Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Panda Kids Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow review*

For the past couple of weeks Ava has been trialling the Panda Kids Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow, I'd started to notice that she was shunning her regular pillow in favour of a decorative cushion or simply the mattress itself. As someone who has constantly suffered with neck problems I'm all too aware of the pain a bad night's sleep can cause, so when we were asked if Ava would like to give the Bamboo Memory Foam pillow a go I was eager to find out if this was something that could work for Ava.

This special memory foam pillow has been completely designed with children in mind, down to the smallest detail. The pillow dips in the middle and moulds to the shape of your child's head, guaranteeing them a comfortable nights sleep. It also helps to align the neck and shoulders and has been proven to reduce flat head syndrome.

The bamboo fibre cover, which is removable and washing machine friendly, is a breathable fabric which will keep your child cool in the Summer and warmer in the Winter. It's also naturally antibacterial which is fantastic for children who suffer from skin complaints or allergies. It is environmentally friendly and is proven to have been made without the use of any harmful substances.

I was curious to see how Ava would get on with it as it is so much thinner than her regular pillow. However, from the moment that we took the pillow out of it's packaging she has loved it. Her regular pillow still gets shunned but now it's for the Panda pillow instead. I always check on Ava a few times before I go to bed and have expected to find her Panda pillow-less and with her head on the mattress but no, she has stayed on the Panda pillow all night. A brilliant testament to it's comfort rating!

If you are searching for the perfect, child-friendly pillow I highly recommend Panda Kids which can be found here. If you are looking to move your little on from a cot to a bed I would definitely get your hands on one of these!

*We were sent the Panda Kids pillow free of charge in exchange for a review.


Friday, 17 February 2017

My thoughts on the Natal Hypnotherapy course*

At 38 weeks pregnant I have just completed the Natal Hypnotherapy course online, you can read about why I decided to take on this course here.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I have learnt so much, not only about hypnotherapy itself but about labour, the history of fear and even hormones. It has been wonderfully interesting.

You begin the course with an introduction by Maggie Howell herself, the founder of Natal Hypnotherapy and the voice of the relaxation tracks that will guide you through your labour preparation. The following two modules are about hypnosis and how it works, each module contains a multimedia video focusing on the subject, these are often interactive and are voiced by Maggie. The video is then followed by a quiz to test what you have learnt and you are given homework to complete at the end of each module.

Throughout the course you are also given an insight to hypnotherapy being used during labour. You are able to watch home birth videos from women who put everything that you are being taught into practice, I must admit that this was completely fascinating/ a little terrifying. I mean I have given birth and have watched "One Born Every Minute" but it's very different when you are seeing it from "the other side", if you know what I mean. These women were incredible though and I was completely in awe of them.

One of my favourite modules was the module discussing fear during childbirth, Maggie goes into the history of childbirth which, as a history enthusiast, I found so interesting. It really helped me compartmentalise the fear in my brain and really ask myself what I was afraid of. Another interesting concept that Maggie discusses during this module is the way in which mammals give birth and that us as humans still look towards those animalistic tendencies when giving birth.

Throughout the course you are given a number of relaxation methods and tracks to help you before, during and even after the birth. I found the tips on breathing particularly helpful and have been practising since. You can download the tracks provided on to your phone making it more accessible when the time comes. There are also a number of modules and techniques for your birth partner. Maggie explains that the birth partner can often feel like a spare part during labour but she gives specific instructions, tips and techniques so that the birth partner is on hand throughout and helping the mother as much as possible. I had not heard of any of these techniques before, Nath and I watched a few of the modules together and he made notes of the different techniques he could do once I am in labour.

I also found the "Understanding Hormones" module hugely interesting, finding out about how oxytocin and adrenaline affect you differently during labour and what you can do to discourage adrenaline during childbirth was also a great topic and again, something that I didn't know.

Having had a baby once before and having been through the labour process, I honestly thought I knew it all. I went into this course with an open mind and not sure what to expect. Although I have given birth before I was still quite afraid, as we know, no two births are the same and having had retained placenta with Ava, it's something that has been at the back of my mind and worrying me since the beginning. However I can honestly say that this course has changed my views on childbirth. The wealth of information that Maggie provides you with is second to none. I feel like I am heading into this birth as a completely different person, I am no longer scared but excited. I feel like I can conquer whatever this labour throws at me and I shall do my best to put all of the hypnotherapy techniques into practice.

