Mama Muse • Zara Wong

Mother to a baby boy - Melbourne, Australia

"I couldn’t fathom how he could be so small, yet I couldn’t fathom how I could hold a little human in me!"

I have a baby boy, and I’m on maternity leave from my marketing career. In my spare time, I’m a voracious consumer of content so I have a Substack newsletter called Screenshot This where I share what I love — from articles to podcasts to recipes to shopping.
What was your favourite thing about the newborn phase?

I did enjoy how sleepy he was because I could do some baking! And that he was so so, very small. I couldn’t fathom how he could be so small, yet I couldn’t fathom how I could hold a little human in me!
What did you find challenging about being a new mother?

You have to shift your sense of identity and entire sense of self really. You think you have 40 weeks to prepare for it, but nothing really can until it happens.
How were you supported during your postpartum period and what would you change if you could go back in time?

Being ethnically Chinese, my parents encouraged me to do a light version of ‘confinement’ which involved eating foods that were nutritious and ‘warming’ (such as the dried packs from Elan) and taking it easy overall. There isn’t anything I would change; perhaps start ‘mother and baby’ pilates earlier (I started at around 5.5 months postpartum) and meditate more. 
List your top 3 essentials for a new mother.
  1. High-waisted soft underpants - I had an emergency cesarean
  2. Thermos - I had a winter baby and it was a cool winter. Drinking warm water was a must for me as I was always feeling so parched
  3. Dressing gown - to wear when breastfeeding, especially when it was winter!
Are there any rituals or practices during your 4th trimester you'd like to share?

Eating lots of ginger - I love ginger already, and it’s an important ingredient in Chinese confinement as it’s considered a warming food. Ginger stir-fried in rice on its own with a bit of egg is DELICIOUS.

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