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  • Let me be me!

    Having your first baby is a special time like no other.

    The thought that you have made the most wonderful and beautiful thing ever, and it lives, breathes and exists, is as overwhelming as it is exciting.

    And as it is a wholly new experience, there are many people on hand to help and offer advice, often to the point of total distraction.

    This time that should be the happiest time of all, can all too soon descend into a world of confusion as people, albeit with good intentions, forget that this is your time to exert your ideals and wishes in order to bring about the happy family you have always dreamt of.

    Becoming a Mum for the first time is as exhausting as it is exhilarating, as tiring as it is tremendous, and as confusing as it is captivating. But what it definitely should be, is what you want it to be, and that is an incredibly hard thing to achieve.

    If you give birth in hospital, from the very first moment you are led into a world of rights and wrongs, with people telling you how to do things a certain way. Naturally, a lot of what is said is invaluable, and means that you are an excellent Mum from the offset.

    For those who have trouble breastfeeding for example, on tap help to overcome the problem is the difference between successful feeding on going, or a problematic and distressing time that can push even the calmest of people to the limit. But don’t forget that you are this baby’s Mum.

    As much as babies are wondrous, cute, remarkable and so many more positive adjectives, they are also a marketing dream. It is a minefield of brand and product choices out there, and it can be beyond confusing to know where to start when it comes to your first born.

    As such, advertisers know that if they can get you hooked at any early stage, there is a likelihood that you will become brand loyal throughout not just this child’s upbringing, but that of future offspring too. And naturally, well intentioned friends and relatives will tell you what product they swear by, as well as hospitals providing you with samples of products from day one.

    With so many products claiming to do the same thing, just how do you choose which ones to buy?

    The answer lies in being honest to yourself and trusting your instinct. For example, if you are passionate about the environment, look for items that not just claim to be eco-friendly, but are made by people who are clearly dedicated to that aspect of their product. Lesser known brands doesn’t mean lower quality.

    Also, trust your own gut instinct. It pays to do your research and read packets, but after that be led by what you feel and not by price or special offer. This is your chance to shine as a parent, so always trust that you were born to do a fantastic job.

    By Maxine. (Mum and Guest blogger)

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    Herbal Teas and pregnancy

    Most mums love a warm cup of tea. But during pregnancy it is crucial not to exceed certain levels of caffeine. Herbal teas are a good alternative. But you need to be a bit careful. As some herbs certainly have beneficial effects others should be better avoided during pregnancy. For example: A cup of camomile or fennel tea with honey and a dry biscuit before getting out of bed can be helpful to avoid nausea or morning sickness.

     

    Also ginger tea is recommended to soothe morning sickness.

     

    You might find a cup of nettle tea helpful to avoid fluid retention but not more than one cup a day. For colds you will find that a cup of thyme tea and an infusion of linden blossom will ease flu symptoms. Another pregnancy favourite is fennel. It helps with stomach bloating, tummy ache and constipation.

    For example raspberry tea often recommended by midwives, can be mixed with fennel, aniseed and caraway. This blend is also helpful if you suffer from constipation in the last trimester. Lemon balm (melissa) is a good choice too because it is calming and will help you to relax before the big day.

    What if you are overdue and you actually want to induce labour? Try cinnamon tea: A whole stick of cinnamon boiled in hot water for a few minutes, let it cool and try one or two cups of it but no more. Together with a spicy curry it may be even more effective.

    Avoid infusions that contain: rosemary, sage, vermouth, mugwort, common yarrow, juniper and parsley and throughout pregnancy, as well as green tea (unless it is organic) and cinnamon for the first 6 months.

    Enjoy this wonderful time and a relax whenever you can with a nice cup of (herbal) tea.

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