Archive for the ‘Things to do’ Category

One of the most memorable things my midwife told me was that three days after giving birth, the pregnancy hormone feast drops suddenly into a hormone famine. It’s common for women to feel low and tearful at this time. She was spot on, I literally cried rivers come day four. There was nothing I could put my finger on exactly after either of my births. I just felt totally overwhelmed and helpless.

About half of new mothers will feel a bit weepy, flat and unsure of themselves on the third or fourth day after having a baby. It is known as the ‘baby blues’, and generally passes after a few days.

Most cases of PND start within a month of giving birth, but can start up to six months later. There is no single reason, but there are a number of different stresses that may add up to cause it. Lack of support, difficult labour, birth not going to plan, exhaustion and relationship problems to name but a few. Some depressed mothers worry that they might harm their babies, but this is apparently quite rare.

It is believed that you are more likely to have PND if you:

  • have had depression (especially PND) before
  • do not have a supportive partner
  • have a premature or sick baby
  • lost your own mother when you were a child
  • have had several recent life stresses – bereavement, unemployment, housing or money problems

However, PND can start for no obvious reason and without any of these stresses.

Acknowledging you are struggling is often the hardest part, particularly if other new mums around you ‘appear’ to be coping well. It’s important not to dismiss your feelings and to get help. Speak to your midwife, health visitor or GP. They can discuss the treatment options available to you. Often anti depressants will be suggested, however, there are natural alternatives.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviours, not external things, like people, situations, and events. The benefit of this fact is that you can change the way we think to feel/act better even if the situation does not change. CBT is considered among the most rapid in terms of results obtained. The average number of sessions clients receive (across all types of problems and approached to CBT) is only 16. Other forms of therapy, like psychoanalysis, can take years. Find a CBT therapist here.

Homeopathy –  can be very effective in treating all depression. A consultation with a homeopath would bring the most beneficial results. Depending on the severity of the symptoms I would recommend a minimum of 6 mths treatment during which you should experience some relief. Common remedies for PND are folliculinum, cimicifuga, ignatia, opium, pulsatila, sepia, staphysagria, arg nit, aurum and  nat mur.

Placentophagia – Studies have shown that eating your placenta can help prevent postnatal depression. The placenta contains high levels of various vitamins, such as B6, which can help curb PND.  Eating the placenta enables the mother to “reclaim” these vitamins and put them to use in her own body. Placentophagia may also increase a mother’s blood levels of a hormone known as CRH (corticotropin-releasing hormone), a known stress-reducer. For more information and placenta recipes click here

If the thought of this leaves you wretching, then consider having your placenta potentised into a homeopathic remedy. Helios Homeopathic Pharmacy in Tunbridge Wells provides this service. They’ll send you a pot of alcohol for you to send back to them with a piece of your placenta in it. It will then be made into a remedy, in the form of a lactose or sucrose pill, which you can then take.

Supplements like 5HTP, vitamin B complex and omega 3 EFA’s have all been linked with helping to balance mood, particularly in women. Supplements can be supportive in helping you get back on track. They are not a cure all and in severe cases of PND, seeking help from a therapist may also be necessary. Do not use 5HTP when taking anti depressants.

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid that is the intermediate step between tryptophan and the important brain chemical serotonin. It is an effective antidepressant because it actually increases the production of serotonin and there is a link between depression and low levels of serotonin. Deficiencies in B vitamins can cause irritability and depression. When buying a complex make sure it includes B5, a potent anti-stress vitamin. Multiple clinical studies have shown Omega 3 helps fight depression. It can even help combat more severe mental illnesses, such as bi-polar disorder.

Studies have shown that exercise – walking, swimming or any activity you enjoy, is helpful in depression. Find a local mum and baby fitness class like pilates, yoga or powerpramming. It’s also a great opportunity to meet other like minded mums.

When you’ve been stuck indoors with babies/children for days on end cabin fever can set in.  Getting out for a walk to the shops or the park can be quite meditative and help relieve frustration. The motion can help settle the baby (really effective in a sling) and you both get some fresh air.

If you hit the depths of despair and have no one you feel you can talk to, reach out to one of the organisations below. It could change your day and possibly help you turn things around.

