Sunday, 31 May 2015

Pregnancy Update ~ 36 Weeks

Pregnancy Update ~ 36 Weeks

How Far Along? 36 Weeks

Maternity Clothes? My wardrobe is literally maternity leggings and about 5 vests that still fit me. I have saved a fortune on clothes this year by simply not bothering to buy any! Well, hardly any. I'm reformed.

Stretch Marks? None so far :)

Sleep? Horrific, like I'm literally dying. Last night I managed to dream though which I think means that I might have slept properly for once. That said I ended up dreaming that I gave birth to a kitten rather than a kid so it wasn't like it was that much of a relaxing an experience. It was a totally scabby cat as well. I Googled it. Apparently I'm not alone...

Best Moment this Week? Probably putting up the pictures and making the bed up in the cot so it looks a little less like a dumping site for un-ironed clothes and more like it belongs to a child. I know you can't have bumpers and duvets and toys in the cot when they're sleeping in there, but he won't be for a while so I made it up for the crack. I like it, I think it looks cool. 

Miss Anything? Just sleep, really just sleep.

Gender? He's a boy. Well I really hope so at this point.

Movement? Yes, scary movement, in the pelvis, like head on pelvic bone...

Food Cravings? Pitta Bread and Peanut Butter.

Anything Causing Queasiness/Sickness? No new ones this week :)

Labour Signs? Braxton Hicks, I think. If it feels like a weird tightening that kind of takes your breath away, if it's not that enjoyable but it goes away then yeah I've had these now!

Symptoms? If you saw my most recent Food Diary Post you'll see that the baby has engaged and 'dropped' so heartburn has eased and I'm a little more able to eat which is great. 

Happy or Angry? Anxious. I've packed my hospital bag and the baby's and I'm watching videos about labour...

Looking forward to? Same as last week man, really roll on the 11th now as I can't handle still being at university!! One final deadline to go!


Friday, 29 May 2015

Third Trimester Food Diary Friday #6

Food Diary Friday #6

36 Weeks ~ Original Weight 54.25 Kg~ Current Weight 60 Kg

9:00am- Breakfast
Bowl of Right Balance Cereal 
Coffee with milk

11am- Snack
Petit Filous- small pot 
Prenatal Vitamin 
Raspberry Leaf Tea

1:30pm- Snack
Leftover Homemade Sweet Potato Chips

3:00pm- Snack
Homemade Berry Yoghurt Smoothie

6:30pm- Dinner
Pulled Pork Wraps with Salad, Homemade Coleslaw, Peas and Sweetcorn
Regular Tea with Milk

7:00pm- Snack
3 Shortbread biscuits
Raspberry Leaf Tea


This week I had my 36 week midwife appointment. All is great, the baby is growing well and I'm measuring about 36cm at 36 weeks, which my midwife tells me is perfect. I'll talk about this more in my update post tomorrow, but as the baby is now engaged I've been relieved of some of the heartburn and difficulties with eating I had been experiencing in previous weeks. 

Having to eat smaller portions meant that whilst the baby is growing no problem, my weight has actually gone down a fraction from what I weighed at 34 weeks so I'm looking forward to getting back to normal this week and enjoying the odd treat or two seeing as I've only got the 'I'm pregnant so I can' excuse for a little while longer!

Whilst I might be able to eat a little more normally now though I'm still keen to get as many nutrients for my calories as possible so today I made a homemade berry smoothie for an afternoon energy boost. 

To make the smoothie above I literally threw together a handful of strawberries and blueberries, a banana and two tablespoons of yoghurt then blended it together until smooth. You can add a little milk to loosen it too if it's too thick for you. This smoothie is packed full of calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K and C and a load of fibre, so it's pretty good and as it's made with yoghurt and milk rather than juice the higher protein content fills you up a bit more. Have a blast and see what you think of it.


Thursday, 28 May 2015

What's in my Hospital Bag?

You know you're looking pretty swell when people stop asking you how many weeks pregnant you are and dive straight in with the 'so are you packed yet?' question. 

At 36 weeks I've finally managed to get myself sorted out enough to pack a hospital bag. I've done a reasonable amount of research. I've watched like 10 YouTube videos and I've read up on what my hospital recommends packing so I feel good. Let's face it though, I have no idea what I'm doing, how long I might be in hospital for or even if I will need half of things in this bag. Anyway, here's what's in my hospital bag. Any comments or advice anyone might have are extremely welcome...Do I need my own towel?

