This has to be one of the biggest things I help women overcome, the guilt of taking time for themselves.
Its like this push pull where we know it is needed, but then when we take it, we beat ourselves up over it. The woman/mama guilt can be debilitating.
A simple exercise you can do to reframe the guilt it so look at from another perspective, feeling guilty about it is just one way to see it.
Ask yourself these simple questions.
1. Is there any evidence to support my feelings of guilt?
“I feel guilty leaving my kids to go and exercise’. Is there a reason to feel guilty? You believe everyone else has the right to get what they need, who gives them what they need? You? You can not continue to give from empty, it is a dangerous space to be, it is where burnout, mental illness and chronic stress live. If there is no evidence to your claim of guilt, then it is a story that you are choosing to attach yourself to. Release it and reframe it.
2. How will taking time to myself benefit my family/kids/husband/partner?
What does the time to yourself give you? Does it allow you to come back feeling energized, less stressed, more motivated, more clear headed, more relaxed, more inspired, have more patience? Identify what it is you need then go and take the time to get it.
Reframe the thoughts of guilt. Instead see it as a strength and a responsibility to yourself and those you love the most to give back to yourself so that you can continue to give.
It’s the golden question, how do you start moving and stay moving? Especially as a mum!
If you struggle to make exercise and movement a priority, here are a few things to consider or do to get moving more often.
1. Redefine what movement or exercise means to you.
Its easy to fit inside a box of what you think movement should look like based on what you know and what you see around you. End of the day to get moving and stay moving it needs to be something that you enjoy. Consistency is where the benefits will be! Think outside of the box and make it align to you, what is most important to you and what you get excited about doing. It could be sports, it could be walking, it could be going to a playground with your kids and climbing just like they do, it would be dancing, it could be hiking, it could be surfing, it could be nature walks, it could be paddle boarding. Find something that fills you up and do it more often. There is no one way to move.
2. Movement with purpose
I read recently about a mental health professional who, in order to do his scheduled run each week, he dedicated it to a friend that had passed away recently and ran in his honour. The Move Your Mind Adventures offer the opportunity to do just that, while women join to overcome their own challenges they are also hiking in honour of those who are also struggling and raising awareness for a cause, there is a big end goal where they are apart of something bigger than themselves and that is a powerful way to keep moving.
3. Book something in
Find a workout buddy, join small group training or book in with a personal trainer. If you have something booked in you are more likely to get that movement in, as you are accountable to someone other than yourself. You have paid money there for you have energetically put out to the universe that you value yourself and you are making yourself a priority.
Let me know in the comments how you like to move to stay moving.
Join the free We Move For Mental Health Facebook group to get access to live group workouts that may help inspire you to get moving!
It is majorly underestimated the magnitude of what it takes to be a mother, physically, emotionally and mentally.
If mum had a job description it would read: must be able to do everything, no sick leave, no holidays, must be available physically, mentally and emotionally 24/7.
So how can we go about staying mentally well under such extreme stress, that comes at us in all forms from all different angles?
Here are three tips to help you stay mentally well, in addition to staying active of course ;)
1. Be open with your journey to avoid burnout
As mums I think there is this unspoken expectation that we need to do it all, be everything to everyone else and not speak up about what is really going on for fear of judgement. The more we suffer in silence there is a higher risk of mental illness and burnout. The more we share what real life is like, the more we can create a new expectation of real life over perfection. I see the cost of this unsaid expectation on mothers who are breaking down, the simple act of being able to be honest in a judgement free safe space with other mothers who are feeling the same is priceless.
2. Find someone to speak to professionally
Mental health professionals are there to help you with tools to help you overcome mental and emotional challenges. You do not have to have a diagnosed mental illness to speak to someone professionally if you are struggling. As mums we have a LOT on our plates, as a part of self care a mental health professional can join that team to help you work through things without opinions and advice.
3. Uncover what you are lacking and seek to fill the void
What is it that you feel like you are missing? Is it connection, time in nature, feeling heard, movement? The list goes on. Once you can identify what is lacking you can work to fill the void with something that brings you joy and fulfillment.
Let me know in the comments your top tips to keeping mentally well.
Join the We Move For Mental Health Facebook group to watch my recent live video on all things parenting, prolapse and maternal health where I covered off on this topic.
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Movement in these early stages post birth is about healing, reconnecting to the breath, pelvic floor and core, increasing strength, mobility and becoming pain free.
Think of birth as a contact sport, when an athlete suffers an injury they have a team of professionals to help them heal, reconnect, recondition and integrate back to being back at the elite level, emotionally and physically.
They have a focus on mindset, recondition, nutrition, hydration, rest and recovery.
This is the same for you.
These are all pieces of the healing puzzle, and are the key to you returning to things that you love safely.
I am at the second stage of conditioning for the real demands of being a mama. The first stage was all about alignment, reconnecting to the pelvic floor using the breath, gentle activation of the pelvic floor and integrating it into all the mama life movements with a newborn.
