5 Money Saving Tips For Families

When you have children, saving money can be somewhat a challenge. There's always something around the corner that makes saving money difficult. Whether it's paying school meals, trips, uniforms, rent, utility bills and much more. Although having some money behind you, whether you keep it in a bank or a safe place is always good to have, as you never know when you might need it. Whether it's an emergency, replacing an item that's broken such as your washing machine or something. Here are my 5 top money save tips:

1. Write & Sort
First thing is. First, it's always good to write your incoming and outgoing payments. This way you can have a look at where your money is going. There may be some bills you could cut out completely or possibly cut down the outgoing charge. There is no harm in phoning a company up asking for any offers or if they are able to sort out a better plan for you. In the long run, you should find a difference in your bank.

2. Plan Weekly Meals and Prepare
Planning and prepping meals ready for the week is bound to save you money. One day a week, take about half an hour of your time to sit and write a weekly meal plan will help you spend less in the shops when you're out for your weekly food shop. It also makes things easier during the week around meal times. You could even cook in advance and freeze your food in containers, to use throughout the week.

3. Pay Day Loans
Pay Day loans may not be for everyone but could be something to consider if needed. It's always great to look around for the best deals. Cash Lady have great deals on pay day loans even for those with bad credit could still secure a loan.

4. Budgeting
One of the main (and probably hardest) things is to budget your money. Again, take a look at what comes in and out of your bank then take a look at what you can afford and can't afford. This will make things easier in the long run.

5. Save Your £2's
This may be a strange one to some, but I'm sure many do it. Each time you get a £2 coin, save it. Keep it in a pot which you can't open and then see how much you've saved by the end of the year. We did this not long ago and saved over £300 in just a few months. It's worth thinking about doing and great to treat yourself once it's all saved.

* This is a collaborative post

Best children’s catalogues

When shopping for the children, regardless of your age you want to know where to buy the best quality items online for a reasonable price. This is why shopping with sites that cater to children clothing and accessories is what parents should do. These are a few top catalogues for children.

Verbadauet.co.uk has what you’re looking for. Prams, strollers, baby clothing, items for the nursery, and more. The site specialises in items for kids as well as for mums to be so you know you’re always going to find high-end, high-quality items when you do your shopping here.

Next.co.uk/children. For those who have kids who love to look good and wear stylish clothing and brands, you’ll find these items here. The catalogue caters to high-end fashions and designer-names. When shopping in the children’s section you can find these styles for kids.

Brightminds.co.uk is a great catalogue for accessories, games, and gifts. If you have a child that is creative, loves challenges, puzzles or the latest games and accessories, this is a site which caters to these items and has the latest games and challenges for your children online.

Boden.co.uk/children is another great place to stop. Because they have styles which are specifically designed for kids, you know your child will look good, clothes will fit them, and you’ll find the latest styles for your kids when doing your shopping here as well.

In addition to the latest styles, looks, and children essentials, these catalogues also offer great financing, promotions and the best deals when you’re ready to buy new clothes, accessories or even toys for the kids. Regardless of what you are looking for as a parent, for your child, these are just a few of the top sites you should visit when the time comes for you to decide on the new items you are going to purchase for them.

Your Guide to Understanding Incontinence After Childbirth

An exciting time, childbirth and pregnancy hold many challenges. For some women, the joy of welcoming their new baby is tempered slightly by having difficulty controlling their bladder. Take a look at what urinary incontinence means and what you can do about it.

Postpartum urinary incontinence is a form of stress incontinence. There are other urinary incontinence issues caused by damage or surgery during childbirth, but these are rare.
At some point in pregnancy and after giving birth (postpartum), the majority of new mums will have an involuntary escape of urine – stress incontinence. It could be when you cough or sneeze, lift your baby or you may find it difficult to reach the toilet in time.
Although distressing, the good news is that over time and will little effort, stress incontinence goes away. And knowing more about it helps too.

