Useful Sites, Books and Research

Pregnancy & Birth

Wise Hippo Hypnobirthing (UK) Both Lauren and Jo took classes with WH instructors and we can’t recommend them highly enough. Whilst instruction is designed around the traditional Mongon Method, Dany and Tamara have adapted it to make it more applicable to the UK. Like the Facebook page for lots of ‘Right birth on the day’ stories and use the ‘Find a Course’ option on the website to locate an instructor near you. Join the #calmandrelaxed revolution and take charge of your labour and birth.

The Positive Birth Movement (UK but with groups worldwide) The brain child of Milli Hill, who has just released a book of the same name. Absolutely indispensable group that seeks to share positive and empowering birth stories – whatever type of borth you had – in order to remove the anxiety, fear and negativity surrounding birth.
In addition to the website, there are 250 local groups in the UK (free to attend – find you local PBM group here) and a further 200 in the rest of the world. The Facebook group is also full of stories that will help you relax into the thought of giving birth – it’s lovely to have such positivity in your news feed whilst pregnant.

Ina May Gaskin (US but Worldwide) The World’s most famous patron of mother-centred labour and birth, and advocate of protecting the mental and physical wellbeing of birth mother and child. Her books are a must read if you want to take control of your birth, know your rights in labour and make the whole experience as positive and empowered as it should be. She also has an FB page.

Doula UK Everything you need to know about doulas and then some. Find one local to you, support the access fund, apply to the access fund or become a doula yourself!

Breastfeeding

The Breastfeeding Network (UK) Wonderful charity supporting and advising breastfeeding mothers, their partners and families.

Kelly Mom (US) Lots of great advice, insight and resources. An absolute godsend for anything relating to breastfeeding and expressing.

La Leche League International breastfeeding support with local groups, incredibly knowledgeable and quick to help, especially through their Facebook groups where you’ll also find lots of local communities of breastfeeding mums. Their own publication The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is a recommended read, also.

Breastfeeding Uncovered (UK) Run by the brilliant Dr Amy Brown of Swansea University. Research and evidence based and with a drive towards societal change and normalising breastfeeding. Her related Facebook page is also excellent.

Baby Led Breastfeeding (Book) by Gill Rapley Jo cannot sing the praises of this book enough. A major factor in saving her and Primrose’s breastfeeding journey, a few weeks in.

Pinky McKay (Aus.) Renowned IBCLC and Gentle Parenting author. She shares lots of helpful articles as well as her own writing on this, her Facebook page.

Drugs in Breastmilk Information Service (UK) Run by the Breastfeeding Network. With 20 years experience, Wendy Jones answers all questions that come through private message or email. So, if you’re prescribed a drug or are booked in for surgery, this is your ‘go to’ for whether you can safely breastfeed your baby.

Breastfeeding for Dads and Grandmas (UK) Also run by Wendy Jones, this is a great resource for supporting you partner/daughter/friend on their breastfeeding journey.

The Leaky Boob (US) Intended as a place of breastfeeding support and non-judgemental discussion – a breastfeeding ‘pub’ – run by Jessica Martin-Webber, mum of (soon to be) seven children. If using the Facebook page, be sure to read the ‘Interaction Values’, via the ‘About’ section of the page.

The Milk Meg (Aus.) Meg was a LLL Leader for seven years before qualifying as an IBCLC. Her page is chock full of useful advice, support and guidance for breastfeeding mothers. Brilliant Facebook page too.

Dr Jay Gordon (US) A plethora of advice about all paediatric concerns but it is the article ‘Look at the Baby, Not the Scale’ that we recommend most highly – Jo found it exceptionally reassuring when Primrose was gaining weight slowly.

Boob or Bust Seriously helpful group for ensuring that you’re wearing the correct size bra, thanks to the trusty ‘Boob Calculator’. We’re frequently amazed by the discrepancy in actual sizes vs the measurement given by many High Street shops.

Can I Breastfeed In It? (UK) Sick of forking out for expensive nursing garments, or being faced with clothes that are ‘maternity and nursing’ (great for the first weeks/few months but not much use once your tummy has retracted)? This Facebook group, with almost 40k members, is the place to go for inspiration. Members share finds from high street or online retailers that are BF friendly – particularly useful if you’re looking for an outfit for a special occasion.
There is also a selling site if you want to grab a bargain, or sell on your nursing items.

Perinatal Mental Health

PANDAS (Pre- and Postnatal Depression Advice and Support) (UK) Invaluable resource for guidance, support and techniques to cope with perinatal mental health issues.

MIND (UK) Whether you (or someone you’re worried about) need immediate help, or just some friendly guidance, this national charity is a good place to start.

Beautiful blog post if you’re suffering with Baby Blues: When Love Feels Heavy.

General Parenting

Attachment Parenting UK Invaluable resource for understanding the importance of attachment from birth, right through to starting school. Their Facebook page is also useful.

Hand in Hand Parenting Building a secure connection with your child, plus advice on how to tackle certain behaviours with kindness and empathy. Their Facebook page is very active, with lots of useful articles shared daily.

