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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If you love Vicki honest blog please read her other blogs here.

 

 


self care

Self-Care Isn’t Selfish

Self-Care Isn’t Selfish- guest blog by Vicki

 

When you’re a parent your needs certainly take a back seat whilst you are looking after your little person's every will, demand and tantrum.

 

It can be overwhelming and sometimes all you want to do is have a hot coffee and pee on your own.

 

Self-care today is still seen as a selfish but honestly, taking some time to do what you want to do and how you want to do it can bring back a frazzled parent in the blink of an eye.

 

But, after putting ourselves on the back burner does anyone really know how to enjoy a bit of "me time" and what you could do?!

 

Here are some self-care ideas to help you find your mojo again!

 

  1. Take a long bath on your own. It really is amazing to take a bath on your own surrounded by candles and not bath toys or an inquisitive toddler!

 

  1. Read a book. When was the last time you put your phone down and turned the TV off and just read a book?

 

  1. Go make yourself a warm drink! Yes, warm... as it was meant to be enjoyed!

 

  1. Bing watch a series and no we don't mean Paw Patrol!

 

  1. Enjoy a treat! Box of choc? Your fav sweets? A cream cake? What's your vice? The only rule you don't share it!

 

  1. Listen and dance to a song you love (no baby shark!).

 

  1. Take a nap! It is literally perhaps one of the best feelings in the world to wake up from a well-rested nap!

 

  1. Go shopping on your own. Can you remember what it was like to go shopping on your own with no little people and just for yourself?!

 

  1. Light a candle it is funny how something so simple can help alleviate the stress of a tiresome day with the kids!

 

  1. When all else fails, grab your favourite tipple because at times only a gin will do!

 

We want to hear what you do to give yourself a bit of me time and self-care?

 

How often does it happen? Not as much as it should?

 

Then start today!

 

Look after yourself, you need to if you want to look after the tiny demanding versions of yourself you created!

 

Vicki Cockerill

Read lots of our other blogs here

pregnancy yoga

25 Weeks - Pregnancy yoga

25 Weeks - Pregnancy yoga

 

Pregnancy yoga! Every Wednesday i whip on my ‘over the bump’ leggings and borrow my husbands plain grey t-shirt and head out. I bring a bottle of water with me and snacks, thinking i'll be working out a sweat. But in reality i join a group of ladies sitting cross legged on mats with pillows and blankets and we introduce ourselves and share our experiences so far within our pregnancy. We chat,  discussing birthing techniques and breathing exercises . And then we practise our yoga poses and finish with a treat biscuit. It’s really great to know your not alone with any pain your suffering , and any fears you may have. As in reality only pregnant women know how pregnant women feel, it’s good to have a network, it makes you feel empowered.

 

I treated myself this week (well partly). For my birthday friends brought me a ‘mum to be’ massage at the ‘Imagine Spa Blofield’, i finally booked it and i decided to add on a facial too. The beautician was great, she discussed my needs and desires, of which i replied… ‘Make me feel brand new!’ and i do! With still slight wrinkles but i look alot less tired! I can tell the baby loved it too as i felt lovely soft kicks and tumbles under my belly button throughout the whole spa experience. It felt like we had somewhat quality time together where i could really connect, it was beautiful. Such a TREAT! and I felt like a new women strutting to my car.

 

Our Nursery is coming together wonderfully, we had 2 plasterers working on the nursery on a very hot sweaty sunday and we’ve now had it painted a beautiful pale grey which will go great with our new white furniture. Dad to be is now very excitingly beginning his ‘mural’ on the wall above where the cotbed will sit. We decided on ‘old school’ original Winnie The Pooh, consisting of Pooh holding onto a blue balloon floating up into the wavy branches above to find the honey nested around flowing leaves. We’ve loved reading the stories to our little one and i’m sure baby knows our voices as i can feel loving hugs becoming stronger each day.

 

As with many other baby mumma’s i’m sure we would all agree it’s been lovely to have sunny skies, despite the numerous fans i had scattered throughout my house on every shelf i couldn’t regulate my body temperature with my little bun keeping me toasty. So i’m definitely happier it is cooler as i can sleep better, i feel healthier and i’m back to my perkier self.

