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  • Becoming a first time mum/parent, reflux and cows milk protein allergy.

    Nobody can prepare you for being a first time parent, not even the experts or all the parenting books in the world, everyone’s experience is different. You may think you’re prepared but it’s only when you become a first time mum/parents do you face all the wonders but also the challenges that motherhood/parenthood brings. Our first daughter little miss E was born in 2017, before then I had lots of experience with other peoples children from working in a childcare background, but having our own was so much different. The first challenges along with having a newborn which can be challenging in itself anyway, was little miss had CMPA (cows milk protein allergy )and reflux. I knew about allergies as my husband Brian (Little miss E’s dad) also has cows milk protein allergy, but I didn’t know anything about reflux and the hell it can bring or the fight you have to put up against health professionals until we had little miss E. Little miss E’s birth was a bit of a traumatic one, she swallowed meconium in the womb and was in distress, was supposed to be an emergency C section but in the end I had her naturally in theatre. We had to stay in hospital longer than expected as we both had an infection and little miss E had to go to special care baby unit to get better. The first night on the maternity ward when Brian went home I was petrified and tired, the birth from start to finish was 19 hours and partners weren’t allowed to stay with you on the maternity ward. I felt a mixture of emotions from happiness to being petrified and it all felt a bit of a blur. The first night was rough, everyone else’s babies on the maternity ward slept except for little miss E, she was constantly feeding but would not go down in the crib, she would only settle on me, the midwives thought she was just a really hungry baby, so even though I originally didn’t want to, I accepted when they asked if they could top her up with some formula in the nursery in between me breastfeeding, I was desperate to try anything to soothe her. I could hear her crying from the corridor and they brought her back to me saying they thought she was still hungry, little miss E cried constantly when she wasn’t feeding on me and my mother instincts kicked in and I knew that wasn’t right, I had done everything I could think of fed her, changed her, cuddled her, sang to her, burped her etc and she still would not settle, she had, had bowel movements too so I knew it wasn’t that. I felt like a failure already. No other mums on the maternity ward spoke to me either, I had our beautiful baby girl in my arms, was surrounded on the ward by other new mums but I felt lonely and frustrated, being a young first time mum no one took me seriously when I told them I thought something was wrong. Fast forward to day 3 we were finally discharged, the first night at home ended up in little miss E going back into hospital by ambulance and a 999 call after a rash came up all over her body and she went unresponsive in my arms . I had a feeling she had, had an allergic reaction as I had been breastfeeding but eating lots of dairy products too. I was told I couldn’t know she had an allergy at 3 days old, and she was probably just too hot. My motherly instincts knew otherwise, we were eventually allowed back home after being fobbed off countless times by health professionals. Months and months went by and little miss E was still very unsettled, she wouldn’t sleep in her Moses basket or anywhere unless she was on me, if she did sleep at all it would only be short cat naps and the rest she would be awake and unsettled. She started to bring back every single feed, a lot more than the usual spit up amount, arch her back constantly and scream in pain, I knew this wasn’t the normal ‘witching hours’ or just from colic that I had read about, my health visitor at the time said maybe she was just an unhappy baby but I knew this wasn’t the case . I eventually got mastitis too and in the end changed to formula, she was still really sick with formula and unhappy, we took her to the drs and they said it was just normal colic and reflux and to just hold her up after every feed and she would grow out of it. Weeks and weeks went by and again we took her back to the GP, I sat crying in frustration asking them to help us and help little miss E too and not just label me as a paranoid young first time mum ( an all too common story for first time mums) . Eventually this GP took me seriously and got little miss E referred to the hospital to see a paediatrician. The appointment came through fast and to this day we would of been lost without her paediatrician. Little miss E hadn’t gained her birth weight back due to being so sick from reflux and was classed as failure to thrive. She was seen and monitored every two weeks at the hospital and the paediatrician told us she had cows milk protein allergy and reflux, he prescribed some hypoallergenic milk, and within a few weeks she was like a different baby, still being sick after her feeds but a lot better and happier. He prescribed Gaviscon for her reflux but sadly that didn’t work, when she was a bit older she tried carobel but reacted badly to that. After months and months of holding her up after every feed, elevating her cot and trying all the holistic things for her reflux she was still bringing up her whole feeds and not gaining weight, I didn’t want to but in the end was desperate to try anything so the last resort was medication. We tried three different ones prescribed by her paediatrician before we found one that worked for her. Things started to get better she started gaining weight and thriving, she was still sick but nowhere as much. If you have a reflux baby you will know how many outfits, washing and muslin clothes you will go through a day. By six months she was even better and we started weaning, that was the next challenge, little miss E had been referred to a dietician due to her cows milk protein allergy and to help give us guidance when it came to weaning and foods too. Not only was it hard to get used to cooking completely dairy free for little miss E too and check every single packet of food, wipe down places we went incase of any cross contamination but some foods would trigger her reflux too. It was a case of trail and error and just keeping a diary of any reactions she had. Eventually at age 3 she had an allergy prick test and then got signed off from the dieticians and paediatrician. We’ve managed ever since and are currently doing the ‘milk ladder’ this is where you introduce small amounts of milk products back into your child’s diet very slowly, we have tried it multiple times and only in the last year have we been successful and moving up the milk ladder. Little miss E is in school full time and they have been brilliant regarding her allergies. Little miss E was reflux free by 18 months but hasn’t grown out of her CMPA yet although she can have tiny amounts of dairy recently. Looking back newborn babies are hard but throw reflux, allergies, sleep deprivation, battling health professionals for months on end in the mix too and you feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m here to tell you hang on in there because there is. I found support groups back then on social media that were really helpful and bought books on reflux and allergies in babies to learn more about it too. I’ve also learned to speak up, get second opinions and trust your gut instinct as a parent. Yes there are some fantastic health professionals but a lot of the time as a parent you know best.