Jen the HV (UK) We all know that visiting the HV is a lottery – some are incredibly supportive and clued up on breastfeeding, gentle sleep, attachment… but then you get dealt a bad hand and your faith in them unravels. Jen is one of the ones we *hope* we get to speak to. With two children of her own and as a big believer in following maternal instinct rather than crap advice from a book, her page is definitely worth following.

Sleep

Sarah Ockwell-Smith Her range of ‘gentle’ books are fantastic. The Gentle Sleep Book, in particular, is a must read before having a baby – unpicking decades of advice and looking at what babies actually need, why they sleep the way the do, and the phases they tend to go through according to age.
Brilliant Facebook groups linked to each book, to, featuring monthly Q&A sessions if you have a specific query.

Jennie Harrison: The Sleep Deprived Mum’s Coach (UK) Yes, she runs Gentle Sleep Workshops but she also has a very active Facebook Page, which normalises infant sleep patterns and makes mums feel more at ease with whatever is going on, sleep-wise. For anyone suffering with exhaustion and wondering if it will ever end.

The Beyond Sleep Training Project (Aus.) Run by a Mama who followed advice to sleep train her first baby and hated every single second, feeling that it went against all her maternal instincts. She has set this group up to support other parents who want to follow their baby’s lead rather than societies expectations.

Sleep is for the Weak (UK) Brilliant antithesis to terrible sleep ‘advice’ dished out by (some) professionals and so-called experts. Helps you understand what babies actually need in order to feel secure and safe. Blog here. Book now available also.

Caring for You & Your Baby

Earth Mama Angel Baby has some great articles on looking after yourself, including their “Lying-in plan”, which is free, personalised and encourages time after birth for mamas to rest, heal and bond with their new baby.

Neuner’s A superb range of tea for pregnant and breastfeeding mums. Their ‘Pregnancy Tea’, containing raspberry leaf, camomile, peppermint, and ginger, is calming and can aid morning sickness. Their ‘Nursing Tea’ is great for giving your supply a boost and their ‘Baby Stomach Tea’ was a staple for Primrose – any time she had a sore tummy from teething, for example, Jo would drink it and Primrose would have her tummy soothed during the next feed – the results were that quick!

Carly Dove Boutique For the prettiest teething and breastfeeding jewellery, look no further!

Food and Weaning

Gill Rapley Generally seen as the BLW guru, and with good reason. Her books are easy to read and make sense! The theory book is more in-depth, whilst her cook book includes a general overview of the theory, along with easy recipes for helping your baby enjoy delicious family meals.

Baby Led Weaning UK In our opinion, the best of the Facebook groups for BLW. A great admin team and a supportive community for beginners and those who are months in but still looking for yummy recipes.

BabyCup By UK mama Sara Keel – a seriously nifty, yet so simple design. Great for offering expressed milk to babies who don’t want to take a bottle and so, so useful for weaning. The 50ml cups are designed to fit perfectly into tiny hands, so your baby doesn’t feel like they’re drinking from a bucket!

Development & Activities

The Wonder Weeks Available as a book or an app and so useful in helping you understand changes in baby’s behaviour or mood. Read our review of this invaluable resource here.

The Imagination Tree Creative and learning activities for children.

Happy Hooligans More art, craft, food and play ideas for children of all ages. Generally very inexpensive and guaranteed to fuel young imaginations

Tuff Trays and Sensory Play A must ‘like’ for any Tuff Tray fans – so many ideas for encouraging sensory play and imaginative learning.

Going Back to Work or Staying at Home

Working Mums (UK) A source of advice and guidance on everything from maternity rights and pay to flexible working and changing careers.

Mothers at Home Matter Seeks to break down the societal belief that SAHM are ‘wasting their education’, ‘old fashioned’ or ‘kept women’. Pivotal in removing the obstacles that stop mothers from remaining at home if they want to do so, MAHM flies the flag for those who feel Undervalued. Unsupported. And Under Pressure to ‘do it all’
There is a great Facebook page also, with political articles and useful posts being shared daily.

Liberating Motherhood Vanessa Olorenshaw’s blog (accompanying her book of the same name). A must read for all mothers and, in particular, those who hate the question’SO, when are you going back to work?’. A powerful backlash against society’s pressure on mothers to ‘have it all’.

Other Blogs we Love

Like Real Life (UK) Abi writes candidly about life as a mother, recognising that it is exhausting and often frustrating,a s well as being bloody brilliant – pretty much sums up how we feel.

Grubby Mummy and the Grubby Babies (Aus) Carly Grubb writes about gentle parenting and has recently set up The Beyond Sleep Training Project, for parents who don’t subscribe to harsh sleep training methods and want to adopt a gentle approach.

Forward Thinking Fatherhood (UK) A lovely blog by Will, about his son, Oak and the bond they share.

The Future’s Rosie (UK) Dad Tom writes about being a father to three children, including Rosie, who has Down’s Syndrome and AVSD. He is also a passionate Family Ambassador for Mencap. A wonderful blog ❤