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The perfect hat for baby wearing!

Just after hazel was born I started on my search for the perfect hat. Seems like an easy enough task… however, my children take after their father and have abnormally small heads! With Hazel being born in spring it meant lots of walks and trips to the beach and of course baby wearing! The hard brimmed hats just weren’t going to work and the floppy ones I could get at the shops were cute but just irritated her as they were always in her face.

So where would I find the perfect hat for my newbie with a tiny head? I had remembered seeing someone recommend Bedhead hats in one of the baby wearing groups I was a part of so I quickly jumped onto their website, measured Hazels head and ordered the smallest size they had. Guess what? It fit! Yay! This was our go to hat while hazel was little because it was perfect for using in the carrier and even in the pram. It didn’t annoy her, it was lovely and soft, super cute and best of all had a UV50+ protection rating. Winning!

 

When I heard about Bedhead’s new “Protect the Potential” initiative I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of! At Embraced Mumma’s, Emma and I are very passionate about making conscious choices when it comes to our purchasing habits. We strive to buy from small and local businesses that not only provide an amazing product or service but are also doing great things for our world and the people in it.  We aim to give you regular reviews on the products we love and have the same values as we do from the toilet paper we use to the modern cloth nappies!

So what does this have to do with hats?

Did you know that Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world?

And perhaps more importantly did you know that sun exposure in the first ten years of life plays a huge part in determining your potential for skin cancer?

This is why it is so important we are using the very best sun protection products for our children and teaching them good habits from the start!

The head behind Bedheads is mum of three, Richelle Ellis, who like me had issues finding the perfect hat. So she decided to bridge the gap in 2011 and has created a thriving business!

Richelle is now combining her unwavering passion with a philanthropic purpose of donating $100,000 of hats to newborns in Australia, including those from diverse backgrounds. From the 15th September 2017, for each order placed online at www.bedheadhats.com.au, a newborn hat will be gifted or donated. Customers have the choice to gift the hat to someone they know in need or donate to charity aiding disadvantaged mothers and babies. So head on over and grab one for yourself and one for someone in need!

The beautiful people at Bedhead hats were generous enough to send us some more gorgeous hats for the girls (and baby squishy due any day now!) and we have been testing them out over the week and took them to the park for a picnic.

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I can honestly say that these are the BEST hats we have ever tried. My girls, like a lot of kids don’t tend to want to keep hats on their heads but they actually love their Bedhead hats! I think the fact that they don’t hang in their eyes is a major winner! The chin strap is really soft and neither of them minded keeping it on, plus Miss Liliana, the fussiest 5yo ever, loves the floral to match all her pretty dresses!

To be a part of the ‘Protect the Potential’ community drive visit bedheadhats.com.au, purchase any product and select ‘GIFT’ or ‘DONATE’ at the cart screen to pass one on to a child in need.

Baby brain, and what oxytocin has to do with it!

The phrase “baby brain” gets thrown around A LOT but did you know that it is an actual thing?

Not just an “oh I left my keys in the freezer” thing, but scientifically? A mothers brain is different to a mans or even other women that have not had children. And I will explain why.

When we become mothers our brains actually shrink by about 7%!!! I bet this comes as no surprise to you if your are a mumma yourself.

The reason why our cognitive function decreases when we start our journey into parenthood is because of all the knew knowledge we need to make room for. Motherhood is an important gig and we need to clear some brain space, so, some of those less important things like where we left the car keys may get pushed to the back.

This is really mind blowing stuff!

When we become mothers we experience plasticity in our brains, which only happens during a few key periods in our lives, some of these other times are during childhood and menopause.

What is means for us is that we have a chance to re-wire our brains for the long term. What will happen is when our period of neuroplasticity is finished these new pathways we have formed will stick and be ingrained in us. So, if you have friends that say “you’ve changed since having kids” that is because you have!

So what does this mean for us and how can it go wrong?

