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Saving Money, One Nappy Change at a Time!

Almost one in two working families in Australia live dangerously close to the financial brink and up to 90% feel uncomfortable with their financial position, according to a recent survey by RaboDirect.

Sobering thoughts when you add in the cost of raising a baby to its first birthday. International baby resource, Babycentre, has calculated that bringing up baby for the first 12 months can cost parents up to $16,000!

One of the biggest expenses parents face with their new baby is nappies, with a cost of up to $6000 per child in disposable nappies!

Most new parents don’t give much thought to the cost of nappies before their baby arrives, but once they take their precious little bundle home from the hospital, the weekly expenditure on nappies really starts to bite, especially when the parents may have just dropped from two salaries to one.

Founder of Cushie Tushies and Telstra Business Awards finalist, Catherine Langman, says that more and more parents are turning to modern cloth nappies as a way to save money. Not only can they save you $3000 to $5000, but will also save up to one tonne of rubbish being generated. And that’s per child compared to disposables!

Financial Counselling Australia suggests people should try to treat savings as if it were a regular bill.

Parents-to-be can take this advice one step further and layby their modern cloth nappies whilst still pregnant – that way, once baby arrives and your household income drops, you already have all your nappies for birth to toilet training and your household budget won’t be under as much pressure.

With over 300,000 babies born in Australia every year, there’s a lot of families who could benefit, potentially saving a combined $900million!

For further information about modern cloth nappies or details of the potential savings parents can make using them, please contact Catherine Langman at or visit their website

ecostore cleans up at Green Lifestyle Awards!

Congratulations to our gorgeous friends at ecostore Australia for their latest win at the Green Lifestyle Awards (formerly G Magazine) in the Home category. Travis Kalleske, Sales and Marketing Manager for Australia and the esteemed panel of judges from the inaugural Green Lifestyle Awards are pictured below, from L-R Emma Bowen, John Dee, Travis and Tanya Ha. Matt Perry from Republic of Everyone, a cutting edge and very innovative creative agency was among the board of judges for the inaugural lifestyle awards.

Guest speaker and hall of fame inductee Bob Brown acknowledged the Awards and their impact, saying “I congratulate all of you that are involved in your various ways in raising the green bar, in raising real-world sustainability, it has to be genuine to an authenticity which we can feel strongly about. We have a long way to go, and I think tonight is a sterling example of a community on the move and I hope events like this will become the predominant thinking in our society in decades ahead.”

Another great reason why I just love ecostore and use them around our house. Well deserved!!


Post Natal Depression – What it is and how to treat it

What is Post Natal Depression?
Post Natal Depression
New mothers and fathers naturally expect the time around childbirth to be a very happy time. They see pictures of happy parents in the media, and before the birth there isn’t a lot of sharing about the potential challenges at this time. I have seen many new mums in my practice saying that they feel guilty for not bonding immediately with their child, or for not feeling happy, when they perceive they should. However, the time after the birth is a time when both women and men are more at risk of experiencing distress, and potentially developing a problem such as post-natal depression (PND) or anxiety.

You have probably heard of or experienced the “baby blues”, which women commonly experience a few days after the birth, often related to tiredness and hormonal change. The blues may trigger tearfulness and irritability, and they settle within a couple of weeks. However, significant anxiety and depression can also develop after birth. PND occurs in up to 10–20% of all women during the first year after childbirth, and about 10% of men also experience PND. PND describes the more severe or prolonged symptoms of depression that last more than a couple of weeks and interfere with the ability to do daily tasks, or to relate to the baby or others.

Why does it develop?

PND develops because of biological and psychological factors. It is important to rule out medical causes of symptoms similar to PND, such as anemia. Biological factors might also include a genetic vulnerability to depression, previous episodes of depression, and hormone fluctuations during and after pregnancy. Childbirth and becoming a parent involves change and stress. Sometimes there can be other stresses such as financial stress, relationship stress or even grief around the same time. There may be lack of support. Fatigue is an important factor, and being sleep-deprived makes us more vulnerable to depression, as do difficulties with breastfeeding or having an unwell baby.
What are the symptoms or signs of PND?

Watch out for symptoms occurring most of the time and nearly every day for at least two weeks: sadness, depressed mood, tearfulness or irritability; loss of interest in daily activities, or enjoyment in activities usually enjoyed; loss of confidence; feelings of guilt or worthlessness; fatigue, reduced energy (beyond what typically occurs when caring for a baby); broken sleep (irrespective of the baby); change in appetite, weight loss; inability to concentrate; a sense of hopelessness; thoughts of not wanting to be alive or suicide (seek help immediately). Also notice symptoms of anxiety, such as worrying excessively about the baby, your health or feeling panicky.

How can we get some help?

If you are concerned then see your GP or health professional. They can assess whether depression or anxiety are present and offer support and advice. There are a range of treatment options, depending on the severity of the depression or anxiety, and the person’s preferences. They include:

  • Support and counselling.
  • Lifestyle changes, such as getting more sleep, doing relaxing activities, eating well, getting out for walks.
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy or CBT (learning to be aware of thoughts and underlying beliefs that might trigger low mood, such as high expectations of yourself, wanting to be 100% perfect or in control – not possible with a baby).
  • Inter-personal therapy (IPT) and couple therapy, focussing on resolving issues such as conflict which might be contributing. Attachment-based therapy can assist with relating to the baby.
  • Practising mindfulness or being in the moment, which is relaxing and can help you enjoy your baby. There are now mindfulness-based therapies which can assist.
  • Complementary therapies.
  • Medication, such as antidepressants.

Dr Cate’s tips in relation to PND

1. Rest or sleep when you can (e.g. when your baby naps), eat well, go for walks.
2. Use relaxation techniques, meditation, mindfulness or self-hypnosis.
3. Remember that it takes time to bond with the baby, to breast-feed, to learn the role of being a mum or dad, and so lessen the expectations on yourself. Also let go of any tasks that you can, quit self-criticism, and let go of the need to be in control all of the time! Above all, be kind to yourself.
4. Seek out support from others (partners, family, friends, other mums or dads).
5. Seek out professional assistance if you are concerned. Therapy or medication may be helpful or needed.

Overall, remember that we need to be a good-enough parent and not a perfect parent. Seek out other mums or dads through community groups or websites such as this! Also have a good relationship with your GP and see a counsellor early on if you need support.

Visit for more information and feel free to contact us if you would like to.

The websites below may also be helpful.


Click here to read what Cate has to say about Anxiety and Panic.

Dr Cate Howell OAM CSM is a medical practitioner, therapist, educator and author. She has clinics at Gilberton, Belair and Goolwa, focussing on counselling, mental health and wellbeing. Cate has written two books to date; “Keeping the blues away” about depression, and “Release Your Worries” on stress and anxiety. Further information about Cate and the practices, a blog and helpful information are available on her website


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