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BREASTFEEDING Real life tales from the mouths of mothers.



Vintage Tea Parties

Weddings ~ Christenings ~ Birthday parties ~ Anniversaries Afternoon tea parties ~ Corporate events ~ Pop-up tea and cake parties Traditional finger sandwiches ~ Home made cakes ~ Savouries Nibbles ~ Sweet treats - Traditional drinks Give your guests a day to remember ~ let them enjoy delicious home baking served on delicate bone china, reminiscent of days gone by Email beverley@beverleyscreativecakes.co.uk or call 01725 513758

Editor Charlotte Hagyard Editor@charlotterosemag.co.uk


Cover Design C.R.P LIMITED FEATURING VICKI PSARIAS Contributors Polly Sharpe, Sarah Cronshaw, Toby Giles, Beverley Barter, Martyn Kitney, Vicky Charles, Alex Taylor

Printer Sarum colourview Studio@colourview.co.uk Photographer John Rose Photography Ltd Studio@johnrosephotography.com

Managing Director John Rose Managing Director Charlotte Hagyard www.salisburyparenting.co.uk


Salisbury Parenting magazine is available in the UK 12 times per year via subscription and is downloaded automatically to your smart phone or device. To receive a hard paper copy in print phone 01722 320500. Alternately visit salisburyparenting.co.uk/contactus. Printed in England. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or in whole is strictly prohibited without written consent and permission from the publisher. Text and pictures are sent in at the owners risk. Views and opinions are those of individuals and not representative of the publishers and/or its associated partners. All information and prices are correct at the time of going to press. All advice is intended for educational purposes only. Salisbury Parenting cannot be held responsible or liable for any loss or claim arising from the use, or misuse of the information provided. If you have any health concerns please contact your local health service or professional. Unless otherwise stated, the individuals pictured in this magazine are in no way connected with Charlotte rose publications and/or their partners and use of photographs of them is not intended to suggest endorsement of any products and/or services.

Hello! Another month another issue of Salisbury Parenting! This is our sixth issue and we are getting bigger each time. Alot of content has changed as we’ve grown and we are always looking for new contributors and businesses to get involved. Last month saw Vicki Psarias of Honest mum as our main feature (If you missed it you can catch up with our past issues online or via the app)

Publisher Charlotte Rose Publications Ltd

Salisbury Parenting magazine is owned and published by Charlotte Rose Publications. Windover House, St Anns Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 2DR Tel: 01722 320500 www.charlotterosemag.co.uk


When sitting in a coffee shop last month I was stuck for inspiration for my own writing and as a mother I was feeling like a pretty crappy parent, M is going through a tantrum stage and I have been blessed with a happy child, we’re just having a ‘phase’ so this inspired our TANTRUM THROWER article on PAGE 38. Resident dad writer MARTYN KITNEY takes a look into CHILD CONSENT on PAGE 44. If you are about to hit that messy stressy stage of WEANING on PAGE 22 we have lots of yummy weaning recipes for you to try and some recommended reading from ANNABEL KARMEL. If weaning isn’t quite your speciality yet take a BUMP BREAK (page 24) and enjoy a babymoon before the feeding and night changes take a hold of your life, but don’t forget to take your August copy of SalisburyParenting as we delve into the exciting time that is your FIRST TRIMESTER of pregnancy on PAGE 33, and finally not forgetting the lovely POLLY SHARPE of RIGHT ROYAL MOTHER on PAGE 28 who tells us all what its like in the Hampshire version of life as a duchess with her two children. Happy reading! x

and the Salisbury Parenting team x

Cant find a copy of Salisbury Parenting at your local store? Then just ask for a copy to be ordered or delivered.


All readers can now access Salisbury Parenting via their phone and ipad for FREE! Download the app today and never miss an issue.

Voice .



.. . . .

A Festival of Singing in Salisbury Opera Jazz Folk Music Theatre Cabaret Community Family

21 to 30 October 2016 Principal Sponsors: The Mark Allen Group and Karl Witshire, Partner of St James’s Place Wealth Management



Issue 006 The August Issue/2016

16 19

SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT. We’ve got all the tips and answers as to why your bundle might not be sleeping through BREASTFEEDING BEAUTY Our panel of mums talk breastfeeding stories and share their tips IT GO 21 LET Modern mum Vicky Charles wonders if a leaf from Elsa’s book might be the way to go... LET IT GO!

MINI BREAKS 24 BABYMOON Spoil yourself and treat bump with a cheeky getaway or rest resort before baby arrives

ROYAL MOTHER 28 RIGHT We interviewed award nominated





Email - Admin@charlotterosemag.co.uk Tweet us - @Salisparenting Send too - Unit 6, The Centurian Centre, Old Sarum, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP4 6QX

39 45 49

duchess double Polly Sharpe on life with kids and the not Cambridge stories. YOUR PREGNANCY COUNTDOWN Congratulations! Pregnancy is an exciting time in your life but do you ever wonder what is going on inside your body? TANTRUM TODDLER Its a quick transition from cute cooing to answering back, we look at why they do it and how to deal with it. KEEPING IT COOL Sterilisers that wont break the budget and will leave the kitchen looking uncluttered. THE BENEFITS OF PREGNANCY SEX With so many health benefits should it really be a hushed subject?


Introducing Teddy, a story about being yourself Errol and his teddy, Thomas, are best friends who do everything together. Whether it’s riding a bike, playing in the tree house, having a tea party or all of the above, every day holds something fun to do together. One sunny day, Errol finds that Thomas the Teddy is sad, and Errol can’t figure out why. Then Thomas the Teddy finally tells Errol what Teddy has been afraid to say: ‘In my heart, I’ve always known that I’m a girl teddy, not a boy teddy. I wish my name was Tilly.’ And Errol says, ‘I don’t care if you’re a girl teddy or a boy teddy! What matters is that you are my friend.’

What the lady bug heard.

Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len have a cunning plan: they’ll sneak past all the animals and steal the farmer’s fine prize cow. But they forget all about the tiniest, quietest creature on the farm the ladybug. She has a plan of her own. Julia Donaldson turns her literary expertise to a farm setting, and comes up with a rollicking barnyard mystery. Lydia Monks’ colorful collage illustrations go perfectly with the story for a winning combination. Readers will quack, neigh, moo, and cheer for the ladybug all the way through! “What the Ladybug Heard” is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children’s Book of the Year.”

A sweet and gentle story about being true to yourself and being a good friend, Introducing Teddy can also help children understand gender identity.

The rabbit who wants to fall asleep.

Worries are like clouds - a big hug book.

Do you struggle with getting your child to fall asleep? Join parents all over the world who have embraced The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep as their new nightly routine.

Worries are

Like Clouds compares worries to the weather, acknowledging that some days are wonderful, filled with golden sunlight that calls us outside to run and jump and play with fresh air on our faces. But some days are not so wonderful and can be a bit tough. ‘A note to parents and teachers from Shona’ offers understanding and guidance. The Big Hug series deals with emotive issues that children face in direct and gentle terms, allowing children’s feelings and problems to be more easily shared and discussed with family and friends. Author Shona Innes is a qualified clinical and forensic psychologist with many years of experience assisting children in times of trouble.

When Roger can’t fall asleep, Mummy Rabbit takes him to see Uncle Yawn, who knows just what to do. Children will join Roger on his journey and be lulled to sleep alongside their new friend. Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin’s simple story uses a unique and distinct language pattern that will help your child relax and fall asleep-at bedtime or naptime. Reclaim bedtime today!




THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS The humans behind ‘Despicable Me’ take it upon themselves to reveal ‘The Secret Life Of Pets’ and show us what our animals get up to when we leave the house. Max is Katie’s terrier, and lives a pampered life as her favourite pet. But Max’s world is turned upside down when she brings home a sloppy mongrel called Duke, and he has to accept that he’s not the only dog in her world any more. Featuring the voices of Louis C.K., Kevin Hart and Lake Bell, come and learn about ‘The Secret Life Of Pets’. You’ll never look at your dog the same way again.

COUNTDOWN TO CAKE! Waiting for your birthday to come around is tough for most of us at the best of times, even at our ages! But for toddlers and babes its harder to grasp the concept of time, that’s why we have fallen in love with WOW Toys! They have made ‘advent calendars’ but for baby birthday countdowns, it helps to teach your tot 10 countdown 10 days to the big day and the best bit? On each day they count down they receive a little toy that builds into a birthday scene! We think we need one in the office! £14.99, amazon.co.uk

Splurge or save...


Save KIDDICARE £10.00

DESIGNER GOD (DADDY) JULIEN MACDONALD launched his first childrenswear collection offering, in collaboration with Mothercare, and it’s all thanks to peer pressure from his godchildren. Or their parents to be precise! Known for his slashed-to-thethigh red-carpet glamour - dressing starlets from Kylie Minogue and Cheryl Cole to Heidi Klum and Kim Kardashian over the years - it may prove difficult to conjure a Julien Macdonald kids’ collection in your mind, but once seen the range makes perfect sense. Split into two distinct, and very different, parts, the collection has a day wear offering - in primary brights and adorned with animal characters, and an evening wear element, populated with beautiful mini gowns and tuxedos in luxurious fabrics.

