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Maternity Leave - The Facts

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Employees Four Key Pregnancy Rights Spring is on the way and thoughts turn to new beginnings! don't wait until you are on Maternity leave, if you are considering starting or extending your family it's worth having an idea about some of the legislation surrounding pregnant employees. Otherwise, you may have a colleague or team member who is expecting.Pregnant employees have 4 key rights: paid time off for antenatal care, maternity leave, maternity pay and protection against unfair treatment, discrimination or...

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Maternity Leave - The Facts

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Employees Four Key Pregnancy Rights

Spring is on the way and thoughts turn to new beginnings! don't wait until you are on Maternity leave, if you are considering starting or extending your family it's worth having an idea about some of the legislation surrounding pregnant employees. Otherwise, you may have a colleague or team member who is expecting.

Pregnant employees have 4 key rights: paid time off for antenatal care, maternity leave, maternity pay and protection against unfair treatment, discrimination or dismissal. Antenatal care isn't just medical appointments. Antenatal or parenting classes which have been recommended by a doctor or midwife are also included.

Employers can't change a pregnant employee's contract terms and conditions without agreement. If they do, they are in breach of contract. Maternity leave and statutory maternity pay will start automatically if an employee is away from work for a pregnancy-related illness during the 4 weeks before the baby is due. This is regardless of what has been agreed before. If you aren't taking statutory maternity leave, you must take 2 weeks off after the baby is born. This is extended to 4 weeks if you work in a factory.

You must tell your employer about the pregnancy at least 15 weeks before the start of the week when the baby is due. If this isn't possible (eg. if you didn't know that you were pregnant) you must advise your employer as soon as possible. You must also tell your employer when you want to start your statutory maternity pay.

For full details go to: www.gov.uk/working-when-pregnant-your-rights

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New Mum Fitness Excuses

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I realised yesterday as I was pulling on my very snug jeans that I am not a new mum anymore. I cannot pull the 'oh its baby weight' card any longer. My youngest will be two next month! How have I got two years down the line and now heavier than I was before I got pregnant? I just can't seem to get my head around losing weight and I don't know why when we are surrounded by celebs (and...

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New Mum Fitness Excuses

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I realised yesterday as I was pulling on my very snug jeans that I am not a new mum anymore. I cannot pull the 'oh its baby weight' card any longer. My youngest will be two next month! How have I got two years down the line and now heavier than I was before I got pregnant? I just can't seem to get my head around losing weight and I don't know why when we are surrounded by celebs (and my sister!) who just snap back into shape.

Celebrity Mums

 

Rather than getting a grip of myself I actually bemoan the fact that celebs are paid to get back into shape. I heard myself say to my husband 'If I was famous I'd have lost weight by now. 'Lame or what? I read article after article (as I'm a magazine addict) about celebs who drop all their baby weight and then some in just 4 weeks. Not fair! But then again, would I have had the energy to start an exercise plan and diet immediately after giving birth? No way. Could I have dedicated myself to such a strict regime and leave my baby to be babysat while I went running? As if!

The fact is, celebs have lots of help to lose weight - nutritionists, trainers oh and I think the most important of all childminders. I know, I know more excuses but if it came down to cuddles with my kids or a 10K run, the cuddles win every time. So now they are a little older and I have no excuses left I have come up with an action plan for losing weight:

  1. Cut my portion size (I can eat more than my husband FACT)
  2. Exercise for at least 40 minutes 3 times a week - I am Queen of excuses. I even used writing this blog post as one!
  3. Measure myself - will have to work up to that one, the scales were bad enough.
  4. Do not tell people I am on a diet - you readers don't count - I mean mums at school, friends etc. Its too much pressure. I want them to suddenly gasp and say how wonderful I'm looking.
  5. I will update you with my progress -hopefully I can inspire and help other mums who are struggling to get motivated like me.
....watch this space!

