pregnancy & baby festival

O'Reilly Hall, UCD, Dublin
22-23 February 2014, 10am - 5pm

Babytalk Exhibitors

festival photos

The dust has finally settled after Babytalk and we have picked our favourite photos from the weekend to give you a glimpse into all of the fun and games that went on!

Babytalk 1
Our happy visitors shopping to their hearts content!


Babytalk 3
A few of our fab exhibitors…


The Early Learning Centre play area was a huge hit with our littlest visitors!

We had lots of bookworms visit our reading area where our brilliant readers entertained and excited all weekend!

The very talented Jo Jo painting lots of happy little (and bigger) faces!

One of our brilliant demos, here Gail from Harmony Yoga is teaching Mums, Dads and babies how to do yoga together

RTEjr’s Reuben entertains the crowds, young and old were rolling around with laughter!

Babytalk 11
Tickled Pink had everyone joining in and singing along!

Babytalk 12
Some of the Babytalk Team celebrating the end to a brilliant weekend!


Babytalk 14

Thanks again to everyone who came along, took part, exhibited or helped us to spread the word about Babytalk 2014! Keep an eye on our blog, Facebook and Twitter for news and updates, looking forward to seeing you all again soon!

Cotton on!

A guest post from Babytalk exhibitor Leona from hip baby about why organic cotton is the bees knees!

hip baby

Cotton is Cotton right??  Well no, not exactly.  There are no chemicals whatsoever used in the production of Organic Cotton.  No insecticides or pesticides used in the cotton fields or chemicals during the manufacturing process and the dyes used are free from toxins!

Apart from the obvious Environmental and Social benefits to the farmers who grow it, how does it benefit you and your baby?  Well a baby’s skin is very delicate and their skin is a lot thinner than adults, for this reason is it is important that their skin can breathe and Organic Cotton helps this.

A lot of babies suffer with eczema and other skin irritations and Organic Cotton can really help with these conditions.  Regardless of the rest of the clothes your baby wears, if the layer next to their skin is Organic Cotton then you are helping your baby’s skin to breathe!

Organic Cotton Clothing has come a long way in the last few years, previously the choice varied from a dull cream to an even duller grey!!!  Now we have lots of colours and styles to choose from and the quality cannot be matched!

Come along to the hipbaby stand at Babytalk Festival to see and feel organic cotton clothing for yourself and be in with a chance to win a fab prize of a €50 voucher to spend online!

For more details please see

Baby Dreams – Fertility Tips

A guest post from Babytalk exhibitor and speaker Dan Oakes of Neighbourhood Midwives.


How many times have you heard in the news about a couple that conceived after giving up trying? Stress is a huge factor that affects us all. When we are under pressure, our bodies release hormones that constrict our blood vessels and put us on high alert. This chemical response is embedded in all of us–our fight or flight response. Unfortunately, these hormones actively fight the ones that we need to create a baby. It can be extremely frustrating for couples who are trying to conceive month after month with no baby to show for it. Frustration causes a vicious cycle, causing more stress that blocks your baby dreams.

The good news is that now you know and can take steps to offload your barriers to conception. The hormone you are most interested in when trying to conceive is that most notorious and elusive one – Oxytocin. In fact, oxytocin plays a huge role throughout the entire conception, pregnancy and bonding journey. Oxytocin is known under many names: the love hormone, the relaxation hormone and if it could be bottled (not that they haven’t tried) chemists might call it Liquid Trust.

So how does one get their hands on some of this Liquid Trust? Picture this: a day off work spent with your loved one, having a picnic in the park, the hot sun beating gently down on you. After that, a long, luxurious soak in the jacuzzi while sipping champagne. Then, your favourite meal is lovingly prepared by your partner and eaten together by candlelight. Finally, you both enjoy an intense lovemaking session followed by a mind-blowing orgasm. Maybe this wouldn’t appeal to everyone, but you get the picture. An experience like this would set you up with enough oxytocin for at least a week. Busy couples and families would be hard pressed to find the kind of time and effort needed to achieve this scenario, but you could start off with loads of hugs. Hugs relieve stress like nothing else. “We need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 hugs a day for maintenance, 12 hugs a day for growth.” (Virginia Satir)

Obviously there is more to baby dreams than hot water and candlelight. When is the best time to have sex? Does smoking affect my fertility? What’s most helpful to eat? Your Neighbourhood Midwives will be at the Babytalk Festival to listen to you and give you the latest in fertility breakthroughs. Stop by our exhibition and get a free health check. Midwives know the secrets of fertility and our answers will give you the confidence to achieve your baby dreams.

Dan Oakes, Registered Midwife, is the father of three boys. Dan founded Neighbourhood Midwives Ltd. in 2012, with Tracy Donegan, bringing the best in Irish maternity care straight to the heart of your home before and after your hospital birth.

Not just skin deep

Concerned about stretch marks? Babytalk exhibitor Lisa Heeney has some tips and a Beautiful Belly Bar to give away! Just comment below or on the corresponding facebook post to be in with a chance to win!


