Episode #11: When birth goes off the rails – “I Wish Someone Had Told Me…”

Episode #11: When birth goes off the rails – “I Wish Someone Had Told Me…”

When childbirth goes off the rails: "I wish someone had told me..."

“My baby would have died. We both would have died”

Yay, 2020 is almost done!

Pat yourself on the back. Go on, please do it!
We have achieved an incredible task – parenting through a pandemic. Not that it is all over, but I think we need to celebrate what we have achieved so far. Which is nothing short of amazing! ❤️

Personally, it has been one of the most challenging years of motherhood. And at the same time, one of the most rewarding. My kids and I pushed each other’s buttons, yet connected on a newer, deeper level. Like with all people, when you go through something as lifechanging as a pandemic together, your relationship is changed forever.

What a year!

The end of this year also marks my 10-year anniversary of being a mum.
Today 10 years ago my eldest baby made his spectacular entry into the world (that’s him in the header picture. Just a couple of hours old). And it really was spectacular in every sense of the word. We were not prepared for anything that happened during his “unconventional” birth.

In honour of all the amazing mums who have shared their journeys and experiences on The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV this year, I would like to share with you his birth story in this episode  The unconventional, unexpected, unheard-of birth that started my journey to write I Wish Someone Had Told Me – unspoken truths about what really happens to women during labour, childbirth and the first few weeks of motherhood.
Because “I Wish Someone Had Told Me…” were literally the first words I uttered after my big boy was born – I’m talking 4.2kg big!

But first a little gift for you

WANT TO KNOW THE TOP 7 THINGS FROM THE BOOK MUMS WISH THEY KNEW BEFORE HAVING THEIR BABY?

To hear the full episode, simply click on your favourite podcast app below.

Or hit play and watch the full episode on YouTube.

When your mind is not your own – one mother bravely shares her experience with postpartum psychosis

MY CHRISTMAS GIFT TO YOU

Apply coupon code PODCAST at checkout to receive 20% OFF your signed copy of I Wish Someone Had Told Me…

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

  • ✓ Childbirth does not always go the way you plan
  • ✓  Trust your yourself – you know what your body and your baby need
  • ✓  Be flexible with your birth plan; do what is best for you and your baby.
  • ✓  You are not alone! Many mums utter the words I Wish Someone Had Told Me… during childbirth and motherhood

I hope you have the most amazing holiday period with your loved ones. I wish you much peace, good health and calm.

Please remember, you are braver than you think, you are more resilient than you know, and you are tougher than you believe.

See you in 2021.

Love,

I would love to hear from you

What insights did you have when you watched this episode?

Leave a comment below and tell us about it!

Many mums come here to find support, and your experience could help them.

Who is one person that would benefit from hearing 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 .

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 your motherhood support at our FREE online village.

Mentions In This Episode

Learn more about the Tough Mothers courses to prepare yourself for motherhood HERE

Purchase I Wish Someone Had Told Me – unspoken truths about what really happens to women during labour, childbirth and the first few weeks of motherhood today and get 20% off.
Simply enter PODCAST in the coupon code at checkout.

 

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 as soon they are released?

Episode #10: Finding Your Voice In Motherhood

Episode #10: Finding Your Voice In Motherhood

When your mind is not your own – one mother bravely shares her experience with postpartum psychosis

“I thought my children wouldn’t change my life very much…”

When Kate Ryan, a successful business woman, became pregnant for the first time, she thought once her twins were born her life wouldn’t change very much. Kate is the first to admit, this is definitely not the case.

In this episode, Kate tells us about her surprise of learning she was having twins, how bringing her babies home changed her life, and how becoming a mother changed her.

Kate very beautifully shares her experience of transitioning into motherhood (a transition all mothers can relate to) and how through her challenges she found her voice as a mum and a woman.

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

  • ✓ You are not alone if you feel you don’t know what you are doing in motherhood.
  • ✓  The importance of trust in yourself and others.
  • ✓  Simple, actionable steps to help with overwhelm during the transition into motherhood.
  • ✓  About your own rebirth when you have a baby.
  • ✓  Advice for new twin mums and mums expecting twins.

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

Or hit play and watch the full episode on YouTube.

When your mind is not your own – one mother bravely shares her experience with postpartum psychosis
The important take-aways from this episode are:
  • Nobody knows what they are doing when they first have a baby. It can be challenging. But there are ways that you can prepare yourself. It is important to make preparing yourself a priority. This includes learning how to speak up for yourself and your baby Podcast [12.15], TV [11.45]

The Tough Mothers courses specialise in preparing women for motherhood.

