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Natural Term

LOTUS BIRTH Would you?

DELAYED CORD CLAMPING How it can help your Baby


 Spring 2013 COVER PRICE £1

Contents SPRING 2013 In this issue: 3 4 6




47 50 52



54 56

10 16 18 20 22 24 28 32




34 38 41 42







Cover photo courtesy of Jade Langton-Evans


Welcome! Hi and welcome to the SPRING 2013 issue of Mum & Me magazine. We hope you have

enjoyed the WINTER issue and if you haven’t yet had a chance to read it, visit the website and there is a link on the front page to previous issues. I hope you will find the information in these pages informative, supportive and fun. The stories in this magazine have been written by mums for mums. Spring is a time for birth of new life, and we humans are no exception. This issue has a bumper crop of birth stories! Some of the home births have been attended by independent midwives, but new legislation may make this impossible in the future. To preserve your choice of birth - and birthing partners, please read pg 34.

A A newborn newborn baby’s baby’s stomach is about stomach is about the the size size of of a a walnut, they need walnut, they need to to feed feed little little and and often. often.

A Craft page and a Birthday Ideas page have been added to this issue, both of which are new to the magazine. Feedback and suggestions would be appreciated and these may become a regular feature. If you enjoy reading this magazine, please share the link with your friends and in your social networking groups. The reader stats can be shown to potential advertisers and this will enable us to work towards getting the magazine into print, paving the way to helping new mums and their support groups. The WINTER issue has (to date) already been read by over 4600 people! Thank you all. We would love to receive your birth stories, funny stories, poetry and cute pictures, as well as your comments and suggestions for future issues of the magazine. Thank you for your support. Stella Onions Editor Mum to Josie & Zac

None of the information contained in this magazine is meant to constitute medical advice. If you have any queries or concerns, and before taking any supplements or starting your baby on new foods, you should always contact a health professional.

Natural Term Breastfe

It seems like no sooner have you and your new baby mastered the art of breastfeeding that the question of “how long?” comes up.

The NHS and the World Health Organisation (WHO) advise exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months. Most people are aware of this but some are unclear what it means. Simply put, it means no other food or drink is needed for the first 6 months. The World Health Organisation’s (W.H.O.) guidelines are often used in articles about breastfeeding but regularly misquoted or misinterpreted by the author. So what exactly do they say about breastfeeding and how long it should continue? The W.H.O. state: “Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended until 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.”

The first few weeks can be difficult as you both learn this new skill. You may have battled to get baby positioned and attached well so that feeding became pain free throughout. Perhaps you had to learn how to unplug milk ducts to avoid mastitis or dodge untrained health care professionals or well meaning but misinformed family and friends setting ‘booby traps’. You’re finally feeling like you know what you’re doing, and enjoying the convenience of breastfeeding, when someone asks you how long you’re going to breastfeed for. You might not have given it much thought, or you may have a goal in mind, but let’s look at the guidelines:

At around 6 months a baby will become ready to start exploring other foods but will continue to need milk for at least a year to fulfil their dietary requirements. Cow’s milk cannot be used as a baby’s main milk source until they are 1 year old. Infant formula or “follow on” milk must be used if not breastfeeding but if you are breastfeeding it is unnecessary to use other milk. “Up to two years of age OR BEYOND” So how far ‘beyond’ is ok? Your milk will continue to provide nearly all the nutrients an older baby needs and will still provide the unique immune boosting properties other milks cannot give. In fact, during the second year of lactation, many of the immunological properties in human milk actually increase, nearly matching the levels seen during the first few weeks of milk production. This coincides with the increased mobility of an older baby and the greater exposure to environmental pathogens.


The question of ‘How Long?’

Human milk doesn’t have a ‘use by’ date. Milk production will continue for as long as there is demand. Many other cultures practice long term breastfeeding. It may be an unusual practice in the UK and some other developed nations but there are still many benefits to a child receiving his/her mother’s milk well beyond the cultural norm. No other food can provide the level of nutrition and protection human milk can. It’s the healthiest fast food going and the perfect way to plug the holes in a typical, fussy toddler’s diet. However, breastfeeding is far more than a mere food source. The hormone exchange which raises oxytocin levels in both mother and child, continue to promote bonding and can be a great way to reconnect after a busy day or to sooth a tired toddler or a pre-schooler in meltdown. Breastfeeding promotes both physical and psychological health.

Written by Lynsey Calvert

Ann Sinnott who breastfed her own child for 6.5 years writes extensively on this topic in her book “Breastfeeding Older Children” and writes about what she has learned from speaking to some of the thousands of women who quietly go about sustaining the breastfeeding relationship for many years. Quite simply, if breastfeeding is working and you are both happy, there is no need to instigate weaning as a child’s innate need to suckle will diminish and eventually cease. Despite what some may say you won’t be breastfeeding when your child is in college!

Breastfeeding beyond infancy may be countercultural here in the UK but there is evidence to suggest it’s the biological norm. American anthropologist Dr Katherine Dettwyler’s research puts the natural weaning age of humans between 2.5 – 7 years with the majority falling in the upper range. It would seem it is not mere coincidence that the human immune system maturing and the loss of deciduous teeth, aka ‘milk teeth’, happen at around the same time. Despite the research and proven benefits, breastfeeding rates in industrialised countries remain low and breastfeeding beyond infancy is unusual. When we start to talk about breastfeeding beyond school age it becomes taboo and a highly emotive topic even though there is a complete lack of any evidence to support the many negative connotations breastfeeding older children creates. Lynsey Calvert, 38, is a Psychotherapist, birth and infant feeding supporter. Mum to Oscar 6, Max 3 and Samuel 1

Shyam Kirtan’s Lotus Birth By Gauri Lowe

I never thought or planned a lotus birth. I first heard of it 2 years ago when I was visiting a South African friend in India. He was married to a Russian lady and they told me about the lotus birth of her first child. Since then I have noticed more placenta and lotus birth awareness on the internet. But it was never something that particularly appealed to me. Probably as a vegetarian and a medical doctor! I didn’t want to hang onto the placenta and I needed a bit more “evidence/ reason” to keep it attached. Delayed cord clamping made sense. When I saw my same friend last week he spoke about his third child born recently at home with whom they also did a lotus birth. And he said it wasn’t really a hassle at all. Day 0

”Lotus Birth is a call to pay attention to the natural physiological process. It’s practice, through witnessing, restores faith in the natural order. Lotus Birth extends the birth time into the sacred days that follow and enables baby, mother and father and all family members to pause, reflect and engage in nature’s conduct. Lotus birth is a call to return to the rhythms of nature, to witness the natural order and to the experience of not doing, just being.” Lotus Birth by Rachana Shivam

Day 2

On asking my midwife the reasons as it is no longer nutritive or physically supportive. The reply also made sense. “It is spiritual.” It symbolises the natural separation of the baby as separate from its life source - marking the fourth stage. So I thought I would see how we felt at the time. After a quick and intense but wonderful and beautiful and empowering waterbirth of Shyam-Kirtan Lian Lowe and after delivering the placenta it seemed right to keep it attached. I remember feeling the cord pulsating at one point – before the placenta was delivered. While holding onto my baby and feeling the cord still pulsating – quite a thought! And then we kept it attached. It continued to seem right. Actually very right. I could see how this little one was interacting with it, used to it and part of it. His hand would fall on it. His foot would rest on it. We just moved it left or right of him to feed or care for him. We bathed him and put the plastic bucket with placenta in in the bath too. We emptied out the fluid everyday and added more salt to cover it. It never smelled. And we kept the umbilicus clean as normal (with coconut oil (disinfectant) and homeopathic wecesin powder.) And we watched the cord become hardened overnight and then harder and brittle.

And on the morning of day 5 – the cord separated naturally. On 21.12.2012. And it was a special moment! It did feel like the time had come and today was his separation day or independence day! It felt momentous and it happened when he was ready. Day 5

We dug a hole for it, planted the placenta with the cord stretching upwards in a spiral and placed our plant on top of it.

I am so happy we spontaneously did the lotus birth. It has felt very right, organic and part of a natural birth process that I hadn’t been so aware of before. My baby has been calm, content, quiet and very peaceful with the first few days of his life with his placenta still attached.

Your newborn baby can not sleep through the night. There are no magic answers and no shortcuts to sleep maturity. This is the time for patience and nuturing. These early months with your baby will pass quickly, and then you’ll be looking back fondly on those memories of holding your newborn in your arms.

