Bittersweet Social Media

Thank goodness for the likes of Anne Hathaway, Chrissy Teigen and Blake Lively! We’re naming but a few celeb moms who are publically shutting down mom body shamers:

“There is no shame in gaining weight during pregnancy (or ever),” posted Hathaway on Instagram recently. “There is no shame if it takes longer than you think it will to lose the weight (if you want to lose it at all). There is no shame in finally breaking down and making your own jean shorts because last summer’s are just too dang short for this summer’s thighs….Bodies change. Bodies grow. Bodies shrink… It’s all love (don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.) Peace xx #noshame #lovewhatyouhavebeengiven.”

Amen to that Anne! No shame.

Isn’t it crazy,…actually scrap crazy. Isn’t it infuriating that a mom body defence is even needed at all? Isn’t it insane to think of how people will use social media for spiteful remarks? To people they don’t even know.

Every new mom will know that you already feel a stranger in your own body post birth. It’s different. Unfamiliar. The last thing you need is external judgement or expectations. We think actress Kerry Washington said it best when she said post birth that: “My body is the site of a miracle right now. I don’t want to be pre-miracle.” YES! Let’s have some more of that pride please!

A mom body needs to be celebrated for what it has done. What it is capable of. Not what it currently looks like. Or should look like according to some Hollywod standard. And we’re glad more and more celeb moms are using their high profile to draw attention to mom shaming and pressures. Particularly across their own personal social media accounts.

But that’s the trouble with social media isn’t it? It’s an amazing place for support, friendship, tips and laughs. Even the occasional tiredness vent. But it’s also rife with judgement, competition, boasting and a tiring sense of superiority. It can be a parent’s best friend AND worst nightmare all in one. If you let it, it can leave you feeling like a failure and fuel that darn mom guilt that follows us around everywhere.

So remember, be careful how you use social media and who you surround yourself with in this online space. Especially in the early months and years. Stop reading those articles which are telling you that you are doing it wrong. Those articles who congratulate new moms for losing that baby weight like it’s a must. They don’t know you or your baby. Stop engaging with those people who are making you feel small. Just remember not everything looks as perfect as people try to portray. Just take the good from social media – the support, the tips and the cuteness overload.  And be proud of what you and your body have achieved. And who YOU are as a loving parent.

Just like the wise ol’ Dr Suess said: “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.  Love yourself. Love your babies. Love your style. Embrace changes as you grow and enjoy the ride! Your way. Always.

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Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

wbw2016-logoIt’s that time of year again where moms across the globe unite to celebrate the importance, beauty and benefits of breastfeeding.

A time where we realize how far society’s come in supporting mothers who choose to nurse….but yet sadly also a time to consider how far we still have left to go.

Yes we’ve seen an increase in educational literature and campaigns. We’ve seen improved public facilities and more accommodating employees. We’ve even got celebs like Liv Tyler, Chrissy Teigan and Mila Kunis now openly talking about breastfeeding, even sharing ‘brelfies’ on social media.

But progress is slow. Breastfeeding is far from being normalized in the mainstream.  There is still that ongoing fear of being judged in public. Still a need to be seen as ‘covering it up’ / hiding away. I mean even Mila Kunis has been publicly shamed for nursing in public without a cover. (We loved her response by the way: ‘If it’s not for you, don’t look!’).

While evidence that breastfeeding benefits women, children, as well as communities and societies, has never been stronger, breastfeeding rates have remained stagnant for the last 20 years says the World Health Organization.

So, this year’s theme for World Breastfeeding Week is all about the bigger picture – breastfeeding’s role in sustainable development. Because as the WHO says: “breastfeeding is not only the cornerstone of a child’s healthy development; it is also the foundation of a country’s development. In fact, supporting breastfeeding is one of the smartest investments countries can make in the wellbeing of their citizens — and thus, in their own long-term strength.”

