Posts tagged #Fitness

June Newsletter

Here comes summer

…At last!  And there's no better time to get out and about and meet new people.  We've recently introduced lots of new groups in Richmond, Barnes, Brook Green, Streatham and Balham, to name a few!  Please do tell anyone you know who may be about to start maternity leave or is at home with a baby that we offer a very tailored yet affordable way to connect with like-minded local mums.

New members' benefits and great new services for mums

We've also been catching up with some great new partners and I'm delighted to tell you a bit about them, I hope you'll find them useful food for thought.

Firstly, we recently connected with The Baby Store, one of the country's largest specialist nursery stores. They sell everything you might need for your new arrival from prams to car seats and furniture, and they have a very helpful and committed team who can help you through the minefield of products and advice at this exciting time.  We know our members love a discount so the Baby Store have very kindly provided a 10% discount on all orders over £100 - they are already really well priced so this could be a great saving off the big-ticket items you need for your new arrival.  As usual the voucher code can be found in our members' area, along with discounts at other retailers and services from JoJo Maman Bébé to Hello Mums and Neighbourhood Midwives and loads more.

Secondly we wanted to share details of a new launch with you from some hard-working entrepreneurs: Bump & Bliss are on a mission to give parents and parents-to-be more of their time back with access to all of the services they need in one place.  From prenatal Pilates classes to local night nannies, the Bump & Bliss website has more options than you can shake a rattle at.  It's so much more than another directory as you can find detailed information and connect with a specialist directly and it is totally free to use (in fact even better some of the listings offer a discount).  Worth adding to your favourites!

Bump and Bliss has tons of helpful services

If you are keen to get fit this summer  

…but finding it hard to fit in around a baby or a toddler, we've found something that could be just the answer.  Our friends at Beez Kneez fitness have launched an e-book, ‘7 exercises to tone your Mummy Tummy you can do in your pyjamas’.
No fitness clothing required and no equipment, making it very easy for a busy mum who is sleep-deprived but wants to flatten her Mummy Tummy. 

It also gives advice on why these exercises are far better than the standard stomach crunches, plank and other general gym exercises.
 
And the best thing... it is totally free! Members can download it here and don't forget to check out the links with discounts to other services from Beez Kneez over in our members' area.  

Free flat tummy for every member! (*Kind of)

As usual we end our newsletter with a guest post and this one is from Role Models, a company I will definitely be using for my own family later this summer for ad-hoc childcare.  Lots of you aren't quite at this stage yet as it is aimed at older children but I think it is worth saving the link for future reference.  The idea that instead of childcare that 'just' looks after your children, Role Models will send approved and experienced nannies and 'mannies' who also happen to be musicians, artists, actors, sports professionals - so they might inspire your kids or give them some fresh stimulation.  Genius! 

Speaking of geniuses, I'll leave you to read a guest post that starts with an Einstein quote.  Hugo from Role Models explains how understanding the multiple ways a young child might learn can aid their well-being.  Hope you find it interesting.  

Until next month, have a good one...

Love,
Megan x

Is Imagination more important than Knowledge?  

by Hugo Shephard, founder of Role Models

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Albert Einstein

For those of you reading this with very young children, worrying about school exam results might seem like a distant concern. But in a society that values the holy ‘A*’ as a symbol of the highest intelligence, it would seem obvious to start a style of learning that favours literal and logical results from a young age.
Of course high grades are great – they are an affirmation of knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge which is an undeniably vital life skill. Yet there is also immense value to be found in other areas of learning; areas that because of their seeming intangibility often go neglected.

The Harvard professor, Howard Gardner’s theory (1991) is that we have seven key areas of intelligence: music-rhythmic, visual-spacial, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinaesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal – and that our current assessment of intelligence is weighted in favour of linguistics and mathematics. And yet we all have friends and colleagues whose interpersonal skills (not their linguistic or mathematical ability) are what have allowed them to forge rich and successful careers and relationships. Even from a very young age, encouraging your child to interact with others, pay attention to their inner feelings, ask questions about the world, and use their imagination are far more important in the long run than their ability to count to ten before their classmates. The rewards from this kind of learning don’t come on a piece of paper, but rather contribute to something we are all striving for: a sense of well-being.

