Elvie Breast Pump Review | Is it worth the money?

My experience with using a traditional pump to express breast milk after my first pregnancy with Mole was no fun. The whole process felt like a tedious chore. I was…

My experience with using a traditional pump to express breast milk after my first pregnancy with Mole was no fun. The whole process felt like a tedious chore. I was lucky enough to have an electric pump, but, I was constantly tied down to it as it had to be plugged in. The loud pumping noise drove my partner insane and I ended up giving up with it.

This time, I was determined to not only make expressing breast milk work for us, but most importantly, to enjoy it too.

Purchase the Elvie Breast Pump Here

Elvie Breast Pump Review

Researching

After hours and hours of research into finding a pump that would work for us, I came across the Elvie Breast Pump. Every website I checked said it was sold out or they had a waiting list for a few weeks. Well instead of putting me off this intrigued me even further.

Why was it constantly sold out? Is it really that good?

The clean modern and sleek design compared to current breast pumps on the market made it look a whole lot more attractive. In a similar way of having the latest iPhone compared to an old Nokia. In fact, it looks so modern that it doesn’t even look like a breast pump.

Key Features

  • Small, compact and lightweight
  • Fits inside a nursing bra
  • Hands-free
  • Revolutionary silent technology
  • Five parts and no tubes, cords or wires
  • Closed system for maximum hygiene
  • Two modes: Stimulation and Expression
  • Seven intensity settings
  • Smart app
  • Comes with: one hub (the pump mechanism), two bottles (5oz/150ml, BPA free), two different sized breast shields, two valves, two spouts, two seals, two storage lids, two bra adjusters, a USB charging cable and a carry bag

Elvie Claims:

Elvie Pump is the world’s first silent wearable breast pump, giving you more freedom and mobility while you pump

Double electric breast pump for hands-free expressing at home, at work or on-the-go

Small and lightweight to fit discreetly inside your nursing bra so you can pump anytime, anywhere

My Experience

I was sold. Elvie Pump is the world's first silent wearable breast pump, giving you more freedom and mobility while you pump Double electric breast pump for hands-free expressing at home, at work or on-the-go Small and lightweight to fit discreetly inside your nursing bra so you can pump anytime, anywher

The product arrived with minimal packaging (something I am big on now), with very few pieces to set up.

I just had to download the app and connect everything together.

The pump easily fits inside your nursing bra. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it is completely discreet as the on button lights up through your top. The pump was so comfortable that you can barely feel it working. The best part is, you can get up and carry on with jobs around the house of like me, see to your toddler and newborn without even giving pumping a second thought.

Cleaning the pump is no problem too. The non-electrical parts can be put in the dishwasher and sterilised.

App FeaturesElvie Breast Pump Review

  • Track milk volume
  • Pumping history for each breast
  • Control the pump remotely (changing intensity, pausing or restarting).

 

Downside of the Elvie Breast Pump

The price. Currently costing £249.00, the Elvie Breast Pump is one of the most expensive breast pumps on the market. And that is just for one pump.

Another downside to the Elvie Breast Pump that I disappointingly experienced was, when the pump started to fill up over half way, the milk would leak out onto my top. I put it down to me moving around. A shame when being able to be portable is one of the pumps biggest selling points but if you do move around then it leaks out.

I then tried the pump with a smaller breast shield and whilst sitting down and it still leaked out all over my top.

The measurements of milk on the app were off. Sometimes the app would claim it is full when it was not.

Although the pump claims to be silent, you can still hear it switched on pumping away over the TV on a medium volume.

 

Final VerdictElvie Breast Pump Review

I love the Elvie Breast Pump. The smart technology was extremely helpful for me to track how well I was producing milk, very important for me whilst I was exclusively expressing.

Although I would not feel confident using this pump at work (teaching a class of students) due to the noise or the leaking issue, I still love how the pump fits discreetly into your bra. It is so convenient to use, I doubt I would have ever been able to have exclusively expressed for so long with a toddler around without this pump.

 

Purchase the Elvie Breast Pump here

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New Sibling: Preparing your toddler

The first time around, when you bring home your newborn, you are focused on figuring everything out together. Just you and them. The second time around is a little different….

The first time around, when you bring home your newborn, you are focused on figuring everything out together. Just you and them.

