Monthly Archives: March 2006

And the winners are…

Well, we had lots of entries to the HQ competition and I can now reveal that the correct answer was – JASMINE!!!

So well done to all of you who got it right!

But sadly, there can only be 2 winners…. and they are…..

EmmanKim and Feemcj

Well done ladies!!!

Don’t forget to look out for the Magic Custard Competition, and of course, please read my thread about how not to miss competitions!!

Magic Custard! Win a home casting kit…

The Magic Custard Company and are giving you a chance to win a Magic Custard Home Casting Kit! Martin Kern, the founder of Magic Custard tells us:

It was my son Gabriel who inspired me to start this most precious business and find fulfilment in providing the same beautiful memories for others. I work with children, creating works of art that bring so much joy into peoples lives.

Magic Custard began in 1997 as a cottage industry operating out of my father’s garage. Following the company’s growth in popularity we now have our own studio in West London where customers are welcome by appointment. We also trade with The Magic Custard Mobile Unit at the world-renowned Greenwich Arts and Crafts market, Ealing Broadway shopping centre, and have agents in Glasgow/Edinburgh, Manchester and Essex. In August 2000 Magic Custard was given exclusive access to Mothercare’s flagship store at Marble Arch.

I developed the Magic Custard casting technique by building on my training as a theatre set, costume and lighting designer. Along with my more recent sales background I realised I could develop a company that would be fun to work in and where what we did would bring something special into people’s lives. I was also keen to do something that in some way ‘gave back’. Magic Custard allows me to help people capture memories in a very tangible and very beautiful form. Our casts are the most beautiful thing a parent could possibly own. I still love watching parents collect casts, their faces literally light up when they see them for the first time, I just love what we do!

The competition details will be announced on Tuesday 11th April 2006 and will run for 48 hours ending at 7.30pm on Thursday 13th April 2006.  I have seen one of these casts made from a home casting kit, and it is truly stunning. To find out more about Magic Custard and the Home Casting Kit, visit their website by clicking HERE

Madmums Competition policy – click HERE to read…

Hints on how not to miss competitions, click HERE.



Vitamins ‘may up pregnancy risk’


Image of a pregnant woman
The condition can be fatal to mother and child
High doses of vitamin supplements may raise the risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women rather than protecting against it, research suggests.

Up to 25,000 British women every year are affected by pre-eclampsia, which causes blood pressure to rise to levels which threaten mother and baby.

Vitamin C and E were thought to cut the risk.

But a Lancet study by the charity Tommy’s found women at high-risk should not take large doses of the vitamins.

“Careful management has long been seen as the best way to deal with pre-eclampsia”
Michael Rich

Pre-eclampsia has been linked to the production of toxic molecules called free radicals by the placenta.

A previous small-scale study carried out by the same charity suggested vitamin C and E could tackle this risk by blocking the damage caused by free radicals.

However, the latest study, funded by the Wellcome Trust, found the reverse appeared to be true.

Some 2,400 expectant mothers with high blood pressure, kidney problems, clotting disorders or diabetes were given either extra vitamin supplements or a placebo.

The team discovered that pre-eclampsia appeared about a week earlier among those who received the vitamins – and they were also 15% more likely to deliver low birth-weight babies.

Researcher Professor Lucilla Poston said: “Our findings of an increase in low birth weight and an increased need for treatment for pre-eclampsia suggest that these high doses of vitamins C and E do not work in preventing pre-eclampsia in this high-risk group.”

Folic acid

Her colleague Professor Andrew Shennan stressed there was no evidence that taking pregnancy-specific multivitamin preparations would produce the same results.

He stressed that it was important that pregnant women, and those trying for a baby continued to take folic acid supplements to reduce the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.

Michael Rich, of the charity Action on Pre-eclampsia, said: “Thousands of women throughout the UK and, indeed the world, will be massively disappointed to hear the news that the vitamins in pre-eclampsia trial has shown no benefit.

“We had high hopes for the use of high dose vitamins C and E in reducing the risk of developing pre-eclampsia.

“However, a good thing that has come out of the trial is that it will prevent the use of high dose vitamin C and E slipping into clinical practice.

“Careful management has long been seen as the best way to deal with pre-eclampsia – that remains the same.”

