Jumat, 03 November 2017

Getting Pregnant After a Miscarriage - How to Increase Your Chances of Conceiving a Baby

Having a miscarriage can be really difficult for a couple, especially for the mother. Merely thinking that she lost her baby can lead to depression. The coping capability of couples varies. Some couples move on and proceed to conceiving a child again while some find it difficult to just forget about losing a child. Getting pregnant after a miscarriage should be discussed by the couple and they should ensure that things are all right before trying to conceive again. If not, this may affect both of them emotionally.

Pregnancy loss is very hard to deal with but parents should not let this event eat up the whole of them because when this happens, their relationship may be affected. Instead, they should continually support each other. If in case the parents decide that they are ready to conceive again, they should consult the doctor so that they can know whether the woman is physically ready for getting pregnant after a miscarriage. This should be done especially when the woman has encountered several miscarriages. Determining the root cause of the problem may help the couple and improve the chance of survival of their next child.

There are several causes of miscarriages and one of them is the inability of the chromosomes to develop in the womb. Another cause is a deficiency in the hormone progesterone. Getting pregnant after a miscarriage should be done with proper prenatal care. Additionally, the woman should keep her body healthy by eating nutritious foods and doing physical activities.

Jumat, 27 Oktober 2017

Some Common Baby Concerns and How Baby Massage Can Help

Please do seek medical advice to rule out any serious conditions and if you are in any way worried about your baby's health. The following information is my personal opinion and experience and should be taken as such. I am not a medical professional, just speaking from personal experience and from the hundreds of parents and babies I have been in contact with.


Enough to strike fear into any parent, colic isn't even a 'real' condition - in that it is a term used when a baby is crying for a prolonged period of time for no discernible reason, and usually in the evening. There is a rule of threes - three hours of crying more than three times a week, up to three months of age. Apparently there are new rules - starts within three weeks, for three weeks or more but between you and me I think the last two were just to invent new rules of three. Also known as infant colic, infantile colic or baby colic, unlike the horse variety, colic isn't life threatening - only sanity threatening. Dealing with a screaming baby, often in the evening (also known as the witching hours between 5 and 8 - you know, just when your partner gets home and you want to wind down) day in, day out can test the patience of a saint. Suddenly all the smug/lucky/lying mums with their angels settling at 7pm sharp after a Gina Ford-esque style routine and eyes are cast skywards for a 'why me' moment.

Fear not! We have tips to help and downloads available. But first I just want to advise you to look after yourselves - get Dad, granny, auntie or whoever to take up the slack - 5 minutes of peace (yes it is OK to walk out the front door and keep on walking for a while when your baby is in safe hands) is worth a great deal when you have been pacing the floor since tea. A massage, a bath, a still-hot cup of tea - all quite rare yet important so make some time for yourself - please? I would imagine that online support groups within the baby websites will also yield a plethora of similarly dishevelled and desperate for tips parents so at least when the only position that helps is bolt upright against your shoulder, you can surf the 'net with your free hand. Sympathy may be in short supply from your similarly stressed and exhausted partner so feel free to vent to others instead.

One of the greatest benefits of baby massage is the effect on colicky babies, coupled with the enjoyment of parents spending some non-screaming/pacing time with baby. My advice would be two-fold - a full massage routine carried out at a calm time of the day (usually morning, after the feed has gone down fully (maybe one hour) as a regular feature, plus use the emergency tips featured in No Cry Baby to help ease symptoms of the colic itself. Of course your baby won't be so amenable during a colic episode but I would hope that symptoms would ease over time with the techniques shown in the full massage routine.


A 'concern' very close my heart. Having had two children with reflux I think I have most of it covered; Infant Gaviscon (lifesaver - get it on prescription), raised head of the bed, changes of clothes, tea towels to protect clothing (forget muslins - projectile vomiting laughs in the face of such flimsy material), car mirror to monitor baby in the back rear facing car seats for those been-sick-all-over-my-face-and-in-the-deepest-recesses-of-the-car-seat moments), Infacol (use every day even when symptoms have subsided) and basically waiting for them to sit up more and start weaning which is really when it stops and you move onto something else to be worried about.

