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TIPS FOR NEW MAMAS

1
Dr. Ellie Cannon has 10 tips for new mothers on how to keep calm when you can’t see the light of day…

1. Remember you are the authority, the specialist and the doyenne on your little one.. This is what mothers are for; you’ve just got to trust yourself to do it. I had a very old-fashioned health visitor when I had my daughter whose answer to everything was “Jolly good well done”. We used to joke I could tell her I’d just sold the baby, and she’d still say “Jolly good well done”. But actually, what she really did was instil in me that

SelfishMother.com
2
I knew best as far as my baby was concerned, even when I’d only been a mother for a few weeks.

2. Guilt undermines you as a mother. You don’t need to beat yourself about what you should be doing: focus on what you ARE doing. Guilt is very tiring and stops you loving and basking in parenthood. My guilt always stems from the fact that I work (even though I’m home three days a week, and always help with their homework *justifies position*) but I see guilt about all sorts: we need to be a bit more manly about this and stop beating ourselves

SelfishMother.com
3
up.

3. In the early days of motherhood grab sleep when you can, even thirty minutes is worth it. If someone offers to hold the baby, take the opportunity immediately before they can change their mind. You can’t be calm, if you’re exhausted. I have spent years watching my babies sleep – don’t ask me why. I get huge satisfaction from it but it is utterly pointless especially when you are sleep-deprived and need to grab a nap yourself. I’ve even been known to do this on night flights…….I spend ages getting them to sleep, then sit there

SelfishMother.com
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revelling in my success rather than dozing off!

4. Say yes to all offers of help- some of us are not very good at accepting help. You don’t need to cope by yourself. If someone says ”let me hold the baby while you have a shower/snooze/sandwich the answer is always YES. I was not very good at this at all, probably because I’m a control freak, so I never gave myself the chance to relax even though I actually had offers of a lot of help. That all changed when I reluctantly let my other half do the dream feed: not only did he cope just fine, he also

SelfishMother.com
5
managed to pop our daughter back to sleep without half the rigmarole I got involved in. From then on, that was his domain and I banked an extra two hours sleep every night.

5. It is hard to know who to trust for good advice when you’re a first time mum. If the advice feels wrong, chances are it probably is. Never trust anyone who says only their way of parenting is right. There’s a lot of people out there giving advice: if advice is genuinely good it will have the seal of approval from friends who’ve tried and tested it, or a bona fide medical

SelfishMother.com
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body.

6. Competitive mothers are to be avoided at all costs. Parenting is not a competitive sport. Concentrate on what your baby is doing, no-one else’s. Forget comparing and just laugh at boastful mothers. I learnt to cope with this lot really early on as my daughter only saw it necessary to crawl at 13months which is pretty late. I was told it was my fault, she needed physio and I should be taking her to babygym all by competitive mothers. 10 years on, you hear the same type of women saying the same things – “What a shame your son’s school

SelfishMother.com
7
doesn’t do Latin?”,”Romy just begged me to learn the harp, piano was too easy”. Yawn.

7. No real woman looks like Kate Middleton after giving birth (except Kate Middleton). Real women take a while to feel physically back to normal. Be realistic so you don’t feel like a failure when you’re still wearing maternity jeans after six months. Weight loss has become another competitive sport. It’s important for all of us to look good so we feel good but it takes months, not five minutes.

8. If you are worried about anything don’t hesitate to

SelfishMother.com
8
speak to your doctor. A GP should never make you feel embarrassed for being concerned about your baby. If your GP does, ask to see someone else. I have genuinely never sat in clinic and thought “this mother is wasting my time”. Maternal instinct is very powerful and sometimes you can’t even verbalise what is worrying you, but just the worry is reason enough to go to the doc. I once had a mum take her 5 week old to A&E because she was worried about him – she couldn’t even say why, she just felt he wasn’t right. It turned out he had
SelfishMother.com
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meningitis, and by presenting so early she saved his life.

9. Vaccinate your baby. This is the ultimate way to keep calm. Knowing you have protected your child from life threatening or devastating illnesses helps you sleep well at night. My children have had all vaccinations and I have little time for the selfish notion that you can opt out. We only have herd immunity if we all opt in; that way, you’re protecting your kids, and those vulnerable kids who are too weak to be vaccinated.

10. Go easy on expectations of yourself – you don’t have to

SelfishMother.com
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prove your worth as a working woman of the 21st century. Being a mum and working is over achieving enough- you don’t need to be cooking six course dinner parties at the weekend too. I go crazy making over the top birthday cakes and yes, I’ll be up til the early hours making them perfect. But that’s my limit – I don’t try and be a faultless housewife or a perfect size 10; there just aren’t the hours in the day. 