  • Thinking what it will be like having your baby at home and actually having baby at home, are two different things. And that is OK. While women often feel that they don’t know anything about babies and motherhood, nothing could be further from the truth Podcast [13.00], TV [12.30]

“All we need to know is inside ourselves, we just haven’t tapped into it yet”

  • The transition to becoming a mother is huge! You can get overwhelmed by the enormity of it. You will ask yourself: how can I do this? But you will do it. Podcast [16.35], TV [16.05]

In today’s episode you will learn simple, actionable steps to handle the overwhelm of bringing your baby home.
These can also be used throughout motherhood.

“Inch by inch, life’s a cinch; yard, by yard, life’s too hard – John Bytheway”

  • There is a common downfall amongst mothers, that Kate experienced too. Thinking: I am the only person that can care for my baby Podcast [18.13], TV [17.43]

Learn why this is a dangerous mindset, how you can break this thinking, and what you will gain when you let others help care for your baby.

  • When you have a baby, you are instantly different. You become a different person, your priorities change, everything changes Podcast [21.00], TV [20.30]

“I realize that having children can change your life – and that’s not a bad thing. It’s a good thing!”

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.

  • When a baby is born, a mother is born– “it’s me, but it’s a new me” Podcast [21.00], TV [20.30]

“Having a baby is really like a rebirth!”

  • The two main things Kate would do, and prioritise, if she had her newborn time again Podcast [25.15], TV [24.45].

“Trust your intuition, trust the people around you, and trust yourself to advocate for yourself and your children, because they can’t advocate for themselves.”

  • Kate’s tips for new twin mums or women expecting twins Podcast [35.00], TV [34.30]

“My children helped me find my voice” 

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

  • Learn more about the Tough Mothers courses to prepare yourself for motherhood HERE


About our guest:

Kate Ryan is a family photographer based in the Waikato in New Zealand. She loves to celebrate the joy, connection and “right now” moments of family life. As well as stopping time for a moment in beautiful family photos, she also helps parents tell the story of their family through their own everyday photos, and shows them how to create a living heirloom for their families, build on their family connection and use this process to be present and mindful in the moments that matter. Kate’s signature course, Memory Vault, will show you how.

Check it out at www.ryansdaughterphotography.co.nz or find Kate on Facebook and Instagram

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 as soon they are released?

Episode #9: When your mind is not your own – One mother bravely shares her experience with Postpartum Psychosis

Episode #9: When your mind is not your own – One mother bravely shares her experience with Postpartum Psychosis

When your mind is not your own – one mother bravely shares her experience with postpartum psychosis

“I felt that my daughter wasn’t actually my daughter”

Right off the bat, I want to let you know that the conversation in this episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV is different.

On this program we talk about many topics that are taboo, but postpartum/ postnatal psychosis is something we really don’t talk about.

Today Liz, a mum of boy-girl twins, and GP, is going to change that.

Liz very bravely shares with us her experience with postpartum psychosis after her children were born. She delves deep into how it felt and looked for her and why she had to manage her two years of psychosis alone.

I feel incredibly privileged to bring you this conversation. Not only because it is very personal for Liz, but because it gives us a first-hand insight into the mental health struggles mothers can experience, and so often don’t talk about.

I hope we can all take from Liz’s story the reminder that we must look out for ourselves and each other during motherhood. Always.

Please keep asking mothers if they are ok – some mums’ struggles are so internal that we have no idea what is going on inside them.

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

  • ✓ Learn about postpartum/ postnatal psychosis and how it can manifest.
  • ✓  Be intimately privy to Liz’s thoughts and feelings during this time.
  • ✓  Discover how to support yourself if you are experiencing postpartum mental health concerns.
  • ✓  Understand how to ask for help, and help others.

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

Or hit play and watch the full episode on YouTube.

When your mind is not your own – one mother bravely shares her experience with postpartum psychosis
The important take-aways from this episode are:
  • Just because you wanted to a baby doesn’t mean you MUST love being pregnant, or enjoy it Podcast [10.20], TV [9.50]

There is no right way to be or feel during pregnancy. It is what it is for you, and you feel how you feel. And that is OK.

“It is ok to speak up about how you feel in pregnancy, even if it is not what society wants you to say”

  • Ensure you find professionals during pregnancy and motherhood that have your best interests at heart, and truly hear you and your needs Podcast [6.56], TV [6.26]

If the professional you are seeing does not resonate with you, or has different values or beliefs, PLEASE find someone new.

