All posts filed under: Latest Posts

living with depression

For mental health awareness week: find out more about living with depression

Depression can feel desperate and helpless with nothing providing any joy. It is very complex, affecting everyone differently. Some people have a long lasting low mood that impacts every day life, that needs managing to feel able to do normal activities. For me, walking, writing, reading, catching up with friends, being with my kids, doing the things I enjoy can pull me around, it can lift my mood, it can get me through the day. And for other people there is the severe all-consuming depression when it is possible to feel like you are trudging through thick mud, when it isn’t possible to think clearly or possible talk constructively. For me, I’m grateful that it doesn’t happen often but there is no turning this around, this has to be endured until it passes. This isn’t just about being in a low mood, this is an all-consuming muddy fog that can be both physically and emotionally painful. We all know that the basics can help – moving, eating, breathing, water, nature – but sometimes nothing is …

maternal mental health

Maternal mental health – here’s why so many new mums can be struggling

Maternal mental health can be summed up by just a few words. These are the words I have heard in many postnatal groups, baby massage sessions and in online conversations when women share how they are doing in those early days and weeks with their new baby. Early motherhood can be simple and calm but it can also be emotional and raw, taking women to unknown depths of insecurity and challenges never experienced before. It’s rarely as simple as just looking after a baby. And here are some of the reasons why maternal mental health can take a bit of a battering… isolation – it’s on you to do it, the responsibility is yours. Any concerns or worries you have may be dismissed and you might feel like you can’t talk about how you feel. guilt – you might question everything you do and guilt can come as part of reflecting on birth, feeding issues, struggles to adapt to life with a baby, not feeling that initial rush of love that you expected. pressure – …

labour and birth

8 simple ways to boost your labour and birth

Knowing what to do during labour and birth can make all the difference in keeping you comfortable, calm and involved. While this knowledge starts in pregnancy, as part of good birth preparation, these intentions can sometimes get lost when the contractions start and the reality of labour takes over. Ands plans can feel redundant if labour is tougher or more complicated than expected. Good birth preparation is knowing about your ideal labour and birth – and how you can work towards that and what you can do. It is also about knowing more about all births so you are better prepared and equipped for decisions, options and being involved if your labour and birth changes. Knowing more about straightforward birth also means you are then better prepared to manage inductions, epidurals and other interventions, to think about what you can do to help labour continue to be as straightforward as possible. 1. Using effective strategies Remember the strategies you thought about, planned and used in pregnancy – using positions and movement, your relax & breathe …

doing birth on purpose

10 simple ways to work towards a straightforward birth

There is so much you can to prioritise a straightforward birth during your pregnancy. This is about preparing well, thinking about your options and knowing what could make a difference to you during labour and birth. As a practitioner who has worked with expectant parents for many years, I know how essential it can be to enhance your knowledge with realistic birth preparation. Being better prepared for straightforward birth also means you are then better prepared if it becomes more complicated. Labour and birth can be unpredictable and straightforward can not be guaranteed but there is strength in being better prepared and not leaving it all to chance. And personalising your birth preparation so it is tailored to you. Don’t leave it to chance Everyone prepares for labour differently – some people read everything and attend every group, others just want to deal with it as it happens. There isn’t really a right way to do this but I have lost count of the number of new parents who have said “I wish I knew…” …

your early labour

Can you describe your early labour in 3 words?

3 words…Pregnancy, birth and parenting are so individual and I would like to collect as much feedback as possible – which can be shared anonymously – to normalise the differences to other expectant and new parents. I have three children and each labour started spontaneously before I reached my due date. I am someone who has long early labours – I can niggle on for days before my baby and my body is ready for labour and birth. All of my babies have been back to back and my early labour has been about moving them into a better position. During each early labour it felt right to just wander and rest, even though I just wanted my body to just get on with it! It is important to remember that there is no right length of labour – if it is long, it could be because your baby needs the time. Excited, unknown, frustrated Long, tired, impatient Longest, intermittent, breathe What 3 words would you use to describe your early labour? With a calm …