Bump 2 Baby - Autumn 2019

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THE FOUNDATION FOR INFANT LOSS PREVENTION Welcome to our launch edition of Bump 2 Baby! Our magazine is aimed at parents and parents to be! Our magazine is jam packed full of features surrounding the wellbeing of both baby and parent, plus lifestyle, fashion, food, travel, and parents who will be sharing their own experiences of parenting and pregnancy with us! My name is Chantal and I am the Editor. I have one daughter, Ruby, who is almost 14! Ruby is also a Rainbow Baby. Bump 2 Baby is a project of The Foundation for Infant Loss Prevention, where we are so committed to making sure that little ones are kept safe! This magazine will also provide you with lots of really useful information from our friends at organisations such as Kicks Count, Baby College and Best Beginnings. We are very excited to launch our search for the face of our bumper Christmas Edition. Could your little one be our Christmas edition model? Not only will your baby be on the front of our national magazine but your baby will win a modelling contract with the fabulous national modelling agency “Bonnie and Betty�, as well as some fantastic Christmas themed prizes! Please get your entry in as soon as possible! We cannot wait to see the photos. Find out more on Page 10. We hope you enjoy our content filled first edition. We will be back in November with our bumper Christmas edition! Thank you to Kasia Kowalak Photography in Cheltenham for providing us with this gorgeous front cover! You can contact Kasia: 07500 859399 www.kasiakowalak.co.uk Thank you to all of our contributing writers for this edition! Chantal

INSIDE THIS EDITION We have a super edition for you and here are our highlights! Baby College talks all things Safe Sleep.... Monkey Gym lets us know the importance of movement from a young age! Terri Shanks talks to us about her amazing experiences as a Gap Traveller. Terri has been travelling the world for the last year with her six year old son Cameron... Ashlea Butterfield delights us with her real life experiences in parenting twins! Celebrity Chef Sarah Ali Choudhury talks all things food and wellbeing Ethical and sustainable babies fashion from Tommy and Lottie The Nappy Lady talks Reusable Nappies! Good for the environment Good for you? Anna Cribb from “Hey Mummy� talks parenting Enjoy! Say Hello! Bump 2 Baby The Foundation for Infant Loss Prevention Email: info@foundationforinfantloss. co.uk Phone: 01242 462073

Feeling your baby move is a sign they are well. Report any changes in movement to Download your midwife or our FREE maternity unit. app today

Download our FREE app today to help you keep track of your baby's movements KICKS COUNT available from the App Store and play store




7 SAFE SLEEP TIPS From Baby College in collaboration with The Sleep Sanctuary

Sleep is a hot topic for parents and one that is discussed frequently and at length in most Baby College classes. Whether you are blessed with a child that sleeps well, or one that struggles, every parent should make sure that their child is sleeping safely. Recommendations for safe sleep change frequently, so it is important to regularly revisit current guidance. HERE ARE 7 SAFE SLEEP TIPS WRITTEN FOR US BY RACHAEL TAYLOR, GENTLE SLEEP COACH AND FOUNDER OF THE SLEEP SANCTUARY.


Back to sleep for every sleep

Always put your baby down to sleep on their back for every sleep (day or night). Side or front sleeping positions greatly increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Since the Back to Sleep campaign was launched in 1991, SIDS has dropped by 79%. Once your baby can roll over from his back to front on their own, you can leave them to find their own sleep position, but ensure that the sleep space is free from anything that might trap or suffocate the baby, such as quilts, loose blankets, or bumpers.


Sleep on a firm, flat surface

Place your baby on a firm sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved cot, covered by a fitted sheet. Never place your baby to sleep on pillows, quilts, adult beds, sofas or armchairs. These are dangerous as they put your baby at risk of becoming trapped or suffocated. Guidance has recently been updated that babies should not be allowed to remain sleeping in a car seat or any other place that does not have a firm and flat surface for longer than necessary. Babies who are younger than 4 months are particularly at risk because they may sleep in positions that can obstruct their airway.


Ensure a clear, safe sleep space

Make sure that there is nothing in the baby’s sleep space that can cause your baby to suffocate or become trapped. This includes pillows, quilts, blankets, bumpers, comforters, stuffed animals, sleep positioners, pods or nests (even if they are covered by a sheet, blanket or other soft bedding).


Beware of second-hand sleep surfaces

Think twice about using pre-loved or hand-me-down sleep space, even if they’ve been in the family for years. Safety standards have changed, and some products have been recalled or taken off the market.


Share a room, not a bed

It is recommended that your baby sleeps in your room, but on a separate sleep surface, for at least for the first 6 months (ideally for the first year of life). Evidence suggests that it also reduces the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%. Having your baby’s cot within view and reach will also help you to feed, comfort and monitor your baby. If you do decide to share a bed, make sure that you follow current safe sleep guidance from The Lullaby Trust and never bed share if you or anyone in the bed has recently drunk alcohol, taken drugs or medicines that make you drowsy, or smoked.


Consider using a dummy

Dummies can significantly reduce the risk of SIDS. Consider offering one to your baby, but you should not force them to take it. If you are breastfeeding, wait about four to six weeks before introducing one. Many parents stop offering a dummy to their child after six months, so the baby doesn’t get so accustomed to falling asleep with something in their mouth.


Maintain a healthy, stable temperature in your home

The recommended safe temperature for babies is between 16 to 20 degrees celsius. While this may seem cool to you, your baby isn’t used to regulating their own body temperature, and is unable to remove extra blankets or clothing.

For the latest safe sleep guidance visit The Lullaby Trust (www.lullabytrust.org.uk) The Sleep Sanctuary is an online children’s Sleep Consultancy supporting tired parents to improve their child’s sleep and live healthier, happier lives (www.mysleepsanctuary.co.uk) Baby College® offer insights into many parent and baby development topics (including sleep) in their fun interactive classes in venues across the UK. They also host the popular Facebook Group Inspiring Parents UK, with many inspiring experts like Rachael on hand to answer your many parenting questions. Visit www.babycollege.co.uk for more details of classes or join Inspiring Parents UK.

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WIN a Modelling Contract with National Modelling and Casting Agency:

Bonnie and Betty! and your baby can also be on the front cover of our Christmas Edition! We are looking for a beautiful baby under the age of 2 to be the face of our Christmas Edition magazine! The lucky winner will also win a modelling contract with the fantastic Bonnie and Betty! Their clients include: Apple, BBC, Barclays, Billie Faiers for George, Burberry, CBBC, Cath Kidston, Dove, Dairylea, Disney, FA Cup, Gap, Gucci and Harrods to name but a few!. So who are Bonnie and Betty? Bonnie & Betty child model and casting agency provides babies, kids and teens for various assignments, including photographic, commercial, TV, film & stage work. The Agency was set up in 2009 by Bonnie Breen, who has worked within the industry for many years. Bonnie and Betty are now one of the leading child agencies serving all over England with both a South division in London and North division in Manchester. Bonnie and Betty are one of the only agencies to cover all fields of both the modelling and acting industries, with child models and actors alike enjoying regular success. The agency enjoys working with all parents and clients on a personal and approachable level, ensuring constant positive feedback. The agency's fresh outlook creates a much more close knit and friendly feel to the agency. Numbers are kept low at all times to ensure we can pay close attention to the children registered on our books. To enter please send some photographs of your baby by post ONLY to: Bump 2 Baby Suite 5 Marchmont Parabola Road Cheltenham GL50 3AF Photos cannot be returned. Please make sure you include baby's name, date of birth and your contact details. The deadline for submission is Friday 25 October 2019 Good luck!!

WIN YOUR MIDWIFE / DOULA / BIRTH WORKER a Fantastic well deserved Spa Day for 2! You can also win a filled to the brim Bump 2 Baby Goodie Bag for yourself! As well as featuring in our next Edition of Bump 2 Baby! Has your midwife gone beyond your expectations? Has he or she perhaps helped you through a difficult time? or made your pregnancy or birth experience the best that it could be? Then please tell us about your experience!. Please send your nomination BY POST ONLY to: Midwife Competition Bump 2 Baby Suite 5 Marchmont Parabola Road Cheltenham GL50 3AF Please send us nominations by Friday 25 October 2019 - best of luck!

THE NAPPY LADY The Nappy Lady started in 1999 as a small family business but we nowhave 13 staff including 4 highly experienced advisors who work directlywith me answering your advice questionnaires and queries. When you ask for advice from The Nappy Lady you can guarantee you’re speaking to a very experienced cloth nappy user who has been there, done it, and pretty much heard and seen every possible cloth nappy scenario possible! We’re passionate about using cloth nappies and love helping parentsswitch to them. We are famous for our free advice questionnaire service: https://www.thenappylady.co.uk/advice-questionnaire

This is wherewe assess your families needs and priorities and we send you a comprehensive recommendation of the cloth nappies that are best for you. We will help over 18,000 families through our advice service this year alone. Using cloth is becoming mainstream and the new normal, it’s no longer seen as the “hippy” option. Using cloth nappies have many benefits: They are more reliable than disposables through the use of their strongreliable elastics. Poo explosions up to the neck are not normal with cloth nappies. If this happens something has gone very very wrong with the nappy fitting! Using cloth nappies saves you money. You can cloth nappy from a budget friendly £100, for a great set of terry squares to £400-500 with theNmost modern designer nappies. Most people’s nappy supply falls somewhere in the middle of this price range. You can also go onto use your nappies on subsequent children, you definitely can’t reuse disposable nappies! Disposable nappies cost on average £800-£1000 per baby depending on the brand you use and how long baby is in them. The average baby uses 5500 nappies in 2.5 years Health - Cloth nappies are more breathable and cooler than disposables as all the layers are breathable fabrics and not plastics like disposables.