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Five a Day for Children

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Do kids need 5 A day? Yes, Children need five portions of fruit and veg each day, just like adults.Ensuring good nutrition is a key part of parenting. Fruit and vegetables are a good source of the nutrients that children need for a healthy, balanced diet.Current recommendations are that children eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Sadly, research shows that on average children in England eat only two portions, with many eating fewer. The School...

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Five a Day for Children

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Do kids need 5 A day?

Yes, Children need five portions of fruit and veg each day, just like adults.

Ensuring good nutrition is a key part of parenting. Fruit and vegetables are a good source of the nutrients that children need for a healthy, balanced diet.

Current recommendations are that children eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Sadly, research shows that on average children in England eat only two portions, with many eating fewer.

The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme (SFVS)

The SFVS is a scheme designed to help children achieve 5 A DAY. Children aged four to six who attend a fully state-funded infant, primary or special school are entitled to receive a free piece of fruit or vegetable each school day.

As well as providing one of their 5 A DAY, the scheme also helps to increase awareness of the importance of eating fruit and vegetables. In addition, this encourages children to adopt healthy eating habits which they will keep throughout life.

Teachers find that distributing the fruit in class groups helps to encourage a sharing, calm, social time.generally, the fruit and vegetables are delivered to schools three times a week to ensure that they are always fresh. All the fruit and vegetables must be washed. Then, they are usually handed out just before the mid-morning break in class groups.

Apart from the SFVS, your child has other opportunities through the school day to add to their 5 A DAY total. All schools that provide meals for pupils must also include at least one portion of fruit and one portion of vegetables or salad for each pupil, every day. Schools are encouraged to create lunch menus which promote in-season fruit and vegetables to pupils as part of their food.education.

Fresh fruit and vegetable options must be provided at all school food outlets. As well as lunch, these include: breakfast club, tuck shops at mid-morning break and lunch, and in vending machines.

for more information visit: www.nhs.uk/Livewell/5ADAY/Pages/schoolscheme.aspx

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Theodora Children's Trust

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As some of you may know, BabyBlooms is extremely proud to support the Theodora Children’s Trust. We have a range of products in our Theodora collection and donate £5.00 from each sale to the charity.

So what is Theodora’s Children’s Trust and where does our money go? It is without doubt one of the most inspiring and truly unique charities and their tireless work to create laugher and giggles for poorly children is just staggering.

The charity was founded in 1994 by André and Jan Poulie. When André was a child, he had a serious accident which meant he had to spend months in hospital. His mother, Théodora (and now the charity’s namesake) used to visit him every day. André always remembers how much his mother made him laugh and how her positivity and optimism helped hospital seem a less scary place. André and his brother Jan set up the charity to bring the same kind of happiness to other children poorly in hospital. Hospital can be a scary place for anyone especially for children who are surrounded by things alien to their normal life such as medical equipment, tests and different people. Theodora’s Trust believe that despite their illness children are children before they are a patient and should be treated as such with fun and laughter and above all respite from their illness.

André and Jan introduced two Giggle Doctors to Great Ormond Street and now 18 years on they have a team of 22 trained Theodora Giggle Doctors, who visit more than 60,000 children with their families every year.

So what’s a Giggle Doctor? Giggle Doctors are specialist entertainers, trained by the charity to work in the hospital environment and with children with disabilities. The Giggle Doctors come from a variety of backgrounds and include actors, entertainers, teachers, magicians, musicians and singers.

Each of the 22 undergoes medical workshops as well as artistic training and learn about child development, infection control and child bereavement as well as the impact of serious illness and bereavement on families as a whole. You can meet each Giggle Doctor on the charity’s website www.theodora.org.uk and each one is also trained to communicate with children with special needs. All of the Giggle Doctors inject fun and laughter into the lives of the children they visit.

