Baby can you hear me? Give your newborn a head start…
So this week has been packed full of baby things – attending events, research and shopping. I’m loving it but I did say to my mum, “Wow you really can spend a fortune on buying things for a baby.” And she responded, “Laura, this is just the beginning!”
On Tuesday last week I headed to the Mamas and Papas store in Nottingham to present the awards for the ‘Mum’s and Dads’ the Word’ event. Mamas and Papas have some beautiful bits and pieces and all of their stores have recently released a local guide with some highly recommended places in each area to take your children, so make sure you look out for it.
Alex and I have now finished our NCT course and I would say the lessons have been informative, yet relaxed and fun. Our teacher Gaynor was lovely and extremely knowledgable. We discovered that it’s true, labour can be brought on by eating ALOT of pineapple, eating spicy food and being intimate with your partner (although I don’t think its necessary to do all three at the same time!). We found out there are three hormones that play an important role in pregnancy and these include:
1.) Oxytocin which triggers contractions in labour and stimulates your breasts’ milk glands.
2.) Endorphins, the ‘happy hormones’ that help us deal with stress and pain.
3.) Relaxin which softens ligaments and tissues to increase flexibility in your lower back and pelvic joints, in preparation for birth.
We learnt all about the pros and cons of the different types of pain relief available, birthing positions and breathing techniques. Gaynor had some useful suggestions of images to focus on when breathing through contractions and these included blowing bubbles or blowing out candles, both of which I thought were great ideas.
After attending the sessions, I am seriously considering having a home birth. It was suggested that it might be a bit more relaxing and the fact that two midwives come to the house means you get brilliant care. Alex is not too sure and I’m still undecided because, if there are any complications, it will mean rushing to the hospital which is 25 minutes away in an ambulance, and I’m not sure if that is a bit too far. Whatever we decide, it will be a joint decision. If any of you have had a home birth I would love to hear your thoughts.
I would recommend attending an NCT course to meet other people in your area that are expecting at the same time but if you can’t afford to pay for the course the NHS also run one as an alternative.
In last week’s blog I mentioned that I would be researching the topic of ‘the importance of communicating with your baby’. Coincidently in this week’s New York Times there was an interesting article about the topic. A lot of people have been telling me how important it is to speak to your baby whilst it is forming in the womb. Apparently, he or she can hear sounds from as early as 18 weeks and might be more responsive to a male’s deeper voice. I’ve also heard that playing classical music to your unborn child will aid its intellectual development once it arrives. This being the case, I have discovered a useful website and free app (talkingtipsforkids.com) that can help parents ensure their child will get a head start in the communication stakes.
Fiona Barry is a Speech and Language Therapist who has used her experience to develop a series of short films to show parents how even small changes can help their child. She suggests children with strong speaking and listening skills are more likely to make friends easily, do well at school, stay out of trouble and thrive in the workplace as adults. In fact a child’s vocabulary at the age of five is a strong indicator of future qualifications and achievements. There are several videos available and they can be used from pregnancy up until when your child is 5 years of age. The films are only £2.99 each and they can be downloaded from the website. The great thing about them is that they are individually tailored to mums, dads and grandparents so there’s something for everyone. I personally feel with all the evidence found, the videos are extremely useful and must be worth a try! Who doesn’t want to try and give their child a head start?
This week, as well as discovering the videos, I also purchased Gina Ford’s The Contented Little Baby and Annabel Karmel’s Complete First Year Planner (both are more for reference rather than to follow rigidly). I bought some lovely white baby grows, some breast nursing pads for when my breasts start lactating (apparently it can happen from 28 weeks when you hear other babies cry!) and a luxury pocket sprung mattress with spacetec and coolmax for the cot I have ordered. I want to say a big thank you to the manager Ray from the Purley Way Mothercare store, who was incredibly helpful and I’d also like to thank Georgie the lovely lady who served me and offered some fantastic advice.
I’ve had a few lovely presents this week too, which is always nice when there is SO much to buy! My agents Julia and Jayne bought me a brilliant gift called the ‘widgey cushion’. Julia said it was life-changing when she was pregnant. The cushion is great for me to use now to get comfy when I’m sleeping but it will be most useful for when I’m breast feeding, helping me to get the baby in the right position. When the baby starts to sit, the cushion will be perfect to support his/her back. Investing in a Widgey Cushion is a wise move!
When I caught up with Karen Barber this week (Dancing on Ice judge and head coach), she bought a gorgeous little present for the baby – some Jelly Cat booties and a matching comforter. I’ve heard lots about these and they are supposed to be amazing, so thank you Karen and Chris.
Over the next few days I’m starting my hypno-birthing classes at home. Apparently this is how the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to Prince George, and it is how I am planning on having our baby. It’s all about putting yourself into a hypnotised state and relaxing and breathing through the pain. I’m having one-on-one sessions at home with Teresa Pegrum, a clinical hypnotherapist (tphypnosis.co.uk), so I’ll let you know how I get on.
I hope you’ve found this weeks blog useful and please don’t forget to leave your comments and thoughts.
Until next time…
Laura & Bump xx