Four a.m. As I stumbled around my flat in Scotland, it took a while for my sleep induced brain to realise what was going on – my waters had broken. I breathed deeply and felt adrenaline kicking in. Within half an hour I could feel mild surges reverberating throughout my whole body. I was instantly grateful for the fact that I was already in the place I planned to give birth – right here at home. As labour took hold, all I could do was pace up and down and focus – things were getting serious and fast! Continue reading Flipping the Narrative on Scary Birth Stories
This post was originally published on Huffington Post
Ten months ago, I stared in the mirror at my reflection. My breasts were painfully engorged like they might explode and I thought to myself ‘I’m going to need a sense of humour to get through this’. These days, on the rare occasion I go for a night out baby-free, I joke that my boobs double up as a timepiece. Seeing the funny side has definitely helped. But support in its various forms is the main reason I’m still breastfeeding today. Continue reading What Breastfeeding Taught Me About The Need To Support Mothers
When planning my birth, I found myself pulled between two worlds. I learned that the mainstream narrative of childbirth is a world where technology triumphs over trusting your instincts. It left me feeling helpless and I needed a way of understanding what my body was capable of. These books took me to another world, highlighting the power and simplicity in natural birth. Continue reading Positive Birth Reading List
This post originally appeared on The Green Parent as part of their 2016 writing competition.
It wasn’t until I became pregnant that I realised I would make choices that would raise eyebrows. I was aware that I sometimes did things a little differently, but as soon as I was planning to have my first child my decisions were put in the spotlight. The single most important thing I learned throughout pregnancy, birth and the first months of my baby’s life is trust. To trust my instincts, to trust my body and to trust my baby. That’s what natural parenting means to me. I heard the phrase “You are the expert of your own body and your own baby” when I was pregnant and amid the plethora of advice it resonated with me. It was only when I started to put this advice into practice that I realised how challenging (but also rewarding!) it can be.
This post was originally published on The F Word
I recently attended my first La Leche League meeting at my local branch in Scotland. La Leche League is an international organisation supporting breastfeeding mothers and I found out about this community after having a difficult start to breastfeeding my son. At the time of the meeting, my son was four months old and amongst the youngest. There were a number of older babies and toddlers and what an eye opener! I think it’s the first time I’ve seen a child over the age of one being breastfed. I admit, my first impression on seeing a two and a half year old walk up to his mum and nurse was that it looked plain weird. I imagine anyone who hasn’t witnessed an older baby or child being breastfed would think the same. In Scotland it’s just not something we’re used to seeing. And so like anything that we’re uninformed about we can easily approach it with social discomfort, embarrassment or misplaced negativity.