The second time around is a little different. As you have a toddler to contend with. You need to make sure that they are comfortable with the new addition to the family and they have an understanding on what is going on.

introducing a newborn to a toddler

I’m no expert, but, Mole seems to be so content with her baby brother, that I thought u’d share with you some tips we did prior to Frankie’s arrival and how we introduced them both.

Tips to introduce your toddler to your newborn during pregnancy

Role Play

Whilst pregnant with Frankie, I gave Mole a baby doll to play with. We was lucky really as she really took to the doll. Together I would teach her how to care for the doll by feeding it a bottle and loving it with kisses and cuddles but most importantly being gentle. If Mole wasn’t interested in the doll that day, then I would pay no attention to it and just leave Mole to play with toys she wanted to instead.introducing a newborn to a toddler

Talking to my tummy

We would have fun and point at my tummy and say “baby” so Mole would get some understanding that there was a baby inside my belly. When Frankie was kicking, i’d let Mole feel his kicks and say “baby”. I doubt she truly understood I had an actual baby inside me but it was a fun bonding session.

Tips to introduce your toddler to your newborn

The first introduction

Personally, I didn’t want Mole present at the hospital. I don’t think its the place for a toddler running around, and I knew I would not have the energy to deal with tantrums if she played up. I wasn’t too sure on how my delivery was going to go too, so I made sure to have childcare in place. It was good to spend time with Frankie getting to know him and as the first few days of a newborn is demanding, I was able to give him my full attention. That being said, it was super hard not to see Mole for a couple of days because I rarely leave her.

Finding Baby

To make the introduction fun for Mole, we turned it into a game of finding baby. Frankie was asleep and settled in his bed so me and Mole went on the hunt for him. When she found him, it must have felt rewarding for her. turning the whole experience into a positive one. The main reason I did this was so she didn’t feel replaced as she might of if I was holding him when she first saw him.introducing a newborn to a toddler

Rewarding good behaviour

Whenever Mole was positive towards Frankie by kissing him or being gentle, we would be really over the top with saying “well done” making her feel like she was being a very good girl and giving her lot’s of attention for the right behaviour.

Solo time together

Mole was use to seeing me alone without Frankie. It had always just been me and her. I felt that it was still important to give her that same experience when possible. I would either do her bedtime one night just me and her or whilst Frankie was napping, we would read books together or do Arts and Crafts.

A lending hand

I really include Mole when it comes to changing Frankie. I ask Mole to get me his nappy or if she wants to sit and help. Obviously if she isn’t interested I would never force her, but she actually seems to find it fun and loves the responsibility.

On nights where i’m solo parenting, I bath Mole first and then bathe Frankie. During Frankie’s bath, I ask Mole if she wants to come and help wash him. Or ask her to choose a book for the bedtime story.

introducing a newborn to a toddler

You will always have that fear during your second pregnancy if you will be able to give both your children the attention they need. The answer is yes you will. You will find your own way of making it work.

If your toddler seems to not be interested when you introduce them to their new sibling. Don’t force anything. Give them time and continue to stick to your routine and give them both praise and attention.

 

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My Birth Story: Frankie

Thursday 12th September, I had a lovely day with Mole. My mum came round and we spent the day baking cakes, doing Arts and Crafts and baking bread. Funnily enough,…

birth storyThursday 12th September, I had a lovely day with Mole. My mum came round and we spent the day baking cakes, doing Arts and Crafts and baking bread. Funnily enough, my mum joked about me going into labour that night because I was non-stop kneading bread and running around after Mole in the garden.

Later that evening, I started to experience a dull, aching pain in my lower back. Not a pain that took my breath away but one where I felt the need to sit down more often. It is completely different when you have a toddler. Your mind is so pre occupied with them that you don’t pay attention to yourself the same.

Knowing I was going into labour

I went to bed feeling okay then at 3:30am I woke up to go to the toilet, as I stood I really felt a tight back pain that seemed to wrap around to my lower stomach. This pain was completely different to any niggles and tightness I’ve felt in this pregnancy before.

I had to make the decision whether to go back to bed and try and get some rest or get ready for the hospital. As I felt the pain come back, I could 100% say it was a contraction. I didn’t want to go back to bed and lie down in case that would have slowed the process down, so I got ready, did my make-up and went downstairs to bounce around on the birthing ball.

At around 4:30am I text Jay to tell him I was going into labour. He sat with me whilst he could time my contractions as by this point it was too painful for me to concentrate timing them myself and they felt very regular. We decided to get Mole up and ready for her stay at her Grandmas, got in the car and dropped her off on route to the hospital.

