Mental health awareness month - Borderline personality disorder

Mental health awareness month – Borderline personality disorder

Last month was maternal mental health awareness week and I got an amazing response from my blog post of my battle with postnatal depression, maternal mental health awareness week is part of mental health awareness month so I thought I would share my experience with borderline personality disorder (BPD). BPD is still not really talked about and still has a massive stigma attached, people often don’t understand it and it’s something people don’t like to admit that they have. Like everything on this blog I am open about my personal struggles, but I do struggle to write about BPD myself, so I will try to do it justice by being open and honest.

BPD has affected me since my teenage years, but was only diagnosed in January after a suicide attempt. It is thought that around 1 in 10 people diagnosed with BPD will complete suicide, many more will attempt suicide. People really don’t like talking about this and it makes people very uncomfortable. For me I just wanted to end the pain I was feeling in that moment not necessarily end my life, but like most stuff BPD related I act on impulse. Many people who suffer with BPD also self-harm and it’s something that has effected me mildly on and off since my teenage years, again this is something I find very difficult to talk about and so do others.

Since I can remember I’ve had a real fear of abandonment and have taken extreme measures in relationships to stop that happening, which has made things worse and often left me alone. My emotions can me very intense from very happy to very sad and can change quickly. I can start the day feeling elated and end the day with negative, dark thoughts. It’s like being on an emotional rollercoaster and I struggle to predict my own moods. Antidepressants do seem to have made this much more balanced than it used to be, but the dark, intrusive thoughts do creep back in.

BPD affects people in different ways and sufferers usually have problems with impulse control, there are continuing studies into why this part of the brain seems to be wired differently with BPD sufferers. Often PBD sufferers will have an eating disorder, for me I binge eat, I binge so much I physically feel sick, I know if I could be sick I would force myself to be, but I am unable to (I have a strange phobia of being sick and am sick very little even with a sickness bug). My impulse doesn’t stop just at eating it also is a problem with spending, which I am learning how to control. Often drug addiction and alcohol can be become problems for BPD sufferers and it’s something I am very aware of, I did have a mild problem with prescription drugs and have used alcohol in the past to numb emotions, luckily I don’t actually like the taste of alcohol.

With PBD I feel lots of paranoia, this is constant and even amongst good friends, I am forever trying to rationalise these thoughts and worry about what others think of me, It’s pretty exhausting, but I’ve made good progress at coming to terms with this. Questioning these thoughts has helped me understand them better.

Many people still think BPD is a lifelong mental condition and there is no cure, I know I did when I was diagnosed. Luckily with so many advances in treating mental health over the last twenty years there has been a talking therapy developed to help BPD suffers called dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), which is a form of the better known cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) that is specialised for BPD patients. I started DBT recently and have found it really helpful, I hope to write a blog post once I have learnt more.

Unfortunately many people with BPD often feel empty and alone and I think the fact that this disorder like many other personality disorders are not talked about just makes the problem worse. Don’t be scared by someones condition, be mindful, open and always caring. People with BPD usually always have great empathy which to me is my greatest personality trait. I understand people and appreciate people for who they are and am great at listening and trying to help people.

Many people with BPD are also diagnosed with another mental disorder at the same time like depression, addiction, eating disorders and anxiety. It might not seem like it at the time but having more than one mental disorder can help work out what care will work best for you.

I hope I have been able to describe how BPD has affected me, but my experience may be different from someone elses, to learn more look at the Mind website  for a full list of symptoms. Keep spreading the love and do everything you can to help mental health awareness month be as powerful as it can be.

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Stupid things I said before children

Stupid things I said before children

I said many a stupid thing before children and I hear many other pre-child women say the same, I just nod along politely and smile as I know one day they will reflect on their old naive selves and laugh. We really believed we wouldn’t shout at our children in the park like ‘that’ mum or feed a child that horrible junk from McDonald’s. When I looked after my friends children I always thought I was going to be the best mum and it wasn’t really that hard, the thing is, that it is easy to be the best mum when you only have to do it for 24 hours, but when you are parenting every day it’s not such an easy job. You soon realise you have to adapt to your child, the circumstances and that you have to pick your battles wisely. Parenting is a relentless and exhausting and we had to back track on those stupid things we said before children.

