Pregnancy & Postnatal Health in Bendigo

Guest post by Sarah Rose

IMG_0300Pregnancy can be an exciting, difficult and daunting time; often filled with anticipation and an increased amount of attention from strangers. During my pregnancy and in the 12 months following, I found some awesome people in Bendigo who helped me with the concerns, niggles, aches and pains that go in hand-in-hand with this huge time of change (excuse the pun!).

For me, health is inclusive of body, mind and soul; therefore I seek therapies that are holistic. I know that there are plenty of amazing services in Bendigo and I can only scratch the surface in this post, so let’s consider this a kick-starter for the conversation & continue it in the comments; we’d love to hear your experiences and recommendations. The essentials of my pre and post natal care were time spent in nature, massage, nourishing food, naturopathy and emotional support.

Nature: First and foremost I need connection to nature and outdoors to feel good, my favourite place to do that in Bendigo is Kennington Reservoir. I enjoy walking around the reservoir and through the bushland, I feel as if I’m no longer in town and find that people are friendly and smiling whilst out walking too. Heading up to One Tree Hill and enjoying the view from the top of the lookout is also a nice way to find space for contemplation; admittedly I was driving not walking up, I found myself often fatigued during pregnancy.

Massage: During my pregnancy I sought to find pregnancy massage to ease the discomforts of my body stretching, changing & adapting to carrying an ever-increasing amount of weight. I thought I was in heaven when I discovered pregnancy massage at Spa Eleven. The entire experience was bliss, just walking in I felt a sense of calm and complete disconnection from the outside world; perfect for forgetting stress. Each time I visited they ensured the entire experience was relaxing. Upon arrival they gave me a robe and took me through to wait in a nice relaxing lounge area. The massage was beautiful and relaxing & the therapist had a knack for knowing when to speak and when to just allow me to relax into the moment; her gentle manner was just what I needed. After the massage they invited me to relax in the lounge area whilst enjoying a complimentary tea or coffee. I enjoyed the opportunity to stay in that peaceful comfy space for a little longer.

Post-pregnancy I had some serious lower back pain and tried sessions with a physiotherapist to remedy it; that helped a little, but not fully. I then went to a Chiropractor who saw me twice a week for six weeks, the condition actually worsened. One night I found myself nearly unable to walk due to the pain, I was lucky enough to discover Mark Tolley the very next day. Mark is a highly qualified body psychotherapist, he has a holistic approach to wellness and understands the mind-body connection. After my first session with Mark my back pain was almost non existent; in 1 hour he brought relief that I was unable to find anywhere else. Needless to say, I’m now a regular client and enjoy Mark’s wisdom and therapeutic skills too.

Nourishing Food: For organics, I don’t think you can go past Bendigo Wholefoods, they have a great set up and friendly staff who are more than willing to help as well as a great range. If you’re looking for delicious fruit and veg at good prices, my top pick is Quinn’s Bluebird in Mitchell Street. Their good old-fashioned service is hard to go past, I always enjoy the experience of shopping in there & delight in the very real taste of their produce. You know when fresh food is so good that you can smell it? Yup, that’s what you’ll find at Quinn’s. Whilst I’m yet to visit the Bendigo Community Farmer’s Market, plenty of people rave about it and I intend to get there.

Naturopathy: I discovered Gelinda Deacon through the recommendation of someone who was thrilled with the ways Gelinda had boosted her children’s health and immunity. I took my baby to see her because he’d commenced childcare and had become sick with eight different illnesses within the space of a few months. We had a positive experience and I’m pleased to share that my little one’s health has been significantly better since following Gelinda’s treatment plan; in the past two months he’s been sick just once.

Emotional Support: I had quite a complex pregnancy due to discovering that my bub had gastroschisis at our 13 week scan. Hearing this news caused great shock despite it being delivered in such a wonderfully supportive and informative way by Dr Christine Armstrong at BCHS. Ideas of birthing in Bendigo and going home with our newborn were released as we learned our pre-natal care would far more intensive than ‘normal’ and would be through the Women’s in Melbourne and RCH upon birth. We had great support in Melbourne through both hospitals and I also saw a private psychologist in Bendigo. Bendigo Health also have support services for pre and postnatal women having difficulty with mental/emotional health. My recommendation is to seek professional help if you’re struggling, there’s no need to go it alone and despite what we see in the media, pregnancy isn’t a shiny happy time for a lot of women. In Bendigo we’re also blessed with the Raphael Centre, a place where women can access professional mental health support for anxiety & depression during and after pregnancy at no cost.

Sarah is a new Mum and creator of Inner Me Wellness – an online space where she shares her own experiences of being 20 something and living with fatigue & dissatisfaction despite outwardly appearing to ‘have it all’. She shares guidance and inspiration to live life on your own terms and feel great. She works via Skype and in person helping awesome young women to go from feeling just OK to Great.

Sarah is offering a fabulous and FREE Intensive Clarity Session (Valued at $150) – open to anyone who wants to go from good to great. Enter here before Friday 20 June 2014 for your chance to change your life for the better.

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About iheartbendigo

The unofficial guide to Bendigo and Central Victoria.
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