Tag Archives: babies

Is connected the new confused? 

Forget trying to think of answers to any questions or finding out information in books. These days we have a wealth of information literally at our fingertips. This is so amazing, yet every single day when I scroll through my social media I am hit with a heap of artcles telling me what I should and shouldn’t be doing as a parent. 

Are we all expected to raise children that are perfect all the time? They must have manners, be spirited but not cheeky,  have created 6 apps by the age of 7 and be a natural at any sport they attempt.  

All while the parents never yell. Play with them,  but not too much, they must know how to be bored.  Praise them, but not use the phrase ‘good girl or ‘good boy’, this could shame another child or be taken the wrong way? Show them affection, but don’t kiss them on the lips. Someone on the internet might think that’s gross! Both parents are expected to work, but also be available for all school/kinder functions and acivities (that always seem to be held during business hours)…..Oh and don’t forget you must feed them only organic food, be a plastic free household and don’t even think about giving them refined suger (that stuff is pure evil). 

I’ll admit, I read the articles and I do think about them.  So many questions have swirled around in my head. Should I control cry or not?  Is breast really best? How do I restrict screen time? What are all the milestones again? Why are they such picky eaters? Do humidifiers work? Am I a good mum? 

I’ve decided screw it, half of these articles are simply click bait……..No one is perfect and being a parent is overwhelming enough without all these extra ‘guidelines’. 

The truth is every child is different and parenting styles are different. We are all just doing our best to raise happy, healthy, well balanced children.  Sure, read the articles. Be open to new things, but take it with a grain of salt. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty, especially if you’re a new parent. Do what works for you, your baby and family.  I do 😀 

Rachelle xx 

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Bringing in the bed

As your baby grows you tick a number of milestones of the list. Rolling, solid food, crawling, walking…….finally the day comes where it’s time to bid farewell to the cot and move to a bed. 

I was nervous about this change. How do they stay in? Will they keep sleeping through the night? Am I going to wake up to a two year old walking around the house or breathing really close to my face while I sleep? What if they hate it? Turns out all of my fears were in vain. Both of my children transitioned pretty easily. 

I’m no expert and perhaps I was just lucky. I thought I would share some tips for the transition.

Wait until they’re ready- I don’t think there is a magical age to move to a bed and there probably isn’t any rush. However,  we were in a bit of a rush with Hudson as we needed the cot for Scarlett. Hudson was just over two and handled the change fine. Scarlett has also just turned 2 and she has just moved to a bed. She is loving it. We knew she was ready as she kept asking for a bed, laying in Hudson’s bed and she had been transitioned to a little mat on the floor at childcare. 

Talk about it – before putting our children in beds we spoke about beds, read books that had beds in them (3 little bears, princess and the pea). When we were out at home stores we would go look at beds to show them how ‘cool’ they are. I think having them understand what is happening helped a lot. 

Get them involved – when it was time for a big bed we took our kids to the shops where they could pick out a doona cover or pillows to help decorate their new bed. They loved it and it also gives them a little control. Even now, I let Hudson pick which cover he would like on his bed when I change his sheets. I like to get something a little different and found that Shop Inside have a really lovely kids range (adults too, but that’s for another day). 

Don’t panic and stay positive – there may be times where your child will get up and down before settling, they may not love the bed at the start. Persistence and patience is key. If you’re positive about the bed they will eventually come around. Like every family we have requests at bedtime for drinks, toilet, more stories, itchy feet, scary things in the wardrobe. I let them go through the motions and if they continue to get up I just quietly pop them back into bed. 
As I said, I was dreading transition time as I thought my kids wouldn’t enjoy it and may spend most nights in out bed. Overall, we have had a pretty good experience. 

Rachelle xx 

All bedding and pillows from Shop Inside

 

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How do you do it?

I’m a working mother, I work 4 days a week and have had my job for 6 years. After both of my children I returned to work relatively early (7 months). Working gives me balance and purpose. Plus, I like contributing to our household income and setting an example for Hudson and Scarlett. However, the older they get the more I am struggling. 

