Cot built. Check. Car seat installed. Check. Baby clothes washed and folded away. Check. Read More
LushTums Prepare for Birth course completed. Check.
We have just spent the afternoon taking part in this fabulous birth preparation course, led by
Sarah from LushTums Mid-Sussex team. Already I am feeling a lot more calm and positive
about what's to come. As second time parents to be, the course has helped us to make time
to focus on the birth, remind ourselves of some long forgotten essential information, as well
as teaching us a number of new and very useful things.
Pregnancy is the most incredible journey, but I’ve had 3 kids and I know first-hand how vulnerable women can feel afterwards. The pressure to now suddenly feel happy and ‘complete’, to be the perfect mum, and to have the perfect baby. And added to that, we often put pressure on ourselves to regain our pre-pregnancy figure in the blink of an eye, all the while functioning on little to no sleep. Read More
When I became a mum the first time round I had no idea how much the shift would affect Read More
my mental health. It hit me like a tonne of bricks. I was prepared for all the physical stuff.
I’d done antenatal classes and I knew that sleep would be sparse and labour would
hurt….A LOT, but after that we’d bring our baby home and look after her and job done,
What they won’t tell you.
I’ll start off by saying that I absolutely love being a mum. Despite the broken sleep, the dirty nappies, the tea-time battles over the kitchen table, the sometimes mind-numbing monotony of being stuck at home on a rainy day with small children-not to mention the complete emotional rollercoaster these little people put you through (such highs! such lows!), I am incredibly aware of just how lucky I am to be a mum to two gorgeous children. I’ll stop short of using #blessed, but you get the picture; they are everything to me and I am very, very grateful.
But a snapshot of my early days of parenthood still sticks with me... Read More
Postnatal Nutrition - Where to start? Read More
During pregnancy there is so much information on what to eat and what to avoid.
Postnatally the focus shifts to the baby; how much milk do they need? Am I
producing enough? What essential nutrients does the baby need to grow and
thrive? But what about you? Having gone through a full pregnancy and birth, the
physiological stresses on the body are huge. A brand new mum needs all the
nutrients to replenish and support her bodily systems in order to function and look
after both the baby, and herself. Here is some guidance on where to start:
Have baby, will travel. Read More
The first thing that hit us was the smell of the pine trees and the sound of the waves,
transporting us to a world away from our home in south London. It was late at night when
my family and I reached our destination and ‘home from home’ in Spain for the next
month. We had rented an apartment on La Fosca beach, outside the larger town of
Palamós, 120km north of Barcelona in Catalonia. We’d taken the decision to come away
with our 8 month-old son, as part of a mini sabbatical on my husband’s part and an excuse
to get away for some valuable family time while I was still on maternity leave. Our deliberations
when we first started planning this trip away ranged from travelling around New Zealand
in a camper van, to backpacking around Argentina…but
5 ways to be a great friend to a new mama…
My daughter was about 3 weeks old and we were at home alone. After the initial flurry of excitement and outpouring of love that comes from everyone when you welcome a brand new life into the world- the visitors, the cuddles, the gifts, cards, flowers and warm wishes, life had settled back into its familiar patterns and we were working out our new ‘normal’. Of course friends and family still checked in, thought of you, sent supportive texts and cooed over Instagram pictures and Facebook updates. But, inevitably, they go back to their own families, jobs and commitments. And so after 2 weeks paternity leave my husband was back at work, commuting to London each day and away from the house for about 14 hours a day, and my 2 year old son was at nursery. And I was, essentially, alone.
A knock at the door.... Read More
So, you've had, or are going to have, a Caesarian section. It may not be what you'd hoped or planned for, but the reality is that around a quarter of births in the UK today are by section – and there's surprisingly little advice and information out there for women about what to expect afterwards. I've had three – 2 emergency sections and an elective (planned) section. Here are my top tips:
1) Having a section, especially an emergency section, can be a big shock to the system – physically but, even more, psychologically. Read More
Top Tips for Breastfeeding Success.