At this stage of my post natal journey there is a focus on freeing work and mobilisation to encourage hydration to the tissue to promote healing, continuing to reconnect the breath to the diaphragm and pelvic floor in movement, and incorporating strategies to move towards healing and not away from it, like nutrition, hydration, stress management, good quality sleep and mindset.
I am also focusing on integrative strength, that will help prepare my body for the carrying, lifting, feeding, bathing and shifting a newborn. I am also strengthening the core system so that it is functioning as it should and preparing myself for more challenging movement in the weeks to come.
As I am only 6 weeks post csection, with a compromised pelvic floor and still have a separation at the umbilicus where it is still soft without the tension in the tissue needed for more load than a newborn, I am using mobilisations to get my rotation and three dimensional movements then move into linear patterns that I know my body can handle right now.
I have attached the videos below of the movement session that I completed today, that is actually Movement Session One from the Strengthen and Evolve (Level Two Post Natal), within the Mama Movement Membership.
The breath and pelvic floor was used throughout to protect, keep things slow and rhythmical and only completed three rounds at 45 seconds each, after checking in and seeing what I needed today.
Not suitable before six weeks unless been checked by a Women's Health Physiotherapist and are cleared for movement, I would also advise going and seeing a WHP for clearance for exercise.
Complete as a circuit resting and zone breathing in between!
Whenever I have read empowered and birth in the same sentence it is has always been around the mama being able to have the vaginal birth that she WANTED, normally after her first birth not going to plan and being wheeled in for an emergency c-section, and not being given choices or answers as to why. I LOOVVVEEEE these stories because it is about women who are making empowered decisions based on what they want!
I however have thrown in empowered and ELECTIVE c-section together, because I think it is important to also understand that choosing to have an elective c-section is just as an empowered choice, and is not an easy path out by any means - despite what people like to say and think, I would like to share the other side of the story.
When I found out I was pregnant for the second and final time, I went in search of making the best choice for my body both mentally and physically to ensure that i had the best chance of recovery and to avoid the emotional and physical turmoil that I endured in the weeks and years post the birth of Myka.
I wanted to heal physically the best I could, I wanted to minimise the risk of worsening my prolapse's and I wanted to avoid post natal depression, all so that I could be present and enjoy my newborn and actually enjoy my post natal journey, instead of wishing it away.
After the experience I had with the OB in the public system (which I am grateful exists), I decided that I would find the best team possible for me in the private system, who would help me make the best decision possible based on my circumstances. After all I have to live with my body in the long term, I thank my younger self for adding maternity cover on my health care cover.
i had originally decided to try for a vaginal birth, and take my chances with my prolapses not becoming any worse, but as the time got closer to my due date with the pressure and suspected bowel prolapse, I wanted to instead ensure that post birth I was in the best position emotionally, physically to hopefully have a better healing process, connection time with my newborn, reduce my chances of post natal depression, increase my chances of successful breastfeeding and have a more enjoyable early post natal period. So I decided to have an elective c-section, well aware that no this would not be any easier but based on MY body would be the best option for me.
There was no guarantee that I would get what I wanted, but I took solace in fact that I had made a decision with all the information made available to me, and in doing all that I could to have the best experience possible.
I would lie if I said that I wasn't totally shitting myself when I made my way into the hospital, knowing that at 1pm I would be in surgery and all going well at 1:30pm I would be wheeled out with my newborn.
Things happened pretty quickly once I was on that bed gowned, with my delicious stockings being wheeled down to theatre to be admitted, asked my name three hundred times and given my hair net - I was then ready for the process of the c-section to commence.
After being wheeled into the theatre greeted by my team, casually waiting for my arrival - I had to do my best to not be overwhelmed by the sanitised medical room.
Having a major anxiety around needles, and knowing that I was about to have a drip and a spinal tap administered, I did my best to hold it together, but once the reality set in that all was about to go down, I had a panic attack, but still was able to hold it together enough for my absolutely amazing anaesthetist to get the job done. I was also lucky enough to have both my husband and my aunty who is a midwife present during the birth, my aunty was tasked with talking me out of my panic attack so that I didn't have a full on melt down!
Game was on as soon as the catheter went in, within five minutes my baby girl was held over the sheet and I had my emotional moment where I was in awe of my second greatest creation. It was however short lived as, I was shaking uncontrollably, to the point where I couldn't even hold my little girl because my arms were not working as they should, I really had to focus to just get through the reminder of the surgery.
Poor Jordan found the whole thing very overwhelming (as did I) and I soon found out why they ask the husband to eat breakfast, there were two times where he had to be walked out to recover - and honestly I do not blame him! If it wasn't me on the table, there is no way that I could have sat through it.
I would love to go into details more deeply of what happened while I was on the table, but I am very wary of creating fear around c-sections, despite having a great experience, after all it is surgery...that you are awake for, I will say everything went to plan but it was more intense than I thought it would be.
I am extremely grateful, in fact I can not really express with words the appreciation I have for my Aunty and that she was there for us in a time that was so precious and challenging at the same time. She talked me through everything, held my hand when Jordan couldn't and without her my experience I am sure of it would have been very different.
