HOSPITAL BAG ESSENTIALS

I cannot believe how quickly the last 9 months have gone and that the time is finally here to start packing my hospital bag! HOW EXCITITNG!

I thought I’d put together a list to show you what’s in my hospital bag for baby, daddy and me. Hopefully if you’re packing yours too, then this list will help. Yay!

Before you pack your baby’s bag, check with your hospital where you have planned to give birth, if they give you a complimentary baby bag. Most hospitals do, which is fabulous and makes life for new parents to be super easy. The goodies inside will be things like nappies, wipes, baby powder (literally the best smelling thing on earth!), a hospital beanie, shower gel (for mum), breast pads (for mum) and maternity pads (for mum). If not, then you need to add these things into your hospital bag.

FOR BABY:

  • Number one on the list is your tiny tot’s car seat! You cannot drive your new bundle home from the hospital without it!
  • About 3 baby onesies/baby grows – front fastening ones are the best and easiest to slip on and off your tiny tot
  • About 8 – 10 nappies made for newborn’s (Huggies has great ones with a little cut out specially designed for the umbilical chord)
  • Socks, mittens and a hat
  • Baby wipes
  • A fluffy, soft toy for cuddles
  • A cuddly, soft blankie
  • Dummy
  • Baby wipes (life saver)
  • A towel for baby’s bath time – sometimes the hospital ones can be scratchy
  • Burping towel
  • 2 x facecloths

FOR DAD:

  • A change of clothes (yes, we still need to remind men of the basics’!)
  • Clean underwear
  • ID document
  • Phone charger
  • Toiletries – deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, facewash (labour could be overnight)
  • Sweeties and snacks

FOR MOM:

  • Comfy pyjamas – a loose nighty is best
  • A few pairs of clean underwear (granny panties work best for maternity pads)
  • Maternity pads (yes, fun times lie ahead after labour)
  • Toiletries – deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, shower gel, facewash
  • Hairdryer (if you plan to wash your hair after labour)
  • Hair elastics (things get serious when your hair gets tied up!)
  • Slippers or comfy socks
  • Towel (hospital ones can sometimes be scratchy)
  • Earphones (maybe you feel like rocking some Bob Marley while you’re in labour)
  • Nursing bra
  • ID document, hospital forms, medical aid card
  • Flip flops (for the shower)
  • A change of clothes for leaving the hospital
  • Make up bag (if you have the energy to freshen up before you leave the hospital)
  • Charger
  • Sweeties and snacks

We can’t wait to meet our little girl!

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade & baby

xxx

 

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MEETING YOUR BABY AT YOUR FIRST SCAN

This moment has to be one of the best and most exciting moments during the beginning stages of pregnancy! Finding out that there’s a little human growing inside your tummy and knowing that your body will be nurturing a tiny bean that will grow more and more every day really is an indescribable feeling. Whether your baby is a total surprise or planned, they are a complete and utter blessing!

After finding out you are pregnant, the best is to give your midwife/gynae/GP a call. From here, they will give you a date to come in for your first scan (dating scan). How EXCITING and so UNREAL! Your dating scan will generally take place at around 12 weeks. I remember when we booked the date for our first scan, I was around 8 weeks pregnant, and waiting for those extra 4 weeks to reach the date of our first scan seemed like a lifetime! All I wanted was to see our little baby in my tummy!

When the day for your first scan finally arrives and you know that you’ll be “meeting” your baby for the first time, an overwhelming amount of excitement and nerves kick in, well for me it did! Excitement because you’re about to actually see your baby for the first time and nerves because at this scan, they do all sorts of measurements and checks to make sure that your baby is growing properly, meeting the required measurements and is healthy. And let’s face it, we all want to know that we have a happy and healthy little bundle growing inside our tummies!

Your scan will normally be done by your midwife or gynaecologist. You’ll be asked to lie down on a bed with your tummy showing, while she squeezes ultrasound gel onto your belly. A small transducer (probe) will be placed and run along your tummy, which will project an image of your baby onto a screen in front of you. HOW EXCITING! This has to be one of the BEST feelings to finally see your little bundle right in front of you! There are so many overwhelming emotions that go along with seeing your baby right then and there.