1. Mixed Maternity Bag 
Straight in with all the delights ~ breast pads, maternity pads, nipple cream, disposable underwear. Gorgeous.
2. Change of Clothes
Loose joggers, long vest, lightweight jumper
3. Loose Nightdress
What the actual hell do people give birth in? Assuming it's etiquette to arrive with some appropriately deemed garment (aka maybe no lace/boob cups) I opted for this extra baggy, button down night dress from Primark. Will I use it, will I be naked? Seriously I have no idea. 
4. Wash Bag ~ 1
Flannel, body pouffe, moist toilet tissue- ain't no one gonna want regular NHS bog roll after birth I don't imagine.
5. Wash Bag ~ 2
Mixed toiletries- see below for break down.
6. Flip flops
Don't know, maybe in case I jump in the car with no shoes on...
7. Lightweight Robe and Slippers
I've heard that hospitals can be cold to kick about in so I thought a robe of some kind would make sense to take. Also, if I'm in overnight, slippers with a proper sole seem like a good plan. I don't really fancy walking to the toilet sock foot.
8.Face wipes
Make up/sweat/tears remover 
9.Spare Socks
10. Phone (charger and camera all to be added).
11.Plastic bags
For dirty clothes, spewy baby grows and general rubbish
12.Spare Un-Glamorous Underwear
Got disposable, but maybe need something more robust for travelling home
13. Nursing Bra
Got this from boots, currently with something insane like £20 off.
I can't imagine eating, but apparently you need snacks. I have a selection of things I like as snacks in real life, but mid labour maybe I'll be screaming for a Burger King. Need to pack a drink. Our antenatal woman recommended energy drinks so I'll probably slap a Lucozade in for good measure. 
15. Pajamas and Warm Socks
I've heard people say your feet get cold during labour so you should take some thick socks. I think I saw Kate of Dolly Bow Bow pack some and she seems like a highly organised individual so I packed some too.
I'm pretty sure no matter how long I'm in for, I'll be taking a shower whilst I'm in hospital, so I rammed as many miniatures into this wash bag as I thought necessary. We have:
  • Dry Shampoo- because if I can avoid washing my hair I will
  • Shampoo and Conditioner- imagine something really minging does go in my hair
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Facewash
  • Shower gel
  • Sudocrem- as face moisturiser and as lip balm because apparently the gas and air can dry your lips out

Snacks ~ Have other people taken snacks in? Is this normal? It feels like I'm preparing for a long flight with some kind of holiday at the end of it rather than BIRTH...

Okay, so that's almost everything I have packed for me. I will obviously be adding my hospital notes to the bag and most likely some make up if I remember at the time, even if I don't end up using it, I'd like the option :)

Let me know your thoughts on what I've packed, if there's anything I should think about taking out or adding in let me know! Also watch out for my what's in the baby's hospital bag post next week.


Sunday, 24 May 2015

Health Benefits of Raspberry Leaf Tea in Pregnancy

Naturally high in a variety of vitamins and minerals including magnesium and iron, Raspberry Leaf Tea is said to help remedy the cramps, nausea and sleeplessness many women experience during pregnancy. Currently 35 weeks (see update here), I've taken to drinking this tea a couple of times a day for the past week. For those of you out there who are considering trying Raspberry Leaf Tea in your third trimester, here are 5 suggested health benefits worth knowing about.

1. Raspberry Leaf Tea helps tone the uterus muscles.

Thanks to it's high concentration of nutrients including the alkaloid fragine, raspberry leaf tea is thought to help tone the muscles of the uterus, preparing it for labour. This toning is good news for mums to be as it could potentially make contractions more effective, shortening the pushing phase, reducing the need for birth interventions and speeding up postpartum recovery.

2. It's high mineral content encourages breast milk to come in.

The high concentration of Vitamins A, B, C and E along with minerals like calcium, iron and magnesium found in Raspberry Leaf Tea are thought to help encourage the production of 'rich' breast milk.  

  3. It can help relieve pregnancy skin complaints.

Due to it's suggested ability to regulate hormone fluctuations and it's astringent properties derived from the tannins found in the plant, the consumption of raspberry leaf tea is also said to help with skin conditions like acne and swelling due to their antibacterial and soothing powers.

  4. It helps prevent anaemia.

The leaves in raspberry leaf tea are high in both Iron and Vitamin C. This is particularly important for pregnant women trying to reduce the risk of anaemia because vitamin C aids with the absorption of iron whilst the magnesium found in the leaves also work to increase the concentration of red blood cells and hemoglobin in the body.

