Ellie Stoneley

Breastfeeding Halves Your Chances of Post-Natal Depression

Milky MomentsCan breastfeeding make you happy?

It does me, albeit, after a shaky start.

Now there is proof that it can lower your risk of depression.

A UK report says, post natal depression is more than double in women who planned to breastfeed and then were unable to, whereas the women who planned to breastfeed and then did are 50% less likely to be affected. This is significant when you consider that 1 in 10 women develop depression after the birth of a child. [Read More…]

Cyma Shapiro Interviews Ellie Stoneley, Author of Milky Moments

Milky MomentsDear Readers: In her first US interview, we are so pleased to welcome Mothering writer, mother, author, breastfeeding advocate, UK-based Ellie Stoneley, featuring her newly-released book, Milky Moments (published worldwide by Pinter & Martin Publishers) – a children’s book about breastfeeding.

Welcome Ellie!

Thank you Cyma … a very exciting and busy time for this mother of one (and I’m talking about my daughter as opposed to my first book!)

Q: Milky Moments features a variety of different mothers breastfeeding in a variety of social situations. It’s not only a beautiful book, but it stresses the importance of individuality and of making such a natural occurrence….well, natural! Was that your intent?

A: Absolutely that was my aim! When my daughter was first born, for her baptism, and for her first birthday, she was given a great many books. Often they depicted babies being fed … and all of those babies were being fed by either mother or father, sibling or grandparent, using a bottle, or feeding was simply signified via the image of a bottle. Not one of the books depicted the act, the normal, instinctive, natural act that is breastfeeding. [Read More…]

Rebirth (The Passage of Time and A Personal Take on Spring)

Funny old thing, time … One minute there you are with a newborn baby wondering over every minute, every detail of a new person, and then woosh – suddenly you have a three year old, grey roots in your hair and no idea where the last three years went.

In fact, it’s impossible to believe that your exuberant, fiesty, glorious small person was ever a tiny newborn, a baby crawling at the speed of lightning down the hall or a toddler wobbling along on chubby little legs, arms up in the air trying to balance.

Somehow in the wink of an eye your child has become an all-consuming, time-eating, high-speed and even more demanding individual with strong opinions on everything and an all encompassing zest for life (and love of sticks, mud and trampolines). [Read More…]

By |April 2nd, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Motherhood, Mothers Over 40, Mothers Over 50|Tags: , |0 Comments

10 Things Not to Say to a News Editor About Being an Older Mother

newspaperThe media-led furore around older mothers rumbles on. Tabloid headlines inferring that the rise in mothers over the age of 50 having babies was responsible for excessive pressure across the health service. The percentage increase was huge but in real terms the number of women (in the UK) giving birth into their fifth decade went up to the total of 154 – a tiny figure as a part of the general rise in the number of births to older parents (35 and upwards).

When figures like this are published, I get approached by the press about my own experience as an older mother. My response is and has consistently the same – that I am where I am, and that I’m extremely blessed to be the mother of a wonderful, exuberant and thriving two-year-old. And, that (in common with mothers everywhere) I’m doing the best I can for my daughter to ensure she has a happy childhood, and a safe and secure future.

Sometimes that’s OK. But often the journalist will prod, looking for an angle, “How do you deal with the negative view of older parents?” “Did you feel judged by the medical profession?” “Are people rude to you when you breastfeed in public?” “You must have had a terribly difficult pregnancy?” “Do you have low energy levels due to your age?” and so on and so forth. [Read More…]

Mums, Moms and Mothering

Mother's Day in England II’ve fallen foul of it several times. My brother, who lives in the Far East, gets it wrong every year. The confusion has resulted in quite the most incredible mother in the entire universe wondering what she’s done to deserve being forgotten on a day she should be the centre of attention. I’m talking about my mother, and about Mothering Sunday. Or is that Mothers Day, or perhaps Mother’s Day?

In the UK, we celebrate our Mums on a different day than when the US celebrates Moms. Back in Blighty, Mothering Sunday falls on the fourth Sunday in Lent, while in America (and most of the world), Mother’s Day is always on the second Sunday in May. Just to add to the muddle, in other countries, mothers are celebrated on special days throughout the year – from January in Myanmar to December in Panama and Indonesia.