Are some women more at risk of postpartum urinary incontinence than others?

There are some lifestyle factors that play a such as obesity, smoking, delivering vaginally, assisted vaginal birth such as the use of forceps, family history of bladder problems, prolonged pushing during labour, a big baby and women who have had more than one baby can be more at risk of developing urinary incontinence.
In every woman, the muscles around the bladder naturally weaken during pregnancy, a combination of pregnancy hormones, the growing baby, labour and birth. There are options for dealing with incontinence.

How soon after birth should I seek medical help?

Talk to your doctor, midwife or health visitor as soon as notice a problem. If you have abdominal pain as well as a temperature, it may be that you have a urinary tract infection (UTI). This is not stress incontinence but something that requires a specific medication.

Can I use incontinence pads?

Yes, you can. There are no reasons why you can’t use incontinence pads during and after pregnancy.
In the first few weeks after birth, you will need to use sanitary pads as you will bleed. Manage this as you would a normal period.
Once this bleeding has stopped, if you are still showing signs of incontinence, no matter how occasional, choose an appropriate incontinence pad. They not only absorb urine, which sanitary pads don’t do very well, they also trap the urine smell.

Will pelvic floor exercises help? How soon after birth can I start doing them?

Pelvic floor exercises are clench and release exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor muscle. This is the muscle that helps you control your bladder.
It makes sense that the stronger this muscle, the better control you have over when you urinate. You can start pelvic floor exercises any time – some women do them throughout pregnancy and start them as soon after birth as they can.
You may find that if you deliver vaginally, it takes you a few days to feel your vaginal muscles again, as well as have the confidence to clench these muscles because everything is sore!
When you do them, pelvic floor exercises shouldn’t be painful. If they are, talk to your midwife.

Should I visit the toilet more often?

Our pre-pregnancy and birth habits can be very different to those we have when baby comes along. If you tend to leave going to the bathroom to the last minute, it can cause a few problems in that it can make your incontinence seem worse than it is.
As soon as you feel the urge to urinate, go to the bathroom – don’t delay! Some women also find that setting a routine in the first few days or weeks after birth to go to the toilet helps them improve control over their bladder.

What shouldn’t I do?

Don’t limit fluid intake assuming that this is causing your incontinence. It isn’t. Conversely, not drinking enough can make incontinence worse.
This is because your urine will become more concentrated, irritating the bladder and possibly cause you to feel you need to urinate but when you go to the toilet, you urinate very little. It can also be problematic in that is causes a UTI.
And with breastfeeding, you need to maintain your fluid intake to make plenty of milk too.
Rather than gulping drinks or having one big drink, drink little and often. Water is best and limit your intake of caffeinated drinks (tea, coffee, hot chocolate), tapering off your fluid intake in the evening to help reduce nighttime bathroom visits.

Does incontinence after birth last forever?

No, with pelvic floor exercises and hormones settling down after birth, most women find that it either stops completely or is a rare occurrence.
If you find it goes on for several weeks or becomes worse, talk to your midwife or pop along to see you practice nurse or GP. There are options and treatments available so don’t be frightened to ask.

Stocking a range of incontinence products, HARTMANN Direct is an online retailer, discreetly delivering products to customers all over the UK. 

* Collaborative post

Mum Hacks For The Home You Need In Your Life

Being a busy mum, you may find that your days are filled up pretty fast. Whether you stay at home with your little ones, work from home, or head out to a workplace each day the truth remains the same, a mothers “to do” list never seems to be completed. Did you know that the average mum can complete 59 separate tasks each day? That is some going. However, I always find that if we can make things a little easier on ourselves or quicker in some way, then it is worth sharing.

Sometimes we find little things that help us, or find that making certain changes can actually save us money long term or help us on some way. I wanted to share with you some of the mum hacks for the home I think any mum could benefit from. I hope it gives you a little time extra in the day dedicated to fun time with your kids or even five minutes peace for yourself.

