Posts tagged #Babyshow

April Newsletter

Networking, pelvic floor exercises and chocolate 

I'm guessing most of you hate at least two of these three things?

As usual for our monthly newsletters we have some great new partner discounts to tell you about, as well some interesting guest posts: one you definitely want to read (chocolate is good for you!) and one you probably won't want to read but definitely should... it's about pelvic floor exercises. I know, the boring bit at the end of your pregnancy yoga class, right? But Livia is a real expert and trust me, she knows her stuff. And it is very short (sorry Livia!). 

Though networking is often filed under 'ugh', in the last nine months of running Match Up Mums I've met some wonderful entrepreneurs like Livia, through social media, events and introductions. Among them it has been a great privilege to meet a network of local women who all have businesses supporting women through pregnancy, birth and parenting. The group is run by Tina of Neighbourhood Midwives and Julie of Baby Intuition and they recently asked me, along with Kate of Hello Mums, to help them put on a bit of a local event for parents-to-be in the Clapham area.

The organisers of the Clapham Pregnancy & Baby Show

Three months later, the event was a sell-out (phew!) and we had a sponsor, a hall full of 32 local businesses, 250 expectant and new parents, a supermodel and a TV crew (yes really!) and 'a bit of' a great day out for all concerned that also raised hundreds of pounds for Ickle Pickles charity.  And throughout, we made a terrific team and had a ball doing it. It goes to show you can always meet new friends, and often in the places you'd least expect. 

Find out more about the Clapham Pregnancy & Baby Show

More matches & more benefits

It wasn't all about Clapham though - last month we introduced groups in Marylebone, Fulham, Battersea, Wimbledon and Alexandra Park, to name a few. We also ran a books giveaway via our social media accounts (so if you got a parcel of books they were from us, apologies the publisher forgot to put the letters in the parcels!) and we set up more new partnerships to go with all the discounts already available to our lovely members, so that you can all benefit from your membership of Match Up Mums even before you get matched or well after you have started meeting up with your Match Up Mums friends.

As always, the details are in the members’ area – along with discounts on maternity wear, night nannies, weaning sessions, gyms and personal training, nursery design, babysitting – and more! The discounts available add up to over £2,000 which we think is a rather nice perk.
 
As of this month your membership now includes a discount at TheBeezKneez - a sort of online personal trainer with short, safe workouts that you can do anytime and anywhere, so you can fit in workouts at home into your baby's nap schedule. Genius idea and our members get 20% off!
And the Essential Bag Company puts together lovely hospital bags or changing bags (and more) that are pre-packed with goodies, treats and useful things from premium, trusted companies - they make a brilliant new baby gift so you could hint to your colleagues before you go or you may just want to treat yourself, especially with 10% off all products!  See our members' area for the discount codes you need for these and many other mum and baby-friendly brands.
  
As usual we end our newsletter with guest posts from two of our partners so I'll leave you to read those but please do drop me a line if you have any questions, comments or ideas. Please keep recommending us to any mums-to-be or new mums that you know, and keep the feedback coming. Until next month, have a good one...

Love,
Megan x

 

A mini-Easter-guide to eating chocolate… without piling on the pounds 

by Vicky Warr, founder and specialist pregnancy & post-natal trainer and expert for Mothercare, Gurgle Magazine and BBC Radio as well as BeezKneezHive

Most of us have a sweet tooth at some point, particularly in pregnancy or when feeding a new baby all hours, and chocolate seems to get a lot of attention.

But eating the wrong kind of chocolate will sabotage getting into shape whilst eating the right kind of chocolate can boost your health!  The type you need to go for is Dark Chocolate of at least 70% cocoa solids. And the key is: It’s a little luxury. Quality over quantity.

Five reasons why you shouldn’t feel guilty about eating chocolate: 

  1. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, chemical compounds that help protect against harmful “free radicals” often found in body tissues. These free radicals have been linked to the development of heart disease and some cancers. Studies of subjects who increased their daily intake of flavonoids from chocolate found that their LDL-cholesterol levels dropped, their blood vessels relaxed, and blood-clotting tendencies were diminished.
  2. Anti-oxidants found in dark chocolate have also been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, the so-called “bad” cholesterol.
  3. Essential amino acids in dark chocolate help increase the production of serotonin to help with post natal baby blue, feelings of anxiety and depression.
  4. Chocolate contains the chemical phenylethylamine which occurs naturally in our bodies and gives us the same boost we feel when when we fall in love!
  5. In moderation, 2 squares 3 times a week may boost mood!

