Newborn baby photographer Norfolk

Fitness classes with babies in Norwich.

Fitness classes with babies in Norwich

Although it may well be the last thing you feel like doing after the birth of your baby, getting back into fitness can help boost your energy levels and strengthen your body. What’s more, if you join a specially tailored mum and baby class, you’ll be able to meet other local women who have babies the same age as yours. This can be a great way to make new friends, widen your social circle and throw yourself into your new life as a mum.  

BabyFit

Debbie at BabyFit is VERY knowledgeable , and offers a fantastic choice of classes for pregnant women and new mums. Stay in shape and prepare for the birth of your little one with BabyFit pregnancy yoga and pregnancy aqua.

Once your baby has arrived, you can keep up your fitness regime by joining a BabyFit postnatal core recovery class. Babies are welcome to come to classes with you up until they’re crawling. If you want to get your little ones even more involved, join a BabyFit baby yoga group and get your child active from the day they’re born.

Buggy Buddies Workout - Norwich t

Designed to help mums get back into shape after a new arrival, Buggy Buddies also takes place outside in the fresh air. Anna who runs the Norwich sessions has been supporting mums for many years and really cares.

Sessions generally begin with a brisk warm up walk followed by a number of specially designed exercises. Your little one will stay in their buggy for the duration of the hour-long session while you burn fat and work to get back to your pre-baby fitness level.  

Push and Tone Fitness

Push and Tone classes take place in a local park, allowing you and your little one to get some fresh air and exercise at the same time.

Classes focus on fat burning, toning and strength and you’ll be taught to use a variety of exercise equipment too. Push and Tone classes are very social and you’re allowed to go at your own pace. Pay for classes as you go or book a block of sessions to save money and boost your willpower.

Mother Nurture

One I found when googling. Held at the Sprowston Diamond Centre, Mother Nurture classes focus on postnatal relaxation and recovery. They also place an emphasis on bonding with baby and give new mums various exercises and techniques to help them connect with their little ones.

Yoga is the main activity in these sessions and new mums are given a variety of stretches and exercises to try. These are designed to help your body recover and to stimulate your baby.

Please let me know of anymore classes you can personally recommend!

Jess


The Studio

6 tips from a mum down the line for new mums

  1. Trust Your New Mama Instincts.

It’s a cliché, you’ll hear it again and again but trust me. There really is nothing like your new super powers… the mother instincts. You know your baby better than anyone if you don’t feel someone is listening to it don’t be afraid to stand tough because at the end of the day its better to overreact than to have something missed. I have never regretted asking for a second opinion or refusing to leave a GP until I was listened to and so far I haven’t been proven wrong.

  • ‘I’m overwhelmed and I don’t know if I can do this.’

I don’t know a mum who hasn’t experienced this in some measure: either a wave of this that passed or who was brave enough to talk to someone because it was something more serious.

Please don’t suffer in silence. At the smallest end of the scale I would say breathe, speak to your mum, some friends, your partner, someone you can trust and share the feelings because with so much parenting, ‘it’s just a phase’ even if it doesn’t feel like it.

Be easy on yourself, you are a new mum not wonder woman.

At the other end of the scale, please don’t suffer in silence there is wonderful help out there for post-natal depression, for those anxious from a traumatic birth or for any other feelings that are weighing you down. Please go to your GP for support and advice.

This is not a sign of weakness it is something that happens, and you deserve to be supported through it.

  • Birth didn’t go as you expected

It rarely does – as a baby photographer I hear new birth stories on a weekly basis and I want to say to any new mums to be or freshly made mums – they rarely do.

Be kind to yourself about your experience… if you had a drug free, water birth order in but ended up dosed up on all the drugs and wailing for more… well, if that’s what got you through then amazing! … you made and pushed out a human being!

However you delivered your baby… you were incredible and you achieved an amazing thing. C-section, natural, home, hospital, epidural, drugs, no drugs… all that matters is there are 2 healthy humans at the end of it. Mum and baby.

  • Friendships Can Change.

This was a hard lesson to learn. When your world shifts its centre to a tiny small human it can mean your priorities change and alongside that friends/family member attitudes towards you can also change. This is not a negative commentary, but simply an acknowledgement that life brings people in and out of it for various reasons and for many this is one big turning point in life that moves people in and out of your life.

