Author Sarah Beeson MBE joins Presenter Emma Barnett and Poet Hollie McNish to talk sickness, sex and haemorrhoids – that’s right pregnancy on BBC Radio 5 Live. The frank, funny and sometimes sickening side of pregnancy.
Perfect book for new parents
When health visitor Sarah Beeson’s pregnant daughter asked her to put pen to paper on caring for her new baby she didn’t know it would result into a parenting book full of secrets from four decades of working with families. The result was Happy Baby, Happy Family.
‘Best new pregnancy books… Extensive guide to trusting yourself and understanding your baby.’ Gurgle
‘Answers to key baby-raising questions while sensibly explaining that no one parenting style fits all. A great read to boost your new parent confidence.’ Prima Baby book of the month
EMMA BARNETT: What do you think doesn’t get talked about Sarah in terms of physical and emotional aspect?
SARAH BEESON: I think there’s lots of things and we always go on about hormones, but actually, some of your speakers have brought that in and it’s so true. The hormones that are being released into your body in early pregnancy and all through pregnancy are responsible for a lot things; whether it’s raised libido in a very small percentage or feeling don’t touch me, don’t come near me in other people. There’s what doctors call minor illnesses or complications in pregnancy but they don’t feel very minor when you’ve got them. When you’ve got haemorrhoids or constipation, itching or restless legs. Back ache and pelvis pain that Hollie’s referred to is also a hormone thing where cartilage has soften a bit for an easier a birth but it can cause back ache and pelvic pain. Yes, there’s a lot of different variations on people’s pregnancies and you don’t really know what will affect you or have a say, which is really difficult.
EMMA BARNETT: You don’t see those posters Hollie was talking about that say you will get haemorrhoids, you will get itchy belly as it stretches – those sides aren’t advertised.
SARAH BEESON: No they’re not. Is it a conspiracy? Do people not want to put pregnant women off being pregnant?
HOLLIE MCNISH: You can’t sell anything if you put that.
EMMA BARNETT: You could sell haemorrhoid cream.
SARAH BEESON: Yes, haemorrhoid cream, constipation treatment.
EMMA BARNETT: I didn’t think it was going to go in this direction so quickly but I’m thrilled that it has. Sarah, do you feel there’s also a guilt for women saying I absolutely hate being pregnant?
SARAH BEESON: Society has this view doesn’t it? This wonderful glowing view of pregnancy and in reality if you’re being sick, it doesn’t feel so great. I remember being terribly sick myself. A great friend of mine came to my house and she was expecting her first. She knocked on the door and shouted to me to get a bag and was sick into it before we even said hello. She used all the bags in the car on the way and she needed quite a lot more. Nobody says to you get your sick bags ready, or think about putting your legs up. It wouldn’t be very encouraging! But, interestingly the lady who said she had a terrible time but now she’s thinking was it so terrible? Do I want another one? Again, nature takes over. There are two main urges in human being, which is the will to live and sex. Pregnancy has got that in abundance.
EMMA BARNETT: Talking about power of hormones. Sarah do you think enough is said about how you brain might feel?
SARAH BEESON: Probably not. I think what Hollie’s saying put it in a nutshell. You’re bombarded with all these ideas about what you should and shouldn’t do. And because many of us feel more anxious in pregnancy and things take on gigantic proportions, less would be better. There’s so many different aspects to worry about, it’s no good saying to people don’t worry about that and don’t worry about this, because you do feel worried and have anxieties.
Poet and mum Hollie McNish read her fantastic poem Banana Baby on the show.
To see Hollie McNish’s amazing poetry go to https://holliepoetry.com/
Sarah Beeson’s MBE is a former health visitor and author of parenting guide Happy Baby, Happy Family and health visiting memoir Our Country Nurse published by HarperCollins available in paperback, eBook and audiobook.