Eating the other kind of chocolate – milk, milk varieties or chocolate bars with other added stuff or dark chocolate that is just 40% cocoa solids is not such a good idea if you’d like to flatten your mummy tummy post baby. The fat and sugar content from eating the poorer quality milk chocolate and all the versions of it around and too much of it mean piling on extra weight (especially around the tummy). As it contains sugar, too much may put you are risk of developing diabetes. There are healthier ways to get your chocolate fix too - why not try chocolate-covered fruit or chocolate Brazils, or even whole cacao nibs, which you can crush and add to yoghurt for a delicious snack.

For The ‘Eat and Look the Beez Kneez’ post-baby food plan, healthy recipes and food tips plus postnatal fitness videos, take a look at BeezNeezHive.com - Match Up Mums members get a tasty 20% off, too!


The Top Myths about Pelvic Floor Exercises and Why it Matters to Dispel Them

By Livia Nemeth of PelFix Technique, the revolutionary Pelvic Floor Education Programme 

There’s a common view that if you quickly clench your muscles whilst standing at the bus stop, sitting in the car, or waiting for the kettle to boil, that’s all you have to do.  Although my technique for exercising the pelvic floor is fairly easy, it isn’t that easy! There’s more to it than a quick clench.  Leaving aside the question of whether or not you are clenching the right muscles, and how often these exercises should be repeated, a key problem with the ‘quick clench’ approach is the idea that it can be done in a vertical position: either standing or sitting. 

Vertical positions are NOT recommended when doing pelvic floor exercises. Standing or sitting impedes the flow of blood in the lower abdominal area. If blood pools up in the pelvic veins this can lead to haemorrhoids and/ or varicose veins:  in the vagina or vulva in women, the penis or testicles in men.  Also, when you are in a vertical pose the weight of your abdominal organs puts pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. This means you can’t contract your muscles as much as you could in a horizontal pose; plus muscle relaxation will not be as effective.

You can learn more about the myths around pelvic floor exercises here. If you wish to attend a course, please contact Livia Nemeth at info@pelfixtechnique.co.uk - all Match Up Mums members will get 10% discount of the PelFix Complete courses.

Posted on April 13, 2015 .

March Newsletter

Spring is in the air

And there is a spring in our step after our busiest ever month and a load of lovely reviews from members and also in the press - so many that we have had to re-do our press page, which was bursting at the seams! We also have some new partners offering exclusive discounts to our members. Details of these are provided below. 

West London Mum talked to us for their 'Meet a Startup' feature, asking how the idea came about and who we see as competition.  Royal Mums asked about my tips for working mums, my inspiration and who we would match them up with.  Parent Dish looked at the trend of finding mummy friends online.  We love Sheer Luxe's emails and we were delighted to see the Mummy Diaries are back - even more so as we were featured in it! And finally we were able to Match Up the lovely Rebecca from Clapham Mums recently and she wrote about her experience as a member of Match Up Mums.  As much as I love the chance to bore everyone to tears with my interviews, it is even more exciting to be part of someone's actual pregnancy announcement!  It is really great to have someone who can share their first-hand experience of Match Up Mums. 

And that is where you lot come in, too!  As much as we love getting fantastic press coverage, you can't beat word of mouth recommendations.  So do please keep telling all your friends and family about us - if you've already had your baby you will have appreciated just how important a local support network really is, something that lots of first time mums-to-be might not realise until they really, really need it.  Send them our way any time!  And a big thank you to those of you who have already recommended us, we love it when people tell us that is how they came across Match Up Mums.

Want to meet some pregnancy & baby experts?

This month we are also working with a great network of Clapham-based businesses on the Clapham Pregnancy and Baby Show.  If you are in the area, do come along for a fun afternoon on Saturday 21st March.  Tickets are free but to guarantee admission pre-book yours at EventBrite. It is a bit of a different feel to the usual baby expos, this one is less about coming away with armloads of stuff and more about meeting all of the local experts who are available to offer support and advice throughout your pregnancy or early days as a new mum.  There will be taster treatments, lovely goody bags and a raffle in aid of Ickle Pickles charity.  
We are also looking forward to working with Kensington Mums on an event for mums-to-be in that area later in the year.

