Archive | November, 2014

We are on Pinterest – great discounts in return for joining! Follow us

We are on Pinterest – great discounts in return for joining! Follow us

Posted on 26 November 2014 by Kristrun

Facebook Pinterest advert

To celebrate our launch, we are offering amazing discounts on our packages, classes and labour care. Join Pinterest and follow us to enjoy!

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Mummy guilt – issued in Playtimes Nov 2014

Mummy guilt – issued in Playtimes Nov 2014

Posted on 18 November 2014 by Kristrun

AThe mummy guiltre you giving your baby enough attention? The right kind of attention? Is she perfectly on target for weight and height? Is she the smartest baby at playgroup? Do your other children still feel loved enough? Are you doing enough? asks Angela Baura.

Hulda shares her opinion on the matter, “It really is about making the most of your time, being happy, relaxed and enjoying every moment, rather than being there for every moment.” – and much more, very valuable read for every mother!

Mummy guilt, read the full article here

Hulda and Conchita are our experts in dealing with guilt and how to balance your life with very young children and new families. Contact us for appointments, click here to book or email us to info@annerley.com.hk

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Breastfeeding and Sleep

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Breastfeeding and Sleep

Posted on 10 November 2014 by Kristrun

Hi! (1)This is one of our most popular topics and every time Conchita gives this talk we have a full house! Dealing with reduced sleep yourself, whilst encouraging good sleep habits in your baby, can be one of the most challenging aspects of new motherhood. So what is the magic formula? Is there one? I asked Conchita for a few things to keep in mind when trying to understand what to expect when it comes to breastfeeding and sleep. If you need sleep have your partner take over for the night and get some comfortable ear plugs for sleeping, to block out noise. Your partner can bring the baby to you when she needs to nurse or you can pump before the night.

Facts
50% of all babies have night wakings until the age of 5. So review your expectations, you might want to play it by ear. Of course there are babies who can sleep through the night sooner, but most likely it will come in waves.

Babies are not born with the ability to distinguish between day and night. They just sleep when they are tired. Some are ‘worse’ than others.

Teething, dreaming, travels, coughs and colds will always affect a baby’s sleep and their sleeping routine can change overnight, sometimes with no obvious reason.

Long periods of ‘controlled crying’ associated with sleep or feeds will only create fear and confusion and should never be used for babies less than two months of age. “I hardly ever suggest controlled crying for young babies” Conchita says.

Solutions and suggestions
Start a bedtime routine very early on. Teach your baby that the bed is a safe place so don’t create any drama around the bed, bedtime and the bedroom. Make sure your baby feels safe and secure around the bedtime routine.

A bath before bedtime should be calm and short. A calm and cozy atmosphere along with regular routine will prepare a baby for a long nice sleep.

Feed more during the day, less at night. Always do demand feeding to being with. But not less than 3 hours between feeds during the day and 4 hours at night.

Use the first few weeks to get to know your baby. Let her know she is safe, build up trust and try to understand her needs.

Baby massage can help when babies are stressed or excited when they are about to go to bed.

Every baby is different, as are every mother and family. Embrace support and let someone guide you through the upcoming changes with sensible suggestions and advice to help you deal with it. Our midwives are available for home visits.

Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

 

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AXA PPP agreement with Annerley

AXA PPP agreement with Annerley

Posted on 07 November 2014 by Kristrun

Full details about the agreementAXABlock

We are proud and delighted to announce that AXA PPP International has now agreed to pay in full for our ‘Best of Both’ package for their members with maternity coverage.

This is a huge step for Annerley – finally all our efforts have paid off and there is now an understanding of how guidance, education and support of midwives is worth a full coverage.

AXA PPP International members will have access to our Best of Both package plus Labour Care at a reduced rate. See here for full details from AXA PPP.

Please share this for us as this really makes a difference for so many, to be able to have affordable maternity care when giving birth in a government hospital with excellent facilities, and yet have private checkups, education and support by our team of midwives.

Contact our insurance broker Andrew Robertson, tel 3563-9772 or at andrew@expatinsurance.com.hk he will be happy to explain your options.

See here for more details of our Best of Both package >

Team Annerley

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A story about a lonely mum

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A story about a lonely mum

Posted on 06 November 2014 by hulda

She is the third woman that sits in front of me today and weeps quietly.  Happy that her baby, now a few months old already, is sleeping in the car seat so that she can talk without interruption.  She wanted to breastfeed more, better, longer and feels like a little failure as it is not going as easy as she would have wished.  But this not the reason for the cry, really.  The cry is an outbreak of feelings that have been building up over the last few months, while a mixture of different demands, feelings of guilt and change of rhythm and role in her life has swung her backwards and forwards from happiness and joy to loneliness, sadness and emptiness that no one else around her seems to share.

