All posts filed under: popular posts

Making a rod for my back

I have teenage daughters 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 able 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 – about birth and feeding and my thoughts started to change. I read well – Sheila Kitzinger and Ina May Gaskin – and I started listening to my instincts. I booked a homebirth with a birthing pool and I planned to breastfeed – still wasn’t convinced by the co-sleeping though! Armed with good …

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 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 would be. We are often sleep deprived, in need of supportive mum friends and it can feel like we are on our own with the day-to-day responsibilities of looking after our baby. In our society mothers are often judged, with unreal expectations stacked against them and their children. 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 in Mothercare preparing for your baby’s arrival – you have a baby to look after and it can knock your confidence when they cry, need a poo, won’t sleep and won’t settle anywhere but in your …

parent blogger newcastle and tyneside

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 fucking kidding me, enjoy her, I’m too knackered to enjoy her’ and then I felt the guilt that I wasn’t enjoying my gorgeous, 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. Of course I did enjoy her – when she started …

baby newcastle and tyneside

Can I Cuddle My Baby?

The question Can I Cuddle My Baby? comes up a lot especially from new mums with a baby who just wants to cling. My aim with this post is to provide good information about baby development, our parenting instincts, what’s normal and why cuddling our babies and children is not just lovely it’s crucial. In our society babies can be seen as creatures to control and to train, and parents are encouraged to make their babies independent and self soothing. Any parent who cuddles and carries and soothes their babies 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 in his higher brain – 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  baby’s …

labour and birth newcastle and tyneside

What surprised me most about birth?

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I had no expectations of giving birth beyond painful but I assumed I could manage it, somehow. I read Sheila Kitzinger, I did antenatal classes, I planned a homebirth, I got a birthing pool, I asked my wonderful midwife a million questions. At 39 weeks my waters broke at 9am, it could have been mistaken for peeing myself but it just kept coming. Contractions were mild and erratic and not at all demanding. I was chatty, on the phone to friends and not in labour. Until eventually at about midnight, my contractions kicked in – they were powerful and strong and just coming. I was surprised at how in awe I was of my body and at how intense the contractions were. The instinct to move and sway and lean was so natural, I didn’t have to think, I just had to do. Getting into the warm water felt amazing. The music I had planned got on every nerve, I either wanted to cling to my husband or I …