New discounts & benefits

Last month we also set up some more partnerships, so that you can all benefit from your membership of Match Up Mums even before you get matched or well after you have started meeting up with your Match Up Mums friends. As always, the details are in the members’ area – along with discounts on maternity wear, night nannies, weaning sessions, gyms and personal training, nursery design, babysitting – and more! The discounts available add up to over £2,000 which we think is a rather nice perk for our lovely members.
 
Here are the new partners this month, offering discounts exclusively for you. Oscar & Olivia is an online boutique of eco-friendly and stylish children's clothes and they are offering 15% off any order or 25% off orders over £100, Younique baby offer postnatal support packages designed to help with breastfeeding and sleep issues, and Pelfix pelvic floor education programme will have you back on the trampoline in no time ;)
Both Pelfilx and Younique baby are offering our members 10% off their highly regarded services. See our members' area for the discount codes you need for these and many other mum and baby-friendly brands.
  
As usual we end our newsletter with guest posts from two of our partners. Dominique tells us how Sophrology can help new mums deal with lack of sleep, and Jayne shares her expertise on the oils that are safe to use on your baby's skin.

Please keep recommending us to any mums-to-be or new mums that you know, and keep the feedback coming.  Until next month, we thank you for your continued support and wish you all the very best.

Love,
Megan x

How Sophrology can help new mums deal with lack of sleep 

by Dominique Antiglio, Sophrology Therapist, Bsc(Hons) Ost, of BeSophro

Feeling irritable and overwhelmed shouldn't be what a new mother experiences on a daily basis. There must be a better way.
 
Understandably, time is never enough and lack of sleep can make you feel tired and stressed. If you have just given birth, your body has been through a huge physiological roller coaster and it needs time to recover. Better sleep means more energy and also a feeling of empowerment: so many women feel tired and frustrated they can't do as much as they did before they had children.
 
Thankfully, help is at hand: Sophrology offers great tools to help you recuperate, de-stress and sleep better. In continental Europe doctors recommend Sophrology as an effective relaxation and self-development technique to notably help deal with pregnancy, prepare for birth, deal with anxieties and lack of sleep. Sophrology uses simple and efficient tools to access consciousness and grow inner resources through breathing, relaxation, meditation, visualisation and body awareness.
 
Because time is precious, what you choose to help you sleep better and feel calmer and more alert during the day needs to act fast and offer immediate relief. With regular practice, you can learn to achieve a deeply restorative state of relaxation within 5 minutes and from there work on a wide array of issues.
 
Achieving that deep state of relaxation is called “sophroliminal state” in Sophrology: that's what happens when the alpha brain waves kick in to provide a sense of well-being. The sophroliminal state in itself is a great way to recuperate, rest and rebalance. This state of relaxation can make a huge difference to balance your emotions and mood swings related to hormonal changes. It is achieved with your eyes closed, sitting in a comfortable position and following the gentle voice of your Sophrologist.
 
As a rule, it is a good idea to start embracing a new routine during pregnancy:

Before your baby is born, learn to have short naps
Re-prioritise your schedule and ask for help – the cleaning can wait and if you're feeling overwhelmed ask for more support especially with the easy tasks others can help you with
Take 10-30 minutes each day to reconnect with yourself using Sophrology, allowing you to acknowledge and accept the changes you are going through and prepare for your future including the birth itself. 

Breathing can be a powerful ally to help you get some rest, whether it's a quick nap or a good night's sleep. You choose when you carve 10 minutes out of your day: maybe it's first thing in the morning, or at midday or before going to bed. The sensation of calm you gain from dynamic relaxation can work wonders for your overall health.
 
If you practise breathing exercises regularly not only it will help you during labour but also it can make a difference to the quality of your sleep after the birth. You can learn to use the breath to calm and focus your mind while relaxing your nervous system. It will also help you to bring a fresh supply of oxygenated blood to your brain and you will therefore feel more alert and energised.
 