Mothers poem from The Gambia

For those of you that don’t know Sheelagh Fowler she is our contact in The Gambia for the madmums The Gambia Appeal.  There is a thread about the Appeal under Car Boot, and I will add to this thread later.  Anyway, Sheelagh is a nurse working for the British High Commission out in The Gambia (West Africa), and has been a resident there for some 15 years.  She looks after any British citizen in need of medical care with a care and patience that is humbling.  Besides, her normal clinic duties she attends ward rounds at the only decent medical centre in the country called the Medical Research Centre which is situated opposite the British High Commission.  Sheelagh is dedicated to educating youngsters about sexual health and family planning.  I still remember the seminar she gave to 40 Gambian employees round at our house.  She also started a national Blood Bank Programme, but unfortunately it never took off-long story about changing cultural attitudes.  Sheelagh is an extremely busy woman but still finds time to not only look after sick humans but also animals!!! On top of this she is a brilliant contact for us to be able to continue the appeal. 


I just want to say THANK YOU to all you kind mums out there who have taken the time to send your baby parcels over to The Gambia where they really are needed.  I will add your names and items sent on the thread later.  Also, I wish to say THANK YOU to Sheelagh  for all her efforts.




Sheelagh has emailed me an update of things sent and who sent them, but I need to tally up.  I hope to post on here later. 


Meanwhile, Sheelagh has sent us this beautiful poem below.  I love it so much it’s gonna be printed off and mounted on a wall.




We are both little people, you and I,

We laugh and play under the same bright sky.

But I am here and you are there,

It helps so much to know you care!


Our play mat is earth, our bed is a mat,

We rarely wear shoes, there is no need for that.

Some times we are sick but the doctor is far

We don’t have a bus or a bike or a car.


Our toys are a pebble or a can and a stick,

We chase the chickens, and play catch me quick,

Our food may be simple but we never say no,

As we know that this is will help us to grow


But we are both little people, you and I

We both laugh and play under the same bright sky

Our worlds may divide us but we are really the same

We hold are heads high, we struggle without shame

Our precious mother’s love is something we share,

But it helps to know just how much you care.








Sheelagh Fowler

Clinic Nurse

British High Commission



Scottish Night Out


I know there was another thread about this but it kinda strayed off the point pmsl!!

As far as i can work out we have arranged the Night Out for the 20th May – I have come up with 2 venues – either Frankensteins or the Sports Cafe

I would personally prefer Frankensteins its a great place with good music etc and always a good laugh (the man himself even makes an appearance!!)

You can let me know what you all think anyway


Teething symptoms.

When your lo is teething, what symptons do they have? For example, the classic red cheaks and general grumpyness, and of course chewing on everything…

Ella seems to have a bit of dihorea when she’s teething, and she tend to get a bad cold. In the past when I’ve mentioned it to one of the HV, they swear blind that its not related, but it does seem to be too much of a coincidence.


HQ Competition-Fantastic prizes!

Yes folks, its competition time here again on Madmums! HQ have kindly donated 2 Mama Mio Congratulation Kits to be won by you lucky ladies. is the chic, stylish hair and beauty internet store where you can buy your favourite, cult, hard-to-find hair, beauty, fashion and grooming products. For super fast delivery and simply the best online advice, is the ultimate, one stop luxury shopping experience to satisfy all your beauty cravings. is here to help with your addiction!
So then here’s what you have to do. Simply visit the HQ website by clicking HERE and answer this question: Who at HQ hair would be happy to help you achieve your dream look? PM me your answer – DO NOT POST ANSWERS ON THIS THREAD!!!
  • One guess per member by PRIVATE MESSAGE ONLY!
  • I will only accept your 1st answer – any subsequent answers will not count.
  • DO NOT post your answer here. You may discuss the competition, but you MUST NOT put your answer here.
  • The names of all the members who guess correctly will be put in a hat, and 2 winners drawn out at random (by DH with that lovely scarf round his head!)
  • Deadline for entering is 7.30pm BST on Thursday 30th March 2006. The winners will be announced at 8.30pm BST on that day. (BST being British Summer Time)
The correct answer has been verified in advance between Dizie, HQ Hair and The Managers – as such I’m afraid Vickimom, Mum2Joshua and MumSam cannot enter. Please see the Madmums Competitions Policy for further info (here)
Good luck everyone! And please post on here to say that you have entered. Just to say that – not your answer!!

How does post natal depression affect you?

I’ve been having what I would call a “slump” recently, and a few of the effects of my PND have been exaggerated. I’m not entirely surprised as going back to work was a hell of a shock to the system, but it has kind of knocked me sideways!