Cloth nappies are very popular in hot climates like Australia for this very reason. Environmental - Even with washing cloth nappies, you use fewer resources than disposables. Disposable production takes vast amounts of water, oil and energy to make a single use disposable nappy that will be used for a couple of hours and then thrown away. Disposables are estimated to take 500 years to decompose. Used and laundered correctly cloth nappies can have a carbon footprint 40% smaller than that of disposables.

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THE IMPORTANCE OF ASKING : COULD IT BE SEPSIS? Sepsis, or blood poisoning, is the reaction to an infection in which the body attacks its own organs and tissues. If not spotted and treated quickly, it can rapidly lead to organ failure and death. The numbers are staggering – every year in the UK 250,000 people are affected by sepsis; 52,000 people die because of sepsis and 79,000 suffer permanent, life-changing after-effects. Sepsis is an indiscriminate killer, claiming young and old lives alike and affecting the previously fit and healthy. It’s more common than heart attacks and kills more people than bowel, breast and prostate cancer and road accidents combined. Current practice for diagnosis and treatment could be costing the UK economy up to £15.6 billion annually. But despite the statistics and the condition’s devastating impacts, awareness of sepsis is astonishingly low. As sepsis presents differently in adults and children knowing the symptoms is crucial, so that we can advocate not only for ourselves but for friends and family and other members of our community. HOW TO SPOT SEPSIS IN CHILDREN If your child is unwell with either a fever or very low temperature (or has had a fever in the last 24 hours), call 999 and just ask: could it be sepsis? A child may have sepsis if he or she: – Is breathing very fast – Has a ‘fit’ or convulsion – Looks mottled, bluish, or pale – Has a rash that does not fade when you press it – Is very lethargic or difficult to wake – Feels abnormally cold to touch

A child under 5 may have sepsis if he or she: – Is not feeding – Is vomiting repeatedly – Has not passed urine for 12 hours PREVENTING SEPSIS We still don’t know why some people who get an infection develop sepsis and others don’t. People are more likely to develop sepsis after a viral illness like a cold, or a minor injury. But it can affect anyone, regardless of age or state of health. However, some people are more likely to get sepsis, including those who are very young or very old, those who are malnourished and those who are pregnant or have just given birth. We can’t always prevent sepsis but, if it does strike, getting help early can stop it in its tracks. The first, vital step is to ensure that families and friends are aware of the condition. This awareness will enable people to advocate for their loved ones; if you or someone you know is ill with an infection, knowing to ‘Just Ask: Could it be Sepsis?’ might well save a life. However, by preventing infection we can reduce our risk of developing sepsis. It’s important that we maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet, and pay attention to sanitation and hygiene. Washing our hands, ensuring that we avoid where possible contact between people with symptoms of infection and those who are vulnerable, and encouraging everyone to accept the vaccinations that offered will all play a part in preventing the thousands of needless deaths every year from this deadly condition.


Meningitis is a life-changing and serious disease which causes inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. It continues to be a disease parents fear. In the UK, the most common causes of meningitis are viruses and bacteria – with around 8,000 cases a year. Viral meningitis can make babies and young children very unwell but is rarely life-threatening. Most children make a good recovery; however, this can take time. Bacterial meningitis can kill, so urgent medical attention is essential. Most will make a good recovery, but some will suffer physical, neurological and emotional after-effects due to various areas of the brain being injured. Some bacteria that cause meningitis can also cause septicaemia (blood poisoning), which can lead to skin scarring and limb loss.

WHY ARE BABIES AT RISK? Everybody is at risk from meningitis, but certain age groups are more susceptible. Those being the under-fives, but particularly the under-ones - as their immune systems aren’t fully developed.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF MENINGITIS? Familiarising yourself with all the signs and symptoms and seeking urgent medical help if you are concerned reduces the likelihood of meningitis and septicaemia being life-threatening and resulting in lifelong after-effects. The early signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia can be like flu or a viral infection. Signs to look out for in babies include being floppy and unresponsive, dislike of being handled, rapid breathing, an unusual, moaning cry and a bulging fontanelle (soft spot on the top of the head). Be aware that some young babies may have a normal or low temperature. It is not always easy to recognise the signs and symptoms in young babies, therefore it is important to trust your instincts and not be afraid to ask for a second opinion if you are concerned about your baby’s health. Meningitis Now provides free credit-card-style symptoms cards, which can be ordered via its helpline on 0808 80 10 388. If you suspect someone may be ill with meningitis or septicaemia, trust your instincts and get immediate medical help.

HOW DO I FIND OUT MORE? To find out more about meningitis or the services that Meningitis Now provides, should you have had an experience of meningitis, please visit www.meningitisnow.org or call 0808 80 10 388.

LEARNING TO SWIM BY KAREN TAYLOR Learning to swim is a life skill, one which may just save your child’s life or a life of someone they know. Statistics state that drowning is the second highest cause of accidental death in children under 5 in the UK each year. One person dies as a result of drowning at an average of every 20 hours in the UK & Ireland, and drowning claims the lives of almost 400,000 people worldwide each year, with hundreds of thousands more incidences going unrecorded. These statistics are devastating. This is why our team of swimming instructors truly believe in what we teach. We teach for Bournemouth Swim School, which is situated on the south coast of England, surrounded by stunning beaches and the English channel. We are all qualified Swim England instructors, teaching children from Stage 1 – Stage 7. We all recently completed and passed our NRASTC (National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers & Coaches), so not only are we teaching children how to stay safe, we are keeping your children safe in our care. When you book your children into swimming lessons, this is important to know. “Children can arrive at our swim school feeling nervous, and we will make sure to work with them, encourage them and sing their praises every step of the way towards becoming confident swimmers. Who knows; with our coaching and advice, they could go on to compete in the water one day! At the very least, they will be prepared to safely deal with water throughout their lives.” “Children can arrive at our swim school age 3 nervous of the water, and we will encourage, cheer, and sometimes even mop up tears as we watch them become confident swimmers that make their way through the stages. One day they will leave our swimming school, and they may go on to compete for county, play water polo, try synchronised swimming or they may simply go to the beach one day and get into trouble out to sea and be able to save their own life!” Our job comes with an immense sense of pride. Aside from the fact that swimming lessons save lives, it also keeps children healthy & active. In 2017-2018, 2.4% of children in Reception (age 4-5) and 4.2% of children in year 6 (age 10-11) were severely obese. As part of the National Curriculum in the UK, all primary schools must provide swimming & water safety lessons in either Key Stage 1 or 2. Each pupil is required to be able to perform safe self rescue, and swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of 25 meters. It is great that our National Curriculum provides this in the UK for our children, but the more swimming lessons we can provide for our children, the safer they will be in the water. This doesn’t just apply to children living by beaches. Lakes, streams, ponds, swimming pools and paddling pools are all examples of places that our children could be at risk.

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LIVING WITH AN ALLERGY BY JOANNE KEELING I lived for 29 years without any allergies. No one in my family had or has allergies so you can imagine it was a bit of a surprise to suddenly have allergic reactions later on in life.

be. It is not your fault, so don’t feel awkward. Your life is precious. There is no room for mistakes. Sure allergies can be tricky but it can be easily managed if you check labels and ask questions. When in doubt don’t risk it. My most important piece of advice would As a healthy 25 year old I was accepted into the Police be to ensure you have you emergency medication Force. A few years into the job and constant usage of with you at all times. The autoinjectors could be the latex gloves caused my hands to itch and swell. I had difference between life and death. They need to be no knowledge of latex allergy. I simply thought my accessible to you at all times. hands did not like being in gloves for hours at a time. Educate your friends and family too. First aid is A few strange episodes occurred with my face & lips crucial, and you never know it may just help save swelling, coupled with similar symptoms following the your life. use of almond oil. Eventually when I ate an almond cookie and experienced swelling of the tongue, lips Whilst Dr Google is tempting, remember to stick to and airway problems, I raced to my GP just around official medical websites. Support from forums can be the corner and he was sure I had allergies. I was great but information may be misleading. prescribed antihistamines and urgently referred to an allergy clinic. The waiting list for allergy clinics can be @AllergyHour on Twitter is a fantastic support network. long, but please persevere and don’t be tempted to The allergy charities Allergy U.K, Anaphylaxis seek any diagnosis elsewhere. Skin prick testing and Campaign are an excellent source of up to date blood tests in addition to my medical history confirmed information, support and advice also. a diagnosis of Type 1 allergy to Latex, peanuts and almonds.I left the clinic with a diagnosis but little did I know how tricky and life changing it would be. Life with allergies became a challenge, but I was faced with a bigger problem. The reality of a huge lack of understanding by people around me was becoming more apparent. I accept that people cannot know everything about all medical problems and those that do know about allergies would not necessarily know about allergies in depth. However, my allergy like many others can kill. Education needed to be as a preventative measure, not simply a lesson to be learnt when a fatality has occurred. Initially a few anaphylactic shocks were as a result of my own inexperience with allergies, i.e. not checking labels thoroughly in products, or simply being complacent in restaurants I’d always been to. I was not thinking about potential cross contamination issues or changes of ingredients in foods I’d always ordered. Anaphylaxis was also caused as a result of other people’s lack of understanding or negligence. So, my advice to anyone who has been diagnosed with allergies is to continuously ask questions. Be prepared, research before hand if possible, and ask again when you attendrestaurants or places your allergens may

HEY MUMMY’S STORY BY ANNA CRIBB I was so looking forward to motherhood. All my life I had been naturally maternal and had a passion for caring for others. I had worked in hospitals, day care centres, kids camps, schools and therapy centres and have never been happier than when looking after little ones. After falling in love and getting engaged to my ex-husband I could not wait to start a family. I was sure that my experience and natural ability with children would make me an incredible Mum. Rocco was born In May 2006 in only four and a half hours in our local hospital under the amazing care and support of one fantastic midwife, Jo. I can honestly say I found labour to be an incredible, empowering, powerful experience. It left me in awe of midwives and the job they do. I’ll never forget the moments after Rocco was born, weighed and fed, lying in the bed next to my new baby and feeling so very proud, so very ready to launch into the new world of parenting that awaited me.

