Whilst pregnant, other than the obvious big questions (was that a contraction or a braxton hick?), one of big pieces that we pondered was how to best, and safely, introduce our family dog to baby. To make sure we did it in a way that would keep both the fur and fur-less babies happy, we talked to a few experts including our Vet and my sister (who’s a trained Vet Nurse and works as in animal welfare). They both had some great tips for introducing your newborn to the family dog!
The biggest tip for introducing your newborn to the family dog was to ensure that the dog kept getting the same amount of attention; but that it could come in different forms/from different sources! Here are some more tips on introducing your newborn to the family doggo:
If you’re a new mum, or mum to be, you’ve probably been there. The endless scrolling and googling on parenting a newborn, the antenatal classes and seeking out advice from friends and family. How do you do this? How do you approach that? Why does my baby do this? Why won’t my baby do that?
You would have searched out the “best quality” advice, the advice that you were positive was correct. However, when that (sometimes not so) tiny bundle is plopped on your chest, it all becomes very clear that your baby did not get the memo on all that research.
As a new mum (my little guy is only 3 months old), I thought that I would collate 5 things that I wish I knew before attempting to tackle parenthood – it might’ve saved some stress and tears, and I hope that it helps you!
“I am struggling to remember who I was before I was a parent”
One of our lovely TMC followers needs some advice on the subject of how to find themselves after becoming a parent.
If you’ve ever had this experience, what advice would you share?
Trying for a baby can be stressful for some people. Especially if they already have any underlying medical issues or it is taking longer than they expected to become pregnant. Information surrounding trying to conceive can sometimes be confusing or misleading. So here, Lesley Gilchrist, registered midwife and co-founder of My Expert Midwife offers some myth-busting facts to clarify any grey areas and give a bit more information.
When kids are small, they look to their parents for help in virtually every aspect of their life. But they become far more independent during their teen years as they continue to learn about themselves and the world around them. As a parent, you will have to let them grow and learn things for themselves. Nonetheless, you will want to maintain a strong bond, not least because they will inevitably fly the nest at some stage. Here are four great ways to achieve a connection with your teenager.
Pregnancy can be one of the most wonderful processes you will ever go through, after all, even those who may be non-religious admit that there’s something truly miraculous in having a child. That said, it’s hardly the easiest adventure you could go through, and is quite taxing on your body and mind to put it lightly. This is especially the case for first-time mothers, who have to go through this process with care and diligence in order to retain their health and the health of their baby. Of course, no advice you could read online will ever counter the personalized care and attention from your medical professional aid and midwife support. That said, sometimes it can be that you feel the need for finding more security and comfort in your pregnancy, especially during those times when your mood is being affected by the intense demands on your body. Anyone could and should forgive you for needing a little care at this time.
Let them help
Designate separate toy areas
Schedule activities they enjoy
Go On Adventures
Hugs and cuddles
Spend as much time as you can
There are many factors that lead to depression after pregnancy. I am mentioning a few factors below:
Postpartum depression, or peripartum depression occurs after a woman gives birth. Within a few hours of giving birth the amount of the two female hormones, estragon and progesterone, return to their pre pregnancy levels. Many researchers feel that this drop in hormone levels,
much like the smaller changes in hormone levels can affect a woman’s mood just before her menstrual cycle, is one of the causes of postpartum depression. It is more like an unexplained sadness & depression. It is a feeling where you feel bad, guilty, helpless & in pain just to explain it in words.
1. Genetics – One factor that can lead to postpartum depression is genetics. This type of depression can be passed down from mother to daughter. There is also a correlation between postpartum depression and women who suffer from severe premenstrual syndrome.
2. Hormone levels – As I have mentioned earlier changes in the hormone level also plays an important role in postpartum depression
3. Baby Demands – In the initial days babies can be very demanding, making the new moms so busy that they don’t get time for themselves which leads to depression.
4. Labour – Going through labour is in itself very stressful which after the birth of baby takes its toll on the health of new moms. This in return turns into depression.
5. Self-doubt – Many new moms go through the self doubt process where they doubt the ability to be a good mom & be able to do the right things for their babies.
6. Family disconnect – With all the time taken by the baby new moms can have a disconnect with the family. They can go through the feeling of loneliness even when whole family is present as they are completely busy taking care of the newborn.
This also can lead to depression To be honest after my first baby was born when I was 30, I didn’t experience any kind of postpartum depression. But when I gave birth to my second baby, when I was 40, I underwent postpartum depression. So after my Pregnancy at 40 I understood what Post Partum Depression actually is.
When postpartum depression kicked in I felt sluggish, unconnected to reality, and often underwent several other symptoms that include depression. During my postpartum depression (PPD) at 40, I would often go through bouts of crying uncontrollably and very seldom with any particular cause. I would feel emotionally charged all the time & my emotions would often play tricks on me. My postpartum depression at 40 also lead to some sleepless & troubled nights. Once a baby is born the family, friends, mother and so forth are suppose to join in a joyful expedition. But in my case I went through postpartum depression and the birth seemed more like a painful expedition than a joyous moment.
