Friends and babies: support networks
Creating your support networks is key. I always thought I have a great group of friends, friends from university, school, my first job, my second job….brilliant friends I am still in touch with regularly. Today as I stood for a photo with the group of new mums like me that I met at our antenatal class I was so touched by just how amazing these women are. We might not see each other every week, but when we do it feels like we’ve always known each other. There’s a kinship, a bond unlike any friendship I’ve had. The transition from bump to babies is the biggest life event any of us has gone through before.
For each of us birth was different, some had natural vaginal births, some had inductions, other emergency caesarean sections. Each story different, emotionally challenging, and a triumph. Our babies, now 6-7 months old are bubbling happy babies, weaning, some with teeth! All with their individual personalities! We walked today, out, in the woods, by the reservoir, chatting about work, life, partners, babies, poo, teething, feeding habits, sleep, about everything and nothing. It was perfect, a perfect day of fresh air, mutual respect for each others successes and mum failures that week (mine involving Tabs tipping a salt dispenser upside down over her mouth as I changed her int he cafe!). All in all I feel so grateful to them for their reassurance and kindness-parenting is incredibly tough and nothing really prepared me for that! Relationships can be strained, sleep is gone forever and just leaving the house becomes a challenge!
In the early days, we would message a lot, often at 1am, 3am, 5am as our babies fed overnight, like night owls WIDE awake, eyes bright. I would stare at my screen willing it to keep me awake, desperate not to fall asleep with my baby in my arms, in bed or the rocking chair. Sometimes I would have to slap my cheeks to keep myself awake as she fed. Over time, we have just figured life out our babies nuances and have adapted to their needs. Some sleep through, others still waking 2 hourly- there’s no rime nor reason for it, but we cope and support each other. We share strategies for sleep, weaning and feeding constantly and its such a help!
As well as this group of friends and their gorgeous babies, I have found great support from other groups. Online breastfeeding groups in particular being like a rock, hearing other mums challenges and how they’ve overcome them, and posting my own, getting feedback and tips. My partner too has been a great rock, transformed into a dad overnight- I think we definitely have a daddy’s girl in our midst-her smile for him is unlike any other expression she makes!
My top tips for having a successful postnatal:
- Go to a pregnancy antenatal class, Hypnobirthing or NCT or Bumps, Babies and Beyond- anything that gets you talking, and going away with a great group of friends.
- Plan your postnatal– write down your wishes for those first 6 weeks: – at least think about a week in bed, a week on the sofa and a week in pJ’s.
- Walking has been my godsend, with a sling I feel free, myself, and really getting into the countryside breathes life into your soul- plus your babies love it too.
- Eat Cake! Really, do it- it feeds you, nourishes you! You can swap out for fruit one day when your babies have given you your first grey hair!
- Whattsap groups are brilliant as a group for keeping in touch, and sharing support amongst you, there’s always someone awake at night who can send that much needed pep talk.
I’ve listed below my favourite groups/blog posts and websites, all well worth a read.
If you would like more, check out this padlet I’ve made- some of the links are password protected and you get full access once signed up to one of my hypnobirthing courses. Get in touch if you’d like to know more! Xx
So I hope you find those links helpful! Xx
Thank you to the friends that made this happen, supported me through the last 7 months, and encouraged me every step of the way with this business. You know who you are!!!