On the 6th February on a sunny Saturday afternoon we welcomed our darling Arlo into the world. We attempted to have our planned VBAC, however our darling had other ideas. He was our biggest bub yet. Compared to our 6 pound babies, he was our 9 pound bub. Little Arlo could not quite manoeuvre his shoulders though my pelvis. He was born via a blissful c section at 1541. We instantly fell in love.
Over the next few days we spent some time on the ward and in the special care unit. We feel very grateful to have asked Tahlia, our family photographer and friend to capture Arlo’s first few days earth side. We hope you enjoy the photos of some of these raw and real moments captured in time.
Tahlia Fiedler is a professional photographer, specialising in Newborn, Maternity, Family & Wedding natural light Photography. She is up to date with all vaccinations and is ever so gentle while handling your little darlings. You can see from the sparkle in her eyes that she enjoys what she does, this also shines through in her talent and you can see the creativity in her work. She adds her own signature to the moments she captures. Her work is destined to stand the test of time, giving you endless days of flipping through photo albums of organic, natural and light filled photographs of that special moment in time.
Written By Alice Bingham on behalf of Medela Australia
Just under two years ago, I had a wild experience with my third birth.
I went between three hospitals in just one day.
I had an ambulance with sirens, a 20hr breach labour which then transitioned to an emergency c- section under general anaesthetic and welcomed our baby girl at just 35 weeks. All while having heart symptoms going on and a possible Pulmonary Embolism.
I ended up spending the week in hospital with heart monitors on myself and tests run all week, all while trying to care for our newest addition who had a few health things going on herself with being a premie. It was quite the experience, one that I will never forget. When I look at my happy little 21-month old now, I pinch myself that we are both okay and doing well.
In fact, we are expecting our fourth child in February 2021.
This has had me reflect a lot on my experience with birth and breastfeeding my third baby in 2019 – how can I use this to prepare myself and my baby for a beautiful breastfeeding experience after a year where nothing’s gone to plan?
A reminder to embrace the chaos with presence.
The first 12- weeks of any newborn’s life can be a bit of a blur for any mum. And mine was no different. I had two little ones to care for, and was also recovering from a c-section and a feeding schedule for our preemie baby.
I was given the Medela Symphony pump immediately and was told to pump a minimum of eight times in 24 hours.
So, I was very grateful for the Medela double breast pump in the hospital as it was fast and efficient, which I needed as the feeding routine was extremely exhausting for me.
On day three, my daughter’s blood sugar level remained low. I asked to speak to a Lactation Consultant and a Paediatrician to see if a different feeding routine would help her blood sugar levels stabilise. Our current schedule of 10 minutes on the boob topped up with expressed breast milk, then pumping again wasn’t working. The team and I decided to change her feeding schedule to give her expressed breastmilk (EBM), then 5 minutes on the boob and then double pumping again for top-ups. I would also set alarms for breastfeeding and alarms for pumping using my Medela Harmony breast pump. The beauty of pumping was it made me sit down, which is essential for recovery.
My two children, then 3.5 years and 18 months, would also come and sit with me or play on the floor near me. Some days they would all be crying at once; I just had to take a deep breath and remind myself I was doing my best. The days were long, but the weeks would fly by, it was all a bit of beautiful chaos. And this is one of the most important lessons I’ve learnt with motherhood and breastfeeding – embracing the chaos, with mindfulness and presence.
For any other mum or mum-to-be who may be finding motherhood and breastfeeding difficult – I hear you.
But if you can take time to find your breath and come back to this moment, it’s one of the most powerful ways to find strength, peace and joy in these moments of chaos. I found great comfort in journaling too. A simple way to practice gratitude and reflect on the day. Plus, my journal is filled with many raw and wonderful memories of those postnatal days. I often look back on these pages to see how far I have come.
Lean on your support army wherever and however you can
The year 2020 has brought some great uncertainly for a lot of us in the Australian community, with restrictions and lock downs. Postnatal after our third child, we required a lot of appointments once we left the hospital. We ended up seeing lactation consultants, had daily weigh-ins at the hospital, saw midwifes and child health nurse practitioners for the first 12 weeks of our little girls’ life.