  • I will not bribe my children to be good. I will literally bribe my children for anything including ten minuets peace.
  • I will always make sure my children are neat and tidy before leaving the house. One thing I’ve never been able to stand is snotty noses and messy hair, but now if the children are out the door and we are on time we are winning. Miss J has also discovered ‘fashion’ and will dress herself in some terrible mismatched outfits.
Fashion
  • I will set boundaries and go to the toilet and bath on my own. LOL this is something I have failed at in every way. If I’m in the toilet I am never alone and often my daughter will ask if I need my mummy nappy (pad). Bathtime is like a strange hot tub party from college days, lots of naked people and most probably some bodily fluid be bathed in.
  • I will not use a dummy once they turn one. I was always adamant that past the age of one my children would not have a dummy as it looks ridiculous and is lazy parenting. Again I have failed at this and Miss J had a dummy until three and Mr T is still a dummy addict at two. Having a dummy means he sleeps, he has comfort and I get some peace. I couldn’t care less what anyones opinion is on this now.
Dummy addict
  • I will not breastfeed in public without a cover. I have happily breastfed my child anywhere and everywhere including in a church, a farm and even in the middle of a football match. If a baby needs feeding just go ahead and feed.
  • I will not swear in front of my children. This started well for me until Miss J turned into a diva at three. She knows some swear words, knows they are not to be used and knows that mummy isn’t perfect and has said them before. unfortunately it isn’t a reality for a child not to hear a swear word so my moto is to teach them its naughty and that mummy is sometimes naughty by saying them.
  • I will not shout at my children. I hate shouting, but unfortunately at times I am the shouty mum, I’m not saying it’s right, but we are all human and parenting is tough. Again I try to explain my actions and I am always first to apologise if I am not happy with how I behaved.
  • I will cook them fresh meals and if they don’t eat it they will go hungry. This started so well with Miss J then she decided she hated everything besides chicken nuggets. Mr T just eats whatever he can get even if it is off the floor or from the cats bowl.
mmmm chocolate
  • We will do lots of creating and making. I am artistic, but I am also a control freak. We start off so well but then it quickly turns into me getting stressed and someone crying. We leave all that to school unless I feel optimistic enough to try again.
  • I will not let my child watch too much TV. My child is babysat by the TV, she still talks, is intelligent, can role play with toys and her brain is not mush.
  • I will still have time for myself. For a long time I didn’t and it was hard, but finally I do have time for me again and I love it. I don’t get as much time to myself as I thought I would though and that’s fine as it won’t be forever.
  • I won’t dress like a mum and will still do my make-up. I still try to wear nice clothes when I have somewhere decent to go, but if it’s school run and chores I will be in jeans and my converse. Again I wear make-up, but unless I have somewhere to go it’s nothing fancy.
  • I won’t let my child sleep in my bed. We have pretty much broke this habit besides the odd night, but for a good year Miss J only slept in our bed and Mr T always ended up in our bed to breastfeed for the first 9 months. Four in a bed isn’t comfy, but it sure is cosy.
  • My living room will still be tidy. My house looks like a unicorn pucked in it, full of sparkles, purple and pink. My living room resembles Toy ‘R’ Us and is rammed full of cheap plastic tat.
  • If that was my child screaming in a restaurant I would take it outside. I’m sorry but I take my children out for lunches and sometimes an early dinner, but if they act up I can’t do much about it. They need to learn and the only way is letting them out in the real world.

What silly things did you say before children?

 

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Maybe baby number three?

Maybe baby number three?

