All posts filed under: Popular posts

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 …

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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 …

New VBAC guidelines

If you thinking about or planning a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) there is good news – the NICE guidelines have been updated and care for women in labour is no longer very restrictive. It has been a long time coming but this is brilliant and it means that women who have previously had a caesarean will be able to labour with more options. I am all about options and these new guidelines will hopefully provide women with more power to do what they need to do to work with their contractions and to manage their pain and their energy. I say hopefully because this guidance is not fixed, they are just recommendations but the more women know about their increased options, the more likely they are to ask for what they need.   The NICE VBAC guidance includes… Do not routinely insert an intravenous cannula for women in labour who have had a previous caesarean section. A cannula can be routinely used as part of the what-if management of a VBAC, so this is …

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 …

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 …