Keep a basket of toys in your bedroom
Children don’t seem to have the wake up time down, do they? You are either dragging the out of bed for school, preschool or nursery or on the day they can sleep a little extra like a weekend they are bouncing around at the first sign of sun, am I right? Children tend to creep into your bedroom when they first wake, and so my suggestion would be to have a little basket or box in your room near your bed full of toys. It may be little portable devices, some books or anything that takes their fancy, anything to give you some peace. While they are happily occupying themselves so you can sue the time to get a few extra minutes of sleep, or slowly come to terms with the fact that you are needing to get up. However, getting out of bed less abruptly could help you in terms with your mood for the rest of the day.

Have a decent bed to keep up with the family chaos
Just as they like to wake up at the crack of dawn, some families find that their beds are never just a place for you and your partner anymore, they are now open for all to enjoy. Whether they creep into your bed in the middle of the night, co-sleep with you out of choice, or just can’t seem to stay in their bedroom any longer than ten minutes, then you may find that your bed is overcrowded and struggling. However, you could invest in heavy duty beds to ensure that your mattress and bedframe so it is more reinforced. Children also like to jump and bounce around on beds so this could save you the worry of your bed slats breaking or mattress not being as comfy as it once was.

Wash bath toys in the dishwasher
One of the hardest things I think to keep to clean is bath toys. Even though they are in water, some toys have little crevices and holes where stagnant water can stay and things can get a little mouldy and dirty, no matter how good your intentions are. But, a quick resolve to this could be to put them in the dishwasher on a hot cycle and let that do all the hard work for you. This hack can also work for other toys that are water resistant, perhaps big duplor block or other plastic type toys.

Sunday is the ideal planning and organising time
It is good to be organised, and Sunday is one of those days that you can feel more motivated than ever to get ahead for the week, so take advantage of it. You could use the time to get any uniform or clothes ironed for the week and set out. It could be that you use the time to plan your week in terms of logistics for appointments and pick ups along with after school activities etc. There's plenty you can prepare ahead, even your meal plan and grocery shopping can be planned out in advance. It saves you time in the week that could be used for other things.

Start homework or reading at the same time each day or week
Ever wondered why children are always so keen to do things at school and nursery but when you try at home to complete tasks like homework you become stuck? Try sticking to a schedule. At school or in nursery children have a set routine of doing things at precise times, and so having a similar set up at home helps to manage their expectations. We naturally do this in terms of bedtime etc anyway, so doing school work such as homework or reading at similar times each day or week will help to manage the expectations of your child and perhaps make them more willing to complete tasks. This helps you to avoid time wasted on bickering or disagreements with your children.

Baby wipes are your secret weapon
Baby wipes are life, and having them with you at all times will help you get out many a tricky situation. They can clean shoes if you forgot to polish them, they can clean your house and work surfaces. Your bathroom can be cleaned by them and they mop up any stains like drops of toothpaste or messes on clothes. They are great and an item you just couldn’t live without.

Freeze yoghurts and soft pouches
Finally, wit summer coming up it is now a good time to start thinking about extra treats for the children. Yoghurts and soft pouches that include fruit pouches can be frozen really easily and serve as a healthy snack for playing outside. Sticking a lollipop stick in the yoghurt before freezing makes it easy to eat and adding a cake or baking cup to the bottom of the yoghurt will help to avoid much mess.  

I hope that this has given you some ideas on how to make things a little easier in your home.

* Collaborative post

Little Tikes Spinning Seas Water Table Review

The sun is slowly making an appearance up here in North Wales. I'm so excited for that time where the rain goes for a good few weeks, and all we have is sun and the warm weather. Freddie absolutely adores playing outside. He's so happy outdoors, and I love that about him. He will even quite happily walk outside with no shoes and will get himself muddy from top to bottom, it wouldn't bother him one bit. That's how all kids should be!