I am also in awe of my professional team, the midwives, my obstetrician and my paediatrician - it was them that restored my faith in the medical field, where the mama comes first and where we are empowered to make informed decisions. I also was able to see and have insight into why decisions are made by our medical professionals, and that if we just have the courage to ask why that maybe we can find peace and heal in knowing why things played out not the way we have envisioned or planned for.
I could literally write a novel on my whole experience but for now I will leave it at this.
While the whole experience was very overwhelming to say the least, but that intense stressful hour was worth it.
- I was able to breastfeed, with the help of an incredible lactation consultant at the hospital
- My healing experience has been incredible with the help of my WHP and Functional Nutritional Practitioner, and the incredible skill of my OB.
- Louka has been in great hands with the most beautiful peaditrician
- I have had SLEEP with the help of my sleep specialist
- I have felt connected and present with Louka, enabling me to enjoy this post natal early period
- I have had the support of my family and friends.
I have unfortunately now discovered that I have bowel prolapse, and don't you worry I had my distressed moment where I had a good cry, and felt very frustrated that I had done all that I could to prevent worsening my prolapses. I now though see that everything plays out as it should, and that this will come with more opporuntiies for growth and will enable me to help more women. It also is a trade off for all of the other positive things that this birth gave me.
"Every day, we’re writing a few more words of a story. So from then on, I stopped trying to make my life perfect, and instead tried to make it interesting. I wanted my story to be an adventure — and that’s made all the difference.” - THIS sums up how I view my collection of experiences that I call my life. This pregnancy and birthing experience is a very monumental one to add.
I know how it feels to look in the mirror, hate what you see and want to change everything that bares the marks that you carried and birthed a child.
Having the privilege of looking in the mirror for the second time, after bringing a child into the world, three weeks ago, I now see my body as a reminder, of what strengths I have and how I can draw on them in a time when needed most, of the connection that I share with not one but now two little legends, of husband and family who have my back whenever I need them, and what my body is capable of and what it may have in store for me as it carries me into this next chapter of my adventure.
A reflection that I have had when comparing this post natal period to my first born is that I spent a lot of time and energy hating on my body, being stressed that I wasn't losing weight, being self conscious of how I looked and what people would think being that I didn't just bounce back into shape being a personal trainer/movement coach and not getting in my bathers because there was too much anxiety that I didn't have a bikini body. That was time that was SO precious with a newborn that grows too quickly, where she would have felt my anguish, I was so distressed that I didn't allow myself to be present.
So, my hope for you new mama, is that you do not wish this precious time away, instead take every opportunity to look in the mirror and see everything that your body is and has given you, not what it is not and what you wish you had.
When you look in the mirror let it serve as a reminder to you, that you are brave, courageous, capable of loving deeper than you ever thought possible, that you have strengths that you may have uncovered in this journey that will serve you as you go forward in life, be in awe of what your body is capable of and live in excitement of what that now means for you in the future - where will it take you? Take pride in all of those marks, differently shaped body parts, cellulite, engorged breasts, csection scars, loose bellies and thighs, they may all have little messages and lessons to share with you if you are opening to discovering what they are. Mine certainly had some to share this time around.
It is ok to have your moments and they may be often, hell I have them too BUT you deserve to see yourself and your body for the divine, fierce, strong, feminine QUEEN that it is, as it is right now! Draw on your strengths to get you through those difficult times, do something that allows you to feel kick arse and that increases your wellbeing - and with time those moments will become shorter and less intense, leaving more time and energy for you to feel queeny, confident, resilient and present.
I became counsellor qualified before I moved into the fitness industry, after some bad experiences with face to face counselling for myself, I decided not to pursue the career as a therapist but instead throw myself into fitness, as I saw that my ability to impact people could be greater in this space at that point in my life.
What I soon discovered, was that as people started to move, physically, pain start to unravel, the body would heal, evolve, then gain strength and power in movement. Clients were becoming empowered through awareness of their bodies, they were starting to tune into their own intuition and start to feel and listen to the messages that the body was sending them. They were able to tap into their creative side with play, they were being challenged in different ways, they had the power to direct what happened with the session when they tuned into what they needed, they were starting to deeply connect to themselves and with that came emotional shifts.
Clients would come and speak openly about things they had never disclosed to anyone, we would really adventure together, problem solve and find ways to help them move forward. Many journeys to healing have begun and continued when our client/coach relationship began. I am greatly honoured to have served as a part of people's journeys and grateful that they trusted me with their transformations on a deeper level.
I have come to realise that I have been combining my counselling and movement coaching for many years, without fully acknowledging that I have been gifted and able to be of service to my clients on that deeper level.
So how does movement allow you to break down the barriers that so many of us have up, ready and waiting to hold us back from any kind of emotional and physical change?
Here are my top three observations!
1. Movement Distracts the Ego
I can only speak from my experience working with clients, and my movement philosophy - as I do not know what you have experienced with other coaches/trainers. I have observed that movement distracts the ego. Your mind and body have to focus on something else other than protecting you from changing and evolving - which the ego likes to defend at all costs, because it feels safe with what it already knows. When you move, play and are challenged in a way that you need, you can unlock that feminine side - the creativity, a state where so much evolving can happen.