~ The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley

THE BIRTH OF A MOTHER “The most difficult part of birth is the first year afterwards. It is the year of travail when the soul of a woman must birth the mother inside her. The emotional labour pains of becoming a mother are far greater than the physical pangs of birth; these are the growing surges of your heart as it pushes out selfishness and fear and makes room for sacrifice and love. It is a private and silent birth of the soul, but it is no less holy than the event of childbirth, perhaps it is even more sacred.� By Joy Kusek, LCCE

Delayed Cord C Leading International groups World Health

Organisation, International Confederation of Midwives, UNICEF, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have changed their guidelines to advocate Delayed Cord clamping as best practice, but despite growing amounts of evidence in the past 8 years to show the benefits of “Optimal Cord Clamping�. Premature/Immediate cord clamping along with active management of the third stage of labour is still widely practised in many UK and hospitals around the world today. Aproximately 40-50 years ago, an injection of Oxytocic drug was introduced to help shorten the third stage of labour. The drug contracts the uterus after the birth of the baby with the aim of reducing post partum haemorrhage. Immediately following the injection and delivery of the baby, the umbilical cord is clamped and cut. At this time and until very recently, nobody had had any thought about the effects of premature cutting of the umbilical cord on the baby. However, historically, Aristotle and Darwin, amongst others, observed the process and warned against early clamping of the cord. ˜Frequently the child appears to be born dead, when it is feeble and when, before the tying of the cord, a flux of blood occurs into the cord and adjacent parts. Some nurses who have already acquired skill squeeze [the blood] back out of the cord [into the childs body] and at once the baby, who had previously been as if drained of blood, comes to life again. Aristotle 300BC Another thing very injurious to the child, is the tying and cutting of the navel string too soon; which should always be left till the child has not only repeatedly breathed but till all pulsation in the cord ceases. As otherwise the child is much weaker than it ought to be, a portion of the blood being left in the placenta. Erasmus Darwin, Zoonomia, 1801

Three more compelling pieces of evidence to support stopping Immediate cord clamping are: Farrar D et al,(2011) Measuring placental transfusion for term births: weighing babies with cord intact, showed that leaving a babys umbilical cord intact for 5 minutes following birth showed that the babys weight will increase by up to 210g in weight. The increase in weight is due to the transition of the intended cord blood which is rich in stem cells, red and white blood cells and other natural hormones intended to complete the birth process. Van Rheenhan (2004) et al. Immediate cord clamping is a major risk factor for anaemia in newborns. Research studies have shown that immediate cord clamping leads to long-term anaemia which impedes learning and development. Ola Andersson et al.(2012) Waiting at least three minutes before clamping the umbilical cord in healthy newborns improves their iron levels at four months. Delaying cord clamping is not linked to neonatal jaundice or other adverse health effects and should be standard care after uncomplicated pregnancies, adds the study. Iron deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia are major public health problems in young children around the world and are associated with poor neurodevelopment. Young children are at particular risk due to their high iron requirements during rapid growth. The new RCM guidelines issued in November 2012 recommend that midwives should be competent in both active and physiological management of the third stage of labour. However, after decades of active management, midwives need to develop competency and confidence in physiological management. This is important because when physiological management is offered to women as a reasonable option, many will choose it.

Clamping Physiological management can be seen as the logical ending to a normal physiological labour. As midwives become more confident in physiological management, low risk women could be encouraged to have physiological third stage of labour, if haemorrhaging occurs active management should be implemented or if the placenta is retained after one hour active management should be considered, but of course women still have the choice. Women at low risk of postpartum haemorrhage who request physiological management of the third stage should be supported in their choice. Active management involves giving a prophylactic uterotonic, cord clamping and controlled cord traction. Physiological management, where the cord naturally clamps itself, involves no administration of drugs to contract the uterus and no clamping or cutting the cord until the placenta is delivered. It also includes promoting the use of gravity to assist delivery of the placenta in a timely manner with maternal effort. The guidelines recommend that if physiological management is attempted but intervention is subsequently required, then management must proceed actively. If the placenta is retained after one hour, active management should be considered, but of course women still have the choice.

By Amanda Burleigh Incorporating skin to skin contact, early breastfeeding and upright posture may also expedite expulsion of the placenta and reduce the length of the third stage and, subsequently, the amount of blood loss. Sharing such information and information regards the benefits of “Optimal Cord Clamping” with women will allow them to make an informed choice. In the UK, as a member of a growing global network, I have started a petition as a method of trying to persuade NICE to bring forward the review date and recognise the necessity of ensuring that optimal cord clamping is included in the guidance as best practice. If we can convince NICE to change the guidelines earlier, this may encourage other organisations worldwide to implement delayed cord clamping as well as making a difference to the one-and-a-half-million children who will be born in the UK between now and the review date. On 19th April 2013 at Birmingham University Mr David Hutchon had organised the International Conference on Transitional Care “Cutting the Cord” Speaking will be some of the very top experts in the field, Including Professor Judith Mercer. Dr Ola Andersson and Dr Patrick van Rheenen. To look at the programme and/or register please go to: mds-cpd/conferences/obstetric-conference/index.aspx

Amanda Burleigh has been a Midwife for 24 years and has worked in Hospitals and Community in the UK and New Zealand. She has been campaigning for Optimal Cord Clamping for the past 7 years.

Please see over the page for the full series of pictures courtesy of

This series of pictures is courtesy of This shows the progression over approx 15 minutes.

1 Brand new! Right after birth the cord is thick, pulsing. We could actually SEE it thumping with the baby’s heartbeat.

2 There’s already a difference!! Look how much thinner it is - less purple, less ‘tight’...

3 Less purple... thinner....

4 Same piece of cord, same MUCH whiter, much thinner. But still not done with the transformation! You might think so though, huh! No...just wait.

5 NOW we are pretty much finished with the transformation. Compare this to the first picture of the same piece of cord....

6 Completely done, Wharton’s Jelly has liquified, the cord is not is thin, white, and very limp. Amazing!

Pictures courtesy of




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BREECH BIRTH I woke up at 5:30 with mild cramps (prelabor) thinking I had to potty finally. I’d been constipated for a few days and was hoping I could finally go. Of course nothing happened so I went back to bed but couldn’t get comfy so I got up, took a nice long relaxing bath until about 6:30 or so. It felt so nice in there I didn’t want to get out. It also gave some nice relief since I was feeling all the cramping and pressure in my lower back. After about 45 minutes to an hour of wandering around the house aimlessly I started having a few decent contractions. When I had to start working better to breathe through them, I woke Dan up about 7:40 as the contractions were getting more intense and I knew this was it. Daniel took a quick shower and was alert to help me after about 10-15 minutes. I held onto the countertop and would squat down with each contraction. It felt good without doing any pushing. At 8:10 my water broke and I continued in this manner for a while. At some point Daniel suggested I move to the living room. Our 4 year old was sleeping in our room. I got on hands and knees and kept at it while Daniel got me water and took some pictures.

By Jade Castles

The pushing stage took a little bit of time as the first foot kept hitting the vaginal wall and I wouldn’t let Daniel touch me. Once that first foot worked its way out, the second foot came out and then the rest of his body came out very quickly. Daniel caught him and I turned to sit as he handed him to me. At 8:40 we welcomed Trystan Rhys Nash into the world. The placenta was delivered about 20 minutes later. After we cuddled for a while, Daniel held him and Aria (my older daughter) woke up and came to meet him. I got a quick shower and then we cut the umbilical cord and I climbed in bed to breastfeed him. He breastfeeding like a champ though we need to work on the latch. When we decided to diaper him the newborns didn’t fit they were too small. After this I had Daniel weigh him. After weighing him 3 times I finally accepted that he was 11 lbs 2 oz. and 20” long. He was born very peacefully and perfect. I had no tearing and felt amazing afterwards. Recovery was so much easier without having stitches.

Trystan Rhys Nash September 28, 2010 40w2d gestation 11 lbs 2 oz, 20” UC Vaginal double footling breech Jade Castles (momma) Daniel Nash (daddy) Ariana Castles (sister)

SOOTHING CRYING Recent research reports have encouraged mothers to not respond to their babies when they cry. In response to this advice, a panel of noted mother-baby sleep experts from the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, and Australia have developed a free handout for parents that offers parents ways to soothe crying babies, which is available through Praeclarus Press.

“My baby wakes every hour throughout the night, every night. I’m exhausted.“ “My baby is only happy in my arms. The minute I put her down she cries.” Exhausted new parents often wonder what to do. Should they let their babies cry? “No,” says a committee of prominent experts in motherbaby sleep. Crying babies should not be ignored. This committee, representing researchers and parenting advocates from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia, has written a free handout for parents: Simple Ways to Calm a Crying Baby. This handout discusses current research about mother and baby’s sleep and includes specific strategies for exhausted parents. Although having a baby who is “sleeping through the night” is something most parents aspire to, the reality is that most babies wake frequently up to 12 months of age. It is the parents’ job to help their babies return to sleep quickly. To achieve that goal, parents are often advised to let their babies cry. Unfortunately, that method is not particularly effective in helping babies settle.

Rather, parents who respond to, rather than ignore their babies’ cries have babies who go back to sleep more quickly. The reason for this is that babies have immature nervous systems and need others to help them regulate their emotions. When adults hear babies crying and respond, babies develop the tools, both physiologically and emotionally, to calm themselves. Leaving babies to cry increases babies’ stress levels and often keeps them awake longer. It does not guide them emotionally or physically toward the goal of regulating their own distress and response. The authors of Simple Ways to Calm a Crying Baby also suggest that parents learn to think about sleep differently when it comes to young babies. Waking is a normal part of an infant’s night that depends on many things, including how they are being fed. Breastfeeding infants usually wake more frequently than those who are mixed or formula feeding . Waking isn’t a problem just because it is happening. In fact, night waking may actually protect babies from SIDS. Simple Ways to Calm a Crying Baby describes specific strategies to calm an upset baby, such as recreating the movement the baby experienced in the womb, relying on touch and skinto-skin contact, recreating familiar sounds, and breastfeeding.