As you grow more confident in connecting more with what you feel and listening to your needs, you also learn to pace yourself and listen to your baby needs, feeling confident that you can support him or her, reinforcing the special bond you are creating. It would be a shame to let your disturbed pattern of sleep impact on that very special time of your life.
 
A short daily Sophrology practice will also help you feel happier and feel more grounded, staying in the present moment. This is a very powerful tool to help you be at ease while you are coping with the challenges of motherhood. This is a time of life when women go through so many changes, and it can be a source of anxiety and endless questioning, especially for first-time mums. Nothing will replace going through your own experience;  accepting that is a huge step. Therefore, being able to let go of these anxieties and live more in the present, taking one day after the other is a great strategy. Although everything is changing in your body and in your life, that connection you have with yourself remains a stable ground.
 
Sophrology is not complicated and can bring positive changes and support from the first session as it is a practical and simple approach. Your Sophrologist will guide you through a tailored practice and record it so that you can listen to it at home and learn at your pace in between the sessions. You can start it before or during pregnancy if you need support, or wish to prepare for birth and motherhood. Sophrology can also be practised right after birth especially if you find it difficult to settle in your new life. And of course your baby is welcome for the session too ! Home visits are available in Central London. Sophrology can also be practised in groups.

A first simple Sophrology tip: the tense and release exercise.

When we experience worries or tension in the body, the first step is to acknowledge it is happening here and now. This is the first step into letting go.
 
Start in a relaxed seated position. Tune into your areas of tension, inhale, activate your whole body by tensing every single muscle of your body including your face and toes. Match the tension in your body with the tension you experience inside and, as you exhale, release all muscles of your body. Stay still for a few second and notice the relaxation sensation in your muscles. Repeat 3 times at a slow pace.

About Dominique Antiglio and BeSophro

BeSophro has been created by one of the UK’s leading Sophrologists, Dominique Antiglio, who is also an Osteopath and Sound Therapist. She specialises in stress-management, birth peparation and self-development. Based in London since 2011, Dominique is also the co-founder of The Sophrology Network to promote the practise of Sophrology in London.
She created Bloom@58 to offer a holistic approach to maternity care where she enjoys collaborating with other therapists.

For more information: www.be-sophro.co.uk or contact Dominique directly info@be-sophro.co.uk

Time for an oil change?

by Jayne Russell of NomNom Skincare  

As a massage and nutritional therapist of more than twenty years, specialising in pre and postnatal care, and a skin care formulator I have been constantly researching and updating my knowledge to find out what works best for baby skin.  Oils have different properties, benefits and disadvantages so which should you use and avoid in baby massage and skincare?
 
The International Association of Infant Massage recommends “babies be massaged with a high quality, preferably organic, unscented, cold pressed vegetable oil”.
 
A recent study found that “olive oil significantly damages the skin barrier, and therefore has the potential to promote the development of, and exacerbate existing, atopic dermatitis” concluding that its use in infant massage should be discouraged. This comes as a surprise to many who are still being advised by a health practitioner to use the very same on their baby’s dry skin!
 
Johnson’s baby, who were involved in funding this study, have used the finding in a recent advertorial to denigrate ALL natural oils. The truth is you do need to be careful with your choice of oils for delicate baby skin, particularly where there is a tendency to sensitivity or eczema, but mineral oils are certainly not the best alternative. Sharon Trotter midwife and baby skincare expert advises they:

  • create a greasy and sticky texture that is not a good medium for massage
  • create a film or barrier on the skin which means skin cannot breath properly or eliminate toxins, which could lead to allergies or dryness
  • do not absorb, leaving a layer of oil on the skin which is slippery
  • provide no ‘nutritional’ value to nourish the skin

I would add that it is usually artificially fragranced, itself a cause of sensitivity and irritation. Well-chosen plant oils by contrast can have very positive benefits for the skin. They:

  • Absorb and are chemically similar to the fats under our skin
  • Carry fat soluble vitamins into the skin which help to nourish
  • Enhance the skin’s protective functioning without blocking the pores
  • Can help meet the body’s essential fatty acid requirements resulting in softer skin less prone to eczema.

However, you also need to be wary of potentially sensitising nut oils, particularly where there is a tendency to eczema and allergies - peanut and tree nut oils such as almond and the seed oil sesame are all high on the list of sensitising ingredients.
 
