Life after losing your baby

Life after losing your baby

Photo of Rebecca Anderson

“After time, grief is a part of your life, but it is not your entire life anymore”

“You are going to lose your baby.”

What happens when your worst fear in pregnancy comes true?

In this very deep and personal interview Kara Peel, mum of three, talks about the tragic loss of her first baby, Lucy.

Lucy was born at 20 weeks.

In this episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV, Kara delves into her grief of Lucy’s death. She very courageously speaks about everything from how she felt leaving the hospital, to the all-consuming grief she experienced, to how she personally grew out of the trauma of losing her only daughter.

As baby loss, including miscarriage, is so common, I would like to advise that this episode may be triggering from some viewers and listeners. Kara really wanted to share her true journey with you as she is an advocate for talking about baby loss, the grief it brings, and the awareness we need to help raise to better support parents who have lost their child.

This is a must listen/view episode if you have experienced baby loss or love someone who has been through it, or is currently experiencing it.

In this episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV you will learn:

  • ✓  About the grief of losing a baby
  • ✓  The taboos and societal expectations that exist around this type of grief
  • ✓  What you can do to support yourself through your grief – learn Kara’s best model and strategies
  • ✓  What everyone needs to know about supporting a grieving parent
 

The important take-aways from this episode are:

  • When you lose a baby, no matter at what term, the grief of loss is all-consuming. Yet, even though it may seem impossible at the time, it can lead to tremendous personal growth Podcast [4.02], TV [3.32]

“When I left the hospital I remember how empty I felt. I had particularly empty arms because I had no baby to take with me.”

  • The 5 Stages of Grief are real and you may feel them all. However, grief is not linear.
    When you lose a baby, the grief you experience is your experience. There is no “right” way to feel, or order you must feel your grief in. Let it feel for you how it feels for you 
    Podcast [6.19], TV [5.49]

    The 5 Stages of Grief are a cycle that can include:

    – Denial and isolation
    – Anger
    – Bargaining
    – Depression
    – Acceptance

    Adapted from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ book On Death and Dying (full reference below in Mentions in This Episode)

  • Kara found a model “growing around grief” which resonated with her during her transition through her grief. She explains in detail: how it helped her, why it is so important, and how it could help others  Podcast [6.45], TV [6.15]

“I’d sit in the park and feel the sun, and it reminded me I was alive.”

  • Society has certain expectations of how you should handle your loss, and they are often not real.
    Find out Kara’s way to create your own expectations around your loss 
    Podcast [10.17], TV [9.47]
  • “I was a mother but people didn’t acknowledge me as being a mother.” Podcast [10.28], TV [9.58]

People are afraid to speak to mums about their loss. Maybe it’s because they don’t want to hurt them or because they don’t know what to say. However, it is important to recognising the mother, her baby and the trauma she has gone through. Kara has some amazing tips on what to say to a mother who has lost her baby.

“I craved for her name to be said – that acknowledgement that she existed.”

Mothers who have lost their baby may not have their baby in her amrs, yet they still go through matrescence, as well as coping with their loss and grief.

Matrescence – the transition from woman to mother – is one of the most life-changing transitions a woman will ever go through.
We are changed – physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually.

  • We need to talk about grief surrounding the loss of a child much more in society. It is real, and it is common. We need to raise awareness and normalise baby loss. Grieving parents need to be supported properly Podcast [14.03], TV [13.33]
  • Learn the 5 little words you should say to any grieving parent Podcast [17.34], TV [17.04]

Listen to how you can support someone in their grieving, especially if you feel uncomfortable or don’t know what to say.

  • Kara’s best strategy she used during her grieving process Podcast [20.09], TV [19.39]

Find out what worked for her and what didn’t.

“Slowly I started to get a bit of a sense of self back.”

  • Grief can lead to personal growth Podcast [34.01], TV [33.31]

Baby loss grief is a different journey for everyone. Don’t let anyone tell you what you need; you need to feel what it is you need. In your own time you will gain strength and courage from your trauma and suffering. Eventually your life will grow back.

