I have 3 children, Lulu 5 and a half, Iris 3 and Lenny 6 months
2. What are your 5 must have baby essentials?
1) A good baby carrier – I use a sling as well as a hugabub and an ergo
2) Cloth nappies – pea pods
3) Probiotics – baby biotics until 3 months and then polybac 8
4) Cod liver oil
5) A good first aid kit, which includes rescue remedy and arnica
3. What are your 5 must have Mummy essentials?
1) A great team of healthcare professionals – including a good gp, naturopath, homoeopath and chiropractor
2) A current first aid certificate
3) Placenta capsules made by a doula (I went through the Australian Doula College)
4) A good nursing bra (Elle Macpherson intimates) and a breast pump (Medela swing electric)
5) An excellent diet including lots of good fats, high quality protein and fresh fruit and veggies
4. What is your fondest memory of being pregnant?
I loved the way I looked pregnant, I was ‘all baby’ and I loved the shape of my pregnant body.
5. Can you give us 5 words to describe your labor?
They were all a bit different. Collectively, I would describe them as: meditative/trancelike, relentlessly intense, primal, overwhelming joy, relief
6. What’s the funniest thing your baby has done to date?
I have a pretty funny video of my three-year-old (when she was not yet two) nude wearing a pair of high heels, I wore as a bridesmaid (she wore them much better than I did) strutting around the garden.
7. What’s your profession & do you plan on returning to it now that you’re a Mummy?
I was a video artist, filmmaker and website assistant at The Art Gallery of New South Wales before I had children. While I was pregnant with my second child I did yoga teacher training and after she was born I resigned from my job at The Art Gallery of New South Wales to continue to study. I really loved my job and the people I worked with – but I knew I that I had a different path to follow. Since then I have been and still am studying; AcuEnergetics, a diploma of Energetic healing (at NatureCare college), RAW (Rekindled Ancient Wisdom) oil painting and Nutritional Medicine (at NatureCare College). I still have a fair way to go with my studies and I’m taking it slowly while parenting my young family. However, in the future, I hope to work with women and families using yoga, AcuEnergetics, nutrition, energetic healing and creative processing. I would love to work with families, helping people live well and to create a sense of community and a network of support.
8. What advice can you give to expectant mothers?
Above all else trust your own instincts, a mother’s instinct is very powerful – it will teach you if you trust it. Be present with your kids and enjoy a deep and loving connection, that way they will always feel safe and loved and you will not miss a second. People will tell you to enjoy it while you can, you can only do that by being present to enjoy it. Motherhood is trial and error, so just keep at it, allow your baby to teach you and know that your best is always good enough.
9. What’s the thing that you least expected about motherhood?
I didn’t realize just how powerful love could be. When I had my first daughter, I loved her so much that I worried I would not be able to love another child as much. I was happy to find out that with number two and three, that I loved them just as much and my love grew to be enough for all of them.
10. What’s your favourite weekly activity that you and your baby do together?
At the moment with Lenny I am loving going to mum’s and bub’s yoga every Tuesday at Jivamukti yoga Sydney with the wonderful Lynda Anne Taylor and hanging out in the park with a really special group of mums and babies after. I also love swimming lessons on Wednesdays where I tag team my kids from the crèche to their lessons – tiring but fun.
11. What does it mean to be an “eco friendly” Mummy? & How do you keep it green?
I think it is important be aware of the products you use and your level of consumption. I use cloth nappies, I wash in cold and line dry. We try to be careful with our water and electricity usage – the girls both bath in a deep baby bath sitting inside our larger bath and they love it. We have kept our small station wagon in favour of getting a larger fuel-consuming car and we have managed to squeeze all three child seats in the back, we are a full car! We buy mostly organic and we grow some veggies in our garden – mostly leafy greens that keep on giving. I use natural products at home and I don’t use chemicals. My girls share clothes and wear hand me downs. We don’t really buy a lot of stuff, and we try to encourage friends and family to give art supplies, books and clothes for gifts. We live in a small space so we keep clutter to a minimum. We educate our children through our words and actions about how to be aware of and care for the planet.
I’ve been pretty lucky that all of my kids have slept really well. We all bed share (safely) so that helps. My kids smiling faces and giggly laughs can always make me happy.
13. Do you need to stick to any kind of diet or cut any foods out due to breastfeeding and if so why?
Yes, dairy, and gluten have seemed to cause the most problems for me, so at the moment I am eating a dairy and gluten free diet while breastfeeding 6 month old Lenny (I also avoid soy in general, but I still eat fermented soy products like miso and tempeh). So far I have observed that dairy causes the most digestive problems, it makes my children vomit and gives them foamy, mucousy stools – a sign of gut inflammation. When I cut out dairy the problems clear up instantly, and if I have a slip up they re-occur instantly, it’s unmistakable. I substitute dairy products with almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk and coconut yoghurt (and avoid cheese and anything containing milk solids in general). Lulu is also on a gluten free diet, which has made a big difference to her, she was getting abdominal pain from gluten and now that has gone and she feels well (she’s not coeliac though which is a relief). My kids also have a tendency towards eczema. Lulu and Iris both had eczema as babies, usually beginning in the heat of their first summer. So far Lenny hasn’t had any eczema, but summer hasn’t hit yet, so that will be the tester. I have been taking a specific strain of probiotic through pregnancy and also for breastfeeding (Lactobacillus rhamnosus). This strain is included in polybac 8 which is the probiotic I am currently taking and giving to Lenny. I also massage his skin with coconut oil after his bath, which helps to keep it moisturised to prevent a breakout. Organic virgin coconut oil has lots of wonderful properties and is very nourishing so I love to rub it on his skin and he likes to have a little lick to taste it too. In general my diet is very clean, simple and unprocessed for breastfeeding and it works well that way for me and my kids.
14. What’s your favourite healthy meal that you serve to your family?
Oh that’s tricky. My kids are always changing so I need to constantly change it up to keep it interesting. I am very creative in my ways to get a good mix of organic food into my family. I try to make wholesome whole food and use a lot of veggies, finding ways to make them inseparable so they can’t be eaten around or picked out. I also add a mix of superfoods, lots of good fats, sea veggies, a variety of seeds and nut butters to my meals. I flavour mostly with miso, tamari and Himalayan pink salt. For example: Last night we had baked fresh salmon served with stir fried buckwheat noodles, asparagus, carrot, pumpkin, silverbeet, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pepitas, chia seeds, dulse flakes and fresh coriander, cooked in garlic infused coconut oil, and after the heat was off I mixed through some miso paste, flax seed oil and a sprinkle of changing habits fermented foods probiotic.
15. What’s the thing that happens that makes you think & or say “Oh no not again!”
My first daughter was and still is very cautious and bodily aware. The first time she walked by herself we weren’t looking, and when we turned around and saw her she stopped. She never fell over or had accidents of any kind. Our second daughter on the other hand is very gung-ho. She started walking by herself before she was steady enough to do so and to this day she is very confident in her actions but not always so bodily aware. If we are running around in the park and Iris falls and hurts her knee – I say “Oh no not again”