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November 2017
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Postnatal Depression is real

Guest post 

Here I welcome Rachel Hunter N.N.E.B, Private Nanny, Nursery Owner, Child Minder, TA, STA, and MUM. Rachel is a Holistic Therapist & work with Women and children at R&R Therapy, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE7 7LX.

Rachel is a postnatal depression survivor and a mum to two adult children. In the below post, she shares her experience with postnatal depression and talks openly about the trials and tribulations of becoming a mother and what she would have done differently if she had a chance. 

Over to Rachel…

I was so excited when I found I was pregnant, my husband and I had only been married 6 weeks and never imagined it would happen so fast, my pregnancy went well and when baby arrived, I was so, so happy. I had a son, I had my baby!

Over time, things started to change, my happiness dipped, although I loved my new addition to our little family with all my heart (and for that I was relieved, as I know some new Mothers struggle), life became very hard, it felt as though joy had left my world forever! I didn’t feel good enough in all walks of life, I felt I was failing as a wife & mother, in fact, in all aspects of my life! I had to detach myself from anything and everything that was negative, I couldn’t cope.

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Coffee talks, Motherhood

“I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in the jars and open a jar of it every month.”
Harlan Miller. 

“Christmas is not an external event at all, but a piece of one’s home that one carries in one’s heart.”
Freya Stark.


Ok, so this is the first Christmas with our boys that we seem to will have actually enjoyed!


But let’s start at the beginning…


My name is Ivana (or less formally, Ivanka) and I am a mum to two gorgeous twin boys Mason and Henry. I love them so much it hurts but girl, they can drive me mad sometimes!


But that’s motherhood, isn’t it? Some days you burst with love and happiness, other days you burst with anger or stress… However, what I love about it is that love always wins. Regardless of how long or intense the battle is, love always comes out of it as an invincible winner.


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Mental wellbeing support, Your wellbeing support

Do you like Pinterest, guys?

I absolutely love it!

Scrolling through it now, I came across a few pictures that made me feel happy and relaxed… Wonderful feeling.

You know this type of pictures, music, smells, views, experiences, people, words… that make you feel good just by being? Exactly this type!  How little is enough (sometimes) to feel good, isn’t it?

As a huge fan of positive energy or even more precisely – of spreading positive energy, I decided to share some of them with you! Hope they will make you feel as good as they made me. keep reading

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Coffee talks, Motherhood

Here I welcome  Peter Black,  a psychologist, and author of Cool The Volcano. 

The book is designed to help parents teach their children emotional management skills, and about how to boost emotional intelligence in children.

Over to Peter.

Emotional intelligence is a topic that seems to be quite trendy at the moment, and with good reason.

This is a skill which I personally feel is often overlooked in areas such as school, workplaces, and in many ways, our own homes.

Raising children is hard, I think we all know that. However, if we can help our children learn how to harness and strengthen their own emotional intelligence, the results will be incredibly powerful.

Reduced levels of emotional intelligence can be damaging, and as a psychologist with 16 years of practical experience in the forensic field, I can see the consequences for people who do not understand or implement emotional intelligence.

This was one of the main reasons I wrote my book, ‘Cool That Volcano’, as a way of helping people teach their children about emotional management and emotional intelligence.
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Motherhood, Postnatal depression 1, Postnatal Depression is real

Here I welcome Alexandra Kremer, www.alexandrakremer.co.uk, to share her powerful story and valuable information about birth trauma. 

Alexandra is a fertility, birth and parenting specialist, antenatal & postnatal educator and practitioner.

She is trained in delivering the Freedom Fertility Formula, The Calm Birth Method, The Wise Hippo Birthing Programme, BabyCalm and ToddlerCalm and is also a Certified Birth Trauma Resolution Practitioner which is where a huge part of her passion lies.

She has a keen interest in yoga as well as women’s and children’s rights during birth and beyond.

