Thursday 27 August 2009

Gymboree in Bromley

Tucked away in a corner of The Glades in Bromley is a branch of Gymboree! It's not very noticeable it's hidden between boots and massimo dutti.

Full of classes and fun things to do with your Little ones from age newborn upwards.

Music, arts and crafts and things such as baby signing all take place here.

There's also a soft padded play area too.

Even though it's the school holidays and Bromley was full of little ones today, Gymboree was strangely quiet ...

Then I found out why.... to go to any of the classes, you need to become a member and membership packages start from a whopping £55 a month and keep climbing! You're committed to 12 months! -oh and there is a joining fee too!

This mean that you can't just pop in to an arts and craft session every once in a while, or do the odd class here and there (At that price you would need to do about 3 sessions a week to justify the cost)

NCT members are offered a 20%discount on membership fees and 10% off on the first two months fees if they join in a Babies Gym class as a group of four or more.

However for a fiver you can use the soft padded play area - this isn't a class or anything and if it's a soft padded play area your after - there is a huuuuge one across the road in the civic centre!

If gymboree let you pay per class, this would be a fantastic place to go but the high membership fees really put me off - not something I can imagine most new mums want to commit to, especially in a credit crunch!

Emma in Bromley

Tuesday 25 August 2009

Mummy bloggers - article on The Independant

The Independant published an article on Mummy bloggers and it makes for an interesting read.
Parts of the article are provoking, such as the suggestion that the blogs are started by lonely mums ( I don't believe this is the main reason) but other parts are great - any support for mummy bloggers is great and I do hope more and more mums will start blogging!
Read the article here ...

Follow up - The journalist has made an entry about all the contraversy this caused on her own blog if you would like to read that too ...

Emma in Bromley

The Baby Cafe

A reader brought to my attention, a drop in coffee morning centre called The Baby Cafe.

The group is set up for pregnant and breastfeeding mums to get together for advice, chat and socialising, I haven't been to one yet, but looks like a great way to meet other mums in your area.

The Baby Cafe has national branches with 2 close to the Bromley area.

Sidcup - Tuesdays 1pm to 3pm
New Community Church, 24 Station Road, Sidcup, Kent, DA15 7DU

Eltham, Greenwich - Wednesdays 10am to 12pm
United Reformed Church, Court Road, Eltham, London, SE9 5AD

Emma in Bromley

Saturday 22 August 2009

Pram-o-cise in Kelsey Park

Pram-o-cise is a new fitness class where you exercise with your pram!

Jacqueline Bundy recently started the class in Kelsey Park on Tuesday 21st July 2009, and the class continues to run every Tuesday from 10.30-11.30am - Meeting at the Main Entrance Gate on Wickham Road.

Jacqueline is a fully qualified instructor and the session involves aerobic and conditioning sections tailored to each individual participants level of fitness. They are designed to help return you to your pre-pregnancy shape (or better!) in a safe and enjoyable environment. It is also a fantastic opportunity to meet and socialise with other new mums.

Mums often socialise over coffee and lunch after sessions and Jacqueline is inviting specialists along to come and join the mums to discuss topics such as Nutrition and Holistic Therapy.

No specialist equipment or prams are required, although trainers and a well fitting sports bra are highly recommended! The cost of the session is £5.

Future plans may also include a Thursday session in Kelsey Park, and a Wednesday session in Biggin Hill ...

If you would like any further information please contact Jacqueline on 07930 87 67 42 or email (Pram-o-cise website is under construction)

Emma in Bromley

Friday 21 August 2009

Breastfeeding in Mothercare, Bromley

There are breastfeeding facilities in Mothercare, situated on Bromley high street.

On the upper level, at the back of the store there are facilities here for mums - There are two rooms, one is a toilet big enough to take your pram in with you, and the other is a baby change room.

The baby change room has a padded bench for breastfeeding mums to use. There is room here for one mum and her pram. The bench is a bit uncomfortable so be prepared to have a stiff back!

Whilst I think it's great that Mothercare have provided an area for breastfeeding mums - I also think it's a shame they didn't think to put one of their own nursing chairs in here! Much more comfortable and also a great way to sell their chairs, especially for the Bromley branch as they don't have the room to put a nursing chair on display on the shop floor and it's an expensive item to take a gamble on and order without seeing it and sitting on one first!

Outside both rooms, just in front of the photo studio is another bench set next to bottle warming facilities for bottle nursing mums too!
You may also like to read my blog post on breastfeeding in The Glades, Bromley and also my entry on breastfeeding in Bluewater
Emma in Bromley

Breastfeeding in The Glades, Bromley

Ok Ok - I know we should be both encouraged and encouraging breastfeeding in public, but lets face it, most of us don't have the balls to do it!

