I want to share the best bits with you and distract you from the worst. I want to tell you to sleep, indulge, relax (enjoy being braless and able to jump) and be selfish while you can but this isn’t about that – it’s not really about our little one, it’s about us, me and you!
Sorry for the way I have let our friendships deteriorate. Once so keen, interested, and proactive and now so, so…. well, distracted.
All of a sudden, you are handed a gooey bundle by the midwife and your title changes. Are you; ‘YOU, Mum, Wife’ or ‘Mum, Wife, YOU’ or ‘Wife, Mum, YOU’ etc… As to be expected, the pecking order changes, your identity changes and your friends’ opinion of you changes.
To the friends that have been so giving! Within four short months we have received baby shower gifts, baby arrival gifts, Christmas gifts, Christening gifts and so many “just because” gifts. We are so thankful for your generosity and kindness. As parents we are going to have to work hard to teach our little one to be very grateful, as it is clear that she is so loved and oh so very spoilt.
To the friends that carry on regardless – I get it! Why change your routine because we decided to have children? Being the one that liked to arrange the social events and regularly get friends together, it’s a culture shock to see your #BestGirls Instagram posts, Facebook updates and Snapchats. But I promise that I do “get it!” Don’t call me and certainly don’t leave me a voicemail, don’t send a text that requires a lengthy reply, don’t send a Whatsapp voice message that might disturb a calm baby and don’t send a snapchat that I will miss and can’t replay…the list goes on.
I know I make things hard for you and myself! Trying to be the best Mum I can be means that other things slide; the laundry, my beauty regime and friendships.
Please don’t stop trying to reach out to new Mums – I may not reply but continue to contact me on as many different forms of social media as possible and as often as you can. Despite being incredibly caught up in my own world of spit up, babble, lack of sleep and dirty nappies, I try to listen and hear what you’re telling me about your life too – honest.
To the friends that always persevere. Thank you for always asking how I am, and when I don’t reply, you try and ask me again. You update me with your news without expecting a response. You fill me in with your gossip and you always show me that you care. Believe me, I love to her about your dating experiences, career news, exciting excursions and gossip and I am so grateful that you at least pretend, to care about my nipples, nappies and napping troubles.
To the friends that make themselves present and seen. So long, boozy bank holidays, lavish weekend breaks and sporadic plans. Thank you to those that choose and want to now spend times having disturbed lunches, walks in the countryside and interrupted conversations in our lounge – let’s face it we will always provide wine and/or gin and you are more than welcome to indulge in as many baby cuddles as you wish!
Dear childless friends, you might be one of these, some of these or even none of these but THANK YOU for being patient, supporting and so valuable.
“Our uniquely integrated class for mum and baby where baby massage, baby yoga, baby reflexology and calming techniques are delivered alongside educational themes which will be relevant to the babies developmental milestones. Classes progress from our rhythmic and relaxing Tinies on to the colourful and lively Wrigglers. Classes also incorporate yoga-based movement, relaxation and support for mum.”
When is it? Friday’s at 11am in Newmarket (Or Tuesday’s at 11am over in Isleham)
Where to park? Lots of free parking is available in the Newmarket Tesco Car Park
Pro’s: Great chance to learn a new skill (baby massage) whilst taking a calm hour to bond with your baby. The wonderful Helen is the perfect group leader too – providing helpful information, sharing her Daisy knowledge and her own personal baby experiences!
Con’s: If your baby sleeps through the class you do feel like a bit of a lemon – but that’s the same with most baby classes.
What did AB think to it? She loves the baby massage and rhymes. She will only “coo” when she feels secure and comfortable and she is particularly vocal during the Daisy Tinies classes. AB also always has a really solid nap after being massaged in the class.
What did Mummy think to it? We have now added the Daisy baby massage technique into our bed time routine in between AB’s bath and story time/night-time feed. The accompanying nursery rhymes help tired mummy’s remember the order and method of the massage.
Was any cake involved? No… although you do walk through the bakery to get to the community room and the group tend to head to the coffee shop afterwards! Helen does make all guests a cup of tea or coffee on arrival.
