Tag: postnatal

Mothering the month

New mumNewborn

My Scarlett squidge is five weeks old and we’ve navigated our first month as mummy and daughter together. The changes she’s gone through already are just awe inspiring and we’ve really been getting to know each other and how the both of us are going to work. Essentially that’s what motherhood is, for so long this little bundle has been nurtured within me and now I have the honour of learning what every little twitch, flail and grumble actually mean, as she desperately tries to help mummy get her shizzle togehter! So here are my top ten tips for surviving one of the hardest but most precious months of my life, and the only month this little miracle has ever known.

  1. No matter how well meaning people can be, there is inevitably going to be someone who says the wrong thing at the wrong time and the wrong place when you are literally at your lowest ebb, sore and aching after birth, despairing at lack of sleep with throbbing nipples that feel like they’re going to drop off, and a baby who you love so much but are struggling to understand. My advice…. you can either smile and nod, whilst your inner monologue is hurling expletives left right and centre, or instead be strong and do yourself a favour and remove yourself even if only temporarily, from these voices for you and your newborns sake … if they are worth it these people will totally understand, if they are not then they you don’t need them anyway. 
  2. There will be days when for absobobbinglutely no reason your gorgeous angel will turn into psycho demon and there is literally nothing you can do. It is ok to not be ok. It is ok to walk away for ten minutes shut the door and cry. Cry because you feel like a failure, cry because you can’t bear that you don’t know what to do, cry because life has suddenly turned upside down and it’s scary. Then wipe those tears and get back to being a mummy, because even though you’re crying you wouldn’t change a thing.
  3. If you are breastfeeder you will experience a new novelty, the older generation of man … most likely in his eighties, balding, incontinent with rotting teeth, will be irrevocably drawn to your alluring nipple as you sweaty faced, sick in hair try to feed your writhing child. If the older man is your thing then this could be your moment, if not stare them out, keep feeding but use the death stare … and as a sleep deprived mummy this one should be pretty powerful right now.
  4. Don’t even bother to put your little one in your favourite baby grow at the start of the day… like seriously… they know. It’s like newborns are programmed to soil, sick or snot on your beloved faves, so if there is a special occasion that you want your bonny babe looking stunning for, it is literally a whip it on two seconds before said occasion job.
  5. Buy snacks and have them stashed like a squirrel with it’s nuts around the house. You will be ravenous from feeding but will also have a little one hanging on to you like a baby monkey so you need to be prepped. Think easy tear packaging… I’m learning how to use my teeth to tear those packets open or unscrew bottle tops!
  6. Master that sway, that rock, or that swirl… this is your signature dance move for the rest of your life. You will find yourself doing it ALL the time even if little one is fast asleep on daddy in another room. I was in a queue doing the crazy Mumma rock when I was asked if I was trying to get past… just had to explain, that no, I was just in fact one of those mummy deranged creatures.
  7. If someone tells you they’re  tired, and they don’t have children… Calmly pick up your MUSLIN filled with sick, remove your feeding bib, put your screaming baby in the pram as they fart and you realise they have done an explosive poo and walk away. It is not worth it!
  8. People will now think that they have the ability to touch your baby or comment on the way they are behaving. What have I learnt… they don’t. Be polite if you can, snarl if you can’t.
  9. Your baby is always crying for a reason, you just need to figure it out and remember cuddles are always the best. I have never had so many cuddles in my life and every single one of them are so, so precious and special.
  10. Your mummy friends are your lifeline, they are the 3am whatsappers, the spare nappy lender, the shoulders to cry on… I’ve literally never felt so supported and it’s just fab. Then there’s your own mother … she can be your guardian angel, she’s been there before, she loves you and wants you to be ok, she will help you through those long nights, those screaming fits (yours and babba) and will never ever judge you for what you say when you’re tired and stressed. It is at this point you will realise that a mother’s love for her child is unconditional and this you one day will do exactly the same for this little one you sway, rock and bob in your arms right now.

And there you have it, the first month and it’s nailed. 

