The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | Family Lifestyle Blog

5 Brilliant Ways Mums Can Sneak In Exercise At Home

A new study has found that 75% of women in the UK want to exercise more. But having a busy schedule, taking care of the family’s needs, or fear of being judged at the gym are holding women back from accomplishing their fitness goals. Fortunately, there are ways to workout while staying at home and you can squeeze exercise into your day in more ways than one. To stay healthy, adults aged 19 to 64 should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week and strength exercises at least two days a week. For you to meet the recommended amount of physical activity per week, here are 5 brilliant ways to sneak in exercise while at home.

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | 5 Brilliant Ways Mums Can Sneak In Exercise At Home
Time to tune into your domestic goddess vibes

1. Clean your home

Cleaning your home not only gives you a healthier environment to live in but it also allows you to fit in exercise into your day. Mopping, dusting, sweeping, and vacuuming, or cleaning the bathroom can give you a good upper body workout, and it’s even better if you do a couple of lunges or squats while doing any of these activities. However, make sure to avoid using allergy-causing cleaning products as you can end up getting rashes or serious burns and undo all the good that you did to take care of your body. Opt to use natural cleansers whenever you clean your home and move vigorously to make your cleaning workout more intense.

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Photo: Igor Ovsyannykov / Unsplash

2. Hand wash a load of dirty clothes

Instead of using the washing machine, try hand washing a load of dirty clothes to exercise your arms and shoulders. Hand washing your clothes correctly has so many advantages, you get to workout while doing your chores, save on water and electricity costs, and prolong the life of your clothing.

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | 5 Brilliant Ways Mums Can Sneak In Exercise At Home
Photo: Christopher Campbell / Unsplash

3. Start every morning with a few exercise moves

After you wake up and make the bed, start your day right by doing some gentle stretching, a few crunches, and as many push-ups as you can. Set aside at least 10 minutes every morning to do these exercises which can strengthen your muscles and core. Doing exercises the moment you get out of bed also helps to make you more awake and ready to face the day.

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | 5 Brilliant Ways Mums Can Sneak In Exercise At Home
Photo: Bruno Nascimento / Unsplash

4. If you’re heading outdoors, speed walk or jog to wherever you’re goin

Instead of walking at a leisurely pace, speed walk or jog to the grocery, the bank, or any other place where you need to go. Doing so counts as your moderate aerobic activity for the day. To motivate you to do this, wear running shoes before heading outdoors and bring a small bottle of water with you to stay hydrated.

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Photo: Pete Bellis / Unsplash

5. Walk the dog a little longer

If you usually do just one circuit of your neighbourhood while walking your dog, try doing another circuit to fit in some extra cardio into your day. You can also take the dog to the park and play with your pet so you get to spend more time being outdoors, which is essential to good health.

There are many ways to fit exercise into your daily routine, all you have to do is to turn daily activities into proper workouts. Follow these tips to sneak in exercise while you’re at home for your health and well-being. 🙂


A contribution post by freelance writer, Jane Sandwood. If you enjoyed reading this post, don’t forget to share it with others below.

The Wandering Mother | Guest Post

The importance of children being involved in household chores

There are so many things to teach your children. Whether it’s how to handle money, the importance of emotional intelligence or staying safe in public, parenting has to cover a lot ground. One important area that can sometimes be neglected is chores. While these may be just simple day-to-day tasks, ensuring that your child is both competent in them and understands their importance is absolutely vital.

In this article we give a few reasons why children should get involved in a range of household chores from learning how to defrost a freezer step by step to properly putting out the recycling. And for anyone out there whose children are less than excited about this idea, here are also a few top tips of how to get your kids enthusiastic about their domestic duties!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Getting kids involved with household chores
Everybody loves a mummy’s/daddy’s little helper!

Honing useful practical skills

The first reason why it’s important to get your little ones involved in household chores is so they learn useful practical skills. As a child you are learning everything from scratch so whatever you are doing will contribute to your development. For example, if a child learns how to defrost a freezer not only will they get specific skills in this task, but also start learning about food storage and safety.

Learning the importance of personal responsibility

As over-stressed parents we often think we need to do everything for our kids, but anyone living in a home has a responsibility to contribute it. Involving your kids in day-to-day tasks will help them understand their responsibilities as members of the family. After doing a few chores they’ll probably appreciate all your work a whole lot more too.