Our current tradition of celebrating and thanking our mothers is consistent with the States, but the roots of the celebration are different again and in a fascinating and thought- provoking way. [Read More…]

Travelling With a Toddler

Hope on an airplaneDriving down to the airport, the nervous queasy feeling grew and grew. By the time we arrived, I’d quite happily have turned around and sat in traffic for another 4 hours rather than face the security queues and the stress of flying 12 hours with a toddler on my own.

I was prepared, I had the bare minimum in my hand luggage. Only, the bare minimum when you’re flying with a toddler is quite a lot. Here’s what I’d brought:



changing mat

extra vests

extra tights

extra outfits (all in case of catastrophe or flight delay)

small pyjamas

tiny cardigan (because it gets cold on the plane)

book with pictures of baby animals

stuffed giraffe


clean knickers for me

change of outfit for me

I put Hope in her buggy for check in.  Joy of joys, the lovely lady on the desk was far less terrifying than her red lipstick and slicked back hair led me to believe. She blocked out the seat on the plane next to me. As the flight was fairly quiet, she also confirmed that the baby was small enough still to have a sky cot. [Read More…]

One of Those Women? (In Honor of World Breastfeeding Week – 8/1 – 8/7)

Ellie and Hope breastfeedingI’m old … a year away from 50 in fact. I’m a first time mother. I have an 18-month-old daughter. I drive along singing, “The Wheels on the Bus” even when she’s not in the car with me. I secretly love it when she wakes up needing me in the night, however tired I am. I am still breastfeeding her.

Right then, it would appear that, certainly according to much of the tabloid press, I’m practically the devil incarnate. A crazy breastfeeding, sagging old loon that a poor child has to put up with as a mother, a veritable harridan. Personally I don’t think I’m that bad. [Read More…]

Mistaken Identity and a Big Mistake

ellieI guess it had to happen one day …

17 months have passed since she was born. I was 47 then, I’m (just) 49 now. Many people have congratulated me on my beautiful, funny, chatting, waving, singing, dancing daughter. And then, finally, along with the sunshine came the question that the media would like to think that I (as an ‘older mother’) get asked all the time. “Are you her Grandmother?” Oddly it wasn’t just once but twice in the same day … and both times by other (older-looking) women.  [Read More…]

Mush Brain Ramblings (A Commentary on New Older Motherhood)

sticks and stonesThe whole issue of my age as a mother has never really bothered me. It is a miracle that I have Hope in my world and that both of us are healthy, happy and having such a wonderful time getting to know each other.

I don’t think of myself as an ‘old mother,’ simply as a mother. And, as such, I strive to be the best mother I can be.  Nothing more complex – just doing my best for an amazing little girl and doing all I can to ensure that she has a secure and happy life. I think that’s as much as any mother can do and generally what most mothers – old, young or in-between aim for. [Read More…]

Sticks and Stones

Dear Reader: Our very own UK-based Ellie Stoneley has been shortlisted for the prestigious Brilliance in Blogging award for her blog, Mush Brained Ramblings.

Here is her latest work:

“Sticks and stones may break my bones But names will never hurt me” 

This pearl of wisdom, attributed to a Mrs George Cuppples in something called Tappy’s Chicks back in 1872, is now part of nursery folklore.

sticks and stones

I’ve never been particularly bothered by names or labels, which is probably just as well. I always wanted to be known as Beth (inspired by sweet gentle Beth from Little Women), but that never stuck, instead I ended up with Ellie as a result of my brother singing his version of (N)ellie the elephant very gleefully when my mother plated my hair into tight braids behind my ears which then stuck out at right angles.

I married in my mid forties (maybe the ears had put people off before that) and a few months before the wedding, was referred to by someone as a ‘spinster’ that’s one of the few names I have objected to … not long after that I became a “Mrs.,” a label that seems somehow too grown up for me and I’ve never quite got the hang of. Then, by an utter miracle, just over four years later, I became a mother.  [Read More…]

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