You may be someone who has low levels of the love hormone called oxytocin during your postpartum period and  I know first hand what this feels like because this was me! It could be due to a number of reasons including a traumatic birth, stress or even a lack of support.

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Your birth story is important!

Your birth and your story is important!

In our society there is a lot of emphasis on how the baby is doing or how the kids are. However a lot of times the mother is left to pick up the pieces after a traumatic or less than ideal birth. She is often left wondering WTF just happened and she may even think that this is the norm.

Last week I had the absolute honour of interviewing Nicole Tricarico about this exact subject.

Nicole is the owner of Your Birth Support and works with women on a deeper level to work through their birth experience.

I loved speaking with her so much I even booked in a session with her!

View our chat here 🙂

If you loved what Nicole had to say and want to know more about my session with her, let me tell you it was so much more than I had expected! I have tried a lot of different things to help heal my birth trauma, but this session really stood out for me!

What Nicole did was, rather than ask me to go over my story in the normal way (or the way I would usually tell it), Nicole encouraged me to zone in on the most pivotal moment, the one that stood out the most for me. This was very interesting as it wasn’t necessarily what I thought it would be!

It felt uncomfortable and I was a bit like “ahhh I don’t know” however…

Once we really dug deep, Nicole and I uncovered that I had this feeling of worthlessness which I now carry through me throughout my life! Isn’t that awful?? True, but awful. I do not want to feel worthless and like no body cares about me!

Rather than leave it at that, Nicole has given me the task of instead of telling myself “I am not important” I am going to replace that negative self talk with “I am doing my best”.

This has been really helpful for me as I am starting to notice all the area’s of my life which I have been thinking that I am not good enough or not important enough. I know it is not going to be an instantaneous change, but just acknowledging it was massive for me!

Can you believe all of this has stemmed from my birth experience? A lack of support during a very vulnerable time in my life has led to all of this? All of this self sabotage and negative thought patterns… and I know I am not the only one.

Something else that came up for me in our session was my inability to speak up. Feeling disempowered during my labour has led me to avoid speaking my mind, even when I am so passionate about so many different things. I bite my tongue and believe no one wants to hear what I have to say! WHYYYYY!

So even though I am angry that this has to even be an issue, I am sharing everything I have experienced because I know that soooo many of you feel the same and have had similar experiences.

If, like me you have some work to do in uncovering some hidden blockages and would like to work with Nicole or check out her services do not hesitate to hop on over to the Your Birth Support website! 

Maybe you just want someone to chat with? We are always here to listen! You can connect with us through our Facebook page 🙂

Finding your purpose – with Misty Sansom

This morning I had an amazing chat with Misty Sansom for our Mindful Mums Project about finding your purpose!

Even though we did the interview as an exclusive bonus for our e-course I just cannot keep the gold to myself! I feel so high on life right now because what Misty spoke about really validated everything I had been thinking… So I am sorry if I ramble!

The big theme that came across in our talk is that we all have many passions, but they are NOT our purpose. Our purpose is something bigger, an underlying value or mission. Our passions may be interests or hobbies, things that we do in order to reach our purpose but they are not the purpose itself.

This was a bit of an ah ha moment for me as I am THAT person that tries everything….

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Bridging the gap in support for mums!

Have you ever noticed that there seems to be an abundance of resources (if you know where to find the right ones!) surrounding birth and babies, but all of a sudden that support comes to an abrupt end?

Think about your journey into parenthood. It probably brings up fuzzy feelings of excitement, anticipation and a general sense of all encompassing support. You probably had a baby shower or mother blessing where you friends and family surrounded you with love and gifts. You may have even been one of the lucky one’s who’s friends made a roster for organising home cooked meals for you after the baby is born!

You see your midwife regularly at the hospital and they are there just for YOU! You may have even had the added support of a doula!

But what happens next?

