms of sexuality – maybe this sounds clichéd, but this whole childbirth thing was as if she had become a woman. It was like a whole new relationship, which was really exciting... everything moved up a notch or two. It wasn’t just us anymore. It was an entire family and this

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made us grow and mature... I also discovered a massive level of respect for my wife that wasn’t necessarily not there before, but was blatant and apparent... I still respect her for this whole giving birth thing.” Having watched their partners at their most vulnerable but also their strongest, all the dads interviewed admitted they were in awe of their partners. The experience brought them closer together and bonded them as a family unit.

When handed his new daughter, Diarmuid said he experienced all manner of feelings: “A flood of emotions struck, (firstly) why are they giving her to me? I’m the least experienced person here!’ then it dawned... I was a dad. My wife and I were no longer a couple: we were a family. I stood there in tears, cradling the most precious creature in the whole world, protecting her against anything and anyone who could do her harm.”

FIRST PERSON “It’s an incredible feeling and something that you will remember for the rest of your life” We are delighted to announce that Brian Ormond is returning to host the Boots maternity & infant Awards next October, along with Maura Derrane. The duo proved themselves to be incredibly popular when they hosted the ceremony last year, even managing to navigate their way through the more emotional stories that went with the People Awards. “Yeah, it can be really emotional, can’t it?” said Brian when we caught up with him recently. “I got a bit caught myself at one point; it’s funny because you read through the notes and you think grand, grand, but then in the moment it can just catch you.” But before all of that (and more on the Awards on p64-65), Brian has a rather emotional event of his own. Already the proud dad to two, Chloe (16) and Ollie (3), at time of writing, Brian and his wife Pippa O’Connor are counting down the final days to the birth of a new baby, due in mid-May. So no better person than to ask about a dad’s experience of labour and birth… “I was there for Chloe and Ollie, and it’s a very emotional thing,” Brian said. “It’s an incredible experience and I don’t think anyone can describe it unless you’ve been through it yourself. A friend of mine had his first there a few months ago and he got so emotional and caught up in it all. It’s an incredible feeling and something that you will remember for the rest of your life. I’d highly recommend to anyone that if they can be there for the birth of their child, they should be.” Does your opinion of your partner change afterwards? “Absolutely, you have so much admiration and respect for them,” said Brian. “You wonder how they got through it, and you realise how strong they are. You think afterwards, my God, after seeing what they did there, they can achieve anything.” While it’s amazing and joyful, for the dads it can also be an unsettling experience. “Birth is an amazing experience but it’s also terrifying – you’re really placing yourself in someone else’s hands. It’s such a joyful time, but you’re scared out of your wits too. It’s a giant mixture of emotions. You also feel helpless, there’s nothing you can do apart from back rubbing or whatever. The way you help out is before and afterwards, to be there for her. Prepare and help as much as you can afterwards. Pippa breastfed for a good few months, so I used to burp and change the baby after Pippa had fed him. Pippa found that helpful – and you have to remember, however emotional it is for you, it’s 10 times more emotional for her.” Ollie is Brian’s second child, and says experience did help him. “I think I was a bit more relaxed second time around. Pippa was a little nervous, so it was good to be able to put her at ease.” This time round, there’s little Ollie to think of too – and the dreaded sibling rivalry… “Someone gave Pippa a storybook called Ollie the Super Duper Big Brother, and we didn’t know if he’d get into it or not but every night he now wants it. It’s all about the baby in mummy’s tummy and how Ollie will be a super duper big brother when the baby arrives. So now Ollie is all about the baby, kisses the baby good morning and lies on the bum to feel the kicks. It’s so funny. I’d recommend a book like that to anyone expecting a second child, I thin this book has really helped, because at first he was saying things like ‘no, no baby, just Ollie’.”

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016 #bootsmiawards2 #btchildhero


We want to reward a brave, heroic, and unique child. This child may be recovering from a lifethreatening accident or battling a serious illness. If you know a child who has shown remarkable strength and an unwavering positive attitude in the face of an ordeal, tell us about this young hero.

Now accepting nominations! Log on to www.maternity&infant.ie to nominate!

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06/05/2016 05/05/2016 14:49 09:29



PLACENTA PRAEVIA Placenta praevia can be a scary diagnosis to get when pregnant, but it can be easily managed. Here’s all you need to know.


What is placenta praevia? Placenta

praevia occurs when the placenta develops low down in the uterus, and stays there as the pregnancy moves into the final trimester. If the placenta is located near your cervix as you prepare to give birth, it can impede your baby’s exit from the uterus. If the placenta is partly covering your cervix, it’s called minor placenta praevia, and if it’s completely covering it, it’s called major placenta praevia. In both cases, your baby will usually need to be born by Caesarian section.


How is placenta praevia diagnosed? Usually, placenta praevia is picked up on your “big” scan at 20-22 weeks. You may be offered a transvaginal scan first to check the location of the placenta, and later to see if it has moved. Sometimes, placenta praevia is discovered if your baby is in breech or transverse position or is sitting high up, as the placenta may be preventing your baby from moving into head-down position. Painless vaginal bleeding in your second or third trimester (some women do experience cramps too) may also be a sign of placenta praevia; always get any bleeding checked out by your medical team.


Are there risks associated with placenta praevia? If your placenta is impeding your baby’s exit

from your uterus, your baby will need to be delivered by Caesarian section. There is also a risk of sudden bleeding during pregnancy or labour; this bleeding can be painless, but there’s a risk of going into labour early. Severe bleeding can be life-threatening for both you and your baby, but this is rare. There are a number of other, rare risks, including placenta accreta (when the placenta is embedded too deeply to your uterus wall and stays attached after birth).


How is placenta praevia managed? If diagnosed early, it’s usually a case of waiting and seeing if the placenta moves down. You may be advised to avoid sex and vigorous exercise. Your care team may also recommend a series of scans in your final weeks to monitor the location of the placenta, and to check for any other complications. You may be admitted to hospital in your latter weeks if you’ve had bleeding, and a planned Caesarian section may be scheduled for 37-38 weeks. Bed rest is a common recommendation during the final weeks of pregnancy. The important thing is to report any bleeding, period-type pains or contractions immediately, especially as you move through your third trimester; usually these are easily managed but if your baby is distressed or the bleeding cannot be easily controlled, you may have to have an emergency Caesarian section. Rest assured, your care team is used to dealing with this and will take good care of you and baby.

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Can I prevent or treat placenta praevia myself? You’re at higher risk if you are over the age of 35, have had more than four pregnancies, and have had any surgery on your uterus. Unfortunately you can’t prevent placenta praevia from occurring or treat it yourself, but you can help the overall health of your pregnancy. Firstly, always follow medical advice and report any bleeding or cramping immediately. If you are prescribed bedrest, do it. Eat a good diet and concentrate on foods rich in iron to prevent anemia should you experience bleeding. If you are kept in hospital, drink lots of water and keep moving around to prevent blood clots.

06/05/2016 15:24

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

1850 204 205 www.focusireland.ie

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MONITORS Relax – you don’t strictly need a baby monitor until your baby is sleeping in his own room. Good thing too – you’ll need time to choose from the bewildering choice of monitors on the market today. Here’s what you need to know – plus turn the page for some of our favourite models.

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hen it comes to buying for your baby, there are some things that are absolute essentials – your baby needs to eat, sleep and, eh, poo, and you’ll need various bits and pieces to deal with all of that. But there are so many other products that can prove really useful on your parenting journey – and one of these is a baby monitor. If you decide you need one, take your time choosing the right one for you, as there is literally one to suit every need.

What is a baby monitor? A baby monitor is a rather simple device that allows you to “be” with your baby even if you’re not in the same room. It consists of two parts – one contains a microphone, video camera or both, and is placed close to your sleeping baby, while the other half (audio or video) goes with the parents. The parent unit is generally portable so you can travel from room to room with the device and still stay in touch with your baby.

Why do I need a monitor? Users will report being able to sleep and relax better, safe in the knowledge that they will easily hear when the baby wakes and needs them. A traditional monitor just allows you to hear if your baby is crying, but now you can choose from all manner of monitors from recordable video monitors, to sensor monitors, to monitors that incorporate lullabies or light shows. We’re just waiting for one that does the night feed as well!

Do I really need a baby monitor? Truthfully? No. However, most parents find a monitor offers real peace of mind when baby goes into her own bedroom, and allows them to enjoy a sounder sleep knowing they will be woken if their baby wakes, rather than straining to hear any noises. It’s recommended that your baby stays in your bedroom for the first six months, so you won’t have to buy a monitor pre-birth. After that, it’s up to you, and would depend on your personal preferences, the proximity of your sleeping space to your baby’s room and various other factors.

What should I consider when choosing a monitor? There is such a variety of monitors on the market now that choosing one is not as straightforward as it once was. Price is an obvious consideration, as they can range from 50-plus right up into the hundreds. Features will be another consideration. Think about what basic model you want –

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audio only, video or sensor? Do you require any other features, such as a light show to help baby sleep? Other considerations include whether you need a portable unit or not (some operate on both mains and battery; others feature a rechargeable parent unit), and the range of the monitor – an important consideration if you have a big house or if you’re planning on bringing the parent unit into the garden on a summer’s evening. Finally, look for a reliable brand and model – good baby monitor brands include BT, Motorola, Angelcare, Tommee Tippee, Avent and Graco.

What is a sensor monitor? While the advantages of audio and video monitors are fairly obvious, sensor monitors need a little more explaining. A movement monitor incorporates a standard monitor with a pad with sensors that is placed under the baby. The alarm goes off if the baby has not moved for a set amount of time. A breathing sensor monitor includes a sensor that is pinned to the baby’s nappy, and the alarm sounds if breathing stops.

What are the features of video monitors? In particular, video monitors have developed hugely over the past few years. Now you can look for features like automatic screen activation, which means the screen only switches on when your baby makes a noise, and infrared vision, so the parent is able to see the baby in the dark. Important considerations for a video monitor includes screen size and quality – but remember that a bigger screen size might be less portable. Consider, too, where the camera will go in your baby’s room – some are movable so you can put the camera in the room and position it to face the baby. Others can be mounted on walls or even on the cot top.

What other features can I get from my baby monitor? To be honest, the sky is the limit, it seems these days. We’ve already mentioned that some play light shows and lullabies; more practical features (for the parents) include a range of gauges and alarms, such as a temperature indicator and alarm, out-of-range alarm, and low battery alert. Another useful feature is a light-warning display, a set of lights that activate when your baby cries, so if your unit is on mute, you can still see when your baby is crying. Some even change colour if the crying is loud and persistent. Finally, there are some models that allow you to talk back to your baby, so you can reassure her without leaving the comfort of your bed! It’s worth a try!!

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Baby Monitors OUR TOP PICKS Getting befuddled by the range of monitors in the shop? Here are some of our top picks on the Irish market.

Touch screen

S ensor mat

B udg et op tion

SUMMER INFANT BABY TOUCH PRIVACY PLUS VIDEO BABY MONITOR, €235, LITTLEWOODS IRELAND This clever touch screen baby monitor allows you to control the camera remotely using the colour LCD screen to pan, tilt and zoom in. It also offers two-way talk back so you can talk to your child remotely and soothe them back to sleep.

TOMMEE TIPPEE CLOSER TO NATURE VIDEO SENSOR BABY MONITOR, €285 This Tommee Tippee set combines all the features of the DECT Sound Monitor, with two-way talkback, remote nightlight, and room temperature display, as well as an infrared night vision camera. The sensor mat also monitors your baby’s movements.between you and your baby.

VTECH DIGITAL AUDIO BM1000 BABY MONITOR, €38.99, ARGOS While fancy video and movement monitors may have daunting pricetags, being on a budget isn’t a problem with this VTech option from Argos. This clever monitor features a range of 300 metres and an audio warning if you get out of range. Simple yet effective, this is an ideal budget option.

B reath ing monitor L ullaby sounds SNUZA HERO MOBILE BABY MOVEMENT MONITOR, €95.99, ARGOS The Snuza monitor is a small device which clips directly onto a baby’s nappy to warn you if the baby stops moving or breathing. This cordless and wireless product can travel with you wherever baby goes.

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PHILIPS AVENT DECT BABY MONITOR, €109.99 This eco-friendly model lasts up to 24 hours without charging, and boasts crystal-clear sound, a soothing night light and lullabies to help your baby drop off to sleep. Again, a great option if you don’t want to spend too much.

D ow nload enabled MOTOROLA CONNECT VIDEO BABY MONITOR, €239.99 This video model includes wifi connection and an app is available for your smartphone that allows you to record and download. There’s also a long-range video connection as well as infrared night vision.

S mart button MONBABY SMART BUTTON MONITOR, €179, WWW.VICOELECTRONICS.COM This versatile smart button is simply clipped to your baby’s pyjamas or onesie and can be set for the alerts that you want - breathing movements, body position or fall detection. Alerts are then trasmitted to your Smart phone via its app.

S ooth ing lig h ts BT 350 LIGHTSHOW DIGITAL BABY MONITOR, €100 This award-winning model features a twinkly projected lightshow with stars and moons to help your little one drift off to sleep, as well as 18 lullabies including classical, nursery rhymes, white noise, nature and womb sounds.

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DOES YOUR BABY HAVE NOISY BREATHING? A new baby comes with all kinds of new worries, specifically noisy, raspy or fast-paced newborn breathing. We know you feel anxious over baby respiratory problems and worry if your newborn is breathing normally. How can you monitor your baby’s breathing?




(inclusive of registered post in ROI)

MonBaby comes with many more features, including the ability to track your baby’s sleeping position.

Experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for disease control and prevention recommend all babies be placed to sleep on their back during naps and at night-time to reduce the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Contact Jean-Louis Poot 087 230 2441 or email orders@vico-electronics.com or visit www.vico-electronics.com

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Baby Steps to


When will my baby smile/crawl/walk/talk? Is my baby on track for his/her age? We take a look at the important developmental milestones in the first two years of life, and ask iCandy’s resident midwife and health expert KATIE HILTON for her advice on what to watch out for along the way.