“She said: It was my own fault I had postnatal depression”

  • Mental health is as important (if not more important!) as physical health Podcast [13.13], TV [12.43]
  • Liz felt a slight onset of postpartum psychosis almost as soon as she brought her children home Podcast [18.10], TV [17.40]

“I still loved my daughter… I had very mixed feelings in me”

Psychosis is defined as losing touch with reality.

Postpartum psychosis is: a severe mental illness. It usually starts within the first 2-4 weeks after having a baby. Symptoms vary, and can change. They can include high mood, depression, confusion, irritability, decreased need for sleep, hallucinations and delusions. There are very effective treatments available.

Postpartum psychosis is not: a mother who has become crazy or “psycho”. Or is running around the streets wielding a knife, or any other such nonsense.

  • You don’t have to be in the grips of psychosis to have thoughts about harming your baby Podcast [23.10], TV [22.40]

Many mothers can relate to fleeting thoughts about doing something that will just “stop the noise”, but would never act on it.

  • Sometimes pharmaceutical medication is the first thing you need to get you on a path to wellness Podcast [24.30], TV [24.00

There is incredible stigma associated with pharmaceutical medications in motherhood. However, in situations like Liz’s, and other severe cases, finding a suitable medication is an excellent first step. If the mother is OK with it.

“Suddenly everything changed. It was like a magic pill”

  • The importance of speaking up and sharing your thoughts and feelings with family, friends or professionals Podcast [27.25], TV [26.55]

Speaking up is a major part in supporting yourself through your motherhood journey, and also to allow others to support you.

“I really wish I had told someone about it years ago”

  • Liz shares her advice for mothers who may be struggling with abnormal thinking or feelings they don’t want to share with anyone Podcast [31.50], TV [31.20]

Liz tells us how she brings up the topic in her practice with mothers who are struggling. And how this is a way anyone can bring up a topic with mothers too.

liz-harding-holding-baby

  • Liz reveals her silver linings of going through her difficult time Podcast [34.40], TV [34.10]

Hint: there are many!

  • We must start motherhood conversations. We must be the first to say how we truly feel Podcast [37.59], TV [37.29]

We must squash the taboo around mental health in motherhood.

“We are afraid that our thoughts and feelings will label us as a bad mother”

If you have concerns about your mental health, or are just not feeling yourself, please speak up.
Please please please!

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

For neuropsychological support to thrive in motherhood check out Dr Jen’s personalised courses.

Liz is a keen and very accomplished long-distance runner. Our conversation started on a long training run and I am so honoured Liz shared her story with me, and now with you.

Starting conversations about our journeys in, and through, motherhood are of utmost importance to squash the motherhood taboos, and support each other.
Thank you, Liz!

 

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 as soon they are released?

Episode #8: Who am I now? – Your new identity in motherhood

Episode #8: Who am I now? – Your new identity in motherhood

Who am I now? – Your new identity in motherhood

“Losing myself [in motherhood] was my big thing – where had I gone, who was I now, why did nobody see me for who I was anymore?”

We’re shouting matrescence from the rooftops!

After starting the matrescence conversation in episode 4 of The Tough Mothers Podcast and TV, I had so many emails from mums saying they loved it and wanted to hear more about this topic (you can re-listen to the original matrescence episode HERE).

So, in today’s episode I bring you the matrescence marvel Linda Anderson. Linda is a life coach whose focus is on mothers during their matrescence transition, including their identity in motherhood. She is as obsessed with matrescence as I am, so together we are going to shout it from the rooftops!

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, socially and spiritually.

Becoming a mother is an exciting time!
So much happens to us as women – some things we are prepared for, but most things we are not.

Matrescence is a time of great change. Sadly, we are still not speaking about this transformation as often and openly as we should. Consequently, women are caught off-guard by motherhood. They feel there is something wrong with them, when really it is just matrescence.

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

  • ✓ What matrescence is, and how it is viewed in society.
  • ✓  Answer the question: who am I now I am a mother?
  • ✓  Why we must talk about matrescence openly with mums before they have their baby.
  • ✓  The things you must know to navigate the split that comes with matrescence

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

Or hit play and watch the full episode on YouTube.

Who am I now? – Your new identity in motherhood Youtube
The important take-aways from this episode are:
  • Matrescence happens to every woman when she becomes a mother. Yet, because we are all unique – biologically, physiologically and psychologically (just to name a few) – our experiences of matrescence are unique  Podcast [3.30], TV [3.00]

“I thought it was just me. I thought there was something wrong with me”

  • It is important to normalize the conversation around matrescence. It needs to become part of our everyday conversation. Not just for mothers, but every person should know what matrescence is. So, we can better support women as they become mothers  Podcast [5.38], TV [5.08]
  • Society tells us to “suck it up”. Just carry on like you did before, but now with a baby. Yet we are transformed.
    It’s like we have been denied the transition
     Podcast [7.15], TV [6.45]

We are setting women up with this false expectation of what motherhood is and what it will be.