There are moves within the Massage for Happy Babies that will help with reflux, and a particular reflexology technique that can help - it is a bit difficult to explain in writing so feel free to email me for tips (and sympathy).


Constipation and difficulty going to the toilet can be really distressing for both babies and parents. As the child becomes more aware, they can begin to hold back which compounds the problem and to see a child becoming increasingly upset because they do not want to go to the toilet is difficult. Of course there are varying degrees of constipation from the newborn baby who hasn't been for a day or two to the toddler who had developed a real fear and is in visible distress as the time for going to the toilet nears. Of course seek medical advice but be prepared for medical intervention in the more severe cases - use in conjunction with more natural alternatives to help; cooled boiled water, warm baths, water rich and high fibre foods for the weaned baby and, you guessed it, massage! Massaging the abdomen in a clockwise direction is simple and effective. Following the direction of the colon makes perfect sense and massaging quite deep into the area (watch your baby at all times for any signs of distress) can gently and effectively move food and waste products through the digestive system. The ascending, traverse and descending colon can also be traced and stimulated through reflexes on the feet, which are in a 'goalpost' shape on the underside of the two feet together, ending in a reflex for the rectum just on the inside edge of the left foot. I have had a 100% success rate with stimulating this point on the smallest babies to the largest grown-ups and having a 'result' - usually within hours if not minutes. Often the results of gently stimulating this point were instantaneous during my group baby massage classes!

Trapped Wind/Winding Problems

Anyone who has tried to get back to sleep with a squirming, grunting, plain noisy little angel thrashing around in the Moses basket next to your head will identify with this concern. Often simply due to their immature digestive system, wind and the extracting of it can become a family obsession (note how the male of the species turns it into a competition) with a round of cheers for each burp and the visible relaxing of the mother. Rubbing or patting furiously can sometimes be ineffective so try some simple moves; hanging arms up and over the shoulder, or gently circling him/her round and round whilst supporting under the chin. Gently cycling the legs and then pushing the legs up towards the head can stimulate the stomach and often raising the bottom to be the highest point in the air can result in a fantastic expulsion of wind - perhaps worthy of a standing ovation? Of course massaging the feet, particularly the centre underside, will also help. Some other environmental factors are watching your diet if breastfeeding (cabbage and sprouts often the culprits) and checking your latch or bottle teat to check baby isn't swallowing too much air when feeding.


Bonding is a mythical beast - to some it comes naturally, to others it grows over time and anyway it is impossible to define. Like love in the movies, parent and child bonding is often romanticised and dramatised and an image of perfection is projected out from magazines and television. Personally I found my small babies fascinating rather than feeling that immediate rush of overwhelming love (I mean, I got a rush of something when they were born, but I could be mistaking it for relief). They were more like small aliens who had landed in my pre-baby life of generally doing my own thing to my own schedule. Babies as a breed can be rather demanding and exhausting and well, a bit boring at times, as well as amazing and incredible and all the good stuff too. The early days can be quite one way - a lot of giving with very little back - until the first smile of course - suddenly it has all been worth it and the relationship becomes much more balanced. Following a simple baby massage routine gives you both exclusive one-on-one time and really gets you in tune with your baby as well as giving you more confidence in handling them. Over time they will come to recognise the signals for the start of the massage and become excited as they associate the good feelings with the rituals of oil, towel, asking their permission to start (verbally or silently is fine) and will be very responsive. The sight of small babies kicking their feet and waving their arms when they see the massage oil coming out is one to behold. Of course massage isn't the only way to strengthen the bond with your child, it is simply and extension of the natural touching, stroking, comforting moves of everyday life.

Post Natal Depression

PND is a medical condition far from the baby blues that many women experience, and obviously I would advise seeking medical help if you haven't already done so. It affects 1 in 10 women following the birth of their babies and early diagnosis and treatment will result in faster recovery. A study carried out by the Imperial College of London compared mothers with PND who attended a support group to a group that attended a five week infant massage course. At the end of the test period it found that the massage group had significantly reduced feelings of depression and very significantly better interaction with their babies than the control group (www.imperial.ac.uk). Support from family, peers and even online communities can be very beneficial alongside performing massage on your baby. Even five minutes a day during a nappy change can bring all the benefits to both of you. Getting dad or another family member involved in massage can give you a break too. I would also advise getting a regular massage or reflexology session for yourself. As a professional therapist I have seen firsthand the power of regular, nurturing touch on the wellbeing of my clients.

