September is PCOS awareness month. For those who know nothing about it, PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome - a common condition that affects how a woman's ovaries work. The three main features of PCOS are:
Jacqui Garnier (MAR), one of our reflexologists here at Fertility & Pregnancy and one of the founder members of Verity, the UK's leading PCOS charity, has first hand experience of living with PCOS, and here she shares her fascinating journey and how she overcame it.
It’s the end of June and elder trees are still abundant with gorgeous, fragrant elderflowers (in the UK anyway). These are too good to go to waste, so here’s my Dad’s fool proof elderflower cordial recipe. It’s a really refreshing, flowery-flavoured drink which is delicious diluted with still or sparkling water, or mixed with Prosecco for a summery cocktail.
Elderflowers have been used in herbal medicine by different cultures all over the world and have many health benefits. And just so you know, in France elderflower cordial is called ‘sirop de sureau’ – go on, try saying that with a heavy French accent! Here's the recipe...
This week (30th April - 6th May) is UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week, with World Maternal Mental Health Day on Wednesday 2nd May. So in the spirit of openness, I'm sharing my own maternal mental health story. Here is me at one of the lowest times in my life. Aged 34, with a newborn baby, a 17 month old, my marriage in tatters and husband about to leave for good.
If you’re stuck for something to do this weekend, try foraging for wild garlic. I’m a big fan of foraging for wild food, especially as it’s free!
I had a lovely spring walk last weekend at Dalkeith Country Park just outside Edinburgh with my children. The air was thick with the smell of wild garlic, which covered most of the woodland floor. So we picked a bagful, took it home and I knocked up a batch of wild garlic pesto – keep reading for the recipe.
Happy Easter! Apart from a few chocolate ones, this is my most recent eggy purchase – the Eco-Egg. At the start of 2018, I made a pledge to try and reduce my family’s impact on the environment so I’m enjoying discovering new products all the time. I’ve been using the Eco-Egg since January and haven’t used any laundry detergent at all since then which is definitely a win for the environment! It contains special pellets which do all the cleaning, so there are no harsh chemicals, therefore no hormone disrupters. Having balanced hormones is so important for women’s health, especially if you are trying to conceive or have a hormonal condition such as PCOS or endometriosis.
As a teenager, my periods were unbelievably heavy and incredibly painful. Feeling like someone had grabbed my lower abdomen and was twisting and wrenching it out of me. Passing clots which were like lumps of liver (apologies if you’re squeamish – I'm very open and talk about that sort of thing in my job every day!). And the flooding which happened at each bleed. Much to my dismay, I didn’t risk owning a pair of white trousers, which were quite the thing in the 80s, especially when paired with white stilettos. That was my reality every month, for several years. But thankfully, it was only for a couple of days per month. In between times I carried on life as normal. That’s not the case if you suffer from endometriosis. Crippling pain can be the norm, every day for years and years. Living with this condition is incredibly debilitating and can have a huge impact on your life - affecting your work, mental health, close relationships with partners/family, social life, sex life, and potential to conceive. March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, so hopefully this article will give you more information about the condition and different ways in which it can be managed.
Do you ever get lumpy, tender, heavy breasts? Usually in the second half of your cycle in the run to up your period? I do. To the extent that if I'm hugging one of my children, I have to be a bit cautious. I then heard about a lady called Janine de Wolf (what a fab name!) who does Breast Tissue Treatment. She got in touch with me and I’m now thrilled to announce that we will be hosting a pop-up Breast Tissue Treatment clinic at Central Studio in Edinburgh on 12 & 13 April. The talented Janine is coming all the way from The Netherlands to introduce this wonderful treatment. I must admit, I didn’t know much about this therapy, but as we love anything which can enhance women’s health, I wanted to know more. So I had lots of questions for Janine. Read on to find out what it’s all about.
According to statistics, more babies are born in the second half of September and early October than at any other point of the year, suggesting more babies are likely to be conceived during the Christmas holidays. So lots of new mums will be breastfeeding for the first time this month. I’m delighted to be posting my first ‘guest blog’ on the subject of breastfeeding written by a lovely friend of mine. So sit yourself down, grab a cuppa and do keep reading. Here it is:
Well, here we are in autumn and there are hedgerows bursting with fruit waiting to be picked and turned into something delicious. Elderberries are one such fruit and can be easily made into jam, which is not only tasty, but full of health benefits too.
This is a very quick and easy recipe for indulgent but healthy truffles! They are sugar free, dairy free, gluten free and raw, so even if you have a food allergy or intolerance, you can probably eat these. They also make perfect presents to take when visiting friends or family (especially those who are pregnant – read more below) over the festive season. So here’s how to make them…
If you would like to collaborate with a guest blog, please get in touch by email. I'm interested in articles about fertility, pregnancy, parenthood, complementary therapies, book or product reviews, local practitioners or classes, and general health and well-being. My horizons are pretty broad, so if you have something you'd like to write about, please do!