Instead of sharing a happy moment I often felt a sense of guilt because I felt a kind of resentment in me. The whole giving birth process seemed like an inflicted pain than joy. Then all of a sudden, I would begin the feeling of sadness, despair, worthlessness, and insomnia kick in. Most professionals will treat postpartum depression with antidepressants combining it with therapy. In my case, I did not undergo any kind of therapy because, luckily for me, my postpartum depression didn’t last for too long a period. But it is important for mothers with postpartum depression to seek help immediately, since the depression does not only affect the patient, it affects everyone around you, including your baby. Babies need their mother, and when the mother is unable to provide emotional nourishment and loving care, then the baby will suffer as it grows into adulthood.
Just like any diagnose there are triggers that may interrupt the mother, including difficult births, isolating one self, death, changes in living arrangements, hereditary, financial difficulties and so forth. Unfortunately, some of these triggers are going to happen. Most therapists have found treating women with postpartum depression, treating them with antidepressants and therapy has worked wonders. Recently studies are finding that depression may also be treated with Electroconvulsive therapy. Scientists are constantly searching for a solution to treat depression so the end of the world hasn’t arrived.
There is hope. Studies have also shown that writing down your episodes, feelings and so forth is a great therapeutic relief. Talking is also a great source for eliminating stress, which is often linked to depression. It is important to get regular check-ups after your baby is born to
eliminate biological reasoning for the postpartum depression. In most cases, doctors may prescribe different medications. It depends on the person, but for some mothers one or the other medications work, while others have no results. If you are suffering postpartum depression, it is also important for the family to offer support and understanding.
Since, you may have suicidal thoughts the last thing anyone needs to do is push you over the edge. It is also important that the resentment you feel is not necessary toward your baby. It could be that you resent an area of your life, or an occurrence and the baby seems to be the target. You might want to try listening to easy music when you feel a sense of loss, or episodes of the depression erupt. Music has proven to heal the soul. In addition, you might want to start exercising since this too has proven to do wonders with people that suffer mental or physical illnesses. Exercise relieves the mind often because you are doing something to better yourself and improve your health. To sum it all, the biggest difference that I felt between Postpartum at 30 & Postpartum at 40 is the depression & physical pain that I went through. With the passage of time, the recovery path has also been fine.
I had good family support during both my deliveries which helped me overcome my pain & depression. Therefore, if you are in postpartum depression especially after 40, there are answers and you should never give up hope! So let’s leave the Post Partum depression behind us as a bad dream & let’s give our motherhood foremost significance in the whole journey of Parenthood.
I am Rupali Paul, a Mom of two kids, one teen & another a toddler and I blog in the Parenting niche.
I write blogs on various Parenting & Motherhood topics primarily. I also blog on topics pertaining to Travel with Kids & review various products relating to Mom or Kids. All in all a Blog which caters to family topics surrounding Mom, Dad & Kids and their Life.
While everyone loves to support you with what you’ll need (and potentially don’t need) when you’re pregnant, quite often us poor old mums get left by the wayside once we’ve popped out our cute little nugget. We’re left to fend for ourselves amongst leaking boobs, saggy skin and stinging bumholes and quite frankly, the postnatal fuss that we deserve is lacking! Here is our guide of Top 10 Postpartum Essentials that you need to make that time after birth just a little bit easier.
Bits to add to your basket…
1. The Peri Bottle
One thing they do not tell you after childbirth is the fear that comes with going to the toilet, especially after an episiotome. The peri bottle (or any bottle of lukewarm water) is a lifesaver; simply spray or pour it on you urethral opening to dilute your urine and take away the sting!
2. Breast Pads
Whether or not you choose to breastfeed your child; once your milk has come in you’re going to leak – it’s science! Getting caught unawares while you’re chatting to the postman is a nightmare. You need
something to back you up and soak up that colostrom if your boobs start to gush like the Trafalgar Square fountains.
3. A GOOD Nursing Bra
Did you know it’s possible to wear a nursing bra and still feel sexy? In a time when we probably feel a bit like a slovenly blob, having that little sneaky pick-me-up while remaining comfortable and practical is amazing! These HOFISH Seamless bras from Amazon are comfortable, wash well and look great on! *Tried and tested by our own TMC admin!*
4. Epsom Salts
Soaking in a warm bath full of Epsom salts. as often as you can, can lessen swelling and promote healing in the most delicate of areas. Epsom salts are gentle so while they’re doing all the good stuff, you can be sure that they won’t sting or ache while you’re having a soak!
5. Donut Pillow
Postpartum mamas have a special place in their heart for the donut pillow and we can’t blame them! When you’re resting as much as possible at home, sitting can become painful (tenfold if you’ve got stitches to contend with). Donut pillows give an added reprieve for your toosh that you won’t know you need until you do!
