There are so many books out there on birth and babies that it can easily get overwhelming. I wanted to take this opportunity to recommend some books that really helped me through my pregnancy and the birth of my baby. You can find a link to the books at the end of each section.
When we are pregnant with our babies we are told that breastfeeding is best and surrounded by information on this. It is great that breastfeeding is encouraged and promoted as normal, and I think it is a lovely way to bond with your baby. What isn't so great is the inevitable guilt when breastfeeding fails - I want to share my story so that others who have not managed to breastfeed know that they are not alone. Of course there are many mothers who choose not to breastfeed at all, and this is fine. It is a very personal choice and we will choose what is right for us. This article is for those who have tried and wanted to breastfeed, but have been unable to do it.
When I was pregnant I saw quite a few adverts for Weleda natural baby products in the magazine that was reading (Juno and Green Parent) and we bought some of their Calendula Nappy Change Cream before Bobby was born so that we would be prepared. Now that he is almost 15 months old (how??) I feel that we have used the cream enough times and in enough nappy rash situations to know how well it works. Here is myself and Bobby's review.
There seems to be one question that new parents are asked more than any other, "Is he/she a good baby?" What this actually means is "is he/she sleeping well? Or even through the night?" I always find this question a bit strange, as my child's sleep is not directly linked to their behaviour in any moral way. But the thing that I find most strange of all is our society's obsession that babies should be sleeping through the night within a few months of birth. I believe this to be an entirely unnatural expectation, as I will explain.
There is a great deal of choice when it comes to birth. You can choose where and how to have your baby, what sort of pain relief you would like for the birth, what to do with the cord and whether it should be clamped, whether to let you baby chest crawl. It is wonderful that there are so many choices, although it can be a little confusing and we need to do our research to figure out what is best for us and our baby. In this post I want to talk about my own birth choices and why I made them. This will be followed next week by a post about making birth choices and where to get guidance and advice (it will take a couple of days to put together). I hope you enjoy my story in the mean time.
It is a very common fantasy that when we have our first child (or even our second) that as soon as they are born and they are handed to us we will be filled with unconditional love for this tiny, lovely creature. We imagine that we will be surrounded by this bubble of love, as we settle in with our new little family. But a fantasy is all that this idea very often is.
There may be a lucky few first time mums who feel genuine, instant love for their baby as soon as they are born, but for many of us this is not the case. And the fact that we don't feel all-encompassing love straight away is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it is normal.
Birth is a different experience for everyone. Even for those who have had multiple children, each birth will have been different. With this idea of sharing experiences in mind, I want to share my own birth story. I would also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the lovely Midwives at Salford Royal Birth Centre who got me through it. Their support was amazing!
If you are pregnant or recently given birth, then you will hopefully find this article very useful. If you don't want to hear way too much information or are of a very sensitive disposition, then you may want to stop reading now. When I was pregnant I was given information on how to recover physically and although it was mostly useful, it was the information that I found out afterwards (either from the internet or from asking the midwife.) I want to pass this information on to you hear, as I wish I had been given it earlier. I also want to talk about mental recovery, as this isn't something that is really discussed, but is equally important. This is not a complete guide, but just based on my own experience. Always check your concerns with your doctor, midwife or health visitor and certainly check the below advice with them before trying out yourself. If you feel particularly sad or remotely suspect that you have post-natal depression then tell someone immediately and contact your midwife, health visitor or doctor. They are there to help.
Getting started with cloth nappies is at the best of times a bit of a minefield. When you haven't used them before and decide to see what the options are, you find that there are a lot. And I mean a lot! There is an overwhelming choice of nappy systems and accompanying accessories and it's hard to know where to begin. It can be particularly off-putting when you try a system and it doesn't work for you (which is what happened to us) and you begin to question whether cloth nappies are a good idea at all.
Our voyage into cloth nappies (as it seems to be for most) began with one disaster after another. We tried the GNappies system, as this seemed to be very popular - however it was fraught with problems. This is probably down to something that I was doing wrong, perhaps using the wrong size of nappy or fastening it at the wrong setting, as there seem to be plenty of people out there that are very happy with these nappies. But our experience was a lot of leaks and one grumpy baby.