Archive | July, 2015

First weeks of parenthood

First weeks of parenthood

Posted on 16 July 2015 by Kristrun

parenthoodWhen you have just given birth, a new and exciting, but also quite demanding period is ahead of you. Parents are getting used to a new role and a new person. In the middle of this it is important for the parents to remember that their relationship needs to be nourished too, and they need time on their own as well as with the baby.

The baby is the centre of attention but remember not to ignore everything else. Perhaps it is a good advice to give to parents that they should try to keep the same routines in their pre-parenthood that they found especially important. This can be things like going to the movies, taking a bath together or playing scrabble. This is not only a really valuable time together, but also an important part of living a normal family life as a couple. It is normal that the baby completely takes your breath away but it is equally important to make sure you don’t throw away everything else that you have or had.

To leave the house

It is really easy and good fun to take a newborn baby everywhere you go, as long as you have the right attitude. At the same time it is sometimes good for the. parents just to go alone sometimes, and then it is of course important to have someone to take care of the baby that you can really trust. Make sure that if you leave your baby with someone else they know good baby care techniques, understand your way of taking care of the baby and have basic CPR knowledge from youtube videos, if not the best CPR courses. Also make sure they knows how you want feeding to be done, and whether they are supposed to call you when baby is hungry.

Being together

If parents have been trying to spend time together but somehow have not had the time, now is a good period to spend some family time together, especially if some paternity leave has been given. This could be things like starting a new sport, taking walks, learning how to dance and so on. If you only spend very few hours a week like this, you might feel that you are enjoying an important quality time together as individuals but not as parents. We are not talking about many hours, but just something like 2-3 hours each week for you. Remember that each week has 168 hours, so 2-3 are perhaps not so many after all.

Being apart

As important as it may be to be together, it is also important to be able to be alone, to regain energy and just to be by yourselves. For the mother this .especially important to try to decrease risk of postnatal isolation and depression. The mother can use the time to go out to the gym, do shopping, meet friends or just be alone. The risk of isolation for the father is usually much less, since most of the time he will be working with other people and therefore gets different kind of communication from there.

Accept support

Most likely you will be offered a lot of help probably from your family or friends, or your helper, if you have one. It might be a good idea to accept this help to the extent that you feel ready. Even through the baby might be breastfeeding, the mother can perhaps try to express milk and leave behind, or simply be back in time for the baby to feed again.

One part of enjoying a baby is to also be able enjoy yourself without it, and there is no need to feel guilty about wanting time on your own. Couples need to feel that they are still a couple and sometime this can be easily forgotten in the turmoil of joy. Find a way that suits you all and try to enjoy all aspects of parenthood and partnership.

Best of luck

The Annerley team

Do you need more support? Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

 

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Top labour tips for Sassy Mama from Hulda

Top labour tips for Sassy Mama from Hulda

Posted on 10 July 2015 by Kristrun

laboutips“1. Before you go into labour, think about this process as a journey of physical and psychological endurance, where both of those needs (physical and psychological) need to be nurtured and taken care of just like on a normal day, but in a much more intensified way.

2. This means that you need to absolutely make sure that you eat, drink, pee, sleep and move around regularly at all times.

3. You will be affected by those around you greatly, so make sure that they are people you like and trust and will not only take safe care of you but who will support you on your terms.

4. Pick a hospital and caregivers that are likely to meet your needs. For example, if rooming-in after the birth is not available, then don’t expect to be able to breastfeed successfully. Similarly, if C-section rates are very high in the hospital you are giving birth in, you are not likely to have a normal vaginal birth. If pain relief is important to you, you may have to educate yourself on how the hospital provides this and what you have to prepare for.”

Click on Sassy Mama to read the full article. 

Do you want to know more? Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

 

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Birth – gratitude – love

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Birth – gratitude – love

Posted on 03 July 2015 by hulda

I will never let you go

I will never let you go

Today is the day, that 18 years ago, I gave birth to my first baby.

I remember every little detail of that day.

It was more important to me that any other day in my life, although others were to follow when my other little babies were born.

But it was such a special day -  filled with kindness, hardship, patience, pain, unpredictability, sunshine, music, pressure, excitement, anticipation, warmth, love and relief.

