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.
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 am totally digging anything with Peanut Butter at the moment. Like literally obsessed. I may be eating it from the jar 🤔. The kids and I made these a while back and you kept asking me to get my 🍑 together and give you the recipe 😂.
1 cup of flour (I used spelt but you can use what you wish) 1 cup oats, grounded 1 tsp. baking powder 1 pinch of salt 1/3 cup of peanut butter powder or 1/2 cup peanut butter. (I used @macr0mike powder) 1/4 cup coconut sugar 1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of choice) 1 egg or chia egg for vegan option 2 tbsp. maple syrup 1 tsp. vanilla extract Toppings of choice to decorate. We loved vegan choc, sultanas or hemp seeds.
In a bowl mix all dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl mix all wet ingredients.
Create a little hole in the middle of the dry ingredients and slowly combine until cookie dough like.
Preheat oven to 180degrees.
On a baking tray roll out 12 cookie balls and then flatten with a fork. Add the toppings.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Consume within 4 days. Store in air tight container.
Notes – you can swap to cashew butter, almond butter etc. Any will work. You will need a little more milk though as these butters aren’t as oily when combining the mixture.
Prepare a round cake tin (20cms round) and line if you pan is non-stick. I used coconut oil to line mine.
In the high speed blender (I use the Vitamix) mix the soaked rye in the milk, flour, dates, in hot water, maple, essential oil or and spices, egg, vanilla, protein (if using) orange and oil.
Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl. Fold through the nuts and remaining fruit.
Spoon the batter into the baking tin. You will need to bake for 45minute. Turn heat down to 150 degrees and cook for another 20minutes. Check with a fork to see to make sure it is cooked the whole way through.
Allow the cake to cool a little, then place on cooling rack. Once completely cooled place the cake in an airtight container and store in fridge. Consume within 7 days.
Decorate on your favourite cake stand, top with extra fruit and serve with your favourite cold dessert. We love Pana Chocolate Ice Cream.
NOTE – You can mix in 2 nips of rum or brandy if you wish for a Christmas treat.
I received an email from Studio Pilates on Thursday stating that I had completed my 50th class. I was quite proud of myself that I had achieved this as looking back on the last 10 months, it has been quite the journey. I had an Emergency C Section with our third daughter in January and have transitioned to be a mumma to three young children. Getting to class was sometimes a challenge as the old silly “mum guilt” can creep in, however it is just what I need. The classes are not only supporting my body and helping me to regain strength, they are helping my mental health too. 45 minutes of pure concentration, deep breathing and connecting with my body and seeing what it can achieve in that time. I have really enjoyed the community at my local Studio Pilates – Wellington Point, every client is so encouraging and I always leave with a smile on my face. The instructors are fun but are so professional too. I look forward to my next 50 classes and seeing what I will achieve.
My Post Natal Journey
I started my Studio Pilates journey at 4 months postpartum, I wasn’ quite ready to return to heavy weights or high intensity cardio just yet, however I wanted to do something that would not only support my body, but help me to rebuild my strength slowly and carefully in my abdomen. I was guided by my Women’s Health Physio to wait to 12 weeks before doing anything to crazy. So when she stated I was ready, she suggest Pilates to me. I was so glad to see I had a local one near my house. Once I started I became in love with reformer. I cannot imagine not having it in my life now. You can read about the first part of my post natal journey (the first 25 classes) with Studio Pilates here, in my first blog I wrote.
Since I last wrote the blog for Studio Pilates, I have now seen some amazing transformations in not only my training at the studio but my body as well. My core is getting stronger and so is the rest of my body. I am able to push deeper in the leg workouts in class and have taken away the head pillow in the abdominal section at the beginning of class, this is a huge win for me. I can now wear ankle weights and feel my Tzone is more engaged during certain moves like”circles” or “bicycles” and I can also hold a plank position for 1 minute 11 seconds on my feet.
I have also seen drastic changes in my posture. My shoulders are back more, when I am performing simple tasks like picking my my kids, I hold in my tummy and switch on my T-Zone. I also do some gentle pelvic exercises with my abdominal workouts (from the Studio Pilates FREE newsletter) too. I am really noticing a huge change within that area.
