Research has shown that making changes in your diet, lifestyle and reducing exposure to toxins can boost fertility for both you and your partner and also reduce the risk of miscarriage. 

Three months is the optimum period of time for these changes to take effect because it takes approximately three months for the follicles on the ovaries to develop before one is mature enough to release an egg at ovulation. Although as a woman you cannot change the number of eggs you have (ovarian reserve), you can certainly change their quality and this is the important point. By improving the quality of your eggs, you are increasing your chances of conceiving naturally and also preventing a miscarriage. If you are going for an assisted conception technique, like IUI, IVF or ICSI, you will also want your eggs to be as healthy as possible so as to give the technique the best chance of success.

Many women I see in the clinic are told that they have ‘old’ eggs and that there is nothing wrong with the IVF technology, the problem is with them.  That is devastating terminology and it is true that the eggs in a woman of 35 are older than when she was 20 but as long as she is ovulating it is possible to change the quality of those eggs to either give her the chance of conceiving naturally or achieving success on an IVF cycle with her own eggs. 

With men, it also takes at least three months for a new batch of sperm cells to mature, ready to be ejaculated. Men produce sperm all their lives so it is always possible to not only improve the quality but also the quantity of sperm by making certain lifestyle and nutritional changes. 

Although it goes without saying that a healthy diet is crucial to a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby, many people are unaware of the fact that what you eat may affect your ability to conceive.   Also you want to avoid the three main fertility busters; caffeine, alcohol and smoking as they have all been linked to an increased risk of infertility in men and women.

Having four cups of coffee or any caffeinated drink a day makes it 26% less likely that a woman will conceive and drinking only 2 cups of coffee a day is associated with a 25% increased risk of miscarriage. And problems with sperm health are connected with increased coffee intake.

Alcohol will also make it more difficult to get pregnant with only just three alcoholic drinks or more a week. The same is true for male fertility and alcohol will also block the body’s ability to absorb fertility boosting nutrients like zinc.

A woman is twice as likely to get pregnant if she doesn’t smoke compared to a woman who does. And smoking is linked to 5,000 miscarriages per year.

Chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage DNA in sperm which can make it harder to conceive because fertilisation can’t take place or if it is does, it can increase the risk of a miscarriage as nature will always work on survival of the fittest.   

Stress for both the man and woman can affect fertility and this needs to be addressed.

If a couple has a combination of four negative lifestyle factors (including tea/coffee, smoking and alcohol) it can take them seven times longer to get pregnant.

As well as looking at what you eat and drink there is now a great deal of scientific knowledge about the use of nutritional supplements and their beneficial effects on both male and female fertility.   The most important nutrients for fertility are zinc, folic acid, selenium, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin C, omega 3 fatty acids for you and your partner plus two amino acids, arginine and carnitine specifically for boosting male fertility.  In my clinics we test for nutritional deficiencies and supplement to correct those deficiencies where necessary.  I also use NHP’s Fertility Support for Women and Fertility Support for Men available from good health food shops.

The aim is also to make sure you are a healthy weight.  Women are most fertile when they are neither too thin nor too heavy. You need at least 18% body fat to ovulate and the best chance of conceiving is when 20-25% of the body mass is fat tissue. On the other hand, the menstrual cycle can be disrupted by too much fat, which affects oestrogen levels. Being 25% over your ideal weight can stop ovulation. It’s important for the man to keep his eye on his weight too as there is an increased risk of infertility or poor sperm quality and quantity in men who are overweight or obese.

Don’t miss this opportunity to come and see Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD, the UK’s leading nutritionist specialising in women’s health. You will find out how to use food, vitamins and minerals to increase your energy, eliminate mood swings, improve your memory, reduce stress and lose weight without dieting.

Dr Marilyn Glenville will be visiting Ireland from October 24th to 26th in Dublin, Galway & Cork.

For more information please visit: https://balanceyourhormonesnaturally.eventbrite.ie   

Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD is the UK’s leading nutritionist specialising in women’s health.  She is the Former President of the Food and Health Forum at the Royal Society of Medicine and the author of a number of internationally bestselling books including Getting Pregnant Faster.  Dr Glenville runs clinics in Dublin, Galway, Cork and Kilkenny, for more information see www.glenvillenutrition.ie.

Children need Omega-3 for every stage of their development. It boosts their brains, strengthens their immune systems and lifts their mood. It is also claimed to improve behaviour, reduce anxiety and helps to improve language. Sounds too good to be true – yet scientific research continues to show impressive results.

 

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Preparing to go back to school can be stressful for both you and your child. You may already have added a new school uniform, lunch box, and pencil case to the “back to school” shopping list, but it is also important to ensure your child’s concentration levels are back in full gear for the upcoming school year.

Omega-3 Helps Children Thrive

Omega-3 fatty acids are the most critical building blocks of the brain; they are considered essential and must be obtained through diet or supplements. Without these important fats, it can become difficult for children to concentrate, learn new information and balance their moods. Since most children do not eat oily fish on a regular basis, Omega-3s are in short supply during the most critical stages of brain development.

The brain is a massive 60% fat, so it’s safe to say that it plays a huge role in brain development and function. Through blood tests, they found a correlation between low levels of omega 3’s in the bloodstream and increased struggles with learning and behaviour in school.

A 2012 study found Omega-3 DHA had a profound improvement in reading age, concentration and learning ability in children, lower levels of DHA were attributed to poorer reading and impaired performance.