My work has a policy where I am meant to return to work full time when Scarlett is at school. This is still a few years away but it’s a concept that I struggle to get my head around. School isn’t like daycare. The hours are much shorter. I often lay awake worrying hiw this will work? How on earth is this managable? Can I be present for my children, get them to after school activities, help with homework and be the mum I want to be. All of this while working 40 hours a week (with a 2 hour commute each day)??? If anything this is a time where they really need me to be there for them. 

My husband runs his own business so his hours are long and ge can’t do drop offs or pick ups, he also doesn’t get paid annual leave. This means before and after school care with school holiday programs. I can get some help from family, but again I don’t want to be the mum that is never there. 

How on earth do parents manage? Working full time, children, homework, food shopping, cleaning, washing, cooking, activities, family time and friends. Is it even possible? Cost of living is expensive so its really just not as easy as throwing in the towel and saying ‘I quit.’ 

It appears in our quest to have and do it all we have found ourselves in some sort of crazy situation where it is impossible.

I’m so thankful for my job and healthy children. In no way am I whinging. I’m simply asking the question. Is it even possible? Will I regret these choices later in life? Will my children resent their mother who was always rushing around and busy?  I want to be there for my babies while they still need me. 

Other working mums, how do you do it? 

Rachelle xx 

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Katrina- Her experience with having twins

We’d like to welcome Katrina, who has written about her experience of being a mother of not only twin girls but a son also.
Thank you Katrina for sharing your story xx

•If you would like to share a story, please email themummycode@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you.

