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 by one of our baby bloggers. Occasionally we accept guest posts too. 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.
Have you been to a wedding this summer? Did you find that being excited for the couple is one thing and then you realise that it might be quite costly for you and your family to attend as a guest?
We have two weddings to go to this year, one in the Autumn and one on New Years Eve and whilst the latter helps us to solve the "what are we doing for New Years Eve debate" it also means hotels, outfits and gifts straight after the expense of Christmas. We are firm believers in never arguing about money but it is quite sad to see that one in four Britons has argued with their partner about the cost of watching others say "I do"
There has been a recent survey by Experian’s that suggests the rising cost of weddings is rocking the boat for many couples, and not just for the bride and groom. In fact, almost a quarter of Britons (22%) have argued with their partner about the cost of witnessing others tie the knot. Eek!
Experian have highlighted some top do's and don'ts for financial harmony, which I think is great advice for any frugal family.
Set the ground rules. Do you want a joint account for regular expenses and separate bank accounts for personal spending? Or do you want everything to go together?
Work out who does what. The more frugal partner could look after the budget, while the more extravagant works out the ‘treats’, like meals out or trips away
Agree on short and long-term goals and how you’re going to achieve them, and review regularly together
Be honest about your past. If you have a less-than-perfect history of repaying money you owe, this could affect both of you in the long-term if your credit reports become linked
Take time together to understand if you need to improve one or both of your credit reports. Do this well in advance of applying for credit together
Spend all your time together talking about money
Keep secrets. Research from Experian shows that 29% of people in the UK discovered that their partner was keeping credit card debt from them
Dig yourself into a hole. If you find yourself in debt, don’t borrow more in the hope of putting things right. Ask for help and be open about it with your partner
Talk about money issues when you are angry. Arguing about money is never going to be productive
Expect your partner to completely change. It’s unlikely an extravagant spender will do a complete about-turn and suddenly become frugal
Managing your finances and your relationship can be quite a balancing act – when it comes to both organising and attending weddings, moving in together or just life in general. That’s why Experian have created a dedicated Money & Relationships Guide to help people understand what we know can be quite a complex series of topics – in jargon-free, easy-to-understand language. All of the guides are available online. Hopefully these guides will be helpful for you and your followers who are trying to get their heads around how credit referencing works, and the good, the bad and the surprising when it comes to managing your finances to get what you want in life.
I was determined to remain active whilst I was pregnant, although SPD slowed me down considerably in my second pregnancy but our baby blogger is now struggling with similar symptoms during her third trimester so when Britmums said that they were working with Deep Freeze Pain Relief, we knew we wanted to be involved.
A recent study from Deep Freeze revealed that 26 per cent of pregnant women exercise twice a week, with a further 16 per cent exercising once a week. However, of the 36 per cent of those who choose not to exercise, 20 per cent choose not to due to back pain. This is a really interesting statistic and one that both myself and Lynette, our baby blogger can relate to. Here is her story ...
I have always been keen to keep myself fit and active from an early age, Having attended many clubs for exercise over the years, and taking part in different activities. When I was pregnant with our first child, I took things very easy due to a complicated start to the pregnancy. Although I tried to keep myself active, to be honest I didn't want to do anything that may cause a problem. As a result I put on a lot of weight.
After a 4 year gap, and getting back into a good exercise regime I am now 38 weeks pregnant with our second child. Apart from morning sickness in the first 15 weeks, I managed to keep myself very active and busy. However, as the middle of the second trimester approached, I started to suffer with pain in my middle back. I found sleeping exceptionally difficult, and sitting for long periods of time was almost impossible. As the third trimester approached, the pain had moved to my lower back and into my pelvis.
As you can see, I have a beautiful baby bump but exercise was now practically impossible and even getting in/out of bed was painful. I was extremely disappointed that I was not able to do a lot without having to rest. Exercise was a no go. Walking was a struggle, so how would I be able to go to Yoga or walking in our village, so you can imagine that I was thrilled to test the Deep Freeze Cold Patches.
The box contains a foil pouch which is resealable with grip seal. The pouch contains 4 patches and although they have quite a medicated smell you don't notice this once the product is applied and under clothing (although they do stay on better if you wrap something around it like a bandage). The patches are a good size and I found them easy to use, although given my discomfort it is a shame that they don't last more than a few hours as I would really like a full night's sleep before the baby arrives.
With back pain affecting three out of four mums to be and the barrier of taking oral painkillers when pregnant being an issue, most mums to be just stop keeping active during pregnancy despite the health benefits. Thankfully, the Deep Freeze Pain Relief Cold Patch offers initial, effective drug-free pain relief from muscular back pain during pregnancy*, just like an ice pack, and provides long-lasting cold analgesia to the site of pain. The adhesive patch is applied simply and easily, and can be worn without restricting movement or needing to be replaced frequently to maintain the cooling effect. Deep Freeze Pain Relief Cold Patches are great news for muscular back pain during pregnancy.
