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.
I was #gifted a few punnets of @australianblueberries and to be honest I was pumped as we eat a punnet every few days in our house. With smoothies, snack boxes, homemade jam and did I mention snack boxes 🤪🙈. I wanted to make up something different and get creative in the kitchen after we went to the shops. I’m craving 🤰 a blueberry pie with coyo yogurt so I thought why not make one up. It was so easy to make. .
2 sheets of short crust pastry(we use a vegan one) 1 large punnet of @australianblueberries 1 small red apple, grated 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp nutmeg 2 drops of green mandarin essential oil (could totally squeeze a lemon though) 2/3 cup of warm filtered water 3 tbsp. maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 180degrees.
Line a small Pyrex pie dish.
Throw in the blueberries and the grated apple into the centre.
In a bowl mix, warm water, maple, spices and citrus.
Pour over the apple and blueberry mix.
Pop some of the remaining pastry on top however you wish to style.
Bake in oven for 45minutes on 180 degrees. Then turn down to 100 degrees and bake a further 15minutes. . Serve warm or cold. We are teaming this with coyo, but you could totally serve it up with ice cream, custard, cream. Your choice. ✌🏼
I celebrated a win on Sunday! I did my 20th Studio Pilates class at the Wellington Point Studio. CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES COME ON!! Studio Pilates is a total body exercise, developed almost one hundred years ago by Joseph Pilates, to rehabilitate injured WW1 soldiers and later, for strength and conditioning of dancers, pretty cool right?
I decided after having my third child via a C Section, that I wanted to give reformer pilates a try. I had heard from one of my girl friends how much it had helped her with her postpartum recovery, plus I wanted to re build my body, make it strong and allow it to recover safely before returning to my usual high-intensity workouts that I love and have done for years now. During this process though I feel in love with pilates. I have a Studio Pilates down the road from me, with 3 young children , this was so convenient as I could sneak off early morning when David (my husband) was not working and do a class.
The classes go for a total of 45 minutes, you only have to arrive 5 minutes early and you just need light workout clothes and some grippy socks. Because I’m used to high-intensity workouts or home work outs using weights, I found it took a while to get out of the mindset that you really have to be dripping with sweat to get a workout. NOT TRUE BY THE WAY! Although I do still love to sweat a few days a week at home, these Studio Pilates classes were really something my body was loving. I found it helped to sculpt my body in places I have always struggled with. I mentally felt strong too, as I feel I was also practicing mindfulness in the class. I would concentrate so hard on the movements that my mind would only focus on one thing and that was PILATES!! I would also be so proud of my body and what it could achieve each class.
The class starts with a stretch, while you do that, the instructor comes and personally greats each individual. They also check in on how you are feeling and if you have any injuries. I loved this as I could explain about my scar and how I was feeling that morning after a night of breastfeeding haha. They were really supportive of each client and their individual journey. They also are there to modify the exercise if need be for you if you do have injuries or if you are more experienced. I find it very personalised.
I feel my body is starting to feel stronger, look more sculpted and my T Zone area and Pelvic floor muscles are improving with each class. I love what it is doing for my posture too, I have a natural arch in my back, so I have found that these classes are helping me to switch my abdominal muscles, pull them in and support my body when I am holding my babies or doing simple daily tasks. I look forward to working hard in future classes to continue to improve my strength too. I will be adding in some more cardio and weighted classes in the next month along side my Studio Pilates classes. So I look forward to seeing more progress and how Studio Pilates can compliment that too. I have made some new friends, found a new passion and I love that I am seeing improvement every class. From the moment I finished the orientation class I have been hooked, I will defiantly be continuing. Will keep you updated!
To find your local Studio Pilates Studio visit here – HERE
I made these cookies for breakfast as I wanted to have a bit of a change from the usual smoothies and porridge. The cookies are completely egg and dairy free. I got them out the oven and within literally 30 minutes, the tribe and I ate them all. None left haha! I guess they were a winner. They were chewy on the outside and soft on the inside, delicious!
I am damn proud of my body and what it has achieved. I have grown two beautiful babies for 9 months during pregnancy, laboured and birthed them and breastfeed them both (still going with Winnie). The women’s body is amazing right?
Since I will be experiencing my forth trimester soon and I have a lot of mumma followers that are pregnant, I have asked for some nutritional information and some basic survival technicques from naturopath Shannon Stokes from Mums and Bubs Nutrition Clinic. She is a mum herself to two littleys and has survived (just) the 4th trimester twice.
