A Mummys View

Telling it like it is

Baby Hip Health Awareness Week – Hoping My Little Girl Won’t Be Affected

In the UK, approx 2000 children a year are diagnosed with Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH), which describes a range of conditions from mild instability to total dislocation of the hip. Detecting this early means DDH can often be corrected by simple treatment, but if found later or misdiagnosed it can mean a child requiring hospital stays, operations or even a permanent disability.

As many of my regular readers will know, unfortunately for me, I am in the latter category now. After being diagnosed with DDH as a child I now have a permanent disability with exceptionally limited mobility in one of my hips and a slight discrepancy in the length of one leg compared to the other. (However I am an exception to the norm!)

traction 1

When I had my first daughter I wrote a post entitled Would My Disability Run in the Family? which talked about my experiences as a child through to today and my eldest daughter having to have a hip scan, which thankfully showed as being ok. Now it’s the turn however of my baby girl. We recently attended our local hospital to have the necessary scan and unfortunately on this occassion it hasn’t been as clear cut. The doctors told me that her hips appeared to be sitting high and have asked us to return in 3 weeks time. Apparently this could be due to her being premature and the fact that her adjusted age at the scan is different to that of a baby normally scanned so they are hoping that when they next scan her they will have dropped and everything will be ok. I can but hope! For me it is all too close to home and I don’t want my baby, or any other child for that matter too, going through what I did. That’s why I want to spread the word as much as possible about the importance of hip checks and looking for any signs of problems.

According to the charity STEPS “Many parents felt that there was a lack of information about Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH). Parents also reported that there is a lack of awareness about risk factors such as family history.”

This week (11th – 17th March) is Baby Hip Health Awareness Week, a yearly event run by the charity to to raise awareness amongst parents and health professionals of the vital need to check babies’ hips during the first few weeks of life to prevent unnecessary pain and disability in later years.

STEPS have created a Baby Hip Health booklet which explains why baby’s hips are checked at birth, what the tests are and what happens if a problem is found.  It also explains how to keep your child’s hips healthy.

STEPS baby hip health booklet

All babies are physically examined after they are born and checking the hip joint is part of this examination but hip tests are not 100% accurate and in childhood dislocated hips are not always visible or painful, so STEPS have also created a poster “5 Ways to Check Your Baby’s Hips” which highlights any signs that may indicate that further investigation is needed.

STEPS baby hip health poster

Tight swaddling and spending long periods of time in baby car seats used can also hinder normal hip development.

As with my girls, some babies are more at risk of developing DDH. The risk factors are:

  • Genetic factors (ie someone in the immediate family has also had a developmental problem with a hip).
  • Position of the baby during pregnancy ie a breech presentation.
  • A multiple birth

If your baby is in either of the groups above, they should have an ultrasound examination before 6 weeks old as we have had to. Hopefully for the majority of people there won’t be any issues or any problems can be corrected easily. However if you have a child with a hip condition or require support or information you can contact the STEPS Helpline on 01925 750271 or email info@steps-charity.org.uk Alternatively visit their website www.steps-charity.org.uk My family have found the charity a huge help over the years as the stories and advice in their newsletters have provided much reassurance and support. I hope others can take full advantage and feel the same.

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My Birth Story Second Time Round: Siblings

Prior to baby arriving I had been so worried about how my daughter would feel about her baby sister and how the dynamics of our family and life in general would change. For the last two and a half years my daughter has been my sole focus and the centre of my world. I suddenly felt a sense of guilt that she would have to share her mummy and daddy and this in turn made me worry about my acceptance of my new baby. However I needn’t have worried…

I’ve had no bonding problems whatsoever with baby, and toddler has been great so far. She loves her baby sister and is very affectionate towards her, asking where she is every morning, saying how beautiful she is and giving her lots of kisses, which is lovely.

I think talking about baby’s arrival and buying bedtime story books about new babies really helped prepare our daughter for her sister’s arrival. We also stressed what a fantastic big sister she was going to be and since baby’s arrival we have involved her with things, such as asking if she wants to help at bathtime etc. I think the fact that people keep buying her presents too is probably helping a lot too!!!

