NHM Readers Recommend – Where to Buy Second Hand Maternity Clothes

An NHM Reader recently asked “”Could you please ask the community where I can buy second hand maternity clothes? Is so expensive, I’m size 10.” The NHM Community were amazing in their responses. Thank you for all of your suggestions, listed below in no particular order, and thank you very much to all of those who offered clothes!

NHM Readers recommend – where to buy second hand maternity clothes

Claire says “The NCT nearly new sale always has a good range. Whole section of maternity clothes. But that’s not till 28th April. https://www.facebook.com/BasingstokeNCTNNS/. You could also ask a question on facebay etc whether anyone selling any”

Jo says “VarageSale have tons of maternity stuff too. It’s an online selling/buying app. You join your local community (basingstoke) and then there’s tons of stuff to buy and you can sell your stuff for free too! https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/varagesale/id622859960?mt=8

Wendy says “Lots of people donate them to Spotlight but I needed different coats second time round and eBay was the best place. Also ask if the hospice shops if they have got their acts together and put all their baby bits in one place yet. Fitmama selling normally has a few too.”

Sally says “I used to look on ebay”

Karen says “Online groups. Put ‘maternity clothes’ in the search bar and there’s lots of Facebook groups. There’s even jo jo maman bebe only ones.

Becki says “I bought most of my maternity clothes on Facebook market place, charity shops and the nearly new sales”

Heather says “I used eBay”

Becky says “Market place on Facebook! Got all mine for £20”

Helen says “VarageSale”

Sandhya says “VarageSale for anything buy/sell local. It has categories and sort through size. Need to download the app or use the website.”

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NHM Readers: Games and activities for a baby shower

In response to a question from a NHM Reader, I asked the Friends of my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook “Any ideas for fun games or activities for an afternoon tea baby shower?”

Many thanks for your responses, listed below:

NHM Readers advise games and activities for a baby shower

Sara said “Guess the weight of the baby. Alphabet quiz with every letter starting with baby related things. Google baby showers and I’m sure many printable things will pop up. Pass the dummy using drinking straws only using your mouth!”

Shona said “We had cards at mine and everyone wrote what day, time and weight they thought baby would be born. We also played a game with nappies and tried to guess what was in them (piccalilli, marmite, chocolate spread). Anagrams of popular baby names.”

Rebekah said “Ask the mums of the parents to be for stories of when they were babies. Then mix the true stories with lies and get the party to guess the true ones.”

Fiona said “Guess the body part on scan pictures game. It can be really difficult to guess and is great for Mums, grannies that missed out on scans.”

Gemma said “At mine we did a guess the size of the bump with everyone cutting ribbon that they thought would be the closest in size to go round me lol. Another was ‘beer belly or bump’ using close up Google images – it was great”

Rachel said “I printed out and photocopied pics of mine and my other half’s faces and then cut out features and mixed them up; guests then made a pic of what they thought our baby would look like, it was hilarious (and thankfully he doesn’t look like any of them!)”

Rachel said “Naming as many songs as you can that have the word ‘baby’ in the title”

Deborah said “Penny in the jar. Hold a 2p between your knees and get it in the jar at the end of the room. It is a very funny game. Also my sister printed pin the sperm on the egg. Hope this helps”

Nikki said “Decorating plain white vests for the baby (fabric pens, embroidery etc)”

Laura said “Bit unpleasant but guess the baby food flavour – lots of baby food jars but hide the labels and ask your guests to guess, it’s very tricky as they basically all taste the same! Provide wine to wash away the taste!”

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Hampshire Doulas

What is a doula and why would you want one on your birth or postnatal team?

If you heard of something you could take into labour with you that would make you

  • More likely to give birth vaginally with neither ventouse nor forceps nor caesarean
  • Less likely to use pain medications or to have a caesarean birth
  • More likely to be satisfied with your experience
  • More likely to have a shorter labour
  • Less likely to have postpartum depression
  • Your baby could be less likely to have low five-minute Apgar scores (the score used when babies’ health and well-being are assessed at birth and shortly afterwards).

Would you want to give it a try?

According to reviews of research the type of support doulas supply has been shown to do all these things.

You’re probably wondering what exactly do doulas do that can have all these potential benefits? I asked a couple of your local doulas what they bring to your birth team.

Alex and Desiree both work in North Hampshire. As they talk about becoming doulas and what they love about being doulas I hope you will see that the benefits are so wide ranging even for times when that “more likely to” in the research doesn’t turn out to be definitely will. Perhaps we should add to the list, in our experience having a doula on your team will make you more likely to realise how amazing and wonderful you truly are.

Alex with clients
Desiree

How did you hear about doulas or first start thinking it might be for you?

