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This is Why We Need #BetterPostnatalCare

Recently Mumsnet launched their Aftercare Not Afterthought campaign, focusing on the need for improvements in postnatal care for women in England. Regular readers will know that campaigning for improvements to maternity services has long been my passion, and hopefully you also know that it has never been about attacking health care workers. Please understand that. It is about making changes, making improvements and inspiring better conditions for all. For women and families. For midwives. For babies. The Mumsnet campaign is important because it looks at an area many of us tend to gloss over when it comes to the business of having a baby. Pregnancy and birth are, of course, central to maternity services, but lets not forget that what happens in the first few days after birth is critical when it comes to maternal mental health and wellbeing, This is my story. This is why we need #betterpostnatalcare.

Luka's birth story~ Ghostwritermummy.co.ukHe was born at 6.45 on a frosty December evening, just six minutes after the surgeon put his knife to my skin. He was taken away, forced to breathe and urged to scream. He was cleaned, he was dressed, he was wrapped in a blanket. When I woke up, he was in his father’s arms and a complete stranger to me. This was surely NOT the baby I had carried for 41 weeks and 2 days. This was NOT the baby I had felt kick and roll and turn through all those weeks. This was NOT what I had imagined at all. And yet it was my reality. (more…)

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Think Toddler Sized: Feed My Little Pal!

Think Toddler Portions: Feed My Little Pal_Ghostwritermummy.co.ukMealtimes at our house can be a fairly stressful affair at the best of times. I know the kids need a balanced and healthy diet, but when you have one child who literally only wants to eat white food, another with allergies and two others with incredibly fussy palates, it’s easy to give in and let them dictate the menu. The thing is though, these little people are my responsibility and I want them to be healthy and strong; I know that the UK has a problem right now with poor health linked to bad diets, and I know that the education has to start now, while they’re young. We need to get them into better habits! This is why the Think Toddler Size campaign is one that really resonates with me. I need help. I need to find ways to ensure my kids are getting the right balance of foods every time they sit down to eat. And, more over I need ideas for meals! A few months ago I wrote about toddler portion sizes and as a follow up to this, the Infant and Toddler Forum are now running a competition to try and source the best and most innovative ways to help parents plan, prepare and deliver balanced and nutritional meals for toddlers- using correct portion sizes for little tummies. Allow me to tell you about The Think Toddler Sized campaign, and the Feed My Little Pal app! (more…)

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CBT is Hard

CBT is hard. I started this course of treatment before Christmas, and I intended to update this blog, and Maternity Matters, regularly with my progress. I wanted to show others what it was like, so that maybe I could help someone else along in their journey. But it’s hard. It’s really hard. Most days I don’t want to talk about it, let alone write it all down. I’ve told people snippets of what is happening, but I cannot fathom the energy to lay it all bare. I cannot allow the prickles to seep into everything right now. It’s easier to leave it all in that little room once a week, and it will probably stay there for a long time. Because right now I don’t feel strong enough at all.CBT is hard-Ghostwritermummy.co.uk

I had a post in my head a few weeks ago,entitled Happy. I was in the middle of a ‘high turn’ and things were bright, happy and calm. I was spending delicious days with Elsie, really spending time with her and loving every minute. I was thankful for people around me, and I was loving being busy with work, stimulated with the team I work with and positive about life ahead of me. I knew. I knew it wouldn’t last. It never does. It always comes to an end, I just didn’t realise it would be so abrupt. (more…)

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PTSD after Birth Trauma- What it’s Like to Live With

For many years since my son was born I have known that something hasn’t been right. The labels that various professionals have attempted to apply have never really stuck well. At first they’ve seemed a perfect fit, but eventually they start to peel and fall away, much like the old and drying leaves on the streets below my feet. Those leaves are quickly forgotten, trodden under foot without a second thought, swept into the gutters of life and disregarded with the arrogance of knowing they’ll be back soon. And, just like the leaves, the labels always return. Attempt to stick again. But post natal depression has never sat well with me. I

Living with PTSD after Birth Trauma_Ghostwritermummy.co.uk

always assumed it was because I didn’t want to accept that I was depressed. That my own preconceptions of a depressed person were all wrong and that maybe I was truly depressed because I couldn’t even see it myself. And, after all, who was I to argue with Mother Nature? This was me. The way I was made. A chemical imbalance and that was that. The leaves were always there, little buds ready to grow, and all that I needed to do was provide the sunshine and water.

No.

Just, no. I am finally able to stand up to the professionals who misdiagnosed me. And it’s not their fault. Earlier this month I shared my story at the second annual Birth Trauma Study day, and I learned there that GPs just aren’t given any training on how to deal with birth trauma, and the common after effects of PTSD. Because that’s what I have. What I’ve been experiencing all these years. Not post natal depression. I’m not depressed. I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.Living with PTSD after Birth Trauma_Ghostwritermummy.co.uk (more…)

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