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nyone with children will attest to the fact that children grow and grow and grow – until suddenly you’re helping them move out of home and you wonder where all the time has gone. But along the way there is plenty of agonising and worrying about various milestones and whether your child is hitting them, especially in the first few years. Why is the baby next door talking and my baby is not? When should my baby walk? Will the fact that my baby won’t crawl have any bearing on his development? And the most important question of all – what if something is wrong? The first thing to remember when it comes to developmental milestones is that every child develops at their own pace, and what’s healthy and right for your child might not be healthy and right for another child. Yes, there are a number of milestones in the first few years, and we’ve discussed these below, but these are intended as a guide. If you are worried about your child’s development, or indeed anything else to do with your child, always talk to your GP or public health nurse. So, without further ado, here is your rough guide to developmental milestones up to school-going age. Katie Hilton, iCandy’s expert midwife & health visitor, gives us her viewpoint on these important milestones, and outlines some warning signs that we should all be aware of.

By one month… By the end of the first month, your baby is beginning to settle into her surroundings and is getting familiar with the people around her. She will begin to react to sounds and will take great pleasure at staring at your face. Physically, her neck is getting stronger, and by the end of the first month, most babies can lift their head slightly. “In their first few weeks, babies like looking at faces,” Katie explains. “If a face is close they will focus on it and start following it. By two weeks most babies begin to recognise their parents. It is essential to encourage your child’s learning in these first few weeks; talking to your baby is a great way to start this process. Babies can respond to sights and sounds from this early age. Even making baby noises at this stage will help them learn how to listen, the importance of words and conversation. If you baby isn’t startled by loud noises or watching you it may be worthwhile having their hearing and vision checked by a specialist. Talk to your GP or public health nurse.”

By three months… The first few weeks of life with a newborn can be tough, so when your baby starts recognising you, smiling and even laughing, it can feel

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like payment for all those hours of nappy changing, mopping and night feeds! By three months, your baby may be laughing and making new gurgling noises, and can recognise your face. Physically, she will be able to hold her head steady and you will feel that she is getting sturdier by the day. “Babies begin to smile at around four to six weeks,” says Katie. “Parents can encourage development by making faces and noises and talking about what is going on around them. Babies will also try to lift their head whilst laying on their front at this age. This almost looks like doing a mini press-up. They will soon start to wriggle and kick and it won’t be long before they can roll over. If your baby is unable to lift his head when lying on his front it may indicate a neck injury, possibly from birth or a muscular complaint. Visit your GP or public health nurse to discuss further.”

By five months… Rolling over is a significant milestone as it signifies their first step towards moving independently – next stop crawling! Your baby is also becoming aware of her own body; as a newborn, she didn’t recognise her hands and feet as her own and may even have been frightened by the sight of them moving! Now she knows what they are and will spend lots of time examining and playing with them. Her hearing has also developed, and she will turn towards new and interesting sounds. She may even recognise her own name. “As babies develop their arm and hand muscles they will start to reach for objects,” says Katie. “In order to grow and develop, children require attention from someone who is happy to play with them, pass them objects and help in development of these skills. Expensive toys are not necessary, they can learn through playing, singing, reading and talking.”

By six months… By the age of six months, your baby is a sturdy little being, and getting more inquisitive and independent by the day. She may be beginning to teethe, so as well as being able to reach for objects of interest, she might be keen on chewing them! She’s also able to control her voice a little more and may be able to say mama and dada – but maybe not necessarily to you! “Babies enjoy making new and different sounds,” says Katie. “By six months they will also be making repetitive noises. If you repeat sounds, your baby will often say them back to you. Parents can encourage this development by playing, reading, music and songs. Nursery rhymes with actions such as pat-acake and row your boat are perfect for this purpose.”

QUICK TIPS... BY ONE MONTH… ✱ Take the time to talk to your baby and let her look at your face. Show her objects and bright colours. ✱ Tummy time is ideal for helping your baby strengthen up her neck and body. Short sessions of a minute or two each are fine to start with.


✱ Try increasing tummy time to a couple of sessions a day to encourage physical development. ✱ Babies are born with blurry sight, but by three months, she will be able to focus both eyes and make out bright colours. Rattles and bright pictures will help her develop her senses further.

BY FIVE MONTHS… ✱ Give your baby plenty of opportunity to roll around. A play gym or even a plain mat with a few simple toys will encourage physical movement. ✱ Talk to your baby and always use her name. Try calling her, using a special tone of voice for her name.

BY SIX MONTHS… ✱ Let your child have plenty of time to play on a mat with bright, attractive objects. Try putting them slightly away from her so she has to reach for the one she wants. ✱ Take the time every day to talk to your baby, making the same simple sounds over and over again to encourage her to repeat them back to you. This will develop her listening and vocal skills. ✱ Encourage physical development by sitting your baby up with cushions as support and toys to reach for. Stay near in case she topples over.

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By nine months… By nine months, your baby’s physical development is accelerating. While babies differ hugely in terms of when they start crawling and walking – some may even skip this step altogether – at this age you will at least see your baby getting stronger and more confident in moving her limbs and reaching for objects. If at all possible, encourage your baby to crawl, as there is evidence that it helps develop coordination and a sense of balance. “Some babies will learn to crawl backwards before going forwards,” Katie says. “Some learn to walk without ever crawling. Others are bottom shufflers. As soon as the baby can crawl it is important parents fit safety gates and look for any potential danger spots in the house. At this age of development babies will also start to pull themselves up and stand whilst holding on to furniture. It is important to ensure that low furniture is kept away from windows, that windows are fitted with locks to stop babies falling out of them. “At this age babies will turn to their parent when they hear their voice across the room. They can also respond to very quiet noises on either side if not distracted. The more parents chatter to their baby, the better their vocabulary and communication skills will become. Babies under 12 months of age can pick up both the tone and warmth of a voice and listen to the tune of a conversation.”

By 12 months… By your child’s first birthday, she will be almost unrecognisable from the tiny helpless being you brought home from the hospital. At this stage, many are walking while holding on to furniture (cruising), while some are even standing independently or walking – and she’s




✱ To encourage crawling, try putting a soft ball or cushion under your baby’s tummy and support her at the hips. Gently roll her forward while encouraging her to walk her hands forward. ✱ Create an obstacle course in your living room with cushions and toys for your child to crawl towards. Get down on the ground and crawl with her! ✱ If you haven’t already, babyproof your house. The stairs in particular will be a tempting challenge for any baby on the move, so make sure a good stairgate is in place.

✱ Make your environment as safe as possible for your baby by putting breakable objects away and ensuring that furniture is sturdy enough for your baby to hold on to while cruising. ✱ Introduce your baby to other children by attending a toddler group or by inviting other children over to play. ✱ If your baby is showing signs of separation anxiety, stay with her while she gets used to other people being around her, and try leaving the room for a few minutes once you feel she is comfortable.

✱ Encourage speech development by reading stories and using flash cards. Repeat words over and over and encourage your child to say them back to you. ✱ Introduce toys that encourage coordination like a ball or building blocks. ✱ A temper tantrum occurs because your child hasn’t learned yet how to control her temper and may be frustrated at not being able to communicate. Distraction is often the best way to deal with a tantrum at this age.

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QUICK TIPS... BY 24 MONTHS… ✱ Encourage your child’s speech by talking to her and listening to what she has to say. Try not to predict what she is saying and finish her sentences for her; however, encourage good pronunciation when needed. ✱ Introduce your child to play groups or play dates. Make sure that there are plenty of toys available to play with to minimise fighting! ✱ Don’t be in too much of a rush to toilet train your child. Most parents say it’s a much easier and quicker task when the child is older and can communicate well.

ronment and reading to them often will help in the development of this language. “At this age children will gradually begin to entertain themselves for some of the time. It is important for parents to involve themselves in playing with their child some of the time and then to allow them time to play alone.”

By 24 months…

beginning to understand and respond to simple instructions. If she sees something she wants, she can indicate that she wants it. Her social skills are also developing and she will begin to play with others by imitating their activities. “Most children start to walk around now, with girls generally walking earlier than boys,” Katie explains. “When babies first start to walk they can be unsteady on their feet and will fall often. Parents can start to teach their child how to climb stairs, however, never leave them alone and always stand behind them. If a child is not walking by 18 months parents should speak to their GP or public health nurse. “By this age a child will be responding to his or her name. Children will also start to learn the meaning of words; the more a parent uses those words the more likely the child is to understand the meaning. Using repetitive language helps to embed words in their mind.”

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By 18 months… Your baby is now an independent little person with a mind and will of her own! Her speech is developing and she can both understand and respond to instructions. Her physical coordination is also developing quickly. “As well as saying between 6-20 recognisable words, children of this age start to understand many more,” says Katie. “They will also start to use language in play, for example feeding a teddy or doll or playing with a toy telephone. Talking to children about the envi-

By the age of two, your child’s speech is really coming along and you may be able to have simple conversations with her. She is also becoming more sociable and wants to play with her peers. When your child understands the concept of a toilet and is able to indicate when she needs to urinate, it could be time to start toilet training. This can differ hugely in children; some may be ready at 18 months, but some not until after their third birthday. “Children of this age will be learning all sorts of new skills, such as kicking and throwing a ball. It’s important to encourage and praise them. At this age children should undertake around 30 minutes of structured activity and at least 60 minutes of unstructured physical play per day. Speech and language should be developing with children of this age learning to structure two words together into simple sentences. If a parent hears their child trying to put two words together and struggling, then simple reiterate what they are trying to say. A child this age will also be able to point to certain parts of their body.”

About Katie Hamilton Katie Hilton is iCandy’s expert midwife & health visitor. To see the full range of iCandy travel systems and accessories, log on to http://eire.icandyworld.com

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public health nurse


When it comes to development issues, your public health nurse can be a great source of information and help. Here’s an outline of what to expect from your public health nurse

or many women, the first contact she has with her local public health nurse is after having a baby – but along with your GP, your public health nurse can provide you with plenty of support and advice after giving birth, both in the hectic early days and as your child develops and grows. If you have given birth in a hospital, a public health nurse generally contacts you within days of giving birth (each public health nurse is given a list of local women who have given birth). They usually try to visit you in your home as soon as possible after discharge – many perform the heel prick test during that visit. In the initial visit, your baby will be weighed and ex-

amined, and this is a great opportunity for you to discuss any worries, eg with breastfeeding or caring for your baby, and to find out what facilities are in your area, for instance, mother and baby groups. Public health nurses are then available to discuss the following: ✱ Advice and support: public health nurses have extensive experience of babies and children and will be able to answer any queries you might have. ✱ Breastfeeding: your public health nurse may run a support group at your health centre, giving you the opportunity to meet other mums and to get help with breastfeeding

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✱ Weaning: As well as initial feeding questions,

your public health nurse can advise you on weaning. ✱ Developmental checks: Standard checks are usually done at nine months, 18 months and two years (your nurse will generally ring you for an appointment; if not, you can ring your health centre), and take into account milestones regarding hearing and eyesight, speech, general growth and motor skills. If you have any questions regarding development at any stage, your public health nurse is always a good point of contact. For more on the public health nursing scheme, log on to the HSE’s website on www.hse.ie

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STORIES NUK Ireland breastfeeding advisor CLIODNA GILROY is disturbed at recent articles knocking aspects of breastfeeding – so gives us her positive story of success against the odds to even up the score.


f this was a Facebook post I would have to pre-empt it with ‘rant alert’. Breastfeeding has had a few knocks in the press recently. The main backlash has been directed at Jamie Oliver but it was a particular article by Amanda Brunker in the Independent that got right up my nose. Ms Brunker’s article came with the tag line ‘The sight of toddlers being breastfed unsettles me’. This made me grit my teeth. Firstly I wonder where she is seeing this multitude of toddlers being breastfed? I fed my first two children until they self weaned at 14 and 19 months respectively. I know other mothers who have breastfed into toddlerhood but, other than my own children, I don’t think I’ve seen or noticed toddlers being breastfed in public. My second problem with this tag line is how off-putting it can be to a first-time mother who is thinking about breastfeeding her baby. Many mothers, myself included, spend their first pregnancy looking at all their options. From meeting many of these mammies I know that the intention to breastfeed is often there but many of these women also stock up on bottles, breast pumps and have a tin of formula on hand too. Some of these women that I have spoken with have found some attitudes about breastfeeding militant and off-putting. I think conjuring up the image of having to breastfeed a toddler would have the same effect. It’s important to remind people that when you start breastfeeding, it’s your tiny little baby and if you choose to keep breastfeeding your baby you’ll figure out what’s right for you. What I found most frustrating about Amanda Brunker’s article is that we have very similar feelings towards breastfeeding. I just wish there wasn’t a need to knock mothers who do follow the WHO guidelines and breastfeed for two years and beyond. Very often we hear about how mothers

ended up bottle feeding because breastfeeding didn’t work out, and I’m so glad to live in a time where there are options for mothers, as I’ve been through the distress of unsuccessful latches and difficulties in breastfeeding. But that aside, I’m going to give you a story that I hope will show the upside of breastfeeding. When my little boy was born six years ago he would not latch. We would work and work for up to an hour to get him to the breast and it was a challenge. I felt so disappointed and like I was letting him down. The hospital was very supportive but also realistic, he was losing weight and needed a bottle. He got formula and also expressed milk. I went home and expressed (as my mother called it, Dublin Dairies was working round the clock). I kept trying him on the breast but for the most part he was fed breastmilk through a bottle. Finally at 11 weeks, he latched. I’ll never forget that day, it was one of my first big successes as a mother. As time went on we discovered that my little man has special needs and his poor muscle tone meant that he was not walking or talking by the age of two. Finally at two years and four months he got up and (unsteadily) walked but the talking was not coming. A number of specialists told me he would never speak. This is the same little boy who I was told would never breastfeed, and with that success in my mind, I wasn’t willing to accept that diagnosis without trying everything. Then, last summer just after he turned five he finally called me ‘Mammy’. It seems like a small thing to some but it was such an achievement and now it’s part of daily life to hear him call me Mammy. This is why I’m such an advocate of breastfeeding. It was my first victory and I now believe my son can shake off the labels put on him and achieve anything.

”It’s your tiny little baby and if you choose to keep breastfeeding your baby you’ll figure out what’s right for you.”

