Monday Musings: A 6-month postpartum check-in

Monday Musings: A 6-month postpartum check-in

How is Luca 6 months next week? It has been amazing seeing him come into his personality so much more. I love this stage! He's sweet, happy, easy-going, cuddly and loves being outside and going places. He looooves going for walks in the pram and carrier and looking at everything. 

 

How I am feeling 6 months PP

I'm still breastfeeding and have been really enjoying the journey! I am still waking up through the night to feed him, which weirdly I am so used to and actually enjoy (does that sound crazy?). Of course, I am tired, but being able to hold him and nurse him back to sleep in the middle of the night when the whole world is sleeping is such a beautiful feeling. It's like this quiet, sacred space where it's just me and him. I don't know if other mums can relate? I just adore him and am loving every moment - even in the chaotic and sleep-deprived season! I know it's such a short season though some nights feel really long. Some nights we sleep better than others and some days are harder than others. I had had days where I feel like I am running on empty and they have been really challenging. I'm not saying this to be negative, I want to be open with you guys. In this space, it's such a fine line between being #negvibes and being an open book. I want this space to be somewhere that you guys can come and feel inspired, happy, motivated and encouraged but I also want to shine light on topics that are sometimes taboo or swept under the rug and I want to normalise things that are often not shown or spoken about! I never want to talk about only the good side of things as that's unrealistic. It's a balance that I'm working on daily! At the end of the day, I want to create a safe community where women can feel seen and heard.

With all that said, I feel like I am finally in my groove now Luca is in routine and a schedule. It makes things like scheduling my day a lot easier!

In terms of my fitness, I am feeling strong and fit. I have been doing my new fitness program on repeat because I am really happy with how I am feeling. I saw a women's health physio who prescribed me exercises to bring my ab separation back together and I truly feel exactly the same as I did before falling pregnant. 

 

Some musings / a few things I would anyone who is yet to have babies:

Don't bother with buying cute or expensive newborn clothes, buy cute swaddles instead! The reason for this is because 99% of the time your bub is swaddled (wrapped up) so you never see their clothes anyway. Save the investment for 2+ months! 

+ There are lots of things you can get cheap, but definitely invest in a good pram. This is something that we use every single day and I love how I can manoeuvre it with one hand. The model we have is the Fox 3 from Bugaboo and we love it!

Basic self-care like showering and brushing your teeth is not "a break". It is a necessity. Yes, it's a luxurious necessity and we are so blessed to be living in a country with access to clean water. But taking a shower is not something you should feel the need to justify. 

Mum guilt will come and go, but just know you are doing the best you can. You are so seen, you are doing an amazing job. 

Don't compare your journey (pregnancy, birth, baby sleep schedule, postpartum recovery, breastfeeding, your baby's temperament etc) to anyone.

+ If you can, sleep when they sleep.

Don't put pressure on yourself to "have it all together". No one does. And if they seem like they do, they're not showing all of it. Let there be some dishes, let the mirror be dirty (see the picture I chose for this blog post lol) and take the pressure off. A safe home is more important than a clean one.

+ There is so much information out there and people always have their own opinions on parenting styles - do what works for you! You know your baby better than anyone and God chose you to be their mumma. Plus, every baby is SO different. What works for you may not work for them and vice versa. A few weeks ago I said something on my stories along the lines of "I'm not an expert in babies, Luca is my first..." and I got a beautiful reply saying that wasn't true because I'm an expert in my baby and to never forget that! I felt so seen and appreciated, it was such a beautiful message. With that, I'll close this post by saying - I am just having a moment of gratitude for each and every one of you who take the time to message me and be a part of this community. You are all such beautiful women and I love being able to share together.

August 29, 2022
How I prepped for labour and the fourth trimester

How I prepped for labour and the fourth trimester

I frequently get asked questions about how I prepped for labour, birth and the fourth trimester - physically, mentally and spiritually. I wanted to share a few practical ways that I prepared for labour and the fourth trimester to feel equipped, educated and ready.

 

Labour prep 

red raspberry leaf tea

From 36 weeks, I drank 2 - 3 cups per day. It is supposed to be really good for your uterus. I drank it iced with a bit of honey or stevia.


prayer

Every night Brenton and I would pray over the health of Luca, my labour and my recovery. Prayer brought so much peace to the both of us and God answered our prayers.

 

research

I asked my health care providers (midwife, doctors, sonographer, physio etc.) lots of questions about pregnancy, labour and postpartum. I also learnt a lot in the birth course I attended. I wanted to educate myself in all areas to make sure I was making informed decisions throughout my labour. I also Ioved watching YouTube labour techniques and ways to have a pain-relief-free labour - more on that in the next point. 

 

youtube / podcasts

I seriously consumed SO much pregnancy and baby content. I watched a few birth vlogs but I really binged labour technique videos (I love Bridget Tyler - such practical tips for labour and birth). As for podcasts, I think I listened to just about every Beyond The Bump episode there was.

 

birth course

This was the birth course I did and I really loved it. It was a one-day course and I really felt like I was able to apply a fair few of the techniques that I learnt when I was in labour. It was super helpful for Brenton too. 

 

physiotherapy: stretching, pelvic floor work, prenatal pilates

I saw Charlotte from Flow Physio Co  and truly learnt so much about my pelvic floor and prenatal movement. We did prenatal pilates weekly and I was given daily pelvic floor exercises to do. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was also doing specific stretches to prepare my body for labour as well as perineal massage.

