Neals Yard Remedies Review: Body Lotion, Shower Gel, Mother’s Balm and Beauty Balm

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I love supporting small businesses so I was really happy when the lovely Carolyn, who is an independent NYR consultant, contacted me and asked if I would like to review some products.

Not only am I a huge fan of supporting small businesses, I love organic and natural products and I am always looking for new products to try that are ethical and environmentally friendly!

It’s safe to say that I was overwhelmed when the package of goodies arrived. I was only expecting a couple of products to review but she sent me loads of different samples along with some catalogues, her business card and some notes she had written out herself about how to use certain products.

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As cheesy as it sounds, for this point alone, I highly recommend shopping through Carolyn’s website. Receiving lovely products is always nice, but when they are well presented, personal and you can see how much time she spent on preparing the products it’s really lovely to see.

The day I received them I decided to try out some of the products.

I used the shower gel sample and it also says on the front that it can be used as a shampoo too so I decided to test that out!

I was really impressed with it as a shower gel but I probably wouldn’t use it as a shampoo again, simply because I’m fussy with shampoos and I didn’t feel it did the trick! But I highly recommend it as a normal shower gel, the smell was lovely. I have to admit, I used all of the sample sachet in one go, but I am a bit generous when it comes to using shower gel!

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You can buy a 200ml bottle here for £14.00, that means on average you will get about 28 washes from it, and probably even more if you use it wisely, unlike me!

After my shower I used the body lotion, this was also a 7ml sample packet, yet I only had to use half of it which covered my legs, body and arms! I’m really fussy about creams as I have eczema and I can react quite badly to creams, but this one was lovely and left my skin feeling really smooth.

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You can also buy a 200ml bottle of this here for £21.50. I must admit, it sounds a little pricey for a bottle of body lotion BUT in theory this could hold at least 60 applications! So this is around 2 months worth of body lotion (assuming you will use it once a day!) So in the grand scheme of things I don’t think it’s a bad price at all considering how smooth it left my skin feeling, not forgetting that NYR are a company based on natural, organic and ethical ingredients.

Next, I decided to try out the Mother’s Balm. I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t holding out much hope for this one as it says it prevents stretch marks and I already have loads from when I was pregnant! I don’t feel like I can really give an honest or accurate review of this product because of this, but if and when we have another baby I think I will definitely invest in some of this Mothers Balm purely because of how lovely it felt on my skin! I hate the feel of my stretch marks and this made them feel lovely and smooth, so I think I would definitely invest in some with any future sproglets.

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You can buy a 120g pot here for £20. Carolyn is actually out of stock of this at the moment due to how popular it is but if you message her she can order some in for you when she has more stock! A 2g pouch lasted me two generous helpings all over my belly, so this pot would have around 120 uses on average! Absolutely bargain if you ask me.

 

Lastly, I used this beauty balm which again was a 2g sample packet. This actually had enough for 4 uses on my face! It was lovely to use and made my face really soft, I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of beauty balm is but I would definitely purchase some simply because of how soft it made my skin and for the first time in a long time I felt comfortable leaving the house without any make up on, and no one screamed either! Lol.

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For a 50g pot, it is quite pricey at £38 BUT considering 2g lasted me 4 times, a 50g tub would last about 100 times on average, give or take. And considering a pot of something like Clarin’s face cream is £33.80 for 50ml which would last around a month, I think this is a really fair price if you’re into moisturisers and creams. You can purchase this here.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed reviewing these samples from Carolyn and I’m looking forward to reviewing the rest of the samples she sent me. I will be making another blog post reviewing these in the next week or so!

Please be sure to go and like her Facebook page and visit her shop!

You can also email her at carolyn.nyr@btinternet.com

 

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Things That REALLY Matter Post-Birth

People so often go on about the things that aren’t really essential post-birth, they may be helpful and make things slightly easier like bouncers and swings but no one talks about what really matters. They may not be essential to some people but they’re all things that have been proved to improve the health and recovery for mum and baby.

Things That REALLY Matter Post-Birth

Delayed cord clamping

Fortunately, this is now becoming common practise in the UK, however mums can decline it if they wish and sometimes in emergencies delayed cord clamping is not an option. I had an emergency caesarean and the cord was cut straight away. With future babies I will definitely be delaying cord clamping.