“It lead me down different paths in my life I would previously not have been brave enough to try”

  • It’s never too late to learn from, and address your baby loss trauma Podcast [37.29], TV [36.59]

You will know when you are ready. You CAN get through to the other side.

Hear the full episode. Simply click on your favourite podcast app below.

Or hit play and watch the full episode on YouTube.

I would love to hear from you

What insights did you have when you watched this episode?

How could these potentially change your motherhood experience and life?

Leave a comment below and tell us about it! Many mums come here to find support, and your experience or story may help one of them.

Who is one person that would benefit from watching this episode? – Share it with them through the icons at the top of this article 😉

SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and WIN

Be sure to subscribe to The Tough Mothers Podcast or Tough Mothers TV .

And YOU CAN WIN!

Leave a review for the podcast  or on my YouTube channel, as I draw a random reviewer each month to win an amazing Tough Mothers gift.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Get all the motherhood support at our village.

Mentions In This Episode

The model of Growing Around Grief

The 5 Stages of Grief by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in her book On Death and Dying

An explanation of this model can be found HERE

Kara used her courage and artistic genius to start her own business upcycling old furniture to make it new again.

Kara is incredible! Please check out her work.

Mental Health Support Services

If the topics in this episode are triggering for you, or if you feel you need support, please contact you doctor or local mental health line.

In Australia: www.healthdirect.gov.au
In New Zealand: www.mentalhealth.org.nz
In the USA: www.mhnational.org
In the UK : www.mind.org.uk
In Ireland: www2.hse.ie

In South Africa: www.safmh.org.za

If your country is not listed please search “Mental Health Line” in google in your country.

 

Want every episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV straight to your inbox before they are released?

Why you must know what matrescence is

Why you must know what matrescence is

Exercise 5 - Talk

I felt a shift in myself both times after I had my first two babies. It was like I was going through some sort of transition and transformation – both of which I was desperately trying to resist.

I liked myself, I liked my life, I didn’t want to change. I just wanted to be the old me, but with a baby (or two).

I carried on mothering, but I was not content. I was a little lost, and a little confused about what had happened to me. But I carried on – because I am a mother and that’s what we do.

You can’t outrun the motherhood transition.
My third baby, however, pulled the rug out from under me. Well, not literally of course, because obviously she was a baby! But when she came along, the changes in me where profound. Again, I tried to resist them, but this time I couldn’t stick my head in the sand.

The developmental transition was too great!

So, I ended up in a long battle with probably postnatal anxiety / postpartum anxiety (I say “probably” because I was never officially diagnosed). Until I realised, try as you might, you can’t outrun the transition and transformation of motherhood.

And that transition has a name: Matrescence

Every woman goes through the transition of matrescence when she becomes a mother.

Including Laura, who sent me this question for Q&A Wednesday:

I had my baby 6 months ago. She’s gorgeous and I love her. Motherhood is tough but she makes it worthwhile. I knew that things change when you have a baby, but I didn’t realise how much I would change. I’m not depressed, I just find myself missing my old life, not so much one without my baby, but I miss the old me. I feel embarrassed to talk about it because I really do love my daughter very much, and I don’t want people to think I am ungrateful. I just want the internal feeling of  pre-baby me back.

– Laura

 

In this episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV you will learn:

  • What is matrescence? Podcast [2.42], TV [2.12]

Matrescence is a word that not many people have heard of, but every parent must know. Because every mother goes through matrescence. 

Matrescence is the transition a woman goes through when she becomes a mother – physically, psychologically, emotionally, socially, spiritually…

  • What happens during matrescence – why do we not know about matrescence? Podcast [3.30], TV [3.00]

We don’t know about matrescence until it happens to us, because we don’t talk about it.

But we must. We must talk about it, especially to all pregnant women.