Friends without children may not understand your new life (I know I didn’t maybe support friends who were new mothers before I became one myself) Girls nights may be rarer, relationships with partners may become strained (have you heard the one about who is more tired?!)

It all gets easier but don’t feel alone if friendships ebb and flow differently. All us mums have experienced it and if you are lucky, you’ll meet some new amazing friends through being a mum.

  • Be kind to yourself. 

The most important of my points. Be kind. To Yourself. There is so much advice out there for keeping a baby happy… and after all that’s your new role in life. But a happy baby needs to be supported by a happy mum.

Care for yourself as you do your baby…. Nourish yourself, rest, get fresh air and get support when it feels too much. Small things such as watching your favourite film while feeding your baby, having a bath, staying in your pjs all day and just ignoring the washing… it’s not easy but sometimes it is vital.

  • Get Some Fresh Air

It’s funny how I resented being forced to have fresh air as a child. However, since the moment my children were born something switched and I genuinely now believe that fresh air can cure anything. Feeling sad? Get fresh air. Got a cold? Get fresh air. Feeling stressed? Happy? On the cusp of cabin fever? Fresh air.

Daylight is good for us, walking and moving is good for you and if you want to start exercising a bit post baby, it’s a lovely, gentle way to start. I always used to invite my new mum friends for walks so we could enjoy it together. I did blog my top 5 baby friendly cafes 2 of which are in based in a park - win win walk and cake!

Jess - read more blogs here.

 


Guest Blog - Chelsea's Birth Story

Guest Blog – Chelsea’s Birth Story ;

this is Chelsea’s final blog to let us know all about her labour and birth, its been amazing having her write and blog her first pregnancy a BIG THANK YOU Chelsea ..

Monday 3rd December at 18.27pm was when my life changed for for the better. Through the tiredness, tears and sore bits came beautiful blue eyes, tiny toes and peach fuzz hair.

 

My long awaited labour came at 41 weeks +3 starting at 1am on Sunday 2nd with waters breaking and painful cramps. I laid awake wondering when the best time was to poke my husband awake to tell him ‘It’s Happening’, after all we’re in it together and he needs his sleep to keep me sane when i can’t get mine!

 

2 hours later i needed to start my ‘Tens Machine’ and i can’t put it on myself so when i eventually plucked up the courage to whisper to Adam that i need him to help me, he freaked… 3 nervous toilet breaks later he was on top form! Keeping my glass topped up, rubbing my back, contacting parents to tell them the news and keeping in touch with MLBU with up to date info on my progression.

 

By 11am my ‘Surges’ were 3 in 10 so i rushed over to the MLBU ward whilst laying on top of cushions and blankets my hubby had set out for me on the back seat, like my very own blanket bed listening to our homemade hypnobirthing playlist. Thank god for ‘Spotify’!

 

After I hobbled into MLBU in the hope that i’d be popping out my baby within an hour or so I found out i was 1cm dilated…CRUSHED…how could that be? My contractions then accelerated to 1min-30sec apart so I was kept in and transferred to Cley ward with an injection of pethidine to help me sleep as I’d been awake close to 35hrs with only 2 hours sleep, 18 of those were in labour.

 

The following 22hrs were a blur, from being transferred back to MLBU at 4cm, continuing my Hypnobirthing breathing in warm baths then transferred onto the Delivery Suite when I went beyond 24hrs for risk of infection. I then had the beloved Hormone drip and an Epidural (recommended from the Midwifes).

 

Some hours later And after pushing for 1hr ½ with minimum pain relief as my epidural was inserted too high, i had a swarm of doctors around me trying to talk to me about intervention. In all honesty I have no idea who was talking to me about what, I had to sign my life away with reassurance from my hubby on what was best. I was prepped for forceps delivery and a cesarean section. I was scared and shaking sitting on the edge of the bed clutching my ‘bb hug me’ pillow when my Epidural was whipped out and spinal block inserted. I was given a Episiotomy operation and a manual placenta removal (yep just as unpleasant as it sounds).

