Having a baby is a life changing experience and for me there are always two births – your baby and the birth of you as a Mother!
The early days of being a new mother can be wonderful – full of joy, happiness and love as you gently adjust to your new life being responsible for your tiny, sweet smelling baby. But it can also be full of challenges for you both. Although every pregnancy and birth can be different even for the same woman, the upheaval of the first birth is usually the most dramatic as a Woman’s whole life and way of being is altered forever.
‘Baby brain’ is definitely a ‘thing’, but it is all part of natures plan to allow you to adjust to all the new demands being made of you and it includes many positives. So I think we need to embrace these positives and encourage them rather than buying into the more prevelent criticisms and misinformation. Studies have proved that Mothers brains change to become more receptive to learning and to love. We become more focused, ‘in the moment’ and mindful, better at reading body language, multi-tasking and efficiency. We become more sensitive to smells, things that may bring danger or toxicity. We get an increased tolerance to repetitive tasks, more patience, (believe it or not!) and can get by on a lot less sleep (within reason!!).
All these skills are vital in protecting and nurturing our babies, but are a massive gear change for some women particularly since we live in a society that values mostly masculine traits over feminine skills and encourages an almost instant return not only to physical fitness and shape, but to Womens pre-Motherhood emotional responses. This new sensitivity means that as a Mother you need to feel doubly secure, safe, stable and supported and if not, it can bring a lot of emotional distress and can inhibit physical recovery as well.
This gear change and the nature of your particular birthing experience can contribute to you feeling extremely low, unsupported, confused, exhausted and disappointed in your Mothering experience. We seem to forget that a C-section is actually major surgery and therefore requires a lengthy recovery and convalesence time. Episiotomy – (cutting the vagina to aid babys delivery and then stitching) – is thankfully not as common place as in the near past, but it is still carried out and can be difficult to recover from. Disrupted sleep and all the hormonal changes you go through can contribute to things like breastfeeding problems, post-natal depression, recovery from C-sections, epidurals, the effects of pethadine or other birthing drugs, and can even affect your baby. They might be struggling to feed efficiently or experiencing uncomfortable wind or colic or may have other digestive issues such as constipation or extremely sore nappy rashes or other skin problems. They also may have emotional issues either from a fearful and traumatic entry into the world or being seperated from Mum or any other triggers. All babies are meant to be with their Mothers round the clock and having this security is what gives them a foundation of safety from which to grow and explore the world. If their first experience is not as safe and nurturing as possible, it may influence how often they cry or sleep soundly or even experience physical health.
Most Mothers do not want to give drugs unnecessarily to their new babies or take them during breast-feeding. Popular over the counter medications like Calpol or Nurofen have become very over-used and most people are unaware that they can have worrying side effects. A recent Study published in The Lancet, (The British Medical journal), found that if paracetamol is given as little as once a month, children under 12 months are three times more likely to develop breathing issues like asthma by the time they are 6! It was also found that simple procedures like stripping off a child and flannel bathing with warm water was just as effective as giving an anti-inflammatory. Contrary to popular belief, there is very little evidence linking high fevers to febrile convulsions either. There is much more evidence supporting the increased likelihood of a convulsion if a fever is reduced too quickly or suddenly – the very thing that anti-inflammatories do!!
So where does that leave Mothers who are interested in a safe, natural solution to the problems outlined above or for the future as their baby experiences teething problems or fevers or earaches, tummy aches and other minor illnesses? Telling parents what to avoid giving or taking is simply not enough, they need an alternative.
In my busy practise, the majority of my Clients are women and most of them have come to me originally because of their experiences during pregnancy or childbirth. Homeopathic remedies are safe, gentle, natural and extremely effective. They also have the advantage of addressing not only physical problems of any age, but emotional and spiritual illness too. I call myself a Practical Homeopath because I believe that remedies should be accessible, easy to use and get results. That’s one of the reasons I started my Mother & Baby Clinic the first Wednesday of each month at my local Healthstore, Horan’s, Beech Road, Killarney. The Clinic offers mini appointments of 30 mins and is the perfect way to try Homeopathy for yourself or to help your baby with minor illnesses safely and effectively. One of the most popular remedies with my Clients is a combination remedy called ABC which soothes fevers and inflammation and can be used for earaches, teething, headaches, tummy aches, even colic – like a Homeopathic Calpol but without the side effects! Although the purist use of Homepathy is to use one remedy at a time, it is not the only way to use this wonderful system of medicine and it can just be impractical for parents trying to soothe a crying baby in the wee small hours! So I find that combining the 3 most commonly indicated inflammation remedies into one pill is easy to use, practical and it works.
For Mothers, Homeopathy is perfect since it is 100% safe and every prescription is tailor-made for each woman, because we are all different and experience our births differently. One Mum who attended my clinic told me recently “I am so much better in myself…back to being me, I never thought I’d feel like myself again. Thank you!”
This kind of feedback makes my day and is why I love what I do!
If you are interested in working with me please come to my Clinic at Horans or go to my website www.homeopathygiveswings.com to book your free phone call or sign up to my newsletter. You can also join my facebook community or follow me on Instagram. I look forward to meeting you and your baby and helping you both recover your full health and enjoy this wonderful time in your lives!