Babies are Natural Yogi’s – Mother and Baby Yoga
After attending Yogabellies with Vicky when I was pregnant, and loved every minute of it, I decided I was going back to her class once I had my daughter, and attend her mother and baby class. Read about the pregnancy yoga class here
It was so lovely walking into the class, and seeing ladies who were at my pregnancy class with their babies, and new mums that had joined the class with their babies.
Vicky was as welcoming as she was during the pregnancy class, and made everyone feel at ease. In usual tradition, we sat on the mats, and spoke about our week. We all had a lot to catch up on since the last time all met! This continues at the start of every class, it’s so nice to be able to speak openly about how you are feeling, without being judged by anyone in the class. It’s lovely to hear about how all the other babies are progressing, and watching them hit their milestones, and grow.
We move onto our breathing exercises, like we did in pregnancy, and get to zone into ourself. Although sometimes the babies don’t allow this, they just want to play, want fed, or they need changed! But anything goes in class, and I love that. I don’t feel bad when I have to sit and feed Darcie, or if she’s just wanting to play instead of joining in, it’s just nice to be amongst other mothers who’s babies are at the same stage, and are also causing chaos!
I love that the babies get to do some yoga too, with plenty of singing. Darcie is rolling now and trying hard to crawl, so a lot of the time she is trying to escape from her stretches! But she certainly enjoys the singing. She loves to see all the other babies, and on occasion has rolled over to their mat to say hello! Darcies little friend from little chicken crafts
Now it’s time for us mummies! Sometimes anyways! If our little cherubs allow us, we get to do some yoga of our own. For me personally it’s great to learn new yoga poses, I had never done any yoga until I was pregnant, so I’m still learning. It’s also great to get in a bit of a workout too, as it’s not always possible when your at home with the baby. We incorporate the babies into all of the moves, whether we are holding them, or if we are just talking to them, making eye contact throughout. They are a part of it, and it’s lovely to have that time to bond with them.
Towards the end of the class, it’s time for savasana. Vicky will read a meditation extract. These have been so helpful for me, as there has been some weeks, I’ve struggled with my anxiety, and her words really relate, and always make me feel better. It’s a great time to just sit and cuddle baby, and be in that moment. There’s always something so calming about vickys voice too, that you instantly feel relaxed!
Time for a cuppa and a catch up with the mummies! Vicky hires the room out for 2 hours, even though the class is an hour long. She brings cakes, flowers, and tea, and goes over and above what we expect. Sometimes that chance to sit and chat with the other Mums is just what we need. Especially if it has been a tough week. It’s great to know you aren’t alone. Vicky is more than an instructor, she has become a friend to us all in the class, she has been there throughout our pregnancy journeys, and is now watching our babies grow! So a big shout out to Vicky!
I really feel that yoga has helped with my anxieties, and I feel that it really helps people with their mental health. Keep a look out for a post about that coming out soon. I’d love to hear other Mothers experience with Mummy and baby yoga!
It’s Easier to Build Strong Children, Than To Repair Broken Adults.
Welcome back to my blog. Continuing on from my Mental health series I have had the pleasure of reviewing My Happy Journal Searching through Instagram one night I came across the happy journal page. I instantly loved it. The feed was so beautiful and colourful. Defiantly expressing happiness. I started to research about their company, and had seen that they make journals for kids to help them express themselves. I contacted Kirsty who very kindly sent me a journal for my Son.
Being a child can be tough, and from experience with my own son, they can be really hard on themselves. Sometimes there is so much pressure on them to exceed in life, to work hard at school, to have good manners, to behave all the time, to be the best at everything, and to be better than everyone else.
Especially in this day and age, where social media and the internet is very much in kids/teenagers lives. I dread the day when my kids are old enough to access social media, and start to compare themselves to what they see online.
Mental Health in children is something that is rarely spoken about, but it very much exists. My own son was going through some anxiety, and there’s no worse feeling as a parent watching your child have to battle with themselves, and their own thoughts, and being totally helpless.
Something that I am a big fan of is early intervention. I feel if you can help a child at their earliest point, they are less likely to grow up fighting these battles. My Happy Journal is a massive part of this. It allows you to bond with your child, and discuss their worries, as well as celebrating what they found good in that day.
It arrived in beautiful packaging full of confetti with a hand written note to my son. This was so personal and thoughtful. Kirsty has also included positive quote cards which we so inspirational.
So we opened the journal, and on the first page their is a note for the adults, this tells us about Kirsty’s vision, and why she had made the journal. As well as a couple of inspirational quotes.
