All posts filed under: 4th Trimester Essentials

make a rod for your own back

You’ll make a rod for your own back

To ‘make a rod for your own back’ is to do something that inadvertently creates troubles or misfortune in the future. The expression is usually used when someone has done something which seemed like a good idea at the time but comes back to bite them in some unexpected way. http://www.phrases.org.uk I now have children at college and in university and I have been reflecting on life as a mother and on those early days, weeks and months with my babies when I felt a bit lost, like I was doing it wrong and being told I was making a rod for my back. Becoming a mother was a huge transition – as it is for most of us. I became more selfless and I learnt to trust my instincts. Before I became a mum I was never interested in breastfeeding or co-sleeping – in fact I mocked it when I went to antenatal classes..  When I was pregnant, I started reading and talking to friends who were mothers and they spoke positively – although fairly realistically …

loneliness of motherhood

Loneliness of Motherhood

Having young children is not all about coffee shops and idle chatter. It is not a holiday. It can be one of the toughest times in a woman’s life. The loneliness of motherhood can be torture. With your first child, the learning curve is steep – learning to keep a baby settled, soothed and alive while recovering from pregnancy, birth and unrealistic expectations of how motherhood should be. You might be sleep deprived, in need of supportive mum friends and it could feel like you are on our own with the day-to-day responsibilities of looking after your baby. As a mother, you might feel judged, with unreal expectations stacked against them and your baby. It can be a hard slog. When you become a mother it doesn’t matter what job you do, how old you are or how much you spent preparing for your baby’s arrival – you have a baby to look after and it can knock your confidence when they cry, struggle to poo, won’t sleep and won’t settle anywhere but in your …

enjoy every second

enjoy every second

I will never forget the first time I heard someone say “enjoy every second with her” about my time with my daughter, who was a few weeks old. My first thought was ‘you’ve got to be kidding me, I’m too knackered to enjoy her’ and then I felt this huge wave if guilt because I wasn’t enjoying my gorgeous, healthy, tiny, precious baby. I loved her, I felt incredibly protective of her and I did everything within my power to keep her healthy, safe, alive – I kept breastfeeding when I didn’t have a clue and when I cried with every latch (thankfully the bad latch was sorted and feeding was a dream after that); I got up every hour in the night; I tried to listen to my instincts and I cuddled her and I gazed at her when she slept, although that was more relief that she wasn’t crying than of enjoyment. My first baby – who didn’t do sleep – nearly broke me. And of course I did enjoy time with her …

Can I Cuddle My Baby?

Can I Cuddle My Baby? comes up a lot especially from new mums with a baby who just wants to cling to them. This post is about baby development, your parenting instincts, what’s normal and why cuddling babies and children is not just lovely it’s crucial. In Western society babies can be seen as creatures to train and parents are encouraged to make their babies independent and self soothing. Any parent who cuddles, carries and soothes their baby can be seen as giving in, as failing, as making a rod for their own back. So, if you are asking Can I Cuddle My Baby? Here’s what the research tell us… When your baby is born  he has approximately 200 billion brain cells but there are very few connections between these cells – these connections are mainly responsible for emotional and social intelligence. 90% of brain growth takes place in the first five years of life Early stress (prolonged crying) can create negative changes in a  baby’s brain which could mean they develop an over-sensitive stress response (stress and anxiety) …

person holding baby s hand

10 simple ways to boost your wellbeing as a new parent

Here are some quick and easy ways to enhance your wellbeing as a new parent. These things can be very much overlooked especially when experiencing a range of emotions but focusing on your basic needs can go a long way to boost both your physical and emotional health. Simple steps for your wellbeing as a new parent… 1. Fresh Air 2. Water 3. Eat 4. Use your breathing 5. Rest 6. Talk 7. Wallow 8. Ask questions 9. Use your ball 10. The Loo There isn’t a prescriptive list of what you should do to boost your wellbeing as a new parent but just focusing on the basics, working with your body and on what you need that day can be really helpful. For more information about pregnancy, birth and life with a baby, you can: ■ follow me on Instagram – click on the bell for notifications so you don’t miss a post/story■ sign up for my newsletter■ join my community group for expectant and new parents ■ book a consultation with me Janine …