Tricks for coping with Chicken Pox!

Many of us are familiar with the signs and symptoms of chicken pox- if you’re not click here and have a read! Sadly it is inevitable that our little ones will deal with it at some point- so we thought that we’d put together some (tried and tested*) top tips for helping your little ones to cope with the Pox!

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(*All of the following has been tried by Harriet, with Flo, during her case of chicken pox in late July / early August. She recovered remarkably well and despite having sensitive skin, we managed to keep her comfortable and barely ever had to remind her not to itch or scratch! Her spots scabbed over very quickly and she had little other symtoms. I tried all of the below to keep her comfortable and feel that these things really helped to get her through ‘The Chicken Pox’ with ease!)

  1.  Avoid giving your child Ibuprofen at all costs! Ibuprofen disrupts the healing process and increases the risk of soft tissue / skin infections- including serious infections like necrotising fasciitis. Ibuprofen is an anti inflammatory and because of this, it can react with the chicken pox- making them go deeper into the skin tissue.
  2.  Avoid giving you child any form of Aspirin! Children who have Chicken Pox Virus can develop a potentially fatal condition called Reye’s Syndrome, which can cause severe brain and liver damage.
  3. Remember that you can use Piriton (Chlorphenamine), in children 12 Months and Older – this helps to soothe the itching and discomfort that comes with the Chicken Pox blisters healing. Please always read the instructions!  Piriton
  4.  Calpol can be given when your child has a fever or is struggling with cold symtoms that often accompany Chicken Pox. If your child doesn’t like the taste, you can try mixing in with squash.  You can buy cheaper versions of liquid paracetamol at your local supermarket or at drugs stores like Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy or Superdrug- they do exactly the same job as Calpol, often at almost half the price! Please always read the instructions! Calpol
  5. Applying Diprobase Emollient can soothe sore spots. Diprobase is often used as for nappy cream and for eczema. The emollient properties soothe the itchiness from the outside!Diprobase
  6. Using Vosene Frequent as bubble bath, at bath time can help to keep the scabs nice and dry. Florence said it made her skin feel “nice and cool and comfy again”.Vosene

7. Apply PoxClin CoolMousse to soothe itchy spots. PoxClin Is a relatively new product that you can apply to your child’s spots. It can apparently accelerate the natural healing process and prevents the infection of wounds. It is super light and fluffy so it is very quickly absorbed into the skin. Poxclin_CoolMousse8. Calamine lotion is the cheapest way to soothe those nasty spots. It is a tried and tested approach that goes back decades, just dab on with cotton wool and away you go!Care_Calamine_Lotion9. Keep fingernails short to stop the blisters from being scratched, as this can lead to scaring. In children under three you might even be able to get away with putting socks on your child’s hands to avoid scratching when they are asleep.

10.  Ice lollies are a life saver if your little one has cold symptoms with their Chicken Pox or, of their Chicken Pox has spread to their Mouth, Lips or Tongue!

11. Keep your little one very well hydrated, they might not feel like eating much- especially if they have spots in their mouth, so their usual milk or milk substitutes may help keep their energy levels up. Offer them fluids frequently as drinking lots can keep nastier symptoms at bay and can aid the healing process.

If your child is too young to be given Calpol, it is recommended that you seek medical assistance. Here are some signs and symptoms that aren’t always ‘normal’ to have when experiencing Chicken Pox, these might indicate that you need to seek further medical assistance for your child-

  • If you your child has a temperature of over 39 degrees.
  • If the skin surrounding your child’s chickenpox becomes red, sore or appears to be infected.
  • If your child has pain in their chest or difficulty breathing.
  • If your child is not managing to drink enough fluids.
  • If your child is struggling to pass urine.
  • Severe headaches.
  • Sensitivity to light (photosensitivity).
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Stiff neck.
  • Confusion.
  • Sleepiness, fainting, difficulty waking or unconsciousness.
  • Convulsions or seizures.

What have you tried to help soothe chickenpox?

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How womb massage helped me to conceive…

We all know someone who has been affected by fertility problems, and the NHS estimates that around 1 in 7 couples will have difficulty conceiving. Nevertheless, the official advice is to continue having unprotected sex regularly (every 2-3 days) in order for most couples to be able to conceive within a year.