Delaying cord clamping promotes better blood volume in the baby and it keeps the mother and baby together as 1.

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Skin to Skin

Skin to skin is sooo important for mum and baby, and also for daddy too.

If you’re breastfeeding it helps trigger your oxytocin levels which triggers your milk to let-down. Even if you’re not breastfeeding it’s still very important, if not more so important. It promotes bonding and research has shown that mums who have frequent skin to skin with baby are less likely to get PND. (Click here to see the study)

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Breastfeeding

I think most people know how important breast milk is for a baby, however the support and correct information is still lacking for many mums and they give up sooner than intended or don’t even try at all.

Obviously, infant feeding is always a mothers choice but it should be an informed choice and unfortunately many mums don’t get to make an informed choice. They make the choice based on what their friends and family do or based on myths perpetrated. For example, not breastfeeding because family members have been unable to so mum assumes that she can’t either. Only 2% of mums can’t physically breastfeed but a whole lot more of mums ‘can’t’ breastfeed simply due to lack of support.

If you are on medication, check with Wendy Jones who is a pharmacist and specialises in breastmilk and medication to see if your medication is compatible with breastfeeding. Unfortunately Dr’s and Nurses aren’t trained in breastmilk and medication so they often say you can’t breastfeed on certain medications to be ‘on the safe side’.

If you are struggling then please please seek help! Here is a list of Lactation Consultants in the UK (just enter your post code and it will find your local ones for you!), and here is a list of Breastfeeding Support Groups in the UK. You can also search here for local NCT Latch on groups near you and they can also organise for a breastfeeding specialist or peer supporter to see you.

If you cannot breastfeed or you need more milk whilst building up supply or whathaveyou then Human Milk For Human Babies is a brilliant source to find donor milk near you!

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Bonding

You would have thought this was a fairly obvious one. Every mum knows that bonding with baby is important, right? Well, yes they may do BUT they don’t realise what bonding entails. Skin to skin is a massive factor, but also just spending time with one another without having people interrupting and having you play host whilst they sit on the sofa passing baby around like a bloody parcel. If you must have visitors then tell them to bloody well bring round some shopping or a takeaway, oh and do the dishes whilst they’re at it too! You should not have to run around after anyone at such a precious time. Which leads me on to my next point…

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Relax

I wrote about this before, why the bloody hell do women rush to get back to normality and routine after having a baby?! Just chill!! I know it’s probably easier said than done when you have other kids to tend to but get your partner to take over for a while. Or if you don’t have a partner then get a close friend or relative to come round whenever possible to give you time to relax.

If you don’t have other kids to tend to then you have no excuse! *bossy voice!* It’s not to say that you’re chained to the house, but just take your time and go with the flow. Even after the most simple and natural birth it’s important to give your body time to heal and every woman deserves to be treated like a Goddess post-birth.

I usually HATE the phrase Happy Mummy Happy Baby (read about that here!)as it’s so overused now but I think in cases like these, when the mum is taking time to relax and care for her well being it makes it easier to bond with the baby and give 100% of your attention and care to your baby which in turn means that your baby is happy and is having all their needs met on demand.

 

 

Can you think of anything else that REALLY matters post-birth?

 

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In The Grand Scheme Of Things, Does It Really Matter?

'The word discipline comes from the word disciple. Disciples lead by example. What example do you teach a child by hitting them-.pngYou know what pisses me off? How so-called gentle parents who preach about the importance of being gentle to your children seem to be the ones always jumping on posts throwing insults and chucking in their 2 pence whenever possible.
I know no one can MAKE you feel anything but sometimes it doesn’t matter how positive and at peace you are with your parenting, people can still make you feel like absolute bollocks if you are clearly berating their parenting and I think most of the time that is their aim.

I’m not on about people giving you factual information and still feeling guilty or defensive over it.
I’m on about mums who think that just because THEY do things a certain way means that every other mum who don’t do those stupid things that don’t even really matter are wrong.