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06/05/2016 15:28



Down Syndrome Getting a diagnosis of Down syndrome can be shocking for any new parent – but it’s important to realise that your child is a unique individual just like any other member of the family. We talked to Down Syndrome Ireland to find out more.

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t can be a shocking and emotional thing to be told your baby has Down syndrome. While screening tests, such as an ultrasound or a blood test during a mum-to-be’s first or second trimester can sometimes reveal if a child is developing it, that is not always the case. According to Down Syndrome Ireland, many parents only find out their child has Down syndrome when he or she is born, giving them no time to prepare themselves or research what it means for them and their child. So what does it mean? The short answer to that is there is no short answer. Like anyone else, a child with Down syndrome is unique. “The most common misconception is that people sometimes think individuals with Down syndrome are all the same,” explains Aileen Moon, fundraising and events coordinator for Down Syndrome Ireland. “It’s vital to keep in mind that people with Down syndrome are people, first and foremost. They can sometimes share similarities (like lower muscle tone, difficulty learning certain things etc) but they are all individuals who are completely that: individual. And one of the best parts of working in the centre is getting to know our service users from a really young age and getting to see their different personalities come out and develop!”

What is Down syndrome? The syndrome itself is a chromosomal anomaly most often caused when a baby has a full or partial extra copy of Chromosome 21 (known as called Trisomy 21). Each cell in the human body includes a nucleus, which stores our genes. Our genes are responsible for our individual and inherited traits such as our appearance, skills, and personality traits and these genes are grouped together in our chromosomes. People who don’t have Down syndrome have 46 chromosomes while those with Down syndrome have 47. This additional piece of genetic material causes certain characteristics that are associated with Down syndrome; an upward slant in the eyes, low muscle tone, smaller than average stature and a single crease along the centre of the palm. However, some people may not have all, or any, of these symptoms. The effects of Down Syndrome differs from person to person. Most children with Down syndrome will be healthy and active, but they may be more susceptible to certain health concerns, such as hearing loss. However, these can be screened and treated. Approximately 47 percent of children with Down syndrome will have a heart condition.

What to do next? When faced with a diagnosis, there are some things to keep in mind. As well as the usual ex-

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hilaration, love and excitement of having had a baby, there can be other feelings and that is entirely normal. “When parents are told that their newborn baby has Down syndrome, many will experience a number of emotions, particularly during the first few weeks and months,” Moon explains. “For some parents it is one of shock as they did not expect to have a baby with special needs, for some it is disappointment they were not handed the baby they anticipated and for others it’s a worry of what lies ahead for their baby. And, if parents experience any of these feelings they can then feel quite guilty, but it just shows that they want the very best life for their new little person.” Parents can be despondent, believing that their child will never achieve certain milestones but Moon points out that many have realised

that what they once thought was impossible, is something their child makes possible. Help from agencies like Down Syndrome Ireland and support and advice from other parents can be invaluable too. “The most important thing I would say to parents is to try to enjoy their babies now,” Moon advises. “Many parents worry about whether their newborn babies will be able to walk, or talk, or go to mainstream school, or college. Whether they’ll enjoy independent and fulfilling lives. These are worries that all parents have – whether their child has or doesn’t have Down syndrome. And it is something that they need to think about, but they also need to enjoy the baby they have now, not worry about the person he or she will become.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON DOWN SYNDROME IRELAND GO TO DOWNSYNDROME.IE “Though everyone knows that Lilah has Down syndrome, to us she is first and foremost our baby girl” MUM-OF-TWO LORRAINE O’BRIEN SHARES THE STORY OF HER DAUGHTER LILAH, WHO HAS DOWN SYNDROME. “This time last year if you had told me where I would be today I don’t think I would have believed it. I never thought my life would involve having a child with a disability but there she was, this beautiful, peachyskinned little angel. And she was mine. And she had Down syndrome. I’m not going to pretend I took it well, I didn’t. I was heartbroken. In my mind my whole world, as I knew it, had ended. Yet, on the other hand, there I was feeding and changing this new baby because she was mine and, even though everything had changed, everyday life still carried on. The first time I saw Lilah I had already been told by the medical team that they suspected she had Down syndrome. All I could think about was how beautiful she was and, when I looked at her, I couldn’t believe this was happening. I loved her so much but I was so sad. Sad for the future she might have, sad for the limitations I believed she would have, sad that she wasn’t like the ‘other’ kids. I was sad for us as a family too. What would this mean for her brother? Down syndrome just hadn’t been part of the plan. But, as each day passed, eventually all I could see was Lilah. The Down syndrome took a back seat and I told myself that, whatever challenges we were going to face along the way, we were going to face them together. Lilah is my little girl and I wouldn’t change her for the world! My little girl is incredible – at four months she had open heart surgery and recovered like the superstar she is. And she has continued to defy the odds. When it comes to our family, Lilah is just one of the gang! That said, she is a huge part of our family and our extended family. Though everyone obviously knows that she has Down syndrome, to us she is first and foremost our baby girl or, as her big brother likes to call her, “our princess”. It’s early days yet but I would like Lilah to attend mainstream school when the time comes. I think it’s very important for children like Lilah to be included in society. After that – just like all parents – we just want Lilah to be happy to have a full and happy life were she gets the opportunity to reach her full potential.”

06/05/2016 15:40



Gently Gentle parenting is not about letting your kids run wild while you smile vacantly at them – it’s more about improving your communication with your child, writes DAWN GEDDES.

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inding your own parenting style can be a tricky business. There are just so many differing opinions on the right and wrong way to raise our kids. But gentle parenting is different from the usual strategies and advice out there. Instead of focusing on what us parents should do to get our children to behave in the “right” way, in gentle parenting, the emphasis is on letting our children lead the way. Thankfully, this does not mean letting our kids do whatever they want, whenever they want! Instead it’s about listening to our children and putting ourselves in their shoes. It’s about trying to respect their wishes when we can, empathising with our children when they are hurt and understanding the reasons behind their anger and frustration. By improving your communication with your child and learning how to parent calmly, you’ll be strengthening your lifelong bond, something that will definitely come in handy when it’s time to navigate your way through all those testing stages still to come!

fer them a hug. Encourage your child to put their feelings into words before putting your heads together to come up with a solution.

Stop punishing...

Follow these simple rules to get started on your gentle parenting journey….

In gentle parenting, all forms of punishment are discouraged, including the naughty step and time outs. Often when a child is at the point of being punished, they have already reached fever pitch and are overwhelmed by the intensity of their own feelings. When we step in and punish them by sending them to their room or to the naughty step, we’re only making the situation worse and ostracising them further. Instead of forcing them to be on their own, help them to calm down by encouraging them to sit with you and breathe deeply for a few minutes. Another good strategy is using a chill-out bottle, which you can make by filling up an empty plastic bottle with water and glitter. Ask them to shake it up and concentrate on the falling glitter until their emotions start to settle. Once your child is feeling calmer, discuss their behaviour with them and ask them why they acted in the way that they did. Help them to understand why behaving in that way wasn’t a good idea and work with them to think up ways they can avoid behaving like that in the future.

Stop shouting

...But stop rewarding too

Shouting is a tricky thing to give up, especially when you’re having a stressful day, but no one ever improved their communication with another person by shouting at them. Be mindful about your tone of voice and facial expressions when you’re speaking to your children. Try to imagine how you must look to them when you’re shouting – pretty scary probably! Try to soften your voice and discuss problems calmly rather than in anger. By keeping your own frustration levels in check, you’ll be encouraging them to do the same.

Although reward charts and sweetie bribes may seem like a positive way to learn, they can be really frustrating for children. To one child, eating their tea every night might seem like an impossible task and to another not running in the house might be almost torturous! Taking the rewards and punishments away help children learn in a more natural way that is not based on incentive. Instead talk any issues through and mirror your own positive behaviour to your kids. While prizes may work on a short-term basis, your child is more likely to develop good habits long term if they don’t expect a reward every time they behave well!

Be empathetic We’ve all had rotten days when everything goes wrong and yet when the same thing happens to our child, it’s so easy to gloss over it with a “never mind”. But imagine how you would you feel if you’d battled through a session at nursery to get home and discover that your favourite toy has been broken in two by your little brother, then to add insult to injury there was no chocolate milk left to go with your afternoon snack! Instead of being dismissive about their problems, try being empathetic instead. Tell them that you understand how annoyed they must be feeling and of-

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Give choices not commands No one likes being told what to do and children really are ordered around rather a lot! From being told how they should behave when they are at school to being told what they can and can’t wear, children really don’t have many choices in their lives. By letting

your child make some of their own choices and respecting their decisions when you can, you will be helping them to have some control over their lives. Start by letting them decide what they want to wear to a party or by respecting the fact that they HATE spinach and go on from there. Not only will it help them to feel less frustrated, it will also teach them about the importance of respecting their own and other people’s wishes.

Turn frustration into a game We’re all short of time and when our children don’t want to comply with our busy schedule, it’s hard not to feel frustrated. Whether they are refusing to get dressed, go to the toilet or pick up their toys, it’s easy to forget how they feel about being rushed from one activity to another. Instead of having a standoff, head off your child’s frustration by turning the task into a game. Time them when they are getting changed, challenge them to race you to the toilet and make up a story about every toy you put back into the toy box. It will not only help you get where you need to go faster, it will make the journey much more fun too.

Be gentle on yourself Parenthood is a busy, brilliant and stressful time, so make sure that you go easy on yourself, as well as your children. Make time to take care of your own needs too – after all, you can’t pour from an empty teapot! Be kind to yourself, put bad days down to experience, learn from your mistakes and start again tomorrow. Gentle parenting is a journey and it will take time for you and your family to find your own way.

Be led by your child It’s so easy to concentrate on what your child should and shouldn’t be doing at a certain age and to compare them to their peers. Instead of focusing on the reason that your child isn’t sleeping through the night or why they are struggling to settle into nursery, try to focus on your child’s needs and let them lead the way to a solution. Communicate with them and work together to resolve problems but also try to accept that their natural rhythms and personality traits might just different from the other children that you know. We’re all unique and we all need to find our own path in life, and through gentle guidance, love and understanding, you and your family will find yours.


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Teaching a pre-schooler that ‘sharing is caring’ can be a tricky prospect. We get some top tips on teaching toddlers how to share, and hear from one parent about how she overcame the hurdle.


he idea of sharing can be quite an unpleasant one for pre-schoolers to get used to. Being asked to hand over the toy they’re playing with or having to wait patiently while another child has a go at a toy they want to use can be a lot for a child to handle. It’s so terribly unfair! Kids can be impulsive and don’t have a great grasp of the concept of time at this age so being asked to share can result in tantrums and tears. If your child is struggling with the ‘sharing is caring’ ethos, don’t worry, it’s to be expected. “It is perfectly normal that this age group doesn’t want to share,” explains childcare work Leanne Reynolds. “It’s difficult to teach them the meaning of the word. They just understand that someone else will have the toy that they want for however long that is.” There can be an assumption that only children, not used to sharing with siblings, may be more difficult when it comes to the idea of handing over toys or patiently waiting for their turn to play with a favourite game. While some parents would say siblings are more inclined to share, Reynolds doesn’t necessarily agree, saying, “In most but not all instances a child with a sibling will be more accepting of the idea of sharing and they will entertain themselves with something else until it’s their turn for the toy.” She adds, “An only child is very easy to spot in the way they conduct themselves with other kids who have toys they want but I believe that this doesn’t have to be the case and it’s very much in the hands of the parents.”

Steps to sharing There are a number of things you can do to encourage your pre-school child to share more easily. While they might be territorial over their favourite toys, at this age they are also learning that it feels good to give and often love making pictures and drawings for family, for example. With some clever guidance and repeated encouragement you can build on this caring instinct and help them to share more easily.



Make it fun for your child. Take turns while making a jigsaw, for example, or building something with Lego, working

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towards a common goal so your child feels included while waiting for ‘their go’.



Ask if you can use their pencils, borrow something or see their drawing and give them the opportunity to say no. This will help them understand that it’s their choice to share, and it’s not that their belongings are being taken away from them. Also make sure that anything borrowed is given back in good condition so they learn that they will get their precious items back in one piece.


“I’ll often say to them too that if they don’t share, whatever the activity is will be put away” Naomi del Pozo is a teacher and mum to Ben, 7, and Lola, 4.


The best way for your child to learn generosity is simply to see and experience it themselves. Offer them some of your sandwich; ask if you can try on their scarf, making sure to use the word ‘share’ to describe what you’re doing every time. And perhaps most importantly, let them see you sharing with others on a day-to-day basis.



Using a timer may help to reassure your child that giving up a toy isn’t permanent. Set a timer for ten minutes then when the time is up, let a sibling or another child have the same amount of time with the toy. This way your child will learn that they’ll get the toy back and they will also begin to grasp the idea of how long they will have to do without it!



Make sure to acknowledge when your child does share. Tell them how pleased you are and how happy the other child is. Even if you have to prompt your child to share in that instance, this positive reinforcement will encourage them to share more readily in the future.



Keep using the word ‘share’ throughout: repetition is the key to getting the sharing message across to your child, according to Reynolds. “Constantly using the word sharing and giving each child 5 to 10 minutes with the toy should help,” she says, adding, “If it doesn’t work and the fighting continues, the toy is best removed from the equation altogether.”

“When they were smaller they weren’t inclined to share at all, particularly when Lola was a toddler. She just didn’t understand the concept. That used to frustrate Ben no end as he was at the stage where he was being taught to share in the formal setting of crèche. However, as they’ve gotten older they have improved. Lola goes to playschool now and will happily tell you that “sharing is caring” so she does understand the concept! There are still spats at times over things like whose turn it is to use a certain toy, but in general it has gotten more peaceful as both have matured. I do think that a child with siblings will naturally learn to share more quickly (or defend their possessions as the case may be!), but that said, I think it depends on whether the child gets the opportunity to socialise on a regular basis with other children too – for example, in crèche or in a toddler group. If a child has no siblings and is only in the company of adults it would be difficult for them to learn to share with other children. But if an only child is regularly in a social setting where they have to share, they will learn to do so. As they mature, they understand the concept better and the difference is noticeable. Though they may not always adhere to the principles of sharing! I find that constant reminders help a lot. I’ll often say to them too that if they don’t share and cooperate with each other, whatever the activity is will be put away. That will usually get them to make an effort to share.”