Take it away Shannon…
The journey to becoming pregnant is a magical one. Its either a ‘surprise’ I am here type scenario, a long awaited and joyous time. The journey itself is nuts! Pregnancy is a whole other kettle of fish, a completely natural yet unnatural experience. Getting pregnant, staying pregnant and just being pregnant is an insane journey, and that is just the beginning.
You are a mumma! Congratulations, baby is here you have been through a marathon of hurdles, a tonne of happy gas, 9 epidural attempts, a vacuum delivery, 12 different hands up your clacker at once, an episiotomy or 9th degree tear. You now have that little bundle of joy in your arms. Perhaps you are feeling those kooky love spell feelings straight away, or perhaps you think, oh jesus what have I done? All totally normal feelings. I remember thinking oh, he’s not very cute, in fact he is a bit strange looking and gee my vagina is killing…. me where are those frozen condoms at, all in the same breath!
… All of that aside, baby is here and it’s a whirlwind few days in the beginning.
How does one survive through this sleep deprivation? The healing of the whole birth thing is one thing, but then perhaps breastfeeding is hurting like a bugger and you have grazed nipples or sterilizing a bottle seems to take forever and a day at 3am. You aren’t alone, this period is earth shatteringly exhausting, scary and exciting all rolled into one. Cue the 4th Trimester! So mumma, whilst we learn to look after this babe ( I am happy to leave that to the never ending advice from the mum tribe, in-laws and experts) I am here to help YOU make some tiny changes in your day to keep you thriving.
It starts with you and ends with you. Everything else in between is that tiny babies’. Upon your first morning wake up, (ok, so the first moment you get up for the day) refresh your self with a big glass of filtered water, and take a deep breath. That’s it for now. No matter what is happening, this is a must! Then tick it off daily as it is non-negotiable.
Below are some of my favourite 4th trimester survival guidelines for all new mums and even dads.
1. Do NOT stop your multi, infact this is a time to ensure your nutritional status is up with that of the very best it has ever been. Even if you aren’t breastfeeding.
2. Eat foods rich in good fats, think avocado, coconut oil, nuts seeds, oily fish such as sardines, salmon, qood quality extra virgin olive oil drizzled on eeeeeevvvverything.
3. Make sure you are having macronutrients with each meal and at least a palm size portion of protein at each meal. (macronutrients are the essential nutrients needed in large amounts to sustain energy and basic health. The 3 macros are Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates)
4. Take a quality probiotic daily
5. Don’t focus on trying to lose the baby weight, give yourself a break.
6. Ask for things, I wish I did this more with my first. Ask for help! (you can’t get away with asking for washing to be folded and home cooked meals to be dropped when they are 3.. dammit)! Even ask for a box of nappies to be dropped off. Use that ‘new mum’ thing a little..
7. Say no! if you aren’t up for visitors then say no, if you aren’t up for your cousins and nephews coming over and running a muck, just say no, but don’t feel guilty or think twice about it, they will understand…. And If they dont then.. meh… they will get over it.
8. Accept that some days are bad and some days are good, ebs and flows ladies, mountains and rivers.
9. Spend 5 minutes a day with your legs up the wall, relax those hips and lower back, take 10 deep breaths. (Again, non-negotiable)
10. Spend 10 minutes a day minimum outside in bright morning day light to ensure your body knows its day time and to help regulate those sleep /wake hormones
11. Don’t feel guilty, if you want to look at your phone while feeding bubs, do it. If you want to stay in bed, do it. If watching Oprah is your jam, do it, indulge a little and enjoy doing it. Stop feeling guilty. Guilty feelings radiate negative energy. If it has been a few weeks in a row then, maybe ask for a little help from a loved one and reach out if you are doing it tough… remember its all of those crazy hormones doing crazy things.
12. If you aren’t coping, reach out. You will be surprised to know that a lot of mothers find the fourth trimester insanely hard. No matter who you are, how together you think everyone is, its not the case. Speak up and your tribe will answer.
Enjoy those long loving stares into your babies eyes, explore their features and be fascinated with the whole process.. this too shall pass and then all of a sudden it’s a Tuesday night and you are writing about how to cope through the 4th trimester to a friend in need. Everyone struggles and if you think that its all too much, please reach out. It does get easier and it does get better. Trust me, I never thought I would see past the sleep deprivation either.
Thank you so much Shannon for your time if you wish to contact Shannon or learn more about her, her details are as follows.