This is a moment, with indescribable feelings of reality, bursts of excitement (when you finally see your baby moving around), a few seconds of fear, knowing that there is now a sense of responsibility, but also relief, when you get to see that everything is okay. Over all, you feel love, you feel appreciation and you totally feel the excitement, knowing that your body is beginning to do something so incredible and has managed to nurture, protect and grow something so small and pure up until this stage. Expect a few tears of happiness, and don’t be embarrassed or feel like you have to hide this from the sonographer – after all, this is your experience with your partner or whoever you decide to share this moment with.

The sonographer will be able to tell you in the moment if everything looks good and she will explain the different parts of your baby that she is examining. The best part? You get to take a print out of what your little bean looks like to stick up on your fridge or frame for an album.

Be prepared for even more excitement as your pregnancy progresses and your ultrasounds reveal a little more detail each time you go.

P.S seeing your baby suck his/her thumb in your tummy has got to be one of the cutest moments! I look forward to it every time!

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade and baby

xxx

YOUR TOP 10 PREGNANCY QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Today we are talking about all things pregnancy! With plenty of questions on the table, I thought I would give you the answers and advice that I have been following throughout my 8 months (almost 9) of growing a bean.  I have put a list together of the top 10 pregnancy questions that I have been asked, and added in a few of my own. Be prepared for a few laughs and plenty of answers! Pregnant or not, I’m sure you’ll have a little giggle, and learn all about what you have to look forward to. My favorite question is first, and this is one asked by none other than my loving boyfriend, who is somewhat surprised at the current condition of my porky little feet.

Do all feet turn into hooves?

This question has to be my favourite because my boyfriend totally refers to my swollen little feet as hooves. They are no longer feet, apparently! Your once elegant trotters might be taking shape and transforming into a larger, and a possibly wider state of appearance. This is the TOTAL norm and is !50% expected. Make sure to sit with your legs propped up onto a cushion and RELAX. My feet started swelling from about 24 weeks onwards. The joys!

Can I dye my hair?

I must admit, I am convinced that I broke the internet at one stage with the amount of research I did regarding this question. In my opinion, your hair and eyebrows can make or break a girl’s confidence – well, it certainly does mine. Are you needing to have your hair recoloured? Or those highlights retouched? Oh, I’ve totally been there, and guess what, a head of fresh noggin strands does a girl wonders! I have checked with my gynae, midwife and hairdresser and having your hair highlighted and dyed during pregnancy is totally fine, but should be avoided during the FIRST trimester. Your little bundle is still developing and fragile at this stage. I highlight my hair religiously and use toners too. My only warning (from experience during pregnancy) is that your hair might take a little differently to the hair dye. Yes, my hair went a little ginger during a highlighting session and I nearly died!

Fresh hair to save the day!

P.S If you think your hair needs a good trim, I would suggest doing it while you’re pregnant because your locks grow faster than Jacks beanstalk, thanks to all the vitamins and hormones passing through your body.

Does not drinking alcohol with your partner affect your relationship?

Sure, now that there’s a bean growing in your tummy, you shouldn’t be drinking alcohol. Should it affect your relationship? No! What if it does? Well then honey, Houston might have a problem! This should be a time of growing together (literally). Alcohol should not determine the happiness of your relationship.

Nothing but love, and virgin cocktails

Are there still night time cuddles with my growing belly?

If you’re happy to add your pregnancy pillow into the equation, then YES! Cuddles are life. My boyfriend has however stolen my pregnancy pillow from me and has nicknamed her “Bae”. The solution? We now each have our own pregnancy pillows – “Bae 1” and “Bae 2”.

Do I seriously have to give up sushi?

Yes, and no. Wondering how that’s even possible? Well Felicia, if you’re going to eat sushi, then vegetarian is best – no fishy business. Having a piece or two of sushi made with raw fish is entirely up to you, but it is YOUR responsibility to make sure you are eating sushi from a clean and kosher restaurant. My advice from experience would be to stick to the vegetarian options, to avoid any risk. Eating ready-made packed sushi that you find at the store is also a complete no-no and deserves a “Naughty Mummy” award. The reason why it is generally advised to steer clear of raw sushi is because it can contain tape worms and other parasites which your body won’t be able to fight off while pregnant because your immune system is generally suppressed while growing a little bean – hence why you might find yourself getting sick really easily. Generally speaking, the raw fish in sushi should be frozen for about 4 days before you eat it to kill off bacteria and needs to be served FRESH.

