Why this podcast?
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in your pregnancy and upcoming birth that you kind of forget that after all that, the real work starts.
Yep, you’ll have a brand new, teeny little human to look after and preparing for that, as far as you can, is so helpful.
This podcast is warm and supportive and covers pretty much all aspects of the postpartum experience.
Why this episode?
I talk to clients about trusting their own instincts but it can be so hard to do when you are suddenly responsible for a whole other person.
When I saw that this episode featured the author of ”Newborn 101”, Carole Kramer Arsenault, also a registered nurse and IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant), I knew I had to include it here.
The host, Kellie Edson, and Carole begin by discussing Carole’s family and work and how she began Boston Baby Nurse. I am simply going to jump right into their discussion of ”Newborn 101” and Carole’s advice for the postpartum period.
I gleaned the various pieces of advice from the conversation between Carole and Kellie so they might seem a little random but I hope you’ll just go with it.
Carole’s experience as a nurse working with new mothers saw her being asked the same kinds of questions again and again. Her answers were obviously very useful because some new parents even asked if they could take her home with them!
Carole soon realised that whilst she could not go home with each and every family, there was a real need for these new parents to have some kind of resource once they found themselves at home with their baby.
So, she wrote a book!
Get off of google!
I think Carole sums it up nicely when she says –
”You’ll drive yourself crazy”
I love that Carole advises new mums to try and relax a little. There is so much information out there, from friends and family as well as the internet, that you can’t possibly take it all on board. Moderation is really key – it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
Your postpartum body
Be realistic about this. Nobody just ‘bounces back’.
All of those celebrities you see looking stunning a few weeks after giving birth? They have nannies to look after their babies whilst personal trainers put them through hours at the gym and in-house chefs create their low-calorie meals.
Unless you have those kinds of resources (and actually, would you really want to?) then it is ridiculous to expect similar results.
You just created, grew and birthed a human being and now you are nourishing them and seeing to their every last need. Be kind to yourself and take the pressure off.
If you are someone who is going to visit a new mum, bring food. If you are a new mum, ask visitors to bring food. Something you can put in the freezer or stick straight in the oven is great.
Having someone you feel close to and comfortable with come over just to be there can be wonderful. Maybe you need to share how you are feeling with, maybe you want to ask if what you are experiencing is normal or maybe you’d simply like them to hold your baby while you grab a shower or a nap.
Being a new mum can feel isolating and overwhelming so having company can be great IF that’s what you want.
On the flip side, don’t feel you have to say yes to visitors and definitely don’t feel you should play host to anyone who does come over.
Feel free to point them in the direction of the hoover or washing machine and did I say have them bring food?
Carole’s one piece of advice
Take people up on their offers of help and don’t be afraid to reach out.
Yes!! I love this.
People really do love to help so let them!
Reaching out could mean to friends or family but it could also mean to an online or local support group, doctor, midwife, lactation specialist, therapist….whatever you feel you need.
Carole also encourages new mums to trust their instincts. This is both hugely important and far easier said than done but if you can do it it will make your life easier.
I love that Carole says –
”If you’re worrying about being a good parent, you already are one”
To wrap up
I hope you will listen to this episode in full as there is so much more wisdom to be gleaned from the conversation between Carole and Kellie than I could possibly cover here.
Looking back at my postpartum with my first child I wish I had trusted my gut and relaxed more.
What words of wisdom would you give to women about to enter motherhood?
I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time!
Emily Wills is a doula based in Stockholm. She believes that birth can be a beautiful and empowering experience and started this blog as a way of sharing some really great podcasts. She is also a mother of three and an enthusiastic runner.