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Jennifer Maguire on Motherhood, Keeping Sane & Good Knickers

Jennifer Maguire, TV personality and RTE 2fm host gave birth to her beautiful little girl, Florence Zamparelli, in March 2015. 
Jennifer was recently announced as the ambassador for Pregnacare® New Mum, Ireland’s number one pregnancy supplement brand. In recent research carried out by Pregnacare New Mum and eumom, it's been revealed that only 25% of new mums are looking after their own health and wellbeing post-pregnancy.

So I sat down with Jennifer to talk about the importance of minding yourself post-pregnancy, being a working mom and keeping sane.

How are you enjoying life as a new mom?

I’m good! I’m kind of learning to look after myself I suppose, which is so important. There’s so much focus on the baby when they arrive and making sure they are looked after, that we tend to forget to look after ourselves. I think I was probably forced to look after myself, because I went back to work so soon. So I was like, ‘how am I going to do this, and not lose my mind?!’.

How did you find getting back to work life?

I went back to work after ten weeks and I know some women go back sooner, but when you’re self-employed, you still have to pay your mortgage and your bills! I do think I’m a lot luckier than a lot of people, in that I usually only work in the mornings. I’ve really cut down on the work I do, I don’t do the extra stuff like the photocalls any more, unless of course it’s something really important to me or something I really believe in. I think to a certain degree, new moms can have it all, but I also think you have to sacrifice a lot of stuff. I think you have to hone in on what you really want and make those hard decisions, so you get that time with your baby. Just get rid of all the bullshit.

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Any tips for our readers heading back to work?

First of all – look after yourself. Eat well, sleep as much as you can, take your vitamins. Take it handy, and take as much help as you can get. Cut out the bullshit jobs where you can. For me, it was the washing and the cleaning. I made a conscious decision to go back to work, so I did something that I never thought I would do, never in my life, and that was getting a cleaner! And it changed my life.

It’s amazing! Who has time to be cleaning floors? Everyone has one these days. And I was so reluctant because I actually quite like cleaning! But I remember sitting in my house one day, Florence was there and I wanted to just spend time with her, but I had work to do, people calling to visit us, beds to change, the house was in a mess and I just remember thinking ‘I don’t have time for all of these things!’. I can’t work in a mess, I can’t do anything in mess, so I just got myself a cleaner and it’s changed my life. When I come home from work, I’m not going to spend two hours cleaning my house; I’m going to spend it with my child. So just get a f**king cleaner, and stop whinging about it! But if you can’t get a cleaner, just ask for some help. Ask family and friends to help out and take the load off a little. Prioritise what’s really important and what really has to be done. Because if you’re going to be a working mom, your time is precious and you need to make the most of it.

What’s different now to your pre-baby life, in terms of minding yourself and your health?

Since giving birth to Florence back in March, I have unluckily experienced acne like many other new mums. Added to the late night feeds and early starts, I just didn’t feel great. Like any new parent, life can be a little hectic when trying to juggle family and work. But in taking the Pregnacare® New Mum supplements I know I have the extra nutritional support when I need it. Before I had Florence, I was probably exercising to stay in shape, but now I’m exercising more for my mental health. I’m less conscious of the way I look; I think I was more conscious before I had Florence. I think with food and eating well, I’m doing it so my immune system is strong so I don’t get sick, so I can cope with everything. When you get less sleep, you need to make sure you’re looking after yourself in other ways. I’m just more conscious of what I put in to my gob I suppose!

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You look fab! What’s your secret?

Spanks! Before I went to the Style Awards earlier in the year, I tried on eight different dresses, and each of them looked as horrific as the next. You’re a different shape after having a baby; you’re all over the place! So I got a good pair of knickers and went off to Tipperay based designer, Marion Murphy Cooney, and she created something with a lot of smoke and mirrors, and that’s what it was for me! A good pair of knickers.

How is little Florence? She’s adorable!

She’s the best little girl! Very advanced you know. She passed her driving test the other week. And got 500 points in the leaving. She’s only five months old.

She thinks I’m hilarious, because you know, I am. Me and her dad are always fighting over who can make her laugh. Making her laugh is just the best thing, it’s like a tonic. It’s like drugs or something, it’s just so addictive, and I’m like ‘oh my God, I need to make her do this all the time!’. So we had big competition over who could get her to laugh first. And, of course, I won!

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve Googled since you’ve become a mom?

Stringy poo. Google images. What’s the story with stringy poo? It’s teething apparently. Disgusting stuff. Green stringy poo. That has to be the weirdest thing – so far anyway!

What’s the best piece of parenting advice you’ve been given?

Someone told me to not listen to anybody, and to trust my instincts. And I have to say it’s the best advice I’ve ever had.

And the worst?

My husband’s Nan once tried to stick a piece of salami in my five month old baby’s mouth. She’s not even on solids yet! She’s 91. ‘Just a little lick, give her a little taste!’.

Bernard O’Shea told me to never go on holiday or to trust anyone ever again. So yeah, that’s pretty crap advice!

If you could give one piece of advice to other new moms, what would it be?

Look after yourself, don’t forget about you. You want to enjoy the baby stage, you don’t want to look back and think ‘oh my God, that was misery!’. Don’t ignore your tiredness, or your nutrition. Take care of yourself so you can take care of your little one.

Pregnacare® New Mum provides a carefully balanced, comprehensive formulation of micronutrients to help support the nutritional requirements of new mothers throughout the postnatal period. It is bursting with the specific nutrients needed to help maintain normal energy release. The advanced formula contains B complex vitamins, including vitamin B2, B3, B12, pantothenic acid, folic acid and biotin to help support normal energy release. Pregnacare® New Mum also includes zinc and selenium which is for the maintenance of normal hair, biotin and niacin (vitamin B3) for the maintenance of normal skin health and vitamin C which contributes to normal collagen formation for the normal function of skin.
If you are experiencing any of the above problems post pregnancy speak to your pharmacist about Pregnacare® New Mum. Pregnacare® New Mum is available from leading pharmacies nationwide RRP €19.49 (56 tablets). For more info visit www.pregnacare.ie

About the Author

Editor of eumom.ie, Mairéad Cahalan is a creator of content, a lover of music, red wine and coffee, and a part-time wedding singer! Find her on Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud and LinkedIn.

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