Elliw, on the other hand, isn't so much an 'outdoor' type. In fact, she would do anything to get out from having to be outside in the back garden. Mind you, saying that, she will get her moments when she does want to go out and play, and she does enjoy her time when we go out for walks (most of the time), but otherwise, she is the type of child who loves the indoors. Mia, she's like her little brother, always loves the outdoors. Loves climbing, getting muddy and soaked with water.

As the warmer weather is coming slowly, I can't wait to start going outdoors in the back garden and start relaxing in the sun, while the kids play. We were recently sent the Spinning Seas Water Table from Little Tikes, to review. We have been in the back garden a couple of times already, and this water table has been out all the time. It was quite simple to assemble, and it's very sturdy. The perfect size for the garden and the perfect height for kids too.

It comes with 1 cup, 5 character balls and the tub holds 7 gallons of water. The kids have had hours of fun with this water table, and it's a firm favourite out of all of their outdoor toys so far. It helps children's motor skills, and there are so many fun things to do to keep them busy. They can turn the Ferris wheel to scoop up and drop off the balls, turn the spinner to keep the water coming and shoot the balls into the water with the ball launcher.

This is bound to be a favourite this summer. With hours of fun to be had, I can honestly recommend this product if your little one loves playing with water and playing outdoors.

* We were sent this item free of charge, in return for an honest review.
All words, images and opinions are our own.

Alcatel U5 HD Smartphone Review

Mia is now 8 years old and I am still wondering when is the right time for her to have her own phone. She has been asking for over a year now, but I have a few reasons for not wanting her to have one. One being because she doesn't really look after her things properly, never mind a phone. The other reason being is I think she is just too young to have one. However, my partner and I have been talking and decided that when we were offered a chance to review the Alcatel U5 HD Smartphone, we would see how she goes up until her 9th birthday this December.

The Alcatel U5 HD smartphone is a decent size, a wide and long screen with an easy grip back which is perfect for holding. Many phones out there these days have a slip easy back, which can be quite annoying. The Alcatel smartphone comes with its USB and charger and is really easy to set up. It didn't take me too long to set it up, and it was ready for Mia to start using.

We have decided to let Mia have her phone a few days a week and see how she gets on with it. Letting her have a phone a few days a week gives her a little bit of a confident boost showing her that we trust her, it also helps us decide whether she should get to keep the phone for when she turns 9 years old. As she has a different Dad and goes to his house once a week, I thought it would be a great idea for her to start taking the phone there so she can messages me whenever she wants, if she can. Also, vice versa, when she is here, she can message her. Dad's side of the family.

Something else Mia absolutely loves doing is taking photos. She adores taking selfies, and the camera quality is pretty good. For selfies, it's up to 8MP which is pretty good, for forward facing camera it is up to 13MP which again, is really good. I am really pleased with the quality of the photos. The screen is a decent size; 5" LCD.

Overall, I am super happy with the Alcatel U5 HD Smartphone. I think it is the perfect for phone for my daughter, and any other child, to start out with. But also a great phone for any age. It's light but great quality. It's also got a great size screen and very easy to use and understand. The Alcatel U5 HD phone is now available at Tesco Mobile, pay-as-you-go for just £79.00.

Zoomer Zupps Ponies Review

Both my girls absolutely love animals. Mia is the one who loves horses and ponies, and Elliw loves anything pink and cute. They were sent a Zoomer Zupps Pony a couple of weeks back, and they instantly fell in love with it. They loved the colour and loved the long silky hair. They couldn't wait to get it out of the box and find out what the pony does.

These super adorable Zommer Zupps Pretty Ponies are great quality and the perfect size for little hands. They have secret tricks, and they're so magical. Each Pony comes with a collector card, this way you can learn more about your new little friend. Their size makes it perfect for letting your child put it in their pocket to take out and about.

The Zoomer Zupps Ponies respond to touch, make sweet sounds and even perform tricks - which my girls absolutely adored. To hear their sounds, all you have to do is stroke your pony on the head or nose. The more you interact with your Pony, they happier they will be. Their eyes also light up, which make the pony even more extra magical and special.