Every £5.00 we donate from sales pays for a Giggle Doctor visit which is amazing. We have raised over £X for the charity so far and on 12th June we attended a wonderful reception for Theodora at Number 10 Downing Street. The event was hosted by the lovely Samantha Cameron and it was amazing to see all the charity’s hard work recognised. Please take a look at our Theodora collection and do check out the Theodora’s Childrens Trust website to see other ways in which you can support this unique and worthy cause.

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Theodora Children's Trust

Posted on

As some of you may know, BabyBlooms is extremely proud to support the Theodora Children’s Trust. We have a range of products in our Theodora collection and donate £5.00 from each sale to the charity.

So what is Theodora’s Children’s Trust and where does our money go? It is without doubt one of the most inspiring and truly unique charities and their tireless work to create laugher and giggles for poorly children is just staggering.

The charity was founded in 1994 by André and Jan Poulie. When André was a child, he had a serious accident which meant he had to spend months in hospital. His mother, Théodora (and now the charity’s namesake) used to visit him every day. André always remembers how much his mother made him laugh and how her positivity and optimism helped hospital seem a less scary place. André and his brother Jan set up the charity to bring the same kind of happiness to other children poorly in hospital. Hospital can be a scary place for anyone especially for children who are surrounded by things alien to their normal life such as medical equipment, tests and different people. Theodora’s Trust believe that despite their illness children are children before they are a patient and should be treated as such with fun and laughter and above all respite from their illness.

André and Jan introduced two Giggle Doctors to Great Ormond Street and now 18 years on they have a team of 22 trained Theodora Giggle Doctors, who visit more than 60,000 children with their families every year.

So what’s a Giggle Doctor? Giggle Doctors are specialist entertainers, trained by the charity to work in the hospital environment and with children with disabilities. The Giggle Doctors come from a variety of backgrounds and include actors, entertainers, teachers, magicians, musicians and singers.

Each of the 22 undergoes medical workshops as well as artistic training and learn about child development, infection control and child bereavement as well as the impact of serious illness and bereavement on families as a whole. You can meet each Giggle Doctor on the charity’s website www.theodora.org.uk and each one is also trained to communicate with children with special needs. All of the Giggle Doctors inject fun and laughter into the lives of the children they visit.

Every £5.00 we donate from sales pays for a Giggle Doctor visit which is amazing. We have raised over £X for the charity so far and on 12th June we attended a wonderful reception for Theodora at Number 10 Downing Street. The event was hosted by the lovely Samantha Cameron and it was amazing to see all the charity’s hard work recognised. Please take a look at our Theodora collection and do check out the Theodora’s Childrens Trust website to see other ways in which you can support this unique and worthy cause.

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Help With Childcare Costs

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Do childcare costs stop you from working? For professional parents it can sometimes feel frustrating that a significant proportion of their income contributes to the cost of their childcare. Sometimes this means that returning to work is simply not viable. Here we outline 2 of the means that the government offers in helping with childcare costs.Free Early Education is one means of support. Children aged three and four are entitled to 15 hours of free early education each week for...

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Help With Childcare Costs

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Do childcare costs stop you from working?

For professional parents it can sometimes feel frustrating that a significant proportion of their income contributes to the cost of their childcare. Sometimes this means that returning to work is simply not viable. Here we outline 2 of the means that the government offers in helping with childcare costs.

Free Early Education is one means of support. Children aged three and four are entitled to 15 hours of free early education each week for 38 weeks of the year. Children become eligible from 1 September, 1 January or 1 April following their 3rd birthday. This Free Early Education can be at nursery schools, children's centres, day nurseries, playgroups and pre-schools, with childminders or at Sure Start Children's Centres. Providers of Early Education? are regulated and inspected by Ofsted.

If you work and pay for childcare you may be able to get extra tax credits to help with the costs. In order to qualify, single parents must work 16 hours or more a week. If you're in a couple you must both work 16 hours a week or more (there are exceptions to this, please check the website below for full details). These tax credits are well worth investigating: you could get up to 70% of the childcare costs that you are claiming for. Childcare providers must be registered or approved (the carer can confirm this). These can include care provided at home, in school or another place by a childminder, playscheme, nursery or club etc.