We have one of each a perfect pigeon pair, yet still we get asked if baby number three will come. It’s a question I still ask myself  lots and even I’m not 100% sure on what the outcome will be. Every few months a new baby is born in my friendship social circle, I have baby showers and christenings filling up my weekends and my Facebook feed is full of squishy gorgeous little newborns and my womb is aching for baby number three. At the age of 29 motherhood and everything baby is in full swing and I cannot, not see it. I am forever feeling friends babies kick in their mummy’s tummy’s and getting to cradle a gorgeous ball of sweet-smelling, squishiness and even my own baby (two a few days ago) still resembles a baby at times. Mr T is in a fresh baby grow and having cuddles before bed is literally my favourite moment of the day.

Will this feeling fade when all my friends finally stop having babies, we again get our weekends back and are able to socialize without a children’s party of soft play in sight? Am I just a broody person and no matter how many babies I have I’ll never not stop wanting another one more? I think maybe now my youngest has turned two I am feeling a little lost, I know a year will pass in a heartbeat and he’ll be waving me off and starting pre-school and I’ll have the feeling of an empty nest. They really do grow up so fast and before you know it they are their own little people, with their own likes and dislikes and they stop needing you quiet as much. When you spend so long being a mum, at home with these babies, jumping to their ever need it becomes a bit odd when you’re not needed in the same way.

So will baby number three ever be on the cards? Maybe, hopefully, I’m not certain, but I love the idea of having one more baby. I don’t feel done and have always imagined my life with three children. Right now though it’s a big no, I might be broody and long for baby cuddle’s, but I have some beautiful friends babies to cuddle to fill in for now. When both the children are in school and we feel maybe our family needs one more little person then I hope it will be an option. We may get to this point and decide we are happy, content and not want to go back to all that a new baby entails. Who knows what the future will hold for us as a family, but right now we are a family of four and are the perfect balance.

Something that does worry me about the thought of a third child is having to deal with postnatal depression, I’m very much aware that it is possible I could get PND again and the thought of that terrifies me. I would imagine I would notice the signs quicker and seek help, but I worry putting my family in that position again would make me feel selfish. I wonder if I want another child because I feel I missed out on so much with Mr T from suffering with PND for almost two years of his life. It’s not something I would take lightly and having a third child would be a huge decision for us. I am a planner, but this is something I cannot plan right now, I guess we will just have to see what happens in the future.

Does anyone else get the same feelings? I would love to hear your thoughts and feelings on this subject.

The first steps of getting help with postnatal depression and anxiety

 

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Easy peasy chocolate cake

Easy peasy chocolate cake

I love this chocolate cake and I have been using the same recipe for years and it never fails to disappoint, it’s so moist, indulgent and so easy to make.

Ingredients: 

175g Self-raising flour

2tbsp Cocoa powder

1tsp Bicarbonate of soda

150g Caster sugar

2 Beaten eggs

150ml Milk

150ml Sunflower oil

2 Tbsp Golden syrup

Butter Icing:

125g Butter

230g Icing sugar

3 Tbsp Cocoa powder

Milk

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C (350F gas mark 4). Grease two 7 inch sandwich tins.
  2. Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and mix well.
  3. Make a well in the centre and add the beaten eggs, milk, oil and golden syrup (tip: put spoon in hot water before, so the syrup slides of the spoon easier).
  4. Separate mixture evenly into both sandwich tins and cook in the oven for 25-30 minuets. Use a knife to check its cooked through then transfer to cooling rack (tip: if in a rush remove a draw from your freezer and let cake cool super quick in fifteen minuets).
  5. For the butter icing cream the butter in a bowl and sieve gradually the icing sugar and cocoa mix. Add a little milk if it’s too thick.
  6. Cut off a section of the risen top on one of the cakes and put to one side, Use butter icing to sandwich cakes and a pallet knife to spread.
  7. Decorate by breaking up the left over cake and placing to the side with butter icing and add a toy digger to the top.
  8. You could use any type of chocolate pieces to decorate, but I used M&S cookie dough bites and M&S smothered honeycomb.

There you go, the easiest, effective and tastiest chocolate cake.

Happy baking!

Easy peasy chocolate cake

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Healing life lessons you need to know

Life lessons are something we all learn and I feel I have learnt more in the past two years than I have in the last 29 years of my life. Postnatal depression has been horrible, but it has also opened my eyes to see the world through a whole new light. I have discovered mindfulness, have become a happier and calmer person (still a work in progress) and I have become a great mum. I thought I would list a few healing life lessons that I have discovered and that I think can be appreciated by anyone at any age.