The aim is to therefore stop people seeing breastfeeding as isolated acts in society, but rather, acts FOR society. It’s something that benefits everyone, so should be championed by everyone.

The WHO is encouraging people to “support mums to breastfeed anytime, anywhere,” highlighting that ALL of society has a role to play in making our communities more breastfeeding-friendly. We all need to do and ask for much more to normalize breastfeeding. More brelfies. More conversations about it (the good and the hard!). More funding. More education. More shared experiences. More public kindness and understanding. More welcoming locations/facilities for moms to use. More employee support – and rights.

As always, we are 100% behind this year’s World Breastfeeding Week. But more than that, we understand our ongoing role and responsibility in this powerful movement. We feel so lucky to have our village of parents and professionals, both on and off line, to provide such a strong and accessible year round support network for new moms and moms-to-be. From social media community chats to Breastfeeding 101 classes, Lactation Lounges, and workshops on returning back to the workplace post baby, we are arming parents with confidence and knowledge on how to make breastfeeding really work for them – for as long as they wish. We work hard to prepare moms ahead of baby’s arrival, so they know what to expect, as well as help them to finish nursing on their terms –not because of social pressures, glares and nerves.

Keeping doors permanently open on this subject matter and empowering our local mamas with kindness and encouragement is how we can ALL best support this cause – both for Breastfeeding Week, and beyond. Onwards we march!

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What You Need to Know About Baby & Me Yoga

mom-baby-yogaWhile it may have felt like your little wriggly one was already practicing yoga moves in utero, once they’ve arrived, there really is no better time to think about starting yoga.

Yes, we know, energy and time can be in scarce supply postpartum. So the thought of a mama and baby yoga class (not to mention the thought of putting on exercise clothes) from six weeks, might be daunting. Even stressful. Will I strain myself too soon? Where will I feed baby? What if my baby cries and interrupts the class? What about diaper changes?

But it’s not about putting stress on you, your body or your baby. The right classes offer an inclusive, safe environment. All other parents will be in exactly the same position, with exactly the same worries. If baby cries, no one will judge. If you need to stop and feed baby, go for it. This type of yoga experience is all about destressing and reconnecting with your body. It’s about creating new bonding experiences with your baby. A real win-win for both mom and baby:

Here are our 5 top reasons to give mama and baby yoga a try:

  • NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY: Don’t worry if you weren’t able to fold yourself in to a pretzel pre-baby. It doesn’t matter. No prior skills or yoga knowledge is necessary for new parents to enjoy and benefit from this experience.
  • BONDING TIME: It offers you dedicated time where you can both relax. Remember, your baby will relax when you relax! Joint relaxation is so powerful in strengthening connections and non-verbal communication.
  • BETTER SLEEPERS: Yoga promotes MORE and BETTER sleep. Hooray! Short classes offer just the right amount of stimulation they need to help them sleep for longer stretches. If that’s not good news enough, tactile stimulation has also been show to contribute to the development of the brain and nervous system.
  • BETTER DIGESTION: Yoga stimulates all of baby’s bodily systems including the digestive system. It’s been known to help keep babies contented between feeds and also alleviate wind and colic too.
  • GOOD FOR MOM: Yoga can be great for mom’s all important emotional wellbeing. Not only is parenting hard and stressful at times, for new parents especially, it can be darn scary. Yoga gives moms time to relax and refocus via breathing exercises and focused stretches. And let’s be honest, parenting can also have its lonely moments too, so classes like this are a great way for parents to get out, socialise, support and find a healthy balance.

If this sounds good to you, we offer an all-levels Mama and Baby Class at Babies in Bloom, suited for 6 week olds to crawlers – check out the next few dates on our calendar. All you need is a yoga mat and blanket for baby to rest on.

Our wonderful instructor Holly also recommends some helpful home resources if you want to bring the yoga experience and relaxation vibes home – the Itsy Bitsy Yoga series and Yoga Pretzel Cards.

Enjoy and Namaste!

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