After trying for our third bundle of joy for six long years, and finally being told that we were infertile, falling pregnant at the start of lock down with our third baby came as a complete and total shock for my husband and I.
Of course, we were over the moon with the news, but it felt like such a surreal and uncertain time to be bringing a new life into the world; navigating homeschooling with our two eldest, running IMBIBE with our team working from home, and the incredible uncertainty that surrounded our lives, globally, as 2020 unfolded.
“ Our journey as a family has been one that has taken us on a rollercoaster ride of emotions - from sadness, to anger, to disappointment and finally, to surrender."
Despite the uncertainty, we have moved through this year full of love, joy and elation that we are finally able to add to our little family after years of disappointment, but we know that for so many others, the struggle to conceive is ever going. This difficult journey is one that is shared by 1 in every 6 women in Australia and so, with the utmost care and consideration, I wanted to share this part of our story with you, our community, in hopes that it might help to encourage hope or help lend some small amount of support and comfort when it’s needed most.
I want to stress that this article is a personal recount of my child bearing experience and what has worked for me, to help nourish and care for the body during what has been a joyful, but also often stressful period of change.
If you’d like to follow more of my journey, please visit our instagram pagewhere I have shared more intimate snippets along the way.
*disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post, and all services and products have been paid for without suggestion.
The most impactful change I have made in my life and for my body is my diet.
A few years ago I was diagnosed with Coeliac, an autoimmune condition which affects the health of the gastro-intestinal tract and digestion. For years I struggled to get on top of the symptoms before finally discovering the health benefits of taking a combination of Collagen and Multi-Strain Probiotics with Imbibe’s team of microbiologists. This was of course, the beginning of what became our best-selling Inner Beauty set and the beginning of my healing journey.
Over the years I have changed my diet to primarily focus on a gluten free, dairy-milk free, wholefood diet that intentionally excluded grains and processed foods, while focusing on slow cooked meats (where and when possible), broths, soups and veggies.
Including a variety of high quality fats like ghee, hemp and flax seed oils, and grass fed butter have kept my skin, brain, gut and health nourished, while keeping me full and fueled throughout the day.
“These changes have significantly reduced inflammation I was experiencing throughout my body, giving it invaluable time to regenerate and heal.”
So, in a practical sense and in a perfect world (which isn’t always possible as a working mom on the go!) breakfast for me looks like a fresh, veggie heavy omelette paired with a coffee spiked with our Miracle Collagen and local honey; lunch could look like a veggie and chicken soup with dinner focused on greens and lean protein. I try to include protein at every meal to feel satiated and energised.
I generally have Beauty Renewal twice a day; with my lunch and again at the end of the day before dinner. It has been incredible in helping me absorb nutrients from food, as well as calm down my bloating and indigestion.
"It’s no secret that I credit our incredibly clean and high quality Ingestible Beauty range as the key to my health and wellness over the past 3 years, and I absolutely credit my hair growth, thickness, vitality and skin radiance to our range. It has literally changed my life."
This year, I’ve loved adding adaptogens to my regime to help my body cope with the stress of 2020 as well as nourish my adrenals. The Reishi found in Protect has been very calming for me and is a tangible shift in my day to day and as a bonus, the all natural and bioavailable Zinc + Vitamin C in Protecthave also helped me to prevent melasma throughout this pregnancy, unlike during my first two.
"As I’m approaching my 40s, in addition to growing a healthy baby, skin elasticity, recovery (or lack thereof!) and doing whatever I can to prevent stretch marks has been high on my list this time."
Amazingly, I have not developed one stretch mark in this pregnancy, a miracle that I absolutely credit to our Collagen which I’ve been taking consecutively for years now, in my morning coffee.
Skinwise - I relied heavily on our clean Skincare range, which is completely natural and organic so it’s safe for me and for the baby - something I am so proud of for our range and something that was so hard to find during my previous two pregnancies. It’s rich in naturally derived Vitamin C (hello Kakadu Plum) and anti-aging properties including Australian Golden Sea Kelp - both of which have helped to topically combat excess pigmentation on my cheeks and keep those pesky crows feet at bay.
We also released our full body gua sha Contour this year, which I’ve been using daily to help with lymphatic drainage (hello swollen ankles!) and helping to keep the energy flowing through from my wrists right down to my ankles.
This time around I found a doula to help support me and my family during this busy time, and to also help with the transition from pregnancy, to labour, to birth and the period beyond.
"A doula is a birth attendant who is there to provide the emotional and physical support for the family."
In my case she has helped me work through my birthing fears which are completely natural and normal, and has also provided great insights into the labour process.
I have been working with two doulas that I recommend equally here in Byron Bay.
Nathalie Solis is a dear friend to me and has also been involved in a few of our campaigns, so you might recognise her face.
And Ariel Blyth who, in addition to being a talented doula, also runs CrossFit in Byron Bay.
Both women are powerhouses and have been crucial throughout this pregnancy.
Until this pregnancy, I had never had regular acupuncture.
The moment I found out I was pregnant, however, I booked in with the absolutely incredible Elissa Pelling who is a pregnancy, postpartum and fertility expert.
I've been seeing her weekly since I was 12 weeks pregnant and now in the final stages of pregnancy, we’ve been working on getting the baby into optimal position and helping my nervous system to take it down a few notches!
There is not a session that I leave where I don't feel completely rested and grounded.
Thank you Elissa!
My naturopath, Helen Padarin has been and is still the number #1 on speed dial, as far as keeping my wellness on track. She has steered me through an incredibly challenging health crisis and I credit her skills as an amazing naturopath for keeping me healthy, and now, pregnant!
She also offers online consultations **
The Golden Month
For this postpartum period, I am lucky enough to be able to put practical steps in place to nourish my body in the important first few weeks with a newborn and take a load off in the housework department. I bought a month of specific meals delivered and prepared by The Golden Month and I am so excited to see how it goes (I’ll report back) and hopefully have some time off from chef duties!!
Baby HQ Byron Bay
The Bounce Back
I think when it comes to a growing family, you may never feel completely prepared. For me, putting these foundational pieces in place will help make this pregnancy, birth and postpartum period as safe, enjoyable and stress free as possible.
Not having the same resources, or support in my first two pregnancies, I really paid the price. Armed with tools, I think myself and my whole family are better prepared to emerge from this big transition healthy and well.
“I think when it comes to a growing family, you may never feel completely prepared. For me, putting these foundational pieces in place will help make this pregnancy, birth and postpartum period as safe, enjoyable and stress free as possible”
I should also add I don’t believe in “bouncing back after baby” and I think this is actually rather offensive to women who have conceived, carried and nurtured life.
I’m all about nourishment and wellness first, and from that point the “bounce back” will be smooth and delightful.
If you would like to know more about the postpartum recovery please let me know - send me a DM on Instagramand I'll do my very best to share more when I have a baby in arms.
All my love,
This blog is based purely on the author's personal experience. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or treatment. The author is neither a medical nor health professional and cannot guarantee that the information in this blog post is accurate, reliable or complete. If you use this information, you do so at your own risk and should consult a qualified medical or health practitioner before relying on any information contained in this blog.