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I believe that my fear came from my own thoughts ...


Recently I read that 1 in 5 women experience post-natal

depression, which can be linked to pregnancy experiences.

Support can be on the doorstep but yet so far to reach out to.

So, what causes this fear that mothers are experiencing?


Where does it come from and why doesn’t it leave when

asked?


I believe that my fear came from my own thoughts. I

built up this image of what people would say if I asked for

support. I repeated the responses I would receive inside my

head. I was scared of not knowing what people were going to

think or say to me.


Most of the fears I had when pregnant with all three of my

children came from the areas that I wasn’t too sure about, that

everyone else seems to have an opinion on, even though all of

their views would just make me even more confused. I needed

direct answers to my questions, but everything seemed to

have an ‘if or but’ added to it.


I wanted to hear real life experiences from new mums; where

did they go for support if they needed it? Were there any

mums’ groups I could join?


I didn't have anyone to ask, so I

would visit my local library to see if there were any updates

on the local board. I wanted to know if I had to bottle feed or

could I breastfeed?


I asked my midwife and she told me to try

and see how I felt about it, but how would I know what felt

right?


I soon realised I had to figure motherhood out for myself and

learn as I went on. I could change nappies and feed on

demand, my babies were healthy and happy, and so I was

always given the thumbs up at weigh-ins and doctor

appointments.


But from my first child to my third, the changes in advice

changed dramatically. I felt as if I had slept in a bubble for ten

years and not heard of any of the recent scares doing the

rounds. Everyone would comment on how things have

changed and how I couldn’t do what I did in the past. I was

just at the stage of my parenting where I thought I was a

pretty good mum, and now I was finding my identity being

shaped into an insecure mum. I would look at my older

children wondering how they were even standing, as I had

made up the bottles in the mornings for the day which you’re

told not to do now. When I would ask what had changed, no

one seemed to know the answer. I was even frightened about

my third child having a dummy because I read on social

media pages that it was linked to delayed speech.


I took all of the new advice in, but would try and protect the

mother I had been to my two older children, by reminding the

professionals, friends and family members that I had birthed

before. I found myself questioning if this was how society was

treating all new mothers now? I understand there are facts

that need to be shared by professionals, of course there are.

However, there are also ways of educating new mothers

without them feel belittled or creating fear around their

choices.

Within some parenting groups I visited, there would be

people who thought that by pushing their own guidelines,

experiences and education onto the others, they could assert

their identities amidst this confusion. But then the other

expectant or new mums were feeling defined by how they

parented against all this information rather than who they

were. As I was losing who I was too, I would sit back and stay

quiet.


I wish I had stood my ground, but when you’re unsure of who

you are, you don’t want to be noticed.


It wasn’t until the birth of my third baby, that I started to voice

my thoughts around pregnancy, parenting and life. I now

question any advice and give suggestions on what I think

would be beneficial to both myself and my children.


I learnt a valuable lesson. You can be told 50 different ways on

what you will feel during pregnancy, birth and motherhood,

and all 50 of these opinions can be wrong. Only your unique

journey will determine the experience you have. Listen to the

opinions of those close to you but never forget that you have

the last say; you are in control no matter how out of control

you can feel.


Don’t ever lose sight of that; ask the questions,

talk to the professionals, but share your opinions and beliefs

and most importantly believe in yourself. If something doesn't

feel right, ask again and again and bring your own opinions

and intuition into it too.


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https://www.clarebowers.co.uk


Always here , Clare.


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