Fertility Tracking Made Easy with Natural Cycles #HappyPregnancy

*This is a collaborative post

I’m lucky that I have never had any need to really know about my own fertility or monitor it in any way but I know I am in the minority and many people find fertility tracking gives them reassurance when they’re trying to conceive.

Natural Cycles is a hormone-free fertility app that is completely tailored to you. It carefully studies your body temperature to find your ovulation day and fertility, showing you the window of time each month that you are most fertile, allowing you to make the most of that opportunity – and increasing your chances of conceiving.

natural-cycles-product

But, Natural Cycles doesn’t just tell you when you are fertile but can also tell you when you are ovulating, when your next period is due, when you’re pregnant and about the progress of your pregnancy. It’s an app you can use each and every month before and during pregnancy.

When using Natural Cycles you simply take your temperature each morning before getting out of bed and add it to the app. Your temperature is actually a great indirect measure of your body’s natural hormones and can indicate ovulation which is why fertility tracking can be so useful.

From your temperature Natural Cycles uses an algorithm that quickly learns your body’s cycle and accurately detects and predicts ovulation and from that your fertile window. Natural Cycles is in partnership with leading experts in the field of contraception and fertility and together they perform research and improve women’s health.

So, with Natural Cycles you can be sure you’re getting a product that really works with your health and fertility at the core of everything it does. If you are planning on starting a family or looking to expand your existing family then Natural Cycles could be just the thing to help you along, and they’re so confident that the app will work that they’re offering women in the UK a refund if they don’t conceive in the first 9 months of using the app as well as 50% off a yearly subscription by visiting their website and inputting this code RedNC – valid until 31st December 2016.

What are your thoughts? Do you think an app could help you to conceive? Have you had any experience of fertility tracking in the past? If so, did it work for you and do you think Natural Cycles could be a good alternative to traditional fertility monitoring?

Rear view of joyful Asian family jumping together in the park

Gotta Joga – Prenatal: A Great Introduction to Yoga During Pregnancy

*This post is in collaboration with Gotta Joga

I know that in my first pregnancy I was happy eating for two and making the most of all the effort it took to grow a baby. I didn’t really exercise or prepare myself for the birth at all and it was something I really wished I had embraced through pregnancy.

Gotta Joga Prenatal is a new app aimed to allow pregnant women to continue or even to start yoga during pregnancy. It’s perfect for women who have always enjoyed yoga but equally as worthwhile for women who have never tried yoga before and want to exercise and relax during pregnancy.

iPad-iPhone-Gotta-Joga-Prenatal

Yoga is a great way to prepare physically and mentally for labour and is a much recommended exercise to relieve prenatal anxiety and nerves around child birth – as well as helping your body prepare too. Yoga is a fundamental part of many birth preparation classes and with the Gotta Joga Prenatal app you can have that pregnancy yoga experience at home which also gives you precious time to connect with the baby and what’s happening to the body from within.

The Gotta Joga Prenatal app introduces you to all the different yoga poses – standing, sitting, twists and many more. Each pose has video instructions which are easy to understand and replicate.

IMG_9178 IMG_9179 IMG_9180
The poses can be added to favourites and can be searched through either alphabetically or by category making them easy to find. It’s great to have somewhere to put your favourites too – making them that much quicker to get to next time.

IMG_9177 IMG_9181 IMG_9182
The main part of Gotta Joga is practicing yoga and there are eight different yoga sessions that you can work through from opening up, to relieving stress and connecting with your baby. Each of the sessions varies in length so you can practice yoga for just five minutes or up to 45 minutes depending on how long you have available.

Each time you complete a yoga session your own personal yoga tree grows and as your yoga experience grows your yoga tree will flourish – a great way of visualising how far you have come on your yoga journey.

Gotta Joga Prenatal is released this week and is just £2.29 from the Apple App Store.

If you’re not pregnant but would love to take up yoga you could give the Gotta Joga app a go. This is aimed at anyone who would love to learn yoga and has the same great interface as Gotta Joga Prenatal but would be perfect for anyone to use outside of pregnancy.

Reminiscing: Maternity Photos

reasons to love the season (2)

When LP was born I didn’t have any proper photos from my pregnancy to look back on, just ones taken on days out or every few weeks to update the world on bump’s progress. But with Little Man a wonderful photographer friend of mine took some photos of me at the end of the pregnancy.

_MG_0174 (1200x800)

I loved being pregnant and I loved my bump. In pregnancy I felt beautiful, naturally beautiful and I completely understood that glowing term people used to describe pregnant women. I didn’t feel glowing myself but I felt just gloriously happy. Heavy and slow too but incredibly happy at the same time.

LP loved my bump. She loved kissing it, hugging it and blowing raspberries on it. I think she bonded with her brother even before he was born, she just spent so much time with my bump, snuggling in the afternoons.

_MG_0228 (800x1200)

I loved having pregnancy photos taken. They were fun but also completely captured that time in our lives. I was spending as much time as possible with LP before her brother came along. I wanted to savour that time of it being just us and her.

_MG_0217 (1200x800)

LP was the baby that made us parents. She was our first. She was a learning curve. She was everything for 20 months until her brother came into our lives. This pregnancy, we knew, would be our last, that he would be not just our second child, but our last child. We knew that he would complete our family.

I love that I have photos from Little Man’s pregnancy. In a way all four of us are in these photos. Our very first complete family photos. It’s strange to think that the bump I had there is now very nearly three – and the tiny little lady has been a big sister for nearly three years too. What an incredible little person she has become.

