Blog : Little Lilypad Co

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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or our baby bloggers and occasionally we accept guest posts. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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  1. We regularly talk about the affects of childhood asthma but I didn't know that asthma has been associated with a prolonged time to pregnancy and a decreased birth rate. 

    A new clinical observation study published today (12 February, 2016) in the European Respiratory Journal adds to previous studies that have identified a link between asthma and fertility. The evidence so far has been conflicting and many of the studies have either relied on data from questionnaires or small sample sizes. The current study investigated 245 women with unexplained fertility problems aged between 23 and 45 years. They underwent asthma and allergy testing and questionnaires during their fertility treatment. 96 women in the study had either an existing doctor’s diagnosis of asthma or were diagnosed with asthma when they entered the study. That is a whopping 39% of women, which is a huge number. 

     LLP - Asthma linked to an increased time to pregnancy

    The researchers monitored the women during their fertility treatment for a minimum of 12 months, until they had a successful pregnancy, stopped treatment or the observation ended. The results found that the median total time to pregnancy was 32.2 months in non-asthmatic women and 55.6 months in those with asthma. Women with asthma also had fewer successful conceptions: 39.6% achieved pregnancy in the asthmatic women compared with 60.4% in the women without asthma. The results also found this trend was more apparent as the women got older. 

    Lead author Dr Elisabeth Juul Gade, commented: “This finding in a clinical trial setting adds new weight to the epidemiological evidence suggesting a link between asthma and fertility. We have seen here that asthma seems to have a negative influence on fertility as it increases time to pregnancy and even more so with age. 

    “We do not yet know the causal relationship; it may be complex with different types of asthma, psychological well-being, asthma medication and hormones all play a role.  Given this new evidence, we believe that clinicians should encourage women with asthma to become pregnant at an earlier age and optimise their treatment for asthma pre-conception. Patient education is also of paramount importance as adherence to treatment may be enhanced if patients are informed of this link.”

    Dr Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Policy at Asthma UK, says: “These findings will be frustrating for many women who are trying to conceive as they do not offer any solution, other than planning a family earlier in life which is not a viable option for everyone. There is a wealth of existing research linking asthma and hormones so this adds to our knowledge on the subject but we need much more investment into asthma research to be able to understand exactly how asthma could impact on fertility. If you have asthma and you are trying to conceive then you should have an open discussion with your GP about your health to ensure you are managing your asthma, understand how your medicines work and are taking them correctly. If you have any concerns you can also call our expert nurses on the Asthma UK Helpline on 0300 222 5800.” 

    I loved being pregnant and fortunately have never suffered the torment of struggling with conception but I can only imagine how difficult this must be. On the flip side, I now worry that my youngest daughter will endure these difficulties as she grows older and wants children of her own. I am a huge supporter of Asthma UK and their helpline has been so useful for me and my family, I just hope that they continue to get the support and investment that they need to continue their important work and research.

     

  2. As a mum, I love to see other mums striving to create something for their family, so when I was approached by Lisa from Create Me Books, I was happy to help share their story.

    Lisa is a Mum of three and foster mum to many over the years and lives in Devon. After a big operation that required a long recovery, she decided to write her little girl a bedtime story, and after lovingly creating this book she made the decision to turn her vision into a business. Lisa has now set up an ecommerce website (https://www.createmebooks.com/) with the idea being that people can come to them, create personalised children's books for their little ones (ages 2-7) online and have them delivered to their house. Sounds lovely doesn't it? 

    Create me Books

    The website is really easy to use and you can personalise your character with their name, hair colour, hairstyle, outfit colour, skin tone and even whether the character wears glasses, which is very cute. From point of order, the book took around 10 days to arrive so it is worth noting this if you are buying one for a gift. 

    The illustrations in the book are both colourful and beautifully drawn, they capture the innocence of the imagination without distracting the reader from the story. The quality of the book doesn't go unnoticed either, the pages and cover are exceptionally high quality and would withstand the odd toddler drink spill or debate about which page you read last!

     Create me Books 2

    There are paragraphs of the book that rhyme and others that don't but upon speaking with Lisa, it was never intended to be a rhyming tale but this is something she is looking to develop as the business progress. This doesn't detract from the story but it is worth keeping in mind if you start to get into a rhyming "flow". The story is adorable, visually interesting with a varied layout designed to retain the interest of the child.

    The book retails at £17.99 which when there is a section where you can write a personal message to the recipiant, it makes the book an adorable gift and keepsake for any occasion.

    So we are absolutely thrilled to be able to give you the chance to win a personalised book for your child ...... just enter below!

    Create me Books - Win

     

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Terms & Conditions

    The Prize: Personalised Bedtime Book from Create Me Books
    The winner will be chosen at random by the random winner generator on Rafflecopter and notified within 7 working days by email
    Create Me Books will make every effort to provide the book detailed here but this cannot be guaranteed
    By entering this competition, you understand that your details may be retained for future mailings. You can unsubscribe from this mailing list at any time.
    There is no monetary equivalent.
    Little Lilypad Co take no /responsibility for loss or damage in the despatch of prizes
    If the prize is unclaimed within 7 days we reserve the right to redraw the winner.
    End Date 29/02/2016 at 12am

  3. We have written a lot about swimming and alot about asthma but we are learning new things all the time. There was a time when I wouldn't have taken my little one swimming when they had a cold or had just had their injections but as we have come a long way on our parenting (and swimming) journey, I am more confident about when I should and shouldn't take her swimming. I am also learning new things about asthma all the time and a relatively new one for me is that asthma and eczema are linked. Although it’s not exactly clear what causes eczema, we know that it tends to run in families, therefore is part of your genetic make-up. However, there are many things that can cause it to flare up, from cold weather to your favourite perfume or jumper. Changes in temperature, feeling unwell and stress can also make your eczema worse.