It was a long day that started two days earlier actually, by me being induced after being more than 2 weeks past the 40 weeks of pregnancy.  I had no real expectations and did not know that induction meant anything different than a normal start of labour.  Except for the lack of candlelight on the bathtub and an exciting 100km drive to the hospital.

But apart from that, I was not concerned – I was in a very nice hospital with very nice people around.  My family were coming and going while the induction was starting, I was walking around in the park outside the hospital, food and drinks were served and finally, waters broke and the real work started.

I never forget that feeling, the waters breaking.  A flood of warm liquid everywhere, over me, on the bed, floor, everywhere.  A slight feeling of, not shame, but some strange sensation that I was looking ridiculous to the people around me, the midwives.

But they seemed happy and things were progressing.

Stumbling to the toilet where I sat on a birth ball, vomited into the sink and someone had the shower-head with warm water on my back.

Mess, pain and desperation for an hour or so.

Does it really have to be this way?  Would a C-section not just be better?

A warm smile from the midwives.

Sun shining through the glass of the windows.  Enya singing.

Pethidine.  Calm, sleep, smiles.

Sit up on the bed, husband behind, pressure, hands on the baby’s head, enormous pressure, hair between my fingers, midwife sat on a stool on the floor as I was standing with my butt resting on the side of the bed. Finally head out – what a relief after two days of labour.

The music gently in the background, shoulders out and the most beautiful feeling in the whole world when the 4 kilo boy scrambled into my hands and onto my chest.

Smiles, kindness, relief and an enormous feeling of something I had never felt before.

Waking up the next day, remembering that something absolutely amazing, amazing, amazing had happened, but not sure what? Like the day after Christmas when you had your very favourite gift, except 100 times stronger.

Looking to the side and seeing the little bundle in the cradle next to me, remembering what it was that had happened.

Such love I never felt in my life before.

Since then, never wanting to let go of him.  Kept him in my arms, fed him, had him next to me in the bed for as long as I possibly could do.  And he was always happy.

Now, 18 years later, trying to let my baby fly on his own wings into this world, but the love is no less.

I remember every detail of that day.  The smell, the touches, the sounds, the feeling.  Still brings tears to my eyes.

Thank you everyone that made it that way.

Family, midwives, friends, and Starri, my baby, thank you all.

 

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Tips on sleep during the fourth trimester

Tips on sleep during the fourth trimester

Posted on 01 July 2015 by Kristrun

newbornUnderstanding your baby from your baby’s perspective.

Newborn babies have just left a very dark, safe place, where they were never hungry, never cold or tired. They are one of the most vulnerable and slowest developing creatures in the world. Compared to other mammals, it could be said that they are born too early.

Try to think of (at least) the first three months of your baby’s life as the fourth trimester. Give him at least this one third of his total lifetime to get used to outside life. That is, if you possibly can. Some mothers will need to leave their newborns very soon to return to work and then they have no choice but to train them very early to get used to the new world without mom, but with someone else.

You can use a few ways to gradually introduce sleep habits to your newborn. Some say that by making the difference between night and day very clear, the newborn will pick this up sooner. This may take time to make sense to a newborn – don’t forget that one day in a newborn’s life is a very long time. One day is a very small proportion of our lifetime, but a large one for a small baby.

Try to understand your baby’s different cries during the first trimester and use all the resources available to minimize the crying. Most of the time the breast, a snuggle, a snooze, a walk – will fix it all. Recognizing the cry of a tired baby helps with sleep. Try not to put a hungry baby to sleep or a baby that is not tired.

Feed on demand and learn over time what works for your baby. Some will sleep more than others, some will nap very little during the day – others a lot! A good sleep will not rule out another good nap or a good night’s sleep. Try to understand what type of sleeper your baby is during this fourth trimester.

Make sure you understand your baby on your and your baby’s terms, and not because other people think you should be doing this or that. There are so many ways to enjoy your brand new baby. Your baby is your number one job now – try to add as little as possible to that job (if possible).

Even if you don’t do anything to implement any kind of sleep routine, your baby will gradually build one up. They will over time learn from their environment. It’s very important to remember that 50% of children will have night wakings up until the age of 5, and that this is normal.

During the first weeks and months, try to sleep when baby sleeps. Nap with your baby – even on the bed – or in a cot close to your bed so you can touch her and she can feel that you are within a safe distance. Build up confidence for better sleep in the future.

 Best of luck

The midwives

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