On a side note, it MIGHT also be a tad difficult to run around Town and ask all the sushi restaurants if they freeze their fish before serving your favourite wasabi roll. I would play it safe and order both veggie, tempura or any prawn sushi (prawn is always cooked), and rather avoid the salmon and tuna until baby is born. Think of that sushi plater as your pushing present!

Can I really not have a glass of wine?

A SMALL one! Steer clear of this during the FIRST trimester though. This is the most important time while your little one develops and grows, but once you reach halfway through your second trimester, ½ a glass of red wine every now and then is actually said to have many health benefits. Have I tried this? No. Although it is said to be safe to have an odd ½ glass of red during pregnancy, I haven’t indulged in this at all. I have however, have had a few ½ glasses of sparkling wine at special occasions like a birthday or my baby shower, but then added ½ a glass of sparkling water to dilute the alcohol. I personally don’t feel comfortable to be drinking a full glass of wine/champagne while pregnant and I am looking forward to dabbling an entire bottle with my hubby after our bundle arrives.

TIP: Rather go half and half with soda water and white wine to make a spritzer. This way you’re only drinking half a glass of wine and would totally make you a Sneaky Sandra!

Do I seriously have to eat for 2?

Am i really eating for two?

ABSOLUTELY N.O.T! While being pregnant I have had so many people say “But you’re pregnant and eating for two. You can TOTALLY eat that!”. My friends, this is not the case. Your food doesn’t go directly to your baby, only the nutrients from your food does. I must admit though, I have generally been relatively good at eating a balanced-ish diet with a bean in my tummy, but as of this 3rd trimester, I simply want to just eat everything in sight. Is that even normal? I have no idea! But I cannot express how excited I am to get back into my healthy eating like I used to before falling pregnant. Some days you do just want to devour everything you see, and that’s okay!

Do you REALLY get cravings?

My ice cream is nearly as big as me!

I don’t know about cravings, but I just eat a whole lot more! Although, during the first 3 months, all I wanted to eat was tinned food. Tinned beans, tinned soup (especially Heinz soup), tinned chickpeas, tinned tomatoes, tinned everything! I don’t know if this falls under cravings, but I also felt so ill and nauseas at the sight and smell of anything remotely healthy. And dare you even put any form of cucumber under my snout.  My usual salads, wraps and smoothies have become a thing of the past for now. With saying that though, I really cannot wait to start eating super healthily again!

Caffeine during pregnancy? How much is too much?

Oh deary me! The topic of utmost sadness. Unfortunately, caffeine needs to come to a slow down. You better start looking forward to trading your hourly cup of coffee for decaf (even though this too has many chemicals), your breakfast tea for Rooibos tea and appreciate the odd cup of PROPER brewed, caffeine-filled cup of java! The general daily intake amount of caffeine during pregnancy is 200mg. What on earth does that even mean? Well, to put it lightly, 1 cup of English tea has 75mg caffeine, 1 cup of instant coffee (1 tsp granulated coffee) has roughly 35mg, 1 cup green tea has 25mg, and a good old cup of proper brewed coffee (from a restaurant, which we slowly learn to appreciate during pregnancy) is roughly 150 – 240mg of caffeine, depending on the strength. All brands do differ, of course.

One of the main reasons why it is said for us blossoming pregnant fairies to limit our caffeine intake is because too much caffeine (especially in the first trimester) is considered to be a major cause of miscarriages, premature births and low birth weights.

Caffeine crosses the placenta, into the amniotic fluid and into your baby’s bloodstream. While your body works to get rid of the caffeine, your baby’s body is still tiny and developing and takes MUCH longer to process the caffeine and is pretty much exposed to the caffeine for a longer time than what you are. Small amounts equal less exposure – winning!

Decaf life!

What is it like to ACTUALLY be pregnant?