This had me thinking after everything happening right now, would we receive the same support if we required that care again with this child? During this pregnancy I haven’t been allowed to have my children at antenatal appointments or my husband at the scans or appointments. I also had to have emergency surgery a few months ago when pregnant, we were given some news that meant our baby may have not made it, I would have loved to have had my husband there with me, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, he was not allowed at the hospital with me. So, I had to take the news by myself and just chat to my husband over the phone during my hospital stay.
Thankfully, this baby is still doing well though post-surgery and as I write this, I am 26 weeks and filled with gratitude. There have been some positives though, during this pregnancy, I have been lucky enough to have the support of my own midwife. She has been able to come to our home for visits for my check-ups, if I have my other young children at home. Plus, David can be here as well.
I have seen some great improvises from our local hospital and the staff doing their best to support families and the post-natal care they provide for them. Now thankfully with restrictions easing, I feel a lot more positive about having our fourth child next year. Wherever you can – call on your support networks – from experts and loved ones. But if you are having trouble – telehealth is a great avenue to find support from a lactation consultant. Or engage in online communities where you can find and talk to likeminded mums. Rely on breastfeeding aids if you need it
I think having this will give me the freedom to pop out a little more in the earlier days to my close friends and families houses. Or even to pop in the car and drive to the waterfront. Pumping with a view is oh so blissful! The Harmony Manual Breast Pump is light, compact and portable making it easy to pop into your nappy bag and go.
Being on a time schedule with breastfeeding a premmie can be challenging if you need to be back home all the time to do it. I think this will allow me some more freedom. I am highly impressed with the 2-Phase Expression technology as it can mimic your baby’s natural suckling rhythm, which is ideal for going from baby to pump for your breasts. I think this pump will make my life a little easier, with four children in five years, I am up for anything that will guide that! So, as a final prompt to myself and other pregnant and breastfeeding mums today, in this extra time of change – take life slower, more mindful and be kind to ourselves – and always call on help when need it.
Together, we’ve got this – and whatever life throws our way.
ABOUT MEDELA AUSTRALIA
Medela exists to enhance mother and baby health through the life-giving benefits of human milk. Medela has actively been supporting Australian mothers, babies, and their families in Australia for more than 19 years.
As Australia’s hospital breast-pump innovator, Medela, has launched their Harmony™ manual pump at $69.95, to their Medela Flex™ technology range which adapt to fit every mum’s personal breast shape and lifestyle needs.
Developed and clinically tested with a team of research scientists and breastfeeding mums, the Medela Flex™ family help mums produce up to 11 percent more breast milk, more comfortably.1
The Medela Flex™ technology range is now available from major pharmacies and retail outlets including Baby Bunting and Chemist Warehouse, as well as via the Medela Store Online.
On Tuesday last week, just before I ticked over to 35 weeks gestation, we welcomed the beautiful, Danielle from Your Sacred Space into our home. David and I completed the first day of the Positive Birth Course a couple of months ago with 4 other couples (you can read about that HERE) . We choose to do the second half of the course in our home. It was everything we imagined plus so much more.
Danielle came so prepared, she catered the course to suit our wishes. This is our fourth baby and she made sure we were externally educated and informed surrounding the excitement of this journey we are about to embark on together as a couple.
Like last time we met Danielle, we were blown away about how much we took from this session, how much we learnt about birth, but most importantly how much we learnt about ourselves and each other. Danielle spent the time to listen to our previous experiences, chatted about what our wishes are for this birth and is just so easy to get along with. David really enjoyed this whole experience just as much as I did.
As Danielle was leaving she requested I share 5 things that I took from this experience. These were my answers.
1️⃣ How important this was for David and I to do together. Weather it’s your partner, your mum, your best friend that you are planning to have as a birth partner. I realised how important their role is in birth today. How important it is to connect together. How important it is to rebuild that trust before such a life changing moment is about to happen in our lives.
