In praise of newborns & all mums

Mothers’ Day 2014 (30 March) may have passed (in the UK anyway, Oz and the southern hemisphere is on Sunday 11 May 2014) – along with the chocolates my lovely kids gave me and the flowers I gave my mum. But you could use all that mumsy good will as a reminder to give any help you can to those who have just given birth (or are just about to do so)…  For more ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children follow this blog or get my book Homemade Kids, out of the library. This post is by Nicola Baird, also see


Adorable spring, wonderful new borns. Us humans often need a bit of extra help though.

Did you know that there are laughter experts? Yes, people who can teach you to laugh more – some of them as a result of attending a laughter therapy course, see here. Well new mum Kate is one of those people. Not so long ago she was even invited into TV’s Big Brother house to wake the contestants up with some laughing exercises – imagine how hard that would be. You can find out more about Kate’s work at her very cheerful website,

Just recently Kate’s given birth to her first child, a cute boy, who looks very fine in his just born photo wearing a rainbow cardigan. Instead of relaxing on her babymoon (the time when mum and baby get to know each other) one of the first things Kate did was to send an email thanking people for their help on her birth journey. She found that

  • Natal hynotherapy workshops helped her give birth with no pain relief
  • Turtle Tums classes (aquanatal swimming) kept her strong and flexible, and encouraged her to have her baby in a pool birth
  • Knowing the Golden Thread Breath helped her get through all the contractions.
  • One of her friends painted a rainbow over the words “Baby X” on her bump. It makes a beautiful birth announcement photo to share but also Kate liked it for “allowing me to honour my body’s achievements”.
  • Yoga helped her conceive, as did conception-enhancing reflexology, which she liked because it was “relaxing, and non-invasive”
This book was fun to write, and I still make use of it (not just for weighing down shopping wish lists)......Kate liked my book too. Here’s what she said:
“Homemade Kids has pointed me towards so many brilliant ideas and philosophies with wit and warmth that have informed my pregnancy and will continue to influence my parenting style! I especially liked your attitude that whatever choices parents make, they are all doing their best and that compassion and tolerance are the best we can teach our children, rather than being preachy.”
Good luck to any of you with babies… As for the rest of us, maybe seek out people with newborns and offer to mind their bigger kids, do a washing up session or pop round with some nourishing food for the freezer.
Over to you
What ideas do you have for helping new mums? Do share.


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2 Comments on “In praise of newborns & all mums”

  1. Hi Nicola! Hope you had a lovely Mothers’ Day. One thing I would say in answer to your question, and this doesn’t just apply to new mothers but to anyone that you would offer help to, is to offer specific, rather than general, help. I’m really just reiterating what you already said, but it’s worth emphasising the point. People are generally reluctant to ask for help, so if you say something general like “Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help”, then you’re still requiring them to ask and they probably won’t, so it’s far better to say something like “I’m just going to the supermarket, would you like to give me your list and I can pick up your bits while I’m there?” In general, the more specific the offer, the easier it is for someone to accept.

    In terms of new mums specifically, I don’t know about you, but for myself (and friends who I have spoken to), one of the issues is often the amount of people who want to come and visit, and you really don’t feel like entertaining people. So here’s an idea, if you know that a new Mum has people visiting on a particular day, why not offer (or insist!) to bring round some cakes and tea and tell the Mum that you’ll be in charge of serving the visitors, and washing up afterwards so that she can just relax. I’m sure I’d have appreciated that!

    • Some great points Vanessa, thank you for spelling it out. I wish I’d had you near by when my daughters were little! But as you also point out it is useful to be clear whenever you feel help is needed – recently several friends have lost people they love and I cringe at my offer of “let me know if you’d like any help” because when you are feeling overwhelmed it is so v hard to take up these offers whatever the goodwill that lies behind them. Here’s hoping I can be a more empathetic person from April onwards. Nicola

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