I’m feeling a bit better now – not fully there, but it struck me just how stupid some of the effects of pnd can be. So I thought it might be useful, if people are willing, to post on here how it has affected you. I take great support from knowing that you lot are here with me and that I’m not alone with this illness and I thought I’d start the ball rolling for anyone in the same boat.

One of the weirdest things I find is that when I’m low, I can’t watch television. Not that I watch a lot, but I just can’t watch anything except for property programmes like Location and Grand Designs! I mean, how silly is that!! When I’m down, my head can’t cope with anything that even slightly taxes me, so when Ella was born, I couldn’t watch the new series of Doctor Who – we had to tape them and I’ve only recently finished the series! It probably sounds ridiculous to most people, but I just cannot cope with the tv. Even programmes that I love, like The West Wing are too much for me.

I also feel like I can’t leave the house. Thats the hardest thing for me really as the flip side is, that I start to feel boxed in.

So there you go. I just thought this might be a useful thread for people as support.

True-To-Life Features – Your Stories Your Reality

Hi all madmums! Have you ever read an article in a magazine or seen a TV programme and thought ‘that’s happened to me too?’ Or have you found yourself thinking you’ve experienced something far better or worse? Perhaps you’ve never even realised you’ve been through anything which other people would like to hear about? Less still, that you could make hundreds of pounds from it?! Well, here’s your chance to change it.
I’m a freelance feature writer for national newspapers and women’s magazines. I am trusted and respected by all the household names like Take-A-Break, Chat, Bella, Best, Pick Me Up, Woman, Woman’s Own, Company, Cosmpolitan, Essentials, Prima Baby etc. to provide them with touching, interesting and accurate real life stories. I cover anything and everything, from surprise and turbulent pregnancies, to miracle babies, to courageous kids, to overcoming rare illnesses/injuries/addictions, to finding love in unusual circumstances, to the death of a loved one, to uncoventional family set-ups, to cosmetic surgery, to adoption, to surrogacy, to weight loss, to adultery or being the victim of a love rat or con artist, to pursuing a unique job/ hobby/lifestyle. I have previously posted on the ‘Saying Hi’ section of Madmums and the response I had was amazing. In fact, I have already placed a couple of stories with magazines. So thanks everyone! However, I’m always on the lookout for more tales. So, if you’ve been through something happy or hilarious, traumatic or tragic, miraculous or just plain old memorable, please get in touch. By telling your story, you could be inspiring others and earning some cash in the process. Don’t be shy, I pride myself in being professional, yet friendly and down-earth. If you’re in any doubt, please see my website – or email me
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
  Jenny x 

My Birth Story

My Birth Story

My Birth StoryI was shocked but excited to discover I was pregnant, I had always been such a maternal person.  I was convinced my pregnancy would be a breeze.  I eagerly awaited my growing bump and struggled not to let on to anyone but close family that I was pregnant.  Unfortunately I suffered from awful morning sickness which lasted all day so work cottoned on quite fast.

At around 8 weeks I started to get pains on one side of my abdomen and was sent to the hospital for a scan with a suspected ectopic pregnancy.  Thankfully everything was alright, seeing my babys’ heartbeat made it all seem so real.  It was suggested I had a UTI and I was prescribed a course of antibiotics, which seemed to help and the pain eased.  At around 12 weeks I started to get abdominal pains again.  It was always put down to a UTI although my urine tests were coming back negative.  I was having trouble sleeping because of the pain but no one seemed to have any answers.  On top of it all my blood pressure dipped quite low and I was regularly fainting.  My GP signed me off work.

Eventually someone seemed to have an answer to why I was in so much pain.  I was told I had round ligament pain which was caused by the ligaments stretching to make room for my growing baby; unfortunately there was nothing they could do.  I learnt to live with the pain but then it started to change, I was getting sharp stabbing pains in my groin and it was painful using the stairs.  I made an appointment with my GP I never made it to the appointment because I woke up 2 days later in agony.  I could hardly separate my legs and could not get out of bed, using the stairs was impossible.  I phoned my partner who called the doctor for me and came home.  The GP came around to see me and examined me.  He explained it was a problem with my pelvis and was unlikely to improve throughout the pregnancy; I needed to see a consultant.

