Healthcare by a Pharmacist mum!

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Soothers – Should you or shouldn’t you!?

soother-in-mouthSoothers…. another one of those weird topics that instigate all manner of severe mammy guilt! I feel this is because we are bombarded with conflicting information as to whether or not their use is a good or bad thing! I’d like to be able to clarify whether there is a right or wrong answer to the argument but I’m afraid that will still remain the personal choice of a parent – all I can do is explain the evidence from both sides and for what it’s worth I’m happy to give my own opinion at the end!

Please note – I will use the word ‘soothers’ throughout this article to describe a device also known as a dodi, a pacifier, a dummy, etc etc etc….. Continue reading

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Candida (thrush) infection of breasts – symptoms and treatment!

Nipple pain can occur in a breastfeeding mum for many reasons.  Obtaining a correct diagnosis is critically important for a successful continued breastfeeding realtionship. Breastfeeding is recommended exclusively for your baby’s first six months and then in combination with food right up until two years of age or beyond.  This article does not serve to prove the benefits of breastfeeding – it is universally accepted as the best source of nutrition for your baby and has many benefits for mum too.  No doubt I’ll write all about that at some other stage – today I am more focused on identifying those mums who are struggling with pain during feeding and would like to highlight thrush as a potential cause.  From experience I have found it is important to know the appropriate treatment when attending the doctors so that you can discuss the best treatment options available to you. Continue reading

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A WonderBaba Guide to Asthma in Children!

child-asthmaChildhood Asthma

Around 1 in 5 of Irish children are affected by asthma with boys being more likely to suffer than girls.  Happily the odds get a bit better with age but still approximately 1 in 10 adults are asthma patients  (470,000 people!) in Ireland.

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease which is often not diagnosed and unfortunately uncontrolled which can lead to ill health in children.  The early detection and treatment of asthma in kids is essential to reduce illness and complications and to increase the quality of life of those affected and their families. Illness from asthma can be mild and cause moderate inconvenience such as missed days from school, however it can also present in a more severe form which can be serious and potentially life threatening. Modern medicine makes asthma an extremely well controlled condition in those with appropriate action plans and I can’t stress enough how important it is to work with your child’s doctor to ensure you are keeping their condition as well controlled as possible – this proactive attitude will help your child to lead a ‘normal’ life and reduce the number of doctor and hospital visits necessary. Continue reading

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A WonderBaba Guide to Impetigo

wonderbaba-impetigoImpetigo is a very contagious bacterial skin condition which most commonly affects children up to four years of age (approx 3%) but also affects about 2% of children from five to 14 years of age.  It’s less common in adults and this is probably due to the nature of close contact children have in creche and school environments. Hands on slobbery play definitely encourages the spread of infection of all types but try telling that to a two year old! There may have been a time a few years ago that I was daft enough to think they may listen! Continue reading

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WonderBaba – Miscarriage – Symptoms and Support.

Bleeding, severe pain and cramping, or the sudden loss of pregnancy symptoms can sometimes indicate a miscarriage.  I don’t even need to say it but a miscarriage causes a mother distress of the most harrowing nature. It is ironic that early pregnancy is often a ‘secret’ and so the time that you really need support and help is the one time you feel unable to reach out and ask for it.  I’m writing this article for those mums who need advice, for those who feel the may be suffering from a miscarriage, or those who have experienced one and are finding it hard to cope with or process.  I hope to provide some information about what is normal and what is not during early pregnancy and to highlight some of the amazing and supportive resources there are for women in this devastating situation in Ireland. It is important to know when to seek help and if you do find yourself in the heartbreaking position of grieving for your unborn baby its even more important to know that support is available.  A pregnancy can be planned, unplanned or unexpected but finding support during miscarriage, both physically and mentally, should not be overlooked.

What can be a sign of miscarriage?

Continue reading

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Chicken Pox -Vaccination Facts for Parents!

What is the vaccine?

The Chicken Pox vaccine contains a laboratory weakened/altered amount of the Varicella virus which stimulates an immune response in the patients body so that they will be able to defend themselves from future exposure.  It is such a weak dose that most patients (98%) suffer no symptoms afterwards – in a very small minority the patient may show a very mild form of the disease. It is usually no more than 5-6 blisters in this case. Full illness causes 200-500 blisters in most cases. This type of vaccination stimulates an excellent immune response and will leave your child approximately 90% protected against the illness. Continue reading

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A WonderBaba Guide to Chicken Pox

wonderbabachickenpoxlengthChicken Pox is an infection which is caused by the Varicella Zoster virus.  It is responsible for a horrible rash which normally starts as small red spots which then turn into fluid filled blisters after about 12-14 hours.  These blisters can be extremely itchy and your child may be very out of sorts when they start to appear (i have horrible memories of trying to comfort them whilst they wriggled with pain in their sleep at night!).  The blisters remain like this for a day or two before becoming cloudy and  drying up.  They most commonly appear on the chest, back, and face but also affect the arms and legs. Unfortunately they can also appear inside the ears, mouth and on the nappy area.  It’s really important to do all that you can to ensure your child is comfortable during this time.  It’s also important to minimise the itching and scratching of the blisters to prevent them from becoming infected and scarring.

