BRAND IN FOCUS // THE POSITIVE BIRTH COMPANY

I’ll try and be brief with the introduction here, because I’m doing my upmost to avoid all and any negativity right now!

(I’m currently 40 weeks and 2 days pregnant). 

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My pregnancy with Eli wasn’t straight forward. We had a lot of complications and constant monitoring. We were high risk. Then came labour. I won’t go into the details, but I had a pretty awful and traumatic labour with Eli. I was induced at almost 42 weeks, I had no say in the labour, it was an agonising 30+ hours with every intervention possible. It all ended in a whirlwind of a dodgy episiotomy and ventouse that saw the room fill with 15+ people and before the threat of emergency C-Section.

It was VERY medical. I was never given options – I accepted what was told to me, because heck, Doctors know best, right?

We knew no different. We actually thought it was a ‘normal’ labour!

Following the stress of Eli’s pregnancy and in hindsight, the trauma of his birth, plus my miscarriage in-between; falling with this my third pregnancy, I KNEW something had to change.

My anxiety was through the roof when we began trying again; despite my medication and an abundance of self-help. The anxiety was surely inevitable following a miscarriage, yes. But the anxiety surrounding labour didn’t need to be there. This is where Hypnobirthing comes in…


I started researching into Hypnobirthing properly as soon as I got the second line on that pregnancy test back in November 2018.

My initial belief was that Hypnobirthing was all about being hypnotised during labour… L O L. No, it’s definitely nothing to do with being hypnotised. But after reading the birth stories on forums and blogs, I still sat on the sceptical fence… I mean, what even is this HIPPY, DIPPY, BALONEY?!

The more I read, the more I became obsessively intrigued by it. To the point where, yep, you guessed right, my anxiety surrounding labour took a real back-seat.

Having used The Yes Mum cards for daily affirmations I ordered the book: Your Baby, Your Birth.  I would pick the book up and fall asleep and it became clear I needed something more engaging. I also wanted to do something that James could get involved with at the same time. Local classes were really expensive and not at convenient times for us.  It’s certainly worth mentioning here too that James found my labour with Eli horrendous. He felt totally helpless and all he could do was sit beside me with his hands turning white under my constant clench. Him being there was all I needed at that time, but he will be first to admit that its scarred him somewhat – he definitely experienced birth trauma too. This time he wanted to be helpful, to have a real role in my pregnancy and subsequently, the labour.

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Then pops up The Positive Birth Company on Instagram. Boom. I began following and was hooked. Incidentally, Siobhan had been following me too and very kindly offered for us to give her Digital Course a try.

I obviously jumped at the chance! I’d read that starting a Hypnobirthing course would be best from 28 weeks onwards. But as we had it at 25 weeks, it seemed daft not to begin straight away.

Once my profile was all set up on the Digital Pack, I familiarised myself with the platform. From a user point of view, it’s a really neat and simple platform first of all. It’s organised perfectly and so easy to use. The branding is spot on too – which really helps when you’re trying to learn but also ‘zone out’, the colours and fonts used are quite obviously well-thought through. I was so impressed with how thorough the course looked – six sections with everything you could ever possibly need to know (and more!) surrounding pregnancy, labour, birth and beyond.

It came to bedtime so we grabbed the laptop, put candles on and cosied up in bed with the first of the 6 sections in the Digital Pack. Each section is from 40-60+ minutes long. So you want to dedicate some real quality time to this. We decided we would look at one section a night – where possible; spreading it over days where needed, so it wasn’t too much information at once.

We were immediately into it. Siobhan has such a gentle and clear tone – plus the information was exceptionally thorough and we really, really enjoyed learning. We were pausing videos along the way to recap what we’d learned so far- and again when we had decisions to plan between us. Learning to use more positive ‘birth language’ still has me on my toes at times – for instance, we refer to contractions as a Surge  – it just rids the questioning of any negativity and apprehension that could slow labour down. Likewise, talking about the ‘power’ of a surge, as opposed to the amount of pain I’m in, will help me to understand how my body is working to birth my baby – allowing my body to be in total and instinctive control of the labour.

I think we’d both agree that one of the most interesting sections for both of us was the SCIENCE section. We both learned SO MUCH about the female body and what it goes through during pregnancy, labour and birth. I honestly can’t believe I’ve reached the age of 33 , having had one child, not knowing some of the actual childbirth process. I feel like Siobhan really needs to take elements of this course into schools – its been a true education for us!

One of the best bits of this course has been getting to grips with the roles each of us will ‘play’ once labour begins. My only job here is to remember my Up & Down breathing and to keep calm, relaxed and at ease. Whereas James has an actual  list of things he will be seeking to fulfil – something he’s genuinely excited about and so grateful to have responsibility for; especially following the helplessness he felt during my labour with Eli.

It’s also worth highlighting here that Hypnobirthing isn’t just for ‘normal’ vaginal delivery – this is an education that will take you through all aspects of labour, whether that be via water, land or theatre – whether thats planned theatre or unplanned. The relaxation tools and techniques will enable you to have confidence in your OWN decisions during labour and birth (and postpartum too!). The tools will give you back the control of your labour. This feeling of being in full control is something that I’m finding very empowering after such a dreadful labour with Eli.