For as long as I can remember my mum always said to me that one day I would have twins, yet the day I found out that I was indeed carrying two babies was nevertheless a major shock! My husband and our 3 year old son were sitting with me in the radiology room at the local hospital. The on call sonographer was asked to come to the hospital on this particular Sunday morning as I had had a suspected miscarriage the night before. The drive to the hospital that morning was sombre and we hardly spoke in the car expecting sad news. A couple of hours went by waiting at the hospital for the sonographer to arrive and we were finally taken around to radiology, with me being wheeled around on a bed. Once the ultrasound started I was holding my breath then I heard a bit of mumbling then “Oh, TWO heartbeats!”. I started involuntarily shaking and searching for my husband’s face at the end of the bed, it was an emotional rollercoaster- not only was it good news, we were having two babies! How were we going to cope? Was our house big enough for two more children? After planning on two children, could we afford having three children?While in the hospital with our phones turned off, our families had been trying to ring us to find out if I was okay. My husband told his parents that everything was ok, without going into detail. Our son was hungry and had been waiting for hours at the hospital with us so as soon as I was discharged and with all the emergency staff wishing us luck, we took the short drive across the road to McDonalds. I texted my mum to tell her where we were, she asked if I has having a “Happy Meal” and I texted back “A shocked meal”- I wasn’t going to tell her via text! We drove to my in laws nearby and then my parents to tell them the news in person. It didn’t seem real yet, I was still shocked with the news that we were expecting twins and they were identical! My dad had apparently joked to my mum that I was probably coming to visit to tell them I was having twins but of course they were still surprised when we told them! After the initial shock started to subside in the following week my need for information, facts, statistics, in fact anything twin-related, went into overdrive! I joined the local multiple birth association and later went to an antenatal night held by a family with twins and that night I met some others expecting twins who have since become my closest friends. My pregnancy the second time around with the twins compared to the first time with my ‘singleton’ (technical term for one baby I have learnt) was intense. Ultrasounds were every few weeks then became weekly, with ECGs at the hospital every two days to chart the heartbeats of both babies. At every appointment with my obstetrician I was reminded that twin pregnancies are high risk, especially when the babies share a placenta {due to the possibility for Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome} and that I may end up with “two babies, one baby or worse”. It was a physically and emotionally exhausting time and I was desperate for my son to nap so that I could rest or sleep too. Naps and nausea tablets got me through!! Our son was super excited that we were having two babies that he would tell every single person whenever we were at the shops or kinder and say and they are ‘I-DEN-TICK-LE’. At 35 weeks after months of agonising over the pros and cons I made the decision to have a c-section and shocked my doctor with the news. The babies needed to be delivered soon due to the slowing in the growth and also the differences in growth rates between the two babies was widening. We decided upon a date the next week at 36 weeks and the medical team was organised, it seemed very business-like. A few days before my planned c section I was at the hospital having a scheduled ECG and twin 2’s heartbeat could not be located after trying for one and a half hours. It was one of the few appointments my husband hadn’t attended so my mum had come to support me instead. The on call obstetrician was called and I was walked up to his consulting suites at the front of the hospital to meet him for him to try and find twin 2’s heartbeat. Within moments he located it and of course I was incredibly relieved. A few hours after going back to my parents’ house (I was told not to drive or be alone at this point) my obstetrician rang me and asked if I had packed my bag because she was admitting me for observation overnight. It was a long night with a big tummy, a very sore back, and a narrow, hard hospital bed, being woken every few hours for the nurses to do another ECG. The next morning radiology did an ultrasound and said I could be discharged, even though I was booked to come back into the hospital the next day. I spent the rest of that day with my son at a playground watching him playing and thinking how our lives were going to change forever the next day.A mixture of excitement, nerves and an empty tummy due to fasting and I didn’t feel crash hot. My husband and I dropped our son off to be minded and headed to the hospital early. The hours went quickly, we chatted about the names we had chosen (last minute indecisiveness kicked in!) and I was soon being prepared for the trip to theatre. I wasn’t nervous until I reached the holding area and my obstetrician held my hand for reassurance while my husband went to change into some very daggy scrubs! Theatre was cold but buzzed with a large team of people doing different tasks. Once they started, I looked at the clock and saw it was about 4pm. Minutes later the first baby was held up for us to see then taken over to be checked by the paediatrician. Almost as soon as the first baby, Audrey, was held up for me to see her sister Elodie was born. After both bundles were placed on my chest for a moment, they then had to go to the special care nursery. My husband accompanied them while I was in recovery, fortunately we had talked about the possibility of this situation and I had said I wanted him to go with them. Being separated from my babies so quickly was strange, but every few minutes my husband would run up the stairs from the nursery and show me photos and videos of the girls and I was asking ‘who is that? Which one is that?’ trying to work out any differences between them. That night back in our room on the ward, the nurses brought Elodie in for a cuddle and at around midnight Audrey (who was smaller), was able to visit our room briefly for a cuddle with her daddy before going back to the nursery and joining her sister. After a few days of pumping around the clock and making a slow walk to and from the nursery to see my little princesses and having kangaroo care cuddles, I was discharged but my babies weren’t ready to come home. Knowing we would need all hands on deck for a while at home with the girls my husband kept working while they were still in the nursery so I spent nearly all day, every day in the nursery, missing our son…then when I was home I was missing the babies. It was tough and I was torn. Elodie was ready to come home, but Audrey was not. We decided to keep them together and on the same routine until they came home after 18 days in the nursery.
Once home I thought my four-hourly-feeding, then sleeping-the-whole-time-between-feed babies were a dream! This twin gig seemed so easy! Ha! Very soon I learned feeds and settling were a logistical challenge and juggling the constant changing, feeding, washing and settling for two newborns, with only one pair of arms and a busy toddler was hard work. Keeping in contact most days with other mums who had twins around the same age and a similarly aged toddler was a fantastic source of support and we helped each other through, laughing about the funny things and sharing stories about people we had met that day. Having twins apparently turns you into some sort of a celebrity for all public outings, while pushing a double pram on a time restricted mission to get something from the shops it isn’t uncommon to hear whispers of ‘twins’ or ‘did you see?’ as people pass and think you are out of ear shot. In the first year I found I was having my pram blocked by people who wanted to look at the girls and talk to the person with them about the girls but not say a word to me (rude!) and I frequently fielded inappropriate comments like ‘urgh, double trouble’ (no they aren’t actually…), ‘twins, glad it’s you and not me!’ (yes, me too), ‘are they natural?’(…is it any of your business?!), ‘she’s pretty but she’s cute’ (1, they are identical, 2, they are both beautiful), ‘how long have they been twins for?’ (…what?!…). The attraction seems to have died down now that the girls are 21 months and are cheeky toddlers rather than placid babies. The second year has certainly been easier, while life is still busy we are getting more sleep and I’m enjoying watching the girls develop their unique personalities and seeing how they interact with each other and people around them. There are still logistical challenges most days like how to get a double trolley when you have to carry two toddlers from the carpark to the supermarket to the specialty trolleys first, or juggling a basket of groceries in one hand while pushing the double pram with the other hand and using your foot to open a door at the same time. When running errands and things all seem a bit ridiculous I try to laugh at my ‘travelling circus’ of a family. Next time you see a mum (or a dad) with twins please ask them ‘can I help you somehow?’ or tell them you think they are doing a great job rather than trotting out the overused and unhelpful ‘double trouble’ comment, I am sure they will appreciate it and what harm is there in adding some positivity to the world too!
Katrina xx

