All posts filed under: Essential Posts

birth wellbeing

12 practical ways to boost your birth wellbeing

What do I mean by birth wellbeing? Well, it’s really easy to focus on contractions and to forget to think about what you might need to be physically and mentally well during labour and birth. Labour and birth has it’s own pace, it can demand a lot from you and that is normal and to be expected. No-one knows what the pace of their labour will be before it starts so realistic preparation so you can look after you is important. The thought of labour and birth can make expectant parents question things that they wouldn’t normally think about – can I eat, will I be allowed to move, what if I need the toilet? what if I don’t understand what’s happening? will I be allowed off the bed? So let’s run through the essentials of birth wellbeing so you feel less detached from your basic needs. Ideas for your birth wellbeing… Everyone’s labour and birth is different and you will have your own needs, which is why focusing on what you need is important …

loneliness of motherhood

Loneliness of Motherhood

There is a loneliness of motherhood because 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 you 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 or …

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) …

Managing birth expectations

Birth expectations is a big issue and one which isn’t always that easy to tackle but it’s an important issue which I try to focus on with expectant parents. Some people have general expectations about birth and others have more fixed expectations, with a specific labour and birth in mind. While this is all really normal, it’s also worth thinking through having the tools to deal with a birth which isn’t like expectations. Getting the balance right can be difficult. Over the years I have spoken to many mums who have only focused on some type of hypnobirthing as their birth preparation and have felt completely ill-equipped and prepared for the reality, which could mean more challenges. Every birth practitioner has a difference perspective on birth expectations, as does every pregnant woman – some only want to focus only on straightforward birth for fear of jinxing it by learning more about caesareans and interventions, others focus on both the straightforward and the complicated. – birth expectations for the reality of labour – As a well …