6. Nipple Cream
Stinging bums, sleepless nights and cracked nipples – it just gets better and better doesn’t it! Having a nice, soothing cream will do wonders for when your nursing and your nipples start to become tender. Use it after each nursing session to reduce pain and keep your nipples moisturised. If you treat yourself to this Burts Bees cream your nipples will smell great too!
7. Stool Softeners
That first poo after having a baby can be pretty horrifying. The last thing you want is to work to push out your poos if you’ve had to push a baby out less than 24 hours before! Dulco Soft is amazing with helping your body while it readjusts and preventing haemorrhoids too.
8. New Pyjamas
Do I need to say anymore? You’ve just given birth mama, you deserve a pair of clean, soft pyjamas and some nice warm socks! These pjs from Marks & Spencers are stylish and made using the M&S Better Cotton Initiative, so you’re doing your bit for the environment whilst treating yourself too!
With the blood loss, sleep deprivation and trauma that your body has been through; you need to make sure you’re getting everything you (and your baby) needs! Pregnacare are an amazing brand with postpartum vitamins that are jam-packed with all the good stuff that your body needs to get back on the road to recovery. If you’re breast-feeding, Pregnacare also have their breastfeeding postpartum range of vitamins that means you can ensure your babies safety while taking them too.
10. Breakfast Tray
One of the the hardest things to do as a mummy, especially a new mummy, is rest. Our brains go into overdrive with all the things we need to be doing for our little one (and hopefully for ourselves too). While you’re feeling tender, save yourself some trips by setting up a little breakfast tray – or ask your partner to realllyyyy nicely – just so you can at least create the illusion that you’re taking it easy!
OUR POSTPARTUM LIFESAVERS
ASH: “Having a beside cot is a must! Working in a kids store I never really thought they were a necessity but they were a dream with Laila. A boppy pillow was amazing for my son’s silent reflux too.”
CHARLIE: “I had an episiotomy with my first son and lavender essential oil baths were a god send for healing!”
CHARLOTTE: “Cloth breast pads. Whether you choose to breastfeed or not, there’s a good chance your body will produce milk! With cloth breast-pads, they are super soft and absorbent, and you can pop them in the wash so you’ll never run out! Well.. those and a HUGE backlog of bingeworthy TV!”
JADE: “Adult nappies were my best friend for the week after Grayson was born. Nobody tells you just how much you bleed after giving birth, so having a failsafe giant hug wrapped around my vagina was a huge welcome. Plus, they were nice and stretchy, which is always a bonus!”
JOSIE: “For anyone that has had an emergency c-section I would strongly recommend peppermint tea as part of your recovery! No one tells you about the excruciating pain you can be in from built up air inside you, and it was only when my sister-in-law told me about it three days in my pain started going away. Who knew built up gas could be so painful!”
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It’s January, it’s 2022 and it’s time to make some time for YOU! We’re all run ragged after the hustle and bustle of the Christmas period, so what better time to slow down and take care of yourself. Here’s a few self care ideas to make time for just you, whether you take a day to yourself of just ten minutes of your day, there’s something you can do that is solely to make you feel good.
Everyone wants to be a great parent. Figuring out how to do so can be complicated, however. It’s not as though you’re handed a manual once your child is born. That could lead to you looking for things to do when you feel like a bad mum or dad. It could also make you strive to do better. There are multiple ways to be an amazing parent. It doesn’t have to be as difficult as you’d think. Doing everything you can to make the best decisions for your child will be enough. You can do that in a few ways. While it’ll take effort, it’s much simpler than you’d expect.
Easy Ways To Be A Great Parent
Be A Role Model
It’s easy to tell your child how they should behave. It’s harder to show them, although it’s something that you’ll need to do. You should be a good role model.
People learn by imitating, especially during their early years. Being a positive example during this time is essential.
Your child is likely to do as you do. If there’s something that you don’t want them replicating, then don’t engage in that behavior.
The opposite can be said for positive behaviour you want them to engage in. The more you do it, the more they will. It could also be a great way to build a relationship with them.
Show Your Love
There’s no such thing as loving your child too much. You’ll need to show them that you love them, however. That shouldn’t be done with presents.
If you typically show your love by giving gifts a lot, you could spoil them. It’s much more recommended that you show them with acts of love, such as hugs.
Spending time with them as much as you can is also suggested. It’ll show them that you support them and are there for them without spoiling them.
Talk With Your Child
You’ll already know the importance of communication in daily life. That’s especially true with work and with your partner.
Many people overlook it when it comes to their child, however. You’ll need to communicate with them regularly, regardless of what age they are.
That doesn’t simply mean talking to them. You’ll need to be an active listener. Doing so will help your relationship with them flourish.
There are other benefits to this. You can help their brain develop. By using their brain to communicate regularly, your child exercises certain parts of their brain.