Although it felt like forever, the ambulance was there incredibly fast. I’d carried his body downstairs, and put him into recovery position, talking to him constantly and trying to reassure him I was there and all was OK although my voice, I’m sure, was far from calm and reassuring. His body was rigid before he came round and started to breathe as the paramedics held a tiny oxygen mask over his face and then his body went flaccid. THIS experience changed my life, it changed my parenting, my anxiety, my ability to let my son out of my sight. He had repeated seizures, unusually 17 in total and it never got any easier seeing him unable to take a breath, seeing his eyes roll up into his head. Each time, without me realising, it chipped away a little bit of me. Although I was getting more able to deal with each emergency situation physically, behind my strength and my smile, enduring test after test and seizure after seizure with Rocco I did not notice the mental and emotional effect it was having on me.

Rocco was the ‘perfect’ baby. He slept through the night from six months old. He was so happy and easy going, I could pass him to anybody and he never grumbled. Teeth pushed through his gums unnoticed and at fifteen months I took him along for his MMR jabs. He breastfed happily and didn’t cry at all whilst our health visitor gave him the injection. It was also at fifteen months old that my perfect parenting journey fell apart. I woke up one night to the sound of squelching from the baby monitor next to my bed. Mothers instinct kicked in immediately and I knew something was very wrong. I jumped out of bed and ran into Rocco’s room. I slammed on the light and found him at the top of his cot, jerking uncontrollably, foaming at the mouth, blue in the face with his eyes flicked up into the back of his head. I can still hear the sound of my own scream. Through my panic, I grabbed him and immediately sucked the foam out of his mouth and throat in crazed effort to clear his airways. Screaming to my husband to get the ambulance because our baby was dying, is a moment I’ll never forget.

Concluding that his fits were febrile and not anything more sinister did not take away the memories and the scars left by trauma after trauma, hospital test after hospital test. Knowing he would grow out of it did not take away the fear and the anxiety leaving him in other people’s care or allowing him to swim. Now I look back I wish that I had looked after me a tiny bit more through this time, I can now see that these repeated traumatic experiences changed me, stole my calmness, triggered anxiety and although the signs were not evident I think that not seeking therapy at this point lead to depression and PTSD further down the line.

Now after thirteen years of parenting and being Mummy to three gorgeous and exhausting boys I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to share my stories of motherhood on You Tube and social media. By sharing my experiences I know that I’m supporting other parents who look for support via the Internet. I know that by sharing my all, the highs, the lows, the tears and the laughter other mothers and fathers out there can feel less afraid. The roller coaster ride that is life with children is so much better when you know you are not alone. Nothing is more comforting than being able to share our experiences together, its not an easy thing for me to do and sharing some of these times with anyone who cares to listen or read can leave me feeling exposed and vulnerable, in floods of tears and alone but I know that I would have cherished having an online community like I am a part of now when I started my parenting journey. I’ve been so far from that perfect and incredible Mum I expected to be at the start. Being a mother 24 hours a day is so different to working with children and having a start and end to your day. Dealing with exhaustion, mental health, divorce, single parenting and all sorts of dramas raising three boys have all had an effect on our family. I’m grateful for our health and our happiness now and grateful for each opportunity to share my experiences in the hope that I can raise awareness, support and reach out to anyone that needs it. Find Anna on Hey Mummy YouTube and on twitter and Instagram as @heymummytv


ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOU MAKE IT SAFE The British Blind and Shutter Association’s (BBSA) Make it Safe campaign helps parents and carers to make the right, safe choice with window blinds for their homes and other buildings. This window blind safety campaign, which is endorsed by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT), advises carers, parents, and grandparents to: · Examine every blind, especially in children’s bedrooms. If any have a looped control chain or cord then make sure there is a safety device to keep the cord or chain securely tidied away out of the reach of babies and young children. · Move cots, beds, and any furniture away from windows and blinds – remember: children love to climb. · When buying a new blind, always consider one that does not contain cords or chains or which has concealed cords. There are child safe options of every blind style and there is a helpful video on the Make it Safe website (www. makeitsafe.org.uk) which highlights what to look for when considering new blinds which shows over a dozen of these inherently child safe options. A number of child safe designs have been on the market for many years including spring roller blinds which have now arrived well and truly in the 21st century. Long gone are the old fashioned designs which conjure up images of coverings springing rapidly out of control. Many of the new systems have decelerator springs so the blind travels up at a constant, slow speed, and are simply operated by a small pull cord or handle, eliminating the need for window blind cords which can be a danger to small children. Vertical blinds operated by a plastic wand rather than a chain and cord have also been available for many years. The wand is used to draw the blind across the window and can be twisted to tilt the louvre so the amount of light coming into the room can be varied. There has also been much innovation over the last few years surrounding motorised blinds which remove the need for operating cords and chains. The latest battery operated motors have been developed to increase safety and convenience. Motorisation also means blinds can be automated to raise and lower on a timer, by sensors or linked to smart devices and digital assistants, increasing ease of use and improving security at home. But you do not have to wait until you change your blind to make it safer. The Make It Safe website has videos showing how to simply and quickly make existing roller, vertical, venetian, pleated, and roman blinds safer.


It was just over a year ago that pretty much out of the blue I decided to take a ‘grown up gap year’ with my then 6 year son Cameron so we could travel around the world together. I don’t think people who knew me well were overly surprised because I have always enjoyed travelling and have been fortunate enough to have enjoyed some lovely holidays over the years. However at the age of 47 I had never spent longer than 3 weeks at a time outside my home county of West Sussex. Travelling the world had long been a dream of mine, I had intending to take a GAP year after A’Levels but alas I fell in love with my first serious boyfriend and by the age of 19 was engaged with a massive mortgage. We barely had enough money spare to enjoy a cup of coffee out, let alone afford holidays, so for many many years I went without. Fast forward and without boring you with all the details of my numerous failed relationships I found myself bringing up both my children pretty much single handedly – Georgia who is now 21, and Cameron who is 7. Over the years I have worked stupidly hard and ridiculously long hours, but admist that I have been able to put both children through private education, give them some wonderful holidays and most importantly create the most incredible memories with them. In 2017 I finally managed to pay off my mortgage after 28 years, and a year later I had my heart completely broken after being betrayed by a man I loved, cherished and believed in. Something inside of me just knew it was the time to stop dreaming and start doing. I have spent the last 17 years working in the funeral profession as an Independent Celebrant and I have seen far too many lives ended too early and dreams never accomplished. I don’t know how many times I have spoken words along the lines of “tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone….” and I know that

includes myself, despite the fact that I like to think I am immortal! After making the decision that I was definitely going to do this, I contacted my sons school the following day to tell them that I would be withdrawing him for 12 months they broke up in July,and within the 2 weeks which followed an entire year of travel was booked and paid for! We already had a holiday booked to Dubai in the July so we took that first before beginning our ‘proper’ travels. Our journey began in Vancouver, Canada where after 6 days in the city we boarded the Rocky Mountaineer train through some of the most spectacular scenery I have ever seen on an epic two day journey through to Banff (after almost 12 months this has still been one of the travel highlights of the entire year). From there we spent the next few weeks making our way across Canada, crossing the Canadian/American border at Niagara and heading down New York City. Having crossed North America coast to coast it was time to head home and ‘swap’ my children as I had already promised my older daughter a trip to Las Vegas for her 21st birthday! This meant a triple hop across the Atlantic as I then had to go back to the U.K. again so that Georgia could return to work and I would pack up Cameron once more for the next chapter of the journey. Next stop was a flight to Chicago and from there it was another rail adventure working our way down to Memphis and New Orleans. It was here that we picked up a cruise ship and spent Christmas and new year sailing around the Caribbean. After yet another short pit stop back home in early January we then started the longest consecutive part of our travels where over 4 and a half months we fully circumnavigated the globe. We flew down to Malaysia, Singapore and

then on to Sydney. From Sydney we picked up our 2nd cruise ship and took a two week cruise around New Zealand. The cruise brought us back to Sydney and from there we spent the next 7 weeks working our way up the east coast via Brisbane, Cairns and the tropics of Port Douglas. From the rain forest to the desert – our final stop in Australia was Ayres Rock and another tick off the bucket list. From Ayres Rock we flew to Auckland where we picked up our 3rd and final cruise ship (well for this year anyway!). We spent 24 truly wonderful nights sailing from Auckland to San Francisco through the South Pacific/French Polynesia calling at 9 islands before reaching our final port of San Francisco. The final 3 weeks of this chapter were spent in California and Hawaii. June saw is return to the U.K. again, but not for long. As I write this I am sitting by the pool soaking up the sun in Bali! We are here for 4 weeks and will spend an additional week in Hong Kong before we head home in Mid August. The plan was that Cameron would return to school in September, however this last year of travel and world schooling has been so enriching and has benefited him beyond my wildest dreams, hence before we left for Bali I contact his

school and told them that he wouldn’t be returning for at least another year. And so our journey continues… what is in store for us over the next 12 months I still don’t know. What I do know however is that I have absolutely NO REGRETS. It’s taken me 30 years to finally take the gap year I have always dreamed of, and my only piece of advice for anyone even remotely doing similar is . . . JUST DO IT!