 

massage

I also got a remedial sports massage once a fortnight which helped with any tight muscles I had from training and pregnancy

 

supplements

 

working out

Labour is a marathon! I trained 4-5 x per week (including walking) which helped me keep strong and active. I trained right up until I had Luca and truly think that staying fit and frequent training helped my labour.

 

Postpartum essentials

ice pads

I made my own frozen pads by freezing maternity pads with witch hazel (make sure you get this brand / a brand with no alcohol) and added pure aloe vera gel on before putting them on. They were cold and soothing.

 

peri bottle 

I used this every time I went to the bathroom, it was so good!

 

disposable underwear

This was my favourite brand.

 

maternity pads

Stock up one these! I ended up having to get 2 more packets. 

 

breast pads

I bought disposable ones but couldn't stand them. I use reusable ones from Bubba Bump and love them. They are soft and easily washable in the washing machine.

 

black undies, high waisted and comfy

This one is pretty self-explanatory. I got cheap but comfy bamboo ones in bulk from Kmart.

 

Postpartum compression shorts 

I wore these compression shorts which I got from my physio.

 

PJs and clothing sets

Button-up pj's are a must for breastfeeding! I also lived in comfy sets because I wanted to feel put together while still feeling comfy and wanted breastfeeding-friendly options. 

 

 

Fourth trimester

asking for help / accepting help

I am so bad at asking for help and accepting help, but the saying "it takes a village" is so, so true. The most helpful thing people did was bring over a coffee or a meal. Cooking was something that I just didn't feel like doing, especially dinner because I was so tired. 

 

establishing boundaries

On the opposite end of the spectrum, it's super important to say no when you don't want guests. People will totally understand. You just had a baby, you can absolutely say no to people coming to your house until you feel ready! 

 

freezing food

I prepped a batch of lactation slice, which was ahhhmazing because I get so hungry breastfeeding so having this to grab and snack on was perfect when we couldn't be bothered to make a snack. I also froze a loaf of sourdough for toast to snack on. I had all intentions of freezing a few iron-rich meals like turkey meatballs but because Luca came two weeks early, I wasn't able to!

 

prayer and communication and being kind to yourself

I saved the most important for last. Sometimes you will be sleep deprived, sometimes you won't be able to wash your hair for a few days longer than you'd like, sometimes you eat your dinner with one hand. Staying prayerful as well as communicating my needs has been the best thing ever. It's important to voice how you are feeling. Maybe you feel overwhelmed, maybe you are hungry and want someone to make you some food, maybe you want a hand with the groceries. Whatever it is, you need to communicate how you are feeling. Your significant other isn't a mind reader! Remember to be kind to yourself, give yourself grace and rest when you need to rest. The dishes can wait. You're doing amazingly.

 

B x

April 12, 2022
Newborn Essentials

Newborn Essentials

Disclaimer to start: I'm not a baby expert by any means - this is just what works for us. 4 months of my pregnancy was spent in lockdown which means I had plenttyyy of time to research. I seriously consumed SO much pregnancy and baby content. Birth vlogs, YouTube labour techniques and birth advice (I love Bridget Tyler, such practical tips for labour and birth), podcasts (I think I listened to every Beyond The Bump episode) and did so much research on what I needed as a new mum for newborn life. Let's get started...

 

 

Bassinet

I wanted a co-sleeper bassinet because I didn't want to have to get up and out of bed every single time I woke up to feed. I went with this one for two reasons (aside from it being aesthetic): 1) It was one of the smallest ones on the market. We wanted something small as he will only be in it for a few months before moving into his big boy cot. 2) It has wheels making it suuuper functional. If he is asleep, we can move him to another room to watch him without having to wake him.

 

Nappy caddy

LOVE this nappy caddy! I wasn't sure whether I was going to buy one but it is one of my most used items. It was $20 and it's perfect size. I keep this next to my bed / next to his bassinet at night and on the lounge during the day. I keep everything in it so I can just grab it without having to go into his nursery - nappies, wipes, dummy, burp cloth, swaddle, spare outfit, swaddle, nipple pads, nipple cream and lip balm. 

 

Cocoonababy

We got the Cocoonababy as one of our first purchases. I love that Luca can actually sleep in here overnight inside his bassinet and during the day for his naps, unlike other competitors. He loves it. The strap helps keep him secure and strapped in and means that he can't break free of his swaddle. Any time you see him napping on my IG, he is in this. However, it only lasts a few months, then they can't use it anymore. Still, it's something we use every single day so I was happy to purchase.

 

Pram & capsule 

We got the Bugaboo Fox 3 travel system. We really wanted something super durable as I walk a lot! I love how it manoeuvres and we are both super impressed with the quality. Plus: it's aesthetic. If you know me, you know an all-black pram is right up my alley. We loved that it came with a carseat/carrier because when Luca falls asleep in the car, we don't want to wake him trying to transfer him to wherever we are going. 

 

Baby bag 

I loooove this baby bag. I love how many compartments there are, the size, the shape and even the leather pram straps it has. Cannot fault this bag! I can do a 'what's in my baby bag' if you guys are keen, let me know!

 

Portable white noise machine

These are game changers! Perfect for the car or pram. I usually just keep mine in my pram.

 

Pram clips

Speaking of prams, I use pram clips to secure a swaddle over the pram when it's sunny and I'm walking him. It just holds the swaddle in place and makes sure the sun isn't on him. 

 

Swaddles 

Kiin make an amazing swaddle. They are soft and breathable and come in beautiful colours.

 

Ergo pouch sleep suits

Luca was breaking free of his swaddles pretty quickly, so these sleep suits are perfect for his night time sleeps as he can't get him arms out of them.

