Kids Stuck Inside and Feeling Anxious? Read them this FREE Rainbow Trail ebook

The world right now is awash with scary coronavirus news.

As COVID-19 sweeps across the globe and communities are locked down in an effort to prevent the spread of infection, our children will inevitably be feeling unsettled.

Yet besides the fear and dread and isolation, there is love and hope and connection.

If you take a daily walk around your neighbourhood, you may have notice a rainbow or two hanging from people's windows.  A symbol of solidarity and hope, these rainbows are multiplying as more and more families join the trend.

If your children have enjoyed their own rainbow trail, or if you plan on making your own rainbow, there's a good chance that you might like to read Freddie Rabbit's Rainbow Trail.

This illustrated ebook takes the reader on Freddie rabbit's own rainbow trail and is completely FREE to download.

(There is also the option to 'pay what you want' if you can afford to spare any loose change, and all profits will be donated to support frontline COVID-19 relief efforts.)

Wishing you and your loved ones peace and wellness.

Louise xoxo

My Sleep Deficit Is Four Months - What's Yours?

"Mummy needs to sleep for a month."

We all laughed at my seven-year-old's suggestion.  A month of sleep to catch up on the hours I've lost since my newest sleep-thief was born, just over two years ago?  A whole month?!  Hilarious.

Though it turns out, she was onto something...

My husband grew quiet as he did some sums in his head.

"It's four months," he said, aghast.


The Motherlove Valentines Giveaway!

I am so excited to be partnering with Motherlove in this extra-special Valentine's giveaway, in which one lucky mama will win this gorgeous expectant mama prize bundle!

Here's how to enter:
  1. Follow Motherlove on Instagram.
  2. Like and leave a comment on this post on the Mama Bean Facebook page. (Be sure to comment, so that we can contact you if you're the lucky winner!)

Remember to share the love and share this giveaway with your mommy friends!

The Meme Every Breastfeeding Mom Will Relate To

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock these last few weeks, you’re sure to have stumbled across the #10YearChallenge hashtag: the social media trend pairing two photos of the same individual, spaced ten years apart.

Across the globe, friends are collectively praising one another’s ageing, all the while skeptics are questioning whether the hashtag is an evil cog in the Zuckerberg empire...after all, what better way to develop facial recognition technology (for free) than to collect millions of side-by-side snapshots of the real-life ageing process?

The problem, though, even for a well-oiled machine like Facebook, is that people are mostly posting their ‘best’ pictures...and by ‘best’, I mean filtered.

We are seeing airbrushed photographs set against beautiful backdrops, with more than a single helping of ‘forgiving’ lighting.  We aren’t exactly seeing reality, as even if the smiles are real, the shots are hand-picked for supposed perfection.

Introducing...drum roll please...the #10YearChallenge meme that every breastfeeding mom will relate to:

Do you see what I see?

Moms, we Need to Talk about Diastisis Recti

It’s been seven years, three months and twenty two days since I gave birth to my first baby, and I am still recovering.

A few minutes after my gorgeous, 9lb 8oz baby girl made her appearance into the world, I had what’s classed as a ‘major' postpartum haemorrhage.  Within a matter of seconds, half of my blood volume had launched its way across the delivery room and a team of medics were working on me whilst intermittently muttering the words: “stay with us, Louise.”

I needed hormones intravenously to force my uterus to contract and stop the bleed, but I’d lost too much blood far too fast, which had caused my veins to collapse.

Several nurses repeatedly pricked all the way up my hands and forearms, trying to get a line in, all the while a consultant OBGYN was carrying out the procedure that helped save my life.

The procedure he was forced to do is called bimanual uterine compressions and essentially consists of contracting the uterus manually, with one hand pushed against the body of the uterus and the other hand compressing the womb from above, through the abdominal wall.

Seven years later, the pain of those compressions is still palpable.  Yet emotionally, I feel at peace.

It is the physical scars that burden me now.

You see, I was left with an eight-finger diastisis recti.  That means that my abdominal muscles were separated by a width of eight fingers.  I only found this out when my daughter was two and I slipped a disk in my spine, due to having an exceptionally weak core (go figure). Before this point, I hadn’t even heard of a diastisis, let alone knew I was a poster girl for the condition.

Yet moms with uncomplicated birthing stories can also suffer from a diastisis…my eight finger separation is pretty extreme, but smaller gaps are very common, with 98% of new moms thought to be affected.

My Baby Is Not Using Me As A Pacifier

When my baby was around a month old, we offered him a pacifier.

He spat it out.

I remember my husband and I exchanging glances...our eldest child had adored her paci...why was our new baby rejecting the wonders of a silicone nipple?!

We kept offering and he kept spitting and so it came to be that we somehow managed to live without a pacifier.

My baby boy is now a thriving one year old and I have literally lost count of the number of times that well-meaning people have told me how much he needs a pacifier...

Pumping Profiles: The Smartpump

To complete our Pumping Profiles series, this week we're meeting Emily, who uses an all-singing-all-dancing Smartpump.

I am so thrilled to share Emily's story, as she reminds each and every one of us to remember why we are making the choices that we make.  This working mama's message is one of encouragement and commitment.