These are the goals I have for my postpartum body and it is not about weight loss for me. Sure I fit in my old jeans now but I haven’t weighed myself since I was pregnant and I do not plan to either. This is of course my personal journey with Studio Pilates. I would highly recommend giving it a go, try one of their starter packs ( 2 weeks, 6 class passes) to really see how you find it. It took me a few weeks but like I said I cannot picture my life without it now. I have loved the new strength it has given me.
At my local studio (Wellington Point) they have Pregnancy and Post Natal Classes twice a week. You can check the app or call your local studio to see when they have these on. They would be amazing to check out if you are pregnant or recently had a bub as they are suited to support the women’s body during this time.
To read more information about Studio Pilates and Pregnancy you can read this blog. For post natal information call your local studio to help meet your individual needs.
Want more from Studio Pilates?
To find your local Studio Pilates Studio visit here – HERE
It is with great honour, that I am able to blog yet another stunning, photoshoot by our now friend, Jennifer Horner. She has captured so many beautiful memories of our family over the past two years. Memories that have become photographs in our lounge room on the wall or on display in the hallway or in our children’s photo books. Ones we will treasure forever. This time round Jennifer photographed our newest addition Lottie Jean, at just 14 days.
She has such a natural way with babies and children. My children are always so drawn to her. She is professional, friendly and a whole lot of fun. She uses sensory play and safe practice to capture your little ones. When photographing newborn’s Jen always has someone working with her, someone that has trained with Jen over the years and is experienced. Jen was constantly explaining to David and I with rationale the safe practice of supporting a little one when photographing them. As Lottie’s parents, David and I felt perfectly safe with Jennifer handling our little darling.
Just like with Winter Rose’s shot, we again had a discussion of what David and I wanted to capture with Lottie on the day. She allows plenty of time for the session to shoot, in case you need to breastfeed and have a break. She also sends through an email prior to the day, so you know what to expect, what to bring and some useful tips on when to feed bub prior.
I am so in love with the neural tones, soft pinks and creams, lush greenery, palm prints (so me) and all the extra little details Jennifer had prepared for us on the day. I feel she really captured those special memories of our darling girl we will hold on to forever. A favourite flower of mine is babies breath, I had my cousin create a flower crown of babies breath for our Lottie and Jennifer continued with this theme in a series of shots with a stunning flat lay of babies breath she got from a local flower farm that day. She truly does go above and beyond.
Jennifer has offered my friends, family and Alice In Healthyland tribe members, a special one time offer to use on any booking you make with her. $100OFF. This is not something Jennifer does often, so honestly if you feel this is something you have been wanting to do for a while, just do it. You will not regret it at all, I promise.
BOOK HERE and make sure you state ALICE IN HEALTHYLAND when you book.
Okay so drum roll please…
Here are the stunning images from our Lottie girls Newborn shoot.
I have been friends with Tahlia for a little over three years. Prior to that we may have passed each other by as we both grew up around Brisbane and went to the same gym. Our real connection started when we caught up with our little babes, Cruz and Summer. It’s been beautiful having our friendship blossom over time as well as watching our growing family create the same friendships and bonds too. You know when the universe just guides you and you just know that we were destained to be best friends (just like the movie Step Brothers when they go DID WE JUST BECOME BESTFRIENDS? moment).
Tahlia loves natural, organic and light inspired work. She does not distort her work with large amounts of editing. She believes that gentle touch ups and colour adjustments is all you need. Tahlia sets a beautiful environment for her clients and always makes sure they feel at ease with her presence. She knows how to make them laugh and sings while she photographs your children. You can see it’s her passion and she loves what she is doing.
Tahlia has photographed so many memories for our family and for my business and blog @aliceinhealthyland. So I was so grateful to have her shoot this special moment in my pregnancy and capture the bump with our two little babes. Cruz was scared of the flowers in the bath haha #mumlife but we managed to capture some cute snaps with him and the bump.
Tahlia is offering my following a special discount. State my name ALICE and you will get $50off your booking of a Maternity, Newborn or Family Photoshoot. Thanks so much beautiful! Such a lovely gesture.
A special thank you to the girls CBA Hair for styling my hair, Bohemian Blossom Crowns for making Winter Rose and I’s flower crowns and to Lust Minerals for supplying the make up. Necklace is by Eden Zoe and has my little ones initials on.