*This is a collaborative post
As a first time Mum, I was totally overwhelmed when I came home from the hospital with my newborn in tow. I remember crying my eyes out in our bathroom feeling completely out of my depth not knowing what I was supposed to do next. You spend nine months carrying your growing baby that when they finally arrive, it can be one of the hardest times of your life as you adjust to being a Mum with someone so small being completely dependent on you with their every cry. After all, they don’t come with instruction manuals (if only!)
The Real World Parenting Awards, launched in July recognise the support that new Mums receive. There’s two separate categories including one for health professionals, which has been developed by the Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology, and one for supportive family and friends. Both awards are supported by an educational grant from Infacol.
During the first few weeks of being a new Mum, my Mom was my rock. She sat and listened to me cry down the phone when it all got too much, I could ask her if my leaky boobs were normal and if I really should be in as much pain as I was, post caesarean section surgery. She knew what I was going through and was an amazing support to me.
Another support during my first few weeks was that of my midwife. I had an emergency c-section to deliver my now, three year old Son and I found the post-section recovery really tough. I suffered with an infection and struggled with not being able to breast feed my baby. All of which was really difficult. She listened, offered advice where appropriate and pulled out my wound stitches without wincing!
“Becoming a parent for the first time isn’t easy, and the first six months can be especially tough,” explains PCSG Chair, Dr. Richard Stevens*. “That’s why families need support, and the encouragement they receive from their GP or health visitor can make all the difference. As professionals, we sometimes forget we can provide a lot by just being there and being constant.”
“Having a baby is a life changing experience and an incredible one, but it can be stressful,” says Dr. Hilary Jones, who will be part of the judging panel. “If you’re lucky enough to have a wonderful family around you, or great friends, it can make a huge difference.”
The Real World Parenting Awards will be open to nominations from appreciative parents, colleagues or the individuals themselves. The entry criteria are simple: an individual who has demonstrated the ability to go above and beyond. Just let us know their name, workplace (if nominating a health professional) and why you want to nominate them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The closing date for nominations is August 31st 2016. Entries will be judged by a panel of PCSG Chair Dr. Richard Stevens*, GP Dr. Hilary Jones**, and Native Media founder and mum-of-three Jo Studholme.
The winning health professional will receive an educational grant of £1,000 from the PCSG to further their career or chosen area of research. Those who nominate their superstar health professional will also be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win a short break at Knoll House, Britain’s original family friendly hotel*. *Terms and conditions apply, this does not apply to health care professionals.