To find out their secret trick, you stroke down their nose and press their nose twice. Although, this was quite difficult to do! All about the secret, I guess? However, saying that, my girls weren't really that bothered as everything else it did, they were super happy with. The Zoomer Zupps Ponies retail at around £13-£15 each, which is quite reasonable with everything that it does.

* We were sent this product, in return for an honest.
All words, images and opinions are our own.

Top Tips to Keep On Top of Housework with Kids

Whether you're a stay at home parent, work from home parent or a full-time working parent, I'm sure we can all agree that housework is never-ending. There's always some washing to do, some toys to keep or some bits to hoover up. We all want less time tidying and cleaning and more time spent with our little ones. It can be draining having to do the same thing on a daily basis, but there are a few simple things you could do to help you keep on top of most of the housework and ways to involve your little ones too. Vileda recently asked me to share some of my top tip and as a big fan of their products, here are just a few of my tips to help you;

1. De-Clutter
Set a date once every month or two months to de-clutter the whole house. Having a set date each month can help you prepare yourself ready for the big de-cluttering. This could be getting rid of clothes you haven't worn for months, old letters, removing old boxes and possibly getting rid of old toys too (more about that below).

2. Tidy As You Go
This can be said easier than done. However, once you get the hang of it, it will become a good habit. If you see something that needs picking up, putting away or cleaning, do it there and then. The longer you wait, it piles up which means more time will be wasted on tidying.

3. Make Lists
In the morning or the evening before, write a to-do list of the things you want to do the following day. The list could include mopping the floor (the Vileda Easy Wring & Clean Turb is perfect for mopping floors), hoovering the stairs, putting a wash on and so on. The list can go on but try and make it short and do bit by bit each day. This will make it less stressful and easier for you.

4. Get Kids to Help Before Bedtime
Get a routine with the kids and do set time where the kids help you tidy up their toys before they go to bed. You could also get them to help you with other little chores such as putting clothes in the laundry basket or on a clothes airer dryer

5. Clean Before Your Bedtime
After settling your kids to bed, you could do the rest of the housework before having a relaxing evening. Before going to bed yourself, why not mop the kitchen floor (or the rest of the rooms that have hard flooring). As I mentioned, the Easy Wring & Clean Turbo[AM3]  is brilliantfor hardd floors and I’m sure the kids would love to have a go!

6. Do The Dishes
If you don't have a dishwasher, like me, wash your dishes straight away. It will make things ten times easier in the end. The last thing you want to do is stand in front of the sink washing dirty dishes. Wash up after you've prepared food and after you've had your food. Another tip from me about this is, every time you wash the dishes, clean the worktops too. Using an all purpose cloth is great for cleaning kitchen worktops. 

7. Put The Music Up and Involve The Kids
Don't get all worked up about not having enough time with the kids or not enough time to do the housework, do both of them together and involve the kids. Add some music to make it a little more interesting and fun. Whether it means putting your baby/toddler in a sling while vacuuming or asking your kids to hoover or mop while you dust the shelves.. When everybody gets involved, you do it quickly while having fun and making memories. 

8. Blitz The Bathroom While Your Kids Bath
While the kids are in the bath, you could clean the toilet and sink. This way you are keeping an eye on your children in the bath, and getting some housework done too. 

9. Prepare For The Morning
A few tips from above, making sure you have a list ready and making sure the housework is done the night before. Waking up to no housework the following day is a great start to the day and means more time to be spent with your little ones, either cuddling on the sofa, reading books, playing toys or going out for a walk. 

I got in touch with a few other parents to see what their top tips are for keeping on top of the housework. Here's what they had to say:

Lisa from MummaScribbles said "I try to use Oscar's lunchtime wisely. I tend to eat when he naps (I use nap time for working), and then when he is busy eating lunch in his highchair, I have a little spruce up of somewhere. It might be a quick sweep and mop of the floors, or a clean over of the kitchen. I keep an eye on him and clean at the same time."

