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Nurse starts wellness group for new moms

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Nurse Rebecca Ronaldson thought there was nothing more exhausting than an Emergency Room late shift. Then she had a baby.

As a sleep-deprived mother, she put on winter woollies forgetting it was summer.

She put groceries that belonged in the fridge in the cupboard.

“The first couple of months I was amazed,” said the 33-year-old. “People told me it would be tiring but I didn't realise just how much.”

Her son Finley is now seven months old and sleeps a little better. She is not expecting significant change anytime soon.

“He probably won't sleep through the night until he is a year old or maybe even later,” she said. “That's normal.”

Sleep deprivation is defined as anything less than six hours of sleep a night. It can lead to increased clumsiness and forgetfulness and make it difficult to concentrate. It also brings increased risk of viral illness and driving accidents.

“As a first-time mom you are trying to do everything right and it can be stressful when you're not doing that,” Mrs Ronaldson said. “A friend of mine went to drive her baby somewhere but jumped into the passenger seat and sat there for a while before she realised what was wrong.”

She searched for information about staying well as a new parent, and found nothing.

“I joined the Meet-A-Mum Association,” she said. “It's a group that organises playgroups and parent get-togethers. Although they have lots of activities, they weren't providing much information about wellness. I thought this was an area where I could contribute.”

She had left her job in the Emergency Room to become a full-time mother, and was missing nursing.

“I am also a holistic nurse and took wellness courses,” she said. “I decided to create a wellness group within MAMA to provide information and support and organise fitness activities.”

MAMA members agreed there was a need.

“A lot of moms said they struggled with balance,” said Mrs Ronaldson. “They have a hard time balancing their own needs with those of their baby and their spouse.

“They make sure everything is going great with their kids but they don't have time to take care of themselves. It can be worse if they've gone back to work after three months of maternity leave.

“A lot of mothers say they feel lonely because when moms meet they tend to only talk about the good things, and gloss over the bad things.

“This can be very isolating and may leave a mother feeling like she is the only one going through a hard time.”

Meditation and yoga helped her through that early stress.

“When I had the time, I would take a few moments to do a bit of yoga, or meditate,” she said. “I found this really helped. In the wellness group, we will be offering some free yoga classes and teaching meditation.

“A lot of people think that meditation is sitting with your legs crossed saying ‘om', but there are different types of meditation that suit different people.”

She believes that being fit before giving birth, helped her body bounce back faster. She's hoping to help other MAMA moms get there with a couch to 5K running programme.

• To join visit www.mama.bm or e-mail membership@mama.bm

New programme: Rebecca Ronaldson and her seven-month-old son Finley. Ms Ronaldson is starting a parents' wellness group and running programme (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Rebecca Ronaldson and her seven-month-old son Finley. She's starting a parents' wellness group and running programme(Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Rebecca Ronaldson and her seven-month-old son Finley. She is starting a parents' wellness group and running programme (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Rebecca Ronaldson and her seven-month-old son Finley. She is starting a parents' wellness group and running programme (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published September 30, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated September 29, 2015 at 11:59 pm)

Nurse starts wellness group for new moms

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