  • Matrescence is similar to adolescence in its transformation. However, unlike adolescence, matrescence is not finite. It is an evolution within us  Podcast [6.56], TV [6.26]

“The world is letting us down: we need to speak about this massive experience”

  • The motherhood split!
    There is a feeling of being split in two when we become mothers – one half has gone into motherhood and the other half is the pre-baby us.
    This split feeling can carry on through life.
    Linda shares tips on how to deal with this split and relieve the disconnect and yearning of the “old me”
     Podcast [12.48], TV [12.18]
  • How to embrace our new life, and let it be what it is. The importance of striving for doing rather than doing it perfectly  Podcast [15.35], TV [15.05]
  • Matrescence is a real thing!
    Women need to be educated so they know about matrescence and don’t feel like they are alone in their experiences 
    Podcast [18.30], TV [18.00]

Knowing about matrescence offers women a language to express themselves

  • Why are we not talking about matrescence?
    What might be different in our life, and our experience as a mother, if we had the knowledge of matrescence before we have our babies?
     Podcast [19.38], TV [19.08]
  • Linda shares her tips on how to best prepare yourself for matrescence. (Make sure you also check out the links to Linda’s blog in MENTIONS IN THIS EPISODE for more tips)  Podcast [19.38], TV [19.08].23.50

“If you are struggling, don’t silence it. There is nothing wrong with you, please just reach out!”

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

1. Order Dr Jen’s 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

2. Watch or listen to the original episode on matrescence that sparked this conversation here

3. Find out more about Linda Anderson aka Linda On The Go www.LindaOnTheGo.com

4. Read Linda’s blog about matrescence for more tips here

Linda Anderson

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 as soon they are released?

Episode #7: Subconscious negative thoughts in motherhood: what they are, where they are, and how you can change them TODAY

Episode #7: Subconscious negative thoughts in motherhood: what they are, where they are, and how you can change them TODAY

Photo of Rebecca Anderson

“Our thoughts lie to us – we must remember that!”

As we go through matrescence – the transition from woman to mother – there are times when we will be plagued by negative thoughts.
For example: what if my baby stops breathing in the night?
Or: I should get the kids off their devices and outside more.
Or: I am a bad mother!

These thoughts will come.
However, we must be aware that they are there. Otherwise we give our subconscious negative thoughts the power to ruin our lives.

How do we prevent this?
We must take control of our mind, and thereby change our brain.

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

  • ✓ Our constant internal chatter dictates the quality of our life
  • ✓  What subconscious negative thoughts are
  • ✓  To identify your true thoughts – fact vs fiction
  • ✓  How subconscious negative thinking is destructive
  • ✓  The 5 evidence-based steps you can take today to change your subconscious negative thoughts

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

Or hit play and watch the full episode on YouTube.

The struggles and triumphs of pregnancy and motherhood in a foreign country
The important take-aways from this episode are:
  • We all have subconscious thoughts  Podcast [3.27], TV [2.57]

“Subconscious thoughts, our internal chatter, is always there, which is why it is so important that what we are telling ourselves is not negative”

  • In motherhood, and during matrescence, there are neurochemical changes in the brain which make subconscious negative thinking more prevalent Podcast [4.20], TV [3.50]

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.

  • Learn to be curious and discerning about your thoughts – find the fact from fiction Podcast [5.50], TV [5.20]

“Our thoughts lie to us ALL THE TIME!”

NB. By all the time I of course do not mean EVERY TIME!

  • Subconscious negative thoughts are extremely destructive. Apart from the obvious, there are 3 main reasons why Podcast 6.37], TV [6.07]
  • For the same reasons, subconscious positive thinking is so beneficial Podcast [8.17], TV [7.43]
  • You can start to change your subconscious negative thinking TODAY, with 5 simple evidence-based steps Podcast [8.50], TV [8.20]

“We must eliminate subconscious negative thinking as much as possible for a healthy life”

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

1. You can purchase a copy of my book which Jackie T won
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

2. For neuropsychological support with your subconscious negative thoughts, and motherhood and matrescence head to https://www.ToughMothers.com/courses

3. Learn more about Dr Jennifer Hacker Pearson PhD
https://www.ToughMothers.com/about

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 as soon they are released?