Emily from Babiesandbeauty said: "My toddler always wants to be doing whatever I am. So I try to get him involved, doing little things like giving him a damp cloth, or a mini duster, he feels all grown up and as though he’s doing something special. Works a treat."

Katie from Mummyinatutu said: "Set achievable goals. Don't give yourself too much to do at once and don't put pressure on yourself. Prioritise. The rest will get done when it's done"

Han-Son Lee from DaddiLife  said: "I strategically place wet wipes in almost every room in the home. I find then that any spills and little messes can get cleaned up pretty much no problem!

* This is a collaborative post.
We are currently working with Vileda.
However, all words, images and opinions are our own. 

Lumo Stars Review

When we were sent some Lumo Stars to review, I instantly knew the girls would fall in love with them. They are absolutely adorable, with their unique features and big adorable eyes. We were sent 2 Big Lumo Stars that are 24cm in size, 2 keyrings, 2 Classic 15cm Lumo Stars and 1 hardback book. I can see these Lumo Stars be very popular with little ones. 

They're adorably cute and cuddly with large eyes with a touch of Finnish sparkle in each character eyes. Lumo Stars are inspired by Nordic nature and mythologies. Each plush is cuddly, soft and great quality. They're colourful and their bright eyes reminiscent of the Northern Lights. My girls instantly fell in love with them and even cuddle them to sleep. These characters were born from a successful storybook, Northern Brights. Created by co-owner Tactic. 

There is a free Lumo Stars app that your little ones can enjoy and bring their Lumo Star friend to life by scanning the QR code on the tag. Kids are bound to have so much fun with this app. They can watch their new friend grow by feeling, playing and taking care of their new Lumo Star friend. 

These beautiful bright and cuddly Lumo Stars are now available to buy. I can see these being very popular with little collectors and by using their free app makes it even more exciting for little ones to be closer to their Lumo Star friends. The big 24cm Lumo Stars are RRP at £12.99, Classic 15cm RRP £6.99 - £7.99 and the key rings are RRP at £3.99. The Northern Bright's Bedtime Story is RRP £15.00. 

* We were kindly sent these products for the purpose of this review.
However, as always. words, images and opinions are entirely our own.

Chubby Unicorns By Bullyland

These absolutely adorable hand-painted Chubby Unicorns are just the cutest little things. Bullyland is the only manufacturer that uses synthetic rubber material for its figures and does not use PCV is its manufacturing. They have a fantastic collection of different characters and my girls loved the Chubby Unicorns. They have fantastic realistic details and great quality. Each unicorn is unique and adorable.

Each character is bright and fab quality. The girls instantly fell in love with the ballerina/fairy unicorn. My favourite was the one with the cookie on it's back. I love how much detail and thought Bullyland have put into each character. These super adorable Chubby Unicorn are now on sale over at Amazon UK and you can check out the rest of their unicorn range over on their social media: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. They have some Chubby Unicorns picture frames, phone charms and money boxes too.

* We were kindly sent these items free of charge in return for an honest review.
All words, images and opinions are our own.

Saving money on bathroom renovation –

Renovating the bathroom? If you are on a tight budget, you don’t have to fret or worry about what to skip over. These are a few ways you can remodel, renovate and achieve the desired look even if you do not have all that much money to spend when you are ready to work on the space.

DIY. This is the case with any room in the home. You can install new knobs, new draws, a new mirror and vanity or you can even upgrade the showerhead. You might want to paint the space as well. Sure, there are some plumbing jobs or new floor installation you possibly can’t do but for the small things do the work yourself and you’ll be surprised how far it’ll go.

Consider alternatives. If you are going to install new flooring, consider a laminate or faux-wood finish. You’ll find many options which look like the ‘real thing’ but are going to cost you ½ or less the price to install in the space. Shop, compare and visit a few stores so you can find a flooring expert which has the desired look for the perfect pricing.