2. Movement Unravels and Shifts Pain
Like peeling away the layers of an onion. Physically and emotionally this is what can happen when we are empowered through tools using movement, layers are peeled away, pain, emotions and unresolved suffering will come to the surface ready to be healed and shifted.
3. Movement Allows You to Deeply Connect
As humans we need to connect to self and others in order to live a fulfilled life, often a deep connection to either self or others is missing, movement allows you the opportunity to connect to both. When working with a coach you can be equipped with the tools to learn to tap into your intuition, where you can learn to become aware of your body and your mind and what it needs. You can then move from telling your body/mind what you want (often the ego calling the shots, lack of awareness or moving with expectation of what you think you should be doing), which can lead to working your body beyond it's limits or suppressing unresolved issues. When you can tune into what you need you are able to move into a space of deep connection to self - you can become the observer not the dictator.
Next time you are moving take the time to observe what shifts are occurring emotionally, what your body is trying to make you aware of, so that you can continue to evolve and become empowered to connect with that deeper sense of self both emotionally and physically to come to love your body and your life! Let movement be a tool you can use to create change!
When I became a new mum I was under the impression that the love I would feel for my baby would conquer all, that the reward would far out weigh the hard times, and that having a healthy baby was the only thing that mattered.
What reality looked like was a hot mess.
I didn't sleep, I was struggling to breastfeed to the point where I would cry if my husband bought her near me for the fear of the pain that was to come, I cried most of the day for the first 6 - 12 weeks, I wasn't eating, I was anxious and finding it hard to connect to my baby, I felt like I had lost my identity, I couldn't string a sentence together, my organs were trying to escape out of my vagina, I withdrew from my friends and family and felt like I was failing at something that 'should' have been able to naturally excel at.
In fact that photo above was one of my worst days, I woke up and tried to cancel my session with the amazing Caroline Moylan Photography but luckily on the day she had some advice that allowed me to get through it - I would have regretted not having those precious photos.
If I am totally honest - I lied on my post natal depression scaling test so that I didn't have to admit to anyone that I wasn't coping.
Turns out my daughter had turned up to be my greatest teacher - school me in a few lessons that I needed to be made aware of.
1. It is ok, to not be ok.
First rule of being in the mama club is - it is ok to say that you are not ok.
Life isn't full of rainbows and unicorns. Life is hard and there will be shit times, and if they are talk about it, don't feel like you are a bad mother for voicing how things are really going for you. Let it go girlfriend, let it go.
This is a lesson that I have learnt, I sometimes think that people will think that i am a total negator. When I am asked how I am going - you bet your arse you will get an honest answer - and I wont feel guilty about it. I think it is important to speak about the bad times and the good times - because that is what life is, a balance of the positive and the negative you can not have one without the other. #mamalife isn't always pretty, don't try and dress it up all the time it will be exhausting for you.
2. Drop the ego - you do not have to be miss independent and struggle through alone.
I tried the whole 'I can do it all' thing - let me tell you supermum is not a title that I wish to have. Trying to be everything to everyone and cope with it alone was just me letting my ego get in the way. I still try and do it at times - but was I winning at life...no.
It left me burnt out, stressed, anxious and feeling totally inadequate.
Get help from professionals who can help you navigate this chapter of your adventure.
3. Remove the expectation.
I had such a high expectation on myself to perform that I was an anxious, depressed mess on the inside and as a result, I was failing and falling apart on the outside.
I expected my body would bounce back, I expected that I would be able to breastfeed with ease, I expected that I would be able to handle everything alone, I expected that my vagina would come away from the birthing experience unscathed, I expected that I knew more than I did.
Removing the expectation and surrendering is liberating as hell - when the ego is removed you can see what you need to do, and who you need around you to help you get through this part of your journey and move towards healing not keep burying yourself in that deep dark hole that seems impossible right now to climb out of.
4. You are not everyone else
I took to social media in all of that spare time I created for myself while I hid myself from the world, in a time when I really should have been reaching out for help.
I compared myself to other mama's post natal bodies, to their beautiful pictures on Instagram of all the love they had for their babies and the zest for life, the workouts they were doing, all the beautiful food they were nourishing themselves with...oh the ease of motherhood they were experiencing - made me feel worse.
Is this what real life looked for them? Or was it what I was choosing to see? Who knows.
Stop comparing yourself to how everyone else is doing - be concerned with YOU and what you NEED!
So yes I struggled, I feel no shame in that, I sought the help that I needed and as a result it actually led me to what I am doing today.
I won the battle - what do you need to win yours?
Need help? Reach out - I can guide you and hook you up with a those kick arse professionals that can help you in this time where you feel there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I feel you girlfriend I have been there.
"Movement breaks down the barriers to emotional change" - Kylianne Farrell
In my early twenty's I decided that spending my days hiding out in my house, crying, not finding joy in the things I loved to do and feeling flat and low energy all the time was not going to be my normal. Little did I know what path to healing and transformation I was embarking on.