In a separate study, researchers fish oil rich in omega-3s to the diets of children struggling with learning difficulties such as dyslexia and ADHD. After six months, these children showed improved self-esteem, memory, perception, and reading and writing skills. They showed a decrease in disruptive behaviours. More studies have been done with similar results.

How much is required?

Studies show that you need 250mg DHA daily to support brain health. Eating oily fish twice a week – such as salmon or sardines, provides a healthy dose of omega-3 EPA/DHA. Not a fish fan? You should choose a high quality fish oil supplement such as Eskimo-3 Kids.

ESKIMO-3 KIDS

On the market for more that 20 years, Eskimo-3 kids is one of the purest fish oils available today. Eskimo-3 comes in two delicious natural flavours – tutti-frutti flavour and orange flavour which kids simply love!

Award Winning 

Eskimo-3 Kids won Gold in the National Parenting Product  Awards in 2015 for Best Omega-3 Supplement for children. The NAPPA recognition signifies that a product has been rigorously evaluated against stringent criteria by expert judges and parent testers, and that it stands out among similar products. 

FEATURES:

  • Specifically formulated to give children the right balance of Omega oils.
  • Eskimo Kids features the same pure & stable Omega-3 fish oil as Eskimo-3, along with Omega-6 & omega-9 and vitamin D
  • Vitamin D is absolutely essential for healthy bone development
  • Available in great tasting tutti-frutti or natural orange flavour that kids just love!

Eskimo-3 Kids

NEW ESKIMO-3 KIDS CHEWABLE

We are delighted to introduce our new product Eskimo-3 Kids Chewable DHA+, which combines brain boosting omega fatty acid DHA and EPA, with choline and biotin in a great tasting, easy to swallow chewable. The new Eskimo-3 Kids chewable DHA+ offers an option to children that don’t like to take liquid, as they can take just one chewable a day. Each chewable provides a whopping 254mg DHA, are sugar free and come in a delicious orange flavour. Be warned…You will need to hide the pack as they taste so good. 

  • EPA and DHA found in omega-3 fish oil are essential for eye and nerve health, learning and IQ, co-ordination and mood.
  • Choline – Helps brain cells in the production of acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter for mental focus and learning. Choline can be made in small amounts in our bodies, but mostly needs to obtained through food – e.g. eggs, liver, salmon, nuts, fish.
  • Biotin: The brain is more dependent on biotin than any other organ in the body. Biotin is important for a healthy nervous system. Biotin deficiencies can potentially cause neurological problems, especially for those with autism. 

Fantastic new Children’s Product

“I have given this supplement to my children for 3 months and the results are wonderful. My son had difficulty in concentration and speech. I’ve seen significant improvements in his concentration and his speech since taking Eskimo-3 Kids chewable DHA+. He is more relaxed and less irritable in his behaviours. I’ve also noticed that their skin and hair has improved as well. There is more shine in the hair. They love the taste and the fact that there is no fishy aftertaste. I am delighted to recommend new Eskimo-3 Kids chewable DHA+ to other parents.” Sabrina Kelly, Galway.”

 

Eskimo-3 Cover Kids

For a real academic edge this school year, make sure there is lots of omega-3 DHA in your child’s diet. The full range of Eskimo Products is available in health food stores, pharmacies and online.

More information: www.eskimo3.ie

My first book Minding Mum is all about understanding that self-care is not selfish in fact it’s probably the most selfless thing you can do.

I learnt this lesson the hard way after I had my son James who is now just nearly six. I completely neglected my own needs post birth and was certainly not Minding Mum. I pushed myself way too hard, didn’t eat properly and it came at a huge cost to both myself and my son as I became very ill with postnatal depression. What I have realized the past seven years on my wellness journey is that if our own tank is empty we have no strength and energy to give to others.

Minding mum, book, author, be complete, family, parenting, mums, gill books, self care

SELFCARE

Once I started to value myself enough to eat well, exercise, talk kindly to myself and practice daily happiness habits I began to understand the power of self care. I learnt what it truly means not only for ourselves but for those we love.

I now have more time (believe it or not), patience, energy and vitality for James since Minding Mum. Practicing self-care does not mean you are shirking your responsibilities. In fact as a parent there is no better way to instill confidence and self-esteem into your kids than to be a healthy and happy role model.

I know the first thing mums say is that they have no time for Minding Mum and since they have had their children they can’t even go to the bathroom alone anymore. The only time I have had a shower alone without 20 questions is when I’m away.

I was an impossibly stubborn Mum and thought this too. However when I was unwell I found it incredibly difficult to get dressed most days and knew something had to change. There is real power in self care and even more power in taking small steps to get there.

BABYSTEPS

Rome wasn’t built in a day and sometimes we need to relearn or learn in my case to like ourselves and value ourselves. The small changes I have made over the past few years have led me on a path of true wellness. Not only that I have discovered the true contentment I have always craved but never been able to find. After I had James I stopped placing my worth in external things like property, boyfriends and job status but I started to look within and face my fears.

It’s been a rocky road and some days I’ve felt brave and others scared but every day I have been giving life my best shot. I am now living an anxiety and depression free life, which is something I never thought, would be possible. I have daily happiness habits and if you scroll through Facebook for 10 minutes you can do this too.

TIPS FOR MINDING MUM:

  1. THANK YOU

Say thank you every morning as you wake and keep a gratitude diary. This should take no more than 3 minutes each day. Recent research from Harvard happiness researcher and author Shawn Achor says that if you pick 3 different things each day that you are grateful for not only does it help your optimism but also it actually rewires our brain. This is one of the most powerful tools I use daily and this habit helped to drag me out of some dark times. Sometimes we can become too focused on what is going wrong and miss everything that is going right!

