October 23, 2014

Varicose Veins in Pregnancy


For years mums have had to put up with painful varicose veins after pregnancy. Varicose veins occur where small valves inside the veins stop working properly, causing aching, swollen and painful legs.

However, women needn’t suffer with this horrible side affect of pregnancy any longer, as the solution could be as simple as wearing support hosiery.  Before many women have waited until they have given birth until they start to wear support tights, but if you wear them throughout pregnancy you can help avoid these horrible side effects.
Naomi Jarman, from compression hosiery retailer Pebble UK, explains “You can help prevent many vein related problems caused by pregnancy such as swollen ankles from water retention, spider and varicose veins, heavy or aching feelings in legs and feet, and even varicosities of the Vulva, by wearing compression hosiery as early as you can throughout your pregnancy.”

If you’re put off the idea of wearing thick support tights throughout pregnancy you don’t have to worry either. Naomi continues, “Support hosiery has come a long way over the years and you do not have to go out looking like your granny any more. Our range of Maternity Support Tights include fashionable sheers and opaques, no one would even know you’re wearing medical grade tights.”

To get the best effects from your tights you should ensure you choose the correct type. Many support tights have the same amount of pressure all the way up, whereas graduated compression hosiery exerts pressure gradually up the leg, starting with most at the ankle and less as it gets further up the leg, helping blood flow up the legs and back towards the Heart. Naomi advises, “Make sure your compression hosiery is made with an mmHg (a medical measurement of compression), as without it you will not gain the medically correct therapeutic benefits in your legs, and the purchase will be a waste of money and time.”

In addition to not being the most attractive asset to your legs, varicose veins can also lead to serious health conditions. Varicose veins are caused by a breakdown of important valves that transport blood towards the heart; if valves remain unsupported they start to swell causing circulation problems. Varicose veins can also lead to phlebitis, inflammation of the vein wall, requiring surgery.

As well as wearing support hosiery, varicose veins can be avoided with exercise. This doesn’t mean you have to become an Olympic runner during your pregnancy, but simply going for walks can help push the blood back up from your feet to the heart.  Naomi explains, “Veins work in conjunction with the movement of your muscles, so the more you move, the better your circulation will be. Keeping legs elevated whilst resting will help prevent the pooling of blood behind the valves in your veins, hence yoga positions that require legs pointing towards the sky, will also have a good effect on your blood flow.”

Pebble UK have a wide range of graduated compression maternity tights specifically designed to the attentive needs of mums-to-be. Not only do Maternity Support Tights give help and protection over the full length of a woman’s legs, but at Pebble UK, they also offer features such as footless maternity tights, built-in bump bands, textured massaging soles, soft, comfortable waistbands, cotton gussets and expanding tummy panels, you can choose between sheer and opaque in a range of compression levels to suit your individual needs, and to pamper the changing body from waist to toe.

Additional info can be found at:



Tiger Mum: Tough love or controlling cruelty?


Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother has been described as ’the controversial new parenting book’ although this morning, author Amy Chua stated in a news interview , “It is not a parenting book, but simply memoirs of my life”.

Is the author backing down due to criticism or has the book been misconstrued by thousands of UK mothers?
Do you think the book is wrongly stereotyping all Chinese American parents?

Give us your views on Tiger Mother.

Maternity Nurse Q&A


Flying Start’s new resident Maternity Nurse (and mum of 4!) is here to answer your questions.

We are  inviting you to ask Claire questions about breastfeeding, bottle feeding, sleeping, crying or any areas you feel you need help in.
Q&A content will be published confidentially if preferred.

Please complete the form below with your question which will be mailed direct to Claire who will email you once your answers have been posted on this site.

If you would like to ask Claire about her Maternity Nurse services, please use the same form below for your enquiries.

Claire has over 20 years experience working with  newborns and part of her job involves living with families for the first few weeks after the birth offering care and support. Claire has completed a maternity practitioner award at Reading university and is also qualified in Peadiatric first aid training, along with having experience in volunteer work helping families who have suffered domestic violence.

Work Life Choices with a Family

Sarah Cressall

For most women, once they have started a family, they need to make a choice: family or career?  Should they stay at home and look after their children in those important growing up years and miss out on their own career opportunities or, swallow the guilt, hire childcare and go back to work?

