All posts filed under: Janine Smith

A unique range courses and support for expectant and new parents across Tyneside

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Mental Health And Being A Parent

Parenting comes with a range of emotions and feelings, it is so unique for each of us. Good support, reassurance, talking, reaching out and honesty can make a huge difference to how we feel and how we cope – sometimes there are solutions, sometimes there are not. pride uncertainty confidence anxiety depression unmotivated fiesty empowered afraid isolated supported vulnerable strong despair selfless frustration love laughter lack of confidence overwhelming love able low mood unable anger calm fulfilled lost grief happiness love family selfish alone confused emotional love organised challenged in control responsible heartache out of control tense relaxed whole complete love overwhelmed sad afraid joy instinctive envious brave connected disconnected guilt love content struggling included satisfied ok excluded trapped grown-up tired failure energised fine focused loved clouded helpless powerful unhappy ignored hope The intensity and severity of these feelings will be different for every parent. For some, the negatives are fleeting but for others they are consuming and more support may be needed, although talking it through and getting a boost is always worthwhile. A …

Mental Health In Lockdown

I’m sure we have all been experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions throughout lockdown with isolation from friends and family, financial concerns, health worries, concerns about other people and the uncertainty around when this will all end. Everyone I have spoken to has is now really feeling it and has a desire to return to some normality, along with concerns about it being safe. My own personal strategy with this has been about looking after me and mine, we’ve gone to ground a bit, just focusing on our little unit. I have been working with a few clients, doing a lot of behind the scenes work and making plans for my little business which has made me feel guilty for not doing more! Lockdown has seen a full range of reactions in our house – anxiety, sadness, panic-attacks, depression, confusion, worry, anger, happiness and gratitude. It has created conflicting emotions such as experiencing stress about specific issues but having less-stress over-all, feeling free but also confined. And each day is different – some are positive, happy …

Baby massage in lockdown

Running baby massage sessions in a lockdown has been an interesting challenge – this video-phobe has been forced has been forced to just crack on and get on with it! It’s obviously not the same as a friendly gathering of mums and babies, having tea and cake by the fire but it is working as well as it can over video screens. Mums are able to spend time massaging their baby, learning the different massage strokes to settle and soothe their baby at different times of the day. But the sessions are also allowing mums to ‘gather’ together to chat, to share their experiences of parenting in the lockdown and to ask normal questions about all things baby. As a postnatal practitioner, I love running baby massage sessions to provide an informal, comfortable and safe space for mums to offload, share, ask questions, be reassured and make friends. It’s great to see mums find their feet, to get to know their baby, to chat and to relax. Video sessions aren’t quite the same but I …

labour and birth newcastle and tyneside

Pain

A constant pain in my head for the last day has made me reflect on pain – it’s really not pleasant and I wish it would stop now. I don’t know what it causing it and it will start to wear me down but, for now, I am being positive that it is a migraine or a sinus issue rather than a brain tumour or a stroke. As an antenatal teacher, I talk about pain a lot – I get asked questions about pain and contractions. And knowledge and acceptance is crucial for labour pains – we need strong, powerful contractions. Labour is about endurance, the muscles of your uterus are working hard. Understanding why contractions hurt, how you can work with them and what might make them more painful really helps but everyone’s experience of labour is so individual and pain is so subjective – it can be can be so fast, it takes your breath away or it can plod on for hours and hours, never seeming like the end will come. And …

Expressing and storing breastmilk

You may be expressing to ease any engorgement, to boost your milk supply or to have a stash of milk for bottle feeds. Some women find expressing easy, while it can be more of a challenge for other women – this is a basic guide to help you find something that works for you, along with links to more information and videos. Getting started… You need to be as relaxed as possible – sitting comfortably, not feeling rushed or tense and where you won’t be disturbed can help your milk to flow. It can take a bit of experimentation to find the best time of day for you – some mums find it easier to express in the morning when their boobs feel fuller and their milk flows easier, other women are more relaxed in the evening so this is a better time for them to express. Make sure you are not hungry or dehydrated as this could make expressing harder. If you are expressing regularly, it can be beneficial to plan it into your …