Alex: Unknowingly, I have doulaed for many years. The saying “it takes a village to raise a child” sits very closely to me as this is how I started my Doula journey. Then a woman in my village, who I offered support to, asked me if I knew of any doulas in our area. The seed was planted as I supported her and decided to start my Doula journey officially.

Within 2 weeks of deciding to go for it I signed up for my Doula training course and within less than a year I became too busy to continue my long standing medical career. And I love what I do!

Desiree: I heard about Doula’s through my sister as she chose to have a Doula support them through their birth. I was very naive and found it odd and rather ‘hippy’. My sister had the most amazing support from her doula.

Then when was pregnant and began planning my birth I knew I wanted a Doula present and having had a long labour my doula was consistent throughout. It really sealed my desire to be able to offer that same continuity of care, calming presence and support that I received to other women and their partners.

What’s your favourite thing about being a Doula?

Desiree: It’s such a privilege for me to share such an intimate, life changing experience with a woman. Seeing her grow, her strength and her ability to birth regardless of what kind of birth – I truly value that. I love seeing women flourish as they step into motherhood, whether it’s the first time or third time.

Alex: The variety of women and couples I meet and being part of their pregnancy, birth and beyond. I feel extremely privileged being a doula. Seeing women making their own informed choices whatever situation they find themselves in. And then seeing women feeling empowered and those lush newborn baby cuddles at my first postnatal meeting.

What are your top tips for planning a positive birth?

Alex: Gather information, know about your choices, trust your body and your instincts. Never take “no” for an answer unless all resources and options explored. Hire a Doula!

Desiree: Birth is a wonderful journey that can sometimes be smooth and straightforward or it may be windy and long. Birth can be like a picnic – you may have 4 seasons in one day.  As much as we can plan, there are unforeseen events that can happen. Whilst it’s great to have a plan, it’s important to know what your options are and know that you have choices. Having a birth plan in place can help. Being prepared for all eventualities puts you in a far stronger position afterwards to feel you retained some choice and control in what happened. Understanding our hormones and our environment plays a huge part in how our bodies relax and function during the birthing process.

Do you have any top tips for new parents?

Desiree: Listen to yourself. Family and friends have the best intentions when they feel they need to ‘offer’ their advice, however there is so much conflicting advice it becomes an information overload. Do what you feel is best for you and your child. Everything your baby needs you already have.

Alex: Restrict visitors, take your time, enjoy getting to know each other, accept help (meals, house chores, childcare for older siblings). Be aware of the 4th trimester. Be gentle on yourself and never compare yourself with other new mums! Sleep when your baby sleeps during the day, even if it’s a cat nap here and there. Get support from a postnatal Doula and don’t feel afraid to ask for help!

Now you’ve had the chance to get to know a couple of our local doulas a little bit. If you decide to include a doula as part of your birth team you will get to know her really well in the antenatal sessions you have together. More importantly, she will get to know you and how she can support you and the rest of your birth team the best way for you. If you’ve got more questions you might like to check out our frequently asked questions page http://www.hampshiredoulas.co.uk/frequently-asked-questions/ and always feel free to get in touch and ask more questions if you don’t find yours is answered there.

hampshiredoulas.co.uk hampshiredoulas@gmail.com facebook.com/hampshiredoulas

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Review 2018: The Fairy ClothesMother

My recent Wardrobe Refresh session with Victoria was SOO AWESOME but not only that, she’s also very kindly offering a very generous discount to NHM Readers! See below.

If you are stuck for presents for anyone or feel you need a BOOST yourself, I HIGHLY recommend as you can read below.

Review 2018: The Fairy ClothesMother

About

Victoria messaged me and asked me if I would like to have a Wardrobe ReFresh in exchange for a review and I thought I’d give it a go as I had nothing left to lose and could definitely use the help.

She used to run the store in Vintage Treasures, a boutique specialising in vintage and vintage inspired clothing, on Church Street, in Basingstoke so she knows what she is talking about!

I’ll be honest, I was NOT looking forward to Victoria coming round to help me de-clutter my wardrobe.  In my head I had visions of Trinny and Suannah (I’m showing my age now!) and GokWan DECIMATING my wardrobe.

My focus for the past few years has been on getting Miss NHM well again and as part of this I have completely neglected my body and my wardrobe reflects this.

I’ve written before about having a uniform as I don’t have time to think in the mornings or the night before as I prefer to spend my time and energy on other things. If you’ve been reading NHM for a while you’ll know that I am allergic to most man made materials, particularly polyester.

Trying to shop for clothes these days, that don’t have polyester or lycra in is very, very, VERY frustrating. There are certain shops that I know I can shop in that have 100% cotton and I tend to stick to those as I know that they aren’t going to cause me any issues.

Although this does mean that I’ve been in a bit of a clothing rut. I hate clothes shopping at the best of times and then having to double check every single label well… it’s depressing and I don’t have the motivation for it.

