Training and motherhood: pregnancy, breastfeeding and beyond.

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Pic taken by ‘Her Majesty’

A pregnant friend recently sent me a message:

Hi Hannah, I have a question for you. How do you manage to train & run, when you are sleep-deprived from looking after your twins? I am just wondering cos I always feel so lousy from lack of sleep and I imagine it’s only going to get worse once the baby arrives! xx

My answer I told her, was extensive, so I thought I would post it here, to maybe help any other preggos or new mums thinking the same things.

My answer is primarily based on my experience of being pregnant with and breastfeeding twins.  I’ve gleaned some other information from here and there.

I’ve heard of mother’s running marathons and ultra marathons, stopping to breastfeed their babies along the way.  I’m pretty sure these mothers didn’t jump into that idea after giving birth.  They must have been in a pretty good physical state before hand.  The first mother I heard about doing this, stepped into a 24-hour timed race (you run as many time round a track loop as you can in 24 hours) after her husband couldn’t take part.  She ran more than an ultra, without planning to. An ultra is anything over a marathon distance.  The second was a professional runner who was back training 6 weeks post-birth and back competing in the first year.

I was not an athlete before I gave birth.  I was training for Malta marathon when I found I was pregnant, before that I was an on-off runner, much like now ;)  I did a 19km run in September 2009 and felt a bit weird.  I discovered I was 6 weeks pregnant and on the next run I tried to do, I felt all kinds of cramping and pulling in my abdomen.  I was not comfortable.  (more…)

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Ultrasounds

Ultrasounds.

Are they as safe as their widespread global use would have us believe them to be?

I don’t know of anyone, my generation, even the home birthing, long term breastfeeding, co sleeping, no nappy using, mothers who for-went ultrasounds in pregnancy.

Seeing your little one on screen, or little ones, settles your mind about what is going on inside you.

Like so many aspects of raising children, people like to feel that they have taken no risks, had certainty in place of faith.

Though has this desire to be in control meant that we have ignored possible risks?

Has ultrasound ever been properly tested?

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Flying with Babies (20 Top Tips)

Annie and I in Sicily.

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That trip was a cruise, which is definitely the easiest way to travel with multiple children.  If you just get on a boat and go!  It was also the cheapest option for a one-week holiday by far, for us.  An all inclusive deal cost the same as most flights!

However, if you do need to fly, below is an article about how to make it easy on yourself.

Flying with babies, especially two, is no easy feat.  But it does not have to be hellish, or even difficult, if properly planned and executed :)

By following my twenty top tips, I reckon you should find most of the stress can be removed.

I flew with our twin babies when they were just under 7 months, 10 months, 14 months, 18 months, 20 months, 2 and a half, 2 and 3/4s and next week, when they are just over 3.

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Unkindness/ Hurt

I have been struggling recently with trying to understand the unkindness and desire to cause hurt, that lies in humans.  Unkindness towards ourselves, those close to us, and complete strangers alike.

Meditation (and/or the right kind of Yoga) helps, with understanding or rather accepting, this sensibility.  Insight practices help to tap into the reality that there is something deeper and important at play than our egos and delusions.

However, with a busy lifestyle, daily stresses and limited reflection time, it can be all too easy to get wrapped up in this nonsense, and thus our false sense of  a separate self, can be hurt by it.

Meditation certainly helps, but this quote really helped me to put some greater perspective on it.  So I thought I would share it here.

I hope that it helps someone else also make sense of a difficult situation, somehow.

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Parenting by instinct

I like to think I brought my children up according to my intuitive instinct, which, to be honest, was much more difficult than parenting according to ancestral advice, guidance from doctors or books.

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It was harder because it involved ‘well you’ll be sorry’ glances from probably well-meaning relatives, who thought it was their way or the highway.

It was harder because it involved trial  and (a lot) of minor errors.  It was harder because if you want a quiet life, you have to remove yourself from certain circles.

I didn’t set out with any objectives.  Knowing we were expecting twins, my only hope was to deliver them safely, and then keep us all alive.

I bought them cots and slings, but had no plans to do cry-it-out or attachment parenting.  I had read books on both, and although attachment parenting sounded more up my street, two babies in my bed, baby-wearing and on demand, full-term breastfeeding, free birthing to cloth nappies, no nappies? Some concessions would be necessary :)

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