Congratulations, you are pregnant! If you are one of the 81% of women who wants to breastfeed, I have tried to condense some key elements and practical ideas of things you can do to help you succeed.Skin to skin as soon as you can after birth You can usually do this no matter what kind of birth you have had- often doctors will let baby stay on your chest after a c-section while they are stitching you up. You can ask that the newborn checks be done a little later so you can enjoy your first golden hour uninterrupted. There are huge benefits of skin to skin including boosting your baby’s immunity, regulating temperature and respiration, creating a secure attachment as well as allowing the baby to initiate feeding. Watch a video of laid back breastfeeding to give you some inspiration Read More
What did you do today? (And other stories from a twin mum). Read More
Every Friday morning I smear on some lipstick to detract from my tired eyes,bundle my protesting 4-month old twins into their buggy and walk over to a café1.5 miles away to sit, bleary eyed, with other twin mums. The café has been chosen by us, not for its artisan coffee or its Instagrammable avocado on toast, but because it has room for half a dozen double buggies and
Home From Home - Normalising Birth
A while ago I was invited to give a short talk to around 40 midwives from the Haywards Heath Princess Royal Hospital and also from the Royal Sussex in Brighton. They were keen to hear about what it is we are teaching our pregnant mamas-to-be and learn about the benefits of yoga breathing and why it can be so helpful for women in labour.
I was delighted to be asked and so enjoyed being there amongst such a lovely group of women who are all experienced and passionate about birth - my perfect day out! Read More
When I found out that I was pregnant with my daughter the fear I have lived with for years about giving birth raised its head again. I have no idea where this fear stems from, I haven’t been exposed directly to any difficult births, or heard that many 'bad' birth stories. Perhaps it was from looking at some hippy birth books of my Mum's with some rather graphic pictures when I was only very young...maybe that didn't help, ha ha! But honestly, I was simply terrified. How on earth would I get a baby out of there! Read More
More people are going through it than you realise. We tried to get pregnant ‘naturally’ for over two and half years before we walked through the doors to the ACU Unit at Guys Hospital. I couldn’t believe the couples I saw waiting to be called in for their appointment – younger than me, healthier-looking than me, thinner than me…people I’d never thought would have trouble getting pregnant. It’s a valuable lesson. Stop giving yourself a hard time. Read More
Dear Clair, Read More
Hi, so it’s me… well, you, five years from now.
Firstly, congratulations! You are pregnant with your first baby, and I know how excited you are. You are finally going to have a baby, the one you have wanted for as long as you can remember. All those hours spent playing with dolls, babysitting and watching Supernanny on TV have definitely fully prepared you for being the world’s most awesome mother (ahem)…
I took my first yoga class when I was 19 years old, but If you’d told me then that I’d be teaching yoga in my thirties I’d have struggled with the idea! My yoga journey has been a very subtle process of undoing, letting go and finding stillness, and it’s shaped my life profoundly.
What I find most amazing about yoga is that it starts out, at least for me, as being this thing you do for an hour or so, once a week until, at some point, you start to feel something from your practice. I distinctly remember a moment in class when I experienced a feeling of inner space expanding between my shoulders, it felt really extraordinary at the time. For others it might be the feeling of relaxation, the quiet, the feeling of being present, the sense of well-being after class, or simply being able to touch your toes for the first time. Read More
I carried my baby in my womb for nine months.
I can do anything.
I stayed positive when my belly swelled and my
back ached and my feet were sore.
I can do anything.
I remained patient when my due date came and went.
I can do anything.
I kept calm through my labour and birth and trusted in my body.
I can do anything.
I was mindful when I could have been afraid.
I can do anything. Read More
LushTums teacher, Kate, talks about her journey from London high-flyer to pregnancy yoga teacher. Read More
I decided to train to teach pregnancy yoga because there wasn’t anything in the town where I live – Haywards Heath – when I moved here expecting my second child in 2012. Throughout that pregnancy I used to make the journey to Brighton to attend Clare’s classes every week, and I absolutely loved them. I was happy to make the journey as I’d been practicing yoga for years by that point, so understood how the classes would benefit me both mentally and physically. But I worried that any ladies who were new to yoga and living in the area wouldn’t feel compelled to make such an effort to attend a class, and I did feel frustrated that nothing was available locally.