So which are the best oils to use on your baby’s skin?
 
Oils which are low in oleic fatty acids (thought to be responsible for olive oils adverse effect) and  high in linoleic, such as sunflower or starflower and evening primrose oil (both rich in GLA, which is particularly beneficial for dry, irritated skin and cradle cap) or coconut are the most suitable and favourable for baby skin.
 
Look after your oils by storing them in a cool place away from direct light and check the best before date. And use your nose – it is always a good idea to sniff an oil before use to check it still smells fresh!
 
For more advice on baby skincare download Jayne’s FREE eBook “10 Steps to Super Healthy Baby Skin” www.nomnomskincare.com

Posted on March 5, 2015 .

February Newsletter

Latest News

January seemed to roar past. We matched up mums from Belsize Park to New Malden and from Kensington to Barnes. We also created two bilingual groups, one of Italian mammas and one of French mamans - magnifique!  And we have lined up some new partnerships for you all - see below for more on this.

We had some very happy members this past month who reviewed the Home Spa London massage treatments, three other lucky ladies who won a fabulous Almondella box and also some happy mums who sent us lovely testimonials on their matches - it really is so good to know the matching system works - thank you.  And a huge thanks to those of you who sent me a baby photo or a group photo, I really was so touched to receive those.

We are still working hard on finding matches for all of our members, and to help with this we have a wonderful new team member who will be helping with our marketing efforts – so welcome, Natalia :)  
And as well as our members doing the reviewing (watch our FB page for more opportunities like this to come), we were delighted when super-blogger Franglaise Mummy agreed to be a guinea pig and try out our service for herself - you can read her review here.

So what's next?  Well, we will be introducing more groups obviously, and we are also working with a great network of Clapham-based businesses on the Clapham Pregnancy and Baby Show.  If you are in the area, do come along on Saturday 21st March.  We are also looking forward to working with Kensington Mums on an event for mums-to-be in that area later in the year.

 
 

Read Franglaise Mummy's review in full here

Cheap, us?!

Well that is how Franglaise mummy described our premium service in her glowing review – but we prefer to think of ourselves as offering exceptional value for money.  As well as being matched up with a group of mum-friends, for a one-off cost of between £20 and £50 (depending on group size), our members also have access to freebies, offers and discounts worth in excess of a whopping £2,000! 

 
 

Full details and discount codes are in our members' area

New discounts & benefits 

Last month we also set up some more partnerships, so that you can all benefit from your membership of Match Up Mums even before you get matched or well after you have started meeting up with your Match Up Mums friends. As always, the details are in the members’ area – along with discounts on maternity wear, night nannies, weaning sessions, gyms and personal training, nursery design, babysitting – and more! 
 
We now have a 20% discount code exclusively for you on some really lovely natural skincare products for bumps and babies, from Nom Nom.  Fab name, eh? I think I would buy them based on that alone, but having tried some I can tell you the products are great too.  See our members' area for the discount code.
 
We also have a discount from a great new idea from the Parent Practice, who have been helping parents since 2004 to find ways to have happier, calmer kids and a more peaceful and rewarding family life.  The Parent Practice have recently launched online courses which means parents all over the country (and beyond!) can access their Positive Parenting Academy, and Match Up Mums members can now get a 10% discount on these.  I really believe that a happy mum makes a happy family and that is why setting up local support networks is so important to me – but sometimes you might find you need a bit more in the way of expertise to make a positive change for your family, and that is where the Parent Practice comes in. 
 
Melissa from the Parent Practice has kindly written a guest post that I hope anyone expecting, planning, or even vaguely considering a second baby will find useful in helping you to prepare your child for their new sibling. Next month we have planned some guest posts on oils that are safe to use on your baby's skin, and how Sophrology (no I had never heard of it until recently either) can help with sleep deprivation (I'm sold!).  

Please keep recommending us to any mums-to-be or new mums that you know, and keep the feedback coming.  Until next month, we thank you for your continued support and wish you all the very best.

Love,
Megan x

 
 

Is a baby a bundle of joy for the whole family? 

by Melissa Hoad of the Parent Practice

A new baby brings joy for parents, but it’s not surprising if older siblings feel jealous or resentful. Parents need to have reasonable expectations about how well siblings will get along but we can take steps to nurture harmony. 

