Breastfeeding is a truly magical experience. It is a time for bonding and a time to be cherished.
It is also a time that can become boring, monotonous and lonely. Especially in the middle of the night when it feels like you are the only person in the world who is awake – a half hour feed can seem like an eternity. Expressing milk is even more boring and lonely because you are interacting with a machine instead of your beautiful baby, and it can be really hard to stay awake when you are so desperately sleep deprived.
The loneliness and boredom of breastfeeding/expressing around the clock is one of the hardest things about raising a baby, and when combined with sleep deprivation it is the perfect recipe for postpartum depression.
Luckily, women are known for their excellence at multi-tasking! There are other things we can be doing at the same time, to help make it more enjoyable. (more…)
Every negative situation has a silver lining. Sometimes we have to look really hard to find it, but it is always there.
I certainly had to look very hard to find the silver lining when a highly respected work colleague lost her cool and verbally attacked me. But after much thought and self-reflection I did find the silver lining, which was a powerful lesson in parenting. A lesson that will help me keep my cool next time my daughter pushes my buttons.
Let me explain… (more…)
Photo courtesy of iStock.com/fizkes
Yoga is the ultimate workout for the body, mind and soul. There are some fabulous health benefits, including a reduction in stress levels and a super-toned booty (we all want both of those!).
If you love group yoga classes, fantastic! Keep up the great work! But if you don’t love them, please don’t despair, you are not alone! Let’s face it – group fitness classes are not for everyone.
If you are already prone to making excuses (aren’t we all?!) then the challenges of attending a group class might be enough to talk yourself out of going. You might be introverted and shy, have social phobia, short on cash, can’t get a babysitter, embarrassed about how you look or worried that you aren’t up to the same fitness level as everyone else.
By the time you have squeezed into your best Lorna Jane’s, got in the car and driven to the gym or studio, found a locker for your things, peed for the tenth time, done a 90 minute class and driven home again, you have easily just spent 2 – 3 hours of your day. If you are a busy mum – this can be mission impossible!
The solution? Yoga at home! (more…)
Photo courtesty of iStock.com/kapulya
An over-stimulated lifestyle combined with poor stress management skills is a recipe for disaster. Sadly, this is the reality for most of us.
In today’s society, being ‘busy’ seems to have become a measure of success, with a full calendar being seen as a characteristic of a high achiever and something to be proud of. It is not surprising that the six leading causes of death can all be attributed to stress.
In extreme cases of stress we resort to self-medicating which might be in the form of sugar (guilty!), caffeine, carbs, energy drinks, cigarettes, alcohol or even drugs. The number of people on antidepressants is alarming, and the number of people who are on antidepressants and only experiencing side effects (with no actual benefit) is even more alarming.
This leads us to question… what are we doing wrong? (more…)
Photo courtesy of iStock.com/dionisvero
An inadequate amount of iron in your body can absolutely cause you to lose your mojo, and feel lethargic and depressed.
Iron deficiency is alarmingly common, especially during and after pregnancy. This essential mineral plays an important role in several bodily functions, contributing to our levels of energy, vitality, immunity and mental health. If you are missing the spring in your step and the sparkle in your eyes, it might be time to head to the doctor for a blood test!
Having a baby places a huge drain on our iron stores, because we have to supply the additional volume of blood that is circulating around our body, plus the needs of the growing baby. It can take a long time to replenish those stores after giving birth (a few years!). The trouble is, having a baby comes with a whole range of other challenges and we tend to focus more on what the baby needs (and coping with extreme sleep deprivation!) and less on nurturing our own body as it recovers from the miracle of giving new life. (more…)
Postpartum depression is a warning sign that your mind, body and soul are out of balance.
It is essentially the same as ordinary depression, but commonly brought on by the extreme life change of having a baby, changes to your body, fear about your parenting ability and the wellbeing of your baby, increased responsibilities, strain on your relationship with your partner, lack of sleep, social isolation and various other challenges. These challenges are enormous from anyone’s perspective, and can easily spell disaster in the absence of positive tools and coping strategies.
When we have young children, this seems to be a time when many of us put our dreams on hold. But it doesn’t have to be. While it is challenging to strike a balance between raising our kids and living our own lives, it is certainly possible. In fact it is vitally important, for two main reasons:
- To maintain our own health and happiness
- To model ambitious behaviour to our kids and teach them how to strive towards their own dreams.
The typical child-bearing age (somewhere between 20 and 40) is our prime time for setting ourselves up for great achievements (such as career, sporting, creative, etc.). We are old enough to have some wisdom and life experience up our sleeve, but still with energy and youth on our side.
Photo courtesy of GL Stock Images/Godfer
I am pleased to welcome you to the Postpartum Wellbeing community!
Join me as I explore topics related to the health, happiness and self-care of mums and dads in the early years of parenting.
Here you will find all sorts of how to/advice, research findings, my personal opinions (take these with a pinch of salt!) and experiences, thoughts and ramblings, quotes and inspirational bits and pieces, links to other resources and the odd book or blog review.