  

Zip onesies 

Whilst button-up things are cute, they are not as practical as zip-onesies. I love the Bonds zip onesies as they are soft, fit well and zip through which makes it easy to change his nappy without having to take his whole onesie off.

 

Singlets

You need so many of these and they grow so quick so I went for cheap and in bulk! He wears these under all of his clothes.

 

Huggies newborn nappies

I love the wet line indicator on these nappies!

 

Baby blanket

This baby blanket is the perfect size for the pram, car and naps. It's warm, soft, a nice colour and only $15. Highly recommend this one!

 

Change mat 

One word: WIPEABLE! You don't want a material change mat with covers that you have to wash every day. I love this change mat. I have gone for a wipeable for my change mat, play mat and bibs (for when he is older).

 

Hooded towels 

Not 100% necessary, but makes getting out of the water easier as we wrap him up into a little burrito and was dry his hair with the hood. He loves being all snuggled up in this, it's super soft and cosy.

 

Wash cloths

These ones are so soft.

 

Nursing chair 

Honestly the comfiest chair ever. It swivels, it reclines, it's aesthetic, it's linen, what's not to love?

 

Baby carrier

I am yet to use my baby carrier so I can't actually recommend yet, but I love the aesthetic of this one and I have heard really good things!

  

Burp cloths

You need these because they are thick, big and durable. You can throw it over your shoulder and it covers a large surface area. Don't worry about getting nice ones, you will chuck them in the wash continuously.

 

Nasal aspirator

Gross, but TRUST ME - you need this or some kind of snot sucker (sorry, couldn't think of a better name haha). Think about when we try to eat and drink with a stuffy nose, it makes it difficult. This device helps receive congestion in babies who may be having a hard time feeding. I was sceptical at first but it really does make a difference 

April 06, 2022
Everything I *actually* used in my hospital bag...

Everything I *actually* used in my hospital bag...

I'm currently going through my old blog post for what I packed in my hospital bag, and wanted to give you guys an update on what I *actually* used, what I loved and what I didn't even touch. I've added my updated comments in the italics

 

BABY'S BAG

  • Baby bag linked here - Perfect sized bag! Loved how organised it enabled me to be 
  • 4 x 0000 singlets - wish I packed 00000 as he was little and the 0000 clothes were too big
  • 2 x full body onesies - yep, used both
  • 3 x leotard onesies - could have packed just 1 
  • 2 x pairs of socks - yep, used
  • 1 x bibs dummy - didn't touch this at all
  • 2 x swaddles, one Jersey Cotton and one Muslin Wrap yep, I used the muslin one!
  • Burp cloth - didn't use it as my milk didn't come in for a couple of days
  • Portable white noise machine - I actually loved and used this! I put the sound of rain on and it helped Brenton and I fall asleep after labour
  • 1 x knotted hat - Way too big for his little head
  • Huggies newborn nappies - yep, used! The hospital does have some though
  • Water wipes - again, used!
  • Blanket - this one was only $15 and is the perfect size and soft! - I actually just ended up using the hospital one. However I did use my own for the car ride home, so I will still pack one for the next bubba

 

MY BAG

Labour section

  • Battery operated tea-light candles - YES YES YES! These were amazing. Seriously changed the whole atmosphere of the room
  • Hand-held fan - rechargeable - I legit HATED this haha I was in labour at home and I didn't even end up packing it to the hospital
  •  Combs I got two options. One from Amazon, one from Chemist Warehouse - Okay, I loved the ones from Amazon but the ones from Chemist Warehouse weren't sharp enough! I left those ones at home
  • TENS Machine hired from Bliss Birth - Yep, loved, but didn't use it early enough (more about this in my birth story video coming next week)
  • Plastic Bag for wet clothes - I wish I packed two of these because my toiletries bag ended up getting wet so I had to use a random plastic sleeve
  • Face mist and makeup wipes - Nope, haha didn't touch them
  • Lip balm - Used it after labour
  • I plan to labour in black undies, a black bra and an oversized shirt - shirt came off but stayed in bra and undies
  • Bikini to labour in - Nope, I was just in my bra and undies in the bath

Clothing/toiletries section

  • A robe
    (a dark coloured one) - didn't touch it haha
  • PJ's
    I have a button-down short sleeve set (perfect for breastfeeding) from Amazon and a tracksuit from Bonds. - didn't touch the tracksuit but wore PJ's post-birth
  • Maternity bras
    SKIMS have an amazing one linked here but definitely on the pricier side! Dupe for the SKIMS ones linked here. I sized up in my maternity bras. - Yep, I love these bras
  • Socks - yep, a must-have
  • Slippers 
    For walking around the hospital - I did actually wear mine! Made it feel a little more cosy
  • Slides 
    For showering/getting to and from the hospital - yep, I wore these (for the shower after birth. During labour I didn't have any shoes on lol)
  • Black undies
    I sized up and went for seamless, comfy and cheap because let's be real, they'll likely get gross and tossed out - a must-have
  • Going home outfit
    I am going for all black: biker shorts, oversized tee and slides. I also packed my compression shorts to pop underneath my bike shorts as per my physio's recommendation. - Perfect outfit for postpartum recovery. Comfy yet still supportive. I ended up getting a different brand of recovery shorts though, linked here 
  • Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hair ties, dry shampoo, shampoo + conditioner if I want to wash my hair, body wash, face moisturiser, body butter, concealer, mascara - used most of this except I didn't wash my hair. I actually ended up packing my serums and oils too and used them after birth! There was something so nice about having my full skin care routine there. I didn't think I would do it but I did and LOVED it!
  • Tote bag for dirty washing - yes, pack this! 
  • Baby name necklace - I laboured with this necklace on, so special