 

My baby was back to back and had shoulder dystocia. My beautiful Arlo was born with large bruising on the back of his head from pushing on my pelvic bone, Lacerations under his right eye from forceps which caused swelling and an eye hematoma. His cry was a horrific painful cry, Arlo was transferred to Nicu to have a cannula for antibiotics and pain relief which is where he went everyday.

 

Off I then went to Blakeney which is where I stayed for a week while we both recover. I discovered my little one and learnt how to breastfeed him. The midwife’s were beyond great.

 

The NHS is constantly criticised but there’s never enough praise for the amazing job that the midwifes, nurses and surgeons do on a daily basis. I had a 42hr labour and I got through it with the most amazing caring staff. Who are at your bedside for encouragement and hugs when it all your emotions run wild together and my modern day hero hubby who helped me through my pain and discomfort.

 

I didn’t have the labour I had intended but I would do everything again. Our little Arlo is beyond beautiful and he amazes me every day, and in all honesty once you look into those big beautful blue eyes everything is forgotten.

 

Too soon for another??

labour
newborn photographer Norwich


Maternity Photographer Norwich

7 things you might have forgotten about having a newborn

7 things you might have forgotten about having a newborn

 

It’s so easy to forget each precious stage as they flash by before your eyes, but something I hear frequently from second time mothers and fathers is how much they had forgotten by the time baby number 2 arrives. So, I thought I would compile a list of 5 things to remind all you expectant second time mothers and also to prepare anyone in round one!

Baby photographer Norfolk

  1. Prepare to google ‘Can I die from sleep deprivation’ It hurts, it makes your body ache and its akin to torture. You exist in a weird mystical fog of forgetfulness and with no idea what the day is and even if it is day or night. You might forget the date your baby was born or maybe their name, who you invited round that afternoon and where you left your last cup of cold tea (cold tea is another point, read on!) It’s brutal, but it also jam packed with that wonderful thing oxytocin and it passes.

 

  1. The Love is like nothing you have ever known. The link between you and your baby is powerful, the dull ache you feel through your whole body when your baby cries, the desperate itch to whip them back to you if anyone hugs them for too long. The strange sensation for breastfeeding mummies of twingy boobs if your baby cries. Its magical stuff, my hubby didn’t experience this, but I did, anyone else out there too?

 

  1. It’s just a phase. How hard it is to remember that with a new-born. Endless nights of colic or maybe cluster feeding, illness, screaming or just no reason behaviour. It feels like the end will never be in sight. But with retrospect, it doesn’t last forever and it’s a rite of passage that all parents stare desperately at one another in the middle of the night and pep talk one another

 

  1. How to hold a new-born! This is a funny one, you’d think as parents of an older sibling that you have been there and done that, that’s its something you don’t forget, well I can assure you that while you will eventually get the hang of it those first holds put you under enormous pressure, which brings me to a sub-point of point 4! The enormity of being responsible for new life is just the same as first time around. To keep them alive and kicking – adhering to all the rules and regulations and advice as set out by everyone around you (authorities and family) It’s hard but remember you can do this!

 

  1. Cold tea. Your tea will not be hot when you drink it for a long time. There is no way around this.

 

  1. Never ever say out loud, or in your head that you are nailing something. As we all know, the minute your baby hears you they will immediately move the goalposts and you will have no idea what is going on. Be it sleep, feeding, routine, smiling, rolling you name it. They can smell parents celebrating success!

 

  1. In those hazy first days, it feels like no sleep, no hot tea, no routine and no idea will be your life forever, but, just remember, you will re-enter the normal world at some point. So, try to enjoy being home in a new-born bubble. Because as we all know ‘It’s just a phase’

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And just to add – you will love this baby as much as your first , you may even feel sad about it not just being you and your first born.  But that soon went when Lila arrived, the emotions we feel as parents are so mixed and varied. Every journey is different but im pretty sure whatever you feel , someone else is feeling/ felt  the same. The fact that  we worry,  if we are doing a good job means we are!

 

If you are having your 3rd , 4th, 5th etc baby i’d love you hear from you and have you guest blog !

