Mother and Baby

7 lessons Madeleine Shaw has learned since becoming a mum

Nutritional therapist, blogger, and author of 'A Year of Beautiful Eating: Eat fresh. Eat seasonal. Glow with health, all year round', Madeleine Shaw shares what she's learned since becoming a mum of one to Shay. 

From weaning recipes and how birth was better than she expected, to the power of maternal love, Madeleine tells us how "pregnancy can be a mixed bag." 

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1) Pregnancy can be a mixed bag

I had quite a nauseous start to my pregnancy and was very sick from week six to week 18, vomiting most days and in some very public places – taxis, trains… even into my lunch one day!

But after that, things became a lot easier and I really enjoyed having a bump.

I loved that everyone smiled at me as I walked down the street, and gave me their seat.

I felt like I was a different species because I was carrying a human! I really enjoyed the excitement of it all.
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2) Birth was better than I expected

As I got close to giving birth, I started to get anxious, especially when my doctor told me I was going to have a ten-pound baby!

But I actually had a really good birth with no complications: I only had to push for 45 minutes, which was amazing.

Plus Shay only weighed seven and a half pounds, so a lot less than they predicted!

My midwife told me I had the thickest umbilical cord she’d ever seen, so maybe that added to the weight.
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3) It isn’t always easy 

The first three months after having Shay were probably the hardest for me.

Shay had really bad reflux and would cry every time he fed and it was really difficult because I didn’t know what to do.

I felt like I was causing it, and it was my fault and I wasn’t doing a good job. The classic mother’s guilt!

I felt like everyone else was in this dream bubble, and we never really got that lovely newborn time together.
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4) My son takes after me

I really enjoyed weaning Shay and I found it really easy but that’s probably because cooking is something I do every day.

It inspired me to set up the Instagram @madeleineshawsminikitchen where I share recipes I make and cook for Shay.

My main aim was that he enjoyed all food, whether that’s ice cream or broccoli. He goes to nursery and every time I pick him up they’re like, ‘He had seconds for lunch and seconds for dinner!’
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5) Meditation makes all the difference

I’ve always done meditation, so while Shay naps I try to use that time for myself.

Being a mum is hectic and stressful and meditation helps calm your mind and be more focused. A lot of people think ‘Oh I don’t have time’ but actually, meditation gives you time because it makes you not procrastinate as much and makes you more focused.

It makes you calmer so you can make decisions better.
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6) To use my toolkit

I’m naturally quite positive, I think it’s ingrained in me. My mum says I was born smiling.

But everyone goes through ups and downs in life. The way you sort it out is figuring out your toolkit, what makes you happy.

For me, that’s walking in nature, having a bath or cooking.

Write down a list of what you like doing, and when you’re having a bad day, try to implement them into your life so you’ve got moments of happiness.
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7) The power of maternal love

The experience of unconditional love has been the biggest change I’ve noticed in myself now I’m a mum.

Just understanding and experiencing this incredible love that takes over your body and your emotions as your baby becomes the centre of the universe and the thing you think about more than anything!

Now read:

What Jessica Ennis-Hill has learned since becoming a mum

What Binky Felstead has learned since becoming a mum

The top fitness apps for busy mums

  • Author: Emily Thorpe Emily Thorpe
  • Job Title: Digital Writer

Having written for Mother&Baby magazine for four years where she wrote news, product pages, features and interviewed celebrities such as Paloma Faith and Fearne Cotton, Emily now works as Digital Writer for Mother&Baby online where she specialises in travel and product reviews. 


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