 

She is not depressed, really.

But she is very, very alone.

 

Let's be kind to each other

Let’s be kind to each other

 

She is the third woman that I see today that shares pretty much the same story.  Actually, she did not really wish to share it.  She was just going to carry her weight and continue to remind herself that she should be happy.  Happy to have healthy children and a perfect family, good enough income to live a fun life here without anything missing.

 

Or what?

 

She goes regularly to mothers groups with the little baby and it is a relief to go out of the house every now and again and meet other mums.  It does, however, leave her with a strange feeling and this has been growing stronger and stronger each week.  The sensation of not performing well enough, not keeping up.  The comparison somehow always feels like it is not in her favour.  When should the baby sleep, how often should it feed, should he nurse to sleep, should he be entertained during the day, what time should he do this and that, with whom and how.  And it extends to other family matters; exercise after birth, losing the baby weight, going back to work, and husband’s role in the parenting, travels, in-laws, rhythms and routines of the household.  Not to mention the helpers.

Mostly she is quiet in the mummy groups.  Sometimes she participates and it feels good to share, and sometimes she just pretends, so that the others don´t realize how terribly disorganized and sad she feels.  There are many nice mums in the group and she would love to be closer to them.  But even then, she really does not have energy to do much more than what she already is doing.

Her husband comes home each night and he is tired and wants something that she cannot give.  Most of all, she really would just like to be in bed, nursing the baby to sleep or have him wrapped around her from behind and share short stories about how their day was, like they used to do in their early years together, before kids.  Then fall asleep and wake up in the morning, not tired and grumpy and perhaps have breakfast after their morning sex, shower and the baby playing happily in the background while they chat about what the day is likely to bring them.

Perhaps meet him for lunch later.

 

But actually, the reality is a bit different at the moment and it is hard to talk about it.  The tears are running down her face as she explains this to me, really, a stranger to her. But a person who does not judge her and can listen without having a strong opinion about everything.

 

In fact, a person that has heard it all before, many, many times.  From many, many other women. The ones that look happy and probably, most of the time also feel happy.  But battle all the same demons, thoughts and sometimes loneliness.  The feeling of loss or change of identity where they have ended up becoming – the wife of someone.

 

„So what does your husband do? “

 

The first question always asked when new people are met.  Not „who are you? “Or „what is your profession? “

And even if she is perfectly happy to have chosen to be at home with her little baby, happy and grateful to be able to spend time with him instead of rushing back to work, to be supported by her husband to take this role, she somehow feels strange about it.  Perhaps it is the pressure and the judgements, the strong opinions of others and how things are supposed to be. Perhaps it is the fact that the baby is crying more than she had expected and she has a hard time finding out how to soothe his needs.  Perhaps it is the very different ways that she and her husband feel should be used to manage cries, sleep and playtimes. After reading a lot of research on https://www.inpatientdrugrehab.org/ she feel that perhaps she has postnatal depression. She does not know, really.

 

And in fact, she understands her husband well, when he explains:  I work 15 hours a day and come home exhausted.  I bear the weight of all the finances in the household and I somehow need to find energy to fit in the family and kids time in the little leftover of it that there is, when holidays and guests are not taking our attention.  All I want is a quiet and calm and happy household to come home to, a clean home with a happy wife that greets me, sex two or three times a week, some decent food and a little extra time to have beer with my mates and go to the gym every now and again.  Is it too much to ask? “

 

She does not really know.  All she knows is that she is lonely and feels sad at the same time as she is grateful and happy in between.  She feels the love, towards her husband and her kids, friends and family.  She comes to the mothers groups and looks around and thinks about how kind these women are, how nice it is to meet them.

 

Most of the time, this beautiful, interesting and clever mum is absolutely fine.  But every now and again, she sits here in this chair and shares her feelings with me, weeping quietly.

 

I am a midwife and studied about pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.  Yet most of my day is spent talking about parenting and relationships.  I am far away from being the expert in this.  But I have lots of understanding about it and I have come to realize that the non-support that people experience, when they become a family, from the environment, from others, perhaps simply just from the pace and complexity of our living, is enormous.

Staying afloat, let alone enjoying the journey, can be hard.

 

But it is possible.  And as we mature, things get a little easier.  The love and the patience and the knowledge somehow increases.

