Have you had a job you were so passionate about that you wanted to help everyone you possibly could?
I recently met Belinda Joyce, a nurse and midwife of over 20 years, now Maternal Health and Child Nurse, who is doing just that! But without being able to visit every new mum in Ballarat and share her knowledge, she has taken on a new title of “Author” and has put it all into an amazing book. Survive and Enjoy Your Baby, How to Find Your Path to Parenthood.
Our chat flowed easily with lots of reference to feeding, sleeping, childbirth and other joys of motherhood (and not so joyful moments), but it was clear that Belinda was totally dedicated to her work. She has a wealth of knowledge, not just professionally, but also personally, as she is mum to 4 lovely kids ranging from primary school to university. So there is no doubt she has seen it all and experienced it for herself with 4 completely different children.
Belinda says she really just wants parents to feel safe and able to speak their truth to their health professionals and be empowered with the knowledge they need to care for their baby the best they can. I love this! It was exactly what I needed. No more lying to my MHCN about what I was or wasn’t doing!
So I asked Belinda, if she could share just 3 things she wished all parents were told when they had their first baby, what would she say?
- It’s hard to narrow down to just 3. But firstly, it’s normal for your newborn baby to cry a little more each day, this usually peaks at 6-8 weeks of age with many hours of inconsolable crying each day. Just knowing that it is normal makes it easier to cope with and there are many strategies that can help during this time. Know that the crying is not your fault.
- It’s okay to tell your Maternal & Child Health Nurse that you are co-sleeping as they can help you to do this more safely.
- You will get way too much well meaning advice from family, friends and complete strangers. Try to look at these as a menu of different options, use any ideas that feel right and safe and let the rest go over your head.
- Be kind to yourself! Oops, sorry that’s 4!
If you would like to know more about Belinda or purchase a copy of her book Survive and Enjoy Your Baby, How to Find Your Path to Parenthood, it is available at all good book stores, including online or you can visit her website https://belindajoyce.com/ or follow her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SurviveAndEnjoyYourBaby/