If you are pregnant, be it your first or fifth baby, I cannot recommend this course enough. It has completely changed my outlook on childbirth and it is now something that I am looking forward to rather than dreading.

The online course costs £97. You can find out more about the Natal Hypnotherapy courses here.

*I was offered the Natal Hypnotherapy course free of charge in exchange for an honest review


Thursday, 9 February 2017

37 week pregnancy update


At just over 37 weeks pregnant I feel exhausted! Most days I've been dropping Ava in School and have been coming home and napping for a couple of hours. It's making me feel so lazy though and I still have so much to get ready for the baby.

Indigestion has come back with a vengeance and I'm finding that contrary to what the books and websites are telling me, I seem to have less room than ever in my stomach and I'm only managing to graze every day. If I have a big meal I end up being terribly sick.

I'll be honest and say that I've had enough of being pregnant now, I just want to meet my baby. Every day feels like Groundhog Day, I am tired, uncomfortable and so, so grumpy!


I'm mostly feeling like eating fruit at the moment and cereal, as like I said above I can't eat much due to indigestion and heartburn. .My sweet tooth is still going strong though and there is always room for dessert!!


It's all about comfort at the moment so my PJs are firmly on! I can't wait to buy myself a few new bits after the baby arrives though, having a limited, maternity wardrobe sucks!


We had growth scan on Thursday as it didn't look like baby had grown at my last antenatal appointment. I wasn't worried though as I was always going for growth scans with Ava as they said that she would be small and she weighed 7lbs9 when she was born. All went very well at the growth scan, the midwife had no concerns and said that if the baby was born now it would weigh 6lbs odd and if I make it to 40 weeks it should weigh around the same as Ava. It's still very active and due to baby running out of room the pokes and prods are getting a little more painful now. I've always got a little foot poking out if my left hand side!

The nursery has now been stripped of it's old wallpaper thanks to my Father-in-Law and we now need to buy some lining paper before we paint it and add some carpet! The bathroom is finally finished and Ava's bedroom is sorted, so we're slowly getting there!

I've packed and re-packed my hospital bag and am pretty sure I have everything I need. I've almost finished my hypnobirthing course and shall be writing a post on my thoughts soon.

You can catch up on my previous updates here:

My 34 week pregnancy update
A bump update and the Christmas break so far
It's not you it's my hormones
My 20 week pregnancy update
Being a guilty (pregnant) full-time working mum
It's not going to be just the three of us anymore
My first trimester update
Baby number two and back to blogging


Thursday, 2 February 2017

Is my heart ready to love another child?

Back in the Summer I wrote a post to Ava, about how it wasn't just going to be the three of us anymore. At the time there were a lot of changes going on, I was still in the early stages of pregnancy and preparing myself to go back to work after the long Summer holidays off with Ava, she was about to start School and I had crazy pregnancy hormones swirling around. It was a hard time but since then things have settled, Ava is loving School, my return to work was wonderful and my hormones seemingly settled.

However, with just over 3 weeks until my due date, those feelings have crept up on me again. I feel unprepared, emotionally and physically. Although my hospital bags have been packed for weeks and we have everything that we need for baby, the nursery is nowhere near completion and I'm having those same feelings of guilt over Ava. I've always said that I'm glad we left quite a big age gap between our children, Ava will be 5 next month, but at the same time I wonder if I would feel this way if the age gap were smaller, would I feel this guilty feeling if the age gap had only been a couple of years? If Ava hadn't have had all of those years of us to herself?

I worry that she'll feel pushed out and not as loved anymore, will she come to resent the baby and resent me? I know that she's my daughter but Ava is such a lovely child, she's a joy to be around (most days) and is so loving. She has been nothing but excited since the day we told her she was going to be a big sister and is always telling me how much she loves the baby. I think when you're a mother to one child, and your heart is already so full, you wonder how you could possibly find the room to love another. At the moment, although I of course love this baby already, I don't know it.. I don't even know if it will be a boy or a girl. And I know from speaking to other parents that you of course love your other babies but at the moment I can't picture us as a family of four.

This new little person coming into our lives seems almost alien, exciting but alien. It's going to change everything and part of me worries that I'm not quite ready. I know this is my hormones talking, it's a new chapter of our lives and I know that's bound to make me feel a little nervous and it will take some adjusting to.

I just hope that I can still be a good mummy to both of my babies.

Have any of you with a big gap between your children felt like this?
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