Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Kate's Unabashed Baby Belly Busts The Last Taboo Of Pregnancy by Tom Sykes

Kate's Unabashed Baby Belly Busts The Last Taboo Of Pregnancy

Kate Middleton stood up for new mums everywhere when she walked out of hospital yesterday, completely unembarrassed by her post-partum tummy.

As Kate Middleton stood proudly on the steps of the Lindo Wing yesterday with her new baby, she chose to wear a cornflower blue polka dot dress – remarkably similar to the one William’s mother, Diana had worn when she appeared from the same hospital carrying her first son.
Watch the new parents introduce their baby to the world.
But whereas Diana had stepped out of the hospital in a dress that would have been more use on a camping trip than at a cocktail party - a huge, figure-shrouding gown that hid her post-pregnancy body - Kate, as we should have expected, had other ideas.
Kate emerged in a light Jenny Packham dress in silk crepe-de-chine, with a gathered empire waist that actually belted above her tummy, making no effort to hide her changed body shape.
Given the microscopic level of scrutiny of this young woman’s body over the past nine months, one could hardly have blamed her if she had held the baby protectively in front of her to shield her body from the cameras, but no. This thoroughly modern royal was apparently determined to lend a helping hand to women everywhere who have just give birth, and shatter one of the last taboos of pregnancy – the post-baby belly.
It was all the more brave of her as Kate has not been seen in public for six weeks, meaning that there are actually no pictures of Kate looking full term. She had just given birth, but, ironically, this was the most 'pregnant' we had seen Kate looking.
It takes at least two to three weeks for the uterus of a woman who has just given birth to return to anything like its pre-pregnancy shape, and the effect on the outside of the body is obvious. But this fact is little acknowledged in modern western society. Instead, many women, just like Diana did, still hide the fact that their tummies still stick out – and strive to get back to ‘normal’ as soon as possible.
Samir Hussein
British motherhood guru, Netmums founder Siobhan Freegard, told the Royalist: "In a couple of minutes on the steps of the Lindo Wing Kate has done more for new mums' self esteem than any other role model.
 Sadly too many celebrities often have ultra fast tummy tucks or strap themselves down to emerge in tiny size 6 jeans, leaving everyone else feeling inadequate. Kate shows what a real mum looks like - and natural is beautiful.
 Undoubtedly over the coming weeks the Duchess will work hard to regain her figure, but on her first appearance as a new mum she's proved herself a healthy role model for real mums around the world."
Jade Beall, a photographer and mother who, "celebrates the stories and the unphotoshopped bodies of women especially the bodies of mothers" says: "This is a historic moment for women around the world. Kate has chosen to confidently show what our bodies can look like after undergoing one of the most life-changing feats a human can experience."
However, Justine Roberts of the British parenting website Mumsnet, disagreed with that view, telling the Daily Beast: “Was it a brave decision? Where the heck do you hide it anyway - under a bush? It's completely natural to have a baby belly the day after giving birth and it's great shame that the world is so obsessed with women's body shape that Kate's belly is deemed worth commenting on.”

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Why lack of sleep can make it harder to lose your Mummy Tummy!

Why lack of sleep can make it harder to lose your Mummy Tummy!

 Author: Jo Taylor

If you are struggling to lose weight post natally it could be worth considering whether sleep deprivation and stress is what is preventing you from losing that extra weight around your tummy?
Cortisol is a vital steroid hormone which regulates a wide range of processes throughout the body including your metabolism and your immune response. It also has a very important role in helping the body respond to stress.
During Pregnancy and the early Post Natal period, Cortisol is naturally elevated. In the Post Natal period it is believed that the role of elevated Cortisol and other stress hormones is to keep the mother alert and aware of any possible dangers to the infant just as she would have had to have done in our caveman days. The physical stress of labour and birthing, alongside the stresses of adjusting to early motherhood and poor sleeping patterns/lack of sleep means that Cortisol levels may remain high well into the Post Natal period making it difficult for mothers to lose weight post birth. This is because when Cortisol levels are high the body perceives itself to be under threat and so responds by laying down fat reserves.

Being an older mother is also a factor in holding fat as scarily by the mid to late 30s the body is preparing for menopause! And the ultimate paradox is that as women head towards menopause the body will automatically be reluctant to let go of fat around the middle as this is where Oestrogen is mainly manufactured. This happens because the body knows that Oestrogen will help protect our bones from Osteoporosis so the body understandably tries to hold onto the fat to hold onto the Oestrogen to prevent Osteoporosis which it obviously deems to be a greater threat than having a fat belly!