As a final (and slightly humorous note) the patches have also been found to help our baby bloggers husbands back after he fell through the ceiling during their extension work on the house (I kid you not - here is the picture to prove it) and he is now a huge fan of the pain relieving properties of the Deep Freeze Pain Relief Cold Patch.
I'm working with BritMums and Deep Freeze Pain Relief Cold Patch, writing about pregnancy and muscular back pain. I was provided Deep Freeze Pain Relief Cold Patch and have been compensated for my time. All editorial and opinions are my own. Visit Deep Freeze for more information.
One of my closest friends is pregnant, so I am busy planning baby showers and looking at cute outfits but these are not the things that are on her mind. She has fretted about blood tests and prenatal scans ever since that pregnancy test showed up as positive, so I am delighted to host this guest post which will hopefully alleviate some of her concerns.
The moment many women find out they are expecting, pregnancy hormones have already laid the groundwork for full-time mama mode. An inherent desire to protect and care for your baby may leave you feeling extra cautious, especially about anything that involves your pregnancy. Along with a slew of appointments with your OB/GYN doctor, you will also get a chance to have prenatal ultrasound appointments. If you have never experienced an ultrasound, you may have some questions and concerns about your first appointment and if it poses any risks to you or your baby.
As a new mom, everything you do will center on ensuring your baby is developing safely and healthily. One way that you are able to safely monitor your baby’s growth is through a prenatal ultrasound. An ultrasound is a painless and external diagnostic test that relies on sound waves, not radiation, to produce an image of the body’s interior surfaces. Most women will have at least one prenatal ultrasound during a pregnancy, and they can be performed as early as the first trimester to confirm pregnancy. Although they are appropriate for any stage of your pregnancy, ultrasounds will be able to show you different things about your baby, depending on when they are scheduled. Earlier ultrasounds are generally performed to check the size and position of the fetus to help confirm the due date, while later ultrasounds can result in a take-home image of your baby and can confirm the baby’s sex – if that is something you want to know.
Ultrasounds are perfectly safe, no matter what trimester of the pregnancy you are in. A non-invasive exam, ultrasounds are also very routine procedures that don’t pose any risks to the baby. Although the safety of prenatal ultrasounds is well documented, you may hear or read about some uninformed opinions concerning ultrasound exams. One major misconception is that ultrasounds transmit radiation. This is completely false as ultrasounds only transmit sound waves. Further, some people falsely believe that sonic energy used by the ultrasound transforms into heat, which could impact a fetus’s health. However, the Federal Food and Drug Administration carefully regulates the use of ultrasounds and has very strict rules regarding the energy levels emitted by ultrasound machines, so there is no need to worry about the sound waves harming your baby in any way.
Additionally, some women report that their doctors caution against having multiple ultrasounds. It is completely safe to have multiple ultrasounds, although many women choose to just have one for cost purposes. Doctors warn against multiple ultrasounds simply because they are time consuming and expensive, and there is no medical reason for multiple ultrasounds in most cases. Additionally, doctors are wary of expectant parents using non-medical facilities that offer ultrasounds for keepsake photos and videos of baby. Although the ultrasound itself is perfectly safe, your doctor may recommend against these unnecessary exams because a technician with no medical training might perform the ultrasound and miss an important change in your pregnancy.
Fully engaged with a motherly mind, baby’s well-being will be your priority as you proceed with life together. There are plenty of things to busy your mind during pregnancy – choosing a name for baby, preparing a nursery, routine health checks – but prenatal ultrasounds should not be an additional worry. Ultrasounds are the safest tool to help you and your doctor plan the best options for your prenatal care. If you are pregnant, be sure to discuss with your doctor when you should schedule your first ultrasound appointment, so that you can continue to learn about the growing baby that you will soon be welcoming into your world.
This post was written for Little Lily Pad by Glenn Josephik. Glenn is an account representative and the marketing coordinator at MedCorp LLC the industry leader and premier business source for used portable ultrasound systems. You can follow Glenn Josephik on Google+
My eldest daughter came home from school a week or so ago and casually dropped into conversation that the nurse had been in to see them and was talking about periods. Once I had got over the initial shock, I realised that she is 10 years old and I can ignore it as much as I like but she is growing up and I have to do my best to support her, nuture her and answer her questions as honestly as I can. So between us we came up with the top 10 things she wanted to know.
1. Will it hurt?
You might find you get a dull ache for the first day or so. It can be uncomfortable but it soon passes.
2. Will I get one every month?
Once your monthly cycle gets into a routine, you will get a period around every 28 days. In the first few months it is likely that they will be a little less regular but it will eventually even out and you are more aware of your body.
3. Does every girl get them?
Every girl that goes through puberty will get a period. You might find some girls "bragging" about it but in the end, it is something all women go through when their body is ready. Most girls get their first period between 11-14 years old, you could start your period anywhere from 8-17 years old.