 

Postpartum recovery section

  • Lanolin - didn't touch but once I was home I started using it and it is incredible!
  • Disposable breast pads and reusable breast pads from Bubba Bump's postpartum recovery kit - I can't stand the disposable ones but I LOOOVE the reusable ones
  • Breastfeeding ice packs and peri ice pack from Bubba Bump's postpartum recovery kit - didn't touch! But I did end up packing some padsicles (that I made at home - just pads with witch hazel and aloe frozen) which I used 
  • Peri bottle and peri spray from Bubba Bump's postpartum recovery kit - so. much. yes. If you are on the fence about getting one... GET ONE
  • Disposable underwear - one from Bubba Bump, one from Depends - loved both brands 
  • Noonie Cooling Pads - didn't use

 

OTHER

  • Snacks - yes! I didn't eat in labour but it was so nice to have these snacks after I had Luca. The snacks were perfect for Brenton to grab during labour too
  • 2 x pillows (1 for me, 1 for Brenton) - I really recommend! The hospital ones weren't comfy at all
  • Snuggly blankets - 1 for me, 1 for Brenton - yep, these were perfect after birth. Again, the hospital bedding wasn't very snuggly
  • Laptop - we didn't end up using this
  • Long phone chargers - I didn't use this, I just used my regular one
  • Brenton's clothes 
  • Water bottle with straw - YES! I use this every day, perfect for breastfeeding too
  • Prenatal vitamins - probably could have left at home but I did have them
  • Exercise ball - hated it in labour at home haha didn't even end up packing it
  • Beats, Air Pods, Bluetooth speaker - didn't end up using any headphones, just the speaker. I wanted to be able to hear Brenton and my midwife
  • Paperwork: birth plan, cards, etc 
  • Lavender oil - nope, I was already in active labour when I got to the hospital I did not care about essential oils haha
March 23, 2022
Everything I packed in my hospital bag + baby boy's hospital bag

Everything I packed in my hospital bag + baby boy's hospital bag

I cannot believe I will be full term in a few days and am writing what I have packed in my hospital bags. In case you missed it, I have a full IGTV with everything I packed, but I thought it would be helpful to also have a blog post so I can link some things for you guys. Let's get straight into it. Here is the full breakdown with all the details...

 

 

BABY'S BAG

 

MY BAG

 

Labour section

Clothing/toiletries section

  • A robe
    (a dark coloured one)
  • PJ's
    I have a button-down short sleeve set (perfect for breastfeeding) from Amazon and a tracksuit from Bonds.
  • Maternity bras
    SKIMS have an amazing one linked here but definitely on the pricier side! Dupe for the SKIMS ones linked here. I sized up in my maternity bras.
  • Socks
  • Slippers 
    For walking around the hospital
  • Slides 
    For showering/getting to and from the hospital
  • Black undies
    I sized up and went for seamless, comfy and cheap because let's be real, they'll likely get gross and tossed out
  • Going home outfit
    I am going for all black: biker shorts, oversized tee and slides. I also packed my compression shorts to pop underneath my bike shorts as per my physio's recommendation.
  • Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hair ties, dry shampoo, shampoo + conditioner if I want to wash my hair, body wash, face moisturiser, body butter, concealer, mascara
  • Tote bag for dirty washing
  • Baby name necklace

 

Postpartum recovery section

 

OTHER

  • Snacks
  • 2 x pillows (1 for me, 1 for Brenton)
  • Snuggly blankets - 1 for me, 1 for Brenton
  • Laptop
  • Long phone chargers
  • Brenton's clothes
  • Water bottle with straw
  • Prenatal vitamins 
  • Exercise ball 
  • Beats, Air Pods, Bluetooth speaker
  • Paperwork: birth plan, cards, etc
  • Lavender oil
February 23, 2022
My Baby Shower

My Baby Shower

I wish I could re-live this day. My baby shower was such a special day - full of love and laughter. I truly just feel so blessed to have so many beautiful women around me. This little bubba is going to have some amazing, strong, crazy, vibrant, life-loving aunties around him - what a lucky little man!

It was such a chilled day, which is exactly what I wanted! It was a ladies-only brunch with the exception of Brenton who came for a little bit of the Shower. I started the morning with a walk and coffee by myself because I knew I needed a bit of solo time before such a big day of socialising. I then met my mother-in-law around 7am and we started setting everything up. After that, I went and got my hair done (just asked for beachy waves) and picked up the fresh pastries.

The Shower started at 11am because I wanted it to be a brunch vibe more than a lunch (if you know me, you know my fave type of food is breakfast food). The theme was 'A Day on the Amalfi Coast' because originally I was going to have the Shower at my in-laws house, who live on the water. It was forecast to rain that day so we ended up changing venues last minute. It worked out perfectly regardless.

 

Did we play games?

A common question I have received is whether or not we played games. I knew I didn't want any typical games like who could change a nappy the fastest or guess how big my belly is with a piece of string. I have zero issues with baby shower games, it's just not my vibe. Instead of the traditional games, I had some giant wooden Jenga as well as a charades game set up in the corner but honestly we didn't even end up touching them! The day went so quickly and everyone was just enjoying chatting, eating and some even went for swims in the pool. 

 

Did I plan it myself?

I planned it with my mother-in-law. She was such an amazing help!

 

Did I open presents at the party?