After completing all 6 sections of the Digital Pack, you can quickly review specific sections in the Course Notes Booklet (which you can download and print – we’re taking a copy with my Maternity notes) – which is great for back-referencing. There are also a series of MP3’s included too, which have been so invaluable during my pregnancy – especially these later weeks when I can often get into bed feeling deflated. I listen to the Positive Affirmations for Pregnancy MP3 on repeat when I’m in the bath or for an hour or so, as soon as I get in bed. This normally soothes me into a lovely slumber (before I’m awoken shortly after for my first loo-trip of the night!). I can imagine this MP3 being perfect during labour – I’d been looking at Spa Music to play – but actually, I think I’d prefer to have the MP3 running in the background as a reminder that I’m getting closer to meeting my baby.

 

On top of all of this, you also get a (now editable!) downloadable PDF template for highlighting your birth preferences; should you wish to prepare any.  Obviously, you can do this yourself, but the sections on the template are perfectly set out and clear to read in a rush. My midwife was very impressed when I presented them at my 36 week appointment (!). My birth preferences have completely changed since starting this Hypnobirthing course – and again since reading the positive birth stories on the closed Facebook community page (which you also get access too once you sign up for the course!). Reading these stories every day has been so helpful in cementing the notion that I CAN do this and I WILL do this – whenever my baby decides is the right time.

To surmise, I can quite honestly say that this Digital Course has changed our lives. Obviously; we have the birth bit to come. But I have to say that the course, by @thepositivebirthmama (and her amazingly soothing voice), has provided such wisdom, scientific facts, relaxation tools and the foresight to retain control this time; for both @jameshill.tv and I. Weirdly, I am actually excited for labour to begin – however and whenever it does happen✨ And I most certainly would not be feeling this way had we not studied this course. I’m not even sure I would have gotten through the last 20 weeks so easily without it either. How many people can say that?

Thank you so much @thepositivebirthcompany for making me feel so different this time around – and the tools you’ve taught us both will continue to be helpful for life in general postpartum, I’m certain 🖤 We’re both shocked at how informed and relaxed and prepared we feel.

I will be doing a full write-up post-labour, however it pans out! But for now, I cannot recommend @thepositivebirthcompany enough. Currently pregnant? You MUST go forth and seek for yourself!

C
✖️✖️✖️

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MORE FROM THE POSITIVE BIRTH COMPANY

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Upon completing the course, I purchased the Little pack of positivity directly from The Positive Birth Company website. Each pack contains 28 cards, each with a positive affirmation for pregnancy. I immediately placed the cards around our house where I would see them as a little reminders; reducing anxiety and boosting confidence around birth. The more confident you are, the more relaxed you will feel. The more relaxed you are the better your birth will be.

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Also available, to continue your understanding of Hypnobirthing (or instead of doing the course), you can find Hypnobirthing: Practical Ways to make your Birth Better, by founder, Siobhan Miller. The book is widely available, including from Amazon.co.uk, here.

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Now that I’m mentally prepared for labour – I also wanted to share the accompanying App by the Positive Birth Company. The FREYA app is currently available on the App store. I’ve used it frequently when tracking Braxton Hicks – again, its simple to use, effective and we know this is going to be an essential when labour begins for real. During the timing of surges, the Up Breathing soundtrack is so useful  – especially if you don’t want your birth partner to attempt to do it for you (we tried and I found James’ voice too distracting – and we also creased up when he attempted to read out the positive affirmations too).

“Freya is the world’s first hypnobirthing-friendly surge (contraction) timer and virtual birth partner. She will coach you through each surge with a simple breathing technique and help you to relax in between with positive affirmations, calming visualisations and guided relaxation. The more relaxed you are, the more efficient and comfortable your labour will be. Freya will help you to remain calm and in control throughout. She will also keep track of how frequently your surges are coming and how long they are lasting. She will even let you know when it might be a good idea to contact your midwife! Freya will be with you every step – or surge – of the way!”

ALSO COMING SOON – THE POSTPARTUM COURSE.

Follow @ThePositiveBirthCompany for the latest details!

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MORE ABOUT SIOBHaN MILLER

Expert hypnobirthing teacher and founder of The Positive Birth Company Siobhan Miller has made it her mission to change the way women around the world approach and experience birth. Through her teaching she seeks to educate and empower women – and their birth partners – so that they can enjoy amazing and positive birth experiences, however they choose to bring their babies into the world.

Siobhan debunks common myths about hypnobirthing and explains why she believes it can make every type of birth a better experience – from a water birth at home to an unplanned caesarean in theatre.

So, what is hypnobirthing? Essentially, it’s a form of antenatal education, an approach to birth that is both evidence-based and logical. Hypnobirthing certainly doesn’t involve being hypnotised; instead, it teaches you how your body works on a muscular and hormonal level when in labour and how you can use various relaxation techniques to ensure you are working with your body (rather than against it), making birth more efficient and comfortable.

Siobhan’s advice and guidance will change your mindset and enable you to navigate your birth with practical tools that ensure you feel calm and in control throughout.

By the time you finish this course  you’ll feel relaxed, capable and genuinely excited about giving birth.

To read more about how and why Siobhan started The Positive Birth Company, please click here.

 

 


For clarity, I was kindly #gifted The Digital Course by The Positive Birth Company. This is not a sponsored, paid post or an ad – but does contain a highlighted Affiliate link, above.

I only shout about items that I genuinely believe in, so be safe in the knowledge that I’m in love The PBC!

PREGNANCY & ME // THE DUE WINDOW

As I sit  bounce on my birth ball and write this post, I am currently 40 weeks and 2 days pregnant.

