Neev Spencer’s All Things Motherhood: Spring Sunshine & Holiday Adventures

The Neev Spencer Column: Life With a Newborn

Me and my two girls are doing really well. Vivienne is now through that first stage after arriving in the world and all I can say is Phew!

All of the practises and preparations I took on have helped me navigate through the sleepless nights and juggling both of the children. My eldest has found this adjustment really tough so I’ve been making sure I give her dedicated time for just me and her as much as possible. 

After my C-section, breastfeeding was an uphill struggle, but we got there in the end and I’m so glad I persevered. A few things helped along the way, lactation cookies by Boobix which contain lots of yummy ingredients that help build milkflow and make those middle of the night feeds less weary. 

boobix-oatmeal-breastfeeding-cookiePure Fenugreek tablets made a difference and also eating enough food across the day with plenty of water, something you have to remind yourself about as a busy Mum. I used MAM Nipple shields because Vivienne’s latch was quite strong and went for a MAM steriliser because mixed feeding worked best for me. 

neev-spencer-column-mama-wayI went to see Kam Pansear again at London Osteopathic Care for a post birth check over for me and baby. She observed Vivienne was having trouble turning her neck to one side and used cranial osteopathy to unfold the cranial bones, gently releasing tension through the cranium, neck and shoulder. Baby was then able to open her mouth wider and turn her neck without discomfort which made breastfeeding easier and a lot less painful. She also helped me with a lot of my aches and pains from carrying baby on one side and holding her while breastfeeding.  

neev-spencer-cranial-osteopathy-babyKam has made a specific 10 page Baby Steps Guide find it at londonosteopahiccare.com and you can sign up for free! 

We even managed a trip to the South of France for my best friend’s wedding. A mission we weren’t sure we could manage so soon after Vivienne’s arrival.  We chose Le Meridien Monaco to stay at because they have great children’s facilities and adjoining rooms. We took my mother along with us to help with the children and I still can’t quite believe we managed it. Three days of celebrations, a teeny baby and a 3 year old!  It is doable but takes military planning and operation. 

Travel system-wise we had chosen the CYBEX Cloud Zi-size car seat to take the baby home from the hospital and decided to use it’s MIOS system on our trip away which worked brilliantly. 

The car seat has a pioneering parent-friendly technology feature which ensures that you use the baby seat  within safety guidelines and not allow your baby to be in it for too long. It also has a handy spin system so you can turn the seat towards you to put your baby in. 

My recovery from the birth has gone smoothly but while my body was weaker I used the Mamaway C section support belt which made moving around the house doing various types of housework a lot easier.  After a cesarean section you really need that extra support and as a busy Mum it’s crucial you don’t overdo things around the house.

neev-spencer-baby-vivienne-c-section-beltI’m now really craving exercise and a lot more movement so next month is all about the start of my healthy and balanced post baby fitness regime! I’ll keep you posted… 


The Neev Spencer Column: Vivienne’s Arrival

My newborn baby Vivienne is doing well and I cannot believe how much she’s changed over the last few weeks. This month in the Neev Spencer column I’m reflecting on Vivienne’s birth and her first few days in the big, wide world. 

The birth and all that recovery seems like a million miles away from where we are now and I’m so relieved to say it all went well. All of the preparation and planning seems to have made such a huge difference second time around.

Meeting with psychologist Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos helped me work on patterns to change my negative thought processes control my fears and better settle my mind. Maureen Cromley prepared me with traditional Chinese medicine techniques and practices from building my healing response ahead of the section to helping me with lactation issues post baby.

The birth itself was utterly different to the first C-section I had. Dr Serap Akmal at Queen Charlotte Hospital conducted a ‘natural’ Cesarean. It was such a unique and special experience and I truly felt like I delivered my baby. Ahead of the birth I investigated the benefits of ingesting my Placenta and found a company who collect your Placenta from the delivery.

Placenta Practice encapsulation is a really powerful way to benefit from your own bodies natural healing remedies. I’ve been taking the tablets daily and even have a balm made up from my Placenta for me and baby to use. I also looked into new scientific advances in planning for my baby’s future. I decided to have my Umbilical cord blood frozen to invest in my baby’s future health. Future Health BioBank took care of all of this for me and my cord blood was collected from the delivery suite, bloods were taken from me and is now frozen and stored for my baby should she need it.

The results from the bloods have given us valuable knowledge that Vivienne is glucose intolerant. To know this so early on is such a benefit. My eldest Genevieve has welcomed her baby sister in her life so beautifully and she helps me whenever she can. The hardest thing for her right now is the time that she lacks with me, so my husband and I have tried to find a way to balance our time with her so that I still do her bedtimes and her early mornings keeping as much normality in the household as possible.

As hard at times as this new chapter has been overall, I have found these first steps into Motherhood so positive and so genuinely joyful I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Neev’s Top Picks

Placenta Collection Kit, £50

placenta-practice-neev-spencer-column

The Collection Kit, specially designed for Placenta Practice by leading bio-medical scientists, is delivered with everything you need to safely store your placenta, including ready to use pre-printed labels.

Future Health BioBank

future-health-biobank-neev-spencer-columnFuture Health BioBank took great care of freezing the umbilical cord blood, and everything was collected from the delivery suite, bloods were taken from me and is now frozen and stored for my baby should she need it for health reasons in the future. 


Neev Spencer’s All Things Motherhood: Preparing for Birth

Hello there! So my baby girl is here and this month in the Neev Spencer column I’m taking a look back at the last few weeks of my pregnancy and preparing to give birth.