That should be enough of a reason to speak with them as much as you can.
How To Be An Amazing Parent: Wrapping Up
Everyone wants to know how to be an amazing parent. While there’s a lot of advice that you can follow, these can depend significantly on you and your child.
You’ll need to adapt to you and their needs and preferences. Focusing on their best interests will be a priority.
Doing so will make sure that you’re an amazing parent. While your child mightn’t always agree with you, looking out for them will be the most effective way of parenting.
Today we have a guest post from Mabel’s Mummies, talking all about mental health at the end of maternity leave.
It is a truth not universally acknowledged that in fact, as a woman, you cannot have it all. Wait, what? Hold on, what I did just admit? The feminist daughter of a feminist, the great-great niece of an actual suffragette and I just said a woman cannot have it all? WTF??
Before I have my card-carrying feminist badge confiscated, can I clarify – since having my daughter two years ago, I’ve come to realise that for most women, (and I’m not the first to say so) having it all really actually means doing it all and losing something along the way. For me, it was my sense of self and very nearly my mind…
I came to motherhood late, in my 40s. Not by choice – I sadly didn’t meet my husband until my late 30s, my mum was diagnosed with a terminal illness the very week we decided to start trying for a baby and my work life went crazy at the same time. The stress of all this took a toll on my rapidly declining fertility and I found myself, at the age of 43, several miscarriages in and starting IVF. One more miscarriage and three gruelling rounds of IVF later and I finally became what I’d always wanted to be – a wife and mother with a successful career. Feminist dream – completed it mate.
Me and my daughter got off to a shaky start in the first few days with her taking an instant aversion to my aged bosom and flatly refusing to breastfeed. Combined with a really rather unpleasant forceps delivery, loads of blood loss and stitches and health visitor who told me I ‘ticked every box for developing post natal depression’ due to my bereavements and IVF, the first couple of days weren’t easy. Then – oh my god, it got so bloody good. After three weeks, I gave up trying to force her to accept my middle-aged milk (maybe it tasted sour??) and put her on formula, we literally never looked back. We became the dream team. Once freed from the environs of my crepey décolletage, she revealed herself to be a ‘unicorn baby’ – that perfect child who never cries; sleeps through from 8 weeks old and literally smiles all day. I became the mother I had always planned to be – in control, sociable, running the village baby group; bossing the baby-led weaning etc etc. (Don’t hate me, it’s all going to go tits up in the next paragraph.)
9 months in and Covid hit – still, not a problem really. We were immensely fortunate in that my husband kept his job, I’d already made my mum friends and no one we knew had Covid. We had a house in the country with a decent sized garden and the weather was glorious. I lost most of my baby weight that summer, going for long walks with her all snuggled up in her Baby Bjorn. But then, a few weeks later, my mat leave ended and I went back to work to a world I didn’t recognise. Covid had completely changed the landscape of my career and what had been a job already renowned as one of the most stressful within the industry, became just untenable in terms of what was expected and required. I’d also made the decision to go back part time – not realising that in my job, being there one less day a week and being paid 4/5ths of your salary meant that you kept the workload but had one less day to do it and 10K less a year to live off. And we were so skint.
And I missed her. Oh my god, I missed her. That year of mat leave had been the most amazing, fulfilling year of my life. I’d actually loved pretty much every minute of it. I was obsessed with the smell of her skin, the sound of her laugh, the routine of our day.
It took a while to realise that I couldn’t be in two places at once.
Well, er, obviously.
Prior to having her, I’d never actually stopped to count the hours I worked in a week in order to just keep things ticking over – never mind allowed for what needed to be done in this weird new world. (By my current calculation approx. 70. Honestly, seriously 70 hours – just to do the necessities.)
Now I had her, instead of staying until 7pm, I now had to leave at 5pm and pick her up from nursery, I couldn’t work in the evenings until she was settled in bed. I was leaving the house before she woke up in a morning and counting the minutes when I got in until she went to bed so that I could start work again. I arrived at nursery pickup late and flustered and felt constantly guilty about it. I wanted to spend all my day off with her but I was constantly checking my phone during baby group and sending work emails as she cuddled on my knee each afternoon. I was frantically jumping on the laptop every time she had a nap at weekends and getting more and more aware of how there was less and less time for her.
Needless to say, the home made baby led weaning Instagram accounts got unfollowed, the Montessori playtime activities got substituted for Bing and nursery rhymes on Youtube and I got the guilts.
I bought myself a life planner – wrote lists and targets and affirmations in it of how I was going to manage things better. I got up earlier and earlier each day – trying to maximise my day, get a workout done, get organised, make her healthy food again – ‘stay at the top of my game!!!’ What actually happened was I lost my mind.