2️⃣ Something that is extremely simple, however we all forgot about is our breath. When you were doing some breath work with me during the meditation today, it took me my surprise how quickly I tuned into what I was doing because of my breath. I felt so calm and ground.
3️⃣ I found learning about the placenta fascinating. The anatomy and physiology was mind blowing. Feel grateful for my knowledge behind knowing why we do cord clamping.
4️⃣ The power of visualisation. During the fear release to day, Danielle used this empowering technique for me to visualise letting go of my fears surrounding this pregnancy and birth. Just like manifesting for our future, seeing it helps me to believe it’s possible as morning as that may sound.
5️⃣ Knowledge truly is powder. That being educated is a huge part of preparing for birth and helping support and believe in my wishes for our babies entry into the world. Knowing that I am, or David is okay with making informed decision for our baby.
Want to get in touch with Danielle from Your Sacred Birth?
Do you have a child starting day care, kindy or school this year? I want to share some of my tips that can make your life as a parent easier! This year I have one school starting prep, one pre kindy and one in the toddler room. Plus we have a newborn arriving all when the school year starts. So I decided to be organised AF. Here are some of the things we already do or will be implementing and I hope they can help you too…
1️⃣A school bag station! This will the bags all in the one spot. I love the idea of having a basket or a mini locker below or above each child’s bag. That way any important paper work or cute drawings can go there. 2️⃣ A mini planner above each bag. That way you can all see as a family what is happening and when. Weather it’s a play date, school spot or who is picking which child up. A great communication tool for the family. 3️⃣ Meal prep some of the lunches for the week on a Sunday. Freeze muffins, scones, mini quiches etc so you can grab and pack. Cut up veggies and fruit in mini containers so it’s easy way to pack the lunches. 4️⃣ At the end of each day unpack the child’s bag or get your child too. That way nothing gets left in their that can get smelly. Refill the water bottles at this time too. 5️⃣ Have some after school snacks prepared as kids will be hungry between pick up and dinner! Haha I’m a professional #snackbitch 6️⃣ Lay or hang the kids clothes out the night before or for the walk. Include undies, socks, shoes, hair ties, brush l and nappies etc. that way it’s a smooth transition for getting ready. Even for yourself it’s a good idea if you are going to work. 7️⃣ Have your dinners on a meal plan so you know what you are having each night.
Images by Wylde Folk Studio (for Alice Bingham) or taken by myself.
Packing my hospital bag for my first pregnancy was very exciting. I #pinterested all these hospital bag lists, and I was so excited with what I packed into my suitcase, ready for my bubs arrival. When the time came, my husband grabbed the bags and brought them to hospital with us. I thought I was so organised, but boy was I wrong. I had really over packed! I had so much stuff that I actually couldn’t find what I needed, when I needed it. I had to much of the stuff I didn’t need and not enough of what I actually really needed. I was so overwhelmed. I made a promise to myself that next time I would pack a little lighter and bring more of the essentials rather than all the extras.
I have put together a list of what I needed and wished I had put in the first time and second time, for both my hospital bag and my babies’ nappy bag.I also did a Instagram post up and asked my community what they thought was a must. So I have combined your idea and suggestions into this blog too. Thank you for your help.
Hospital Bag Essentials for Labour and Post birth.
Labour Support Clutch – In here are all the things that you might intend on using to support your birth, so fake tea lights, crystals, diffuser blend, affirmation cards or tens machine. I will be using the “You got this Mama” clutch from Birth Bliss and will be using their Elle TEN’s machine also.
Lip balm as your lips get so dry in the air conditioning and if you decide to have pain meds, dry lips and mouth is an adverse effect of the drugs. I love the Brauer Paw Paw Ointment. It is all natural and organic.
Essential Oil Labour Blend and Calming face mist. I will be using this in my birth, this is totally up to you but I loved the idea of using these natural products to assist my labour naturally. Even if it is just a mind over matter strategy to assist labour. The face spray is great for cooling the face and calming your senses.