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2. FIND YOUR WELLNESS FORMULA

We’re all different which is the beauty of life and what’s works for one will not work for another so have fun and find a formula that works for you. In life we tend to focus on just one area at a time like diet or exercise but what I have found is that a little of everything is better than a lot of one thing to help you find that balance. (PG 23 in my book)

Minding mum, gratitude, book, author, be complete, family, parenting, mums, gill books, self care3. EAT REAL FOOD

We’ve made food very complicated and there are thousands of diets out there now. My advice is keeping it simple so eat fresh wholefoods. Remove the word diet for your life, as they simply don’t work! Steer clear of processed foods and ease up on sugar. Stay on the outskirts of the supermarkets (usually where fresh produce is) cook and freeze for the week if you are short on time and try to eat a variety of colour.

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4. KEEP HYDRATED

You will never realise how bad you feel until you start to feel good, and hydration or dehydration can be the cause of so many illnesses [so too much hydration could make you sick too?]. For the past fifteen years I have started my day with lemon water. It all started at a photo-shoot one day, when my skin was bad as I suffered with adult acne. A make-up artist told me that drinking warm lemon water every morning would help. It is something that I have done ever since and since studying nutrition I have come to realise that the benefits are far greater than I could have ever imagined.

So my first tip for hydration is to wake up your body with a glass of warm water and lemon each day. This will kick start your digestive system and metabolism. It’s small changes like this that will make a massive difference to your health. Just think of how dehydrated you are after a night’s sleep. Does it not make sense to drink fluids first before putting more food in? When I take a break from drinking warm lemon water in the morning I really notice the difference in how efficient my digestive system is and I also notice a difference in my energy levels.

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LEMONS

Lemons are great because they contain bioflavonoids, potassium and Vitamin C. Bioflavonoids are super antioxidants that contribute to good heart health and have powerful anti-carcinogens. Potassium stimulates the brain as well as helping keep your blood pressure under control and the antioxidants from the Vitamin C will really help your skin (healing, especially after a C-section). Vitamin C is required to produce collagen, a protein that plays a critical role in the structure of our bodies. Collagen is the framework for our skin and our bones and without it, we would quite literally fall apart. Vitamin C also aids the absorption of iron and if you live in a big city just look at Vitamin C as a giant fire extinguisher for all the pollution and nasty toxins out there.

TOP TIP: Get more water into your day by keeping a bottle with you all the time and by drinking herbal teas (caffeine is a diuretic). Eat your water by including water-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet, like cucumber and watermelon.

5. CATCH NEGATIVE THOUGHTS AND SWITCH THEM TO MORE POSITIVE ONES

This sounds easy but some of us are in a pattern of consistent negative thinking without even realizing it and it’s a habit that we can break with practice. I use my STOP- CATCH – CHANGE formula which is Stop your negative thought, catch it and change it to a positive one. This might seem unnatural and hard in the beginning but it becomes easier with time. I use it to catch negative thoughts about myself, others, work and life in general. Building good self-esteem means appreciating yourself and treating yourself with compassion.

6. FIND AN EXERCISE YOU ACTUALLY LIKE

Fitness is meant to be fun and if it’s not for you then try something new. Life is hard enough without dreading our exercise class or the gym. There are 100’s of options to keep moving and keep fit. I get bored so I switch it up all the time from yoga to Pilates and the gym. You need to feel good about what you are doing as our body, mind and spirit are all connected.

7. MY TOP BEAUTY TIPS ARE

Keep it simple and keep it real. Make up should be used to highlight your features and I’m definitely a “less is more” girl. From a health perspective I have also started to use more natural and paraben free products after all, a lot of the chemicals in our beauty products are absorbed by our skin and enter into our bloodstream.

When I was recovering from depression and anxiety I started to understand that the products we use disrupt our endocrine system and our hormones, which is all related to mental health. (CouleurCaramel.ie and Phyts are great brands) Try switching up your deodorants to a more natural alternative too. It’s the cumulative effect of all the products that causes the problems as our bodies are actually very good at detoxing naturally but they just can’t cope with being overloaded with environmental toxins, product toxins, bad food and a bad lifestyle!

Minding mum, gratitude, book, author, be complete, family, parenting, mums, gill books, self care

 

8. ALWAYS CLEAN YOUR SKIN PROPERLY AND WASH YOUR PILLOW CASE REGULARLY

I have suffered from adult acne so my rule with my pillow is

SLEEP-TURN-SLEEP-WASH

So you sleep on one side, then turn it over the following night and sleep on the opposite side, and then wash it. It’s simple and effective.

9. USE YOUR BREATH

Stress is our biggest killer these days and using mindfulness and meditation can help. Its simple, if you can breathe you can meditate. Our breath is our most powerful asset yet it is the most underused resource we have and its free and available all the time. As a busy mum you can feel overwhelmed quite often and very often just taking a moment to stop and breathe can make all the difference.

Stop, breathe and be

 Minding mum, gratitude, book, author, be complete, family, parenting, mums, gill books, self care

 

10. STOP JUDGING AND START SUPPORTING

I have one rule and that’s always try and be there for another mum who needs you. All mums are working mums whether you stay at home or go out to work. There is no ideal situation as each one of us are completely different. To create a good work/life balance you need to do what’s right for you. There is a full chapter on PND (post natal depression) in the book, which is honest and offers great tips on asking for help and helping yourself!

Minding mum, gratitude, book, author, be complete, family, parenting, mums, gill books, self care

There are many more tips in my book ‘Minding Mum’ which you can buy here which you can buy here.

