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Birthing into Motherhood

Birthing into Motherhood

'You'll be back to normal in 6 weeks' is the common thought and expectation of new mothers after having given birth.

This is a misconception that can cause women to assume that their lives will return to the way it was pre-baby. Firstly, the problem is with the words 'BACK to normal'. Mother's lives will be changed forever so it is more appropriate to think of 'FORWARD to normal'. The second problem is the time period of 6 weeks, as it can take a lot longer than that.

Part of the reason for this statement is the lack of acknowledgement that childbirth is in fact a rite of passage - the transition from maiden to mother. There are not one but two births when a baby is born. The birth of the baby and the birth of the mother. And with the birth of the mother, there is also the death of the maiden. This in itself is an enormous transition - one which takes time to integrate. The transition occurs on many levels including physical, emotional and social.

Physically speaking, the new mother has a 6 week check with her GP and that is when she is given the all clear that her body has healed up. But it can take longer, especially if the birth has been complicated or there has been medical intervention. There may be post-operative pain (with a caesarean birth), back aches and other minor ailments. A cranial sacral therapist, reflexologist or other complementary practitioner can help to rebalance the body as well as emotions.

On an emotional level, hormones can cause tremendous highs and lows. Fears of motherhood and grief or loss of the maiden can surface. Unresolved issues from the mother's own childhood can hinder the bonding between mother and baby. The change of the family dynamics from husband and wife to parents and child can cause friction until the 2 parents have adapted to their new relationships and roles. All these emotions that arise as a result of the above factors are often unexpected and unspoken because mothers are supposed to get 'back to normal' and carry on with their lives. By acknowledging that this is a rite of passage and giving herself space, the new mother can slowly adjust to her new role in her own time. The concept of a babymoon is not common in our society, however in some cultures the new mother is waited upon for 40 days. During that time she is nurtured and cooked for so that she can spend her time learning to care for her new baby and getting to know him or her better. She also uses the time to rest and recover and integrate the experience of giving birth into her being.

So how long does it take to 'go forward to normal'?

Each woman and her experiences are unique although I suggest to mothers-to-be to expect the postpartum integration of the childbirth experience into their everyday lives to take up to 2 years.

Tamara Donn

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Slumbersac sleeping bag with feet

Slumbersac sleeping bag with feet

Award-winning sleeping bag company Slumbersac have launched their new Sleeping Bags with Feet and Detachable Sleeves. These innovative sleeping bags offer maximum versatility and save the need for purchasing multiple sleeping bags for warmer and cooler seasons.

Research has shown that when using conventional bedding babies and toddlers tend to get too hot or too cold. Slumbersac Sleeping Bags ensure they remain at a constant temperature, eliminating the need for any other top covers, blankets or duvets, reassuring parents that their child’s head won’t be covered.

Slumbersac’s award-winning Sleeping Bags with Feet have already proven to be a huge success and now the addition of detachable sleeves makes this their most versatile sleeping bag yet.

The detachable long sleeves with press-studs and have slightly lighter padding than the rest of the sleeping bag, allowing toddlers to move their arms freely without restricting them. If you feel your toddler is too warm, you can simply remove the sleeves and then, when needed, you can re-attach them making the sleeping bag perfect for use in a variety of temperatures, at home or on the go!

Lots of toddlers don’t like having their feet covered at night. The clever feet openings allow you to either pull the legs down so their little feet are tucked in for a warm and comfortable night's sleep or, if they prefer, their feet can be left outside of the bag so they don’t feel restricted. Another benefit of having feet openings is you can get your little one into their bag and ready for bed nice and early but they will still have the freedom to play until you’re ready to put them down! Likewise in the morning, they can run around happily in their bag until it’s time to get ready.

These sleeping bags are fantastic for active toddlers as they start learning to walk, giving them the freedom to move around and reducing the risk of falling over whilst still enjoying the comfort of their sleeping bag.

Made to the same high standards as all Slumbersac’s other sleeping bags, they are made from soft 100% jersey cotton, lined with 100% cotton and are padded with soft quick-dry polyester fleece. They come in a variety of prints and the option of name embroidery enables you to personalise the sleeping bag with your little one’s name.

 

They are available in six sizes from 6 months – 6 years and a tog rating of 2.5, which is suitable for general year-round use in room temperatures between 15 and 21 degrees.

 

Slumbersac sleeping bags with feet and sleeves are priced from £29.99 and come in 4 designs; Pirate, Pony, Apple and Fire Engine.

 

You can view the full Slumbersac range at www.slumbersac.co.uk

 

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