  1. You need to feel pain before you are strong enough to grow to your full potential.
  2. At times you are left with the choice to walk away and you have to take it.
  3. Stop worrying about peoples opinions of you and as soon as you stop you will be free.
  4. Every experience will teach you important life lessons to help you grow.
  5. Look after yourself first and others second. If you forget to take care of yourself you will burn out an you are no good to anyone.
  6. Some people are just not good people, cut them out of your life, don’t try and change them.
  7. Try not to think about what you don’t have, but what you do have. Your life is far more fulfilled than you know.
  8. You are your own worst critic, you may have failed, but don’t let those negative thoughts in and stop you from fulfilling your dreams.
  9. You can survive the darkest of days. When you are at you lowest and feel like you can’t go on remember that tomorrow is a new day and a new start.
  10. Don’t live your life in the past. Remember and cherish memories but look forward to making new ones. You can’t go back so don’t spent too much time living in the past instead of enjoying the present.
  11. Judge people by their actions, not their words.
  12. Be adaptable. Life changes and sometimes plans have to change to work with it.
  13. Don’t avoid your feelings, address them, make sense of them and deal with them.
  14. Be present in the moment. Take a step back, breath in and feel it.
  15. Failure is important and something we need to go through so succeeding is more rewarding.
  16. Having your heart broken will show you the importance of true love in the future.
  17. Apologising is as important for you as the person you apologise to. To say sorry and mean it is healing.

Excepting my life and these lessons has helped me heal and become a more positive and happy person. I would love to hear some of your life lessons you have learnt?

 

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#MaternalMHMatters

Maternal mental health awareness week

Today marks the first day of the very first maternal mental health awareness week #MaternalMHMatters so I thought I would write a post about my experience of postnatal depression now I am out of the other side. This week marks two years since my son was born and the start of my long battle of postnatal depression and maternal mental health problems. A child’s birthday is a time to celebrate and reminisce about all the amazing memories you have made in the first two years of life, but for me as a PND survivor it also reminds me of the very tough battle we had to overcome. I say we, as PND didn’t just affect me, it affected my baby, my daughter, my husband, family and friends. I had everyone rotting for me and encouraging me, but until I found the strength to fight it, they were powerless to really do much.

Many memories of my early days at home are tarnished, I didn’t understand why I was struggling so much more second time around, I didn’t know how to stop the negative thoughts and guilt and felt at PND’s mercy, powerless and broken. I muddled through and painted on a smile, but with my husband I couldn’t keep up the facade and the mask slipped. He saw me broken, distant, fragile and angry, he didn’t know why and he didn’t know how to help. My maternal mental health was at breaking point and I needed help, fast.

One morning I was struggling through the piles of washing, whilst my husband slept off his night shift when I decided to dry the clothes outside in the sun. My garden was full of clothes drying and I finally felt like I had a mini defeat that day, then the heavens opened and monsoon season decided to reach North Bedfordshire. Despite my efforts, everything was soaked through and yet again I was back at square one with wet clothes, nothing clean in the house and Mr T crying in the background wanting feeding, again. I collapsed on the floor and once the tears started they wouldn’t stop. Miss J confronted me and cuddled me and kept telling me it would be ok, which made me feel even worse. I knew then and there I needed to speak to my Doctor and get the help I needed, I couldn’t keep pretending and couldn’t let my daughter keep seeing me like this.

It took me five months to finally get help and I really wish I had done it sooner. I missed so much of my sons first five months of life and let the guilt rip me apart and the anxiety take over. Maybe if I had got help sooner my PND wouldn’t have lasted two years, I don’t know. The antidepressants didn’t work for me, but I just assumed I needed to keep fighting and because the antidepressants I was on was the safest option when breastfeeding I thought I had no choice of changing them. Every few weeks I would have them increased, yet nothing was changing and everything around me was crumbling away. Eventually I saw a doctor who listened to me, answered my fears and changed me on to something that actually worked. It wasn’t an easy journey and plenty of ups and down, but eventually I noticed I was having more good days then bad days. I saw hope and clung on to it.