So the thought of Victoria coming round and telling me that I needed to go shopping for more clothes….I wasn’t looking forward to it….

Before we met

A couple of weeks before our appointment Victoria sent me a document with several questions asking me things like my hair and eye colour, what my current style is and what my dream look would be.

The document also asked me about my shopping habits and I think she could probably work out from there that I was going to be a total pain in the butt!!! (facepalm!)

Victoria also asked me to send some pictures of my face and my body, so she could see what she would be working with.

The Wardrobe Refresh Appointment

Victoria came round to my house one lunchtime, but just after I’d had a filling. So I was feeling a bit miserable, my face was all numb and I was really not in the mood for the appointment.

However, I haven’t laughed so much in AGES!!! Victoria spent about 15 minutes with me talking through my answers to the questions she’d sent me and I felt SOOOO at ease! You can immediately tell that Victoria’s main aim is to make you feel much better at the end of the appointment than you do at the beginning.

She asked me to write three words down describing how I was feeling right then about my clothes and those words were pretty depressing.

Victoria then talked through my colours and told me that I’m an “Autumn”. I had my colours done years ago and I already knew I was an Autumn and had told Victoria this in my answers but it was really, really good to go through which colours suit me again. Even though I have a colour wallet from when my colours were done when I was 18 years old, I wasn’t sure if they would still be the colours to suit me.

Victoria then briefly talked through which styles suit me best which was quite enlightening.

We then just got stuck in to my wardrobe.

I have quite a small wardrobe but it turns out that I have LOADS of clothes hidden away and even some in Miss NHM’s wardrobe that I had completely forgotten about.

We went through EVERY SINGLE ITEM of clothing in my cupboard and it was… AWESOME!!!

Victoria gave me permission (well, she didn’t actually give me permission but it felt like it!) to get rid of clothes that I’ve been hanging onto for years that I shouldn’t have been.

I read the Life Changing magic of Tidying three years ago (WOW, how time flies!) and even though there were clothes that I had purged then, there were some items that I still had an emotional attachment too that needed to be got rid of.

We went through everything and sorted them into three piles: keep, sell, recycle. It was SUCH an uplifting experience!!! Not at all what I expected.

Normally I’m quite self concious about my body, but I was just stripping off and getting stuck in and Victoria was brilliant. She echoed many things that I’d said in my head about some outfits, except she said it out loud. Hearing someone else say lots and lots of really positive things about my wardrobe was just amazing!

I realised that I do have lots and lots of beautiful dresses that I just don’t wear that I really ought too!

I felt absolutely AMAZING after the appointment. Victoria asked me to update my three words again, about how I was feeling, and it was like they were written by another person!

She advised me to start wearing more colours and notice the compliments that start rolling in and you know what, she was absolutely right! I’ve had LOADS of comments about what I’ve been wearing recently since my Wardrobe ReFresh.

Victoria also suggested making adjustments to certain items of my clothing and has recommended a local seamstress who can do this for me. I only actually need to buy ONE ITEM of clothing for my wardrobe! I expected that I would probably have to buy at least 4 or 5 new items but with modifications to my current clothes and that one item of clothing, it’s going to make such a difference!

Victoria is even going to find me the items that I need online and send the links over to me so I can just buy them directly. HOW AMAZING IS THAT!!!

Victoria says that that with her BOOST Style ethos:

“My mission is to have you with a wardrobe of clothes that are working for your body shape, not against you, in the correct seasonal colour palette and reflect your lifestyle and personality. Most of all I want you to feel empowered to be you! After all, you are the best person to do YOU!”

By the end of the appointment I was literally jumping with joy. I had freed up lots of space in my wardrobe, I’ve got a pile of clothes to sell on ebay so I can use that money to buy my extra item of clothing and it felt really good to “let go” of some clothes that I’d been hanging on to for years.

I couldn’t stop hugging the poor girl before she left as she’d made me feel so happy!!

After Care

A couple of days later, Victoria sent me a document which covered everything we had discussed. This was called “Louise style file” and it’s absolutely FANTASTIC!!!!

I cannot stop raving about this document! It’s absolutely bloody brilliant!

I love that the document has my body shape analysis and explains what body shape I am and also has a wonderful list of Do’s and Don’t’s for my body shape, which is going to make it sooooo much easier to shop with now! The document even includes pictures of styles that are mentioned, so if you don’t know what bootcut trousers look like, there is a picture to show you.

I also really liked that there is explanation of my colour analysis with suggestions of colours for me to wear.

There is also a section which highlights the key pieces that I should add to my wardrobe (very delighted it’s only 1 so I don’t have to spend much! lol).

Victoria also sent me a private style board on Pinterest. I love, love, LOVE the private style boardt. It’s absolutely brilliant and has lots and lots of suggestions of outfits that will suit me. My style for swim wear, formal wear and even some pictorial examples of which make up colours suit me best!

