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    Helping Professional New Mothers
    To Feel Self Assured, In Control and Boost Vitality

    Regain Your Life Balance


    Supporting New Mums
    With The Transition Into Busy Motherhood

    Pregnancy Online Course: BONUS SECTION 


    Bonus 1: Learning how to cope with sleep deprivation

    The emotional and physical impacts of sleep deprivation after having a baby – Coping with lack of sleep and mood

    No matter how good your baby is, there is bound to be a period of lack of sleep. There is no describing the feeling of being so tired you just feel as though you can’t function any more.

    Lack of sleep can have significant effects on your functioning, such as:

    • Feeling irritable (less tolerant to your baby’s crying)
    • Impaired judgement (assuming your child’s tantrums are the result of bad parenting)
    • Decreased reaction time (taking longer to attend to your baby’s needs, or reacting to dangers on the roads when driving)


    Further, lack of sleep can result in emotional disturbances such as:

    • Depression
    • Anxiety (increased heart rate)
    • Stress

    If your baby is not sleeping well, this can result in overtiredness and can result in a very volatile situation.

    Significant effects of sleep deprivation

    According to a 2000 study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers in Australia and New Zealand reported that sleep deprivation can have some of the same hazardous effects as being drunk.[32] People who drove after being awake for 17–19 hours performed worse than those with a blood alcohol level of .05 percent, which is the legal limit for drunk driving in most western European countries and Australia.

    Counteracting the effects of sleep deprivation

    Just one night of recovery sleep can reverse adverse effects of total sleep deprivation. When you have a new baby, you will soon realise the value of a good night’s sleep. You may be lucky to have a baby with an easy temperament that simply wakes every 3 -4 hours for a feed and then drifts off to sleep, however, this is not always the case.

    For many unprepared parents, physical issues such as colic, reflux and wind pain can result in a very unhappy baby who finds it difficult to sleep alone.

    The temperament of your baby will also dictate how much assistance he/she needs to fall asleep. It’s important to recognise this when you’re researching the next best technique to aid your baby to sleep.

    Coping with problem sleepers

    If your baby is experiencing problems sleeping and you have tried all the usual soothing methods, you may want to try natural products like colic calm which have been designed to assist babies with issues such as reflux, colic and wind. Babies with these issues find it very difficult to settle due to digestive issues. However, always consult a doctor before trialling a new product just in case it is not suitable for your particular baby.

    If your baby needs additional soothing to get to sleep, the most important thing you can do is to stay calm. Every child is different and what works for one child may or may not work for yours. There are a range of sleep aid techniques available, such as controlled crying, patting to sleep, using motion to aid a baby’s sleep, rocking and then placing your baby into bed, or co-sleeping. Each method of sleep aid is a personal choice and just needs to be undertaken safely. For instance, ensuring SIDS guidelines are always met.


    How to Sleep your Baby Safely:

    • Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side
    • Sleep baby with head and face uncovered
    • Keep baby smoke free before birth and after
    • Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day
    • Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to twelve months
    • Breastfeed baby

    Visit SIDS for more information here:

    Trust Your Instincts

    Don’t compare yourself to other parents and just go with the flow. Trust your instincts and if you feel there is something not quite right with your baby, make sure you seek assistance from a medical professional, or phone Nurse on call as soon as possible – even just to put your mind at ease.

    Recharging with sleep

    Several factors that determine how much energy you have are beyond your control, such as hormones and biological rhythms. The biological clock/rhythm is located inside the brain and works like a regular 24-hour clock to regulate your general patterns of sleepiness and wakefulness. It coordinates your sleep-wake cycles and generates natural daily rhythms that control fluctuations in body temperature, cardiovascular rate and hormone release which all influence how much energy you have. This is why some people say they naturally find it easier to wake up in the morning or to stay awake at night. This is not to say that you can’t alter your natural clock, but it is easier for a ‘night’ person to ‘party all night’ than it is for a morning person. Generally, both physical strength and mental alertness appear to be good in the morning and even better in the afternoon between 4pm and 8pm. Drowsier times of the day occur between 1pm and 4pm, regardless of whether you’ve had a big lunch or not, and as you’d expect around our regular bedtimes.