These two years have been tough, draining, but they have also taught me many other things. I know the importance of life, appreciate people for their faults and I have found who I am again. Sitting in hospital in February of these year with an IV in my arm after attempting suicide made me realise that I couldn’t go this far down again, I was lucky to be found when I was and I have thought so many times how different it could have been. I am unconditionally loved in this moment, I always have been and I always will be. I need to be healthy for my family, let go of guilt, nurture my soul and gradually heal. PND is shit, but it can change, it can heal and you can recover. I did it and I now love my life.

Share you own stories of maternal mental health, support others, don’t stigmatise and we can fight this together. #MaternalMHMatters

Read my blog post on how to help someone with postnatal depression

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3 Ways to Stay Healthy Year-Round

If you have a spring vacation planned, will attend a summer wedding, or have another short-term fitness goal, you may be like most other people who find it easy to stay motivated for a short time but falter with maintaining healthy habits year-round. It’s perfectly normal to stay on track for a short amount of time and then struggle to keep up your healthy eating and working out habits. But, it also can be the norm to continue those habits throughout the year if you follow our tips.

  1. Continue to Set Short-Term Goals

It may seem counterintuitive to set short-term goals when you want to be healthy year-round, but short-term goals serve as steps to reaching your long-term goals of a healthier lifestyle, fitter body, and better health. Short-term goals are much more manageable and give you the opportunity to celebrate progress and success rather than getting discouraged when it takes a long time to reach your ultimate health and fitness goals. The key to setting short-term goals is to continue to set them as you reach each milestone and to make them as specific, realistic, measurable, and attainable as possible.

  1. Add Exercise to Your Daily Routine

The best way to develop and maintain an exercise routine is to make it a habit. Some researchers believe it takes 21 days, or three weeks, to develop a habit, while others claim it takes 66 days. Either way, you need to stick to a daily exercise routine to create healthy habits and stick to them. This means taking the stairs in lieu of the elevator at work, walking during work breaks, doing lunges while watching your favorite television show, and taking your dog or kids for walks around the block each night.

Simple daily activities such as these will add up, but it’s also a good idea to get into a workout routine for at least 30 minutes per day four or five days per week. To stay motivated enough to stick to your exercise routine, make it fun by changing your activities to match the seasons. During the summer, swim and play in the pool with your kids, set up neighborhood badminton and baseball tournaments, and go kayaking and canoeing. In fall, go for hikes to search for leaves and acorns and go for long bike rides with friends and family. In winter, join an indoor volleyball, basketball, dodgeball league at a fitness center or YMCA. Get into nature by snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the winter, too. When spring begins, start walking the neighborhood and look for buds on trees, robins, and other signs of the season.

  1. Improve Your Nutrition

It’s easy to eat fresh vegetables and fruits during the summer and fall when they are in season, but it’s harder to find good produce during the offseason. One way to remedy this situation is to join a community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm share program. Local farmers will supply you with produce for as long as possible throughout the year, and many have greenhouses and use other farming methods that allow them to produce fresh food nearly year-round. Eating fresh produce from local farmers is one of the best ways to improve your nutrition, and you’ll be able to rest a little easier knowing who is growing your food, where they grow it, and how they grow it. CSAs also are incredibly convenient, as most farm groups deliver boxes of seasonal produce directly to you.

If you find that you continually fall off the nutrition wagon, help yourself by ridding your home of junk food and having healthy snacks on hand at all times. Keep crisp, crunchy celery and carrot sticks in the refrigerator and grab them when you crave potato chips. Have Greek yogurt and frozen fruit on hand to make smoothies when you crave a milkshake, or blend frozen bananas with dark chocolate and coconut milk to make flavored banana ice cream or milkshakes when you crave a sweet treat.

Staying healthy year-round is within your grasp if you continually set short-term health and fitness goals, add exercise to your daily routine, and improve your nutrition.