There seems to be little on offer between these two extremes.  Out of financial necessity, many women take a part time role.  However, even then it can be tricky to get the balance right and choice is often limited.  Such roles can be undemanding and don’t allow valuable skills to be utilised. As a result it often a constant struggle to juggle family and rewarding work for many mums, so what are the alternatives?

In recent years, the rise of the internet has sprung a new breed of ‘mumpreneurs’ who have started their own business from home.  These days it is not necessary to have premises and so if you have a great idea and a good business head, plus an engaging website, you can start trading from your kitchen table.  Working hours can be fitted around childcare and some mums have found this to be the ideal solution.

However, if you have never run your own business starting up can be daunting and not without risk.  With estimates of UK business failure rates of up to 30%, depending on the industry, it is right to be cautious.  The investment in a website and initial marketing could all be lost if the business idea is not strong enough.  An alternative to consider is franchising. 

Franchising offers a proven business model and all the support and training you need from an established brand and head office team.  Start-up costs can vary but you are buying into a guaranteed income generating idea and because the business is still your own, you can still be as flexible as needed to fit around family commitments. 


“As a mum of three I was looking for a flexible career that would fit around my family, this is why I set up The Creation Station in 2002.  I now provide part-time franchise opportunities for other mums who also want to achieve a flexible and rewarding work life balance delivering The Creation Station experience through Art and Craft classes, Birthday Party and Event Entertainment.  I now work with almost 30 mums across the UK whose businesses fit perfectly around their families, as they can take their own children along to the creative activities they run within their local area.”

The franchise was also established to develop children’s creative thinking skills from an early age, in a safe and nurturing environment by stimulating the 5 senses.  The fun and educationally based programmes, engage the child at their own pace and developmental stage, to nurture a journey of exploration and discovery.  The classes, birthday parties and events are really popular as everyone can enjoy creating their own unique artwork at their pace.  Our franchisees say that developing relationships within the local community is incredibly rewarding and being part of a national team, with the same values really makes them feel supported and valued.

The Creation Station is affiliated to the British Franchise Association and training and ongoing support is provided by head office, so all our franchisees have all the skills, knowledge and top tips to run their own successful creative business.

So if you are considering returning to work and really don’t want to make the painful choice between family and career, why not consider a part-time family friendly franchise like The Creation Station?  It is a great way to earn money and have the freedom to work in a way that suits and still have time to spend with your children.

Win A Mother And Baby Skincare Baby Box worth over £200!


Caring for Precious Skin

Win A Mother And Baby Skincare Baby Box from Pure And Gentle Skincare

Children’s and particularly a baby’s skin is so much thinner than an adult’s which is why it’s so important to choose the right skincare products for your little one. Many of the ingredients and chemicals presented in a wide range of skincare products can irritate young, delicate skin, often leaving it dry, irritated and more prone to allergic reactions.  A staggering 60% of what we apply to our skin can be absorbed into our bloodstream which is why at Pure and Gentle Skincare we always recommend choosing products that are fragrance-free, colour-free, and completely gentle, with no added sources of irritation or sensitising ingredients.

At Pure and Gentle Skincare we provide a range of carefully selected products more suited to the sensitive skin of babies and children that are free from as many of the known skin irritants as possible. It’s our policy to list every ingredient for every product we stock so you know exactly what you are buying and we also offer wide range of resources and information if you are wishing to learn more about particular skin conditions.

We are delighted to have teamed up with Flying Start Parenting Magazine to offer you the chance to win a fantastic Mother and Baby Box containing a whole host of skin friendly products including moisturisers, nourishing oil, nipple cream, baby shampoo and repair cream.

To enter, simply:

  1. Recommend Flying Start Magazine’s site to your Facebook friends by clicking the link to the top right of the screen
  2. Answer the following question: (Email answer, instructions below)

What percentage that we apply to our skin can be absorbed into our blood stream?
Please send your answers to marketing@pureandgentleskincare.com stating Flying Start Magazine in the subject box.  Please also include your contact details – name, email and preferred daytime contact telephone number. Closing date for the competition is 28th February 2011.

Terms and Conditions