Team Storey Sport

Team Storey Sport Blog

Comeback trail – life as a Mum and 10 things I use now that I didn’t before!

by Sarah Storey
Sarah Storey
Sarah Storey has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Nov 05 in General Blog
Four months has passed since the birth of my daughter and there have been so many blogs to write in that time but so little time in which to actually sit down and even start one! Louisa was born by emergency caesarean section after becoming stuck and wrapped in her cord, so the plans to jump back on the bike after a few weeks were put on hold and my family joked that the only way they could slow me down was to do major abdominal surgery!

So often since Louisa was born I have been asked how life is with a newborn and how training has fitted in around that, so I thought I would write it down along with some of the bits and pieces I have found most useful as a new Mum. Throughout my pregnancy and since the birth, I have been receiving so many lovely messages from other women who were inspired to stay active after my example and who are also enjoying the post natal exercise and training and see it as a benefit to both them and their baby. Although the natural water birth I had hoped for didn’t happen for me, I am a firm believer that my fitness helped my recovery from the caesarean section, including in the first 24 hours when I was allowed home rather than the usual practice of being kept in for a few days.

Barney and I are fortunate that the way our training and working life is, we can both be at home for Louisa more often than not, so that means we have very much worked as a team in ensuring her needs are put first. This was especially useful in the first few weeks, as while recovering from surgery I was only really able to attend to Louisa, so Barney stepped in with the cooking, cleaning and general tidying up and this is the way it has continued so far. Being looked after so well during the day, means I am better able to manage any night wakings and so Barney has been mainly able to sleep through and not realise if and when there have been any nocturnal goings on! Having said that though, Louisa is a good sleeper and doesn’t really wake up even to feed!

For me the training had to begin slowly, six weeks post delivery, to ensure there were no adverse effects to my surgery site. With just 30 minutes on the first day building by 15 minutes on each subsequent day until I was doing around an hour for a week. This then increased to an hour and a half and then finally two hours which is where I stayed for a little while. The slow increase after hitting the two hour mark was nothing to do with recovering from surgery but everything to do with ensuring Louisa was put first and this is one thing no one can plan for as a Mum; how long will your baby go between feeds.

I always knew I wanted to breastfeed and the best way of doing this is “feeding on demand” and very much going with the schedule of Louisa. At four months there is a little more structure to when the feeds and naps might be, but Barney and I have followed the simple principle that Louisa will tell us what she wants and when, and that we will be ready to respond. I always leave plenty of expressed milk for feeds during my training sessions, but usually this milk will just be a “snack” and we enjoy a longer feed when I finish pedalling.

We have also worked on the principle that babies cry for a reason, it is their way of communicating their needs, so despite what you might read in some of the books, I have always listened to her cries and tried to fathom out what the problem is. There is definitely a difference between a cry for hunger, pain and tiredness, but there is also a cry for boredom and quite often we have discovered this cry ties in with Louisa just wanting to be outside!

We both love the fact we have an outdoor baby and now that the leaves are falling from the trees and the wind is quite brisk, Louisa loves to be near the trees and listening to the rustling and watching the leaves drift to the ground. It is so cute when she gets excited about something and her little arms and legs fly around in excitement and she babbles on as if telling us what she can see!

We have also found the best thing is to anticipate hunger and tiredness before it gets to the point of a real cry and by settling Louisa quickly I think it has helped me get out on my bike. Having said that it can still be difficult to keep to an exact schedule for starting a session, as every Mum will know, a baby will always want a feed or a change of nappy just when you think you can leave the house to do something. I remember on one occasion we were heading for the station and Louisa decided she was hungry, so that meant I was feeding her whilst we walked to the station, all wrapped up in several layers! It was quite a clever method as everyone just thought she was asleep! Similarly, mid walk the other day, Louisa needed food so we just carried on meandering into our local park while I fed her on the go!

IMG 0988



From the moment we found out I was expecting a baby, Barney and I knew that we wanted to get our baby used to travelling around with us from being very young and so within her first four months of life Louisa has been on many trips already, with the most recent being our first training camp back at Club La Santa in Lanzarote. Being the outdoor baby that she is, Louisa loved the terrace area we had with the apartment and because we were on the first of three potential floors, the terrace had plenty of shade which was perfect for her. My parents also travelled with us to the training camp so that Barney and I could do some riding together during Louisa’s first nap of the day and then I would do a second session later on in the afternoon when Barney would have her for the longest nap.

Although being on camp meant we didn’t have to worry about fitting in the cooking and washing around Louisa’s schedule we still had to be ready to react to when she was ready for a nap and therefore giving me the all clear to get out on the bike. The extra daylight and fantastic weather was a godsend for the double training days I was doing. Sometimes I was out of the door at 8am and not finishing my second session until 6pm in the evening! It worked well though and I was able to get 37 hours done on the road during the two weeks we were away. One thing I did learn during that time is how tiring it is trying to get back to more normal training hours while you are breastfeeding. I think every hour at the moment is like doing an hour and a half before I was feeding!

Club La Santa was also the perfect place to introduce Louisa to regular swimming and every evening as the sun was setting we headed to the pool for a splash around! It was fantastic to see her enjoying the water and being outside at the same time. Being such a child friendly place is also very important because not only can Barney and I get our training done, but we don’t have to worry about people not being happy about sitting next to a baby at the dinner table, because it was school holidays there were children at every table and the family atmosphere is just amazing.