Image via Pixabay by Alexas_Fotos

Guest post written by Paige Johnson from LearnFit.org

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Gousto Review

Gousto review and £20 off your first and second box

Last week I was offered the chance to try a Gousto box for free, which I obviously couldn’t refuse. I love food and me and my husband both enjoy cooking, I’m more of a freestyle chef who likes to make it up as I go along ,whilst my husband likes to stick to a recipe. I found the website easy enough to use, a good selection of recipes and we waited just a couple of days for delivery.

The box came on Monday and was dropped off in our porch, ready for when I got back home. The boxes stay cool for up to 24 hours so if you’re not in, it’s not a problem. I decided to hang fire cooking the meals until my husband had a couple of days off work so I wasn’t cooking the meal for just one person.

Everything was packed nicely, labelled, measured out and made easy for preparation. We got a free wooden spoon and recipes came on a card so we could keep it if we decided we wanted to make it again.

I happily went off to work that day knowing that I would have dinner cooked for me when I got home. My husband cooked the Hoisin Meatballs and Chinese Sesame Rice on the first night and I can honestly say it was so tasty and surprisingly filling. The recipe took around 30 minuets to prepare and cook and the meal came in at under 700 calories.

The next day I happily trotted off to work and kept myself motivated at the thought of the tasty dinner that would await. The second meal my husband cooked was the Indonesian Chicken Rendang. I wasn’t sure it could out do the meal from the previous evening, but it did. Again we had another tasty meal prepared and cooked in less than half hour and 600 calories.

I think I will order again from Gousto, not every week, but I like the idea of trying out meals I wouldn’t usually want to commit buying all the ingredients for. These recipes are tried and tested and are restaurant quality meals that are fairly low in calories.

If you fancy trying out your first and second Gousto box with £20 off, use code: TORNADO 

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The obstacles of accessing mental health care as a mother

I need to have a bit of a rant about the obstacles I have had accessing mental health care as a mother in England. I feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall, trying to get help with my mental health problems, whilst finding someone to look after my child. Just like anything to do with parenting it is a juggling act and since the birth of my second child two years ago I have felt a constant struggle to access support for my postnatal depression, anxiety and borderline personality disorder. Things got so bad for me at points that I was under CRISIS team care twice and I attempted suicide.

After lengthy waits and weakening mental health you finally get an appointment for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and then you are met with the challenge of who will look after the baby? Like so many of us we don’t have access to childcare to go to these appointments and we miss out on crucial help. I have just completed CBT which took 3 months to get my first appointment and between appointments I had a minimum wait of 3 weeks between seeing someone and maximum of 6 weeks. CBT was helpful, but I had to be proactive and help myself as much as I could, which I couldn’t do when I was at my weakest. Not only could I not get appointments with my therapist I also couldn’t find someone to watch my child.

I have found this a relentless battle for accessing mental health care. I didn’t get everything I could out of CBT as I just wasn’t able to see someone enough and on a few occasions I had to cancel appointments when I needed it most, as I had no one who could help me with childcare. Like many people in my generation my parents still work, my other mum friends work and my husband also works long, unsociable hours. Between having the school runs to do with my oldest child and finding someone to watch my son for a couple of hours it was proving impossible at times.

I tried for over a year to get better by seeing various people, counselling, CBT and a private therapist and each time I had to stop before I felt ready, because of childcare. I am now starting diareltic behavioural therapy (DBT) which will be for 2 hours, once a week between 2-4pm, this is a group sessions and only runs once a week, so my hands are tied. I am doing everything I can to sort childcare, but I know I probably won’t be able to attend all sessions because of childcare issues. DBT is a fantastic therapy for people who suffer with borderline personality disorder and will give me ways in which to control my emotions and impulses. I have been desperate to start this since January and think it really could change my life for the better.

What annoys me most is that I may be seen as someone who isn’t using these services properly and that I am wasting time and money. I need these therapies to be a better person mentally and overall a better mum, yet nothing is done to help me go to these appointments. I feel I am doing all I can in my power to get help, yet I am forever struggling. I feel like I am wasting time and money and I am powerless to change things. How can I get childcare when there is none available?