Even with a blanket to cover me, I risk exposure! I have a very wriggly 9 week old baby who I end up wrestling and repositioning in every feed. I'd be mortified if this event was witnessed by the public - especially when said public are the people of the town in which I live!

I found it hard enough to breastfeed in the doctor's waiting room when waiting for baby clinic!

The yummy mummy's of Bromley will be pleased to know that there are 3 designated breastfeeding areas in The Glades and 1 just outside - these are semi - private so you might be joined by other nursing mums...

In The Glades shopping centre there is breastfeeding area in the baby change room on the lower shops level near the pet shop and Rush hair salon. As pictured.

It's got a long slightly padded bench and room for your pram, however this area is very busy and noisy. There is also a toilet cubicle here which is supposed to be big enough for your pram too - I found it to be a tight squeeze. This breastfeeding area is clean but looks a little grubby as you can see where the padded seat has been the victim of school girls apparently in love and armed with marker pens!

There is another breastfeeding area on the 2nd floor car park level but to get to it you need to take the smaller central lifts near optical express and faith shoes.

This is also a mother's only area inside the baby change room - this is much quieter than the lower shops room and also seems much cleaner too. It may just be the time of the year, but I did find this room to be hot!

There are two wooden benches to chose from and room for your pram.

Situated close to the baby change room is the ladies toilets - inside the ladies toilets is a row of large cubicles which have plenty of room for a pram too. There is also a vending machine outside the baby change room for if you need a drink!

There is also a breastfeeding area inside Marks and Spencers, if you were to go to where the toilets are on the upper level, if you walk past the entrance to the ladies room there is another room to the right which is only for baby change and breastfeeding (there is an extra baby change table in the main ladies toilets).

I haven't used this room yet as there is only space for one nursing mum and it's always been in use when I have gone. The room is quiet and dimly lit.

Outside The Glades a breastfeeding area is available in mothercare - please see my blog post on this.

You may also be interested in my blog post about breastfeeding in Bluewater too.

Emma in Bromley

Tuesday 11 August 2009

Biological Nurturing, cracked nipples and breast pains!

I've been breastfeeding for 7 weeks. My baby is putting on lots of weight and produces an awful lot of poo so I know I'm doing something right!

I had help from the midwives to learn how to get my baby to latch on and have had Eight midwives, two health visitors, a breastfeeding councillor and a home care nurse all tell me that baby latches on perfectly and my positioning is spot on - and yet I am not bragging!

If all the above is right - then how come, 7 weeks on, I still have cracked nipples and ten mins into a feed I get toe curling deep pains? Nobody has been able to tell me what these pains are and I've been checked to make sure it's not thrush or anything.

It was suggested that maybe my nipples just need to toughen up or that I should experiment with different positions. I also bought some nipple guards (although these are not recommended as they can reduce your milk supply) but weirdly they were too big - not only was there lots of shield above where my nipple ends but they are too long to fit in my baby's mouth without choking baby meaning baby is sucking on the very tip of nipple (ouch!)

I'm treating my sore nipples to lansinoh cream, lots and lots of washing in plain water and a little bit of air (cover said nips with tea strainers inside your bra to allow air to circulate!)

Whilst in a state of desperation (almost daily I come close to giving up with breastfeeding) I came across something called Biological Nurturing - believe it or not, there are other positions available besides the three shown to you by the NHS. I got myself into a very comfortable reclined position on the sofa with my feet up and let my baby find my nipple, attach and suckle, there was lots of head bobbing and lifting but once nipple was located, latching on happened at the first attempt!

There was no one arm balancing/ wrestling / repeated attempts before baby settled for a feed for once! (not shown in the NHS guide by the way, but I'm pretty sure the wrestling happens to most of us!)

Although the weird 10 min in pain still occurred, my nipples got a break as there was no pressure on the sore bits!

I'm wondering if the pain I get is because I'm "empty" baby usually suckles on one breast for 45 mins and sometimes a further 15 mins on the other and then goes 2 hours ( sometimes 3 hours!)before next feed... is baby just suckling an empty breast and using me for comfort (a human dummy) and that's what the pain is?

I would recommend reading about Biological Nurturing to other breastfeeding mums who may want to experiment with other positions!

Emma in Bromley

Friday 7 August 2009

Breastfeeding in Bluewater

Bluewater shopping centre in Dartford (20 mins from Bromley) has some really great facilities for breastfeeding mums!

Look out for their family rooms dotted about near the restrooms - these not only have nappy change and toilets big enough to accommodate a pram, shopping and any extra little ones you may have with you... they also have rocking chairs in them for breastfeeding mummy's! The door to the room is lockable so you don't need to worry about other families walking in on you.
The only downside is that they are very popular so you may have to wait a little while for one to come free!
You might also enjoy my blog post on Breastfeeding in The Glades, Bromley.And breastfeeding in Mothercare, Bromley
Emma in Bromley