Supporting World Cord Blood Day

Saving cord blood after giving birth is something that I have only heard about over the past few years and something that I wish I had known more about during my pregnancy with my last son as it is certainly something that I would have done due to it’s many benefits.

Its fantastic to know that 1 in 3 women are now aware of this option and many are adding this to their birth plans.

Although awareness of the option to save the cord blood is becoming a lot greater there still needs to be a little more knowledge out there on what it is and what it can do. I for one had limited knowledge and it was a real eye open to see what this wondererous blood can actually do. I have written a little about it here to make people more aware on World Cord Blood Day.

Cord blood stays in the placenta and umbilical cord after the birth of your baby. It is very rich in stem cells which are similar to those found in bone marrow(cord blood is however a lot easier to collect) and can be used to treat a whole array of problems such as genetic disorders, immune deficiencies and some cancers.

Stem cells are magical in the scene that they can develop in the parts of the blood that the body needs whether that be white or red blood cells or platelets which is very clever indeed. These cells found in the cord blood are more pristine than stem cells found in adults due to less exposure to environmental factors and illness.

Ordinarily after birth your placenta is thrown away with all the cord blood that is stored inside, but thanks to advanced reasrch in this field so many conditions and diseases have been treated with the stem cells found in this blood that more and more people are choosing to have it collected and stored.

The simple process that takes no time at all can help towards treating blood cancers such as leukaemia and lymphoma, blood dissuaders like sickle cell and thalassaemia,immunodeficiencies, metabolic disorders and bone marrow failure.

For me saving this blood which is a such a simple procedure is a no brainer and I hope that this has given you an insight into just what it can do.

*collaborated post

Letting Your Children See You Cry

Parenting is a challenge on a daily basis, it comes with bundles of rewards but these are without a doubt entangled with countless hurdles that have to be navigated everyday. This coupled with challenges in your work, marital and personal life can be all consuming sometimes and things can just get to much.

As parents we are expected to be a rock to our children. Someone that is there for them wherever they need you and shoulder to cry on, a fount of knowledge to gain information from and and a fountain of love to pour over them whenever needed.

In reality though no one person can be a solid rock at all times and we all have cracks that appear that need to be delbt with from time to time.

I was earwigging in a coffee shop this week…a speciality of mine, and overheard a couple of mums chatting over what a hard time that were having with their terrible twos. They were recalling being brought to tears and how they had gone to hide away in the bedroom to shield their children from seeing them cry.

It made me stop to think about how I deal with these situations and for a moment I questioned how I showed my emotions in front of my own children. Over the years I have experienced plenty of situations that have brought me to tears and have cried in front of my children on many occasions. It made me think that should I have been letting my guard down in front of then, should I have let them see that I am not invisable or should I have keep these feeling to myself to save their own feelings.

Whilst feeling like I had been a terrible mother for allowing my children to see me like this. I then thought a little harder about it and acutally is it really such a bad thing?

As I have already said life throws us all kinds of curve balls that we have to deal with and sometimes things can all get a little to much and having a good cry about this releases all kinds of emotions and makes us feel better about the bad situation we are dealing with at the time and why shouldn’t I show my children that this is a good thing. Doesn’t it do them good to show them that it’s ok to express their emotions rather than keeping everything bottled up, doesn’t it show them that nobody is invincible and its ok to feel bad from time to time and dosen’t it give them a chance to be caring and compassionate towards someone that they love?

I don’t think that showing my vulnerable side has had a detrimental effect on my children and will continue to show them its ok to shed a tear from time to time and that I will always be there for them to hug it out and talk it over whenever they need me too and I hope that as they grow they will build a loving and compassionate side that will be used to comfort family and friends in the same situation when they are older.

Back To School Sleeping Woes

Well we are nearly back into the whole school routine thing and I am finally coming to terms with all my babies being in full time education! We have nailed the homework, have been leaving the house in the mornings with plenty of time to spare, there have been no phone calls for forgotten books and ‘touch wood’ everything seems to be running smoothy…well aside from bedtimes!

The summer holidays made way for long bright evenings and a much more relaxed routine when it came to bedtimes. This was perfect at the time and I loved those few extra hours it gave us all to be out and about or relaxing in the garden; but this has all backfired on me with a certain little boy now that the school term routine is here.

The problems start as soon as dinner is over and the realisation that bedtime isn’t to far away. The tummy aches and headaches appear, the bedtime drink takes an eternity to get finished and then once finally in bed the real issues start.

Frankie gets so worked up about going to bed that the minute I leave the room he got foots it out of bed and is right behind me, refusing to stay in his bed and pleading to come downstairs. At the moment we seem to have two options which is to continually lead him back to his bed until he his finally to worn out to fight it anymore or spent half the evening sitting in his room until he falls asleep.