The “Any news?” and the “How are you feeling today…. ?” and the “Any twinges?” and the “Any sign of movement?” and the “Do you think it’ll be today?” and even the “ARE YOU IN LABOUR?!” messages are coming in thick and fast. In fact, they’ve been coming in thick and fast since around 35 weeks. Granted, the influx of messages this past week isn’t helped by my stint on BBC Radio 1 with Scott Mills & Chris Stark; that was my bad. But also, imagine this, 5 weeks of daily messages that aren’t really helping with my precious Oxytocin* levels.

*Oxytocin is the ‘love hormone’. The hormone we release when we feel good. This exact same hormone is responsible for every single surge we experience during labour. The hormone that drives your labour is Oxytocin – so we want to ensure our body is filled with Oxytocin!

I know the messages are well meaning and I know they’re from a good place, mostly of excitement for us all, which is lovely! Even when its from the random ‘friend’ with whom you’re “friends” with on Facebook, but haven’t spoken to since you left school or the SECURITY GUARD in sodding Waitrose! I’ve been polite and responded with my favourite affirmation, “My baby will come when my baby is ready”. – Which I know has caused some annoyance, but it is a true statement and it’s my go-to affirmation! Let’s be honest though, we really aren’t going to forget to message or indeed announce the arrival of our little babe. Honestly, we won’t…. Unless the messages and calls and comments keep coming, in which case, maybe we won’t tell you anything  😉 (To say that, The First Fourty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing a New Mother is looking very favourable right now, would not be an understatement 😉 haha)

So, with this all in mind, my phone is either on silent or on Do Not Disturb…or perhaps I’m resting/nesting/napping/busy hanging with Eli. And if I do happen to open a message regarding the imminent arrival of our little one, even if its sent under the clever guise of “How are you doing today? Not as hot, which must be great for you!“, then I’m truthfully sorry, but I just cannot reply to these messages or comments any longer. James will update you instead. I’ve already taken myself away from social media (if you hadn’t noticed). The pressure of going into the later stages of my ‘due window’ and receiving daily communications like the above is driving me to distraction. I was tempted to switch my phone off completely… but I would assume that reaching the answer phone would only stir up additional excitement. So Do Not Disturb and having James monitor my messages it is. This might sound drastic or even dramatic, but in the most polite of terms, I have to put myself first now. I struggle with anxiety, and I’m dealing with all-sorts in me head as it is, so from my own personal perspective, this is just something that I need to do.

Being ‘overdue’ is exactly why we should be given a DUE WINDOW – or a ‘due month’. Every NHS provider here in the UK will allow a woman to reach 42 weeks before any medical assistance. And even then, we can decline intervention of any kind, unless there is a medical necessity of course. Therefore your ‘due window’ ranges from 37 weeks to 42 weeks. As my sister pointed out the other day, women have been giving birth for millions of years without assistance – they’ve also been giving birth without a specific time slot for the baby’s arrival too.

The obsession on due dates is mind-blowing. The pressure on women to give birth by an exact date is ridiculous. Dates can be wrong, really wrong. My cycle following my miscarriage went from being a standard 28 days to anything up to 35 days. I don’t know the exact moment I ovulated and I don’t know the exact moment I conceived this little babe. My body is not a robot, and neither is my baby. So how on earth is the baby meant to know when to arrive?! She doesn’t get an alarm clock in there that goes off at 40 weeks.  In actual fact, here in the UK, only 3-5% of babies are born on their ‘due date’. Thats potentially 97% of women going into the later stages of their own due window. This is quite commonplace. And even though I’ve been doing alllllllll of the old wives tales (Curry, Pineapple – of which has now severely blistered my tongue, x3 cups of Raspberry Leaf Tea a day, 6 dates a day etc), NOTHING will kickstart labour unless the mother is relaxed, calm and at ease. Any slight stress or apprehension, (darling family and friends, I am really sorry, but the messages are included here) WILL stop labour from starting. This most certainly happened with Eli so I have been doing EVERYTHING I can to avoid the trauma of Eli’s labour and birth happening a second time around – with Hypnobirthing playing the integral part here <<<< That will be my next post.

So, until I’m stress-free and relaxed, my baby will not release the hormone, Fibronectin. Yes, this is getting very Science, but as I said, this is not down to me, this is all precise science. Fibronectin is the protein produced by the baby which is released into the amniotic sac. This protein is then picked up by the cervix and given the go ahead to start labour. My baby quite literally knows when and how to be born.

Here is a list of things keeping me busy in the meantime:

  • “My baby will come when my baby is ready” – by literal means, as mentioned above. I trust that my baby and my body will work together when the time is right. My baby is cosy and healthy and safe in there right now. She’s still kicking the crap out of my ribs and undercarriage. So thats the main thing!
  • Napping.
  • Cleaning and tidying, again.
  • Probably re-packing my hospital bags for the 100th time.
  • Waking every hour during the night to empty what appears to be a full bladder that comes from god only knows where.
  • Ordering a take away because its too hot and I’m too tired to cook.
  • Enjoying the final days/weeks of my pregnancy – I feel so lucky to have had these last 9 months with my bump (despite the sickness, the additional appointments, the SPD and despite the hot, hot heat!). If this is the last time I’m pregnant, I really want to treasure it in the final stages.
  • Practicing my Hypnobirthing affirmations and Up/Down breathing.
  • Over-using my birth ball.
Bathing in Clary Sage, eating all the chocolate and drinking all the faux-prosecco!