IF you saw the Suranne Jones drama ‘I am Victoria’ this summer, you pretty much met me earlier this year (or a poor relation with a bigger bum anyway). Doing more and more to less and less effect, becoming increasingly manic and defensive and doing anything – anything to try and wrest back control. Didn’t work. By summer this year, my brain gave out on me. After getting everything I ever wanted, I found myself in a play barn one morning sobbing uncontrollably and wanting it just all to be over. Fortunately, that perfect daughter of mine was reason enough to stick around for, and I quit my job.
I was lucky enough to have a strong enough mum squad around me to help me pick up the pieces and be honest enough to share their own experiences of maternal mental health. It made me realise that no one gets an easy ride with motherhood – especially not now. I was inspired to set up my business ‘Mabel’s Mummies’ with a hope that we could be a source of help and support for other mothers. We could encourage other mothers to take time out for themselves, could help other mothers find their own mum squad and help fund important maternal mental health work by donating to Pandas Foundation.
My health visitor was almost right. I did get depression, I would argue mine wasn’t post-natal – it was post-maternity leave when the demands of being a working mother just got too much. I was immensely lucky that I was in a position to leave my job and start something new. If Covid hadn’t happened, would this have happened to me? I’m not sure – I do know though that as a society, there is just an assumption that mothers will return to work and manage. There is no support for this second massive transition in our lives – just sky-high nursery fees and a fear of being judged as having lost it ‘since she got baby brain’. But we carry on. And in the process we lose something of ourselves.
I was lucky, I’m getting help and support. I hope what we are trying to achieve with Mabel’s Mummies helps others too.
POST WRITTEN BY @MABELSMUMMIES
I love this time of year for so many reasons, one being Diwali, the festival of light and the victory of good over evil.
Some of my greatest childhood memories were during this time of year. I remember watching my grandma make delicious food at home, there was Chukri, Mathia, Chevdo, Ladvo and so many other Gujarati delights being cooked in our kitchen. I would always have the day off from School for Diwali. It was exciting going back to school with so many stories to share with my friends about our celebrations.
We spent Diwali and New Years Day with our family, making colourful rangoli patterns, coming together, celebrating, eating, laughing, and just appreciating one another.
Now that I am a mother, I take a deeper interest in why we celebrate the days we do in our culture. I want to explain it right to my daughters when they ask me questions about our culture. I want them to love Diwali and value our culture as much as I do.
Diwali is the celebration of good over evil. It’s a celebration following the end of prince Rama’s 14-year exile, returning after defeating the evil demon Ravana. We light diva’s (candles) at this time of year to symbolise the victory of light over darkness. Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists and Newar Buddhism.
The story is beautiful and has so much more detail than what I have explained above, for one, we have a 5-day celebration for Diwali with many other traditions involved – I am no expert so the above is all I can tell you from what I have come to learn and understand. Please find below some books I would recommend for children to gain a better understand of the festival. My toddler really enjoys reading these books and is hooked to the story of Rama and Sita, she even tells me she wants to be like Sita which is sweet.
Both books in the image above can be found on Amazon, one is about the traditions during Diwali festivals and the other is the story behind why we celebrate Diwali.
There is also a lovely collection of books by a company called The Jai Jai’s who make beautiful children’s book, explaining the history of our culture and festivities in the loveliest way to young kids. I will be honest, I haven’t had the opportunity to purchase a book from them yet, but I have read the one’s which my family members have, and they are wonderful for children, with lovely pictures and simple but clear explanations – I will definitely be ordering a few.
Our culture is full of so many beautiful stories, colours, delicious food, and fascinating traditions. I feel so proud to be born into such a beautiful culture and there is so much more to learn which I am excited to do with my two daughters.
Below are a few activities I did for Diwali with my toddler, it’s a great time to get creative.
Wishing you all a Happy Diwali and a prosperous New Year from @mum_without_instructions.
We download the apps for conception, we read the books for pregnancy and we prepare ourselves for life as a new parent. We attempt to arm ourselves with as much knowledge and equipment to raise this tiny human as we physically can as we run in bewildered into the world of the new born. I am sure you are 100% prepared for this! Or are you? Did anyone mention or happen to tell you what you’re going to notice within yourself after you give birth? Has anyone actually first hand told you what to expect to see when you look in the mirror after childbirth. No, no one told me either. So here it is. The honesty, the raw information you need to know including preparing you on how to welcome in those new found wobbly bits ladies and gain post partum body confidence.
We spend our lives attempting to fit into societies framework of how we are ‘supposed’ to look. We try fad diets, couch to 5K programmes and all sorts of changes to help convince ourselves that our bodies are beautiful & in optimum health. We allow ourselves to become categorised by a shape like hourglass, pear, apple and so on but what about the shape of a mother. You’ve probably spent years perfecting your figure and learning to love yourself the way you are however you’re about to start the journey again.