 

Jess

Newborn baby photographer Norwich


PARENT

A Happy Family Christmas: the realistic way - guest blog

A Happy Family Christmas: the realistic way – guest blog by Sam James 

 

 

Christmas time with babies and young children can be a magical time. It can also be a stressful time. Parenthood is an ongoing wrestle between ideal expectations versus the reality, and Christmas can be a stark reminder of this. That’s why I am going to share my 3 top tips to help you to create a realistically happy Christmas for you and your family.

 

I remember our son’s first Christmas and I had put so much pressure on myself to have the ‘perfect’ Christmas, fuelled by my perception of what all my new mummy friends were preparing and what the world of adverts, films and social media were telling me Christmas should be like.

 

The reality was nothing like it. The stress built like a pressure cooker, and it felt like everything that could go wrong did go wrong:

  • Our trip home from South Wales to Norfolk, was delayed by several days due to heavy snowfall (I normally love snow, but not in 2010!)
  • My husband and I ended up with food poisoning
  • My grandmothers water pipe burst in her garage
  • My parents washing machine broke
  • We argued with our families. I remember hiding in my room, messaging friends, wishing I was in my own home.
  • Our son was poorly on Christmas Day and I spent a considerable amount of my day on the phone to 111.
  • I lost my voice on Boxing day and woke up with conjunctivitis.

 

I vividly remember feeling so disappointed, upset and exhausted. At the time this was all I could focus on. That Christmas was a failure.

 

Yet, if I were to share photos of our son’s first Christmas it won’t show any of that. It will show him with his stocking, opening presents with his cousins, having his first Christmas lunch, families laughing and playing together.

 

In reality, 8 years on, I am able to recognise that despite all of the drama that surrounded Christmas 2010, there were many moments to treasure. With hindsight I wish I had taken the pressure off myself and my family to have a ‘perfect’ time, that I had lowered my expectations and embraced the time together warts and all.

 

It is so easy to get swept along with what we think everyone else is doing, and feeling like we should be keeping up with everyone else. So, how can you try and make Christmas work for you without the stress?

Create a Realsitic Happy Christmas.

  • Create your own family traditions

Don’t force yourself to do things that ‘everyone else’ always seems to be doing, if it doesn’t fit for you. Everyone’s situations are totally different – what works for your friend or your sibling’s family might lead to huge financial strain for you, or a really uncomfortable family situation.

 

  • Focus on the time together.

What do you want Christmas to feel like for you and your family? People remember the feelings they are left with far longer than the things that they are left with. As humans we are wired to seek out connections with each other, and being with other people and sharing positive experiences far out ways material objects, in terms of long-term happiness. There is a post on social media, written by a teacher for parents as a reminder of just this – that when they go back to school when asked about Christmas, the children share stories of staying in their pj’s for the day, playing games, watching films, going for walks. If they mention presents it tends to be the last thing they talk about.

 

  • Soften your expectations.

It is going to sound pessimistic, but I now accept that there are going to be moments when I want to scream at everyone, that someone will may end up ill, that there will be some very random present choices and some things won’t go to plan. By accepting these things in advance, I won’t feel like Christmas is ruined if it happens. So, be honest with yourself, and where can you lower the bar of expectation this Christmas?

 

 

If you’d love more tips for reducing the Christmas stress you can find my 8 top tips here https://samjamescoaching.co.uk/tinsel-tantrums/

 

Enjoy your Christmas in whatever way you choose. I can’t wait for snuggles on the sofa in pj’s with my tribe!

Save my top tips below to your phone !

 

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The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on… Relationships

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on… Relationships

 

 

One thing I do not think you are fully prepared for after having a bay is how much the dynamic of your relationship changes with your partner.

Whilst you are pregnant you often live in a honeymoon bubble, excitedly imagining what your new life as parents is going to be like.

Then after the physical act of labour you are normally engulfed in the new born bubble of bliss.

Give or take a couple of weeks suddenly you are both running on empty, mum smells like cheese and you watch as a slightly too eager dad leaves to return back to work.

Sleep deprivation is indescribable, and nor how you have to find your new balance as a family. Going from two of you, to three, to four and the stress of finding your groove and getting a balance back can take months.

Resentment

The one thing that surprised me most about how our relationship changed were those undercurrents of resentment.

I resented him for getting to leave, for going out and being an adult, and for making me feel guilty if I asked him to help in the night because he had to get up for work and I was ‘just’ looking after the baby.