 

I’m now excitingly awaiting our nursery delivery from the amazing ‘BabyPages’ in Necton. They were so knowledgeable on all of their products and didn’t hesitate to answer any ridiculous question i may have conjured up. Top Marks! Fully recommend checking them out if you want a good deal on kitting out your nursery!

 

Now onto our 28 week appointment...

 

read Chelsea's other blogs here


Top 8 must haves for pregnant mums in Norfolk

Top 8 must haves for pregnant mums in Norfolk

 

Although not always the most comfortable period of a woman’s life, pregnancy is truly magical. To help these exciting nine months go by as easily as possible, i’ve made a list of the eight most essential things all Norfolk mums should have when they’re expecting.

 

  1. Motherly Love – Tums and Boobs Stretch Mark Oil

 

Using specially formulated oil throughout your pregnancy can help to maintain your skin elasticity, minimising and even preventing stretch marks. Invest in good quality oil as soon as you know you’re pregnant and keep using it until after the baby is born for best results. Jan is an ex-midwife and super lovely.

 

  1. Esme Dresses

 

Most high street maternity wear is fairly samey. You’ll see a lot of stripes and dark colours but very few stylish pieces of clothing. If you want maternity items that are comfortable and eye-catching, take a look at the Esme Dresses collection. Get in touch with Laura and she can show you her wonderful collection.

 

pregnancy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Pregnancy yoga with Jackie at the Orange Grove Clinic

 

Pregnancy yoga offers mums to be a fantastic chance to relax, unwind and prepare their bodies for childbirth. It’s also a great way to meet other mums in your local area. Both Pregnancy yoga with Jackie at the Orange Grove Clinic and Yoga Bumps are perfect for mums to be in Norfolk.

 

pregnancy

 

 

 

 

  1. Pregnancy massage

 

Pregnancy can be tough on your body, so why not reward yourself with a pregnancy massage? Designed to help ease aches and pains and leave you feeling revitalised, it’s an absolute essential for all pregnant women out there.

 

  1. Pregnancy pillow

 

In the later stages of pregnancy, sleeping on your side will be your only viable option. A specially designed pregnancy pillow will make this a lot more comfortable and make it a lot more likely you’ll get a good night’s sleep. I loved mine and then used to get cosy when feeding my babies.

 

  1. Sick bands

 

Although sick bands may not work for women with severe morning sickness, for those just feeling a little queasy they can offer real relief.

 

  1. Antenatal classes

 

Antenatal classes are a fantastic way to prepare your body and your mind for being a mum.  About Birth and Babies offer free early pregnancy classes all around the Norfolk area.

 

  1. Hypnobirthing classes

 

Hypnobirthing is growing quickly in popularity with mums to be across the country. Many women find it helps to make the birth calmer, easier and less traumatic for both mum and baby. Contact Jenni at Normal Birthing or  Jackie at the Orange Grove Clinic to find out more, both are great.

 

And if you want lots of information on what’s on, local baby groups pleas check out Norwich Mumbler.

 

Another thing to consider to do before your baby arrives is book your newborn photo shoot. This wonderful time is all too fleeting, so make sure you capture it before it’s too late. I do sometimes have the odd last minute slot so if baby is here lets chat!

 

Jess


yoga retreat norfolk

Putting the Treat in Retreat : My Yoga Retreat with the Orange Grove Clinic

Putting the Treat in Retreat My Yoga Retreat with the Orange Grove Clinic

I can’t believe it's been nearly a month since I attended my first ever yoga retreat and I can’t believe I waited this long to go on one in the first place!

In return for documenting the weekend retreat for the Orange Grove Clinic, producing photos they plan to use in their marketing going forward, I spend two nights at the stunning Ringsfield Hall Eco Centre in Beccles, Suffolk.

yoga retreat norfolk

 

en’t practiced yoga as much as I would like and I have to admit I was a bit nervous, as I was when I attended a mini day retreat back in December. But like last time, there was no need to be nervous. Yoga expert Jackie Heffer-Cooke made me feel at ease as she has this relaxing and calming aura about her, and from the second I stepped through the door of Ringsfield Hall I felt instantly chilled and so excited for 2 days and 2 nights of child-free chilling out.