Making them better housemates and partners

Finally, when children are brought up as hard-workers, helping to clean and tidy a house from a young age they make much better housemates and partners after leaving home. This is absolutely vital to the maintenance of friendships and relationships in early adulthood when they are likely to be sharing accommodation for a good few years. Teaching good habits early will pay dividends down the line.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Getting kids involved with household chores
It’s never too early to start the children with simple chores like cleaning and washing
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Getting kids involved with household chores
Incentivise household tasks to make it more attractive for the kids

How do you get kids involved in household chores?

Incentivise the task: A controversial strategy, but a fail-safe one. If your child is reticent to help out, link their pocket money to their efforts. This will get the average youngster up and cleaning in no time.

Make it fun: Chores don’t have to be boring. If your kids aren’t keen to get involved, make the tasks fun. Turn vacuuming into a dance party, take the rubbish out while wearing funny wigs… Anything to get them enthused.

Give them responsibility: We all know how much more satisfying it is to do a task when we have actual responsibility for it. Give each of your children an area of the house for the week and ask them to take responsibility for all the chores. They will soon learn to take pride in their work.

Getting your kids involved in household chores is a great way to make them responsible, hard-working adults. Find ways to make it fun and engaging and in no time at all you’ll have a few busy worker bees helping with your daily tasks.

Getting kids involved in household chores
Photo via Unsplash

A guest contribution post by freelance writer, Joana from Cleanipedia

5 signs that your little one is a wild child!

Now I don’t know about you but my children can be a handful. Sometimes they can play nicely but the majority of the time, they are like feral creatures that require daily taming! As much as it drives me up the wall and cause me unnecessary stress and repeating myself like a broken record, it does give the home a bit of dynamic. 🙂

They are usually the loudest, wildest and playful one in the room. Sometimes they are so confident in the way they play, people can mistaken them for being naughty or cheeky. This is how Baby Girl is – overly confident in everything she does to a point where it makes her look bossy. She plays with her big brother but when she doesn’t get her way she will tease him and intimidate him. LO is such a softie that he ends up in tears if they go head-to-head (bless him!).

If your little one is like my Baby Girl, here’s how to spot the signs..

1. There’s mess EVERYWHERE!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - 5 signs your child is a wild one
1: your child lives and breathes mess

… I mean everywhere! My house constantly looks like it’s been hit by a hurricane. In the bedroom it only takes her a few seconds to pull open her drawers and pull out all her clothes, pull all the laundry on the bottom drying rack off and throw all her stuffed toys in the cot onto the floor. In the living room and kitchen (why do new builds love open-plan kitchens? They are not practical for a young family!) my books and paperwork on my desk constantly end up on the floor in a large pile and all the plates and tupperware in the kitchen gets scattered on the floor. When her big brother gets involved too, it’s double trouble and endless cleaning.

Advice: Watch out for that small but deadly piece of lego on the floor when you come round to mine!

2. House floods become a possibility

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - 5 signs your child is a wild one
2: He/she puts your home at risk of flooding

Baby Girl can reach the door handles now and one of the things she loves doing most is opening closed doors. The only door we keep closed in the house is the bathroom and when we’re not watching her like a hawk she will sneak to open the bathroom door, climb onto the toilet seat and play with the tap water. The other night we were seconds away from a flood I would’ve had to call an emergency plumber like these guys to help. Baby Girl had clogged up the bathroom sink with toilet tissue and cotton pads then ran the tap full blast. Luckily I walked in just as the sink filled (almost) to the brim. That would’ve been a costly call out! *hides face*

3. She/he has mastered the art of selective hearing

The Greenwich Mummy Blog
3: your bubba has graduated in selective hearing

Baby Girl – I’m sure – has selective hearing (I think she’s picked it up from her brother) and will choose when she wants to listen to me. She doesn’t want anyone to get in the way of her having fun so she’s conjured up a few games for herself which is not the most safe such as playing with the kitchen drawers and cupboards. She likes to sit in the bottom drawer and play with her and LO’s plastic plates and bowls. It’s not bad until she gets overly excited then ends up shutting her fingers in the drawer. Her second favourite game in the kitchen is to rummage through mummy’s spice cupboard and drink the soy sauce or munch on the oxo cubes… yuck. I think I need some child-proof locks in the kitchen pronto!