Charlotte was one such woman on the receiving end of this advice! Her difficulties conceiving lasted for 2 years before she found lifestyle fertility massage (or womb massage) – a technique which has been used to relieve constipation and other abdominal pain since the nineteenth century! Even when used to increase bowel movements, it has been found to reduce feelings of discomfort, instead inducing feelings of relaxation which play an important part in conception. Relaxation helps to release the all-important LOVE hormone, Oxytocin, which helps mothers all the way from conception to delivery.

According to The Sun, Charlotte is not the first mother to have come close (or even have unsuccessfully tried) to use IVF before falling pregnant with the help of lifestyle fertility massage

So, Charlotte, how did womb massage help you?

 
Tell us a bit about you and your family.
I’ve been together with my husband for 10 years now (married for nearly 5). We have two boys called Charlie and Cal, aged 2 and 8.5 months. We chose to have a small age gap based on many factors, the first being fertility. I was worried following the birth of my eldest that I would never conceive again so decided to try straight away while my hormone levels were still high! We hope to extend our family in the future but for now have ours hands full with the boys!
Do you suffer with any diagnosed illness in relation to your periods?
I had no diagnosed issues with my periods, I had seen doctors previously because I struggled with heavy painful periods but was only ever offered the contraceptive pill!
 
How long did you try to conceive with your children?
We tried for a few years without medical guidance or seeking any help to conceive before we started to get overly concerned – there seemed to be a surge in people getting pregnant straight away or by accident which got us worried about our own fertility. Our doctors seemed to snub us by saying things like; “it just takes some people longer,” and they kept throwing the statistic that “80% of people conceive naturally in 12 months” which was no comfort whatsoever! We were never given any advice or tips on boosting fertility or our chances of naturally conceiving either!
When did you first hear about womb massage to help with fertility?
One of my close friends suggested womb massage after seeing an ad on Facebook. Admittedly, I was very reluctant at first. I had done so much research on fertility and conception and couldn’t see how a massage could ever help. I had become obsessed with knowing the dates of my cycle etc., so a massage seemed very pointless and easy and very UN-medical! Regardless, I booked an appointment just to tell my friend I had tried it more than anything else!
I personally found that there’s a lot of pressure to conceive, once people know you’re struggling, particularly close friends who want you to have a baby. I think there’s always an anticipation for your to become pregnant and people are always waiting for you to achieve that baby dream, so I felt the need to try everything people told me to, so I could, in a way, relieve some pressure and “people please” even if didn’t get pregnant!
Were other family members and friends sceptical about womb massage?

We never told family the real reason we went for a womb massage… It sounds awful, but we never told family members that we were struggling with fertility. There was never a right time to say we were really struggling – we had always kept our desire to have children quite hidden, so I think our years spent trying would have been a shock. Our close friends knew however, and were so supportive, sending us messages of good luck on the day of the massage! Personally, I find some conversations and subjects are just easier with friends than family, for example, you don’t want your family knowing you Googled “best positions to get pregnant”!
What did your husband think about using womb massage as a way of trying to help you conceive?
My husband was surprised I had booked a massage, I didn’t tell him until I had booked because I was in two minds about actually going! In the end, I took him along with me and we both came out feeling so much better and educated about our situation. I think it was also good for him to see me actually feeling positive about it all! I had been going through a phase of just being so negative and convinced that we would never have our own baby.
 
After you had the recommendation from your friend, did you look into how womb massage works?
I must admit I went into womb massage a bit blind! I had a look on the Facebook page and skim read and booked on a whim! All I really knew about it was that it was an external massage (part of me was worried it would be an invasive treatment) when I arrived Kerryexplained its benefits, how it worked and talked us through what she was doing and why.
 