BY TERRI SHANKS Founder & Director of The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants

THE IMPORTANCE OF MOVEMENT FROM BIRTH use are the ones they keep. With this in mind we need to offer babies as many activities and opportunities to move and explore their environment as we can. A parent plays a large role in this as parent/carer and baby interaction is one of the most important factors in a babies’ development and can dictate the amount of movement experiences they are exposed to. SO HOW CAN WE HELP A BABY ‘USE’ ITS BRAIN? As parents we love to see our babies start to move; their first roll, crawl and walk is a real milestone. But it’s much more than that, of course, as without plenty of natural movement, babies and toddlers run the risk of experiencing developmental delays in all areas of life. Movement is not just about a babies’ physical development, it is necessary for developing a healthy brain by making those all-important neural connections. Movement in fact, helps to create nerve cell networks and neural wiring in the brain and throughout the body – in infancy and throughout life. In infancy, you can literally see the relationship between a baby’s motor development and the resultant learning. With each new experience, new neural connections are made. As parents, we need to be wary of passivity and a lack of natural movement for our children. Still, recent evidence indicates that infants are spending upward of 60 waking hours a week in such things as highchairs, carriers, car seats and the like. That means little to no opportunity for babies to strengthen their muscles – to lift and turn their heads, to push up on their arms, to develop optimal balance, stability and motor skills. It means little to no opportunity for the cross-lateral (right arm/left leg, left arm/right leg) experience gained from crawling and creeping. And because cross-lateral movement activates both hemispheres of the brain and stimulates communication across the corpus callosum (the matter connecting the two hemispheres), being confined affects much more than motor development; it impacts brain development and can later result in problems with reading and writing. During the first year of a babies’ life brain cells are busy making millions of connections. The connections peak at about one year and are eliminated if they are not used. So most importantly the connections that babies regularly

Engaging in movement activities with your baby everyday is a simple way to enhance their development and have them ‘use’ their brain. Here are some ideas: Tummy Time: Giving babies opportunities to lay on their tummy stretching, developing their muscles and gain control of their movements is very important for brain development. Lay a blanket on the floor and give them objects to reach for or speak next to them so they turn to your voice. Baby massage: Massage and loving touch aid emotional bonding and ensure babies from secure attachments. Make time for skin on skin contact with your baby and gently stroke their arms and legs whilst chatting to them in a soothing voice. Baby Yoga and exercises: Fantastic ways to create neural pathways that form the foundations of brain development and later learning. Sing your favourite baby rhyme whilst doing cross lateral movements with your baby’s arms and legs. Music and Dance: Developing a babies’ listening, speech and language skills and paving the way for future development of reading and writing skills. Turn some music on and dance around with your baby, sing nursery rhymes and bounce them on your knee. As above the correct early movement experiences are easy, natural and fun and any parent can do them with their babies. Parents are a child’s first, most important and best teacher. At Mini Monkey Gym we strive to help parents feel confident in their knowledge about their baby’s brain and body development and provide them with developmentally appropriate and loving activities that can be easily accomplished at Mini Monkey Gym and at home.

By Penny Holbrook Early Years Practitioner and Founder of Mini Monkey Gym and Mini Monkey Yoga UK Find out more about our 0-5’s educational Gym and Sensory programme and our Yoga and Mindfulness programme for 18 mths-11 years here: www.minimonkeygym.co.uk https://minimonkeygym.co.uk/mini-monkey-yoga/

ENSURING A SUN SAFE SUMMER AND FUTURE FOR OUR LITTLE SUNBEAMS By national melanoma and skin cancer charity, Skcin.

Young skin is very delicate and easily damaged by the sun and whilst some sun is definitely good for us, over-exposure to UVR (ultraviolet radiation) is a serious health risk and the primary cause of the UK’s most common and fastest rising cancer.

Damage from UVR is cumulative and irreparable. We experience about one quarter of our total lifetime exposure to sun before we are 18 and studies have shown that just one severe sunburn in childhood or adolescence can double the risk of developing melanoma in later life. Current statistics from Cancer Research UK indicate 1 in 36 UK males and 1 in 47 UK females will be diagnosed with melanoma during their lifetime - yet a massive 86% of all cases are PREVENTABLE. These compelling statistics that are rapidly increasing, puts into perspective just how important sun safety is. Making sure our little sunbeams are protected when outdoors is just one element to combating the soaring rates of skin cancer in the UK, but further crucial work can be done by parents / carers and those responsible for looking after our children like nurseries and primary school settings, to educate children by embedding key messaging from a young age. Education, good practice and good role modelling are key to creating good habits that will last a lifetime and in ensuring a sun safe, skin cancer free future, for our future generations and those to come. Skcin operate national intervention programmes for both primary and pre-school settings, to assist them in their duty of care and prevent skin cancer through education:



















sunsafeschools.co.uk | sunsafenurseries.co.uk

WHEN UV LEVELS REACH 3 OR ABOVE, SKCIN RECOMMEND FIVE SIMPLE STEPS TO SUN SAFETY. These recommendations not only apply to babies, children and toddlers, but to the whole family! 1.SLIP on clothing to keep skin covered • Clothing can be one of the most effective barriers between our skin and the sun. • Clothing should cover as much skin as possible. • Always keep shoulders covered, they can easily burn. • A closer weave fabric will provide better protection. • A high UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rated fabric provides best protection. • Use UV protective sun suits, particularly when abroad. 2. SLOP on sunscreen to all exposed skin • Use a minimum SPF 30 (ideally SPF 50) sunscreen. • Ensure it is broad-spectrum, to provide both UVA and UVB protection - ideally UVA rated 5 or 4 star. • Apply liberally, ensuring good coverage. • Don’t forget shoulders, ears, nose, cheeks and feet. • Apply 20 minutes before children go outdoors. • Reapply AT LEAST every 2 hours and immediately after swimming / towelling. 3. SLAP on a broad brimmed hat. • Children should wear a wide brimmed hat to shade the face, neck, ears and cheeks. • Legionnaire hats (with a flap that covers the neck and joins the front peak) or a hat with a minimum 7.5cm brim are the most effective, whilst baseball caps fail to shade the neck, ears and cheeks. A close weave or UPF rated fabric provides best protection. 4. SLIDE on sunglasses. • Solar UV radiation can be damaging to the eyes, so wear quality sunglasses. • Look for the European CE mark, which indicates a safe level of protection. • Those labelled with a high EPF (which ranges from 1-10) will provide best protection. • Ensure they are close fitting and wrap around to stop UVR entering the sides and top. 5. SHADE from the sun when possible • Shade can provide a good barrier from UV rays. • Seek shade whenever possible, particularly at the hottest times of the day between 11am and 3pm when UV penetration is strongest. • Keep toddlers and babies in the shade at all times. • Never rely on shade alone, always combine with personal protection measures.

PREGNANCY SICKNESS: IS IT NORMAL? Any level of pregnancy sickness is unpleasant, but if you are asking ‘is this normal’ then the chances are you are suffering from more severe symptoms. Nausea & vomiting in pregnancy (NVP) is very common. On average it affects 70-80% of pregnant women to a greater or lesser extent and the degree of severity is very much on a continuum from the mild nausea, which is helped by eating little and often, to the very extreme cases of Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) in which without medical intervention and IV therapy the life of the mother and baby would be at serious risk. Hyperemesis Gravidarum affects between 1 in 100 and 1 in 150 pregnant women who are often experiencing crippling nausea, being sick up to 50 times per day, dramatic weight loss, being house or even bed bound and struggling to eat or drink. If you are suffering from persistent nausea and/or vomiting which is preventing you from eating and/or drinking then you may be suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). Frustratingly this condition is much misunderstood and is often dismissed as ‘Morning Sickness’, with many reports of people being told that there isn’t anything that can be done as this is a normal part of pregnancy. Others say their GP’s have told them the medications aren’t safe to take in pregnancy and some even report being laughed or shouted at by their healthcare practitioner and told to try ginger.

GETTING HELP When you are suffering symptoms that are impacting how you are eating, drinking and functioning the thought of going to the doctors surgery and asking for help or having to advocate for yourself with healthcare professionals that might not understand can be overwhelming but here are some things that can help… · Be prepared Make a note of your symptoms in the following terms to enable your doctor to understand the severity of your symptoms and treat you accordingly: - Number of times you are being sick per day - How many hours you have nausea each day - Number of times you are retching per day - Amount (In millilitres) of drink you are having per day and keeping down - Amount of food (ie. Bites or toast) you are having per day and keeping down - Changes in your urine: darker, not going as much, when you go you pass less - Any other symptoms of dehydration: Dry mouth, dry lips, headaches, dizzy, weak, confused If you are dehydrated you may need to go to the hospital for IV rehydration - your GP can refer you. Take information on dehydration with you - Some GP’s, Midwives and hospital teams will rely on ketones for admission for fluids however this is not best practice or evidence based. The healthcare professionals should instead be looking at fluidbalance and clinical symptoms.