I actually cannot believe I am typing the last blog of the Alice In Pregnancyland series. (for now haha) I remember chatting To Tahlia about collaborating with me for the #bumpstyle shoots and now here we are at 37 nearly 38 weeks finishing off the bump series. I have really loved building a friendship with Tahlia from @wyldefolkstudio_ while we did the photoshoots she is such a kind hearted person. I now have a friendship for life with her. Not to mention how blessed I was to collaborate with so many gorgeous labels and maternity brands. throughout the 9 months. A huge thank you to everyone that followed the series and continued to send through such beautiful feedback. Big Love to you all.
The last few weeks I have been on a emotional roller coaster. I have been so excited to meet the little one, I have had mum guilt with my one on one time with Cruzie, I have cried happy tears and I have cried god knows what tears. To me having a good cry really does help me just let it all out, breathe and then let it go. All these new emotions feel like it’s my heart is expanding and I am ready to meet our new little one now.
I finished up work at 36 weeks. Best decision as I was going to work to 37 weeks, the heaviness of nursing and being on my feet got to me a little. So I am so glad to be on maternity leave. It feels so different not having to go to work again.
I have been making the most of my time with Cruzie too. I have been taking him to singing and reading at the library, reading and extra snuggles at night time, park hangs and babycino dates. I am loving being off work with him again.
Everyone has been asking how Cruzie has been? Does he know? I think he knows a change is coming. He won’t let anyone rub my belly but David, he pushes their hand away or pulls my top down. We brought him a little dolly and he has been kissing it, changing its nappy, pushing it around in a pram. It’s so cute to watch. I think he will be a great big brother.
I keep telling myself that I need to slow down as my body is tired, but its true “nesting” is a real thing. I keep thinking of new things to do and clean. I forget to rest and I am on the go all day. Then I have the worse braxton hicks and back ache in the evening. So I should listen to all the advice and just put my feet up. Haha easier said than done though. Plus entertaining my little man. He sleeps well in the afternoon so I should just lay down then and watch some Offspring on tv. Maybe tomorrow? haha.
I went and seen my midwife for a 36 week scan and check up. The cheeky bubbas legs are sitting frog legged but the head is right down there. I keep thinking in my head that the baby will be here early because Cruz came early but I shouldn’t get my hopes up. I discussed my birth plan and what I wanted. My birth plan is to have a natural birth, hopefully not be on the monitor like last time, have a bath or hot shower, use essential oils and just have David in there. David is my rock and he really did help me through the breathing techniques last time. I do still feel anxious about the birth experience and labour but I am just trying not to think about it, what will be will be.
With eating I have been a bit all over the place.
I wake up so hungry and have to eat before I go for a walk. For breakfast I normally have smoothies or protein pancakes. Thats its the I just swap it up between the two.
Then for snacks I have almonds, nuts, apple or a bliss ball. Sipping on so much raspberry leaf tea to ha.
Lunch is lots of greens and a source of protein or a chia sourdough with cheese, figs and cucumber sandwich or the same combo on rice cakes.
I am obsessed with Bolognese at the moment with zoodles (zucchini pasta), I am addicted love it. I also love white fish or salmon with greens for dinner, I have gone off all brown rice and sweet potato probably because my belly already fills so fall at night.
Cravings – organic milk chocolate from Flannerys Health Shop … YUM!!!!
Walking 30-45minutes around the block (filled with hills) but very slowly as I get pelvic pressure. I put my podcast on and enjoy the metime I love it. Makes me feel better. I love doing about 20-40 push ups daily on the kitchen bench and 20 squats on the shower too. About 3 times a week I use my little 2kg weights and do a little arm workout too. If I have having an exhausting day I just don’t exercise at all. Maybe just do a stretch. The last week I have really slowed down, but thats okay, my body needs the rest.
So besides loose boho styles and a few tight comfortable maternity dresses I have been living in maternity leggings and a jumper. Argh so comfy. I do love dressing up the bump, but I feel my wardrobe has become very limited and don’t really want to add to it till the baby is here.
For this #bumpstye shoot I wore a dress I purchased for a hens day a few months back. Its called the FAWN WRAP DRESS and I brought it from the @theselfstyler online. Guess what they just restocked it too. You can buy it HERE. Its perfect to take you through your pregnancy journey and will be great for breastfeeding too. Its not actually a maternity dress but it should be its so comfortable.
Tahlia and I decided for the last bump photoshoot we would find a beautiful spot with long grass (secret location) and invite David and Cruz to come along for some family photos. We had a lovely afternoon watching the sunset and Tahlia came with her family too, so nice. I hope you all enjoy the photos.