Why the Birth Class you Want isn’t Necessarily the One You Need

This is so well written and completely true! Yes, I am passionate about empowering women to draw on their inner strength and birth in a way that research supports (such as keeping in upright positions as much as possible so that they can work with gravity, being aware that mindset and environment can have detrimental effects on the physiological processes of the birth hormones, etc).

But equally, all the affirmations and positive thinking in the world wouldn’t change the fact that I have a defective gene that greatly increases my risk of postpartum haemorrhage (something I didn’t know I had when I had my first two births).

My last birth was a planned home birth in water, and I had intended to have a physiological third stage, just as I had done with my first two births. The birth itself went beautifully but only 6 minutes after he was born, it was clear that there was an issue with blood loss. So we got out of the pool and I chose to have syntometrine, AND later, ergometrine, to stem the bleeding.

Even with these drugs, I still lost 2 litres of blood, and our planned first night with our new baby in our own bed turned into a transfer in an ambulance and a first night with me in hospital with the baby, and my partner at home alone! But because we had stayed open to whatever unfolds, we were able to deal with this change of plan without drama and upset, and accept that this was the way things were without blame or guilt (although we did jokingly comment that it was all my Grandma’s fault for giving me the dodgy gene in the first place!).

So I believe it’s wiser to prepare for birth by planning to do the best you can in each moment, and having the attitude of staying open-minded as each moment unfolds, staying present and not fixated on a vision of birth as you think it ‘should’ be.

I was aware that I had this condition and that it could cause issues. But many women might never find out what caused their need for intervention, and blame themselves for somehow ‘failing’ in their inability to birth ‘naturally. This can potentially lead to birth trauma, PTSD, postnatal depression, etc, none of which is in the best interests of the new family <3

https://yourbirthsupport.com/2017/08/18/the-birth-class-you-want-and-the-birth-class-you-need-arent-always-the-same-one/?mc_cid=c7fb29e8e9&mc_eid=0dfeeb284e

The Awesome Sacrifices Some Mothers Make, Just to Feed their Babies…And Why….

Sometimes Mums struggle to breastfeed.

And sometimes, it’s photos like this that keep us striving to make it work, regardless of the sacrifice it takes.

Some Mums endure painful, sore, bleeding nipples, when every feed causes them such agony that their toes curl as their baby latches on.

Some Mums completely change their diets to be able to keep breastfeeding when their little ones have allergies; giving up dairy, wheat, soya, all so they can keep feeding.

Some Mums refuse medication for their own medical conditions, increasing their own suffering, because of concerns about a drug passing through the milk to their baby.

Some Mums express between feeds, morning, afternoon, evening and throughout the night, to either increase their milk supply, or provide enough milk for when they’re away from their baby at work, or if their baby is in special care, or if they can’t latch due to prematurity or disability.

And when it all feels SO hard and exhausting, when the sacrifice feels just too much, it’s photos of just HOW amazing breastfeeding is that might just keep that Mum from giving up, inspiring her to keep on keeping on for the sake of her baby’s health.

In this Facebook Post, a Mum describes how her daughter was ill and she pumped milk the morning after. The colour was vastly different to the usual white, more closely resembling colostrum, the antibody-rich first milk that Mums make to boost their newborn’s immune system and protect them in the first few days of life.

This article explains this process in more detail.

Our bodies are incredible! And deserve respect and a massive high-five for what they do, without us even having to be consciously aware of it 🙂

To all those Mums finding feeding a challenge but still trying to find a way to make it work, we salute you 🙂

And your babies salute you too Heart3.2 copy

Parenting in the Early Days!

Parenting Baby B is a little like taking a 10lb + weight and fixing it permanently to your nipple!!! Your boobs are out more than Kim Kardashian’s butt! But your OWN ass is almost constantly welded to a chair, surrounded by everything you might need for the next 12 hours within grab range – snacks, water bottle, phone, breast pump, laptop, books etc.

Because you’re not going ANYWHERE!! Because whenever you try to unattach the 10lb + weight to do, oh I don’t know, trivial things like go to the loo or grab some more snacks, it gives off an instant loud klaxon noise, to alert the world that horrific child abuse is taking place 😉 And hearing that noise, and seeing that little face so unhappy, hurts my heart more than sitting in one position for hours on end hurts my body, even with my joints seizing up so that when I finally move, I’m like a cripple until I can stretch them out and gently ease them into moving again!

So it’s a good job that 10lb + weight occasionally opens its beautiful blue eyes, looks up at me from beneath long, beautiful eyelashes, and beams the most angelic smiles that would make even Emperor Palpatine turn away from the Dark Side 🙂 And is why, despite the challenges, I wake up every morning, feel my heart burst with pride and joy when I see that little 10 + weight, and attach it to me again, for another day of the same… Heart3.2 copy

Life After Birth; He Wants Sex, She Doesn’t…

Recently, someone asked the following question:

“My husband is a being a complete nightmare. My baby is 8 months old and I’m breastfeeding. I really can’t think of anything I want to do less than have sex. He’s now acting like a toddler, stomping around the house and having a tantrum because we have only had sex three times since our baby was born. He told me he’s going to stay in a bad mood until I put out, lol! I just want to know if after 8 months my sex drive should be back or whether I’m still normal!! Men, eh?”

