*A 150ml Little Glass of Tropicana orange juice may not look like much but it packs a big punch! Indeed, a small glass of juice serves as a convenient and easy way for people to get important vitamins, minerals and one of your five a day. That’s because the juice of 1 1/2 oranges we squeeze into every Little Glass contains vitamin B9, potassium and 60% of the recommended daily vitamin C intake. And with only naturally occurring sugars Little Glass is a big hitter at breakfast. Find out more at Tropicana.co.uk.
One thing I’ve not been great at recently, is looking after myself, for obvious reasons. I’m now a mum of two, and I’ve been going through some exceptional circumstances with a baby in special care.
I tend to come last at the moment, which is quite sad considering I gave birth just six weeks ago. I thought I’d be getting some rest and snuggling a newborn at home from the outset. But I spent the first six weeks and one day of her life in hospital and it’s been quite relentless.
Now she’s home, it’s just a case of adjusting to her care. And getting into a routine as a proper family of four. Finally.
But I have to be honest and say that these last few days have meant I have had a lot more time to slow down and look at where I’m at. And let’s just say that I’ve finally become aware of my post-baby body.
It’s not been natural for me, but I have really been trying to look after myself more, so I can stay strong and feel good too. And that might sound superficial, but it really counts. I just want to move forwards now. I am craving ‘normal life’ again. And feeling positive both as a mum of two, and as me, myself.
I’m a big believer of feeling good from the inside, out. In the last few years, I have lost almost two lots of baby weight, and much more besides. I’ve changed my eating habits, by having a much more balanced diet.
As I spent most of my day in hospital, over the last few weeks, in appointments or caring for Daisy, I don’t always have time for lunch or snacks. Sometimes you couldn’t actually eat any food, depending on where you were in the hospital. Now I’m home, we have a strict regime full of suction and tube feeding, and it can get pretty hectic.
And so the one meal I definitely need and rely on is breakfast.
I’ve been trying to eat healthy breakfasts, such as porridge, yoghurt and fruit and healthier cereals. I am expressing milk, as I want to give Daisy as much support as I can, so I am trying to think about my diet and what I’m eating. I always have a coffee (which is my one vice – but I do have a new baby after all), a big pint of water, and some orange juice.
My favourite is Tropicana. It always has been. I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but it just tastes better. Like actual oranges, and isn’t too bitter, or too sweet. It was one of my cravings when I was pregnant with both of my babies, though I’ve never needed to be pregnant to want a glass of OJ.
I can also throw it in with a smoothie as a base, and add any extra fruit or veg I have in the fridge. It just means I’m getting nutrients in, when cooking in usually the last thing on my mind.
A 150ml glass of Tropicana alone is one of your five a day, and has the juice of one and-a-half oranges, Vitamin B9, potassium, and is 60% of the daily reference intake of vitamin C. So that one glass is giving you some serious benefits.
Take Vitamin C – it is so important when it comes to our well-being, and ten weeks on after having a baby, and going through hell and back, I really need to keep myself in good health. Vitamin C is essential for our physical well-being, not only does it acts as an antioxidant nutrient – contributing to the protection of cells from things such as pollution, tobacco or UV rays – it also contributes to our immune system and is vital in the formation of collagen, a protein required for the normal structure of many tissues in the body.
It also increases iron absorption from plant-based foods such as spinach, which is great when you’re already trying to eat healthy like I am! The biggest bonus for me though is that Vitamin C can also help to reduce tiredness and fatigue – a bonus for all parents I think!
Obviously, as a result of the last few months, I am suffering with dark circles, a stretched tummy, and tired skin. But when I look after myself more, taking care of my diet, I notice a huge difference. My skin is less dry, more supple, less prone to breakouts, and I am just about managing to maintain that pregnancy glow too (with a little help from some highlighter of course!). The more I think about me, the better I start to feel.
With all this in mind, I’ve also transformed my skincare routine too in the past year. I’m nearing 30 and I know I can’t just expect my skin to be okay with a face wipe before bed. I’ve also been investing in beauty products that make me feel good about myself too. And right now, I really do need to feel good about myself. I want to feel comfortable about getting out and about again. Seeing neighbours, or people I know in the village, and having the confidence to take my little girl out and live a normal life. Even if it does involve feeding tubes!
All of this just gives me an extra boost. But, ultimately, getting my diet right, with plenty of water, nutrients and clever choices like Tropicana, I am feeling better both inside and out.
Looking after myself, and my skin, not only means that I need less makeup (which is always a win at the moment), it also makes my makeup last longer and look better. And that might sound superficial – but I have a point.
I remember, in the early days of Daisy being born, my mum gave me some advice, as someone who was once in my shoes when I was intensive care as a baby. And that was to get up every day, look after myself and make myself feel good and feel confident. And at the time, that felt like a ridiculous way to spend my spare time. I was tired and overwhelmed. I didn’t care about what I was eating, or how I looked. But I slowly realised that it was so necessary. Taking care of myself was so important. It gave me the energy and confidence I felt I needed to tackle difficult conversations at hospital, learning how to care for my daughter’s needs, and fitting her breathing tube.
I felt more together, and I felt more like me. And it’s made a huge difference. It also made me feel like I’m coping, and it’s a bit like my armour, just like it used to be when I had job interviews, or my first date with Mark.
Regardless of whether you have a baby in intensive care or not, mums deserve to feel good about themselves. We often put ourselves last – it’s second nature – but it shouldn’t be. And I’m really grateful my mum gave me that advice. Because it’s helped me cope.
Don’t get me wrong, mums of newborns don’t exactly find it easy getting food and drink down them sometimes, but I’m loving awkwardly sipping my glass of orange juice, around a baby snoozing on my chest, with a bare face, and a big smile. I’m feeling better, and stronger, and I’m pretty happy about that.