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Summer with kids can sound like bliss in theory, but when you’re mid-meltdown on Day One, the holidays can seem endless… Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Try these tips to make sure you have the best summer ever! (well, most days, anyway…)


ummer… is there a happier word in the English language? Lazy, sunny days… The sound of children playing happily and birds chirping… Falling exhausted and happy in the door after a long day at the beach… Freedom, peace and love… Well, you can but dream. The reality is probably yet another rainy day, bickering bored children, and a sulky older child who refuses point blank to go to something as lame as the beach even when the rain does stop. This year our aim is for something in the middle – unfortunately our glorious weather means that we’ll inevitably have more than a few rainy days, but with a little prep, we can make the most of the good days and have strategies to combat the bad. Just call us eternal optimists…

Have some “me” time

Plan… but don’t plan too much

Get adventurous

…But be prepared for the rain

Kids naturally love adventure and they love the outdoors. The best thing you can do as parents is to harness that natural love of the outdoors before Xboxes and endless cartoons even enter into the equation. The best way to do that? Get out and find adventure with them! Don’t be thinking about mud and rain and cold and wind – invest in some boots and waterproofs for everyone (Dunnes and Penneys always have great light rain jackets and even trousers for both adults and children), and get out there and climb a mountain. Ireland is full of stunning nooks and crannies for you to explore. Too rustic for you? Go looking for Shrek and the Gruffalo in your local woods or parks. Older kids will love going on a nature trail and looking for rabbits, squirrels and birds.

This is where the flexibility comes in again. And perhaps not promising things to your kids that rely on good weather. We’re not so optimistic that we think it won’t rain this summer, but instead of moaning about it, this year we’re going to see it as a chance to do other things, such as cooking with the kids, creating amazing art work and making memories by planning fun activities like an indoor tent and picnic, or even a house obstacle course. Get prepared for the bad days by investing in some art bits and perhaps even a few sets (ELC at Mothercare carries some really great creative sets for less than a tenner each). Make a list of fun indoor stuff to do and use it.

Children like being kept busy and they benefit from a stronglystructured day, but they also need time away from a schedule. Studies have shown that “free play”, the sort of play that requires imagination (and usually an empty box and a random pair of shoes), is perfect for developing children’s motor skills and brains – and the sad thing is that most kids don’t get enough time to engage in creative free play. So if you have older kids, by all means book them into a couple of camps over the long summer holidays. But make sure there’s time for them to just relax and play – if they’re in childcare, don’t worry, this time is given during the day, but if you’re at home with them (or can take some holidays), schedule in a bit of time that they can have at home with you and their imaginations.

Be flexible We’re not specifically talking about the weather here (plenty on that subject to come), but rather the need to be flexible with all plans. As parents, we know that sometimes the best-laid plans fall apart thanks to all manner of things – unexpected temperatures, a dose of the grumps, a sudden play-date invitation… – so flexibility is one character trait parents should have in spades. Obviously, have big things like big days out and holidays planned and booked, but in terms of everyday stuff, have a rough idea in your head of how you would like the day to go, but have alternatives in your head and be prepared to change plan if needs be at a moment’s notice.

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“Me time?” What’s this now? Yes, we know you’re laughing now, but honestly – it’s needed. Whether you work or stay at home, you need some time to yourself to pursue your own hobbies and interests – even if all you’re interested in doing is flopping out on the sofa when that elusive me time arrives! There are two strategies here – firstly, accept all offers and take unexpected me time gratefully when it’s offered. Secondly, when you’re thinking about the week ahead, make sure you schedule in some time for yourself, whether it’s a night out, an exercise class, even a walk. It doesn’t have to be long or expensive, just a little time to give you some head space and make you remember “you”.

Do your research Knowledge is king, so make sure you equip yourself with as much as possible before the holidays even begin. Ireland has never been so well set up for kids’ holidays than now, and there is a plethora of things to do in every corner of the country. If you are interested in kids’ camps, check out some websites like www.schooldays.ie, www.kidsguide.ie, www. familyfun.ie and www.letsgo.ie. Your local school and sports clubs can be greatsources of information about summer camps. Then, familiarize yourself with family-friendly activities in your area, such as the best playgrounds, cinemas that offer a cut-price kids club, parks with interesting features like fairy gardens or wood sculptures, open farms and libraries that

run regular events. Sign up to newsletters and ezines that tell you the latest and greatest family events. Finally, keep an eye on our website, www.maternityandinfant.ie, for our weekly family event guide.

Make the most of the good days… Summer can strike at any moment in Ireland, and it’s essential that you enjoy the sunshine and good weather when it FINALLY arrives. Heck, forget about the sunshine – if it’s not raining, we’re getting out of the house! Here’s where the planning comes in again. Know what outdoor facilities are in your area and when you see that elusive sun peeping out, throw the kids out the door and GO. It could well be raining again tomorrow.

Capture the moments Okay, we’re robbing an idea off social media for this one. You know those people who seem to have perfect lives by the posts and pictures they put up on Facebook et al? All they’re doing is capturing the good moments and ignoring the days when you’ve had to hide in the bathroom for a cry because the kids are bickering all. the. time. And it’s only 9.30am. But by capturing the good moments, you’re able to look back at them when you’re having a bad day, and realise that good times do happen. A lot. So make an effort to take pictures, capture moments, maybe even keep a diary. Then next time you’re crying in the bathroom, take a quick look at the “happy file”, mop up those tears and get back out there with a smile and renewed (endless) patience – and make some more happy memories. You can do it!

06/05/2016 16:06




Heading off foreign for your hols? Lucky you. But first there’s the pain of travelling with small kids before you reach your destination… SUSAN DOYLE, of Kinder Travel Guide, gives us her ultimate survival guide for flying with children.


Check age guidelines: Every airline has its own minimum age for flying and this ranges from two days to 14 days old. For premature babies this is usually counted from their due date and not the day they were born. Some airlines may also insist that newborns and their mothers have a doctor’s note to say they are fit to fly before allowing them to board.

Make a booking: Generally children under two fly free of charge. This assumes that the baby will travel on your lap. Babies are required to have a ticket and airlines usually charge a small booking fee.

Check with your airline if there are bassinets for babies available: These are usually available on long-haul flights where a small crib is attached to the bulkhead at the front of the cabin. Generally, bassinets are suitable for babies aged 10 months or younger and weigh less than 10 kilos. Airlines can make exceptions for older babies that do not weigh a lot.

Try and schedule your flight for when the baby sleeps: Flying with a sleeping baby is

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so much easier than flying with a baby who wants to bounce, walk, crawl, sing, chat, and play for the entire flight.

Decide on where you will sit: This may depend on the length of flight and age of your baby. Window seats can allow a little more privacy if you are breastfeeding. If you are travelling with a husband/wife/partner/friend you could book an aisle seat for one or both of you, especially for those with more mobile babies. This option also makes getting out to use the changing facilities easier. Another idea for a longer flight is for couples to not sit together; instead, get two aisle seats far apart on the plane and agree to swap the baby minding every hour. Each person gets breaks to sleep/ read/eat/watch TV and you are not on cobaby-minding duty for the entire flight.

Pack strategically: Imagine yourself at the airport and going through security. Can you manage it all? Pack your carry-on with a change of clothes for the baby and for you and more nappies than you think you’ll need. Put a small bag within the bag that can stay at your feet with those things you think you might be accessing often: blanket, distractions, snacks or bottles. Wear a backpack: Your hands will be free in the airport and it will be easier to access during the flight. Fill it with all the snacks, toys and changing items that you want to have on hand, so you won’t end up rooting through your suitcase for a pack of raisins. If your child is old enough, consider letting him or her carry a mini backpack of their own.

Confirm your airline’s policies: For luggage

Dress strategically both you and the baby: For

allowances – check how many additional baby items (car seat, travel cot etc) you can bring and if there is a luggage allowance for the baby. Generally speaking unless you have booked a specific seat for the baby the airlines will not offer a luggage allowance, although a changing bag is normally permitted.

the baby dress them in a babygro or clothing that is easy to put on/take off. Going through security you will have to take off any coats, belts, boots so wear clothing and shoes that are easy to remove, comfortable for using the bathroom with one hand and breastfeeding if necessary.

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Delay boarding for as long as you can: If you are flying with another adult, allow them to go ahead with other pre-boarding families to set up your overhead space and put what you need at your feet. If you are using a carseat, get it set up. One of you waits with baby/child at the gate. The flight attendants will generally see you ask if you’d like to board. Don’t be tempted! Stay off until the last possible minute. Even once you’re in the gangway, bounce, walk around or play until they really need you to board. There’s no reason to spend any more time entertaining the baby in your tiny little row, or trying to keep him asleep, than necessary.

Introduce yourself and your baby to the flight attendant: This is especially important if you’re travelling alone. They may be a useful spare set of hands or can hold your

baby while you go to the toilet, eat some food etc. Double check that you have everything you need for the baby at your feet in case inflight turbulence prevents you from opening overhead lockers.

Get set up: If you are using a car seat, tuck a blanket underneath the seat and connect it to the pocket of the seat in front. This can save you from continuously fishing for every toy that gets thrown overboard. Feed during takeoff and landing: Babies don’t know how to pop their ears, so it’s helpful to offer a bottle/breast/soother when the plane takes off and just as the plane begins to descend. If you are breastfeeding don’t start too early: planes can taxi for what feels like an eternity. For older kids use lollipops or jellies, natural ones if you want to avoid sugar.

Susan Doyle is the founder of KINDER TRAVEL GUIDE, which provides information and advice to parents travelling with children under the age of four. Log on to www.kindertravelguide.com for lots of great tips and top destinations for young families both home and abroad.

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✱ Surprise your child with a new book, especially one with lots of colours or more interactive books that involve the reader lifting flaps etc. ✱ Stickers can keep a toddler entertained for ages. Take along a couple of sticker books and let them stick to their hearts’ content. Another idea is to take a roll of washi tape. It is compact, lightweight and one roll provides entertainment for a long time. ✱ Wrap up cheap toys individually, or even some of their own toys and let them unwrap them one by one. ✱ Scroll through family photos on your phone. Babies typically love looking at personal photos or videos of themselves. ✱ Ask the flight attendants for a plastic cup with ice and straws. This can be very entertaining for toddlers. ✱ Bring a box of raisins or the end of crusty baguette or a lollipop or any snack that is easy to hold and takes a long time to eat. ✱ Bring a toy car or plane with doors that open. They will be entertained finding the doors, opening and closing them and flying/driving them around. ✱ Play favourite videos on your laptop, or apps on a tablet if you have one. If you’re planning on watching videos, bring child-appropriate headphones and a splitter so you can listen along. ✱ Chat with other passengers. You might be surprised by how friendly most people are on planes. ✱ Drawing, felt boards and Etch a Sketch. The best crayons are ones that won’t roll away or in shapes (try the triangular ones from Crayola).

09/05/2016 11:33



Style While a travel system is designed to see you from birth through to toddler, some parents find a lightweight stroller an excellent addition, especially when travelling. Here’s what you need to know.


t’s true that you can budget when it comes to buying for babies, but it’s also true that a little investment can pay off in spades when it comes to convenience. A quick straw poll around the maternity & infant office found that we all had our strange baby “musthaves”: “There were two items that I thought were ridiculous at first but turned out to be essentials,” says maternity & infant editor Penny. “The first was a ‘baby box’, which looks like a plastic tool box. I used it to hold a couple of nappies, cream, wipes, spare clothes and any essentials my baby needed at the time. My second musthave was a top and tail bowl – great for washing the babba in the first few weeks.” Equally, a travel system will see you through from birth right up to pre-school age, but some mums will say that the addition of a sling or a stroller can be a lifesaver. “I found my travel system fantastic when I had one baby,” says Sarah, mum of two, “but when his little brother came along, if I was just nipping to the shops, I used a sling for the baby and a lightweight stroller for the older toddler. The stroller could be put up and collapsed with one hand, and just seemed far easier than a big travel system.” Lucy, a pregnant mum of one, agrees. “My travel system is invaluable, but I bought a stroller when I found out I was pregnant as it was easier for little short trips and for when we went abroad on holidays.” Lightweight strollers are excellent additions if you have an older baby and just want something to put him/her in when you’re heading away on holidays or heading out to the shops. Some parents even report that they start out using a stroller as a second buggy, but end up using it more and

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more as their child gets bigger. Here we answer some of your common questions regarding strollers.

What is a lightweight “umbrella” stroller? Generally, lightweight strollers weigh less than 15lbs, and fold by releasing a hand- or foot-controlled pedal, so they are handy for anyone holding a baby or toddler. They are called umbrella strollers for their curved, umbrella-like handles and easy, single-handed folding. They’re ideal for hopping in and out of cars, travelling, or navigating small spaces.

Can they be used from newborn? The very lightweight strollers in general are suitable only for bigger babies and toddlers, over the age of six months because they can’t lie flat and don’t give enough support. However, there are some more expensive models that can be completely reclined for a baby; look

“My travel system is invaluable, but I bought a stroller when I found out I was pregnant as it was easier for little short trips and for when we went abroad on holidays.”

for established brands like Maclaren, which has developed their stroller options to suit all budgets and needs. Generally speaking, because newborns need more support and a sturdier chassis, strollers suitable from birth are heavier.

Are strollers good for running? Again, there is a great selection of strollers to suit all needs. The very lightweight ones with the small double wheels are good for nipping around and walks, but don’t give the support needed for joggers. Look for three-wheeler versions with rubber wheels and good shock absorption for the smoothest ride for your baby.

What about accessories? Other important considerations are “extras” like a decent-sized shopping basket underneath the seat if you’re planning on using the stroller for the supermarket shopping. Bag clips are also a handy extra. If you are planning on using your stroller for sunny holidays, make sure the canopy is a decent size to protect your child from the sun. A rain cover is also (sadly) a must-have in our “soft” climate. Other handy extras include cup and food holders and mosquito nets.

What about safety? Always be guided by the manufacturer’s safety guidelines, especially when it comes to age and weight guidelines. Always use the harness in the buggy (never be tempted to let an older child just sit in the buggy without being strapped in. A safety strap to keep you in contact with the stroller at all times is a good idea on hills or if you invest in a jogging stroller.