 

  • Likely to be nagging delegating jobs to James.
  • Most importantly of all, I’m cherishing being able to hang out with our nearly 7 year old boy who’s life is also about to be turned upside down when his little sister finally decides to arrive. The Summer holidays have fallen at just the right time for us – so I’m treating these final days, just us two, as a real luxury.

I know and understand its difficult to be patient when you’re excited for us – we’re desperately trying to be patient too! And also please know, that this post isn’t meant to cause offence, its more just a way to update you all with were we’re at. I apologise profusely if this does offend; this is sincerely not my intention and I really hope you can all understand. We honestly appreciate all of the kind words and messages; I will look back over everything when the babe is here 🙂 James will also be in touch when anything of significance happens. And we promise we won’t forget to let you know when she does to decide to arrive Earthside.

Which you never know, could always be sooner than we think 🙂

C
✖️✖️✖️

 

 

 

BRAND IN FOCUS // AMAZON.co.uk – THE BABY WISHLIST

Baby Wishlist

When it comes to a new baby, regardless of whether its your first or 5th child, you will ALWAYS need to buy new things/newborn safety products/textiles/GENERAL STUFF. Plus, there’s always something new thats come out to make life as a new parent easier too.

When we had Eli, we were pretty organised. We love a spreadsheet and we love a bit of market research as it happens too. Getting organised was a real pleasure and never, ever a chore. We spent  a lot of time researching exactly what we needed and using the spreadsheets helped keep us in check with budgets too. Once you’re into the swing of this new parenting lark, you will realise that there are more items that you simply cannot live without. You won’t know this until the baby is earth-side and understand how your baby works and what their additional needs may be. You’re learning on the job basically.

When it came to this pregnancy we were obviously excited to get organised again. We pulled out the pram and got it cleaned up. Went through all the old furniture, toys and essentials. As there is a 7 year age gap between our two children, some things we had sold, donated to charities or as we sadly found, a lot of the remaining items had actually perished (yes, you read right, we’ve actually had plastic items, electronics and textiles perish) after 5 house moves and their years in storage. Out came the old spreadsheet and we continued to add to it as we remembered all the items we really could have done with in those early weeks/months with Eli. SO many new items have launched since we had Eli in 2012; that will definitely help us and keep our little family unit afloat amongst the newborn chaos that will very soon ensue.

So? Whats this a bout a wishlist then?

WELL, stranger on the internet, I just had to share the secondary helper in all this organisation. Let me introduce you to >>>The Amazon Baby Wishlist.

Firstly, this has been great for us to keep track of what we still need to buy and what we’ve managed to get. Amazon is usually the cheapest place to find items; with the exception of individual retailer sales and promotions. We always cross-check before we buy online. But in general, Amazon.co.uk is our go-to! Its been great for budgeting too.

So? What’s so good about it then?

Well, let me talk you through how it works!

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 // CREATE YOUR WISHLIST

This is mega simple to set up with your details, including potential baby arrival date. You can have a few users who can participate in adding to the wishlist – this is helpful for when James and I are both looking at different items and can easily see what eachother has found. You can also see what has been purchased too (this is great when you’re sharing the wishlist, but I’ll get to that bit shortly).

// ADD ITEMS FROM ANY WEBSITE OR BROWSE THE AMAZON CURATED LISTS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

The curated lists are really helpful, especially for first-time parents!

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// PLANNING ON A BABY SHOWER? OR SIMPLY WANT TO SHARE YOUR LIST?

This is a great, great tool! You can easily share the link of your wishlist with friends and family so they know *exactly* what you would like, or in our case, exactly what we NEED. This also means you’re not getting duplicate items from well-meaning gift-givers or items that you really don’t need or have the space for! Thus saving your friends and family time and money too.

 

// FINALLY, ADD ITEMS AS YOU GO AND KEEP TRACK OF EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE

As mentioned earlier, this is great for when several users are adding to the list. Again, also useful to see what’s already been purchased – especially when you’ve shared your list with friends and family, so no duplicate items! James has a tendency to delete items from the list once purchased. But there’s no reason why you can’t leave items on the list as the status changes to “Purchased”.

And thats not all!

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FREE WELCOME GIFT
An exciting new gift is released each month, choose one and make it yours.
Claim yours here >

 

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SAVE UP TO 30%

Prepare for baby’s arrival by saving up to 30% on a wide range of baby items.

// Spend £200 to receive 10% off. Use code WISHLIST10

// Spend £500 to receive 15% off. Use code WISHLIST15

// Spend £800 to receive 20% off. Use code WISHLIST20

// Spend £1000 to receive 30% off. Use code WISHLIST30. (Prime members onlY)

 

We managed to take advantage of the 20% code above – it worked out so well – especially as we had been given gift cards too. We managed to get £800+ worth of items for £360 in the end! There are several terms and conditions to being able to take full advantage of the codes above however – so make sure you read all the details here. Our main issue when trying to checkout was the delivery, oddly. For this promotion to apply, you need to make sure you select the same delivery option for all items being shipped, for example, all items must be dispatched to you using FREE delivery or all PRIME etc.