We are changed after having a baby – women are literally transformed after childbirth.

 

  • Is it normal to wonder what is going on with you after you’ve had a baby? Podcast [3.42], TV [3.12]

    Laura is not alone in feeling lost in motherhood. It is common to feel you have lost your identity.

    We ask ourselves who am I?

    Where did I go?

    Is this it?

 

  • Why we must focus on the mother after childbirth Podcast [5.18], TV [4.48]

The transition of matrescence is so phenomenal. Yet, after childbirth the focus shifts from the woman to the baby. Right when the mother needs the most support…

When a baby is born, so is a mother!

  • Find yourself in matrescence – How to use matrescence as a catalyst to create an amazing motherhood life for yourself

    We must be prepared for this personal transformation. We must create a plan, specific to us, for matrescence. Just like we do a birth plan. Because like birth, the postnatal period is a time of tremendous change.

 

Hit play below to hear the full episode.

 

I would love to hear from you

What insights did you have when you watched this episode?

How could these potentially change your motherhood experience and life?

Leave a comment below and tell us about it! Many mums come here to find support, and your experience or story may help one of them.

Who is one person that would benefit from watching this episode? – Share it with them through the icons at the top of this article 😉

 

SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and WIN

Be sure to subscribe to The Tough Mothers Podcast or Tough Mothers TV .

And YOU CAN WIN!

Leave a review for the podcast  or on my YouTube channel, as I draw a random reviewer each month to win an amazing Tough Mothers gift.

What is Q&A Wednesday

I love that I get a lot of questions from mums  and dads through email or on social media. Not only because I love answering them, but also because I love to support you and know what it is you would like to know.

In my experience a question that is asked by one mum is usually also a query by another mum. Which is why I created Q&A Wednesday – to share the answers (and you remain anonymous).

If you have any questions please comment below, or EMAIL ME.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Get all the motherhood support at our village.

Links mentioned in the episode

Our wonderful Tough Mothers Facebook group
https://www.facebook.com/TheMotherMentor

Dana Raphael – The Tender Gift : Breastfeeding
https://www.amazon.com/Tender-Gift-Breastfeeding-Dana-Raphael/dp/B004X3VEE6

Tough Mothers courses
https://www.ToughMothers.com/courses

Mental Health Support Services

If the topics in this episode are triggering for you, or if you feel you need support, please contact you doctor or local mental health line.

In Australia: www.healthdirect.gov.au
In New Zealand: www.mentalhealth.org.nz
In the USA: www.mhnational.org
In the UK : www.mind.org.uk
In Ireland: www2.hse.ie

In South Africa: www.safmh.org.za

If your country is not listed please search “Mental Health Line” in google in your country.

How to nourish yourself after having your baby

How to nourish yourself after having your baby

Photo of Rebecca Anderson

“We live in a society where our self-worth has become defined by what we look like”

Hands up if you want lose baby weight?
Or any weight for that matter?
Most mothers focus on bouncing back to their pre-baby weight or figure, at some stage after they have had a baby. But is this the right approach?

Internationally-recognised dietitian Rachael Wilson joins me in this episode to talk about how our bodies change when we have a baby, how we can learn to embrace our new figures, and how we should nourish ourselves to achieve optimum physical and mental health, not just to lose baby weight, but for a healthy motherhood life.

Rachael believes that we should throw out all the scales and measuring units, and instead focus on nourishing ourselves in a kind way – which leads to far better results.

How do you do this?

Rachael shares with us her tips to achieve this, and create a whole new, far better, relationship with our post-baby body.

In this episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV you will learn:

  • ✓ How to nourish yourself in a kind and caring way
  • ✓ The importance of self-compassion and accepting your new body
  • ✓ Why real health comes from the inside and how to access it
  • ✓ Intuitive and mindful eating for your own individual genetic makeup

 

The important take-aways from this episode are:

Statistics show 8 out 10 women feel bad about their bodies

  • You’ve carried a child, you’ve created a life! Your body will change  Podcast [5.30], TV [5.00]

This is a major part of matrescence and the transition a woman goes through when she becomes a mother.