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Strollers OUR TOP PICKS Tempted to invest? Here are just a few of our favourite strollers on the market today.

B udg et buy

V ersatile op tion

F rom birth

BRITAX B-AGILE, STOCKISTS NATIONWIDE €250 Suitable from birth, the Britax B-Agile might seem pricier than some, but you can turn this into a travel system using Britax car seats or adaptors for other brands’ car seats. It also features a one-hand, quick-fold design with on/off chassis lock.

L ig h t ch oice

S trong & robust

B udg et f rom birth

Travel in sty le

JIVE STROLLER CUTEY FRUITY , MOTHERCARE , €44.95 This great value lightweight stroller is suitable for babies aged from six months up to a maximum weight of 15kg. It folds compactly in an umbrellastyle fold, so is ideal for holidays, and its multi-position seat is easy to adjust to suit your baby as he gets older.

MACLAREN GLOBETROTTER STROLLER, LITTLEWOODS IRELAND, €215 One of the best-known stroller brands is Maclaren and the Globetrotter doesn’t fail to impress those who choose it. It’s a lightweight option for babies aged above six months, and its robust design means it will last for years.

NANU GEO STROLLER LIQUORICE, MOTHERCARE, €79.95 Mothercare’s own-brand stroller is the Nanu, and it’s an excellent choice for someone who doesn’t want a travel system but wants something suitable from birth. For growing toddlers, the fivepoint harness can adjust in three positions, and the calf rest is also adjustable.

QUINNY YEZZ STROLLER, LITTLEWOODS IRELAND, €250 This award-winning lightweight stroller is designed using the latest technology and lightest materials, and is strong, durable and easy to use. It’s ideal for use around a busy city, but is also ideal for holidays as the shoulder strap allows you to carry the Yezz while keeping both your hands free.

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FLOW STROLLER, BABY ELEGANCE, €130 Another stroller suitable from birth, thanks to its full recline feature, the Flow stroller weighs just 6kg and comes with a protective rain cover and compact fold for easy transport and storage. This is an excellent choice for very young babies at a very good price.

S mooth ride

BABYSTART PUSHCHAIR WITH UV30, ARGOS, €51.49 Perfect if you’re on a budget, this cheap-as-chips choice weighs only 5kg and features a compact umbrella fold. Complete with a raincover and basket, you can protect your little one from the elements, and store shopping and groceries while out and about.

BABY JOGGER CITY MINI, LITTLEWOODS IRELAND, €359 Suitable from birth, the Baby Jogger City Mini features lockable swivel front wheels with suspension to allow easy manoevering through the city and any tight space, whilst giving your baby the smoothest ride possible. Suitable from birth.

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Have Your Say! VOTING FOR THE 2016 BOOTS MATERNITY & INFANT AWARDS IS NOW OPEN! We aim to provide you, the parents, with all of the information you would need when choosing the right products for your little ones. What better way than getting a recommendation right from the parents of Ireland? From car seats to feeding bottles to nappies, we have over 40 Product Award categories to vote for and we need your help in choosing the winners. Log on to www.maternityandinfant.ie/awards and vote for your favourite!


Nominate Your Childcare Centre Today! We need you to help us recognise the early education centres that provide excellent standards of childcare and go that extra mile in creating an educational and fun environment. Support a centre today and give them the recognition they deserve. Find out how it works at www.maternityandinfant. ie/awards.

Sign Up To Be a Product Tester!

PRODUCT T EST ER S WANT ED! Would you like to test some of the biggest brands, newest products and innovative gadgets available on the Irish market? Become a part of our Home Testing or Academy Day Testing by signing up at www.maternityandinfant.ie/awards today!


100% Magenta

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100% Cyan 95% Magenta

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Nominate Someone Special in Your Life We’re searching for the people who have amazing stories to share in 2016. The Boots maternity & infant People Awards aim to celebrate outstanding individuals and inspirational healthcare professionals. Do you know of a hard-working midwife who has got you through your labour? A grandparent whose love and care has kept a family strong? Or a young achiever who’s ready to change the world no matter what their age is? We have 16 categories and want to hear from you!


CATEGORIES: Boots Outstanding Achievement Award Lidl Mum of the Year Maxi Cosi Dad of the Year Mothercare Midwife of the Year Canavan Byrne Early Educator of the Year Sudocrem Miracle Baby of the Year eumom Business Parent of the Year BT Child Hero of the Year Irish Daily Mail Grandparent of the Year Nurse of the Year Obstetrician of the Year Paediatrician of the Year Pharmacist of the Year Public Health Nurse of the Year Super Sibling of the Year Young Achiever of the Year


Hosts Maura Derrane and Brian Ormond are back once again for this year’s 2016 Boots maternity & infant Awards! Both parents themselves, Maura and Brian recognise the hard work that goes into parenting and certainly relate to the joys of raising children. Maura, who presents the Today show each weekday with Dáithí Ó Sé, tells us how delighted she is to be returning. “I’m absolutely thrilled to be involved with the Awards, both as MC and by following the awards journey on the Today show. I’m excited to see which baby products come out on top because the awards are voted for by the public who are the best judges.”

For more information email Hazel at hazel.johnston@ashvillemediagroup.com

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09/05/2016 16:04

The must-have family Cooking app Filled with delicious recipes for the whole family to enjoy and a fun interactive cookery course for children, Annabel’s app is the ultimate kitchen staple. Download from the app store www.annabelkarmel.com

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Summer is the perfect opportunity to gather the family for a garden get together, but keeping everyone happy can be a culinary challenge. Here, leading parenting author and family food expert ANNABEL KARMEL shares her delicious fail-safe family food pleasers for summer nights.


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F rom p ag e 6 7 Cajun Beef & Onion Wraps Preparation: 10 minutes Cooking: 10 minutes Makes: 6 wraps 2 tsp olive oil 250g sirloin steak, thinly sliced 1 tsp honey 1 red onion, thinly sliced 1 red pepper, thinly sliced 100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced 1 clove garlic, crushed 1 ½ tsp ground coriander ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika 1 tsp soy sauce 6 tortilla wraps 50g Cheddar cheese, grated 1 baby gem lettuce, shredded

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Mix the steak with the honey and fry until brown for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the onion and pepper to the pan and fry for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and fry for another 2 minutes, then return the steak to the pan. Sprinkle over the coriander and paprika. Add the soy sauce and remove from the heat. Warm the wrap in the microwave. Spoon some of the filling in the middle. Sprinkle over a little cheese and lettuce. Fold in the end of the wrap and roll up.



Thai Prawn Kebabs Preparation: 1 hour

marinating time Cooking: 6 minutes Makes: 8 skewers 24 raw tiger prawns Zest and juice of half a lime 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 tsp honey Half tsp red Thai paste

Soak 8 small wooden skewers in cold water. Mix together the lime, soy, honey and Thai paste. Toss the prawns into the mixture and leave to marinate for 1 hour. Thread three prawns onto each skewer. Cook on the BBQ for 2 to 3 minutes each side or until the prawns turn pink, or fry in a frying pan for the same amount of time.

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Chicken Burgers Preparation: 10 minutes Cooking: 8 minutes Makes: 4 portions (8 mini burgers) 3 slices white bread 1 tbsp sunflower oil 1 large red onion, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, crushed 250g minced chicken 1 tbsp dark soy sauce 2 tbsp tomato chutney 50g dessert apple, grated Sunflower oil for frying

Put the bread into a food processor and whizz to make fine crumbs. Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic until soft. Tip into a bowl with two thirds of the breadcrumbs and the remaining ingredients and season. Using your hands, shape into 8 burgers and coat in the remaining breadcrumbs. Heat the oil and fry the burgers for 3 to 4 minutes each side. Once cooked through, serve in a white bun with lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes.

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EXOTIC FRUIT COCKTAIL Preparation: 5 minutes Makes: 2 glasses

175ml lemonade 125ml mixed tropical fruit juice 2 tbsp grenadine syrup Strawberries, to decorate

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Pour the lemonade into 2 glasses. Pour the fruit juice down the side of each glass, followed by a tbsp of grenadine syrup. Decorate each glass with a strawberry.

Keep little ones busy this summer with Annabel’s BRAND NEW Family Cooking app. As well as lots of simple, tasty recipes, it includes a special Kids Rule the Kitchen cooking course designed to feed young imaginations whilst teaching essential cooking skills. Available via the App Store.

06/05/2016 15:26



SPARK ALIVE In theory, a baby brings a couple closer together – haven’t you created your own little miracle together? – but there is nothing like colic and endless night feeds to eat away at the romance of it all. So exactly how do you keep that spark alive?


verything changes when you have a baby – your body, your sleep patterns, your priorities, your LIFE. Your relationship is not immune to those changes too. Having a baby can bring you closer together and make you a family, but the unrelenting pressure of the early days, along with the new little person to focus on, can mean that your relationship gets pushed to a very poor second place to the baby’s needs. This is completely understandable – anyone who has had a baby and survived to tell the tale will agree that a household almost goes into survival mode when a new baby arrives. But when things settle down, make it a priority to nurture and grow your relationship with your partner – when all is said and done, it was the two of you at the start, and it’ll be the two of you again once the kids are grown. Try these 10 ways to get that spark back into your life, and to keep your relationship strong.



When baby is little, or finances are tight, a babysitter might be out of the question. So when baby goes asleep (even if it’s just for an hour or two), light some candles, have something indulgent to eat or drink, turn off the TV and spend some time together.

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Have a set time each day where you chat to each other about anything – it could be over coffee in the morning, perhaps a bath or a shower in the evening, or over dinner. Even if you just tell each other about your day (try to talk about something other than the baby!), it keeps the lines of communication open, which is so important in a relationship. Another good trick is to check in with each other at least once during the day.



When night blends into day thanks to night feeds and teething issues, you and your partner can sometimes feel like ships passing in the night. But make the effort to get to bed at the same time as your partner a couple of times a week, even if it feels insanely early. It will give you a chance to catch up and chat, as well as having much-needed alone time.



Once the kids are going to bed at a regular time, take a few minutes to switch off from being mum and become “you” again. Take a bath or a shower, change, de-stress and take time to cuddle up to your partner on the sofa.



No longer having the time for long, leisurely lie-ins or dates doesn’t mean you have to give up your sex life. Instead, get clever with your time. Use naptime as an excuse for a little alone time with your partner. Begin the seduction earlier in the day by sending sexy text messages or putting a note in his/her bag. Surprise him/her in the shower. Even a quickie will pay off handsomely in feelgood endorphins for the rest of the day.



On the same note, if you are new parents and struggling with night feeds etc, don’t put yourselves under pressure to get back in the saddle immediately, but keep it in mind. Don’t leave it too long. Intimacy is important, so talk to your partner if you’re nervous or struggling to get in the mood again. Do whatever it takes to feel relaxed and sexy again. Take a nap or a break so you’re not so tired. Have a glass of wine to unwind. Book a massage or take a bath. If you are worried about your libido post-baby (and bear in mind it can take some time to come back), see your doctor. But above all, talk to your partner about your worries and desire to be intimate again.

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One of the easiest habits to instill – but also one of the easiest habits to get out of – is showing your partner how much you love and appreciate them. Hug and kiss your partner each day, send regular loving texts or emails, or try and do something nice regularly for your partner. Remember it’s healthy for your kids to see mammy and daddy showing their love for each other (even if they do get embarrassed by PDAs when they get older!).



We’ve all done this – compared how much we’re doing for kids/the house with our partner – and generally felt hard done by. Remember you’re a team. If something is bugging you, say it calmly and subtly. If you need time out, say it. Remember your partner is not a mindreader and could be oblivious to your struggles. Then try to work together to support and complement each other. Focus on the positive and not the negative in your partner – and that goes for all areas of life, not just parenting!

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No matter how many chats you had before having kids, inevitably you’re going to come across situations where your parenting style will differ from your partner’s. And when you’re disagreeing over the best way to deal with a toddler tantrum while said child is screaming in the middle of the supermarket, things can get fraught very quickly indeed. The key here is communication. Deal with the situation in hand as best you can and then sit down and agree on a strategy in the future.



…but hopefully for the better! You’re not the same couple you were before children, but you’re now a family – isn’t that great? Lots of things will change – your sex life, your freedom, your finances, maybe even your career – but the important thing is that you face every challenge as a couple. Some people liken a long-term relationship to a business – it has to be nurtured and cared for on a daily basis or else it will fail. But put the time in and it will grow and grow.

06/05/2016 15:23




Presenteeism Do you feel like you always have to stay late in the office – but you have to pick up the kids? You’re not alone. ANDREA MARA looks at the culture of presenteeism and what working parents can do about it.


etting up to leave while colleagues stay put, slinking out the door feeling guilty; if you’re a parent who does the crèche pick-up, you’ll know the feeling. You may have been in earlier than everyone else, you might log on from home later on, or perhaps you just worked smarter, and got everything done on time. But for many parents, it can feel like as though there’s pressure to stay late simply because everyone else does, or because the boss sees presence in the office as a measure of productivity. This is presenteeism, and it’s a regular feature in many workplaces around Ireland. So what can you do about it? Here, five working parents talk about their experiences, and maternity career coach Sarah Courtney offers her advice.

When you feel awkward leaving on time Nicola, who is currently on maternity leave from her role in a software firm, says she used to feel self-conscious leaving the office to pick up her daughter. “Instead of standing up at my desk and putting on my coat, I used to hold my bag and coat down low so people wouldn’t realise I was going – like I was trying to hide something.” She had an informal arrangement with her boss that she could come in early and leave at 4pm, but this had never been commu-

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nicated to the rest of the staff. “It’s not for her to take all of that on her shoulders,” says Sarah Courtney. “That’s what bosses and HR are there for. The company is in one sense offering a culture of flexible work but then by their actions, not really. Nicola should speak to her manager about communicating her arrangement. And I don’t mean going cap in hand or apologising – she’s not swanning off to get her nails done! She should walk out each evening with her head held high – she has delivered on her work.”