Heading to the hospitalBirth Story

We arrived at the hospital at 5:45am. I was waddling across the car park and having to keep sitting down in the corridor whilst I had a contraction, as they were too painful to walk through. The maternity ward was upstairs, so we finally got seen at 6:00am.

I was doing my best to stay stood up to help him move lower down. After having a 12-hour labour with Mole, I was doing all that I could to avoid that.

Every time a contraction came, I would breathe in for 10 seconds and then out again for 10 seconds. Keeping focused helped me to stay in control. A lady once told me that she imagined a big red balloon on the sea, every time she breathed in the balloon moved towards her and breathing out the balloon moved away. For some reason, this was all I could concentrate on and I feel it helped me to beat the painkillers and keep my head focused.

When the Midwife examined me, I was shocked to hear her say 9-10cm! I was honestly expecting her to say 3cm!

It was too late for any painkillers and almost too late to run the bath for a water birth. I’m so glad Jay was there to stress to the midwife to run the bath and he helped me walk across as a water birth really helps with the pain.

That excruciating pain hit me and I knew it was time to push.

Frankie is here!birth story

At 6:11am, Friday 13th September, I had Frankie in my arms. This time around, I felt that rush of love straight away. He looked so perfect and I couldn’t wait to get him home to meet his sister. I was also in a lot of shock from my 11-minute labour. Frankie weighed a healthy 8lb 4.

Frankie had his check and all was okay other than his heart murmur and he had the jitters from mucous and the quick delivery. We had to stay in an extra night until he got the all clear.

When pregnant with Frankie, I worried that I’ll be able to love him as much as I love Mole. But, you can. Your heart can stretch even more than you would have ever thought possible!

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My Birth Story: Molly

I remember being pregnant with Mole and as it was my first time going through the experience, when I reached my third trimester, all I was doing was watching births…

I remember being pregnant with Mole and as it was my first time going through the experience, when I reached my third trimester, all I was doing was watching births on the TV or reading birth stories on blog posts.

In my mind, reading everyones birth stories made me feel prepared. Like I knew every possibility that could happen to me. The truth is, when you are in that moment of giving birth, it doesn’t matter how many blogs you have read you still don’t know what you are in for!pink mole birth story

Hitting Full Term 

I had hit 40 weeks and 3 days, already had a sweep and was passing time bouncing around on a yoga ball or dancing. (YouTube labour dance).  I felt completely normal, the house had already been fully nested to the extreme. We have a black Labrador and you would not have even been able to have found one dog hair. Every twinge I felt was nothing out of the ordinary.

That night, I crept into the spare bedroom to enjoy a good starfish sleep. But, I just couldn’t sleep. My eyes were wide open! There is nothing more annoying than when you are absolutely shattered yet you can’t sleep. Especially knowing how sacred sleep was going to be for me soon. I pretty much got about an hour. 

The very early stages of labour

In the morning, my hair was so greasy and frizzy. I just thought I had left conditioner in it from the shower. Then my skin was the same. All greasy and weird feeling. my make-up wasn’t going on right and I looked a mess. Very similar to what I go through when my hormones are all over the place before that time of the month. I rang my mum and told her, there is something not right with me today. Weird how I just knew.

Shortly after I passed my mucous plus. (Gross I know, and maybe TMI for you.) I remember thinking “ohhhhhhh it’s all happening”.

Then, I felt like I needed the toilet. But I couldn’t stop needing the toilet. It was driving me crazy because nothing was happening. I just kept needing it.

I played on the PlayStation for a while (also winning a game of Fortnight…does it still count even if I hid under a bridge for half of the game?) Contractions were definitely present. The hospital told me to wait until they were regular before I dropped in.

I don’t even remember the route to the hospital, but I do remember contracting whilst crossing the road and needing to sit down on the zebra crossing. I couldn’t for the life of me walk through the pain. 

Arriving at the hospital

The staff sent me to a room where I could rest on a bed and eat some food. They told me I was far too smiley to be in hospital just yet so they advised me to go back home. I insisted that I was just a smiley person and this is my awkward, nervous smile but they still said to go home. Whilst putting my coat and shoes on, I then projectile vomited everywhere. This was non stop for a good while.

My labour lasted for 12 hours. I kept on going back and forth from the hot bath they had set up in the bathroom. As soon as I went into the water, it relieved my pain. I highly recommend it to anyone!