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Well done Mumma

Taking on the role of a Mother often means praise is few and far between. If you haven’t heard some praise today, I’m writing to you. Well done!

Well done to the Mumma who has to leave her babies in other peoples care, while she goes to work to earn money to feed her family and keep a roof over their heads.

Well done to the Mumma who stays at home with her kids every single day. An incredibly challenging task but well worth every second. You’re doing an amazing job.

Well done to the Mumma who spent an hour cooking a meal that only received 2 bites and a “yuck” comment. Whilst it didn’t seem like it, your efforts of creating a home cooked meal were appreciated.

Well done to the Mumma who fed her child potato chips for dinner because they wouldn’t eat anything else. Your children were fed and they won’t go to bed hungry. A luxury many children in the world rarely experience.

Well done to the future Mumma. You’re growing a human being and you’re going to be a wonderful Mumma who will experience a love like no other.

Well done to the woman who is trying to be a Mumma. An incredibly difficult task both mentally and physically. I’m cheering you on!

Well done to the Father who is “Mumma”. You’re taking on two roles. An unknown territory to many. I take my hat off to you.

Well done to the Mumma who is also a father. Not everyone has a mother and father. You’re doing a top notch job of taking on two roles.

Well done to the Mumma whose toddler had a meltdown in the supermarket, the car, the home and the bath. You’ve held it together and tomorrow will be a new day.

Well done to the Mumma whos house feels like it hasn’t been cleaned in a year. You have a house for your babies, that’s what is important.

Well done to every single Mumma out there whether you’re a mumma, mumma to be, trying to be a mumma or a father who is a mumma. I applaud you. You’re doing a wonderful job of raising human beings and whilst you might feel like you’re not cutting sandwiches the right way or reading the right story book, you’re trying and that’s what truly matters. Well done.

Ange xx

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My guilty TV pleasures

When on maternity leave. Especially when you have your first bub and there is no toddler scampering about. I found I was spending a lot of time sitting around feeding and waiting around the house while my baby took naps.

After working full time for so many years I struggled with what to do with this down time (in between baby and house chores) as I felt a little trapped in the house.  Also, my husband and I started to stay home more on weekends rather than hitting the town.

TV series came to the rescue. Here are some of my favourites for any new mums who might be looking for something to watch. I understand some of these are complete trash TV but if it gives me some time to relax and zone out I don’t care. Anyway here they are:

* The Real Housewives of …….. (insert any city). Complete trash but I can’t get enough.  I also find myself watching spin off series from these such as Vanderpump Rules etc.

* The Walking Dead – I never enjoyed anything to do with zombies, but good lord. I love this series. However,  if anything ever happens to Daryl I will stop watching and probably riot! .

* Game of Thrones – again I am not normally a fan of fantasy. But, after hearing everyone talking about this I gave it a go and I love it. The dragons,  drama and awkward brother sister sex scenes have me hooked.

* Breaking Bad – this series has now finished, however it was a favourite of mine. Had me on the edge of my seat. Walter White is an unexpected badass and Jessie Pinkman just needs a good woman in his life to set him on the straight and narrow. 

* Vikings – since I gave Game of Thones a go. I also tried Vikings. Not quite as racy or fast paced as Game of Thrones but still a great series. A lot of Australian talent and Radnor is simply ah amazing!!!

* Ray Donovan – a really great series. This one has no zombies or dragons but it has a lot of drama. Leiv Shreiber and Jon Voit play fantastic characters.

* Orange is the new black – set in a women’s prison. Funny and interesting.  Love it!