Absolutely perfect!!

Other Services

Victoria also offers a “Virtual Shopping Session”: “This is a digital file the she sends to you containing links to all of the items mentioned above, you can them order those that you feel suit and when they arrive you have a session via Skype for Victoria to check the fit and style, helping you decide which to keep and which, if any, to return. It’s a great way to update your wardrobe for a new season, holiday or special event without having to leave home!

I will soooo be taking her up on this “virtual shopping session” when I have a wedding to go too as she literally picks out the items for you and sends you the online links so all you have to do is order them. AMAZING!

Discount for NHM Readers

Victoria is very kindly offering NHM Readers a discount code -(NHM25) giving you a 25% discount on the “Wardrobe ReFresh” session.

Please quote this code when getting in touch with Victoria.

Rating out of 5

Twenty Five Hundred out of 5, as Miss NHM says. This was one of the best ways that I’ve spent two hours in a very long time. Victoria is absolutely lovely and a very positive person who made me feel sooooo much better about my wardrobe and also myself.

The appointment is very good value for money and having now had the appointment I would happily pay double for another one (don’t tell Victoria that, obviously! facepalm). I will actually be saving money in the long run, because instead of ordering clothes and finding out that they don’t fit me properly which means I don’t wear them often, I will know EXACTLY what to buy and won’t be wasting any money anymore.

Victoria really is a Fairy ClothesMother and I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend her services!!

You can find out more about The Fairy ClothesMother at: https://www.facebook.com/FairyClothesMother/

or at her website: https://givingyouaboost.wixsite.com/hello

Disclaimer: This post is a review of the Wardrobe ReFresh by The Fairy Clothesmother. The Wardrobe Refresh service was supplied free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

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Review 2018: HAIRaffair Basingstoke

I recently received a message on facebook from Aideen, asking me if I would like to have my hair done in exchange for a review on NorthHantsMum.

I jumped at the chance! 😀

(There is a special offer for NHM Readers at the bottom of this post :-D)

HAIRaffair Basingstoke

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m not a “girly girl” but I do take an interest in how I look. I haven’t had my hair cut in a salon in over 10 years as I have always found hairdressers to be very intimidating places, especially as I’m not into fashion.

It turned out that at a recent fundraising raffle I had won a voucher to get my hair cut but hadn’t realised it that it was with Aideen. I actually gave the voucher to a friend who needed pampering more than me, so when Aideen got in contact it clicked that I’d given away my voucher!!!! lol.

I explained to Aideen that I wasn’t really a girly girl and she was absolutely lovely about it. I did know that I wanted my hair to be coloured but I didn’t want her to be anymore out of pocket, especially as she’d been so generous with her raffle donation.

I explained that I just wanted a trim and colour and we agreed that I would cover the cost of the colouring and she would cut my hair in exchange for this review.

About

Aideen decided on her career path when she was traveling around Australia for a year after studying at college and university. She’s always loved playing with hair but at the time she thought that she would end up in a different career. Then she saw that lots of fellow travellers cutting hair and making money flexibly and it confirmed her career decision.

Once back from Australia she worked and trained at Arc in Basingstoke town centre and then progressed to a salon in Odiham where she was assistant manager and senior stylist. Then a couple of years ago, after her son was born, she decided to convert a room in her house to her salon and she hasn’t looked back!

We had a chat when I arrived and Aideen chose the best colour for me based on what I’d told her.

Aideen then applied the foils to my hair whilst we continued chatting.

Once the foils came out, Aideen washing my hair in her fancy hair sink and gave me a lovely mini head massage.

Then Aideen cut my hair and layered it a bit. I didn’t realise how long my hair was as she cut off about 4 inches and it was still really long! lol.

We basically didn’t stop talking for the whole two hours!!! It was really lovely to chat to her and she’s a great listener.

She did a fantastic job with my hair and blow dried it straight as my hair normally has a bit of a kink about it.

I came out of Aideen’s salon literally bouncing. There is literally nothing like having 1.5 hours of being pampered and coming out with a fab new hair colour and hairstyle!

My FAB new hair!!!

When I got home Mr NHM said “something’s different…” which is high praise in our household! lol.

Miss NHM kept telling me how beautiful I looked. She’s not used to me having my hair down.

I felt amazing for the rest of the weekend with my fab new hair!

Tips

Aideen normally works only on Saturdays but if you are desperate, she can fit you in at other times.

Facilities

Aideen’s studio is attached to her house but it’s fab because you literally have it ALL TO YOURSELF!!! She only has one to two people at a time so you have her full concentration.

Baby Facilities

Babies are very welcome at Aideen’s studio.

The perk of Aideen only having one client at a time means that you can take your baby along as there is room for a baby car seat.

If you let her know in advance that you are taking a baby with you, she said she will allow extra time in case you need to focus on your baby at any point. How fab is that!

