Posts Tagged "postnatal depression"

Eyes without Sparkle & Another Twinkle in the Eye

Posted by on Nov 26, 2015 in babble | 0 comments

Now, I am not an expert in PND but I have helped many cleints who have experienced it.  Luckily, a combination of my knowing enough about the signs and having an amazing support network of incredible women in my life, these mums were able to get the help and treatment they needed.  Many mothers out there have not, and they have struggled or are indeed still struggling with postnatal depression in some form; some of these are new mums, some will have been wading through treacle for many months, unaware that they are ill, feeling too ashamed to admit that they are drowning in misery, that they don’t feel over the moon at being a mother, that they cannot bond or feel any love towards their new baby. Having a baby is a tremendous change, followed by  months/years filled with challenges, testing times and huge responsibilities.  In my role as a postnatal coach,  I offer all new mothers a service which offers mothers and their partners the time and space to adapt to those changes by offering as much guidance, encouragement and help at home as their budget allows. Over the past few years, I have been gently gathering a lovely network of ladies around a lunch table every few weeks.  We are all self-employed, we are all passionate about what we do and we are all connected in one way or another to the world of babies. This Babble is to introduce you to Elaine Hanzak, one of my Ladies Wot Lunch gang. On 26th November 2013, I arranged to meet up with Elaine on one of her many visits to London where she was due to meet with the Royal College of Midwives about pushing for better support for those suffering with Perinatal Illness. With the same punchy sparkle that is sprinkled upon pocket rockets such as Kylie Minogue, Elaine arrived at a little cafe north of Oxford Street to have lunch with me.  Petite, pretty and beaming from ear to ear she bounded over and gave me a welcoming hug.  We sat down and chatted for well over an hour about her life, her challenges and her humbling experience of recoveries from both puerperal psychosis (Postnatal depression at its most terrifying) and the sudden death of her partner not long before.  Sadly, her appointment came around all too quickly and she was gone before I had had time to draw breath.  Like all good speakers, she left me wanting more, so I quickly got in touch again and invited her to join my burgeoning little lunch group.  I am honoured and delighted that she now puts in a regular appearance when she is in London at one of her many demanding events, getting to know the rest of the group and bewitching us with her stories. Elaine Hanzak talking babies to new mum Kathryn Mewes Elaine is now an inspirational speaker on overcoming loss and it has been wonderful getting to know her, hearing her tales which swing me from tears to side splitting laughter in the course of one lunch time.  She still leave me wanting more, more, more! Elaine advises and speaks to audiences who are looking for ways to improve their lives; to health professionals, mothers and family support groups plus at corporate events. Elaine delivers keynote presentations on overcoming loss, postnatal illness and mental health issues drawing from a raft of informative case studies, personal experiences and anecdotal information passed on to her via this website and her public speaking engagements. She is the author of two books. The first: Eyes without...

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My journey with The Three Day Nanny

Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in babble, Maternity Consultant | 0 comments

I recently had the privilege of working with Kathryn Mewes, The Three Day Nanny.  I have known Kathryn for a number of years both professionally and as a friend, so I was delighted when she announced earlier this year that she was expecting a baby and flattered when, early on in the pregnancy, she asked me to help her settle into her new role as a mum and guide her through those first bumpy weeks. I have to say, it was a little daunting for me.  Kathryn is well known for her Three Day Nanny Book and TV series on Channel 4, one series which has just finished its run and an earlier one aired some two years ago.  I wondered whether working with someone who is a personal friend would be a wise thing on which to embark! Whilst I am very confident in what I do and have vast experience of working with tinies in and around London, I wondered how it was going to pan out – telling the Three Day Nanny what to do and trying to get her to let go of the control for a few weeks , whilst helping her get to grips with the unpredictable and completely “out of control” feeling that a new baby hurls at many new parents. Kathryn, very sensibly, had decided to have her own lovely mum move in with her immediately after the birth.  I always feel that this is a very special time for mother and daughter to spend together; precious moments that never come around again.  A time too short but definitely a period where many new mothers feel slightly shell shocked, often sore and exhausted and certainly not wanting their home frequented by well meaning friends, eager to meet the new arrival.  It is a transitional stage where a new mum is catapulted into her role with no training, no experience and not knowing what to expect.  At least having her own mum by her side, Kathryn was able to recover, rest and allow herself to be cared for  during her recovery from, what turned out to be, a very difficult and prolonged birth experience. I joined Kathryn at her home after a couple of weeks and met my new charge.  Little Harriet – a twinkly eyed, petite and gorgeous little girl peeped out from her cot to greet me. Kathryn was interviewed by The Sun, in the early weeks, for another published article and also twice on Breakfast TV – once just before Harriet was born and again with Harriet as the star of the show.  On both occasions, Kathryn was very open and honest about her experiences.  This is often not the case and many mums feel they must gloss over their birthing experience or their first few weeks as a parent.  If their birthing experience was bad, if they did not bond immediately with their new baby, if they felt breast feeding should be as easy as falling off a log , they frequently feel huge waves of guilt, immense pressure to “succeed” in everything they do and this can lead to a loss of confidence, self doubt and feelings of failing their babies. In my role, I am not there just to help mothers implement routines, teach good sleep habits or take over with a new babe, but to boost that confidence, get them back on the log and then coax, cajole, giggle, reassure and coach that mum through the maze of conflicting advice, the exhaustion, the sleep deprivation, the loss of control and, once she is able to...

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For Sanity’s Sake: The Need to Sleep!

Posted by on Oct 8, 2013 in babble | 0 comments

I returned from holiday a couple of weeks ago to a lovely email from an ex-mum of mine, Amanda, who lives over in Teddington.  She suffered badly with PND in the early weeks after the birth of her first baby and I was contacted by her concerned husband to offer her some support.  She sought help for Post Natal Depression and, after a comparatively short while, was firing on all 4 cylinders.  She told me that it was “like someone pulling back the curtains and letting the sun shine in”.   Since then, Amanda has enrolled to do a full course to become a PND counsellor and has become a volunteer with a super set up called For Sanity’s Sake – through whom Amanda started to venture out into the real world, when her little boy was very young.  A wonderful example of Paying It Forward!  This fantastic website is for mums in the Richmond Borough and offers visitors to the site details of events, groups and information for mums and their Littles.  Of course, if you live within striking distance of Richmond/Teddington, this site would also give you some great opportunities to get out and about with your Tiny Smalls.   Now, Amanda, along with the group’s co-founder Rachel, is starting a weekly group for mums who are struggling with PND/anxiety or just the day-to-day chaos of having a baby.   I am deeply flattered and feel very honoured that they have asked me to be their launch speaker on Monday 14th October and am delighted to have been able to say a resounding yes to the invitation.  This particular meet-up will be held at Bill’s Cafe, opposite the Richmond Odeon (near Richmond Bridge).  My topic will be – you guessed it – the importance of establishing good sleep habits!   The regular coffee & cake Monday meet ups will run on a weekly basis at with a different topic/speaker at each even, followed by a free chat session and/or support chat from Amanda.   For further details about FSS, my talk and the venues for the weekly meet-ups, please visit their website:   www.forsanitysake.com photo credit: HeatherKaiser via photopin...

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