 

The woman in front of me wraps it up and puts on her sunglasses we hug a little and she goes to her next project.  She is happy as she walks out.  It has made me think again, perhaps I should talk about this more.  Share the story.  My story, just as much as everyone else´s story.  The story that is not shared often but most feel.  Mums and dads.
Let’s be warm and kind to each other everyone.  Best,

Hulda

Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

 

 

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Recommended Immunisations in Hong Kong

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Recommended Immunisations in Hong Kong

Posted on 03 November 2014 by Kristrun

blockforVaccinationsARrticleThere is not much difference between vaccinations in the public health system and the private health system in Hong Kong. A few things to consider are:

The Hong Kong government schedule recommends to give Hep B and BCG at birth. Some parents have a preference to delay those vaccines and then usually the Hep B is given at 1, 2, and 6 months as a part of a combined vaccine with DaPT and HIB (Haemophilus Influenza B).

The BCG (only one dose is needed), is then usually given in the buttock instead of the other option of the upper arm if given by the Government hospital staff.  There is not any obvious reason for this except that many parents feel that the scar will not be visible there as in the arm (the BCG is the only vaccine that always produces a scar, which is usually circular and can be 1 to 2 cms in diameter).  Some doctors claim that there is more risk of an infection by the BCG vaccine, or in the pimple that it gives before the scar is formed (the first three months or so there is a pimple that may burst, with some pus, but then eventually heals) – the infection being caused by rubbing of the diaper on the area, urine, stools etc.  

The HIB part of the 2, 4, and 6 months vaccine is not available in the public health system and therefore if you wish to give this to your child, you must see a private doctor.   For this you will pay a consultation fee and the fee for the vaccine.  Because the HiB can be given as a part of the 5 in 1 mentioned above, many parents then choose to give all of these together, instead of having the DTaP and Polio in the Government clinic, and then HiB in the private clinic, at the same time (2, 4 and 6 months).  It is more expensive to get the full 5 in 1 than it is to just get the HiB but it saves a trip and one injection (the actual needle).  In terms of giving many vaccines at the same time, this is a discussion of a different story, – in developed countries it is considered the safest to give these vaccines and they have been on the market for a long time, so they are not considered unsafe because of heavy metals, interactions, etc.

  • In the past, the Hepatitis B vaccine contained Mercury as a preservative, but nowadays, in Hong Kong, the vaccine used is a Mercury free Hepatitis B (ENGERIX).
  • Both private and government doctors recommend to give the MMR vaccine around 12 to 15 months.    This is the only vaccination given that contains live vaccines, and usually has side effects (the actual symptoms of all three diseases, or at least some fever and usually rashes, around 10 to 14 days after injecting it).
  • It is very important that the child is free of any diseases, colds etc. when being vaccinated, and as some get a little sick and feverish, and it may be a good idea to have some paracetamol on hand, doses depending on age and weight of baby.
  • All vaccines, can cause side effects, but they’re generally mild and short-lived and the benefits outway the risks of severe illness or fatality due to disease.

Below is information about the most common vaccinations in Hong Kong:
The 5-in-1 vaccine, the DTaP/IPV/Hib vaccine, is a single injection which protects against five serious childhood diseases. These five illnesses are diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, (pertussis) Polio and Haemophilus influenza type b.  In the government system, this vaccine is a 4 in 1 (without the HIB), as there are not many outbreaks of HIB in Hong Kong, although other countries see a reason to vaccinate against this.  Private clinics in Hong Kong offer this as a 5 in 1, vaccinating against the following diseases:

Diphtheria is a highly contagious bacterial infection that mainly affects the nose and throat. Less commonly, it can also affect the skin. The bacteria spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and droplets of their saliva enter another person’s mouth or nose.  Diphtheria can lead to potentially life-threatening complications, such as breathing difficulties and problems with the heart and nervous system.

Tetanus is a serious but rare infection caused by bacteria. It usually occurs when a flesh wound becomes contaminated. The symptoms include: Stiffness in jaw muscles usually the first symptom, also known as lockjaw. Muscle spasms and stiffness then spread from jaw into neck and limbs. Other symptoms include high temperature (fever), sweating, rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), and high blood pressure (hypertension).  Muscle spasms in neck can make swallowing difficult (dysphagia). In the most serious cases, severe breathing difficulties could develop. This may lead to suffocation and death.

Whooping cough (pertussis), Whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the lungs and airways. The condition usually begins with a persistent dry and irritating cough that progresses to intense bouts of coughing. These are followed by a distinctive ‘whooping’ noise, which is how the condition gets its name.  Other symptoms include a runny nose, raised temperature and vomiting after coughing. The coughing can last for around three months. Whooping cough is caused by a bacterium called Bordetella pertussis, which can be passed from person to person through droplets in the air from coughing and sneezing.