Working through the journal
There is a 90 days for your child to fill out, they don’t have to be consecutive, just whenever your child feels like it. There is a page for your child to fill out his or her details, write down some of their favourite things, draw or put a photograph of themselves in. Make it their own. One thing that I expressed to my son through this, was that this is his journal, he can put what he wants in it, can draw and decorate it how he likes, it was his to do as he pleased with.
There are then pages where they can log what they enjoyed about their day. As I said above, kids can be so hard on themselves, so I like that they can pick out three good things about their day, and to be able to reflect on the positive things in life, instead of just focusing on the negatives.
There is happy, inspirational quotes throughout the journal, with lots of pages where the can draw and colour, and express themselves through art, which was a big positive for my son. Drawing is one of his favourite things to do. So he loves this about the journal. There is also a variety of fun facts and some tasks for the kids to work through too.
There has defiantly been a lot of thought and time put into these journals, and I feel designed for all kids, whether they are battling with a mental health condition or not. It’s a great way to bond with your child, and to find out more about their day. My son isn’t a massive fan of writing at the moment, and that can put him of doing tasks, so we have decided he will tell me what to write down, and then he can draw and colour the pages. I actually quite like this too, as it allows us to talk about his day, and reflect on the positives together. I would recommend this journal to anyone that asked, even if you child is like my son and doesn’t like to write, you can still talk about the positives and write them down for them.
I also feel this would be super beneficial for children battling with a mental health condition. When a child is constantly battling with their own thoughts all day, it can be really difficult for them to focus on anything positive, and I really feel this would help. It’s not like homework, it’s not a chore, it’s something that you can enjoy with your child together, and as part of a family.
Always Seek Help – A Parent with PTSD – Mental Health Awareness
Hi all, and welcome back to my blog. Today is day 13 of my mental health awareness month. If you missed yesterdays interview with Sarah, get that here. Today I am joined by a lovely lady who watched her Mother suffer from PTSD. Please show your support, like, comment and share this post.
I’m 26 years old, and my parents were together until I was 13 years old. When they split I remained with my dad who had at the time three older boys aswell as me. I was my Mums only child.
What mental health condition does, or did your parent have?
My mum suffers from PTSD
When did you first notice that your parent had a mental health condition?
I didn’t realise that my mother had PTSD until I was in my adult life,
How did this make you feel as a child? Did it have an impact on your childhood?
I suffered the same as my mum when I was a child, but this was caused by my father’s narcissist behaviour. I now have borderline personality disorder, which my therapist has told me that it stems from my father’s abuse.
Did your parent receive any help?
My mum tried to remain as a family for the sake of me as a child, and recieved no help until several years after she left my father.
Did you receive any support as a child?
I had child counselling as a result of sexual abuse. I was ignored and make to feel at fault by my father (he didn’t sexually abuse me another family member did) but this was just as damaging.
That must have been really difficult to deal with, especially at a time you really needed a support system.
What was/is your main worry about having a parent with a mental health condition?
I believe if my mum had left sooner she wouldn’t have suffered PTSD and wouldn’t have been depressed. Studies have showed this can be linked to mental health issues in children later leading to adult life like I have. I worry that this will impact the rest of my life.
Do you feel there is enough support out there for parents with a mental health condition, and support for their families?
I don’t, I saw a child counselor approx four times after sexual abuse and a serious suicide attempt (I ended up in hospital on life support for three days at the age of eleven) I felt nothing was ever solved or handled the way I needed it to be. These issues have now followed me into adulthood.
What advice would you give to parents suffering from a mental health condition?
Always seek help. If your unhappy leave, your child witnesses everything, and it’s better to have a happy split family, than an unhappy family home which can be toxic to everyone involved.
What advice would you give to a child who’s parent/s suffer from a mental health condition?
Talk to someone, a counselor, school a friend, anyone you can trust, However hard it may be, it’s better to deal with your problems at the earliest point so you can move on in your life, find coping strategies, leave the past behind you.
Thank you so much for taking the time to complete these questions, Please leave a comment, and show this lovely lady your support. Tomorrow’s interview is with Vicki from mummaandhermonsters. Vicki talks about her battle with PND. Post goes live at 9am!
Namaste – Yoga in Pregnancy – Yogabellies
When I was pregnant with my son in 2011, I really struggled with my mental health. I suffered from both prenatal and postnatal depression (this is something I will write more in depth about at a later date) so I knew this time around, I had to make sure I made my mental health a priority.
