Nature's Mothers Blog

Childbirth, Parenting and Other Passions

Hawthorn or Elderflower cordial recipe April 15, 2015

Filed under: pregnancy — naturesmother @ 3:45 pm

Here’s what you can do with Hawthorn blossom!! Happy Spring! 🙂

Nature's Mothers Blog

If you still have any elderflowers out, run and grab them and make this yummy cordial! Erin lives on the stuff!

Ingredients:

20 heads elderflower or hawthorn flowers
1.8kg sugar (I use the slightly healthier unrefined brown sugar)
1.2 litres water
2 unwaxed lemons
75g citric acid

Shake bugs off flowerheads and put flowerheads in a bowl.
Dissolve the sugar in the water by warming gently
Peel the zest off the lemons and put it into bowl with flowerheads
Slice lemons and add to flowerheads
Poor sugar water over flowerheads once it’s cooled a bit
Add citric acid
Cover with a cloth for 24 hours then strain through cheesecloth (or sieve)
Bring to the boil, then bottle and mix to taste (about1 part cordial to 6 parts water)

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How amber forms! January 28, 2015

Filed under: pregnancy — naturesmother @ 3:15 pm
Tags: , ,

This is interesting!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/fossils/Amber#p00ckj8s

 

Is your amber teething necklace fake or real?

Filed under: pregnancy — naturesmother @ 3:08 pm

How to check if your amber is real! http://www.naturesmother.co.uk

Nature's Mothers Blog

There are lots of fake amber necklaces on the market. Some are plastic and some are Copal (immature resin).  If you want the soothing effects of the succinic acid, you need the real deal.

Here are a few ways to test if amber is real:

  1. Drip a few drops of acetone (nail polish remover) on the amber.  If the amber goes slightly sticky, or the acetone takes on the colour of the amber – your amber is almost definitely not real.
  2. Try burn your amber (I’m guessing you won’t want to do this on a lovely new necklace!) It will burn like incense and let off a wonderful piney smell. Copal will melt but smell similar to amber. Plastic will melt and smell like chemicals.
  3. I found a wonderful video on youtube to demonstrate this one…enjoy!!

Here at Nature’s Mother you’ll find some genuine beautiful amber necklaces. The baby necklaces…

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Doula! The Ultimate Birth Companion May 9, 2014

Filed under: babies,Birth,Parenting,pregnancy — naturesmother @ 7:54 pm

I have recently had the privilege of being invited to be a birth partner for a lovely friend of mine. As a result I have been researching what doula’s do in more detail – although I know what my wonderful doula did for me! I have just watched this film and felt the need to share it. It costs £1.99 to stream it online – very much worth it in my opinion!

https://distrify.com/films/4744

 

 

To all my friends with kids…and those without… December 7, 2013

Filed under: babies,Parenting,pregnancy — naturesmother @ 9:28 am

This is too funny not to share! Enjoy! 🙂

 

Traumatised child, traumatised mum… November 3, 2013

Filed under: Birth,Parenting,pregnancy — naturesmother @ 11:26 pm

Since my middle child, Ayla, was born I have blogged much less. This is partly due to being incredibly busy, but I think mostly due to the fact that I have been slightly traumatised and have felt unable to really talk about this, except for to a few close friends, before now.

Before Ayla’s birth I wrote this blog about Letting Go of expectations and fear. If you read the following blog you will see that I went into labour the night after writing the first blog. Now, I have a theory about this. I feel that I did let go of fear enough for my body to relax and go into labour, but I don’t feel that I was relaxed enough. I didn’t exactly explain this in the birth blog (the second one) but looking back now, I find it quite odd that once Ayla’s head was out I lost all desire to push her body out. It took at least another 7 minutes before I forced myself (with Stevens help) to push her body out, which I believe is quite long. Looking back now, I do feel that I wasn’t actually ready for her. As wonderful as I thought my living arrangements were, there was actually a lot of constantly having to shush Erin and stop her from going into rooms and exploring like a normal toddler, and Erin was a pretty quiet, angelic child. (we shared a house). In retrospect I KNOW this caused me a lot more stress then I acknowledged or even realised at the time. I know because when we moved out I felt such a HUGE sense of relief. This was probably one of many factors – there was the ‘how will I cope?’ factor, and many more.