Knowing what I know now, it is normal to feel like this.

I guess you could say after having a baby in NICU and then open heart surgery we had it tougher than most, we got through it and looking back I never realised how hard it was for him too.

For me I was struggling and I was consumed with depression but he not only went through this with his child too, but he watched his partner fall down somewhere that he was unsure of she was going to get back out of.

Then he watched as post-natal depression overwhelmed me after the birth of our second child, he was more involved than most and I never appreciated that at the time.

Tiredness

We bicker, we argue who is more tired, who does more and who the children like the best but the one thing we try to remember is that what ever ‘phase’ is stressing us out the most another illness, early wake ups, no money, it won’t be forever.

There is of course the physical side chances are after having a baby and not sleeping for eight weeks straight you aren’t going to feel that frisky.

For me the change isn’t the physical aspect never really bothered me, it was when we stopped communicating or being honest with one another that really affected me.

It was holding in what was bothering us causing it to fester under the surface.

For a while how the two pregnancies changed my body I was self-conscious that he no longer ‘fancied’ me as such but I think your relationship after having a baby goes to a new level where it isn’t just about superficiality anymore.

We try and talk to each other, validate one another and acknowledge how the other one is feeling but after ten years together and two children our relationship has changed vastly.

Little things

There are subtle things like when he makes me a coffee when I’m working or when we wait to watch a program until we are together that tend to mean more to us now.

We used to go out multiple nights of the week and would spend whole weekends hungover on the sofa but now, we are normally getting up at the time we used to come home with the kids!

Having two children under five is hard, and it is testing.

You are bone shatteringly tired, you’ve got barely any money and you’ve just put the toys away for the hundredth time that morning.

You snap, you whinge but you know when it comes down to it, sitting down in front of the Great British Bake Off praying that no one wakes up to interrupt you is where you want to be.

I want to remember this times as this is what made us stronger as a couple and a few years down the line you will look back and feel such a sense of pride you did it together.

It can be hard to see it from their point of view and their will be blow outs of spectacular proportion normally caused by no sleep and over something small but getting through these first early years together do change you as a couple.

Dynamic

I think it can be easy to think that when you are pregnant you will both stay the same and the baby slots in, but I think it is really you two adapting around the baby.

You cant just nip out for a date night now, you will think twice about going on an all nighter and guess what C Beebies and a toddler whilst suffering from a hangover doth not make a fun Sunday.

Everything changes, who does what, when, you as people change too and there is one way is a mourning period of the couple you used to be and the lives you used to have before the baby.

I don’t think we have a magic formula, we argue like most, we are tired, but one thing we always remember and what I would say to any new parents is to accept the changes they are inevitable but they don’t define you and just laugh.

Even when you are in those trenches fighting a losing battle of getting up a hundred times in one night, and start arguing about who hasn’t fed the cat again, just laugh it won’t last forever but you two will if you stick together.

Vicki Cockerill is a Freelance Content Writer and NICU/CHD Mum to two boys, she authors The Honest Confessions Of A NICU Mum Blog, founded and runs The NICU Parent Partnership Organisation and co-hosts @KnackeredandNorwich Social Club.. You can contact her via her blog or social media;

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The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on…. Birth

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on…. Birth

 

 

I recently met someone who I knew, last time I saw her she was heavily pregnant, and now she was pushing a little bundle around.

I went to congratulate her, and then it was though I couldn’t help myself, I then asked her if the birth was good, turns out she had a rotten time and I felt awful and intrusive for even asking.

Having both of my boys, I have suffered two birth traumas and used to hate when people asked me if it was natural, painful or my favourite ‘good’.

I had found myself using the exact phrase I used to abide, why is it as a nation we are so interested in birth stories, and always want to know exactly how someone gave birth before you’ve even asked the baby’s name?

Wellbeing

It’s odd we are normally so focused on the baby, we tend to forget the wellbeing of the mum, as she is just expected to put everything to one side now she is responsible for the small human she just birthed.

Birth has changed so much over time, dad’s are now active birth partners, there are new practices and methods.

I think I must have just been really oblivious when I was pregnant with my eldest about giving birth, we went to ante natal classes but seeing a doll being pushed through a pelvis doesn’t really have the same effect as actually giving birth does it?