Take the RCOG Green top Guidelines and the BMJ Clinical update with you to your appointment - There are a lot of treatments available for the condition as detailed in the RCOG Green Top Guidelines 69 and the BMJ Clinical Update Nov 2018 – your GP and hospital team need to make sure you are on the right combination to give you as much relief as possible. Unfortunately, there isn’t a complete cure but the medications can help to make the symptoms more manageable. Take someone with you - Speaking up and discussing your symptoms when you are ill is not easy. If possible, take a trusted partner, family member or friend with you who is confident and can help to advocate for you. Show them the notes you have made on your symptoms and discuss with them what you would like to get out of the appointment so that they can help keep all discussions on track and achieve your goal. What else can help me? · Arrange a PSS Peer Supporter - Pregnancy Sickness Support runs a peer support network of women who have experienced HG themselves who are on hand to offer 1-2-1 support via text, WhatsApp and calls. It may be useful for you to have a peer supporter who appreciates the burden of the condition physically, mentally, socially, and financially, and validates your suffering. They are trained to provide information and support for as long as you need it within your pregnancy. · Join the PSS Online Forum - Having a safe place to talk to other sufferers and survivors of the condition can reduce the loneliness and isolation you may be experiencing. A lot of sufferers don’t know anyone else in their communities and networks that have experienced the condition so having a secure, moderated place to discuss what you are experiencing can be a relief. · Coping Strategies - Visit the Pregnancy Sickness Support website for coping strategies that you might not have tried yet. The page includes information on; eating, drinking, oral hygiene, coping with your emotions, resting and employment which can all be helpful on your Hyperemesis journey. · Help others to help you - Sufferers of NVP and HG need as much support as possible. Suffering with this condition can often mean having to reveal your pregnancy before 12 weeks as the sufferer and their family needs practical and emotional support. Speak to trusted members of your family and friendship group and ask them to help. Give them a role or task that they can complete regularly on your behalf. They feel useful and you know that tasks are being done. If you have an older child or children you might find it useful to speak to their key worker or teacher to let them know they might need additional support whilst they are there and also to see if any other parents could help with lifts or playdates.

For more information and support visit www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk Or call the helpline on 024 7638 2020

CoppaFeel! are on a mission to ensure everyone has the best chance of surviving breast cancer. We do this by encouraging young people to check their boobs, educating them on the signs to be aware of and empowering them to see a doctor if they notice anything unusual for them. Whether you’re a parent, a healthcare professional or just someone who wants to get to know their chest, we have resources for you - all available, for free, at coppafeel.org

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HAVING TWINS BY ASHLEA BUTTERFIELD Finding out I was expecting twins was a surreal (and scary) moment. I was 21 and working overseas with my partner and found out in a Greek hospital after a scare that my ‘two babies’ heartbeats were beating perfectly. I remember making the phone call home and telling my mum and dad to make sure they were sat down. After finding out I was pregnant, I still never thought I would be lucky enough to carry twins although it does run in my family as my mum is also a twin! Initially, I was absolutely over the moon. I was planning out nursery décor, writing down names and wondering what sex my babies would be. However, once I returned back to the UK the reality of actually having two babies set in… and of course it’s such an exciting and special time but I feel sometimes no one ever talks about the worry and upset you feel at the same time. I felt anxious about the future and how I would cope raising two babies, and the nerves started to kick in. I was lucky enough to have had a wonderful experience with my local maternity unit. I was seen regularly as there were concerns about the growth of ‘Twin 2’ – who happened to be my little girl Isabella. I was always made to feel at ease and frequently discussed my birthing plan and any worries I may have had. It was decided with my consultant that the best option would be to be induced at 37 weeks if I made it this far… and I did. So, at 37 + 4 I was induced. My partner and my mum were my birthing partners and I think they both were pretty traumatised by the experience. I opted to have an epidural as I was admittedly scared about the prospect of labour. I was induced on a Tuesday and didn’t give birth until early hours Friday 10th April. I remember giving birth to Elliott pretty straightforward (well at least as straightforward as labour gets!?), the room was calm but after I gave birth to him, I remember him being whisked of my chest as Isabella had decided with all this new-found space, she would perform somersaults. So, my stubborn little girl was a breach delivery. I initially breast fed them both and at 6lb 9 and 5lb 12 we were allowed to leave hospital late Saturday evening. Both children were booked in for hip scans within the next few days. The next few days were the hardest I have experienced. I am quite good at hiding how I feel, and I think I managed to disguise the panic I was feeling inside. I wish 26-year-old me could tell 22-year-old me that its ok to feel like you are struggling. I tried to follow every guideline I was given and when I look back it’s a complete blur. I struggled to breastfeed my little boy Elliott and felt so so guilty for a long time. However, saying all of this I have the best support system EVER. Myself, Elliott and Isabella live with my mum and dad and my family have helped me every step of the way. I am now a single parent and have been since Elliott and Isabella were 5 months old. The best advice that my mum used to give to me that I always pass on to anyone I know who is expecting is ‘a happy mum makes a happy baby’. I know what you’re thinking, how can I be the happiest mum in the world when I’m sleep deprived, drinking cold tea and have two over tired and hungry babies!? And its OK to think and feel this but nothing is permanent. Things progress and get easier and then they turn 4 and go to nursery and you miss the little sound of two babies crying for your attention and the late-night cosy feeds. Everyone laughs when I tell them that the hardest thing about having twins for me was taking them to the park alone. It felt so daunting when they were 18 months old and wanted to do everything and anything!! I also really struggled to tandem breast feed and I think this is why I opted to bottle feed in the end. The best advice I can give to anyone who wants to breast feed twins is to not be afraid to ask for help if you need it, do what works for you and find what you are comfortable with. I have ALWAYS taken my mum everywhere with us. My mum is part of the team and I feel very lucky that all three of us have her in our lives. When people ask how I’ve ‘coped’ having two babies and being a single parent, I laugh and say my mum is my other half. Please don’t feel like you’re failing just because you need help from someone else, there is definitely a saying that says it takes a village to raise a child so if I (or anyone else) needs the help of my mum then that’s totally ok. Elliott and Isabella are 4 now, and our lives together are amazing. They truly are my best friends. I really do think that having twins is so special, my two now love announcing to everyone they meet that they are twins. Like any siblings, they have their little squabbles but watching them and this bond they share is an indescribable feeling. I want to bottle the sound of their laughter bouncing off one another forever. The best advice I can give to anyone expecting twins is to not have too many expectations!! You don’t have to be at baby group for 9 am and you certainly don’t have to do it alone. As cliché as it sounds, having twins changed my life. But definitely for the better.


Near tragedy, led to a clever little girl saving her mum's life, and sparking the idea for a life saving project! Isabelle (then 2 years old) called 999 whilst Jo was having a severe allergic reaction and nearly died. Jo had taught Isabelle her name and address by composing a rhyme. All children that age can learn nursery rhymes, why not this important information in case she ever found herself lost! She then inadvertently taught Isabelle how to make a 999 call - and when not to! A role play game of Drs & Nurses proved to be more beneficial than ever imagined. What Jo hadn't anticipated was that Isabelle would use these new skills sooner rather than later to save her mum's life. Jo was proud to see such amazing praise in the National news/papers but was determined to set the record straight. Isabelle was not a genius! Jo believes any child can replicate this, advocating all parents of young children should teach them this vital life saving skill. It was also crucial to share with parents that it need not just apply to those with a pre-existing medical condition. Any carer of young children could have an accident within the home or become incapacitated through illness. They would have only young children to assist them. Jo (a former Police Officer) recognises the dangers children are faced with, and the difficulties that

parents have teaching children various safety issues so she started a campaign via social media to share her story and encourage all parents of young children to teach them this vital life skill. One small voice was proving difficult to reach a nation of parents, subsequently months later Jo embarked on a mission to educate children through a story. She wrote her first story book teaching children how/when (when not to!) call 999 in a medical emergency. This book was published and endorsed by a large early years organisation, Bright Horizons. Jo even adapted the book for the US and Izzy presented it to a nursery in Florida! It has helped many children learn the concept of 999 and give them the confidence to know what to do in an emergency. Clearly she is very passionate about saving lives on and off duty and never stops thinking how she can help keep people safe. She believes that we should never underestimate the capabilities of young children. As such she has co-written further safety books with Isabelle (now 12 who also thrives in the knowledge that she too can help save more lives! Jo and Izzy’s 2nd book, ‘Click Click, Buckle Up Quick’ is about car safety and aims to teach young children about the importance of seatbelt safety and sitting in a car seat. As a parent herself Jo only knows too well the challenges many parents face with children in seat belts!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT By SARAH ALI CHOUDHURY Sarah Ali Choudhury is a multi award-winning Indian food expert and columnist whose recipes and articles have featured in print and online publications locally, nationally and internationally including Forbes, The Sun, The Telegraph, iNews, The Guardian and various other publications. Sarah was presented with an award by HRH The Princess Royal for her contribution to the catering industry and is listed in the F: Entrepreneur #ialso 100 List, recognising the top 100 Female entrepreneurs in the UK. She went on to receive a Recognition Award by The British Armed Forces and reached the BBPI British Asian Powerlist. Her work is featured on The Food Talk Show and Sarah is listed as one of the ‘Food Heroes”. Sarah champions diversity, inclusion and equality through her work with Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Rotary International, Bournemouth Chambers of Commerce, The British Armed Forces and Dorset Police. Sarah is an ambassador for Macmillan Caring Locally and Patron of Tyler’s Friends Charity who offer financial support to families who are arranging the funeral of a precious child who grew their angel wings too soon. www.sarahalichoudhury.com

The Health Benefits of Okra Okra, also known as ladies’ fingers is a heat-loving plant with slightly fuzzy green pods that contain a rich source of potassium, folic acid, vitamins B and C, calcium and fibre. It is estimated that eight medium-sized okra pods contain over three grammes of fibre, which can help digestion, cut hunger cravings and keep you fuller for longer. Said to be replete with antioxidants, okra can make excellent anti-fatigue food and contains glutathione, which is said to protect against a wide range of health problems. It has been suggested that okra may help manage blood sugar in cases of type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. However, okra is not to everyone’s taste because of it’s subtle flavour and it can have a slippery texture as the seeds release a sticky, viscous liquid when cooked. This makes the vegetable (technically a fruit), useful for thickening stews. It comes into its own when cooked with spicy ingredients and when used whole, okra makes a tasty

side dish. This versatile food can also be chopped, sliced and fried. When doing this remove the seeds first and mix with spices and flour and drain before serving. Okra is available all year round in supermarkets and other stores.When choosing fresh okra, select the rigid pods and look for those that are brightly coloured and avoid any with brown marks or that are limp. The larger ones are tougher (between 7-10cm length is best). Drinking okra hate is a popular new method of using okra. This is done by soaking okra pods in water overnight and drinking the water the following day. It’s a quick solution to derive the benefits of okra if you aren’t crazy about the taste of it when cooked. Okra is sometimes called bhindi and belongs to the same plant family as cotton and hibiscus. Look out for our okra recipe in the next issue but enjoy this delicious fish recipe.