Skip over ‘fancy’ or ‘ornate’. Instead, choose eclectic, or something which isn’t as modern for the space. It will give your bathroom that distinct look and feel and you will find the prices of these items is not nearly as high as the costly stainless-steel, and the latest items you can purchase when renovating the bathroom space.

You don’t have to compromise on the desired look when renovating your bathroom if you know which shortcuts to take. These are a few simple tips any homeowner can rely on when renovating the bathroom, to ensure the desired looks/finish, without breaking the bank to do the remodelling in the space you’re working in. 

* Collaborative post

GoXtreme Pioneer Action Camera Review

My partner and I have been on the lookout for an action camera for a long time. So, when I was offered one to review, I jumped at the chance and couldn't wait to start using it. We are still yet to use this to its full potential. However, I thought I would write a review about it and then write another post of us using it and filming it while we are on one of our family adventures in the next couple of weeks. We tried to do it not long ago, but my partner has been working a lot on the weekends, so it gave us less time to try it on an action full day out.

The GoXtreme Action Camera is small, but the perfect size for an action camera. The box includes all the accessories that you need to use your camera on an action packed day. There is no need to spend more money after buying this camera, which is great. The accessories included allowing you to use your camera on your bike, helmets and even a waterproof case which allows you to go 30M under water.

The compact action cam has a 2" screen. The GoXtreme pioneer captures videos at resolutions up to 4K and high-quality photos up to 12mp. After taking your videos or photos, you can connect your GoXtreme to your wi-fi to transfer files to your smartphone or PC. There is a free smartphone app that also allows you to live view and use it as a remote control too.

- 2" screen
- Comes with all the accessories that you need, which means you don't need to spend any more money on extra things.
- Waterproof 30m underwater
- Burst and Timelapse features
- HD videos
- 12mp photos
- Wide angle photos
- Built-in Wi-fi connections

It's fantastic quality, and I am overly pleased with it. We can't wait to take it out for some good full-filled action packed adventures. We have many plans for it, especially that it has a wide-view with it's 140° wide angle. You'll have to keep an eye out for our future posts featuring this action camera and be sure to follow our social media too; here.

* We were kindly sent this product free of charge.
In return for an honest review. All words, images and opinions are our own, as always. 

I have three healthy ICP children

When I was sixteen years old, I fell pregnant with my first child. Everything related to my health and pregnant was perfectly fine until I was 30 weeks pregnant. I remember going to sleep when I was 30 weeks exactly and woke up to some strange itch. I took it to some 'pregnancy itch'. But it got worse. My hands, feet, legs, face, my whole body was just itching like crazy. As I was living in my Dad's house at this point, I went to go wake him up early hours in the morning because I was crying as I didn't know what was wrong. My face was sore from scratching so much, as well as the rest of my body.

I had a book given to me a few weeks before, the one most pregnant ladies get, called From Birth to Five Years. Packed full of information and so I had a look through and found something about itching during pregnancy. A bit was talking about 'Obstetric Cholestasis' - Also known as ICP. I was a little confused by it and also worried. That morning, I phoned my midwife, and she wanted to see me as soon as possible.

When I arrived to my appointment, she instantly knew I'd been itching as she saw how sore my head was from all the scratching. I had some blood tests taken, and I was then sent straight to the hospital, to the maternity unit to be put on a monitor and take more tests. A few hours later, it was confirmed that I had Obstetric Cholestasis. At this point, I knew absolutely nothing about OC. All I knew, it was a liver disorder in pregnant. That was it. I trusted the midwives and the doctors.

I had an appointment at the hospital twice a week to be monitored, and blood tests took once a week to keep an eye on my bile acids and other bloods. I was also seeing a consultant every couple of weeks to discuss my induction date and just making sure everything was running smoothly. I also had a few extra scans nearer the end.

