FredWears Clothing Instagram Giveaway 


 🎉 Giveaway Time 🎉Mama Cates has partnered with @fredwearsclothing to give you the chance to win a £10 store credit (not including shipping) . Follow the rules below for your chance to win. 

Rules: 

1. 🔎Follow me @mamacates and @fredwearsclothing on Instagram 

2. 👍Like this post

3. 📍Tag your “MAMA” friends in the comments below! 
Starts from today and the winners will be announced next week by DM ( 24th of June 2017) .

Please remember you must follow everyone in the loop to qualify. All entries must be submitted by 6/23. We ask that PRIVATE accounts are made PUBLIC during the giveaway in order to be entered. 

Per Instagram rules, we must mention this is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s term of use.

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#mamacatesgiveaway #fredwearsclothinggiveaway #contest #babywear #kidstyle #giveaway #giveawayuk #norwich #norfolk #england #style #fashion #win #winthis #followus #momblogger #blog #motherhood #children #supportlocalbuisness 

Miracle Breastmilk Recipe  


My breastfeeding journey thus far as been very eventful! 


Day 1-3 spent in the hospital and taking full advantage of the midwife and staff help to help Weston latch on and guide me while we were both learning. 

By the time I was at home I was in full break down mode by the six night. I was in tears twice having my husband dressed twice to run to Tescos to get formula because I wasn’t convinced he was getting what he needed. We persisted thru and I ended up exclusively hand expressing so I knew how much he was getting. Hands aching from hand expressing my father went out and bought me the double Medela Swing electric pump that I used for two days. This resulted in major baby blues as my husband was feeding and I was expressing at every feed. I was at a real low until I went to my local breastfeeding cafè and a lovely midwife I previously met in the hospital gave me my god sent…nipple sheilds. And now I have found my comfort and my sons. We now feed with sheilds, and hopefully we wean off them soon, but for now we are both happy and well fed. 

Get your Medela Swing Double Pump here: 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Medela-Swing-Double-Electric-Breastpump/dp/B009P2D6O6


I now don’t express every day and only if I need to in the morning. I had some left over milk I put in the fridge and knew I wasn’t going to use this week so I decided to take it out this morning to get it to room temperature and use in a recipe I found on Pinterest for an all purpose Breastmilk sort of lotion/oil. 

My poor baby had developed some baby acne and I read putting some breast milk on it really helps. He had a really bad case by at two weeks and even ended up with a crusty eye…I squirt some breastmilk in his eye ducks and it was cleared up by the next day. He still had some acne left and I started to put some on his face and it started to clear up over night. 


Miracle Breastmilk Lotion


I decided to make this recipe to keep the breastmilk longer and to make an multipurpose lotion to use on rashes, and other holistic uses.

What you’ll need:

Microwave safe dish

3.5 oz Breastmilk 

5 tbs coconut oil

Eco Oil Bottom Oil (multi use) 

Instructions:
1.) Heat coconut oil to melted in your bowl. Do not over fill the dish with the coconut oil, be very conservative. Just barely to the brim of the dish.  


2.) In a separate cup, add 2-3 drops of the EcoOil eto the breast milk. 



3.) Take the coconut oil out of the microwave and whisk them together. Promptly add your breast milk to the bowl, mix gently.


4.) Pour into any container that has a lid.

5.) Place in refrigerator and let set for 1 hour.
Your lotion will now be done! Leave in the fridge for freshness. Has a shelf life of 3 months!

Enjoy!
You can use expired milk for this lotion. I personally used my foremilk for this one, which is more on watery side. 

Lalabubaby Soothe Shirt- Review 

🇺🇸💫🇺🇸


Finally put Weston in the @lalabubaby soothe shirt! It’s the easiest way to wear a newborn! And what I find my first nursing convenient top!

I love this stylist tank, cozy pouch and nursing bra.


Black and easy to wear. Compliments my sporty attire and hugs me all in the right places. It feels safe and secure and I’m confident holding my little guy in this. 