Organisations That Can Help

Association for Postnatal Depression – Helpline: 020 7386 0868 (10am-2pm Mon, Weds & Fri, 10am-5pm, Tues & Thurs). Provides support to mothers suffering from post-natal illness.

CRY-SIS – Helpline: 020 7404 5011 (line open 9.00 am to 10.00 pm, 365 days a year). Provides self-help and support for families with excessively crying and sleepless babies.

Meet-A-Mum-Association (MAMA) – Helpline: 0845 120 3746 (7.00 pm to 10.00 pm weekdays). Self-help groups for mothers with small children and specific help and support to women suffering from postnatal depression.


Read Full Post »

Do you sometimes wonder where your financial donations are going to when you give money to charity?  If you are unsure about giving money or just don’t have enough to give there is another way to contribute to the desperate cause of the Haiti disaster.  Hearts To Africa are collecting clothes (adult and children), bedding, educational equipment and toys that do not require batteries.  For a full list of what they will accept click here.

If you live in London there are a number of drop off dates/locations around the city.  Click here to find out when/where.

If you live outside London but in the UK get together a group of friends and if you have a significant amount to donate they will come to you and collect.  If you are thinking of organising a group collection probably the best thing you can do is call Samuel on 07808 727 787 to discuss.

Read Full Post »

Swishing for kids clothes!

Now this I am going to…

11 Mar 2010 10:00

Venue: withheld…

AGES 0-6
RING: 01423 505368

Email: info@pacaconcept.co.uk

Read Full Post »

Land a few dodgy xmas presents? Can’t face taking them to the second hand shop or worse still binning them?  Your in luck! Save it for the first ever international day of swishing on 9th January (Click here for details of the UK event in London). Swishing (clothes swapping) is a way of re-gifting on a big scale. But the organisers do specify that you should bring “fabulous” items and that may exclude nastier examples.

There will be music, alcohol, fabulous people and fabulous clothes. As well as being able to upgrade your wardrobe without risking the chaos of January sales, you will also be able to relax and enjoy one of London’s most exclusive venues.

The event is free of charge.

Doors will open at 3.00pm and Swishers will have an hour and a half to drop off clothes and relax with a cocktail.

If you can’t make the swish there are other ways to get rid of those pressies.  I have got rid of all sorts of stuff through Freecycle or there is a specific xmas re-gifting forum set up at Nigel’s Ecostore.

Read Full Post »

Swishing is the latest craze to hit London in our efforts to look glam without the pain to the pocket.  Swishing events are now popping up all over the UK are you could even set up your own.  So what is it?

We all love fabulous new clothes but not the financial side effects. Step in swishing.  Swishing is shopping without the guilt. You bring nice, clean, presentable clothes that are lurking unloved in our wardrobe, and other girls fall in love with them and give them a new home. You might bring one sweater and take two pairs of shoes, or hang a party frock on the ‘Swishing Rail’ and take a pair of skinny jeans.

Lucy Shea, founder of Swishing and director of Futerra Sustainability explains why it is such a hit.

“Save money, save the planet, have a party: swishing effortlessly touches all of these buttons. Swishing parties are for all those women who want to combine glamour, environmental protection and frugality.”

Jess Cartner-Morley, Marie Claire adds “The latest craze sweeping the country is ethical, eco-fabulous, social and fun. Welcome to the future of fashion.”

To find a swish near you or to add your own click here.  There is also a site where you can swish online if you cant find one local to you.

Read Full Post »

If you are thinking about making some christmas decorations but don’t know where to start read on…

The internet is amazing for this sort of thing with lots of dowloadable templates and instructions.  Here are a few that we like

  • Or why not bake and decorate your own delicious edible decorations – I am definitely going to help my kids make some of these.

I watched Kirsty Allsop in action last night on Christmas at Home and checked out her site and found the below step by step instructions:

Read Full Post »

Classic family films for lively kids and tired parents on the second Saturday of every month

Time : 11.00am

Where: V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Rd., E2 9PA (020 8983 5200).

Saturday 12 December: Miracle on 34th Street (U, 114 mins, 1994)

It’s free; Drop in: All ages and family friendly!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »