The tagline for this business is “It’s all about mamas!” I am as interested in your success as mamas as I am in you having a successful pregnancy. I am always happy to hear of mamas using what they learned during their pregnancies, what they know for sure as a result of having been pregnant, and what they want to share with the world now that they are “seasoned” mamas.
Today I share with you an interview that I had with a good friend of mine and new mama, Emmi Wiles. Emmi and I met in a woman’s program offered at Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts, and I have had the great pleasure to witness Emmi’s journey from loving daughter who graciously loved her father through his passage from this life, to newlywed and now to mama (FYI Emmi was not on bedrest!!).
Emmi is also a talented artisan and creates all manner of art that she will be sharing on her etsy page. (Stay tuned and stay in touch with her for more art adventures!!) But for now, she is a full time, hands on mama to a little 6 month old boy who is her inspiration for her latest blog, “Shedding Pounds After Gaining a Baby”. The blog is Emmi’s chronicle of her motherhood journey and how she is doing her best to weave motherhood into womanhood. It’s a delightful read and I hope you will all take some time to stop by and give Emmi encouragement. For now, listen to how
“Shedding Pounds After Gaining a Baby” was birthed and share you comments in the comments section below.
Mamas, Have you created something new as a result of your pregnancy? Would you like to share it with other mamas? Please share details of your new venture/adventure with Info@mamasonbedrest.com and tell is what’s up. We’d love to hear and support you!
Today’s blog post is a bit different. A few months back I received an e-mail from a new entrepreneur, Rennard Watkins, asking if he could interview me for his podcast. At first I was surprised. Few men ask to interview me about Mamas on Bedrest. But because I like to help others out (as so many people have helped me get up and running!!) and I love ANY opportunity to speak about Mamas on Bedrest and raise awareness of what happens to women who have high risk pregnancies and the whole bed rest experience, I gladly accepted. I had forgotten the interview until I found an e-mail from Rennard and followed up. Lo and behold, here is the interview and I am sharing it with you all.
I will warn you up front, this has much more of a business/entrepreneur tone to it, so it is not exactly geared towards Mamas on Bedrest. But I wanted to share it with you to inspire some and encourage others to see what can become of your high risk pregnancy experience. When I was having my children, I was so stressed and so worried all the time and I just couldn’t find support and an outlet for all of my emotions. That is what moved me to start Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond, to be a place, an outlet for other mamas going through difficult pregnancies to find support, information and a community of people who know EXACTLY what she is going through. I also want to take a moment to encourage you to check out the work of other “former” Mamas on Bedrest who have taken their bed rest experiences and turned them into platforms from which to share experiences, expertise and support for other women.
Parijat Despande– Parijat was a “former” mama on bedrest and gave birth to a very early preemie. She is a psychologist by training and is utilizing her skills and expertise to support women going through difficult pregnancies as well as families and couples experiencing stress. Parijat is also the founder of MySahana, a mental health non-profit raising awareness about mental health issues in the Southern Asian community. Be sure to check out her website for fantastic information, resources and if you would like to take advantage of her expertise.
Jennifer Degl – Jennifer is also a “former” mama on bedrest who gave birth to a micro preemie. Jennifer chronicled her journey in a diary the day that she gave birth to her daughter, and that diary account has become a book called, “From Hope to Joy: A Memoir of a Mother’s Determination and Her Micro Preemie’s Struggle to Beat the Odds”. The book is available at Amazon.com as well as on Barnesandnoble.com. Check out Jennifer’s website for other information about being a preemie parent and preemie parent support information.
Rachel Blumenthal – Rachel chronicled her bedrest journey in her book “One Recumbent Mommy: A Humorous Encounter with Bedrest”. This is a wonderful read, and though told with humor, it shares some pertinent truths and tips about being on bed rest that mamas on hospital bed rest may want to note. Rachel also wrote a wonderful children’s book called “Wherever I am, I will love you still” which shares about bedrest from the perspective of her young son. This is a great book to get if you have young children as it gives a good description of what it is like for mommy to be away in the hospital and waiting for baby brother or sister to come. Both books are available on Rachel’s Website as well as on Amazon.com.
These are but a few of the examples of what has become of a bedrest experience. If you are a former Mama on Bedrest and a member of this community, and have turned your bed rest experience into a creative endeavor, please share your story. We would love to support you, cheer you on and be inspired by your work.
And now, here is the interview on Spotlight on Podcast, with Rennard Watkins! Please be so kind to go to iTunes after listening and share a comment. That will help Rennard’s online presence and boost his podcast ratings!! Thanks so much!
Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 21st. How are you planning to celebrate the very special man in you and your baby’s life?
Perhaps you are thinking,
“My baby’s father isn’t in our lives!”
I hear you. I am no longer with my children’s father, yet he is an important part of their lives-and mine as we are co-parenting them. But if you have remarried, or there is a “father figure” in your child’s life who has stepped up and stepped in and is fulfilling the role and duties of father, I invite you to celebrate that man this Sunday (and everyday!!)
I know that this website is Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond, and the whole focus is to provide you with the tools and support that you need to have a fantastic pregnancy and a healthy baby. But I would be remiss, and some may even go so far as to say that my actions would be unethical, if I didn’t highlight the important role of fathers-biologic and otherwise-in the lives of birthing women and their babies.
So let’s start with mamas. Fathers/partners provide emotional support throughout the pregnancy. Yeah, sometimes they just don’t get us, but hey, there are times when we don’t get us either! Those who are present are taken on the rollercoaster ride that is pregnancy; full of ups, downs, mood swings, close calls and the joys of labor, delivery and-the baby! As overwhelming as childbearing is for us, imaging how colossal it must be for men? They have to watch the woman that they love (hopefully) grow, change, be uncomfortable (often times sick!!), be on bed rest, endure the endless tests and treatments and then the grand finale-labor and delivery (or a c-section, major surgery) and be able to do very little to make the situation better for her. For many guys, this is this side of insanity! Guys inherently want to fix things and when it comes to childbearing, after insemination, there really isn’t much for them to do but watch and wait. And yes, for some men, this is too much and they leave. So kudos to those who stay, stick it out and hang in when the going is tough and are a solid rock for their women to lean on and rest upon.
The influence of a father, a daddy (a man who provides more than mere sperm donation!) in the lives of children is priceless. According to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse,
“When fathers are involved in the lives of their children, especially their education, their children learn more, perform better in school, and exhibit healthier behavior.”
In 2006, Jeffrey Rosenberg and W. Bradford Wilcox, PhD co-authored a manual on fatherhood through the US Department of Health and Human Services, through the Administration for Children and Families, the Administration on Children, Youth and Families and the Children’s Bureau Office on Child Abuse and Neglect called, “The Importance of Fathers in the Healthy Development of Children.” In this publication Rosenberg and Wilcox note that children raised by loving, married parents learn how a man is to treat a woman in the context of a healthy relationship. They also note that even when the parents aren’t married and don’t live together, children who see their fathers speaking to and treating their mothers with respect and courtesy learn that men are supposed to treat women with respect and courtesy (boys) and they learn that behavior that is not respectful and courteous is not acceptable (girls). In summary, Rosenberg and Wilcox found the following characteristics in children who had active fathers in their lives (regardless of the parental relationships)
- Children with involved, caring fathers have better education outcomes that start in preschool and continue throughout their school careers.
- Children who have an involved father are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their surroundings, and, as they grow older, have better social connections with peers. These children also are less likely to get in trouble at home, school, or in the neighborhood.
- Fathers spend a much higher percentage of their one-on-one interaction with infants and preschoolers in stimulating, playful activity than do mothers. As such, children whose fathers engage in rough housing are more likely to learn to cope with aggressive behaviors and learn its okay to strike out and explore without being anxious.
- Children with good relationships with their fathers were less likely to experience depression, to exhibit disruptive behavior, or to lie and were more likely to exhibit pro-social behavior.
- Boys with involved fathers had fewer school behavior problems
- Girls had stronger self esteem.
- Children who live with their fathers are more likely to have good physical and emotional health, to achieve academically, and to avoid drugs, violence, and delinquent behavior.
What this study also found and what was also confirmed by a study done by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention is that lower income fathers are no less involved in their children’s lives than higher earning dads. In fact, many lower income fathers are more “hands on” with their children, especially those who didn’t live with their children all the time; caring for their children on weekends and for other extended periods of time and providing all the care and nurturing that mothers provide in addition to financial support.
I think that fathers are the unsung heroes of families. Yes, we mamas do much to keep that family moving and shaking, but a good dad really holds the family together. So this Sunday, do a little something special for the dads in you and your children’s lives. And Happy Father’s Day to all the dads!!
Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2006). “The Importance of Fathers in the Healthy Development of Children”. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau. Written By Jeffrey Rosenberg and W. Bradford Wilcox, PhD.
20 Reasons Why Your Child Needs You to Be an Active Father Prepared by Stephen D. Green, Ph.D., Child Development Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, October 2000.