TREECLIMB TODDLER Tree climbing adventures for all ages and abilities across Wiltshire and especially for those who can’t wait to be swinging 60ft above the ground! Zip lines, big leaps and more. Individuals, groups, schools

Telephone: 0800 0556760 Website: http://www.bigtreeclimbing.co.uk/

GET ARTY! The summer holidays are long for parents who usually have kids in school full time. Take them to splash of colour in Salisbury and let them make masterpieces that will last a lifetime! They even have coffee and cake for the mum! SPLASHOFCOLOURCAFE. CO.UK

#JUSTSAYING There are thousands of companies that sell printed baby clothing with fun slogans written on but is it really okay that they go on sale with “All daddy wanted was a blow job” smacked across the front? When we printed ‘Sex during pregnancy’ it took alot of peoples breath away, but at Salisbury Parenting we are an open lot and would like to think we have fun too, after all parenting is alot easier and a smoother ride all round if you enjoy the journey but if there is one thing that made the office gasp, it was seeing a post on instagram of a newborn in a baby grow with ‘All daddy wanted a was blow job’ emblazoned on the front. Whilst not offence to the child sporting the child’s apparel clothing (fully aware they can’t look down from feeding and read what it says) but... To print and sell hundreds of these items a year, is it really acceptable? This in anyway is not bias with the mums as having looked, there are now maternity tops that sport the sayings ‘MILF’ and ‘I was fun, then I had kids’ as much as its a horrible thing to read, for many I am sure, the sentimental feelings behind it is upsetting many, you might as well get a baby grow printed for your newbie stating ‘accident’. To tip of the already pissed parent, these aren’t even hard to find, they aren’t tucked away on online stores or printed by a company in America only sourced on instagram, you can find them on Amazon, Ebay and even some local tourist shops now!




Charlotte is the one of the directors and owner of Salisbury Parenting who supports and empowers mothers and women to love themselves and their families. Charlotte created Salisbury Parenting so that there would be an honest look into the real life of parenting in the modern day and age. So that new mums, mums to be and even the veteran mums had somewhere to turn where they wouldn’t feel judged.

John, father of two grown up boys and husband to one, he is the managing director of the most successful commercial photography company in Salisbury after 4 years of successful business trading in all sectors of photography John Rose Photography became a limited company and took Wiltshire by storm, adding companies such Trethowans solicitors, First News and International Cat Care as clients

Having got her qualifications in journalism and early years foundations she started building a community hub for all parents to go to where the message ‘honest parenting’ would be heard.

After years of shooting all genres of photography, John has found his passion in developing the high end image that commercial clients require and deserve, and he is now the in house photographer for Salisbury Parenting.


Company photographer

ALEX TAYLOR Alex is a mummy to 2 small people and pregnant with her third child. Having built her empire at Girls Love Fit Alex has branched out to launch the new KidzLoveFit group. Rubbish at all jobs wifey related she juggles life on a ‘how much can she do at once basis’ Loving life and loving being a mummy Alex takes pride in showing her kids what it means to truly work hard and play hard!

Health and wellness

BEV Beverley well known cake maker in her Business Creative Cakes. married and New forest with Brian Bev’s with food and sharing the love the word on and clean eating resident foodie Parenting with article on yummy. Having grandchildren as grandchildren had years of of feeding, cooking for

BARTER Barter is a chef and Wiltshire for Beverleys Happily living in the her husabnd passion lies cooking, and spreading healthy living Bev is our at Salisbury a monthly all things 4 kids and 11 well as 3 great Bev has experience weaning and small people.




Toby Giles, fitness instructor or all round superman? Having previously written for high end names he is now a UK master coach, international fitness presenter and charity event organiser with a not so secret passion for Southampton FC. Proud newbie daddy to gorgeous little princess Thea born this year.

Vicky is a single mother, blogger and trainer. A single mother almost from the start, her approach to parenting involves bed sharing and the strict rule that you can never, ever have too many cuddles!


When she’s not working or blogging Vicky can be found reading stories, counting dogs in town or dancing with her little girl. She avoids housework at all costs and has a not-so-secret addiction to Big Brother. Her house is 60% Minions and 40% Spiderman at present, though Batman is weedling his way in slowly but surely. (We will keep you batman fans up to date!)

Contributing writer

MARTYN KITNEY Martyn is a single stay at home dad to two boys, James and William aged 7 and 5. Having gained degrees in Early Childhood Studies, Art Therapy and Teaching he spent 9 years as a Primary school teacher; he later left his career to Home Educate his two children. Beside this he teacher the piano and guitar, runs quiz nights and writes the lifestyle and education blog Inside Martyn’s Thoughts which has been nominated previously for awards such as BritMums and the MAD awards for mum and dads of the blogging world.

Contributing writer

! S IS

M T ’ N DO







ISSUE 001 / MARCH 2016 / £2






Ea sy

top tips to kick start your healthier lifestyle with a new baby.

s cipe re







The pressures of being a modern mum IS IT REALLY ALL THAT?



ISSUE 005 JULY 2016


“ I feel stronger than I ever have” How Alex from GLF went from zero body confidence to competing after baby.


How do I get my kids to stay in bed once they’ve gone up for the night?


“Within 4 weeks of starting I was a finalist at the BritMums”


Summer school sweetheart. What do the changes to our government mean for our kids starting school in September?


night It’s common for mothers to worry when their babies don’t sleep through the night. After all, everyone knows they’re “supposed to sleep like a baby.” Some doctors recommend night time weaning and “cry it out” methods if your baby is not sleeping through the night by 6 months or sometimes even earlier. When mum herself has no problems with baby nursing at night, she still worries that this is a problem, since society seems to indicate that your baby should be sleeping through at 6 months. There are books all over the bookstores with advice on solving so-called child “sleep problems” but are they really problems? First, ignore what everyone else says about your baby’s sleep habits and what is “normal.” These people are not living with you or your baby and therefore don’t know your baby’s routine and personality nor do they understand your lifestyle etc all an impact on babies sleep pattern. Unless your doctor sleeps in the next

room and your baby is keeping him awake every night, he has no reason to question a healthy baby’s sleep habits. If you and your baby enjoy night time feeding’s, then why not continue? It’s a great way to have time with her, particularly if you are apart during the day, I know when I was feeding my daughter the night time was ‘our time’ to bond. Every baby is different, and some sleep through the night earlier than others (routine and food usually have nothing to do with this). Your baby may be hungry (keep in mind that breast milk digests in less than 2 hours) or she may just want time

with you. Babies whose mothers work during the week often nurse more at night and on weekends, and this is just as simple as they are missing they’re mummy. If the amount that your child sleeps and nurses at night isn’t a major problem for you, then there’s no reason to try to change anything. You are NOT doing a bad thing by nursing on cue; you are doing a wonderful thing for your baby. When you comfort baby at night, you are not teaching her a bad habit: you are teaching her that you are there for her when she needs you — Is security a bad habit?

“Babies whose mothers work during the week often nurse more at night and on weekends, and this is just as simple as they are missing they’re mummy.”

What is normal when it comes to baby’s sleep?


Your baby will begin to comfort herself and to sleep for longer stretches at her own developmental pace. If your baby wants to nurse at night, it is because she DOES need this, whether it’s because she is hungry or because she wants to be close to mum. Beginning to sleep through the night is similar to a developmental milestone (like walking or toilet training) that your baby will reach when she is ready. Trying to force baby to reach this before her time may result in other problems later on. If you can try to take a more relaxed approach and trust that it will come in time, you’ll see your baby eventually become a good sleeper. You’ll be able to rest peacefully in your heart and mind knowing that she reached this in her own time when she felt secure enough to do so, not because he had no other choice but to quiet herself because no one would come.

Why do babies wake at night? Babies wake at night for many reasons, and they often start waking at night after sleeping through for a few weeks or months. Some of the reasons for night waking (in no particular order) are: *baby wants more time with mum *teething *developmental advances (for example: waking more often right before or after learning to turn over, crawl or talk) *illness, allergy, nappy rash, eczema *hunger (including growth spurts) *reverse cycling: Some babies whose mums are away during the day prefer to reject most/all supplements while mum is away, and nurse often during the evening and night. If mum is very busy during the day or if baby is very distracted, this can also lead to reverse cycling. When your child nurses more often at night, go through this checklist to see if you can figure out what might be going on. Sometimes there may be more than one thing causing the night waking.

Will giving formula or solids at night help baby sleep better? Gentle methods for encouraging less night nursing See Night Weaning, which also includes many suggestions for maximizing sleep in younger babies who still need to breastfeed frequently.

Does night waking last forever? Remember that night waking in babies and young children is normal and temporary!

Children grow out of night waking, even when we do nothing to discourage it. This period of time will be a very tiny part of your child’s years with you. Your goal is to maximize sleep for everyone in the family, while respecting the needs of your child.

“Both of my children nursed once (occasionally more) at night through their second year. Since this doesn’t bother me, I did doing nothing to change it. We co-sleep, and neither my baby nor I generally wake up completely when she nurses. Both started sleeping through the night on their own, when they were ready” If you’re meeting this goal, then ignore anyone who suggests that you do sleep is things differently. If your sleep situation is not working (or stops working) then you can always do things differently. All parents find that they change the way they do things as their child grows older and reaches different developmental stages – just another thing that changes as your child grows.


Tatiana, g multitaskin mum of 3!

