Moms, we Need to Talk about Diastisis Recti

It’s been seven years, three months and twenty two days since I gave birth to my first baby, and I am still recovering.

A few minutes after my gorgeous, 9lb 8oz baby girl made her appearance into the world, I had what’s classed as a ‘major' postpartum haemorrhage.  Within a matter of seconds, half of my blood volume had launched its way across the delivery room and a team of medics were working on me whilst intermittently muttering the words: “stay with us, Louise.”

I needed hormones intravenously to force my uterus to contract and stop the bleed, but I’d lost too much blood far too fast, which had caused my veins to collapse.

Several nurses repeatedly pricked all the way up my hands and forearms, trying to get a line in, all the while a consultant OBGYN was carrying out the procedure that helped save my life.

The procedure he was forced to do is called bimanual uterine compressions and essentially consists of contracting the uterus manually, with one hand pushed against the body of the uterus and the other hand compressing the womb from above, through the abdominal wall.

Seven years later, the pain of those compressions is still palpable.  Yet emotionally, I feel at peace.

It is the physical scars that burden me now.

You see, I was left with an eight-finger diastisis recti.  That means that my abdominal muscles were separated by a width of eight fingers.  I only found this out when my daughter was two and I slipped a disk in my spine, due to having an exceptionally weak core (go figure). Before this point, I hadn’t even heard of a diastisis, let alone knew I was a poster girl for the condition.

Yet moms with uncomplicated birthing stories can also suffer from a diastisis…my eight finger separation is pretty extreme, but smaller gaps are very common, with 98% of new moms thought to be affected.

My Baby Is Not Using Me As A Pacifier

When my baby was around a month old, we offered him a pacifier.

He spat it out.

I remember my husband and I exchanging glances...our eldest child had adored her paci...why was our new baby rejecting the wonders of a silicone nipple?!

We kept offering and he kept spitting and so it came to be that we somehow managed to live without a pacifier.

My baby boy is now a thriving one year old and I have literally lost count of the number of times that well-meaning people have told me how much he needs a pacifier...

Pumping Profiles: The Smartpump

To complete our Pumping Profiles series, this week we're meeting Emily, who uses an all-singing-all-dancing Smartpump.

I am so thrilled to share Emily's story, as she reminds each and every one of us to remember why we are making the choices that we make.  This working mama's message is one of encouragement and commitment.

Pumping Profiles: The Double Electric

The double electric breast pump is something of a staple in the world of breastfeeding and thanks to the Affordable Care Act, most insurance companies will cover the entire cost of a pump.

One of the reasons that I’m running this mini series about pumping is to spread the message that pumps are available to moms via insurance, which is a fact that too many of us bypass in the whirlwind that is motherhood.  I want to take a second though, to mention those moms who don’t have health insurance.

Pumping Profiles: The Mighty Hand Pump

If we are lucky, we are told during pregnancy to prepare for feeding our babies.  We are given information leaflets with pictures and paragraphs detailing the perfect latch and like an exam to study for, we are lured into believing that with the correct information booklet to hand, we will sail through the first few weeks and months of breastfeeding without bother.

This is the reality for scores of mothers, of course, but for many new moms, breastfeeding comes with its challenges.  Even when armed with prior-planning, a lactation consultant and oatmeal cookies, so many of us find ourselves embarking on a journey that – let’s face it – isn’t always smooth sailing.

The All-Purpose Beauty Cream Hiding In Your Diaper Bag

"My husband stole my nipple cream!"

All eyes turned to the mom in the corner, gently rocking her baby as she handed her toddler a plastic frog.

The Unfiltered Parenting Video We All Need To Watch

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how frustrated I am with the "You'll Miss This" videos that crop up all-too-often on my social media feeds.

You know the ones I mean...the ones that tell us to absorb every moment of every day because it all goes by so very fast...without quite acknowledging that some of those moments are bitterly hard.

If, like me, you're fed up of the typical "You'll Miss This" video script, I hereby offer you an alternative.

If you've had enough of being told to absorb every single second of the baby days...of being told how fast the years tick by...of being told you will dissolve into nothingness as soon as your littles have flown the nest (in exactly "18 summers" and counting...) Well, here's a little something for you.

Let's call it perfect imperfection...motherhood unfiltered...BS-free.

Just real moms, real kids and real shit going down.

Enjoy, my friends...