The 12 hours dragged on and on. I had my mum and Jay sat watching Homeland eating packets of crips and drinking cups of tea like they were having a great time.

For pain relief I had Pethidine. Oh that was lovely in my legs. Again, I highly recommend it. It just feels like someone has given you a dead leg.

Established Labourpink mole birth story

The midwives had me try all sorts of positions on the bed. I must have looked like some weird origami. I demanded to go back in the bath. I felt way too exposed on the bed and the warmth of the water soothed my pain. 

4:26am the Mole was born. She weight 7,11lbs and looked absolutely beautiful. I was actually stood up in the bath screaming. I have no idea how on tv all the mothers are silent giving birth. One thing I remember was seeing how blue her eyes were and just thinking wow. She is actually gorgeous. They took her pretty quickly to be checked and I was still in the bath like a lump. There was so much blood I thought the placenta had come out!

After Birth

There were still no signs of my placenta making an appearance so the midwife called for help. I had a lady massage my tummy for a good while and they discussed theatre. I knew there was no way on this Earth I was going to go through a natural childbirth and then face surgery. I got on the gas and air and gave it my all.

Stitches were needed too and by this point, I felt like I had just given up. I was sick of being messed with and just wanted to spend time with my baby. 

All that night/day, I stayed away just watching Molly. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. 

I stayed in an extra day to get to grips with breastfeeding. When it was time to go home I felt so relieved. There is nothing like the comfort of your own home.

 

 

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Qualifying for tax free childcare

The Government scheme that gives you up to £2,000 per child What is Tax-Free Childcare? It is the Government backed scheme to simply help parents with the cost of expensive…

The Government scheme that gives you up to £2,000 per childtax free childcare

What is Tax-Free Childcare?

It is the Government backed scheme to simply help parents with the cost of expensive childcare.

The scheme was launched in April 2017 and if you’re eligible, you can get an extra 20% towards childcare costs. If you are eligible, you can get up to £2,000 (£4,000 if your child is disabled)  a year per child towards the cost of childcare for free.

You can even use the funds to pay towards activities like summer clubs.

How does Tax-Free Childcare work?tax free childcare

For every 80p you spend in childcare, the government will add 20p. This essentially gives you basic-rate tax back on your payment.

You can open a centralised account to make it easy. So for every 80p you put into the account, the government will add their 20p. You can then pay your childcare provider directly from that Tax-Free Childcare account.

With the scheme, you will be able to pay for up to £10,000 of childcare.  This works out as you would pay £8,000 and get an extra £2,000 per child each year! If the childcare bill reaches the government maximum, you will not be able to get any more financial support that year. However, you can still pay childcare through the tax free scheme using your centralised account, just with no additional funding. If this happens, it may be easier to pay for your childcare directly with the childcare provider.

Do I Qualify for Tax-Free Childcare?

The scheme is open to all qualifying parents.

  • You (and your partner) need to be in work to qualify for tax free childcare – This includes self employment.
  • Available to single parents
  • Your child must be 11 or younger.
  • For children with disabilities, this is up to the age of 16.
  • You (and your partner) must be earning at least £131 a week. This is the equivalent of 16 hours/week at the national minimum wage for 25 year olds or over.
  • You’re self-employed and your income varies on a weekly basis, use your three month average to see if it meets the £131 a week minimum.
  • Each parent needs to earn less than £100,000 a year.
  • If you have been self-employed for less than 12 months, the minimum income requirement does not apply to you.
  • If you are currently not working but are due to start in the next 21 days.

If you or your partner is in work and the other is not able to, you can still be eligible, if you receive any of these benefits:

  • Carer’s allowance
  • Severe disablement allowance
  • Contribution- based employment and support allowance
  • Incapacity benefit or long-term incapacity benefit
  • National insurance credits

Can I qualify for Tax-Free Childcare whilst on maternity leave?

Yes! paid or unpaid statutory maternity, paternity or adoption leave is still classed as being in work. You just can not apply for the child that you are currently on leave for. You can use the scheme for older siblings.

Example of Tax-Free Childcare

Lt’s say that if your total childcare bill was £500 a month, you would pay £400 and the Government will pay the remaining £100. Therefore, this would cut your £6,000 yearly costs down to £4,800.

If the childcare bill for one child is £1,000 a month, you would pay £800 and have £200 paid for by the Government. However once the maximum amount of £2,000 has been given by the Government, in this case, after 10 months, you will have to pay the full total.