One Born Every Minute terrified me so I had to stop watching it, towards the end of my pregnancy I was felt very under prepared. I felt for a first time mum I was not really educated when it came to giving birth. Yes, all births are different and it might have been my own fault for relaying only on the ante natal classes, but I really didn’t have a clue.

Spoiler alert; it is not like it is in the films.

With both of my births, I was sick and had an awful stomach during contractions which meant for two labours I spent most of my time on the toilet. I actually stayed on the toilet with both of them until I was ready to push!

Hospital vs Home

Elijah was born in hospital after 8 hours and a fairly textbook labour but I suffered a significant haemorrhage and the aftermath of being stitched up traumatised me. I developed and infection and needed a blood transfusion. I didn’t have a clue what was being done or why.

I spent so much of my time re living the birth over and over which when I fell pregnant the second time, it made me fear giving birth again.

There was a turning point and that was attending a hypnobirthing course with Jackie at The Orange Grove Clinic. I learnt so much about my attitude towards birth, my language and for the first time in seven months I felt positive and empowered to give birth the way I wanted.

That’s the thing with giving birth again you are suddenly more aware, you know what could and couldn’t happen and you are more prepared.

Let down

Which makes me think perhaps we are letting down some first time mums if they like me were solely relying on the local ante natal classes, or perhaps as a society it is our view as birth as a whole?

Out attitude, our language, our pressure to live up to an unrealistic image of birth and when we don’t achieve it we feel as though we have failed.

Turns out my second son had other ideas, and after sitting down to watch Die Hard 2, I ended up giving birth less than fifty minutes later in the bath!

My two experiences were polar opposites when I did eventually get to hospital with Harlow, I was met on the Midwife Led Birthing Unit, and they were so mindful of my past experience and supported and understood me.

Empowered

It made me think it really does make a difference when there is someone there to empower you, I wish I had that the first time round. Or perhaps someone had just taken the time to talk to me, to explain what was going on, being done then perhaps I wouldn’t have been so unaware of things.

There is an attitude shift towards birth at the moment, and we are beginning to look at our attitude, our language it is no longer your dirty little secret if you have a ‘bad’ birth or trauma, there is a focus on you, and your wellbeing after birth.

Birth Better

There is a fabulous network called the Birth Better Network who are doing just that, and revolutionising the way birth has affected us, and how we can make significant changes for the future. The Huffington Post which has hundreds of thousands of readers every day is also currently doing a fantastic series called the Birth Diaries to show how diverse birth can be.

I think we still have a long way to go regarding educating ourselves about birth, and we still need to shift our attitude and let the new mum take the lead to talk about her experience is she wants to but the important thing is not to put pressure or high expectations on birth and to give everyone the tools they need to have the birth they want. Or if things don’t go to plan it is explained to them every step of the way.

Make Birth Better Network

Huffington Post Birth Diaries

The Orange Grove Clinic

Vicki Cockerill is a Freelance Content Writer and NICU/CHD Mum to two boys, she authors The Honest Confessions Of A NICU Mum Blog and co-founded the @KnackeredandNorwich Social Club and campaigns for NICU and MMH issues. You can contact her via her blog or social media;

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antenatal

Pregnancy guest blogger 35 weeks - hypnobirthing and antenatal classes

Waking up on the floor, dazed and confused…I was obviously quite receptive to a hypnotised Alpha Brain state… Or if not… i was very tired!

 

We saw the wonderful Jackie – owner of ‘The Orange Grove Clinic’ for a weekend of Hypnobirthing. She was great! Honest, informative and reassuring. We studied Balloon breathing, Feather breathing and Deep breathing whilst pelvic tilting on a Bouncy ball all on a Saturday and Sunday afternoon. I now feel like i understand what my clever body will go through. I never thought i would be able to have a water birth or be able to give birth to my baby without medical intervention, i now truly believe that i am capable of doing whatever i wish for our little ones big day. I feel more empowered than ever. Go women!