The next day I went to the hospital so see the consultant.  I was walking very slowly, practically shuffling.  I was called through and an SHO examined me (I never saw the consultant).  He poked my pelvis so hard I nearly screamed and asked where the pain was.  I explained my groin and hips were agony, I had some pain down my thighs when I walked and slight lower back pain.  He told me it was a problem with the ligaments from my spine and said I would need to see a physiotherapist; I would receive an appointment in a few weeks.  I was shocked and explained that I could not walk, I needed something sooner.  Eventually he agreed to put me through as an urgent referral.  I took the referral to the Physiotherapist department myself to speed the process up and on the way I read it.  I was shocked to discover he had ignored what I had said and had altered my symptoms to fit his diagnoses.  He had stated the pain was in my back and thighs and had not mentioned my groin or hips.

Thankfully, the physiotherapists were fantastic.  The first person to look at me knew straight away what was wrong from the way I walked before I even opened my mouth.  She fitted me with a pelvic belt and made an appointment for me to see a specialist.  She also gave me information on Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction; at last my condition had a name.

I read up on SPD and discovered round ligament pain can often lead onto SPD.  I had been lucky my GP had recognised the signs, as it is often put down to being ‘one of the pregnancy aches and pains’ so ignored.  I found out SPD is caused by the production of the hormone Relaxin in the body, which softens the ligaments in your pelvis in order to make your babys’ passage through your pelvis as easy as possible.  With SPD it causes the ligaments to soften too much, which allows for increased movement in the pelvis.  This can lead to a great deal of pain and discomfort.

When I saw Mo, my physiotherapist, she was surprised at how bad my case of SPD was.  She manipulated my pelvis to make it more comfortable and gave me some exercises.  She also gave me some crutches and warned me that some women end up in a wheelchair.  I was determined this was not going to happen. 
I had already been signed off work so I was now stuck at home every day.  Walking was getting more and more painful and I was in agony trying to turn over in bed.  To get in the car I had to sit down and then swing my legs in together and vice versa to get out.  If I forgot and opened my legs it was agony.  It took me 5 minutes at least just to get up the stairs, especially at night when the pain was at its worse.  My partner tried to help but there was not much he could do.  Some nights he would go out to the kitchen or the garage just so he could not hear me sobbing as he felt bad that he could not help me.  I wore satin pyjamas to bed as it made it easier to roll over but it was still agony.

One night I got fed up with it all, I was going out for a meal with my girlfriends and went out without my crutches, I was fed up with it taking over my life.  That night I did not sleep, I just sat on the edge of the bed, exhausted but unable to lie down with the excruciating pain.

After weeks of agony I caved in.  I contacted the Red Cross and arranged to borrow a wheelchair until the end of my pregnancy.  I felt low and deflated but I refused to let it overshadow my pregnancy.  With every kick I smiled, even when the kicks were aimed at my pelvis and it felt as though I was tearing in two.

My first time out in the wheelchair was around the supermarket.  Tony pushed the trolley and I wheeled myself, I was very conscious of the way people looked at me, especially when they spotted my bump.  It was as though someone in a wheelchair could not be pregnant.  I had been in the shop less than 2 minutes when someone first cut in front of me.  I assumed they had not seen me, then it happened more and more and I realised people were intentionally doing it because they did not want to get stuck behind a wheelchair user.  Tony was getting some vegetables so I stopped for a second at the side, to rest my arms.  Suddenly I felt the wheelchair moving, someone had physically moved me to get to what they wanted.  They obviously felt asking me to move would be too difficult!  I was livid; I got the car keys from Tony and left the shop, tears stinging my eyes.

After that I was nervous about using the wheelchair and used my crutches again but soon it was impossible to go out unless I used the wheelchair.  With the help of Tony I grew in confidence and although people still looked down at me and cut me up, I did not care.  My mum took me to Peterborough to do our last bits of baby shopping and we laughed about her pushing me about again, as she had when I had been a baby myself.

Unfortunately, the SPD was now so bad I could not use the stairs at all, so every night Tony made me up the sofa bed for me before going up to bed.  I missed him so much and hated what was happening to me.  I called the hospital one morning when the pain was too much and they took me in, they examined me and prescribed some stronger painkillers, they hardly touched the pain.  I felt terrible taking them, worried about what harm I was doing to my unborn child.

About a week later I woke up screaming in pain.  I was due to see the midwife that day (at home) but I called the hospital.  They told me there was nothing they could do for me.  I called Zoe (my midwife) and she said she would sort it out.  When she arrived at my house she told me to pack an overnight bag and get myself to the hospital as she had called them and told them they had to admit me.