The awesome tanks are made by a small business in Atlanta, GA ! And they even do a “daddy version” ! 


 I’m so lucky brands from back in the USA 🇺🇸 still love working with this expat! 


American pride…ships worldwide! 

Get yours here: 

https://www.lalabu.com/soothe-shirt/

Did I mention it’s custom made to your measurements and also a perfect post pardon support shirt?

Mama Cates approved! 

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@lalabubaby #lalabubaby #brandrep #american #smallbuisness #support #motherhood #sporty #soothe #newborn #nursing #breastfeeding #sling #shirt #tank #fashion #tattoos #mummy #mom #motherhood #postpartumbody #getit #mumblog #mumblogger 

My Birth Story- An Elective C-Section 


20th of May 2017 I gave birth to my baby, a beautiful  boy, by elective c-section. The backstory as to why I had an elective caesarean – in a nutshell, it was an issue of previous spontaneous pneumothorax  (clasped lungs) and potentially very large baby with the risk of shoulder displasisia and in the end a section was recommended as the most safe and straightforward option. 

So here’s the birth story. 

I was on a 24 hour induction pessary and after it fell out TWICE and caused an allergic reaction I was asked to be monitored over night. I had the most wonderful antithesis come in and explain I wasn’t allowed gas and air due to my spontaneous pneumothorax and my only medications I was offered was the epidural to be distributed right away to manage exhaustion. Two days later on the labour ward with contractions… we where told the risk of emergency c section due to receiving the epidural early on.

 I then had a discussion with my husband and we decided to have an elective c section to take control of my birth and of the situation myself and our baby would be in if I did need emergency intervention. 

Instead we come to terms and decided to have a “family centred c section ” they allowed skin to skin, delaying cord clamping and I got to breast feed straight away.  I had a meeting with the operating staff in the theatre and we brought our little boy into the world calmly, and contently.

 I really struggled with this in the beginning but end up using my hypnobirthing techniques, breathing and affirmations to help in any situation of birth. It was not scary and I was told everything to expect. 

When I found out the risk to myself and baby with natural birth and how more than likely would end in intervention…I took control and had the opportunity to “plan” my birth and make it as calm of an experience as possible. 


We were told we were to going home and come back later that week for the elective. But ended up in theatre at 5pm that afternoon. Our lovely surgeon told us he would like to have my baby in my arms that day and rid of the anxiety shared between my husband and myself. 

We had a little cubicle on the ward where the doctors and surgeons and anaesthetists would come and do their final checks on me before surgery – I was given two gowns, one to put on forwards and the other backwards so that my bare bum wouldn’t be on show as I walked to theatre. I also was told my toe nail polish had to go…(wasted money on the pedi I got beforehand). 

I had my checks (baby heartbeat, position, etc) and then the nurse put me into my anti-deep-vein-thrombosis stockings (well sexy, gardeners’ green, with a little peeptoe for your toes to stick through) and shaved my lady-garden around where the incision would be made. Then I was asked the same questions about five billion times by five billion people (any loose fillings? When did you last eat? Drink? Are you allergic to anything? What’s your date of birth) and before I knew it, it was time to go into theatre.
I wasn’t nervous at all and just asked the doctors to keep talking to me…tell me stories until my husband was is in room just so my mind was occupied when I was getting my injections. 
There’s something quite weird about walking yourself into an operating theatre, with all of its lights and bleeping machines and the people walking about busily with their masks and gloves on. 

I remembered having to sit hunched over a cushion so that they could put the needle into my spine for the spinal block. I was still incredibly nervous, but I practised the breathing from the hypnotherapy thing and it seemed to help.

And then the curtain was going up, and the staff were having their pre-surgery meeting…

I remember the doctor do roll call and he would say something along the lines of …
“Nurse” and the nurse would say her name “Sarah” and once the drugs hit I said aloud…
“Elizabeth”- “Patient” !!
Then entered the husband…in his cute scrubs get up. I remember saying aloud “hey doctor Cates, my fantasy?” And I requested he stroke my hair and talk to me about meeting out baby. He did a great job and later told me all he wanted to do was faint. 