Who is Tax-Free Childcare best for?tax free childcare

  • Self-employed or couples earning less than £100,000 each.
  • Families with more than one child and high childcare costs.

How to sign up for Tax-Free Childcare

First of all you need to create an online childcare account here: Government Tax-Free Childcare site.

You will need:

  • 20 minutes spare
  • National insurance number
  • Unique taxpayer reference (if you are self-employed)
  • Debit card

You will pay money in using your debit card through a standing order, or a payment from your bank account. Although both parents can use the account, only one parent can open it and you will need to decide who’s name you will use.tax free childcare

The government should top the money up hours later after you put money into the account. It can take up to five working days to pay the childcare provider.

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A career break: can this be positive?

When a pregnancy test result displays as positive, one burning question on the mum-to-be’s mind is “how will this impact my career?”.  Whether you are planning to have 6 weeks,…

When a pregnancy test result displays as positive, one burning question on the mum-to-be’s mind is “how will this impact my career?”.  Whether you are planning to have 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years off, time out of work can appear daunting.

positive career break

Although the financial strain of  a family is a huge factor in starting a family. Many women feel that having time off from their job may destroy all what they worked hard for. For me, I felt that my career was finally taking off after years of studying. To take the break initially felt like a positive decision for my family but, a poor decision for my personal growth. I couldn’t explain how I felt to anyone. I didn’t want to be seen as ungrateful for being  lucky to have time off from work to raise my family and that I didn’t bring in the most money anyway, so my job was not that important.

Focusing on the positives now, here are a few things to why taking a career break is positive:

Recharging your batteries

positive career break

Taking time off allows you to rest. Being out of the office or where ever you worked will give you that mental space needed to focus on other things in your life and have a mental break from your job. As a teacher, I remember before I would go to sleep, I’d start planning starter activities in my head or begin thinking about all the books I needed to mark. It has been lovely to truly have a break from these thoughts and reset myself. Now, when I think about work, I become excited as I feel so refreshed and ready to dive back into it.

The unexpected results

When you go from working full time to suddenly not working at all, even as a new mum you will find yourself with a lot of unusual time on your hands. Many women take this opportunity to study something new or start up a business venture they have always dreamed of. I started this blog as a hobby in my spare time, simply documenting my experience as a mum, I never expected that I would end up earning from this. If I was working full time I doubt I would have taken the plunge to start a blog.

“It’s not necessary to think of being away as a way to start a business or go to a new career,”. “The point is: What would you do if, for a while, you don’t have to think about making money?”

New Skills

positive career break

Work is the place where it has been drilled into your head: “this is where you develop skills and grow as a person”. As a new mum, taking time off, you actually gain an abundance of skills. For example, I have way more patience now than I have ever had in my life. Looking after a toddler, I have gained the skills of being extremely organised, resilient, level headed, punctual and my problem solving skills from figuring what she wants during  tantrum have progressed too!

Time for a change?

Having a long period off work gives you the space to think if that was the career for you. Now that you are having time away, you will be able to see clearly if that job was making you happy and you could see great potential in progressing in that job.

Even if you decide that you love your job after having time off, it will be nice to go back with a fresh mind set that you are in the right place without second thoughts.

More appealing candidate

positive career break

You may think that taking time off from will hurt your career. But, have you thought of this? Taking a well needed break, gaining life experience and being 100% committed to you again, will make you look like a more appealing candidate, in comparison to someone who may not know what they really want out of life yet.

 

 

 

Taking the time off can show that you want to further your skill set and try new experiences.

 

So when you feel that you may be hurting your career or you receive the comments “oh you don’t work?” or “you just stay at home all day.” look at the bigger picture. Remember that you have got this incredible time off raising your family whilst resetting yourself ready for your next step. If you decide never to return to work, remember that you are still gaining life experiences and developing skill sets as you would in the work place.

 

 

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First and second pregnancy: Differences I’ve noticed

No two pregnancies are the same however, in my mind, I still believed that the whole pregnancy experience would be similar. But I was wrong. The second time around, everything…

No two pregnancies are the same however, in my mind, I still believed that the whole pregnancy experience would be similar. But I was wrong. The second time around, everything has been different.

Here is how:

comparing two pregnancies

Finding Out

The first time around, I find out I was pregnant pretty much straight away. I just had that feeling. Even taking tests that were displaying as negative I still strongly believed I was pregnant.

