Solihull Breast Feeding Friendly / Baby Friendly Locations

So your a new mum and you’re just getting used to the thought of breast feeding in public. You’re braving Solihull for the first time with baby in tow, and you’re terrified. You’ve got your changing bag bursting at the seams with 12 muslin squares and 300 nappies and you are READY. You are going to brave Touchwood. With this review, Real Mum Reviews aims to take the pressure off by helping you out with our verdict on the best breast feeding and baby friendly locations in Solihull.

The Real Mum Reviews Choice – John Lewis – Parenting Room

As breast feeding and baby changing locations in Solihull go, the John Lewis Parenting Room is like the Hilton of baby changing! The facilities are quite simply great, and partners are welcome to go in too – hence why its called a Parenting room and not a Mother and Baby room. The room is located on the same floor as the children’s clothing, tucked around the corner by the prams and cots.

As you walk in, to the left there are four or 5 changing mats, all with blue disposable sheets to ensure that they are hygienic before use, as well as sinks to wash your hands after changing.

There is a large toilet cubicle with two loos (great for going the toilet yourself with the buggy and potentially a toddler in tow)

The room then consists of two large “booth” type areas, with comfortable leather chairs, and ample space for the pushchair as well as privacy for breast feeding – in that you are not immediately visible when someone walks in to the room – no fumbling to hide your modesty!

For those that are bottle feeding there is also a bottle warmer to heat up your babies milk.

Now that my baby is a bit older, the dog border design on the wall really catches her eye and she loves staring at it whilst feeding or being winded. Its amazing what a few bright coloured doggies can do! 🙂

Pros

  • Suitable for both mums and dads (or nannys and grandads for that matter)
  • Privacy for breast feeding
  • Ample baby changing facilities
  • Hygienic and clean
  • Sociable – I usually end up having a chat with other mums and dads in there, or cooing over someone else’s younger baby and reminiscing that E was once that small!

Cons

  • If im being realllly critical, and this is really clutching at straws – the carpet could do with a bit of a clean.
  • If you’re going there for the first time it can be a little tricky to find, although the room is clearly signposted. I originally thought it was located by the toilets in the café as there is a mother and baby toilet there- but this room is much much better!!

Parkridge Centre Brueton Park

A hidden gem, particularly in the summer, I spent a lot of time here in the early weeks with my newborn.
The Parkridge Centre Café is located in the centre of the Brueton Park, and is very child friendly, with a baby changing room and lots to entertain toddlers who might be in tow. Close to the nature reserve, older children can watch the bird cam or bird spot whilst you have a coffee.
When I first went there I asked the lady behind the counter if I was ok to breast feed and the lady said “If anyone complains, I will ask THEM to leave”. Best response ever! 🙂 I was always made to feel comfortable and welcome.
Pros:
  • Within the park, great for a pitstop during those belly busting buggy walks.
  • There is plenty of room for pushchairs
  • Good baby changing facilities
  • Breast feeding friendly
  • A great baby friendly meeting place for new mums and their friends.
  • Quite simply the best lemon cake ever. If you’re breast feeding you need all the calories you can get 😉

Cons:

  • In the winter it closes quite early.
  • In the summer, it can be particularly busy, particularly at weekends.

Boots Parenting Room

The Boots parenting room has the potential to be really good. Unfortunately in our experiences so far it has fallen really short.

Firstly – the lift in Boots is AWFUL. As someone with claustrophobia I have never been a fan of lifts, and the thought of getting stuck in one terrifies me. Enter the boots lift, which sounds like it has broken down as it jolts to a stop, and I’m like a stressed jelly by the time I get out.

The room does have a chair for feeding (although a basic wooden one) and three or four changing mats, but the overbearing smell of bleach put me off as soon as I walked in.

I wouldn’t use it again unless we had a Code Red NPD – “Nappy Blowout Emergency”  and particularly wouldn’t feel comfortable feeding in there.

Advertisements

Product Review – Infacol

Picture the scene, its 3 in the morning and your 6 week old baby WILL.NOT.STOP.CRYING.