The ultimate blow comes in the fact that abdominal fat cells have four times as many receptors for Cortisol than anywhere else in your body so if youre continually too stressed, your abdominal fat cells will be calling out for Cortisol and encouraging the body to store fat around the abdominals!
Adrenaline & Cortisol are the two main stress hormones produced by the Adrenal glands. Totally useful when we need to get out of danger, not so great when our modern life and stress levels keep us chronically in a state of over-production. Both hormones circulating in the system increase appetite and then drive the stressed individual to consume guess what? More carbohydrate and fat!

Fat is stored around the middle simply because there, its closer to the liver where it can be quickly accessed to be converted back into energy if needed. Natural Cortisol levels that we need to wake us up and go about our business in the daytime can remain elevated by stress. They can also be elevated by a house too brightly lit in the evening time, and overstimulation via watching TV and staying up late playing with our phones and tablets. Many of us fall into this trap simply because late into the evenings is generally the only quiet time we get to themselves and so the only time when we can indulge ourselves with tv and facebook and twitter, not to mention chocolate and wine!
Excessive production of Cortisol leads to adrenal fatigue which presents itself as chronic fatigue syndrome, infections, musculoskeletal aches and pains and headaches and the list goes on.......

Obeying our natural rhythms of sleep and rest allows the adrenals to rest and human growth hormone (HGH) to be produced which is vital for optimal fat metabolism. Caffeine, sugar, tobacco and low blood sugar also create emergency situations within our systems and signal stress and they are all best avoided. If your body belives itself to be in a state of crisis it will respond accordingly.
Sleep also affects the levels of other hormones in your body. Two hormones that play an important role in stimulating and suppressing your appetite are leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is produced by your bodys fat cells and is responsible for suppressing hunger. Ghrelin is released by your stomach, and stimulates your appetite. Lack of sleep lowers the levels of leptin in your blood and heightens the levels of ghrelin, which results in an increase of appetite. The reverse is also true: getting enough sleep decreases hunger and will therefore help you lose weight.
You will know yourself that when you are tired you eat more and are more likely to crave sweet foods and carbohydrates. If you are well rested you are much more likely to be able to manage your appetite and make healthier choices. Exercise also has a big part to play here because it not only speeds up our metabolism and enables us to burn fat (if done at a high intensity) it also helps us to sleep better and to manage our stress levels.
So why not start treating yourself to as many early nights as possible and see if that is the difference that makes the difference for you when it come to weight loss?
Jo Taylor is a Fitness Instructor specialising in Post Natal Fitness. You can contact Jo via her website  or at

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Midwifery of the Future


Midwifery of the Future


If you have fallen in love with playing your part as an agent of change

If you have courted that destiny to make yourself fit to serve

If you are married to the mission without compromise

If you have consummated that communion with others of kind

Then you will be pregnant with the future and in need of midwifery


If your willing readiness is wobbled by the occasional glimpse of

‘life will never be the same again’

If your excitement is thrilled to witness the new theatres of humanity

If the reality looms large that this is going to be on Its Terms not yours

Then know that birth is visiting you, nudging you into alignment


As some of the pixels of evolutions canvass become clear

A new oxygen liberates the creativity of all who breathe deep

Know you are lining the womb with the guarantee of your standards

And decorating the nursery with every brush stroke of devotion


When the stretch comes and you reach to meet its requirement

The midwife provides you with the assurance that you were born to this

She knows that the fruits of your labour will bring blessings beyond imagination

Her confidence and gentle authority makes you feel safe and that all is well


In the final hours as the enormity of evolution emerges from its plasma

The midwife covers you in the presence of connected stillness

The lone state is never to be felt again as You are born into your universal destiny

a homecoming and unification with all life and Love itself.


Nina Dauban                                                                                                Sep 2011





Monday, 3 June 2013

If you want to change the world a woman

If You Want to Change the World… Love a Woman
by LISA CITORE on AUGUST 8, 2008
When a fairly spiritual male friend of mine who had finally found and was deepening into committed relationship with his soul mate confided in me he was thinking of being single again, and in the next breath expressed his latest idea for raising consciousness worldwide, I wrote this poem.

