I work full-time (compressed over 4 days) at ANZ in HR but currently on Secondment in Change Management.
When I was 22 years old, I learned that I have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and that it may be difficult for me to conceive naturally. I got married at 29 and planned to address the PCOS to start trying to have kids in 2 years time.
However, we were lucky to fall pregnant within our first year of marriage before actively trying (we had stopped actively preventing). Although before marriage we both wanted to have two kids, after the birth of my daughter and going through post natal depression, I was happy with just the one. So when we learned we were pregnant with our second, it was a very very big surprise (we were actively preventing). It was the best surprise and we are truly blessed with our two. The second time through the newborn period was much easier.
What was your favourite thing about the newborn phase?
Breastfeeding - wasn’t the favourite at the very beginning because it was very painful. But quickly became my favourite bonding moment.
What did you find challenging about being a new mother?
Not loving every moment of it and feeling mum guilt that I was doing everything wrong. Seemed like everyone around me (especially social media) wasn’t struggling like I was and feeling alone.
How were you supported during your postpartum period and what would you change if you could go back in time?
I had Simon home for a month when we had Aidan which made a world of difference as he was only home <1 week when we had Amelie. Other than that, the only other support was my mum who would come to drop off food on the weekends because she worked on the week days. That’s it. It was bloody tough. Especially because my recovery was slow and painful for my first.
List your top 3 essentials for a new mother.
- Baby monitor
- Baby carrier/ergo
- Mama compress pads (for damaged/cracked nipples)
Are there any rituals or practices during your 4th trimester you'd like to share?
No rituals or practices. Was just in survival mode but one tip would be to play sleep tag with your partner. Simon would have the 8pm-midnight shift while I slept and 4 hrs was all I needed to survive an all-nighter after that. Then he would take over at 7am if I needed to catch up on sleep.
If I had my time again, I'd have a postpartum doula support me in my early postpartum days to care for me, assist with baby and help with some nourishing meals.
See our Instagram post here.