Like in the grand scheme of things does it really matter if you occasionally par your child off to their grandparents for a couple of hours so you can have some down time by yourself or with your partner? To me, it doesn’t matter. As long as your baby or child is HAPPY with this arrangement then who gives a shit? If it’s the difference between your mental health and flying off the handle because you’re so stressed and tired and THIS close to punching someone then I know what arrangement I’d be happier with!

In the grand scheme of things does it really matter that your child had chips and beans for tea for the 3rd night running? No it really doesn’t matter. If they usually have a balanced and varied diet then having beans and chips isn’t going to hurt them. Maybe you’re waiting to get paid so you can buy some moderately healthy food and in the mean time you’re trying to use whatever you can find in the freezer and cupboards. I know I’ve had plenty of those moments.
In the grand scheme of things does it really matter that you only use cloth nappies occasionally? To be honest, it probably does matter yes as disposable nappies aren’t ideal at all. But you know what? We tried cloth nappies and Freddie pissed through every single one of them and they made his bum go red. We were in no financial position to spend a big chunk of money outright to get a different brand of cloth nappies that may not even mix well with him so we’ve been using Aldi nappies ever since and I LOVE them.

Information is great, and informing other mums is brilliant too. But there is a way to inform mums without sounding like a massive dick head. No one is going to listen to you or take you seriously if you jump on someone who is giving their 4 week old breastfed baby a dummy and telling them that they’re going to ruin their breastfeeding relationship and that in a few months it will get easier and because you coped perfectly fine without giving your baby a dummy it means that every other fucker should too. To a new mum, a few months is a bloody long time and a mum should NOT have to struggle on for months at a time keeping her fingers crossed that things will get better just because Fanny Anne from the internet coped perfectly fine. She should be helped and supported and for some mums a dummy is the thing that stops her quitting breastfeeding.

This isn’t about justifying shitty parenting styles. Because lets be honest; some people make awful, selfish and ridiculous parenting choices. But for the most part, if mums are trying their best, if they are responsive to their babies and children’s physical and emotional needs, if they are mostly trying to do better than the day before, then isn’t THAT what matters? Not who feeds their baby tofu and grated carrots for tea every night.

I think everyone just needs to relax a little and CALM THE F*CK DOWN.

In order to educate about the importance of being gentle towards our children, We must be gentle towards other parents

 

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Thanks *Insert Family Member/Friend* But Your Advice Is Crap

Ever been given awful advice on how to care for your baby by a family member or friend?

Of course you have.

Bad advice from family and friends is sort of like a rite of passage into motherhood.

I can guarantee than you WILL get told that your breasts are not good enough to feed your child simply because darling little baby Peter has fed for the 3rd time in one hour. (AKA growth spurt)

Or you WILL get told that your little bundle of love is manipulating you because she dared to cry out for her mama as soon as you put her down.

And I can guarantee that you WILL want to punch this family member/friend in the face for being incredibly unhelpful. But I can also guarantee that actually punching them probably isn’t a good idea.

People always want to put their 2 pence in and they probably think that their advice is exactly what you need to hear or that because it worked well for them and their children seemingly ‘turned out fine’ that it WILL work for you.

( I don’t know about you but I want my child to turn out more than fine)

So thanks to the family member or friend who thinks they are trying to be helpful but are failing miserably. Instead of handing out unsolicited advice just offer a sympathetic smile and ask what you can do to help.

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Attachment Parenting My Way

Attachment Parenting My Way

I’ve always had strong parenting views. Before I was pregnant I used to think smacking and leaving your child to cry was essential and I looked down at those ‘gentle parents’ and labelled them all as pushovers.

Now I am a mum myself, I am one of those ‘gentle parents’. I can’t imagine ever leaving my baby to cry or hurting him.

I think all parents have something that they hate. Whether that’s cry-it-out, smoking in front of children, leaving children of a young age to go out and party. Every parent ‘judges’ in one way or another, it’s how we make the choices we do to parent our own children. But there is a difference between disagreeing with someone and being a dick.

There are loads of labels these days for different parenting methods and I am guilty of using these labels. I label myself as an attachment parent and I try to be as gentle as I can, although some days I find it hard to not lose my shit.