COCO FISH CURRY Ingredients: 2tbsp vegetable oil 1tbsp mustard seeds 1/2 inch Ginger (finely chopped or Paste) 4 Cloves Garlic (finely chopped or a paste) 1 small onion (Finely chopped) 2 Fillets firm fleshed, white fish (2-3 inch pieces) 1/4 tsp turmeric 1/4 tsp chilli powder or 1 whole fresh chilli 1tsp coriander powder 200 ml water 200ml coconut milk 1 tsp tamarind paste 1 tsp chopped coriander salt to taste

Method: Heat Oil in the pan on medium heat, when hot add mustard seeds until they pop. Add garlic, Ginger and Onion until onions soften-about 3-4 minutes Stir in Tumeric, Chiili and Coriander powder and cook for about 2-3 minutes, turn the heat to a low flame. Add water, coconut milk and tamarind paste. When sauce is boiling add in the fish, cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Once done, sprinkle with coriander.

What is Tamarind? Tamarind is a seed pod from native African trees which are extremely tall and used in South Asian and Indian cooking to flavour curries. It is a fruit that is shaped like a long bean in which a sour pulp containing seeds is processed to make a paste. It has a delicious tangy flavour and the name describes it as “Dates of India” As most ancient foods do, tamarind has a long history of medicinal uses. Many involve easing stomach discomfort, aiding digestion. Tamarind preparations are used for fevers, sore throat, rheumatism, inflammation, and sunstroke. In the Bahamas, large but still unripe tamarind fruits called “swells” are roasted in coals until their skins burst open. The sizzling pulp is then dipped in wood ashes and eaten as a quick snack.


With a abundance of high profile babies born so far this year, celebrity culture and social media mean more than ever, we are obsessed with which celebrity can shed those maternal pounds the quickest. All this pressure can leave the average Mum feeling incredibly inadequate! It is certainly the hardest time in your life to get motivated to exercise, whether that goal be fitness or weight loss. Buggyfit aims to change that, supporting Mums and providing a fun way to exercise that includes baby and is suitable for all. Buggyfit is a unique fitness class designed with the needs of new Mums in mind. Lead by trained fitness professionals, Buggyfit classes are based on power walking and are proving to be the best way to get back to fitness, while baby enjoys the fresh air too. It is easy to see why Buggyfit is taking the country by storm with classes cropping up in most major towns. Emma Redding the founder of Buggyfit in the UK, a qualified personal trainer and member of the guild of post-natal exercise teachers launched her company after the birth of her son in 2002. She is opening new classes every week around the UK to provide a social, fitness class for Mums and babies with the perfect mix of cardiovascular fat burning exercises and strengthening, toning and stretching. Buggyfit trainers make use of outdoor objects such as farm gates and park benches to re-tone mums’ muscles. “The classes a 1 hour long, incorporating exercises to strengthen muscles weakened in pregnancy. We especially target butts, thighs, arms and abs, not forgetting our pelvic floors of course, with particular emphasis on good posture while walking” says Emma. For Mums who can’t get to a class or want more, we’ve just launched Buggyfit at Home, a 14-week online workout created and delivered by Emma Redding, Founder of Buggyfit, along with Megan Vickers, specialist Women’s health physio and Co-founder of Four Sides London. Designed for all women, (especially Mums) who wish to focus on core and pelvic floor rehab while toning, and work out when and where you choose. This progressive programme focusses on stabilisation and building the foundations of a post birth body. Starting with a step by step guide to ‘checking your own abdominal gap’, posture and pelvic floor function, warm up suggestions, stretching guide, working a little harder each week to gain strength, tone and confidence. You can do each week’s workout as often as you find time for, while baby naps or with baby by your side. With Emma and Megan instructing and describing each exercise, you can be safe in the knowledge that the whole programme is full of completely safe and nourishing exercises leaving you feeling great. The 14-workout programme is yours for 12 months giving you plenty of time to repeat and enjoy again and again. We believe this method to be the best postnatal programme today. Your followers/readers are invited to take us up on a 50% launch offer of the full programme for just £74.50. Contact: Emma Redding For more information emma@buggyfit.co.uk | 01844 202081 or 07919 173846

LEADING A VEGAN LIFESTYLE BY ANITA HUDSON I have been vegan for over 2 and a half years and a vegetarian for over 30 years. I have never liked the taste of meat and have loved animals for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories is of hiding chicken in my skirt pockets and then finding it days later all crusty and hard when I put my skirt on again! Growing up in the 70s and 80s you ate what was on your dinner plate. At the age of 14 I dug my heels in and told my mother boldly that I was going to follow a vegetarian diet. She somewhat defeatedly agreed but within 6 months she too gave up meat. Linda McCartney sausages were new to the market but back them there was little else on offer in the supermarkets by way of “alternative” meats. Despite there then being two vegetarians in the household my mother continued to cook meat for my siblings at meal times. Fast forward to today and my household is somewhat different. There is no meat whatsoever under my roof. My two daughters, Georgia [15] and Darcey [7] are vegetarian and pescatarian respectively and my partner is an omnivore. I see the startled look on people’s faces when I mention that we are a no meat household before the many questions are fired at me. What do you eat then? Where do we get our protein from? Do my children take supplements? So, what do we eat? Presently, in my freezer there are meat free sausages, burgers, and pies. I even have plant based “fish” and “steak”. You can pretty much “veganise” any meal these days. A favourite is sausage, mash and gravy, a totally vegan meal if you use dairy free butter for the mashed potatoes and most of the main branded gravy is vegan anyway. We recently had some family over for a Sunday “roast” and did not tell them until the end of the meal that their entire meal, save for the Yorkshire puddings, was vegan. There were Linda McCartney’s rosemary and onion sausages, chicken (the Chunk from Tesco’s Oomph range), roast vegetables [potatoes, broccoli, carrots, parsnips, onions, peppers], stuffing and gravy. Dessert was Aunt Bessie’s apple pie with vegan custard. Everyone cleared their dinner plates and some had seconds. The days of believing that vegans live off rabbit food and lentils is long gone. Do we take supplements? No.

The reason being is I am probably extra conscious that their dietary needs are met and so provide them with a varied and balanced diet. They have oat milk in their cereal and fruit and vegetables daily. My youngest loves homemade hummus and roasted broccoli (great sources of protein). Last night we ate soya mince with mashed potatoes and peas (vegan) and the night before my partner cooked a vegan curry. Tonight’s dinner will be fish and chips and then tomorrow we will have pasta in a tomato sauce with chopped up sausages. I am fortunate that I have an incredibly respectful partner who is open to trying new foods. The thought of having parts of a dead animal within my house saddens me. My fridge and freezer contain a vast array of meat alternatives along with fresh fruit and vegetables. Veganism is on the rise partly due to the message getting across through social media so people are more aware of what is on their dinner plate and how it got there. Suppliers have cottoned on to this and in most big supermarkets the vegetarian and vegan sections are notably increasing to meet the demand. You can even buy vegan tuna (TUNO) in tins in a variety of flavours which is handy when you are out and about. So, in conclusion, it really is easy to cook meat free these days without your taste buds suffering, although since going vegan my waist line has been affected due to my increased love of food!!


Bump & Mind is a Luxury Hypnobirthing & Pregnancy Wellness Retreat company based on the idyllic Isle of Wight. The aim is to prepare Mum to Be and Birth Partner for the most exciting time of their life by assisting them in a more calm and comfortable birth. The only retreat of its kind our bespoke ‘Babymoon’ package helps support parents through pregnancy birth and beyond.

have therapists on hand to provide a number of different treatments that can be pre booked for guests to enjoy in their moments of free time. The venue is nestled in 15

Included on the 3 night stay is an Royal College of Midwives accredited KGHypnobirthing course, exclusive maternity fitness programme, pregnancy yoga & partner work, relaxation workshops, pregnancy massage & full body massage for birth partner, fully catered luxury accommodation.

Food The wholesome hearty meals have been carefully prepared by an in house cook using

KGHypnobirthing Course The majority of guests stay will be dedicated to the renowned KGH programme. The 10 hour course is designed to prepare both mother, partner and baby for labour and

refreshments from our favourite brands.

the 4th trimester. This course is all about taking the fear out of birth and teaching you to allow your body to do what it is designed to do. By using elements of hypnotherapy and giving you the knowledge of what’s actually happening within your body during the birthing process you will be able to stop your conscious mind from ‘getting in the way’ of nature. Hypnobirthing certainly provides a more comfortable birth, sometimes a pain free birth, for women which is what they come for, and that is wonderful. The course is taught by our Founder - Tahnee Knowles DipHb(KGH) Antenatal Fitness Programme Movement during pregnancy is a must. Imagine turning up for a marathon without any preparation. With the exclusive antenatal fitness programme you will be supported through pregnancy birth and beyond. Classes will be held with our resident PT who specialises in antenatal and postnatal fitness. We haven't forgotten about the birth partners who will be invited to join a high intensity Birth Partner Boot Camp. Lulu Adams, resident PT comes with a wealth of experience in the pre and post natal fitness sector. Most recently being asked to speak at Women's Health Live.