IMG 0959 1


Prior to being a Mum, I hadn’t realised just how many people are anti-children. From the scowls of a person on a train at being seated near a [sleeping at the time] baby, to the odd questions you get from people when you sit them somewhere another person clearly doesn’t think is appropriate. “Will she be sick?” Er, no it’s unlikely! We even had a bloke doing some work at our house just after Louisa was born who told us our excitement and love of having a baby around wouldn’t last, because all kids are trouble and a pain in the backside! How charming, I doubt we’ll be using him again!

As well as getting back into training and working on my current fitness, Barney and I have been putting together our new road team which was announced in the press in October. It is exciting to be planning my comeback to the road season next year and even more exciting to be riding with a group of such talented riders. Riding to promote the work of the charity, Boot Out Breast Cancer, the team is targeting all of the National level UK races as well as some key UCI events and will finish the season by riding the Track National Championships. As well as my own targets for competing in the Commonwealth Games, we have 2 Scottish and 2 Welsh Commonwealth Games hopefuls in the team and Katie Archibald is already a European Champion for the Team Pursuit. With so many other strong women’s teams recently announced in the press, it will be a competitive year to be coming back into the racing scene.

So what about those things that I never knew existed, or what they did before I became a Mum? Well here are 10 of my favourite things!

1.Kiddicare – It is the one stop shop for everything you might need, want and hope for! Not only that but with regular classes in things like baby massage and other groups, there is so many reasons to visit one near you!

2.Bebecar – the world of prams, pushchairs and car seats is mind-blowing, but we had another requirement and that was a travel system I could operate with one hand. We have Bebecar’s 3 in one travel system, with a buggy, pram and car seat all fitting on to the one chassis. The pushchair can be used from birth as it lies fully flat and there are many recline positions that make it ideal as baby grows and gets more inquisitive. The pram will also double up as a carry cot, using an additional sleep mattress, so perfect for those long newborn snoozes! The car seat uses an ISOFIX or seat belt attachment so is very versatile and easy to clip in and out.

3.Baby Gym – Louisa spends hours on her baby gym, bashing the toys that came with it and the additional ones we have added. Progressing from just using her hands to now grabbing things with both hands and feet and tugging so hard the whole thing bends over. I don’t think any baby can be without one of these!

4.Tommee Tippee – I had no idea there were so many options in their range and I have the express machine and electric steriliser [we don’t have a microwave!], as well as a variety of bottles and storage pots.

5.Maternity clothes that double up for nursing – I didn’t get too many clothes when I was pregnant but everything I did get I could use 98% of after Louisa was born for feeding. I think it is easy to be drawn in to this idea that you must wear specific maternity clothes when you are pregnant, which is fine if you have lots of money but not if you don’t. “The Pudding Club” in Knutsford helped me find an outfit for collecting my Damehood when I was 8 months pregnant, but apart from that I didn’t spend a fortune on clothes. Seraphine have an amazing range of clothes that work both during and after pregnancy and their nursing clothes are definitely my favourite!


Nursing bras that stretch and are soft can also be worn throughout pregnancy too, so you don’t have to worry about the constant measuring and buying bigger and bigger sizes as you go. Both Seraphine and Cantaloop do bras that “grow with you” and save a huge amount of money too!

Feeding vests for wearing over your bra are also ideal for adding to your wardrobe without having to spend a fortune. With a feeding vest you can layer your own clothes over the top and still have a discreet way to nurse. I have a “Feed Me Mummy Vest” as well as one from Seraphine and they were brilliant on their own during the heat wave just after Louisa was born!

6.Moby Wrap – this is a stretchy length of material that comes with instructions on how to wear it for carrying a baby up to 16kg. Louisa loves being snuggled in and it for her naps which means you aren’t confined to staying at home while she sleeps or carrying a baby monitor around the house. Babywearing is becoming more popular and is especially good for little ones that don’t like to be put down for long. Carrying baby in the sling leaves your hands free for doing other things too!


7.Scoop high chair from Brother Max – this is more than just a highchair so worth the investment as the chair grows with the child and becomes their own seat at the breakfast bar when they don’t need to be strapped in any more. The highchair also doesn’t need elaborate fastenings to keep the child secure, which is perfect for a baby that doesn’t like to be strapped in!

8.Medula Milk Shells – if you are blessed with a free flowing milk supply these are great for catching milk and work better than breast pads that tend to need replacing every hour. The milk collected can then be transferred into a bottle or storage bag. As well as keeping milk in the fridge for those snacks while I am training, I have also been freezing the extra milk so that Louisa can have it from a cup when she is old enough to drink by herself. All these little tools help make life easier especially if you are like me and want to try and breastfeed for as long as possible.

9.Books – it is inevitable that you will need some reading material for the longer feeds and especially for when baby goes through phases of cluster feeding [the none stop feeds that can start in the late afternoon and last until midnight!] So far I have chosen baby related reading material for these times, including The Wonder Weeks by Hetty van de Rijt and Frans Plooij Why Love Matters by Sue Gerhardt, BabyCalm and Toddlercalm both by Sarah Ockwell-Smith. I have a few more books downloaded which I will mention in future blogs if they have been useful.

10.The BabyCalm CD – this CD accompanies the book, but can be bought separately and can be a very useful way of calming down an upset baby. There are times when the cries of a newborn are that of being afraid of their new strange surroundings. After spending 9 months cocooned in the warmth and security of the womb, a baby is bound to get upset by the harsh reality of the outside world, and on the occasion when nothing else works, putting on this CD whilst having a cuddle works wonders to settle a little one.

Rate this blog entry
12 votes

Manchester Metropolitan University Schwalbe CNP Professional Club La Santa Madison Fiat

Bikebox Pace Rehabilitation Sports Tours International pro-lite

© 2018 Team Storey Sport - Created by Small Business Web Design