Anyhow, within the first day or two when little gorgeous Ayla began to cry constantly I was completely taken by surprise. My first daughter had practically never cried. I was bloody tired and emotional and nothing I did seemed to satisfy this little soul – and it made me feel so useless – and angry. I felt I never really bonded with her and fell in love with her the way I did with Erin – this process was interrupted by desperate cries and helplessness. Many a night Steven and I would just pass her between us and hold her for as long as we could cope with the crying. She has a hearty, shriek-like cry which seemed to make all the nerves in my body twang and I felt like SUCH an awful mum! Not even boobie would satisfy her. She HATED the car and would literally scream from the second we got in to the second we stopped – I often had to stop and get her out on the way somewhere as I felt so utterly mean allowing her to get into such a state..she was literally breathless, sweaty and bright red by the time we arrived.  And there were times when I wore her in the sling and sat in the back of the car with her, and she was much happier like this. It was heartbreaking. I went out as little as possible. Seeing Dr Maryellen Stephens of Westcountry Family Chiropractic was a Godsend, and the crying immediately reduced. But Ayla has always been a needy baby and she has carried that through to childhood.

I feel she is traumatised for a few reasons:
1) me not feeling ready for her due to unforeseen & unchangeable circumstances
2) me being fearful of ending up in hospital
3) allowing intervention in having my waters broken when it was looking apparent that labour would stop
4) me literally not being able to push her body out for ages – having her head in the water, eyes open for well over 5 minutes (a very clear subconscious message??)
5) me being unable to cope with the crying and feeling utterly helpless

I have had three wonderful natural births, that many a woman is envious of & I should be thankful, right?  But yet I can relate to how people who have had awful traumatic births must feel. I believe that Ayla’s stress hormones(cortisol) are high and used up fast and then adrenaline kicks in. It is hard. I totally adore this child and would die for her, but there are moments when I just simply don’t know how to be with her. This has reflected negatively on our mother child relationship and I sometimes feel that Ayla is simply a reflection of how I’ve become as a result of her crying and unquenchable neediness, and therefore my feeling of helplessness. I used to be super chilled and easy going, but there is something about that cry (which she still has) that makes something in my brain go ‘twang’ and I lose the ability to cope – over and over again. I say things that I don’t mean and I see the fear in her eyes when I roar at her to ‘stop crying because it’s making me go insane’. Tears are rolling down my face as I write this. I recognise that it is so terribly terribly sad, and I still feel helpless as to how to make it better.

What is also interesting is that when Ayla was 2 months old I broke my finger and had to have it operated on. This put my one hand out of action for over a month. I don’t think I purposely broke my finger, but I do think that this gave me the ability to step back and hand over the childcare a bit more to Steven at a time when I was feeling unable to cope. You have to wonder about timings sometimes…

Ayla is quite aggressive, extremely emotional, quite angry and has a blood curdling scream which makes everyone cover their ears if we’re in a public place. She is constantly hurting Leander or pushing him over (sometimes I think she just wants to squeeze him because she loves him, but then gets carried away and hurts him instead) and hubby and I often find ourselves talking and worrying about her mental health. I know it is a mothers ‘job’ to blame herself, so I’m trying not to be too hard on myself – but it is hard. I also feel very guilty that we had Leander when she was so little (she was 27 months old) and I know that of course she must be quite jealous of the attention he gets – and he is a total angel of a baby so he gets lots of positive attention, whereas she mainly seems to attract negative attention although we really really make an effort to give her one on one and as much positive attention as we can.

I myself have been rather down in the dumps and am in fact currently having Counselling  – and I must say that I feel a big part of the problem is as a result of Ayla’s babyhood and my loss of faith in myself. I do actually feel traumatised by the crying and have the most terrible guilt for not being able to provide for her needs – I could not stop her from crying, no matter what I did. I have gradually begun disliking myself more and more over the past 3 years and am now actually only recognising this and changing the pattern. How can I expect my kids to love themselves if I don’t love myself?