G BABIES Keeping babies nearby when sleeping is also helpful. Finally, parents are urged to listen their babies and trust their instincts. Parents are ultimately the best experts in caring for their babies. Dr. Wendy Middlemiss, an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of North Texas, describes the goals of Simple Ways to Calm a Crying Baby as follows: The importance of calming a baby, whether during sleep or when awake, goes well beyond helping the baby stop crying. Calming contributes to infants’ socioemotional, physical, and neurological well-being. In this brief handout, we summarize why calming is such an important way to help infants grow, why some babies may need more than others, and why some types of caring interactions may be most helpful for babies. Throughout each section, our goal is to assure parents of how important is their role in helping babies experience calming and comforting care -

Mother-Baby Sleep Experts Offer Tips for Soothing Crying Babies, Giving Exhausted Mothers Alternatives to Crying It Out - important during these early months and essential to their healthy development. Simple Ways to Calm a Crying Baby is a tool every new parent should have. Parents will learn that even normal babies to wake at night, and that night waking does not mean that they are doing something wrong. Parents will also learn that there are things they can do to help everyone in their household get a good night’s sleep.

Simple Ways to Calm a Crying Baby is available at Praeclarus Praeclarus Press is a small press dedicated to women’s health. The handout authors include Sarah Ockwell-Smith (UK), John Hoffman(Canada), Darcia Narvaez (USA), Wendy Middlemiss (USA), Kathleen Kendall-Tackett (USA), Helen Stevens (Australia), James McKenna (USA), and Tracy Cassels (Canada).

The Birth of Eleanor The day my daughter was born I went to Tesco. I got home around 10:30 and made myself a snack I never finished. I watched MasterChef whilst bouncing on my birthing ball. Every eight minutes a contraction would come and I would have to pitch forward over this crazy cowhide ottoman we have. It was the only thing that made them bearable. At 12:30 I called Mark and asked him to come home, knowing he was about to go into a meeting, so it was call then or wait an hour. He arrived home, made himself some lunch and did the washing up. We noticed there was a seagull in the garden cawing in echo to my shouts. Mark told me that his plan was to be cleaning up the house whenever I was having a contraction; he thought if whenever I looked up he was busy cleaning, that would keep me happy. At 1:40 we called the midwives. They asked me a bunch of annoying questions that they knew the answers to, like my due date, but the point was just to keep me talking. When I started roaring with a contraction and shoved the phone at Mark, the midwife told him that was all she needed to hear and they would send someone out right away. Helen arrived around 2:10, commented on what a lovely space it was to have a baby in, and sat at the kitchen table filling out paperwork. The contractions were coming every three minutes and when one would come I would stand in the doorway to the laundry room gripping the doorframe and bending my knees. Helen had me lie down on the futon so she could check my dilation. I was a bit nervous she would proclaim it a false alarm, but instead she told me that I was 8cm and the show was finally underway. Mark called our friend Angie and asked her to pick up six-year old Henry from school. The second midwife, Angela, arrived and Helen had her wait until I had my pjs back on before she came into the study.

By Miranda Dettwyler

I told her that wasn’t necessary: she was going to be seeing my bum eventually. They thought this was very funny. Wanted to pretend that it was all quite unfortunate how undignified labour is. Very proper and British. Between contractions we chatted about birth and babies, like nothing was going on, but then one would come and they would be quiet and I would turn to lean on the mantel and moan, before picking up the conversation again as soon as it had passed. At some point I tottered back into the living room because I wanted to lean over that footstool again. The gas and air didn’t do much, but I was glad to have something to bite on. I was afraid I would break the plastic pipe from biting so hard, but the midwives reassured me many women had bitten just as hard on it before. At this point the contractions were coming every minute and there wasn’t much time to chat. I was bent over the stool with my eyes closed and suddenly had a really painful contraction and felt myself panicking, but Helen just calmly told me everything was fine and to calm down and concentrate on breathing and soon it was over. Mark had been keeping out of the way, but now Helen told him he should stick around. He was surprised, but her assurance that this was really the case made me excited that it was almost over. The midwives had hardly been there an hour. I felt the baby descend and an enormous urge to push. Helen had her hands around the head, easing her out. Then the contraction stopped and I paused, relaxed for a moment. I wanted to push her body out, but Helen told me not to. She wanted to make sure her shoulders were in the right position so that I wouldn’t tear. I was amazed to find that I could and waited until she told me to push again.

To distract me, Angela pointed out a superfat squirrel in the garden, and I looked up into the sunny afternoon. With the next contraction Helen told me I could push and I did and an enormous feeling of relief and well-being flowed through me. I knew the contractions were over and my daughter was here. It was 3:38 and Henry was just stepping off the school bus. Helen placed her between my knees, so that where before I had been looking down at a towel, now I could see Eleanor’s sweet face. She was so beautiful.

The midwives stayed in the kitchen cleaning up the mess and filling out paperwork. The only remaining evidence of the birth was the grooves in the wood floor worn by the legs of the ottoman. Eventually they helped me to use the bathroom and get dressed in clean pyjamas and then they left, promising to return in the morning to check on us. I remember Helen saying that she wondered what Eleanor would do with her life. Me too. Mark called Angie, to ask her to bring Henry back. She hadn’t mentioned to him what was going on, but he had quietly guessed to himself, since he had known it could happen any day and random friends don’t usually pick him up from school without us giving him warning. Henry arrived home around 7:15 and the first thing he said as he came into the front hall was, “Is there a baby?”. Mark brought him into the living room where I was sitting on the sofa. He commented how fat her little arms were, like she had big muscles, and softly stroked her tiny head. He told us excitedly about his afternoon and then went upstairs with Mark for stories and bedtime. It was incredibly special and remarkably normal all at the same time.

Helen and Angela helped me to turn over and lift her up onto my stomach. Mark came and sat behind me to support me, and I leaned back against him and felt so loved by him and so much love for my perfect little girl. I put her to my breast and after a few bobs, she latched on. After only a few minutes, I told the midwives something else was coming and they looked down in surprise to see the placenta. They said it only took seven minutes and was the fastest they had ever seen. After examining my tiny tear, the midwives helped me walk into my study and tucked all three of us up on the futon and we just stared at her and smiled at each other and it could have been two minutes or two hours.


An Essay By Nic

Recent events have reminded me how passionate I am about the rights of women (and their babies). This is not a breast vs bottle debate (as some people have tried to imply). It is simply an issue of discrimination, and by extension, the oppression of women. I thought I would consolidate some of my comments and musings from the past few days. Whilst most of the comments and posts I have read about this issue have been made by people who claim to support breastfeeding in public, I find it hard to reconcile this statement with the many “BUTS” that seem to accompany it. This notion of “It’s OK, as long as I don’t have to see it” is discriminatory and does nothing to support breastfeeding in public. It is akin to saying “Yes I know people with disabilities are allowed to use their wheelchairs in this public space, and I fully support them, as long as I don’t have to see them as I find them offensive” or “Of course I support homosexuals, as long as they don’t show each other physical affection in public because that disgusts me.” This is discrimination. These are not examples of support, rather they are examples of what I like to call faux-port. You know, the type of support you give when you’re not really giving any at all! In countries where breastfeeding women are protected by law, it is illegal to discriminate against a woman who is feeding her baby at the breast, or expressing milk for her baby, wherever she and her baby are lawfully allowed to be, and these rights are unconditional. There is no caveat to be “discreet”, “hidden”, “covered by a blanket”, “demure”, “respectful”, or indeed “classy”. And here are some important words for all of those people I have encountered on social media who have been critical of breastfeeding in public or who have provided faux-port with their “I support breastfeeding in public BUT” posts (hereafter known as the “BUT people”).

Women should feel comfortable to breastfeed anywhere, anytime and in any manner they desire (as is their legal right). If they want to breastfeed with their boobs hanging out for all to see, then so be it (though I must say that in my 13+ years of breastfeeding and mixing with breastfeeding mothers I am yet to meet one who “wants” everyone to see her breasts). Breastfeeding can sometimes be a tricky activity (especially in the early days when mum and bub are getting the hang of things): babies who won’t attach properly, milk leaking and squirting, babies who fidget and are upset because they are tired, thirsty, hungry, or just cranky. So sometimes you may (shock horror) get a glimpse of breast tissue, or even some areola or nipple. Get over it. The public needs to see other women breastfeeding children of all ages in all types of places and situations. The very reason there are still people in this country who feel uncomfortable seeing a woman breastfeeding is because they don’t see it often enough, and because much of the western world has an extremely unhealthy view of breasts as ONLY sexual objects. I have, and will continue to breastfeed anywhere and anytime my child needs to and I know that I am doing a community service to other mothers (and future mothers) by breastfeeding in public.


cole Bridges

It is not because I am an exhibitionist or I want to flaunt my breasts (trust me, they’re nothing special), it is because it is quicker and easier for me to just breastfeed wherever I am at the time. Besides, why should I have to hide away in a toilet or baby room and be excluded from life just because I am a woman? Moreover, the more we see women breastfeeding in our food courts, on trains and buses, at the supermarket check-out, at concerts, lecturing a group of students, in our local pools, at the beach, on the swings at the park, at a conference, on the ferry, at the library, whilst being interviewed by a journalist (yes, these are just some of the many places I have breastfed), then the more acceptable our society will find breastfeeding and the less uncomfortable people (like the “BUT people”) will feel. In all seriousness, the ultimate goal of encouraging women to breastfeed in public is to increase breastfeeding rates and improve the health of our country. Breastfeeding is an extremely important public health issue, and there are potentially long-term negative effects on babies who are prematurely weaned and also on the health of their mothers.