Well-being is defined by the Government Office for Science Foresight Report as a ‘dynamic state, in which the individual is able to develop their potential, work productively and creatively, build strong relationships with others…It is enhanced when an individual is able to fulfil their personal and social goals’.
This sounds like an ideal state to be in and it does seem limiting that there is such a focus on academia. Encouraging your child to learn in a broad number of styles will broaden their horizons. They will become a well-rounded human being with the skills to adapt to many of life’s situations.
Recognising your child’s intelligence strength also helps to tailor their learning tools. For example, visual-spatial children will learn more effectively from charts or models than they will from lectures. Equally, musical children may learn better with background music than bodily-kinaesthetic children: the beauty is in that all children are unique and learn differently.

The good news is that some schools are catching on and developing their curriculum to ensure a more holistic education. And even if schools and exams are still far off, it is always worth allowing your child to explore the world in varied and sometimes abstract ways if it could contribute to that invaluable sense of well-being; something we are all worthy of whatever our age.

Posted on June 7, 2015 .

December Newsletter


Are we excited about Christmas yet..? 

Or very much still in pre-Christmas denial?  If you are feeling decidedly Bah Humbug, you might like to know that this newsletter has lots of special offers and giveaways just for our members - so it's like Christmas come early, but without all the shopping, cooking and hangovers!  

Christmas seems to have come around even quicker than ever this year for us, partly thanks to the lovely late summer and partly as we’ve been so good and busy growing Match Up Mums.  We have matched up 60 groups of mum friends now, with lovely feedback along the way.  This month we tried a couple of new ways of putting the groups in contact, from their own private chat forum to doodle polls to a Whats App group – the latter seemed to work the best so we plan to roll that out to all new groups from now on.  If you are meeting your group soon don’t forget to send us a photo – most groups say they are too busy chatting to remember but if you’d like to enter the competition please do take a quick snap.
 
And if you have only recently joined us - welcome!  We’ve been delighted to see the Match Up Mums membership grow and grow.  The more our database expands, the better the matches we can make for everyone - so it really is a case of the more the merrier.  If your due date is still a little way off, we will wait a while to match you up as we will have more matches for you the closer your due date gets – and meanwhile do mention us to anyone who might be able to help spread the word and help us grow the community, from pregnancy yoga teachers to your midwife or other mums you already know.  

Sign up or Upgrade your membership today (currently 30% off!)


New offers for our members - and a giveaway!

As well as growing our membership we have also expanded the range of perks in our members' area, so even if you are waiting to be matched up or have already been introduced to your group, you can benefit from being part of Match Up Mums. 

This month we are delighted to welcome a few partners who will be on hand for any of us with fitness resolutions for the New Year – Matt Roberts Personal Training in Chelsea and Hampstead, the brilliantly named Yummy Tummies in central London and PaleoGym in Putney have all put together enticing offers exclusively for Match Up Mums members. 

Of course if you plan to spend early 2015 getting bigger instead, you might be pleased to hear we have a new maternity wear partner… Angel Maternity is an established brand in Australia and one of its biggest fans has relocated here to launch it in Great Britain.  Match up Mums members can receive a discount on any orders with them.  As always, details are in the members page.  

Also we are delighted that Night Nannies have increased the discount our members receive from them, to 15%.  

The Old School Club in Battersea is fast becoming the most talked-about creative hub, running classes from painting furniture to sewing baby clothes to calligraphy.  Our members can now get a discount on all classes at the club, as well as free use of the crèche for the Breakfast Craft Club, which runs monthly and is a great way to get out and do something creative.  

Our latest partner offer comes from Almondella, a Finnish company we met at the Baby Show.  They are launching a range of 'baby boxes' so each month you get a box of carefully-selected, gorgeous Scandinavian (therefore effortlessly cool and stylish) goodies for you and your baby, all perfectly planned to coincide with the developmental stage you find yourself in that month.  For example they have a lovely little box all based around your baby's first trip outside, while at six months their box has a lovely weaning kit.  Almondella are giving our members a discount of 20%.  Do check them out if you are stuck for Christmas gift ideas for friends and family - or your own baby and you, of course!  As always, all discount codes are in the members' area of our website.


Freebie time! 

We also have 3 Almondella baby boxes to give away to our members - to enter just drop us an email, giving a few words of feedback on the MatchUpMums service - and you could win a box of surprise treats for you and your baby.

The contents of one of Almondella's lovely boxes - enter now!