Then, the section itself.  Everyone says, “it’s just like we’re doing the washing up in your stomach” and “you won’t feel pain, just pressure and tugging” and it wasn’t far from that. I remember them “popping my waters” and it felt as if an ocean wave has crashed onto my body but I couldn’t feel the wet just the water pressure. 

It seemed an like seconds and baby, but then there was a sucking, lifting sensation from my body and a few seconds pause and then a huge cry! 


I can’t even begin to tell you what that first cry does to you, if you’ve never experienced it before. Something just utterly primal happens, even if you’re completely off your tits on drugs . Then everyone busies around, cleaning and weighing and doing baby checks, and it does take your mind off the whole sewing-up business that’s going on further down. And once our boy was brought to us all I wanted my husband to do was to hold him leaning down so I could see his face, but my husband didn’t have a lot of experience with newborns and holding them I stared at my baby boys nose and eyes the whole time being stitched up. 

I’ve have had no complications, an anxiety free and totally calm birth of  our baby boy. 

And then? All a bit of a blur. I was sitting topples in a room with my baby breast feeding for the first time. Scary and unpredictable. I can not remember how or if he latched correctly all I could remember is the most wonderful feeling of love I felt for this baby. It’s rather hard to latch it on and feed it, all whilst feeling slightly out of it, with wires coming from your arms and a great big needle in the back of your hand But I couldn’t stop thinking to myself how much he looked like me…and how much he looked like my husband. It was compete and utter bliss.


I can assure you that nothing was dramatic, it was so calm. It could have been dramatic, but I think that your own mental state plays a massive part in how you experience the whole thing – you can be calm and take things as they happen or you can go in with very heightened emotions and everything will seem like the end of the world.


I will soon post about my C Section recovery…as I’m still “recovering”! 


Did anyone else feel that their elective/planned section was much calmer than a non-planned? 

Fire away in the comments section below!

 

The Norfolk Bump & Beyond Baby and Toddler Fair 2017- Fair Review

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Last Sunday April 30th I attended my first Norfolk Bump & Beyond Baby and Toddler Fair.  The fair had over 100 exhibitors, activities, talks, demonstrations and free taster sessions that cover everything from pregnancy to pre-school.  The fair was raising money for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) to support their NOOK Appeal to raise funds for a new purpose-built hospice. A fun morning shopping around for baby items and getting familiar with the local businesses to support a great cause? Why not?

I enjoyed walking around the indoor building of the Norfolk Showgrounds, and talking with multiple suppliers about what they offer in the Norfolk parents area, and received some wonderful information on play groups and small groups to network with.

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After getting in contact with some of the suppliers at the fair I am excited to announce I will be collaborating and supporting small businesses in my area on this blog. This is extremely important to me as a mum-preneur / mumboss myself and if you live in the Norfolk area I would recommend you watch this blog for some amazing local talent and businesses that you might be interested in supporting yourself.

A special thank you for my ‘swag bag’…

JoJo Mama Bébé

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A great bag with MAM Anti-colic bottle, Best Baby and Toddler Gear Magazine, A dinosaur magnet mat, and countless gift certificates and coupons!

I had a great time at the fair and cannot wait to take my little one to the next one with me!

A list of the suppliers and local buisnesses can be found here:

http://www.mjr-events.co.uk/bump-beyond-2017-exhibitors/

 

Any questions or if you want to get involved with local Norfolk businesses feel free to send me message or comment below!

Thank you,

Mama Cates

 

 

 

 

NUTRIMUM PREGNANCY BARS: WHY THEY WORK FOR ME- REVIEW

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NUITRIMUM Pregnancy bars are a great snack that really beats taking a prenatal vitamin every day. It made me feel like I am giving my growing baby boy the nutrients he needs while developing inside me throughout my pregnancy.

