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Struggling? I help you gain insight and make connections as to how your past experiences and personality as well as current stresses play a role in how you're currently experiencing motherhood.

In my time working with mothers, I have developed a number of useful strategies and counselling skills to help you master your new role as a mum - whether you're pregnant or already have children. My office is a safe and nurturing space where I'll help you figure out how current stresses, your background and your personality have shaped how you experience motherhood.

Unfamiliar with counselling? It's basically a safe, supportive and non-judgmental process that allows you to  share what's going on in your life (whether it's good, bad, confusing or sad) with a trained professional. Together we unpack what's going on, connect the dots and figure out the best ways of fixing any problems you might be experiencing.

Stress-management programs

Feeling stressed? I don't blame you. Kids and life make for little time to look after yourself. But I can help you master a range of strategies that can help you reduce and manage the stress associated with being a parent. 

The arrival of a baby throws everything upside down and sometimes our we forget to look after ourselves. By reconnecting with your old self and taking the time to do things we love and look after ourselves (I like to call this 'filling your wellness tank'), you're better equiped to mange your role with greater energy and satisfaction.

There's lots of evidence to support the benefits of implementing stress-management strategies such as:

  • Scheduling in activities that you enjoy
  • Exercising regularly
  • Learning relaxation skills such as breathing exercises
  • Delegating tasks to others
  • Saying no to taking on additional tasks (you know you're guilty of this!)

By identifying the things in your life that make you stressed - and figuring out ways of managing these - you will be well on the way to improving your overall wellbeing.

Birth plans

Wondering how you'll manage? Pre-birth planning is a great way to think about what you would like to happen during and after the birth of your baby.

Having a birth plan can be incredibly empowering as it allows you to communicate your needs to the birthing staff (something which you probably won't be able to do mid-contraction!).

I can help you develop an individual plan that covers the following areas:

  • Birth support team (partners, doulas, midwives, other friends or family)
  • Pain management requests (artificial vs. natural)
  • Relaxation strategies (shower, birthing ball, walking, birth pool, music, aromatherapy, etc.)
  • Past history (medical and mental health issues)
  • Post-birth recovery needs (e.g. sending baby to nursery so you can sleep, food requests)
  • Post-birth feeding choices (bottle or breast)
  • Medication review
  • Visitor policy
  • Plan A, B, and C (because the process of giving birth doesn't always run to plan)*

* Being prepared for unexpected scenarios (like needing a caesarean or having difficulty breastfeeding after birth) will make it easier for you to cope and adjust.

Sleep training

Getting enough sleep is important for the whole family. If your baby hasn't developed a good sleep routine, you and your family might be feeling extremely tired, negative, overwhelmed or depressed.

Having a new baby is exhausting and overwhelming - and the thought of coming up with (and sticking to) a sleep program may be too much to consider. Co-sleeping, feeding to sleep, self settling - everyone seems to have strong opinions on the best method of getting a baby to sleep. And no method is going to suit every baby (their temperament and sleep needs) and every family (single, couple, siblings, extended family).

I'll work with you to develop a routine and strategy that suits you and your baby (and I'll never push you towards a program that goes against your preferences on how to settle your little one).

And if I think you need further support (which many mums do), I'll put you in touch with the right people.

Emotional health

Your emotional health relates to your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Together they make up our response to situations.

Sometimes your emotional health can suffer as a result of having a baby (or children). This can lead to loss of confidence and enjoyment of being a mum, as well as negative self talk. Learning how to deal with negative thoughts and emotions in your life as a parent is the key to coping.

I can help you explore how you respond to and reflect on stressful events (like a baby who doesn't sleep at night or feeling anxious about leaving the baby with someone else) and help you develop techniques that allow you to step back and deal with them in a less negative light.

Understanding your baby (0-1 years)

Babies express themselves by crying and a range of movements and actions. But this new language is foreign to most new mums - and trying to decode what your baby is trying to tell you can be frustrating and stressful. 

You've heard plenty of babies crying in the past. Now you have your own, you've probably realised that hearing your own baby cry makes you feel very different. This is because you have an inbuilt stress-response to the sound of your own baby (natures way of making sure we look after our newborns!). This is great for the continued existence of the human race, but not so good for your stress levels.

Understanding what your baby is trying to tell you will make the job of being a mum much easier for you. 

In a play-based setting, I can work with you and your baby to help you understand:

  • What their cries, grunts, movements and expressions mean
  • What you can expect from them at different stages of their development
  • How their unique temperament affects their needs and ways of expressing themselves
  • The best ways to play with your baby (games, facial expressions, etc.)

Engaging with your child (1+ years)

Do you struggle to connect with your child? Or have trouble understanding what they are thinking? Using play-based interactions and mindfulness techniques, I will teach you how to engage with your child on their level.

Each of us have a unique temperament that is observable from birth. Your child included. Their temperament affects how they communicate their needs and what parenting techniques work best for them.

If your child has a very different temperament to you, you may have trouble understanding how they tick. Likewise, if they're similar to you, their behaviours may be confronting (especially if there are aspects to your personality that you would like to change) and engaging with them can be a challenge.

Children connect and communicate using play. I will help you learn how to use play to:

  • Get to know your child (what they're trying to say and how they like to play)
  • Take time out from juggling life and be present with them
  • Relax!

Confidence building and assertiveness skills

Becoming a mum is like starting a new job without a position description or previous experience. Terrifying. Daunting. Overwhelming.

And it's sometimes really difficult to ask for help. Especially if you are used to being on top of things at work - or if you've never felt that confident about yourself.

Working together, we will implement a range of strategies that will help you boost your confidence, foster a positive self-identity and improve your relationships with those around you . These include:

  • Recognising your strengths
  • Teaching you new parenting skills
  • Developing a plan that encourages you to take time out for activities you do well
  • Developing the ability to communicate your needs clearly
  • Considering other people’s perspectives will help you improve relationships around you and a positive self-identity.

Negotiating workloads

Babies require full-time care (more than you probably ever imagined). Between feeding and settling your baby, changing endless nappies, playing with them and endless loads of washing, you might not feel like there's much time for anything else in your life.

But it is possible to achieve balance. I can help you achieve a sustainable routine by figuring out what's important to you, what you can let go, whether it's:

  • Sharing the care load with your partner
  • Delegating wherever possible (childcare, cleaners, babysitting, etc.)
  • Building skills to complete new tasks
  • Finding balance between paid work and caring for your child

Overcoming perfectionism

Setting unrealistic expectations and being hard on yourself when you make a mistake is a recipe for feeling anxious and dissatisfied. Especially as a mum. But it doesn't have to be this way.

Do you often feel like you're not good enough? Then you're probably a perfectionist - a trait that is often rewarded in the workplace, but one that's less-than-helpful when you're a mum. Because there's no such thing as a perfect mum.

Together we will discuss and reflect on examples of your perfectionism, help you reset your expectations (accepting that 'good enough' is okay) and turn the volume down on that little voice that always tells you that you could have done better. This will go a long way towards improving your levels of wellbeing and satisfaction.

Parenting skills

Feeling like you're not good enough? Like any job, parenting takes time to master. I work with you to work through your parenting challenges, connect with your child, develop routines and improve your ability to parent.

Parenting is an occupation like any other job and can be hard to master at first. This can leave you feeling like you are not good enough.

How you feel about yourself has a direct impact on your partner and child. I can help you improve your ability to be a great mum by teaching you to:

  • Play with your child
  • Develop realistic routines
  • Problem-solve parenting challenges
  • Communicate effectively with your child
  • Understand what to expect at different developmental stages