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Episode 20

Elise Knowles

In this weeks episode, Elise Knowles shares the births of her three children. During Elise's first labour she was dilated to 5cm without even realising she was in early labour. This pre-labor went on for several days and she ended up having some acupuncture and a stretch and sweep. Elise was admitted later that day and was induced to help progress her labour. 3.5 hours later Raffety was born and despite having an episiotomy she suffered a third-degree tear. Elise’s recovery was slow and difficult as she was physically and emotionally drained from the delivery. She found breastfeeding Raffety very challenging which she wasn’t expecting and felt unprepared for this challenge. She shares how there is very little discussion about how difficult the initial stages of breastfeeding can be and it can lead to feelings of guilt and failure when it doesn't all go to plan.

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Raffety was a very unsettled baby who was later diagnosed with severe reflux and readmitted to hospital at 6 weeks of age. During this time in the hospital, while Raff recovered from a burnt oesophagus, it became clear to the staff that Elise was struggling emotionally and they advised her that they suspected she had postnatal depression. With the support and encouragement of her husband and mother, Elise was able to seek help and was connected with Better Beginnings. Her therapist diagnosed her with postnatal anxiety.

Elise openly discusses the slow recovery she experienced with her tear and it was at 3mths that she got the courage to try sex again. After trying for 9mths she fell pregnant again with Tabitha. Unlike her first pregnancy Elise shares she felt much sicker with morning sickness with Tabitha and it was a very different pregnancy overall.  To hear more about Tabitha’s birth and Delilah’s tune into the podcast.

Topics Discussed

Pelvic floor exercises, Obstetrician, Formula feeding, Jaundice, Postnatal anxiety and depression, Prolapse, 3rd Degree tear, Placenta encapsulation, Induction, Breastfeeding

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