    *Disclaimer* none of the content written in this blog post or any of my blog posts or social media are to be intended to be used as or replace medical advice, this is purely my own experience I am sharing to hopefully help other parents too.

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  • What to pack in your Maternity hospital bag and checklist.

    Hello readers, hope you’re well. Well it’s getting close to baby number two’s due date and this time I wanted to be more prepared unlike on little miss E where I didn’t pack enough stuff for myself as we ended up staying in hospital longer than expected with her. Some things I packed were also unnecessary. I thought I would share a blog post on what I’ve packed this time around and essentials as it may help you or someone you know too.

    As with everything, organisation is key. I made a list of things I need for myself, baby and husband because last time I forgot to pack things for Brian too. Hopefully this blog post will help you or someone you know too.

    Mummy’s hospital bag:

    • Maternity notes and file, these are especially important as staff can access them quickly and they will also have your wishes and birth plan written down in them too. Do not forget these.
    •Pyjamas, nighties, especially PJ’s that are easy access and have buttons you can undo at the front or a zip. A dressing gown, a comfy light weight one preferably, you may get quite hot and sweaty and some slippers. Pack a couple of PJ’s incase you have to stay in hospital longer than expected (hopefully not but better to be prepared) if that’s where you’re giving birth.

    • Socks, you may get cold feet so bring a pack of comfy warm socks with you.
    • Lip balm, this is one of those things you probably wouldn’t even think about but your lips get very dry especially if you have any pain relief such as gas and air that dry them out.

    • Water bottle and a clean flannel to spray and put on your face and head to cool you down when sweating. Also a a peri bottle, that allows you to gently clean your private area post birth and can be really helpful.

    • Breast pads to soak up any breast milk if you’re planning to breast feed especially that may leak. Plenty of maternity pads, a pack of nursing bras and maternity/ disposable underwear. A clear bag to put any of your dirty washing in.


    •Toiletries such as hair bobbles, brush, toothpaste, deodorant (you can get gentle roll on deodorant for sensitive skin and ones that are free from any harsh chemicals too) face wash, body wash, shampoo and conditioner. Your own towel from home if you wish and are allowed. Moisturiser for dry skin. Your skin can get quite dry and itchy.
    • Contact lenses or glasses if you need them and a spare phone charger.

    • Pack a few outfits that are comfortable to wear if you’re in hospital and that you can wear during your stay. A comfortable coming home outfit.