Lottie Keble- Wyatt a.k.a Just The Girl Fitness is bringing a new exercise class called BABIES AT THE BARRE to Cheltenham. She will be hosting a Barre exercise class for all mamas who have young babies. Cheltenham and Gloucester Sling library will also be there to provide you and support you with choosing a sling that suits you and your baby. The launch of these new classes is on 25th June at the Wholefood Market Cheltenham. For more info or to get your tickets visit here.

Those early days… Top 5 tips

New mumNewbornTop 5 Tips

The first few days for baby…

  1. Baby led feeding. Scrap any type of feeding routine, you can not over feed your baby in these early days. A lot of baby’s will lose up to 10% of their birth weight. This is normal. Anything over this your midwife will advise you accordingly.
  2. Keep your baby warm. As a rule of thumb your baby should have one extra layer of than you. Baby’s also lose a lot of heat through their heads so make sure baby has a hat on when you leave the house, especially in the Winter months.
  3. Night number 2 is typically a restless night. Use our previous Top 5 tips to soothe your baby. Just think where they were and they are now. A womb is dark, muffled and warm, they are now in a bright, noise world so it may take them a couple of days/weeks to adjust.
  4. Dry skin. A lot of baby’s skin is dry, more so if your baby was over due. The best thing to do is absolutely nothing. Not even olive oil or baby moisturiser. A baby’s skin has a certain ph, putting cream/oil on it can disrupt this balance.
  5. Give your baby cuddles. This point is my favourite and also quite an important one. You can’t spoil or over cuddle your newborn, no matter what your relatives might say! A baby doesn’t have ‘wants’ only ‘needs’. Even if that need is a cuddle, your baby is wanting to feel secure in this big scary world and wants to give you as their mum the privilege of doing that with a cuddle. Make your baby feel loved with contact, talking to your baby and lots of snuggles. This will help your baby feel secure now and also later on in life. 

 

 

The first few days mum…

  1. Accept help and support. The transition to parenthood is not always smooth, so take all the help and support on offer! Stay the extra night in hospital if you feel you need some extra help with feeding or just that extra night to recover. If friends and relatives offer to cook a meal, walk the dog or just to hold the baby while you have a bath – say ‘yes please’.
  2. Utilise a mummy support network. If you have attended antenatal classes (or pregnancy yoga, swimming, Pilates etc), make use of your new friends who are probably going through a very similar experience as you. Create a whatsapp, Facebook, text group and get nattering through those night feeds! Book dates in the diary to get you out of the house for a cuppa or buggy walk.
  3. Learn about what happens after the birth. Most of us are so focused on the birth that we forget to ask what happens post birth. Educate yourself on what happens to your body after giving birth, so there’s no surprises.
  4.  Speak up. Be honest with yourself and your partner! The postnatal period can be a very emotional time and we all manage very differently. If you are feeling low or need some extra help, speak with your partner or a friend and make use of your midwife and health visitor, they are there to help.
  5. Take it easy. Most importantly, try not to put pressure on yourself to achieve anything other than spending time with your baby and looking after yourself. It doesn’t matter if you stay in your PJ’s all day.

Enjoy it!

 

 

1, 2, 3, 4….We like our pelvic floor!!!

