Mother to Bryan & Ethan - Melbourne, Australia
"Motherhood for me has many challenges but comes with its rewards too. It has certainly shaped me into someone I never thought I would be."
My name is Rachel and I have 2 sons who are now aged 19 and 16. I currently work full time as CFO and whenever I do get some free time, I enjoy reading and doing flower arrangements. As a mother, there are indeed many responsibilities, and it comes with a 24 hour work roster. From the time my kids were babies in my arms to the teenagers they are now, becoming more independent, the duties have not stopped, but merely evolved with the different phases of my children’s lives. Motherhood for me has many challenges but comes with its rewards too. It has certainly shaped me into someone I never thought I would be.
What was your favourite thing about the newborn phase?
Babies are so cute! I love a baby’s smell, nursing time, baby giggles and the feeling of the little hands holding tight on my fingers.
What did you find challenging about being a new mother?
Breastfeeding a newborn was my first challenge as a new mum. As my milk didn’t kick in right away, it was difficult to keep up with the baby’s demand in the beginning and I had to supplement it with baby formula back then. It took a week or so for us to learn the breastfeeding skills. Lack of sleep due to long feeding time and interrupted sleep were also a challenge then.
How were you supported during your postpartum period and what would you change if you could go back in time?
I’m grateful that I received good support from my family. I had my mother and mother in law around at various times to prepare the nutritious confinement meals, they also helped me to care for the baby during the day and allowed me to have a nap during the confinement period which was really helpful.
What would I change if I could go back in time? I could have stayed calmer and allowed myself to enjoy motherhood more rather than panicking over small things.
List your top 3 essentials for a new mother
- Accept whatever help and support you can get.
- Regular body massage to loosen all the tightness and time for self-care is a must.
- Nutritious postpartum food
Are there any rituals or practices during your 4th trimester you'd like to share?
The practice of 30 days of confinement is common in my tradition. I tried to practice some of the dos and don’ts when I could.
I found that nutritious postpartum food is important, and it helps in lactation and with a quicker recovery. It also helps boost energy levels.
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