When your colleagues make comments Public servant and mum-of-two Laura finds comments from co-workers a challenge. “There are three men in my office, and also my boss whose kids are in their late teens. I take two days parental leave a week and I get ‘Oh you’re never here,’ or ‘Oh you’re off again,’ a lot.” Courtney is matter of fact on this. “You can’t control what other people are going to say. So you have to know your own values and be confident in yourself. When people say these things, it’s their issue – it’s no reflection on you. I’m all for smiling, nodding and walking out.” However, if it becomes a real problem, you

should speak to your manager. “It’s up to each person to decide if it needs to be escalated, or if you should have a private word with your colleague. Ultimately, if you’re giving power to other people, then they can knock you with silly comments, but if you know your value is to deliver your work, and your other value is to be at home with your children, then you can be confident in yourself, and people can say whatever they like, but it doesn’t affect you.”

When there’s no remote working policy Communications manager and mum-of-two Maeve is expected to be present in the office. “Even though everything I do is computeror phone-based, there’s no work from home policy. They didn’t want to set a precedent, although 99 per cent of my colleagues need to be onsite for their roles anyway.” Courtney suggests asking for a test run. “You could propose a trial – say ‘This is what I’m proposing for the next six weeks; I’ll make a plan of what I’m going to do, and show you I’m getting it done’. The onus is really on you to make it work and convince them it’s not a negative. If they see it working, they may be more open to it. And the recruitment market is so tight, companies really do have to be more creative with what they can give staff.”

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1 2 3

Avoid meetings that fall outside your working hours by blocking out your calendar; by taking over the scheduling of the meeting; or by proposing you leave early to do the meeting from home. If you’re logging in at night, don’t keep it to yourself – if your boss is aware that you’re being flexible to get the work done, he or she is more likely to meet you halfway.

When the boss puts a premium on presence in the office Unfortunately it’s not just colleagues who judge performance on how many hours are spent in the workplace – some bosses do too. “Lots of part-time people don’t get a bonus,” says Aoibheann, solicitor and mum of three. “And I know someone who was told during a performance review, ‘How can I get you a high score when you’re gone by 4 o’clock every day?’ It’s a sign of a bad manager if they’re watching whether or not people are at their desks instead of output. But unfortunately the focus is often on how late people stay – not the chat, not the coffee breaks, not the lunch hours. It’s all about sitting at your desk.” Courtney has good advice for dealing with a boss who values presence over productivity. “Focus on what you can control. Ask your manager for a meeting to discuss your goals – a good question is, ‘What does success look like for you?’ This gets your manager to articulate what they want from you. Then the ball is in your court. Deliver what you promised and don’t be afraid to let your boss know. As women we often downplay what we achieve. Schedule regular feedback meetings to update your manager on your progress. Keep highlighting that you are delivering on his or her

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priorities. Let the facts speak for themselves. The next time your manager is reluctant to give you a good performance rating or bonus, you’ll have plenty of evidence to show that you gave what was asked of you.”

Be super-responsive when working remotely, to show that being away from the office is not a disadvantage.

When you don’t feel trusted Lisa has two children, and travels from Meath to Dublin every day for work. She recently asked if she could start earlier in order to leave at 5pm – her request was granted, but only after she was given extra work. “I had to take on additional tasks to prove that I was doing work between 8.30am and 9am, even though I was in at 8.30am all along, and nothing was ever said! I use remote access to get things done at night – nobody knows that or pays attention,” says Lisa, who is a supervisor in the funds industry. “It’s nearly to the point where you feel they don’t trust you.” “When people don’t feel trusted, I don’t think it’s sustainable in the long term,” says Courtney. “People who are unhappy just don’t stay, and companies then face turnover. There are companies offering unlimited annual leave days and they’re all still functioning! We need employers to understand that flexibility will not backfire – in fact, it’s a win for everyone.”

4 5

At meetings and reviews, focus on results, draw attention to goals you’ve met, and leave no room for questions over whether or not you were present in the office. Be confident about leaving in the evening; working faster and smarter than others is a sign of an excellent performer, so hold your head up high.

06/05/2016 16:03



ŠKODA IRELAND! ŠKODA Ireland has launched a new three-part nationwide cycling initiative, the ŠKODA Celtic Cycle Series, involving 4,500 participants, as part of their ongoing commitment to cycling in Ireland. Here’s why you should get involved…


he inaugural ŠKODA Celtic Cycle Series 2016 will kick off with the renowned Tour de Conamara in Co. Galway on 28th May and will be followed by the first ever GranFondo Hibernia cycle in Co. Clare on 31st July; and the Stephen Roche Boyne Valley Cycle in Co. Louth on 17th September. Cathal Kealey, sponsorship manager at ŠKODA Ireland, says: “ŠKODA has a long association with cycling both here in Ireland and across Europe. ŠKODA has been an official partner of the Tour de France for over 10 years and in fact, ŠKODA initially manufactured bicycles when the brand was established in 1895, before turning to cars a few years later in 1906. So, we’re delighted to be able to build on this commitment to cycling by establishing the ŠKODA Celtic Cycle Series in 2016. Cycling has really taken off in Ireland over the past few years and is growing in popularity year-on-year, so we’re looking forward to three fantastic events across the country over the course of the year.” ŠKODA Ireland ambassador and cycling enthusiast Roz Purcell says: “I will be taking part in the Tour de Conamara on 28th May and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve no doubt that it will be a great day out but I’m sure it will come with its challenges as it’s a tough terrain. I would encourage cyclists to register early for the ŠKODA Celtic Cycle Series to avoid disappointment!” The ŠKODA Celtic Cycle Series 2016 has been developed for all ages and abilities with both a short and long distance option available for participants at all three events ranging from 70km to 150km. Each event is a fantastic social occasion with a great atmosphere that is not to be missed. ŠKODA has also introduced a new cycling kit that will be available to purchase at all three events throughout the summer as well as ŠKODA dealerships nationwide. Further information can be found at www.skoda.ie or www.celticseries.ie.

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ŠKODA is one of the longest-established vehicle production companies in the world. In 1895, the Czech headquarters in Mladá Boleslav began producing bicycles, followed by the production of motorbikes and cars. ŠKODA currently has six passenger car models; Citigo, Fabia, Rapid, Octavia, Yeti and Superb. In Ireland ŠKODA sold 7,816 passenger vehicles in 2015 (an increase of 24% on 2014) through a network of 26 dealers with a market share of 6.3%. ŠKODA has been part of the Volkswagen Group since 1993.

09/05/2016 09:28


Blue print cold shoulder blouse, €45, River Island

Silver plated embellished bar pendant, €11.99, New Look


Round sunglasses, €208, Versace @ Brown Thomas


Plus size white skinny jeans, €24.99, New Look

Pearl box clutch bag, €50, Oxendales

LOOK 2 Spot cold shoulder dress, €89, Topshop

Pom pom bucket bag, €12, Penneys

Pink tie-up platform heels, €75, River Island White gatsby high heel sandals, €125, Carvela at Brown Thomas



STYLE Frills, flounces and ruffles, spring/summer catwalks were all about femininity and bare shoulders.

Thornton bregazzi norman offshoulder lurex top, €1180, Preen @ Brown Thomas

Crystal embellished cashmere pashmina shawl, €250, Cashmere Rebel London

Embroidered mesh maxi dress, €113, ASOS

Printed platforms, €72, Topshop


Zip detail midi skirt, €44, Topshop

‘Mist’ rainbow pop falabella wallet, €290, Stella Mc Cartney @ Brown Thomas

Main image: Preen


Crystal hairband, €20, Accessorize

Earrings, €19.99, H&M

Straw bag, €19.99, H&M Tan embellished mules, €49.99, H&M

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Image: Next



Accessorize Stores nationwide; www.accessorize.com Aigle www. aigleboots.com Aldo Stores nationwide; www.aldoshoes.com Arnotts Henry Street, Dublin 1; www.arnotts.ie ASOS www.asos.com Argos www.argos.ie


Boots Stores nationwide; www. boots.ie Brown Thomas www. brownthomas.com


Coast Stores nationwide; www. coast-stores.com Cos 6-8 Wicklow St, Dublin 2; www.cosstores.com Childrensalon www.childrensalon.com


Debenhams Stores nationwide; www.debenhams.ie Dune London Stores nationwide; www.dunelondon. com

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Easons Stores nationwide; www. easons.com

Frugi Available at Arnotts www.welovefrugi.com

Harvey Nichols 16 Sandyford Road, Dublin 16; www.harveynichols. com Hatley Stockists nationwide; www. hatley.com Heatons Stores nationwide; www.heatonsstores.com H&M Stores nationwide; www.hm.com


Isabella Oliver www.isabellaoliver. com

Jaeger Stockists nationwide; www. jaeger.co.uk Jigsaw www.jigsawonline.com


Littlewoods Ireland www. littlewoods.ie L’Oréal Stockists nationwide; www.loreal.com


Mamalicious www.mama-licious.com Mamas & Papas Stores nationwide; www. mamasandpapas.com Marks & Spencer Stores nationwide; www. marksandspencer.ie Monsoon Stores nationwide; www.monsoon.co.uk Mothercare Stores nationwide; www. mothercare.ie


Name it Stores nationwide; www. nameit.com New Look Stores nationwide; www.newlook.com Next Stores nationwide; www.nextdirectory.ie


Penneys Stores nationwide; www. primark co.uk River Island Stores nationwide; www.riverisland.com

Seraphine www.seraphine.com Slumbersac www.slumbersac.ie

Toby Tiger www.tobytiger.co.uk Topshop Stores nationwide; www.topshop.com


Warehouse Stores nationwide; www.warehouse.co.uk

Zara Stores nationwide; www.zara.com/ie

09/05/2016 12:04


Summer Health

Our Summer Health section features all the best health advice for the season ahead. Pregnant and suffering from hayfever? Turn to p78 for advice. Travelling with small children and wondering how to overcome the inevitable disruption in sleep routine? Turn to p82-83 for our special feature. Plus, keep reading for some of your questions answered by our panel of experts, all leaders in the pregnancy and parenting sector.

Got a question or need some expert advice in a hurry? Our website, www.maternityandinfant.ie, is packed full of great features and advice, while our community of mums and experts are available 24/7 through our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/maternityandinfant) if you have a particular question that you can’t find an answer for through our website. So get reading, get clicking and most importantly, get talking!

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CAN’T STOP SNEEZING THIS SUMMER? You may have hay fever. Here’s how to deal with this pesky affliction, which is thought to affect about 20 per cent of Irish people… Naturally we are all hoping for a good summer, full of long sunny days and plenty of opportunity to enjoy our beautiful country. But summers – good and bad – have their downsides too, and one huge one is hay fever. The sneezing, itching and wooziness of hay fever can leave you dreading the brighter months, but with a little bit of planning and the right treatment, hay fever needn’t mean you have to spend the whole summer in a tiny room with no windows.

What is hay fever? Hay fever is an allergic reaction to the pollen grains and spores

produced by certain trees, grasses, moulds and weeds. It is believed that up to 90 per cent of Irish people with hay fever react to grass pollen, which peaks from early June to mid July. When the body comes into contact with pollen, cells in the lining of the nose, mouth and eyes release a chemical called histamine. This triggers the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Hay fever is common, and is thought to affect about one in five Irish people. You are more likely to suffer from hay fever if you have a history of allergies, especially if you have eczema or asthma.

What are the symptoms? The most common symptoms of hayfever include a runny or blocked nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, sore throat and ears, headaches and a tickly cough. Sufferers generally feel miserable and groggy, and sleeping can be difficult. The temptation may be to hide inside all summer, but there are ways to control the symptoms.

Can I prevent hay fever? There are various ways you can help yourself before resorting to medication: Keep a diary of symptoms. Knowing your triggers is the best way to avoid bad bursts of hay fever. Keep track of the pollen forecast each day so you know if you have to take precautions in advance. When inside, keep your windows closed. Don’t hang your clothes outside to dry, as the pollen will stick to them. Keep your house dust-free and change your bed clothes frequently. Wear sunglasses outside to protect your eyes from pollen, and shower and change your clothes immediately when you go back inside. Avoid triggers. If grass pollen sets your hay fever off, get someone else to mow the lawn. Similarly, if dust acts as a trigger, get someone else to vacuum.

How is hay fever treated? The most common way to treat hay fever is with antihistamines and nasal sprays, most of which are available over the counter at your pharmacy. More serious cases of hay fever should be referred to your GP, who will be able to prescribe a stronger medication, such as corticosteroid nasal sprays or drops. There are other ways to treat symptoms, such as overthe-counter decongestants, eye drops or pain killers like paracetamol to treat pain caused by sinus congestion.


Hay Fever & Pregnancy Boots pharmacist Paula Reilly, speaking at the Summer Ease with Cetriz campaign launch, says: “Some pregnant women find their hayfever flares up during pregnancy – it can also depend on the time of year when you’re pregnant. Pregnancy can bring up some other challenges in that you’re more restricted on what remedies you can use but there are plenty of options available. Your first port of call is your local pharmacist.

Sinus rinse

Water spray

Prevalin Allergy


Neilmed Sinus Rinse, €22.49 The best way to prevent the reaction is to clean our your nasal passages. Simply add the sachet of powder to lukewarm water and squirt up one nostril until it flows out the other nostril. Yes it feels odd but trust us, this works.

Sterimar Nasal Spray, €10.99 Great for congestion and for cleaning our your nose on the go, Sterimar nasal spray operates on the same principle as the Sinus Rinse, but in a handier, more localised spray. Use regularly.

Prevalin Allergy, €12.99 This antihistamine- and steroid-free spray should be used as soon as possible to prevent symptoms from getting worse. For use over the age of 12, Prevalin delivers clinically proven relief from sneezing and itchy/watery eyes.

Vaseline, €3.29 Good ol’ Vaseline can be surprisingly effective in preventing hay fever from happening at all. Simply apply a layer inside your lower nostrils to prevent pollen from entering your nasal passages.