Yes and no. There wasn't a particular moment where I opened presents while everyone sat in silence and watched me because #nothankyou. Again, nothing against it, I just didn't want people to have to sit through that haha. With that being said, I did say to people if they wanted me to open their presents I would be so happy to sit with them individually and open them. I did this throughout the day for a lot of my friends and family and it was actually really special because it meant I got a lot of one-on-one time with them and was able to personally thank them for their generosity.

 

The details

The dress: Sabo Skirt (however a fair few alterations were made to the front, side and hem).

 

Flowers and decor: We picked up greenery and white roses from a local florist and arranged them over the table. We also placed whole lemons and lemons cut in half along the table. Another thing we did was have colourful Amalfi-themed napkins and white pillar candles running down the centre of the table. We also had little signs that said "Welcome", "Drinks" and "Desserts".

 

Cookies: Everyone got a sugar cookie on their seat. They said 'Baby Parkes' and were pastel yellow and white.

 

Grazing platter and Lunch: Catered by a local cafe. We did an antipasto platter (cheeses, meats, crackers, dip, olives etc) and also a fruit platter. For lunch we did baguettes, sandwiches and wraps which I loved because everyone could just serve themselves and get as much as they wanted and choose what they wanted. 

 

Wishes for baby box: Linked here. If you are planning your baby shower, I would absolutely recommend getting a box that has some wishes for baby. Everyone wrote him a little message and it was so beautiful seeing just how loved he is already. I can’t wait for him to read them when he is older.

 

Drinks bar: We did an Aperol spritz station, champagne station, alcohol-free punch, and a bunch of different flavoured San Pellegrino's. It was a serve-yourself type situation which worked out perfectly because again, people could choose what they wanted.

 

Dessert bar: We had croissants and jam, almond croissants and cronuts from our favourite local bakery Son of a Baker. We also had jars of yellow lemon lollies to tie in with the Amalfi theme.

 

If you are a mama planning a baby shower, I hope you have the most amazing day! Remember that it is your day, you can have it however you want. Whether thats 100 games or 0 games. Whether it's a breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or a dinner soiree. Enjoy your day and don't forget to sit back during the day and take it all in.

 

B x

January 26, 2022
Third trimester checklist / What I still need to do

Third trimester checklist / What I still need to do

Tomorrow I will be 30 weeks pregnant which is honestly so crazy to me. I can't believe we get to meet our little man so soon and we cannot wait. Nesting has been in full swing for me since hitting third trimester so the other day I sat down and wrote a list and thought I would share it.

Preparing for baby boy

Most of the essentials have been purchased however we do still need to get a bassinet, cot and a chest of drawers (we will use this as his change table). I will do a full nursery tour once it's all done. 

+ Wash his clothes, blankets and bassinet sheets. I have purchased a washing detergent that is sensitive and can be used on his clothing so I will use that. 

+ Put clothes, nappies, wipes etc in chest of drawers and hang what needs to be hung in his cupboard

+ Nursery finished - still need cot, bassinet and chest of drawers

+ Fit car seat into car

+ Organise nappy bag

+ Set up bassinet

 + Pram has been assembled and is ready to go

 

Preparing for labour and birth

+ Download contractions timer app

+ Write hospital bag list

+ Pack hospital bags (I will do a dedicated hospital bag video). We need to pack my hospital bag, Brenton's bag and baby boy's bag

+ Create a labour playlist 

+ Purchase items that I want to help assist with my labour (tens machine, exercise ball, labour combs)

+ Pump up exercise ball

+ Have a labour and delivery plan

+ Attend a birth course (have booked this in already)

 

Preparing for me and my postpartum recovery 

I have basically all of my postpartum recovery things such as disposable underwear, pads, ice packs, heat packs, nipple cream, peri bottle, maternity pads and etc. However, I still need to:

+ Prep aloe pads and perineum / breast ice and heat packs

+ Bake meals and snacks to freeze (nourishing soups, curries, protein balls, lasagna) to have when we don't feel up to cooking 

+ Deep clean the house so we feel clean and organised when we come home from hospital 

 

If you're a mama and have any other recommendations, please let me know! 

January 07, 2022
Second trimester update: what I eat in a day, exercise & everything in-between

Second trimester update: what I eat in a day, exercise & everything in-between

I cannot believe that tomorrow I will be 22 weeks pregnant. Where has the time gone?! It feels like yesterday that I eagerly waited for the second line to appear on my pregnancy test.

 

How I am feeling overall

I truly am feeling so blessed, happy and grateful in my pregnancy. I know there are a lot of people who don't enjoy being pregnant, but I can honestly say I love it and I am so grateful for that. Baby boy has been kicking so much and I just love feeling him kick and roll around in my belly! It is the most insane, indescribable feeling and makes me feel so connected to him. 

Pregnancy has taught me a lot. Physically, my body has changed so much and I truly can say I am embracing every part of it. I am so amazed at the female body and how our bodies adapt and change to nurture a beautiful baby. 

With all of that said, this pregnancy journey has brought up a lot of emotions for me. It has made me miss my mum a whole lot more, who passed in 2014. Not being able to chat to her about her pregnancy, birth and motherhood has been tough. But I am so blessed to have the support of an incredible husband, friends, family and God.