WE WANT T O HEAR YOUR STOR IES TO! “The most difficult things for me. Every time I fed our youngest daughter, my son would be up in my lap joining in too”

With my first child, I had no clue what I was doing and she wasn’t latching properly at all, but the nurses pushed me and pushed me to no end until my nipples we’re swollen and dry. It was painful and there were times I just wanted to cry and give up but I’m so happy I didn’t. I breastfed my oldest for 14 months!! With my son I was producing so much milk that I could have donated bags beyond bags, He would eat and eat and eat, I swear he never stopped. Due to jaundice he was in an incubator for 72 hours and I couldn’t feed him right from the source but I did everything I could to fill as many bottles as possible for the nurses!! The engorgement got so bad that I had to pump between feeding when we came home and throughout the first year because I was producing so much, but I felt like super mum with the supply I had. I had the hardest time getting him to stop breastfeeding and fed him throughout my entire pregnancy with his baby sister. I breastfed him for 21 months and 4 of those months I was tandem feeding my newborn daughter after she was born. That was one of the most difficult things for me. Every time I fed our youngest daughter, my son would be up in my lap joining in too, and I’ll tell you, having a newborn who is so tiny and a huge toddler in your lap is not comfy!! He even became jealous at times and it made it even more difficult to wean him but he ended up quitting cold turkey. Daddy started to distract him as much as possible and I made sure to entertain him as well while feeding my youngest. I breastfed her for 15 months before she weaned herself!


“Setting out on a breastfeeding adventure I would say take each day at a time, don’t be pressurised into doing something you TAN Y don’t want to, and seek MUM A TUC OF 4 KER advice, research, and explore all you can” When my eldest was 3 months she started feeding all the time and her centiles dropped a little. The health visitor told us we must add in a formula top up feed twice a day. The formula made her constipated and she struggled for years with tummy troubles after the formula was introduced. In hindsight, and knowing what I know now about breastfeeding, I would have adjusted my diet to help increase and fortify my breast milk supply instead of introducing formula. Once the formula was introduced I only fed for another two months before my daughter began to refuse the breast. With my next three children I was determined to feed exclusively and for longer. My son I fed for 13 months, my 2nd daughter I fed for 14 months and my 3rd daughter fed for an amazing 19 months! With each child I was more confident, I knew that feeding patterns would change with the child’s growth and developmental needs. I knew I could increase my supply with oats and made breastfeeding cookies using a recipe I found online, None of the younger 3 ever had a bottle but family members were able to bond in different ways like play, skin to skin cuddles, and sling wearing.

“My favourite time is when I’m feeding Josh before he goes to sleep and as he feeds he looks up at me with those gorgeous big eyes; it’s just me and him and we’ve managed to do the journey together!” MS, FIONA WILLIA OY! B E N MUM TO O Thank God for one of my best friends drumming into me the importance of getting the baby checked for tongue tie as soon as he was born, because this was not something that wasn’t really brought up in the NCT classes which is ridiculous because it is so common. Fortunately, I asked for Josh to be checked for it the day after he was born and sure enough he had tongue tie. Confusingly I was told at first it was very mild, but a week when later when it was snipped, the doctor told me it was quite severe. I was so lucky I only had a week of enduring it before having it dealt with, because a lot of women have a far longer wait and the honest truth is, it is absolute agony! We had a good first two days of breastfeeding before the pain started, but by

day three, I’m not going to sugar coat it, it was agony. My nipples were cracked, and bloody and I took to either wearing one of my husbands shirts, or rocking the topless look, because I didn’t want anything touching my skin. Thank God for Lanolin cream – if you are a mummy to be, buy it! I remember Josh latching on and sometimes I’d be yelping in pain, but I was absolutely determined to stick at it. I knew I only had a week to get through before it would be dealt with which I think helped and I was additionally spurred on by the fact that Josh barely lost any of his birth weight. Knowing I was getting the weight on him and the milk in him got me through and sure enough once his tongue tie was fixed things improved. Josh decided at about 3 months he no longer liked my right boob and would only feed off the left side but I’ve managed to continue feeding successfully and Josh is 8 months tomorrow – so we’ve certainly not done too badly! Well done to my wonderful left boob!


Mum musts

H&M MAMA 2-pack nursing bras. £14.99 H&M

Medela Harmony Pump and Feed Breast Pump. £40 Mothercare

inning “I used washable breast pads at the beg when I was at my most leaky”

I couldn’t get comfy or in the right position. I was tired, hungry, thirsty and so was she. By day 4 my nipples were broken, cracked, bleeding and I was in tears every time it was time for a feed. This was also around the time my milk finally came in. I had engorged leaky boobs, bleeding nipples and a really hungry KY WITH DAU GHTER baby. So I sent my partner out and he bought CLEMENTINE nipple shields, nipple cream, a pump, bottles and even formula because I was so worked up Whilst I was pregnant one of the things I was nervous about was breastfeeding. It was about it. something that I really wanted to do. Would I made an appointment with a breastfeeding it hurt? What if I don’t have enough milk? specialist. Without her I would have definitely How on earth do you actually breastfeed?! Does the baby just know what to do? What given up. She showed me what to do, and happens if I can’t do it? Those were just a few made sure my nipple was actually going all the way in. Turns out it wasn’t, so essentially it was of the things I was worried about. being rubbed against the roof of her mouth and getting extremely sore and damaged. During the first night in the hospital I struggled, I was tired and just couldn’t get her Now 2 years later we are still going. It’s only to latch. I called the midwife to help me and before bedtime now but I still cherish that remember her being quite abrupt and saying time as I know it will end soon. I would definitely invest in a good nursing bra, and just put her on it. I did but it was hurting. In the morning we were watched whilst she had I used washable breast pads. These were a feed and it was fine. We were discharged as amazing, especially at the beginning when I was at my most leaky. I also wore a vest top they were happy with how we were getting under everything, making it easy to feed her along. Then it all went wrong when we got whilst we were out, without exposing myself home. fully.

Lansinoh Lanolin nipple cream. £7. Boots

Boppy support cushion £29.99, www.boppy.com

. . . S I S E L R A VICKY CH



If we can just concentrate on what’s actually happening right now, instead of comparing it to an idea, a movie, a celebrity, what our peers or the media think should be going on - then it’s just another hurdle to jump over and we can get on with our lives. Let it go!


I’ve been a single parent for four years now. I love my life; my daughter and I are very happy, and she wants for nothing. But this is definitely not how I imagined parenthood would be. Or, in fact, how I imagined my life would be. When I was little I listened to all the fairy stories and watched all the movies and fully believed I would be rescued by my handsome prince. We would get married like Scott and Charlene in Neighbours, and everyone would cry, and then we would go off to live in a house with a white picket fence and have two children - a girl and a boy, obviously. When I fell pregnant, it quickly became evident that none of this was likely to happen. As my pregnancy progressed, my life moved further and further away from what I thought

my first pregnancy was supposed to be like. Nobody was taking care of me; nobody told me to put my feet up while they cleaned up; nobody sat and chatted lovingly to my bump. In fact, I was regularly told to stop making a fuss: you’re not ill; you’re pregnant!

to bed myself. My daughter always settled down once I was laying next to her, and I got a bit more sleep too. I would go to bed feeling absolutely defeated, wondering how I would ever get through the next day… but I always woke up feeling much more positive after some extra sleep.

I spent most of my pregnancy in a state of panic, convinced I had let down my unborn child before its life even began. That feeling worsened when my daughter was born 5 weeks early, and I had no clothing that would fit her. Her father left us when she was two weeks old and my life could not have been further from that idea I’d grown up with. I felt awful and had no idea how I would ever cope with bringing up a child on my own.

Now my daughter is four, she still has the occasional evening where she finds it hard to settle into sleep. When that happens I try to remember what worked for me in the past. I let go of the idea of a nice relaxing evening watching the TV - or more likely, my idea of getting my workload up to date - and I just go upstairs. Sometimes I will bring the laptop with me, if I need to finish something off. Otherwise I’ll sit beside my daughter until she falls asleep - and then I usually fall asleep as well. And I realise that actually,

This feeling of despair continued for

“I listened to all the fairy stories and watched all the movies and fully believed I would be rescued by my handsome prince. We would get married like Scott and Charlene in Neighbours, and everyone would cry, and then we would go off to live in a house with a white picket fence” some time, until I learned to let go of my idea of how things should be. The moment I let go of that imaginary husband, the house, the white picket fence, I was immediately better able to cope with the life I was actually living. As a single parent, I treasure my evenings as some precious alone time. On those really tough days I would look forward to my daughter going to bed, so that I could have a couple of hours to myself. It was often those nights when I most felt I needed some time to myself, that my daughter would struggle to go to sleep. I would trudge up and down the stairs, attempting to settle her down, becoming more and more stressed at the thought of my precious evening ebbing away. These evenings always ended in the same way: exasperated by having to go up and down the stairs every few minutes, I would give up and just go

it doesn’t matter. I might have been looking forward to watching something on TV, or I might have wanted to get an article finished or an email sent - but it doesn’t matter. Life can be tough as a single parent. In four years I have had two nights away from my daughter. I don’t drink because when I wake up with a hangover, I’m still on mum duty. I don’t have lie-ins or nights out or breakfast in bed. There’s nobody to lean on, nobody to share the burden, nobody to help pay the bills. It can feel like a never-ending battle, and it often feels like the rest of the world is against me, the feckless benefits claimant single mother. This is not at all how I thought my life would turn out, struggling to scrape together a tenner to put on the electricity key and unable to leave my house without first persuading a small person to please just put on some shoes and a coat and come with me.