    • Sometimes you’re allowed to eat and drink before Labour, other times you’re not but depending on if you are pack some snacks and drinks just incase.

    • A comfy pillow from home if that’s what you wish.

    Birth partners bag:

    •Spare clothes to change into as nobody knows how long labour will be, especially if this is your first.

    •Snacks and a drink.

    •Spare change incase you need it for any reason.

    • Make sure if you’re going by car that you have enough petrol to get to the hospital.

    •Phone and charger

    •Pack some Toiletries incase you want to freshen yourself up a bit.

    • A comfy small pillow.

    Baby’s bag:

    • Babygrows and vests in different sizes, the size of the baby is estimated but when they’re born they can either be a lot smaller or a lot bigger than estimated during your maternity appointments, so it’s important to pack a few in different sizes just incase.

    • Blankets, a few cellular blankets especially are ideal as you can layer them and they won’t make your newborn overheat.
    • Socks and a hat if it’s a cold time of year, babies can get cold easily.


    • Nappies, pack plenty as babies go through lots of nappies daily.
    • Gentle cotton pads to clean baby or soft reusable cloths. Wipes are too harsh for a newborn babies skin so cotton wool pads or soft cotton reusable clothes will do.


    • Muslin cloths, these are really handy to pack especially if your newborn is refluxy and spits up a lot. They’re soft on their skin too.


    • Going home outfit, depending on the time of year ,think about the weather and dress your newborn accordingly. If it’s winter please remember not to put baby in any thick coats or winter suits in the car seat as that can be dangerous. Instead layer them with blankets to keep them warm.


    •Mittens incase your baby scratches their face, most baby grows have little mittens/covers built in on their sleeves too.

    These are just things I’ve packed this time around, hopefully haven’t forgot anything but if I have feel free to comment any other helpful suggestions below. I hope this blog post helps you and good luck!

    A x


  • Why Cuddling your child/children to sleep isn’t bad.

    Hello readers, hope you’re all well. Todays blog post is all about cuddling your child/children to sleep. There are so many conflicting articles out there when it comes to topics like this one, it can be hard to know what’s right or what’s wrong. Each to their own and what works for one family may not work for another, it’s all about what feels right and works for you and your family. For us, it’s still cuddling little miss E to sleep, some of you may know that we’re also expecting baby number two very soon and wondering how we plan to make cuddling little miss E to sleep and a newborn work, well just like the first time we ever became parents we will wing it and eventually find what works for us. When little miss E was a baby she had terrible reflux along with CMPA (cows milk protein allergy) she was a very unsettled baby due to this until about six months when I finally got professionals to take us seriously (not an easy task when you’re a young first time mum and dad). After every feed due to her reflux little miss E had to be held upright for at least thirty minutes, this meant she got used to being held and cuddled to sleep. Little miss E wasn’t always a great sleeper due to her reflux and allergies and the nights used to seem oh so long, but looking back and as clichè as it seems, it went by so fast. One minute we wondered if she would ever sleep through and the next those long nights feel like a distant memory. As first time parents we heard all the usual comments such as ‘You’re making a rod for your own back’ ‘She doesn’t sleep through because you cuddled her to sleep’ ‘you need to put her down awake to self settle’ ‘you need to do controlled crying’ ‘you need to do the cry it out method’ and more. You will find when you become a parent for the first time that everyone around you seems to become experts, you will receive helpful advice but also unsolicited advice too. The best advice I followed was to follow gut instincts, you know your child best. Every single child is different, some need to be held more for reassurance and comfort and others are more independent and won’t need as much. We have always cuddled little miss E to sleep after her bedtime routine and then one night she suddenly slept through, we hadn’t done anything different that particular night and she’s slept through ever since, unless of course she’s unwell or has a nightmare or something but otherwise she sleeps all night, every night. Even when we have been on holiday in hotels or when she stays over her grandparents she sleeps all night too. Some nights we lay beside her and cuddle and others all she wants is for us to hold her hand for a little bit then rolls over and puts herself to sleep. Cuddling your child to sleep can have many benefits such as your child feeling safe and secure, less anxiety and stress, able to regulate their emotions better and more. If you think about it how many adults sleep through every night? Lots of us wake for many different reasons, needing the bathroom, too cold, too hot, thirsty etc , it’s the same for children too. While it may seem like you will have to cuddle your child to sleep forever, one day they won’t need you to anymore, one day will be the last time you lay down and cuddle them to sleep or hold their hand and you won’t even realise it until you look back. Until then enjoy those moments snuggling beside them and know you’re doing your best.