_MG_0189 (1200x800)

It feels like so long ago that I was last pregnant. So long ago that I found it so hard to sleep, that I walked so slowly and needed the toilet every two minutes. But looking at these photos I am right back there again, with that comforting weight in front of me, the constant movements and the rhythmic kick like sensation when the baby got the hiccups. It was so long ago and yet I can remember it all so clearly.

_MG_9527 (1200x800)

Review: The Baby Show ExCel London 2015

On Sunday I went to The Baby Show with two lovely friends who are expecting their first baby. I left the kids at home with Daddy and drove us to ExCel for the show – which was a lot better than I’d expected, taking us 1.5hrs ish and only costing £15 for the day to park, so much cheaper and easier than the train and so easy to take all our shopping back with us!

I have been to The Baby Show a few times now but this is the first I have been to since having children and not had a child with me – it was a great experience! I was able to take in all the stands at the show without being distracted and could focus on the show completely although the creche could help with that anyway!

IMG_0740

My friends hadn’t really purchased anything for their baby yet and so The Baby Show was a great opportunity for them as first time parents to look at all the options available. One thing we did find was that prices for the same thing varied massively across the show – A Chicco bedside crib for £160 – full price – on the Chicco stand with no movement on price but a basic baby monitor thrown in or £120 after all discounts at Babies R Us! BARGAIN! Babies R Us turned out to be one of the best stands for a bargain and because of that it was incredibly busy – to be expected on the final day of the show.

There were products for all budgets at the show from the bargain travel systems that Joie had to offer all the way up to designer pushchairs over £1k a piece. Something for everyone! In the end my friends made a beautiful puchase after some deliberation and amazing customer service over on the Cosatto stand. The baby has a new set of wheels on the way!

IMG_0659

The Baby Show has so much to offer for new and expectant parents – a huge amount of advice, a shop and drop service that we made good use of, a creche and loads of places to sit down and have a drink or relax. Every time I go to The Baby Show I buy one of the Prima Baby & Pregnancy Goodie Bags and this show’s bag was fantastic with products from pregnancy right through to toddlerhood – all for £3! There were also stands giving away free nappies, Cow & Gate pouches, baby bottles and more – the freebies were flowing at this year’s London show!

IMG_0842

We had such a great day and are already talking about visiting Birmingham in May. I love The Baby Show, love seeing all the new products that appear each time we visit and love seeing familiar favourites too – like Ewan the Dream Sheep who not surprisingly sold out before the end of the last day!

IMG_1266

If you’re pregnant, have a baby or are thinking about having a baby in the not too distant future then The Baby Show would be a great way to spend a day – you’ll see so much and end up exhausted but you’ll come away with a head full of ideas and a much lighter purse!

IMG_0658

Disclosure: I was given complimentary access to The Baby Show in order to write about it however all opinions are my own.

Review: Pelvic Floor Trainer App

*This post is in collaboration with Pelvic Floor Training app

Most women experience issues with their pelvic floor muscles after pregnancy and childbirth. There are exercises that we are told to do, regularly, and all women know they should be doing pelvic floor exercises but do we actually remember to do them or even know that we are doing them right?

You can now do your pelvic floor exercises on your mobile thanks to the Pelvic Floor Trainer app, a new Danish app with pelvic floor training exercises for women. The app has been developed by leading Danish physiotherapists, midwives and gynaecologists and is based on evidence based knowledge and research so that you know the advice you are getting is straight from the professionals!

All women who have given birth should do pelvic floor exercises – and preferably do them for the rest of their lives. A strong pelvic floor can prevent a series of gynecological problems and most women know this, but many women also know that their pelvic floor exercises are not top of their priorities. However, there are a lot of good reasons to keep squeezing, and the new app “Pelvic Floor Trainer” can help you do just that. A well-trained and strong pelvic floor can help prevent urinary incontinence and bladder prolapse – problems that many women have but very few talk about.

The Pelvic Floor Trainer app contains an introduction to the pelvic floor muscles and a series of pelvic floor exercise programmes – from beginner level to a transportation-squeezing-programme which is designed specifically for situations with waiting time like on the bus or in the queue at the supermarket or post office – It’s amazing that you can do a really good exercise routine on your pelvic floor whilst passing time that would usually be wasted in a queue!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pelvic Floor Trainer app is currently number one on the list of most sold medical apps in the Danish App Store and is developed by physiotherapist Ulla Due, gynaecologist Karl Møller Beck and midwife ph.d Sara Kindberg. These three people are also the team behind GynZone, a company working with women’s health.

One person who has been using the app is Tanja Nielsen, a mother of two. She has been doing pelvic floor exercises whilst using the app since her youngest son was born eight months ago.

“Straight after giving birth I could not squeeze at all. I found the lack of control of my pelvic floor frightening. Especially because I did squeezing exercises before and during my pregnancy. Suddenly I couldn’t control when to pass urine. For a period of time I did wet myself. I was nervous and wondered if I was ever going to be my normal self again”, she says.

For Tanja Nielsen it is important that the app has been developed by professionals.

“For me it is a guarantee of quality that professionals with knowledge in this exact area have developed the app and the programmes in it”, says Tanja Nielsen. She did the beginners level in the app a few times a day and after a months time she regained control over her pelvic floor muscles again.

“I did advance quite fast to the next programme level because it was really effective. I could feel the difference after less than a week. After about three weeks I felt that I had regained control”, she says.

The app is called “Pelvic Floor Trainer” and can be found in the:

You can also access the pelvic floor exercises at www.gynzone.net

If you feel that your pelvic floor isn’t quite what it used to be, download the app and give it a try. It’s amazing what you can do with your phone nowadays! I’ve downloaded the app and will be giving it a go the next time I’m waiting for the kettle to boil. Go make yourself a cup of tea and do some pelvic floor exercises too!