 

Exercise

In terms of diet and exercise, I have been really consistent. I have been working out 5 x per week, getting my steps in, drinking lots of water and eating lots of fresh whole-foods. I truly know what they mean when they say the second trimester is your "best" trimester! I have my energy back, I don't need to nap at 12pm like the first trimester, I don't have any food aversions and I haven't been sick! I have been seeing a women's health Physiotherapist. She is amazing! I have linked her page here. I wanted to make sure I was taking care of my pelvic floor, abdominal coning and getting the correct modifications for my workouts and my body. My Physio is super happy with how everything is looking - all thanks to her homework and exercises she has given me! If you are pregnant and tossing up whether or not to see a women's health Physio, do it. It is so worth it in my opinion. 

 

My workout schedule:

  • Monday: Full-body circuit 
  • Tuesday: Upper-body focused functional strength training
  • Wednesday: Rest day
  • Thursday: Lower body strength session
  • Friday: Pregnancy pilates with my beautiful Physio Charlotte + a long walk
  • Saturday: Full-body functional strength training
  • Sunday: Rest day

As you can probably tell, I love using weights. I'm a resistance training kind of girl. It helps keep me strong, agile and mobile. I will never have a session in the gym that is straight cardio (unless I am walking or running outside).

     

    What I Eat in a Day While Pregnant

    These are the things I have been doing daily:

    • I eat plenty of whole-foods: fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, meat, good quality dairy, whole-grains, etc. I also make sure to have a big variety of these foods and mix it up to get a diverse range of vitamins and minerals.
    • I wash all of my fruits and vegetables before putting in my fridge.
    • I have a high protein diet. I have been eating much more protein Greek yoghurt and meat this pregnancy and make sure that every single meal has protein in it. Super important for baby's development.
    • I avoid processed foods and sugar. I will have it here and there (especially first trimester) but I know it doesn't make me feel good so it's not something I will have every day. 
    • Water, water, water. Like 3.5+ litres a day!
    • Taking prenatal vitamins and other supplements, more on that later...
    • Have a look at my highlights on my Instagram for more of what I eat in a day

     

    Typical breakfasts:

    • Wholemeal spelt sourdough toast from our local bakery or Venerdi paleo toast with: 1/2-1 avocado, sautéed kale, rocket and/or spinach, 2 hard poached eggs, sauerkraut (I love the brand Peace, Love & Vegetables) and tomatoes. Easiest way to get 4-5 different types of veggies in one meal!
    • Oats in any form (cooked hot on the stove, soaked in milk overnight or as muesli/granola) with all the toppings. I'm talking chia seeds, almonds walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, goji berries, almond or peanut butter, hemp seeds, a high protein yoghurt (I love YoPro), high protein soy milk and fruit. Overnight oats, bircher and protein oatmeal recipes found in my Shred: 30-Day Challenge
    • Protein pancakes - recipe linked here 
    • I will also have a coffee or matcha with my breakfast and I have this with a high protein soy milk (I love the Vitasoy High Protein Soy Milk as it has no added sugar or nasties and 10g protein per serve!)

     

    Typical lunches:

    • If I had oats for breakfast, then I will usually go the toast with everything for lunch (toast, 1/2-1 avocado, sautéed kale, rocket and/or spinach, 2 hard poached eggs, sauerkraut and tomatoes) 
    • Big chicken salad with quinoa, chickpeas, avocado, olive oil and veggies
    • Turkey meatballs with rocket + pasta or sourdough, recipe linked here 
    • Healthy fried rice (recipe in my Shred: 30-Day Challenge)

     

    Typical dinners:

    • Turkey meatballs
    • Meat, roast potato/sweet potato/root veggies + a salad
    • Homemade sushi (sans any seafood, yes because I'm pregnant but also I just don't like the taste of it)
    • Tofu and vegetable curry (recipe in my Shred: 30-Day Challenge)
    • Beef burger with sweet potato fries (recipe in my Shred: 30-Day Challenge)
    • Burrito lettuce cups or Mexican bowls (recipe in my Shred: 30-Day Challenge)
    • Baked veggie bowls with rice/quinoa and some kind of protein (tofu, chicken). 

     

    Typical snacks:

    • Protein shakes with yoghurt, nut butter, frozen fruit, protein powder and oats
    • Nuts, seeds, trail mix
    • Fruit
    • Crackers, hummus and veggies
    • Toast with avocado or natural almond/peanut butter, honey and banana
    • High protein yoghurt topped with granola, nuts and fruit

      

    Sleep

    My sleep has been amazing since getting my pregnancy pillow. I'll link it here. It's this U-shaped contraption that wraps all the way around me and sits under my belly and supports my back. The first night I despised it and thought "why did I buy this?!" but after another night of giving it a go, I cannot sleep without it! Seriously so good and so comfy.

     

    Skincare

    In terms of skincare, hair care and body care, 99% of products I was using were already pregnancy safe. When I suspected I may have been pregnant, I stopped using retinol and any skincare with active ingredients. I also stopped using my Beauty Chef power and whey protein. 

     

    Supplements / Vitamins

    - Prenatal vitamin 

    - Fish oil. I use the Nordic Naturals one.

    - Iron

    - Vitamin C 

    - Protein powder (if I feel like I haven't had enough throughout the day). I use Tropeaka lean protein.

    - Collagen. I rotate between the Skinstitut Collagen Plus and the Nutra Organics Collagen Beauty.

     

    Hopefully that answers some frequently asked common questions that you may have had! If you want to know anything else, let me know!

    November 12, 2021
    How I plan on balancing mum life + running a business

    How I plan on balancing mum life + running a business

    As you guys know, I am over halfway through my pregnancy. Our life is about to totally change and I honestly cannot wait! Being self-employed means lines can be blurred with work boundaries, maternity leave and taking time off. I have been working on two new projects this pregnancy and am aiming to have them launched and running before baby boy gets here. And if not, that's okay. While I absolutely love work, my first priority is being a wife and a mum - not a business woman. And that will never change! This is how I plan on balancing work life and mum life... 