    Sleep is very important for energy. Anyone who has suffered from lack of sleep can vouch for that. Most people need between 6 and 9 hours of sleeps a night to feel energized and alert. Some people are capable of less and some people feel that they cannot function without more sleep. However, this is the general trend. Sleep deprivation is not difficult to detect. Common symptoms are: requiring an alarm to wake up, suffering from social withdrawal, frequent minor health problems, reliance on caffeine and feeling grumpy and irritable. All these symptoms make it difficult to stay motivated and to be positive and energetic with your children.

    When should you sleep?

    One of the recommendations you will regularly hear from your midwife is to sleep when your baby sleeps during the day in order to catch up. Whilst it is really tempting to ignore this advice when you only have that sleep period to have a break and catch up on all the other things you want or need to do, it is important to ensure that you are getting enough sleep in order to avoid the negative emotions discussed earlier. In the first three months of your baby’s life, you will be trying to juggle a myriad of emotions whilst also trying to get your baby into a routine. So, if you are not sleeping well at night, try to catch up on sleep during one of your baby’s day time sleeps and then catch up on your chores, or give yourself a nice break, during your baby’s next sleep. Just ensure that you are not walking around excessively sleep deprived, because it’s not healthy for you or your baby.

    BONUS 2: How To Breastfeed Successfully

    The pressure to breastfeed

    When it comes to breastfeeding, new mums can find themselves in a world of stress, due to babies either not latching properly, not eating enough food, eating too quickly and swallowing air whilst feeding – which often leads to excessive wind pain down the track.

    The most important thing to consider when breastfeeding is your mental state – how relaxed you are. This is vital because the more stressed you get when things don’t go according to your pre birth plans, the more stressful it will be for your baby.

    A natural thing

    Breastfeeding is supposed to come naturally, yet many new mums detail the stress associated with either not having enough milk (and the guilt of having to use formula milk), breast pain associated with breastfeeding, or discomfort in their new born babies as a result of feeding. If you start searching the web, you will find a range of information about what you should be eating in order to avoid gas in your baby’s tummy, whether or not you should be having coffee or alcohol when breastfeeding and so on.

    Getting mentally prepared

    The best thing you can do before you leave the hospital, is accept that you will try to breastfeed fully and then if it doesn’t work out, you will relax about anything else you need to do to ensure your baby is receiving sufficient nutrients to grow healthy and strong.

    If you find your baby is not settling, try to ensure he/she has been fed enough – eg top up with a little bit of formula if needs be. The theory that babies no longer want to breast is only really strongly held when you give up breastfeeding and then try to return to it. If you continue to predominantly breastfeed and just top up with a bottle, your baby will most likely still want the breast, because of the comfort and closeness associated with it.

    If you feel that you breasts are getting very swollen due to excessive milk, make sure you drain them either via your baby breastfeeding or using a breast pump, otherwise you are likely to end up with issues such as mastitis which is very uncomfortable and can lead to serious issues if not treated.

    Watch the video on breastfeeding by Aptaclub to learn how to breastfeed successfully

    Click on the image below to be taken to the video

    how to breastfeed

    You can also access this video and other great pregnancy, birth and motherhood resources here

    BONUS 3: Setting Appropriate Boundaries

    Mum to be: Getting the foundations right

    When you bring a new baby into your family you can encounter either family members that have minimal time or interest in being a part of your new family unit, or those that want to take ownership of your new child. If you’re lucky, you have a few family members in between who understand and appreciate that you and your partner are the rightful parents to this new child and regardless of how much time they spend with them, continue to respect their roles (and yours) within this new child’s life.

    Nesting – Creating Your New Family Unit after Having a Baby

    When you begin a new family, you create a new family unit. Each culture and extended family is different and will have various expectations for extended family involvement. The key for you is to ensure you are all on the same page. You and your partner need to agree on the appropriate amount of time your child/ren should spend with in-laws and what roles and responsibilities they should play in your child/ren’s lives also. This is imperative, otherwise it leads to potential issues down the track.