Oh and I’m also a big Kardashians fan (including all the spin off series). I have no idea why I continue to watch.  However, I find myself tuning in each week and to keep up with all the latest Kardashian goss. I didn’t love recent series where there were too many scenes with the Jenner’s (Brody, Brandon etc) but I remain glued to my TV to see what will happen next. I hear Bruce is making a series about his sex change,  no doubt I will be all over that little trinket too.

Feel free to let me know any series you love. I am always on the lookout for something new. 

Rachelle xx

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Motherhood -the balancing act

If someone asked me to describe motherhood, the image that pops in my head is a little hampster running in a wheel. A stressed, guilt ridden, sweaty little hampster.  I love being a mum, seeing my children smiling and learning new things is one of the best feelings in the world. Yet, everyday I walk around with a ball of guilt in my stomach. Am I doing enough? Are they healthy ?  Do I work too much? Is everyone happy? 

Being a working mum adds a whole new level to the guilt, people always tell me they are only small once, so of course I feel bad leaving my babies while I work. However, I want to be able to help provide for my family and I believe working gives me a purpose and makes me appreciate the time I spend with my family. 

Then there is the balancing act of ‘quality family time’. My husband works 6 days most weeks, this leaves one day to spend together.  Add everyone’s birthdays,  catching up with friends and extended family. Again you are on a never ending cycle of trying to keep in touch with everyone, while trying to see each other and spend time just as a family. 

I try to be as organised as possible. Somehow,  no matter how organised I am since becoming a mother it’s never enough.  I could stock up with my sons favourite snacks from the supermarket to find that the next day he no longer likes them and wants something else. Clothes can fit one day and by some sort of magic your child will be bursting out of them like the hulk within 48 hrs.  Sit down to relax thinking all the washing is done and then all of a sudden there is some sort of vomit or nappy leak and off we go again, scampering on the never ending mummy wheel.

Throughout all the feelings of guilt, on days when I am home with both kids I find myself looking at the clock wondering when it will be nap time so I can stop performing like a member of The Wiggles and actually get some things done around the house or perhaps take a shower and do my hair!

Motherhood is like juggling a thousand balls a 24 hours a day.  From the minute your little person is placed in your arms everything changes and your world becomes a lot less about you and all about them. I have learnt that I will never be 100% organised and some days nothing will get done. Why? I’m just one person and I’m human.  Take a break mama, put your feet up, jump off the hampster wheel even if its just for 15mins. You have earnt it!

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Rachelle xx

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To do list: Before baby

Considering or planning to start a family. Here is a list of things to do and enjoy before you take the plunge.

Go to the beach and relax: once baby arrives, the beach is no longer a relaxing place. Fun yes, relaxing no. Once baby arrives the beach becomes a sandy, sticky, hot adventure land. You need to be on you toes the whole time and will end the day with a pile of sandy washing that will rival Mt Fuji.

Be spontaneous: any opportunity you get. Babies and toddlers thrive on routine and no matter how flexible you want your baby to be the reality is they’re not. Go out for spontaneous 10 course digustation dinners, quick weekends away and nights out. When your little bundle of joy arrives these things need to be planned and organised. Mainly because you will either require a babysitter or pack the car with snacks, bottles, nappies,spare clothes, the list goes on…….

Use a small bag or clutch bag: these don’t really exist in mummies world’s (unless you’re out without bub). Bags become huge and full of snacks, wipes and are often sticky and/or wet for unknown reasons. Enjoy all your smaller handbags now, because they may be on the shelf for a little while.

Sleep in: no explanation required!!

See your friends: Catch up with friends and enjoy their company. While this still happens once you have a baby, it does change. The visits or catch ups become less frequent and you will often be distracted as you have to chase a little person around, kiss boo boo’s, feed or change nappies.

Enjoy silence and your own space
: Either alone or with your partner. Take time to relax in silence and your own space whenever possible (car, home, shops). Babies and toddlers are loud, love attention and will touch you a lot. Revel in this silence, before you have a little person climbing all over you or Finding Nemo playing on repeat in your living room.

Renovate or move house: if you need extra space for children. Do it before you’re pregnant, don’t put it off. I speak from experience. We extended while I was pregnant with my second baby and lived in the construction zone with a toddler. It was loud, dusty, hot and no fun. By the time I was close to my due date I was a bloated, angry, dusty little troll who lived in half a house. I’m just happy that our builder got the job done quick, but I wouldn’t do it again.