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IVF MECHANISMS I’m confused about what happens in the lab after IVF. Why does the clinic keep my embryos in the lab after fertilisation and what is happening to them? The environment in which an IVF lab cultures your embryos is designed to mimic as close as possible the condition inside a woman’s fallopian tubes and uterus. We make sure to disturb them as little as possible prior to your embryo transfer to ensure that you have the best possible embryos for transfer either three days or five days after your egg collection. As you know, you will receive an update from your embryologist the day after your egg collection to tell you if IVF was successful and if any of the eggs were fertilised. We then leave these embryos developing in the optimum conditions of our incubator for another two days, at which point we check them again. The embryos are assessed on the third day to determine if they are developing as we would expect. You will be contacted once the embryologist has done this and either advised that you have the embryo transfer that day or given the recommendation to leave the embryos developing in the lab for two more days. Normally, if there a multiple good quality embryos present on the third day, they can be left to develop until the fifth day to select the strongest ones. If only a few embryos are present on the third day, they might consider transfer then.

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DONOR EGGS I have been told that my best chances of conceiving are to use a donor’s eggs. I understand the process but it’s posing so many questions about the future, I just can’t settle my mind. Can you give me any advice? You are not alone in feeling this way. Some people never get comfortable with the concept of donor eggs and decide not to opt for this treatment at all. Your clinic will understand this so don’t be afraid to communicate this to the staff. I cannot recommend highly enough the assistance of a trained, accredited fertility counsellor. This is beneficial alongside all fertility treatments, but especially when you need to consider using donor eggs, or sperm in the case of male infertility. There is a considerable

amount of evidence that shows the positive effects that counselling can have not only on the mental wellbeing of the fertility patient but also on the outcome of the treatment if it does go ahead. At my clinics we have two fertility counsellors inhouse. They have years of experience in the fertility field and provide one-to-one sessions, counselling for couples, and will soon provide group sessions for anyone who would like to meet and hear from other patients who are going through the same experience.

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


All About Ovulation

Signs of ovulation: The most obvious sign of

Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from a woman’s ovaries. In an average 28-day cycle, ovulation usually occurs 10 to 16 days before the start of your next period. Count from the first day of your last period, and your most fertile time is likely to be between Day 12 and Day 17. However, many women ovulate early or late some months, and some might not ovulate at all some months. The best chance you can give yourself of getting pregnant is to have regular sex throughout the month.

ovulation is an increase in vaginal discharge, which changes from white and creamy to clear, stretchy and slippery, a little like raw egg white. Other signs include: ✱ breast tenderness ✱ bloating ✱ mild abdominal pain ✱ slightly increased body temperature ✱ increased sex drive

09/05/2016 12:15





What does protein in your urine mean? Why must I always provide a sample at every appointment?

Is there a limit to the number of C sections you can have? I’m very fit and well, but due to complications, I’ve had to have two C sections. My dream was to have a big family but I’m wondering if I’ll have to stop at a certain number due to the sections?

Testing urine in pregnancy is a very useful method of early diagnosis of some of the common complications of pregnancy. Protein in urine can occur for a number of reasons but we are most concerned about early diagnosis of preeclampsia, sometimes called toxaemia of pregnancy. It is a condition that mostly but not always affects first-time mums and causes your blood pressure to rise to unsafe levels and for you to retain increased amounts of fluid; in severe cases the baby’s growth is affected because the placenta (afterbirth) starts to fail early, which requires early delivery. Pre-eclampsia rarely shows itself before 26 weeks, which is why we ask you to bring a urine sample to each visit after that. Protein in the urine can also be a sign of a bladder or kidney infection, but very small amounts of protein can contaminate a urine sample if it is not a clean catch sample, so if we detect protein using one of our dipstick tests we usually repeat it to double check.

There is no definite limit on the number of Caesarean sections you can have, however, it is an operation that takes longer to recover from than a straightforward vaginal delivery and the surgery creates scarring in the wall of the uterus that will cause it to be thinner and not as strong. From the obstetrician’s point of view a third or fourth section can be more difficult because of scarring and adhesion; this can make the operation technically more difficult and make access to the womb more challenging. Ideally you should talk to the doctor who did your last section and ask his or her advice. I have done fourth and fifth Caesarean deliveries for women and they have been quite straightforward, but every situation is different, so I would advise you to seek the view of your obstetrician.    

Keep hydrated You need to keep your water intake high during pregnancy, but in the heat you really need to up the ante. Aim to 1.5 litres of water a day, and keep things interesting by adding frozen slices of lime, lemon and cucumber, or try freezing watered-down fresh juice for a thirst-quenching ice pop.

Watch for swelling

Go light The easiest way to stay cool is to go for loose, light clothing that protects you from the sun, but keeps you from sweating too much (especially around the bump and the boobs). Add a wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun off your face.

I have three cats and my doctor just told me that I shouldn’t really be around them when I’m pregnant! Is this true? Why would cats be dangerous for me?

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Being pregnant in a hot summer is no joke. Here are five ways to keep your cool.

Swelling is common towards the end of pregnancy, but can be especially problematic in the heat. Elevate your legs when you can and stay hydrated. Get your partner to massage a product like Mama Mio’s Lucky Legs, €22.99, all over your legs. Remember, any excessive or sudden swelling should be immediately reported to your doctor.


The reason your doctor is concerned about your contact with cats is because of an infection called toxoplasmosis, which can be passed on to humans from infected cat litter. Toxoplasmosis has no effect on you when you are not pregnant but if you develop infection during the pregnancy for the first time, babies can be affected, and it is not possible to tell if a baby will have any ill effects until after delivery. Many mums who develop infection with toxoplasmosis have no issues at all. It is possible to ask for a blood test to see if you have antibodies to toxoplasmosis; in other words, if you previously have been affected. If you have, then there is no issue at all. The most important thing to do is be careful about handwashing when you are pregnant and avoid direct contact with the cat litter. In Ireland we do not routinely do blood tests to screen exposure to toxoplasmosis.  

Coping with a summer pregnancy

Get wet The water is your friend when pregnant. If you’re at the beach, a dip in the sea is the perfect way to keep you cool; even better regular trips to the pool and classes like aqua aerobics can help keep you toned and cool. Dr Sam Coulter-Smith is a consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology, former master of the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin, and a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Royal College of Surgeons. Visit www.rotunda.ie

Damp facecloth If you are really feeling the heat, holding a cool wet facecloth against you forehead and the back of your neck can help bring your body temperature down quickly and reduce sweating.

09/05/2016 12:15



LEAKING URINE I had my first baby three weeks ago. I practised my pelvic floor exercises as I was shown. But I now notice that when I cough, I “leak” a bit of urine. Is this normal? This is a common problem, but one that should resolve naturally by six weeks postnatally. The pelvic floor muscles (levator ani) are attached at the front to the pubic bone, to the lateral walls of the pelvis at the sides and to the coccyx at the back. They support the pelvic organs from back to front and are responsible for bladder and bowel control, organ support and sexual function. Many pregnant women develop some bladder weakness during pregnancy, as a result of the extra weight on the pelvic floor muscles. When you have had your baby, depending on your delivery, there can be loss of control of the pelvic floor muscles or indeed overactivity of these muscles, which can lead to leaking or stress incontinence. Many new mums suffer from this problem, and leaks can occur when you laugh, cough, run or jump. If the leaking persists after your six week check-up, you will need some expert help to resolve it. This is a specialised area of physiotherapy, so make sure the Chartered Physiotherapist you see is a trained Women’s Health Physiotherapist.

Sun safety The sun makes us feel good and delivers much needed Vitamin D into our bodies. But sunbathing can expose your skin to ultra violet radiation (UV rays) that can damage your skin and lead to skin cancer. Here’s how to stay safe.

SHOULDER PAIN I am 23 weeks’ pregnant and working full time. Recently I have noticed that the area between my shoulder blades gets very sore when I sit in long meetings. Should I see a physio or is this normal? The area around your shoulder blades is part of your upper back or thoracic spine, and is a common area of pain during pregnancy. The upper spine supports the weight of your growing breasts and has to accommodate for postural changes due to those changing breasts and increasing bump size. These postural changes can cause the upper spine to become stiff and sore as the pregnancy progresses, and may even result in pain when you cough or take a deep breath. Luckily the upper spine is very straightforward and very safe area to treat. Your Chartered Physiotherapist can treat you lying on your side, or in a special seated position to ease out those stiff joints and tight muscles. Taping can be very beneficial for postural re-education and reducing pain. You will also be given some safe and simple postural strengthening exercises that you can do throughout your pregnancy to fully resolve your symptoms. Taking up a Pregnancy Pilates class would also be a good idea at this stage, as Pilates has a great emphasis on postural strength and upper spine movements. Note that it is recommended to wait until you have passed 16 weeks before starting Pregnancy Pilates.

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

These answers are not a substitute for a full assessment by your chartered physiotherapist. If you are suffering with any pain or injury, please contact your local chartered physiotherapist who specialises in treating pregnant and postnatal women. It is vital to deal promptly with these aches and pains and they will only get worse as your bump and baby get bigger and heavier.

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Seek shade Try to stay in the shade or indoors when the sun is at its strongest, usually between the hours of 11am and 3pm. Small babies and fairskinned people should spend as much time in the shade as possible.

Cover up Wear loose clothing can covers up as much of your body as possible. Look for breathable fabrics like cotton or linen, and remember to wear a wide-brimmed hat and wraparound sunglasses too. Hats are a necessity for kids, in particular.

Wear an SPF Choose a good quality SPF that offers broad-spectrum protection against UV rays (especially UVA rays). Adults should wear at least and SPF of 15, and children should wear SPF30. Apply your SPF 20 minutes before going out, and re-apply regularly, especially after being in the water.

Don’t forget Irish sun SPF might feel natural when you’re abroad, but it’s still a necessity when you’re at home. Remember that UV rays can still harm your skin on cloudy days, so always apply SPF if you’re heading out for the day during the summer months.

09/05/2016 12:15



Summer Sleep Special

RESTING IN AIRPORTS Heading away but dreading the sleepless nights that are inevitable when you break a child’s sleeping routine? Our sleep expert, Lucy Wolfe, answers your questions.

What about other places, such as other forms of transport or in a departure lounge between flights? What are some strategies for how to get children to sleep there? Sleeping out and about can be temperament based. Some children are totally adjustable and can sleep anywhere, just like adults, some will struggle and resist sleep at all costs. When we travel there will always be less sleep achieved and a poorer quality of sleep during this time, but totally worth it! Again, all you can do is ensure that where possible you create suitable conditions for sleep. Most of us need a dark quiet environment to sleep, so try to be in a quiet spot and consider using an eye mask for an older child or a snooze shade on your buggy to darken things down. Make sure that your buggy meets you at the cabin door for connecting flights so that you can wheel your child around in between. I also find with older children that if you encourage them to sleep and talk to them about it, they will do their best to nod off.

SLEEPING ON A PLANE If you are travelling on a flight, what are some tips and tricks to get children to sleep on the plane? Travelling with young children can be challenging and a big undertaking. Older children from about 4/5 years of age cawn be occupied and entertained during long flights and will find it easier to sleep if they are naturally tired, whereas the younger baby and toddler will need the parents to be part of the entertainment and the sleeping conditions also. If you have a regular type of a schedule for your children then you will have a good idea of when they will be naturally tired and then you will need to try to create an optimum

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environment for sleep, in a confined space. Make them comfortable with the provided blankets and pillows and with younger children try having some of their familiar sleep associations like a special blanket or stuffed toy. Make sure they are in comfortable clothes, remove their shoes and try to avoid them becoming too warm. Talk to your older child about sleeping on the plane so that they know what is expected of them. Try to have food before going to sleep and keep on the safely seat belt to avoid having to disturb them later if the seat belt light goes on!

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COPING WITH TIME ZONES Once you have crossed time zones, how do you get children to adjust to the new local times? It amazes me how adjustable children can be when they go through time zones. Children definitely recover more quickly than adults, however, they can have the same symptoms as us as they adjust such as headaches and upset stomachs, feeling tired, hungry, and wide awake, needing the bathroom all at the wrong times. The best approach is to match the time zone of the place that you are visiting, almost immediately, give or take an hour or two. Try to have regular wake up time in the morning to help reset the body clock and open up natural times for sleep for a child who will still require day time naps. I always encourage parents to

know what the early onset of sleep signals may be for their young child-such as a brief yawn, brief rub of the eye and maybe starting to become quiet. This for me is the sweet spot for sleep and if you see it, you should act on it. I would avoid allowing your young child to have extra long daytime naps, limit them to their regular duration as at home in order to regulate the circadian rhythm and establish bedtime in your new time zone. Temporarily your child may have some night awakenings, particularly around the times that they may normally eat. It may be necessary to ensure firstly that they are well fed before bedtime, but also to give them a small snack during the first couple of days of adjustment.

TRAVELLING WITH BAD SLEEPERS Should your child’s sleeping affect your holiday decisions?

COMBATTING JET LAG Sometimes when you come back from a holiday as an adult, the best way to combat jet lag is to immediately get back into your old routine. Is this the same for children or is it best to budget a few days for them to get back into their routine? Yes, the first few days are the hardest and experts suggest that it can take a day for every hour of time difference, but I normally find that within a week or two, the body readjusts. The key is regularity. A sensible wake-up time, 7.30am, and then a suitable bedtime for a young child, which until age 10 is suggested at somewhere from 6pm-8pm. Exposure to bright, natural or artificial light on wake up and plenty of physical activity can help reset the body clock. In turn, creating a dim environment within the hour before sleep time can help the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Avoiding television, screen time, stimulating activity in the run up to sleep time can also help. Sometimes, all the best efforts won’t make a difference and you just need to go through it….remembering what a great holiday you had!

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As a parent of four children myself, I recognise the importance of exclusive holiday-family time and wouldn’t suggest that people avoid holidays for either reason. Travelling long haul with really young children can be ambitious and you can always holiday closer to home to avoid this problem. Obviously, if you do not have current sleeping problems with your children then a trip away can be seamless, because there are no issues and typically the more well rested your child, the more adjustable they can be. Sleep problems can emerge for any family due to sickness, teething, travel, developmental stages, for example. What I would normally suggest is that if you have recently solved your sleeping issues, then I would stay put for another month thereafter before thinking of travelling.

M&I KNOWS ... Sleep aids ✱ Snooze shade for buggy ✱ Familiar blanket toy for sleep ✱ Spare clothes for the baby/ toddler, even pajamas ✱ Eye mask for older children ✱ I also used a “boostapak” travel bag in the car, but it was also useful on the plane.

