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?
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!
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
A few months ago I had the opportunity of trialing the Baby Bee Pram, ROVER at a Two Darling’s collaborative mini shoot. I pulled it apart, seen Emma collapse it and put it back up, we changed from bassinet to single pram and pushed it around with a toddler (single seat) and then with a newborn (bassinet). So, I thought I would take the time to write a review style blog as I have been asked numerous times by my mummy followers what I thought of it. I don’t personally own one as I already had a pram from my first born but I had a great go of it. Loved it, here is why!
What I love…
THE PRICE – I was so blown away that day after using the Rover, on how great the quality was for the price. I actually messaged the company, Babybee letting them know how amazing the quality was and that I was very impressed. For just $749 you get a #luxe 3 in 1 bassinet and stroller that is suitable for newborn to the age of 4 years. Babybee also have different payment options like afterpay too.
FIT FOR A NEWBORN – You can swap the bassinet over to a majority of Maxi Cosi Capsules (a very popular capsule here in Australia) so you can take bub straight from the car and attach to the pram and you don’t have to disturb your little one. You just have to buy the car capsule and adapters separately of course. Check out their website for compatibility with car capsules HERE. The bassinet has plenty of room for your growing newborn. My little Lottie was just shy of 14 weeks when she was in the bassinet and was very comfortable in there with plenty of room for her to move around.
FUN FOR TODDLERS – The Rover comes with a toddler seat, which my nearly two year old at the time sat very comfortably in. Can face mumma or face away, it is very easy to swap and change too. You can also get a skateboard stand attachment for older toddlers if you are expecting your second bub.
LOVE THE HEIGHT OF THE HANDLES – It was so easy to push, manuver and turn corners. The handles are a great height and are adjustable to suit your height. So smooth to push the pram as well, I walk a lot and thought it was be great for long walks.
LOTS OF SPACE IN THE BOTTOM BASKET – Because we all want lots of space for alllll the things right? I know with a little one I always have a nappy bag, snacks, water, maybe a carrier and my wallet on me. Plus I like to have a little space leftover for when I hit the shops (especially when trying to get your baby to go to sleep) haha.
COMPACT – I have a small car so this pram would be great for that. It folds up so easy and quickly so you don’t have to stand there at the car for ages fiddling, especially when someone else is waiting for your car park haha. It also can fold with the seat on too.
VEGAN LEATHER TRIM – Yes you read that right! #winning and a huge plus from me.
Yes the Babybee ROVER is exclusive to online, however that is the reason behind why the company is able to offer these top quality prams at such a fantastic price. To see a virtual demo of the pram CLICK HERE. I would definitely recommend this pram to new mummas or mums that are on the market for a new pram.
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.
We lived in a granny flat for almost 3 years so I was never able to style a nursery properly for Cruz. Then when we moved in to our new home in August, Cruz has a toddler room and Winter Rose well we just chucked the baby furniture in her room. She was on 6 weeks old then. The rooms needed painting which was on our to do list, so we thought there was no point decorating until we could afford to to that first. Then a few months past because you know – LIFE – newborn, toddler, adjusting to our new home.
I made a little promise to myself when I was pregnant with my second child. I would do my best to try give my second baby a bottle from 6 weeks if I could breastfeed. The reason behind this is because Cruz (my first child), still to this day has never taken a bottle. I tried so many brands but he was just never interested. All he wanted was the boobies! That wasn’t to much of an issue to me back then as I had him home with me for the 10months of his life. However when he went to day care he would refuse my EDM or formula. I could never really pop out for to longer periods either as he would want to be fed. Cruz was not great on solids either. So he needed my breastmilk to nourish him.