Regardless of all of this, I can honestly say that I love Ayla as much as my other children, and she probably spends a lot more time going around in my heart & head as I worry about her, and I desperately want to make things right in her world. She is pretty damn hilarious when she wants to be and ever so cute and small and articulate. She can be very loving and adorable, and she can be totally feisty and wild too – all of which I adore. If I had a time machine, I would like to repeat our first few months together – I want to take her on a journey back into the womb and really wish her out into this world wholeheartedly, make things right for her from the start..somehow I feel like if this had been the case she may not have cried as much as she did. If she hadn’t cried so much I would have been able to bond much better. If I’d bonded much better, she would be a much more secure child. Oh, the guilt that comes with parenthood – and of course, there’s no guarantee that any of this would have made any difference.

Another theory I have is that I persuaded her to stop breastfeeding when she was 18 months old. I had just ended up in hospital with severe blood loss after an anembryonic pregnancy, and I just felt too physically drained to continue. I also felt I never had quite the same breastfeeding relationship with her as I did with the others – it was much easier to stop feeding her than it would have been with Erin. I just didn’t feel as ‘connected’ to her. I breastfed Erin til 3 and beyond, and she is such a secure child and I am sure this is a contributing factor. In retrospect I do actually wish I’d continued with Ayla, because I think it could have been really healing for both of us – but I was physically and mentally depleted and felt unable to at the time.

What could really heal her, I think, is plenty of one-on-one time with her. Plenty of praise, endless love, no punishments. (Easier said then done when her shrieks trigger an automatic negative response from me…something I’m working on). I feel I need to allow her to be a baby again too.  Life has been hard enough for her…I have no idea why she actually cried when she was a baby, but whatever it was – I believe it has left scars. I believe Love-bombing may well be our answer, and in small doses has worked miracles for as long as a couple of weeks afterwards. I want to do a few days of total love-bombing when Leander is weaned some day and see what that does. I also want to learn to forgive and love myself again, as I’m sure this will reflect on our relationship and I’m happy to say that I am well on my way there!

So now the secret is out – I am indeed human and no super mom at all. But, as I so often say these days, I’m working on it 😉

breastfeeding

 

What if… A woman is told “there are no midwives available for homebirth”… May 23, 2013


Another guest post:

What if… A woman is told “there are no midwives available for homebirth”…

Quick answer: If couples decline hospital transfer and insist on remaining at home there’s a good chance that the hospital trust will be able to organise attendance by other midwives.

Longer answer: The government report ‘Maternity Matters’ (2007) guaranteed that every woman in England would have the choice of giving birth at hospital, at a birth centre or at home. This promise is far from being met as maternity services remain overstretched.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council say “Should a conflict arise between service provision and a woman’s choice for place of birth, a midwife has a duty of care to attend her… Withdrawal of a home birth service is no less significant to women than withdrawal of services for a hospital birth” (NMC 2010).

A health authority is legally obliged to provide emergency care, although it cannot be forced by law to provide a homebirth service. However, if women decline hospital transfer and insist on staying at home in labour then the trust do their utmost to provide a midwife.

If a woman’s local team is already busy or unavailable, midwives can be called in from other local areas. If other community teams are busy or unavailable the on-call supervisor of midwives will be asked to attend. As a last resort paramedics can be called to attend.

Birth partners should advocate for the woman clearly, calmly and assertively on the telephone. Calmly repeating phrases such as “No, she does not wish to transfer to hospital, we’re having a homebirth. Please arrange for a midwife to attend. There’s no way she’s getting out of the pool” sends out the message loud and clear.

Some women voice concerns that insisting on midwives coming out might mean that they get grumpy care providers… I have to say, when I’ve supported local couples in these circumstances as a doula, the midwives who arrive have always been professional and happy to be there.

Obviously, women should only stay at home if they still feel comfortable doing so.

If a woman is involuntarily pushing (especially near the beginning of each contraction) and a midwife might not arrive in time, birth partners are advised to call 999 just as a precaution and prepare for an unassisted birth… And keep calm!

Cornwall homebirth provision…

Maternity service commissioners here in Cornwall have requested that any incidents of threatened or denied homebirth provision should be reported to them.

Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group can be contacted directly, or you can pass your comments to the Maternity Services Liaison Committe via myself (Alice Kirby) of the chair Mandy Wells (07833 054664).

First family photos

Many thanks to Alice Kirby of  Hypnobirthing with Alice Kirby here in Cornwall for letting me post this very useful info. This is often a concern for pregnant mothers and it’s good to know where we stand.

 

 
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