 

Please don't get me wrong, I love my kiddies, but this Mummy needed some time off to recharge her batteries and immerse herself in the benefits of yoga. The sun was shining and there’s no pressure to stick to a strict itinerary. The weekend included 8 hours of yoga, including some guided meditation, but you could dip in and out if you fancied doing something different. You could sit back and soak up the sun, read your book in the beautiful grounds – whatever you wanted to help you relax. The classes were great, as a fairly newbie yogi I loved every lesson and although you could sit out a session if you wanted I didn’t want to miss a single second!

At some points during the free time we had, you could go a whole hour without seeing anyone else if you wanted.

The yoga was a blend of hatha (all asana), vinyasa, yin and bhava. We also explored a bit about the history of yoga and the philosophy behind it which I found really interesting. Jackie focussed on how we can use yoga to help us in our everyday lives as well as helping us unwind for the weekend.

The shared accommodation was in a beautiful building packed with character and it really felt like a home away from home. The food was all prepared by Catherine Jeans the Family Nutritionist and it was very tasty and nutritious – just what my body needed.

 

 

The retreat was great for beginners as well as the more advanced and I never once felt self-conscious performing poses in front of people much more experience than me. Jackie explains the how and why of yoga in a way that makes sense and just clicks.

As a self-employed mum of 2 children I felt a tad guilty at first, leaving my two all weekend. But I knew all along they wouldn’t mind and would revel in spending some time with their Daddy. I really felt the benefit of attending my first ever yoga retreat both during the weekend and after – I felt free of my busy mind, I forgot about chores and enjoyed the yoga, the awesome sunshine and the lovely company of the other yogis I met.

I would hand on heart recommend this retreat and will be booking up for next year, check back on their website for booking details. webiste for booking details.

 

Jess x

 


Yoga mini retreat Norfolk

Yoga Mini Retreat Norfolk -for beginners?

Yoga Mini Retreat Norfolk -a beginners guide!

 

I started this blog on the evening before my very first Yoga Mini Retreat with Jackie from Yogabuds or also know for her wonderful co-owned business The Orange Grove clinic.  I am feeling a little nervous because despite it being on my list of things to do this year I haven't been to many yoga classes.

I am feeling a little nervous because despite it being on my list of things to do this year,  I haven't been to many yoga classes. I think I can count on one hand how many yoga classes at my local gym i actually went too. I wanted too, but something came up or it was fully booked by the time i knew i could go.

So why did i book onto the Yoga Mini Retreat ? Well firstly Jackie! I had attended Pregnancy Yoga with her about 4 years ago now (yikes time flies as a mum of 2) and i loved her approach and attitude .  I know it will be relaxing it is set at stunning Caistor Hall in Caistor St Edmunds Norfolk . I have been before to chat to some of Jackie's ladies, and loved the tranquil setting.

Yoga mini retreat Norfolk

 Photo by Jess Wilkins Photography (me)

 

Jackie knows her stuff,  I wanted this retreat to kick start my yoga and know i will find it informative, challenging (well for me) but also fun! And she promised me it is suitable for total beginners. It means I can see what I am signing up for when I start her weekly YogaBuds class in the new year. She teaches at various locations across Norwich and Norfolk.

I need the break! November and early December is my busiest time,  and with the holidays approaching i wanted some 'me' time . A Yoga Mini Retreat including lunch made by someone else really really appealed to me!

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I went along and had an amazing time! I met lots of lovely ladies of all ages . A real genuine mixture of lovely warm people.

Some like me had not really tried yoga before and some ladies were more experienced. It was not intimidating as everyone could go at their own pace, no one was looking at you.  And I didn't feel being a beginner, that I was lagging behind. As everyone quite rightly, is focusing on themselves and enjoying the day.

Jackie was very good at explaining what moves to do, why we were doing them and the benefit too. For me, this was great to make sense of it and helped me coordinate my body better. she also reminded you to 'breathe' which may sound silly to some but I need to be reminded.

We had a yummy lunch and everyone was chatty and friendly. The afternoon focused on more gentle yoga with some fab relaxation, which again is all new to me. It was sooooo good for me to quieten my busy mind and chill/ breathe.

 

I came away totally calm, relaxed and recharged. I loved it and really believe anyone wanting to try yoga should attend a class with Jackie or get on the next retreat. It is great for total beginners and for any ablity . As Jackie said on the day , having some 'me' time is not selfish. It was very much needed , and I cannot wait for the weekend retreat - yes 2 whole days child-free&  full of yoga eeeek!

 

Jess x