Mother to Louie - Melbourne, Australia
"We spent our days supporting each other as husband and wife. We savoured the tinyness, the newborn scent of our little bubba. We had almost zero visitors and stayed home all day. It felt like a really nice bubble actually."
Hello! I'm Dawn Tan and I'm an illustrator, art teacher, and a mum to an energetic little 3-year-old! I grew up in Singapore but moved to Melbourne when I was 21. I met the boy next door, we fell in love and got married. Less than a year into our marriage, we discovered I had Endometriosis and Fibroids!!! 2 scary surgeries later, coupled with patience and luck, we finally became parents to our little boy, Louie!
What was your favourite thing about the newborn phase?
Even though my body was in pain, I actually really enjoyed the weeks post-birth! I had a c-section so my very traditional, Asian parents insisted I stay in bed. I nourished my body with so much red date tea, and bone broth, and my husband and I really took it slowly each day. I focused on just getting to know my new body. We spent our days supporting each other as husband and wife. We savoured the tinyness, the newborn scent of our little bubba. We had almost zero visitors and stayed home all day. It felt like a really nice bubble actually.
What did you find challenging about being a new mother?
The shock to the body with all the lack of sleep! My baby never slept. He literally only did 1/2 hour naps tops, 24/7 and it was so hard. He's still a terrible sleeper now at 3 but at least our fun little day-to-day conversations make up for it. He also had allergies and eczema and so we had many visits to the emergency and as a new parent, that was just super terrifying and stressful.
How were you supported during your postpartum period and what would you change if you could go back in time?
My in-laws cooked us nourishing meals and that was so helpful. It helped us manage better especially when we were so lacking sleep. If I could do something different, I would perhaps have booked postpartum massages to help with all the pain I was having. I can imagine a relaxing massage would be so nice!!
List your top 3 essentials for a new mother.
Red date tea!
And postpartum massages.
Are there any rituals or practices during your 4th trimester you'd like to share?
As an Asian, I fully believe in taking care of your body the first 40 days post birth. I bathed in traditional herbs, kept my body warm, drank lots of red date tea, ate lots of ginger and vinegar to help 'expel' toxins and keep my body warm. I also made sure I did all my stretching, light walking and moved my body in gentle ways. And of course, lots and lots and lots of water to stay hydrated!
See our Instagram post here.