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Pregnancy to Parenting, The Unsupported Reality

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it doesn’t change our past.

To get to hindsight, we must have gone through something where we wish we had done things differently.

What we really need is foresight.

Foresight to help prepare for the future.

Foresight to consider the possibilities.

My hindsight is why I work so hard to try to give you foresight, so you don’t have to go through what I and so many others have been through.

Sofa born

Welcome to the start of knowing nothing.

Here’s my story.

In 2015 I was lucky enough to fall pregnant with my beautiful daughter Sofia. I was keen to get everything right, and that everything would be perfect. I felt like I was born to be a mum and that my instincts would be super strong.

I took all the vitamins, booked onto the NCT antenatal course, attended a breastfeeding session, wrote my birth plan, went to aqua natal classes, read pregnancy books, learned all about the fourth trimester, had made my decision to breastfeed – mainly because I had been told previously I couldn’t due to medication, and I am not the sort of person who takes being told I can’t do something very well. My hospital bag was packed way in advance and had excess amounts of everything in it. If anyone had told me about the Newborn Video Course I have created, I would have said I didn’t need it.

I was sorted.

I was prepared. Until I wasn’t.

No one prepared me for what an emergency C-Section looked like and the physical and emotional aftermath of it.

No one prepared me for the breastfeeding struggle or explained how important that immediate skin-to-skin is, or even the real importance of skin-to-skin and how it helps breastfeeding, bonding, pain and helps to kick start the milk supply.

No one told me how to manage a hospital stay, explain my rights to a debrief, or what to expect after a birth goes wrong.

No one told me about birth trauma.

No one prepared me for the emotional rollercoaster that ensued and the mental health struggles that come with severe sleep deprivation.

No one told me how horrifically painful breastfeeding could be if it is not done correctly.

No one explained that babies just don’t sleep when they are tired, I was told they sleep a lot in the beginning. Mine didn’t sleep at all.

No one told me that my marriage may fall apart due to the severe sleep deprivation that was coming

I wasn’t told where to get expert breastfeeding help.

Here’s what did happen

I was directed to midwives and an infant feeding team who all told me my latch was fine. It wasn’t.


Finally, we got the latch

I had cracked and bleeding nipples and was in agony all the time. I couldn’t put my baby down as all she wanted to do was feed. This went on for 5 and a half weeks until I got help from an IBCLC.

I was told my baby had reflux by the GP and given Gaviscon at 2 weeks old for her. She didn’t have reflux.

I was told by the health visitors I had to give my baby formula to top her up as her birth weight dropped 10%. I didn’t give her formula and I got her birth weight up by expressing.

I was told by my GP I had to give my daughter formula while on antibiotics for an infection I got after my C-section. It turns out I didn’t need to stop breastfeeding, but I didn’t know this until years later.

I had a baby that didn’t sleep at all, unless I walked for miles and miles a day, and then she woke up as soon as I stopped pushing the pram.

I had a baby that screamed on long car journeys rather than slept as she was so overtired.

I was told I was spoiling my baby by holding her all the time.

I was told starting my baby on solids would help her sleep better and to start before 6 months

I was asked if I was doing baby led weaning, I just thought this was following baby’s lead and letting her tell me when she was ready to start, no-one actually told me what it was.

I was called an anxious mum by health visitors.

I was told to leave my 7 month old to cry alone to get her to sleep as it was the only way.

It took until I was 30 weeks pregnant with my second baby, nearly 4 years after having Sofia, that the reason I had to have an emergency C-section was because she was back to back.

I suffered trauma, pain, infections, poor advice, emotional distress, the near breakup of my marriage, physical health problems due to stress and sleep deprivation, I even drove with my baby in the car without strapping her in as I was so tired, I forgot to do it. I used to have micro sleeps at the wheel and wake up in a different lane on the motorway, goodness knows how I am still here.

The sad thing is, I know I am not alone in my experiences. I speak to countless mums who tell me their story, and it may not be exactly the same, but they have all had their own battles that didn’t need to be fought the way they were.

If I had had the knowledge I am giving to you in my Newborn Guide – ‘What to expect in the first 6 months’ I wouldn’t have had these struggles.

OK, I couldn’t have prevented an emergency C-Section, but I could have asked the right questions in hospital.

I could have sought breastfeeding support from an IBCLC at the beginning.

I could have continued breastfeeding while on my antibiotics.

I would have understood that the feelings I had were normal and reached out to others and openly admitted how I was feeling, and had support from others in the same boat, who like me, were hiding their truth behind a smile.

I would have understood what was normal in terms of sleep and development and questioned myself less.

I would have learnt about my baby and her sleep cues, and helped her sleep when she needed it and not overstimulated her with every baby toy I could get my hands on.

I would have known to speak up when something didn’t feel right and done it with confidence.

I would have understood weaning.

My journey would have been more supported and so much better.

If you are pregnant and reading this, I haven’t written it to scare you, but to empower you.

I have written it to help you know that every baby is different, they all have different needs, so whether it is your first baby or your fifth, you can’t predict the future.

I would hope you all get the birth you wish for and that your mental health is great, feeding works perfectly for you, there are no allergies, reflux, tongue tie, sleep issues and so many more things that come with having a newborn, but realistically, it is unlikely to be perfect.

Why not use other people’s experiences to give you the foresight to be prepared for the just in case.

Have experts on hand in your phone book for any situation that may arise.

Have confidence in your decisions and to speak up when you know something isn’t right.

This is why I created this course.

You don’t know what you don’t know. You can’t know, no-one can predict the future.

All we can do is be prepared.

The Newborn Guide is just £39, it is all easy to watch videos to prepare you emotionally and practically for the arrival of your baby, and it is designed to help you navigate the normal developments throughout the first 6 months and directs you to expert support should you need it.