  • 10 activities you and your family can do this autumn.

    Hello readers, I hope you’re well. I love this time of year when the weather gets colder but the sun is still out and you can wrap up and go on woodland walks through crunchy leaves, it’s the best feeling. Autumn is one of my favourite seasons for lots of reasons. I thought I would share activities you and your family can do this autumn, to tick off your autumn bucket list.

    1. Wrap up warm and go Pumpkin picking, there are lots of different places you can go, where you can visit a field full of pumpkins or a pumpkin patch and put some in your wheelbarrow to purchase and take home, this is great fun, we usually visit a pumpkin patch every year. You may have to book in advance as they’re getting very popular. If you want to know where you can go pumpkin picking there are lots of places a quick Google search for pumpkin picking in your area will help you with.
    2. Go on a woodland walk and collect Some conkers to decorate and use for arts and crafts to do with your children. You can make things such as an autumn conker wreath.
    3. Toast some marshmallows, you don’t have to wait until you go camping, autumn is the perfect time of year for roasting some marshmallows too for a tasty autumn treat.
    4. Make your own hot chocolate creation station that your children can help themselves to and have a family movie night in all cozy.
    5. Collect some autumn leaves on a walk and do some leaf printing by placing a leaf under some paper then colouring over the leaf to reveal the leaf pattern.
    6. Do some baking together such as making, biscuits, cookies or pies. Make it fun.
    7. Carve a pumpkin, help your children with the tricky bits but let them help where they can such as drawing a face on a pumpkin to carve out.
    8. Go foraging and use what you found to bake or cook some food. Remember to stay safe and make sure you know what you can and can’t eat.
    9. Attend any family autumn events or see if there are any free activities you can join in locally with.
    10. Visit the beach and fly a kite, autumn is usually the perfect time of year with windy but dry days too, making it perfect conditions to fly a kite.

      I hope you enjoyed todays blog post, if you tick off any of the autumn activists on this bucket list and ideas let us know below or don’t forget to tag, share and connect on Instagram too. http://www.instagram.com/thatmorningcoffeemama
  • How to prepare your child for starting a new school year and class.

    Hello readers, I hope you’re well. Little miss E has settled in lovely to her new class and having a new teacher, which is always a huge relief when you’re a parent. How did your little ones find it? It got me thinking, I know most children have already gone back to school but a blog post on how you can prepare your child for starting a new school year and class or even starting school for the very first time may be helpful for future reference .

    Communication

    You can begin by talking to your child and make it as exciting as you can, for example all the things they can look forward to such as making new friends and what they might do at playtime. It’s important to listen to your child’s feelings about starting school or a new class as lots of children can have feelings of anxiety and worry about lots of different things. By listening you can help reassure them and give them coping tools to help them. One tip that really helped little miss E on her very first day of school and ever since, that may help your little ones too, is drawing a little heart on their palm and yours and tell them that whenever they press on theirs you can feel their hug and if you press yours they can feel your hug in school. It’s a little tip I remember reading online before little miss E started nursery and it worked like a charm and still does to this day. I can’t remember where I read it to credit whoever shared it but I am so grateful they did.

    Make sure your child is familiar with their new school/class and teacher.

    • If your child has already started school then they will already be familiar with it and you will only need to explain a few differences. A lot of schools offer a ‘meet and greet’ meeting before hand so you can have a look around your little ones classroom and get to know their teacher and your child can too. This helps them familiarise themselves with their new classroom and teachers. If your child has never been to school before it’s important to get them familiar with their new school, the more they see it and look around, the less scary the unknown will seem.