MUM CHAT But here’s the thing: this is not how any single parent thought their life would turn out. None of us sat, aged seven, mapping out our life to include endless hours on hold to Tax Credits, fretting over whether a lack of male influence would adversely affect our children, turning up to every single school meeting and social event alone. None of the defining moments in my life have been the kind of thing people dream of having happen to them. The nervous breakdown, the abusive relationship, the premature labour; none of these are things I would have put on my bucket list, given the choice. Looking back over my life thus far, on paper it looks quite miserable - and it can be easy, in times of missed sleep and overdue bills, to dwell on that and to perhaps feel a bit sorry for myself. This is not what I had planned for my life; this is not how it was supposed to be. But actually, when I really sit and question myself on these things, I can’t imagine my life any other way. I can’t imagine being married to someone and having to share my entire life with them. I can’t imagine having to make conversation with anyone once my daughter has gone to sleep, or having to care whether someone else wants what I’m having for my dinner. Actually, I quite like my life. Sure, on paper it can look a little bleak - especially if that piece of paper is a bank statement - but in reality, it’s not so bad. Early on in my parenting journey, it occurred to me that even if I had all the money in the world, I still wouldn’t be able to go to the shop without dragging my child along with me. Even if I were super rich, I would still not be able to go out whenever I felt like it - unless I wanted to employ someone else to look after my child. And I would likely still worry about whether I was raising my child right; isn’t that what all parents do, money or no money? Without that expectation of what adulthood would be like, what parenthood would be like, what my Saturday night would be like, I can just get on with dealing with what’s in front of me. When I’m not comparing an evening of reading The Cat In the Hat against the idea of getting a take away and watching a movie, Dr Seuss doesn’t actually look so bad.

First Food Alternatives to baby rice It doesn’t have to be so dull... baby’s want the fun in food too! Rice cereal is recommended by health visitors, doctors, other mums and about every baby likes it. It is high in iron, there isn’t anything in it to cause allergens and can easily mixed with both formula and breast milk. So what do you do when someone suggests that you skip the rice cereal stage of weaning?

food and there is NO preparation even needed! Most babies will have a taste for sweet things and the bananas sweet and creamy texture makes for a happy baby! You can also mash it up slightly with a fork and mix in some breast milk if your baby isn’t quite ready for finger foods yet.

There are many other nutrient dense options out there available to baby’s starting their journey onto solid foods. Rice cereal offers little more than ‘empty calories’ and with the growing worry of the amount of arsenic found in rice, there is yet another reason for the modern parent to consider other healthy options of first food for your baby, all the following options are a great start to your baby’s first solid foods.

Sweet potato’s are a favourite of mine and they also make a great first food, this bright orange veggie is full of yummy nutrients like fibre, iron and vitamin A. Its super easy! Just boil it until its soft and then either mash or puree it into the desired consistency.

BANANA Bananas are the ultimate on to go baby



AVOCADO Avocado’s are loaded with omega 3 and good fatty acids that are known for good brain development. Their mild flavour and smoothing texture makes them the ideal first food alternative to

baby rice. When looking for the perfect first avocado, choose one that is firm to touch but gives slightly, since an unripe avocado will be difficult to mash or puree for babe. APPLESAUCE (N.A.S) Applesauce is another good choice for first food choice, although you must choose one that is unsweetened and with no extra hidden ingredients. Better still, make your own. Boil a few chunks of apple so they are soft enough to mash but keep it natural and dont add anything else.

“In all infants, in consideration of their nutritional needs, developmental abilities, and reported associations between the timing of introduction of complementary feeding and later health, the introduction of complementary foods should not be before 17 weeks but should not be delayed beyond 26 weeks.” - Annabel Karmel



I know what your thinking, meat as a babies first food? But in 2006 a study in the journal of paediatric gastroenterology and nutrition found that it actually may be! Exclusively breastfed infants in particular can benefit from the early introduction to meat (No earlier than 6 months) since they start to absorb less of the iron in breast milk once they start eating solids and they need meat to obtain it from other sources.

If any of the other options don’t sound too tempting and you still want to start your weaning process with cereal, baby rice isn’t your only option. The academy of paediatrics recommends that you avoid wheat and mixed grain cereals to start with because they can cause early onset of allergic reactions in young babies. However you can try a single grain cereal like oatmeal porridge or barley. Mix the single grain cereal with enough breast milk or formula milk to make it quite soupy to start with and as baby gets used to it, lessen the liquid and thicken it up.

Meat is an excellent source of easily absorbed iron and zinc. It can be ground and pureed with milk or water for younger babies or shredded into small pieces for finger food for older babies. Organic turkey, chicken and beef will all be good first meat choices.

Because of the conflicting advice given to new parents by family, friends and even medical professionals it is hard and confusing for new parents to figure out just which approach they should take to starting their baby on solids. The best advice any mum could give to another is ‘follow baby’s lead’ because every baby is unique, as with so many aspects of parenting, there’s a lot you just have to figure out as you go along.


With more than 20 years’ experience under her apron, Annabel has become the UK’s number one parenting author, best-selling international author and expert on delicious, nutritious meals for babies and children. From nutrition during pregnancy and weaning, through to feeding fussy eaters and family cooking, Annabel has long been a leading authority on children’s food and nutrition. From delicious Organic Baby Purees and sauces to her best-selling chilled toddler meals and award-winning Fuss Pots, she offers quick, homemade style solutions for those busy days. Available in a supermarket near you.

COUNTRYSIDE COMFORT Whether you go alone or with a bump buddy, go on a two day break in Gloucestershire on the Kingscote Park estate where they welcome mummies to be a tranquil place at Matara house to slow down the pace of pregnancy and enjoy just being pregnant. They offer both practical and emotional support from the beginning to end! From arriving at Matara, you and your growing babba come first, indulge in pregnancy approved treatments, take on a yoga class or just simply over indulge in fresh food.

Chill out in the cotswalds.


ow n it k oo B

RESTFUL RETREATS The stunning surroundings and cosy cottage, decorated beautifully and calmly, compliment the essence of this retreat and you will leave feeling relaxed and restored. The two-night stay has an emphasis on practical and emotional support, encouragement and positive preparation for birth. The break includes delicious, freshly-prepared food, informative and inspiring workshops, taster sessions of natal hypnotherapy, a pregnancy yoga class and optional pregnancyfriendly treatments, as well as the chance to bond with other pregnant women. Visit retreat-yourself.co.uk to book


Book it!

If pregnancy resorts and timetables are not your thing this holiday resort is for you! There are no set wellness programmes and no strict timetables, its just do what you want when you want and relax! With elegant rooms all with stunning views over the Prai das gaivotas cliffs... It’s almost too good to be true. The exceptional spa offers more than 50 treatments all suitable for your pregnancy! Its even safe to take the other half! With tennis, diving, golf and other sports there is enough to explore! Spend time together pre-baby watching the yachts in the Vilamoura



harbour or go for alfresco lunch in the Albufeira town. You can enjoy a two night package from £264; visit vilalaresort.com

From £264

WIND DOWN AT WOOLLEY GRANGE Surrounded by fourteen acres of private land and the Wiltshire countryside beyond, part of the appeal here is the view across rolling green countryside. Part of the Luxury Family Hotels collection, Woolley Grange has a host of activities for children as well as an Ofsted registered crèche so if you take the family there is something for everyone! Book in for a one night babymoon break, with one night’s dinner, bed and breakfast in a standard double, Full Body Massage for the mister and Mellow Mama Pregnancy Massage for you and full use of the spa and facilities. Visit www.spabreaks.com/venues/wooleygrange

Book it!


RIGHT ROYAL MOTHER I am sure I am not the only mother who has had a rough day, put the children to bed unbathed and let them wear what they want to bed and sat down to the news to see Kate Middleton all dolled up, not a bag under her eye to be seen and Charlotte and George looking clean, not a hair out of place and Will looking like a rested father so happy with his life... Seriously!

So when we found a talented writer (Polly Sharpe) who writes a blog called Right Royal Mother containing fictional accounts of what she thinks life might be like for Kate as a mother as well as including stories and anecdotes of her own family; We fell in love with her blog ‘Right Royal Mother’ so much that we did a interview with Polly and asked her a few questions. Interview by CHARLOTTE HAGYARD



The duchesses double

The duchess and her family, Prince William, Prince George and Princess Charlotte

You blog about your own children and raising them like Kate (The duchess) –– how did you come to write your blog like this? I started Right Royal Mother in January this year when NC (not Charlotte) was four months old and suffering from reflux. It was an outlet for all the craziness and sort of kept me during the winter. The writing came pretty easily because I have always written stories but the ‘Duchess’ element stemmed from the fact that I was pregnant with NG (not George) the same time Kate was. I was very sick, like her, and remember feeling it must have been awful to have had to tell the entire world (as she did) as the discovery of a pregnancy – especially with your first child – is such a private, special event. It fascinated me a bit and now, with two

children the same age as George and Charlotte, some of my daily experiences veer so often between being completely inane and mind blowingly brilliant, it amuses me to imagine how life at Anmer Hall probably isn’t that different.

children, I find it hard enough to find a clean top, let alone put tights on.

You are massive in the mum/dad blogging community with huge stats and the right royal mother name becoming often seen in places like the Daily Mail and Tots100.

