Your Baby's First Year - Our Amazing Book

Friday, February 13

If you follow me on Instagram or we are friends on Facebook then you will already know that the book that I helped to write, Your Baby's First Year, is now available for pre order on Amazon!

And THANK YOU to those of you who have contacted me and said that you have already ordered a copy for yourselves in support of me! 

 (Especially to those of you that aren't pregnant and don't have any children yet)!

You are wonderful.

A number of people have asked me how I became involved in this venture, so I thought that I would share a little more about how all of this came to be, and also a bit more about what the book is about.

Before starting my own Physiotherapy practice, I worked at a Private hospital for Women and Children.  It was there that I met Beth Graham.  Beth is the most amazing midwife and she is a also a specialised lactation consultant.  She helps new Mother's with breastfeeding support and sleep improvement strategies for their babies.  Beth is incredible and I can't believe how much I have learnt from her over the past few years!  The ladies who who she sees can also never stop raving about her and how much she has helped them, and as a result most of her clients are acquired through word of mouth! I have often had a terrified new Mum who can't settle a screaming starving baby be talked through what to do by Beth late at night over the phone! And I recommend that all my friends and Patients with new babies see her for at least one consultation.

Beth and I always got on well at work and both set up our own businesses within a few months of each other.  We regularly refer each other patients and I often call her for advice on what to recommend to my patients!

Two years ago, Beth met Anastasia. Dr Anastasia Alcock is a Paediatrician and owns the Prenatal Classroom, which runs and delivers Doctor led, prenatal (birth preparation) classes.

Anastasia was looking for a Midwife and a Physiotherapist to join her in teaching her wonderful Prenatal classes, and so Beth kindly introduced me to her and we joined the Prenatal Classroom team

Anastasia is fantastic and we immediately got on brilliantly.  Her training as a Doctor as well as having had her own children means she is excellently equipped to teach and reassure expectant Mother's about everything that is about to come their way!  I love the relaxed way in which she teaches our classes, and she makes sure that everyone who attends is unafraid to ask any questions or raise any concerns that they may have.  I am so fortunate to have learnt so much from her over the past few years too.

At the end of 2013, Anastasia was approached by Quadrille, the Publishing house and asked to write a book on The Baby's First Year, for new Parents. 

I was delighted when she asked if I would contribute information on a baby's normal physical development, the benefits of baby massage and baby yoga, and the importance of tummy time and encouraging your baby to crawl.  I also contributed information for Mother's on pelvic floor function and strengthening, ensuring that the stomach muscles have returned to their normal position after being pregnant and returning safely to exercise in the post partum period.

Anastasia and Beth have shared their extensive wisdom in the book and I could not be prouder to have been a part of it!

It was the most ridiculously surreal and exciting moment as I sat and paged through the book last week at Anastasia's house.  I am blown away by how beautifully it has all been edited and put together by Victoria Marshallsay and Pauline Savage, thank you ladies. 

 It is easy to read and so very informative.

The book will be valuable on the 26th of March 2015 and is currently available for pre order on Amazon here.

It offers medically sound, practical and emotional advice and it is definitely going to be my 'go to' book when our baby arrives in June! 

An overview of what is in each Chapter is as follows:

Chapter 1
The early days
What your new baby looks like
Your baby's first assessments
What your newborn can do
Bonding with your baby
Your recovery
Your support network

Chapter 2
Caring for your baby
Nappy - changing
Clothing your baby
When your baby cries
Safety in the home
Out and about
Things to do with your baby
A new baby in the family

Chapter 3
Breastfeeding techniques
Managing the feed
Breastfeeding problems

Chapter 4
What is sleep
Getting into good habits
Managing life and sleep
Common sleep problems
Teaching your baby to sleep

Chapter 5
When to wean
Healthy eating
Getting started
Feeding your baby
Food allergies

Chapter 6
Developmental milestones
Sight and hearing
Learning to speak

Chapter 7
Looking after yourself
Eating and sleeping well
Protecting your back
You and your partner
Your emotional welfare
Postnatal depression

Chapter 8
Baby Health
When your baby is ill
Infant first aid
Sick babies in hospital
A-Z of illnesses and conditions

Thank you so much Anastasia and Beth.  For all that you have taught me, all the help and support and friendship that you give me and for the AMAZING opportunity to collaborate with you in this book!

And thank you to all of you reading this for your ongoing support, you can order our 

Dam Day - December in SA

Thursday, February 5

Cold, dark, snowy and rainy days in London
make me feel homesick for South Africa,
and make me miss my big extended family.

And the familiarity that comes with being surrounded by people who have known you
for your whole life.

And the beautiful farm and area where I am from,
(that growing up I took completely for granted).

And I long for more days spent braaing (barbecuing) at the dam like the one pictured above.

And then I remember that I'm not the only one who now lives miles away from my home town.

And that for a number of the people in the photo's above,
they were also only at 'home' on a holiday.

And that it was actually the one day we were all available last year to recreate one of the 'Dam days' of our childhood.

And it makes me a little sad, but also grateful.

As the life I currently have in London is wonderful, and I get to have days like the above when I go back to my childhood 'home'...

And the next time that we have one of these special get togethers, Siena won't be the youngest anymore, and our baby will most likely be the tiniest member of the party! 

Thanks to everyone for that wonderful day, and thanks Tracey, for the photo's above that I stole from you!

Coconut Cake with Lime Syrup

Monday, February 2

 Firstly, thank you so much to all of you for your very kind messages regarding our exciting news! I have absolutely loved hearing from everyone, especially I think, as I was initially unsure as to wether I would mention it at all on here as I really have fallen off of the blogging wagon of late.

Now that my morning sickness of death is pretty much over and I have some more energy - I have been enjoying doing some more cooking and baking and not just craving toast with bovril and cheese for every meal!

I made this DELICIOUS and super simple Coconut Cake last week for when my friends Holly and Katie came for tea, and it was so good I had to share it on here too.

It's from Amber Rose's book, Love Bake Nourish, which I have mentioned here before too where I shared her equally delicious Apricot and Almond truffle recipe. 

(P.S - I have just seen that it's currently only £4.99 on Amazon - I would really recommend that you buy it!)

She is brilliant at creating amazing baked treats with slightly healthier ingredients than you would typically use to bake with. And I love the photography in her book too.

She recommends that you serve this cake with Greek Yoghurt, which I did and it complemented the cake beautifully!

Coconut Cake with Greek Yoghurt and Lime Syrup

175 g white spelt flour, sifted
120g unsweetened desiccated coconut
2 teaspoons baking powder
100g honey
200ml coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Greek style natural yoghurt to serve

For the Syrup:
Juice of 4 and finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed limes
4 tablespoons of honey

Preheat the oven to 180'. Grease and flour a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then stir in the honey, coconut milk, vanilla extract and salt.  Mix until thoroughly combined, scrape into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack.

To make the syrup, put the lime juice, zest and honey into a small saucepan and simmer for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture becomes syrupy. Pour over the cake or serve alongside with some Greek - style natural yoghurt.

Invite friends around for tea, and ENJOY!

Have a lovely Monday my friends.
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