    Prioritise your child’s sleep schedule

    •Get your child’s sleep schedule on track so that they’re ready for the school day and can handle their emotions better. With change comes lots of emotions and big feelings being over tired and sleep deprived can make it worse. Over the summer holidays it’s easy to go off track and become out of routine, but getting their routine back on track before school starts so they can get used to earlier nights and early mornings will help everyone.

    Organisation

    • Make a list of all the essentials your child needs for school, let them help pick out what school supplies they need, this way you can make it more exciting too. Making a list of all the school essentials your child needs before starting back at school will help you to be organised and the mornings and school runs will be a lot smoother if you’re not stressed searching for uniform or pens and pencils etc.

    I hope you found todays blog post helpful. If you have any tips to share, share below 👇🏻

  • 10 top tips how to keep yourself and family healthy this autumn.

    Hello readers, hope you’re well. It’s nearly the time of year where the summer ends and autumn officially starts, I can already feel the weather changing. Whilst autumn is one of my favourite times of year it doesn’t come without its usual colds, coughs etc especially as the weather changes. I’m going to share some top tips on how you can keep yourself and family healthy and well this autumn.

    • Brush up on your hygiene and make sure you wash your hands regularly, especially before anything like preparing food, teach your children to do the same.

    • Eat a balanced diet and stock up on vitamins, you can get vitamins, nutrients and minerals from things you eat, but it’s hard to get every single thing you need from each meal you eat alone, that’s where supplements and vitamins can come in handy as additional support along side a healthy balanced diet (not a replacement ). Vitamin D is especially important when it comes to staying healthy. Buy and consume food that is in season too.

    •Get outside and enjoy plenty of fresh air, there is nothing better than going for an autumn walk in fresh air crunching through the leaves as you walk. Getting plenty of fresh air and being outside is beneficial for your overall health, wellness and well-being

    • Prioritise your sleep schedule, sleep deprivation can do all sorts including weaken your immune system.

    •Manage your stress levels, stress can cause havoc on the body, managing your stress levels is important.

    • Get in some daily exercise, it doesn’t have to be intense, even a brisk walk but 30 minutes a day can do wonders for you.

    • Make some time for some selfcare whatever that means to you. It’s important to schedule some self care time to avoid burnout and recharge.

    • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, staying hydrated helps things work as they should and helps the body flush out any toxins.

    •Wrap up warm in the colder weather to keep protect your body temperature during the colder weather.

    • Schedule regular health check ups and make sure you’re all up to date.

    I hope you found todays blog post helpful. If you enjoy my content come and connect over on Instagram too.

    http://www.Instagram.com/that morning coffeemama

  • How to prepare yourself and child for baby no.2

    Hello readers hope you’re well. It’s getting closer to baby no.2 being due very soon! What a journey this pregnancy has been, totally different to when carrying little miss E. I had a pregnancy condition known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum with little miss E but this time around it was on another level. I spent the first twenty plus weeks back and for to drs or admitted to hospital for IV anti sickness and fluids. I’m just glad to be able to keep some food and drink down now, even though I’m still sick some days and very grateful for the HG support groups online. Little miss E is only 5 so it was hard for her to understand why one minute mummy was at home and the next in hospital, I kindly got given an excellent book called ‘How to be a HG hero’ and this really helped little miss E understand. When a new baby is coming a long it’s a big change for children already, let alone if their mummy ends up being unwell during the pregnancy too. Preparing for baby number two can bring a lot of mixed emotions for everyone in your family. Here are my top tips that has helped little miss E prepare to become a sibling and myself as a mummy to two, these tips may help you too.

    •Share the news with your first born whenever your feel ready and comfortable, personally we waited until after the 12 week scan to make sure everything was ok. Each to their own but after going through loss previously we wanted to make sure this little one was all ok before we shared the news. We found trying to get little miss E really excited for becoming a big sister really helped. Despite all my worries how she would take the news she took it really well and asked lots of questions. Your first born may have all sorts of emotions and reactions to the news so be there for them to hold space and give them reassurance whatever they may feel.

    • Reassure your first born that they will still have 1-1 time with you, for example our daughter often has a ‘daddy daughter day’ where the two of them spend quality time together. Although this may not be an option for everyone, I do believe keeping somethings as normal as before with things like that can really help your first born not feel left out. Our first born is in full time school, that way I will be able to have 1-1 time with our newborn whilst little miss E is in school too.