Even though I class myself as an attachment parent I am fully aware that other attachment parents may have differing views to me; they may formula feed out of choice, they may have never used a pram in their life (we exclusively baby wore for the first 5 months, we still babywear now but I also LOVE my pram), they may never let their baby out of their site but they’re still attachment parents like me because they tend to their babies needs and they answer their babies cries every time they can, the same way I do.

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No two parents are the same. That is a fact, no matter what type of parent you are, there will be someone else who does lots of things the same way you do but they also do lots of things differently.

I am an attachment parent, but I still look forward to Freddie’s bed time sometimes. After a long day of cluster feeding, full on melt downs, food being chucked all over the place, I look forward to having a couple of hours to sit down without being leapt on for booby.

I look forward to dates with my partner. Admittedly, our dates usually aren’t the typical 3 course dinner and cinema dates. They are a nice walk just the two of us, or a drive around the city, or a trip to the amusements to spend all of our lose change we have been collecting for the past month or so.

Just because I look forward to spending quality 1 on 1 time with my partner does not mean I am not an attachment parent. Our baby loves spending quality time with Granny and Pops and he hardly notices when we are away. If he had a full on melt down every time we left him and he was miserable whilst we were away then I wouldn’t leave him. But because he’s fine with being away from us for a couple of hours we make the most of it.

I have strong views in regards to breastfeeding and I feel that every baby deserves breast milk; that is what they are designed for after all. Saying that, I have plenty of friends who don’t breastfeed for various reasons. And you know what? We get on really well.

Recent research has shown that 80% of mothers in the UK start out breastfeeding but then stop relatively soon. Most of these women stop due to lack of support and they are failed by our system. They are given shocking advice from health care professionals and family members. I have learnt to throw my frustration towards them, not the mothers who were failed.

It’s okay to have differing views to someone. It’s okay to do things differently. I am strongly against cry it out and the next mother I pass down the street may feel strongly against leaving your child to go on a date with your partner. And that’s fine. But I have been told that I am ABANDONING my baby by leaving him with my parents every so often to have quality time with my partner.

Abandoning is a strong word. Abandoning refers to ceasing to support or look after someone; deserting. If you feel that I am deserting my child by having a date with my partner, who may I add LOVES spending time with his Granny and Pops, then so be it. But that is not only an insult to me and my child, but it’s also an insult and undermines all those babies and children who actually HAVE been abandoned.

It’s fine to have strong parenting views, just don’t be an arsehole about it. Be gentle, be kind and be patient. We are role models to our future generation. I don’t want my children to grow up and think that bullying another person because they do things differently is okay. Of course you can disagree with someone, but disagreeing is different to bullying and looking down on someone.

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I’m not on about those parents who don’t even deserve the title of being a parent. I’m on about the parents who try their damn hardest every day, who respond to their babies for the millionth time after taking a deep breathe and muttering ‘fucking hell’ under their breathe.

Lets just all take a seat back and think about what really matters, lets forget about the criteria you have to meet in order to be a specific type of parent. If in 20 years time my baby is suffering severe attachment issues as an adult because I dare to leave him every so often to go to work or to have a date with my partner then I will rethink my parenting choices and I’ll come and shake hands with you.

We’re all too busy thinking that we are right and every one else is wrong. Sometimes we are the ones making the right choices, sometimes we are the ones making stupid choices, sometimes we are the ones making mediocre choices and doing the bare minimum. But just because I may do things differently doesn’t make me less of an attachment parent. My baby’s needs are met, he is loved, he feels safe and secure and firmly attached to me- enough so that he knows he can be left without me for a while and have fun.

Every relationship is different; some couples don’t need to have dates to stay strong and nurture their relationship. But me and my partner do. We spent 6 months without spending any sort of decent quality time together and it broke us and ruined our relationship. We had to start from scratch and even had to seek relationship counselling because of it, so yes I do find it offensive if you tell me I am abandoning my child by spending time with my partner. I don’t find it offensive if you have different views to this, if you disagree with it then that’s fine. We can still be friends, we can still agree with lots of other things.

I am an attachment parent doing things my way, doing what I can to get by and sometimes that includes taking time to myself to recharge my batteries. And sometimes that means taking time to focus on my relationship with my partner.

