Ailsa….”I think everyone needs an Ailsa” -from Sally (twins mummy)

“When my babies were born I thought I could manage. I did (just) but I wasn’t enjoying it or them much as I was so exhausted. When I finally caved in & asked Ailsa to help she came through the door bringing a sense of calm to the chaos, and instinctively knew what I needed. Ailsa is such a professional she adapted to my routine, boosted my confidence and gave me invaluable advice. Most days she also brought cake! I think everyone needs an Ailsa. I can highly recommend this one.”

- Sally. March 2016.

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Thanks Ailsa, from Beth

Just want to say a massive thank you to my postnatal doula Ailsa Holmes who, after nearly 5 months, spent her last day with me last week. It is a bitter sweet goodbye as it means I’m feeling confident with my twins and getting some sleep but I’m also very sad (& maybe a bit terrified) to see her go.
Ailsa has helped me for a couple of hours a week since my twins were 6 weeks old, and boy have I needed her help. She has been a huge support physically, emotionally and practically, making lunch & tea & bringing cake, taking a twin (or both) off my hands, listening to & empathising with my rants & frustrations, and advising me on routines, feeding, settling, sleeping, relating, weaning & all manner of other issues we all face having twins (& a toddler!).
She will still be my SOS call every now and then I’m sure, and I’ll continue to turn up at her house for tea and cake every Tuesday at twins club until my boys are mobile… But, for now, I cannot recommend her highly enough – just writing this makes me realise how much I’ve needed her and will miss her! Thanks Ailsa, much love xxx

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Thank you Ailsa

Dear Ailsa

Thank you so much for all your help! Meeting you has been great, you brought cheerfulness and calm in our house. Giovanni and I often remember how you entered the house and walk around as walking on clouds and light as a feather. You taught me tricks and gave me great advice but the greatest gift was to “teach” me to be calm and listen to my little monsters. I thought I was doing fine before meeting you, I then realised I was just surviving!

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Thanks Ailsa, from Pamela

I have had the help of Ailsa, a fabulous woman who has 2 decades of experience, adores babies and can advise on all aspects of motherhood, as well as breastfeeding and weaning (she has a partner who specialises in these and offers advice as part of the service). She can also organise you and do a little bit of light tidying, as well as bring you cups of tea and is great to chat to for company which is in itself a big help. She is in demand so if this is someone you think you might need, get in touch ASAP.

~ Pamela, mother of twins.

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Thanks from Emily, via Facebook

Had my last day of support from my wonderful doula Ailsa Holmes today. Very sad. Ailsa has helped me for 4 hours a week since my twin boys come home from hospital 6 months ago… I can’t recommend her support highly enough… She has great experience supporting twin families and helped me with so many practical areas… Feeding, Routines, naps, nightimes etc but more importantly encouraged me to feel more confident as a first time mum. It’s been such a relief to have her arrive each week and make me a cup of tea, grab one of the boys and chat things through… Snap her up if you can x

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Twins Club December 2014

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KarenGive a little this Christmas

First Days is a local charity that redistributes your preloved baby clothes, equipment, toys and furniture to families in need. In the run-up to Christmas, a lot of us are clearing out to make space for the new toys our children are lucky enough to get by the Amazon-load, so why not donate last year’s no-longer-played-with to less lucky families in the local area? First Days is collecting nearly-new toys to wrap up for Christmas. You can bring them to Kings Place, Wokingham (Station Road) on Friday 21st November between 10 and 5, or to their warehouse in Woodley on Thursday 27th November between 9:30 and 12.

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KarenBreastpump Rental

Karen is an agent for Ardo Breastpump hire and has two hospital-grade Ardo Elite pumps for hire. Please email or call for details.

Mothers express milk for lots of reasons, including to relieve engorgement, to stimulate milk production, if she needs to spend time away from her baby or baby is in special care, or if her baby cannot latch on and breastfeed directly.

The Ardo Elite breastpump is a closed system, protecting both the milk and the pump from contamination. It can be rented with a single collection set, or for double pumping with a pair of collection sets. Each collection set is provided new and in a sealed bag, but will need to be sterilised before use.

The minimum hire period is 7 days, and this can be extended up to 30 days at a time. Prices are:
7 days single £20.80 double £27.80
14 days single £30.60 double £37.10
30 days single £47 double £53.50
Continuation of hire costs £1.40 per day after the initial hire period.

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KarenGetting started with solids: Purees

If you have chosen to offer pureed food for your baby’s first taste of solids, don’t forget it doesn’t have to be baby rice! For a healthy term baby showing signs of being ready for solid food, lots of other colours and flavours are available for those first steps on the journey towards a healthy enjoyment of food.

The main nutrients your baby needs in his or her diet between 6-12 months are still protein, fat and calcium, so there is no hurry to cut back on milk, which is such a great source of these things. When you start solids it’s all about the taste experience, so try not to let your baby fill up on food and have no room for milk. Just one or two teaspoons is plenty for the first few meals.

Vegetable Puree
You will need: approximately 100g of any suitable vegetable. This could be a small sweet potato, a carrot, a few florets of broccoli or cauliflower, half a butternut squash, a parsnip, a handful of peas, a fresh beetroot, some spinach leaves, or anything that can be cooked in the following way.

If you would normally peel the vegetable, then peel it. If not, just wash it. Cut larger vegetables into small dice.

Steam for 5-7 minutes, or boil in a small amount of water for 6-10 minutes.

Check it is soft enough to blend.

Using the chopping attachment of a hand blender, or in a food processor, puree the cooked vegetable until it is smooth. If necessary, add a small amount of cooking water to thin the puree.

If you want the puree to be smoother, pass it through a mouli or sieve. If you want it to have a little more texture, you could mash with a potato masher or fork.

Separate out a portion (two teaspoons) for the meal, and allow to cool before serving.
Cool the rest and store in clean containers in the fridge or freezer.

Fruit Puree
Hard fruits such as pears and apples can be prepared using the method for vegetable puree described above.

Soft fruits such as nectarines, peaches, plums, mangoes and apricots can be peeled and simmered for 3-5 minutes with a tablespoon of water, and then blended to a puree.

Bananas make a very convenient no-cook puree: simply mash or mush with a fork, and use immediately.

Lots more introducing solids resources can be found here.

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AilsaAilsa’s new profile statement

I absolutely love being a doula. Love helping mums and supporting them, watching them gain in confidence as they grow and evolve as parents, and although it’s bittersweet when it happens I also love it when I get asked to come less often and eventually stop altogether, because it means I have done my job well and that is hugely satisfying.

More by chance than by design for the last year all of my clients have been twin mummies, and this seems to be my ‘niche’ at the moment, although I would still work with mums of single babies too of course.
I find working with twins and their parents very rewarding – always busy but a different experience every time with so much to learn, absorb and share.

I also run Wokingham Twins and Multiples club at my house every Tuesday morning during term time, 10am – 12pm.
This is a TAMBA affiliated little group which is free and specifically aimed at pregnant mums and those with babies, up to the point where they are mobile. It is designed to be a first stepping stone towards getting out and about, gaining confidence while adjusting to being a multiples mummy, meeting other parents of twins and multiples with my support, cake, a cuppa, a hug if needed and a spare pair of hands!

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