Originally from London, Alex now lives in Hertfordshire with her two young children. Alex sees clients in person and remotely from all over the world. More information can be found on her website.

Over to Alexandra. 

Birth trauma is sadly all too often a common occurrence, perhaps you had an unexpected medicalised birth, an emergency or a problem with yourself or your baby before, during or after the birth. A common misconception though is that to experience trauma it had to have been really horrific labour. This is not true. keep reading

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Coffee talks, Motherhood

“Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy.” Eskimo Proverb

“Babies lost in the womb were never touched by fear. They were never cold, never hungry, never alone, and importantly always knew love.” Zoe Clark-Coates

It’s baby loss awareness week…

Another tough subject to talk about, but since it is something I have personal experience with, I feel it is finally time for me to write about it. And to support those who have been through it too.

This second pregnancy was not planned, but after the initial shock, I started to be excited and look forward to it.

But not for long. Before I knew it, the baby was gone.

I kept asking why it happened, but this is something you can never be 100% sure with. We were put through a lot of stress at the time as our Henry had to undergo surgery, so I believe this did not add up to the relaxed state of mind a pregnant woman is supposed to be in.

Anyway, one day I started to bleed so we went straight to the urgent care. They said it didn’t necessarily have to mean anything bad, but suggested for me to rest and relax. Like you could relax in a situation like that, right?

However, I did my best, but the bleeding would not stop. On the third day,  I started to feel sharp cramps in my belly. I knew very well what it meant, but was still was hoping till the last moment. keep reading

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Blog, Coffee talks, Postnatal depression 1, Postnatal Depression is real

The day started like any other until I opened my inbox and found an email saying that I am a finalist for Best Business Women Awards 2019 for Best Blogger !!

Honestly, I had to pinch myself a few times at that moment before I realised it really was true!
I cannot even start to describe what a huge honour this is for me.

I started blogging about 3 years ago after I had overcome postnatal depression, with the one and only goal to help and support mums to never have to feel the way I did.

I absolutely love to see how this blog progresses. At first, I was writing only about my own experiences, but after a while I started to go deeper and reveal all the unspoken truths about motherhood which, I believe, could help – even save – many new mothers out there.

I started to share tips and advice on how to overcome common parenting problems, and struggles and do my best to show mothers that whatever they are going through, they are not alone.
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Feeling low? Click here!, Motherhood, Postnatal depression 1, Postnatal Depression is real

As a new mum, you are overwhelmed by the amount and variety of emotions.

But also by the amount and variety of advice that flows to you from every direction, aren’t you?

I lost count of the amount of advice I was given when I felt down… But I will never forget one in particular that made a huge difference in the way I felt and perhaps even saved me.

The boys were a few months old and I was having a depressive episode (of course, I didn’t know what it was at the time). I remember that daunting feeling of despair and the neverending tears that I could not stop from falling.

I felt trapped in my own life and didn’t see any point in anything.

Yaw took me and the boys out for a walk and I was describing to him how I felt. I cried and cried… and then cried again over the fact that I was crying and feeling down instead of enjoying being a mum. keep reading

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Blog, Life after baby - what to expect?, Life after baby: what to expect?, Motherhood

Labour is what most mums-to-be think and worry about the most.

They spend a lot of time researching all the possible (and impossible) information on this subject and trying to see if there is a way to ease the pain that comes with labour.

I was the same, of course. But here is what I want to tell you now, after 3 and something years of being a mum. Labour is – in most cases – the easy part! keep reading

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Blog, Coffee talks, Motherhood

Guest post

Check out this great and a ‘hot topic’ post written by a special lady and mother, Lenka. 

Lenka is a mother to a lovely boy Hendrix who she loves from the bottom of her heart but finds it very challenging at times to deal with all the parenting struggles, especially after she had got back to work.  Let’s see what she says about balancing motherhood and work.

