Great online baby and maternity discounts

If my previous posts haven’t revealed enough, I’m an internet shopping devotee. Little makes me happier than finding a money off code for something I was going to buy online anyway. And two that you can use together? Having palpitations over here.

I’ve spotted a few good discounts from baby stuff retailers this week and a couple have landed in my inbox, so I thought I’d do a quick roundup in case they’re of use to anyone else.

Mothercare is offering £5 off a £30+ spend until 31 January: JANDISCOUNT.

There is also a £10 off £50+ spend code if you download the Mothercare app and then purchase through the app. A code will be sent to you via the app once you download it.

If you click through via Topcashback, you can also get 5.25% cashback – definitely worth it if you’re spending £30+. There is still a 1/2 price sale on baby clothes too.

H&M has two long running codes that can be used together. The first gives you £5 off an order and the second gives you free delivery: 1304 and 1055. I think the minimum spend for the free delivery is £6.

Both of these can be used for any items across the site (might have just ordered myself a scarf…) There is also a 20% off baby clothes code which might be worth it if you’re doing a big order as you’ll save more: 1121.

I believe that if you sign up to their newsletter as a new customer you can also get hold of a 25% off code.

New Look is offering £5 off a £25+ spend until 2 February: ECBUKJAN13.

Again, this isn’t limited to maternity stuff but they have a great selection online – much better than in any of my local stores.

Isabella Oliver, purveyor of lovely but a little-too-expensive maternity wear has a great sale still on. This weekend there is also free delivery across all sale items with code: JAN2014.

Right, I’m hiding my cards until February arrives. Happy shopping!

Natural childbirth remedies: arnica

My Amazon basket looks a little something like this at the moment:

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Yup, this week I’m all about the natural remedies. Anything that can possibly help with either bringing on labour, making it more manageable and reducing my recovery time has to be worth a shot.

I’ve been doing a little reading around the remedies that I’m considering and thought that someone else out there might appreciate some information on the various options out there. Please note ‘reading around’ has consisted of googling and picking out sources that look remotely reliable. Please see a midwife or GP if you have any questions about using any natural remedies!

First up, arnica.

Generally I’d say I was on side with Ben Goldacre, whose critique of homeopathy seems fairly watertight to me. So, being a homeopathic remedy, why am I considering ordering up some arnica pills to take in the run up to – and after – labour?

According to the British Homeopathic Society, arnica can help to reduce the bruising and bleeding of normal labour. I haven’t read any studies to back this up – so I’m open to the possibility that this is a placebo effect. However, I’ve used arnica in cream form to treat bruises – and I believe that it reduces bruising and recovery time. This is therefore something I’m happy to use. Numerous forum posts and reviews have positive things to say about the effect of arnica on bruising recovery after labour. Even if it’s a psychosomatic effect, it seems to be doing something.

If you want to take arnica, apparently it should be taken in the highest potency you can obtain, during and after labour. I have these ones in my Amazon basket. I couldn’t resist this lovely looking arnica bath oil, because even if it’s a figment of my imagination, every little helps right?

 

Plodding along

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I wanted to pop up a couple of days after my last post and get into regular blogging… but then I got distracted by Twitter and cups of tea and browsing ASOS, and… it really doesn’t take a lot these days to distract my already attention deficit brain. 

This is likely to be a pretty rambling post as I don’t have a specific topic or annoyance to rant – sorry, write about. But I wanted to keep writing, so all of those exciting blog post ideas that I did have last week come flooding back to me: so here we are.

Surprisingly, at 33 weeks I’m still feeling pretty good – despite the post-Christmas return to work. Maybe I’m over dramatising this late pregnancy lark and imagining it to be worse than it might be? I just keep expecting that any day I’m going to wake up knackered and finally unable to haul myself out of bed. That day might be on its way, but I’m just about managing to roll my bump and (increasingly lardy) bum out of bed to work in the mornings without too much hate. Yes, there are plenty of weeks still to go, but I’m very grateful to have made it this far and still feel healthy and energised.

That’s not to say I haven’t been huffing and puffing around lately: I have to stop myself from ‘heave ho’ sound effects when I get up from the sofa or the office chair. They aren’t really necessary, but seem to make the effort a little easier somehow. Climbing the stairs at work now feels like the last leg of a fast 10K, where your muscles are burning and you have to open up your lungs to find extra oxygen. But I’m stubborn and still do it, if only for my withering gluteus maximus.

These past couple of weeks, I have been really grateful for the pregnancy yoga classes that I’ve been taking since early on. The small pronounced ‘pony steps’ that we practise are slightly ridiculous, but a wonder for avoiding the dreaded pregnancy waddle. I don’t know what I’d do without some cat stretches when my back pain gets really irritating (document courtesy of my lovely yoga teacher). And the relaxation bit at the end is a lovely, guilt-free nap. 

One final thing: I think I’ve found my ideal pregnancy jeans. I don’t say this often, but thank you Top Shop. Nearly too late, but I got there in the end. They are skinny, but not too thin of leg. They’re a nice stretchy material with a generous waistband – and are just the right length. Miraculous. And definitely worth £38 which I was trying to avoid shelling out.

It’s a marathon

Source: Pinterest

I leave blogging for a few weeks and before I know it, I’m in the third trimester.

Time is now going very fast. This is good because I’m not particularly looking forward to going back to work after the Christmas break (11am lie-ins, don’t go, I need you) – and maternity leave is now firmly on the horizon with just six weeks of work to go.

However, I’m quite happy that at 31 weeks pregnant, I still (probably) have at least nine weeks of organisation (and resting) time to go. Especially since the third trimester fatigue and aches and pains are slowly setting in. Just when I was relishing the excellent second trimester energy boost, bam. So annoyingly predictable.

My pace is gradually being forced down as the baby claims yet more abdominal space. Where my stomach now is, I really have no idea. My lungs on the other hand, just feel like they’re being slowly compressed. By about 3pm every day, my mid-vertebrae feel like they want to pop out and start again tomorrow.

I’m totally aware that I’ve had an excellent pregnancy so far, in the grand scheme of things. I’ve avoided bad back pain, SPD and icky things like piles, constipation and varicose veins – so far. With that in mind, I’m adopting my marathon mindset for the remaining couple of months: just block it all out until you’re near the end. I’m not allowing myself to get in the mindset of slowing down too much or thinking about maternity leave until it’s imminent – perhaps 36 weeks since I finish at 38 weeks.

Don’t get me wrong: the sofa will remain very much my friend. But if I can, there are things I want to do over the coming weeks that starting to wind down mentally won’t help with: getting back to the swimming pool and eating more fruit and veg being just a couple.

And if it all goes t*ts up and I end up knackered and in defeat in a few weeks? Then at least I tried. The first step: getting an earlyish night for my 6:45am back-to-work wakeup tomorrow. Sob.