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 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.

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Category: Views & Ramblings

  1. Best Beginnings - supporting families with a premature or sick baby

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    If you are a regular blog reader, you will know that I am blessed with two perfectly (cheeky) daughters who, although were both 10 days early, were born safely and without incident. But what would I have done if that hadnt been the case? During pregnancy, most women just assume that their baby will arrive safely and healthily but for those parents that do have premature or sick babies, what then?

    As a parent, I know that I would have wanted all the information available to me so I am therefore pleased to be able to share details of the new national initiative that supports families with a premature or sick baby. The initiative launches on the 19th June 2012 and is designed to enable every family of a sick or premature baby to be at the cornerstone of their baby’s care in ways that can help to improve health outcomes.  

    Here are some details from the press release for you:                                                                                                       

    UK-based child health charity Best Beginnings, working with six medical Royal College, UNICEF and more than 15 other organisations, is rolling out a national Small Wonders Change Programme implemented by over 400 nurse, doctor and midwife ‘Champions’ within hospitals throughout the UK to help families of premature and sick babies in the UK irrespective of their socio-economic group, receive the same high quality family-centered care.

    At the centre of the programme is the Small Wonders DVD, which is the culmination of two years of intensive work for Best Beginnings and follows fourteen families, charting the real-life experiences the parents faced as they met, cared for, and returned home with their premature or sick baby.  With 80,000 babies in the UK each year born either premature or sick it is designed as a tool to enable neonatal staff to support and advise parents through their baby’s stay, and encourage parents to play a pivotal role in the care their baby receives in ways that have been proven to positively impact health outcomes, interventions and activities such expressing breast milk, responding to their baby’s non-verbal cues and having skin-to-skin contact.

    Using the expertise of over 200 experts in neonatal care including consultant neonatologists, representatives of Royal Colleges, specialist dieticians and infant feeding specialists and created in conjunction with 10 hospitals across the UK, the Small Wonders DVD is designed to ensure that parents have the insight, guidance, confidence and support they need, from when they are first told they may be having a premature baby, through those first crucial hours after birth to their baby’s first birthday.  The DVD is split into 12 films each covering a different topic, which parents can select individually.

    In addition to being available for free in neonatal units across the UK the Small Wonders DVD is available to purchase for £5 from www.bestbeginnings.org.uk/pages/shop/.

    Best Beginnings

    Having been fortunate enough to breastfeed both of my daughters, I know the bond it can give you and this kind of support is invaluable, especially to mums feeling vulnerable after the birth of this gorgeous small person into the world. Best Beginnings is a small charity committed to having a big impact on child health across the UK.  You can find out more about their work and support them at http://www.bestbeginnings.org.uk/appeal/donate-for-child-health 

    If you know one person that this may help or be of interested to - please share it with them. This small action can mean a big deal to someone who is feeling isolated or struggling and with most of us never having enough hands to hold a book, a DVD is a great way to share this information.

    Wouldnt you want the Best Beginning?  

  2. The Pillow Fight : The battle of the maternity pillows

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    I was very lucky to be offered a variety of maternity pillows whilst I was pregnant, some recommending benefits for the dreaded SPD, others talking about ease of breastfeeding, so we (and I mean the whole family) have put them to the test. So let the pillow fight commence ...

    Theraline Maternity Pillow

    The key points noted from Theraline is that this maternity and nursing pillow gives you stable support during your pregnancy, relief for legs, belly and a stressed back, easy to change sleeping positions, safely molds to baby’s body and it gives you amazing back support. I was genuinely surprised at how big this pillow is, it is definately the "daddy" of the nursing pillows and I really wanted to use it in bed at night whilst I was pregnant but dissapointingly my SPD meant that I couldnt get comfortable with anything, including this pillow, it was simply too big. This is not to say that the pillow hasnt been used, my eldest daughter has adopted it in her bedroom and it is great to sit her baby sister in, when we are all reading in the bedroom. It wraps around her easily, leaving her safe and comfortable. Verdict: Big Sisters favourite!TheralineFor more details go to http://www.theraline.co.uk/ 

    Floppeze Support Pillow

    The Floppeze is a uniquely designed pillow that has multiple uses throughout the developing years from pregnancy support, feeding, sitting, travel and more.  I was extremely excited that the Floppeze claims to be an especially good support for women who suffer with SPD, so I was ready and raring to try this out! My pelvis however had other ideas and decided that it was going to be a complete pain (!!) and not be eased by anything. I have concluded that this is more a reflection on my body rather than the design or abilities of any of the pillows tested. We all absolutely LOVE the design of this pillow, it appeals to children (young and old) with its "cow" design and has been a godsend as the little one has got bigger as it has been used to support her development through tummy time and learning to sit unaided. I think out of all of the pillows, this is the one that will last after the baby stage, it will be a neck support on long journeys and with its cheeky face, its like having a new pet! Verdict : Daddy's favourite.