First-born child(ren) will naturally feel displaced when a new baby arrives. They will need lots of reassurance that they are still loved, and they will need plenty of positive attention and understanding. Without this positive reassurance they are likely to ‘play up’ to get the attention they need. Rather than trying to persuade older children that the arrival of a new sibling is great news, and how much they must love the baby, allow them to express their natural feelings of resentment and jealousy. 

When parents let children know that the feelings they are experiencing are ok (even if their actions are not) it’s safe for them to tell us about them. This helps them move away from negative behaviour.

 “It’s very different for you with a new baby brother.  You are used to having me all to yourself and you may not like having to share me.”  “The way you snatched that toy from Jamie shows me you’re feeling jealous.  He has so many new things and gets so much attention. Perhaps you are feeling left out.” “Whenever you’re feeling that way you come and tell me and we’ll have a special big boy’s hug.”

It’s not unusual for children to revert to babyish behaviours when a new baby arrives. Empathise when your child who is perfectly able to walk wants to be carried. “You wish Mummy would carry you too, don’t you? I guess you’d like to be a baby again and get all the attention that Harry is getting. I think I’d like to notice the big girl things you can do and write those down so daddy can see them too.”

Positive attention
Giving your older child lots of attention for the positive things she does –
* Notice and comment on good behaviours.
“You’ve been playing so quietly with your trains for nearly 10 minutes now! What an interesting game you made – look at all the carriages lined up on that siding.” “It’s been lovely knowing you have been playing here safely and quietly while I changed Tommy upstairs. I really appreciate it.”
 * Use a visual token system to recognise these behaviours such as putting a piece of pasta in a jar for every good behaviour.
 * Talk about the things you love about her –the funny things she does or other things that make her unique.

Special time
Our first-born children need to know there are times when they will have our undivided attention. Put aside 5-10 minutes exclusively for each child to help reduce feelings of resentment towards the new baby, who takes up quite considerable parental time! Special time needs to be regular and predictable.

Plan ahead
There will inevitably be a lot of change when the newborn arrives.  Try to minimise any other changes during this period – if your toddler is about to be potty-trained, or move into a big bed, or start nursery school, plan this to happen well before the birthdate, or delay it until the dust has settled a little.
Help older children prepare for the new baby in practical ways:
* Train them to play independently or spend time with others, such as grandparents, so you have time to look after the newborn.
* Prepare them for how they might feel about the new baby and what they can do when they feel like that.
* Discuss what will need to be done for the new baby and what baby will do, and how they can help you, playing with baby and teaching him how to do things. Your baby will smile when your older child plays with him –point out how much baby loves that.
* Look at photos of them as babies, commenting on how cute but how helpless they were and how much they needed doing for them. Talk about how much he has learnt as he’s got older.

Posted on February 5, 2015 .

November Newsletter

November already? 

Shorter days are here and for us at Match Up Mums there is a lot to pack into them – and the nights too, as I’m sure any working mums will appreciate! October was a really busy month for us.  We matched up lots of new groups across London from Stoke Newington to Twickenham, got some lovely feedback from matched up members, and set up some new partnerships - see further details on these and the exclusive discounts available to our members below. 


Baby Show 

We also took a stand at the Baby Show – three whole days of mums-to-be and new mums, so we decided to offer what surely every one of them wants – a comfy sofa and loads of cake!  We really enjoyed meeting lots of new people and it was lovely to meet many of our members in person too, so thank you all for stopping by for a chat – here are just a few of the friendly faces we saw over the weekend and yes that is Annabel Karmel, she came to say hello too.

 
 

Not yet a member? Sign-up here

We’ve got lots more matches to come following our Baby Show sign-ups, but do keep on spreading the word about us to other mums and mums-to-be.  It really helps us to keep finding good matches for all the mums on our network.  It was fascinating at the Baby Show to see a fair few first time mums-to-be who had their birth plan sorted, and everything planned for their new arrival from the pushchair to the cotbed to the sterilizer and nappy bin – but hadn’t really given any thought to how they were going to spend their days over their maternity leave away from work.  Not surprisingly their mums, older sisters and friends who already have children were urging them to sign up.  So do tell any new mums in particular just how important it is to get that support network of friends in place, and we’ll be only too happy to help them of course.
 

