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Postnatal Recovery I can't get over how different my postnatal recovery has been since giving birth to Holly 2. I know this has a lot to do with the differences in my labour and birth and the trauma my body suffered during childbirth but it also has a lot to do with experience - I was well-prepared this time and learned lots of lessons after Lara was born. Given that our babymoon was rudely interrupted this time around by a family tummy bug followed by Lara getting chickenpox, I'm astounded at myself for remaining so mellow during the recovery period.

This is how I coped! Wounds I was more mentally prepared for stitches this time around and I think I was lucky that the stitches were in an easier place to deal with.

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  • As with my first child, I took Arnica homeopathy tablets to speed up healing, took a daily bath in salted water with a few drops of lavender oil and ensured that everything stayed clean and dry. I kept a cup in the bathroom to pour warm water over the stitches and keep them clean and ensured I drank plenty of water to dilute the urine and prevent stinging.

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    I started pelvic floor exercises as soon as I felt brave enough and was surprised at what good shape the muscles were in. My stitches healed within two weeks.

    This time, it all kicked off before Holly was born and so I was already taking laxatives and using ointments. Lessons I learned were not to hold back from going to the toilet, however much it hurts and also to use a soft toilet tissue like Andrex Washlets which, in my opinion, should be on every new-mum's essentials list - not only do they make it more comfortable but also help you to keep things clean, which helps your wounds to heal and stay uninfected.

    I also experimented with wiping cold cotton pads soaked in witch-hazel to help reduce the piles but it didn't seem to do much. Sore Breasts Now this one came as a surprise with my first baby - people warn you but you just don't 'get' it until it happens. On day two when my boobs felt raw and the nipples were bleeding, I reached for my lanolin cream, had a nice warm bath with a flannel on each breast and told myself repeatedly that everything would be alright once the milk came in I grimaced through the pain and sure enough, the next day the milk arrived and after relieving the weight of the milk using my breast pump, everything slowly returned to normal.

    Well, as normal as leaky, enormous breasts can ever be. Dizziness Breastfeeding is hard work and puts a lot of demands on your body. My secret is to snack regularly and I have museli bars and cake bars secreted throughout the house for me to grab when I need them; I also have emergency glucose tablets for if I feel light-headed.

    B is always pestering me to drink - I feel like I'm drinking about 20 pints of water a day. The chicken pox and tummy bug didn't help matters with myself, Mr.

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  • B and Lara up several times each night, as well as Holly. Having a preschooler in the house rather enforces a routine, whether you like it or not.

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    Holly still has a very annoying wide-awake period between about 3 and 6 in the morning but it'll come with time and I'm sure I won't even notice it happening. When you have your first child, people tell you to make the most of your baby's nap times and sleep when they sleep but it's another one of those things you don't truely grasp until it happens - this time both myself and Mr.

    B have been a lot more disciplined on ourselves to sleep when Holly sleeps Posted by Emma Button at As you will probably know, if only from our blog post earlier this week on growing your own veg, I'm pretty big on homegrown food.

    Spending time with my daughter in the garden together is not only great fun in the fresh air, but really importantly, it helps to teach Lara about the origins of the food she eats. Lara loves to eat tomatoes.

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    In fact, I would say that cherry tomatoes are just about Lara's favourite food on the entire planet. For a child like Lara, who has had the opportunity to grow her own veg since a very early age, the direct association between the tomato she eats and the plants that she grows is not a big jump to make but even for Lara, being able to identify that the contents of a jar of pasta sauce also originate from the same plant, is a much bigger step to make.

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  • Lara cooks with me in the kitchen, she sees the ingredients we add to certain dishes but she doesn't get to see or read the ingredients of the products we buy in the supermarkets and learning to grow her own veg is a small step in helping her to understand. Dolmio sent me a report that they have compiled about the knowledge of UK kids have about the origins of their food and what constitutes healthy food - I'll be honest, it depressed me a lot.

    It doesn't suprise me to find out that a third of UK kids have never talked to their parents about the importance of eating healthy foods but it does really terrify me that over half of the children interviewed have never had a conversation with their family about where the food on their plate comes from - when I sit at the dining table with Lara, it is a daily topic of conversation; she seems quite genuinely fascinated by the foods she eats.

    The good news is that most UK schools and nurseries now offer children the chance to grow fruit and vegetables, if only to a superficial level. But, Dolmio's research shows that children WANT to learn at home, they want to take what they've touched at school and apply it elsewhere.

    Children trust their parents to teach them about foods and about the world around them. You can register on their site and receive a free pack of tomato seeds along with growing tips for how to grow your own fresh tomatoes on a window ledge or in a tub - tomatoes really are dead easy to grow with as little or as much investment of time as you wish. There are , free packs of seeds up for grabs at www.

    There are also lots of prizes to be won in their Growmato game and an overall winner of the Grow Your Own Tomato challenge will win a family holiday to Italy.

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    Dolmio sent Lara some plant pots, compost and a trowel to help her plant her tomato seeds. We planted our tomatos and gave them a good watering, as you can see!

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    Keshura

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    So happens.

    Nikojin

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