Like most prenatal vitamins they are hard to swallow, especially for those who suffer for morning sickness like I did. But thankfully these bars gave me a break and I could enjoy a yummy and nutritious snack that I could replace them with.

Nuitrimum pregnancy bars are a great source of:

Folic Acid

Vitamins B2 & B6

Vitamins D

In the Summer Fruits box you receive five bars easily lasting you a week if you decided to switch between your prenatal tables and these bars.

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These bars are made with:

Cereals (44%) [Oat (gluten) flakes (19%), Puffed wheat (gluten) grain, Dried Cranberries (cranberry, sugar, sunflower oil), Freeze Dried Blackcurrant,  Cereal crisps (wheat (gluten) flour, rice flour, corn flour, sugar, barley (gluten) malt extract, oat (gluten) fibre, salt) (12%)], Glucose syrup, Raisins (raisins, sunflower oil) (12%), Inverted sugar syrup, Humectant (glycerin), Chocolate (sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa fat, emulsifier (soy lecithin), natural vanilla flavour) (3%), Coconut oil, Emulsifier (soy lecithin), Vitamins and minerals (riboflavin, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin D3, iron, iodine), Antioxidant: Ascorbic acid, Natural grape flavour, Natural flavour, Green tea extract, Acidity regulator: Citric acid.

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I found that these bars worked best for me when I had a busy day on photo shoots and I simply stuck one bar in my purse in case I forgot to take my tablet and had this mid-day snack to my rescue.  I would sometimes even break up the bar in a bowl of yogurt for breakfast. 

The only problem I found with these bars was the fact that the packaging was difficult to open but with that said I can say because of this I felt better about the longevity and freshness of the product. However, if they found an easier way to have the product opened that would make consuming the bars on the go much easier.

For more information you can visit the Nutrimum website

https://www.nutrimum.co.uk

You can purchase your bars at Boots in store and online at

http://www.boots.com/nutrimum

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Nutrimum also makes breastfeeding bars for mums which I will also review when the bundle of joy is here, and I am on that journey.

Until then…try these bars if you’re a busy mom boss and sick of remembering to swallow those nasty tables every day;  one bar a day is all you need. You won’t regret it.

Please leave your comments, questions or suggestions below.

Thanks,

MAMA CATES

The Day We Found Out We Were Going To Be Parents…

cake

It all started with a questionable bowl of chicken casserole left overs…

That is right, I unquestionably had no doubt that I had food poisoning for a week before I even considered the possibility that I could be pregnant.  We just returned from visiting family in the states for two weeks and I only had ‘jet leg’ on and off for two weeks but never considered…pregnancy. After a long afternoon of doubt and WebMD I though I would take a clear blue test…and rely on the faint blue lines.  After one test not being a clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ I called my husband at work and ask if he come home on his lunch break to take me to get a ‘pregnant’ or ‘not pregnant’ test. And two trips to Tescos later I was officially pregnant. I called the doctors that afternoon to set up an appointment to confirm farther because we still just couldn’t believe it.

Shocked and unexpected little blessing. We found out I was nearly nine weeks pregnant at my doctor’s appointment meaning that I indeed had became pregnant before the trip to America…meaning my food poisoning was the first blow of my nearly two month hiatus of morning sickness. I would have then to only be able to live on anything that was a vegetable, fruit, cracker, or anything water based that would stay down for those two months. I’d also only be able to stand to go out of the house unless I had my scarf to cover my nose when an unpleasant smell would come my way. My favorite cologne of my husbands would soon become my worst enemy and make me gag constantly and feel light-headed. I never thought the morning sickness would go away, but eventually it did. RE

The first person I was to tell was my mother after I called her about my first questionable pregnancy test to try to confirm its accuracy. Then my husband and I announced to the rest of our close family and friends. Around my third month we announced officially to extended family and friends. My husband sister was also pregnant with her first child and we were soon be first time uncle and aunt, while coming increasingly excited about this…we found out we were going to be PARENTS less than three months after finding out we were going to be uncle and aunt.  Double blessed. My sister-in-law was due to have a baby girl in January and later for us to find out we were going to have a baby boy in May. 2017 was the be the year of the babies, and we couldn’t be more excited.