And finally, to the person (another “BUT person”) who remarked on Facebook that he didn’t think women should be allowed to breastfeed by the side of the pool in case some breastmilk dripped into the water, here’s the thing. If you have ever been in a public pool, you indeed have already been swimming with lots of bodily fluids such as faecal matter, urine, snot, phlegm, semen, pus, sweat AND indeed breastmilk (yep, sometimes lactating women leak milk into the water). So a little bit of breastmilk dripping into the water from the side of the pool is the least of your problems!

HOMEBIRTH OF 11lb 8oz BABY I never thought I would have a baby at home. When I had my first son 2 1/2 years ago, I had never even heard of midwives or birthing at home. I always said I would have the baby in a hospital with all drugs possible, because I have a low pain tolerance! I won’t even wear a bandaid because it hurts to much to take off, LOL. As I passed the 41 week mark, I started feeling anxious for Oliver to come. I didn’t want to make it to 42 weeks, because I didn’t want to be in the hospital getting induced. December 20th 41 weeks +5 days) I met with my midwife, Donnellyn, for another appointment and to go for a biophysical profile on Oliver. She also checked my cervix and I was only dilated to a 1. She decided to stretch me to a 2 to hopefully get things going. I was told to eat a lean meal that night, no sugar and no fats. I went to bed at 11:30 that night, praying for my baby Oliver and I. I rolled out of bed at 12:57 am on December 21st , not even fully awake, leaned over my bed, and my water broke. It was as if body instinctively new it was going to happen. It was a lot of water! I felt like it just kept coming and coming. I said to my husband “Uh Greg, I think my water just broke!” He jumped out of bed really fast, excited and ran to get some towels. I then texted Donnellyn that my water broke, but that I wasn’t having any contractions yet. I was so scared of my water breaking, because I was retaining a lot and I guess it could make the cord collapse. I don’t remember exactly what my midwife said, but I was worried. I went and sat on the toilet and tried to go. I was shaking, I was so cold. I could not feel for fetal movement, or if I was starting to contract. Donnellyn told me to hop in the shower to warm up, and that’s when they started. I told my husband to go wake up my mother and tell her it’s time. I was so happy it was finally time, and I was all smiles.

By Jennifer Traylor

About 30 minutes passed and my contractions came on hard, already a few minutes apart. Greg texted back and forth with Donnellyn, telling her that they were getting closer and closer, that it was time for her to come. Donnellyn called everyone to head on over to my place. I was in the bathroom leaning over a chair trying to find a comfortable position, getting harder to talk between contractions. We moved to our bedroom, and I bent over my bed clutching my moms hand, staring into her eyes, trying to breathe through the contractions. But it was hard, my back was killing me and every time Greg took his hands off, I screamed out in pain. I looked at the clock and it was 3:35 am. Hoping and praying Donnellyn was close, I started feeling like it was time to push! At 3:45 am I hear the front door slam downstairs and Donnellyn’s sweet voice saying “Hello!! I’m here!” Following behind her the student midwife, Lauren, and our birth photographer, Lynsey Stone. I was so happy to see them all, it made me relax more and feel confident in what I was doing. She wanted to check me, and so I got on the bed to try, but OMG my back did not like that position! I don’t even remember what I was dilated to. I just wanted to get up! Donnellyn told me it was time to get in the bathtub.

I wasn’t too sure about this. because I couldn’t get comfortable with my first son (Max) in the birth pool. It wasn’t too bad, but again I wasn’t comfortable. Although this time it felt really good. I only stayed in I think for about 20-30 minutes, then it was time to move back to squatting on the floor. It was starting to get really intense, I could feel his head wanting to come out, but it was so very hard to push it out. The ring of fire was burning, and I just wanted his head to pop out already! I didn’t realize what time it was until my alarm went off to get the kids ready for school which meant it was about 6:30 am. I finally got his head out, and I was just squatting there, feeling so peaceful, waiting for the next contraction to push him out. But it wasn’t coming, so I just started pushing hard. About 5 minutes passed and still nothing, I could sense the tension from everyone around me. My midwifes guided me on my back and pinned my knees up by my head. I’m looked at my mom and husband freaking out, wondering what was going on. I know his head had been out for awhile, and he needed to come out the rest of the way. I’m was trying so hard.

I heard my midwives praying and I knew I had better get this baby out now! I pushed with all my might. Squeezing my husband’s hand and staring at him, trying to stay focused. Finally, I pushed him out. He did not cry right away, which scared me, but he was breathing on his own and being very calm. He was placed right away on my chest where he just stared at me, he was so beautiful and I was so thankful and happy he was finally out. The midwives assured me he was okay, but I didn’t understand why he still wasn’t crying, and kept asking thru my tears “Is he okay? Is my baby okay?”

He finally let out a good scream when they started clearing out his lungs. Oliver Flynn was born at 6:52 am, he was 11 lbs 8oz and 22 inches long. Donnellyn told me he had shoulder dystocia, which is when the shoulder gets stuck on the pelvis bone. Most babies that have it, always have to be resuscitated, but my sweet miracle baby didn’t. I’m so happy, and feel very blessed that my birth turned out the way it did. I definitely couldn’t have done it without my wonderful husband and mother, my sweet midwives Donnellyn, Terry, and Lauren. There was also another student midwife that came with Terry, I can’t remember her name as it was the first time I met her. Everyone was such a great help (even through my whiney phase, when I was so done with labor, wanted to close my legs and stop! Lol). I love them all so much!

Photographs by Lynsey Stone Photography

POST NATAL DEPRESSION BY EMMA COLLINS My PND story 2008 - 2013 Trying for our first baby was really exciting. It took me a while to talk hubby into it because he was asking the same question that most people ask “How can we afford to start a family?” But after months of explaining how wonderful it would be to be parents, and that money will always be an issue unless we win the lottery he finally decided that we should try. I was so excited of the thought of becoming mummy. Seconds after arriving home from a business trip in China, I dumped my suitcase on the front doorstep for hubby to carry in, I grabbed the pregnancy twin pack of tests from the kitchen side and I ran upstairs to wee on the stick. Before I could stop weeing on the stick the test turned positive!! I ran downstairs and showed hubby the test. All he could do was smile. He was as delighted as me. Phew! That was the start of our journey as parents. After seeing the midwife at 8 weeks and getting my Emma’s Diary and Bounty pack I read my book weekly, updating hubby with every weekly change. We used to sit up in bed reading it, along with pregnancy books finding out the size of our little bean and what she was doing. Sucking her thumb, growing eyelashes... I couldn’t wait for the following week. It was almost like skipping ahead to the next chapter of a book to find out what happens because all I could say was “Oooooh next week she will be...” I signed up to several pregnancy forums and chatted my way through the entire pregnancy talking about the excitement and the baby products I was purchasing. I also found myself reading parenting books on what to do when you first bring your baby home and how to breast feed. I didn’t have a clue so all I could do was rely on books for guidance.

I remember reading one book that explained when my newborn would need feeding and what sleeping routine I should have my new baby in from day dot. “What a breeze!” I was thinking. “It’s okay, I have books to help me” 40 weeks came and went... I remember sitting on my sofa, two weeks overdue, feeling pretty fed up of waiting to meet my baby girl. I was starting to believe that she would never come out and I would be this pregnant frump who couldn’t see her feet forever. I had tried everything at this point. Even s.e.x (!) I remember phoning my sister and my mum who were shopping at Tesco together and begging them to buy me even MORE fresh pineapple. They did! Finally, my waters had broken, I had a show and I was going to have this baby NOW. The next bit was so funny. I was really panicking that the baby was coming and my husband was at work 30 miles away. It was Friday and it was 3pm. RUSH HOUR was coming. I phoned hubby and demanded that he dropped everything and came home fast. My husband made it home, and we headed to the hospital. Both of us were extremely excited! We had change ready for the car park as suggested by the hospital on our antenatal visit and I had my bag and medical notes all nicely organised. I wasn’t in labour, my waters broke which meant I had to have a doctor (good looking and with a HEAD TORCH!!!) come and check my waters for infections. I remember saying to him “If I ever see you in town, please never mention this”. You can imagine the look I got. Hey, I was nervous! I was told that I couldn’t go home due to my waters breaking, so I had to get comfy, pop the TV on and wait...