The second time, I didn’t find out I was pregnant until around 10 weeks. The thought didn’t even cross my mind. I put it down to being so busy all the time with Mole.

Time

Time seems to go so much slower when you are pregnant for the first time. It feels like years waiting for a midwife appointment and counting down the weeks till your next trimester drags on and on. Now, I can not keep up with my midwife appointments. I feel like I have blinked and already it is single figure weeks countdown.

Sickness

My first pregnancy I was lucky enough to not experience morning sickness. This time, i’ve had days where just turning my head would make me want to throw up.

Restcomparing two pregnancies

During my first pregnancy I could take a nap when I wanted or watch a film on the sofa but, oh no, not the second time around. I am running around after Mole at a soft play centre or running up and down the stairs to change her or I am looking like I am on Super Market Sweep trying to get my shopping done before Moles patience time bomb goes off.

Fitness

The advice I was given during my first pregnancy was to “take it easy”. I spoke to a midwife about exercising it was frowned upon. I was in good health and had always exercise so taking the time off did not sit well with me mentally and I gained a lot of weight too. One of the things I said to myself was, if it was to go through a pregnancy again, I want to be as active as possible. When asking midwives now about doing a workout, I received a completely different reaction. A positive one. I have been able to workout without a guilty conscience and thoroughly enjoy feeling healthy and active.

Anxietycomparing two pregnancies

Every little twinge during my first pregnancy I was convinced I was going into labour or something was wrong. This time, I have been able to relax more and after knowing what a contraction really does feel like, I am not rushing down to A&E or ringing my midwife.

Bump Size

I was told that the second time around your bump is usually bigger as your stomach muscles have stretched. As I have been eating healthier and working out during this pregnancy, my bump is no where near as big as it was the first time. I feel like I need to take more photos of the progression as I get so busy with Mole or I don’t have the energy to take any. First time around my camera roll was full of bump photos.

 

 

 

Zoe

xx

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Should you tell your daughter she is pretty?

When the question “should you tell your daughter she is pretty?” first reached my ears, I was really confused. I started to question myself if I was doing the right…

When the question “should you tell your daughter she is pretty?” first reached my ears, I was really confused. I started to question myself if I was doing the right thing as a parent and began learning to understand the reason why so many parents of daughters today are avoiding calling their daughter pretty.should I call my daughter pretty

Mole is incredibly cheeky, she loves to dance and waves her arms to the music. Her favourite thing to do is to shout out different animal names or the noises they make when she sees them on TV or in her books. In my mind, Mole is the most beautiful person I have ever seen. My heart is incredibly full for her. But, I have decided that I am going to make a conscious effort to stop telling her she is pretty.

Here is why:

Every single morning, when Mole was dressed, the first thing I would do is give her a big hug and tell her how pretty or beautiful she looked. Once I realised I was doing this without thought, I caught myself saying it through out the day too. The more we talk about a topic to our children, they begin to understand that this topic is important. It could be anything from manners to sharing. Basically, I don’t want the topic of physical appearance to be something that Mole understands as important or more important that any of her other qualities she has.should I call my daughter pretty

Living up to expectations

Always making a point to someone that they are pretty or clever will give them the mentality on what they have to live up to. They can get stuck in a comfort zone and waste time and energy worrying about this. When instead, they could be spending their time and energy into being more knowledgable and opening themselves up to a full range of experiences.

What I do to boost my daughters self esteem:

  • I focus on praising her process rather than the outcome. I will praise her for her hard work and time and effort she has spent on something. This may even be when she is older and has spent time on her hair. Commenting on that rather than just saying “You look pretty.”
  • I Tell her how much she matters to me. Showing and telling her how important she is to me and how much she is on my mind will make her feel amazing and loved.
  • I will look at her other qualities. Make them stand out whilst also using words like “pretty” and “beautiful” so she can gain a wider understanding of how beautiful and pretty doesn’t just have to be based of physical appearance. E.G. “Mole you are beautiful for being such a good friend and sharing your toy.”
  • Asking her lot’s of questions. Not only does asking your little one lot’s of questions help to boost their memory and language skills. but, asking questions really shows that you have an interest in their life. I love to ask Mole questions on where her favourite toy is or which animal am I pointing at.

 

So focus on your values and how you can get them across to your children. Becoming aware of your words will help you to stop focusing on how looks are more important than how your child behaves or thinks. Even when it is unintentional.