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

09/05/2016 12:15



WEIGHT LOSS & BREASTFEEDING I had my first baby four weeks ago and I am keen to get going on losing my ‘baby weight’. However, I am breastfeeding so I don’t want to do anything that might upset my flow. You need to wait at least six weeks before you even think about weight. When you do feel you are ready, start slowly. Resist the urge to go on a crash diet or restrict certain foods. Your baby and your body needs good nutrition and one of the best ways to start managing weight is to listen to your body when it comes to food. Have breakfast, lunch and dinner every day – even if you just have time to grab something small. In between meals, only eat if you feel hungry. Also, stop eating when you start to feel full. This may sound strange, but most women increase their appetite by the end of their pregnancy, however, they forget to go back down to their normal portions once they give birth. Listening to your body and not automatically clearing your plate will help you eat the right amount to be a healthy weight.

HEARTBURN & LATE PREGNANCY I am six months’ pregnant and really struggling with heartburn. I am very uncomfortable after every meal and sleeping is getting harder all the time. Is there anything I can do? Heartburn affects almost everyone during pregnancy, some more than others. It can kick in around five to six months and lasts right up until delivery. As your baby gets bigger, the room in your stomach gets smaller so it is under a lot of pressure. This means that as your stomach moves to crush your food, some of that food escapes into your oesophagus and you feel the burning sensation. The other problem is that around month five, your body starts to produce

hormones to relax your muscles, getting you ready to give birth. This relaxation is a major cause of constipation during pregnancy but it also relaxes the seal at the top of your stomach and makes it easier for food and acid to come back up after eating.What can you do? In the early days, eating smaller amounts more often can help. Try not to drink with meals (it just fills you up). Have your drinks in between meals instead. Make sure you are sitting up straight to eat and try to stay sitting.

Ruth Charles is a dietitian with the Early Feeding Clinic, which offers advice on becoming pregnant, nutrition during pregnancy and feeding your growing baby. For more information, visit www. earlyfeedingcentre.ie


Dealing with travel sickness Many children suffer from travel sickness when traveling, especially during long journeys in the car, on a plane or on a boat. It is most common in children aged between 3 and 12, but occasionally it can continue into adulthood. Here’s how to cope.

Keep still

Look at the horizon

Take fresh air

Avoid heavy meals

Use distraction

Look for remedies

Choose a seat in the middle of a plane or boat because you’ll experience less movement this way. Use a pillow or headrest to keep your head still.

Fixing your eyes on a stable object like the horizon can help stablise your inner sense of balance. At night, or if you’re not beside a window, close your eyes and try to nap.

Open a window and breathe deeply. Avoid getting too hot. Keeping fresh air circulating will help avoid any bad or stale smells from building up, which can worsen nausea.

Eat something light an hour before travelling; avoid anything fatty or heavy and alcohol. Remember to keep hydrated both before and while travelling.

Listening to music can help distract you from sickness. With young kids, try playing counting games or singing songs. Don’t be tempted to read, however; this can worsen sickness.

There are some over-thecounter remedies available in pharmacies such as CaldeKids Travel Pops and Seabond travel bands. Talk to your pharmacist about what might be suitable for you or your children.

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09/05/2016 12:15



Congratulations to Anna Jenkins, Co Dublin, the winner of last issue’s competition!




ummer is almost here, so why not make the most of the longer evenings and take the opportunity to put your feet up with a break to the countryside at Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa. Nestled in 21 rolling acres of historic Co. Meath, this is the perfect setting for a relaxing escape for a mum to be! A beautiful blend of restored Georgian house and new contemporary wings in a sophisticated modern style, Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa is the ideal location to relax this summer and enjoy some quality time together in picturesque surroundings before the pitter patter of tiny feet has you run off yours. Relax in the gorgeous Seoid Spa, and indulge in a little me time with a Mellow Mama Full Body Pregnancy Massage – the safe and nourishing prenatal techniques used by the expert staff will relax any muscle tension you may be holding to leave you feeling truly chilled out. Read a magazine in a comfortable armchair or treat yourself to delicious food from Executive Head Chef John Nagle as you while away a summer’s afternoon. Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa are giving one lucky reader a two-night stay for two people, with breakfast on both mornings and one Mellow Mama Full Body Pregnancy Massage. If you’re not lucky enough to win on this occasion visit www.dunboynecastlehotel.com or call 01 801 3500 to hear about some of the fabulous offers available this summer.

HOW TO WIN To win, simply log on to www.maternityandinfant.ie/dbhotelcomp and answer the following question: In what county is Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa located? a) Co. Meath b) Co. Louth

Terms and Conditions: Prize includes two night’s B&B for two adults with one spa treatment as specified, non-transferable, subject to availability. Closing date for all entries is 25 July 2016. Prize is non-transferable. Competition is not open to employees of Ashville Media Group or Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa. No cash or gift card will be awarded in lieu of stated prize. If any of the items offered are unavailable or out of stock, a suitable alternative will be provided. Winner will be selected at random from a draw and will be contacted by phone. Competition entrants must be resident in the island of Ireland. One entry per person. Competition is also subject to all usual terms and conditions.

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Dunboyne Castle Hotel and Spa, Dunboyne, Co. Meath T: +353 (0) 801 3500, W: dunboynecastlehotel.com

06/05/2016 15:31


Support & Advice Need some expert help and advice? Our directory of useful contacts will make sure you locate the right resource.


Childminding Ireland,

HSE, Oak House, Millennium Park,

Tel: (01) 287 8466

Naas, Co. Kildare. Tel: (045) 880400 LoCall: 1850 24 1850


Miscarriage Association of Ireland,

Doras Buí – A Parents Alone Resource Centre

Carmichael Centre, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. Tel: (01) 873 5702

Email: info@childminding.ie

Bunratty Drive, Coolock, Dublin 17 Tel: (01) 848 4811

Web: www.childminding.ie

Email: info@dorasbui.ie

9 Bullford Business Campus, Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow.

Web: www.dorasbui.ie

Email: infoline1@hse.ie Web: www.hse.ie

Early Childhood Ireland, Hainault House, Belgard Square,

One Family, Cherish House,

Cuidiú – Irish Childbirth Trust,

Tallaght, Dublin 24.

2 Lower Pembroke Street,

Carmichael House, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7.

Tel: (01) 405 7100

Dublin 2. Tel: 01 662 9212

Email: info@earlychildhoodireland.ie

LoCall Info Line: 1890 662 212

Tel: (01) 872 4501

Web: www.earlychildhoodireland.ie

Email: info@onefamily.ie

Web: www.cuidiu-ict.ie Home Birth Association of Ireland, Tel: 087 164 0847, (0906) 405267 Email: enquiries@ homebirth.ie Web: www.homebirth.ie

Web: www.onefamily.ie


Treoir 14 Gandon House,

Aware 72 Lower Leeson Street,

Tel: (01) 670 0120

Custom House Square, International Financial Services Centre, IFSC, Dublin 1.

Dublin 2. Tel: (01) 661 7211

LoCall Info Line: 1890 252 084

La Leche League of Ireland,

LoCall Helpline: 1890 303 302

Email: info@treoir.ie

Please refer to your local telephone directory. Email: leader@

Email: info@aware.ie

Web: www.treoir.ie

lalecheleagueireland.com Web: www.lalecheleagueireland.com Maternity Benefit Section, Department of Social Protection, McCarter’s Road, Ardarvan, Bincrana, Co Donegal. LoCall 1890 690 690

Web: www.aware.ie Aware conducts support group meetings across the country. Manned by trained volunteers, their Depression Helpline is a listening service that operates Monday to Friday, 10am to 10pm. Aware also provide an email support service. Please visit their website for more information.

Email: maternityben@welfare.ie Web: www.welfare.ie


Post Natal Depression Ireland, Administration Building, Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Co. Cork.


Email: info@miscarriage.ie Web: www.miscarriage.ie

MULTIPLE BIRTHS Irish Multiple Births Association, Carmichael Centre, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. Tel: (01) 874 9056 Email: info@imba.ie Web: www.imba.ie

SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN AND PARENTS UNDER STRESS Barnardos, Christchurch Square, Dublin 8. Callsave: 1850 222 300 Tel: (01) 453 0355 Email: info@barnardos.ie Web: www.barnardos.ie

18 Orion Business Campus,

Childline, 24-hour Freephone

Rosemount Business Park,

Helpline: 1800 666 666

Ballycoolin, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. Tel: (01) 882 9030

Text: ‘TALK’ to 50101 (2pm-10pm daily)

Email: info@alittlelifetime.ie

Web: www.childline.ie

Web: www.alittlelifetime.ie Parentline, Carmichael House,

The Childcare Directory Ltd,

(Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10am to 2pm)

First Light- Irish Sudden Death Syndrome Association, Carmichael House, North Brunswick Street,

98 Foxrock Avenue, Foxrock, Dublin 18.

Email: support@pnd.ie

Dublin 7. Tel: (01) 873 2711

Web: www.pnd.ie

Tel: (01) 873 3500

Tel: (01) 201 6000

LoCall Helpline: 1850 391 391

Monthly support meetings are held on the last Tuesday of every month at Cork Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork.

LoCall: 1890 927 277

Email: support@firstlight.ie

Email: info@parentline.ie

Web: www.firstlight.ie

Web: www.parentline.ie

Email: info@childcare.ie Web: www.childcare.ie

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Support Line: (021) 492 2083

North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7.

06/05/2016 15:32


The Early Education Awards


S tep 1

The Boots maternity & infant Awards are celebrating the difference quality early education can make on young children’s lives. We want to celebrate the benefits of early childhood care and education as well as recognising the key role played by early years professionals.

NOMINATE A CHILDCARE CENTRE Who can? Anyone can! Whether you’re an employee or a parent of a child who attends a centre, anyone can nominate a creche, nursery, pre school, Naíonraí (Irish language preschools), Montessori, High/Scope school or a Steiner schools.

S tep 2 NE W FO R 2016

CHOOSE THE CATEGORY All nominated early education centres will be contacted to complete a submission form and choose what categories to enter. All 5 categories can be entered! 1. Best Outdoor Area 2. Best Indoor Learning Space 3. Best Innovative Learning Initiatives 4. Best Food & Nutrition 5. Best Diversity & Equality

S tep 3 THE SHORTLIST The submissions are reviewed by our esteemed panel of judges from Canavan Byrne. Shortlisted centres will then be site inspected. The shortlisted centres will also take part in a public vote to get the community involved and spread the celebration!

Nominations close Friday June 17th For more information email Hazel at hazel.johnston@ashvillemediagroup.com

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maternityandinfant.ie/awards #BootsmiAwards2016

10/05/2016 09:07



ME TIME I’m ANN MARIE and I’m mum to a little lady who is now 21 months old. I’m a writer and I’ve just started blogging about my life with a toddler – here I talk about the reality of that elusive “me” time…


he other day my very kind mother sent me off for a few precious hours of ‘me time’. Anyone who looks after their child full time will appreciate that this is like winning the fabled Golden Ticket, you feel like it’s Christmas morning and your birthday all rolled into one. So there I was on my way to have a coffee in the local shopping centre. As I walked in the door my eye snagged on one of Those Machines. Parents will know exactly what I am referring to. For those of you who have not yet had the luxury of losing half a day’s pay on one of these babies I will explain. You, the parent, insert money into the machine while your little monkey clambers aboard to drive beside Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam or God Forbid the infamous Peppa Pig. This ride will last barely a minute and before you know it, said child will be pleading with you to part with more of the grocery money (they always have these devil machines just outside your local supermarket so you can’t avoid them when you desperately need nappies and milk). Like the mug that you have become you reach again for your wallet/purse. The sensible partner will then be forced to intervene leading to a major meltdown and one of those marital rows that make other couples smile smugly at each other. My husband and I recently discovered that pretending these machines are ‘broken’ avoids all the extra drama of shopping with a toddler. The little lady is now quite happy to be wheeled around in the trolley – in with the groceries rather than in the appropriate seat but we will take what we can get. On this particular morning I passed one of these machines and found myself turning around to say ‘broken’. It was on the tip of my tongue when I noticed the very confused looking older gentleman behind me. I smiled

weakly before fleeing the building, using the freezing wind to calm my red cheeks. Oh the mortification! I felt too embarrassed to grab my much-needed coffee and went for a little ramble instead. There are lots of perks to being the main person my tiny lady spends her days with but one of them isn’t appearing like a crazy lady in public shopping centres – neither is reaching for a hand that isn’t there when crossing the street or turning when someone else’s child screams out ‘mama’. But don’t we all do it? When you have a baby you suddenly have a startling revelation – you will never be able to relax again! Along with the knack of being unbearably cuddly and the ability to melt your heart with their warm smell, babies also come with the unexpected gift of constant worry. It is shocking and overwhelming at first; there are times you won’t sleep as you watch for each soft breath. However slowly, ever so slowly, this worry becomes just a constant buzzing presence in your life. You don’t even really notice it anymore. But it’s not just the worry, it’s the love. The love that will consume you for the rest of your life; more crushing than any crush, more heartbreaking than any lost love and more fulfilling than anything you have felt before. It comes with a price though. You will never, ever again be just you; a part of you will always be mama and this means a part of your mind (no matter how old they grow) will always be thinking about them. So yes, even on my much-needed “me” time, I will automatically turn at the sound of ‘mama’ or groan slightly at hearing the beginnings of a temper tantrum (before rejoicing when I realise it’s not my problem), but worse of all is inexplicably missing my tiny lady all of a sudden when I finally get some precious alone time. Typical.


Adventures in Toddlerdom: annmarie303.tumblr.com If you’re a parenting blogger, we want to hear from you! Email us at editorialdesk@ashville.com

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016 #bootsmiawards2 e #canavanbyarn earlyeduc tor


This award aims to recognise the pivitol role early years educators play in the lives of young children. We are looking for nominations for an inspirational early years educator who has given a child or children the skills, competence, confidence and curiosity to reach their potential. If you know an outstanding professional who has gone the extra mile, nominate them for this prestigious award!

Now accepting nominations! Log on to www.maternity&infant.ie to nominate!

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Profile for Ashville Media Group

Maternity & Infant Summer 2016  

Maternity & Infant Summer 2016