When you have a baby your pre baby body shape will pretty much be gone. You will have created a new shape which more than likely will be the polar opposite to the shame you where before your beautiful bundle of joy came along. This however isn’t a bad thing at all so don’t panic however it’s the start along a very delicate journey of self acceptance that no one tells us women about. We pretty much have to learn to love ourselves and our bodies all over again including parts that we may not even be able to look at yet let alone accept.
Remember ladies this is not a sprint, its a marathon and its a slow and steady journey. Every women’s journey will be individual to them however were all going to be there with one another.
The first thing i would say you need to do is look in the mirror naked! That’s right mama get those girls out in full frontal view and look at yourself, look at the body that carried and birthed life into this world and before you say anything else i want you to feel gratitude towards this body, feel happiness that you managed something so beautiful and wonderful & don’t ever hate the vessel that carried a life because without it we wouldn’t have the next generation.
Now those wobbly bits – I know i know, i hear you shouting but honestly we ALL have them. Some in the same places and others in totally different. You don’t have to like them but you do need to accept them for what they are otherwise you wont be able to learn to accept yourself and new found shape. Your shape has changed so here’s what we do, we SHOP! Get your partner to have the baby or if your not ready then head online for the goodies and grab some garms because you need to figure out what works for your new founded shape and the only way to do that is to try it all on. Try on silhouettes you previously wouldn’t have even considered because trust me, you’ll be very surprised with what suits you now. Give yourself the time to do this and all the while learn about your body as you go.
As comfortable as they are girl we cannot live our lives in oversized tees and leggings – trust me tried it & it damaged my self esteem and mental health. I found about 18 months after my son was born i hated myself, so i drowned myself out in oversized tees and ill fitted leggings in the hopes i would wake up and feel differently and this just led to damaging mindsets and depression. I needed to make a change. So i did the on-line shopping business and learned my body had taken on a new shape that i actually learnt to love – The Mummy Shape! I wore jeans again, fitted tops, dresses and dumped the oversized shitty tees that where not doing me any favours and my self esteem began to rebuild, don’t get me wrong i didn’t LOVE my new wobbly bits but i took the time to accept that i have changed and I work with it instead of fighting against it and that’s the hardest part.
Some women will go through a phase where they mourn their pre baby body and i absolutely get that however don’t let that mourning turn into a depressive mind set, exchange it for determination and fuel to help you love yourself again. Lets not forget ladies we birthed a child, a full human was carried by us safely. We then delivered that child using our bodies . Let that sink in.
If you cannot find it within yourself to show your body some love right now because your journey is only just beginning i totally get that however the very least your body deserves is gratitude for doing what it has. There’s no one to teach us how to carry babies and deliver them, we are just guided by other peoples experiences and advise which in turn can be a far cry from what we experience. Essentially we are the ones with all the skills that we don’t even know we have yet. So be grateful that your body can adapt, change, grow and keep safe something so precious.
Now i don’t know about you but i have been left with some scars from my babies delivery and a handful of stretch marks. I was so relaxed in my pregnancy amount getting stretch marks however i know a lot of you worry about this aesthetic change but don’t worry yourself too much because the stretch marks carry a reminder of how incredible your body was to adapt, don’t look at them as ugly, horrible, obvious and silvery change you’re focus and look at them as inspiring, beautiful, strong & womanly. Those glittery silver streaks remind me daily of how my body adapted in one of the most beautiful ways it could. Embrace them and love them, don’t cover them up or hide. They are apart of you and you’re journey and story into motherhood.
Grab a piece of paper and notice how flat and perfect it is, now scrunch that bitch up and squeeze it to a inch of its life. Now flatten it out again and make it look the way it used to – It wont, no matter how hard you try because those creases left behind are reminders of how that paper had to adapt under intense change and pressure. They are a sign of survival & strength similarly to our stretch marks. Learning to love and accept them will change your relationship with how you see yourself & this will help you self esteem bundles. I promise.
We are incredible women, who achieve incredible things and one of those is carrying a life and birthing it and if that doesn’t make you honour your beautiful body then nothing will. You are beautiful just the way you are, wobbly bits and all. Loving yourself and self care is a journey so don’t rush yourself, travel at your own pace but if you do one thing positive every day let it be this – Remind yourself how beautiful you are even if you don’t feel it. Make this your daily mantra.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL & YOUR BODY IS INCREDIBLE!!
Today we have the lovely Emily from @sebtheseries, sharing her experience with extended breastfeeding! As someone who breastfed their oldest until they were almost 3, I am a huge advocate for extended breastfeeding and would love to help stop the stigma around it!
After working out the initial logistics of getting my breasts out in public, I was never too bothered about what anyone else thought. When my baby needed feeding, I fed him, and there was no way I was going to do it in a toilet, thank you very much! I did find it immensely helpful living in Switzerland; having only a passable working knowledge of the language meant I was oblivious to any negative comments if there were any. In fact, other than some run-ins with old ladies who seemed to think it was appropriate to say hello to the baby with their heads a little too close to my nipples for comfort, I grew in confidence as there was nothing to deter me.