    Talk to your family

    If you have different ideas on how much your extended family should be involved in your new baby’s life, it’s advisable to have these discussions with your extended family prior to your new baby’s arrival. Examples of things to discuss include whether you are comfortable with babysitting arrangements and potential sleep-overs, what types of foods you are happy your child is being fed, whether you’re OK with different parenting and discipline styles being implemented and so on.

    Setting expectations

    Family members can easily be offended when they have a particular expectation and your expectation does not match their own. You may want to be a hands on parent, or you may want to ask for extensive help. As long as your child is safe, happy, healthy and secure, there is no right or wrong way to have extended family members involved. All that matters is how comfortable you feel with the arrangements you have in place in order to raise a happy, healthy. safe and secure child.

    The need to please others

    Being a people pleaser usually goes hand in hand with insecurity and low self esteem. There is nothing wrong with getting pleasure from seeing other people happy, however, when it comes at the expense of your own self worth and self confidence it can be very damaging. The desire to be liked by others is a natural human need also. However, often through life experiences we learn incorrectly that other people liking us = we are valued people. Your self worth and the development and maintenance of your self esteem and self confidence can then become tied in with external validation.

    The more you seek external validation, the more you need it in order to feel good about yourself. So the thought of saying “no” to someone can really cause anxiety because there is a chance of upsetting someone and therefore of not being liked.


    When you become a mother, it often leads you to evaluate the relationship you had with your own parents and extended family growing up. Children crave validation from their parents who may or may not provide them with the type of validation they need in order to feel secure about who they are. If you as a child received inconsistent parenting you would have a high chance of developing low self esteem and a desire to please others in order to receive validation that you are a good person. People pleasing does not come from a good place when it is coupled with anxiety, fear and stress. It’s important for your own self esteem (and to instil a high self esteem in your child), to eliminate the need for other people’s approval in order to feel happy.

    Your Exercise

    Step 1: Start by undertaking some self evaluation:

    1. What are the things you seek validation over (e.g. being a good mum, doing well at work, being a good cook etc…)
    2. Who do you find hardest to say “no” to – what are you afraid of?
    3. In which situations do you feel the most vulnerable?

    Step 2: Once you have answered the 3 questions above it’s time to take action.

    The first step is to list the items you seek validation over and write next to them, what you know you do well in those areas:


    “I seek validation over how good I am as a mum”

    What I know I do well

    • “I know I am a good mum, because my son cuddles me a lot and loves being with me”
    • “The house is safe for him”
    • “I try to think of fun things for him to do”
    • “I show my son how much I love him through time, affection and listening to his needs”

    Step 3: Next, identify the person/people you find it hard to say “no” to and think about what the short term pain is here.

    For instance, it might be the person getting mad at you, telling you off, or you feeling like a bad person for upsetting someone else. Then think about the long term gain for you if you were to say “no”, for instance feeling like you’re in control of your life, trusting your instincts, believing in yourself. The long term gains here are much more rewarding than avoiding the short term pain and being stuck in a cycle of people pleasing and feeling mad at yourself for not sticking up for yourself.

    It’s important to ask yourself these three questions because they will guide you to the fears that are holding you back from being assertive.


    Step 4: Finally, note the situations in which you feel most vulnerable and avoid them wherever possible.

    For instance, if you feel most vulnerable when put on the spot by particular people, give yourself time to think about their requests before you speak to them, or give a response. Allow their calls to go to message bank and then call back when you’ve had time to think about what you would like to say, or when asked to do something you feel uncomfortable about respond by simply saying “let me think about it”, or “let me check my diary”. That way you give yourself time to think about the best response you can give to suit your needs.

    BONUS 4: Balancing Household Demands

    Getting things done after having a baby, means being organised

    Watch this video to gain great tips of how to get yourself prepared for the demands of motherhood and also adapt your lifestyle and manage expectations accordingly.

    Click on the image below to be taken to the video

    working mum getting organised


    Help For Mums does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or use of such information or advice) which is provided on the Website or incorporated into it by reference. Help For Mums provide this information on the understanding that all persons accessing it take responsibility for assessing its relevance and accuracy. Women are encouraged to discuss their health needs with a health practitioner. If you have concerns about your health, you should seek advice from your health care provider or if you require urgent care you should go to the nearest Emergency Dept.