Polio, in the past was very common it caused paralysis and death. Since a polio vaccine was introduced in 1955, the number of polio cases has dramatically reduced. There are now only a few countries in which the condition remains a serious problem.

Haemophilus influenza type B. HiB is a bacterial infection that can cause a number of serious illnesses especially in young children. Many of children who get HiB infections become very ill and need hospital care.  HiB can cause any of the following infections: meningitis (lining of the brain and spinal cord), pneumonia (lungs), pericarditis (lining surrounding the heart), epiglottitis (epiglottis – flap that covers the entrance to your windpipe), septic arthritis (joints) and cellulitis (skin and underlying tissues). Some of these infections can lead to septicaemia (blood poisoning), which can be fatal.

Side-effects of the 5 in 1 vaccine:   
The 5-in-1 vaccine is very safe but some babies do have side effects. Your baby may have any of the following side effects after receiving the 5-in-1 DTaP/Td/IPV infant vaccine.

Very common reactions include:  pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, irritability and increased crying, being off-colour or having a fever.

Common reactions include: loss of appetite, diarrhoea, vomiting,

Rare reactions include:  febrile convulsions (fits) and floppiness.

Pneumococcal infections are caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumonia which can lead to pneumonia, septicaemia (blood poisoning) and meningitis.

Side effects of pneumococcal vaccine

Although the pneumococcal vaccination is safe, both the childhood and adult versions of the vaccines can cause mild side effects, including:

a mild fever, redness at the site of the injection, hardness or swelling at the site of the injection

Occasionally, the childhood version of the vaccine may lead to more serious side effects including:

high temperatures sometimes leading to convulsions (febrile seizures)
mild allergic reactions in the form of itching skin rashes
In very rare cases, children and adults can have a serious allergic, anaphylactic reaction and it can cause life-threatening breathing difficulties and collapse. It’s a serious side effect and is very alarming at the time, but it can be completely treated with adrenaline. The doctor or nurse giving the vaccine will have been trained to know how to treat anaphylactic reactions and, provided they receive treatment promptly, children and adults make a complete recovery.

Rotavirusis a highly infectious stomach bug that typically strikes babies and young children, causing an unpleasant bout of diarrhoea, sometimes with vomiting, tummy ache and fever. Most children recover at home within a few days, but nearly one in five will need to see their doctor, and one in 10 of these end up in hospital as a result of complications such as extreme dehydration. A very small number of children die from rotavirus infection each year. The rotavirus vaccine is expected to prevent four out of five cases of vomiting and diarrhoea caused by rotavirus and there could be 70% fewer hospital stays as a result.

Side effects of rotavirus vaccine

Common side effects: restless and irritability, mild diarrhoea
Rare side effects: As with all vaccines, there is a very rare (approximately one in a million) possibility of the rotavirus vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is very serious and a medical emergency, but with prompt treatment most people make a full recovery. All health professionals responsible for giving vaccines should be trained to recognize and treat anaphylaxis. In very rare cases (about two in every hundred thousand babies vaccinated), the rotavirus vaccine can affect the baby’s lower gut and they may develop a rare gut disorder called intussusception. The symptoms of intussusception are tummy ache, vomiting and sometimes passing what looks like redcurrant jelly in their nappy. If this happens, contact your doctor immediately.

The Meningitis group C bacteria, can cause two very serious illnesses: meningitis and septicaemia.  The Men C vaccine does not protect against meningitis caused by other bacteria or by viruses such as meningococcal group B, so it’s important for parents to be aware of the symptoms of meningitis.

Side effects of Meningitis C vaccine

The Men C vaccine has an excellent safety record. The most common reactions tend to be minor and very temporary.   Many children and adults have no side effects at all after having the meningitis C vaccine, and in those that do, any side effects tend to be mild and short-lived.

Common reactions are: swelling, redness and pain around the injection site, mild fever, vomiting and diarrhoea (more common in babies and toddlers), crying, irritability, drowsiness, disrupted sleep and going off food (more common in babies and toddlers), headaches and muscle aches (teenagers and adults).
Rare side effects:  A baby can have an allergic reaction soon after the injection. This may take the form of a rash or itching that affects part or all of their body.
In very rare cases, an anaphylactic reaction – a severe allergic reaction – within a few minutes of the vaccination. This can cause breathing difficulties and collapse. It’s very alarming at the time, but the doctor or nurse giving the vaccine will have been trained to know how to treat these reactions and, provided they receive treatment promptly, children and adults make a complete recovery.  Very rarely, vaccine may trigger dizziness, fever-related seizures, fainting, numbness and a type of muscle weakness called hypotonia.

Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

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