However in the last week I have noticed that my toddler is starting to seek my attention more, despite me desparately trying to ensure they both get equal attention. We have had a few mood swings and sulks and lack of cooperation (probably not much more than an average toddler would display anyway). I’ve even been called “nasty mummy” out of the blue and for no reason. However so far her attitude towards her sister hasn’t changed, she constantly wants to cuddle her on the sofa  and give her kisses. Any negativity there is (small as it is) seems directed at me, which I guess I can take, after all she knows I love her, I am constantly telling her this and displaying my affection. It’s just a transitional period during which she’s adapting to the huge change and as a toddler this is her way of displaying her feelings.

I know things are never going to be perfect and I am very sure we will have our moments but at present I’m quite happy with the way my daughter has accepted her baby sister and generally behaved. I can only hope that her attitude directly towards her sister remains positive and that her attitude overall doesn’t change any further.

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World Book Day

Happy World Book Day everyone!

As any of my regular readers will know, we as a family love books and I have read daily to my little girl from her being a few weeks old. We enjoy some of the well known household names such as Julia Donaldson, but have also come across some other fantastic children’s authors over the last two years, who are new to us including Clara Vulliamy, author of Martha and the Happy Bunny Brothers and Benji Bennett, author of Before You Sleep to mention a few.

children's books

World Book Day is a fantastic day to celebrate all things literary and as with last year lots of book publishers and booksellers, in partnership with schools all over the country, have been distributing millions of £1 World Book Day book tokens to children throughout the UK. When you get your book token, all you need to do is to take it to your local bookshop and swap it for one of eight select World Book Day titles or, you can use your book token to get £1 off any full price book instead! A great excuse to add a new title to your collection! there’s also a host of games, information, tips and ideas about enjoying books on the World Book Day website.

In celebration of World Book Day today we will be reading The Tiger That Came to Tea, (Judith Kerr)

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

We love finding new books to enjoy! Do you have any favourites or recommendations? If so we’d love to hear your comments!

Last year in my World Book Day Post I profiled the lovely Liz Million, a children’s illustrator that I have the privilege of knowing. This year I am proud to introduce another lovely lady and friend, Gemma Wilford. Gemma is the author of the children’s book The Ruby of Egypt.

Gemma self published her first children’s book, The Ruby of Egypt in 2011, a story of Ruby, a young girl who finds herself being dragged on aThe Ruby of Egypt sight-seeing holiday to Egypt. Viewing the pyramids is the last thing she wants to be doing but her disappointment soon turns to delight when she curiously follows a black cat inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, where upon entering she is mysteriously transported back in time to Ancient Egypt. Aided by a talking feline, guided by a dragonfly and protected by a Falcon headed God, Ruby must embrace an important mission that will not only challenge her ability to amend her stroppy attitude, but will change the purpose of her life forever.

The book is available via Amazon as an ebook and Gemma is currently working on and aiming to get published, a chick-lit recession based novel too. I’ve asked Gemma to tell us a bit about how she came to develop her passion for writing, which she shares below. However in the meantime to find out more about Gemma and read some of her fantastic interviews with other authors and literary views visit Missuswolf’s Storyland Blog or view a trailer for the Ruby of Egypt