My response to this is:
Both of your feelings are perfectly valid 🙂 The problem comes from each of you viewing the other person’s feelings as unacceptable, which creates disconnects in your relationship. Men tend to view sex differently to women; to them, we show our love for them through our sexual interest in them, so that very valid feeling we have of feeling touched-out, in pain, exhausted etc, is interpreted by them as “My partner doesn’t love me any more”, the thought of which would create sadness and a sense of rejection in anyone, regardless of gender.

His behaviour, whilst seeming ‘childish’ to you, IS a cry for attention, but not perhaps in the way you might think. He needs to feel still loved by you, which for men, as I said, is more about sexual interest in them, and also respect and appreciation. The huge changes we go through during pregnancy and birth, and parenting afterwards, affects both partners, but in different ways, and both parents need to still feel they are getting some of their needs met.

Can you show sexual interest in him again, even without the actual act of full sex, if that is painful/uncomfortable for you? Even something like giving admiring compliments of his body again, or trying to make a point of kissing him more passionately when he gets in from work, could give him a sense of “She DOES still love me” and start healing that disconnection in your relationship that you both feel is starting to happen.

The key is to rebuild that connection between you, IF you want the relationship to last, by trying to understand what is going on for the other person at a deep level, rather than just surface behaviour. I’m sure you equally feel unheard by him and that is causing some of your exasperation, but if the long-term goal is to stay together, it’s important to start connecting again by attempting to start meeting some of his needs, in a small way that isn’t compromising your needs either.

I recommend The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts as a great resource for helping identify each others needs and working towards meeting them, something you could do together and rebuild your sense of yourselves as a team working together rather than both at different ends of a spectrum, pulling against each other…

“But not all men act in this manner and behave so childishly when they don’t get their needs met…?”

No, people don’t all act the same way in certain circumstances. But since you are asking about your OWN husband’s behaviour, and since I’ve studied relationship psychology, counselling, and communication skills, I was attempting to understand what underlying thoughts and feelings might be driving his outward behaviour from a point of rebuilding connection in their relationship, because calling someone names usually creates MORE tension, negative feeling and disconnection, rather than rebuilding connection.

If you had said you’d had enough and wanted to leave, my response would have been very different, but my sense is that you want to stay with him rather than feeling more conflict with him. If I’ve misinterpreted your intentions, then, just like everything else on the Internet, you can take what resonates with you and ignore anything that doesn’t 🙂

I have a view that it’s better to have access to a full tappas bar of perspectives to listen to and choose from, and even between a couple that have been together for a long time, each individual can have their own views/beliefs/values that drives their outward behaviour, often without them even realising it. Attempting to interpret this man’s behaviour in the context of his sense of rejection (something research shows occurs a lot after the birth of a child) wasn’t an attempt to justify his behaviour, but to explain it in a way that might help you view it from a more connecting perspective rather than getting into a more “him versus me”, he’s selfish etc etc mindset. There are other perspectives that offer that view; I just offer an alternative that may or may not be correct, so you can take what I’ve written and decide for yourself if that could be what’s going on with him from the context of what you know about him as a man already. If he’s always behaving in this manner, even before the pregnancy, it’s up to you to weigh up if this behaviour is something you are not prepared to tolerate. But if he’s a generally decent man who normally is kind and considerate, what I’ve said could allow you to view him as just having a ‘blip’ and even save your marriage….

The point here is about intimacy. Things have changed, of course, with the arrival of a little one, but if you both try to make sex/intimacy one of life’s priorities, not as a chore or to please him, but as something that could bring you closer together on all levels, you may find things shifting for the better between you again. It can be such a powerful ‘connector’ for couples and it’s so easy to put off, but it’s another way of ‘connecting’ with each other and I can imagine he just wants to feel close and intimate with you again after the arrival of a new baby has brought such a steep learning curve and drastic change of lifestyle into both your lives.

You have all that rush of the love hormone oxytocin that helps with bonding with your new baby, something which happens physiologically with every feed naturally. But he doesn’t have that at all as men obviously can’t breastfeed, so his only source of hugs and kisses (and that delicious feeling of being loved) is now only interested in someone else, even if that someone else is his child. For men, when a new baby comes along and his partner falls totally in love with them, it can feel like she’s having an affair on an emotional and physical level, even if logically he knows it’s his own child that is taking all her attention away. But emotions are rarely logical!

So I offer this perspective to any new parents struggling with this issue, and strongly suggest that you recognise the need to keep intimacy alive in your relationship, prioritising it in ways that strengthen your connection. Heart3.2 copy

Further Resources:
https://www.powerofpositivity.com/5-ways-make-love-to-your-partner-without-having-sex/

http://www.5lovelanguages.com/