I gave birth to Vivienne safely at Queen Charlotte hospital last month and this first few weeks have been wonderful. I saw a consultant at the hospital at 34 weeks pregnant and we made the mutual decision to go for another elective cesarean due to a previous back injury.

So, the choice had been made by the universe. The most important thing is the baby and ensuring a safe delivery. Sometimes no matter how hard we try to control things around how we bring our children into this world, it’s best to go with the flow that’s intended.

Last month I had been mainly focusing on the lead up to giving birth. I went to see Psychologist Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos to discuss some of my anxieties ahead of the birth. I found such an ease talking to him and he has already been able to help me understand more about myself and what I need to do to stay positive and let go of a lot of controlling negative patterns.

I believe in holistic treatments so wanted to follow Chinese medicine ahead of my C-section. I’ve been working with acupuncturist Maureen Cromley. We’ve been balancing chi to help the body heal quicker and strengthen the blood ahead of surgery and recovery.

jojomamanbebe-hospital-bag-neev-spencer

The tick list was finally completed and the multitude of boxes stopped arriving. I found a few things really handy like JoJo Maman Bébé have a ‘Hospital bag’ section and I chose things that I needed direct from there. This saved so much time and took the headache away.

Read more: Your Hospital Bag Checklist: What to Pack for Birth

My nearly 3 year old daughter, Genevieve, seemed to have lost interest in the idea of a sibling. However, reading her ‘big sister’ books is helping and I’ve ordered a load of gifts for her birthday from Plum Play to keep her busy in those first few weeks. The biggest of all being a pink deck house from her new baby sister.

playplum-playhouse-neev-spencer-columnMy husband and I went to see the baby for a 34 week scan. We hadn’t seen the little one together since our early scan at 6 weeks so it was amazing to get to see her face and get further info on her size and development. Vera at Private Ultrasound is someone I’ve gone to over the years with my first child too and it can really make a difference to have a private scan when you need further information or just to put your mind at ease across the pregnancy.

babyscan-london-neev-spencerI put in some pamper time and enjoyed a dreamy pregnancy massage and facial at ESPA Life Spa at the Corinthia Hotel last month. I’ve been using some of the products the beautician recommended. I love their Opitmal Skin ProSerum an intensely nourishing serum that strengthens the skin’s natural moisture barrier. I also spent an afternoon at Shavata Beauty having my gel nails removed ahead of the surgery, a brilliant medical pedicure and bikini wax. It’s so hard to find the time once baby is here so it’s a great idea to get all your beauty bits in ahead of time so you feel your best before the hibernation.

Neev’s top pick

Optimal Skin ProSerum, £51ESPA-product-neev-spencer-top-pick

BUY NOW from John Lewis


Neev Spencer’s All Things Motherhood: Gender Reveal Party

Exciting news, my little one is here safe and sound thankfully, and I’m now looking back at my 9th month of pregnancy.

I finally gave up work at the radio station and enjoyed some lazier days of nesting and quality time with my little girl Genevieve.

Most exciting of all I revealed that I’m having another girl at my baby shower/gender reveal party – which was an afternoon made of dreams! I had a magical Garden of Paradise-themed party arranged by Anisha Vasani, Creative Stylist and Planner.

neev-spencer-column-baby-showerThe party was held it at a wonderful children’s club called Maggie & Rose so that my daughter (who’s birthday is days away from my due date) could also celebrate. I think it’s so important to keep her as involved and made to feel like the focus of our attention for as long as possible.

The party started with pink drinks by Mirabeau Wine and canapés on the roof garden, which had been decorated in balloons by Balloonista. We were treated to some lovely sunshine and it was the perfect start to the day.

neev-spencer-column-mirabeau-wineWe then moved down to the Marquee area for the second part of the day, there was also double decker bus for the children to play and eat in. We were greeted with freshly made lilac candy floss by Sweet Butterfly UK and sat down to play cute baby shower games like ‘guess the bump size’ as my guests made sweet wishes for my baby to be captured by a live calligrapher, Calligraphy Payal, and hung on a wishing tree.

The venue provided a brilliant entertainer Qita Iseley who kept the 15 children busy and happy throughout the event. After the big gender reveal balloon popping, cutting the stunning cake from Maya Dahlia Cakes and countless posing with friends in front of the breathtaking flower wall by Blossoms in Bloom London, we finished off the afternoon enjoying a delicious closet of sweet treats by Sugar Box Events.

neev-spencer-column-baby-showerI truly felt like the luckiest girl in the world and what a way to celebrate my daughter’s 3rd birthday and shower our baby-to-be. My friend, photographer Marc Bates, captured the whole day and it was simply perfect.

I wore a maternity dress by Tiffany Rose and had silk flower jewellery to match made by Harpreet the Florist. Genevieve wore the cutest dress by Rachel Riley UK with a matching bow in her hair.

In other news, all the yoga and osteopathy sessions have payed off. They really helped me maintain a good body balance and prepare for  the big day.

Next month I’ll be chatting to a renowned psychologist Dimitrios Tsivrikos about pre birth anxiety and learning about Chinese medicine and acupuncture with Maureen Cromley in preparation for birth. See you then and don’t forget to follow me on socials too @neevofficial.

Neev’s Top Pick

Better You Magnesium Sleep Lotion

BUY NOW from Amazonbetter-you-magnesium-sleep-lotion

The one product I haven’t been able to do without last month was the Better You Magnesium Sleep Lotion.

I have had the worst cramps this last few weeks always in the middle of the night and have spent hours pacing trying to calm the cramps in my legs down. As well as upping my Magnesium intake in food and tablets (be careful to stick to the guidelines for pregnancy) I found this product. Massaging into the body before sleep seems to have really worked and it’s even made my ever so irritating restless legs subside.

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