Where did you find someone who offered the lifestyle fertility massage treatment?
My friend found her page on Facebook and sent me the link. I had a Google search and couldn’t find anyone else offering the same treatment in Kent and Sussex, so it was our only option without travelling miles away. I read through the reviews which gave me the boost to book because there were just no negative stories there! Normally with most companies or products there is always a negative review somewhere!
How did you access the lifestyle fertility massage treatment?
I went to visit Kerry at her treatment room based in Hastings, I didn’t really know what to expect, I thought it would be quite a hippy treatment but I was pleasantly surprised! It’s external and a massage on your abdomen.
Is womb massage something you can try at home? Did you?
It’s not something I think you can do at home – not the massage itself, anyway – but Kerry gave me so much advice that the doctors never had given me! For example, I love dairy products but never even considered the additional hormones I was taking in (for example, the hormones they give cows so they continually produce milk). She also put my mind at ease that I wasn’t “faulty” and for the first time I felt listened to and not like I was a burden on the doctors’ time!
Did you use womb massage postpartum following the birth of your boys?
I never went back to Kerry following the birth of my first son, as I saw so much improvement from just the two sessions I had! I fell pregnant following the 2nd massage! My cycle was 32 days pre-massage (and I struggled with PMS and bad period pains), but within one massage my cycle was 28 days, so much easier to trace and track my ovulation days, my hormones were so much better and I had no period pain! I also felt less sluggish than I usually do. I intended to go back for massages when trying to conceive my second, but I was fortunate and fell pregnant straight away. I spent the month before we tried for another baby putting into practice the nutrition guidance Kerry had previously given me.
Was this the first kind of treatment you tried to help you conceive?
We had an appointment booked with the gynaecology team at hospital the week that I found I was pregnant with my son. We had battled through the GP for over 2 years to actually get referred, the only “help” the doctor had given us was that my weight was the issue (I was a size 10-12) and that we had “unexplained infertility.” This basically meant that there was no physical reason for it, and they weren’t going to investigate it further. I left all the doctors appointments feeling deflated and useless. I don’t consider myself to be big in weight so to be told my size was the issue was a big blow and my confidence dropped off a cliff!
How long did it take to see results?
I saw results almost instantly following my first treatment, my moods were better, my PMS was so much better and my period was lighter and it was the first time since having them that I didn’t need to take painkillers just to get through the day!
Did you experience any complications in either pregnancy?
I didn’t have any complications in my pregnancies other than a little anaemia in both! My first was born 2 weeks early – nice and healthy – and my second was only a day early.
 
Overall, what are your feelings about womb massage and would you recommend it to other parents trying to conceive?

I would fully recommend womb massage! I’m convinced it helped my conceive my boys! I was really low before we went, I felt the full weight of infertility, I saw babies literally everywhere and everyone seemed to get pregnant easily around me, we didn’t confide in many people that we were struggling, unless someone’s been through it themselves it’s a tough subject and there’s not much comfort friends or family can provide. Kerry, who did the womb massage made me feel so at ease and gave me so much information my doctor didn’t ! Even if your not trying to conceive she can help with women’s health issues and cycle problems !

Thank you so much Charlotte for sharing your story!

Have you tried womb/lifestyle fertility massage? Did it work for you? Let us know in the comments!

Mental Health Monday: Struggling With Depression or Anxiety?



Today’s blog post is a special contribution from Anna Kucirkova. Anna speaks 3 languages has a passion for kids and writing. While she has been to many places in Europe and South East Asia she still wants to explore the rest of the world.

Struggling with depression or anxiety? Here’s what you need to know!

Anxiety and depression are broad terms that can induce some anxiety just by researching and thinking about them. Oftentimes the two conditions overlap, which creates a confusing set of symptoms that both overwhelms and causes you to feel extremely low. 

If you believe that you may be affected by anxiety and/or depression, take a deep breath–you are not alone. The effects are serious but also fully manageable with the right tactics.


In this article, we’re going to examine the vicious combination of anxiety and depression to understand how they are related and how the latest research helps us understand the connection between them.

What Are Anxiety and Depression?

depression
Anxiety disorders cover a broad spectrum, in large part because doctors, psychologists, and psychiatrists have created multiple categories of anxiety based on their triggers or causes. 
However, all anxiety  disorders are primarily characterized by a sense of excessive fear or tension. This is usually understood as a heightened response to a real or oftentimes perceived threat, or anticipation of a future threat that is often not based on situational reality. There are some exceptions to this, such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which often creates a sense of anxiety without any connection to specific events. 