    • Remind yourself that transitioning from one child to two can be hard, be gentle on yourself and remind yourself it will be 100% worth it. I was worried about how I would share my time, love and attention between two but I know we will figure it out along the way, just like how I didn’t know anything about being a new mum the first time around and winged my way through motherhood too ( still do) Remind yourself you’ve been through the hard times before and know a lot more than the first time around. For example when little miss E was born she suffered from CMPA (cows milk protein allergy ) and reflux. What a battle and journey that was, this time around I already know the signs and won’t let myself be fobbed off. Remind yourself that mama knows best. Trust your instincts.

    • Write a list of what baby actually needs and essentials, on our first borns we tend to overbuy and end up getting things that we didn’t actually need or use. Writing a list of essential items will not only help you save some money on unnecessary things, but help keep the clutter down too. Less clutter means less cleaning too. Involve your first born, when you go shopping for things for baby number two ask your first born if they would like to choose something for their baby brother or sister.

    • Closer to your due date Batch cook some meals you can keep in the freezer, that way when you come home with a new baby it will be easier at meal times for you and your family and quicker.

    • Don’t be afraid to ask for help, I understand not everyone has support at home, but if you need help ask for it. Talk to your midwife or health provider if you’re struggling.

    • Use a lot of positive talk to reassure your first born and remind them what a great job they’re doing of being a big sister or brother. Don’t spend lots but get a little something for your first born that they can do by themselves such as a new activity book or something they enjoy as a little treat for being such a great sibling, that way if visitors come with gifts for the new baby, your first born won’t feel so left out. Solo activities will also help keep your first born occupied so you can get a little bit of rest whenever you can.

    I hope you found todays blog post helpful and if you have any tips to share that may help other mummy’s don’t forget to share below.

  • How & why you should make self-care a priority as a mummy.

    As mums we are constantly on the go, not to mention the mental load of motherhood too. It’s no wonder a lot of us are unable to switch off even when we are resting, there is so much to think about daily at the end of the day you feel exhausted and burnt out. At the end of each day the mum guilt thoughts start to set in such as ‘Did I do enough today?’ ‘Did I play with my child/children enough today? Did I show them enough affection?’ ‘Was I too strict?’ and more.

    When it comes to self-care as mums we often feel guilty, self-care as mum isn’t selfish, it’s essential, essential for your health, wellness and well-being . As mums we are so busy pouring into others cups that we often forget to keep our own topped up, as the saying goes ‘you cannot pour from an empty cup’ and it’s true, the more your own cup is topped up the more you can give too and without getting burnt out.

    What does self care mean to you? I know what you’re thinking ‘I haven’t got time for anything else, let alone for self care’ self care doesn’t have to mean bubble baths and skincare, although if that’s what you love and can make some for that, then do that. Self care means doing anything that you love, it doesn’t have to take up lots of your time either, it can be little things you can fit in daily. Self care can be reading a good book or going for a walk. Self care can be enjoying a cuppa in peace, if it means getting up a little earlier (I know, a hot cup of tea or coffee when you’re a busy mummy is heaven) even more blissful if you have 5 minutes to yourself before the children are awake (unless like my little darling often is, they’re early risers) . You can still indulge in some self care even with your children around, play a game with them that you all enjoy or even just sitting and soaking in their cuddles (a great stress reliever too). Self care is considered anything that you do to take care of you. Anything that allows you to feel re-energised, and restored. Every mothers self care may look different to yours and that’s ok.

    Here are a few self care ideas you can do, even as a busy mummy

    • Go for a walk

    •Put your favourite music on and dance.

    • Drink your morning coffee outside and take in your surroundings. Practice some mindfulness

    • If you have a partner or support ask them for help, there is no shame in asking for help.

    •Connect with loved ones, family and friends, spend time with those who make you laugh.

    • Nourish your mind, body and soul. Stock up on foods that make you feel good.

    I hope you found these tips helpful. Let us know in the comments below, what do you do for selfcare?

    Take care,

    A x

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