Today I have been at Martyn’s cricket club. There were lots of babies about and lots of new mums who were looking great but feeling the effects of lots of sleepless nights and tiring days. I was talking to a friend who has a 5 year old son and I was asking her whether she would have any more. We were saying how it would be tough to go back to the baby stage again. I loved it when Noah was a baby but in hind sight it was a tough time It got me thinking about everything that new mums go through.
There is so much pressure when we have a new baby to continue life as normal. To get back into shape and to charge ahead with life as though it has had no impact on you. There seems to be so kudos from being the mum who does it all.
For some the added complication of post natal depression can make life really difficult. Those who are suffering with PND may find that they are really low on energy, that they have disturbed sleep even when it is not caused by their baby, and nausea or a poor appetite can add more difficulty.
Mindfulness is a great way to make some changes to your life and having a baby should be no barrier to getting started. The NHS now prescribe mindfulness for those with depression. Learning a few simple techniques can really start to add some space into your day.
The idea of sitting quietly to meditate may seem impossible with a new baby but don’t be put off. The great thing about Mindfulness is that there are so many ways to incorporate it into everyday life.
Try these easy ways to get started. For both exercises put your phone to one side. They can be a huge distraction and short period without your phone really will do you good and help to calm your baby and your mind.
Try this one when your baby is feeding…
Get into a comfortable position and make sure that your back and the weight of the baby are both supported. Make sure your spine is straight.
Focus all of your attention on the motion your baby makes as they feed.
Notice the rhythm and how each action is slightly different to the last.
When your mind wanders bring your attention back to their feeding motion.
Try this one when your baby is happy and fed and ready to chill out…
Lie on the bed with your baby facing you so that your heads are at the same height. Be close to each other.
Put a pillow behind your baby so that you know they are completely safe.
Put your hand on your baby torso so that your hand cups their rib area.
Feel your baby’s breath enter and leave their body.
Feel their breath on your face.
Keep their breath your focus. When your mind wanders and you notice simply bring your attention back to the feeling of your hand on their body and their breath on your face.
Both of these exercises are really simple but they are really effective. They provide a break in your day where you can stop worrying about everything else that life has to throw at you. By bringing your attention back to your chosen focus when ever your mind wanders you are retraining your brain so that you can chose where to focus. This will really help if you have a tendency to slip into a negative thought pattern. It will break the chain.
When you finish either exercise stay in your position for a little longer and think how your baby will benefit from your mindfulness session. This will help you to stay dedicated to repeating the exercise often. Little and often really is the key so make it part of your routine and you will soon start to see results.
Your baby will love the time with you where you are calm and focussed rather than tense and distracted. They really can pick up on our state of mind.
To book a Mindfulness session with or without your baby get in touch through the contact form on this site.