    Atopic eczema affects around 20% of children under five years, making baby swimming a question for some parents. Is it still ok to take your baby swimming if they suffer from eczema? It’s not nice to see your child have to miss out on something they love so much, but the good news is that swimming doesn’t have to irritate the condition further. In fact, evidence shows that it can actually help some children.

    What do the Professionals Say?

    Asthma UK advise that we all need to try to be as active as we can be every day and the recommended amount of gentle swimming is two and a half hours a week, or half an hour a day. Although it is work noting that chlorine used in pools or cold pools may be triggers for some people with asthma.

    The National Eczema Society has recently advised that diluted bleach can reduce bacteria on eczema-affected skin, and this process is replicated by the chlorine in swimming pool water. Salt water is a natural disinfectant and can have a similar effect. Ask when chlorine is added to the pool so you can avoid swimming straight afterwards, when the chlorine level will be at its highest. 

    Both the British Association of Dermatologists and the National Eczema Society advise you to avoid taking your baby swimming if their skin is especially irritated. Apply emollient ointment before swimming; and rinse and apply more emollient after swimming. I always found it beneficial to have a towel handy that I could wrap my baby in straight away, and to have a toy to keep their hands busy and distract them from the urge to scratch.

    Baby Swimsuits

    You can protect your baby’s skin further with a long-sleeved and long-legged swimsuit. Look for one which is designed with as few scratchy seams as possible, and, if it is being worn outdoors, which has 50+UV protection. As well as stopping your baby from being as slippery as a fish in the water, a swim suit will help stop emollient ointment being rubbed off, and protect delicate skin from sunburn if you’re swimming outdoors.

    Allergies

    Benefits of Swimming with Eczema 

    I recently talked about the many benefits of baby swimming and these are just as true for babies with eczema as for those without. Studies have linked having eczema to a higher risk of developing asthma. Swimming helps control the effects of asthma by strengthening the cardiovascular system, so is great for eczema babies.

    Trust Your Judgement

    You know your child better than anyone. You’re the one looking at their skin and applying cream, so you’ll know straight away the effect swimming has on it. Pay attention to the signs and use your judgement. It may be that short baby swimming sessions have no adverse effect but that there’s a tipping point when their skin becomes irritated. You could find that their eczema reacts differently depending on the pool due to various chemicals and temperatures. Outdoor pools tend to be cooler and therefore less irritating. If one pool doesn’t work, try another.

    Speak to your doctor about baby swimming with eczema. Try a variety of barrier and moisturising ointments until you find the right combination that works for their skin (this is true even if you’re not taking your baby swimming).


    There might not be a cure for asthma or eczema but its effects can certainly be managed so you and your baby can enjoy all the fun of swimming together.

  4. It could be argued that there are many “most” nerve-wracking times in a parent’s family life, from your child being born, to their first steps, leaving them with someone else and now, waiting to hear about school places for both infant and senior school (I didn't plan that very well did I?)

    LLP - Playing the school place waiting game

    Aside from having two new lots of uniforms to buy, the stress of actually getting the school place we want hasn’t exactly made us go grey overnight, but it has certainly added to my husband's silver stripes, as my youngest calls them (thanks, princess!) So. Much. Pressure. Will we get our first choice, or even our second or third? Are the horror stories from parents of previous years about massive oversubscription true? Is that red rated school really as bad as Ofsted say and, if so, can we afford private school, because I am quite certain my sanity can’t afford home schooling.

    Private School

    Fed up with the stomach-churning sensation that surely means an ulcer forming, I have come up with a variety of distractions.

    1. Play School Brag Bingo. Score points for every time you hear a nursery parent confidently name drop a governor they know. Score double points if they know a head teacher.
    2. Look into the cost of private education. Sit down. Debate whether avoiding a poor school is worth paying off a re-mortgaged house for the rest of your life.
    3. Investigate the process of home schooling.
    4. Investigate the cost of hiring a tutor to home school.
    5. Give evil looks to every old person you see living in catchment area.
    6. Consider moving.
    7. Write a list of reasons that “bad” school may actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise. At least you won’t have to fork out hundreds of pounds for school trips each year.
    8. Eat cake. Not a new distraction, but a good one all the same.
    9. Start running. The endorphins exercise release feel almost as good as the smug satisfaction you get from arriving at the school gates in running shoes that have actually seen some action. And it will help negate the effects of that cake
    10. Try to avoid turning too much to wine for solace. Actually, do what you like - I’m not going to judge (though I bet you a bottle of Prosecco that there will be a parent at the school gates who will. It’s ok, you don’t want your child to play with theirs anyway).

    Keep things in perspective. Your child’s life won’t be over if they don’t get into your first choice of school. Life is all about rolling with the punches. Who knows, your child could turn out to be the next Muhammed Ali.

    Speaking of keeping things in perspective, I love this letter Harmony Hill Primary School sent pupils recently, reminding them that they are worth more than a grade. Whether or not your child is accepted does not come down to how good a parent you are, but factors largely outside your control.

    And in the end, while education IS a serious matter, don't take this blog post too seriously .... well except the bit about cake, I am very serious about that!