Eventually 22:22 PM my first born Nevie-Rose Collins was born by emergency C-Section. She was a whopping 9lbs 9ozs and screamed non stop from the second she was delivered. Because I was poorly with all the drugs and I lost a staggering amount of blood, I couldn’t hold my gorgeous baby until 2am Sunday morning. I’m pretty sure this was the reason I couldn’t breast feed. The C Section was so frightening. I was shattered. I was numb. I was scared. Suddenly I am on a bed in theatre with god knows how many doctors and nurses in the room. My husband had been taken away to be dressed in a gown (at the time I didn’t know but he was taking pics of himself in this silly gown and hat to show me later) and suddenly when they started working on me my body when hubby had arrived, I was being tugged from one side to the other, to open me up properly in order to pull baby out. Hubby said that they were tugging at her head, below her chin. It looked like they were going to pull her head off! He could see my insides! Hubby has told me that he never wants to talk about what he saw. Whilst hubby held Nevie-Rose, they stitched me back up. I was shivering so badly. I couldn’t stay still. It was due to all the drugs and probably the shock!

I remember a male nurse stood above me whilst all this was going on. I asked why he was stood there, his reply? “In case anything happens and I’m here to knock you out” and then smiled. This whole situation was frightening. I had never been told about C-Sections apart from being shown the room on my antenatal hospital visit. I was focused on a water birth, with calming music and going home the following day, being able to breast feed my tiny baby. It wasn’t anything at all like I imagined. Looking back Nevie-Rose was a good baby at night. She fed every 4 hours. However, due to the pain of the C-Section and trying to be careful at night not to knock myself and waking every 4 hours to feed I felt utterly exhausted. My milk then came in. MEGA OUCH! I did the whole cabbage down the bra trick too, and the baby blues hit me, as warned by all the books I had read. I’m a big believer that my anxiety and my depression then caused Nevie-Rose not to sleep properly then on. I already felt a total failure for not being able to deliver her naturally, for not being able to breastfeed and then feeling upset all the time so I couldn’t tell anyone. I painted a smile on my face and showed the world that I was still Emma and loved every second of being a mum… Baby number two labour was exactly the same. Also, Myla was another bottlefed baby. I hid my depression for three years. At first I was in denial that it was PND. I just thought I was having a bad time with no sleep. I was lucky enough to have health visitors check on me because I guess they noticed that I wasn’t looking to cheerful on their visits. I remember one day when my second daughter was only a few months old I had managed to get 1 load of washing done. This was a massive achievement.

My house was a tip, I couldn’t leave my kids for two minutes without one of them needing a nappy changing or a feed, I had no make-up on, my hair wasn’t brushed BUT I had managed to successfully wash and dry 1 load of washing. I had literally thrown it at the bottom of the stairs ready to take upstairs and fold as my youngest needed feeding. Whilst feeding sat in the lounge, my husband returned home from work. He shouted hello and was pottering around in the kitchen. My heart sunk. I heard the washing machine. I put my youngest down and ran to the bottom of the stairs. The clean washing had GONE! “Where is the washing?” I cried, knowing what was going to come next “I am washing it babe” looking pleased that he could help me. At that point I collapsed on the kitchen floor in hysterics. I couldn’t breathe from sobbing so hard. My husband thought that I had finally lost the plot. He took the girls upstairs. At that point I knew I needed help. I called the health visitor, barely able to speak, and begged that they got me an appointment to get anti-depressants that afternoon.

The dream of being the perfect mum was only created from reading books and magazines. My expectations were high. In actual fact, now I belong to the world of parenthood, every parent I speak to admits to not being perfect. Everyone is learning and not everyone gives birth naturally, breastfeeds or can cook or keep on top of the washing. I am now growing baby number three and I can’t wait to start all over again. This time, I know the signs…

Editors Note: If you are affected by Post Natal Depression, or you know someone who is, please approach your Health Care Provider or contact one of the following websites for help.

My husband calmed me down after that phone call. Not understanding how I was feeling, he told me that I didn’t need to go on drugs. Half an hour later I cancelled my appointment. The next year carried on pretty much like this. I was tired. I was struggling with looking after the house, looking after two kids, all on little sleep. I felt hatred towards those on Facebook saying how wonderful their life was. I had become someone I didn’t like or know. I felt like I didn’t deserve my kids or my husband. I wanted all of this to end. January 2012 I finally took the brave step and asked for help. My doctor was truly amazing. She told me that any shame or upset I was feeling was perfectly normal and she explained that I should feel brave and happy that I had finally asked for help. She had no idea how I had coped for three years with all of this on my shoulders. To be honest, looking back, I had no idea either. I’m just glad I finally took the step to ask for help. Looking back it was THE best thing I had ever done.

baby carriers with character


If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart!

Appreciate Your Babies My arms are always full of my children. My neck always has an arm around it. My boob always has a child attached or just coming off for air, my bed is full of arms and legs. I am used to a child on hip and a child holding onto my leg whilst doing the day to day things around the home. We laugh every day till our bellies hurt ... and at least one of us cry everyday till our skin looks like corned beef and my eyes, when not sleeping are looking at my children growing. I am never bored with my babies. I do not crave anything other than the little bubble we live in, as it is so special and delicate it could pop. I am a total baby / child bore. Hold your children, rock them to sleep every night, kiss them all day, play till lego drives you crazy, let them stay up late and watch them run about in their P.J’s, play in mud and get drenched in the rain. Children will not be here forever. Most grow into adults and some leave us before their time. Keep your children snuggled in yours and never moan about it. Karah Mew Benford


Midwives and woman from around the UK plan on telling the Government that they need to keep the choice of Independent Midwifery alive for women in a peaceful protest in London on 25th March 2013. A woman may never choose to use an independent midwife and may have had excellent care in the NHS but that does not mean the choice should be denied to others or their daughters or their daughters daughter. The current proposals run the risk of midwifery going underground, of being unregulated and therefore unsafe. Independent midwives have long been regarded as the GOLD STANDARD model of care offering one to one continuity of care. Independent Midwives lead the way and set standards so other midwives may follow. They open doors and show others that woman can be supported to make fully informed choices about where and how they give birth. Independent midwives work long hours are always on call and often do pro bono work for clients who have difficulty paying for their services. They campaign for better services in and out of the NHS so that even those who do not employ them reap the benefits of their existence. They empower woman and they empower other midwives. The EU has decided that all Health Care Professionals, (HCP) should have professional indemnity insurance and this has now become UK Government policy. Independent Midwives agree with this in principle and want to have such insurance in place. Yet despite trying to secure a policy for many years we have not been able to find an insurer world-wide. Our union, the Royal College of Midwives RCM used to insure us but dropped us several years ago due to the escalating costs of premiums. Every other HCP can go and purchase insurance on the open market, everyone except Independent Midwives. This is because with such few number of us (approx. 170) and a pay-out for just one claim going into millions of pounds the insurance companies do not see our business as worthy of making them a profit. We are caught in a trap.

The UK Government say it is safer for the public if we were insured. Insurance does not ensure safety. Good care, good practice and good regulation does. The Government have even said a solution has been found but the models they suggest we follow have not been proven to be workable such as contacting in to the NHS or forming a social franchise. Neither are they Independent Midwifery. We have jumped through every hoop they have suggested but we are getting ever nearer to becoming illegal and the UK Government appears not to care, about us or about women. They say that there are only a few midwives being affected so what does it matter? It matters a lot for those “few� midwives represent thousands of women and babies each year. What we also know is thousands more midwives would work this way or return to the profession is we could secure insurance. This would improve care for thousands more women in the NHS.

If it becomes illegal for midwives to practice it does not mean that woman will be breaking the law by employing them or will suddenly stop requiring and seeking out an Independent midwife. As long as there is a demand there will be midwives who continue to practice outside of the law, just as they do in other countries. Midwives who practice outside of the law will not be subject to regulation. That is unsafe. Women may choose to birth unattended rather than use the NHS due to previous bad care or because there is no other choice which is also unsafe. It also matters because it is not just Independent Midwives who will be affected by the new laws and all midwives are at risk of losing part of their autonomy because a consultation is currently running to consider linking insurance to registration of midwives. This has huge implications for all midwives not just the independent ones. We live in a country that has been proud of its midwifery profession we do not want to see an important part of that die.

We need a solution for us; we need a solution for you. Please come and join us in LONDON 25th March at 11 am and show how much freedom of choice means to your sisters, your daughters, to you and to your babies.

Written by Virginia Howes, dedicated to you as a midwife.

Editor’s Picks Many people are having to tighten their belts, as so many are struggling financially. Spend local and try to support small businesses online too. This small selection of items, are not only inexpensive, but they are mostly hand made or sold by small businesses. These ideas have been chosen by the Editor. Don’t forget, gifts are not just for Birthdays, there are many other occasions too, so bookmark your favourites! Your support counts!

Purple Butterfly Necklace £5.99

Action Baby Carrier £64.99

Care Instructions Organic T £13.00

Construction Utensils & Plate Set

Baba & Boo Series II Pocket Nappy £9.75

Learn to Crochet Snowflake kit £8.50

Footprints Aqua Swirl $45.00

‘Just Nipping Out’ set E19.00

Murano Glass Earrings

Green Wool Slippers 0-6 months £15.00

ID Badge Holders $5.00 Handmade to raise funds for medical equipment for baby daughter. https://tinyurl/a6rc3kp

 Birthday Party Ideas!