The last 10 weeks were awful. I struggled to sleep and not even the cream that the hospital gave me was working. Nothing soothed it. As weeks went by, the tablets I was on was somewhat working but not fully. It helped calm the itch a little bit, but not much. I lost a lot of sleep, I was exhausted and feeling down even worse than I was feeling already with everything else going on.

I was induced at around 39 weeks, and luckily, everything was perfect. I had a great labour with lots of support. I was stuck on the monitors and was a chance of a c-section, but everything went smoothly afterwards, luckily.


Second pregnancy

There was a possibility that I was going to get the liver disorder, Obstetric Cholestasis, again. I knew that from the moment I found out I was pregnant. I was around 18 weeks pregnant when the palm of my hands started to itch. I knew that second that the condition was creeping back. I mentioned it to my midwife at my appointment, but it was brushed off. She didn't take any notice, and from that moment, I was confused. I didn't know what to think. I kept thinking that I was over exaggerating a little bit, but in my head, I knew that it was the OC coming back.

A few weeks down the line, closer to 27 or so weeks, it was confirmed that OC was back. Again, the same as my first pregnancy, I was booked for monitoring, scans and consultants throughout the pregnancy until I was induced before my due date, again.

The second time around was harder. I had Mia, my first child to look after. As well as the guilt hanging around me about bringing a second child into the world. I think most Mums suffer from a similar guilt when they are pregnant with their second. I was worried I wouldn't love my second as much as I love my first, all kinds of thoughts went running through my head.

A lot of things happened during my second pregnancy, from moving house to live with my partner and just learning to live on my own, learning to live a 'proper life'. It was a huge step, but it was a good step. Again, I lost a lot of sleep due to the itching. I fell into deep depression when I was around 30 weeks. The itch and the lack of sleep worsened it. I struggled to look after myself, I struggled to feel myself and struggled with everything.

Luckily, again, my second daughter was born healthy and weighed 9lbs 8oz.


Third pregnancy

This was the pregnancy I struggled with the most. Mainly because I had two other children to look after. I had school runs twice a day, other days I had to do them 4 times. It was draining and exhausting. As well as coping with OC, yet again.

This time I was diagnosed with OC when I was around 14 weeks pregnant. I called in as I was itching, again. The doctor confirmed that it was the beginning of OC and that I was to be monitored and kept an eye on. I had the bloods taken and the rest, same as my previous two pregnancies. This time around was different. I knew ten times more about OC than I ever did in my last two pregnancies. I read about it and learned myself more about it.

It was much more serious than I thought.

Babies have actually, sadly, passed away because of OC not being treated.

How sad is that?

This time around I was more picky about what was being said to me, and I was listening more to everything. I honestly felt like they were brushing me off at times. I was always having different doctors talking to me, and they all said different things. One was concerned when the other wasn't. I was nervous, I was confused, and I was exhausted. Again, due to the lack of sleep, I was getting from the itch, as well as being tired from looking after my other two children.

I had to push my consultant to put my induction date early. She would have let me go over my due date if she could, but I wasn't having it. I was not risking my baby, I wasn't risking absolutely anything. I wanted my baby to born safely. I got an induction date but went into labour on my own 3 days before my induction date, which I was so happy about.

I gave birth to a healthy baby boy on the 16th of July 2016.



I've never really spoken too much about Obstetric Cholestasis / ICP before. I did mention my updates through my pregnancy updates, but actually talking about how it was for me and what it exactly is, is something I've not done before. I think it so important that every single woman knows about OC. Unfortunately, not every single midwife or doctor knows or understands how dangerous it actually is, especially if it's untreated.

If you have an itch, any itch, please go and get yourself checked out. It's mainly an itch to the palm of your hands and under your feet, as well as all over the body. There is no harm in you asking for a blood test to be taken for a possibility of OC. It is better to be safe than sorry.

To know more details about Obstetric Cholestasis click here.