 Well, strangely enough, my pregnancy only started to feel real from about 6/7 months. By feeling real, I mean that I only felt pregnant once I started bumping my tummy into things, and once I felt myself waddle for the first time, and let’s not forget the feeling of your clothes no longer fitting you. The feeling of having a growing tummy is so rewarding, knowing that your body is nurturing a little being AND you no longer have to walk around sucking in your tummy – you can just LET IT HANG!

Letting it hang!

The above advice is from asking my midwife, doctor and gynea, because just like most mommies to be out there, we are all naturally a little paranoid about things.

Until the next Bumpdate,

Mycaila – Jade & baby

XXX

FOODS TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY & OTHER ADVICE

If you read my previous post, you will remember that I spoke about having a ton of unanswered questions which I had to wait 6 weeks to ask at one of my first doctors’ appointments. Yes, 6 long, but exciting weeks of an overworking mind, and endless googling with plenty of forum reading in between. All of which gave me mixed answers with unclear views of what I SHOULD and shouldn’t avoid during pregnancy.

For any new pregnant fairies out there, this is what I learned from all of my questions and wonders which I had to wait so long to have answered by my midwife, who gave me professional advice. Have a read through my top worries that I wanted answers to, and a few things that I wished to have known sooner.

PRENATAL VITAMINS

Make sure you are taking a prenatal vitamin when you find out you are pregnant.

Pregnacare Max is what I have been taking (UK product). Preg Omega (South African product) is also fab for all of the pregnant SAFFAS. Your daily vitamin NEEDS to include 400mcg folic acid, which is the synthetic form of folate (vitamin B-9).  This is a key ingredient that helps prevent neural tube defects like spina bafuda.

You should also opt for 10mcg of  Vitamin D in your daily vitamin if you’re in a country that doesn’t get much sunshine. It’s totally crazy to think that in the UK you have to take this as a vitamin. I mean this is something that we would normally get from the sunshine in South Africa, but alas, those capsules can only make one shine brighter, surely?

And lastly, your prenatal vitamin should also have 500mcg of calcium. Those little beans LOVE to zap up all of mammas vitamins while they’re sprouting! Also be sure to discuss whether you should be adding other vitamins to your prenatal one, and have your midwife/gynaecologist check out your prenatal vitamin during your first check up.

Don’t take any supplements containing Vitamin A. Too much of this can be harmful to your baby.

FOODS TO AVOID

One of my biggest questions was “OMG, WHAT CAN’T I EAT?”. To me, being little Miss Piggy, food is life. And if you don’t agree, then I’m afraid we can’t be friends! Here is my list of foods to avoid during pregnancy. WARNING: Be prepared to let go of some of your heavenly foodie moments over the next 9 months.

Watch out for those eggs in your favorite hollandaise sauce! Sad, I know!

Raw/undercooked eggs. This could be hidden in everyday sauces like homemade mayonnaise and hollandaise sauce (OMG – my fave!). Make sure the yolks are not runny and that they have been cooked until hard.

Soft cheese (Yes, cry with me!) Brie, Camembert, Goats cheese, Blue cheese, pretty much any mould-ripened soft cheese and soft blue-veined cheese like Danish blue, Gorgonzola and Roquefort (TBH I have never even tried this type of cheese and have no idea if it’s worth missing out on). The mould in the cheese can contain listeria bacteria which can lead to severe illness in your unborn baby if a mild form of this infection occurs in a pregnant fairy, – and we don’t want, do we?

Pâté. Again, this could also have listeria bacteria, so all types of pâté should be avoided – even the vegetable ones!

Raw meat – ALL raw meats are out of the picture! No more medium rare fillets. It’s cooked or nothing. Yes, I know, it’s a tough life!

Fish – Be careful with the type of fish that you might eat. Limit your tuna and oily fish intake. Fish with high levels of mercury should be avoided. Also, don’t eat raw or undercooked shellfish while you’re pregnant. This too, can lead to food poisoning. Limit yourself to 3 portions of fish per week.

Caffeine – Limit your caffeine intake! Yes, bouncing off the walls needs to become a thing of the past. Make sure to stick to the guidelines of no more than 200mg of caffeine a day (more about this to come in my next blog post).