4. Everything is edible in their eyes

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - 5 signs your baby is a wild child
4: your child believes everything is edible

Parents, your child can’t truly certify as a wild child unless she/he has ticked this box – eating anything and everything they can get their hands on. From crayons and watercolour paints to rubber balls, sand and cigarettes Baby Girl has gotten her taste of it all. The photo above was taken after I found her sitting happily on my desk with my mini watercolour palette in her hand. It seemed that she had taken a liking to the orange-red paint brick and decided to munch on it however that’s not the worst thing she’d ate. Oh no… the worst thing by far has to be Daddy P’s cigarettes.

Funnily enough, when I was a little girl I also ate my dad’s cigarette in an attempt to what I thought was smoking it… although I was 5-6yrs old and clearly was being stupid whereas Baby Girl is only 18 months with a taste (pun intended) for trying new things.

5. They do not stop/stay still!

5: your child is always on the move

Okay so this last sign is a bit wishy-washy as every baby loves to be on the move but seriously, Baby Girl just doesn’t know when to stop… or maybe she does and just doesn’t want to stop! She is forever exploring every bit of the house, trying to find something new or inventing a new game for herself which is great until I have to tell her to stop and she still carries on. I’ll leave the kids to play in the living room and sneak off to the bedroom to rest and will find that she’s sneaked off to the bathroom AGAIN for the fourth time (I need an outside bolt on the door!) Throughout the day she’ll be screeching, screaming, shouting (getting to know her voice as babies do) and running and climbing everywhere.

Eventually, if I do manage to get more than 5 mins rest, the sound of running water from the bathroom will surely wake me up! So if your little one is anything like mine, it’s possible you have a wild child on your hands… good luck! 🙂

Linking up with:
You Baby Me Mummy

My top 5 breastfeeding products I couldn’t have lived without

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Top 5 Breasfeeding Products I couldn't live without
Photo Credit: BabyCentre

It feels like so long ago since I was nursing Baby Girl and even longer with LO. Unfortunately with Baby Girl, I only managed to exclusively breastfeed for two months as she started to become very colicky and constipated. So I made the decision then to switch her on to formula and it worked well for us. When I had LO I was able to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months before he decided to start yanking at the nipple – that’s when I decided he needs to start getting onto the bottle so I expressed for a month or two then moved him onto formula after that.

During my first pregnancy, I literally bought everything there was to buy for a new mum and baby from changing units to swaddle blankets and nursing apron covers. Some were very convenient to use and some were more of a one-off thing for me. There are a few products that I know I couldn’t live without during my nursing days and if you’re a new mum looking for products to invest in, here are five that I highly recommend you consider ( you may even already have them!)…

1. Nursing pillow
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Top 5 Breastfeeding Nursing ProductsThe nursing pillow is my all-time favourite breastfeeding item. It’s perfect for propping baby onto when you’re breastfeeding and makes a great neck pillow. I stopped breastfeeding when Baby Girl was 2 months but to this day, I still using the nursing pillow for myself.

If you’re expecting, you can also use the nursing pillow when you’re pregnant as a leg pillow if you tend to sleep on your side. Place in between your legs when you’re sleeping or resting and it can help to reduce any pelvic or lower body discomfort (very common if you’re in your third term).

Nursing pillows also make great baby shower gifts that not many people think about so keep that in mind for when you’ve got another baby shower coming up.

2. Lanolin nipple cream

Top 5 breastfeeding nursing products - The Greenwich Mummy BloggerIf you’re a first-time mum, get ready to learn something new today. If you’ve had a bubba before, what I write next may bring back some painful memories… literally. The first two weeks of breastfeeding are HELL – I am not going to pussy-foot around or lie to you. You need to mentally prepare yourself. As long as baby has a good latch and your milk is letting down, it’ll only be two weeks of hell.

The feeling of breastfeeding can’t really be explained but I’ll try my best. The suction is something you can’t really compare it to – it’s strong and powerful and if baby’s latch is not a good one it can be extremely painful. (More about baby’s latch later.) Some women experience soreness, cracked nipples, bleeding nipples, sometimes a combination of all these things. Your best friend will be a really good nipple cream. Sometimes the nipple cream might not be enough and you may have to think about nipple guards or even expressing breastmilk to feed baby to give your poor nipps a break.