The children simply had the most fun with this! This was an Egyptian themed party and the children had great fun wrapping each other up as ‘mummies’. Afterwards, they were asked to throw all the paper in the air on the count of three. Total cost was £2 for a pack of 12 cheap toilet rolls and the paper was used afterwards for papier mache! Get in touch with your ideas and pictures of your parties and this may become a regular feature.


MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS Memories and Photographs courtesy of the Tipsy Tart

Anyone who knows me, knows my favourite place in my home is in my kitchen preparing something wonderful for my family or friends to enjoy while listening to fantastic music on my ipod with a glass of chilled white wine never too far away. I love being creative and allowing my imagination to dream up new recipes and ideas and especially if there is any holiday, birthday or seasonal event just around the corner, I love involving my family in the preparations. I am really blessed to have two cute willing volunteers never too far away who drag chairs into the kitchen to stand on at the same time they are rushing to put their aprons on. The saying that many hands spoil the broth is definitely not true - how could it be when fun, laughter and memories are being created. No camera could ever capture the pride and smiles afterwards when our “creation� is complete. Today was one of those days where my soul has been served an abundance of chicken soup and happiness watching my gorgeous little helpers make these beautiful colourful eggs in preparation for Easter.

Love The Tipsy Tart xxxx

I would suggest using boiled (cooled) eggs and poster paints for young children. Another way is to dye the egg shells whilst you are boiling them. This can be done by adding food dye to the water, or certain vegetables, like onion skins, which dye the shells yellow. If you have an unwanted silk tie or scarf hiding in the back of a wardrobe, wrap the tie or scarf carefully around the eggs and secure with string or elastic before boiling. Brightly coloured ones work best.

If you want to keep the eggs for some time, carefully make a small hole in the top and bottom of the raw egg with something like a darning needle, and blow the contents of the egg out into a jug or bowl. Leave the empty shell to dry for a while before using - possibly whilst you are making something with the insides of the eggs! Then paint or decorate as you like, although keep in mind these may be too delicate for very young hands.


VERY simple Easter chick and nest recipe Suitable for very young children to help with. Ingredients: 1 roll of greaseproof paper 1 pack of ready made golden marzipan. 1 bar 300g chocolate. 1 heaped cup of jumbo oats, Coloured and chocolate sprinkles to decorate chicks. This is an incredibly simple and fun recipe for even very young children. The only part that needs adult supervision is the melting of the chocolate.

Recipe & Photos courtesy of Naomi Lever

TO MAKE THE CHICKS: Method: With the children draw around a pastry cutter or jar lid to mark out 4 circles on some greaseproof paper. These are the templates for the chocolate oat nests. Set aside. Break the marzipan into small pieces and roll into pear shaped blobs. The children can do this as it is just like modelling dough. Wash and dry their hands well first! Set the chick shapes to one side and sort out the coloured sprinkles, picking out lots of orange strands to be the chick’s beaks. Again children can do this part unaided. Tip the orange strands into a jar lid to keep them from rolling off the table, then pour the dark chocolate sprinkles into another lid. These will be the chick’s eyes. Push two dark chocolate sprinkles into the head of each chick as their eyes and add two orange ones as their upper and lower beaks. Set the completed chicks to one side.

TO MAKE THE NESTS: Method: Adult Supervision / help required. Break the chocolate into small pieces and set in a bowl on top of a pan of boiling water. Melt slowly stirring to remove any lumps. Add the heaped cup of jumbo oats to the chocolate and stir well to mix them thoroughly together. The chocolate will be very hot so adults need to do this part. Allow to cool to lukewarm and then heap small piles of this warm chocolate oat mix onto the four circles on the greaseproof paper. Press firmly into nest shapes. The children will enjoy this part.....lots of chocolate on their fingers :-) You must do the nest moulding BEFORE the chocolate cools completely, as it sets solid once cool. If it gets too hard simply warm it again above the pan of boiling water. Allow nests to cool in the refrigerator for 10 mins. Then, once cool, simply place three cute chicks in each nest! Enjoy!

Happy Easter!

PREGNANCY A - Z By Arabella Greatorex

When you are pregnant, your body goes through immense changes which can bring a number of common ailments, many of which can be treated easily at home with natural remedies. Don’t forget to seek the advice of your Doctor or midwife if you have any concerns about your or your baby’s health.


This is common amongst pregnant women and can lead to tiredness so eat lots of iron rich foods, such as green vegetables, pumpkin seeds and red meat. Remember to include vitamin c in your diet as this is needed to assimilate iron. Red raspberry leaf tea also has lots of iron in it.


This can be caused by the carrying the baby’s extra weight and by the relaxation of the muscles in preparation for labour. Remember to stand “tall” and wear low heeled, comfortable shoes. Resting with your feet up and not lifting heavy items are also important. Get your partner to give you a back massage as often as possible. If you have a desk job, make sure your chair and desk are correctly aligned and that you can see your computer screen easily and comfortably. If you have to stand for long periods of time, check to see if you can change your duties or take frequent, short breaks. If in doubt, ask for an occupational health assessment.

Bleeding Gums

When pregnant, you are more likely to suffer from dental problems, including bleeding gums caused by infections, so be extra vigilant about dental hygiene and increase your vitamin c intake.


This is quite common towards the end of pregnancy as the large baby begins to put pressure on the diaphragm. Good posture can help to ease this, so sit and stand as straight as possible and you may need to use some extra pillows in bed. If you are at all worried about your breathlessness, do go and see your Doctor or midwife.


Increased levels of progesterone and changes to your body can affect bowel movements and most pregnant women suffer from constipation. Drinking lots and lots of water and eating plenty of fibre will help keep this to a minimum.


Night time cramps are another unwelcome feature of pregnancy. If you do suffer, try giving yourself a leg massage just before bed to improve circulation. If you suffer from an attack, strong massage and forcing the leg straight will help. Have a quick walk around when the attack has passed to ease out the muscles.


Slight dizziness can be suffered by many pregnant women but do check with your midwife if it is frequent or severe as it can be the first symptom of a serious illness. Otherwise, stand up and change position slowly, make sure you get up and go for short walks frequently and don’t go too long without food.


Don’t use your pregnancy as an excuse to stop exercising – the fitter you are the easier the birth will be and the quicker you will recover. Do take care though and be guided by your body – now is not the time to take up a new very physical sport and it is wise to check with your midwife about the level of activity that is right for you. A walk in the park will provide you with lots of fresh air as well as some exercise (which may help you sleep better) or perhaps you could find out about yoga or Pilates classes near you.

Fluid Retention

Many women will suffer from fluid retention when pregnant, which can cause feet, legs and hands to swell. Hand and leg massages can help to reduce this swelling and remember to sit with your feet raised when possible. Homeopathic remedies such as Apis and Natrum Mur can help. If the swelling becomes severe, do mention it to your midwife or doctor as it can be the first symptom of several serious ailments.


Your hair will change quite unpredictably due to hormone changes – some women will find their hair seems thicker as less falls out, others that they lose more hair than before. Hair may also be greasier or drier than normal. Just remember to look after your hair well and, if you can, get regular hair cuts to keep you feeling on top form. It is best to avoid any chemical treatments though; there have been concerns that some of the chemicals may find their way into your body and the results can be unpredictable so you could end up with green hair when all you wanted was to get rid of your roots!


Even if you never normally suffer, you are likely to now. This can range from slight discomfort through to burning sensations in the upper chest. Ask your pharmacist about proprietary remedies or try peppermint tea.

High Blood Pressure

Cayenne pepper, three times a day in juice or water is said to help stabilize high and low blood pressure. High Blood Pressure in pregnancy can be dangerous, so remember to follow your Doctor’s advice as well.


Caused by anyone of a number of factors – general discomfort and the need to wee frequently being common ones. Don’t forget to keep drinking water through out the day, though you could reduce your intake after about 7pm to see if this helps with the latter. Move around the bed to find your most comfortable position, which is often on the right hand side. A banana shaped pillow can be very comfortable and can be used to breastfeed when the baby has been born. Remember to relax for an hour before you go to bed, turn off the television, have a warm bath, ask your partner to give you a massage or read a book. A cup of hot milk or teaspoon of honey and cider vinegar in warm water can help you sleep better. Taking regular, light exercise during the day will help, especially if you managed to get out into the fresh air.


Another common and usually minor but irritating side effect of pregnancy, it is often caused by sweating. Wearing loose clothes made of cotton or other natural fabric will help as will frequent cool baths or showers. Applying calamine lotion to the affected area can help but do check with your doctor if you suffer from severe itching on your hands or feet as this could be a symptom of a serious illness called cholestasis.

Morning Sickness

Some women will hardly suffer; others will carry on being sick all the way through their pregnancy. It doesn’t just strike in the morning either. Some will actually be sick, others will suffer from nausea for hours without needing to be sick. Strong smells (especially artificial ones) can make it worse, so ban spray air fresheners and the like. Ginger helps with nausea – try a ginger biscuit before you get out of bed in the morning or make ginger tea by steeping grated fresh ginger in hot water for a few minutes. Eat little and often – even if you don’t really feel hungry, have a dry biscuit or banana and stave off the hunger pains later in the day. Fatty, rich or spicy foods often make things worse, so try eating plainer foods such as potato, pasta or breads. There are several homeopathic remedies that you could try: pulsatilla is good when nausea comes on in the evening; ipecac for continued nausea not relieved by vomiting; nux vomica helps with nausea that is worse in the morning; sepia if the nausea is made worse by the smell of thought of food.