For full details have a look at: www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs.

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Babyblooms Blog Launch

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Welcome to the first Babyblooms blog post. Cue the fanfare. This is a first for both Babyblooms and for me as a first time blogger….so please bear with me!I handle the PR for Babyblooms, the baby gift company, and so deal with bloggers on a daily basis on a professional level and  love devouring their posts. Some of the Mummy Bloggers have set the bar really high as they are intuitive, informative and my favourites are hilarious. I know some bloggers get a...

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Babyblooms Blog Launch

Posted on

Welcome to the first Babyblooms blog post. Cue the fanfare. This is a first for both Babyblooms and for me as a first time blogger….so please bear with me!

I handle the PR for Babyblooms, the baby gift company, and so deal with bloggers on a daily basis on a professional level and  love devouring their posts. Some of the Mummy Bloggers have set the bar really high as they are intuitive, informative and my favourites are hilarious. I know some bloggers get a hard time but I am a PR person who has the utmost respect for bloggers and I am in awe of how some have managed to propel themselves into the public consciousness through sheer hard work, brilliant writing and not forgetting supreme social marketing skills…many while balancing careers, families and cleaning  (when do you clean?)

What qualifies me to become a blogger?

Well, as well as working in PR for many years and writing a LOT, I am first and foremost a mum.  I have two gorgeous girls aged five and 22 months and I know its corny but they and my husband are my world.  That’s not to say this blog will be all about how perfect my children are and how I sail through motherhood like Mary Poppins on ProPlus. Oh no! I make mistakes every week, sometimes every day and I hope to share my thoughts and experiences on motherhood (the normal, scary, frustrating and amazing kind) as well as on parenting issues in general.

With the help of the team at Babyblooms , who are also all mums, we hope to have some fun, engaging discussions with our followers. We will vent our spleen about various topics and issues– don’t get me started on celeb mums ‘springing’ back into shape – and want to hear from you too. What would you like to read about in the Babyblooms blog?

Really looking forward to getting to know you...x

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Work Life Balance

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Achieving a good work life balance is the holy grail of parenthood. The aim of this column is to provide advice and tips to busy professional parents. Working parents have endless new responsibilities and pressures. However, parenthood also brings a wealth of new skills and life experiences from which to draw and parents deserve to be respected and praised for their loyalty to their employers, their contributions to the organisations that they work for and to society in general! Do...

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Work Life Balance

Posted on

Achieving a good work life balance is the holy grail of parenthood. The aim of this column is to provide advice and tips to busy professional parents. Working parents have endless new responsibilities and pressures. However, parenthood also brings a wealth of new skills and life experiences from which to draw and parents deserve to be respected and praised for their loyalty to their employers, their contributions to the organisations that they work for and to society in general!

Do you need time off?

 

Do you feel that you need to take some time off work to settle your under-five into new childcare arrangements? Find out if you are entitled to Parental Leave. Eligible employees can take unpaid parental leave to look after their child's welfare. The child must be under 5 (and can be up to 18 in special circumstances). There are factors which affect eligibility and a 21 days notice period must be given before the intended start date of parental leave. The good news is that your employment rights are protected during parental leave.

Another way of achieving a better work life balance may be "making a statutory application" to work flexibly.

Flexible working can mean working certain hours or working from home. If you care for someone (a child or an adult) you have the legal right to ask for flexible working. This does not mean that your employer has to agree to the request. Examples of flexible working include job-sharing, working from home, part-time hours, compressed hours, flexitime, annualised hours or staggered hours. Statutory applications must be submitted in writing and there are specific elements that you must include (visit www.gov.uk/flexible-working for full details). Your employer should request a meeting to discuss your application, and upon agreement will issue a new contract.

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