Lansinoh nipple cream is made of pure lanolin – it’s thick and the best thing is you just put a generous amount on the nipple after every feed to help them repair. You don’t have to worry about baby swallowing/eating it as it’s a natural product that doesn’t harm baby if consumed.

Baby’s latch: how do you know if the latch is a good one? You will be able to see that baby is getting enough milk (or colustrum in the first few days of feeding as the body is making the milk supply) as the cheeks are rounded and full and baby’s head is tilted back enough to take in the milk. If you hear a clicking sound, this could be a sign of a poor latch or tongue-tie. To correct a poor latch, use your small finger to break the latch. Make sure the finger is clean before doing so.

A poor latch can cause baby to not take enough milk and cause you to stress but try not to worry. Simply see your HV as soon as you can if you are worried about your baby having tongue-tie, a poor latch, baby not feeding enough or a low milk supply. Remember that the milk supply doesn’t come into full swing until about day 5-6.

3. Emma Jane nursing bra

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My top 5 essential breastfeeding and nursing products

This nursing bra is my favourite. It’s not pretty but really does the job. The cotton is lovely and soft, the sizing was spot-on and very generous in terms of accommodating to milk-filled boobies which can one minute be as big and hard as watermelons then as shrivelled and soft as prunes after feeding. The bra comes in three colours; white, black and nude. I had the white and nude colour but the black looked great – they just never had my size. You can find these for around £8-15 and are sold everwhere including Amazon, Ebay, Mothercare and most parent and baby stores. I bought mine online. For mums who prefer a wired nursing bra, check out ThirdLove for some bra ideas on what’s out there.

Don’t forget to get yourself some breastfeeding pads (I recommend the Lansinoh ones for softness, comfort and absorption), leaky boobs are common especially around your usual feeding time or when your boobs are too full. Either feed baby an extra feed, express the milk or if you’re at home use a hot flannel or have a hot bath to encourage milk let-down and drain some of the milk to reduce pain, the boob going hard, and mastitis.

4. Muslin cloths

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Top 10 Buys Kiddicare Wishlist

An overall life-saving product. They’re great for placing around baby for discreet nursing, wiping away milk possets and even using as an alternative blanket during those hot and humid summer days when a cellular blanket is too warm to use. My favourite brand is aden + anais and I completely recommend them. They are made from 100% cotton and are the softest muslin cloths I’ve tried. I bought mine from TK Maxx for a bargain – get the swaddle ones as they’re much larger than normal muslin square cloths.

Muslin cloths can so make great teething soothers – simply tie a knot at one of the corners and voila! Babies love chewing on it! 🙂

5. Manual hand pump

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My top 5 essential breastfeeding and nursing products

If you’re a mum content on exclusively breastfeeding you may feel like expressing is just a cop-out way for feeding baby but this is the wrong mindset. Of course you want to give baby the best ad you don’t want to confuse baby with breast and bottle (teat) but if you are having problems breastfeeding, or your nipples are so cracked that nursing feels like torture or if you’re just so damn tired you can’t cope, a day or two of expressing may just provide you with that little bit of relief mentally and physically. I think sometimes there is just too much pressure on women to exclusively breastfeed but remember we are not “one size fits all” so do what is best for you, your baby, and your current situation.

Don’t force yourself to feel like you need to measure up to what another mum is doing, just do you! You have to take care of yourself as well as baby and your wellbeing is just as important so remember that. I had a really hard time breastfeeding Baby Girl because my nipple was too large for her mouth she kept gagging on it which is the reason why she had a bad latch. She was also constipated on breastmilk (yes, it can happen) so I had to make the decision after two months to just give it up. I and Baby Girl both felt much better after that, her poos were regular and soft and I got back some of my sanity.

For those thinking about expressing there’s plenty of tips on how to express successfully. If you’re contemplating on whether to go for a manual or electric pump I think it depends on your personal preference. I had both and I much preferred my manual one, it actually took near enough the same amount of time to express (I think electric was just 5mins faster for me). My favourite pump is the Medela one. It’s easy to use, easy to clean and the bottles are bigger than some others so more milk storage.

That’s my top 5 essential breastfeeding/nursing products!