For Dads

Dads can be anywhere on the scale from totally hands-on to totally hands-off and most are somewhere in between. Getting involved in a massage routine with their baby can bring benefits such as increased bonding, improved confidence and generally being in tune together. It creates some special time for them (and let's face it - a guaranteed break for you) which can be especially important if you are feeding, or they work long, stressful hours. It is also practical and tangible and has 'instructions' to follow - at the risk of being horribly sexist - it ticks the boxes in the male psyche... something they can learn, practice and be the best at!

For Adopted and Fostered Babies

As we have discussed, massage has been proven to increase closeness as well as all the fantastic benefits for carers and babies. Massage is a great 'getting to know you' tool and enforces the power of positive touch. For babies that may not have experienced loving touch, or have experienced pain or suffering, massage can work wonders and the benefits can be seen very quickly. Trust has to be earned and boundaries respected however gentle massage is a perfect non-verbal way to express your love for them.

Premature babies and babies with special needs.

Premature babies are always so close to my heart as my nephew was born at 25 weeks in 1996 when I was 15. He is now a strapping teenager but I remember so vividly seeing his tiny, bird like body covered in tubes and wires and a tiny hat in what seemed like the biggest incubator ever. The nurses and doctors worked miracles and he has no health problems and we are blessed. The benefits of 'kangaroo care' (skin to skin contact) on the growth of prem babies are well documented and I see gentle massage as an extension of this. With all the tubes and needles, and the necessary medical intervention a fragile tiny baby has initially faced a great deal of negative touch so gentle stroking, touching, holding and feather light massaging will help to reverse this experience.
Special needs babies are obviously all different and it is beyond the scope of this piece to cover all conditions and how massage can help individual situations. I would advise talking to your consultant and discussing what is and is not suitable in your particular case. Particularly in the case of sensory deprivation the experience of touch brings great benefits as the other senses are heightened.

Jumat, 20 Oktober 2017

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month - What Will You Do To Protect Children?

We are all responsible for the protection of children. Each of us needs to consider this commitment by redefining touch based on the recipient's likes and dislikes, family loyalty and the distribution of power. Redefining these issues is a major undertaking. People who abuse children are not monsters with tails and horns, they are people who are often physical or sexual abuse survivors and are recreating what they experienced. However, they cannot be allowed to continue to abuse children.

To remain in denial about the reality that child abuse prevention is everyone's responsibility is to accept a complicit role as a co-perpetrator. You can protect children by empowering yourself and taking full responsibility for your actions and speaking out when you see others abuse children, supporting children's self-esteem, supporting their likes and dislikes regarding touch and fostering techniques of self-protection in your family, your home and your community.

Knowledge is power. Empower yourself and children with the techniques to protect every child--no matter the age.

"We became what we really are only by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us." --Sartre.

Adopting the following Bill of Rights for Children is a highly effective principle in protecting children from abuse.

o The right to a name and nationality.

o The right to adequate nutrition and medical care.

o The right to adequate safety and protection.

o The right to affection, love and understanding.

o The right to express feelings without reprisal.

o The right to express ideas and opinions within the context of the freedom of speech act.

o The right to be respected.

o The right to set boundaries with regard to physical touch.

o The right to learn to be a useful member of society and to develop individual abilities.

o The right to live in a spirit of universal peace with sister/brotherhood.

o The right to full opportunity for play and recreation.

o The right to be among the first to receive relief in times of disaster.

o The right to enjoy these rights, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, nationality or social origin.

Jumat, 13 Oktober 2017

Pregnancy and Fertility - The Power of Your Intentions In Fertility, Pregnancy and Birth

Your experience of fertility, pregnancy and birth do not occur in a vacuum. Nor are they shaped by luck.

They are influenced greatly by your mindset, your thoughts and beliefs and what you focus upon.