I took my self to a GP who was a registered psychiatrist, and was diagnosed with severe depression/anxiety - handed a prescription for anti-depressions, a referral to a counsellor for six free sessions and the advice to maybe implement some sort of exercise routine that allowed me to work up a sweat.
This was my introduction into exercise/movement outside of sports that i had grown up playing as a child.
I had NO idea what I was doing, but I hit the gym and just fumbled my way through.
This was the beginning of an eight year journey to recovery, to where I am today - an adventure that still continues.
In that eight years, I have done many self destructive things most a lot of people do not know about me, abusing prescription medication, jumping out of moving car (my lowest point), having suicidal thoughts and pushing those closest to me away. Being in this mode hurt a lot of people around me, but they are the ones who continue to stand by my side today - they believed in me before I believed in myself.
I wouldn't change my experience for the world - as without it, I would not be the woman, wife, sister, friend, mama and mentor that I am today.
I was asked the question today what influenced me to start a career in the fitness industry.
I wanted to deeply impact and help women heal, shift and transform emotionally and physically.
Before my time in the fitness industry I studied to be a counsellor, I thought that this was where I really wanted to be in order to help women continue to emotionally heal - in particular wanted to work with young women, those who had been in similar situations to me.
Turns out after being to a few counsellors myself, I still walked away feeling as though the barriers went up and I couldn't be totally honest - therefore never moved forward towards healing.
My true turning point was when I was training to complete the Kokoda trek with a friend of mine - the time that we spent in the gym together - I felt I was able to really let my guard down and open up.
While hiking the Kokoda trek, it was very apparent that the journey was a very spiritual, emotional and physical one. When hiking and my mind and body being seriously challenged, I had to go within and find a strength that I didn't think I had - I now call it my inner divine power. It also was a time for me to reflect without distractions, on what I truly wanted to do. On on of the hideously long days of hiking, I had the epiphany that I wanted to combine movement with counselling to really help people on their next adventure of life.
So once returning home I started my fitness qualification, while still completing my counselling study.
Once I finished my fitness qualifications, I doubted my ability to combine the two formally and just started movement coaching.
I disowned the part of me that was able to truly help people shift emotionally and spiritually using my counselling skills, because looking back the timing wasn't right - the truth is I needed that application and more experiences to really organically evolve my vision into what I do today.
By holding fast to my vision that has changed with me over time - I have come back to my original plan to combine movement and mentoring to help women shift, heal, transform and reclaim that inner divine power! I have had opportunities/messages that have guided me to where I am today, as while challenging my heart has always been open to receiving and evolving on some level.
I had the exact people gifted to me at the right times as the timing was right - to help me, I just had to not give into the resistance of not wanting to shift and wanting to move forward.
We do not heal, shift, heal or transform if we decide not to get uncomfortable. It is comfortable to some degree to remain the same, it safe because it is what we know.
We have everything within us to create change - if we are open to it.
So from my darkest times was born my soul purpose. I think it is vitally important to not discount our experiences they are all stepping stones to helping us realised why are here - who we are meant to serve and what we are meant to create and offer to those that need us.
While the journey has not been an easy one - I am grateful for my darkest times because they are what have allowed me to shine a light for those who are yet to see the path before them.
Remember as always you are NOT what happens to you. If you are struggling with depression/anxiety seek the help you need, do not take on that it defines you, because it doesn't.
It took me two years post birth to heal physically and emotionally enough to consider falling pregnant again.
My biggest fear? Making my prolapses worse, and the unknown of what life would like for me after another pregnancy and birth, when I had worked so hard to get myself into a position where I was basically symptom free and it no longer ruled and dictated my life.
The core of my fear was that emotionally I would not cope if my prolapse was worsened. That I would feel fraudulent as a professional in my field and that I would not be able to live out my soul purpose as I have envisioned it. If I wasn't able to live in my mission, then that would impact my family, relationships with self and others, my ability to move, play and experience, my ability to generate an income and be able to invest in more learning, personal development and travel.
So how can you overcome the fear of falling pregnant again, when you are living with prolapse?
1. Understand what the fear really is at the core.
Once you can understand what the real fear is - work can be done on unlocking it.
For me I had to take back the control of the whirlwind of negative what if's, and realise that a soul purpose is a calling - if I chose to not rise up to it that would be MY choice, I would have let myself get in my own way. It would be a choice to hide myself in order to feel safe, it would be my choice to not seek the support that i needed in order to overcome it, it would be my choice to let a dysfunction rule and dictate my life, it would be my choice to feel as though I didn't deserve to be here. I had to reframe my thoughts to remember that life happens for us, not to us - I can not control everything.
So what is at the REAL core of your fear of making your prolapse worse - what do you perceive will happen if this was to occur? What can you do now to work on unlocking those limiting beliefs? What do you need to shift and heal before you birth your next baby?
2. Get informed - by the people who align with your values.
For many years I lived by the moto that if you prepare for the worst you are never disappointed. To me this is a way of thinking that my mind was and sometimes still is conditioned to, it is also a very damaging way to be. I learnt the hard way about the law of attraction. Instead I now try to see the opportunity in events that occur and the messages I am meant to receive.