Score out of 10: 10/10
Are you a breastfeeding Mummy: At the end of the class, Helen encourages Mum’s to lay back and relax/meditate with their baby. I always take the chance to give AB a lying down feed whilst listening to Helen’s dulcet tones.
If you Google “Pregnancy massage Newmarket” it is no surprise that The Lavender Clinic is one of the top hits to appear on the page in front of you!
I met the talented massage therapist, Melanie back in December when I was treated to a pregnancy massage during my third trimester. With tight water retention and an aching lower back, I wish that I had booked up more 60 minute pregnancy massages with Melanie from The Lavender Clinic – particularly as she charges just £35 and is mobile.
Setting up in the comfort of my own home in Newmarket, Melanie released my back tension and eased the pain in my legs from having water retention. Pregnancy massage was a wonderfully natural way to ease my pregnancy ailments.
The Lavender Clinic’s Melanie offers pregnancy massage to Newmarket mummys-to-be over sixteen weeks pregnant. Amongst many benefits, massage during pregnancy may help to alleviate:
Muscle spasm and cramping
Back, neck and shoulder discomfort caused by hormonal and postural changes
As Ireland has announced that their one and only Milk Bank has just a two week supply left, I thought it would be a good time to share the news on my latest local quest.
Donating breast milk to local hospitals in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. As we do not have a maternity unit in Newmarket you could choose between donating your milk to West Suffolk Hospital or The Rosie at Addenbrookes… or both! (All of the admin is managed by the team at The Rosie.)
Over 12lbs at 9 weeks old, AB and I have settled into a good feeding routine leaving me feeling confident and keen to share my gold top goods!
Donating breast milk to our local milk bank has been incredibly easy to kick-start and simply requires an email, blood test and a breast pump.
I will share further news on the experience in a few weeks time but here is all you need to know on how to donate breast milk to local hospitals.
Email Janette (firstname.lastname@example.org) confirming the following information:
I can confirm that I have not had a tattoo in the last 12 months or a blood transfusion in the last 3 months.
Following this you will be invited for a blood test and given a large supply of milk storage bottles.
Newmarket does not have a milk collection service yet (maybe this will be my next quest) so the only catch is that you will have to deliver your milk to the hospital every four to six weeks.
Tempted but not sure if you should donate too?
Breast milk banks are one of the reasons that more premature babies are surviving.
When is it? Wednesday mornings from 10:00am onwards – we stayed for two hours.
Where to park? On the high street (if you are lucky) or for 60p you can park in the car park behind TK Maxx for 2 hours.
Pro’s: This free support class is the perfect place to chat about the painful yet rewarding reality of breastfeeding. What’s more, the ladies are all incredibly friendly and welcoming.
Con’s: Nothing springs to mind – the group is relaxed and laid back. There isn’t a group leader setting out activities for the LO’s or demanding that specific boob-related topics are discussed. As the founder Hannah states; “Currently can only offer advice based on our own experiences and point in the direction of breastfeeding clinics or private lactation consultants, however as some of you know, I’m hoping to do some training soon.”
What did AB think to it? She fed immediately then slept for over an hour so clearly felt relaxed. The atmosphere was so chilled out that AB even felt comfortable enough to lay on the mat on her back for 15 minutes. (This never happens at home!)
What did Mummy think to it? The group and the closed Facebook page are fantastic. You will get a feel for the informative yet relaxed style of the group by adding yourself to their Facebook page. We struggle to get up, dressed and out of the house before midday but I am so glad we got into gear this morning. Despite what you might think, it’s not all about boobs! We also discussed (/moaned about) baby weight gain, other classes, prams, white noise, baby massage and sleep – or lack of!
Was any cake involved? Yes! The group now takes over a whole room right next to the cafe. The hot drinks and cake are much cheaper than other high street coffee shops, the queue to order is always very short and they will bring your goodies into the room so there is no waiting around.
I appreciate that some people can’t and respect that others might not want to but I am such a huge breastfeeding advocate! Read some of the benefits here.
Breastfeeding is by far the most challenging but rewarding task I have ever done. Latches, blocked ducts and painful let downs were just a few challenges I faced (and by the sounds of things I got off lightly) but this pain was nothing when compared to the priceless one on one moments I share with AB whilst I fill her with the very best nutritents the world can offer. (In six weeks AB has already gained over 3lbs!)
The lovely Hannah became a Newmarket Mum in September 2016 and has recently set up a closed Facebook group called “Newmarket Breastfeeding Support Group.” Search for the group on Facebook and join us!
The group promotes a Newmarket weekly breastfeeding coffee morning where Mums can “meet up, have a drink, talk about boobs and feed…in a safe space.” Come along on a Wednesday between 10:00 and 11:30 at The Stables on Newmarket high street.
Also worth mentioning is BellyBelly, an Australian site that I have used a lot both during pregnancy and now. They offer broad advice on many topics including breastfeeding.
1. West Suffolk Hospital do not allow you to plug any devices into their power sockets.
Arm yourself with charging blocks so you can keep your mobile, iPad, kindle etc charged throughout your stay. The tv’s are terrible so you will definitely need to bring your own entertainment.
2. Call the nurseries now (!)
I didn’t (and still haven’t) called the nurseries in the Newmarket area. (Look here for more information on Newmarket nurseries.) With waiting lists longer than the queue for Deniro’s on a bank holiday weekend in the early noughties, call as soon as you’ve had your twelve week scan if you want to get a place reserved.
3. Newborn photoshoots
We were too late to get the adorable curled up, sleepy and snoozy photographs of AB. Book now to “avoid disappointment” as it’s amazing how quickly your LO will become more alert and too big to achieve the desired effect. We adore and highly recommend Peter Denness (he took our wedding photographs) but he doesn’t specialise in baby photography. If we had got out act into gear quicker we would have used Charlotte Potter over at Million Dollar Faces.
4. Newborn babies go through more baby grows in hospital than you might think.
The wonderful midwives and healthcare assistants were quick to encourage me to change AB’s outfit any time she had made it wet… wee or sick(!) With an unexpected extra night on the ward, I soon ran out of outfits so had to use the spares they had available.
I’ve bagged up the outfits that are now too small for AB and plan to donate them to the ward for other Mum’s in the same situation!
5. The friends you make in pre-natal classes are so valuable.
(More to follow on Daisy Birthing classes.) Having such a strong friendship group already, I never thought I would be someone who would want to make new “mummy” friends. A group of women that potentially only have pregnancy/newborns in common didn’t sound particularly appealing. I met four ladies during my six week birthing class and they have been such valuable, supportive and wonderful people to have around. Our Whatsapp group is used as much during the graveyard feeding hours as it is during daylight hours – we laugh together, cry together and share stories that can never be repeated!
6. Knowing which health care professional to call and at what time (It can be really confusing.)
I must admit that it was more confusing for me as due to my postcode I had all pre-natal care from West Suffolk and all post-natal care from Addenbrookes/the Lilac team. (E.g Newmarket hospital/West Suffolk hospital/Foley house whilst pregnant and Addenbrookes / Bottisham Children’s centre now AB is here!)
Despite being handed over to a Cambridgeshire team, when I ripped my episiotomy stitch on day three – ouch (!) I headed back over to West Suffolk and continued to receive fantastic service so firstly, do not worry about contacting the “right” team – just pick up the phone!
7. No matter how many classes you attend or how many books you read, you can’t fully prepare to become a mummy!
There will always be things that you didn’t find out about, fully understand or take on board. I was surprised by the following (it’s worth Googling):
Being induced – exactly what it does to you and your contractions
How to pee after labour
The truth about breast feeding – the most challenging but rewarding thing I have ever done
Glamour – or lack of. Swiping across my face with a bit of foundation made me feel so much better each day but using nappies to deal with my leaking boobs, wearing granny pants, holding frozen tena pads against my under carriage and weeing in the bath wasn’t exactly what I was expecting.