I am writing a book and am represented by a brilliant literary agent… I can’t say any more right now but watch this space!

Oh, thank you! The stats are getting there and I was contacted by the MailOnline to write an opinion piece, which was great. I entitled it, ‘She’s a Duchess, not a Temptress’ because I do think it’s ridiculous how much stick one woman can get for her clothes… and speaking as another mother of two very small

What plans are in the pipeline for your blog? Is there anything exciting due to happen?

Did you go through any prenatal or anti natal blues with either of your children – NC AND NG? I was very lucky and managed to escape the blues with both children; however, NG had colic and NG had reflux so for the first 3-6 months of each child’s life, I sometimes thought I was going mad. It was a pretty dark place and it is not


Polly and daughter NC with pet dog, NL

an overstatement to say I often thought about running away – I have never felt so overwhelmed and exhausted. But we got through it. Do you miss anything about life before kids? Or would you change anything? Of course I miss the things most parents probably do! Long lie-ins, going out for meals whenever you feel like it (without children!), holidays where you don’t have to pack a load of plastic crap and go somewhere where you fight adults for the last IKEA high chair. And I miss feeling ‘carefree’ a bit: I didn’t know you could feel so responsible and scared at the same time until I had children. But it puts things into sharp focus the minute you become a parent and I am grateful that now I know what’s really important. I am incredibly lucky to have two healthy children and wouldn’t change anything now. • Have you always wanted to be a mum and will you stop at two or are we likely to see a third right royal anytime soon? Would it be timed with the duchesses third pregnancy? Two is enough for me! Have you ever dealt with blog fans who’ve become overly invested? No – all blog fans I’ve come across have been delightful! What is on your bookshelf? Too many books! I need to take some to the charity shop as we don’t have enough room. I love books – I’m reading ‘The Daydreamer’ at the moment by Ian McEwan. I’ve read it before but I don’t mind reading books I love again and again.

What quote do you live your life by? I try to remind myself of ‘It is not what you think or feel but what you do and say that matters’ when I find myself thinking and feeling too much! What is the funniest thing your kids have ever said? I can’t think of one thing. NC doesn’t talk yet but NG comes out with stellar comments daily. If you read some of the Not the Cambridges stories and you’ll find plenty of examples! Do you think will and Kate are succeeding at their attempts to be different Royal parents than other royals have been in the past- keeping their kids out of the spotlight, raising them in the country, etc. Do you think it will make an impact on the future of the monarchy? I think they are doing a fantastic job. Their life in Norfolk seems to be very private which is great and I hope it remains that way as the children get older. The fascination with the British royals across the world seems now to be similar to that of traditional celebrities and I think Kate and William are in a tricky position of needing to seem current, accessible and at the same time dignified and private. I think they’re doing a really excellent job; both are patrons of charities that have benefited enormously from a raised profile in the last few years that the young couple have championed them. Harry, too, is succeeding in bringing energy and humour to the royal family’s table. The future of the monarchy looks bright, I’d say. Where do you see yourself in

the blogging competition, you’ve recently been nominated as a MAD blog finalist? I just feel really lucky that in the short space of time I’ve been blogging, I seem to be ok at it and people like my stories. I didn’t ever start blogging to make lots of money (and I’m not!) – I started because I wanted to record moments in my children’s lives through fiction. To any mother or parent thinking of starting blogging, what advice can you give them? Do it. But be warned… it can become addictive! It seems like a lot of blog readers don’t understand how timeconsuming the behind-the-scenes business is. How much of your time would you say is devoted to editorial? It depends – I am so limited with time as I look after NG and NC by myself during the week that I really can only blog when I have a spare few minutes. But I try to publish a new post at least every week, if not two posts, and I’d say each takes about three hours. Coupled with social media, etc. that can really mount up. It is a labour of love, that’s for sure. But I absolutely love it and even though I am now back at work, I don’t think I’ll be stopping!



charlottero semag. co.uk

QUESTION? ASK US INJECTION JABS I have read that I should wake my sleeping baby for feeds, is this true? Do I need to be waking my sleeping baby to eat? She’s 4 weeks old. In newborns who are small (especially less than six pounds at birth), you need to consider waking baby every three hours, It is not true that every baby will let you know when he or she is hungry, especially during the first weeks of life. Larger babies, who have many feeding’s during the day, may be able to sleep longer stretches at night without waking for feeding’s and still have plenty to eat. It really should be evaluated on an individual basis depending on your baby. The best way to tell if an exclusively breastfed baby is getting enough food is to closely monitor babies nappies. By four days of age, the newborn should have at least four stools and they should be changing from dark meconium to light brown, and then yellow, If your exclusively breastfed baby is not pooing much during his or her first month, you should take them to your paediatrician or GP to be weighed.

INJECTION JABS My daughter cries uncontrollably while having her injections, and its distressing for both of us. Her MMR injection is coming up - is there any other way the immunisation can be given other than an injection?

defects onto them and later on in life may develop learning disabilities. With childhood vaccinations, it is always worth following the schedule, and new vaccines are being added all the time.

The ultimate benefits of childhood vaccinations far outweigh any risks, which with these childhood vaccines are very minimal. I’m not aware of any non injectable In very few cases - one in a million - the version of the MMR jab (Mumps, crying you hear from your daughter Measels and Rubella) vaccine. But the may be related to an allergic reaction to proven benefits of the immunisation the vaccination but if this is something schedule are well documented with any your worried about speak to your GP side effects understood. or nurse about screening before your Of course its extremely distressing for babies appointment and your medical you to hear your daughter crying so professional will talk you through it. much after her jabs - I remember it all Although a condition and side effect this with my daughter! But for me personally is extremely rare. the benefit is being totally confident If you’d like to know more on in the undeniable benefits of the childhood vaccinations or have any vaccination. further questions you can find lots of information on nhs.uk/conditions/ Not having the vaccine could lead to vaccinations or gov.uk/goverment/ several complications, for example a collections/immunisation. mother who hasn’t had the MMR jab who would then go onto have a child could pass several issues and birth

How can I tell if my baby is getting enough breast milk, since I can’t count the number of ounces? The most reliable sign is adequate weight gain. If your baby’s gaining four to seven ounces a week, he’s probably getting enough milk. Since it can be difficult to tell just by looking whether an infant is gaining weight, especially in the first month or two. Another important way to gauge your baby’s intake is to note the contents of his diaper. If he’s eating enough, he’ll have four to six wet ones a day. His urine should be pale or clear; if it’s a dark, apple-juice shade, he may not be getting enough milk. The number and nature of his bowel movements will tell you not only whether he’s downing enough breast milk but also whether he’s taking in adequate amounts of the high-fat milk he needs to grow. By 2 weeks of age, babies who are getting enough “grow milk” will produce at least three nappies of yellow, seedy stools a day. Other signs of breastfeeding success: You’ll feel the tingling of the milkejection reflex, see your infant sucking vigorously, and hear him swallowing; and he’ll drift off contentedly to sleep after nursing.

BABYWEARING DADDY I can’t get my husband more involved in caring for our 6-month-old son, and I want his help. What can we do? When I first became a dad, I took a backseat too. Martha was such a good mother that I thought I wasn’t really needed. But I soon came to realize that this is a lose-lose situation. Dads provide a unique way of care giving that’s different from moms’, and babies thrive on both. And staying on the sidelines prevents fathers from learning how to comfort, care for, and develop a relationship with their babies. Give your husband time and room to learn how to be a caregiver. If he’s in charge, don’t rush over as soon as you hear your baby cry; trust him to work it out himself. If possible, leave him alone to sit during times when you know your baby’s likely to be in a good mood -- say, right after a feeding or a nap.

VITAMINS? Vitamins for Kids: Vital or Not? Giving your child a multivitamin seems like a safe bet, particularly if you have a picky eater -- sort of like an insurance policy. But in truth most babies and toddlers don’t need them. “Vitamins will not protect your child from common childhood illnesses or make him grow faster or taller, So many foods are fortified with vitamins and minerals these days -- for instance, bread contains folate and iron, and orange juice has calcium -- that even if your child is not the best eater, once he’s eating table food, chances are he is getting plenty of vitamins. A vitamin drop or extra iron may be recommended for preemies, low birth weight babies, and babies with certain metabolic disorders, says Dr. Contini. Some doctors also routinely prescribe multivitamin drops for breastfed babies because breast milk lacks sufficient vitamin D and, after 6 months, may not provide enough iron. However, if a baby is healthy and Mom is well nourished and taking a multivitamin herself, this is not needed. Moreover, at 6 months most babies start eating solids that provide iron. Kids typically hate the strong metallic taste of vitamin drops, so it’s just as well. But if it makes you feel better, go right ahead; generally, they’re not harmful.


LETS MOVE When should my baby/ toddler start: sitting up, crawling, talking, and walking? Just as with sleeping through the night, every baby is different and these "milestone" events will happen at different times for different children. Some will crawl early and not talk until much later -- and vice versa. And babies born prematurely will usually reach these milestones based on their due date, not their birthday -- that is, a baby born two months premature will likely sit up two months later than full-term babies. But preemies usually "catch up" in development between ages 2 and 3 (earlier for babies born at or after 28 weeks' gestation; later for babies born prior to 28 weeks). So don't panic if your son isn't talking yet while another child in his playgroup already says a dozen or more words. Let your baby develop at his own pace -- but if you're worried that your child is lagging behind, talk to your paediatrician.

