All posts filed under: Janine Smith Weekly Column

Covid vaccine in pregnancy

Covid vaccine in pregnancy

Having the covid vaccine in pregnancy is a hot topic of discussion at the moment with much confusion and uncertainty about its safety. The women I have spoken to are no anti-vaxxers but they are genuinely torn about whether it is the right thing to do, based on the information available to them. And it’s a divisive issue – some pregnant women are happy to take the vaccine and are reassured by the information they have been given, others just aren’t convinced by the safety claims. Below I have included information and guidance, along with links to the latest research. Covid vaccine in pregnancy: So, what do we know? The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) have updated their information but makes it clear that: “If you are pregnant and have been offered a COVID-19 vaccine, the decision whether to have the vaccination is your choice.” RCOG & the Royal College of Midwives – with UK Teratology Information Service (UKTIS) and the MacDonald Obstetric Medicine Society (MOMS) -have created a decision-making factsheet, which you …

mental health, birth and parenting

Mental Health, birth and parenting

Mental health, birth and parenting is so relevant for many expectant and new parents. There can be so much joy with pregnancy and having a new baby but the reality is that it can also come with anxiety and low mood. Everyone’s experience is unique, some parents will be relaxed, others will have more worries and concerns. Some parents are open about these struggles, others will keep it to themselves. – pregnancy – I work with women who are anxious in pregnancy – this can be because their pregnancy comes after miscarriage or stillbirth, a previous birth may have been traumatic or there may be health concerns. Or there can be no reason at all, other than they are pregnant. – postnatal – And postnatally, anxiety and low mood can be part of adjusting to life as a parent, birth can leave parents shocked and upset and feeling anxious about the responsibility of a new baby can all takes its toll. I have spoken to so many new mums who put a lot of pressure …

mental health and the menopause

Mental health and the menopause

Mental health and the menopause isn’t really talked about but they are so heavily connected and the impact of it can affect women so intensely. Mention menopause symptoms and people say hot flushes and an end to periods. But there’s a great long list of symptoms which last for years and years and mental health is at the heart of it. As I write this, I have misplaced something important and I can’t work out where it is or even when I last had it. My head is full of hormonal fog because I’m guessing my period is coming and I’m feeling pretty frustrated about it although that is mainly because I will now have to tidy the house in an attempt to locate it. This is an example of the annoying things that can happen – not the end of the world but it’s enough to knock confidences and enable that feeling of stupidity. I will be 50 next year and I have been experiencing some kind of peri-menopause since my early 40s mainly …

finding my voice

Finding my voice

With a new digital business, finding my voice has been essential. I have struggled a little to find my voice on social media, to say what I want to say with purpose and without having the focus on me. While I possess a great deal of knowledge and experience – you, the parent, are always my focus. I have worked with thousands of parents over the last 20 years – and I learn from every parent I work with. As a practitioner, my role is to provide information, support and reassurance when it is needed. I am also there to listen, to pose questions, to provide confidence and to help you find what works for you and your baby. My focus is on encouraging you to: gather knowledge think about what you what or need (and how that can happen) have effective communication with questions have strategic thinking so you can plan and think about your options be honest with yourself so you can deal with challenges head on I passionately believe that there is …