It annoys me that I can’t drop my child off in a nursery (pre booked without a contract) for a few hours and pay for it as I go. I literally have my hands tied and no way of accessing the help I need. I am wasting NHS money. Wouldn’t it be worth the government looking at group CBT sessions for other mentally ill mum’s that had a crèche. All mum’s grouped together 1 hour a week whilst the children are watched. Wouldn’t this save the NHS money and also help mothers be seen quicker. After all we are a mother and we need our mental health to be looked after quickly and effectively. Could we not utilise the children’s centres we already have around us to make this a reality?

It still feels in this day and age as mother you are just expected to suck it up and get on with it and this infuriates me. I tried to do that and I had a mental breakdown in the process and then required CRISIS team care with daily visits, costing the NHS dearly. If I had been able to access the care I needed earlier I probably wouldn’t have needed this extra support and hospital admissions. In this country the go to support from the doctor is a prescription of antidepressants and possibly a visit from the health visitor. Things need to improve and become easier to access.

I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this and what you think could be done?

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17 Top tips for a happier life with a new baby

17 Top tips for a happier life with a new baby

A new baby is something really special, they smell gorgeous, are tiny and cute and they completely over haul your lives for a while. It takes some to time to adjust to a new baby in your home, as you get to know them and they get to know you. It’s hard work, exhausting and emotionally draining. I’ve written some tips I would have given myself as a new baby arrived.

 

  1. Trust your instinct it’s usually right.
  2. If in doubt ask for a second opinion. Always feel strong enough to ask for a second opinion about your baby, see another doctor or see a health visitor and make sure you feel comfortable with the advice you’ve given.
  3. Sleep when the baby sleeps and don’t feel guilty about it. A tired mummy is no good to anyone.
  4. Breastfeed your baby and if that isn’t what you want to do or it doesn’t work out, then bottle feed your baby.
  5. Own your parenting decisions and don’t be made to feel guilty. We all have to make difficult decisions around are parenting choices and we need to be confident in them.
  6. Let the other stuff slide. cooking, cleaning friends can all take a bit of a backseat whilst you adjust to motherhood.
  7. Make sure you still do stuff you enjoy. If that’s getting out with some friends then so be it or if you’re a home bird and not ready to leave the baby then have a nice bath or read a book whilst someone watches the baby.
  8. If you don’t already have them, make mum friends. Join a group on Facebook or go to a local mum’s group, these women need you as much as you need them.
  9. Your baby probably wont sleep for a long time and that’s normal. Try and ignore anyone who says that their 2 week old sleeps through for 12 hours as the chances are when that baby is teething, sleep will once again be a distant memory.
  10. Hold your baby, let time pass by, breath in that smell and remember the perfect moments.
  11. Every mum 1st, 2nd, or 6th time will make a mistake so don’t let it upset you. Your baby won’t remember and guilt is every mum’s worst enemy.
  12. Take everyone’s opinions with a pinch of salt. Take your time to make up your own mind.
  13. Don’t compare your baby to another baby.
  14. Sometimes are own mother’s and grandmother’s want to pass on their words of wisdom, but please remember advice has changed hugely over the last 20+ years. I’m sure the advice is meant to be helpful, but please make sure the advice you are given meets current guidelines. No babies sleeping on tummy or thickened formula please.
  15. Muslins clothes are amazing and you can never have enough. Great for all sorts of spit up and mess and also double as handy breastfeeding cover tucked into your bra strap.
  16. Ask for help. You don’t need to be a hero and you won’t get an award. If you need help, please ask for it.
  17. Always have baby wipes around. I honestly don’t know how mum’s managed before baby wipes, as they really are amazing for cleaning anything! If you don’t fancy shop bought ones you can always make your own.

Little babies don’t stay little for long so try to remember those special moments as when you look back this is what matters. The night-time feeds, screaming, baby sick and tears from you and baby will fade much quicker over time, but those little moments of happiness will last a lifetime,

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