LynnS DREams, LYNNS, poem, lauralynn childrens hospice, fairycares, fairy non-bio, fairy non bio campaign, hospice, children's pallative care, childrens charityI have teamed up with Fairy Non-Bio who will be donating to LauraLynn Children’s Hospice from every pack of Fairy Non-Bio Pods and Fairy Non-Bio Fabric Softener sold between now and July 12th. Fairy Non-Bio have committed to make a minimum donation of €25,000 to LauraLynn later this summer.

 

Each day when we wake we never know what encounters lie ahead. That’s the true beauty of life.

A few weeks ago during my lunch break from college I headed up to LauraLynn to do an interview for Xpose and support them for Children’s Hospice Week.

LynnS DREams, LYNNS, poem, lauralynn childrens hospice, fairycares, fairy non-bio, fairy non bio campaign, hospice, children's pallative care, children's charity

I met a young Mum Sam while I was waiting and she introduced me to her beautiful daughter Isabella. As I watched Sam with Isabella I was struck by her energy and how gentle, patient and compassionate she was. As a mum myself I learnt so much from being with her that day and as I sat in the car afterwards I realised that it was Sam’s presence with her daughter that made it so magical.

 

Isabella has a rare neurological disorder and Sam is her full time carer. She also has a son called Alex who is a few years older than Isabella. During the first year of Isabella’s life she was admitted to hospital regularly for seizures. She did not sleep at night and Sam sat by her side watching her just in case anything happened. Bevan, who now works at LauraLynn, was their outreach nurse at the time and he introduced them to LauraLynn recognizing that they couldn’t keep going the way they were.

LynnS DREams, LYNNS, poem, lauralynn childrens hospice, fairycares, fairy non-bio, fairy non bio campaign, hospice, children's pallative care, childrens charityTHEIR FIRST VISIT

They went out to meet the team expecting it to be very clinical and hospital like and were delighted when it was absolutely nothing like that. LauraLynn has a very homely and welcoming atmosphere. Most importantly Sam knows Isabella’s happy there and she always has a smile on her face when she thinks of LauraLynn now.

 

Isabella was able to stay at LauraLynn for Alex’s first day of school, which meant Sam could focus on Alex and this made him feel special. Sam admits it was hard in the beginning and she would cry and constantly ring checking in on Isabella but she knew she was running on empty and needed a break.

 

SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES

Sam and her family get 15 nights overnight care per year. There’s also a range of therapeutic and family support interventions if she feels they need them. Sam admits the respite can be daunting but necessary otherwise they simply can’t function properly. LauraLynn also offer support in the form of a community for families. Some of the children in school with Isabella also attend LauraLynn and to help support each other Sam set up a private Facebook group for “Extra Special Mums”. She said she can go out with special need’s mums and be herself and laugh at silly things with friends in the same situation.

 

Having a child with special needs in Ireland comes with great difficulties, as you have to fight for absolutely everything. You really have to shout and that’s hard especially when you are so tired. Isabella’s medical card was taken off her a few years ago and it put a lot of stress on the family. LauraLynn were incredible during this time and eventually Sam and her family fought and got the card back. You will hear these stories the length and breadth of Ireland as our most vulnerable amongst us suffer.

 

HAVING FUN

Isabella took part in the first LauraLynn Oscars that took place last year. Each child made a movie with the help of industry professionals and Isabella’s brother Alex even had his school involved and they all attended the Oscar’s evening to receive their award.

 

Isabella also performed in a play in the Abbey Theatre and there are family and sibling camps too. All of these events and activities help to make special memories and fulfill these dreams for families.

LynnS DREams, LYNNS, poem, lauralynn childrens hospice, fairycares, fairy non-bio, fairy non bio campaign, hospice, children's pallative care, villena family, childrens charity

Having LauraLynn is a very important part of the Villena’s lives. The charity does so much with and for the children and their families. This essential service is free for all families giving them both relief and respite even if it’s just for a short time.

 

Sam shifted something in me the day I met her. She really touched my heart and for that I will always be grateful. Never underestimate the power one person can have on another. After all we are all in this game of life together.

 

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The baby box, baby gifts, parenting, new mum, unicef, first crib, newborn, pregnancy, gift ideas, baby shower

 

The Baby Box is one of the most well thought out gifts for a new mum.

My sister is a new mum and got very excited when she saw it exclaiming, “This is exactly what every new mum needs!”

The idea behind the Baby Box is based on Finnish tradition. The Baby Box not only provides essentials for baby’s first few months of life, the box itself is designed to be the baby’s first crib.

In Finland every new mum receives some kind of maternity grant. They can either choose between a cash grant or a maternity package containing good quality clothing and baby care products. Two thirds of women opt for ‘The Baby Box” as I would too.

The Baby Box was actually designed in 1937 to give all children a more equal start to life, and it continues to serve this purpose today. Finland’s child mortality rate is among the lowest in the world, partly thanks to the maternity grant and associated health checks.

 

THE CRIB ELEMENT

The baby box, baby gifts, parenting, new mum, unicef, first crib, newborn, pregnancy, gift ideas, baby shower

Parents can use The Baby Box as their first crib or as a second back-up one for the sitting room. For example: I used to carry the moses basket up and down the stairs each day along with the stand or else I would use the pram for James to sleep in downstairs. This solves that problem as it can be left downstairs! The simple, effective design of the box, coupled with its firm mattress, also helps to promote safe sleeping, which is important too.