Pregnancy yoga classes will be held each morning to help guests start the day enlightened and energised. Partner work is utilised and so important for mother and partners bonding time with each other and baby. These classes will incorporate yoga postures, breathing and relaxation techniques which will aim to enhance mobility, ease aches and pains, and develop physical and mental strength in preparation for labour and beyond. Resident yoga teacher and family yoga specialist Joanna Hunt prides herself on ensuring expectant parents build strong foundation in mind body and soul. Treatments & Activities Included in the stay is a complimentary pregnancy massage for mum to be to release any aches and pains or tension she may be carrying. Birth partners can also take advantage of a complimentary full body massage to fully relax and recharge. We

acres of glorious gardens that are an absolute delight to stroll through and take in the beauty of mother nature.

locally sourced island produce and beautifully served to share at meal times. We take specific dietary requirements into account and tailor meals accordingly. The fridge and pantry will be fully stocked throughout the retreat with energising snacks and

“FOLLOWING THE RETREAT WE ARE BOTH EVEN MORE EXCITED ABOUT BIRTH AND ARE BOTH FULL OF CONFIDENCE THAT WE HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE TO HAVE AS MUCH CONTROL OVER IT AS POSSIBLE.” - CARLY @THEFITMUMMYTO THEO The Venue The venue boasts a stunning countryside feel, nestled in the middle of the island surrounded by mother nature. Northcourt Manor, the largest of the Island’s Jacobean manor houses, was built in 1615 on the site of a monastic building, dating back to the 13th century. The perfect location to relax and prepare for one of the most important days of your life so far. All rooms have Super King, King size beds or Twin beds to ensure you catch up on some much needed rest. Family rooms are available for parents wishing to bring older children who will be cared for during the day by an in house Ofsted registered nanny. Complete with grass tennis court and the most stunning gardens to help you reconnect with mother nature. Conveniently situated a quick 21/2 trip from London, just what expectant parents need in order to escape the city, recharge and reconnect. The Host Tahnee moved from London to the Isle of Wight in early 2017 to find balance and reconnect in a place of outstanding natural beauty. Shortly after the move Tahnee had the wonderful surprise that she was expecting. Very early on in her pregnancy she stumbled across hypnobirthing. After researching the benefits she realised the importance of a mindful pregnancy and positive outlook on birth itself. During her maternity leave she found herself itching to offer the same experience to other expectant parents. Having used hypnobirthing techniques throughout her own pregnancy and labour and was in awe of how confident and excited she was about something that used to cause her such anxiety and fear. Tahnee enrolled herself in a Hypnobirthing Teacher course and after graduating began teaching her new found skills to local parents. Knowing how grounded the island made her feel she wanted other parents from across the UK and further afield to be able to experience its beauty all while having a luxurious babymoon and hypnobirthing course. Further information on the retreats can be found at www.bumpandmindretreats.co.uk

CAMPING WITH CHILDREN Ah, the joys of camping with children. Blissful, wild, crazy freedom for the little ones but possibly slightly more exhausting for the adults on tour but just a few extra pieces of prep will make the experience an enjoyable one, not an endurance test. 1. Pick the right spot When you arrive at the campsite, you are likely to spend an inordinate of time attempting to find the perfect pitch. Not too stony, too soggy, too hilly, too windy, too close to the loos, too far from the loos, to close to a rowdy group, too close to people you don’t want to disturb… be prepared for this and try to urge patience. It’s worth roaming around for the best spot. 2. Let them help Unless you are very familiar with your tent, your Little Explorer’s ‘help’ might not be very welcome. It would hardly be fair to send them away when you are doing - what they consider to be - one of the most exciting jobs of the whole trip, so set them some tasks. Counting out the pegs, or lining up the poles in size order will make them feel useful. 3. Eat & drink supplies Hot chocolate is of course the number one most important ingredient to take with you – as are marshmallows if you’re lucky enough to find a campsite that allows fires. Send your Little Explorers off on a stick-finding adventure. Only the perfect stick will do for those precious marshmallows. The perfect camping breakfast in our book is sausages, eggs and croissants, accompanied by a good, strong, coffee. We take our mini stove top espresso maker for extra luxury – it’s those details that can pick you up after what could be a long night. 4. Take a headtorch Extra light can make the whole experience more appealing so here’s a great tip. Don’t forget your headtorches. These are perfect for hands-free illumination when you’re eating, reading or heading out to the loo. To make your torch into a lantern, simply poke it into an empty plastic milk carton – the larger the better. This will create a gentle, calm glow that fills the tent. If you want to make sure you can spot the children after dark, tie a glowstick to their clothing. Set everyone up with headphones and music, and you can create a silent disco too! 5. Bring comfy things Comfort is king when camping. Unless you are hardcore campers and you have trekked to your destination carrying everything you need on your backs, I’d recommend taking as many fluffy pillows, cosy duvets and blankets as you can fit in your car! An uncomfortable child is generally as unfriendly a companion as you could fear to meet – especially at 2am. A thermal mat is an absolute must if you’re camping in the UK, where even the warmest days can turn into chilly nights. I would even suggest you take woolly hats for everyone just in case.

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6. Abandon the normal bedtime Don’t even think about trying to get the children to bed at their normal time. You will only be sorely disappointed. Accept the fact that they will go to sleep very late on the first night at least, but that their sleep will be deep and revitalising. Sleeping in the great outdoors for a couple of night has recently been shown to reset your body clock. So, bring it on for those poor sleepers and suffering parents out there! 7. Other tips…. Taking a potty is not a bad idea, no matter how old your children are. They always seem to need the loo about 100 times a night when you’re in a tent. It could save you trekking across the campsite in the middle of the night or early in the morning. Parents have been known to take advantage of this facility too… It will rain. Be ready for it and embrace it! It is so relaxing lying under the canvas listening to the drip drops overhead. If room in the car allows, take a spare gazebo to create extra living and playing space if the weather does turn inclement. When your children are old enough, card games or travel games like Guess Who or Dobble are fantastic for family bonding sessions. And there’s little better than lying in the dark listening to your parents or older siblings reading a great story by torchlight. And when you’ve all just about had enough, seek out the nearest heated swimming pool to use the showers and have a jolly good clean (and if you’re lucky – use of a hairdryer!) Happy Camping!

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Multi award winning sensory storytelling

Bring a brilliant book to life... Take your little one on an adventure... Spellbinding stories transport us to new worlds through interactive storytelling and exciting activities that bring the senses to life.

Franchise opportunities available!

Suitable from birth up to pre-school

Carefully planned by Early Years specialists ensure that your child enjoys activities specifically designed to support their cognitive and physical development along with vital early language and communication skills

FIND OUT MORE! www.adventurebabies.co.uk | emma@adventurebabies.co.uk

RACHEL HODGES - OUR CONSELLING COLUMNIST Hi, my name is Rachel, I’m 44 years old and live in Ranskill with my husband Carl, our 6 incredible children and our dog Jasper. My story begins in 2008 when I experienced the miscarriage of our baby. I remember it like it were yesterday. Those words still echo in my ears. “I’m so sorry, there is no heartbeat”. This was our third pregnancy and we were blessed with two children, Johnathan and Gabby who would later name the baby we miscarried, Harry. I remember feeling completely lost, I questioned time and time again, why me? I felt like a failure. I cried so much and even though we were only 9 weeks into our pregnancy we had planned our baby’s future. It was all mapped out because things like this don’t happen to people like us, or so I thought. People crossed the street, avoided eye contact. Carried on as if nothing had happened. My baby had died, and our only option seemed to be to just get on with it and carry on as normal. We left the hospital with nothing but empty arms. I remember coming home and started stripping wall paper off of the walls, like you do. Crying whilst I did so. People came and went in a haze, making general chit chat but not mentioning ‘it’. Cards and flowers arrived. Life carried on. We both returned to work and pretty much, that was it, back to normal. We went on to have two more children, Louis and Leo before our worlds were once again turned upside down in November 2012 when our baby boy Austin James was born perfect but still at just 16 weeks gestation. It was at our 12 week scan that a problem was detected and following further investigation he was diagnosed with trisomy 18, Edwards Syndrome. We had no idea what it was. We were given the harsh facts about this life limiting condition and advised to end the pregnancy. This was the hardest decision I have ever had to make and one which has often haunted me. I often wonder if they had got it wrong. His tiny fingers and toes were perfect. His tiny ears framed his beautiful face. His eyes were closed but I’m sure he was smiling. The morphine made my nose itch. A towel soaked in warm water was placed on my tummy to ease the pain. The midwives held my hand and stroked my face gently but remained silent. My husband Carl sat silently staring up to the sky. I knew he was hurting too. He couldn’t make it better. He couldn’t make it go away. We cradled Austin’s tiny, fragile body in our hands. I don’t