I called my mum who left work and came to pick me up.  She took me to the hospital and I was prescribed diamorphine injections.  I felt terrible but they assured me the baby would be monitored and I was in so much pain I did not argue.  That night I felt slightly better but by the morning I was back to being in agony.  I was moved to a bed closer to the door so I would be closer to the toilet as walking was becoming increasingly difficult.  I was put onto 2 doses of morphine a day with extra painkillers in between, on the 3rd day I got a lot worse.  Tony was with me and getting ready to leave for the night, I lifted myself forward to say goodnight and my pelvis locked.  I was in absolute agony, screaming and crying in pain.  Tony held me and called a midwife who tried to move me, increasing the pain ten fold.  Eventually, the pain subsided, they gave me some painkillers but from then on I could not bare weight on my legs at all.  I had to be helped into my wheelchair to go to the loo and helped in the shower.  One night the midwife made me use a bed pan instead of taking me to the toilet.  I felt like I was not a person anymore.  I started pushing to be induced and I wanted to know if I was going to be capable of giving birth.  They assured me I would be fine, started a course of prostaglandin gel to soften my cervix and induce labour.  I needed gas and air just to open my legs far enough for the gel to be inserted.

It went nowhere, the gel did nothing, and in the mean time I was pushing more and more morphine on my unborn baby.  I was desperate for a natural birth but it was all getting too much, I asked for a caesarean and was told if I had not gone into labour in 2 days they would.  That night it was decided for me when the foetal heart rate rose.  They monitored me all night and at 2am took me through to the labour ward.  I was monitored again but it had calmed down so they decided to check again in the morning.

I was exhausted after a week with no sleep; the consultant suggested I might have a busy day tomorrow so she prescribed sleeping pills.  That combined with the fact that for the first time in a week I was not in a room with 4 snoring pregnant women, I slept.

The following morning I spoke to a midwife who said that whatever happened I would not be in until the afternoon.  My mum had called and been told I had been sent through to the labour ward and was panicking so I called her and told her I would speak to her later.  She spoke to Tony and he went to work.

A monitor was attached to my tummy and the heart rate was monitored again.  I could tell it wasn’t right straight away and after 20 minutes someone came through and told me I was having a caesarean straight away and started prepping me.  Someone told me Tony had been called and told to rush back from work; he had only just walked in the door and worked an hour away.  The next bit is all a blur as I was taken through to the theatre.  Thankfully my friends mum was working there and she helped put me at ease.  I was given a spinal block and had a drip put in my hand then a catheter inserted.  I was panicking Tony would not get there, then someone came in and told me he had arrived, the next thing I knew he was there next to me, looking very sexy in his scrubs.  All I could think about was that I had been told because of the morphine the baby would be floppy and might need resuscitation.  The midwife asked if we had a preference and Tony admitted he wanted a little boy.  The next thing I knew there was crying and the midwife said ‘it’s a boy’ and Tony grinned as they lifted up my little boy to show me.  He had thick dark hair which really shocked me and he was perfect.  They asked if we had a name and we both said Edward so it was decided then and there.

I breastfed Edward as soon as I was back on recovery, he then slept until 8pm.  I was on a high and felt on top of the world, although I was still in pain from my caesarean scar, I needed morphine and painkillers still.  We had a good night, although Edward was hungry and did not want to sleep much I managed without having to ask for help.
The following morning I had the catheter and drip removed, with the aid of my crutches I walked very slowly down the corridor to the shower.  It was painful and stiff but I felt great.  Tony arrived at 10am; we sat on the side of the bed.  I was holding Edward and I saw a friend I had made on another ward come in.  I got up and walked over to her without the aid of my crutches, I did not even realise I had done it until Tony pointed it out.  I was amazed, it did not even hurt.

I carried on recovering well.  My physiotherapist was amased when she walked in to see me, not only to find me with a wonderful baby boy but also sitting cross legged on the bed.  The consultants then admitted they were worried about how I would feel after Edward was born; all were stunned by my recovery. I went home 3 days after Edward we born.

Apart from the odd twinge my hips are now completely back to normal.  I can walk easily, even long distance.

I am thoroughly enjoying being a mum to Edward, he is an absolute joy and it was worth everything I went through just to hold my baby boy.

(My story told until Edward was 6 weeks old)

This is a members article by Madzwalker