When the baby has outgrown the Box it can be used as a keepsake box to have forever. Those first little shoes, the teeny tiny first vest and the first haircut! As you child grows the baby box can grow with your memories too.

 

WHATS IN THE BOX

As well as their range of Custom Designed Baby Boxes, The Baby Box also sell various Newborn Gift Sets of clothing and accessories starting at just €25. Check out all their gift ideas here 

The baby box, baby gifts, parenting, new mum, unicef, first crib, newborn, pregnancy, gift ideas, baby showerOne of my favourite gifts is the The Muslin Swaddle Gift Box €25 (link here). Each Gift Box includes two 100% Cotton Extra Large Muslin Swaddles which are ideal for swaddling a newborn, nursing, or covering a stroller when baby drifts off to sleep.

The first box for Spring/Summer 2017 is the The Original Baby Box (RRP €125)

The baby box, baby gifts, parenting, new mum, unicef, first crib, newborn, pregnancy, gift ideas, baby shower1 x Baby Box 1 x Mattress 1 x Machine Washable Breathable Mattress Cover 1 x 100% Cotton Fitted Sheet 1 x 100% Cotton Extra Large Muslin Swaddle (120cm x 120cm) 1 x Soft Toy 2 x 100% Cotton Baby Vests 1 x 100% Cotton Baby Sleep Suit 1 x 100% Cotton Hat 1 x 100% Cotton Bib 1 x Luxury Blanket 1 x Pack of Nappies 1 x Jar of Nappy Cream 1 x Pack of Water Wipes 1 x Bag of Cotton Squares FREE Delivery in Ireland & UK

 

The 2nd option is The Ultimate Baby Box (RRP €250)

The baby box, baby gifts, parenting, new mum, unicef, first crib, newborn, pregnancy, gift ideas, baby shower

1 x Baby Box 1 x Mattress 1 x Machine Washable Breathable Mattress Cover 1 x 100% Cotton Fitted Sheet 2 x 100% Cotton Extra Large Muslin Swaddles (120cm x 120cm) 1 x Soft Toy 3 x 100% Cotton Baby Vests 2 x 100% Cotton Baby Sleep Suit 2 x 100% Cotton Hat 2 x 100% Cotton Bib 1 x 100% Cotton Luxury Blanket 1 x Baby Health & Grooming Kit

1 x 100% Cotton Luxury Bath Robe 1 x 100% Cotton Hooded Towel 1 x Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo 1 x Burt’s Bees Baby Lotion 1 x Burt’s Bees Nourishing Baby Oil 1 x Burt’s Bees Diaper Ointment 1 x Burt’s Bees Butter Milk Soap 1 x Changing Pad 2 x Soothers 1 x Pack of Nappies 1 x Jar of Nappy Cream 1 x Pack of Water Wipes 1 x Bag of Cotton Squares FREE Delivery in Ireland & UK

There are many more options in between like The Bed Box and The Deluxe Baby Box

SAFETY 

As safety is of primary importance to any new parent every single one of The Baby Box products undergoes rigorous safety testing.

The Baby Box conforms to BS EN 1130, the International Gold Standard for Crib & Cradle Safety. The Baby Box is the only Finnish Baby Box on the market that meets this standard. Their mattresses also conform to BS EN 1877 for Safety and BS EN 7177 for flammability. Read their safety and sleep tips here

GIVING BACK

In The developing world a child dies every 20 seconds from a preventable disease.

 The Baby Box works closely with UNICEF worldwide to help prevent these unnecessary deaths. For every Baby Box sold 10 vaccination kits are distributed to the Third World. Each one of these vaccination kits ensures that children are protected against Measles, Polio and Tetanus. To date The Baby Box has protected over 5,000 children from these potentially fatal diseases.

The Baby Box believe that all babies should be given an equal start in life regardless of where they are born.

 

WHY CHOOSE THE BABY BOX

For any new Mum this is a dream gift. It contains everything a new mum needs in those early days. I truly believe anything that can help relieve some stress from new mums is really important. It’s the perfect gift where all mums friends can chip in and help to give the bay the best start alongside creating memories and helping children less fortunate get a better start in life too.

 

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LynnS DREams, LYNNS, poem, lauralynn childrens hospice, fairycares, fairy non-bio, fairy non bio campaign, hospice, children's pallative care, childrens charityI have teamed up with Fairy Non-Bio who will be donating to LauraLynn Children’s Hospice from every pack of Fairy Non-Bio Pods and Fairy Non-Bio Fabric Softener sold between now and July 12th. Fairy Non-Bio have committed to make a minimum donation of €25,000 to LauraLynn later this summer.

As you walk in the door of LauraLynn children’s hospice you are greeted by an incredibly warm and loving energy. As I turned to my right there was a quote written on the blackboard:

“Everyone wants happiness, no one wants pain

But you can’t have a rainbow, without a little rain.”

LauraLynn, LauraLynn hospice, childrens hospice, pallative care, Fairy Non-Bio, charity, Burrell PR, end of life care,

 

The quote made me smile. In fact all the quotes throughout the hospice made me smile because they are loving, encouraging and meaningful. As I walked over to read Lynn’s poem (read it here) at the entrance it was a sharp reminder of how precious life is. I first visited LauraLynn five years ago not long after it had opened so this was my second time to read that poem as I entered. But this time reading that poem felt different. I felt every word of Lynn’s dreams and thought to myself what a beautiful soul.