And then he turned one.
Comments started flying in from all angles. Family members, friends, colleagues. I had been given the use of a private room to pump and additional time when I returned to the school where I worked, but when my son turned one that was no longer on offer.
‘You’re still feeding him?’
‘You must be exhausted!’
‘Isn’t it more for you than it is for him now?’
Somehow there seemed to be a stigma attached to feeding a child who could walk, talk, and had teeth, but things were going so well, and I didn’t see any need to stop. Instead, I armed myself with some blistering comebacks and went underground with feeding, becoming a little more discreet when we were out and about, silently resenting the perceived judgement.
Eventually at two and a half, it felt like time to stop. Unlike starting, however, there wasn’t that much in the way of support! I was advised to try picture books but couldn’t find any that appealed to our situation. In the end I decided to write my own and now my mission is to help other mums in a similar position!
‘Big change for Seb: a breastfed toddler’s weaning story’, contains gentle weaning tips that are respectful to the child whilst also exploring some of the emotions they may feel. Change can be scary and unsettling, and the narrative explores positives about growing up and becoming more independent that can give parents a starting point to prompt conversations with their own child.
You can order a copy from www.sebtheseries.com and make sure to follow me @sebtheseries on Facebook and Instagram for more breastfeeding related content!
A woman’s body during pregnancy is one of the most incredible things in life. We create, grow and birth whole human beings. We have to endure tiny bladders, back ache and leaking nipples for nine months: then proceed to walk this exhausted life for 18+ years. We give up everything for our children: including our bodies. Our boobs become a personal drinks machine and don’t even get me started on being stuck under a sleeping baby when you need the toilet!
We often become aliens in our own bodies. Unable to feel comfortable in this new skin.
You could say, that our bodies change during the course of motherhood. From the moment that seed starts to grow inside of us, our bodies change forever.
The moms that have lost babies, find it hard to conceive and those who carry to full term: our bodies are moved by this process.
We are told that our bodies are made for this job: a baby factory. Our skin changes and we are told to accept that this is life now. We have to love and be confident in this foreign place. But sometimes it’s a little hard to look in the mirror and see a person that we don’t recognise. We get bigger, We lose weight, We stretch, We wobble, We jiggle and our boobs look like that of an 80 year old woman. We find ourselves looking at the likes of Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé: these women who have given birth yet look like some sort of Greek goddess statue. The world around us doesn’t show the bodies of those who haven’t ‘bounced back’. So it’s hard to look at that reflection and see it as beautiful, especially if we compare it to the body we had pre babies.
My body does NOT look like what I expected of myself at the age of 24. To be honest I look like a dropped lasagne. I don’t have the body of a page 3 model and most people think I shouldn’t openly share this body online. But as a mom who sees only sees the same three people a day, two of them are under the age of three, getting a compliment off a stranger online is kinda’ nice.
To my parents dismay I am often seen in my lingerie on the internet. But although I am not completely in love with my post baby body, I believe it is important. It’s rare for me to see image of women like myself on the internet: something that as a young first time mom made me hate myself. It was hard to believe that anyone else looked the same or had the same experiences as I. Although everyone says that ‘stretch marks are ugly’ or ‘they tell the beautiful story of your baby’: It is hard not to see them as ugly.
So think about how you look at these women in the public eye. Do you look at them and think they are beautiful or ugly? Now think about how you think about yourself?
I am by no means the epitome of self-love. I have struggled with ED, depression, anxiety and postnatal depression. I am basically a mess. But one thing I can control is how I feel about myself. I can control what hurts me and what controls my happiness. If @Steve435 from Texas thinks my big thighs are ugly, what should I care?
My body has gone through a lot over the years. I’ve never really felt comfortable in my own skin, always comparing my weight and my looks to those around me. I always thought that happiness came from being a size 8 and having B cup boobs. In University I had an eating disorder that saw me balloon from a size 12 to a size 18 and back again within a few short months. Little did I know that in order to love myself I had to embrace what I already had rather than changing it.
So, as easy as I write it, I decided to love myself. It seems silly and unachievable. But I just sat there and said to myself. Just love yourself. Stop taunting yourself, bullying yourself. You wouldn’t treat someone else like this so why would you do this to yourself? The thing that gives you life: gave you two amazing children.
EASY STEPS TO TAKE
Taking More Photos of Yourself
Sounds silly, but this is something I stopped doing for a really long time unless it was controlled and edited by myself. I was petrified of the thought of looking fat or unpolished. During my pregnancy with Rupert I avoided the camera: being pregnant made me look massive (obviously) but I couldn’t bare seeing images of myself looking ‘big’. I have a few images from my baby shower because I was forced into them. So sad that I don’t have many images from that amazing time in my life.
I am making a huge effort to take more images of myself, not just for the gram either. Photos with loved ones and everyday moments. Focusing less on how I look and taking the time to appreciate the captured love.