Feeding Bras if you choose to breastfeed, as it is so much easier to just unclip. During Labour I will be wearing my Bimby and Roy’s and they are so comfy to wear on the bump.
Postpartum Panties, Pads or Maternity or Comfortable Underwear! The hospital pads they supplied were so stiff and so uncomfortable on my stitches down below. I personally had a reaction to the hospital ones. The first 24hrs – 48hrs I will be wearing @partumpanties. Then I will will the reusable maternity underwear. I also love the Tom’s Organic Maternity Range too if needed. They were like a cloud ‘down there’ compared to the other brands. Plus, they are made from 100% organic cotton, so they are hypoallergenic and breathable. Remember these knickers can get soiled from your post partum bleeding.
Nipple Balm,yes there is such thing. Your nipples can become quite cracked when breastfeeding, with the newbie trying to latch. Also, leakage can occur causing this too. I loveLittle Bairn, Oragnic Nipple Balmas it is specially developed to both protect and repair the skin during this time.
A button down, comfortable(not to tight) nightie. I love the Modern Day Dress by the Comfort Mama. Even if you bottle feed, comfy clothes all the way with loose elastic if you choose to wear bottoms.
I love a great dressing gown too, one that will move with your body, bamboo is a great fabric. This time round I have purchased the Two Darlings Mist Bamboo Rope, its easy to undo to feed your little one.
Slippers & Bed Socks,to keep to those tootsies warm. Hospitals are always so cold.
Phone and Charger, so you can let your loved ones know of your cute arrival. Plus, its perfect to capture those first few moments with your new babe.
Toiletries,it is just nice to have your own personal items. Hospitals do provide the basics but using your own will make you feel a little more like yourself. I love natural deodorants to keep fragrance away from your new bub,
Hair ties or Head Band, hair in your face is no fun.
ID cardand yourPregnancy Record.
Snacks, I personally could not eat during labour but so many of you said this was up there with your must haves. I liked to have some tea or sip on a hydration drink. When it comes to post partum I loved snacking on lactation cookies or bliss balls.
I will be also taking my manual Medela Harmony Breast Pump as the hospital only had so many on the ward. This is for that just in case. I did have to pump so much with my third as she was a premmie in special care.
Baby Bag (nappy bag) I like to have bubs stuff packed separate to my stuff. So it doesn’t get all mixed up.
Newborn nappies and wipes,some hospitals provide you with a few to start off with, but then it is up to you to supply the rest. I have a pack of Tooshies by TOM Oragnic Newborn Nappies and Wipes.
Baby Clothes, I think you really only need 3- 4 onesies. Family can always bring you more up if you need. Great to have a few singlets, socks, beanies and mittens as it gets really cold. But honestly do not over do. It is so overwhelming going through the bag to find things. Even a nice wrap to put bub in with their singlet and nappy. Keep it simple.
Muslin wraps or swaddle to wrap your little darling in. The hospital will provide you with some, but honestly, I prefer to bring my own as the hospital ones have been washed hundreds of times and are so old and dated. I recommend just taking two of these only. Nice for that first hospital photo too.
Dummy if you choose to use one.
A hooded baby towel and bamboo cloths again to make it a little more personal. I loved photographing bubs first bath too.
A carrier or pram or capsule, to transport baby straight to the car safely. Most hospital will not allow you to hold your baby to walk to the car. Plus they like to check the car seat is fitted correctly
To download your PDF Checklist to either your phone or to print your own copy. CLICK HERE!
A few weeks ago David and I did part one of the Positive Birth Program (Hypnobirthing) with Your Scared Space. But before I tell you all about it I want to share how amazing the universe is about connecting you with people when you ask the universe to have your back.
Talk about alignment, before I was even pregnant I was having thoughts about how a fourth pregnancy would look for me mentally. Given my experience with our third pregnancy and birth, I wanted to do some research about how I can feel more emotionally supported and educated. Funny enough she came up in my feed, die to a friend recommending her. I decided reach out to Danielle from @your.sacred.space before I was even pregnant, months before if truth be told. I told her I was planning my fourth pregnancy. I knew that if we were to welcome number four, this would be our journey. After our third bubs birth, this was something I wanted for David, I and our little family.