SLEEPING BEAUTY I don’t think my baby likes sleeping on her back. How important is this? Placing babies on their backs to sleep—not only at night time, but also for naps and in the stroller—reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by 50 percent. SIDS is the unexpected, unexplained death of an apparently healthy infant younger than one year of age. Occasionally placing babies on their tummies to sleep could place them at an even higher risk of SIDS. Don’t assume all babysitters know to place your baby on her back to sleep—make sure to communicate your safe sleep practices to all caregivers. There are many benefits to breastfeeding, but one you may not know is that any amount of breastfeeding is considered one of the protective factors against SIDS. Exclusively breastfeeding in the first six months can reduce the risk of SIDS by up to 50 percent.

FOODIE FEARS My 7-month-old eats no more than a couple of tablespoonfuls of food per day. How much should she be eating? At this age, “some kids are precocious,” says Dr. Jana. “They eat three meals of solids and are even into table food, while others are just getting the hang of it.” So don’t worry about the numbers, and concentrate more on gradual improvement as the days and weeks go by, says Paul Contini, MD, a paediatrician in San Jose and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ committee on nutrition. If you think your kid is eating small amounts of food because she’s not wild about spoon feeding or is still adjusting to the whole eating thing, try increasing the number of times you offer baby food to two to three times a day so she can practice, says Dr. Contini. If your baby drinks more than 30 ounces of formula a day or still nurses every two to three hours, then cut back on the milk a bit so she’ll have an appetite for food, he adds. To ensure that your child will be hungry, it’s also a good idea to wait at least an hour after bottle feeding or nursing before offering baby food.

The countdown has begun

PREGNANCY Overcoming the fear of birth and the worries of pregnancy. We look at each week to give you the confidence to love your pregnancy and bond with your growing baby.


inding out your pregnant can be an exciting time in your life

Each month we bring you your trimester broken down into weeks for easy reading.

but it can also be scary and daunting for those who want to know what’s going on inside them, after all you are growing a brand new human being inside your tummy and your body as you know it is about to change forever.


e’ve put together a week by week pregnancy

countdown calendar for you to help you to understand what’s happening to your body and your growing baby.

WEEK 1 Baby? What baby? This concept may be a little hard to wrap your head around, but even though you’re technically in the first week of pregnancy, you’re not quite expecting -- yet. Here’s the deal: Because it’s generally impossible to know the exact moment of conception, most healthcare providers count 40 weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP) to calculate your due date. According to this method, they date the beginning of “pregnancy” from about two weeks before the sperm penetrates the egg -- which is where you are right now. Already spotted that pink line on a home pregnancy test? You’re further along than you think!


Amazingly, your child’s sex and all of her inherited genetic characteristics -- such as eye colour, hair colour, skin, and body type -- have been set since the moment of conception. Your developing baby, now called a zygote, has 46 chromosomes -- 23 from you and 23 from your partner. These chromosomes help determine your baby’s sex and traits such as eye and hair colour, and, to some extent, personality and intelligence. After fertilization, the ball of cells, now an embryo, will wrap up its journey through the fallopian tube and burrow itself into the wall of your uterus for nourishment -- a process known as implantation. If you’re having multiples, the deed has already been done. Fraternal twins occur when two separate eggs are fertilized by two different sperm and each baby has his own placenta and amniotic sac. If one fertilized egg splits and develops into two fetuses, the result is identical twins. They may share a placenta, but each baby usually has a separate amniotic sac.

WEEK 2 WEEK 4 So far your baby doesn’t exist, but this is the week you ovulate. Your ovary releases a ripened egg (ovum) into your fallopian tube, where it will patiently await the sperm that have survived the 6- to 8-inch trek through your cervix and uterus. While 75 to 900 million sperm embark on this journey, less than a thousand actually make it past your cervix -- and only one lucky swimmer will have the honour of penetrating the egg at the moment of conception.

So what’s going on in your womb this week? Your embryo may be minuscule, but trust us: Super-important developments are already under way. This week the embryo splits into two parts. One half will become the placenta, a special tissue that delivers must-have nutrients and oxygen to your baby throughout your entire pregnancy. In the other half, the embryo itself continues to grow, and a sheet of cells has just begun to create the neural tube, where your baby’s brain, spinal cord and backbone will ultimately form.

T: C A F Y C N PREGNA MARSHMALLOW BONES! High levels of the hormones oestrogen and relaxin cause ligaments throughout your body to relax, including those in your back. The extra strain on the muscles and joints of the lower back area can cause back pain.

WEEK 5 This week, your baby’s ticker will start beating for the first time! (Neither you nor your doctor can hear it yet, but it may be possible to see the movement on an ultrasound.) And your little one has been really busy growing! The embryo now has three distinct layers: the outer ectoderm, which will form the nervous system, ears, eyes, inner ear and many connective tissues; the endoderm, or inner layer, which will grow into internal organs like the lungs, intestines and bladder; and the middle mesoderm, which will eventually make way for the heart and circulatory system. In the weeks to come, the mesoderm will also evolve into bones, muscles, kidneys and reproductive organs.

WEEK 6 By the end of this week your baby will have tripled in size! His heart is now beating with a regular rhythm. It’s still too faint to be picked up by your doctor’s stethoscope, but if you have an ultrasound at some point over the next few weeks it will probably be visible as a tiny, pulsing dot in the middle of his mini body. Fun fact: From now until birth, your child’s heart will beat about 150 times a minute -- twice the average adult rate. Also this week, your baby’s brain hemispheres are forming -- and brain waves can now be recorded.

WEEK 7 Your baby is already developing amazingly distinct facial features. Dark spots mark the areas where her eyes and nostrils will be, and a little mouth and ears are starting to form, too. Your baby’s brain is also growing more complex; if you could take a peek, it would be clearly visible inside the transparent skull. In fact, nerve cells in your baby’s brain are growing at an amazing rate -- 100,000 cells per minute! And she’s started to move in small, jerky motions, although you won’t feel these movements until about your fourth month of pregnancy.

WEEK 8 Your baby’s growth spurt continues: In the last two weeks he has quadrupled in size. As he gets bigger, his delicate facial features are becoming more refined, with his ears, upper lip, and the teeny tip of his nose all clearly visible. His eyelids will also take shape for the first time this week and his heart is growing stronger by the day.

WEEK 9 Even though you still have to wait another eight weeks to find out if your new addition will be a boy or a girl, this week, your baby gets the goods she’ll need to, well, make her own baby one day. That’s right -- reproductive organs are beginning to form now, along with some other key organs, like the pancreas and gallbladder. At this point your baby has doubled in size and her head, which is about half the length of her entire body, is tucked down toward her chest. Her tiny fingers are growing longer, and the ends are slightly enlarged right now -- this is where those unique fingerprints will ultimately form.

Your womb holds a pint of water!!



At the start of pregnancy, your uterus is the size of a small Conference pear. By the end of the nine months it’s more like an oversized watermelon, holding a baby and at least a pint of water, so it’s not surprising you feel twinges as it grows, especially as it will be touching the bottom of your ribs. At 16-20 weeks you may feel slight pain caused by some ligaments beginning to stretch. Help your body - Ask your midwife about Optimal Fetal Positioning (OFP). It’s a method of trying to ensure that the baby lies in the uterus in the best position for labour through the use of lifestyle habits and exercises.


Up until now your baby was classified as an embryo, but by the end of this week he will be a fetus and lots of changes are on the way. Paddle-like, or webbed, hands and feet will now separate into fingers and toes, bones will begin to harden and his kidneys are now producing urine. Most impressive? At this point your baby’s brain is developing at astounding rates -- nearly 250,000 neurons are forming every minute! The end of the embryonic stage also marks a turning point for development dangers -- your baby is much less susceptible to them now.

WEEK 12 As your baby’s muscles start to bulk up at this stage, he’s getting busy stretching and kicking. When you put your hand on your belly, your baby will likely wiggle in response because his reflexes are starting to develop -- though it’s too early to feel his movements. He’ll also start to open and close his fingers, curl his toes, and jerk and kick his arms and legs.

WEEK 11 Did you know your baby can breathe underwater? She’s doing it right now. At weeks 10 and 11, the fetus will start to inhale and exhale small amounts of amniotic fluid, which helps your baby’s lungs to grow and develop. Also this week, your baby’s ears are scooting up to the sides of his head. Sure, your baby’s head is still disproportionally large compared to the rest of his body, but this will even out as he continues to grow and develop in the womb.






Take a break for

breakfast by TOBY GILES.

Wakey wakey rise and shine! We can only hit that snooze button so many times in the morning before we have to get up and ask ourselves the big question of what should I have for breakfast or should I have breakfast at all?