Finally from our partners, this month we have some new guest posts in our newsletter and I hope you will find these interesting.  Emma from First Aid for Life tells us about how to cope in the scary scenario of a baby's choking/febrile convulsions, and sticking with the first aid theme, Kate from Hello Mums babysitting service would like you to look at a petition she is running.  Don’t forget these companies and many others also offer you a discount on their services as a member of Match Up Mums.  So if you think a paediatric First Aid course might be a sensible New Year's resolution, or you are just in need of a sitter for your Christmas party, do check them out.

We hope you have a lovely Christmas, whether it is your first very special Christmas as a family, your last one before your baby arrives or one that is bound to be full of small people and chaos and excitement.  Whatever your plans, we hope you enjoy it and manage to squeeze some time for yourselves into this really busy time of year.   Why not use it as an excuse to hold a festive get together with your M-U-M friends, of course there is even a choice of Secret Santa apps these days, like this one from the Giving Machine!
 
Until next month, we thank you for your continued support and wish you all a very happy Christmas.

Love,
Megan x

How to help a choking baby

by Emma Hammett, First Aid For Life

Choking can be really frightening and if your baby chokes it can be petrifying! 
Babies put things in their mouths and anything that fits through a loo roll can be a potential choking hazard for a little one. When starting solids; avoid slicing food into perfect circles as these can block the airway completely if lodged. Babies have a very sensitive gag reflex and often appear to struggle when tying new food textures. If they are able to cough, let them clear the obstruction themselves – if they are quiet and struggling to breathe, help immediately.
 

Choking – how to help

1. Stay as calm as you can.
2. If they are able to cough, reposition them to see if they can clear it themselves.
3. Have a quick look in the baby’s mouth and carefully remove anything obvious. NEVER blindly sweep inside the baby’s mouth with your fingers as it can cause damage and push the obstruction further down.
4. Lay the baby downwards across your forearm, supporting under their chin.
5. With your hand hit the baby up to 5 times firmly between their shoulder blades
6. Check after each back blow to see if the obstruction has cleared
7. If still choking; lay the baby on its back across your knees, head downwards. Place two fingers in the centre of their chest at the nipple line, and give up to five, firm upward chest thrusts 
8. If the baby is still choking, call 999/112 and continue giving baby five back blows, alternated with five chest thrusts, until help arrives
9. If the baby becomes unconscious start CPR immediately.

 

It is strongly advised that you attend a Practical First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency. Please visit www.firstaidforlife.org.uk for more information about our courses. First Aid for life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.

Our mission: First Aid in childcare

by Kate Wilson of Hello Mums 

Having worked with children for over 16 years I have seen plenty of smaller and bigger accidents. I have played "let's count your bruises", "let's be brave spies" and many more things that we tend to do when a child is hurt. I have taught and shown every parent I have worked with about some basic bandages and tricks so they know what to do as and when accidents happen - after all, children have fun and when they do, sometimes they fall or run into a glass door or simply walk into a lamp post.
 
The developing body of babies and children are very different to the adult body and therefore it is very important that we treat them accordingly when something bad happens. CPR, just to name the most important one, is done in a different way for babies, for children and for adults. Rashes, burns, allergies need to be treated with great and immediate care, too. It's better to be safe than sorry. So why is it that it is not compulsory for anyone working with children to have a Paediatric First Aid knowledge? Why is it that it is enough to have one First Aider per nursery - and for them still to open if that first aider is off sick?
I know we try not to over-protect children, but not being able to offer help when needed is simply unacceptable.  Something must be done.  
Firstly, parents have to make sure they know what to do in case of emergency as those crucial few minutes while waiting for the ambulance to arrive can be vital. Secondly, parents have to make sure that no matter what type of childcare option they opt for, the person taking care of their child has to be a Paediatric First Aider so he or she knows what to do if something was to happen. Thirdly, parents have to raise awareness so no life is lost because there isn't a First Aider around.
 
I believe that part of being a professional in childcare should mean having knowledge, experience and providing the children with a safe environment and that is why I am starting a petition, along with Millie's trust, to raise awareness and raise the standard so that anyone wanting to work with children needs to have a Paediatric First Aid certificate.
 
If you agree with me I would love you to drop an email to kate@hellomums.co.uk and I will keep you posted on how you can help us with our mission.

Posted on December 1, 2014 .