 

We have begun our Antenatal classes this month. ‘Birth to Babies’ was what we opted for. Our team of new parent troops are lovely, and our tutor Sian is very informative and makes the evening entertaining. We group up in small numbers to express fears and then try solve them, we test out birthing positions, strategies and discuss the role of our other halves. I’m now part of a ‘Yummy Mummy’s’ group in which we share advice and plan catch ups over must needed coffee and cake.

antenatal

Sometimes it’s nice to get away from it all, so my hubby and I had a treat night away at Park Farm. Swimming in their warm pool feeling light and bouncy and lounging in our luxury suite was just what we needed. I’m a sucker for a freebie, so coming into our room with salted caramel and hazelnut chocolate, wrapped up in ribbon on the bed accompanied by bottle of ice cold Shloer (pregnancy wish) was such a treat and i felt super special.

 

After our romantic getaway we thought we would make detour to visit to MLBU ward. We rang ahead and they confirmed it was quiet that day so we should pop up to visit. The rooms we could sneak a peek into had dimmed lighting, twinkly lights and birthing pools, which is perfect for me to use my new hypnobirthing techniques along with my portable music soundsystem, essential oils spray and battery candles… Like a spa they say. All of the midwives at N&N have been reassuring friendly and we are so lucky to be having our baby in their safe hands!

 

On a final note we are PACKED! Everything prepared in the boot rearing to go. I’ve tried to cleverly pack my bag that my hubby knows where to look for my ‘Give me this item now’ when i’m squealing at him and throwing raised eyebrows in his direction. Baby’s bag was the best to pack as i get to sit there all teary eyed deciding on which baby grow i love the most, and looking through the tiny socks and booties trying to match to the outfit. Hubby’s bag is filled with pants and food…. Standard.

Chelsea

 

read Chelsea’s other guest blogs here 🙂

 

to book a shoot or chart about bump and newborn shoots please use my contact form. 


bottle feeding

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on…. Baby Classes

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on…. Baby Classes

 

So, it seems that once you’ve got the baby out of you then you have to then suddenly fill your calendar with sensory classes, baby massage and bounce and rhyme classes.

During my pregnancy with my eldest I can’t really remember on finding local baby classes, or planning to attend them. It was more than likely the fact others were doing it and me feeling like I should too!

I was quite fortunate to live a few minutes from a local children’s centre where they held most of the baby classes ion my town.

Even looking back now I remember baby classes with conflicting emotions.

Elijah had colic so someone had suggested baby massage and I did put our names down to see if it would help.

By this point we had endured a NICU stay, and were waiting for a surgery date. I began to decline mentally and certainly remember feeling panicky about attending the class.

Luckily my friend also attended with me, but I still feeling some afraid that people would pick out me as the NICU Mum, and I didn’t want their pity. I was going through a really bad time of accepting what we had been through, and also what we would have to go through and meeting other mums with their healthy babies was hard.

I briefly mentioned it to the teacher in case there was any sort of medical restriction and I saw the pity in her eyes.

I did what I do best, and deflected it, providing some distraction was also Elijah who had projectile vomited all over one of those brightly coloured matts.

As much as baby classes are great for getting you out of the house, for meeting other mums I think there is also a slightly darker side to them, well that’s my experience anyway.

I found I was always comparing myself to others, and my baby too, who was bigger, was was sleeping better, who was doing what.

There is also a fear of judgement when I whipped my Tommee Tippee out of the changing bag, I felt like I was failing.

This is likely just a representation of my mental state at the time, and I am even now, very socially awkward.

I did find it quite hard to go into a room full of parents I didn’t know and to me felt as though I was being put on trial.

I tended to feel comfortable with certain mum friends and would prefer just a house play date rather than sitting in a circle singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

Over the first 18 months with Elijah we attended them sporadically, but I just don’t think we found the right fit for us. We also had a lot going on with NICU surgery, recovery etc they were just not on my top list of priorities.

I think there is a stigma surrounding baby classes too, I know of some wonderful ladies whom I have met who run their own classes and I am sure they would have certainly been better suited to us.

There are some great baby classes now on offer that are now offering something different from the norm that also help the parents out too (links below).

Greg always felt the odd one out as he tended to be the only dad and I just didn’t feel comfortable enough to keep going back.

I haven’t actually taken Harlow to a baby class and I do beat myself up he is missing out but truth is with two kids, and a trillion schedules to manage we just don’t have time. He is quite happy to play with Elijah and friends.

