Health

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My Top 5 Tips for New Mum’s – Second Time Around

With Kate Middleton giving birth to her second child, I’ve been thinking about my top tips for new mum’s – the second time around. Many women the second time around don’t have the same anxieties as their first pregnancy, and are better at managing their expectations as they can now draw on their own experience.

However, in a second pregnancy, there is now the added dimension of a toddler needing your attention and energy and so it is harder to get the rest you might wish for in the lead up to labour and of course post-natally.

Top tips for second time mums:

1. Be Realistic

Having a baby second time around can be more challenging and demanding on your time. Don’t try to overachieve.

2. Try to Sleep

Getting rest with a toddler new baby especially if breastfeeding is going to be hard, so make sure you get sleep during the day whenever you can no matter what, feeling like you have to be doing something with any extra time is not worth feeling tired, irritable and low.

3. Keep up the calories

Eat and snack as much as you can! If you’re breastfeeding then you need plenty of extra calories, and in those early days everybody needs and wants your attention! You need nourishment for all the energy you’ll be expending and to help with healing after the birth.

4. Accept help

Don’t try to be perfect and feel you have to do everything. Do the best you can when you can and accept as much help as you need on every level.

5. Eat well

Eating the right nutrients will give you energy, maintain your mood, and ultimately provide the foundation for keeping on top of the demands of baby and toddler. Sometimes it is not always possible to eat what can be called a balanced diet – a wide variety of nutrients and including fats, protein and complex carbohydrates. Try to limit your intake of refined carbohydrates which can lead to energy spikes and troughs, mood swings and try to keep way from processed foods which lack nutrients.

It is often the case that you put yourself last and ultimately that is no good for any of the family so it is worth placing healthy snacks around the house which you can quickly pick up when you need. Supplementing your diet can also be helpful to increase your intake of important nutrients that both you and your new breastfeeding baby need.

As with the lead up to giving birth during the post natal period it is so important to keep up your store of vitamins, minerals and Omega 3 for both you and baby’s development. That is why I developed our Vital essence range, Vital DHA and our Post Natal revital Essence multivitamin product.

Your own positive mind plan for pregnancy

I often talk to my clients about how your emotional well-being can affect your physical well-being; how achieving a strong mind-body connection can have a positive and powerful influence on your chances at conception.

I advise all my clients to create their own Positive Mind Plan, to help them achieve this connection, feel more relaxed and regain the control that they feel to have lost. But where do you start with your own positive mind plan? It’s important to remember that only you and you alone know how you are feeling and no two positive mind plans are the same. However, they all start with the same questions……

  1. What is your current situation and what are you trying to achieve? (in addition to the baby)
  2. What is the reality of your situation and how is that affecting how you think, feel and behave?
  3. What obstacles exist that could stop you from making positive changes in your life?

For most of us, these are the personal and intimate questions that we are most afraid of approaching: we are constantly terrified to admit that we are scared and understand why. But the whole idea of a positive mind plan is to safely explore how you feel, find new techniques with which to overcome your fears and use them to maintain that positive mind-body connection that helps you feel in control of your situation and in turn, increases your chances of conception.

Here are some proven techniques and methods that you could consider when creating your own Positive Mind Plan:

Action Plan

A clear plan of action is key! Make sure it includes lots of things that make you happy as well as the logistics of any fertility investigations or treatments that you may be involved with.

Positive Affirmations

These are carefully worded, personal, positive statement that you repeat and must be in the present tense. Start by listing all your negative thoughts about pregnancy, like “The doctor says I only have a 5% chance of getting pregnant”, and then turn them into positive ones, “I am one of the 5%”. Make these statements your new mantras: write them down, say them out loud in the morning and before bed and keep them close to your heart at all times.

Visualisation Techniques

Why not listen to a CD of guided meditation? Maybe you could take up yoga? Whatever you choose, try and practice a visualisation or stress-reduction technique for around 20 minutes each day.

Keep a Journal

It is often so hard to put feelings into words, but a journal can be a perfect way to just allow thoughts to flow freely in a totally uninhibited way. You may never read it back again, but at least your emotions are on paper rather than bottled up in your mind.

Do Something You Enjoy

Allow yourself to be happy! Catch up with friends over a coffee, listen to your favourite song, indulge in simple, daily pleasures that give you pure enjoyment.

Exercise

Doing some form of exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. Whether it’s walking, running or something totally different, exercise releases the endorphins needed to maintain a positive state of mind.

Therapies

Some of the therapies that we commonly recommend include art therapy, hypnotherapy and counselling – feel free to explore just one or all of them and find what works for you.

5 Steps to True Relaxation

This is a proverb that I feel best sums up the necessity of true relaxation. For me, true relaxation is when the mind and body are completely calm; when they’re both in a state of complete rest. The women I meet are often amazing at juggling so many aspects of their lives, but terrible at staying still. They’re always on their mobiles, on their laptops and on the go, stimulated the whole time. They’re always in a state of time-related stress.

True relaxation can have enormous health benefits not just on fertility, but generally. It can help you reduce your blood pressure, lower your cortisol levels and think more clearly. Have a look at my top 5 tips on how to truly relax:

1) Make Time to Relax

Only you know your schedule, but it’s up to you to make that time. Clearing out at least 20 minutes a day for relaxation can make all the difference.

2) Learn a Stress Reduction Technique

Each person has a technique that works best for them, so try as many as possible and see what suits you. Breathing, mindfulness, meditation, or simply being still are just some of the techniques you can use to relax.

3) Find some Space

Try and get away from everyone once in awhile, and have some time alone with just you and your own thoughts.

4) Get out into Nature

Just getting out in the fresh air, sitting and listening to birdsong and your surroundings can be really restorative!

5) Go to Bed Early

People really underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep! It has tremendous effects on both your hormonal balance and your body in general.