Both of these options are time consuming and hugely stressful for all of us and its really something we need to get on top of as the lack of sleep is breaking us all.

Below are a few tips that I’m going to be trying out to see if we can finally crack this before I crack myself:

Routine, Routine, Routine – This is one of the things that was always a big priority but over the years and the more children I had the relaxed and calm bedtime routine I once inforced has stacked somewhat and it is all a little manic. A definite routine of bath, book and bed are certainly going to be put in place again.

Security – A know that a big problem from Frankie is the anxiety of being left on his own at bedtime so finding a toy or a blanket to snuggle up to may help to make him feel a little more secure.

Calming Environment – I know for me I get a much better nights sleep when my room is clean and tidy and free from the clutter of the day and I’m sure that for children this is the same. Making their room a calming and inviting place make for a good starting ground for a restful night. Making sure that all the toys are put away and there is a cosy and inviting bed for them to jump into is a must.

London Bus Red Wooden Kids Theme Bunk Bed Frame - 3ft Single £364.99.jpg

Turn Off Electrics – I definitly fall down when it come to limiting electronics before bedtime and it is actually advised that anything stimulating such as TV, computers and tablets should be turned off an hour before bed.

Choose The Right Foods – Try not to give children any sugary or caffeinated foods before bedtime. They work as a stimulant and can be a good reason as to why they are still bouncing off the walls when you are trying to get them to sleep.

I am really hoping that some of these tips are going to work for us and we all finally get some much needed rest. I would love to know if you have any other top tips to help me out.

*collaborated post

Glaucoma:Everything You Need To Know

*Guest Post

Glaucoma is the number one cause of permanent blindness in the world, with 600,000 of those affected living in the UK. It’s expected to affect up to 76 million people worldwide by 2020, with only half of people in the UK being diagnosed before irreversible damage is caused.

Symptoms can often go unnoticed, which is why raising awareness of the condition and the importance of early diagnosis is key to preventing permanent blindness.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the collective term for a group of related eye diseases categorised by damage to the optic nerve (which connects the eye to the brain). The most common type of glaucoma being chronic open-angle glaucoma, which gradually gets worse over time. It usually occurs due to the build-up of pressure inside your eye.

All eyes should produce and drain a fluid called aqueous humour, but glaucoma sets in when not enough of this is drained away – or too much is produced – causing an increase in pressure. Most cases of glaucoma are symptom-free, making it difficult to be detected until later on in life, but without treatment, it can cause permanent blindness within just a few years of diagnosis.

It’s undetermined as to precisely what causes glaucoma, although there are certain things that can put you at a greater risk of developing the condition. Factors such as age, ethnicity, family history and other medical conditions such as diabetes can all contribute.

What symptoms should you be looking out for?

Glaucoma progresses slowly over time, not affecting your sight immediately, meaning that you may think you don’t need an eye test. However, it’s important to attend regular eye tests to ensure any changes or certain conditions can be spotted as early as possible and treated straight away, to avoid any permanent long-term damage.

There are no symptoms in the early stages of glaucoma, but by the time symptoms appear there has already been a certain degree of damage. The first symptom you are likely to notice is a loss of peripheral vision. This is likely to have an effect on both eyes, although one may be worse than the other. Blank spots may appear in your field of view and even at this stage, the damage to your eye could already be advanced. If you notice this happening to you, visit your optometrist or GP immediately. A less common form of glaucoma can have symptoms including:

– Sudden or intense eye pain

– Redness of the eye

– Headaches

– Tenderness around the eyes

– Seeing rings around lights

– Blurred vision

Again, if you experience any of the above symptoms make sure you book an appointment urgently, advising your GP or optometrist of the symptoms you’re having.

Can glaucoma be treated?

Glaucoma can be identified easily during an eye test – which is why routine eye examinations are vital.

At Leightons Opticians & Hearing Care, you can have an Ultimate Eye Exam, which is like an MOT for your eyes. It involves a number of checks, including checking the pressure inside your eyes, testing peripheral vision and an OCT scan (Optical Coherence Tomography scan). An OCT scan is like an ultrasound for your eyes, taking images of the tissue behind the eye and the many layers of the retina – producing 3D high-definition scans.

Once diagnosed, the treatment you have is dependent on the type of glaucoma you have. Treatments can consist of: eye drops, laser treatment or surgery. Regular eye tests are important after diagnosis so that your optometrists can continue to monitor the condition and check the treatment is working successfully or not.

Remember – early detection is key to early diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.