When I came across YogaBellies Falkirk page on Facebook, I was instantly interested. This was a new class starting, and I thought this would be perfect to try and keep my mind healthy and happy. I did some research and messaged the instructor, Vicky. I had never done any type of Yoga before, so wasn’t sure if I would be able to do the class.
Vicky got back to me straight away with information in regards to what classes she offered, Vicky recommended the YogaBellies for pregnancy class. The class was due to start in July, and was £89 for a block of 8 lesson. I would have been around 27 weeks pregnant, perfect for heading into my third trimester. I couldn’t wait to start the class.
Prior to the class starting, I had been sent out a few emails with links to videos, and online classes, and more information about why Yogabellies can benefit you in pregnancy, not only physically but mentally too. This made me more excited to start the class, and I knew I had made the right decision!
So my first class came, and I was so nervous. First of all I drove to the wrong place! That was totally my fault haha, so I felt a bit flustered when I arrived at the class. Although I didn’t need to worry, as I walked into the class I was greeted by the instructor, who had a super welcoming smile. She was lovely! I instantly felt at ease. The room looked lovely with yoga mats set out, and a little pile on top of the mats with a cushion, a blanket, and a yoga strap. In the middle of the room was a blanket with twinkly lights around it. There was soft soothing music on in the background, and an aromatherapy diffuser. The room was so calming. We were also all given a goody bag for starting, and inside had massage oil, different types of tea, a sample of water wipes and more.
Vicky made an effort to speak to everyone as they came in, and made everyone feel at ease. There’s nothing quite so daunting than sitting in a room full of people you don’t know and to try and talk! Well for me anyway. But as we went round the room and introduced ourself and how far on in our pregnancy we were, we all started to feel more comfortable. This would be something we would do every week, and speak about how our week had been. This I found great, especially being able to vent about a rough week, and sharing everyone’s joy as they reached certain milestones in their pregnancy.
We then moved onto our breathing exercises. These are what I found most useful in the beginning stages of my labour, and during certain parts of my pregnancy. We’d learn different techniques for each stage of labour, and I’d totally zone out during these, and just enjoy the peaceful and content feeling.
After this we’d do our yoga poses. These were adapted towards each individual. Everyone was at different stages, some ladies had done yoga before, and others like myself has never been to a yoga class. In fact my son knew more yoga poses than me! Some weeks I had bad pelvic pain, so each exercise was adapted to support this. Some ladies had high blood pressure, and sciatic pain, and again each pose was adapted as per the ladies needs. Even during these we were concentrating on our breathing, as well as strengthening our muscles for labour.
For the last 15 minutes of the class we’d get to zone out, and lie down under a blanket. Vicky would turn the lights off, and read a meditation extract. Her words and voice were so calming, it was easy to drift off, and forget about everything else in the world. It was a perfect time to zone in on my unborn baby, and just bond with her. I’d place my hand on my belly, and imagine what it would be like when she arrives, I’d imagine how my labour would be (didn’t happen how I’d imagine lol) I’d imagine what my baby would look like, how she would be when she was older. Her playing with her brother. I loved this part, I genuinely felt so relaxed and happy in my pregnancy. For me this was amazing as I hated being pregnant, but for the hour and 15 minutes each week, I enjoyed my my pregnancy!
Yogabellies for pregnancy is one of the only things I miss from being pregnant and I can’t wait to start the mother and baby yoga classes with Vicky. I’d recommend all pregnant woman to go to a Yogabellies for pregnancy class. Not only do you get to meet other pregnant ladies in your area, and talk to people who are going through the same as you, It’s great value for money, great for your physical and mental health, and a fantastic way to bond with your unborn baby. I loved every minute of it.
In light of Cheryl Tweedy speaking out publicly about hating being pregnant (which I think was very brave of her, as people can be so judgemental) I’ve decided to share my experience with my pregnancy. I really didn’t enjoy being pregnant, I really struggled with it this time around. It doesn’t mean I didn’t want my baby, or love her any less just because I didn’t enjoy the pregnancy experience! I remember the look on some people’s faces when I openly said I hated being pregnant and couldn’t wait for it to be over. It was a look of disgust, like I was being ungrateful, that there are so many people that wish they could be pregnant and I had the nerve to hate it. But the thing is I LOVE being a mum! I would have a million kids if I didn’t have to go through pregnancy each time. I was so incredibly grateful and blessed to be pregnant and to have fallen pregnant so quickly, and my heart aches for the woman who struggle to conceive.
I so wish I was one of these lucky woman who love pregnancy, who blossom and take it in their stride, but I’m not, and here is my experience.