I hope this post has helped you out in considering what to buy for your breastfeeding and nursing needs. 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog: WPC
Baby Girl seconds after she was just born (2016)

Other breastfeeding tips and advice:

  • Make sure you express a little bit of milk if your boobs are too full, a hot bath or warm flannel over the breast can help encourage the milk let-down
  • Milk storage: Any expressed breastmilk can be kept unrfriderated for 1-2hrs then must be discarded, in the top shelf at the back of a refridgerator for up to 5 days, in the fridge ice compartment for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months
  • If you want to feed discreetly in public, make sure your muslin cloth is long enough. If you want something specific, think about purchasing a breastfeeding apron.
  • Another nursing trick is to wear two tops; a low-scoop vest inside and a loose top over it. This way you can pull the vest below the breast and the loose top over the breast to feed baby. It should give baby enough ‘boobage’ but still keep you nicely covered and you don’t have to fuss with buying other equipment.

It’s okay to not be OK…

threenager-meme

I came across a post on Sunday which resonated deeply within me.

A post that could’ve been written more or less by myself. So much so that my original post (which I’d deleted)  has now been re-written with a dedication to Aleena from Mummy Mama Mum for encouraging me to publish this. Thank you! 

For me, if it’s not admitting it then it’s accepting it that’s the problem…
Telling myself that sometimes I’m not OK is a struggle. Like a never-ending battle.

If you haven’t read her post yet…  I’m Not OK by Mummy Mama Mum

Continue reading “It’s okay to not be OK…”

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | I call it Mothermorphosis

Just like my mum: I call it ‘Mothermorphosis’

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | I call it Mothermorphesis

“I’m turning into my mother.”

The words I never, ever wanted to hear myself say but alas, it has become the inevitable. I call it ‘mothermorphosis’.

Mother-Morphosis
mother = a woman in relation to her child or children
morphosis = the manner in which an organism or any of its parts changes form or undergoes development

There comes a time in our lives as mothers that we start to follow a path that is all too similar… The path of our own mothers. This may or may not be a route we wish to follow but sometimes it happens. Sometimes it’s a good thing, other times not so good.

Don’t get me wrong I love my mother but there are some of her traits that I hate. Continue reading “Just like my mum: I call it ‘Mothermorphosis’”

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family Lifestyle & Travel

Is It Right To Criticise Struggling Parents?

“To all those people criticising Prince William, I say fuck you.”

Source: Is It Right To Criticise Struggling Parents by The Life of Tont

So I just came across the blog post above thanks to MummaScribble’s #TwinklyTuesday linky and boy am I glad I read it! I had heard snippets on the radio last Saturday night about the whole interview thing Prince William did on Vietnam radio and I am very shocked to hear that people have criticised him for saying that he finds parenting a struggle.

Parenting struggles aren’t means-tested. Whether you are earning £100+ a year or scraping by on £10 a week, you are a human being and entitled to express your feelings, emotions and opinions. This includes members of the Royal family – they are human too! To criticise someone like that because of their social status is disgusting and appalling. Of course having wad loads of money definitely helps when it comes to materialistic things but you know the saying “money can’t buy love” – it also applies to parenting. Just because you have money, you don’t become immune to the challenges of being a parent throws at you.

It’s such an old-school way of thinking. My mum is like that – she believes that if you are from a healthy class you will have no problems in life. She believed it so much that when I first got pregnant she was so disappointed that I didn’t find someone “better” (she means someone white, middle-class and wealthy) instead of a regular ol’ guy.

Personally, I thought the Prince was very brave in coming out and telling the world about it. A bit of a weird place to first mention it though (on Vietnam radio) but maybe no-one has really asked the Prince how he’s felt since he became a second-time dad… who knows. Either way, people need to just chill.

That’s just my two cents. 🙂

Bring your baby home in a box – the Finnish way

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Finnish Baby Box
It was announced in August 2016 that a London hospital decided to pilot a scheme that has been a part of the Finnish maternity scheme for over eighty years. I first came across the post on the Baby London website and thought it was such an interesting topic.

Upon digging deeper into the article, I came to realise that the Finnish have been supplying new mums with a ‘baby box’ that is filled with mum and baby products. The baby box is also used as a sleeping place for the newborn replacing the need for a cot, crib or Moses basket.