People suffering from anxiety experience disruptions in their behavior and ability to function normally. Many times, the heightened fear and anxiety responses associated  with anxiety disorders manifest themselves in panic attacks, which are a psychological and physiological response to a generalized sense of fear. Other symptoms may include difficulty breathing, rapid heart beat, a sense of tightness in the chest, difficulty concentrating, etc. 
Essentially, when the body is in the grip of anxiety, it has unnecessarily entered into fight-or-flight mode. The body thinks a threat is present and unleashes a host of chemicals that prepare the body to either fight or run from the perceived threat. 
Like anxiety, there are multiple types of depression which are typically categorized by causality or frequency of depressive episodes. General depression (often referred to as “clinical depression”) is diagnosed by a list of symptoms that range from the familiar to somewhat surprising. 
The primary and most well-known symptom is an overwhelming feeling of sadness and/or a loss of interest and enjoyment in most usual activities. The other symptoms associated with major depression include changes (decrease or increase) in appetite, insomnia or hypersomnia, changes in motor skills and cognition (either increased activity like fidgeting or decreased activity which results in a generalized lethargic state), constant fatigue, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, recurrent thoughts of death and suicidal ideation with or without specific plans for committing suicide, and changes in cognition. 

This last symptom is one which is often overlooked in the popular understa
nding of depression, which can lead to a further spiral as a person feels sad or “low” and subsequently struggles to complete tasks they previously found easy. Symptoms of depression last for two or more weeks and typically represent a substantial change from a person’s functionality and personality prior to the onset.

How Anxiety and Depression Affect You

Dealing with either or both sets of anxiety and depression symptoms can prove severely disruptive to daily activities, both because of anxiety-related heightened responses to relatively normal external inputs and because of depression-related suppression of energy, cognition, and general satisfaction. 
Psychologists are increasingly noting a correlation between anxiety and depression, which may be structural or psychological. Feeling anxious can lead to depression and feeling depressed can lead to anxiety, as in either case the mind starts to fixate on the recent change in mood, which further affects mood. 
depressed guy

Both disorders have widespread physiological effects, from changes in brain activity and energy level to reduced ability to function at the typical level for a given patient. Stress, anxiety, and depression all create vicious cycles that affect your immune system, digestive system, and adrenal responses, all of which have widespread trickle-down effects that can cause other medical issues. 

The most significant effects of anxiety and depression are widespread impacts on quality of life, including happiness, ability to complete basic self-care and educational or professional obligations, and mental and physical wellbeing. It’s not uncommon for people crippled by anxiety or depression to be unable to leave the house, go to work, or even perform simple tasks. The energy required to overcome the symptoms is simply too much. 

The combination of disorders can dramatically impact mood and even the ability to make it through the day without major setbacks like panic attacks or depressive episodes. The potential debilitating effects of these disorders underscore the need for accurate diagnosis and comprehensive treatment plans that allow you to resume life without the fear or weight of anxiety and depression.

How to Control Anxiety and Depression

depressed woman
The good news is that anxiety and depression can be effectively managed and treated. This sometimes feels impossible for those who are in the grips of either or both disorders, which is exactly why it is so important to seek help professionally and support from friends and family. 
The causes of anxiety and depression are widespread, and range from structural and chemical to situational and trauma-induced. Even though the symptoms may be similar, the diffuse causes and disorders require different treatments. 
Virtually all cases of anxiety and depression benefit from talking therapy, which allows patients to discuss their feelings with professionals who help externally process underlying thought patterns or experiences which contribute to depression and anxiety. 
Counselling (or therapy) is an important component of every treatment plan, because it provides consistency, accountability, and an objective external monitor of relative mental health who can assist in recommending further therapeutic practices and/or medications. 
Additional treatment plans include medication to balance serotonin levels or to calm hyperactive and anxious brains. Oftentimes, depression medications provide comprehensive benefits including improved cognition, renewed interest in preferred activities, and a more ‘normal’ function of neurological pathways, which can alleviate depression-related anxiety, too. 
Anxiety medications can come in both daily dosages for management and ‘emergency’ doses to calm down gripping panic attacks which bring physical and mental effects and can be potentially life threatening.
In addition to medications, supplements such as St. John’s Wort, Lavender, and SAM-e have proven successful in mitigating some of the most crippling side effects. 
Virtually every form of anxiety and depression benefits from natural lifestyle changes that improve holistic health and provid
e natural relief for many of the stressors and symptoms associated with each or both disorders. 