It is now well known that all smoking (including passive) during pregnancy is harmful to the baby as well as to you. If you can, stop altogether and get your partner to as well. If not, at the very least, try and cut down as much as possible. You could try saving the money you would have spent on cigarettes and put it towards a relaxing massage for you or a really special present for your baby – that way you will see a real reward for giving up as well as having the satisfaction of knowing you are giving your baby the best possible start. Talk to family and friends about giving up and ask them for help – either moral support or simply not smoking in front of you. Talk to your GP about aids that you can use when you are pregnant and check out support groups in your area.

Stretch Marks

These are red lines that will eventually turn silver and are caused by the skin stretching as the body changes shape. Keeping the skin supple, with lots of massage and good moisturiser, will help. Vitamin e creams are especially good as is aloe vera.


At various stages of your pregnancy, you are likely to find that you pass water frequently – typically early on in the pregnancy when the uterus is still low and towards the end when the baby presses against the bladder. If it wakes you at night, you could try drinking more during the day and less as the evening progresses but don’t cut down on the total amount that you drink. Arabella Greatorex is the owner of, a family run business specialising in products for ethical families.

one-4-her campaign How A PERiod can change a girl’s future

Think back to when you first got your period. You probably remember what it was like having to deal with it at school. Maybe you were nervous about leaking onto your clothes or someone seeing a pad or tampon in your school bag and knowing you were “on the rag.” It can be a stressful time for teens, but for most having a period is a pretty minor inconvenience. While it may be uncomfortable for some, it’s a routine that can be easily managed each month, using a variety of product options available at stores on practically every corner. But what would you do if these options weren’t available to you? What if, instead of worrying about having time between classes to sneak away and change your pad, you just didn’t have any pads at all? This is the reality faced by girls and women in many parts of the developing world, including East Africa where access to affordable sanitary products is extremely limited. When stores do have menstrual products available, they are extremely expensive. For families who are just barely getting by, providing sanitary pads for their daughters is not a high priority. Menstruating girls have to get creative, using whatever they have on hand to absorb their flow. Some use leaves, bark, dirt or old newspapers; ineffective and unsanitary solutions to a desperate situation. As a result girls are often forced to stay home during their periods, rather than go to school and risk discomfort and embarrassment. The missed days add up over time and many girls end up dropping out altogether. Statistically, girls who do not complete their education are more likely to marry earlier, earn less and face a greater risk of contracting HIV or dying during childbirth.

The UN estimates that girls in developing countries miss up to 20% of their education due to lack of access to affordable and effective sanitary products. Fortunately, thanks to Lunapads, you can help change this and give girls in East Africa a more hygienic and sustainable way to stay in school every day of the month. Lunapads is already making a big difference in the lives of women who have made the switch to their line of washable cloth menstrual pads. Lunapads users are keeping over 1 million pads and tampons out of the landfill each month. Now with the launch of Lunapads’ One4Her campaign, the choice to make a healthier, more sustainable choice for your period also has a profound effect on girls half way around the world. For every eligible Lunapads product purchased, a girl in East Africa receives a cloth pad of her own, made by the Ugandan company AfriPads. Through their partnership with AfriPads, Lunapads is not only helping to provide cloth pads to girls in need, they are also supporting the creation of jobs for women in Uganda.

Afripads is based in Uganda and their aim is to curb the high rates of menstruation-related absenteeism among primary and secondary schoolgirls in east Africa. AFRIpads 4-fold mission dictates the company’s key social objectives: 1. Education: Manufacture an affordable, high quality sanitary product that enables Ugandan girls to fulfill their academic potential by providing the protection girls need to attend school during their menstruation. 2. Employment: Provide meaningful employment opportunities to young women in rural areas, enabling them to achieve financial independence while acquiring practical and vocational skills and a feeling of self-worth. 3. Economic Stimulus: Drive economic growth in rural areas through the creation of employment opportunities and the development of rural industry. 4. Environment: Serve as a model of environmental responsibility by manufacturing an eco-friendly product via an entirely “green” production process.

For more information visit and

Gardening with children By Naomi Lever

With days lengthening and temperatures rising, albeit slowly and the risk of frost almost behind us, we hope!... it is time to think about what we would like to grow in our gardens this year. Spring is an exciting time! You may have already taken delivery of a selection of seed catalogues in the post and have spent time browsing the glorious colour photographs, imagining your garden laden with a home grown bounty. Well that is indeed possible, it just takes some planning. Some vegetables will have had to have been started back in the Autumn to be growing well by now. Leeks for example will have been sown the previous year to be harvested this year. But fear not, there are still a multitude of delicious edibles that you can get started now or in a few weeks time, that will be ready to pick this Summer and Autumn. If you have a heated propagator you may well already have some plants, like chillies and tomatoes, germinating and growing on indoors, ready to transfer to your greenhouse when the weather warms up. If you don’t own one of these then don’t despair. There are lots of varieties that you can grow without a heated propagator or greenhouse! If you have deep sunny windowsill or a sunny porch or conservatory that doesn’t get too cold at night, then this area can indeed be used to start off your less tender seedlings and varieties that can be planted straight outside later in the year. Check out the sowing and planting guide on the back of seed packets to see what the requirements are for that variety. It varies a great deal. Some are far easier to grow and do not need protection or heat.

If you have a low shelf by a sunny window then your children will be able to watch the progress of the seeds as they slowly appear through the seed compost and grow up towards the light. It really is magic! If you want quick results in order to satisfy your children’s dwindling patience, then sow things like radishes. They germinate very quickly, in 4 - 8 days and will be ready to harvest faster than most other vegetables, as quick as 3 weeks in Summer and they can be sown in containers or any gaps in-between rows in your veg beds. Also if you have space try to make room for some herbs in your garden if you can. You can sow them in Spring ready to plant out in Summer. They will not only be useful in cooking,home remedies and home made toiletries etc but you can share the scent or flowers of these plants with your children in order to help them recognise each one. It doesn’t take long for children to associate each scent with each plant and herbs will also encourage bees into your garden. Bees are essential for pollination and they are sadly in decline due to the widespread use of neonicotinoids, so anything we can do to help them survive is a good thing! Remember don’t use chemical pesticides in your garden, as these kill our beneficial insects as well as the ones we consider to be pests. These nasty chemicals are also not great to have anywhere where children play.

Lavender, bee balm, echinacea, comfrey and borage are some of the best common herbs to plant to attract bees, as are catmint and other mint varieties. They will encourage butterflies too. You can grow many of these herb varieties from seed to make it cheaper to plant out a herb garden from scratch. You can even join seed swapping pages on Facebook, as a way to get free seeds posted to you, or if you are lucky enough to have friends or neighbours with some mint in their gardens, then ask them if you can divide their plant’s root and plant a small piece in your garden and it will soon romp away. Friends and neighbours are often more than happy to contribute a plant , a cutting or some seeds to your garden once you let them know that you are interested. It needn’t cost a penny! Here is a great website about a far wider variety of plants we can grow for bees.

If you do not want mint to go wild and overtake your garden (as mint can so easily do) then it is a good idea to plant your root cuttings or young mint seedlings in a sunken bucket with the bottom cut out The bottom is removed in order to stop it getting waterlogged when it rains. The bucket will help retain the roots and stop it spreading too far and smothering your other plants. Or simply plant it in a tub on the patio. Most herbs don’t need rich soil but they do like a sunny spot and good drainage. So position any pots that you have of them in a sunny area of your garden or on your patio. You can make a nice display by planting different herbs in different height terracotta pots and positioning them together in a tiered group by the kitchen door. They will look lovely as a group and it will be convenient when you are cooking and need to harvest some fresh herbs. Things like parsley and mint are great added to home-made smoothies too and it won’t be long before your children can identify them and harvest them for you!

I find when children are involved in growing and harvesting plants they are far more willing to try them in their meals. If you haven’t got around to ordering any seed catalogues, then check out the many seed suppliers online. It isn’t too late. There are varieties than can be sown now, right through Summer to Autumn. My personal favourite seed supplier is They are a small independent company with no F1 hybrids or GM modified seeds in their shop. In fact many of their seeds are heritage varieties and rare!.... and they kindly give out some great information about saving your own seeds too! I have had great success with all the seeds I have purchased from them. Their site is well worth checking out . If space is limited and you think that you have no where that you can grow food, but you still want to try to grow something, then consider growing salad stuff in small patio pots and hanging baskets. Or consider growing things vertically up your house walls! Beans and peas will happily grow upwards over a sunny fence or wall, if there is supporting netting for them to wind around and sufficient rich soil for them to send their roots out into. You can even grow lettuces and other salad greens in organic grow bags or large planters by your front door and there are tumbling varieties of tomatoes that do really well in hanging baskets and they look ornamental too. The tumbling varieties generally have smallish sweet fruits that hang down over the sides of the basket, making them very easy to pick and pretty to look at. Tomatoes really are sun-worshipping plants, so these really need to be in a warm sunny spot. Nothing tastes quite so lovely as a sun warmed home grown tomato. You can even make your own tomato food by soaking comfrey leaves or nettles in water and using this rather rank ‘tea’, diluted with rainwater in a watering can, as a food for your plants. Use it once they have started to set fruit and you will get a better yield and tastier fruit! So even the plant food can be free. So get organised, get motivated, get those seed trays out and get sowing.. You know you want to...I guarantee you’ll do more and more each year and your children will love being involved.