Head to the Baby Store on Amazon.co.uk to get started! You’ll find the ‘Add to Baby Wishlist‘ button on each product page, in the right hand navigation, as I’ve highlighted for you below:

If you’re pregnant or know someone who is, please share this blog post with them. It’s honestly been so much quicker, easier and CHEAPER for us using this Amazon Baby Wishlist this time!

C
✖️✖️✖️


For clarity, this is not a sponsored or paid post – but does contain Affiliate links.

I only shout about items that I genuinely believe in however, so be safe in the knowledge that I’m in love with this Baby Wishlist tool!

PREGNANCY & ME // THE HOSPITAL BAG

So last time I packed my hospital bag for labour, I packed WAY TOO MUCH. We ended up taking a medium sized suitcase, a bag for me, the changing bag, a bag for James AND a bag full of food and drinks and snacks. We didn’t even open the suitcase during labour and James could have done without a bag, I could have done without a bag and I’m SO GLAD we have a PROPER changing bag* this time around (its mega organised).

*Kindly #gifted by the wonder women at Tiba + Marl

If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can see a bit of that nonsense here >>> I’VE FINALLY DONE IT! HOSPITAL BAG(S) ARE PACKED!

Don’t get me wrong, you do NEED to take a lot of STUFF into hospital with you, if thats where you’re choosing to birth your baby, of course! If you’re opting for a home-birth, then:

  1. I envy you (!!)
  2. You will have everything you need at your immediate disposal…
  3. …although, some of the below items may still be useful for home birth – and could be useful to have packed incase of a hospital transfer too.

So here we go, a list for the Mama, a list for the Baba and a list for your birth partner – plus a list of things that are good to have sorted and at hand for when the time comes. I’ll add in links for you to quick shop where possible too!

 


FOR ME //

To have packed in suitcase //

Hynobirthing essentials //

**DO NOT USE CLARY SAGE OIL BEFORE 37 WEEKS OF PREGNANCY.

Other items for consideration //

  • Your pillow from home
  • Pregnancy pillow
  • Socks with grip – some women get cold feet during labour
  • Music / CD’s
  • A treat for the Midwives for afterwards
  • Plastic water jug – can be helpful for easing the pain of your first toilet trips afterwards
  • Birth ball – if your hospital doesn’t supply them
  • TENS Machine – if you plan on using one
  • Make-up if you’re that way inclined
  • Small pack of Dettol wipes – if you’re concerned about cleanliness post-birth
  • Hot water bottle – to help ease back pain

 

A few ideas for food, drinks, snacks //

  • Eat little & often!
  • Pack your favourite snacks that are easy to chew down and won’t wilt in the heat of the hospital – items of high energy are what you need!
  • Cereal bars
  • Bananas
  • Frozen drinks – it’s quite hot on the wards,  a frozen drink will melt slowly, so will be much nicer than warm bottled water!
  • Bottles of water / Isotonic drinks – avoid fizzy drinks!
  • Glucose tablets
  • Bendy straws/a sports bottle/bottle with straw – useful for drinking at any angle!
  • Peppermint teabags – useful for trapped wind and cramps afterwards

 

 

FOR JAmes //

  • Clean clothing for James, my birth partner
  • Food, snacks, drinks
  • Toiletries – Deodorant, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Mouthwash, Skincare items / wipes
  • Car Seatwe’ve gone for another MAXI COSI car seat this time as we loved the security of the one we had for Eli, but the laws have all changed since he was a newborn. Just a reminder that many NHS trusts will not allow the baby to leave the department WITHOUT proof of a car seat for safety reasons.

To have ready to hand //

  • Birth preferences
  • Maternity notes
  • Cash for car park
  • Pen & Paper – just incase you need to leave a note in a hurry
  • Cash for payphone – there might not be signal. The battery might go on your phone!
  • List of important phone numbers on paper
  • In the lead-up to your ‘due window’, ensure you have enough fuel in the car
  • Headphones & Eye Mask for the journey to the hospital

 

FOR BABY BRISTON-HILL //

Is there anything I’m missing from above, that might prove absolutely essential for you during labour or afterwards? Comment below or send me a message and I’ll get it added in!

For ease – you can check my most favourite essentials out via the SHOP, here>>> HOSPITAL BAG

C
✖️✖️✖️

 


For clarity, this is not a sponsored or paid post – but does contain some Affiliate links. I was also kindly #gifted a few items, as highlighted above – this was not in exchange for payment or a post. They’re just damn lovely and generous women!

I only shout about items that I genuinely believe in however, so be safe in the knowledge that I’m in love with these essential baby items!

PREGNANCY MUST-HAVE’S // THE PREGNANCY PILLOW

I asked the question – Can you recommend a brilliant pregnancy pillow please? – to my IG stories following. The top three answers were:

BB HugMe Pillow – RRP £138

 

 

Image result for dream genii white
DreamGenii – RRP £50
ClevaMama Pillow – RRP £90

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

I wanted to wait until post-12 week scan to order, because I still had pregnancy anxiety. After a lot of further research, and although the most expensive of the pillows we looked at, post-12 weeks we ordered the BBHugMe Pillow in the luscious Dusky Pink colourway. (The pillow also comes in several additional colours – there are also additional spare colours available too – I’ve added these all to my SHOP. CLICK HERE). We felt there was more than enough evidence to suggest it was the best one for me – plus it could be used post-partum with the babe being able to relax on it/Eli being able to relax on it/us being able to relax on it, as well as a support whilst feeding.

bbhugme makes mums and babies happier, through a simple idea: a pillow for support to sit, lie and sleep comfortably throughout pregnancy and early childhood.