Get ready to start living the decaf life!

WATER

Keep yourself hydrated! Blah, blah, yes, we hear it all the time, but this is super important, even if you don’t think it is. Your body will thank you, and you too need to thank your body with some fresh H20. She is growing another human, after all. Think of it as watering the grass. All grass needs water to grow! This will pretty much be the only thing you’ll be chugging for the next 9 months. Bottoms up!

EXERCISE

Oh look! There’s me in the second trimester, when exercising was still easy!

As someone who loves to be as active as possible, exercising is (or was) quite a big part of my daily routine. A light exercising routine is totally safe to do during pregnancy, but as you get bigger, you will notice that you will get tired quite a lot quicker and some exercises could actually be a bit difficult to do. It’s super important to listen to your body while pregnant. Those sprints will become a thing of the past, and brisk powerwalking will be the new “in thing”. Yes, mamma, no more strenuous exercising, ab crunches, or training while lying on your tummy.

BATHING

I enjoy a hot bath, I mean, who doesn’t? One thing I have learnt through my pregnancy is that super-hot baths are totally off limits! First the food, and now the long hot baths – and so the sacrificing begins!

 It’s not the actual bathing that’s the problem, but the temperature of the water. Make sure your water isn’t scorching hot. The hotter the water, the higher your body temperature. It’s important to make sure that you don’t become overheated while pregnant, which is why we sadly should also say goodbye to saunas and hot tubs while being a pregnant fairy.

Watch out for those hot baths, ladies!

I hope this helped with any of your unanswered questions – I know I had SO MANY! Take it easy on yourself, and don’t be too harsh on your body. Listen to her. If she’s tired – rest. If you’re hungry eat. Don’t force yourself to do anything that you don’t want to. We are all human, and some of us totally count for more than one! 😉

Keep your eyes peeled for my next post about “Your top 10 pregnancy questions answered”.

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade & baby

xxx

BOOTY AND BEAUTY IS HAVING A BABY!

For most young couples, being the 23 and 24 year old type, and the lovebirds that happen to relocate themselves halfway across the world to meet up with travelling plans, a baby would seem to be the last thing on their minds, surely?

Parents to be!

Well my friends, in life, surprises happen, and this one seems to have been the best one yet! The thought of an itsy-bitsy dumpling, blossoming in my tummy was something that made me feel a little “OMG – IS THIS REAL?” and a little “OMG – WE ARE GOING TO BE PARENTS!!” and of course “OMG, IM GOING TO DOUBLE IN SIZE AND BE A HIPPO FOR 9 MONTHS!!”.

To cut a VERY long and complicated story short, my boyfriend is Scottish and I am South African. We both decided to go over to Scotland together from South Africa (where my boyfriend was on holiday for just under 2 years) to travel over the next 2 years. After one month of arriving in Scotland, we found out about our baby news – which happened to be RIGHT BEFORE Christmas (2016)!! It’s safe to say that Santa clearly had something else planned for us! None the less, after everything had settled, the excitement totally began to kick in – the flying kick type – the one with the extra oomph!

The bump date!

Apart from being in a foreign country, one of my first thoughts about trying to figure everything out was “OMG, WHAT DO WE DO NOW?” “WHO DO WE CALL?” “DO I GO TO THE HOSPITAL?” “DO I GO TO THE DOCTOR?”, “HOW DO I REGISTER AT A DOCTOR?”. There were endless amounts of questions that we had about what the next step should be. Basically, I was a tourist, fresh off of the plane, that had extra cargo in my tummy that I had absolutely no idea about!

After googling left, right, and center, we found a number for a hospital close by and gave them a call. At this stage I was about 6 weeks pregnant and had to wait until 12 weeks in order for them to see me and for us to have our VERY FIRST SCAN! Well, you guessed it, what a long 6 week wait that was!

Our baby is already so loved by her Dad!

I had 6 weeks of unanswered questions to get through before being able to see a midwife. “Can I drink coffee?”, “Can I dye my hair?”, “Can I eat sushi?”, “Can I have a hot bath?”, “Should I be taking extra vitamins?” –  SO. MANY. QUESTIONS. And no – Google wasn’t my friend. She seemed to just confuse matters more.