Earlier that year in August our close friends had their first child. And now we have gone to no babies…to baby flu! And I caught the bug! I’ve always wanted to be a mother and felt that for some reason my DNA was made up of all sorts of motherly instincts. Always having a close connection to babies and having a sibling 15 years younger than me has always made me feel ‘motherly’. At 15 my mother had another child and I had always been the one to volunteer my time as babysitter and nanny during the summers always feeling a close connection to my younger brother and a close caring for him seeing him grow up…and now he was to be an uncle at seven. SS

Life moves fast, and we don’t waste time. When you know, you know. No questions or concerns. Our relationship had always felt right and so did knowing we were going to be parents.

My husband and I have been married for two years now. We meet in Texas when he was on a works course and I was traveling around the United States. Love at first sight? Yes, a true story. I came to visit him in England a month later and ended up staying for six months, and as my visitor visa was going to expire he escorted me back to Wisconsin to later propose to me Valentines Day 2015…and we where to marry three months later May 15 2015. With the help of my family we pulled off the most beautiful and memorable wedding on Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin.  I was so happy to be marring the man of my dreams.

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Fast forward two years later living in our first home the Norfolk countryside village of Belton, United Kingdom, and we found out we were expecting our first child close to our wedding anniversary by nearly two days.

May 17th 2017…

The moment we found out we were going to be parents…we knew it was meant to be.

 

 

Pregnancy Cravings. And the American foods I couldn’t find in the United Kingdom…

food.jpgFunny story…I thought I had food poisoning before I even considered the possibility of being pregnancy. NOTHING would stay down for a whole month, and I had to do our weekly shopping with a scarf around my nose and running through the grocery store in a mad dash before I ended up in the public toilets from the smells.

When I eventually had my appetite back I would make several runs to the local shops to get what I craved that day..or sent out my husband.

Here is a list of my top pregnancy cravings I’ve had constantly throughout my pregnancy, and when consumed I felt a great deal of satisfaction and almost relief…

-WATER WITH ICE…and lots of ice so I could chew/eat the ice when it semi melts

-Mac&Cheese ( unlucky for me it had to be Tescos finest with croutons)

– Steak with peppercorn sauce. But I would settle for a big juicy beef burger (only if it had cheese on it)

-Sweet corn on the Cob with lots of butter and salt…eating almost four of the half pieces each sitting.

-Fresh Veggies with Chive Dip

-Spicy Cheese with salty crackers.

– Sour Candies/ Gummies

-Strawberry Milkshakes

Now for the things I REALLY wanted…but couldn’t find in the U.K

  • HOSTESS POWDERED DOUGHNUTS
  • TACO BELL SOFT SHELL TACOS
  • KRAFT/VELVETA MAC AND CHEESE SHELLS
  • SOFT BAKED PRETZELS- you can buy these in the grocery store in the USA
  • CORN DOGS…ANY COUNTY FAIR FOOD

Are you an American pregnant lady living in the UK and have a list of food you wish you had available here in the UK?

Do you know where I can find these things in the United Kingdom?

…pretty healthy stuff overall, huh? It’s like a teenage boy took over my body. I always find it funny to see what hormones do to your taste buds. What have you guys craved if/when you’ve been pregnant? Have you ever sent your partner out to get you something really crazy?

All I have to say is…the baby made me do it.

What I packed in my hospital bag!

bag

Writing from no experience I am not sure what the appropriate time to get your hospital bag ready truly is, however I heard a good time was around week 35. I was packed about two weeks before my 35th week…and it really had put my mind at ease. While I constantly think I am over packed already, but its better safe than sorry.

It’s hard to know what to pop in your bag so that you don’t look like you are arriving for a month long holiday but also ensuring you have everything you need for your baby’s arrival.