 

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Things Midwives Forget To Tell Mothers

Things

  • It’s okay to co sleep, your baby might not settle in their moses basket and that’s perfectly normal. Here are the co sleeping safety guidelines.
  • You have a choice. You don’t HAVE to be induced,  you don’t HAVE to have a hospital birth, you don’t HAVE to do x,y,z.
  • Cluster feeding is normal when breastfeeding. Your baby has a tiny tiny stomach so feeding every 10 minutes is normal. Tiring. But normal.

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  • It’s normal for your baby to wake up often. Babies take a while to adjust to day time and night time. Waking up often lowers the risk of SIDs.
  • It’s okay to feel emotional. Baby blues can last longer than 3-5 days. If you’re still emotional after a couple of weeks then tell a health care professional.
  • Instinct has been around longer than a book. Trust your instinct, always.
  • If you have had children before then you may get worse after pains.
  • It’s okay to feel hungry all the time, you have just grown a baby for 9 months and now you are keeping it alive with your boobs. Eat all the food.
  • It’s okay to say no to visitors. You don’t owe anyone anything. If people must visit then tell them to bring shopping and wash the dishes.
  • Breastfeeding can be hard to begin with, but after a few weeks it’s completely worth it.
  • You will sweat like a motherfucker. It’s fine.
  • You might get piles. Don’t be embarrassed, just see a Dr asap to prescribe some cream and eat lots of fibre and drink lots of water.
  • Keep baby close, skin to skin as much as possible, its okay to leave the chores to everyone else.
  • Its okay to respond to your baby when they make the slightest whimper, your instinct is to pick them up and keep them near. Read more here.

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  • Breastfeeding isn’t just food.
  • If bottle feeding, your baby should still drink little and often; not 6oz every 4 hours. They don’t need hungry baby milk. Read more here.
  • You don’t have to have a sweep. You’re not a chimney.
  • Your estimated due date is just that. They are not late and you don’t need to be induced or have a sweep and go to 4th base with the midwife if you go past the date, the due date was just wrong.

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  • Baby acne is normal. Just leave it.
  • You don’t need to bath your baby as soon as the umbilical cord falls off. Babies don’t do anything to get them dirty enough for a bath. Waiting for up to 2 weeks (or longer) gives a chance for the vernix (the gooey white stuff they’re covered in) to soak into their skin.
  • Skin to skin is so important and isn’t just something you should do after labour or if your breastfeeding. You can do it as much and as often as you want regardless of feeding method.
  • There’s no such thing as overfeeding a breastfed baby.
  • You DO have enough milk for your baby. The 2 main signs that you don’t have enough milk for your baby is no wet nappies and rapid weight loss/failure to thrive. (Although weight loss is normal after birth)
  • If you have certain drugs in labour, such as IV fluids, then your baby’s birth weight may be inaccurate and may appear to have a big weight loss because of this.  (Read here)

 

 

Was there anything you wish your midwife told you?

 

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Dads Are Not Babysitters, They Are Parents

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we constantly put fathers down.

We assume that they are all clueless about parenting and if they are left in charge of the kids then something will definitely go wrong.

I can safely say that every time I am left in charge of Freddie (every day) something ALWAYS goes wrong. He will fall over, he will get poo on my toe, he will fall head first into his toy box, he will shove a carrot up his nose… the list is endless. But for some reason, whenever these things happen when a dad is left in charge it’s completely different and it’s because he doesn’t have a clue about parenting.

I don’t know about you but I, a mother, am pretty clueless 94% of the time. My son is nearly 1 and I’m still learning every single day and so is my partner.

My partner is as much of a parent as I am. Sure, I am Freddie’s main carer but that’s because my partner is out working and earning money for us to live and without him we would be in a pretty dire situation.

A dad isn’t just an income earner, he is a role model, a snot wiper, a nappy changer, a baby wearer, a tear wiper, a soother. His role is as valid as a mother’s.

I am completely aware that there are many fathers who don’t even deserve the title. It’s easy for a man to get up and run as soon as his partner gets pregnant but lets not forget that MOST men step up and accept as much responsibility as the mum does.

We forget that many fathers stay at home with the kids whilst the mum goes back to work and for your information, that is not babysitting.

Read here about ways dad can bond with their breastfed baby

 

 

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