If you haven’t been following this blog Alice In Healthyland for long, in a nut shell this was my experience with our third child. I had two vaginal births first off and with our third child, an emergency c section under a General Anaesthesia, I had a query PE and had some heart issues going on. We had a week long stay in hospital and my daughter was also born at 35 weeks and required some special care. All of my births have been completely different, because every pregnancy and every baby is different. My third birth, took time to process and I spent months trying to replay a few things that could of been etc. in my mind.
David and I really enjoyed the Hypnobirthing Class with Danielle, it was truly something else. Having experienced birth already 3 times I was taken back by how much I had learnt on the day. On the day we sat with 5 other couples and we explored the world of hypnobirthing. We each got our own yoga mat, ball to sit on and seats. Plus a goodie bag and a portfolio to follow the day. The day was broken up into different parts of learning from Danielle, birth videos, education on the anatomy and physiology of birth, and engaging with your birth partner. As a couple, I felt extremely close to David that day, and he really enjoyed the whole experience as well. All the men in the room were entertained and were constantly made to feel apart of the process.
It was magical, empowering and honestly like a fear release around the topic of birth. We laughed together, we got in the zone and we became educated about some topics that are often taboo.
Feeling humble for this experience and educated about this little ones journey earth side. No matter the path this little one chooses to join us, I know David and myself feel informed and supported by each other. ✨
Since the workshop, I have been implementing the tools given by Danielle into my daily practice planning for birth. I have put up birth affirmations around my bedroom. I have written in my journal what I am manifesting for our birth journey and I am playing the Hypnobirthing tracks and affirmations tracks most nights as I drift off to sleep. All part of the process to feeling positive around our future experience and feeling educated to take on the knowledge and have a say in how we welcome our little one.
At 29 weeks this pregnancy my body started to experience contractions for 3 weeks. I spent numerous days in this time at the hospital for hours a day. I found that instead of laying there anxious alone with my thoughts I would put my phone on speaker. Listen to my hypnobirthing tracks to calm my mind for sleep. To try help my little one and myself relax and welcome the calm back from the news that day at the hospital.
I look forward to our private session with Danielle in a few short weeks. I will keep you updated on how we go.
Want to get in touch with Danielle from Your Scared Birth?
I recently did a poll over on my Instagram account @aliceinheathyland about if you had a playlist of songs you listened to during labour or your child’s birth 87% off you said yes. I then requested your favourite songs on your birth playlist and this is what you shared. I also threw in some of mine too.
Music can spark a beautiful memory in your mind every time you hear a song. It can tug at your emotions and bring a tear to our eyes. If you are a mumma to be pull out your Spotify app and start downloading some of these tunes that speak to your soul. You can replay the playlist throughout your life to take you make to this magical moment of meeting your darlings.