Aideen is very understanding as she has two small children of her own.

Parking

Is free and on the drive and streets near Aideen’s house.

Prices

Prices are what you would expect for an independent hairstylist with her own studio.

For example, a cut, style and finish is £35.

Rating out of 5

Aideen did SUCH an AWESOME job! I absolutely love it!!! My hair looked amazing.

I will easily give her 5 out of 5 because she made me feel so welcome and really looked after me.

I love the colour and the cut was a really good cut. It was such a luxury to have my hair washed AND dried.

If you need a new haircut and are looking for some pampering at the same time, I highly recommend visiting Aideen’s salon!

Aideen can be reach on 07808316933 for any bookings. She also has a facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HAIRaffairbasingstoke/

Aideen is also very kindly offering NHM Readers a first time discount £5 off cut and £15 off colour and cut booked together.

Thank you Aideen!!!!!!

Disclaimer: This post is a review of HairAffair Hairdressing. My experience was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

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NHM Reader Recommendations: Pregnancy Massages

An NHM Reader asked: “Can anyone recommend anywhere locally to get a massage while pregnant. I need my shoulders /neck done as they are very sore.”

The responses from the NHM Community are below, thank you for your contributions. Please note, they are in no particular order!

Thank you very much also to Juliet who put this post together!

NHM Reader Recommendations: Pregnancy Massages

The Courtyard

The Courtyard, Hampshire

Hannah says “The Courtyard, or Beechdown, went to Courtyard had a full massage and facial it’s a mother and bump package it’s soo relaxing would definitely recommend”

Yvette says “The Courtyard in Hatch Warren do an amazing pregnancy massage. I ended up having it done 3 times it was so good!”

Leah says “The Courtyard, absolutely amazing & you feel truly pampered when you leave & relaxed!”

Beechdown Health Club

Beechdown Health Club

Hannah says “The Courtyard, or Beechdown”

Lizzie says “I went to Beechdown when I was pregnant, it was lovely.”

Beth says “I went to Beechdown, lovely!”

Leah says “Beechdown.”

D&D Beauty

D&D Beauty

Clare says “DD Beauty in Sherfield park”

Lola says “Nicola Louise Ascroft from D&D”

Truly Scrumptious Beauty Salons

Truly Scrumptious Beauty Salons

Hayley says “Truly Scrumptious … Overton or Basingstoke”

Kirsten says “Yes I agree, amazing”

Different Strokes Massage

Different Strokes Massage

Kate says “Different Strokes Massage”

Ashley says “she’s fantastic! and specifically qualified in pregnancy massage.”

Charlotte McDonald Sports Massage

Charlotte McDonald Sports Massage

Rachel says “Charlotte McDonald she works from the regents offices in Chineham is brilliant. More sports massage than relaxation massage.”

Charmaine Sala Massage Specialist

Charmaine Sala Massage Specialist

Carla says “Charmaine Sala”

Claire says “Highly recommend Charmaine Sala Massage Specialist”

Sarah says “Charmaine Sala is fabulous”

Heather says “Charmaine Sala”

Winchester Spine Centre

Winchester Spine Centre

Mary says “Not sure if Winchester is too far, but I had an excellent pregnancy massage when I was overdue with my first baby here. Well worth travelling for”

Body Focus

Body Focus

Stevie says “Ali at Body Focus”

Thrive Massage

Thrive Massage

Nicola says “Hi I hold specialist pregnancy massage qualifications. I’m based in Chineham. My website needs to be updated with more pregnancy treatment descriptions, but please contact me if you need any information.”

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Review 2018: Good For Mums – Fit-Tums course

Thank you very much to Emma for today’s Review on NorthHantsMum. She’s done a fantastic job!!

Thank you also to Helen for letting us come and review one of the Good for Mums courses!

Review 2018: Good For Mums – Fit-Tums course

About

Having a baby is one of life’s greatest adventures and joys. It’s a magical time, filled with precious moments and unforgettable memories. However, becoming a mum can also throw up some challenges. For many women, the changes to your body can be quite a shock which can motivate us to grab our exercise gear and get back into shape.

But before you do, I really recommend that you consider attending a Good for Mums Fit-Tum Restore course.

The course is specifically designed and tailored for postnatal mums, to help you rebuild your core muscles and rectify the effects of Diastasis Recti (the process of your abdominal muscles separating during pregnancy). Whilst it’s tempting to jump back into exercise as soon as you can after having a baby, the reality is that if you do attempt it before your body is properly healed and repaired you can end up doing far more damage than good. So bump the burpees, say no to squats and read on.

What can you expect from the course?

First off every attendee is required to complete a comprehensive health check questionnaire to understand your birthing experience and any complications you may have faced. You’ll use this as part of an introductory session with Helen, the highly qualified and super knowledgeable class leader. By talking through the results and carrying out a short physical examination, she’ll be able to advise what point your starting from. This is a really straightforward process and aside from a quick check of your tummy muscles, there’s no need to bare all!

