Former F1 presenter, Beverley Turner is used to handling life's tests. So when her husband Olympic Rowing sensation, James Cracknell, set off on a race to the South Pole, leaving her to look after their five-year-old whilst pregnant, she was up for the challenge.
Happily James was back at Beverley's side when she gave birth to baby daughter Kiki Willow on Mother's Day last year. Beverley says: 'I had a water birth at home using hypno-birthing which was a wonderful experience – James got really involved in the birth and supported me every step of the way. We were so excited to meet our new little girl.'
Beverley is well known for her work as a broadcaster and writer. She spent several years hosting F1 & NBA for ITV1; Homes Live for BBC2 and cookery show Taste for Sky One. She also co-hosted a Saturday morning BBC Radio 5 live programme with Eamonn Holmes and wrote The Pits – The Real World of F1 in 2004. She is currently writing her first novel and studying for a diploma in psychotherapy.
These are Beverley's top 5 parenting tips:
1. Appreciate every little moment
When you have a job you love, it's always hard to take time off. But this time I am trying to appreciate having time with Kiki as a baby, as when Croyde was born I missed out on so much by going back to work so soon. They are only little for such a short space of time that I really want to make the most of it this time.
2. Be prepared for change
At first being a mum was a shock, as you lose your ability to be spontaneous and it does take some getting used to! But saying that it is absolutely brilliant too, such fun. My five-year-old, Croyde, is just hilarious, the things he says are just great, and my biggest joy is just spending time with him. It is challenging and exhausting, but as they get older and become your little pals you realise what it's all for.
3. Make the most of every situation
James going to the South Pole was a decision that we made together this time, so we spoke about it and thought long and hard about the impact it would have on all of us. But we made the most of the situation. Croyde really missed his dad, but to make him feel more involved and aware of what was going on I did a talk at Croyde's school and showed them a big map of where James would be going, which he loved!
4. Midwives give great advice
Kiki was really colicky and gripey, and would cry after feeding, taking ages to settle after being fed and needing lots of winding. My midwife, the amazing Pam Wild (who also delivered Davina McCall's babies at home), said to try Colief. A week's trial of Colief Infant Drops, told me that Kiki's colicky symptoms were caused by lactose deficiency. Once I used it Kiki massively improved, her crying has reduced dramatically. It is slightly more effort to use when you are breastfeeding, but it really worked so well that it is worth it.
5. Breast is so convenient!
Breastfeeding can be really hard but I had good midwife support and was aware of how much better it is for baby's immune system, so I stuck with it. (It's also so much easier when you are out and about! Kiki has been fed everywhere from disabled loos to car parks!) It was also great as I could still use the lactase enzyme drops when breastfeeding!