Matrescence – the transition from woman to mother – is one of the most life-changing transitions a woman will ever go through. We are changed – physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually.

  • We must let go of the perception of being the perfect mother and having the perfect body. It is not real!  Podcast [7.10], TV [6.40]

In this day and age when we don’t have a village to support us like we used to. We try to do it all, and it is just not possible to do everything “perfectly”.

“Children need to see us being imperfect, because life isn’t perfect”

  • Rachael’s tips for nourishing yourself after having your baby  Podcast [8.50], TV [8.20]
  • Acknowledge the change is normal
  • Self-acceptance
  • Mindful self-compassion (check out Rachael’s guided mindful body self-compassion audio practice in the Mentions In This Episode at the bottom of this article)
  • Studies have shown DIETING DOES NOT WORK!  Podcast [10.55], TV [10.25]

Find out what you must do instead to have positive outcomes for our physical and mental wellbeing.

“There is so much focus on getting our bodies “back”, there should also be more focus on the mind during the postpartum period”

  • We need to re-train our brain to achieve optimum physical and mental health Podcast [13.26], TV [12.56]

TIP: Don’t focus on the negative, but ask yourself: what can I do for myself in this moment to make myself feel better.

  • Gratitude is important in rewiring our brain, to lead to more fulfillment Podcast [18.40], TV [18.10]

It is also important to change our thinking around situations. Instead of saying ‘I look fat in my bathing suit’, saying ‘I give myself and my body the gift of swimming in the sea’ has a much more beneficial effect on our brain.

Start rewiring your brain
Exercise: List 3 things you are grateful for about your body

  • Research shows, it is our health behaviours that make us healthy, not the numbers on the scales Podcast [23.40], TV [23.10]

Do you have the right behaviours that are healthy for you?

  • In motherhood, preparation is key for when hunger suddenly shows up Podcast [30.20], TV [29.50]

Rachael is kindly giving us access to her E-Book to help mums with this, for FREE. You can download it in Mentions In This Episode at the bottom of this article. Did I mention she is us giving to us for FREE? smile

I loved this interview with Rachael!
Her unique way to lose baby weight, no matter how long since you have had your baby, will no doubt benefit many mothers.

Let me know in the comments what you think. And if you have tried it, let me know how it worked for you.
It certainly made me re-evaluate my eating behaviours.

My KEY TAKEAWAY (no pun intended) FROM THIS EPISODE:
We must be kind and compassionate to ourselves – when we are kind to ourselves, our relationship with our bodies, and subsequently with food, is much better.

 

Hear the full episode. Simply click on your favourite podcast app below.

Or hit play and watch the full episode on YouTube.

I would love to hear from you

What insights did you have when you watched this episode?

How could these potentially change your motherhood experience and life?

Leave a comment below and tell us about it! Many mums come here to find support, and your experience or story may help one of them.

Who is one person that would benefit from watching this episode? – Share it with them through the icons at the top of this article 😉

SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and WIN

Be sure to subscribe to The Tough Mothers Podcast or Tough Mothers TV .

And YOU CAN WIN!

Leave a review for the podcast  or on my YouTube channel, as I draw a random reviewer each month to win an amazing Tough Mothers gift.

 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Get all the motherhood support at our village.

Mentions In This Episode

The photoshopped baby

Even babies are photoshopped these days!
Image supplied by Rachael Wilson

Photos of real post-baby bodies
https://www.jadebeall.com/index/

The Food Tree (be sure to also check out their awesome programs!)
https://www.thefoodtree.co

Download Rachael’s Gentle Nutrition For Mums E-Book FREE 
https://www.thefoodtree.co/gentle nutrition

Rachael’s wonderful guided mindfulness body self-compassion audio practice. It’s only 14 minutes long and totally worth the listen. Access it HERE.

