It was fantastic to catch up with first time mum Madeline who gave birth to a beautiful baby girl Marcella! Madeline runs the blog The Daily Mark covering off beauty, tech, lifestyle and more.
What has been your biggest challenge since becoming a mum and how did you overcome it?
My memory! Baby brain doesn’t disappear once the baby is out and those first few days and weeks can sometimes blur together.
It makes it almost impossible to remember when the last feed was, how long it’s been since their last nappy change and all the other details you want to keep track of to make sure bub is growing and healthy.
I downloaded the MyMedela app on my second day in hospital and started tracking and haven’t stopped. Some might see it as just one more thing to do, but the space it makes in your brain knowing you can just look up all that information in an instant is a huge relief!
How do you and your partner approach parenthood?
We’re really trying to just enjoy the ride. We have been extremely lucky in that Marcella is very calm and an absolute dream but even when she is a bit more grumpy we’re trying to look at the positive — extra cuddles!
We’ve been told by everyone that the time goes so quickly so we’re just trying to enjoy having this new person as part of our lives as much as possible and not sweating over the small stuff.
How important was breastfeeding to you and did you feel pressured to breastfeed?
I am one of the first in my friends to have a baby and my mum is awesome in that she never gave me unsolicited advice or forced her opinion onto me so it was something I looked into and decided to try on my own.
I went into parenthood wanting to give breastfeeding a red hot go due to the incredible amount of benefits but I also kept in mind that if it didn’t work out, that was ok too, whatever was best for us both.
Does your partner assist with feeding the baby?
One of the perks of having an overdue baby was that she came out sucking, literally! She knew how to feed before I could even worry about being a first time mum with no idea of what to do. So the next thing I looked into was when to start sharing feeds and introducing a bottle and how to do so without damaging her fantastic sucking reflex.
Medela was recommended at a lactation class I had taken in my third trimester so I knew that the Calma bottles were the pick to get this transition between breast to bottle and back again happening as smoothly as possible.
Now I express once a day to have some breast milk stored for a rainy day (or when I’d like to enjoy a hard earned wine!) and it’s fantastic to see my husband get to enjoy feeding her to. As she gets older and I go back to work I’ll continue to express more and share the feeds.
Have online support networks and tools helped you as a mum? If so, how?
The other great parents we met in our antenatal classes and myself created a Facebook group to keep in touch and that’s been fantastic, not only to see how varied birth and parenthood can be (and that all the bubs are thriving no matter whether they’re a vaginal or csection birth, breast or formula fed!) but also to share common experiences and advice.
I’ve also loaded up my phone with apps to make life with a newborn a whole lot easier like MyMedela for tracking, Noizio for soothing sounds, The Wonder Weeks for a heads up on where Marcella is at developmentally and Kinedu for fun ideas on how to interact with her at any age.
So it's no secret that I'm tech obsessed, a good app find is the best! Currently obsessed with the new #MyMedela app by @medela_au that's allowed me to easily track feeds, pumps, bottles, nappy changes and sleep, keeping this post-birth brain from being too frazzled! If you're a new mum, download it for free now! 🙌🏼📱#medelaAU
Now that you’ve been using the MyMedela app for a few weeks, would you recommend it other new mums and mums to be?
Most definitely! I’ve used it consistently since day two and don’t see myself stopping any time soon. The extra brain space it gives you is a godsend and as it tracks everything from height and weight, to feeds, expresses, bottles, nappy changes and more, whilst being super easy to use, it’s the one app to have to store every bit of detail you might need!
Which of Madeline’s comments can you relate to? How would you describe your own experience with breastfeeding? Please share in the comments below, or join in the conversation on the Medela Australia Facebook page.