To read all about the treatments available, without prescription, for chicken pox read my product review here – https://wonderbaba.ie/2015/01/01/verdict-on-chicken-pox-products/

The chicken pox are highly contagious for a couple of days before the blisters first appear and until they have all completely scabbed over – so the blisters are contagious, not the scabs.. The virus can also be passed by coughing and sneezing etc.
Generally the patient feels worst for the couple of days before the blisters appear and until they scab over. At this point it’s really just healing wounds and the illness itself has passed. You may find that some spots are drying out and others are just arriving.  This is because chicken pox tend to come in clusters for 3-5 days so the spots can be at different stages of blistering or healing.

Symptoms other than the distinctive rash can be similar to the flu and may include:

Your child will need to stay off school until they are feeling better and all of their spots have scabbed over.  Whilst they are contagious I would also urge you to keep them at home as much as you can so as not to put immunocompromised or pregnant people at risk of catching the virus as it can be more dangerous for them. It is also advisable to keep infected children away from new born babies as much as possible.

If your child has the chicken pox you should contact the doctor by phone to arrange a suitable appointment (let them know your child has chicken pox in advance so that they can ensure you are not coming into contact with vulnerable patients in the waiting room) doctor-logo-red-white-mdif you suspect your child’s blisters have become infected. You should also contact your GP:

  • If you suspect your newborn baby has the chickenpox
  • If you are pregnant and have come into contact with someone who is infected and you have never had them previously.
  • If you have a weakened immune system.

Seek emergency help if:

cropped-feet1.pngI hope you find this helpful and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me by sending a private message to the WonderBaba facebook page (www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) or by calling me (Sheena) at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262. I’m always happy to help!





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WonderReview – Is Aveeno Baby Skincare Amazing?!

Just like every mum I’m always keen to try out new skin care products on my children’s skin in the hope it may offer them a little relief from dry and sensitive skin.  I was excited to see the Aveeno Baby range become available in Ireland as I have often had queries about it from mums who have seen it in the States.  The curiosity about it has been immense as the regular Aveeno and the Aveeno Dermexa ranges already enjoy a lot of success.  So let me just explain the differences between the ranges before I give you the breakdown of the baby range.

Aveeno-dermexa-emollient-body-wash-250mlAveeno ‘Daily’ moisturising lotion and washes are recommended for normal to dry skin and should be used as a part of your normal daily skin care routine.  These products are for your body – whereas the Ultra calming range is for your face.  The ‘Skin Relief’ products are lotions which contain soothing ingredients such as shea or menthol.  Aveeno also have an emollient cream which is useful when you need more moisture than the lotion provides.  The ‘Dermexa’ range is designed to be more soothing than the traditional products and is useful for irritated and sensitive skin.  This is the range that many parents use on their children’s skin as it moisturises for up to 24 hours and can provide comfort from itchy skin.  It is suitable for children older than three months of age.  If you are happily using this range I would probably not change to the specific baby range as I don’t think there would be a huge advantage – unless your child is younger than three months of age.

The Aveeno Baby range has been approved by pediatricians which means it is suitable for use from birth.  The range has been designed with a baby’s delicate and sensitive skin in mind and the colloidal oats will providing soothing comfort to your child.

aveeno baby emollient wash pic milltownThere are three products available at the moment.  The first is the Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Emollient Wash – I used this for almost two weeks on my three and I have to say I found it lovely to use. It will make some bubbles if encouraged which is always a plus when toddlers are involved and two out of my three have extremely sensitive skin but there was no issues at all using this. It’s unscented and is gentle enough that it will not irritate their eyes during the bath.  You can add some to the bath or apply it to a wet cloth or sponge to wash them directly.  It’s a nice creamy formulation and I’d definitely be happy to recommend it for regular use to anyone looking for a gentle wash for delicate and sensitive skin.

The Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Emollient Wash is available by clicking here!

aveeno baby emollient cream picNext up there is Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Emollient Cream – This I have to say is a tricky one for me…I loved it on most levels but I must admit I felt it left a bit of a sticky residue on their skin.  Now I’m super fussy when it comes to moisturisers as I have eczema myself and have spent my life trying to find the ideal one so maybe I’m being a bit harsh.  It feels lovely to apply and really and truly leaves the skin silky, soft and utterly nourished – there is no doubt about that.  The colloidal oats here again will calm and soothe irritated skin so definitely useful during a skin flare up or as a regular use cream. I suppose it just takes a little longer to absorb perhaps than what I’m used to.  For anyone that’s interested I’m a bit obsessed with the La Roche Posay Lipikar AP Baume! It offers great comforting moisture, reduces itch and really does absorb very quickly.  I think it’s important for a product to be easy to use and when trying to get a baby dressed after applying the Aveeno Baby you might find them a little stickier than you would with the La Roche Posay Lipikar Balme.

The Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Emollient Cream is available by clicking here!

The La Roche Posay Lipikar Baume is available by clicking here!

aveeno baby daily care barrier cream milltownFinally there is the Aveeno Baby Daily Care Barrier Cream.  This is a cream formulated to soothe and protect against nappy rash.  I really like this product! I was using it for the two weeks on my 11 month old who during that time suffered from a tummy bug and got his first tooth! It really got a good test with him and a less effective cream would not have saved him from discomfort.  It has a lovely thick consistency like what I expect from a nappy cream – sort of like Sudocrem! I found it to be a really effective barrier cream.  It’s also easy to apply and contains the colloidal oats to soothe the skin. I love this nappy cream and would find it hard to choose a favourite between this and Weleda Calendula Nappy Change Cream.  If you’re looking for a cream that can be used for general skin irritations on areas other than the nappy area then I would go with La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume.

The Aveeno Baby Daily Care Barrier Cream is available by clicking here!

 You can out more about the Weleda Calendula Nappy Change Cream by clicking here!

The La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume is available by clicking here!

cropped-websitefeetlogo.pngI hope you find this helpful and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me by sending a private message to the WonderBaba facebook page (www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) or by calling me (Sheena) at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262. I’m always happy to help!


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WonderBaba Medication Record

We all know how important it is to give your child the right medication, at the right time, at the right dose.  I’m not writing this to give you a lecture – if you are reading this you are already interested in the responsible administration of medication to your child.  I’m writing this to help you find an easy and effective way of doing it – no matter what your family or childcare situation!

The most common reason for medication errors that I have come across is a simple lack of communication between adults. It’s so easily done, everyone is in a hurry and has an awful lot of information to provide during ‘handover’ of responsibility from one parent to another, from a parent to a childminder or from a parent to a creche or school etc.  It’s simple to forget to let someone know that you have given a dose of medication, in fact with tiredness and stress involved I’d say its near impossible to be perfect all of the time!

Rather than beat ourselves up about not being ‘WonderParents’ all of the time I feel it’s a lot more constructive to identify that everyone is only human after all, and to try and find a system to put in place to prevent any medication errors from occuring.

I have designed the following record so that it can be used in a home, childminders, creche or school environment.  Ideally it could be stored in the box of the medication so that it is easily found but can even wrapped around the bottle with an elastic band or hair bobbin if needs must!  I really hope you find it useful as the most important thing is the health and welfare of our fabulous WonderBabas and I know this is a system we will be using in our house from now on when one of our three is unfortunate enough to need medication.

The Record can be downloaded and printed off by clicking the following link:

WonderBaba Medication Record download!

wonderbaba medication record download! pic




I hope you have found this article helpful and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me by sending a private message to the WonderBaba facebook page (www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) or by calling me (Sheena) at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262.  I’m always happy to help!


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The WonderBaba Cure for a Working Mammy’s Guilt!

slingMaternity leave comes to an end all to quick. Precious days spent getting to know this amazing little person who has just joined your family.  It almost feels like they are just starting to blossom into  their new personalities when it’s time to go back to work.  Some people have the option of taking a year off, some people only a few weeks, whatever your reasons, choices and commitments it boils down to the same thing…you have to leave your baby.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of mums out there who are excited to go back to work, I was one of them in many ways, but even with the best job in the world it can be a phase of major adjustment, upset and turmoil!  Otherwise known as ‘the mammy guilt’.  Rather than going down the road of discussing why people make a choice to go back to work or to highlight that many people don’t actually have a choice in the first place I thought it might be refreshing to focus on the positives! So this little article is for all of you working mammies out there who are struggling to cope with the guilt of having to leave your baby whether it be for a couple of half days a week or a five day full time working week.  This article is a focus on the positives – and actually I’m amazed by the length of it!!!

Work Life Balance Signpost Shows Career And Leisure Harmony


When I was expecting my most recent little addition I came across an amazing group of women who were all in the same boat (LOTP you know who you are!).  Out of the group many of the women have gone back to work and some are just returning now. There are also some stay at home mums who went back to work after having earlier babies but have chosen to stay at home this time around.  Of course there is a collection of full time stay at home mums and I have to say – being at home is just as hard a job as being at work – I think this will become even more evident as this article continues!!  After a few hard days at work this week I was feeling a bit exhausted and wondered if I had the choice to be a stay at home mum would life actually be any easier? In the interest of a bit of a giggle and a bit of perspective  I asked this group of women a simple question “what are the positives about being a working mum”?  Here is a sample of the answers to cheer any of you emotionally drained ‘working mums’ up!  Let’s be clear..this article is not my ‘norm’.  You will not find any evidence based guidelines or medical research here…but sometimes, just sometimes…laughter is the best medicine!