It has sadden me that many Children’s Centres are closing and this is where many baby classes are held, and despite me not using them much I know how important they are to others and having the access of them.

It is funny how we as parents put so much pressure on ourselves to sensor the hell out of our little ones believing it is what we should be doing at a detriment to ourselves.

I worry about this un necessary pressure on vulnerable new mums, and wish I could go back and tell that panicked mum it was all okay and it doesn’t matter because you are just doing your best.

Happy mum/dad, happy baby whether you go to baby class or not.

Yoga Babies

Baby Fit

Waterbabies

Beebops

Get Me Out the Four Walls

Vicki Cockerill is a Freelance Content Writer and NICU/CHD Mum to two boys, she authors The Honest Confessions Of A NICU Mum Blog and co-founded the @KnackeredandNorwich Social Club and campaigns for NICU and MMH issues. You can contact her via her blog or social media;

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motherhood

Be a self-care goddess this winter - GUEST BLOG

Be a self-care goddess this winter - Guest blog from Sophie aka Muffin and Puffin 

As the season draws in; showcasing autumnal hues, big knitwear, pumpkins, quality street on the shelves and the Harry Potter movies every Saturday night - it seems that hunkering down and enjoying life indoors is here for the foreseeable. Truly, it’s my favourite season but also a season where I find I sit on a delicate balance of the blues and the joys. So, I thought I would write myself a list of things to ensure I look after my self and those around me to keep it on the side of joy as much as possible.

Plan

Ever look in the shops at this time of year and wonder who is going to all these Christmas parties and where are those Christmas parties that warrant so many sequins and dresses? Well I’m not being invited to them, so I’ll make my own plans. Christmas outings, mince pies and hot chocolates with friends, woodland walks (forest bathing is IN this season) baking, movie and duvet days. I always find having small things to look forward to improves my mood greatly.

Listen

I’ve really started to enjoy podcasts… loud music makes me happy, nothing can beat insomnia-faithless while cleaning the bathroom (how rock n roll) but I’ve actually discovered some wonderful podcasts that lift my mood. Right now, I’m listening to ‘Couples Therapy’ with Casey and Candice Neistat and Dolly Alderton’s ‘Love Stories’ also an oldie but a goodie for comedy is the ‘Adam and Joe show’ for BBC6 music. Go forth and listen!

Treat

Winter can be a season of excess and with that comes guilt but eat the naughty stuff just in moderation! For me it’s not just mince pies but online shopping. There’s no greater thrill than a package in the post!

Cook

I love being in the kitchen, but a sleepless toddler makes those meals from scratch hard to make in the evening… so instead I’m planning on making chutney and sugars and various baking items and involving her in the process. Time in the kitchen in therapeutic for me… the process of selecting ingredients, chopping and then enjoying the final result… me time and a delicious meal or treat at the end.

Hobby

I am a total one for trying new things, but I’ll admit I don’t always see them through. I desperately want to be able to crochet… I bought all the gear and worked for 6 hours trying to crochet a basic square. I gave up…. So, this year I’m working on my photography and trying to read as much as I can… hobbies don’t have to be all about craft!

 

Alone

This is becoming more apparent that it is something I don’t just need but is a necessity. I am an all-round better person if I have managed to have a few hours in the week where it is just me and my head space. Now go away, it’s Netflix time.

Screens

I have been told this is a good idea… I am yet to set the rules as my job is social media and that relies on phones and screens, but I need to set boundaries with my phone and create some ‘no phone zones’! So, I’ll be making a conscious effort this winter to unplug from technology and be fully present.

Move

I won’t lie I fall in and out of love with exercise daily, I’ve never regretted a work out, but I struggle with the motivation to get there. So, I’m going to embrace the movement I do enjoy – walking. I love being outside on a cold crisp day and so does my little one. Exercise and valuable time together… the perfect combination of self-care.

So that’s my list, there’s plenty more I’m sure and if you have any other suggestions then let me know!

 

Sophie

 

Sophie Lynn

Owner @ Muffin&Puffin

‘A mini marketing company’

07738533889

www.muffinandpuffin.com -> please note website not currently live

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