 

We managed to get quite a good deal on the pillow by going via Topcashback and then had a promotional code for Jo Jo Maman Bebe itself! The pillow looks great in the bedroom, it really doesn’t look out of place aesthetically – like my old one did – it looks like its just a luxury additional pillow! It also looks smashing on the sofa, where I have been using it more frequently when laying watching TV (when I’m not swaying on my Yoga ball of course).

 

I’m now 30 weeks pregnant and I can quite honestly say that this pillow has changed my life. Nay, it’s changed the life of Eli and indeed, James too! We all absolutely love it.

 

At 30 weeks, I’m currently up once in the night for a toilet trip – by this point with Eli, I was up several times. I’m not saying this scientifically, but from my experience, I’m going to put my excellent (current) bladder routine down to the BBHUGME Pillow. The way it supports my bump and pelvis MUST be working alongside in support of my bladder too.

And whats even better is, I get so comfortable, so easily and quickly, that I’m drifting off to sleep in a much more relaxed way too. I’ve often had to read/watch TV/listen to music to fall asleep – I’ve always need distractions to ease me off – but not now! I can happily and proudly say, I fall straight to sleep, on my own, no distractions necessary!  I can see this pillow in bed with me for the long run… sorry James!

SO, to surmise, I’d say so far, this is the best pregnancy item that we’ve ever bought. Yes, its more pricey, but you cannot put a price on the comfort, support and peaceful slumber I’ve been able to get from the pillow this time. This pillow can be adjusted to just how you like it as the beads inside are flexible – this means the pillow will grow with all shapes and sizes throughout pregnancy and beyond. It comes with a carry bag if you’re travelling about – and guess what else? The cover is machine washable – praise be!

I cannot recommend this product enough! Currently pregnant? GO GET A BBHUGME NOW!

For product details, information on the design of this product and the experts behind the BBHUGME pillow, please read below.

C
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MORE ABOUT THE BBHUGME PILLOW

Developed by natural and medical health professionals

Bbhugme was created by three chiropractors from Norway, Hilde, Ann Kristin and Elisabeth, who shared a deep interest in chiropractic care of pregnant women, moms and babies. They saw many teary, sleep-deprived women who were suffering from pelvic and back pain before, during and after pregnancy. The three realised that the women needed even more support and care – a long-lasting, take-home solution that could support them beyond the care they get at clinics. This was the origin of the bbhugme pillow.

A better pillow

The three chiropractors got together with designers to make a unique pillow that mothers could count on for support. The pillow comes from focus on the details that mapper. The right shape, filled with a specific size and type of mirco-beads, gives sturdy, but flexible support for every body type. The pillow fabric is elastic, yet strong enough to avoid being ripped when used. Allergy- and eco-friendliness are also important. For nursing the baby, it helps if the pillow can be strapped around the body. Zippers and velcro aren’t soft enough, so we use a tie that allows mothers to remove and wash the outer sleeve.

The hard work that went into the design process was recognized in 2015, when bbhugme won “Best Design Award” from The Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture.

Serving mothers around the world

From serving Norwegian customers, the company has grown and is now expanding into Europe and the USA. Sales through retailers, chiropractors and online are growing quickly. What remains the same is that we’re a company driven by professionalism, passion and care for the pregnant women and mothers that we created bbhugme for. It’s their stories of relaxation, contentment and comfort that have made this project worth it.

Meet the experts

bbhugme® products are tested and quality approved by out panel of specialists in health, motherhood and design. They know a lot about caring for women and new families. They’re also curious and caring, always out to learn more – and share what they know.

DR. HILDE TAVARES

DR. HILDE TAVARES

FOUNDER | CHIROPRACTOR

Hilde is an innovator, instructor, speaker, entrepreneur – and mother to three lively children. She’s practiced family wellness care in Norway since 2002 and has an advanced degree in musculoskeletal health in pregnancy and paediatrics.

“I’m passionate about supporting and caring for women and their partners through pregnancy, birth and infancy.”

ANN KRISTIN HOMDRUM

ANN KRISTIN HOMDRUM

FOUNDER | CHIROPRACTOR

Ann Kristin is a chiropractor, author, speaker and entrepreneur, who has dedicated her life to learning and teaching about conscious health decisions. She specializes in chiropractic care for pregnant women and children and breastfeeding support.

“I believe in enjoying family life to the fullest, through a natural and healthy lifestyle.”

TINE FJELDSTAD

TINE FJELDSTAD

PSYCHOLOGIST | PSYCHOTHERAPIST

Tine is a specialist in neurology and cognition for the female brain with hormonal influence. She runs a clinic in Oslo, offering

therapy for individuals and families, in partnership with other experts in pregnancy, yoga and holistic medicine.

“I’m dedicated to supporting and preparing pregnant women and new families for a new phase in their lives.”

ÅSA LIND MELIN

ÅSA LIND MELIN

MIDWIFE

In 25 years, Åsa’s nearly done it all, in midwifery, birth, pregnancy care, and women’s health.

She’s trained in baby massage and Shiatsu massage for pregnant women, worked in delivery wards, managed a private practice and operated her own midwifery practice, and counselled clients on pregnancy and birth.

“I help prepare families for the rollercoaster that starts with a new baby arriving in the home.”

 

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For clarity, this is not a sponsored or paid post – but does contain some Affiliate links.