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Coffee talks, Life, oh life, Motherhood, Secrets to happy motherhood

Another Father’s day is here and for us, it’s the third one as a family. (wow, has it really been this long??)

This occasion (as well as many others) made me think about dads’ roles in the world of parenting.

Can’t help thinking as though dad’s role as such was often somewhat forgotten about… And what is even worse – as though it was normal this way!

As if it was a mother alone who deserves all the credit. Now, don’t get me wrong,  I am not taking anything away from strong mothers who also work or mothers who have an extremely difficult job of parenting roles (Absolutely amazing by the way! Never forget that). keep reading

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Postnatal Depression is real

With Father’s day coming up, I want to point out to the subject of fathers and postnatal depression as I feel it is despite its significance often overlooked or even ignored.

Postpartum depression has typically been perceived as a problem limited to women with newborn babies and has not included men.

However, we cannot forget that fathers also experience significant changes with the arrival of their child. Fathers also have to adjust to an array of new and demanding roles and tasks during the early stages of parenthood. keep reading

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Postnatal depression 1, Postnatal Depression is real

I talk about postnatal depression so often but have never written about what postnatal depression actually is…

Personally, I am familiar with everything that relates to postnatal depression, but I am aware that this is not the case for everyone. There are plenty of people who still have no clue what it actually is, or even perceive it as some kind of a whim on the part of the sufferer.

So let me do something about it… What is Postnatal Depression (PND)?

I believe there are two different ways of defining PND, a professional and a personal definition.

According to NHS, “postnatal depression is a type of depression that many parents experience after having a baby. It’s a common problem that affects more than 1 in every 10 women within a year of giving birth.” (please note that this goes for the cases that have been reported but there still are many of them who weren’t). PND can also affect fathers and partners.


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Postnatal depression 1, Postnatal Depression is real

In connection with Mental Health Awareness week, I decided to some research and see how well mothers suffering from Postnatal Depression (PND) knew about it before they became parents.

Personally, I knew it existed, but that was pretty much it. I never ever thought it could happen to me… 

Not because I thought I was so special. Simply I thought it’s PND which is for very special and rare occasions. 

I remember our first meeting with a midwife. It’s true she did mention PND, although she gave the impression it was just one of those irrelevant things on the list she had to tick off…

She then handed us a few leaflets with contact numbers we were supposed to reach out to should we have experience signs of depression. That was all the education on PND we got.

That was all the information we were given about one of the most common mental illnesses and the reason a lot of mothers took their lives…

Quite sad, isn’t it?

That being so, I asked other PND survivors about their experiences and how well they were informed on this illness before it hit them.

Let’s see what they said!

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Motherhood, Postnatal depression 1, Postnatal Depression is real

I had an entry into the 2006 London marathon but unfortunately suffered an injury so had to defer. I then realised that if I moved quickly there was a chance I could become pregnant with my second child and still be able to run in the 2007 marathon and not lose my deferred place.

I was incredibly fortunate that with both pregnancies I didn’t suffer with morning sickness or any pains. I managed to keep running through both pregnancies. With the second one, I managed a gentle 5 mile run in some light snow in the morning and then went into labour that evening.

Unfortunately, my daughter (like my son) has to be extracted immediately due to the monitors showing they were in distress so I had to have emergency sections for both.

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Feeling low? Click here!, Motherhood, Postnatal depression 1

Do you feel overwhelmed by your thoughts and/or feelings?

I believe it won’t be anything new for you when I advise you to talk about it. Especially when these thoughts/feelings can significantly impact your mental health. Especially when you are a new mum dealing with feelings of sadness, failure, overwhelm, loneliness, isolation… Talking is undoubtedly the best thing you can do.

The reason is simple. Talking can literally save you.

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Coffee talks, Motherhood, Uncategorized

With Mother’s day approaching, I cannot help thinking back to my first Mother’s day as a mum.

Our boys were about 11 months and I had just started to get back on track after a devastating experience of postnatal depression.

