Fertility and Pregnancy Diets. Interview with Esca Nutrition and Dietetics

Having a baby isn’t the easiest of rides – even from the struggles of trying to conceive through to delivery. No one said it was going to be easy (although if you’ve had an easy ride of both falling pregnant through to the birth of your healthy little bundles then COUNT YOURSELF VERY FORTUNATE!).

However, I have always believed that what we can do to help ourselves along the way really does count. In recent times I’ve got to know Sarah Farren, a registered dietician for the NHS and also founder of Esca Nutrition & Dietetics, offering simple, evidence based dietary advice for a variety of concerns and individual needs.

Sarah offers private appointments with home visits and she also runs group workshops too. Pregnancy is a popular subject she is requested for, from pre-conception and fertility diets and what to eat during pregnancy too and here she shares her insight in to why yours (and your partners) food intake is important for when trying for a baby…

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Returning to work after maternity leave (featuring guest interview)

As a lot of my readers will know already, I faced a redundancy situation at 36 weeks pregnant. But even before that chapter of my career was enforced upon me, I spent weeks (aka my entire pregnancy) debating and analysing every return-to-work eventuality  – financially and logistically. It’s not an alien situation, as pretty much every friend of mine has returned to their pre-baby job, so surely all things run smooth and all employers are flexible and accommodating and life is all sunshine and smiles, right??!! Hmm. Not necessarily.

In this post I speak to a professional recruiter, career advisor and mentor in the City of London who has provided me with some useful words of advice and wisdom. I may be biased, because this said professional is my dear brother, James Manders, but he’s done me proud, succeeding in his field and is providing more and more support to new mothers going back to work and to those wanting to start their careers again from scratch.

James is the MD and owner of specialist recruitment boutique CassonX, and a proud director of Pink Dynasty CIC which empowers young females from underprivileged backgrounds to gain mentorships and work experience in London…

Image: Shutterstock

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Our Baby Sensory journey (with brand Q&A)

When you become a mother for the first time, in that first year there are bound to be key highlights that will become memorable landmarks from your early days of motherhood.

For me, one of the things that defines my first year of motherhood was Baby Sensory – a nationwide franchise of mother and baby classes that explores all things “sensory” with your little one.

When Henry came along, I lived in an area where I didn’t have many mummy friends on my doorstop with babies close enough in age to hang out with – those first time mothers equally as unsure as I was about anything and everything about looking after a new baby,  going through the exact same challenges and emotions and at the exact same time. I had my *amazing* sane-saving NCT friends yes, and other mummy friends, but none in close/walking distance and therefore I had to make it my mission to plan a few things in to my week – to regain some normality and structure (not too much too early on though!) and to join a group that I know will prove to offer great benefit to Henry as he embarks on his new life journey.

This post shows you Henry’s Baby Sensory journey in photos as well as a Q&A with the brand itself. I chat to a Baby Sensory leader, giving you ample sensory insight and inspiration, and is especially useful if you’re thinking about joining a local class near you…

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Mothercare press day Spring/Summer 2018 and my interview with Myleene Klass

Before the Christmas rush, I was invited along to the Mothercare press day, where the brand was showcasing their new collections for spring/summer 2018.

There’s lots to look forward for Mothercare’s new season, which is starting to appear in stores and online already. Spring is on the horizon YES! There are some great collaborations with Usborne Books,  as well as ongoing collections with Myleene Klass, Jools Oliver and Julian Macdonald.

I was lucky enough to chat to Myleene Klass at the press day, so scroll down to view photos from the event, to see some of my favourite outfits launching and to also read my exclusive chat with Myleene…

I got to interview yummy mummy Myleene Klass at the Mothercare spring/summer 2018 press day

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Messaroos! A Messy Play Group for Babies and Toddlers: Review

As a mother who enjoys taking her son to baby groups and classes since he was two weeks old (not obsessively – twice a week is ample!) when Messaroos  – a baby/toddler group – launched, I had to check it out. This wasn’t just any baby group, but a messy play group! THIS IS EVERY PARENTS/CARERS DREAM!

The touch, feel, smell – and maybe taste haha – of (safe) messy play ingredients help to stimulate the senses, encourage little ones to learn new textures and enhance their concentration levels from being out-of-the-norm from regular sensory toys at home. If you don’t want too much mess at home with messy play, then why not let someone else set up shop elsewhere, arrange all the messy fun and then leave it to them to clear up afterwards! It’s a genius idea for a play group which is unique to anything else I’ve taken Henry to. All you have to do is take a spare change of clothes for your little one, and maybe a pack of wet wipes… 😉

I’ve enclosed some photos of Henry’s experience and I have also interviewed the co-creaters – Jo and Ella. They are both young yummy mummies, who saw a gap in the market for a new pre-school group idea and who are embracing and inspiring the #mumpreneur era.

I’m championing every parent who a) has found it difficult to return to their full time employment post pregnancy (due to redundancies, lack off flexible working and part time opportunities, financing childcare etc) and have therefore bitten the bullet and started a new business venture. Jo and Ella are inspirational parents indeed…

Messy play stimulates, focuses and develops your little ones’ senses and is great for learning new textures and for having fun!

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Let’s talk vaginas with ease, with Eve…

How much do you know about vaginas? Yes that’s right, I just said the word VAGINA! Ask your boyfriend, husband, brother or father if they know what a vulva is! Your partner may have been down the “business end” during the birth of your children and still not know what a cervix is!

A shocking 25% of men aged 18 – 24 claim to know nothing about gynae health, or that gynae health is not a male issue.

Well, listen up boys! If your female partners, relatives and friends are diagnosed with a form of gynaecological cancer, you will want to support your loved ones and be informed. Every woman who is diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer has a man in her life who cares about her.

As sexual partners, you are relied upon to spot any symptoms your partner may be unaware of. It is then also your life-saving responsibility to inform your sexual partner (or for some of you reading this – partners!) of any findings – it could save their life.

Far too many men and women don’t know the signs and symptoms of gynae cancers or are too embarrassed to do anything about them and we need to be more open with each other. Regardless of how many years, months, days or hours (!) you have been intimate with a partner, just think, you could save a loved one’s life by finding the confidence to speak up, and this post will help you to do so…

Let’s talk facts. In the UK alone, over 21,000 women are diagnosed with a form of gynaecological cancer each year. This equates to 58 women being diagnosed every day. Sadly, 7,700 of these women will succumb to one of these cancers, which is of course is 7,700 too many. 😦

I have a long standing relationship with The Eve Appeal, the only UK charity raising awareness and funding research in all five gynaecological cancers – womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal. It gives me such pleasure to continue working for them and help drive awareness of their latest campaigns – #IamAdam (for men to become more aware) and #knowyourbody (including a quiz for everyone to take part in).

Here I speak to Athena Lamnisos, Chief Executive Officer of The Eve Appeal who answers many important questions which will be useful for all of us. She talks signs and symptoms, how to approach a sexual partner if we’re concerned, why it’s important for men to be informed, how we can help spread awareness and get involved as well as an update of future screening tests for women (more than the cervical screening already on offer).

Thank you for reading. And please, to all men and women out there reading this post – share, share share!

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