I only shout about items that I genuinely believe in however, so be safe in the knowledge that I’m in love with this product!

BRAND IN FOCUS // VANS x DAVID BOWIE

THE Vans x David Bowie Collaboration HAS LAUNCHED

Vans sneakers are classic. David Bowie? Also classic. Finally, after several sneak previews, the VANS x BOWIE celebration collection has launched today!

Vans pays homage to the icon’s legacy with an Off The Wall collection of footwear and apparel. Drawing inspiration from some of Bowie’s most influential works, this collaboration celebrates a joint force between Vans and “the man who fell to earth”- two entities who for decades have championed the different and the strange, leaving a lasting impression on generations of misfits.

For the sneaker fans, there are all the greatest Vans hits, all of which modelled after a Bowie album—like Ziggy Stardust Sk8-Hi’s or Aladdin Sane Old-Skools My personal favourite!) And if you’re not in the market for footwear, there are tees and hats in the mix, too. The full range consists of 6 pairs of trainers, along with Bowie-branded t-shirts and baseball caps.

Shoe sizes appear to range from UK size 2.5 through to UK 12. Clothing sizes start at XS through to XXL.

House of Vans has also released details of a special night of Bowie’s music, art and fashion planned for London’s House Of Vans on 11th April – if I could be there, I would be, with all of the bells on!

A statement on the House Of Vans event reads: “From Bowie-themed photo opportunities and face painting workshops to live music performances, the venue will be alight with the spirit of Bowie. Let’s Dance DJs, DJ Scarlett and Atlantic Soul Orchestra, plus Wall To Wall Bowie and the Blues Kitchen’s in-house band will provide the music and perform some of Bowie’s greatest hits.”

Tickets are free, with those interested asked to register at the House Of Vans website 

Check out some images of the new range below. Which are your favourite? If only they came in Kids sizing – we’d be all over this range!

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‘Aladdin Sane’ Old Skool – £75.00
CLICK TO BUY
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‘Hunky Dory’ Slip-On – £65.00
CLICK HERE TO BUY
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‘Ziggy Stardust’ Sk8-Hi Platform – £90.00
CLICK TO BUY

 

 

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‘Blackstar’ Slip-On – £60.00
CLICK HERE TO BUY

 

 

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‘Space Oddity’ Era – £65.00
CLICK HERE TO BUY
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‘Bowie’ Sk8-Hi – £80.00
CLICK HERE TO BUY
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‘Serious Moonlight’ Trucker Hat – £28.00
CLICK TO BUY
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‘Aladdin Sane’ T-Shirt – £28.00
CLICK TO BUY
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‘Ziggy Stardust’ T-Shirt – £28.00
CLICK TO BUY

 

 

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‘Aladdin Sane’ Jockey Hat – £28.00
CLICK TO BUY

 

 

 

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For clarity, this is not a sponsored or paid post – but does contain Affiliate links to VANS.com (UK site). I only promote items that I genuinely like however, so be safe in the knowledge that I’m in love with this brand collaboration.

PREGNANCY & ME // UPDATE: 1

Image may contain: ultrasound

 

A few weeks back we had our 20 week scan and we’re ridiculously excited to say, we’re having a baby GIRL! 🖤🖤🖤

An ACTUAL baby girl! ⚡️🖤✌️

I’m almost 23 weeks pregnant now and still feeling waves of disbelief that I have a little girl growing super well inside me. But believe me when I say, we would have been happy either way. Especially considering how long it’s taken to get to this point – a healthy baby is all we wish for.

Eli has been desperate for a sibling for as long as I can remember now and he will be the BEST Big Bro, we just know it. He reckons his little sister is going to be “annoying” but we know he’s happy deep down 😂 Oh and he refused to have his photo taken with the scan of his little sister (!!!) because he was down with the pox 🙈

I always vowed that if we had a girl, I wouldn’t be into dressing her in all that pink stuff! Well, when I said that, I might have been lying because so far, all I have bought is PINK! Ha. It’s all just too cute though man!

The pictured Big Bro Tee is from the gorgeous @lennieandco; which we bought it ahead of our last pregnancy in 2017. It’s been sat in Eli’s wardrobe, waiting for a happy baby announcement since. Incidentally, the 20 week scan that we had, was originally scheduled to be Friday 15th March – which was our due date for my second pregnancy. It would have could have been a 1st birthday for that pregnancy🌈 I had to get the date changed. It just didn’t seem ‘right’.  It all feels a little bit happy sad🖤
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TODAY // 15th March 2019

No photo description available.

Today is 15th March. The due date given for our second pregnancy✨
Today could have/would have/should have (???) been a first birthday for a little one we will never hold. A little one we will never meet. A little one who gave us hope and dreams.

Having had such wonderful news at the 20 week scan of our third pregnancy on Tuesday; it’s safe to say this week I have been on a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions. Pregnancy after loss is such a tricky and confusing and emotional time to try and navigate your way through. Happiness and sadness. Guilt? It’s a weird one. But I’m allowing myself to feel all of the feelings.

I know a few of my friends IRL and on here are going through a tough time this week. So this page from @rupikaur_’s “Milk and Honey” is for you too. Do not resist giving yourself space and time to think – to grieve – to feel anger, hurt, pain and happiness too.

