Believe it or not, we all have a ‘reserve tank’ of potential that when accessed, really opens the door to greater levels of fulfilment and positive results in our personal and professional lives, but the question is not how do we access it, it’s what is stopping us from accessing it?
Maxwell Maltz, was a leading American cosmetic surgeon and author who once said, “low self-esteem is like going through life with the handbrake on”. These words resonate with so many! I too have experienced this and can relate to it. Very often, even the most outwardly confident people, lack a genuine inner self-confidence and self-esteem, they have learnt to purely mask it, and this can be exhausting! The under-lying theme to many of my client’s challenges, is low self-esteem or self-doubt.
1. Do pelvic floor exercise as soon as possible to improve circulation and promote healing.
2. Walking prevents stiffness and helps reduce swelling.
3. Sit on an inflatable rubber cushion (NOT a rubber ring), or on two pillows under each thigh. (The VALLEY CUSHION is comfortable and can be hired directly from local NCT.)
4. Hot compresses (hot flannel wrung out in hot water) help circulation and speed healing. Alternatively, sitting on an ice-pack (e.g. pack of peas) reduces swelling.
5. Bath in warm, clear water. DO NOT USE SALT – as this will cause drying and itching. Mix a couple of drops of lavender oil with a couple of drops of tea-tree oil in a small amount of Olive Oil and add to your bath – this is far kinder and aids healing.
6. Do not soak for too long as this may soften the stitches.
7. Taken as soon as possible, Arnica tablets reduce swelling and bruising.
8. When opening bowls, press a clean sanitary towel against the stitches to prevent straining.
9. Sit well back on the toilet. After urinating, pour a jugful of warm water over the vulva (or use a bidet) to stop stinging.
10. Drink plenty of fluids to dilute urine and prevent constipation. Eat plenty of roughage – bran, wholemeal bread, dried fruit and fresh fruit and vegetables.
11. Use a mirror to look at your stitches – they may not look as bad as you think!
12. Use soft sanitary towels. Looped ones may be more comfortable or wear stretch pants (available from the NCT) or incontinence knickers are excellent! A little KY Jelly prevents the towel sticking to the stitches and is good when starting intercourse again.
13. Raise any continued problems at your postnatal check. Do not accept that ‘you will never be the same again’. Your pelvic floor and capacity of your bladder should be as good as before you had your baby within 3 months. If you have problems with your pelvic floor or your back, you can self-refer to your obstetric physio up to 8 weeks postnatally. After that you need a GP referral.
STITCHES SHOULD NORMALLY HEAL WITHIN 3 WEEKS
PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES ARE VERY IMPORTANT.
DO THEM FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!
Thanks to North Surrey Midwives for sharing this post.
Perineal massage is a procedure that can be used to increase the likelihood of avoiding the need of an episiotomy in childbirth. Although in most of the hospitals in the area, routine episiotomy is no longer practised, a stretched and relaxed perineum will reduce the risk of an episiotomy even further.
So, first off, what the IS Myofascial Release?
Well, fascia is the new buzz word in the health & fitness industry at the moment. It’s the all-encompassing web of connective tissue that supports our bodies. From the adipose layer under our skin
that holds fat & gives us our shape & insulation, to the layer that wraps our muscles to give them shape &
then becomes tendon & ligaments, to the web that actually holds our organs in place.
Pregnancy can be such a wonderful time for both Mum to be and her partner, the excitement of a new baby on the way but sometimes the anxiety of how life will change. We are all aware of how stress and anxiety can build up with the challenges of today’s world. Trying to find a life/ work balance is hard at the best of times, with a new baby on the way this prove even more difficult.
Congratulations! You have a new baby on the way! How exciting! You are probably also thinking “How on Earth am I supposed to do this?” Right?
Well, here’s the thing, there are many, many women who have done this before, so you can too!
We’ve put together a list of a few tips which MIGHT help – before your baby arrives, during labour and for those first few weeks. Remember, what works for someone else may not work for you. So DO YOU!
Before Baby Arrives
- Ensure that your toddler is part of the excitement of your pregnancy – but don’t tell them too early. 9 months is an incredibly long time for them, and they may even start to think that the baby is never coming. But do get them involved when you start to show or feel baby move – and speak about the baby often. Showing them photos of themselves as a baby may help this too.
- Start planning for the labour and ensure that your toddler is comfortable with the people who will be assisting with their childcare. The last thing you need is worrying about your toddler when you head out the door.
- If they are already in a nursery or other childcare setting, try to retain their routine and keep them there for at the least the first few weeks after baby comes home.
