Is Autumn here at last?
After a really busy summer launching Match Up Mums, it's like we are starting a new term at school here, all shiny new stationery and excited to get stuck in! We definitely feel less of a new kid on the block, now we have matched up 32 groups and have had lots of really useful feedback on the Match Up Mums service. Also we now have lots more 'friends' of Match Up Mums with exciting new partnerships forming that will really benefit our members. More on this and some great giveaways below.
We are proud to say that we have matched up over 75% of our gold and silver London members within a month of joining, and we have new groups forming all the time from Clapham to Crouch End and also beyond London. The more members we have, the more matches we can make so please tell all your friends about us! I know it sounds a bit strange to tell your friends about a site that helps you meet friends - but in all likelihood you will have friends who are mums but live on the other side of the city, or who are at a very different parenting stage to you. And they could be just the people that some of our other members are waiting to meet. So if you can help us to spread the word, please do recommend us to any mums or mums-to-be that you know. A quick email or a share on Facebook would be really appreciated.
New Member Offers:
We know that if you haven't yet been matched it can feel a bit boring waiting for your group, but we took the view that members would rather wait for a good match than be sent off to meet 'any old other mum' for the sake of it. And to make sure that you still benefit from being a member of this exclusive club of Match Up Mums, we have worked to put together exciting member offers - the latest of these are with new-mum haven (and heaven!), the Mermaid Retreat in Chelsea and also the "leading antenatal class provider in London", Lulubaby. We have offers from a range of partners and this month our exclusive guest posts at the end of this newsletter come from two of them: JoJo Maman Bébé and the Neighbourhood Midwives, we hope you will find them an interesting read.
Top Tips for New Mums
We also wanted to find a way for all of our members to help fellow mums, so we have the Facebook group where members can chat and post questions, as well as our public page, where you can find our latest news. And, thanks to all the lovely mums who sent us their top tips, we now have a collated list of the most useful products for the new-baby stage, from swaddling blankets to feeding cushions and bouncy chairs - and a brief description of why a Match Up Mums member found it so fantastic.
You can read the list here and of course if you would like to make a further recommendation please just drop me a line. We hope it is useful for any first-time mums, and even a few new ideas for the second timers, and good to have so many mums' views all in one place. Watch out on our Facebook page where we will announce the winner of the £50 John Lewis voucher on 10th October from all those who recommended things - there's still time to get your entry in before then too! And the Instagram competition is open all autumn so do send me a photo of you and your group of Match Up Mums if you fancy winning a massage for yourself or a baby massage class for your group, from Home Spa London.
Free tickets to Baby Show Olympia:
Finally, we are off to meet lots of potential members-to-be at Kensington Olympia's Baby Show, at the end of October. We have FREE TICKETS to give away, worth £20 each! To win a pair of tickets all you have to do is write a few lines about Match Up Mums on our Facebook page, to tell us (and our followers) what you think about our new service - even if you have already written us a testimonial then we would love a post on our page from you. If we run out of tickets then we will dish them out on a first come first served basis. We look forward to hearing from you and hope to meet some of you at the Baby Show. In next month's newsletter we will give you a behind-the-scenes look at our how our profile-matching service works. Until then, make the most of the autumn sunshine and I'll leave you to enjoy the guest posts from two of our wonderful partners.
Tina Perridge is an experienced midwife and director of Neighbourhood Midwives – an amazing social enterprise that helps women find an insured private midwife, whom they know and trust. Here are Tina's top tips for getting started with breastfeeding.
1. We all know about the benefits of immediate skin-to-skin contact with your baby and now the evidence suggests up to 6 hours of this after the birth will benefit both of you. So pop a nappy on and cuddle up and enjoy.
2. Most healthy babies, after a few feeds in the first couple of hours after birth, will probably have a nice sleep. Try to avoid this sleep lasting longer than 4-5 hours. If your baby doesn’t wake naturally, cuddle and offer a feed at this time.
3. Colostrum is amazing and though small in quantity it is high in quality and provides your baby with antibodies and all the nutrients he needs at this time. Try to ensure baby feeds every 2/3 hours in the first few days (8-12 times in 24 hours) and if for any reason he will not latch on just express your colostrum onto a sterile spoon and give it by clean finger or a tiny syringe. Your midwife can help.
4. The night before your milk comes in your baby will feed a lot, this is good because he knows that the milk is ready.
5. A good latch and positioning will solve many problems. Hold the baby close to you using the opposite arm to the breast you are using, tuck baby’s bottom under your elbow, (like the bagpipes), use your other hand to support your breast, aim the babies nose to your nipple, when he opens wide bring the baby on, and keep him there. If you change position too quickly the nipple may move out of position in the baby’s mouth.
Result: a comfy feed, a happy baby, a happy mum.
Got your Autumn-Winter wardrobe ready? Not for you, for your budding fashionista! In this month’s guest post, the children’s wear team at Jo Jo Maman Bébe tell us where they found inspiration for this season’s collection, where it’s less about catwalk trends and more about clothes that kids can have fun in.
Season after season, we don’t stray too far from what has always worked for us: quirky British style with a French nautical twist. To keep things fresh, our design team take trips to European cities (our favourites are Paris and Barcelona) which help inspire new collections.
Our design process for AW14 was no different – we based the new pieces on old customer favourites but updated the prints and colours. We’ve also added several stories to make the pieces fun for little ones to wear while still keeping to our design principles. For girls, we have the Woodland and Elephant stories, both based around rich, autumnal purple tones – meaning you can easily co-ordinate your favourite separates. For boys, there’s the Air Show story based around a fantastic British tradition with the main theme colours being red, white and blue. These pieces can easily be layered to suit the seasons, allowing kids to enjoy an active lifestyle whatever the weather – something we’re great advocates of.
Don’t forget all Match Up Mums members receive a discount at JoJo’s and Neighbourhood Midwives – see our Members’ Page for full details.