Not just any cry, but a sharp, ear piercing squeal of a cry that cuts rights through you and tugs repeatedly on those hormonal stretched to the limit heart strings. The kind of cry that can make even the strongest of mothers crumble into a jibbering panicky mess. You feel like you’ve tried everything. You’ve tried to feed her- the crying gets louder and she pulls away from your breast like your nipples are laced with poison. You’ve tried to pat and rub her back and she squirms and turns rigid beneath your palm. You’ve tried to lay her down.. and regretted it immediately as the screams dramatically increased in volume.
Your baby has colic – you’re shattered, they’re shattered and you just want something, anything to try and ease the pain.

 

After a few weeks of this every single night, (yes I was a VERY tired mummy!) a friend of mine recommended that I tried Infacol.

Infacol is specially formulated to relieve wind, infant colic and griping pain. It is available pretty much everywhere, from supermarkets to Boots, Superdrug and most chemists and pharmacies. A bottle costs between £2.80 – £4.00 depending on where purchased. It can be used from newborn, unlike a lot of medications which are from 12 weeks, and tastes of orange, a flavour that my little girl at least appeared to find fairly non offensive. To use Infacol, you simply add a dropper of the liquid into your babies mouth before a feed. The dropper in the bottle makes this very easy to administer, and despite a bit of face pulling and a slightly confused furrowed brow, my daughter took this medication quite willingly.

One thing you should probably know about Infacol is that it is a cumulative treatment – in other words, unfortunately for us tired parents, it doesn’t work immediately, or turn off the cries like a magic wand. Some of my friends were bawling “it doesn’t work!” after just one dose – and we should know by now – life is never that simple. However, by adding a drop into her mouth before every feed, I did notice a marked substantial improvement within a week. My daughter learnt to actually quite enjoy the taste and this might be coincidence, but it almost felt like the sight of the Infacol bottle made her realise that food was on its way – associating the sight and orange taste with the milk flavour that followed.

So how does Infacol work – well I’m certainly no scientist – but it appears to assist in creating that release sound that every tired mum loves – THE BURP. After a week of giving her Infacol with every feed, my daughter would bring up her wind quickly and easily after her feed, with just some subtle back rubbing and patting, and although we did still occasionally get a ‘trouble maker’, they were few and far between.

I found Infacol caused a marked improvement with my daughter and therefore would strongly recommend it. After a while, as she grew older and her digestive system matured, I found that I didn’t need to give her it as regularly, and gradually reduced the amount I gave. She is now Infacol free, but I still keep a bottle in the bathroom cabinet just in case! 🙂
Pros:

  • Non offensive taste (orange flavour)
  • Easy to administer dropper – no need for syringes or measuring
  • Had a cumulative calming effect
  • Small bottle easy for on the move in changing bag.
  • Can be used from new born unlike most other medications

Cons:

  • Doesn’t seem to last very long. Bottle says up to 100 doses but it seemed to run out pretty quickly in our household!
  • The bottle can only stay open for 28 days before needing to be thrown away – if using at every feed it probably shouldn’t last that long anyway, but recommend that you label it with the date opened to be on the safe side.
  • You probably need to have more than one bottle. I had one in the changing bag, one in the bedroom and one in the lounge, so that we never had a “WHERE IS THE INFACOL!??!” moment whilst your baby is screaming for food.

infacol

 

 

Yummy Yoga Mummies – Antenatal Yoga Review

Pregnant_yogaYummy Yoga Mummies Antenatal Yoga

At 19 weeks pregnant, I was finally starting to feel a bit more human, and it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn’t done an ounce of exercise since I pee’d on that stick!! I used to run every weekend, and considered myself to be relatively fit, but with morning sickness and feeling tired all the time, that had gone by the way side! I wanted to do something for me (and baby) that would keep me healthy but at the same time not be too strenuous. I had heard that antenatal yoga was not only a good stress release, but that it would also teach you a great deal about deep breathing, something of key importance during labour!!

I decided to give it a go, and came across Yummy Yoga Mummies, a local class in Solihull ran by Caron Millard, who not only is a yoga instructor but also a qualified midwife! I chose this class from the many others on offer for that reason alone.

I attended my first class 2 weeks ago and having loved both sessions, have now signed up for a 5 week block.