My advice is not to read everything and anything, do not ask for opinions - this will become extremely overwhelming. Do your research find professionals who will help you see both sides, help you work through your fears, so you can make an informed choice about birth and what outcome you would like achieve - nothing is a given but you will feel safe, loved, valued and supported through whatever choice and outcome that occurs.
My support team throughout this pregnancy has been;
- Private obstetrician
- Womens Health Physiotherapist
- Business Coach/mentor
- Movement Coach
- Most recently - a sex therapist
- My mama tribe - friends, family, clients and colleagues
Who is your dream team of supporters?
3. Do what you need to in order to feel safe
The first pregnancy, birth and post natal journey will serve as a great teacher for you! What can you implement that will make you feel in control and safe?
Sure things don't always go to plan, things will happen differently to how we imagine them too, but doing some prep work now, will ensure that you are empowered to create change and be in control of your healing journey no matter how that looks.
For me I have implemented + will implement the below;
- REST! Take the expectation off myself to be a superwoman!
- Purge emotion - just feel your way through what is coming up for you and get support where you need it
- Be open with my husband without fear
- Not moving with expectation or ego
- Asking questions of professionals - not just accepting answers
- Seeking the right professionals for me
- Listening to what my body is trying to communicate with me
- Getting a plan of optimal healing post birth nutritionally
- Ensuring I have support when I need it - especially for post birth, helping with food, Myka ect.
- Having consistent care - the choice to go private
- Massages to help the healing process post birth
- Seek help if I am struggling emotionally - letting go of the expectation that I have to do it all alone
- Ensuring I am nutritionally supported as much as possible
- Consulting with a WHP who I feel safe with
- Trying to breastfeed straight after birth in order to foster connection
- Finding out the sex of the baby to create prior connection
- Being kind with myself not to jump back into things professionally if the timing is not right
What were your greatest teachers? Where can you feel more in control and safe?
4. Understanding that there is always a solution
I am a firm believer in there is always a solution, there are people out there who can help you. Just depends how willing you are to take that journey to find them. I personally am pretty relentless at ensuring that I am able to live life doing the things I love with the people I love and living out that soul purpose - so I have done a lot investigation to find great professionals, who can help emotionally, physically and spiritually.
5. Pregnancy is unpredictable - enjoy the ride + use the time to get empowered.
Yep pregnancy is a journey, things will be different to the first time, but hey your a mama - you know how to roll with the punches ;).
It will bring up lots of fears - best part is you can address them before the time comes to birth!
Remember an empowered mama is a force NOT to be reckoned with!
ALWAYS remember you HAVE prolapse you are NOT prolapse.
Whether your prolapse worsens or it doesn't you will get through and there are people around to love you and support you on the journey to healing and recovery.
Finding it hard to commit and get motivated to exercise, fitness, working out?
As a mama it is easy to say we are busy and don't have time, do not have the energy, have dysfunctions that hold us back, really our mind will come up with any excuse as resistance!
Some people think my movement approach is hard to take - it is probably because I do not promote to create sales, 12 week challenges or sell an epic physical transformation, getting your pre baby body back or place an emphasis on losing weight, toning up, getting strong and increasing fitness! Is there anything wrong with these? Absolutely not but it is just not what I believe in - I like to go deeper to help create long lasting change and empowering mamas to take back control! You may say I like to rebel against the norm, its a harder line to walk but it is authentic to me.
If you are finding it hard to get motivated and find yourself trying to find an excuse not to move do these three things!
1. Connect with the emotional response that you desire from fitness - for me movement gives;
- Space to be creative - ability to tap into and balance my feminine energy, I walk way feeling POWERFUL!
- Ability to connect to my inner self, tune into the messages my body is sending me and feed it what it needs/sessions intensity and movements are based on this.
- Challenge and control with the competition.
- Allows me to move to think - lots of internal struggles are worked out.
- Apply tools to remain pain free
- Give my body (my VEHICLE) vitality in order to live out my soul purpose.
- Allows me to have fun and variety that feeds my soul.
- Trust and develop the relationship I have with my body.
- Understanding and applying what I am learning about the body and movement.
All of the above allow me to be consistent, and I rarely if ever fall into a fitness/movement rut! The WHY is far to great to come up with excuses.
A by-product of remaining consistent and having a positive connection to fitness/movement is that without it being a focus, and having the expectation on yourself to look a certain way that safely and effectively you will achieve those physical goals that you would like to achieve.
2. Schedule it in
Don't set yourself up for failure by overcommitting or making it too much for where you are at emotionally or physically right now.
I move three times a week (depending on what I need that day), for 30 - 45 mins including extensive movement preparation (time to tune into what i need and prepare the body for the work), goal based movement (the 'work') and movement recovery (preparing the body for the rest of the day and the next time I want to move).
3. Find something you love
If that is walking right now great! If that is a group fitness class that takes into consideration where your body is at post birth great! Whatever it is set yourself up for success by ensuring your needs are catered for so that you have longevity.
