#MotherBodyImage Cordy’s Campaign

 

When that line on the test is there and your dreams of a future as a mother are all around , the body that was yours alone is now growing a human . The body that is now a MotherBody has begun .

The Baby may be the size of a pinhead  . Yet,  there may be a bloat in the tummy , aching boobs and a spotty face to name a few . The body you might just understand is changing . The clothes , the make up , the shoes you wear may change quite quickly and the way you feel about how you look can be dramatic . The media may have shaped your understanding of how a woman “should” look and the pressure to be happy with your body can be overwhelming .

For me , I was a twenty year old that was shocked how quickly my body became a subject of discussion . Strangers commented on my size and weight . Family asked me if I was eating too much and offered me clothes that even with my bump made me look like I was dressing up as an oversized caricature of a pregnant woman . In private I loved my bump but to the world I was embarrassed.  Maybe it was my age or maybe I just didn’t see any positive role models to identify with .

After I gave birth , I did hide as the feelings of negativity crept in about my mother body . My skin was stretched  and still spotty . My boobs were full of veins and leaking . The clothes I had were loose and dark to cover my belly . This mother body made me sad . I didn’t revel in the wonder of what I had done . I felt ashamed that I couldn’t loose weight like they did in the movies and tv . So onward I went into post natal depression .

I don’t believe that it was only my body image that led me down that path as the birth has been traumatic , with appalling aftercare and isolation as a new young mum.

Still the mother body image was something I worked on for years , with friends and counselling . So that when I became a mother body again I was ready .

My campaign this February is about #motherbodyimage – the truth – raw and real .  I will write more about my journey but I hope others will tell me their story so that as women we can share the #motherbodyimage for all women .

Please send me stories 600 wrds or less , can be anonymous if you wish . motherbodyimage@outlook.com

Feelings on the mother body

What you want to say to yourself about your body image .

How we can help our sister , friend and daughters with their mother body image .

Reality V Media ….

@Corden1326

 

 

 

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Tiny Heart.

A Tiny heart that beat inside me .

A Tiny heart of  a little boy that grew within me.

A Tiny heart that was broken and shattered me.

A Tiny heart that stopped beating as it was birthed into the world outside of me .

A Tiny heart … A little baby .. A son of mine .

But that Tiny heart has never left me.

A Tiny heart that lives within mine forever .

Toby Corden 15/10/05 .

 

 

Skin2Skin a Safe Space

As I look at tweets about Skin to Skin I thought about my practice as a midwife . I facilitate it and talk about its benefits at birth and after but what does it mean to me ?.

I whisper to baby and mum ” you are safe ” . This is because I believe that it is a safe space for both baby and mother . It is as JennyTheM says ” a first loving embrace” . When you see it , you can feel the love and the calm it instills . We know birth can be disturbed , interventions and it has the potential to be full of fear . Yet , the safe space of skin to skin can be restorative , peaceful,  beautiful and human .

I watch as the mother and baby become 1 again . They match , they breathe together , they close their eyes and happiness fills the room.

If we talk about Skin to Skin we hold the safe space – we protect this special never forgotten moments in time between a mother and her baby . There is time for every other task , time for talk , time for weighing and labelling , for dressing and movement of the mother . I hope I can continue to keep skin to skin the safe space of every baby in my care .

Thanks to Jenny the M xxx

NQM…Yes that’s me .

It’s been a quite awhile since I wrote on my blog . To say I have been busy would be a massive understatement . I thought that being a student midwife was time consuming but actually being the Midwife is so much more than I ever realised .

I started in a new trust as a NQM so to be honest my first few months ( and still sometimes ) I had to ask so many questions just to find where things were . I was new in so many ways that some days were overwhelming and I wanted to hide in the toilet ( when I worked out where they were ) . Still , the joy of midwifery shone through as I cared for the women and their families . I loved my job and mostly spoke of my shifts in a positive way . I proudly told people ” I’m a Midwife ” and wearing the blues was amazing.

Yet , the feeling of no longer having a mentor was still hard .  I looked for the person on my shoulder and she was gone .I realised that my mentor had done so much that I never realised she was doing . I supposed it was time management. She used to remind me of the tasks we needed to complete as well as care for the woman . In honesty,  I was so focused on the woman as a student as I learnt so much from them and caring was what I wanted to do . I did documentation of course I did but the paperwork never took over from care . Now I was struggling with the balance .

So to the nights,  as a NQM  the nightshift can be a scarey place . We know babies like to be born at night so we know it’s gonna be busy on labour ward . It is a strange feeling to be so apprehensive about a shift that you count down the hours before it . I found myself watching the clock , trying to have a nap and wondering what the shift will bring . When you have a family this can be challenging as the rhythm of life is upturned . You are not yourself . Literally , as you struggle to adjust to days after nights then back to nights ( watching netflix at 2am because your body is rebelling at the switch ).

When I started this blog it was to find my positivity so again I will bring it back to that . The positivity I must share as a NQM is that of the midwives that surround me ( physically and virtually ). The midwives in my new trust have really listened to me and held my hand at times . On a day that I felt totally overwhelmed and thought i was not a good enough midwife , I spoke up and told the band 7, she smiled at me and said ” do you still like midwifery a little bit ? ” .To which I replied ” yes I do ” and she then said ” you will get through this then, take little steps , we will help you and always tell us when you need us “. It was the words I needed as I had tried so hard to be the best I could be but I needed more support .