My Experience:

Caron has been a registered midwife for 22 years, so not only does she teach the class, she also offers insight and support to the mums to be who attend. At the beginning of the class, the women on the session get time to chat, sharing how they are feeling and details of the latest landmark they have reached. I am one of the more recently pregnant attendees, with some women being in their 25th week and onwards. I found the sharing part of the group session really useful, particularly as the other women are further along than me. They can offer reassurance when they have been through the same thing as you, and as a midwife, there is pretty much nothing that Caron hasn’t heard before!! There were about 10 people at the first two sessions I went to, so a relatively small group. I also found this a lot more personal and intimate than some larger class sizes that my friends have experienced, as people are generally more open with less of a crowd. Some of the women this week were complaining of heartburn and constipation, and Caron showed us a diagram of what happens to your insides when you are pregnant. I guess I’d never really thought about it before, but its amazing how much your bowels and intestines get squashed under all that baby growth, its not surprising you can feel a little ‘icky’ at times!!!

The Class:

Once everyone is settled in and has had time to chat, Caron starts the class. Most women bring their own yoga mats with them, but if you prefer not to invest, Caron does have some available that you can borrow on a first come first served basis. The room in which the class is held (in the United Reformed Church) is relatively spacious and therefore there is room to spread out and not feel like you are at risk of colliding with the person next to you! Most women wear loose fitting casual clothes, similar to what you may wear to the gym, but the important thing is that you feel comfortable, I wore a baggy t shirt and Nike jogging bottoms, and I keep my socks on (but I have a thing about cold feet!). I noticed on my first week that some ladies also bring a cushion or pillow for the latter part of the class, and depending on how your back is, I would personally recommend this, as I found it really helped.

The class starts with a range of Yoga moves. I for one, am not the most flexible of people, and wasn’t even before I was pregnant, but you don’t need to worry! The class is tailored to suit all stages of pregnancy from 12 weeks onwards, and therefore it doesn’t matter if you can touch your toes or only reach your knees, its all about the movements and breathing. Throughout the exercises, Caron talks you through each move and you can clearly see her at the front of the room demonstrating. I wouldn’t say any of the moves are particularly difficult, it is more about how much you want to sink into the position, and this is all dependant on what feels comfortable for you. During pregnancy you actually become a little more flexible, largely due to the hormones that relax your ligaments ready for labour. Because of this it is easy to over stretch, so we were told to take it easy, and do as much as feels right for us.

The importance of breathing is accentuated throughout, and I found that this really helped me to relax. Breathing in deeply through your nose and out through your nose. The first week I felt a little silly, but after the first experience, I decided that it didn’t matter if other people could hear me, it was important that I practised, as that relaxing breathing could become important in 4-5 months time!

At the end of the class, Caron focused on relaxation techniques and for this, the lights are turned off. Caron runs through a relaxation exercise that really does help you to release all the stresses and tensions you may have developed during the day. Sometimes its hard to focus on relaxing and clear your head when your baby is nudging you from the inside, but overall I found this part of the class really effective, and I could have quite easily fell asleep!!

Overall I find the class a really enjoyable experience, both from the exercise and breathing point of view, and as an opportunity to meet other mums to be in a social setting, whilst getting advice and support from someone who knows what she is talking about! If you are expecting and are beyond 12 weeks, I would recommend you come along and give it a go!

Costs – Sessions are £12 each and run from 7.15 – 8.30 – although the classes do tend to overrun as Caron likes to ensure people get time to chat before the class. If you sign up for 5 (which do not need to be used consecutively) the cost is £10 a session.

For more details on Yummy Yoga Mummies and the classes (including those in other locations in the midlands) please see the website – http://www.yummyyogamummies.co.uk/.

Mums Clinic Solihull – Viability Scan Review

As soon as I got a positive result on my pregnancy test, it felt like time went into slow motion. I was so excited, scared and overwhelmed, all at the same time, that I didn’t really know what to do with myself! I had heard all the nightmare stories about how crucial the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are, and was madly trying to stop myself from getting too excited until we knew our little apple seed was going to become a viable baby! The thought of waiting so long until our NHS scan filled me with dread, and I couldn’t wait to be able to see our baby on screen and hear it’s heartbeat. Only then would it feel real!

I therefore decided to investigate the option of an early scan, and came across Mums Clinic in Solihull.

Mums is ran by a team of specialist consultants and midwifes ‘dedicated to providing excellence and expertise in the area of pregnancy and gynaecology’. They offer early pregnancy scans from as early as 5 weeks (although this is largely to check the location of pregnancy for those who are at risk of ectopic). and they recommended that early viability scans could be done from 8 weeks at which point, I would hopefully be able to hear a heart beat and see my baby in the womb. The cost was £85 which at first reaction, I felt was reasonable based on the piece of mind it would give me. After having the scan, I can honestly say it was worth every penny.

The Experience

We booked our scan at what I estimated would be 10 weeks into pregnancy, although it actually turned out to be dated slightly less than that. On booking via the phone number on the website, the receptionist was really helpful and told me everything that would happen on the day, before sending out a confirmation email with what to expect. Unlike the NHS scans, your bladder did not need to be full, as they are more concerned about you being comfortable during the process – as it happens I think most pregnant women need the toilet most of the time anyway – so it was never going to be completely empty!! 🙂

The clinic was really easy to find, just off the main Warwick road heading into Solihull, and there was ample free parking provided on site. Unlike a lot of hospital waiting rooms, the clinic had a really friendly and personal feel, and this really helped with my nerves whilst waiting to be called through. We arrived about 10 minutes early, so read some magazines and tried to distract ourselves in the waiting room! There were a couple of ladies already there. One had come in for a 4D scan, and bless her, her baby wasn’t playing ball! She had been asked to walk around the car park in order to try and wake her baby up, and come back in a few minutes later. Apparently that is quite common! I couldn’t stop myself from admiring her bump and being slightly envious – mine was still non existent, and I was longing to get to the stage where I could show it off! 🙂 Another lady had just completed her 20 week scan and was waiting for her DVD from reception – again bump envy started to arise, but not for long, as my name was called, and it was our turn to go through.

I remember being incredibly nervous, but they made me feel relaxed and at ease in no time. We were taken to a consulting room, where I was asked to lie down on the bed and expose my stomach. The lady introduced herself and told me that she was going to apply some cold gel to my stomach and then use the doppler to display the image of my baby on the screen. Unlike the NHS scans, Mums have the luxury of large monitor screens that are really close to you, so there was no squinting to see the resulting image! The monitor was similar to a 32″ TV screen you would have at home, and was right next to us and not on the wall – this was really great as we got to see every little detail.

I had heard that for some viability scans they are unable to find it using external abdominal methods, and therefore I was a little nervous about requiring an internal examination, but almost as soon as she touched my non existent bump, our baby appeared on screen!

Although tiny, you could clearly see the outline of a baby, including little stumpy hands and feet, and she then allowed us to listen to the heart beat – a truly amazing moment, with the beats being shown on a chart on screen. She then did some initial measurements from crown to rump, and told us our expected due date based on the current size. This dated our baby a little younger than expected – 9 weeks and 4 days, but the good news was that everything looked fine! She then asked me to cough and we watched our baby wriggle on screen, it was so funny to watch.

The scan itself lastest around 15 minutes, although I have to be honest and say that time absolutely flew by! My partner and I were both fairly dumbstruck, and I was so overwhelmed that I even forgot to wipe off the ultrasound gel and put my dress straight down! (Silly girl) – thankfully it didn’t stain, just felt a bit sticky!!

Included in the price of the scan, we were then given 4 images of our baby, all slightly different, that had been taken during the process. I couldn’t wait to send a copy of these to my mum, and my partner was texting images to all of his friends before we had even left the waiting room!

We returned to the waiting room where the receptionist was burning our DVD for us. This was a short video of what had happened during the scan, and was really great to be able to take this away and show family and friends. In early pregnancy, its sometimes easy to forget that there is really a baby in there, and watching this back every now and again really bought those feelings back to the forefront!

Overall I really enjoyed my Mums experience, and would definitely recommend it to anyone.

My pro’s and cons of the scan at Mums are outlined below:

Pros:

– Early scanning option to reassure you before your NHS 12 week scan

– 4 photos included in the price (NHS charge £5 per picture)

– DVD to take away of your scan experience – to remember and show family and friends.

– Large TV screen and high quality images

– Friendly staff and non “hospital” feel to the experience.

– No long waiting times like at Hospital!

Cons:

– I guess if money is tight £85 isn’t cheap, particularly when your 12 week scan may not be that far away. However, I personally would have spent more for the peace of mind this scan gave me.

baby bakewell

Here is the picture of my baby at 9 weeks and 4 days. I think they are beautiful already! 🙂 xxx

For more info on Mums clinic and the services offered please see their website – http://mums.me.uk/