Helen will only recommend you continue with the course if your body is ready for it. In the event that she’s concerned that you might require some more advanced specialist support, she is really well connected and will signpost you in the right direction to get any help you need.

Assuming you are fit to carry on, you’ll then undertake a weekly class, as part of a group of other mums in the same boat as you. You’ll learn simple and straightforward exercises and movements that can easily be incorporated into your daily life, which will gradually and safely begin to heal your muscles back to pre-pregnancy state. The wonderful news is, this course is available for you to attend either with baby or without, so you can sign up for the class that suits you and your needs best.

Having attended the course, I would wholeheartedly recommend it to others. It’s informative, its gentle and most of all, it’s fun! My fellow attendees on the course ranged from a mum who had only just had her 6 week check, through to mums of toddlers who had realised that their stomach just wasn’t repairing itself properly. Whilst the class is intended as a restorative process and not an ‘exercise class’, it’s delivered tummy inch loss time and time again too.

So, if you think your tummy is in need of help, you can’t laugh or sneeze without peeing or you just want to be sure that your body is ready for exercise again, this is the course for you.

Tips

This course will only be as successful as you make it. In order to feel the full reward of attending, you need to be prepared to find 10-15 minutes each day to undertake your ‘homework’. Helen will be able to nudge you all along the way and suggest ways to help you remember, but ultimately it’s down to you.

Facilities

The classes are all run in halls and indoor settings, so they are able to run come rain or shine. They all offer onsite toilets and parking, which is especially helpful if you’re attending a class with baby in tow. In addition, if you are at a mum & baby session, there will be a selection of toys and to keep your little one entertained.

Rating

Having now learnt more about what happens to our bodies when we have a baby, I honestly believe this course is an absolute must for anyone who wants to begin exercise again.

It’s a 5/5 from me!

Disclaimer: This post is a review of a Good for Mums course. Emma’s course was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. Emma was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are her own.

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How to choose the right fitness professional

Thank you very much to Helen at Good for Mum’s for writing today’s post!

How to choose the right fitness professional

Maybe you’re pregnant or you’ve recently had a baby and you’re looking for a fitness class. But how, in an industry where you can qualify in as little as a couple of months and complete an entirely online qualification in pre/postnatal exercise programming, can you be sure that your instructor is prescribing safe and appropriate exercise?

The answer is simple A.S.K !!!

A. Accredited – They should be qualified, ask to see their certificates. If they aren’t qualified then they won’t have insurance and you aren’t then protected should anything go wrong. Do they have an up to date first aid certificate? Are they a member of a regulating body, such as REPs, CIMSPA or FHT Sports. There are lots of professional standards agencies which fitness instructors can voluntarily sign up to. They often provide CPD, training, further education and keep the instructor up to date with changes in regulations or guidance and it shows they’re committed to maintaining high standards. How long have they been in the industry and what is their speciality. Do they have testimonials from clients which evidences their skills. Do they get results?

S. Screening – Pregnant and Postnatal women go through massive changes when carrying and birthing babies. No two women or births are the same and as such, the screening should be in depth and facilitate answers to questions which are as unique as your body. If your fitness provider is not screening you for pelvic floor disfunction, diastasis recti, over all core function, postural assessment, birth trauma to tissues and the fourth trimester, are they really screening you deeply? Are they painting a picture of your pre/postnatal health and truly able to prescribe appropriate exercise? I recently heard a wise lady say ‘Specialists assess, they don’t guess’ and when it comes to ladies who carry and birth babies, this could not be more true.

K. Knowledge – Does the Company or Fitness Instructor truly understand the client they are working with? Are they saying that you are only postnatal if you had a baby less than six months ago? Are they able to identify potential complications? Do they have the integrity to know when to refer a client to another specialist when symptoms warn of something which maybe beyond their professional capabilities?  Or are they telling you to ‘just take the low impact modification’ and taking your money. Is the instructor offering you explanation and reasoning behind their instructions? Do they talk sense? If it sounds like BS it probably is and if they’re saying lots of ‘I don’t know’ or ‘no you don’t need to do that’ you have to ask yourself do you want to settle for  industry standard or does your body deserve best practice?

If you’re serious about getting your body to a place where it heals well and recovers properly, be serious about your choices when looking at exercise classes. Your GP check at six weeks clears you to return to ‘normal activity’ such as driving, walking, lifting a baby etc it does not clear you to head straight back to boot camp or iron-mans. Even if you regularly did them pre-pregnancy.

Do something good for you and always remember to ASK.