If you can’t see the image above, the verse reads:

it is part of the

human experience to feel pain

do not be afraid

open yourself to it

– evolving

 

I’m allowing myself to remember today. But also to breathe the relief in that I have a beautiful, healthy 🌈 baby, wriggling inside me right now. And I’ve never felt more lucky 🌿

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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY // 2 0 1 9

No photo description available.

Stay soft. Stay brave. Stay fierce. Stay kind. Stay curious. Stay honest. Keep supporting your peers, your family, your friends & strangers, who happen to be WOMEN. Oh and just love with your whole heart, you wonder WOMAN 🖤

These words, by Elizabeth Gilbert, resonated with me⤵️
“The women I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong and they handled it. They handled it a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women are my superheroes”.

BTW – I’m all for equality and you’ll usually find me defending men, actually. “But how is that fair when a man isn’t able to get involved too?”. For today, today, let’s just celebrate the WOMAN and her achievements, yes? ✌🏼✌🏿✌🏾✌🏽✌🏼✌️

C
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BRAND IN FOCUS // COWSHED x SCAMP & DUDE

 

If you know us, you know how house is filled with Cowshed products – in every single room! Yep, we’ve been avid Cowshed aficionados since circa 2009 when we first visited Shoreditch House and had our first whiff of Cow Pat.  Ahhhh dreamy.

As you might notice, I’m always interested in brand collaborations, so when I saw the latest collab from Cowshed, I was pretty overjoyed!

I’m a little bit in love with Scamp & Dude. Founded by the wonderful Jo Tutchener-Sharp, Scamp & Dude is a truly beautiful brand with such an amazing back story…. With a long history in the world of fashion and beauty, Jo directed PR campaigns and arranged events for high profile individuals and brands such as Tom Ford, Matthew Williamson, Dolce & Gabbana, Vogue, Estee Lauder, Topshop, NARS and The BRIT Awards. In October 2015 Jo’s life took a difficult turn when she suffered a brain haemorrhage. She had to leave her children for a lengthy stay in hospital to undergo life threatening brain surgery. Every parent understands the feeling you get when you have to leave your child, whether it be a business trip or first day at school. That knot in the stomach and the ache in the heart. It was this moment that inspired Jo to create a brand that helps children feel more secure when apart from their loved ones, and Scamp & Dude was born.

From something dark came something light*

The Scamp & Dude slogan (and ethos, if you will) is  ‘a superhero has my back’, which tells children that someone is watching over them, even when they can’t see you. I also take this into my own adult heart too.

Jo says:

“I love everything about Cowshed, its ethos, heritage, the spas (especially Babington House which is one of my favourite places on earth!) and of course the products, so Cowshed seemed like the obvious partner to create a Superpower Spray with.”**

 

If this isn’t the backbone for a brilliant brand partnership, then I don’t know what is. So what does the collaboration consist of I hear you ask – well, take a look below at the three items that have now been released.

 

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Cowshed x Scamp & Dude Good Luck Candle

£38.00 – CLICK TO BUY


Cowshed and Scamp & Dude created this limited edition version of the invigorating Wild Cow room candle. With an unstoppable mix of energising Lemongrass, invigorating Ginger and reviving Rosemary essential oils, this bracing blend of essential oils will create a fresh atmosphere to stimulate the senses and help focus your thoughts.

• Invigorating light, oriental fragrance with lemongrass, Ginger and Rosemary essential oils

• 100% natural soy wax and Egyptian cotton wick

• Free from GMM, pesticides and herbicides and suitable for vegetarians

• Approximate burn time: 60 hours

 

 

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Cowshed x Scamp & Dude Superpower Spray

£16.00 – CLICK TO BUY


Limited edition, all natural Superpower Spray will help little Superheroes sleep and provide a burst of superpowers when required. The light, floral fragrance features Mandarin, Neroli, a splash of Chamomile and Lavender in a gentle Bitter Orange flower water base with absolutely no nasties. Spray on your little one’s sheets, clothes, their favourite teddy or blanket to help them feel calm and secure both at home and when they’re out in the world.

• Mandarin, neroli, chamomile, lavender and aloe vera

• Gentle Bitter Orange flower water base

• Spray on bedding, clothing and soft toys to evoke a feeling of calm

• Great for travelling

 

Image result for scamp dude cowshed candle

Cowshed x Scamp & Dude Courage Candle

£38.00 – CLICK TO BUY


Cowshed and Scamp & Dude created this limited edition version of the uplifting Grumpy Cow room candle. With its invigorating, refreshing blend of Mandarin and Grapefruit essential oils, this zesty citrus fragrance is perfect for lengthening a short fuse, or as a wakeup call. Mandarin can help soothe the nervous system while Grapefruit is a known anti-depressant and both smell delicious, making this candle the perfect pick-me-up.

• Uplifting citrus fragrance with Mandarin and Grapefruit essential oils

• 100% natural soy wax and Egyptian cotton wick

• Free from GMM, pesticides and herbicides and suitable for vegetarians

• Approximate burn time: 60 hours

 

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This is such a lovely brand partnership and I do hope there is more to come from Cowshed x Scamp & Dude; but for now, I will admire them from the laptop until I can get my hands on the products and give them a good sniff in real life!

C
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*Words from My Story, at ScampandDude.com
** Words from Introducing Scamp & Dude, blog post, at Cowshed.com

 


For clarity, this is not a sponsored or paid post – but does contain Affiliate links to Cowshed.com. I only promote items that I genuinely like however, so be safe in the knowledge that I’m in love with this brand collaboration.