When it comes to what to include you need to think of yourself, both during labour and after, your baby and your partner. I actually managed to pack everything in one large Calvin Klein weekender.

Although you always hope you won’t have to stay in hospital long you just never know. We dont live more than a 10 minute drive to our hospital that I plan on delivering at so if I do have to stay my husband has close access to our house to grab extra supplies, change of clothes or anything else we may need. Obviously if you know you are likely to be in longer or having a c-section then you can adjust the quantity of items you take accordingly.

I pre warn you that a lot of things for myself aren’t uber glamorous but you I have included a few items to make my stay a bit more comfortable. I originally wanted to have a home birth but my partner and I have decided to have our first in the hospital and then have our next at home possibly. With this in mind I packed a few things to keep myself relaxed and in a more comfortable place when I birth our little bundle of joy.ce Cream Party (1)

See what I packed in my bag below….

MAMAS:

I packed two tank tops for comfort and two pairs of yoga PJ bottoms for my comfort and to use to leave the hospital in. Of course I had to pack a pair of warm fuzzy socks to make myself feel more at home and warm on the cold hospital floor. I did pack a swimsuit top for if I have a water birth…and want to hold on to some sort of dignity…but I feel like I wouldn’t even bother putting in on. I have also packed my silky Victoria’s Secret bath robe to feel a bit more glam and comfy while laying in bed holding my baby or after I get out of the water birth bath.

Lastly, I am bringing along my custom Blossom ‘nursing’ Bralet made ElliceLydia from her Spring Summer 2017 collection. If you’d like to have a custom nursing bra or want a bespoke customized one of a kind piece of lingerie you can now receive 10% off your order with code LIZ10 at check out!

http://www.ellicelydia.com/

Instagram: @ellicelydia_

 

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In my Champneys spa cosmetic bag I packed my Mark-Hill Shampoo and Conditioner, comb, Dove pear spray deodorant, Coco Butter Stretch mark creme, Garnier Face cream, Clean and Clear face wipes, Arrow chap stick, hair ties, and hand sanitize.IMG_9174

And now for the luxe item…to hopefully keep me calm and relaxed. I have a mini Aroma Essence Humidifier and my favorite Lavender essential oil. I love this hand held little helper that even gives me that cool fresh breeze if it put its fan close to my face. Lavender oil has been so beneficial for me throughout my pregnancy, from the nauseous first months and the countless restless sleeps. I even have this close at hand when practicing my breathing techniques.IMG_9166

For Baby Cates:

Arriving in style I found most of my outfits from H&M kids and became a really big fan of the side snap buttons on the little onsie outfits, that even came with matching hats. I also grabbed some little gray socks from there as well…this was actually my first outfit purchase for baby:) I packed long sleeved sleepers I found at Boots and found them to be nice and simple hoping that this May baby will have options if the weather is cold or hot. I made sure I had variations in size to fit his size whatever he may come out like!

Find them here:

http://www2.hm.com/en_gb/productpage.0418545004.html#Beige/Striped

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For new booty…and first diaper/nappy changes.. I packed 3 different options for sizes, Mamia sensitive wipes, and Jonson ‘s baby cotton pads for the first bathe if we are in longer than planned.IMG_9157

Of course I have Tommee Tippee air style pacifiers to soothe the new baby.  I plan on breast feeding and I know the knowledgeable midwifes on staff when I give birth will be giving me the guidance I need in the first crucial hours of baby’s life to be successful at feeding. Another great thing that is offered in my area is Breast Feeding Cafe for mums needing help and support, and I plan on attending if I have any issues. IMG_9149

Lastly I packed two cotton eco swaddle blankets for receiving and cuddling baby when he is here. I have washed these fresh and hope to give my baby his first smell of home and comfort when he first arrives, and bringing these blankets will hopefully comfort him and myself. And who can pass up these cute rhino designs? IMG_9144

Did I forget anything? What did you find the least useful in your bag? Let me know in the comments below.

xx

MAMA CATES