  5. It's good for the digestive system.

Thanks to the tannins present in the leaves of the raspberry plant, drinking one to two cups of this tea a day can help sooth the stomach, making for a calmer, healthier and more effective digestive system in pregnancy. It's anti-emetic herbal properties are also claimed to reduce feelings of nausea and vomiting.

  Please Note:

Although there is no firm evidence to suggest that the consumption of raspberry leaf tea can bring on early contractions or pre-term labour, it's always best to discuss any concerns you may have with your midwife before making changes to your diet.



Saturday, 23 May 2015

Pregnancy Update ~ 35 Weeks

Oh. My. God. 35 WeeksIs it totally alarming to confess at this point that I've NEVER changed a nappy in my life..?

Pregnancy Update ~ 35 Weeks

How Far Along? 35 Weeks

Maternity Clothes? Yes. This week I have expanded and normal sized clothes don't fit anymore. I was kindly given some maternity clothes this week though so I've been making use of them, along with nicking Ed's t-shirts of course...

Stretch Marks? None so far...will I get away with it??

Sleep? Still interrupted but honestly it's mostly the cat who won't piss off from outside our bedroom door meowing at 4am every morning literally out of spite. I get up, he doesn't want anything, ever, just to get you out of bed. 

Best Moment this Week? I feel organised this week. I've started to tare through washing the baby clothes and getting them put away, along with the kind help of Ed's mum, so that's a relief.

Miss Anything? Vain, but being a regular shaped human being would be nice to experience again some day.

Gender? Boy.

Movement? Yes, plenty of movement this week. It's actually started to feel like a real human is in there, like with individual limbs and things.  

Food Cravings? None this week although I've gone off coffee finally.

Anything Causing Queasiness/Sickness? Though I still have a cup in the morning, coffee has started to make me feel really ill if I have too much so I've been experimenting with herbal teas a little more as you'll have seen in my most recent Food Diary post.

Labour Signs? Same as last week really. I think I've been experiencing what is known as lightening as the baby starts to move downwards and get ready for birth. Still need to ask about this though which I will do this week at my 36 week midwife appointment.

Symptoms? No new symptoms to report this week. Heart burn and indigestion are better this week as I've been more concious to eat body friendly foods over trash.

Happy or Angry? Happy and terrified. Am I really actually going to have a baby soon. Shit.

Looking forward to? Finishing university and starting maternity leave. It doesn't start till the 11th June :( I picked this date so I could have more time after but I'm due on the 25th, so I feel this may have been an error. Majorly tired, though probably would only be bored if I left earlier!


Friday, 22 May 2015

Third Trimester Food Diary Friday #5

Food Diary Friday #5

9:00am- Breakfast
Bowl of Fruit 'n' Fibre
Coffee with milk

11am- Snack
Prenatal Vitamin 
Raspberry Leaf Tea

1:30pm- Lunch
Boots Kimchi and Edamame Salad with Brown Rice
Savse's Super Orange Smoothie

2:30pm- Snack
Cocoa Delight Nakd Bar

6:30pm- Dinner
Hot Smoked Salmon, Guacamole and Boiled Egg on Wholegrain Toasts with Salad and Sour Cream
Raspberry Leaf Tea


Not much to report on the food front this week. I've been eating healthier and feeling much better for it so that is probably why I don't have much to whinge about for a change! I've managed to completely steer clear of sweet treats and trash this week, with the exception of a slice of birthday cake (or two) as it was my thirtieth this week ;). 

As you can see from the picture above, my day time eating is one of the healthiest parts of my diet. To prevent heartburn and indigestion this week however I have swapped a normal sized dinner plate for one slightly smaller. I've always been guilty of going a little wild on portion sizes at tea time and I think this has definitely been adding to my difficulties with acid reflux etc I had been experiencing. There just isn't the space to cram in a massive meal any more and to be honest, I feel like my metabolism is a lot slower now than it was in my second and first trimesters, so there just isn't the need for a really big meal.

Coffee has hit the can pretty much this week for the first time my entire pregnancy. It makes me feel sick! Only took 35 weeks but hey... I've taken to swapping it for herbal teas. I still need a bit of caffiene in my life so I've been opting for Chai and Green teas but have also recently discovered Raspberry Leaf Tea after talking to Ed's stepsister about it. I've written a post that will be up on Sunday about Raspberry Leaf Tea, so check back in if your interested in finding out about some of the suggested health benefits associated with it.


Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Newborn Haul ~ TKMaxx

TKMaxx ~ If you can be bothered to go in and dig about there are so many gems to be found for babies in this place. I love it for home-ware in general, for clothes, it can be a bit hit and miss but not the kid's bit. The kid's bit is amazing.
From clothes to nursery decor, here's what I've managed to find over the course of about three or four trips :)

If you visit a TKMaxx sooner rather than later, I'd say you'd be able to still find these retro Disney art canvases. They're only £7.99 and not limited to Mickey Mouse. There's Goofy, Donald Duck, all sorts. I love the nostalgia that comes with the older Disney illustrations so if you're into the same thing, see if you can get your hands on these.

Again, these Jones clocks are around in abundance at the moment and they come in different colours and styles. This one was £14.99 and it's ideal for a nursery.

TKMaxx is also great for swaddles and pram blankets. Of all the places you might think to buy these things from, I'd choose these over anywhere else as the designs and quality for the price point are really good. A special nod has to go to these extra large Muslin Swaddles. They're 40 x 40 inches and for only £9.99 for three they match those of Aden and Anais for a fraction of the cost.
The clothes, the clothes! I'm not going to list the prices to these because as we all know, the chances of finding these exact things in another TKMaxx isn't likely. The most expensive item was the Green Whale tracksuit above and it was only £7.99. Everything else was between £3 and £6 and the quality is great. 

I love these finds so much. Seriously, go to TKMaxx and have a dig about if you're expecting a new baby, have kids already or just need a present for some child related reason!


Sunday, 17 May 2015

Pregnancy Update ~ 34 Weeks

Apologies! I'm late with this post because yesterday I spent the entire day sorting the baby's room out and though I managed to take a few pics, I literally had no time to sit and write anything. Better late though.

Pregnancy Update ~ 34 Weeks

How Far Along? 34 Weeks

Maternity Clothes? No new maternity clothes this week, making do with anything I already have with an empire line and maternity leggings. I quite like getting creative with the things I already own to be honest rather than buying things I wouldn't be able to make use of post pregnancy. I know I'm pretty likely to get bigger yet however so watch this space. These are the black dungarees I talked about in my 33 week update. Got a bit of a shock this week when I had to extend the straps to maximum capacity... 

Stretch Marks? Still none. Still moisturizing mainly with the Argan Oil I wrote about in this post and hoping for the best.

Sleep? Horrific this week although after all the work my family, Ed and I did yesterday (even though they did all the lifting) I slept relatively well last night and for longer than 5 hours for the first time in ages. Still not interrupted but you can't have everything.

Best Moment this Week? Getting the room sorted. The baby is going to share our bedroom for the first 6 months as it's really big and Ed uses our second bedroom as a music room (he's a piano player). I took some pics yesterday so once I've finished getting it ready I'll upload a post with before and after pics of the room :) 

Arnie got pretty tripped out by all the upheaval yesterday. Poor thing. Look at his face. He's so unimpressed. Hopefully he'll manage alright when his new pal arrives.

Miss Anything? Eating food without fear of heartburn and a sleepless night.

Gender? Hes a boy.

Movement? Yep. We've taken to playing him different kinds of music to see if we can get him to react to particular songs. Steered clear of the gabba. He's more into the classical stuff Ed plays for him.

Food Cravings? None this week as heartburn and indigestion have really made eating anything at all traumatic, especially acidic things. Goodbye gherkins :(

Anything Causing Queasiness/Sickness? If you saw my most recent Food Diary post you'll know that heartburn and acid indigestion have plagued me this week. I hate it. Why do pregnant women get this? Seriously. In answer to the question therefore really all food has caused me to feel pretty ill. Sad times.

Labour Signs? No labour signs as such but definitely some new niggles that I don't think I've experienced before. I feel like he's a lot lower than he was last week and so some of the movements are as though he's engaging. He's lying head down right now and so I think these feelings could be what is known as lightening. From what I've read on line about this though I don't know that I would be experiencing so much heartburn if the baby had lowered in the way women describe. I'll ask my midwife when I'm next in and update.

Symptoms? See above. On the hyper-pigmentation front I'm still persevering with the tumeric facemask and searching for other remedies. The Body Shop do a vitamin C range that is known to be good for tackling dark spots so I might give a couple of things a try from there this week.