    For more details go to http://www.bibsandstuff.co.uk/

    Boppy Pillow

    The press release tells us that the award-winning Boppy feeding pillow creates an ergonomic ‘nest’ shape, which embraces and cuddles baby making them feel safe and protected and helps to aid the feeding process. A “Miracle Middle” which adapts to the shape of each and every mum guarantees a snug and secure fit and the exclusive fibre padding used in each pillow means it keeps its shape and is incredibly supportive and comfortable.  This was the pillow that I used in the early days of breastfeeding, it wrapped round me snugly and supported my baby girl well. It was fantastic for my eldest daughter to, as she could sit with her little sister comfortably, without worrying about her sliding out of her arms.  This is definately the "toughest" of the nursing pillows, so maybe this is actually the "mummy" of this group. Verdict : Mummy's Favourite!
    Boppy
     
    For more details visit www.boppyworld.co.uk

    The use of a maternity or nursing pillow isnt all about asthetics and whether it looks nice in your lounge or your nursery, there is medial research that we have been supplied, courtesy of Boppy Pillow, which explains how the pillow helps with correct positioning for feeding.

    Professor Guido Moro, Director at the Neonatology Operating unit and Neonatal Intensive Care unit at the Macedonio Melloni Hospital in Milan, explains: “At the beginning, it’s normal for the strong sucking of the baby to elongate the nipple and the areola tissues, which causes a certain amount of discomfort. When the baby is not positioned correctly, this will cause harsh tugging at the nipples which can lead to severe discomfort and pain to both the nipples and the breasts; over time this can even cause painful cracks and chaps,which take time to heal.” 

    The use of a feeding pillow makes it much easier to find a variety of comfortable feeding positions, whatever the circumstance or environment. Prof. Guido Moro says: “A feeding pillow can be a great help for mother and baby during nursing. Without a pillow, the mother’s arm muscles tire more easily and the baby can slowly slide downwards, which changes the way he suckles on the breast, something that can be rather painful for the nipples.”
     
    So in the end, I think it comes down to personal choice. I have been lucky enough to try 3 different pillows and each have their own merits - it really depends on what you need from your nursing pillow as to which one suits your needs best!
  3. What age do we stop holding hands?

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    My daughter and I walked out of school on Friday and without thinking, she slipped her hand into mine and we walked along chatting and laughing. At 6 years old, she is not quite self conscious enough to think its not cool to hold my hand, or kiss me goodbye but I know that time will come, I am just holding on for as long as I can.

    It got me wondering about holding hands, when do we stop?

    We hold our babies hands and they wrap their tiny hands around our finger, we hold our toddlers tightly when we teach them to cross the road, we walk proudly with our children on the first day of school and never ever want to let them go.

    holding hands

    Our children grow up and reach out to hold the hands of their friends and boyfriends ((shudder)) and they dont believe they need to hold ours any longer.  They have their life in the palm of their hands and as they grow up, they want to be set free, not held back. I know this so I am thankful that I still have some one to hold my hand. I am a thirty something woman who still loves the simplicity of holding hands, the innocence and the safety it inspires.

    So when are we too old to hold hands? I recently saw an elderly couple walking along the road holding hands and if they are anything to go by, the answer is never.

    So I suppose that whilst I may not always be able to hold my daughters' hands forever, I will have to be content with always holding their hearts.

  4. Baby Led Weaning or Baby Food Wearing?

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    The advice on weaning changes from year to year, when my eldest daughter was 16 weeks old, I was advised to give her baby rice and porridge however with my youngest, I have been told not to give her anything but milk until she was 6 months old.  

    7 years ago, I recall standing for hours pureeing foods and freezing it in little pots, only to find most of it spat back out at mealtimes (I am sure this is no reflection of my cooking) whereas now, we are advised to give babies anything they can feed themselves. There have been reports by the NHS that spoon feeding make babies fatter but the research seems to be in its infancy, so once again mothers are left wondering if what they are doing is right. Here is a snapshot of the findings:

    The general trend in results was as follows:

    • Carbohydrates were the most popular food category for the baby-led weaning group, who liked carbohydrates more than the spoon-fed group.
    • Sweet foods were most liked by the spoon-fed group.
    • Preference and frequency of consumption were not influenced by socioeconomic status, although an increased liking for vegetables was associated with a higher social class.
    • Using NHS BMI guidelines, eight children in the spoon-fed group were obese (12.7%) compared to none in the baby-led group. However, nine children in the baby-led weaning group (14.3%) were overweight compared to two in the spoon-fed group (3.2%).
    • Three children in the baby-led weaning group were classed as underweight (4.7%) compared to none in the spoon-fed group.
    • No difference in picky eating was found between the two groups.

    In all honesty, I have found weaning a more enjoyable experience, rather than the one I endured 7 years ago, the little one is definately more receptive to foods at 6 months than my eldest ever was at 4 momths. So we have had great fun with banana, cheese, toast and cucumber, not forgetting the (apparently yummy) rice cakes.  We do spoon feed with our breakfast, I am not entirely sure I would trust her with porridge at the moment, although after a sneeze the other morning, it was more like baby food wearing than baby led weaning!

    There are lots of books about Baby Led Weaning (we are not endorsing any particular one here) or find out another mums perspective on baby led weaning in this great post over on Pink Oddy's blog.

    baby led weaning