Be happy and take fun photos of yourself. You don’t have to post them anywhere. Just be in love with yourself.
Take Better Care Of Yourself
At my darkest times of hating my own body, I was not only harming myself by binging and purging but I let the little things go. Things like getting my hair done, doing daily skincare, drinking water and taking time to slow down and enjoy the things I love. I was being too harsh on myself and making things worse. I know that simple things like a pamper can make me not only feel better about myself but improves my mental health. Trust being a mom of two very young boys means sometimes I don’t have time to care for myself but I find every second I can to do the things that make me happy.
Take Time To Ask For Help
I always feel like I have to do everything myself and asking help is the equivalent to failing. Being a mom is hard but I have learnt that I am not wrong or bad to ask for help. If anything it makes me a better person and parent.
I was someone before becoming a parent and asking for help allows that person to still be important.
Dressing The Way You Want, Not How Society Wants
For years I have hidden behind huge tops, jeans and jumpers because that is what is expected of me. I have always wanted to wear skirts, crop tops and dresses but I didn’t think I could unless I was skinny. But why should I stop myself dressing the way I want? If I am comfortable and happy what does it matter.
Surround yourself With Empowering Figures
I guess I have myself to blame for a lot of my issues. I have always followed the skinny bloggers, saw myself as someone less than them. Watching them and dreaming of when I could be like them: Holding myself back and purposely making myself feel bad. As I expressed in the into I had started to surround my every day life with positive influences. Following those who are promoting self love no matter who you are, rubs off on you and you end up loving yourself because you love them.
People like Francesca Perks have taught me to love myself and my skin regardless on the size number on my clothing. Wearing what I want to wear without fear of society, be happy with everything I have. Yes, I have stretch marks and cellulite: but why do these need to be a bad thing? Also she is hella sexy. Lingerie and nudes are beautiful regardless of your size.
Stephanie Yeboah, is one of the most humble and kind people you will find within the social world. She has proven that hard work and kindness will help you to be the best and most successful person.
I have actively started surrounding myself with those promoting being a good person, being inclusive and being your authentic self.
Reminding Myself of Accomplishments
I am an educated, beautiful and smart woman with a degree in Journalism, two beautiful children and a wonderful home. A blog I am proud of and a talent that has given my hobby of creating content into a job that provides. Follow hashtags like #selfloveclub and #bodyconfidence etc that will bring a lot of positivity to your feed.
Go through your social media and unfollow or mute any accounts that doesn’t make you happy. It isn’t rude to unfollow someone if they are effecting your happiness, it just means their content isn’t for you but may be for someone else. Then follow a bunch of accounts that make you happy.
We live a lot of our lives online so it should be a happy place to be.
As a society we are told it is wrong to think of ourselves as beautiful. As women we are often called narcissistic for thinking of ourselves as amazing or wonderful. But we are? Every woman is! Being a mom is hard and we should be praised for what we achieve without being seen in a bad light.
If someone compliments you, the natural reaction is to say ‘oh no I look horrible’. Why? Just think about that for a second.
We are also deemed to believe that taking a break or taking a day off makes us lazy or bad parents. We are human and sometimes we need that little moment to breathe. As long as you are looking after yourself, you are looking after your kids. Your children don’t want an unhappy burnt out mom all the time. The washing up can wait, putting the clothes away can wait. And yes, sometimes fish fingers and chips is a great dinner.
Body Confidence comes from you. No-one else. No diet can give you that, No number in your clothes can do that. Think, honestly, about yourself. Is being skinnier going to take away all your unhappiness? Is having smoother skin, longer hair, tanned skin, tighter stomach, longer nails going to make you love yourself completely? Probably not. These things may help a little but they won’t get rid of any self hate. We are programmed to hate ourselves. It takes a lot of unroot that but it is worth it.
As a mother I don’t want this pattern of self hate to continue. I don’t want my children growing up thinking mommy hates herself and it is normal to pick away at yourself every day for the way you were made. This can stop with us if we try.
So say this, I honestly want you to promise me to say this out loud to yourself every day. ‘I Love You’.
There are far too many things going on in this world right now to be worrying about, adding crap body image on to that is just not needed.
Things I say to myself everyday:
‘I Love You’
‘You Look Pretty Today’
‘You’re an amazing Mum’
‘You’re doing your best’
What I am trying to say with all this is, give yourself a break. You are beautiful, you are strong and when the end of your life comes around you will remember the happy moments: not the diets or self hate. So make more of those happy moments and less of those bad thoughts. Flaunt that body like no-one is watching. Because I guarantee the ones who love you won’t see the bad you see in yourself so what’s the point in it?
———-Zoe Sugg’s IGTV series on Body Image is an amazing video filled with the most amazing women, this video honestly changed the way I saw about my body. It is very much worth a watch for those wanting some love from within. ————-
GUEST POST WRITTEN BY LEAH HIGGINS