Happy or Angry? Happy. The room's coming together and I've almost finished packing my hospital bag. Feels surreal to actually write that down... 

Looking forward to? Washing all of the clothes we've acquired so far and putting everything away in some kind of order (this kid is seriously decked out already).


Friday, 15 May 2015

Third Trimester Food Diary Friday #4

Food Diary Friday #4

34 Weeks ~ Original Weight ~ 54.25 Kg ~ Current Weight  ~ 60.4 kg

10:00am- En Route to Uni
Skinny Caramel Latte 

11:00am- Breakfast
Bowl of Fruit 'n' Fibre
Coffee with milk
Prenatal Vitamin

3:00pm- Snack
6:30pm- Dinner
Jacket Potato with Tuna Mayonnaise and Cheese with a Spinach, Watercress, Beetroot and Sweetcorn Salad
Side of Gherkins and Cherry TomatoesGinger Beer

7:00pm- Snack  
Muller Greek Yogurt and Strawberry Compote Mousse Corner 


When I had my last weigh in at my 32 week midwife appointment I was a little concerned that I had only gained around 4kg. Though I was told this was normal, my midwife made sure to tell me that I should just eat whenever I felt hungry. This is something I was always doing, but the issues a lot of us face at this stage of pregnancy like heartburn and indigestion can kind of get in the way of being physically able to eat effectively, or at least to enjoy it. 

Heartburn and indigestion are back for me this week with horrific force, but I'm relieved to see that this hasn't got in the way of healthy weight gain, recorded this week at my 34 week midwife checkup.

Since last week I have been a little more nutritionally aware, as I had felt that I was finding myself reaching a little too often to sugary treats and foods with empty calories to satisfy hunger pangs which really isn't ideal.

This week  my goals are to continue to try to eat as nutritionally as possible and to once again go back to the drawing board re heartburn remedies, as it looks like the ginger beer trick that previously served me so well has run it's course :(


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

DIY Facemask for Pregnancy Cloasma Hyperpigmentation

If you've been following my weekly pregnancy updates you'll know I've been dealing with a serious dose of hyperpigmentation. Known as the mask of pregnancy because it tends to form around the eyes and forehead area, this delightful symptom is caused by a spike in estrogen levels and effects around 50-75% of pregnant women. 

Whilst I've been finding an extra layer or two of concealer enough to cover up some of the dark patches I have, I thought it wouldn't hurt to see if there were any natural remedies out there that might help to alleviate some of my skin's uneven tones... therein I discovered the Tumeric Facemask


Tumeric has loads of benefits and has been used as a beauty product for centuries. Among it's many skin saving qualities, it is known to help clear acne and acne scarring due to it's antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It helps regenerate new skin cells when used topically because of it's antioxidant and exfoliant properties and of course, it can aid in the lightening and break down of age spots, sun spots and general hyper-pigmentation.

Want to read more about the benefits and uses of Tumeric? See here.


2 tbsp Rice Flour (or any if you don't have this)
1 tbsp Tumeric
1 tsp Runny Honey
2 tbsp Natural Yogurt (for oily skin) or Coconut Oil (for dry skin)


Step 1. Bash all of the required ingredients in a bowl and mix together. 

Step 2. Apply a thin layer to your face with a brush. I bought this Primark Foundation Brush for £1.50 just for face masks but you can use your fingers if you want. 

Step 3. Leave for 20 minutes or until completely dry.

Step 4. Wash off with warm water and a flannel ~ you'll need something to encourage it off your face as it's just like a thick clay mask in consistency. 

**NB** This mask does not stain the skin yellow. 

I fully expected to come out looking like Sideshow Bob but this recipe in my experience does not turn you yellow! 


I didn't expect this mask to work like it did in terms of actually sticking to my face and feeling like a legit face mask. But it does and aside from the smell of tumeric, I really enjoyed the feel of this mask on my face. After I rinsed it off I noticed that the redness I normally have around my nose had been reduced and my skin felt a lot softer and more supple than it did before.

In terms of hyperpigmentation, it's too early to tell. This recipe makes a bowl full so I'm going to apply it three to four times a week for the foreseeable future to really give it a chance to get to work on my dark patches. I don't hold out much hope, but for it's ability to remedy some of my other skin concerns, I'm definitely pleased with the results of this so far.

If anyone else has tried this for remedying pregnancy skin complaints let me know how you found it :)