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NHM Readers recommend: Baby-Led Weaning Ideas

Thank you all for the replies we had regarding a question on baby-led weaning from a member of the NHM community: “I need some inspiration on baby led weaning foods for lunchtime and dinner time. I’ve done the cucumber sticks, carrot sticks, pasta but am wondering if anyone has any other suggestions?”

Thank you also to Juliet who put this post together!!

NHM readers recommend – Baby-Led Weaning Ideas

Kelly says “Eggs are good in different forms – scrambled, slices of omelette even egg muffins with different fillings. Pittas, Hummus, Avocado (messy!!!), Savoury rice, Soup!!!”

Natalie says “Banana egg pancakes – easy to do (2 ingredients) make up a batch and they’re good warm straight from the pan & my little one also likes them cold too so good for out & about”

Shona says “This Facebook page gave me so many awesome ideas outside of the normal ones… worth a look.” Weaning, starting solids/finger food- Friendly Support & Guidance

Catherine says “pasta is my fav with mascarpone cheese and some herbs as it’s salt free or sometimes I use an Ellas pouch for sauce. Avocado toast, grated courgette in pancake mix. Peas are great when they get their pincer grip. I also use a lot of preloaded spoons for rice or lentil dishes etc.”

Jennie says “We do a cooked chopped broccoli with breadcrumbs, cheese, chilli sauce and egg mixed together and baked in a Yorkshire pudding tray that goes down well”

Laura says “Mine loved peas and broccoli for weaning and still loves them now at 4. Steam til they’re soft enough to go a bit mushy. But a great intro to green veggies.”

Kimberley says “Maybe add hummus and other dips to bread sticks and carrot sticks.”

Lottie says “With blw I have just always given my daughter whatever meals I am having. She enjoys chilli, curry, gnocchi and bangers and mash at dinner time. For lunches we have crackers with cheese, wraps, quiche and sandwiches. Just have to be mindful of salt intake!!!”

Claire says “Mine used to love these spinach and cheese muffins, make a huge batch they freeze well and are great for taking out too… View topic – spinach and cheese muffins • Baby Led Weaning

Also like the others said egg stuff so eggy bread, sliced omelette, hard boiled eggs, cheese cubes, sweet potato chips, homemade fish fingers always go down well and tuna pitta pockets (can also make these with puff pastry and freeze!)”

Rachel says “Whatever you are eating….that’s the best bit”

Laura says “The baby led weaning cookbook app is so good! Only £4.99 I think and so many good and easy recipes”

Karen says “Anything you eat.. (except honey if under 1 year). Cut into pieces that are longer than their fist initially so they stick out of a clenched hand. Let them go for it. Don’t worry how much goes in/down. Food before one is just for fun. As they get used to it make the foods smaller, you’ll be surprised how they’ll concentrate until they can pick up that pea! The book baby led weaning by Gill Rapley is fab”

Wendy says “Agree with above just feed them whatever you are eating. The only real rule is no honey until around 12 months. I’ve heard so many people say how much more enjoyable weaning is second time round because there’s no rules.”

Kath says “As the others have said anything you are eating. Often if my little one was on my lap while I was eating she would launch her hand onto my plate to try whatever it was. They do say that if they can’t handle it they won’t be able to pick it up (eg smaller foods like peas etc with that worry of choking). I remember at around 8 months old she got hold of a spare rib while we were having chinese and started munching on that!”

Tara says “Baby led weaning cookbook app is really helpful. Includes advice as well as recipes”

Jade asked “With the carrot sticks are they supposed to be cooked? Will be asking the exact same question in 6 months time”

  • Kelly said “Entirely up to you and what you’re comfortable with an uncooked carrot probably will only be used for gnawing!!! But quite good for teething!”
  • Catherine said “I would avoid raw carrot sticks myself and raw apple slices.. whole raw carrot or apple or else cook carrot or blanch the apple”
  • Karen said “If they’re sat upright, supervised and only putting food into their own mouth then the risk of choking is very small. As baby hits 6 months(ish) their gag reflex moves backwards in their mouth, they may trigger their gag reflex as they learn to put food in their mouth, but that’s what’s supposed to happen, that way they learn how to do it. Have a look at the book baby led weaning by Gill Rapley”

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Review 2018: Studio 1314

I reviewed Studio 1314 on NorthHantsMum in 2016 when they were just starting out.

You may have seen their Lemon Face promotion (which will be starting again in April 2018) on Facebook, which has been hugely popular.

Click on the pictures themselves to see them in detail

I LOVED the pictures that they did for our family in 2016. Absolutely loved them. You can even see one of them at the top of my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook. So when Wayne invited me back to review the studio, to see what had changed, I LEAPED at the chance.

Wayne and Lucy are also very kindly offering a Special Offer just for NHM Readers, which is listed at the bottom of this post.

About

The team at Studio 1314 believe in the personal touch, not just in their pictures, but also in the way that they conduct their business.