Mental Health Support Services

If the topics in this episode are triggering for you, or if you feel you need support, please contact you doctor or local mental health line.

In Australia: www.healthdirect.gov.au
In New Zealand: www.mentalhealth.org.nz
In the USA: www.mhnational.org
In the UK : www.mind.org.uk
In Ireland: www2.hse.ie

In South Africa: www.safmh.org.za

If your country is not listed please search “Mental Health Line” in google in your country.

 

Want every episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV straight to your inbox before they are released?

How Tough Mothers came out of my own postnatal / postpartum breakdown

How Tough Mothers came out of my own postnatal / postpartum breakdown

Photo of Rebecca Anderson

“I didn’t realise that out of my crisis the greatest gift would come”

I was lying on the couch wrapped in blankets. It was December in Australia, so it was hot! Yet I was shivering; my anxiety had total control of me.

My third baby was only a couple of months old, and unlike with my first two, the transition into motherhood pulled the rug out from under me. Literally.

I never intended to become a matrescence (the transition a woman goes through when she becomes a mother) and motherhood specialist. However, after I recovered from my postnatal / postpartum breakdown, I knew:

“If my strategy could help me, it could help other mothers”

And it has.

Tough Mothers and its courses were created to help mothers who, during matrescence, feel like the rug has been pulled out from under them.

Matrescence – the transition from woman to mother – is one of the most life-changing transitions a woman will ever go through.
We are changed – physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually.

We are literally transformed. And we can use these changes, with some simple strategies, to create the life we desire, and become the woman (and mother) we have always wanted to be.

In this episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV you will learn:

  • ✓ How gifts come out of struggles. Even when we think the struggle is a curse.
  • ✓ The importance of learning about ourselves and our own brain
  • ✓ How you can help yourself in motherhood

“The brain controls everything. We must be in charge of our brain and mind. Otherwise life will run off on us”

 

The important take-aways from this episode are:

  • Birth does not always go to plan  Podcast [5.20], TV [4.50]

It is important to have an ideal birth plan. However, it is more important to be flexible, as childbirth rarely goes to plan.

  • You don’t know when the motherhood transition will knock you off your feet  Podcast [13.32], TV [13.02]

You can experience psychological challenges that come with motherhood at any stage in motherhood – it could be with your first baby or it could be with your last (like it was with me).

The manifestation of the transition into motherhood is probably different; but the transition is the same for every mother

  • You must have tools going into motherhood Podcast [16.40], TV [16.10]

The intricacies of the tools each mother must take into, and through, matrescence with her are individual. However, the tools themselves are the same.
These include:

  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • A good support network
  • Sound knowledge of your brain and mind – and tools of how to influence them. The Tough Mothers courses can help you with this 
  • Work with an expert who can help you delve deep into your neuroscience and psychology, so you gain insight into yourself
  • If you are stuck in life, you must look elsewhere for solutions.  Podcast [23.13], TV [22.43]

You must open your mind to new ideas and possibilities.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results” – Anon

  • The importance of inner work and mindfulness in our life Podcast [25.30], TV [25.00]

The key to inner peace is inner work. There is no shortcut or hack. The quicker we find our direction to what we need to do to become the person we want to be, the sooner we will feel contentment.

  • Meditation – why we all should meditate every day Podcast [25.30], TV [25.00]

The scientific evidence behind the benefits of meditation are phenomenal. As a parent having a calm mind is imperative for a calm motherhood life. But it doesn’t just lead to calm, meditation also changes the brain for the better.

I have tried several forms of meditation but found Vedic meditation to be the best for my life because it is quick, effortless and noticeably transformative. Learn about the course I did HERE.

  • As a mother you have to prioritise yourself – you have to be at the top of your pyramid Podcast [25.30], TV [25.00]

“If you imagine a champagne glass tower, where champagne glasses are stacked on top of each other. If the top glass (you!) isn’t full of champagne, nothing can trickle into the other glasses beneath it (your kids, your family, the rest of your life etc).”