So it was New Year’s Eve 2016, and first thing in the morning. I was standing staring at 3 pregnancy tests that all looked positive. Still I couldn’t quite believe it, so I made kris do a couple, his were obviously negative! But they were cheapy ones from Amazon, so to be sure I went to Sainsbury’s and bought a clear blue digital. Kris had to go to work, so when the result came back as “pregnant 1-2 weeks” I excitedly text him saying “f*** yeah we did it!” And send him a picture of the test.
My boobs had been sore since my period, so I had a feeling that I was pregnant, however still very surprised as we had only been trying for one month! We did not expect to get pregnant that quickly! Still we were over the moon, and super excited. I had to try and keep the news to myself all day, I really wanted to phone my mum and tell her, but we had a plan to surprise them together later that night.
I kept looking at the test all day, not quite believing it, waiting for kris to finish work. We were going out later that night too with friends for new year celebrations, so I spent some time getting ready for that. We went to my mum and dads house before we went out and presented them with a box, and inside that box was a baby grow and the positive pregnancy test! They seemed surprised and just as excited as we were! We phoned round almost all of our family as well to let them know! We were far too excited to keep it to ourself. All my friends found out later that night as I was totally sober at our New Years party! We were only about 10 days pregnant! I still can’t believe we found out so early on.
Well with the first trimester came the morning sickness, more nausea than being physically sick, but it wouldn’t shift all day. For me though my worst symptom in the first trimester were the headaches. I’d have the most awful migraines that would last days, and nothing would really ease it. It also came with the anxiety, as at this stage you can’t feel the baby move, you don’t get to see the baby until the first scan at 12 weeks, however we caved and went for one at 6 weeks to make sure there was defiantly a baby in there! Was the tiniest little blob on the screen, but had a strong heart beat.
My energy levels were so low, and I just wanted to sleep all the time. I’d go to bed at 8pm and sleep until morning. We also decided at this stage to move house! Because we had fallen pregnant a lot quicker than we expected we weren’t really prepared, so we found somewhere bigger and moved. Our relationship was lucky to survive this, and my stress levels were through the roof. At this stage I was not enjoying my pregnancy at all, and was so looking forward to the second trimester, as I remember feeling better then in my first pregnancy.
So then came the second trimester, I was looking forward to this stage so much, I think I expected to feel great again over night, but that defiantly wasn’t the case. My energy levels did pick up slightly, I managed to stay awake longer than 8pm, but then came the pain in my pelvis. It hurt when I walked, when I sat for long periods of time and when I stood… so pretty much all the time. Not to mention rolling over in bed! But that got worse as my pregnancy went on. I was diagnosed with Pelvic girdle pain, and booked into see a physio, not that it helped much at all. I was also really light headed and dizzy at this stage, and was signed of work for a couple of weeks. I didn’t want to risk the drive into work, it really wasn’t worth it. Unexpectedly a couple of weeks after this I found out that my job was under threat. The company I was working for had lost a major contract and we were meant to be TUPE’d over to the company that won it, however this wasn’t as straight forward as it should have been and I was in limbo for a good month, which added majorly to my stress and anxiety levels. Worrying about how I was going to afford to feed my 5 year old let alone another baby, luckily that was resolved early into my third trimester.
I was happy to reach this stage, I was almost there, but I felt so big and uncomfortable. At 30 weeks I hadn’t felt my baby move all day, so this was my first trip to the hospital to be monitored, the baby was fine as a soon as the monitor was on she was jumping around crazy. That was the first trip of many. As the weeks went on in my third trimester, I had several episodes of contractions. I was admitted to hospital at 35 weeks for a few nights, and was given steroid injections as my baby kept threatening to come early. Turns out I had an irritable uterus and literally anything would set off contractions. For the last few weeks of pregnancy it continued like this. I was exhausted, my body was exhausted as I was having contractions almost every day, and some were very painful. I was pleased to be offered an induction at 39 weeks, after another episode of reduced movements. I accepted, all I wanted was for this pregnancy to be over, and to have my baby in my arms. After a long start to my induction, once my waters broke at 3cm, my baby was in my arms just 40 minutes labour! One look at her, and I realised it was all worth it!
Now don’t get me wrong I didn’t hate everything about my pregnancy, the feeling when you can finally feel the baby move, when Kris felt her kick for the first time. Bonding with my unborn baby through pregnancy yoga, seeing the little baby on the screen during the scans. Spending time picking out her name, and decorating the nursery. Wearing tight clothing and not feeling self-conscious lol. These were all things I LOVED about being pregnant.