1. Thank God I Found You – Mariah Carey
2. Liquid Love – Jack Botts
3. Angel Of Mine – Monica
4. Days In The Sun (Acoustic) – Ziggy Alberts
5. XO – John Mayer
6. I Won’t Let Go – James Morrison
7. Higher Love – James Vincent McMorrow
8. Heaven – Ziggy Alberts
9. Snow – Angus & Julia Stone
10. Holy – Justin Bieber feat Chance The Rapper
11. You Are The Reason – Olivia Penalva
12. Push It – Salt N Pepa
13. Soldier – Destiny’s Child
14. Your Song – Ellie Goulding
15. Make You Feel My Love – Adele
16. I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz
17. This Year’s Love – David Gray
18. Days Like This – Van Morrison
19. You Give Me Something – James Morrison
20. Just Breathe – Pearl Jam
21. Sunrise – Nora Jones
22. Follow The Sun – Xavier Rudd
23. Under Pressure – Queen , David Bowie
24. Blessings – Chance The Rapper
25. Only Love – Ben Howard
26. Love Me Now – Ziggy Alberts
27. You & Me – The Dreggs
28. Light On – Maggie Rogers
29. At Last – Etta James
30. September – Earth, Wind & Fire
31. When You Believe – Whitney Houston feat. Mariah Carey
32. What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
33. Sunrise – Norah Jones
34. Isn’t She Lovely – Stevie Wonder
35. The Best Is Yet To Come – Frank Sinatra
36. Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
37. SongBird – Eva Cassidy
38. Paradise – Coldplay
39. Hold You – Jack Botts
40. Into The Mystic – Van Morrison
41 . Fireworks – Jack Botts
43. Surrender – Natalie Taylor
44. Breathe Me – Sia
45. Miracle Love – Matt Corby
46. Stand By Me – Florence + The Machine
47. Holocene – Bon Iver
48. Deep End – Birdy
49. Lonely – Justin Bieber with Benny Blanco
50. Us – James Bay
51. Bloom – The Paper Kites
52. If You Ever Want To Be In Love – James Bay
53. Georgia – Vance Joy
54. Forever – Ben Harper
55. Watch Over Me – Bernard Fanning
56. Resolution – Matt Corby
57. Sunset Lover – Peit Biscuit
58. Pusher – Alt – J
59. Stuck With You – Justin Beiber
60. Beyond – Leon Bridges
61. Halo – Beyoncé
62. How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding
63. Perfect Duet – Ed Sheeran + Beyoncé
64. Truly Madly Deeply – Savage Garden
65. Endless Love – Diana Ross + Lionel Richie
66. You And Me – Lifehouse
67. The Power Of Love – Celine Dion
68. When I Fall In Love – Nat King Cole
69. Crazy Love – Van Morrison
70. Beautiful Flower – India Arie
71. Night Changes – Travis Atreo
72. Magnolia – Gang Of Youths
73. Thank You – Stan Walker
74. Lady – Brett Young
75. I Guess I’m In Love – Clinton Kane
76. Mirror – Madison Ryann Ward
77. Latch (Acoustic) – Disclosure Cover
78. Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles
79. You Are My Sunshine (Version 1) – Elizabeth Mitchell
washing, kids or no kids we all have to do it! somedays i feel satisfied doing it and others i dread it 🤪. i do some simple tasks that fit into our family’s routine to keep the washing in check! now of course this is what works for us.
no matter if all the laundry is done, a sneaky piece of linen or clothing will always find its way make into a washing basket within minutes 😅😅😅.
always do a 30 minute load at least every second day. weather it be a white or dark load. just so it doesn’t all pile up at the end of the week.
turn the timer setting on the night before and have it loaded ready so you can literally hang it out in the morning. I like to make sure the washing machine comes on before i wake.
if you can always hang in direct suns light or outside in the fresh air. i believe my clothes smell nicer and are fresher. they don’t have that damp scent.
place a drop of lemon essential oil in the washing before it goes on. if you don’t get to the washing asap it keeps it smelling #freshtodeath
i swap a store bought fabric softener for something as simple as epson salts or white biodegradable vinegar with some essential oils ti use as a fabric softener. it works so well, less toxic and clothes feel so lush and soft.
if possible i hang the clothes on a coat hanger. easy to get it in and put away, i also love the @stainlesssteelpegs.co octopus hangers for socks, kids undies, reusable nappies and pads. plus you can hang them next to each other and pair them as you are getting them in.
i am also loving my All Smalls Laundry hangers for pairing socks and drying dish clothes or putting coat hangers on them.
always hang each persons clothes in the house on a different part of the line. easier to fold and put away all together.
i always fold or hang washing as i get it in off the line or clothes horse.
i do my best to put the load that i washed that day away all on the same day. other wise i let it pile up and makes me anxious 🤪.
i don’t iron unless i absolutely have too. however i just bought a steamer so for big things i just use that.
if you don’t want the sun to wreck it, always hang on a clothes horse in the shade or in a spot near a window in your home.
I connected with the beautiful Hannah AKA The Sleep Nurse via the Australian Birth Stories podcast. I was sharing my birth story of Lottie and Hannah was the Introduction Special Offer. I am guessing it was meant to be.