  • Because matrescence changes us, and our brain, we need to have a plan for ourselves during matrescence. Podcast [33.20], TV [32.50]

This plan must consist of tools and strategies specifically to the individual mother.

“Tough Mothers came about because I realised that we are sent into this massive life-changing transition of matrescence without a plan. And we really need a plan for ourselves in motherhood.”

  • The tools and strategies we choose for ourselves rewire our brain Podcast [37.50], TV [37.20]

Our brains are individually shaped and wired due to our experiences and our actions – in the present and in the past. Tough Mothers takes your unique make up (your ingredients in your pantry) and helps you create an individual recipe just for you to bake your perfect cake, i.e. create the life you want to live.

“You must not lose yourself in motherhood – you have to make yourself comfortable in your new role.”

In future episodes, Marcus and I will be delving into the practical tools and strategies you can use, so be sure to listen and watch upcoming episodes. Or even better, REGISTER TODAY to receive each new episode straight into your inbox

Hear the full episode. Simply click on your favourite podcast app.

Or hit play and watch the full episode on YouTube.

I would love to hear from you

What insights did you have when you watched this episode?

How could these potentially change your motherhood experience and life?

Leave a comment below and tell us about it! Many mums come here to find support, and your experience or story may help one of them.

Who is one person that would benefit from watching this episode? – Share it with them through the icons at the top of this article 😉

SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and WIN

Be sure to subscribe to The Tough Mothers Podcast or Tough Mothers TV .

And YOU CAN WIN!

Leave a review for the podcast  or on my YouTube channel, as I draw a random reviewer each month to win an amazing Tough Mothers gift.

 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Get all the motherhood support at our village.

Mentions in this episode

The book: I Wish Someone Had Told Me… – unspoken truths about what really happens to women during labour, childbirth and the first few weeks of motherhood
https://www.ToughMothers.com/books

Faster Deeper Bliss – 21 day meditation course with Tom Cronin
https://www.ToughMothers.com/meditation

Tough Mothers Courses
https://www.ToughMothers.com/courses

Thich Nhat Hanh – Living Without Stress and Fear CD set
https://www.plumvillage.org/about/thich-nhat-hanh

Champagne glass tower image courtesy of A Beautiful Mess
https://abeautifulmess.com/how-to-build-a-champagne-tower/ 

Mental Health Support Services

If the topics in this episode are triggering for you, or if you feel you need support, please contact you doctor or local mental health line.

In Australia: www.healthdirect.gov.au
In New Zealand: www.mentalhealth.org.nz
In the USA: www.mhnational.org
In the UK : www.mind.org.uk
In Ireland: www2.hse.ie

In South Africa: www.safmh.org.za

If your country is not listed please search “Mental Health Line” in google in your country.

 

Want every episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV straight to your inbox before they are released?

When postnatal / postpartum depression hijacks your motherhood plans

When postnatal / postpartum depression hijacks your motherhood plans

Photo of Rebecca Anderson

“I didn’t want my son to have a meltdown when I was out because I didn’t know if I could handle it”

Unlike most of us, Rebecca Anderson was prepared for postpartum depression. She had struggled with depression most of her life. So, when she fell pregnant with her first baby she put in place mental health measures that most mums don’t even think about.

“I thought I had everything planned out, if things were to go south with my mental health again”

However, postnatal depression was nothing like she had experienced before.

“It was completely different to what I experienced for the 15 years prior to becoming a mum”

In this episode Bec shares with us her story of deep depression and anxiety, and how she attempted to take her own life. She shares how her depression has affected her motherhood journey, and techniques she uses along the way to help support herself.

Bec is a wonderful, bubbly woman. You wouldn’t know she experiences depression by looking at her, or talking to her. Which is why this episode is so important.

Often mums (and dads) can suffer depression after having a baby, but are too afraid to ask for help.