Apparently, the baby box has been proven to be a really safe place for newborns to sleep as they cannot roll in the box. It’s something that the Finnish have been doing for over 80 years so it’s a big surprise that the UK has only decided to start implementing something like this now. The baby box is also filled with many things a new mum may need from nappies to baby bodysuits to money-off coupons and vouchers for all things baby.

If the pilot is announced as a success, we may see this new maternity scheme rolled out across the UK.

 

Baby Girl is two months old today!

The Greenwich Mummy | baby monthly milestones

I just can’t believe this little bundle is already 2 months old. It really doesn’t feel that long ago when I had her… In fact it feels like it was just last week that I had her! Lol 🙂

So much has been going on for her. She had really bad colic and silent reflux from the first day she was born and it seems to have gotten better. We got given Gaviscon Infants by the doctors to help with the reflux which did work but she ended becoming slightly constipated as a result of the meds.

We are still breastfeeding (I haven’t started the combi-feeds just yet) as it’s just more convenient. She has more of a routine and doesn’t sleep through the night just yet but she does start sleeping longer from 10-11pm so I am guessing that’s her bedtime for now. Longer hours at night means that I have actually found time to do other things including blogging and I love it!

I finally feel like I’m getting a little bit of ‘me’ back. 🙂

Parenting: co-sleeping with my baby

The Greenwich Mummy | Parenting: Co-sleeping
Photo Credit: BabyCentre

Experts and medical professionals will tell you that the safest place for a baby to sleep in the first six months are in a moses basket or a cot. While this is good advice, sometimes you need something more convenient – this is where co-sleeping can become a new mum’s favourite way of sleeping.

As soon as my little princess was born the midwives encouraged skin-to-skin contact which I gave without hesitation. Babies love being close to their mothers so why should this have to change at night? I remember Baby Girl’s first home visit with the health visitor. She went through all these leaflets about how to care for baby, feed baby, sleep with baby and touched on co-sleeping. Here are some of the co-sleeping safety rules which can also be found on the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) website.

Co-sleeping safety:

  • Make sure your baby can’t fall out of the bed or become trapped between the mattress and the wall
  • Keep your baby cool by using sheets and blankets rather than a duvet.
  • Ensure bedding does not cover your baby’s face or head
  • Always put your baby to sleep on their back rather than their front or side
  • Babies don’t need a pillow until they are at least a year old. They should also be kept away from parents’ pillows
  • Never risk falling asleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair
  • Never co-sleep with your baby if you (or your partner) smoke/drink/take drugs that affect awareness

I DON’T co-sleep with Baby Girl when I am overly tired because it’s really dangerous to do so (suffocation, rolling on baby, etc). Who knows what could happen when I am in deep sleep that’s been spurred on from being exhausted and sleep deprived.

If you’re not confident about sharing your bed with your baby there’s really good cots and bassinets you can now buy which you put next to the side of your bed like an extension. I have a standard cot and have one side of the rail really low and next to the bed for easy access.

When co-sleeping is carried out safely, it can be a fantastic way for mother and baby to bond and you get to catch up on your sleep and get decent rest. If you breastfeed then you can do so easily and conveniently. You can even find advice on sleep training for your baby. If you think that co-sleeping is right for you and your baby, definitely give it a go, if you haven’t done so already. 🙂

My birth story with baby girl

I am sorry it’s been a little while but just didn’t have any time at all away from Baby Girl to write this until now. So here it is, my birth story… Baby Girl arrived when I was 38 weeks pregnant at a healthy weight of 6lb 8oz – a little chunky bubba (LO weighed 6lb 2oz and was only 5 days early). I had a natural birth and due to the fast labour on the day, there was no time to have my water birth and gas & air like I originally planned.

The Labour

I strongly believe that I was first in slow labour with Baby Girl as I felt really intense and painful contractions at the start of the week (on the Monday). However, because they weren’t regular and at similar intervals apart, I ignored the signs and dismissed it as really painful Braxton Hicks which is common towards the end of the pregnancy and so I didn’t self-refer myself to Triage or call the labour ward. The rest of that week passed by ‘okay-ish’ and I managed with the contractions that were coming regularly at irregular times throughout the day. I just kept saying to myself “if I can sleep through these contractions then it can’t be real labour”.