 

Dr. Ellie’s book ’Keep Calm; The New Mum’s Manual’ (Vermilion) is out now £10.99

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at Amazon

 

 

 

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- 27 Mar 14

Dr. Ellie Cannon has 10 tips for new mothers on how to keep calm when you can’t see the light of day…

1. Remember you are the authority, the specialist and the doyenne on your little one.. This is what mothers are for; you’ve just got to trust yourself to do it. I had a very old-fashioned health visitor when I had my daughter whose answer to everything was “Jolly good well done”. We used to joke I could tell her I’d just sold the baby, and she’d still say “Jolly good well done”. But actually, what she really did was instil in me that I knew best as far as my baby was concerned, even when I’d only been a mother for a few weeks.

2. Guilt undermines you as a mother. You don’t need to beat yourself about what you should be doing: focus on what you ARE doing. Guilt is very tiring and stops you loving and basking in parenthood. My guilt always stems from the fact that I work (even though I’m home three days a week, and always help with their homework *justifies position*) but I see guilt about all sorts: we need to be a bit more manly about this and stop beating ourselves up.

3. In the early days of motherhood grab sleep when you can, even thirty minutes is worth it. If someone offers to hold the baby, take the opportunity immediately before they can change their mind. You can’t be calm, if you’re exhausted. I have spent years watching my babies sleep – don’t ask me why. I get huge satisfaction from it but it is utterly pointless especially when you are sleep-deprived and need to grab a nap yourself. I’ve even been known to do this on night flights…….I spend ages getting them to sleep, then sit there revelling in my success rather than dozing off!

4. Say yes to all offers of help- some of us are not very good at accepting help. You don’t need to cope by yourself. If someone says “let me hold the baby while you have a shower/snooze/sandwich the answer is always YES. I was not very good at this at all, probably because I’m a control freak, so I never gave myself the chance to relax even though I actually had offers of a lot of help. That all changed when I reluctantly let my other half do the dream feed: not only did he cope just fine, he also managed to pop our daughter back to sleep without half the rigmarole I got involved in. From then on, that was his domain and I banked an extra two hours sleep every night.

5. It is hard to know who to trust for good advice when you’re a first time mum. If the advice feels wrong, chances are it probably is. Never trust anyone who says only their way of parenting is right. There’s a lot of people out there giving advice: if advice is genuinely good it will have the seal of approval from friends who’ve tried and tested it, or a bona fide medical body.

6. Competitive mothers are to be avoided at all costs. Parenting is not a competitive sport. Concentrate on what your baby is doing, no-one else’s. Forget comparing and just laugh at boastful mothers. I learnt to cope with this lot really early on as my daughter only saw it necessary to crawl at 13months which is pretty late. I was told it was my fault, she needed physio and I should be taking her to babygym all by competitive mothers. 10 years on, you hear the same type of women saying the same things – “What a shame your son’s school doesn’t do Latin?”,”Romy just begged me to learn the harp, piano was too easy”. Yawn.

7. No real woman looks like Kate Middleton after giving birth (except Kate Middleton). Real women take a while to feel physically back to normal. Be realistic so you don’t feel like a failure when you’re still wearing maternity jeans after six months. Weight loss has become another competitive sport. It’s important for all of us to look good so we feel good but it takes months, not five minutes.

8. If you are worried about anything don’t hesitate to speak to your doctor. A GP should never make you feel embarrassed for being concerned about your baby. If your GP does, ask to see someone else. I have genuinely never sat in clinic and thought “this mother is wasting my time”. Maternal instinct is very powerful and sometimes you can’t even verbalise what is worrying you, but just the worry is reason enough to go to the doc. I once had a mum take her 5 week old to A&E because she was worried about him – she couldn’t even say why, she just felt he wasn’t right. It turned out he had meningitis, and by presenting so early she saved his life.

9. Vaccinate your baby. This is the ultimate way to keep calm. Knowing you have protected your child from life threatening or devastating illnesses helps you sleep well at night. My children have had all vaccinations and I have little time for the selfish notion that you can opt out. We only have herd immunity if we all opt in; that way, you’re protecting your kids, and those vulnerable kids who are too weak to be vaccinated.

10. Go easy on expectations of yourself – you don’t have to prove your worth as a working woman of the 21st century. Being a mum and working is over achieving enough- you don’t need to be cooking six course dinner parties at the weekend too. I go crazy making over the top birthday cakes and yes, I’ll be up til the early hours making them perfect. But that’s my limit – I don’t try and be a faultless housewife or a perfect size 10; there just aren’t the hours in the day. 

 


Dr. Ellie’s book ‘Keep Calm; The New Mum’s Manual’ (Vermilion) is out now £10.99 at Amazon

 

 

 

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