- Encourage the toddler’s independence. Ensure that they can do as much as possible for themselves, and are also ready to help you when the baby arrives. Ask them to pass you those hard-to-reach things you drop on the floor! Praise them for how helpful they are! When the baby arrives they’ll be happy to bring you the muslin, or dummy, or a snack for themselves.
- Stick to your toddlers routine – in a changing environment, the stability they have in their own routine will provide them with much needed comfort.
- Cook as much as you can – for yourself and partner, as well as for your toddler. Anything that can be frozen in appropriate portion sizes will definitely help when baby arrives.
- Prepare many little Busy Bags for your toddler. This will really come in handy when you are needing to feed / change the baby, and work a treat to distract your toddler when you’re out and about too. Change up the contents too!
- Create a toddler area which is safe for them to entertain themselves for a little while – activities which they can distract them in times of free play.
- Most importantly: Treasure the time you have with your toddler – as soon as you bring that baby home, that toddler isn’t your baby anymore, and they will feel even more grown up than before.
Labour and bringing baby home:
- Take a bit of extra time at the hospital while you can. Your toddler is fine with their childcare at that point, so take a few extra hours to rest with only your baby.
- Buy a present for your toddler from the baby. They’ll love the surprise. Coupled with this, if you receive many gifts for the baby – get your toddler involved in opening the exciting ones, or only open the others when your toddler isn’t around.
First few weeks:
- Eat well and rest – it’s got to be about you. If you are eating well, drinking enough water and getting enough rest, you are more likely to take the little problems in your stride.
- Be careful when lifting toddler while you are recovering. They are much heavier than you think and especially for your pelvic floor or C-Section wound – be sure to not over do it with your toddler.
- Reject any and all unwanted visitors! There is plenty of time for them to have their baby cuddles when you’re in the swing of things. Do not feel guilty for protecting yourself from overwhelm.
- Forget about a routine for the baby – focus on your toddler’s routine and give them as much time as possible. Your baby will soon fit into the way things work, and will inevitably be more patient than your toddler.
- Shop online! Don’t be pressured into having to go to the shops for items. Order online and save yourself the headache!
- Lower your standards – no one cares when last you polished the wooden trinkets on the shelf. Spray some furniture polish around when people come over, or ask your toddler to help clean, and who cares if it’s perfect. If you can, try book a cleaner in. Even a once off decent clean will bring you some peace.
- Wear your baby. There are some amazing slings on the market. Baby will love being in a sling and being close to you, and you’ll have both arms free to manage your active toddler too.
- It often helps to wake up in the morning before your toddler wakes – just to have that shower without one of the interruptions!
- As soon as you can try get out the house once a day for a little walk. It doesn’t have to be much, but it’s amazing what some fresh air does for your brain, and the baby and your toddler will feel the relaxed vibe.
- Keep a log of your baby’s feeds, changes and naps. It’s surprisingly easy to forget these things when your toddler is begging for another round of catch…
- Plan what you can: Time with your partner – book that time out, or the lie in for yourself. Book a morning where he takes the toddler out for some special time for them. Plan some duties for him to do, even if he washes the darks with the whites…
- Sing. Sing to the baby, sing to your toddler, sing to yourself. It’s amazing how singing (no matter how awful!) can reduce your stress levels. It takes the pressure off, and your toddler is likely to be a bit more amenable after singing some of their songs too! Add some humour to your days.
- Co-ordinate naps when possible, and when it happens, no matter how rarely – SLEEP! No excuses, no supermum-mode, no guilt. Sleep when they are both asleep! Post Natal Depression rears it’s ugly head at any sign of sleep deprivation. So SLEEP!
- Bath time logistics: Feed baby first, then bath with toddler, then feed the other side while toddler plays. Or feed baby while toddler plays in the bath, get toddler out, then feed baby while reading stories. Or feed baby and settle to sleep, then do bath time as special time with your toddler. Ultimately – do what works for you. If changing bath time to the morning suits you best – DO IT!
A few final tips:
- Stop telling yourself it’s so hard. It’s a phase, it will end, and when it ends you’ll miss it.
- Chill out – you’ve got this. You’ve done it all before, now just do it again. As long as you’re all alive, with a little song and a cuddle here and there, you’re doing well.
- Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. No matter when your friend’s baby starts sleeping through, don’t compare yourself to them. Do what’s best for your family. What works for someone else may not work for you, and that’s perfectly fine.
- Know when to ask for help. Lean on experts. Don’t try to do it all yourself. There are friends, family, and experts who are available throughout to assist you. Doula’s, Lactation Consultants, Midwives, Health Visitors, Maternity Nurses, Sleep Trainers, Psychologists, Physiotherapists, Night Nannies, Babysitters, GP’s, and so many more. ASK for help when you need it. You’ll be stronger for it.
Enjoy this incredibly special time, it’s a time you’ll never forget.