How important is vitamin D for you and your new baby?

We all know that vitamin D is important and that sun exposure can do wonders for our vitamin D intake. But is there more to it? What does vitamin D actually do? Is it recommended that expectant mums and new babies take supplements? And if so, why? What can too little or too much vitamin D do? We have tackled some of these questions in this blog post.how important is vitamin D for mums and babies? pregnancy breastfeeding new baby BabyNatal

What is vitamin D and where do our bodies get it from?

Vitamin D helps us keep our bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. According to the NHS Choices website, in the UK from about March/April through to September, most people who regularly spend time outdoors can get enough vitamin D. This happens because our amazing bodies can create vitamin D through direct exposure of our skin (just think forearms, hands or lower legs) to the sun (without sunscreen). This is especially easier in the hours between 11am and 3pm. Short bouts of exposure of 10-15 minutes are enough for light-skinned people, but people with darker skin will need to spend longer in the sun to produce the same amount of vitamin D. For the rest of the year though, from October to March, we just can’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight alone. So if we can’t get it from exposure to the sun, where else can we get it from? Continue reading

What is International Father’s Mental Health Day?

On 19th June 2017 The Natal Family will join in the celebrations and social media hype for the second International Father’s Mental Health Day. Watch out for #IFMHD on social media from the 19th June for a week – lots and lots of great content that focuses on key aspects of fathers’ mental health will be shared online.

Why do we need an awareness day for father’s mental health?

Because 10% of dads are reported to experience perinatal postpartum depression. And while there is still a lot of stigma attached to mental health for both men and women, it looks like, as a society, we have a long way to go when it comes to recognising the signs and symptoms of postnatal depression, especially in men. Continue reading

9 things you need to know about vitamin K for babies

In our BabyNatal classes we go through the choices that new parents can make straight after the birth of their babies. One of the very early decisions that parents are asked to make is whether they would like their baby to have a supplement of vitamin K.

So we put together this blog post to answer some of the key questions you might have about this.

  1. Why is my baby offered vitamin K soon after birth?

When babies are born, they have low levels of vitamin K because only small amounts of vitamin K in mum’s body pass through the placenta. In the vast majority of healthy newborn babies, the amount of vitamin K they have in their body is enough to prevent any problems. However, some babies are born with an insufficient amount of vitamin K. Because it’s impossible to accurately predict which babies will be born with a vitamin K deficiency, a vitamin K supplement is currently offered to all babies born in the UK. Continue reading

Amber and teething – does it really work?

Baltic amber anklet for baby

Baltic amber anklet for baby

Looking around in the last few years, you must have noticed more and more babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers wearing amber necklaces, bracelets and anklets. Have you ever wondered what they are or what they are for? Did you put it down to a ‘tradition’, a ‘lucky charm’ or a new ‘craze’? Well, parents who choose to use amber for their children are doing so with a very particular reason in mind – they hope that amber will ease their little ones’ teething troubles.

Yes, that’s right. Teething.

That process that each baby goes through to transform their cute gummy smile into an even cuter full-of-teeth one. Continue reading

Birthmarks: what’s a Mongolian Blue Spot?

mongolian-blue-spotIn our BabyNatal Practical Baby Care classes we talk about newborn appearance, and one of the things we briefly touch on are birthmarks. These congenital irregularities of the skin can be present at birth or can appear shortly after the birth (generally within the first 2 months of life) – not all babies will have them of course, but some might, so it’s important that parents are aware. There are various types of birthmarks, and they can be caused by different factors.

Today we are going to focus on a particular type of birthmark called Mongolian Blue Spot, also referred to as “slate grey navi” or, formally, as “congenital dermal melanocytosis”.
Continue reading

What’s really hiding inside your baby’s wet wipes?

20161010_145107In our BabyNatal Practical Baby Care classes we discuss nappy changing, washing baby clothes, and bathing amongst other things, and one aspect that invariably always comes up is around the usage of ‘baby products’, be it soaps and shampoos, wet wipes, detergents etc. You’ll never hear us recommend one product over another one, but you’ll hear us say is that we encourage all parents and parents-to-be to make informed choices, which are right for their families, their babies and their own unique circumstances. Continue reading

Should dads always cut the umbilical cord? Shouldn’t more mums do it?

As with many other aspects of pregnancy, labour, birth and parenting, the choice around cutting the umbilical cord_quote from blog_1who should cut the umbilical cord is exactly that – a choice. Lately, however, an increasing number of expectant dads that we meet in our BabyNatal classes are telling us that they feel that they are expected to cut their baby’s umbilical cord. Continue reading

Six things you should know about your baby’s umbilical cord

In our BabyNatal Practical Baby Care classes we cover newborn appearance, and a key part of your baby’s appearance after birth (besides the fact that they are so cute, cuddly, beautiful and absolutely perfect) is that they will have some umbilical cord still attached to their tummy. Umbilical cords are not the typical thing that’s shown on TV, where babies who are meant to be newborn are in reality a few months old, so unless you’ve had a baby already or had the pleasure to be the birth partner for someone else, chances are that most of us haven’t seen one before and don’t know much about it. Continue reading

Diary of a sleep deprived mum – Laura’s story

The situation

My daughter Emily is 19 months old, and up until a couple of weeks ago, she would wake somewhere between 1 to 4 times in the night between 9pm and 7am. The wakings would vary between 20 minutes to over an hour at times, and with each waking she would only settle with me (mum) with a breastfeed. We tried having Daddy going in to her to settle her back to sleep, but she would just screams and screams until I would go and feed her back to sleep. We tried many different ‘gentle’ things to help her sleep – later bedtime, earlier bedtime, later naps, earlier naps, baby massage, more food, banana before bed, more drinks, warmer clothes for bedtime, a comforter, white noise, night light, bedtime routines, bedtime story, no TV in the run up to bedtime… You name it, we tried it! Continue reading

Natal top tips for camping with baby

More and more families are choosing to holiday at home, and camping has always been a great way to do so. Low cost and the ultimate chance to leave the gadgets at home and enjoy some family time! The arrival of a baby doesn’t mean that the tent has to be packed away. Natal HQ even managed a camping trip last May with their 5 week old! Here are our top tips for camping with your baby… Continue reading