How to cope with interrupted and lack of sleep

So you’re having a baby. “Forget about getting any sleep in the next 18 years”, they say. But is it really that bad? Probably not. We are pretty sure that you will most definitely get some sleep, but it’ll probably be interrupted sleep. If you’re not used to it, sleeping for short bouts and being woken up a few times in the night can really affect you at first. It can affect your mood, how easy/hard you find your days, and your general wellbeing. But not all is lost, as there are ways to cope with interrupted or lack of sleep when you’ve just welcomed a new baby into your family.how to cope with interrupted sleep BabyNatal

Will my baby wake up often in the night?

At first, your young baby will wake up for a feed every few hours. This will happen both during the day and during the night. When they’re still very little, your baby may go to sleep for the night anything between 9pm and 11pm (or even later), wake up around 2-3am for a feed, and then maybe again at 5-6am. But remember, your baby is an individual with their own personality, and all babies are different! Your baby could be following a pattern similar to this, or one of their own, and that’s all to be expected. Although this may seem like a lot of waking, there a few things that you could try to work around that. Continue reading

“My period hasn’t returned” – everything you need to know about lactational amenorrhea

One of the questions our teachers often receive from new mums who have attended their classes is when a new mum should expect her first period after the birth of her baby. Unfortunately, this isn’t a question with a straight answer! Everyone really is different, and while some women report having their period as early as 5 or 6 weeks after birth, others may not see it coming back for a couple of years!“My period hasn’t returned” – everything you need to know about “lactational amenorrhea”

So let’s dig a little deeper into this topic, and we’ll explain what happens to a new mum’s body after birth.

When not breastfeeding…

Women who do not breastfeed report their period returning anything between 5 weeks and 3 months after birth. While it is possible that if a woman’s period returns this early after giving birth, she may not actually be fertile for the first few cycles, this is definitely not true for everyone! In fact, if a woman’s period returns 5 weeks after the birth of her baby, there is a possibility that she may be ovulating and be fertile 2 weeks before that, so effectively only 3 weeks after giving birth. It’s always worth remembering that because you do not know when your period will return (but you’ll be ovulating approximately 2 weeks before the first day of your period) you may want to use contraception in case you are fertile. Unless you’re planning another baby very soon, of course! Continue reading

What do I do if I suspect my child may have a cow’s milk allergy?

One question that often comes up in our BabyNatal Colic and Calming workshops is whether dairy allergy or lactose intolerance could cause colic. This is certainly a possibility (although there are others), and the advice that we give parents in our classes is to work with their health professionals to look at the baby’s feeds to try and accommodate these allergies or intolerance.

The good news is that a lot of babies do grow out of allergies or intolerance as their digestive system matures, but if this is an area of concern for you at the moment, here’s some information that you might find useful.

What is cow’s milk allergy?

Cow’s milk allergy is a reaction from the immune system to one or both the proteins contained in cow’s milk (casein and whey). It should not be confused with lactose intolerance, which is the inability to digest the milk sugar found in milk (including breast milk).

Cow’s milk allergy is the most common food allergy in infants and young children in the UK, and it can occur in both breastfed and formula-fed babies. Continue reading

My baby’s first shoes – top tips and advice

Did you know that some of our fantastic Natal teachers also offer BabyNatal Developmental Baby Massage classes?IMG_2621sm

Please give a virtual hello to teachers:

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Did you know that newborn babies lose weight after birth?

A baby’s weight is one of the first things people ask about your newborn (after you’ve told them whether you had a boy or a girl, of course!) Weight tends to be an indication of how ‘healthy’ a baby is, when in reality the weight of a baby at birth depends on many factors, including mum’s own weight and diet, mum’s ethnicity and whether the baby is her first or a subsequent baby (first babies tend to be smaller than their siblings). 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”.
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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