What are the positives of being a ‘working mum’?

  • cup-of-coffee-Being somewhat appreciated for what I do.
  • Saying ‘I’ll do it in a minute’ and your word being accepted instead of being asked again and again every 5 seconds until you give in.
  • Going to the toilet in peace and without an audience.
  • Coffee in peace – and it’s even hot!
  • Lunch in peace – again even hot if wanted!!
  • Feeling like you have done something productive instead of the ‘futility’ of housework etc.
  • “I’d quit my job but its the only place I get any sleep!”
  • Exercising my brain.
  • ‘I like those 16 mins a day when I’m on my own in the car.  I like that I’m me and not just mammy.  I like that at the end of my shift I can just stop what I’m doing’.
  • Feeling like I have a goal apart from eat, sleep, clean up mess, repeat.
  • The feeling of having a purpose other than being a mammy to help retain a sense of identity.
  • Being called by my name.
  • musicThe commute and singing along to the radio without the kids asking 20 questions!
  • ‘Adult conversation..being a stay at home mum I can go days without adult conversation apart from husband! Sometimes I go to ALDI for a chat.’
  • ‘I go to my local shop – I now know all of the staff!’
  • Dressing in work clothes.
  • Listening to talk shows on the radio.
  • ‘Eating…alone like. And swallowing’
  • Putting on make up.
  • Having the craic with colleagues and friends.
  • makeupSitting down.
  • People listen to me when I speak and don’t respond with ‘why’?
  • Not being pooped on.
  • Not talking about poop.
  • Going for lunch with friends.
  • ‘I love my house being clean because we are not in it to mess it’
  • Lunch cooked by canteen staff.
  • Wearing high heels.
  • Work people don’t steal food off your plate.
  • Browsing on the internet without feeling guilty about ignoring the kids.
  • Talking about things other than power rangers and dinosaurs.
  • Being a person other than ‘mammy’
  • phone‘Not being called mammy, however being a teacher I do get called mammy at work from time to time!’
  • Being on your phone without someone wanting to snatch it from your hand.
  • Facing different challenges and exercising different skills to what I do at home.
  • Financial benefits help make it feel worthwhile.
  • ‘Having new things to talk to hubbie about at dinner time other than the consistency of poop and the price of food in Tesco’.
  • Sharing night time baby duties and early wakings as both of us at work.
  • ‘not having to chase an energiser bunny all day – jesus it’s exhausting!’
  • Not having to try and get the baby to nap.
  • Wearing clean clothes.
  • Being able to wear jewellery.
  • Lunchtime shopping.
  • If you’re sick you can go back to bed as the kids have childcare as being at home minding kids when your sick is no fun!
  • Not bringing a buggy.
  • Walking with two free hands.
  • Husband gets a taste of what it is you’ve been doing whilst ‘off’.
  • ‘Not having to get my boobs out for eight whole hours’.
  • ‘Being better at my job because of having children…can survive on very little food and drink for days on end and can go without sleep – every employers dream!’
  • Being appreciated.
  • Getting to carry a handbag with things in it just for me.
  • Having lunch at lunchtime.
  • Being able to drive with the music blaring at ridiculous levels.
  • ‘Those sneaky mental health days as me and husband call them where we take the day off and still send the kids to creche and go to the cinema.’
  • little handComing home to big cuddles.
  • The look of joy/relief on their faces when you collect them or get home.

Well I hope reading that little list which was created by fellow ‘working mammies’  has helped you to realise that actually maybe going to work isn’t such a bad thing!  Going to work may actually help you to be a better and more tolerant parent by allowing you some very precious ‘you’ time.  You may actually spend better quality time with your kids during your time off than you ever would if you were with them every day of the week.  So let the ‘working mammy’ guilt be gone – consider yourself cured!  You are now free to move on to any of the following common forms of mammy guilt:

  • My child doesn’t eat enough fruit and vegetables guilt.
  • My child watches more than 5 minutes of TV per day guilt.
  • My child just licked a dirty floor guilt.
  • I gave my baby formula guilt.
  • I use disposable nappy guilt.
  • I pretended to go to the bathroom just to get a minutes peace guilt.
  • I dress my child exclusively from Pennys guilt.
  • My child ate a lollipop guilt.
  • I fed my baby food from a sachet (without a spoon) guilt.