Hope or Intention

Are you hopeful of becoming pregnant, enjoying a healthy pregnancy or experiencing safe, gentle birth? Would you really like for that to happen?

Or do you intend to bloom in pregnancy, give birth with ease and relax joyfully into mothering your healthy, new born baby?

Because the fuel behind hope is of a very low grade compared to the fodder of intent.

Fertility and Hope

When you hope, you face in the general direction unfocused. You are open to distraction and can be sidetracked. You are unsure and feel vulnerable. You postulate and estimate.

Fertility and Intention

With intention you step into your power. You face confidently towards your goal and remain fixed on that point whatever comes your way. You know deeply that you will get there even if you don't know how.

Intention moves mountains. It summons the whole universe.

"Inherent in every intention and desire is the mechanics for its fulfillment." -- Deepak Chopra

Are you waiting for confirmation that what you want is on your path? Are you seeking permission of some sort to live your dreams? Are you perhaps wondering if you deserve it?

Or, are you moving forward... knowing that YOU are the creator of your life and 'your mission is the one that you give yourself' (Neale Donald Walsch)?

Jumat, 06 Oktober 2017

What Vitamins Does A Breastfeeding Mother Need?

No single source of food gives you all the vitamins you need except for breastmilk. Because a breastfeed baby gets all the nutrients it requires from its mother breastmilk it's vital that a nursing mother is getting all the vitamins she needs.

Breastfeeding is the best way to give your baby all the nutrients it needs to grow and thrive. And, as a breastfed baby gets all its vitamins for her mother's milk, it's important that a breastfeeding mother is getting her daily quota of vitamins; you get out what you put in.

Amongst other nutrients, such as minerals and protein, vitamins play an important role in your baby's development. A nursing mother should be aware of what vitamins are important and what part of her diet provides these vitamins.

Vitamin A and C, and the B group

Vitamin C is needed every day for a baby to develop well. Vitamin C helps our bodies to fight off infection and disease as well as helping to heal wounds. Vitamin C also plays a role in preventing anaemia (lack of iron in the blood). Vitamin C can't be stored in the body, so we must eat food that gives us the vitamin C we require. Eating fruit and vegetables is the best way to get vitamin C. Citrus fruits especially are a great source as is papaya, broccoli, strawberries, cauliflower and kale. Some breastfeeding mothers may need more vitamin C than others, especially when overcoming a cold, surgery or some form of injury. In these circumstances, it is a good idea to increase your intake of foods rich in vitamin C.

Vitamin A (also known as retinol) helps in the formation and maintenance of healthy skin, hair, and mucous membranes. It is also necessary for proper bone growth and tooth development. Unlike vitamin C, which is water-soluble, vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. Good sources of vitamin A include cheese, eggs, oily fish (such as mackerel), milk, fortified margarine and yogurt. Liver is also a rich source of vitamin A but is to be avoided during pregnancy. However, after birth a breastfeeding mother can eat liver but, because it's such a rich source, if you already eat it every week, you might want to choose not to have it more often.

There are many B group vitamins. Vitamin B12 (also known as cobalamin) is needed for the production of new cells. It also contributes to a healthy nervous system and is involved in the making of fatty acids. Vitamin B12 is only naturally found in foods that come from animals such as meat, fish, eggs and milk. It is very rare for a woman who eats animal foods to be deficient in B12. If you are a vegan breastfeeding mother then you may need to eat foods that have been fortified with vitamin B12. You might also consider a B12 supplement.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important as it helps our bodies to absorb calcium, which is important for bone development and strong teeth. Babies who don't get enough vitamin D are at risk of developing rickets - a softening of the bone that causes curvature. Vitamin D can be manufactured by the body when our skin is exposed to natural sunlight. However, many mothers - especially during winter - don't get enough sunlight for their bodies to make enough vitamin D. Foods like salmon, tuna, liver and kidney are good sources of vitamin D. Also, many foods are now fortified with vitamin D such as breakfast cereals and margarine.

If in doubt about your recommended daily amount of vitamins needed while breastfeeding, you should first consult your doctor. But, if you have a well-balanced diet, and eating the 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day as recommended, the chances are that your baby is getting all the vitamins it needs.