Gemma Wilford
A word from Gemma…
Thanks to AMummysView for having me here today, I am honoured to be featured on her amazing blog.
I have always loved reading a writing, English was my favourite subject at school and I couldn’t wait to dive write in to creative writing stories.
As a child, I loved adventure stories; early favourites include The Famous Five, The Secret Seven and Nancy Drew. I spent my summers engrossed in these books and when I did come up for air, I would immediately start writing my own version.
I loved my English Lessons in Middle School and the teacher that helped nurture my writing back then has recently published his first novel Beyond Saving. It was during my time at this school that I was a member of BBC Newsround’s Press Packers and I was twice runner up in their journalistic competitions, attending their studios to film in the Blue Peter Garden a news piece to camera.
Adolescence then the hum drum of working adult life soon crept in the way of any creative writing. It was the back end of 2010 when I started writing again and wrote a children’s book The Ruby of Egypt ,which became my first self published book in 2011. It has since been revamped; fully revised and edited with a brand new cover and the second edition is now available.
Last year, I had a short story ‘Breaking The Rules’ published in the I Am Woman Campaign Anthology Volume Two as well as spooky story ‘Lady In Black’ featured on GK Adams blog as part of a Halloween theme. I am currently in the editing stages of my first novel, a humorous Chick-Lit recession based book ‘Miss Pooshoe’, which I hope to release Autumn 2013
~~~
As you can see Gemma followed her childhood passion and has fulfilled her ambitions in the literature world. World Book Day is a fantastic celebration of literature and the wealth of information, events and online information will undoubtedly help inspire more young people in the way Gemma was inspired and I for one think that is a fantastic thing.
Happy Reading One and All!
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CLIC Sargent’s Great Mums Get Together

Last year I was proud to hold my own Yummy Mummy Coffee Morning in aid of CLIC Sargent’s Yummy Mummy Coffee Morning Campaign and raised £150 for the charity. This year, although I haven’t been able to organise my own event, having just had my little girl, I am keen to support the campaign and have been helping with the promotion of an event local to me that I am attending, so also wanted to share this fantastic campaign with all my lovely followers.

This year the Yummy Mummy Coffee Morning has been replaced by The Great Mums Get Together, which is running between 10th and 17th March. The campaign offers people the chance to get together and raise money for children and young people with cancer and their family.

“Every day 10 children and young people in the UK hear the shocking news they have cancer. Treatment normally starts immediately, is often given many miles from home and can last for up to three years. Being diagnosed with cancer is a frightening experience and the emotional, practical and financial implications of treatment are intensely challenging for the whole family.”

CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. They provide clinical, practical, financial and emotional support to help young people cope with cancer and get the most out of life. They are there from diagnosis onwards and CLIC Sargent aim to help the whole family deal with the impact of cancer and its treatment, life after treatment and, in some cases, bereavement.

The Great Mums Get Together is a great opportunity for us Great Mums to… well… Get Together and raise some fantastic money for an amazing charity. I really enjoyed my event last year and am pleased to be involved in some way again this year. If you too want to get involved in this year’s campign you can sign up online call 08451 206 658 or email gettogether@clicsargent.org.uk.

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Friday Favourite: The Savoy!

This week I have a rather unusual Friday Favourite to share with you all.

This week my Friday Favourite is something that has saved me from the most extreme pain and enabled me to have a little more sleep…

This week my Friday Favourite is….

The Savoy Cabbage!

image_riviera_savoy_cabbage

No I haven’t lost it completely! I promise!

I am trying to wean off breastfeeding and move towards bottles with my little girl. However I learnt this week that I really have to do this gradually and can’t go cold turkey!

Last time I came off breastfeeding I was more established and my daughter was starting to wean so dropping her bottles too. However this time my body must be so confused as I am still building my milk supply and consequently I have had the most painful breasts!

In desperation I asked around and read up on what’s the best way to stop breastfeeding and I was told all about the wonderful Savoy Cabbage!

Since the early 1800’s cabbage leaves have been recommended to reduce swelling in moderate to severe engorgement and cabbage compresses have been used to reduce the swelling in sprains and broken bones. There isn’t much research but published studies and anecdotal reports seem to support the view that it can reduce breast engorgement.

Cabbage is known to contain sinigrin (allylisothiocyanate) rapine, mustard oil, magnesium, oxylate and sulphur heterosides and herbalists believe that cabbage has both antibiotic and anti irritant properties. It’s thought that this mix of natural ingredients helps reduce tissue congestion by opening small blood vessels which improves the blood flow in the area.

Whatever the science behind it one thing is for sure it does work! It saved me from being soooo uncomfortable and that is why the simple Savoy Cabbage is my Friday Favourite!

Respect to the Savoy!

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