I remember being really excited about having to experience my first Mother’s day as a mum, however, the real experience wasn’t (as a lot of my other first experiences with motherhood) as special as I imagined it to be.

If you read my story, you know it took me a few months to develop a real bond with my children. My first year as a mother was the hardest year of my life and I cannot even start to explain how it feels when you are expected to be happy when all you want is to cry and turn back time.

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Coffee talks, Ho to become a happy mum, Life, oh life, Secrets to happy motherhood

I’ve been through a lot during my life. My childhood was tough, my parents got divorced when I was only five, I went through some bad relationships and through a divorce. I suffered major depression and anxiety (which still lasts), I lost a baby…

And yet, when I talk to other people and listen to their stories, it feels like mine is not very unique.

Do you know what I mean?

Every person on this planet has their story. And no one has a purely easy life.

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Life after baby - what to expect?

If you are an expecting first-time mum, the contents of this post will probably take you by surprise (perhaps even shock you), but please bear in mind that the last thing I want to do is to freak you out. All I want is to get you more prepared for what is to come.

Why would I want that?

Tell the truth, if you are more prepared, the less shocked you are when the time comes. And the less shocked you are, the better chance you have to avoid postnatal mental issues and other problems many first-time mums experience.

For, believe me, in most cases the reason for new mums suffering from postnatal mental problems is unrealistic expectations of motherhood and a shock that comes with the arrival of a baby.
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Life with twins

It is 12 pm and I have just got back from a toddler playgroup. Shattered and in pain. (Both physical and mental, although I am not sure which one is worse).

Peculiarly, this state has given me a fresh inspiration for a new post and share with you at least a vague idea of what a twin mum usually has to go through every single day.

Understandably, I cannot include every single thing every twin mum has to face each day, because this post would be neverending plus every mum’s routine and days differ by all means.

But what I can describe is how it looks in our case. keep reading

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Secrets to happy motherhood

I sit on my seat by the window in a packed train fighting the wave of anxiety that is tirelessly trying to get to me.

In case you didn’t know this about me – I suffer from an anxiety disorder. Oh, and also claustrophobia. (But not to worry, I also have a great sense of humour, so it balances it out.)

And when I say I sit by the window,… Well, the window actually takes up only about 40 % of the space next to me.

The rest of my view is just something big, plastic and totally useless. I look at the guy next to me who made it clear just a minute ago that he would not swap a seat.

Perhaps that is why I don’t really feel like confessing I suffer mental issues, so I let him enjoy his blind victory and close my eyes in a hope that the tension in my heart will pass. keep reading

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Articles

I came across her one evening after having a very bad day with the boys while engaged in with a FB group.

The moment I read her story, my eyes filled with tears. It was not only the story itself that caught my attention.

It was also the strength and bravery I felt from her words. Instantly I forgot about everything that had bothered me before and sensed an indescribable rush of gratitude.

I knew I would need to speak to this lady and share her powerful story with you.
Daniela is a mother of three children.

Her oldest, seven-year-old son has cerebral palsy and cannot entirely control the left side of his body. Her daughter is nine and has selective mutism.

When her brother was in the intensive care unit, she was only two and did not understand what was going on and stopped talking. She started to worry she would get ill, that someone would hurt her, and that she would end up in the hospital on the tubes like her brother.

The youngest son is two and a half years old. From all the siblings he was blessed with good health. 

When Daniela fell pregnant with her fourth child, she was very happy and looked forward to meeting her baby. However, life is not always fair. Daniela’s baby was born dead.

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Secrets to happy motherhood

Have you realised lately that you have not been talking to your partner about anything but the daily life? Did you use to have lots of fun together and now you cannot remember last time you had a laugh?

Have you found yourself stuck in a place you promised yourself you would never be?
Trust me, it is not just you.