LauraLynn, LauraLynn hospice, childrens hospice, pallative care, Fairy Non-Bio, charity, Burrell PR, end of life care,


Lynn’s poem and The Story of LauraLynn at the entrance

I believe in energy and I believe we are all connected even after we are gone. I realized right there and then why the energy of LauraLynn was so special. It is because you are met with the energy of these two beautiful souls Laura and Lynn as you enter the door.

A PLACE OF HOPE

LauraLynn was created from a place of love and hope and that shows in every aspect of its care. At LauraLynn they look after the whole family including grandparents and siblings. They recognize than when a child is sick it affects everyone so their focus is keeping people connected and tending to their individual needs, which is really beautiful.

As you walk in on the right there is a therapy room, which is a safe place that children can come to and talk in confidence about their feelings and what they are going through personally. Siblings of bereaved families can also come here and avail of therapy, which is important too.

LauraLynn, LauraLynn hospice, childrens hospice, pallative care, Fairy Non-Bio, charity, Burrell PR, therapy room, end of life care,LauraLynn provides palliative care and support for children with life-limiting conditions and their families. There are eight beds and there is always and emergency bed kept free. The rooms are beautiful and the Head of Care, Bevan Ritchie, explained to me that they try and make it a home away from home. Their aim is to make the children and their families as comfortable as possible.

FULL HOLISTIC CARE

Full holistic care for the children is really important so the bathroom so the bathroom is a multi-sensory bathroom where music can be played and the lights change colour while the child basks in their bubble bath.. This is important as a lot of the children are non-verbal and bringing in the sensory aspect helps to calm them and creates a connection and delivers stimulation to the different senses.

LauraLynn, LauraLynn hospice, childrens hospice, pallative care, Fairy Non-Bio, charity, Burrell PR, end of life care,There is also a dedicated sensory room where there is a waterbed and for children with physical disabilities the movement of waterbed on their bodies can offer great relief.

There are rooms upstairs where families can stay over with full facilities like a kitchen and a TV room. In one of the children’s bedrooms downstairs there is an adjacent room where parents can sleep. The headboard has outlets for oxygen and medical equipment so if a child is very ill or near the end of their little life parents can get into bed with the child for a cuddle. This removes the clinical hospital feel and allows for memories to be made and quality time to be spent together. This really had an impact on me as my favourite time of the day is getting into bed to cuddle James.

THE BUTTERFLY SUITE

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This was the most difficult part of my visit as I thought of all the parents who have said goodbye to their little angels. ‘The Butterfly Suite’ was created as a special place for families to be near to their children after they have passed away. Butterfly’s have always been a strong symbol of change and transformation to me and even when I have lost people close to me in my own life I always imagine them being transformed into beautiful energy. The physical part of them is gone but their energy and the memories last forever.

LauraLynn Memory

LauraLynn provide psychological, social, spiritual and bereavement support for the entire family during this difficult time. Their end of life care also ensures maximum physical comfort for your child through the management of pain and other symptoms that they may have.

Overall I left LauraLynn with a warm heart full of hope. The community and support parents and children get from a dedicated staff and support team is truly incredible.

We all see the world through our personal eyes and our view of the world is shaped from our experiences. Five years ago on my first visit I was very much still adjusting to life back in Ireland as a single mum. Personally I was struggling greatly and my visit to LauraLynn filled me with love and hope. On this visit I saw so much more. I saw a center that treats everyone as an individual where everyone gets seen as himself or herself and that’s rare. The holistic care ensures that all aspects of a person are treated and that each child’s life is lived to the full no matter what their condition.

And I’ll leave you with Tinkerbell’s words:

“You know that place between sleep & awake,

The place where you can still remember Dreaming

That’s where I’ll always love you

That’s where I’ll be waiting”

LauraLynn, LauraLynn hospice, childrens hospice, pallative care, Fairy Non-Bio, charity, Burrell PR, end of life care, Tinkerbells words

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For this weeks #WellnessWednesday I’m super excited to be chatting to a very inspirational lady. I know Melissa Wood-Tepperberg from my time in New York and she is a truly beautiful soul.

She lives with authenticity and presence and if you follow her on social media you can’t help but be inspired. Her stories always leave you invigorated and motivated to live better and take some space for yourself. Here she tells us how she unwinds and copes with daily stress by meditating.

melissa wood health, health and wellness coach melissa wood, fitner app, juicing, benjamin tepperberg, meditation, destress, wellness wednesday, lifestyle quiz, plant based diet,

  1. How would you describe your lifestyle?

I have a very fun and healthy approach to everything I do. Whether it’s making food in the kitchen, working out, taking Benjamin to a class or working in the office. Living by my 3 M’s (meditation, mindful eating and movement) has allowed me to cultivate habits that no matter where I am or what I am doing; I find balance incorporating these three things.

 

  1. What’s your favorite food? Naughty or nice.

My ultimate favorite food is definitely avocado toast on manna bread with sea salt, nutritional yeast with squeezed lemon. I was told for years to stay away from carbs because they make you fat and this way of thinking created a laundry list of issues for me. Now, I eat this almost every day and tell myself that I am nourishing my body and my soul and I’m living my best life- so don’t always believe what everyone tells you. Carbs are not all created equal. At the end of the day you have to find what works for you.

 

  1. Do you exercise and if so what do you do to keep fit?

I work out on average 4-5 days per week and now that I’m sharing all of my workouts on the Fitner app this has become an even bigger part of my routine. Even 15 minutes of movement a day can change your entire mood. I’ve created 15-45 minute flows, so no matter what you can get something in.

 

  1. How do you find balance in your day-to- day life?

I read my daily lesson in A Course In Miracles and meditating everyday morning for 20. This has changed me as a person. I look at both my life and myself in such a positive light now.

