Mother to Aston & Phoenix - Melbourne, Australia
Hi! I'm Frida.
I have two beautiful boys, Aston (5) & Phoenix (3). I actually never thought I would have children, until I met my husband, and everything changed and suddenly, children was all I could think of, which was beautiful.
We were very lucky to conceive naturally, which I sometimes feel so guilty of, and don’t like to mention it, because I see the pain fertility challenges causes in others while me becoming pregnant perhaps came easy. My motherhood journey on the other hand, has been anything but linear, especially the first two years, which has quite the journey, but I’m grateful for my struggles as it has led me to where I am today, to help others going through something similar with my soon-to-be-launching The Tenth Co supplements formulated with Dr Oscar Serrallach, supporting “wired & tired“ humans (hello mothers!); The Tenth Co is my third child essentially, drawing on my 20-year experience within health & beauty—I wish I had that much experience when Aston & Phoenix was born.
What was your favourite thing about the newborn phase?
I think my favourite part of newborn phase, one that perhaps took me the most by surprise, was to experience what pure love truly is; while it wasn’t instant by any means, but as it grew it was a love like no other, it’s very different from the beautiful love you have for your partner. It fascinated me how the heart can expand so much, it is one of the most magical experiences in my life and for it to happen again and again as you have more children is just so so special, for me at least.
What did you find challenging about being a new mother?
Without doubt, doing it on my own without family support. While my husband was quite hands on, he worked far away, long days, and we had no family around. This in combination with both of the pregnancies took quite the toll on my body, I was very depleted and my first born hardly slept (ever) which led me to have post-natal depletion - which took it’s time to recognize and find the right people to help with. When I found Dr Oscar Serrallach, he truly was a heaven sent, and made a profound difference in my mental & physical state.
How were you supported during your postpartum period and what would you change if you could go back in time?
I wasn’t really supported, as my family lives in Finland, especially with my 1st. What I learnt is, I should have been braver and ask for help, create my own village around us - I didn’t, I just soldiered on, and I don’t recommend that to anyone - we don’t have to suffer.
I think the best thing new mothers can do is ask for help and also stop normalizing the struggle - if we don’t speak up, the next mother won’t feel comfortable to say ‘hey - this is hard’ either. Same with new dads, it’s hard on them too, especially as they are seeing their partner suffer. So, in summary, if I could go back in time, I would ask people to drop off a dish a week, say courageously no to visitors and listened to myself what I needed and asked for help.
The 2nd time, when Phoenix was born, my mum flew out and spent 6 weeks with us, it made the world of difference and I wish everyone could have that, she literally had Phoenix sleep with her, then would bring him in for a feed, to then take him to change him and settle him back to sleep - it was invaluable at the time. Forever grateful she did that for me, and would recommend every mum to ask for that type of support.
List your top 3 essentials for a new mother.
- The Post Natal Depletion Cure By Dr Oscar Serrallach - we, as new parents are amazing at preparing for the baby, but I know I didn’t do any postnatal planning—and had Dr. Oscar’s book existed, back then—it would have helped me navigate and support myself physiologically which would have made the world of difference to how I felt mentally. Any friends looking for baby shower gifts—this is it!
- SRC recovery shorts—they are heaven sent—and were the only way I could function to get out of bed—they are pricey—but you will use them for a long period of time, e.g. when you start exercise, they help you engage your core, and you can also use them like a Spanx under a dress or skirt long after Bub is born—I still use them. Another one for the baby registry (should really be a baby & mum registry :)!
- Not an item per se—but I would encourage any pregnant, and especially 2nd time mums to keep their glutes and core engaged pre & post—which is super challenging when you are so busy with work and your 1st one—I know it was for me, I was exhausted and felt like I had no time, so I didn’t do it, and it’s one of my biggest regret—because I developed Otitis Pubis—and it took me over two years to get myself back on track physically—when I could have spent 5-10min a few times a week doing a few of exercises, and it could perhaps have been avoided.
Are there any rituals or practices during your 4th trimester you'd like to share?
Oh, I wish I had some. I think I would have had a completely different postpartum if I did. One of the biggest revelations I have had most recently, how reactive my self-care is, and how I could start thinking about it more pro-actively, e.g. why don’t we think about self-care about giving the world the best of us, rather than what’s left of us. That’s what I wished I had realized back then.
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