    Work + family time

    While I love what I do and genuinely love working, it is not my first priority. I am working on some exciting projects but I know that if I am strapped for time, the first thing that is going to go is my business endeavours - NOT time with my family. I will always choose my family over time on social media, accepting new collaborations and developing new products and projects.

     

    Asking for help

    Asking for help is not spoken about enough! We live in such a hyper-individualised society. Going to church has taught me so much including the fact that we need community around us! I want to make a really conscious effort to ask for help when I need it. I know raising a baby takes a village. It is so important to remember that you and your husband are a team. There have been times in my pregnancy where my hormones have been wild and I have just felt so overwhelmed. I would always communicate and tell Brenton when I felt overwhelmed or stressed, and he has always stepped in and asked what he can do to lighten my load. Ask for help!

     

    Get organised

    Honestly, if you're an unorganised person, making a to-do list, calendar and Excel spreadsheet will be your new BFF. I write a weekly to-do list at the start of every week with everything I need to get done and delegate to different days. I have actually recently broken my work week up into set days and have loved it. For example: Monday is an errands, admin and emails day. Tuesday is a content creation day, Wednesday is a projects and RND day and etc. etc.

    Along with writing my weekly to-do list, I also write a daily to-do list. This sits next to my laptop and keeps me on-track and accountable for the day. Believe me when I say: I schedule everything. Jesus time, my workout, groceries, if I have to wash my hair, my lunch break, etc. Working from home makes it tempting to get distracted but I have found these lists help keep me on track.

    My excel spreadsheet has all of the collaborations, content and projects that I have upcoming, as well as a place to store all of my ideas and dreams. 

     

    Having a schedule for baby boy

    We are going to try to do a sleep and feeding schedule. No judgement if you do things differently! Everyone is different, everyone has different opinions. Do what works for you. 

     

    Understanding each others needs

    Working out keeps me mentally fresh, clear, de-stressed and happy! Obviously I can't get back into training until my 6 week PP check up, but I will try to walk with the pram and just get out when I can until then. We will see how we go.

    Brenton is very much the same. He loves working out and surfing as his stress-relievers. I think it's really important to allow each other the time and space to work out and do things that we love. Communicating your needs is so important in relationships. Super cliche, but communication truly is key! Be upfront. There is no point saying "it's okay, I don't mind" if you do in fact, mind. Be honest, be open and communicate. Your partner cannot read your mind! 

     

    Make time for each other 

    I know there is going to be so much focus placed on baby boy, but we are going to continue our date nights every Thursday. It's important to us to set that time aside and go on a date. Of course, in the early days, we will do date nights at home with takeout and make a cosy space to watch a movie together when baby boy sleeps. But once we are able to go out, there will be zero guilt in asking for help from the in-laws and going to grab dinner and a massage. Time together is so important for a healthy marriage. Not just time, but quality time together. There is a difference between being in each others space and intentionally making time for one another with zero distractions.

     

    These are just a few things I plan on implementing when baby boy is here to try to maintain some sort of balance. I know there will be sleepless nights and challenges. I feel like putting some sort of structure in place will help, but we will remain flexible and open to changing things. I am over halfway through my pregnancy now, and I can't wait to expand our family and become 3. Until next time,

    B x

    November 04, 2021
    What's on my baby list + what I've already purchased

    What's on my baby list + what I've already purchased

    When I first found out I was pregnant, I started researching what I needed for baby boy straight away. I thrive off lists and organisation so I knew I wanted to get organised with what I needed. I honestly did not expect there to be so many types of baby products. Below is a list of things that I have purchased or things I intend on purchasing. None of this post is sponsored content, it is all things that I have researched myself and love!

     

    Pram + Car seat

    We got the Bugaboo Fox 3 travel system. The reviews looked amazing and we really wanted something super durable as I walk a lot! I love how it manoeuvres and we are both super impressed with the quality. Plus: it's aesthetic. If you know me, you know an all-black pram is right up my alley. We loved that it came with a carseat/carrier that can easily be clipped into the pram. Perfect if baby boy falls asleep in the car and we don't want to wake him trying to transfer him into the pram!

     

    Bassinet

    Before getting pregnant, I loved the look of the Moses baskets and the sweet free-standing wicker ones. However, when I started researching, practicality outweighs aesthetics! We decided we wanted a co-sleeper (one that attaches to the side of your bed) so I can settle him in the night without having to get up out of bed a million times. We love the look of the Danish by Design BEDNEST bassinet and love that it isn't clunky. I really waned a co-sleeper for practicality, but still wanted it to be aesthetic. 

     

    Cot 

    We are yet to purchase our cot as it is less of a priority because he won't be sleeping in there for months. I love the look of the simple, timber cots like this one here or here

     

    Cocoonababy

    We got the Cocoonababy as one of our first purchases. I love that baby boy can actually sleep in here overnight inside his bassinet and during the day for his naps, unlike other competitors. It will be a perfect nest to pop him in when we are not holding him.

     

    Postpartum care

    There is so much focus on the baby, but us mums need some love too! I have bought some comfy nursing bras, regular bras and some cute pyjama sets. I also bought some coord sets to wear after I give birth to be comfy but still feel cute and like my life is somewhat together.

     

    Ergo baby carrier

    We tossed up between the Baby Bjorn and the Ergobaby carrier but have decided to go with the Ergobaby

     

    Baby bouncer

    We haven't bought a bouncer because just like the cot, it isn't something that we need right away. We are thinking of getting this Baby Bjorn bouncer here. 