 

In this episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV you will learn:

  • ✓ Why it is so critical to speak up if you are not feeling OK
  • ✓ How common it actually is to struggle in motherhood
  • ✓ What you can do about it

 

The important take-aways from this episode are:

  • Postpartum depression and anxiety can be different to any other depression you have experienced before  Podcast [3.48], TV [3.18]
  • Know your triggers  Podcast [8.08], TV [7.38]

If you know what will trigger you to spiral, you can actively avoid those things as well as put in place strategies for what to do when you are triggered.

  • Have outlets / releases Podcast [9.22], TV [8.52]

Whether it is exercise, socialising, writing, reading or me-time. Know what works for you to let you take a breath and step away from your situation.

Outlets are imperative in motherhood

  • Breastfeeding can be really hard Podcast [11.30], TV [11.00]

If you want to breastfeed your baby, please remember that breastfeeding can come with its own challenges. Be realistic that it might be harder than you think. Don’t put pressure on yourself. You, and your mental health, are also important in your breastfeeding journey. There is nothing wrong with formula, if it means both you and your baby thrive.

“As soon as he went on formula, I felt I was 20kg lighter.”

  • One of the leading triggers of postpartum depression is that mothers have high expectations of themselves Podcast [11.30], TV [11.00]

We must take the time to set realistic expectations for our motherhood life. Ones that are specific to us, our family and our biology.
The Tough Mothers Motherhood Preparation course helps you plan this.

  • The most important question that needs to be asked in motherhood Podcast [16.47], TV [16.17]

Please ask it often. Out loud and in your head.

  • Struggling in motherhood is more common than you think Podcast [16.47], TV [16.17]

You are not alone. That’s why it is so important to share your truth and your story with other mothers. You never know what someone is going through until you speak to them. talking can help you, and them.

“Every mum has something going on in her life that she doesn’t talk about.”

  • The importance of building up a support network before your baby is born Podcast [24.11], TV [23.41]

It takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to raise a mother. Please look at creating your village before your baby is due.

  • How to ask for help when you are afraid or feel you are not “bad enough” – and why this is so important Podcast [24.55], TV [24.25]

There is no such thing as “bad enough”. If you are not feeling OK please ask for help.

  • Dads can struggle during the postpartum period too Podcast [28.18], TV [27.48]

Around one in ten men will experience postnatal depression. We must keep an eye on them, and encourage them to speak up.

  • Techniques that worked for Bec during her postnatal period Podcast [30.53], TV [30.23]

Create your own toolkit of techniques that help you when you are not feeling ok. It is best to create these strategies when you are in an good state of mind. The Tough Mothers Motherhood Preparation course can help you with this.

  • What Bec wants every mum to know Podcast [38.55], TV [38.25]

Motherhood struggles can make women stronger and more confident. Be kind to yourself and others

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Mentions in this episode

The book: I Wish Someone Had Told Me… – unspoken truths about what really happens to women during labour, childbirth and the first few weeks of motherhood
https://www.ToughMothers.com/books

Gidget Foundation Australia
https://www.gidgetfoundation.org.au

Mental Health Support Services

If the topics in this episode are triggering for you, or if you feel you need support, please contact you doctor or local mental health line.

In Australia: www.healthdirect.gov.au
In New Zealand: www.mentalhealth.org.nz
In the USA: www.mhnational.org
In the UK : www.mind.org.uk
In Ireland: www2.hse.ie

In South Africa: www.safmh.org.za

If your country is not listed please search “Mental Health Line” in google in your country.

 

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My baby was 10 days old when he vomited bright yellow milk – he could have died

My baby was 10 days old when he vomited bright yellow milk – he could have died

Exercise 5 - Talk

It is still really hard for me to look at this photo.
Two paediatricins has juts spent an hour trying to find a vein in my baby’s tiny hand for the i.v.

At just 10 days old my baby was rushed to the Sydney Children’s Hospital, by ambulance. It was the worst day of my life.