Many couples slide into a certain monotony after they become parents. And then it is only up them whether they allow this monotony to challenge their relationship or to slowly kill it. 
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Your stories
A lot of people think that pregnancy is the most beautiful time in a woman’s life. What was it like for you? We had been waiting for a baby for over a year and a half during which I went through different phases. From initial enthusiasm through repeated disappointments, to fear if we would ever have children at all. During this period I had quite sharply shifted from my previous rather achievement-oriented lifestyle more to my inner self. I reconsidered how I lived, who I met with, what made me feel good and what did not. A huge lesson for me was to learn to let go of my life of things and people who did not bring any joy to me. It seems self-evident, but it was not for me. keep reading
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Your stories
age: 27 years old child: son – 2 years old A lot of people think that pregnancy is the most beautiful time in a woman’s life. What was it like for you? One minute I would be excited, the next one I would hate my body. I felt nauseous throughout the whole pregnancy. I was depressed most of the last term and sleeping was horrible. My whole life I fought obesity. And when I finally got myself a sexy, fit body, I got pregnant. I gained 90 pounds throughout the pregnancy, so emotionally that threw back to the days when I was bullied because of my weight.  keep reading
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Coffee talks

I often get the question, especially from new mums, asking what it is like for me to be a mum compared to the beginning.

Well, to be totally honest, nothing in this world compares to the nightmare you go through at the beginning.

When I became a mum, I could not understand other mums when they said that it is all worth it.

What on earth can be worth this torture? I used to think.

However, today I totally understand.

As I mentioned a million times before, becoming a mum is a shock. Your life changes from one day to another and suddenly you hold in your arms a crying baby who totally depends on you.

It is like as if someone locked you with an elephant in a room and threw the keys away (assuming you have zero knowledge about elephants). I am sure you agree that this would be a massive load for any kind of living being. 
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Your stories
age: 41 years old children: daughter – 7.5 months old A lot of people think that pregnancy is the most beautiful time in a woman’s life. What was it like for you? I remember feeling very excited about being pregnant and felt a great connection to the baby. I talked to her a lot and I loved the fact that she could be part of my daily activities. During most of my pregnancy, I felt very energised except for the last 3 weeks. What did you feel first time you saw your baby? Because my daughter was so small, as soon as I delivered her the doctors checked her vitals, oxygen level and did other quick tests. It was probably 5 minutes before I was able to hold her, but it felt like an eternity. keep reading
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My story
I will never forget the day we temporarily moved into the room at the hospital’s special care unit where our boys were born. I was home packing some basic stuff for us and knew that we would not come back soon. The senior midwife at the hospital told me earlier on that the boys would need to put on some weight and be able to eat on their own in order to be discharged as at the time they were still being fed by feeding tubes. I got to our room around noon and as soon as I got there a huge load of anxiety hit me straight to the pit of the stomach. The reason was due to how small the room was and my anxiety which I get when appearing in small or limited spaces. I say more about the events prior to this day in the post My birth story. keep reading
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Postnatal Depression is real

Dear Ivanka

I know you feel overwhelmed with everything that is going on now.

You could not wait to have your babies and now that they are here, you are not sure that it is what you wanted. I know you are astonished by your own feelings and emotions.

I know you don’t feel the love you expected to be feeling. I know you doubt your decision about having children. I know you desperately want your life back. I know you feel stuck. And I know that you feel incredibly guilty for feeling this way. 
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Coffee talks, Mental wellbeing support, Secrets to happy motherhood

You know it. You finally put the children down and your feet up when your phone rings. It is likely your parents or a friend. You know that most likely they do not want anything major, they just want to chat.

However, after a long day of physical and psychological struggle, chatting on the phone is the last thing you want to do. All you need is sit down, switch off the brain and do not think about anything. After a while, the ringing stops and a text appears on your display. “Can you talk?” 

You think of what you should do. You want to say ‘no’ but at the same time, this idea makes you feel guilty. 
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