In my beloved twitter my #twitter buddies have rallied me . They just ” check in ” and give me the boost I need . That little bit of kindness can really make a difference .

So I’m OK …. it’s getting better . I love my job and I love my colleagues . I feel very lucky to know I have such positivity enveloping me .

Onward ….. so much more to learn and do .

Saying NO to crimson shame

I raise up my voice , not so that I can shout, But so those without a voice can be heard.

Malala Yoosafzai

 

As a midwife, mother , daughter , friend and WOMAN I understand that many women and girls have no menstrual dignity and are shamed when they have their period.  I knew that in some countries girls  leave school when they get their first period and in the UK many homeless women have no access to sanitary products.

Yet, I hadn’t reacted till I saw  the campaign by  BINTI . I first saw Binti on my beloved twitter feed . Amidst my degree I had to find out more as the imagery portrayed made me STOP . I reacted in my mind and heart as  I thought of the period shaming that was described . As a midwife my focus is to have women at the heart of my care. I support them in their choices and decisions around their body , their baby and their birth. So, why did I find Binti so interesting ?.

I can see the women in my care that have grown up with sanitary products , no shame and attending school regardless of their menses. The girls described by Binti are shamed when they get their period , they leave school or do not attend when menstruating and have little access to sanitary products. I suppose I thought of myself at the age of 11 , frightened and scared that my uniform may have a stain or changing for PE hoping I hadn’t leaked . Still , I did not feel shame.

As a midwife I hope to empower women that I care for,  but my thoughts are that girls need to have positive beginnings when menstruating to build their LOVE for their bodies. Thus have a sense of control that ultimately benefits their lives for future  birth and for a foundation of  psychological wellbeing their whole lives through.

So that is why I know the work that Binti does is so important and will impact global midwifery in the future as these girls grow to be women, BUT first girls need our help so that the #Crimson shame stops.

Please take a look at Binti.co.uk – lets help to  create a  world with menstrual dignity for all women.

 

My thanks to the wonderful @JohnWalsh and @binti_period .

Is this the Positive ending?

I have 3 days left to call myself a student midwife. The realisation that my journey to actually become a midwife is nearly at its end. I made it and have learnt so many life lessons along the way

I made friends and I lost friends. I met women that I looked up to and women that have changed how I see my reflection. The woman that I was is no longer as I have changed .The positive is that I have become the woman I wanted to be. Yet, the challenges have been huge , the balance between my life at home and the pressure of being a student has been overwhelming at times . The tears and the anxiety that I could never be as good as I wanted to be sometimes made me doubt every thing I was doing. My heart hurt as my sons changed and grew without me being there.

The life I had with my best friends was lost and I watched as they made new friends without me. A week would go by without speaking to my friend and even though I knew she understood , the guilt of never having enough time made me sad. My husband was my rock and never doubted I could reach my goal. I will never forget his face when I won an award and the pride that shone out of him as I stood on the stage. Still , I know he has worked hard to support us and hours that have drained him to the point of exhaustion just to pay our bills.

So, I passed every essay , presentation , exam and clinical apt. I worked hard but I know without the people around me in life , social media and my belief in things “happening for a reason” I couldn’t have done it . I wonder if I should write my story and whether people would read it .I think my living history needs to written for my son’s and maybe for women that have lost themselves – their positivity and want to make their dream a reality.

 

Mentors and Me #Gratitude

At times in my training I called myself a “minion” (POSITIVELY) in a jokey way as I followed my mentor .Sometimes to the point of her saying ” Nat I’m going to the toilet – do you need to go to ? ” . Ha ha …well sometimes I just said ” Yes I do”. However ,the learning and the environment means that the mentor is the “person” you look for  and you find yourself watching their every move . I can liken it to being the new person at school or work and you are allocated  a “buddy” who you want to impress and look up to. The relationship is a tricky balance as the mentor does her/his job as a Midwife and you are her/his second job being your mentor .I know sometimes I was in her way and sometimes I was annoying when I asked questions that were not straight forward ( picking your moment is an art form ).However, I think the recognition of mentoring as a huge responsibility was something I realised straight away. I was lucky that I built rapport with my mentors and worked hard to show them my love for midwifery. I found myself parroting my mentor (  this is positive as we learn so much by repetition ) and trying to be like her ( assimilating and role-modelling at its best!!) .

I write this reflecting on the great experience with wonderful mentors that I feel so privileged to have “grown” with. Yet, I know my personality helped those relationships along with my enthusiasm for learning . The positive attitude was commented on throughout my transcripts and skills of reflective practice that aided me to find my way of being a Midwife.As I come to the end of my degree  I hear the voices of my mentors of my training in my head still guiding me.They planted some wonderful seeds that are growing every day that little bit more.I know that I take them with me as I develop  and was taught so much BUT I  also know I am not them and no longer a “minion”. I am ME and full of gratitude for my journey in midwifery .

#Mentors #Gratitude