10 steps for a gentle post-partum recovery

Here’s a post I started writing a few months ago, shortly after giving birth to my lovely baby boy, but as with so many things on the to-do list, life got in the way and I didn’t get around to finishing it off. It’s perhaps more appropriate for my other blog over on One Woman, Two Wheels, where I talk more about fitness and well-being, but I thought I’d post here anyway.

I wrote it as much as anything as a reminder to myself to take it easy and not overdo it, especially as I was feeling so well at just three weeks post-partum, which was a big contrast to my first pregnancy, which took much longer to recover from both physically and emotionally. Given our moving plans and how much we have been doing, I’ve tried to keep the below 10 points in mind, despite not always managing to be quite as gentle on myself as I’d like – but at least I’m off work and not in the horrible position of having to consider a return to work in just a few weeks.

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Misadventures in Tandem Nursing

It seemed like a good idea, not weaning during pregnancy, but any thought that tandem nursing might bring serene acceptance of a new sibling are being challenged quite forcefully by a very disrupted DD. When the newborn wriggles in my lap, accidentally brushing her arm or face, she flinches and tries to push him away. It’s sad that what was meant to be my way of showing her that mummy is still here has become a battle ground. It’s three weeks today since this stretch of the journey began and it makes me sad to see her so conflicted, so distressed, about my new role as mother to both her and her little brother. It’s also taking its toll on me as we’re well into newborn growth spurt territory, so keeping up with the demands of the newborn, which are non- negotiable, mean I’m finding it hard to be patient with the demands of an irate toddler.

I really hoped it wouldn’t be this way but it seems I’m going to have to start imposing limits, as hard as that may be on both of us. Luckily there’s a La Leche League meeting on Monday, so I will get myself over there and see whether they can advise. I’m way out of my depth and DD is very strong-willed, so any limit is unlikely to be accepted without a battle, and I’ll definitely need some support. I’ll report back.

One of the biggest emotional hurdles is finding others with experience of tandem nursing as it’s definitely “out there” as far as normal goes, so I’d love to hear about other experiences of tandem nursing. Did you try it, plan to, quit, make it through the other side of these first few challenging weeks? How did your older child cope? Will there ever be a new normal or is all going to be crazy for ever more??