If you want to change the world… love a woman-really love her.
Find the one who calls to your soul, who doesn’t make sense.
Throw away your check list and put your ear to her heart and listen.
Hear the names, the prayers, the songs of every living thing-
every winged one, every furry and scaled one,
every underground and underwater one, every green and flowering one,
every not yet born and dying one…
Hear their melancholy praises back to the One who gave them life.
If you haven’t heard your own name yet, you haven’t listened long enough.
If your eyes aren’t filled with tears, if you aren’t bowing at her feet,
you haven’t ever grieved having almost lost her.

If you want to change the world… love a woman-one woman
beyond yourself, beyond desire and reason,
beyond your male preferences for youth, beauty and variety
and all your superficial concepts of freedom.
We have given ourselves so many choices
we have forgotten that true liberation
comes from standing in the middle of the soul’s fire
and burning through our resistance to Love.
There is only one Goddess.
Look into Her eyes and see-really see
if she is the one to bring the axe to your head.
If not, walk away. Right now.
Don’t waste time “trying.”
Know that your decision has nothing to do with her
because ultimately it’s not with who,
but when we choose to surrender.

If you want to change the world… love a woman.
Love her for life-beyond your fear of death,
beyond your fear of being manipulated
by the Mother inside your head.
Don’t tell her you’re willing to die for her.
Say you’re willing to LIVE with her,
plant trees with her and watch them grow.
Be her hero by telling her how beautiful she is in her vulnerable majesty,
by helping her to remember every day that she IS Goddess
through your adoration and devotion.

If you want to change the world… love a woman
in all her faces, through all her seasons
and she will heal you of your schizophrenia-
your double-mindedness and half-heartedness
which keeps your Spirit and body separate-
which keeps you alone and always looking outside your Self
for something to make your life worth living.
There will always be another woman.
Soon the new shiny one will become the old dull one
and you’ll grow restless again, trading in women like cars,
trading in the Goddess for the latest object of your desire.
Man doesn’t need any more choices.
What man needs is Woman, the Way of the Feminine,
of Patience and Compassion, non-seeking, non-doing,
of breathing in one place and sinking deep intertwining roots
strong enough to hold the Earth together
while she shakes off the cement and steel from her skin.

If you want to change the world… love a woman, just one woman .
Love and protect her as if she is the last holy vessel.
Love her through her fear of abandonment
which she has been holding for all of humanity.
No, the wound is not hers to heal alone.
No, she is not weak in her codependence.

If you want to change the world… love a woman
all the way through
until she believes you,
until her instincts, her visions, her voice, her art, her passion,
her wildness have returned to her-
until she is a force of love more powerful
than all the political media demons who seek to devalue and destroy her.

If you want to change the world,
lay down your causes, your guns and protest signs.
Lay down your inner war, your righteous anger
and love a woman…
beyond all of your striving for greatness,
beyond your tenacious quest for enlightenment.
The holy grail stands before you
if you would only take her in your arms
and let go of searching for something beyond this intimacy.

What if peace is a dream which can only be re-membered
through the heart of Woman?
What if a man’s love for Woman, the Way of the Feminine
is the key to opening Her heart?

If you want to change the world…love a woman
to the depths of your shadow,
to the highest reaches of your Being,
back to the Garden where you first met her,
to the gateway of the rainbow realm
where you walk through together as Light as One,
to the point of no return,
to the ends and the beginning of a new Earth.

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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

‘The best make up a woman can wear is confidence’

‘The best make up a woman can wear is confidence’

Says Simon Henry  Bestselling author of “The Little Black Dress”

We are all born supremely confident. As we grow both physically and emotionally we allow that confidence to be chipped away at.  So who is to blame for us feeling the way we do?? Is it the bully that made our lives miserable at school? ,  is it the sibling or the over baring parent who put us down at every available opportunity ?  is it the images of stick thin models in magazines and on TV or  is it the  monster that is the fashion industry as a whole that doesn’t make any of those latest ‘things’ in our size??

Actually, it’s none of these things that saps our confidence and makes us feel less than we are .  It’s us that’s at fault here. Who are these people that tell us that we’re not tall, pretty, thin, clever, good enough???  They’re nobody, nothing! Unless of course we allow them to.

Who do we want to look pretty, sexy, thin for? Is it for men? , is it for other women?  I think it’s actually for ourselves. Its ok to try and look a little better. The feeling of looking nice gives us confidence, but when we think we don’t look good enough, no matter how hard we try, we are sapping our own confidence. Don’t do it!!