Not sure what your emotional connection to movement is? Need some help discovering what you desire after the birth of your little human? Apply for a Free Mama Chat where we can map out your next chapter of your fitness/movement adventure.
It is easy to live in struggle town when it is where you are used to living, it is easy to think that we are our story and the things that have happened in our lives.
You are not your story. You HAVE a story that is a collection of experiences that give us opportunities to grow, learn and become more than who we were before!
Mama feelings seem to have a common theme particularly for those that have suffered as a result of a difficult pregnancy, birth and the events that have occurred post birth - feelings of guilt, depression, feeling not enough, feeling broken, shame, inadequacy, out of control, unsupported.
These feelings are feeding back to us that the expectations we have placed on ourselves, is us living in fantasy, caught up in the story we have created, of how things should have been, or should be.
You want to stop feeling like you are constantly immersed in struggle town?
Three ways to release the expectations that you are currently holding yourself at ransom with;
1. Stop projecting your expectations on other people, or material things;
They do not hold the key to what you desire YOU do! Time to go within and see where maybe you are having resistance to change, what messages are being reflected back to you from those closest to you, what are you not letting yourself shift, change and heal in order to move forward?
2. See the opportunities for growth;
In the events that have occurred in your life, what was the opportunity for growth - who did you have to become in order to get you through that situation? Who was supporting you? Who was loving you? Where were you feeling valued? Who was listening to you? Where there is a negative there is a positive - duality of life.
3. Stop chasing 'happiness';
It is unrealistic for us to think that we can be living in a state of happiness at all times, the more you try and chase it the more it will elude you. When you are not happy every minute of the day, or something goes wrong you those negative feelings will flood in and game over, you will feel on a subconscious level a feeling of failure. Remember where there is negative there will be a positive look for the opportunity for growth.
As we start to shift these expectations, we open up space emotionally, physically and spiritually to uncover our soul purpose, how we want to show up in the world, reclaiming that inner power and start loving life and our bodies again - because we are looking within.
One of the best things I ever did was invest in mentoring, guidance and support to help me through, call me out on limiting beliefs, to coach me to see that I was not a summery of what had happened to me, that it in fact had happened FOR me in order for me to become who I am today - if it wasn't being diagnosed with prolapse that sparked this soul purpose journey it would have been something else, where I am now is where I am meant to be.
You do NOT have to do this alone, that is an expectation that we as mamas need to call bullshit on, we do NOT have to be able to do everything. We do not just have to lone ranger it and hope for the best.
Are you ready to invest in yourself? To deeply shift, heal + release what is needed in order to vibrate and live at another level?
Apply for your Free Mama Chat now - let me take your hand and help you map out the next part of your adventure!
I have had many fuck this shit moments in the last two months, since putting together an offering that I have felt called to since The Women's Health and Fitness Summit in September. I have had to do a lot of healing emotionally and spirituality to release and shift, to ensure that I was in a heart space to be able to offer such a supportive, intense, intimate and connected service for mamas - I couldn't have my own shit getting in the way.
I really had to call bullshit on a lot of beliefs I was holding onto that have been holding me back from being able to serve on a deeper level.
So safe to say I feel empowered, clear and ready to roll - I am a force to be reckoned with right now.
Being 28 weeks pregnant with my second baby, that is growing on top of my prolapses has brought a lot of emotional trauma that needed to be dealt with to the surface - not a bad thing.
One of which was the fear of vaginally birthing again, after suffering prolapse after the first birth.
I opted from the beginning to go with a private ob, to ensure that I was able to trust and know I was supported with my decisions going into my second birth. He listened to my fears, gave me my options and answered all of my questions. I feel in safe and supportive hands.
I have had to see the public system midwife and obs in the time that I have not been able to see my private ob.
My experience with the public ob over the last couple of days, has gotten me really well, pissed off. Walking away from that appointment feeling very disempowered after almost being scoffed at, like my attempts at preventing further damage to my body was ridiculous, was pretty disturbing to me. Regardless of whether this was the intent of the clinical professional (who I may have had as my ob trusting my body, my life and my little lady's life with), that is how I felt. I do not doubt the ability, skill set or many many years of experience and study that obs go through to be able to help us bring life into this world, but if I did not have the support, knowledge or tools that I do myself, I would have walked away from that appointment distressed and anxious.
Sure, maybe it was the way I needed to feel in order to write this divine message for YOU, chances are if I am feeling like this there is a message that needs to be delivered, whatever the reason here is the moral of the story.
"NEWSFLASH : We are the ones who have to live with our bodies and the outcomes of birth our whole lives - so we deserve to be informed + feel safe enough to make choices that are right for OUR body".
- So if I have a question, I want to feel safe enough to ask it!
- If I have fears, I want to feel safe enough to bring them up and have the options talked through with me.
- If I have a dysfunction I would have loved to been asked questions about the emotional impact it has had on me, how it affects my daily life and my chosen profession and what options for birthing are available to me.
- I don't want your opinions unless I ask for them.
- I want to know what other professionals I can speak to, to ensure I have the right support team around me to ensure I get the care that I need.