Episode #6: The struggles and triumphs of pregnancy and motherhood in a foreign country

Episode #6: The struggles and triumphs of pregnancy and motherhood in a foreign country

Photo of Rebecca Anderson

“I didn’t realise what I was leaving behind”

Lydia Nicholson had all the support a mother could ask for when she had her first baby. Although her birth was traumatic – as first births so often are – she was surrounded by family, friends and a tight and incredibly supportive mothers group. She felt held, understood and supported.

When she was six months pregnant with her second baby Lydia, her husband and their 15 month-old moved to Paris, France, for her husband’s work. Ooh là là!
Sounds glamorous, doesn’t it?

It wasn’t.

In this episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV Lydia shares with us the challenges of giving birth and raising children in a foreign, non-English speaking, country. How her experience shaped her and changed her, and how she used her isolation and loneliness to go inwards to get to know herself and find what she needed, and how this allowed her to grow as a woman and mother.

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

  • ✓ The importance of resourcefulness – what to create for yourself if you are having/raising your baby away from your support network
  • ✓  Tips on how to combat sadness and loneliness in a foreign country
  • ✓  How to look for the silver lining in every cloud
  • ✓  The importance of meeting your own needs as a mother

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

Or hit play and watch the full episode on YouTube.

The struggles and triumphs of pregnancy and motherhood in a foreign country
The important take-aways from this episode are:

“It was really hard”

  • It is important to recognise our gifts in the present  Podcast [9.37], TV [9.07]
  • When you are pregnant and arrive in another country, you are not in their computer system. So, there are no notices that prompt you in regard to your pregnancy. It will always be in their language, and things are done differently Podcast [17.32], TV [17.02]

“That was the tipping point for me. I said: that’s it I’m going home”

  • Having a baby in another country is very different to having your baby at home – different health system, no family or support network, little to no knowledge of the language, no mothers group – the loneliness in comparison to having your baby at home is immense. Podcast [21.10], TV [20.40]

“I remember sitting at my dining room table breast-feeding my baby and having a woman over who was teaching me French at the same time”

  • Lydia’s advice for the early days: You must become resourceful when resources don’t come to you. Re-create what you desire, or what you left behind. Podcast [22.12], TV [21.42]
  • Become really observant. This leads to mindfulness and living in the present which allows you to tap into what you need, and can lift your mood. Podcast [23.10], TV [22.40]
  • Don’t underestimate the power of nature and getting into nature. Podcast [26.02], TV [25.32]

Studies have shown that time in nature can reduce depression1 and anxiety2, and can increase general wellbeing and self-esteem3 (References 1,2 and 3 below in Mentions in This Episode)

  • • You must actively go out there and find your people, your tribe, that can support and hold you as you go through matrescence. Podcast [27.31], TV [27.01]

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.

  • Lydia’s tips for women who feel motherhood is challenging, and they are not coping, especially if they are abroad.   Podcast [30.13], TV [29.43]

“Give yourself the credit that whatever it is you are doing, is coping”

  • Put yourself first – never apologise for having your own needs. It is through our needs being met, and our cups being filled, that we become better mothers to our children. Podcast [33.42], TV [33.12]

“Ask yourself: what do I need right now?”

  • It wasn’t all bad! There is a positive in everything, you just have to look for it. Podcast [34.49], TV [34.19]

“Growth, strength and determination comes out of situations like this”

  • Listen to your heart, not your head (or the chatter of other people). Follow your intuition and be kind to yourself. Podcast [40.31], TV [40.01]

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.

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Mentions In This Episode

1. Berman, M.G. et al. (2012) Interacting with nature improves cognition and affect for individuals with depression. J Affect Disord 140(3):300-5.

2. Mackay, G.J & Neill, J.T. (2010) The effect of “green exercise” on state anxiety and the role of exercise duration, intensity, and greenness: A quasi-experimental study. Psychol Sport Exerc 11(3):238-45.

3. Barton, J., Griffin, M. & Pretty, J. (2012) Exercise-, nature- and socially interactive-based initiatives improve mood and self-esteem in the clinical population. Perspect Public Health 132(2):89-96

Credit to oxygen mask image: https://havingitaltblog.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/201569attach-your-own-oxygen-mask-first/

lydia nicholson

You can make an appointment with Lydia Nicholson for therapy at her clinic: https://www.TherapySpace.co.nz/LydiaNicholson
Or find her on social media: https://www.facebook.com/LydiaNicholsonTherapy
.

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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