Ask any man to describe the perfect female. Very few will say that they like stick thin women with no boobs and no bum. Men love curves. Men love ample women with a little something to grab hold of. A woman with perfectly smooth  blemish free skin with not an ounce of spare fat or skin anywhere would only intimidate most men. Where as a Junoesque , curvy goddess would delight any red blooded  male… I know, I am one ………. ok, a gay one , but hey, that gives me the perspective  from both sides.  Trust me, you’re gorgeous !

You can find the amazing Simon Henry at:

His book is available for download and purchase from


Eve Ensler: Suddenly, my body

Love your curves girls

Be You (Tiful) – A revolution long overdue

There is no way that any person can say, with confidence and honesty, that the fashion industry is not largely to blame for the despicable popular eating disorder culture. If Gucci or Top shop fronts a campaign with an emaciated model, they are saying ‘this looks good, this is fashionable.’ ‘If you are this thin, you will look good in our clothes.’ Not one designer that I know of today, sends out curvy, beautiful women onto the catwalk to model their clothes, and unfortunately, that is exactly what we need. The anorexic models with bulging eyes and dangerously jutting shoulder bones and elbows do not represent healthy, beautiful woman! They do not justify fashion. All they do is set a completely unjustified standard for the common woman, because that is the image they see everyday in magazines and on television representing the fashion monsters of here and now.
It is of course known that anorexia can also be a result of psychological problems and issues, such as trauma and insecurity, triggering the need to be in control, but we don’t need the worldwide media to promote this as being beautiful and bring everybody else into it too! Beauty comes from within and it is difficult to shine your light when you haven’t the energy to walk and all you are thinking about is food, and not eating it.
Let us build a new fashion world of beautiful, sexy, curvy, confident women. Healthy, happy women! Not women who want to be thin because that is what has been ingrained into their brains, but women who want to look good for themselves. When you are healthy you can achieve so many things in this life that you cannot if you are lacking in energy, spirit and enthusiasm.

Isabelle Carro was a French model, who suffered from anorexia from the age of thirteen. Not one modelling agency asked Isabelle Carro to put on weight, in fact only a year before she posed for Toscani’s campaign against anorexia, for which he found her when searching the hospitals for a model, a Parisian model scout told her she need to lose 10lbs to get work! Agencies used her to model their clothing ranges, which is undeniably fuelling and encouraging this terrible obsession. It is completely unfathomable that a company selling fashion to women could put this poor girl out on a catwalk! Sadly Isabelle Carro died in November 2010 of respiratory problems at the tender age of twenty-eight years old, undoubtedly caused by her long-term eating disorder. Many young girls and women die from anorexia each year, and yet it is still not seen as a desperate issue. Will the fashion industry EVER begin to take some responsibility for this widespread issue? Well, it is a matter of necessity that they do, and only then can we begin to tackle the problem.
My suggestion for the every day woman is that we start a dancing revolution! Gyms and exercise classes are all well and work fantastically for somebody who is very focussed, but you are there purely to lose weight or get fit. We should all go out and find a dance class that suits us, where we can begin to feel good about ourselves, use our bodies to express ourselves and in that we will become healthy and fit, and the focus will no longer be on the little niggly body problems we think shouldn’t be there. It will no longer be such a bother because you are having fun and feeling great. The emphasis is not on what the body looks like but how you use it, and that really is up to you. There are plenty to choose from. Salsa, ceroc, ballroom dancing, zumba, ballet, tap, belly dancing, and perhaps you might find even more if you live in the city! If dancing is not the answer for you, go to the park! Have a go on the monkey bars run up the steps and down the slide, let yourself go. It’s amazing exercise and great fun. Make yourself a challenge to think of the most fun ways to exercise and you will be laughing…literally….

Women need to know that being thin is not the answer to happiness. When you have lost two stone in two months, do you suddenly feel happier? Of course if you were overweight to begin with, then the answer could be yes, but that is because you are healthier and more able to enjoy life! If you are underweight and malnourished, do you suddenly become attractive to your perfect man? Will your mood swings make your relationships with friends, family or partners more fulfilling? Will you have more fun? Definitely not!
All women are capable of being goddesses, if they just believe in themselves. Embrace yourself as you are and be gorgeous and happy. If you want to find love and enjoy life, you are going to need a sexy bum to hold onto and something to shake!

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About elmtreecollective

I am the literary embodiment of the collective thought-cloud, hanging ominously above the Kitchen Sofa.

Original article can be found at