“I don’t feel hungry when I wake up” is something I hear time and time again when taking on new clients who are struggling to control their body weight and energy levels, which usually means the most important meal of the day is unfortunately missed. So how important is it to “break the fast”? Skipping breakfast has been shown in studies to result in unhealthy choices later in the day, which won’t help your energy levels or waistline. A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology has shown that those who do skip breakfast were 4.5 time (Yes that’s 4.5 times) more likely to be obese than those who do have breakfast.“Breakfast skippers” have also shown in studies to smoke more, drink more alcohol and exercise less. Fasted cardio (waking up and going for a run/row/cycle on an empty stomach) is becoming more popular as this has been shown to improve the ability to burn fat in some individuals. Yes this type of training may work for you but some do find it hard to work out because of the lack of energy/fuel in the system. Either way it is still important to have a good quality breakfast full of protein and carbohydrates as soon as you’ve finished exercising to replenish the energy that has been lost through the workout and sleep. It will also provide you with the nutrients and the fuel you need to kickstart your day and your metabolism. Having breakfast will help you maintain good energy and a good mood until your next snack or meal of the day, this helps us perform better in mental tasks and helps to make us feel less stressed and feel calmer. Wholegrain in porridge, muesli or wholemeal toast provide us with carbohydrates and also B vitamins, iron and magnesium,


1: Greek yogurt - This tangy, creamy yogurt is loaded with calcium and boasts plenty of protein—nearly twice as much as regular yogurt to keep you feeling full throughout the morning.

which are needed to convert carbs to energy. To boost the immune system first thing and help our ability to handle stress we can add some fruit to give us that vitamin C and then adding some protein will help slow down the rate at which we digest carbohydrates, which will help prevent the mid morning blood sugar crash stopping us from being tempted to grab the easiest sugar laden convenience food we can lay our hands on. Eggs are one of the best sources of protein and also provide B vitamins, yogurt is another good source of protein with nuts and seeds for extra magnesium. I totally understand that some people just can’t stomach breakfast, even after giving it their best shot so I would recommend smoothies or protein shakes to start the day.



*For many young children, there could be as many as 14 hours between supper and breakfast the next morning. *One in ten children skips breakfast, which can severely limit their ability to learn. Children should get one quarter of their daily nutrition at breakfast. *The average home has 4 - 6 cereals in the storage cupboard. Cereals are made from grains, to which are added ingredients such as sugar, chocolate, honey and fruits.

2 2: Bananas – Great for keeping those mid-morning cravings at bay. The yellow fruit especially when they’re still a touch green are one of the best sources of resistant starch, a healthy carbohydrate that keeps you feeling fuller longer.

3 3: Eggs – Good source of protein and vitamin D, eggs also increase good cholesterol and reduce insulin resistance, which means a more efficient metabolism.

*In the UK, breakfast cereals contribute to 7% of added sugar intake. Topping the list are soft drinks (35%), and confectioneries, biscuits, cakes and pastries (35%) and table sugar (8%). * The ideal breakfast should be high in carbohydrates, rich in nutrients and low in fat.

4 4: Grapefruit – Is a great source of fibre and is good for lowering cholesterol to help maintain a healthy ticker.


5: - Porridge – Is excellent for regulating appetite, blood sugar and boosting energy to help us stay focussed and ready to take on the world.





ssentially, you have two options when dealing with a child who tends towards the rebellious. Sit it out and wait for things to get better on their own. Or start learning and developing key skills so you can manage your relationship. Realistically, the first option might never happen, but what you stand to gain from the second option is the power to completely transform the dynamics between you and your child. So here goes...

1. Accept your child’s personality Dr Laura Markham, author of Calm Parents, Happy Kids: The Secrets of Stress-free Parenting (£12.99, Vermilion) believes one of the first things you need to do is to accept your child as they are. ‘Your baby/toddler has a certain personality, and you can’t change that.’ She says. ‘You can only make things better or worse by how you respond to them.’ It’s not always easy. Kurcinka confesses that it’s especially tough because we often form an image of what our child will be like, and the type of interactions we will have with them, before they’re born. ‘When the reality is very different from that image, parents may experience a deep sense of loss, and even question why they had a child.’ she says. ‘It is Ok to grieve. Ultimately however, you will find the joy you hoped for when you open yourself to unearthing who this child is and how she pulls you into experiences you had never imagined before.’

2. When to let it go My friend Jess is a great believer in not sweating the small stuff with her daughters, aged two and four, and her family seem all the happier for it. If her daughters are intent on wearing fairy dresses to nursery one day, she asks, is that really a problem? And if they only eat half their macaroni cheese at lunch, will they really die of hunger? Of course not. Dr Markham sees this as a good thing. ‘If it doesn’t matter to you, why not say yes? Of course, every family needs a few basic rules, such as, “We treat each other with kindness.” These are the things to stand firm about – how we treat people.’ ‘If something is unsafe, hurtful or disrespectful to self, others or to the environment, it has to be stopped,’ W

“Laughing releases oxytocin, the bonding hormone, so when you laugh with your child, you’re bonding with each other.”

3. Don’t take it so personally There have been many times when I’ve taken my daughter’s tantrums as a personal attack. Once, when she was kicking and screaming on a street corner because she’d decided she didn’t want to wear shoes, I burst into tears because I was convinced she was driven by hatred of me. Of course, she wasn’t. She was just being two. But I had a child I loved to the ends of the earth, who wouldn’t listen to a word I said, and I found it difficult to keep my emotions in check. Dr Markham puts it plainly, ‘Your child isn’t doing things to drive you crazy. It’s part of a toddler’s job description to figure out how things work.’

4. Tap into your child Getting tots to co-operate may seem impossible, but it can just involve being a bit clever. ‘If you have a strong-willed child,’ Dr Markham says, ‘he’ll view it as a compromise to his integrity to do something just because you want him to. He has to choose to want to. If you try to break his will, or get in a power struggle, he’ll fight back and get more defiant.’ The worst thing you can do is bully your child into certain behaviour, she says. ‘When you feel pushed around, do you feel like co-operating? But if

someone figures out a win/win 6. Don’t be too busy solution, aren’t you happy to cooperate?’ My most difficult period with my daughter was when she was two and a half and dropping her 5. Laugh together daytime naps. She was constantly overtired and having meltdowns My friend Clare is having a tough time with her 20-month- all over the place. She couldn’t old son. ‘He gets into rages over keep up with the busy lifestyle the slightest thing,’ she says. My we’d grown accustomed to and in the end I realised that dropping advice would be to play on his her swimming lessons and a few sense of humour. My daughter other activities was a better bet finds pig impersonations all round. hilarious, so if I thought she was about to blow up about me Dr Markham approves of this cutting her toast in triangles, not strategy. ‘Babies and toddlers squares, I’d do my best oink. As have basic needs,’ she says. ‘If we don’t meet them, we can’t Dr Markham says, ‘Laughing expect them to co-operate.’ Mary releases oxytocin, the bonding Sheedy Kurcinka agrees, saying, hormone, so when you laugh with your child, you’re bonding ‘Rushing triggers the stress reaction for everyone. Vowing with each other.’ to stop rushing, stay present and

TODDLER not double-task helps us to truly connect and enjoy one another.’

7. Sibling stress It can be hard to feel you’re giving older siblings the attention they deserve when you have a younger tot sapping all your energy. My friend Anna is so concerned about this that she has her mother come once a week, so she can have a few hours alone with her eldest. Ultimately though, Kurcinka believes attention evens out. ‘I find that often one child hits a stage of development where they need more parental support,’ she says. ‘You can let siblings know that whatever needs they have, they will each get what they need too.’

“Your child isn’t doing things to drive you crazy. It’s part of a toddler’s job description to figure out how things work”

8. Be consistent Little ones need to know how the land lies; if it changes from one day to the next, expect chaos. ‘Children must know they can trust you to do what you say,’ Kurcinka says. ‘That’s why it’s important to think before making threats or promises. They must also be able to trust how you’ll respond. If one day you blow up because they got their shoes wet, but the next time join them splashing in puddles, it creates anxiety.’ Many parenting manuals put emphasis on everyone acting and reacting in the Dr Markham adds, ‘Children like to test for themselves. Some test three times. Some test 100 times. If just one of those times they got what they wanted, they will keep testing

9. Be united Many parenting manuals put emphasis on everyone acting and

reacting in the same way around a child. But, says Dr Markham, ‘It’s not always realistic. Or essential. Children quickly learn that each person is different. However, if the child feels one of their adults is sharp with them, doesn’t listen to them, doesn’t let them ex

10. If in doubt, seek help If you feel stuck with your child, it can be hard to see a way out. What to do if you feel you’re not coping? First off, Dr Markham recommends giving yourself as much support as possible so you can stay calm and find ways to reconnect positively with your child. It can be something as

simple as a good night’s sleep to make you feel more balanced. If this doesn’t work, however, then get help. ‘If you’ve had a hard childhood yourself, or if you have an especially challenging child, don’t count on things getting better by themselves,’ she says. So go to see your GP or health visitor.




PHILIPS AVENT 3 IN 1 STEAM STERILISER £60, Philips-shop.co.uk A brilliant and clever designed and simple to use piece of kit for your baby! From a brand that you can rely on and trust.

FEATURES You don’t have to just use Phillips bottles... it fits any kind of bottle and its made from BPA free materials, which is a chemical found in some plastics that disrupt normal human hormone function. It has a six minute cycle with an automatic turn off button and the contents will stay sterile for 24 hours if the lid stays on! Its handy size of 30.5 x 22cm means its a small but powerful must have for your new born!

COOL BITS Its adjustable size, which means it only has to take up a little space in your busy kitchen , in its smallest configuration it can sterilise dummies, the medium size for breast pumps and nipple shields, and all full size it takes 330ml bottles, but even at full size, it keeps its streamline modern look.

THE EXTRA At £60 for a steriliser it isn’t one of the most expensive but equally isn’t one of the cheapest on the market but made and guaranteed by Phillips, it is one of the most trusted brands that you can rely on.