On Saturday morning I woke up and hardly felt little movement – I told myself it’s because I am focusing too much on it so once again, I dismissed the signs that it could be real labour. It was also because this day I had organised a day out for LO to the local funfair with a friend so I didn’t want him to miss out. Plus the location of the funfair was opposite the hospital so if anything happens, I can quickly get to the hospital with ease.

We got to the funfair around 1pm and LO went on a few of the rides before wanting to go home. I felt the contractions throughout the day and was sure that was the reasons why I couldn’t feel any movements so didn’t head to the hospital. Instead I headed down to the local Tesco’s to pick up a pack of newborn nappies and some more newborn clothes and maternity pads. I had this feeling at the back of my mind telling me I needed to get these things today otherwise it’ll be too late as my maternity bags were only 80% packed.

It was then 9pm and I had just sat down and realised that the day was almost over and still I hadn’t felt any movement. At that point, I called Triage and asked if it was okay to come in to see someone regarding the movements and the midwife said yes, just to be on the safe side – it was definitely a good thing I went! When I arrived to Triage at 10pm with LO and Daddy P in tow I was hooked up to the machine and left for 30mins as they monitored me. Baby’s heartbeat was found straight away which relieved my initial fears but then those super-painful contractions returned… this time they were coming at regular intervals and I knew at that point I was in labour – it was now real.

The Birth

Super intense and super fast (I also felt I needed to do a no. 2 so went to the toilet). I passed the bloody, mucus show before finally passing the bowel movement. I waddled back to where I was hooked up and the midwife said she will do an internal examination to see if I am dilated – she was very surprised to find out I was 9cm dilated and ready to push! One of the other midwives commented on how quiet I kept everything. I’m not really a screamer and I think my body just deals with labour pains really well.

Baby Girl arrived at 11:19pm. It was the fastest labour and birth I’ve had so far (30mins it said on my maternity transfer notes) and under what most mums will consider a “perfect birth” with no tears and natural delivery. As it was such a quick birth, my plan of having a water birth went out of the window. I also didn’t have gas & air as the midwives couldn’t get it to me in time. She said if she goes to get it, I could deliver the baby before she gets back so we made the decision to skip it.

Note to self and other mums: a birth plan can be pointless.

The Greenwich Mummy: My birth story with Baby Girl
#milkdrunk / Instagram: @mannyngo

Post-pregnancy Recovery

Also known as the fourth trimester, this is the period I find really challenging. The breast feeding, post-birth contraction pains, sore nipples, and sleep deprivation. The overnight hospital stay post-birth is also a killer as I always seem to be that new mum with the noisy baby keeping up the ward. Luckily my post-delivery room only consisted of me and one other new mum. I felt sorry for her as Baby Girl was so noisy and her baby was quiet (I don’t she got any rest). *guilty face*

I was discharged from hospital late afternoon the next day which was great. Part of Vietnamese culture a new mum must stay indoors for at least 1 month and banned from leaving the house however in these modern days leaving for essential appointments is possible. Certain foods should also be avoided which I didn’t really stick to this time round as my mum was constantly at work so I didn’t have someone looking over my shoulder to tell me off. 🙂 I tried my hardest not to leave the house so instead of just going out I waited for the days I had to visit the midwives to go out and get some fresh air. I am sure the fresh air also did some good for Baby Girl as she was less irritable when we were out… I guess she doesn’t like being cooped up at home too.

I’ve been super sleep-deprived and exhausted this time round. Baby Girl has problems latching on and is a really colicy baby. She is feeding well which is great as she’s gaining weight well but the colic and fussiness really gets me down – when she cries and screams and there’s nothing I can do to help her stop pains me. She had mild jaundice in the first week which has almost gone now disappeared by herself. Apparently regular feeding and ensuring that she sleeps no longer than 3hrs without a feed helps to get rid of the jaundice. I guess those 4hr periods of no feeds through the night in the first few days came at a price. 😦

Now almost a month old, the colic hasn’t improved so it means a trip to the hospital. The jaundice has gone now but I am shattered from the cluster feeding and constant crying. Hopefully a few months more and she’ll be all better and I’ll be able to get my nights’ sleep back. In the meantime, I rely on her sleeping patterns to get a little catch-up on sleep and rest.