Pregnancy is a time of change, both physically and mentally. Some women breeze through the 42 weeks whilst others have a more challenging time with discomforts such as morning sickness, sleeplessness, heart-burn or excessive swelling (Honestly, it’s all forgotten in the end!). A common result of a rapidly changing body size and shape is stretch marks which, unfortunately, can be accompanied by tight, itchy, inflamed skin as it stretches to embrace your growing baby bump.

And s-t-r-e-t-c-h…
Stretch marks can happen when the rate of growth of your skin has difficulty in keeping up with the rate of growth of your body underneath. Changes in skin physiology mean that structural fibres in the middle layer of your skin are stretched and often broken, causing the appearance of darker pigmented lines around your belly, breasts and thighs.

Not everyone gets stretch marks, but there seems to be some factors that might make getting stretch marks more likely: stress, dehydration, rapid weight gain, and unfortunately, genetics (not much we can do about that one girls!).

Reduce your stress
It is not realistic to say that if you do x, y or z you will definitely not get stretch marks, however, staying hydrated, incorporating healthy oils like olive oil and coconut oil into your diet, and keeping your skin well nourished to improve its elasticity will help make your growing body more comfortable. From working regularly with pregnant women, in my opinion stress is also a big factor in how a woman’s body reacts to her pregnancy, so staying relaxed, both mentally and physically and allowing your body to work properly, is very important too. Getting reflexology, going for a massage, doing yoga or going for some acupuncture are all wonderful ways of helping to stay relaxed, and physically and emotionally balanced when pregnant.

Looking after your bump
Another important thing you can do for yourself is to care for your skin and keep it properly nourished and hydrated as your pregnancy progresses. Your body diverts many of the nutrients you take in via your food to your baby, so it’s important to give your skin some extra love in the form of proper moisturisation and TLC. Whilst no cream, lotion or potion can or should say that it will 100% prevent stretch marks, improved elasticity of the skin may diminish their appearance somewhat and improve how your skin feels. Properly moisturised skin will not feel as tight or as uncomfortable, and certain beneficial ingredients may also help with inflammation and itchiness.

Taking the time to look after your body and pay it some attention is very rewarding in itself. Spending a few minutes in the morning, after your shower, or before you head to bed in the evening time, massaging your bump will help you relax. It’s nice to use some gentle sweeping strokes moving one hand up from the bottom of your bump to the top, whilst bringing your other hand down from the top to the bottom, in a relaxed circle shape. It feels lovely to use your knuckles to massage your legs and thighs upwards towards your bum as it helps to relieve daily tension build-up and improve circulation. Improving blood flow to your womb and pelvis is important through massage and gentle exercise because it allows a good oxygen supply to baby.

What goes on, goes in
Just as it’s important to be prudent about what you put into your body when you’re pregnant, it’s equally important to pay attention to what you’re putting ON your pregnant body, as a percentage of what you put on your skin will pass to your blood stream and can cross the placental barrier. It’s wise to avoid harsh chemicals with artificial fragrances and colours, or that are petroleum based as these have been linked amongst other things, to causing hormonal imbalances, both for you and your developing baby. Skin can also be in a state of heightened sensitivity when you’re pregnant, so is much more likely to react badly to irritants and synthetic compounds.

Moisturising, protective, healing
In 2002 I learned about certain ingredients in cosmetics that could be detrimental to our health and was truly horrified. When I started making my own body products in 2012, I was determined to use only natural ingredients, that were organic where possible. Some of the ingredients that I incorporate into my products are:
Beeswax (locally sourced from Co. Louth), Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Rosehip Oil, Calendula Oil and beautiful essential oils – some of my favourites include Neroli, Frankincense, and Chamomile.

Natural Benefits
Beeswax forms a natural protective barrier when used in skincare products, has anti-inflammatory properties, softens the skin and helps to heal wounds. Shea and Cocoa butter have long been used to nourish, soften and protect the skin. They work with your skin and moisturise from the outer layers down, whilst still allowing your skin to breathe and do its job of getting rid of your body’s toxins. Rosehip and Calendula oils are well renowned for their skin rejuvenating properties and encourage healing of scars and wounds, whilst coconut oil is wonderful at moisturising, and balancing the skin’s own oils. Being an aromatherapist, I choose essential oils that are therapeutic as well as being beautifully fragrant, and specific to pregnancy requirements. (Please note that certain essential oils are not recommended as being safe during pregnancy. Please check with a trained aromatherapist if you are unsure as to which oils to use.)

I have created a pregnancy-specific product called the Beautiful Belly Bar which is a solid moisturising bar made using local beeswax, organic shea butter, organic rosehip oil and calendula oil. It is naturally nourishing and protective for your pregnancy body and the beautiful and luxurious essential oil of neroli makes it extra special. Simply rub it on, and rub it in.

And one of my Beautiful Belly Bars is up for grabs! To be in with a chance of winning, just comment on this post or on the babytalk facebook page and the winner will be notified accordingly.

Since 2001, Lisa Heeney started working with pregnant women as a reflexologist and aromatherapist, but is now focussing on developing her range of hand-crafted natural body products. Lisa is an advocate of natural pregnancy and birth and wants women to enjoy their pregnancies and have positive birth experiences. She lives in Drogheda, Co. Louth, is married to John and is mum to three beautiful children, Elizabeth, Ruairi and Jacob.

You can read more about her hand-made natural products at