SO i'm sorry but FUCK THIS SHIT! Mamas we deserve to feel in control of our birth, and we are entitled to know all options in order to make the most informed decision at the time.
There are options for you, if you do not feel like you are empowered enough or safe enough to ask questions get your squad around you.
Become a force to be reckoned with - it is your body.
Take your partner or support person, find a Doula, get your women's health physiotherapist write a letter for you, find a mama mentor that can help you find the answers you are looking for and hook a sister up with the right professional for you, what emotional and spiritual releases you need before birth OR after birth if needed!
Sure, things happen out of our control but an empowered mama will know who to turn to in order to heal, release and see the opportunities to grow + kick arse.
Time to reclaim that inner divine mama power and make a choices that are informed for your body.
Need help on your adventure? Apply for your FREE MAMA CHAT today to see how we can work together to get you feeling like a force to be reckoned with, a divine empowered mama!
Watch the video I shared with my mama tribe.
As you all know I am seriously fired up about self acceptance and body love - you will also know that I am a firm believer, that this starts from firstly knowing who you are. After this issue of 9/10 women hating their bodies was spotlighted this week in the media (I am not going to comment on the segment on Sunday Night), there have been countless personalities coming out with messages of self love and body acceptance - which I LOVE!
What I am getting really frustrated with and do not love so much, is women of high influence in the fitness industry promoting self love + body love, that comes with a cost.
I am talking about normalising pelvic dysfunctions.
Yep, love your body where it is at, accept the changes it has gone through in growing and birthing that human, love it for how it looks right now, love it for what it can do, but PLEASE do not use that as an excuse to dismiss the messages the body is trying to send you.
Peeing when you sneeze, laugh, cough or exercise is NOT a badge of honour when you become a mum. It should not be portrayed as that, to your following of women who are looking to you for guidance and support.
Super common. Not normal.
Love yourself enough to let your body heal.
Love yourself enough to listen to your bodies messages of where some attention needs to be paid.
Love yourself enough to not accept issues that society tells you are 'normal'.
Love yourself enough to exercise and move in a way that allows you to get the emotional reward you crave in a way that is right for you, for where you are at right now.
Sure, some of you may be thinking, just another hater, they are trying to spread a good message.
I believe in and am ALL FOR most of the message, but when you are fitness professional yourself and have coached, supported women and heard their stories of dealing with the emotional rollercoaster of prolapse and pelvic floor dysfunctions, who have been on MASSIVE journeys of healing to come to not only love your body, but TRUST your body again....I think I can put my two cents worth out there.
When YOU have been through that come back to me and let me know if you think pelvic dysfunctions are to be something to be laughed at and just well...accepted as 'normal'.
Right now as of this moment? Couldn't tell you. It isn't important.
I made the decision to only be weighed at appointments and only allow my midwife, doctor or ob tell me the number if I was super clear in my mind that I was unattached to what they were about to tell me.
It is hard for some women to gain weight during pregnancy, I was consumed by it in my last pregnancy with Myka, I wasted SO much energy worrying about it and feeling depressed and worthless about the weight I was gaining. WHAT.A.WASTE.OF.TIME!
Unless you have a medical reason to be concerned with your weight, put the fucking scales away!
I can not tell you how liberating it is to just live my life, and enjoy the changes this time around, hell even my pregnancy cellulite is getting a chance to hang out at the beach with me in my bathers.....crazy!
Be focused on movement, mindset, REST and eating nourishing meals worry about what you are putting IN - focus on the things that you can control.
Remember you are PREGNANT not fat.
Liberate yourself ladies - trust me it is worth it!
Mummas you matter.
After hearing lots of stories and the comments of other people in response to a mum speaking of her experience or societies views on how we should handle them got me thinking. Stories of miscarriages, traumatic births, emergency c-sections, post birth surgeries, post birth dysfunctions, less than ideal pregnancies, post natal depression, anxiety the list goes on.
I cant help that feel the mum gets left behind a little, that there becomes a point that they feel shame to speak of their experiences, or are made to feel guilty. Whether that be by societies expectations of how a mother should be able to take it all in their stride, or social media images of new mums who just seem to be nailing it, expectations on yourself, or other people in your life making you feel this way.
Here are a couple of responses that I have heard people say, to a mum or a mum to be when they are sharing their experiences.
"At least I have a healthy baby" - Of course this is vitally important.
"These things happen" - Yes, maybe they do.
These comments shit me. To me they imply that we should just be happy and move on. I know because these are comments that were said to me when I was personally struggling and trying to open up to people.
Honey, life doesn't work this way. It also doesn't mean that an experience, feelings, trauma or grief simply go away. I'm pretty sure the mum understands that having a healthy baby is important and that in fact these things do happen. They do not need to be made to feel guilty, or ungrateful when they are trying to make sense of something or heal physically or emotionally.
I think there needs to be more of a focus post birth on the MUM as well as the baby.
Don't feel guilty for sharing your experience even if it does come across as negative because by you opening up that may help another mum on their journey, they may then have the courage to speak up about their own experience and even seek the help they need.
A well and healthy mother is the most important gift to any baby or child.