COULD BE TIME TO CLEAN IT UP! Because the world health organisation recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed until six months, few will take issue with that wisdom, but the reality of it is rather more complex. As a recent Unicef UK report has shown into breastfeeding trends found, while four out of five women try, less than half of the babies that are exclusively breastfed by six weeks. This figure falls to less than one per cent at six months! Even if you are exclusively breastfeeding, its likely you’ll want to share the

feeding by now, which means expressing and that means breast pumps and bottles, which equals sterilisers. and also.... WEANING Guidelines suggest that you start to wean your baby at six months, but if you begin earlier for example at four months, you need the equipment, again the bottles, the sterilisers etc... you get the picture. You can sterilise stuff by putting it

merely into hot water for 10 minutes, although beware, not all baby equipment is suitable for this treatment option. And no.. your dishwasher will not do the job this is because the temperature of the water just isn’t high enough to kill the germs. That leaves cold water sterilisation, or steam sterilisers (like above) and these can be bought to go in the microwave! Easy-Peasy!


BEABA BIB EXPRESSO £37.50, Huggle.co.uk No, it is not baby’s first coffee espresso machine, this design by Beaba is actually a smart multi purpose steriliser with a difference!


@ e t i r u o v a F r Ou ing t n e r a P y r u Salisb

The unit at the back of this nifty device is a sterilising unit, it can be detached from the body for easy use, pop it in the microwave and it will deal with up to 3 bottles at a time in four minutes and its also a bottle store! Its self cleaning feature is key and at dimensions of 26 x 23.5 x 35.5 i think its safe to say its a pretty tiny gadget for the kitchen maximising counter space.

TOMMEE TIPPE, NATURE ESSENTIALS KIT £150, Mothercare.com EVERYTHING you might need for the bottle fed baby and all in one (slightly expensive) easy click of your computer, and it even sterilises and warms your bottles too!

FEATURES This lean, mean piece of kit can sterilise up to 6 bottles in five minutes and if you keep the lid unopened they will stay sterile for 24 hour! This kit is BPA free and the kit includes a bottle warmer, eight bottles; four 150ml and four 260ml, two insulated bottle bags, a brush, a formula dispenser, teats, two soothers and teat tongs to complete. Measuring at 27.5 x 28 x 15.5cm

COOL BITS If you are one of those fussy mummy’s who instinctively revolt against pastel kitchen equipment and beautiful brilliant whites then the clean lines of this sterilising kit will make you very happy... Even the bottles have a smart and savvy black trim and the overall design is compact, so counterspace is at a premium

THE EXTRA To justify this amount of money before a new born, you ideally need to be starting from scratch, if you’ve got kit hanging around from your older children, the price might make you weep! In which case you can just buy the steriliser alone for £30, but the black and red editions are full kit only, the steriliser alone only comes in white.

COOL BITS Its not just a sterilising unit, its also a bottle warmer and if your a bottle feeding mum this will allow you the luxury of one hand preparation! Perfectly mixed, at the perfect temperature and all in under a minute, I guess we don’t need Mary Poppins after all! At the top of the unit there is a little bain marie that allows you to either warm up a bottle of expressed milk or, if your weaning, to just heat up jars of food!

THE EXTRA Its sleek design will look great in any kitchen and is simple to get to grips with, the bottle storage makes for easy keeping and allows mum to easily prep the next feed!

Why child consent is so important



e, as many families do, try to capture all our fun in one photo and selfie at a time. However, when it came to group photos my boys were asked to join in which they respectfully said no; this obviously didn’t go down well with family members who felt it necessary to persuade and, in some cases, bribe them to join in. Yet, the boys continued to voice their refusal and with me finally convincing the family not to pursue it. Then, a little later, whist eating dinner Grandad turned to me and said “When will you get his [my eldest] haircut?” In both situations I was a little taken back. Why should people, even family, feel the need to push children into situations like photographs when they clearly have said no? Or, why is it my decision to make my son get his haircut, shouldn’t it be his? How would we feel, as adults, if we were forced to do something we didn’t want? Personally, I see each of these scenarios as a matter of consent. When people initially mention consent in association with a child or adult they do not usually consider smaller situations in the same category but I don’t see why there is any differentiation. Consent isn’t just about sex. If it is something that I would feel upset about, if forced, then I believe children reserve that same right to say no; when did we start treating children as credulous beings? Childism, the concept that children should be respected as human beings, is based on the idea that children are people too despite size and experience; we should, therefore, always try to see things from their perspective when interacting with them. We should treat children as our “equals” and respect their opinion as we would respect another adult. This doesn’t mean we promote behaviour that creates a generation of disrespectful wildlings but instead


acknowledge their thoughts and feelings. We are, ultimately, following the scheme where we let children be children but at the same time allow free range of experiences and respect their choices. We should instantly stop the habit of “because I said so” and “I am your Parent, you do as I say” as well as teaching children that the chain of excuses for forced situations between adult to child is acceptable and instead recognise children’s freedom of speech. The definition of consent is ‘permission for something to happen, or an agreement about something’. We can give consent in any aspect of our lives, from consenting to hospital treatment to consenting to cookies being stored when we access a website. Why is it then so radical that kids should be taught that they have the right to withhold consent, if someone is doing or asking something of them that they don’t want? One situation that often comes up is when children are play fighting or tickling. A child may be saying no, but giggling and laughing at the same time. It can make it difficult for younger children to understand. However, this is a crucial time for us. This usually happens when toddlers are developing a sense of empathy and is, therefore, an ideal time to introduce the topic. This doesn’t happen automatically, it needs to be taught. Whatever the situation, it is important that children are introduced to the concept that when the other person has had enough and said no, you stop. It should also be stressed that “boys will be boys” excuses will not be tolerated for behaviour such as verbal or physical harassment of others either. “He’s doing it because he likes you” is not an acceptable response to a girl who has been hit or teased by a boy. Instead, it is my opinion that all young people need to know the importance of building healthy relationships and identifying those relationships that are unhealthy. It is the person seeking consent who is responsible (ethically and legally) for ensuring that consent is given and for ensuring that that person has the freedom and capacity to give their consent. The same applies to all aspect of life. As a piano teacher I often turn pupils away because after a few lessons when it becomes


clear that it isn’t the want of the child and instead their parents. Have you asked their opinion? Is it a firm yes? Is there a trial period to see if they want to continue it?

The legal position is clear: “If consent is not clear, informed, willing and active, it must be assumed that consent has not been given. If consent is not clearly given, or is given and then subsequently retracted, this decision must always be respected. Since people can change their minds, or consent to one thing but not to something else, the seeker of consent must keep assessing whether consent is clear, informed, willing and active. Consent must be seen as an ongoing process, not a ‘oneoff ’. In healthy relationships, both parties respectfully seek each other’s consent and know that their decision to give or not give consent will be respected.” There is nothing here that states that different scenarios allow a loose degree on consent. Consent is absolute. I mentioned at the start about my son’s hair; he is currently growing it long because he wants to. Yes, it is a little “scruffy” at times but that is his choice and I wouldn’t take him to the hairdressers and make him have a haircut because I believed that it was the right thing to do. Children need to know that they and they alone own their body and that if they don’t want to hold hands, kiss or hug, have their hair cut or even have a photograph posted online, they can refuse and it is respected. When we respect that a child saying no really means no it builds a foundation for them to understand consent on the wider scale. So, although it doesn’t always mean consent for sex it does help teach about it and value their voice.



benefits of




Sex during pregnancy seem to be a bit of a hush hush subject, but why? There are so many benefits to having sex during your pregnancy and no risk of hurting your unborn. After all, sex was how you got there in the first place.

It is good for both you and your unborn baby, it can help you sleep better, lower your blood pressure, and even make you happier! Here are a few good reasons to make a little love tonight to your hubby! Making love during pregnancy boasts a number of big health benefits. Here’s why a little extra alonetime with your hubby can do a body (and a baby) good: Improves orgasms: Blood flow intensifies your sexual desire. In fact some women achieve a real orgasm for the first time ever during their pregnancy! Burns calories: Sex is the most fun way to stay fit You’ll burn 50 calories or more in 30 minutes of love making with your partner... 50 calories! Lowers your blood pressure: Sex has been found to lower your blood pressure... a good thing for both of you, since high blood pressure is linked to the pregnancy complication pre-eclampsia, its another health based reason why you should get down with it tonight! Reduces pain: When a woman has an orgasm, she releases a hormone called oxytocin (also known as the ‘love hormone’) which in one study found to increase pain tolerance by 74%

Improves sleep for mums: Sex is relaxing - so it helps you sleep better. Its also beneficial for babies sleep! The rocking motion of a sex session often lulls baby to sleep. Boosts immunity: A study found that sex boosts level igA, an antibody that helps avoid colds and other infections. Boosts happiness: Having an orgasm releases the happy hormone known as endorphins - which make both you and baby happier and more relaxed. Increases intimacy: Thank that little hormone oxytocin again - its been scientifically linked to romantic attachment. Speeds up post-partum recovery: Orgasms during pregnancy prepare the pelvic floor for childbirth, which in turn speeds up your postpartum recovery. Do kegal exercises during your pregnancy sex to really pump up those muscles and it will increase the pleasure for you and your partner! So what are you waiting for? Grab your partner and go get down tonight!


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