On his tenth day in the world, our very placid little boy, who rarely cried and was content to just feed, cuddle and sleep, suddenly projectile vomited bright yellow milk (and I mean like highlighter fluorescent yellow). We were all about to go to bed, and it was a while after his last feed, so to say we were startled is an understatement. His vomit was so intense and bright it could have been a scene from a horror movie.

“Take him to emergency immediately”

In my sleep-deprived state (aside from our baby’s newborn feeding schedule, his 21-month old brother decided this was a good time to form an intense relationship with his dummy/pacifier i.e. we were re-plugging it about 12 times a night!), I called the health line. Yes, in hindsight I should have taken him straight to emergency, but I didn’t. I am not going to change the story just so I seem like a more together mother; I am under no illusion.

The nurse on the phone didn’t even need me to finish describing the events before she said: this could be very serious. Please take him to emergency immediately.

I left Hubs at home on dummy re-plugging duty and drove my baby to the local emergency department. It was nearly eight years ago but I remember the trip like it was yesterday. Even just writing about it brings back the sick feeling deep in my gut.

We didn’t spend much time at our local hospital. The words “bright yellow projectile vomit” set off the same alarm bells there as with the health line nurse. Before I knew it, my baby was in an ambulance being rushed to the Sydney Children’s Hospital.

It was surreal.

 

The sick feeling deep in my gut suddenly got worse

Not only was this obviously really, really serious but I couldn’t even go in the ambulance with my baby because I wasn’t allowed to leave my car at the local hospital.

There are no words to describe the feeling of following an ambulance that has your potentially very sick 10-day-old baby on board. I hope you never have to find out.

The Children’s Hospital staff were amazing. In no time my baby was hooked up to all sorts of machines to monitor him. However, they couldn’t find a vein in his tiny body for the i.v. After several attempts, two paediatricians contemplated sticking the i.v. in my baby’s head!

I felt like I was in a dream. I couldn’t touch him, so I tried to comfort him with my voice.

He was crying and I could not do anything. It was heartbreaking. I was beside myself and I remember trying so hard to keep it together.

 

We need to operate immediately or he could die

At some stage a nurse brought me a hospital-grade breast pump. While I was pumping away, next to my lethargic baby (in full-view of the whole emergency department – all shame disappears in a crisis) she sat with me and wiped tears from my cheeks with a tissue. She told me gently that because of the colour of his vomit they suspected my baby might have a twisted bowel. They would perform tests but if their suspicions were correct, there was a chance that his intestines could be compromised already.

If they didn’t operate immediately he could die.

iI don’t remember much of what happened next. Except for the cold, dark room where they X-rayed my baby’s tummy after they injected hm with a special dye. I also remember waiting for what seemed like an eternity for the results. All the while my baby was just lying there hooked up to machines and I couldn’t touch him.

We had been away from home for over 24 hours when the news came. His bowel was fine. I felt a lot of things then but nothing greater than the urge to hold my baby. They disconnected him from the machines and I hugged him so tight I think I nearly squashed the tiny, fragile body I couldn’t touch for so long.

 

Not everyone is as lucky as we were

A few months later I received a call from my mum. Alexander, the young baby of a family friend was also projectile vomiting bright yellow milk. His family were going through everything we went through. Something I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.

Sadly, Baby Alexander’s bowel was twisted. He was very unwell and tragically died.

We still don’t know the reason behind my baby’s yellow projectile vomit, but to be honest I don’t care. I still get to hug my boy daily, something Baby Alexander’s mum will never do again.

I hope by sharing this story even one family will recognise the symptoms in time to save their precious bub’s life.

This article is originally published in babyology.com.au

My book I Wish Someone Had Told Me… – Unspoken truths about what really happens to women during labour, childbirth and the first few weeks of motherhood 
is available NOW. As a special thanks, I have created a sneak peek into the inside of the book for you to enjoy.