New mumPregnancy
By Gaynor, Physiotherapist in Gloucestershire
Recently I met a woman who told me she used to be a runner. When I asked: Why don’t you still run? The answer: “Because 60 hours of labour with my first child and a forceps delivery ruined my desire to run anymore.”
To sum up for those who still may not relate to the problem: She pees her pants when she picks up the pace.
Ladies often joke about cough pee, sneeze pee, jumping jack pee, trampoline pee, and other bladder challenges. But full-blown incontinence is no laughing matter. I’m a firm believer that a strong pelvic floor is the answer to incontinence. A strong pelvic floor not only makes the difference between wet and dry running shorts, but can also keep high intensity exercises, such as running, pain free by reducing pregnancy related pain, such as hip and lower back pain.
Many women assume it’s childbirth that causes incontinence, but In fact pregnancy itself may put strain on the bladder, thus highlighting that a c-section won’t necessarily save you.
So firstly, what are your pelvic floor muscles?
The PF muscles run between the sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of the spine) and the pubic bone (the bottom-front of the pelvis). Ideally you want the PF to be long, supple, and taut, to generate long-term forces that hold up your organs, as well as have enough motor skill to open and close your bathroom muscles as needed. When the PF is too tight, it can pull the sacrum out of alignment, bringing it forward, into the bowl of the pelvis (which tends to happen during pregnancy and child birth). Which means bye-bye strong PF muscles, Hello Pelvic Floor Hammock.  And the last time I checked hammocks are for vacation and have not promoted the notion of long-term force generation for some time. I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping your pelvic floor muscles strong and healthy.
First things first…Finding your Pelvic floor!
  • Sit or lie down with the muscles of your thighs, buttocks and stomach relaxed.
  • Squeeze the ring of muscle around the back passage as if you are trying to stop yourself from farting in front of your hunky crush. Now relax this muscle. Squeeze and let go a couple of times until you are sure you have found the right muscles. Try not to squeeze your buttocks.
  • When sitting on the toilet to have a wee, try to stop the stream of urine, then start it again. Do this to learn which muscles are the right ones to use – but only once a week. Your bladder may not empty the way it should if you stop and start your stream more often than that.
If you don’t feel a distinct “squeeze and lift” of your pelvic floor muscles, or if you can’t slow your stream of urine, ask for help from your doctor, physiotherapist, or continence nurse. They will help you to get your pelvic floor muscles working right.
Now that we’ve located our pelvic floor muscles… lets get squeezing!
1) Squeeze and draw in the muscles around your back passage and your vagina at the same time. Lift them UP inside. You should have a sense of “lift” each time you squeeze your pelvic floor muscles. Try to hold them strong and tight as you count to 10. Now, let them go and relax. You should have a distinct feeling of “letting go”.
  • Repeat “squeeze and lift” and let go. It is best to rest for about 4 seconds in between each lift up of the muscles. If you can’t hold for 10, just hold for as long as you can. Your endurance will improve over time and with practice holding for 10 seconds will get easier.
  • Repeat this “squeeze and lift” as many times as you can, up to a limit of 8 to 12 squeezes.
  • Try to do three sets of 8 to 12 squeezes each, with a rest in between.
2) Your pelvic floor muscles also need to react quickly to sudden stresses from coughing, laughing or exercise that puts pressure on the bladder. So practise some quick contractions, drawing in the pelvic floor and holding it for just one second before relaxing. Try to achieve a strong muscle tightening with up to ten quick contractions in succession.
  • Aim to do a set of slow contractions (exercise 1) followed by a set of quick contractions (exercise 2) 3-4 times each day. It takes time for exercise to make muscles stronger. You are unlikely to notice any improvement for several weeks – so stick at it! You will need to exercise regularly for at least 3 months before the muscles gain their full strength.
These pelvic floor exercises can be done while lying down, sitting or standing.
Top Tip: Remembering to do your pelvic floor exercises is harder than doing the actual exercises. The best thing to do is to get into a habit of doing your exercises and to incorporate them into your activities of daily living, for example, squeeze when you’re doing the dishes, squeeze when you’re changing your babies nappy, squeeze when the adverts are on the tele, squeeze when you’re brushing your teeth. These are activities that you engage in daily, so doing your squeezes whilst doing these activities will ensure you are doing your exercises regularly and daily. Remember: you can exercise your pelvic floor muscles wherever you are – nobody will know what you are doing!
So just some final words from me… EASY PEEZY DON’T FORGET TO SQUEEZY!!

 

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One month 🎂

You know in the Chinese culture women are encouraged to rest for the whole month following birth and I mean seriously rest. No phones, TV, visitors, chores or other disctractions. Women in Chinese culture are traditionally encouraged to just eat, sleep, rest and feed their babies. This time around I’ve tried to take this way on board, limit visitors, accept help and reduce expectations. I have the next 18years and then some to be a crazy busy mother. Having this month to slow down has been necessary for survival. No one regrets doing too little during these early days. Always remember that when you’ve been through birth and are getting to know your baby, the rest of the world can wait.
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Delphi is celebrating her one month birthday by making the most of the all you can eat boob buffet this evening and I have a family size packet of mini eggs.

📸 Chui King Li
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