A reassuring, funny and down-to-earth companion to first year

The New Mum's Notebook

"Almost worth having another baby for!" – Victoria, mum of two

Meet your new best friend.

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What do new mums want most of all (apart from sleep)? They want someone to tell them what they're feeling is 'normal.' That they're doing ok. That THEY will be ok.

The New Mum's Notebook does all of this and more. From night feeds, napping and weaning, to which films to cue up on Netflix, finding some headspace and getting all the support, coffee and cake you need, I've been there – and this is the book I wish I'd had by my side.

The New Mum's Notebook's primary aim is to normalise everything a new mum may be feeling. It encourages her to lower her expectations and continually reassures her that anything goes in that first year; there is no 'right' way to do things – only HER way. A daily companion, divided into the first 12 months of motherhood, with 304 pages of reassurance, love and humour, The New Mum’s Notebook will nurture a new mum in however she chooses to raise her baby. Whether it’s her first or her fifth.

It shows her how far she's come and how far she will continue to go and gives her space to write thoughts, feelings and memories from those crazy early days down, something that psychologists highly recommend as useful practice. The New Mum's Notebook is a literary substitute for a new mum's best friend and will nurture her and be by her side, every single day.

Word on the street is it’s almost worth having another baby for...

  • 304 colour pages including articles, journal pages, affirmations, simple recipes and blank notes pages
  • Divided into 12 months to address each stage
  • 12 months of milestone charts for mum and baby
  • Eight journal pages per month with space to write notes, thoughts, memories and those to-dos, which so easily slip a new mum's mind!
  • Perfect gift for expectant mothers and new mums.

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The story so far...

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I'm Amy, mum of three, writer and blogger at Surviving Motherhood. Each time I've had a baby, it's brought its own challenges.

The doubts for one, because every baby is different. The amnesia where I've found myself saying, 'I'm sure I didn't feel like this last time?' (Until someone reminds me I did.) And always the huge feeling of responsibility that comes with looking after a new life.

Beyond the first couple of weeks support for new mums dwindles, more so if it's not their first baby. So I self-published The New Mum's Notebook. To help new mums navigate those first 12 months of motherhood.

amy

Six months after a huge lorry delivered thousands of hardback books, which I stored in my house (the equivalent of housing a small elephant), Penguin offered to buy the worldwide rights from me. An offer I couldn't refuse because their vast distribution channels meant I could get The New Mum's Notebook into more hands than I could possibly ever do on my own. The second edition was published on 7th September 2017, less than a year after I first launched it.

It's been an amazing journey. By far the best bit? All the messages I get from new mums who have said The New Mum's Notebook has really made a difference to their lives.

It's more than I could ever have hoped for.

YOU WILL BE OK.

The transition to motherhood can be hard and full of conflicting emotions. Happiness. Anticipation. Hesitation. Women are used to taking control of their lives. Suddenly, they find themselves in an environment of uncertainty, solitude and feeling out of their depth whilst looking after a small baby.

Women are mostly unprepared for this. They don't expect the rush of emotions. They don't expect to do anything but enjoy having a baby. They don't expect to feel lonely, overwhelmed and a bit lost. Every new mum needs more support in making the transition to motherhood.

For new mums with post-natal depression (PND), motherhood is even more uncertain. It can be dark, frightening and very, very lonely. New mums suffering from PND need (and deserve) constant reassurance and support. They need to be reminded to take care of themselves. They need to remember how normal their feelings are and that they have not failed, just because their hormones are a bit wonky or their circumstances are difficult.

The New Mum's Notebook has a whole chapter on PND, 'Look after yourself', but the whole ethos of the book is focused on reassurance and validating a new mum's feelings, whatever they are. It offers basic CBT techniques and positive affirmations to cope with the demands of motherhood and, most of all, it encourages her to be kind to herself. Always.

I was diagnosed with PND at nine weeks, after my third baby, when my practice nurse did the first home visit of her 30 year career because she sensed something wasn't right. A combination of anti-depressants and CBT gave me my life back. Having had two babies previously and, on reflection, 'near-misses' with PND both times, I realise that circumstances and level of support can play a significant role in how a new mum fares in those early months. And that if a new mum is continually supported, reassured and encouraged to lower her expectations and accept how she is feeling without catastrophising it, some cases of PND could be prevented. You can read my story here.

If you need help with PND or suspect you are suffering, please don't be ashamed. It's nothing you've done. And it happens to at least one in seven women, so you are not alone! See your doctor as soon as possible, preferably a sympathetic one who understands PND.

There are also several associations, which are very helpful, like The Association for Post Natal Illness, who offer a service where you can be partnered with a volunteer mum who has recovered.

You don't have to feel like this. And you will get better.

Much love,

amy

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