Another Regular page

I was running a stall at the local market for National Breastfeeding Awareness Week. All day long, it was breastmilk this and breastfeeding that, and I talked about nothing else but breastmilk for hours on end. Near the end of the day, some of the local market stall holders asked if I would like to join them for a cup of tea. I took across a punnet of strawberries to offer around and as I proffered the punnet, I asked, ‘Would you like some breastmilk with your tea?’ There was stunned silence, followed by guffaws of laughter and my face turned the brightest shade of crimson ever seen! Some serious teasing followed, as they all dispersed to tell all the other market stall holders what had just been said. I have never been able to run another stall for Breastfeeding Awareness since. Anon.

Do you have a funny story or picture to share? Contact us via the website and send them in!

Real Mothers often have sticky floors, filthy ovens and happy kids.

Real Mothers don’t want to know what the vacuum just sucked up.

Real Mothers know that dried play dough doesn’t come out of carpets.

IF YOU GIVE A MOM A MUFFIN If you give a mom a muffin, She’ll want a cup of coffee to go with it. She’ll pour herself some. Her three-year-old will spill the coffee. She’ll wipe it up. Wiping the floor, she will find dirty socks. She’ll remember she has to do laundry. When she puts the laundry in the washer, She’ll trip over boots and bump into the freezer. Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan supper. She will get out a pound of hamburger. She’ll look for her cookbook. (101 Things to Make With A Pound Of Hamburger) The Cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail. She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow. She will look for her cheque book. The cheque book is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two-year-old. She’ll smell something funny. She’ll change the two-year-old. While she is changing the two-year-old, the phone will ring. Her five-year-old will answer and hang up. She’ll remember that she wants to phone her friend to come for coffee. Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup. She will pour herself some. And chances are, If she has a cup of coffee, Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it..... Anon.

Bots & Bibs Tummy Balls

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Interested in advertising in the next issue of this magazine? We have some seriously low rates!! Email for details info (at) mumandme magazine (dot) com

The Breastfeeding Festival A not for profit, voluntary group, promoting & celebrating breastfeeding.

As well as our annual festival we have a Breastfeeding Support Group & Sling Library every Thursday 9-11 at Ulverston Library.

An Affirmation a Day - The book that keeps on giving 365 days a year!

We also have regular fundraising bumps & babies sales which are held at Church Walk School in Ulverston. For more info take a look at our website or find us on Facebook & Twitter. Email

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In the SUMMER 2013 issue of



HOME BIRTH After 3 C-sections! After 3 C-sections!

TEENAGE MUM And Attachment Parents And Attachment Parents

NEWBORN BEHAVIOUR What is Normal? What is Normal?

Don’t forget that you can get involved and be part of Mum & Me magazine by submitting your positive birth stories and pictures! See for details.

Mum and Me magazine is an independent, not-for profit, quarterly magazine based in Shropshire, England. Proprietors and publishers: Mum and Me magazine Website:

Editor: Stella Onions Article Contributors: Arabella Greatorex, Naomi Lever, Lynsey Calvert, Gauri Lowe, Amanda Burleigh, Jade Castles, Kathleen Kendal-Tuckett et al, Miranda Dettwyler, Nicole Bridges, Jennifer Traylor, Emma Collins, Joy Kusek, Virginia Howes, The Tipsy Tart, LunaPads/Afripads, Photography: With thanks to Jade Langton-Evans Photography of , and many individual families.

Interested in advertising in this magazine? Email for details info (at) mumandmemagazine (dot) com The Rate Card will be emailed to you along with any applicable special offers. An example of one of the advertising pages from a previous issue of Mum & Me magazine. 8

I think I discovered the fear-tension-pain cycle for myself at the dentist after a root canal job. I realised afterwards


I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. It worked, I kept myself calm and the tooth came out with only the slightest twinge. I am not saying that childbirth for me was just a twinge, I had a quick labour but there wasn’t much time for me to collect myself between contractions. It did hurt, and at times it was nasty but it wasn’t a terrifying pain. It felt hugely productive, and as soon as the baby was out all sensations other than overwhelming love and bewilderment were forgotten. And I’m not good with pain; I cry if I bump my elbow, get stung or trip up. I am a selfconfessed wuss! But I trusted in myself and in the amazing resources and stamina a woman giving birth can have. It was a beautiful birth, an amazing thing to do and it turns out I’m not scared of the baby either!

Why fear of Labour can make it painful



M&M Dummy new


11:15 AM

Page 16


Interested in advertising & BIBS’ is aindedicated advertising this magazine? rear of the magazine. Interested in ut being scared ofI it willknow onlywhy make it hurt the itmore. don’t I wasn’t scared, might have been just Call antley Dick-Readsheer coined the phrase ‘fear-tensioncontrariness. It may have been that I was immune advertising ycle’ in the 1930s that’s exactly happens. to and birthing horror stories,what because it seemed as if every ar being hurt, you tense oxygen is their 48-day 07813 958075 mother onup myand streetblood wantedand to tell me about in this away from organs thatorare for ‘flight or them open to labour, hownot theneeded midwife had to chainsaw for details or Dick-Read said that a scared woman in labour has get the baby! I was probably not scared because I truly magazine? e uterus, and a blood-free doesn’t believed thatwomb normaljust childbirth is ahave natural process use the Contact Us form

that I had made the whole thing so much worse for myself by being so stressed. The next time I went – actually to have the tooth out – I recited in my mind the Litany against Fear from Frank Herbert’s book DUNE:

by Lisa Cole

It’s difficult to find active birth teachers where I live, they get booked up quickly, so I thought I’d give the local clinic’s antenatal class a try. It left me furious for a week and I decided never to return! Why the anger? The class set up such a fear of labour that one woman winced every time the word was mentioned. The emphasis was on controlling pain with drugs.I knew I wanted a drug-free home birth, and I knew the best way to get what I wanted was to trust in myself.

Interested in advertising in this magazine?

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Page 18

I realised afterwards that I had made the whole thing so much worse for myself by being so stressed.


It’s difficult to find active birth teachers where I live, they get booked up quickly, so I thought I’d give the local clinic’s antenatal class a try. It left me furious for a week and I decided never to return! Why the anger? The class set up such a fear of labour that one woman winced every time the word was mentioned. The emphasis was on controlling pain with drugs.I knew I wanted a drug-free home birth, and I knew the best way to get what I wanted was to trust in myself. ficult to find active birth teachers where I live, they oked up quickly,Labour so I thought I’d the localwork and it can hurt a is nothing to give fear. It is hard s antenatal class lot, a try. left scared me furious a week but It being of it willfor only make it hurt the more. decided never to Dr return! Why the anger? class ‘fear-tensionGrantley Dick-Read coinedThe the phrase such a fear of labour that one woman winced everywhat happens. pain cycle’ in the 1930s and that’s exactly he word was mentioned. The hurt, emphasis was You fear being you tense upon and blood and oxygen is lling pain with drugs.I knew I wanted a drug-free drawn away from organs that are not needed for ‘flight or birth, and I knewfight’. the Dick-Read best way said to get I wanted thatwhat a scared woman in labour has o trust in myself. a white uterus, and a blood-free womb just doesn’t have

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11:16 AM

Labour is nothing to fear. It is hard work and it can hurt a lot, but being scared of it will only make it hurt the more. Dr Grantley Dick-Read coined the phrase ‘fear-tensionpain cycle’ in the 1930s and that’s exactly what happens. You fear being hurt, you tense up and blood and oxygen is drawn away from organs that are not needed for ‘flight or fight’. Dick-Read said that a scared woman in labour has a white uterus, and a blood-free womb just doesn’t have the energy of a nice rich red one, so it hurts.

07813 958075



for details or use the Contact Us form on the website:


I don’t know why I wasn’t scared, it might have been just sheer contrariness. It may have been that I was immune to birthing horror stories, because it seemed as if every mother on my street wanted to tell me about their 48-day labour, or how the midwife had to chainsaw them open to get the baby! I was probably not scared because I truly believed that normal childbirth is a natural process instead of a medical one. I was also busy being truly terrified of how to deal with the baby itself when it arrived.

M&M Dummy new

section at the

ergy of a nice rich red one, so it hurts. instead of a medical one. I was also busy being truly terrified of how to deal with the baby itself when it t know why I wasn’t scared, it might have been just arrived. contrariness. It may have been that I was immune hing horror stories, because it seemed as if every cycle for myself I think I discovered the fear-tension-pain r on my street wanted to tell me about their 48-day

on the website:


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© Lis


This ar publish magaz Winter

Mum & Me magazine  

Parenting magazine

Mum & Me magazine  

Parenting magazine