I hope you enjoyed Melbourne Cup Day. I took advantage of a four day weekend and we spent the weekend at Rye with our daughter Michelle, her husband and our two gorgeous grandchildren. (That’s why the newsletter is a day later than usual.) We’re renovating the bathroom at our holiday house and doing some maintenance before Christmas. I even turned my hand to paving and I must say I did a pretty good job.
It was lovely to spend some time with my grandchildren. Mason is almost 3 and Marlie is 6 months old. Spending a couple of days with them bought back memories of when my own children were that age. As much as I adore these little people I was reminded of how relentless it is being a mum of young children. You need to be on the ball 24/7. When you add broken sleep and ridiculously early mornings into the mix it can be a very tough gig. The other issue that is often not talked about with new mums is how they’ve been effected by the experience of childbirth.
Over the past 12 years I’ve taught hundreds of couples a process called Hypnobirthing. This course prepares mums for childbirth using Hypnosis. It provides the techniques, support and knowledge women need to clear any fear or anxiety about birth and it teaches some really powerful breathing and relaxation techniques to manage each contraction. Research shows that women who’ve done Hypnobirthing have shorter, safer and more comfortable births. I’ve been blown away, time and time again by the amazingly positive stories our couples share with us after the birth.
Of course not all couples do a Hypnobirthing course and not all births go according to plan. Unfortunately some births are very difficult or have comand both mum and her partner can be traumatised by the birth experience. A number of mums I’ve worked with have literally suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of a difficult birth. This can easily be misdiagnosed as Post Natal Depression if it’s diagnosed at all.
What’s occurring emotionally for a new mum can often be overlooked completely in the excitement of having a new baby in the family. She may be hesitant to honestly express how she’s feeling. If she doesn’t know what’s normal and what’s not she might put on a brave face and soldier on despite feeling exhausted, fragile and depleted. Other mums in her circle of friends may seem to be coping and well-meaning friends and family tell her that what she’s going through is normal.
I’m a big believer in the idea that “It takes a village to raise a child.” I think the village needs to step up and help right from the start. I was interested to read an article about the care of new mums in Holland. Apparently they have specially trained nurses who spend up to 8 hours a day for the first week after a baby’s born in the home with the family. They will cook and clean, do the laundry and help with the other children. They support the new mum and advise on feeding and sleeping issues. Sounds amazing, hey?
I’ve also heard that in Bali a new mum is massaged every day for a month after giving birth. I think that’s so sensible. Mums are constantly giving physically and emotionally and if they don’t also receive nurturing the system is simply not sustainable.
I’m sure that different cultures around the world have many different ways of caring for new mums, some more helpful than others no doubt. In our busy Western Culture, however I think that mums often don’t get the support and nurturing they need to be able to be their best for their baby. It can be very hard to give when the bucket is empty.
So maybe its good to consider how we can be a little more sensitive to how a new mum was really feeling and what she really needs. Maybe as well as bringing gifts and flowers when we visit a new baby we could also hang out a load of washing, sweep the kitchen floor or mind the baby while Mum goes off to have a massage, takes a nap or a even a shower.
If you’re a mum then I’m really pleased to let you know that we’ve just launched a new 6 Week Program to support not just new mums but all mums with young children. Anne-Maree Hone, our Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine Practitioner is a mother of five and a grandmother. Anne-Maree has practised and taught Meditation and Yoga for many years and she has a wealth of wisdom and experience in supporting mums so they feel energised, positive and resourceful.
This program includes 6 private weekly sessions combining Acupuncture to relax you, boost your energy and balance your hormones with coaching and counselling to ensure your needs are being met and you don’t get lost in the process of being a mum. So far the feedback has been fantastic.
We’re thinking of calling this Program “What About Me? – Nurturing for Mums” What do you think? Anne-Maree currently has places for 5 mums in this program at a special discounted rate so be quick to call or email us if you’d like to book an initial consultation to meet her and find out more.
In the meantime here are my 5 Vital Tips for new mums:
- Take the Right Supplements– Pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding can leave you nutritionally depleted. Low Iron and Vit D, for example, can leave you feeling exhausted and depressed. Low Magnesium can cause anxiety. Take our free online HEALTH ASSESSMENT to find out your needs. (This assessment is not just for mums)
- Debrief after the birth– If you had a difficult birth I strongly recommend having Counselling, Kinesiology or Hypnotherapy Session to process and clear any negative emotions or trauma about the birth. Even just one session can work magic.
- Learn to relax/meditate– Did you know that twenty minutes in meditation is equivalent to 3 hours sleep! Learn to meditate while feeding your bub to recharge your batteries.
- Be nurtured – Refill your bucket. Have someone take care of you. Massage, Reiki, Reflexology or Acupuncture can calm you and replenish your energy.
- Ask for help– When my third child was born I asked my parents to take care of the kitchen and the laundry for a week. They were amazing!
Please feel free to share this with anyone you know with young children.
That’s all for now. Have a great week,
Health and Happiness Guru