     

    Aside from those big ticket items, we need all the usual suspects: clothes, swaddles, dummies, bottles, wash cloths, hooded towels, onesies, nappies, car mobile, sound machine and etc. I will do a detailed haul on everything I have gotten + a nursery tour once everything is up and running. 

    October 22, 2021
    I'M PREGNANT!

    I'M PREGNANT!

    I actually cannot believe I can FINALLY share the news! We found out EARLY so I have been keeping this for so long and have been dying to write this detailed post! I still can't believe that next year we will have a baby. It is such a surreal, insane, amazing time for both myself and Brenton and we couldn't be happier! We feel extremely blessed. We know our life is about to change, but we are so ready for the adventure.

    Announcing has made it feel so much more real, it was like our little secret for so long and now I'm like...THIS IS HAPPENING!

    I wanted to recap my first trimester. For the most part, it has been amazing. Yes, I have been sick and fatigued, but I am so grateful. It has been interesting (and at times really, really hard) experiencing my first pregnancy in lockdown. I had to tell my family through FaceTime, which was sucky not being able to celebrate in person. It was also really hard not having Brenton there at my 10-week ultrasound due to covid restrictions. It was such a special moment and so amazing seeing our little bebe moving around, I would have loved for Brenton to be there. Fortunately, I was able to film it and show it to him after. But, with all that being said, I am faithful and praying that we are out of lockdown soon and I can have a baby shower and still celebrate with all of my loved ones.

    How and when I found out

    Okay honestly, this is going to sound weird but I just knew I was pregnant. I was honestly starving all the time and would wake up at 5:30am ready for breakfast (normally I wouldn't get hungry for breakfast until at least 8:30). I tested a few days before my missed period and got a negative result but I didn't believe it, I suspected I had just tested too early for the HCG to show up. I then waited until the next day as soon as I woke up (I seriously couldn't sleep) and sure enough the tiniest, faintest line showed up. I got sucked into the biggest YouTube vortex of 'evaporation lines' and thinking it was a false positive, so I waited until the next morning to test again. Sure enough, the line was stronger, which is when I told Brenton! So yep, I found out at just 4 weeks pregnant - before I had even missed my period.

    It was the craziest, mot surreal feeling ever. I have goosebumps writing this. So many things crossed my mind at that point: When am I due? What can't I eat? Can I STILL HAVE MY MORNING COFFEE?! Can I still use my skincare? 

    I told Brenton basically an hour after I found out (I went and bought a cute knitted set for the baby and put it in a shoebox with the pregnancy test). It was the sweetest reaction, and I am so glad I filmed it to look back on and show baby one day. Once I told Brenton. we booked a doctors appointment to confirm the pregnancy as once it came back positive, we HAD to tell our immediate family and best friends. 

    First Trimester Recap

    Week 4-6 I had vivid dreams, sore nips (sorry TMI but thats what we came for right?), fatigue and legitimately eating all the time! Bang on 6 weeks, I started to feel nauseous as soon as I woke up. My boobs grew and I was SO tired by midday I was taking a nap basically every day for these 2 weeks! By week 8 my fatigue eased off and the only thing that stayed was my morning and night sickness, hunger levels and cravings. Week 7 and 8 were the roughest for me, I was tired, had zero motivation to work out, had zero motivation to eat anything healthy and just wanted to be a blob on the couch to be honest. Now, I'm still needing extra sleep in the night, getting up around 6:30 instead of 5:30 and I am back to training 4 x per week and have finally been feeling good as regular exercise obviously helps with everything from energy increase to better sleep to happier moods, digestion, the list goes on! Working out was the biggest struggle in the first half of trimester 1 but I wanted to listen to my body and rest when needed. I'm honestly glad I'm back into routine now! I am still doing the 30-day challenge with the necessary modifications that my physiotherapist has prescribed for me, taking longer breaks and making sure my heart rate does not get up too high. And I'm obviously not following the meal plan, haha! I am focusing on staying active and healthy, as much as I can. 

    I have been deep diving into Pinterest, planning the nursery and doing a tonne of research into all the different things we need.

    BABY PARKES COMING MARCH 2022. God is so good and so faithful!

    September 06, 2021
    Sleep Better: It Starts With Your Nighttime Routine

    Sleep Better: It Starts With Your Nighttime Routine

    Ahh, sleep. We love it. And we can't function properly if we don't get enough of it. Here are some tips to help you have a better sleep:

    1. No screens
    Try to stop screen-time leading up to bed time. The blue light from your phone disrupts your natural circadian rhythms (aka internal body clock) which affects your psychology, metabolism and sleep quality. Without going too “sciencey” on you, the blue light from your screens suppresses the production of melatonin, which is essentially your sleepy hormone


    2. Switch off and unwind
    Try reading, praying or journalling to unwind and switch off for the day


    3. Softer lighting
    Turn off your main bright lights and use a soft and dim lamp if you are able to


    4. Brain dump
    Write down anything on your mind that might be bothering you and plan your day for the next day. You should feel less stressed because you can get the mess in your head out and onto paper

     

    5. Blue light glasses
    If you have to use a screen before bed for whatever reason, try using blue-light glasses which block the blue light from your screen

     

    6. Limit your caffeine!
    No more coffee after 11am-12pm. That is a rule I had to make with myself (within reason haha). I found if I had coffee after this time, my sleep quality was poorer than then I needed more coffee the next day and so the vicious cycle begins...

    May 08, 2021