 

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Building your confidence for baby classes/social events

I recently attended a “Mums meet up” hosted by Mama Society. I had an amazing time and when I posted about it, I couldn’t believe how many private messages I…


tips on boosting confidence for a baby classI recently attended a “Mums meet up” hosted by Mama Society. I had an amazing time and when I posted about it, I couldn’t believe how many private messages I had from other mums saying how much they would love to attend a social event, however, they felt too anxious and nervous. It saddened me because, I had such a great time. I would love other mums to feel confident enough to attend a baby class or a mums meet up event.

At the same time, I truly understand the challenges you can face with feeling nervous and anxious, to throw yourself into the deep end and go in a room full of people you have never even met before.

Just because you have anxiety- does not mean anxiety is all you are

A little background on myself. After suffering from social anxiety for years now I feel that I have started to turn a corner with myself and realise that just because I have attended therapy sessions and have had medication for anxiety, the label “anxiety” is not who I am and not my personality.

Confidence boosting tips for attending a baby class/social event

I thought I would share with you some of my favourite ways to help combat the feeling of being nervous or anxious before a baby class or a social event and hopefully I will at least help someone reading this.tips on boosting confidence for a baby class

  1. Plan. Plan everything either the night before or two days before. Even down to your outfit and your child’s outfit, what they will have for their breakfast, dinner or snacks and anything they might need there. Having a full plan will help you to feel like you have control over what you can control, resulting in confidence. If you wake up late, everything will all be planned for you to focus on straight away and get going. Or if you wake up feeling anxious, you have a plan to stick to, which will help your mind not wander off thinking the worst of everything which may result in you talking yourself out of going.
  2.  Arrive early. I love trying (I say trying because we all know how hard this is with a child) to arrive early for a class or event I am attending for the first time because, for me personally, journeys to new places are extremely stressful. It is like I get myself that worked up, parking my car in a space takes me 100 manoeuvres. Giving yourself time to chill out before you head in and beat the rush of all the other mums parking and fighting for a space will help you to feel more relaxed.
  3. Another reason to arrive early. If you are early or on time, you are more likely to be one of the first mums there. You will have more options on where you want to sit, get your child sorted incase they need a quick change before the starting time. But, most importantly, you are not going to be walking into a room full of people, with all eyes on you, feeling the judgement. (Even though no mum will actually be judging. Your anxiety will somehow convince yourself that they are). I personally find it easier to greet a mum walking in, than having to walk up to what looks like an established conversation between two people and have to stand their awkwardly smiling until you think of something interesting to say.tips on boosting confidence for a baby class
  4. Avoid Caffeine. Dare I say it, coffee is not your friend (in this case). Why? Caffeine is a stimulant. That is not going to help someone with anxiety. Caffeine’s effects on your body are similar to those of a frightening event. Caffeine stimulates your “fight or flight” response, and studies show that this can make anxiety worse and can even trigger an anxiety attack.
  5. Questions. Have an idea on what questions to ask the other mums. Take the opportunity to get to know them. Find out what their interests are and you will probably see how similar they are to you. Remember that not all mums want to attend a social event and talk about their babies and some mums all they want to do is talk about their babies. So if you feel that the conversation is awkward, just change the subject and don’t take the bad response personally.
  6. Try again. Once I attended a class at a local church, where I did not feel comfortable. AT ALL. It was one of the first classes I attended as a new mum, living in a new area. I left half way through as my anxiety got the better of me. I sat in my car and burst into tears – even took a selfie, to look back on as one of my lows and know that one day I would laugh and not take the experience personally.tips on boosting confidence for a baby classThe feeling of being anxious and having my expectations crushed on baby classes combined with the guilt of not being a good mum to Mole crushed me. I was super firm on myself to try a different class elsewhere, I did and LOVED it.  Fast forward a few months, I attended that class I originally felt so crappy at to give it a second chance. I hated it. The same thing happened again. I left half way and cried in my car. The point I am trying to make is, some classes/events will be for you and some won’t. It does not make you a bad mum if you need to leave and give yourself time. Remember, if you have made the big enough step to even make it out of the house, praise yourself.
  7. Wear your confident hat. A trick I learnt from drama classes. Pretend you are wearing an invisible confident hat. Sounds very silly doesn’t it? Believing you are confident, standing tall, smiling, making eye contact and asking open ended questions will make you look very approachable, friendly and most important make you feel like you actually are a confident person; even though you may have lived however many years of your life labelling yourself as shy.