When people tell you having children changes your life, it’s true. You will have a lot of wonderful, fun moments and watching them grow and learn is amazing. Just take the time to enjoy the little things before they arrive and flip your world upside down.

Rachelle xx
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The dreaded C word!

Cesarean Section!!
When you talk to anyone or read books/internet about birth, c-sections are painted as the last resort probably most horrifying thing that could happen ever.  There are a million terrible stories and awful experiences documented but not a lot of positive ones.

Even though most women would love to experience childbirth in the most natural way. Reality is that c-sections are very common and often necessary for the birth of a healthy baby.

I would like to firstly note that this is my experience and opinion and I am not speaking on behalf of all mothers. I understand that it is major surgery and involves risk, but all childbirth has risks.

Both of my children were born via c-section.  One emergency and one elective. All I can say is that they were both very uncomplicated and quite simple procedures.   I had minimal pain (thanks to our little pal painkillers), I was able to breastfeed and was up and walking about the next day.  I understand this is not everyone’s cup of tea, but after hearing and reading so many bad things I just wanted to share a more positive experience.  

Honestly,  the worst part was when they put the spinal block in and that wasn’t even that bad. The midwives were on hand to assist with anything I needed and the pain management was good. I left the hospital taking only Panadol and Voltaren. While heavy lifting and vacuuming were restricted in the following weeks (who wants to do that stuff anyway), I was able to drive after two weeks (after checking with my obstetrician,  of course). My scar is minimal and very low so I am still able to wear a bikini….which right now with a 10 week old baby isn’t an overly appealing thought or image.

I don’t feel I was robbed of anything by having children this way and I don’t believe I am any less of a mother than someone who experienced 40 plus hours of labour and a drug free birth. 

My point is, that as women we are faced with many things and we always overcome them.  I have heard people are often ashamed of having a c-section or are incredibly disappointed. For me, I am just happy to have two healthy children.  We should support each other and decisions made rather than putting each other down.

Plus,  the birth isn’t really important. The real challenge comes after.  Being able to raise happy, healthy, well balanced little humans.

Rachelle xx

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Thanks, but no thanks

One of the things you notice when you’re pregnant and have a child is how ready everyone is to hand out little golden nuggets of advice or comments on every little detail. 

Firstly,  when a lady is pregnant we know we are getting bigger,  we know we waddle and we don’t require anyone to provide a running commentary on all that is happening with our bodies.   It’s almost like once you announce your pregnancy all bets are off and your body becomes public property for everyone to talk about or touch.  Some little treats I received when pregnant are below:

* Oh WOW, you’re getting bigger.
* You popped overnight,  now you’re huge.
* I can definitely tell you’re pregnant now (ummm I know because my knickers are cutting off my circulation to my legs)
* You already look so uncomfortable,  just wait it will get worse. 
* Your boobs are enormous compared to normal and so veiny!
* Should you still wear heels while pregnant?  Don’t fall and hurt the baby.
While I completely understand that there is nothing meant by the comments.  A simple ‘you look nice’ or saying nothing at all is probably a better approach.  

Then the time comes, baby is born and it all starts again:

* It’s quite warm, should he/she be wearing those socks?
* Isn’t he walking yet? Shouldn’t he be walking by now.
* Why is her eye swollen? Is that normal?
* I can hear a wheeze have you had that checked out?
* Oh is that how you do it… I wouldn’t do it that way.
*Is it a girl or a boy?- when my daughter was completely dressed in pink.
* I hate those swaddles. Did you know they’re not organic?
* Did you drop your baby? – Comment from a stranger at the doctors when they saw my daughter wearing a hip brace for hip dysplasia??

Again,  I understand most comments or questions come from a good place. However,  sometimes as a new mother you are made to doubt yourself or second guess decisions all because of people’s comments that were not asked for. 

There is no need to make negative comments and hand out unsolicited advice just because someone is pregnant or has a new baby. Just remember that poor lady is probably sleep deprived,  extremely hormonal and feeling vulnerable.  Let’s just all agree keep it positive and simple.  Tell pregnant ladies they are ‘absolutely glowing’ and all new mums need to hear is they have an adorable little baby.

Rachelle xx

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