FEELINGS

Inspiring mums – Alison Canavan

As busy and often tired mums we all look for inspiration where we can find it. Whether it’s in parenting, lifestyle, fitness or home – it’s nice to have something to aim towards – as long as it leaves us feeling inspired rather than bad about ourselves.

Mother of one, model, author, health and wellness coach and parenting columnist, Alison Canavan’s website Be Complete is full of inspiration for living your best life. At times searingly honest, there’s something that every mum can take away from it.

Alison spoke to Easy Parenting about what led to the creation of Be Complete and her new book – Minding Mum.

“As a model, I travelled the world for 18 years searching for happiness, but I eventually realised that all along, I was looking for it in all the wrong places. I used to think that my happiness would come from my next big job, relationship or indeed party I attended, but I soon discovered that I was always looking outside of myself, when what I really needed was inside me all along. My journey has led me to create my website – Be Complete, and my book – Minding Mum – to help people to become the most complete and best version of themselves. We all have it in us, it’s all there, and sometimes we just need a nudge in the right direction.”

Follow your dreams

From nutrition and fitness advice to emotional wellbeing and parenting tips, Be Complete has something for everyone.

Be Complete is about having the confidence to follow your dreams and believe in yourself. Small changes make a big difference and it’s never too late to follow your dreams no matter what anyone tells you. But most importantly, Be Complete is about giving yourself the permission to love yourself and practice self care.”

She goes on to say of Minding Mum

“We all need to practice self care and contrary to popular belief it’s not selfish to mind yourself, in fact it’s the most self less thing you can do because when you take care of yourself you have so much more of yourself to give to others including time, love and patience.

After years of heartache and pain, today I feel strong, healthy and happy and at last at I’m finally really comfortable in my own skin. I love life and every day excites me. I feel truly blessed to watch my son grow and be surrounded by people we love. I’m working towards my dreams and really enjoying each step of the way. I’ve pushed through fears and you can too. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I am saying it’s worth it.”

Visit Alison’s page for more details.

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ASK JESSICA

Q. I’m would like to start an exercise programme that will benefit my emotional health as much as my physical health, but I don’t know which type of class would be best. Should I consider choosing from yoga, pilates, tai chi, or could you recommend a class, please?

A It’s great that you have decided to get into exercise. The benefits to you are going to be great. You’ll sleep better, have more energy, better skin, reduced stressed, not to mention all the amazing physical benefits of your clothes fitting better, and looking healthy, trim and toned! My advice to you would be to try them all. Even if some don’t offer pay-as-you-go sessions, if you get in touch directly with the instructor, they will almost always let you try it out first to see if it’s for you. All of the above things that you mentioned are great for mental health, so it really will be a personal preference as to which you go for. On top of the classes you mention, all forms of exercise will give you great mental rewards so consider the not so obvious interval training sessions, bootcamp, and circuits too, as you will also feel on top of the world after a class like that.

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Ask Tracey

Midwife Tracey Donegan answers your questions about pregnancy and birth

Q When should I have my first pregnancy scan? And how many scans should I get throughout my pregnancy?

A
Your first scan is known as your dating scan and is routine in all hospitals. Most mums will have this scan at their booking visit, which can be anywhere between 12-18 weeks. The earlier the scan the more accurate it will be. If you have experienced recurrent miscarriages some hospitals will scan you earlier. Contact your antenatal clinic for more information. In Ireland, most women will have two scans in a healthy pregnancy – a dating scan and an anomaly scan at around 20 weeks. However, some units provide a dating scan only. Private scans are also available in most cities and many parents use these services for additional reassurance and to find out the sex of their baby.