New Member Offers

There are new perks to being a member, too – we are pleased to say we have a load of exclusive offers from a range of mum and baby-friendly businesses, so even if you are waiting to be matched up or have already been introduced to your group, you can benefit from being one of our members.
 
New partners in this last month include First Aid for Life (as seen on Sky News recently), an Award Winning First Aid training business that specializes in paediatric first aid and is offering a discount on all their courses to our members.  We are also introducing Hello Mums, a babysitting agency that guarantees babysitters who are thoroughly checked and vetted and all first-aid-trained, and is offering all of our members a free month’s subscription.   There are loads of other great offers and discounts on our members’ page, from lovely children’s and maternity wear at JoJo Maman Bébé, to the Bump to Baby massage package from Home Spa London that sounds so lovely, it’s enough to make me want another baby!  Almost.   So have a look and remember that we post new offers and deals on our Facebook page all the time – if you like our posts regularly, Facebook will keep putting them in your news feed, otherwise you can just check in on our page from time to time.
 
Until next time, I’ll leave you with two guest posts from our partners.  Medina Sam of MK Kids’ Interiors gives some great advice to anyone planning a toddler’s bedroom and Louisa van den Bergh of Lulubaby gives her top tips for anyone expecting or planning their 2nd baby.  We hope you enjoy reading them.
 
Thank you again for your support and for keeping us good and busy, we really appreciate it.

Love,
Megan x

What to expect 2nd time around

by Louisa van den Bergh of Lulubaby 

1)  Make time to actually consider how you are going to manage when number 2 arrives. For example, line up support; organise a close friend or relative to look after your older child when you go into labour; fill up the freezer with home-made ready meals; have your number 1’s schedule written out in case you are in hospital for longer than expected. Not only do these practical actions help you once baby arrives, but they are also good for making you feel more confident and prepared!
 
2)  Spend time talking to number 1 about the imminent arrival. Let him/ her engage with your tum, feel the kicking, chat about what he/she will be like, what name he/ she could be called. If they are still very little, there are some great books you can buy to help your firstborn understand (e.g. “There’s a house inside my Mummy”).

3)  If you had a hard time of it before – either with delivery or breastfeeding, don’t be afraid to talk to a professional (midwife, obstetrician or breastfeeding counsellor, etc.) to help understand why things happened like that, and steps you can take to have a more positive experience.

4)  Imagine some challenging scenarios with which you may well be confronted – e.g. toddler tantrum in supermarket, with new-born crying for a feed.  Think about what actions you could take so that if such a situation does arise, you know exactly how to deal with it calmly. We find many mums worry about the tea/bath time of day, so have a plan of action for how to cope with this tricky time of day.

5)  Once your baby has arrived and if your number 1 is playing up a bit, put yourself in his/her shoes and imagine what it would be like if your partner came home with another woman! Be empathetic and help your first born to deal with his feelings – it is not an easy time for them and being told how wonderful it is to have a sibling falls on deaf ears (initially at least!). 

Designing a toddler's bedroom

by Medina Sam of MK Kids’ Interiors

There are 3 essential things to consider when designing a room for your toddler: Safety, Storage and Stimulation.

Safety – Toddlers are usually little explorers. Ensure that hung items such as picture frames and shelves are secured on the walls. Cover corners of furniture with corner guards to avoid painful collisions. Cover all electric plug sockets. If you decide on blinds, install a chain break connector or use a cleat.

Storage – You’ll be amazed at the collection of toys, books and clothes your toddler has accumulated. Let storage be a top priority when designing a room; write a list of all the items that you don’t want to see on entering the room and create storage accordingly.

Stimulation – Create an area within your child’s room, where they can learn and play. Between the ages of 3-6 years children are like sponges so create a great experience for them. I suggest a creative reading corner, or an arts and craft station.

Member Discounts

Don’t forget Match Up Mums members get a discount on MK Kids’ Interiors design services and discounts on lots of Lulubaby classes, including their ‘2nd time around’ antenatal course - a one day condensed workshop for mums expecting their 2nd baby.

See our Members page for full details of the discounts available from all of our partners.


Posted on November 3, 2014 .