 

  1. How do you manage stress in your life? Do you meditate?

Meditation all the way.

 

  1. People often set goals or intentions as they go through life. Is this something you do?

I don’t necessarily write down goals and intentions. At the end of every meditation I close with a prayer to help connect me to my highest power and open up the energy in every area of my life, “What would you have me do? Where would you have me go? What would you have me say? To whom?”

 

  1. How do you unwind after a busy day?

melissa wood health, health and wellness coach melissa wood, fitner app, juicing, benjamin tepperberg, meditation, destress, wellness wednesday, lifestyle quiz, plant based diet,I take Benjamin to the park and go for a walk almost every night after work. No matter how much stress I have from the day, it’s all washed away as soon as I’m with him. He brings a whole new meaning to happiness.

 

  1. It’s the weekend, what do you do for fun?

I take a yoga or Pilates class, go to the park with my family, have dinner with my husband, go out dancing with my girls and let Benjamin stay up late one of the nights and watch television in my bed.

 

  1. What’s your top health tip for our readers?

My top health tip for everyone would be to find stillness in your day by creating some space to sit with yourself and connect to the truth of who you really are and what matters most to you.

 

  1. Finish the sentence – Being complete for me means…

…Loving and accepting myself no matter what the situation is.

 

Melissa shares great easy to follow daily workouts on the fitner app

Check out her new website and you can follow her on

INSTAGRAM

FACEBOOK

**Melissa Wood-Tepperberg is a mom, certified health and wellness coach, meditator, Yoga and Pilates teacher and thriving on a plant-based diet. Her three pillars of focus are: meditation, mindful eating, and movement. Melissa Wood Health is a platform for sharing all of the wellness tips that she swears by – from food, fitness, beauty, fashion, baby and overall lifestyle – to help achieve your best self.

LynnS DREams, LYNNS, poem, lauralynn childrens hospice, fairycares, fairy non-bio, fairy non bio campaign, hospice, children's pallative care, childrens charityI have teamed up with Fairy Non-Bio who will be donating to LauraLynn Children’s Hospice from every pack of Fairy Non-Bio Pods and Fairy Non-Bio Fabric Softener sold between now and mid-July. Fairy Non-Bio have committed to make a minimum donation of €25,000 to LauraLynn later this summer.

 

THE HISTORY OF LAURALYNN

LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice was born out of the sadness of the tragic loss of Jane and Brendan McKenna’s only children, Laura and Lynn. Laura passed away in August 1999 at the age of 4, following surgery to repair a heart defect. Her big sister Lynn died less than 2 years later, in April 2001, at the age of 15. Lynn had leukemia, which was diagnosed on the day of Laura’s last surgery.

 

Having dealt personally with such serious illness both Jane and Brendan saw a huge need for a ‘Home from Home’ for children with life threatening and life limiting conditions. In 2003 they set up the ‘LauraLynn Children’s Hospice Foundation’ to raise funds to build Ireland’s first Children’s Hospice.

 

In 2007 they were approached by representatives of the ‘Children’s Sunshine Home’ which is their current location. The following year the two organisations merged and LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice was born. As a result of this Ireland’s first Children’s Hospice became a reality in 2011.

 

The main aim of LauraLynn is to provide palliative care to children with life-limiting conditions both in their hospice facility and the child’s own home. They also very importantly provide special care and respite to parents and siblings, helping them to cope with their difficult situation and to have fun time together as a family making memories.

 

They are committed to improving the quality of children’s palliative care in Ireland and their Clinical Education and Training Department provides training programmes tailored to meet the key needs of the evolving disciplines required by health professionals working in this relatively new space.

 

The history of the hospice actually dates back to 1925 when it was a convalescent home. Dr Ella Webb, a pioneering Dublin pediatrician of her time, treated many cases of children with rickets.  With the support of a dedicated group including Ms. Letitia Overend, they saw the need to provide medical care within a residential setting, where tenement children with rickets could be given an opportunity to recover fully, before returning to home.

 

Funding at the time came from voluntary donations and this early ethos of providing care for disadvantaged children has continued to motivate those who work and continue to work and volunteer at LauraLynn today.

 

Brendan and Jane’s daughter Lynn wrote this beautiful poem I would love to share with you:

LynnS DREMA, LYNNS, poem, lauralynn childrens hospice, fairycares, fairy non-bio, fairy non bio campaign, hospice, children's pallative care, childrens charity

 

The Fairy Non-Bio ‘Care for Others’ campaign will help to support the LauraLynn@Home care which is offered in 11 counties in Ireland. This will enable children with life-limiting conditions and their family to access palliative care and support within their own home. For further information click here.

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FAIRY NON-BIO sponsored post

Welcome to #MummyMondays where I will be teaming up with The Stork Box to bring you some great articles over the next few weeks on preparing for a new baby but first let me introduce you to this dynamic duo sisters Sophie Cafolla and Dr Vicky O’Dwyer

The Stork Box is a new and exciting Irish company specializing in products for Mum and Baby, including a prepacked maternity hospital bag, helping parents get ready for their new arrival and a range of Gift Boxes, which friends and family can ship directly to the recipient. Brought to you by sister duo, both of whom are Mums themselves, Sophie Cafolla, a sponsorship and marketing consultant and Dr Vicky O’Dwyer, a Doctor who has worked in Obstetrics and Gynecology for the last 11 years. I met with the girls to find out their story and what led them to create The Stork Box….