You bring baby home and are in a bubble of either love and oxytocin or anxiety and fear (depending on which way your birth went!). You get home visit’s from the midwifes for a few days and are flooded with messages, phone calls and visits from your loved ones! This may go on for a week or two. It all seems very surreal, your body has been through a massive upheaval and your mind doesn’t really know what to think! You are in that newborn bubble and kind of just getting through wondering what the “f’ just happened.

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De-cluttering the chaos in your head

As you may already know, Emma and I have been working very diligently on creating a special online program for you called the Mindful Mums Program. It is quite involved and includes a number of different components as we want you to notice changes and get results from our first ever online course! This has been a massive learning curve for us, as we have never done anything like this before! So, you can imagine the chaos going on right now, right?

What this means, however, is a lot of extra work (and stress) for two already very busy mums.

As the program is largely about helping mummas, just like you, find the joy in their lives again and live to their full potential, we decided we’d better start practicing what we preach! And, instead of getting stuck in overwhelm, take steps in simplifying our lives.

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My birth story – Part 1 (Christie)

I have been holding off sharing this birth story with you.

Not because I don’t want you to hear it but it is difficult for me to revisit all the time.

Being pregnant with my third child, it is something I have had to face head on and I feel like I am finally ready to open up and share.
You can see by the fact that I don’t have any photo’s of myself in the hospital that it is not something I wanted to remember or cherish.

Birth is a massive part of a womens life and not something to be taken lightly. My birth with Lil, my eldest daughter changed my life forever. Although it was not an empowering or positive experience it has shaped me into the person I am today and I would not have it any other way.

I am sharing my story, not to scare first time mums but to inspire women to EDUCATE themselves. Labour, birth and parenting is not something you can walk into unprepared… I learnt the hard way. But you don’t have to.

I hope that my story helps those of you with similar experiences find peace. It look me a long time to come to terms with how my birth played out but after years of dealing with post traumatic stress and anxiety, I am finally seeing the light.

I believe that these types of experiences happen to only the strongest of women and that my soul purpose is to actually help those of you who have been through similar struggles.  It is not a competition about who’s had it worse. But something we can all support each other through no matter what our births were like.

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Our favourite resources for achieving an empowering birth

It is easy to get lost in the sea of birth books, blogs and resources so we thought we would put together an easy resource list for you!

Here are some of the tools we encourage you to look into in order to achieve a positive birth experience.

Hypnobirthing

Both Emma and I have used a hypnobirthing approach in our births. Emma with her first and me with my second. I think a lot of people are put off by the word “hynpno” and picture some kind of cult where people are out of their minds. This is not what it is about at all!

Hypnobirthing is all about reducing your level of fear associated with birth and tapping into learnt techniques to go within yourself, work with your body and birth your baby with ease. Doesn’t this sounds great?

A big part of hypnobirthing is using the breath. It is important you practice the breathing techniques in the lead up to your labour so that your body knows what it needs to do when it comes time to birth your baby. These techniques are invaluable and so easy to learn. In fact they have helped me in every aspect of my life from coping with anxious situations to becoming a calmer parent.

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Why birth education is so important!

As most of you know, I am currently 23 weeks pregnant with my third baby and I have been on somewhat of an emotional roller coaster in regards to my feelings towards this birth. You see, I had a very traumatic birth experience with Liliana, my first baby, which led to Post Traumatic Stress and extreme anxiety…. something which I have used as a motivator to change my mindset and my life and help others do the same! But the unfortunate fact is that this happens to so many women in todays society and it is not spoken about enough! Sometimes, things just don’t go to plan and there is nothing you can do about it. However, most of the time we do have a choice. We can choose to inform and educate ourselves on the physiology of birth or we can choose to remain in the dark….

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The value in essential oils and why we need to be mindful of our spending habits

We have been getting a lot of enquiries through our Embraced Mummas page  lately about these beautiful essential oils; as we start to share the impacts they have made on our lives. However, a common theme stopping people from jumping in seems to be the financial investment involved.

In this post I want to break it down a little, and give you my understanding on the value the oils hold and why we should be more mindful about our spending habits.Continue Reading →