4. What happens if my period comes when I am at school?
If your body is changing, it maybe good to keep some tampons or pantiliners discreetly in her bag in case you get your first period while you are not at home. You may even want to keep an extra pair of underwear in her book bag. This will be one of those tips you will appreciate when your period does arrive unexpectantly.
5. Can I still do P.E or swimming when I am on my period?
Yes, as long as you use a tampon, something like the Tampax Compak Pearl is good as they expand width-wise to eliminate the gaps that can cause leaks, and any embarresment. The packaging is pretty cool too! Tampons will also allow you to swim during your period, so nothing is out of bounds! If you are uncomfortable then you can get some simple pain relief, although I always think that a hot water bottle is the first port of call.
6. Will I get my period at the same time as my friends?
No, all girls are different and it is not a race to get yours first. Everyones bodies are different. Celebrate yours for today.
7. Do I have to have time off school?
Not unless you are in real discomfort should you need time off school (Sorry!!)
8. Will anyone else know I am on my period?
You may be a little tired and grumpy and possibly your skin might have an outbreak of spots but this is typical of most tweens and teens so unless you tell people, there is no reason for anyone else to know.
9. How long will it last?
A normal period should be between three and five days, sometimes as long as a week but you will get used to your own body as the months go on.
10. Will I have them forever?
The menopause, sometimes referred to as the "change of life", is the end of menstruation. This is where a woman's ovaries stop producing an egg every four weeks. She no longer has monthly periods and is unlikely to get pregnant. In the UK, 51 is the average age for a woman to reach the menopause, although some women can experience the menopause in their 30s or 40s.
Things to Look Out For
Mums can answer most questions but you should seek medical advice if you:
Are 16 and haven’t gotten your period yet.
Get periods that last longer than seven days for three cycles.
Experience a dramatic change from your typical periods.
Miss your period for six months straight.
Are passing large clots.
Are soaking through your tampon or pad hourly for two or more hours.
Are bleeding between menstrual periods.
Have pelvic pain for longer than a day that seems unrelated to your period.
There is a lot of information on the internet, so sometimes you can feel a little frazzled by it all but we are pleased to be able to share some great content from Dr Radha Modgil for you:
Mum’s Period Questions Answered by Dr Radha Modgil
“Puberty can be a scary time for your daughter, but it can be a stressful time for mum as well! You’re watching your little girl grow up and you want to be there to support and guide her and most importantly to answer any of her questions. To help you feel empowered with all the information you need to reassure her at this confusing time, I’ve pulled together some answers to some of those big questions that you and your daughter might have.”
1.When is the best time to talk to my daughter about periods?
It’s a great idea to split up this conversation into little chunks over time rather than having ‘the big chat,’ which can make some girls feel uncomfortable. Periods tend to start about 2.5 years after breast development begins and 1 year after their growth spurt. These signs can be useful in knowing roughly when you should start to think about talking to them about periods so that they are ready. This time will vary from person to person. The average age to start your period is 12 years old, but it can vary from 8 to 16 years old, so the best advice is to know your daughter as an individual. The really important thing is to let her know you are there and easy to chat to, without judgement or worry.
2.How would you recommend I bring up the topic with her? Do you have any tips for parents who feel embarrassed about broaching the topic with their daughters?
It is understandable that some parents feel worried about how or when to talk to their daughter. Remember why you want to talk to her. You want her to be prepared so she isn’t confused or scared, and doesn’t feel alone. This should help you in getting over any worries or embarrassment. If you feel embarrassed she is likely to feel the same, or worse! Get yourself some information that you can share with her to help the chat, you could use this Puberty Education Booklet for Girls [link], or a website. Pick a quiet time when you are alone and approach the subject sensitively. Tell her that you want to chat, even though she might feel embarrassed because you care and you want to empower her. Offer the option of talking things through or give her the choice of reading the leaflet in private if she feels more comfortable - and respect her decision. Put the offer to her of you buying her some pads to have in case she needs them. Leave it with her and check back with her in a few days. The most important thing is to let her know that you are always there for her to chat to no matter what it is about.
3.What will happen when she gets her first period?
She may get breast tenderness just before she starts her period and get slightly more emotional. When her period starts she may feel some lower tummy cramps. Emotionally she may feel confused, shocked and vulnerable. It is really important to support her at this time. Give her emotional support and explain what these changes are and that they’re something to celebrate and not be afraid of. Make sure you give her some pads and help her with how to use them, and talk about tampons as another option for the future. Make a date to take her out and do something nice together.
4.How long will it take before her periods become regular?
This can vary but normally periods do become regular about a year or just over a year after she starts. If they continue to be irregular after this, or are very irregular, then it is a good idea to see her GP.
5.Will she experience PMS when she starts her period?
She may do. It is difficult to know who will be affected by the changes in hormone levels, by how much or when. It is great to let her know about possible PMS symptoms and that she can help herself by exercising, eating well, sleeping well and dealing with stress in a healthy way. Let her know you understand and that if she ever feels emotional, sad or anxious you are there for her. If the symptoms become too much, then you can go with her to see the GP, who can help.