One thing that I will say is that morning sickness is a real thing, and feeling like a sick Sarah around Christmas and New Years’ time was something that I totally had to work with and take one day at a time – but none the less, I was growing a freaking human!! How CRAZY is that?

Mom to be!

If you want to find out the answers to all of my unanswered questions that I had 6 weeks to ponder about, make sure to keep your eyes out for my next post all about that!

P.S I cannot tell you how excited we are to meet our little girl.

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade & baby

xxx

BEAUTY THERAPY INSTITUTE PREGNANCY SPOILS

Last week, I was invited to the Beauty Therapy Institute in Woodstock for some pregnancy spoils and to celebrate the academy’s 21st birthday! You can only imagine the excitement of such adventures when an inflated beach ball seems to be your standard daily look for the last  8 months! A time to relax and be pampered could not have sounded better at the time! My pamper package included a back, neck and shoulder pregnancy massage, and a deluxe paraffin dip for both manicure and pedicure treatments.

BTI (Beauty Therapy Institute) is an actual college situated in the up and coming area of Woodstock, Cape Town. This college is in the Upper East Side building (fancy shmancy) and collaborates with Sorbet – one of the biggest beauty and wellness salons in South Africa. The BTI college actually trades under the name of Sorbet Cape Town – FYI! My favourite part is that the college has a beautiful mountain view from the practical training room where all of their delectable treatments take place – and everyone is SO FRIENDLY!

The first treatment that we started off with was the Back, Neck and Shoulder Massage – I mean, could this have been any more of a magical moment? Obviously when you are pregnant, lying on your not so deflateable tummy is totally off limits, so off to the side we rolled, lying on my left part of my body, and being covered by a blanket (because towels just don’t quite cover the proximity of a pregnant person’s circumference!).

BTI’S own massage cream! It smells like heaven!

Nicole, who gave me the most amazing massage was a total pampering goddess! I absolutely love deep tissue massages, but because there happened to be a growing human in my tummy, we had to lay off a bit of the pressure. Medium pressing was perfect and the relaxation mode was set. I totally had to remind myself that I had a student massaging me, even though it felt otherwise. My massage lasted just over an hour, and I completely almost fell asleep! I guess that is what happens when you’re pregnant and very relaxed! I loved hearing all of Nicole’s stories about her kids, and it was great to have something in common to chat about, which made me feel so comfortable – winning!

Once my massage came to an end, I had a Deluxe manicure with a paraffin dip and pedicure at the same time! Talk about multitasking! Paige gave me a super divine pedicure. She completely transformed my swollen piggy feet and made my hooves look way more presentable!

BTI’s very own foot scrub. It’s the perfect grainy exfoliant!

She used the BTI foot scrub, to remove dead skin cells and polish my trotters. The foot scrub smelt amazing – like fresh bubbles! I could also choose from an array of Sorbet nail colours for both my hands and feet. I went for a neutral selection of “Blush” for my feet and “Melting Moment” for my hands.

On the left we have Blush and on the right we have Melting Moment by Sorbet

While Paige looked worked her magic on my feet, Chelsea gave me a manicure and paraffin dip treatment which I had never had before. Basically, your paws get dipped into hot paraffin wax which creates a waxy coating. Your hands are then put into their own individual plastic coverings and then put into little mittens for a few minutes. Paraffin dips have so many benefits that I actually had no idea about. They increase blood flow, relaxes muscles and helps with joint stiffness AND can also be used to help treat arthritis!

After a few minutes, the dip was peeled off and Chelsea gave me a little hand massage using the BTI Massage Cream, which smells AMAZING – like candy! Once that was finished, she painted my nails with my chosen colour.

Blush by Sorbet

All in all, I had such a lovely time, spending the morning with these ladies. I absolutely love how friendly the students are and I have no doubt that they will make wonderful beauty and wellness therapists.

If you would like to find out more about the Beauty Therapy Institute, click here or view their Facebook page for more info. They have the highest standard of education in the health, beauty and skincare industry and are currently running a fantastic deal of 10% off all massage and holistic courses.

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade

XXX