Regular exercise is a proven mood booster that actually changes your body chemistry. Even a vigorous walk releases endorphins that may not otherwise be activated, and the associated health benefits are known to improve self-confidence and provide a healthier, more targeted outlet for many of the latent emotions that manifest in anxiety/depression. 
Higher-intensity exercise is universally regarded as one of the most effective treatments for mild depression or anxiety, and meditative pursuits like yoga or certain hobbies are also considered to be effective ways to redirect mental energy and provide you with a sense of calm and ‘control’ that is often lacking when anxiety grips your mindset. 
Mental illnesses can be frustrating and overwhelming because they seem so vague and deep-set within your mind, but they also are unique in that they can be treated through mindfulness, conversation-based therapy, and small lifestyle changes that can radically alter your overall outlook and well-being.

Conclusion: Don’t Let Anxiety Or Depression Destroy You

Mental health is inextricably linked to physical health. Just as mental illness can have negative effects on your physical well-being, physical health problems can affect your mental health. These include poor diet, lack of exercise, sleep deprivation, and social isolation. By focusing on sustainable, healthy daily routines, you can set yourself up for success in battling anxiety and depression. 
And with professional counselling and potentially medication, what seems like an insurmountable battle may actually be treated with great success. If you feel anxious or depressed, don’t let it overwhelm you. 
Instead, start with the most important step of all: pick someone to start talking to about your feelings. When you are in the throes of mental health issues, it can be impossible  to make the small-but-necessary first steps in treating them. But once you commit to starting, it’s amazing how much better you’ll feel.

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Mental Health Monday: Coping with a relapse…

It’s not always plain sailing…

Our mental health, much like our physical health, can be up and down. You can be fine one week, and  find yourself in a bottomless pit the next. Whether you’ve largely recovered or you’re gradually on the road to recovery, it’s important to remember that relapses are normal.

You won’t always feel as great as you do on your best days and you won’t always feel as bad as you do on the worst days. It can be a rollercoaster ride of emotions, helterskeltering to the bottom or being chucked up in the air in a fit of happiness!

What do you do when you are relapsing?

1. Remember that just like having any kind of physical relapse, this is normal! You will have bad days (probably for a long time) but they’ll get fewer and fewer as time goes on and as your brain repairs itself.

2. Take some time out – self care is even more important when you’re going through a relapse. One of the easiest ways to keep yourself going is to pamper yourself a bit, make sure you look after yourself, force yourself to get out of bed and have a shower, but do take it easy. If you need to rest, then rest. You know what you need, so listen to your body and give it a break!

3. If it lasts longer than a few days, seek help. Sometimes relapses do need some medical attention and you might need support when you’re dealing with them – don’t be afraid to reach out if things get too hard. If you don’t feel like you can talk to the people around you, you are always more than welcome to reach out to one of us for a non-judgemental rant and rave, but we still advise speaking to your GP if you’re struggling!

4. Remind yourself that you are not a bad mother… When depression strikes, you can feel like the whole world is against you and that you’re completely worthless. It can take a long time to realise that those thoughts are the depression talking – you’re a perfectly capable mother, and you should never ever criticise yourself for having a relapse. You wouldn’t criticise someone for suffering with cancer, so why criticise yourself for suffering mentally?

5. Focus on the good days, they’re what will get you through the bad ones. When those bad days do come and plague you, it’s important not to dwell on them for too long or to overanalyse the way you felt when you were at your worst. You’ll have days that are equally on the opposite side of the scale that are amazing, and focusing on those days will help you pull through in the long run!

Is there anything else that you do when you suffer with a relapse in your mental health? Let us know!

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