Once you have made a booking you receive a very professional confirmation email which confirms your booking and provides a link to a slideshow of some of their pictures, a link to a Pinterest board which is a great source of inspiration.

The email also has a really useful section about what to bring to the photo shoot and which clothes would work best.

I really love that they encourage accessorising and personal items as these make the photos even more meaningful.

A few weeks before our photo shoot, Wayne phoned me and we had a really good chat about what to expect and what to bring for the photo shoot. I love that Wayne was interested in what I wanted to get from the photo shoot as well and that he had some great ideas of what to bring along.

The photoshoot

Having been to several family photo shoots since Miss NHM was born(which I am extremely grateful for!) we kind of know what to expect.

However, it’s always a NIGHTMARE the morning of the photo shoot. Trying to get everyone mobilised and in the car and not forget any of our outfits. Mr NHM nearly forgot his outfit this time (facepalm).

When we arrived at the studio (about 15 minutes drive from Hatch Warren) we were all quite harassed as there had been a couple of “discussions” in the car on the way there.

It was sooooo nice to just arrive at the studio and plonk ourselves on the lovely squishy sofa’s.

Wayne was very welcoming and let us catch our breath before looking through the outfits that we had brought with us. He gave us advice on which outfits he thought would photograph the best.

The photoshoot lasted 90 minutes and that time just FLEW by. Miss NHM absolutely loved being the centre of attention (no comment) when Wayne took lots of pictures of her. We also had several family photo’s taken which are just awesome.

I really loved that when Miss NHM was “doing her thing” (total poser. I blame her father!!!) we could just sit and watch on the lovely sofa. It was so nice to see someone else entertaining Miss NHM and to be able to just sit back and enjoy it.

Wayne was very patient with Miss NHM and he made her giggle lots. She’s very photogenic (yes, I am a bit biased) but she can also be VERY stubborn if she doesn’t want to do anything but Wayne had no problem at all with getting her to do the things he needed too, to ensure that the pictures are perfect.

(No, that isn’t Miss NHM. Lol!)

It’s brilliant that the studio is split into several areas. Miss NHM is getting to that age where she’s conscious about her body and doesn’t want to undress in front of someone else, so it was really useful having the dressing area to change in but still be able to talk to Wayne and Mr NHM.

On our way home, I asked Mr NHM if he enjoyed the photo shoot and he said that he did because it was very relaxed and fun. (I often drag him along to these kinds of things and he’s not often that enthusiastic but that previous sentence is high praise from him!!)

Miss NHM talked for the WHOLE 20 minutes that it took us to get home, about how she liked “the man who was really funny” and she liked having her picture taken. So high praise from her too! Lol.

A couple of weeks later we went back to the studio to see the final pictures in the viewing room. This is a lovely big room with a large TV screen, another fab sofa and an area with toys for little ones to play with. It was awesome to see the pictures on a big screen and we are soooo pleased with them!!!

Special Offer for NHM Readers

Wayne and Lucy are also very kindly offering a very special offer for NHM Readers. (Thank you very much!!!)

The first 10 people to contact the team at Studio 1314 and book before May 2018 will receive a Free family photoshoot, a mounted 7×5 inch prints of their choice and a digital file of the same image.

This would normally have a value of £150.

This offer is ONLY open to the first 10 people who book and ONLY available to NorthHantsMum Readers. Yay!

Tips

Make sure you read through the confirmation email and have a look at the pinterest board and the video.

Plan the outfits that you are going to take with you at least a few days before.

Make sure you have everything ready to go the night before your photo shoot so you don’t have a frantic morning like we did!!!!

Food

Wayne has a lovely stash of biscuits and a very wide range of drinks, including tango orange!!

They even had gluten free biscuits available for Miss NHM, which I thought was such a lovely touch!

Facilities

I think Studio 1314 are the only family photography studio in Basingstoke.

The studio itself has a large area where pictures are taken with a couple of sofa’s on where you can sit and watch what’s happening.

There is a separate viewing room which has a very large flat screen TV where you can review pictures and has an area for toys for toddlers and little ones. The sofa is fab in here too! lol.

There is a toilet within the studio and changing area.

Baby Facilities

The team at Studio 1314 are parents so they TOTALLY get what it’s like having children. They even have a baby changing mat available for you to use!

Parking

Is free, ample and next to the studio.

Prices

Please see the website for more details.

Rating out of 5

Definitely 5 out of 5. It’s clear that Wayne is very passionate about what he’s does and ensuring that the customer gets what they want.

Final Thoughts

We LOVE the photo’s that Wayne and Lucy take. Absolutely love them and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to have another photoshoot with them.

Contact details

www.studio1314.co.uk

www.facebook.com/studio1314

www.instagram.com/studio1314

Wedding Page: www.waynekahnphotography.co.uk

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Studio1314. The photoshoot was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there!