Give it a go

Hopefully these tips come in use for you and you feel that you can attend a class/event. Attending will be worth your while. I have met some amazing people I can call my friends and I have been able to see my daughter enjoy herself too.

 

Images by https://www.truelightphotography.net/

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How to stay motivated to workout and eat healthy

We have all been there when we have had all the good intentions of keeping fit and healthy and struggled to stay on track but, is it easier said than…

We have all been there when we have had all the good intentions of keeping fit and healthy and struggled to stay on track but, is it easier said than done?

The truth is:

keeping motivated to workout

There are actual ways to help you stay on track with your fitness and healthy eating regime and I am going to tell you how.

During my first pregnancy, all aspects of healthy eating and working out went completely out of the window. I made up numerous excuses on “eating for two” so I could ridiculous size portions of whatever food I wanted or “craved“. Post baby I had to work harder than ever to get myself back on track, living a healthier lifestyle. I went from weighing my heaviest at 72kg to 56kg.  Now, during my second pregnancy, I have been able to stick to a healthier lifestyle and I have felt so much better for it.

Motivating tips to working out and eating healthy

Here are my top tips for staying motivated to working out and eating healthy.

  1. Set yourself a reachable goal. I love to set a goal that is small so I can reach it and feel good for reaching it. This can be a goal such as: “for today, I am going to not eat chocolate and only snack on fruit” or “for the next two weeks, I will do 20 minutes stair master at the gym 4 times a week.”  After completing a goal, push yourself further and make your goal more challenging. 
    post partum fitness
  2. Don’t go food shopping hungry. You are more likely to fill up your basket with all of the wrong things shopping on a hungry stomach. By the time you get back to your car you probably have already opened that packet of biscuits or crisps and undone your healthy eating efforts. Go food shopping with a plan. Stick to plenty of vegetables and fruit and if you need to, keep track of your meals in a food diary.
  3. Stop making excuses. This is my biggest one. I always get told “oh I would love to go to the gym but I don’t have time” or “I can’t workout when I have kids.” Sure, it might be difficult to get out of the house to a gym, but what is stopping you from doing a home workout? Some gyms are open 24 hours.  Could you go at another time in the day rather than watching tv? Even excuses relating to your diet. “I am having a chippy tonight as I have been good this week”. Why make an excuse to convince yourself that you can go off track and justify it because you have been healthy throughout the week. Sure treat yourself now and again. But stay conscious that it is very easy to fall off track, as a cheat meal can quickly turn into a cheat day and then the whole “i’ll start my diet on Monday…”excuse.
  4. Add variety to your workouts. Exercise doesn’t just have to be going running. There are so many different activities you can do to keep fit. Try out different classes like boxing or yoga and see which one you prefer. I love to have a workout day focusing on cardio where I will do 10 minutes on the bike, rower and then cross trainer. You may even prefer to workout once a week with a partner.
  5. Reward! Once you have reached your goal you need to reward yourself for all of your hard work. Rewards don’t always have to be naughty treats too. Why not get a new gym top after reaching a 6 week goal or get some new fancy bubble bath to have a long soak and rest your muscles.

    keeping motivated to workout

    30 Weeks Pregnant

  6. Take photos. Taking progress photos do not have to be for the rest of the world to see. They are a great way for you to keep a private track of your weight. Take them weekly, a front, side and back body shot and in a couple of weeks put your newest ones side by side with your first and you should feel so proud at the difference. Physically being able to see the results will help you stay motivated.
  7. Create a playlist. Music is so beneficial during workouts. Stick your headphones on and get your head in the zone. You may find different songs are better for different points of your workout. I love listening to a good podcast during my cardio to help the time go by and listening to an energetic upbeat track during my weight lifting sessions.
  8. Get support. Support from others is essential. Speak to other members of your household about wanting to change up your eating habits and see if they are willing to take on the challenge too. You could go on a clear out and get rid of any foods you are trying to avoid together so you are not tempted. You could always create a social network support group to encourage one another to stay on track.

So get your head completely in the zone. Start thinking of yourself as an athlete, and not a couch potato. Set a goal, enlist a friend, mark it on your calendar, and have some fun. You’ll be setting yourself up for a lifetime of better health, more happiness, and more energy for everything else in your life.

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