think I have ever seen something so beautiful. Wrapped in pure white I studied every tiny part of him. I kissed him so gently before we had to say goodbye. He was already beginning to change and I knew at that moment that we would never see him again. Once again we left the hospital with empty arms. I was completely broken. I wanted to go to sleep and not wake up again. I remember taking the children to school a few days later and one of the other mummy’s reached out to me and just touched my hand. The look in her eyes was enough to bring me to my knees. Austin was brought into our home in the most beautiful white casket. I wanted him to come home, even if it was only for a little while. After all he was a part of our family. I cradled him on my lap as we drove to his resting place. I remember the car door opening and climbing out still holding him and crying. I remember repeating how sorry I was. I remember telling him that I loved him so much and that mummy was sorry for letting him down. He was placed into the ground with my dad who had died 14 years previous. We came home after the funeral and conversation carried on. I remember standing in the doorway listening to trivial chit chat about the weather, work and holidays. My baby had died and yet there was no mention of his name. I felt so alone. I was frightened, empty and completely heartbroken. “Now what?” I didn’t know where to turn. It was quite difficult to just strike up a conversation with someone about my baby who had died. I would quickly discover that I had nowhere to go. People once again began to avoid me, afraid to mention Austin’s name for fear of upsetting me when in fact, the very mention of his name validated his existence. My baby mattered, I loved him. I always will. My journey into counselling began following the death of my baby boy Austin. I was very accepting of the fact that no one could bring him back, I had the assumption that someone would be there for me, yet I battled to be understood, heard, listened too and supported by someone who truly ‘got it’. It is my belief that baby loss is a very specialised field of counselling and it has been my intention to use my own experience to enable me to support others. Although I have experienced grief before following the loss of friends and family this was completely different. I remember when my dad died, and how different the grief was. I had so

many wonderful memories of him. With my babies it was different. I felt, and still do, an enormous amount of responsibility for his death. I let him down, I had failed him and I couldn’t keep him safe. I wanted someone to reassure me that how I felt was normal, that I would be ok and that I would learn to live a ‘new normal life’. I wanted to be held, to be allowed to cry, I wanted my baby back. When a client says to me, “you’ve no idea how I feel”, or “It sounds silly but….” Or “It’s all my fault”, there is an enlightening moment when I respond by saying “Actually, I kind of do because I’ve been there too.” The time I spend with bereaved parents is incredibly powerful. Being able to truly connect with them often benefits the sessions as it enables me to ask questions which were sometimes based on my own experience, almost like questions I had wanted someone to ask me. Counselling involves more than just talking to someone. I never imagined it to be something that I would ever need, I certainly never imagined it to be something which I would do. A counsellor does more than blindly listen. 4 years of training as well as having real experience of working with families has given me the desire and ability to be able to hurt with clients without getting lost in that hurt. That’s called empathy. As a counsellor I know that I cannot change the past, but what I can do is help people learn how to accept the situation as it is and begin move forward with their lives without holding their baby in their arms, but forever holding them in their hearts. I am in the process of establishing my on business called Absoluteness Ltd and with an aim to inspire change I want to continue to provide support to those in need of strength and inspiration. I currently provide specialist counselling on behalf of a charity called Ernie’s Wish who are based in Worksop Nottinghamshire and who offer free counselling to families who experience baby I am also a volunteer counsellor for our local hospitals bereavement care team. Ernie’s Wish also provide support to siblings and schools through the provision of books which help children understand death in a way which is appropriate for their age. My work with the charity has enabled me to complete a 4 month project working with the staff team of a local nursery following the death of a 2 year old little girl who attended the setting and who sadly died unexpectedly at home. Her untimely death

deeply affected the staff team and by working closely with them and sharing their grief we have reached a point together where they have acceptance, closure and the strength to move forward with life without this child being a part of it. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. I also know that in the babyloss community, this phrase is frowned upon. Even if at the time we search for answers which don’t often exist and we look for somewhere to place blame, there has to be a reason! At the time we often don’t see it and over time we seek to give a purpose to our experience. For me, the experience of my babies dying lead me to a career in which I can inspire change. I did not lose my babies. My babies died. There is a distinct difference. My babies weren’t born sleeping. They were born still. As a counsellor I feel priviliged to sit beside someone and share their journey. The fact that that I can feel their pain means that I can connect on a deeper lever of understanding. The death of my babies taught me so much and gave me the strength I never knew existed. When my babies died, I found my calling, my purpose and my reason to carry on living. Carl and I are blessed to have 6 incredible children with us, who are our greatest achievement by far. However, I am a mummy to 8 children. Some wouldn’t understand that. I do, because I just ‘get it’. I know I can’t fix people, I can’t bring their babies back. But, what I can be is...there. Rachel offers specialist counselling from a new purpose-built counselling suite in her own home, from Ernie’s Wish HQ in Worksop Nottinghamshire as well as being available for contract work within hospitals & clinics.

For more information please contact Rachel on: 07970 786635 | carlandrachel@btinternet.com


ommy & Lottie produces unisex, ethical and sustainable, capsule, baby, children and adult clothing range and wall prints.

The designs are inspired by nature and nostalgia that are hand drawn by founder, Katie Carr. Katie is passionate about the environment and wildlife and believes in making sure it’s protected for now and for future generations.

Processes such as screen printing or embroidery are used as these are better for the planet and produce a better quality finish that will last longer. They are also completely plastic free. The clothing designs are unisex and non-seasonal making it easier to hand down, as reuse, recycle is the brand’s ethos. Helping towards reducing the impact fast fashion has had on the global textile waste problem. Cute, unisex, animal design baby clothing sets which include a super soft, chemical free, oeko tex cotton tee and little harem leggings are a must have addition to any little ones’ wardrobe and are ideal to give as a gift for a new baby, birthday, baby shower or christening. The sets are very good quality, wash well, are plastic free and are suitable for a boy or girl making it easier to be handed down after use. Choose from hedgehog, fox, badger, panda and bunny. Tommy & Lottie have recently launched a new range of animal wildlife sweatshirts. Each design is embroidered onto, organic cotton, vegan, cruelty free cotton (PETA certified) and are available in sizes from age 3 years up to adult, so perfect for parents who like to have a matching top with their babies and children. Making a difference to the world is really important at Tommy & Lottie, no matter how small, this includes who and how its made, how well they are treated and paid, what impact manufacturing the product and it’s materials has on the environment and ways this can be reduced. T&L believe it is important to give back and help wildlife which is crucial for a healthy eco system and human survival. You can browse their cute range at www.tommyandlottie.com

Review of Hatherley Manor, Gloucester

Hatherley Manor is an attractive 17th Century manor set amidst a 37-acre parkland estate – surrounded by mature gardens, a walled garden and an orchard – in the heart of the rolling Gloucestershire countryside. Gloucester’s historic city centre is 3 miles away and the Regency spa town of Cheltenham is a 6 mile drive. The hotel lies between the two, offering guests the very best of Gloucestershire. It is rumoured that Hatherley Manor was built for the illegitimate son of Oliver Cromwell; however, the history of the site stretches back much further, to the time of Edward the Confessor. Executive and Feature rooms offer charming heritage, many with original features, such as oak-panelled walls and period fireplaces. All rooms offer free Wi-Fi, LCD TVs and 24-hour room service. Our Experience: I decided to treat my daughter to a girls spa break and I had heard fantastic things about Hatherley Manor which is in Gloucester - not far from the fabulous Cotswolds. We booked the Mother & Daughter Spa Package and our break included Overnight accommodation, A full afternoon tea and a glass of prosecco each, Full access to the spa facilities, 1 x 55 minute treatment per guest, Dinner in the Dewinton Restaurant , Full English breakfast, Free Wi-Fi. We arrived at lunchtime and we were met by a very friendly Receptionist who advised us that our room was already ready and that we had been upgraded to one of the hotels new “spa rooms”. The hotel is clearly very well looked after, as we walked up the stairs we could see new carpets in place and everything was sparkling clean. Our room did not disappoint. A lovely, fresh and contemporary room which had a fantastic balcony which overlooked the spa. There were Elemis products in the bathroom, plenty of fluffy towels and a shower to die for. There was a mini fridge, plenty of tea and coffee products (high quality), a very comfortable bed and a large plasma television. The WIFI was excellent. We appreciated the comfortable dressing gowns and spa flip flops that were left in the wardrobe for us.

The spa was absolutely fantastic. A truly five star experience. The Reception staff were helpful and friendly and the spa was extremely clean. The spa is brand new having opened in 2018. The facilities at the spa include treatment rooms, a swimming pool, vitality pool, sauna, steam and the most fantastic experience showers. A personal favourite was the Caribbean experience shower with its mood lighting, warm rain affect and delicious scents!. A real treat!. An added extra of a Champagne bar and cafe in the spa area was an added bonus and I enjoyed a glass of complementary fizz on arrival!. I had a 55 minute full body massage which was absolutely brilliant. You can tell that the therapists are very well trained and are very good at what they do. Following our treatment we were led to a candlelit relaxation room which was full of glossy magazines and herbal teas. Again, the area was extremely clean. We felt thoroughly relaxed!. We enjoyed a two course meal in the Dewinton Restaurant which was part of the spa night package. The staff were absolutely first class and the service excellent. The food was also absolutely perfect. I had the Duck which was cooked beautifully. The restaurant offers a fantastic array of deserts and my daughter enjoyed the Chocolate Cheesecake. We retreated to our room and had a very good night’s rest - the hotel was very quiet and I enjoyed a glass of wine on my balcony whilst listening to nothing but the sounds of birds singing. A very peaceful experience. Before heading home, we decided to have breakfast at the hotel. The breakfast menu is quite extensive and offers the traditional cooked breakfast as well as dishes such as Eggs Benedict, Avocado Poached eggs with Chilli Flakes and Smoked salmon with scrambled eggs. The breakfast was excellent. If I had to make one criticism it would be that the bacon could have been a little crispier but no doubt this is down to personal choice. I would highly recommend The Hatherley Manor. A super experience leaving you recharged and relaxed!. https://hatherleymanor.com/ Email: reservations@hatherleymanor.com

Do you have a hotel, spa or restaurant that you would like to be reviewed by Bump 2 Baby? Contact us!