“This got us thinking about our own experiences” according to Sophie, “When I was preparing my bag I didn’t start to do it until I was about 34 weeks pregnant, I was working, tired and totally overwhelmed by the number of things I needed to get. I couldn’t find anywhere that sold all the essentials together, or even better, somewhere online that you could order in one go and have it shipped to you. So we thought, why not create a box which contains the essentials for both Mum and Baby! With Vicky’s professional knowledge and both of our personal experiences it seemed like a good fit!”

The duo wanted to create a service that takes the time and stress out of preparing your maternity hospital bag, while also providing the very best products to help make the hospital stay as comfortable as possible for expectant parents. Vicky admitted they have added a few extra touches to really treat new Mums too. “We have included a Social and Personal magazine in the Mum bag as well as a Just Eat gift voucher, I know I would of loved to have ordered a meal online one of the first few days I was home, we were far too tired and consumed by our new arrival to cook!”.

Value is also important to The Stork Box; both the Mum bags and Baby bags are discounted, the Mum bag contents are worth €80 however the bag is sold at €65, and the Luxury Mum bag contents have a value of €125 but is sold at €100 and the Baby bag is worth €135 but sold at €120.

The Baby Bag has everything to make baby happy and comfortable in their first few days.
•    5 x Short Sleeved Baby Vests
•    5 x Long Sleeved Baby Grows
•    5 x Bibs
•    1 Hat
•    1 Set of Mitts
•    1 Cellular Cotton Blanket
•    Pampers Nappies (Pack of 24)
•    Cotton Wool Balls (100)
•    Mamia Newborn sensitive wipes (pack of 56)
•    Sudocrem Care & Protect (40gm)
€120

The storkbox,hospital bag,pregnancy,parenting,new baby,

In addition to the Maternity Box, the Stork range includes 3 Gift Boxes, the Newborn Stork Box, the Night Night Stork Box which plays on the bath, bottle, bed routine, a favourite of many Mums and the Playtime Stork Box. Each box contains a bonus gift for Mum, a unique selling point of the brand, “it is important not to forget about Mum!” says Sophie

The Mum bag, €65.00 (retail value €80), includes;
•    Phyto Shampoo (50ml)
•    Phyto Conditioner (50ml)
•    Uriage Shower Gel (200ml)
•    Deodorant (35ml)
•    Elave Daily Lip Balm (15ml)
•    Karite Hand Cream (30ml)
•    Uriage Thermal Water Spray (50ml)
•    Sample of Nia’s Just Balm – suitable for Mum & Baby (5ml)
•    Hair Bobble & Hair Clips
•    Mini Brush
•    2 Tooth Brushes – for Mum & Dad
•    Toothpaste (25ml)
•    Monochrome Notebook and Pen
•    Maternity Pads (10 pack)
•    Sample of Lanolin Nipple Cream
•    1 set of Disposable Breast Pads
•    Sample of Lansinoh’s Breastmilk Storage Bags
•    Social & Personal Magazine
•    Just Eat gift voucher €10

The Luxury Mum bag, €100 (retail value €125), includes everything from the Mum bag plus;
•    Payot Hand Cream (50ml) instead of Karite hand cream
•    Cleanse Off Mitt
•    Mustela Bust firming serum (75ml)
•    Mustela Stretch Marks Recovery Serum (75ml)

The storkbox,hospital bag,pregnancy,parenting,new baby,If that wasn’t enough to start with, Sophie has also developed her own baby clothing range, Mini Style Addict, which is included in The Stork Box Baby bag. Inspired by her daughter Sienna, the range includes baby vests and baby grows. The Mini Style Addict clothes are gender neutral, with a nod to the monochrome trend, a key look in baby and toddler fashion at the moment.

The girls stated they are committed to providing a service that grows with their audience; “we research, we invest our time and use our knowledge to find the best and most appropriate products for Mum and Baby. We have more exciting products coming to the range soon so be sure to keep an eye out!”. Keep an eye out for more to come from these two!

Check out Their website for more info

#SummerBakingChallenge

 James and I had so much fun launching the #summerbakingchallenge. For the rest of August, the Dr. Oetker Summer Baking Challenge will set a baking challenge every Sunday on Facebook.

DR OETKER, #SUMMERBAKINGCHALLENGE, BAKING, family time, family fun, baking with kids, alison canavan, be complete,

 

Dr Oetker carried out a survey to celebrate the launch, which revealed that Mary Berry is the celebrity who most reminds them of their own mammies in the kitchen.

The Great British Bake off star topped the poll ahead of Cork native Darina Allen (23%) who came in second place and proving Irish mammies are a persuasive bunch, Mrs. ‘Go-on-go-on-go-on’ -Fr. Ted’s housekeeper, Mrs. Doyle, came in third place (21%).

Regardless of what was in the oven though, a whooping 80% of mothers remember their own mother baking when they were growing up and 78% even remember how much they loved licking the spoon! I know that was certainly my favourite part when my granny was baking!

DR OETKER, #SUMMERBAKINGCHALLENGE, BAKING, family time, family fun, baking with kids, alison canavan, be complete,

An overwhelming 90% voted that the smell of freshly baked goods is the most welcoming scent a house can have. So round up your mini bakers and get messy baking to create new family memories this August!

All you have to do is share your photos on to the Facebook page to win a KitchenAid mixer and weekly prizes of Dr. Oetker baking goodies.

This competition will add a sprinkle of fun to baking with the family this summer.

For lots of tips, recipes and baking inspiration check out www.oetker.ie @DrOetkerBaking and #SummerBakingChallenge