There is nothing that hits you harder in the ovaries than meeting a super cute newborn bub. If you're planning a visit to meet a newborn, here are nine things that you need to know before you go:
1. Avoid the Pop In
We're sorry, but the days of popping in on your bestie are over. Newborns are hard work and can be especially frustrating when somebody turns up un-announced, despite their positive intentions. Why? The baby may be asleep; it may be time for a feed or Mama really just needs a nap.
Top Tip! You should also avoid visiting Mama and bub in the hospital unless you're immediate family or you're invited. It's just common courtesy!
2. Get Vaccinated
We're going to be blunt here, but make sure your vaccinations are up to date before visiting a newborn. Whooping cough is one we highly recommend! Why? Babies immune systems are super fragile, and we may be carrying around viruses we don't even know that we have. If these are caught by bub, they can become gravely ill.
If the parents ask all visitors to get vaccinated before visiting their little one, please don't question their decision. It is their choice and not one that should be argued against.
3. Feeling Sick? STAY AWAY!
This should go without saying, but if you're feeling sick, please don't go and visit a newborn. Even if you just have a mild cold, bub may contract whatever you're carrying and become sicker than you. It's really not worth the risk.
4. No Kisses
Please don't kiss the baby. We know that they're super cute and their fresh little heads smell amazing, but again their skin and immune system is vulnerable at the moment. No baby deserves to get cold sores for the rest of their life because Great Aunt Carol couldn't stay away!
5. Don't Post Photos on Social Media
While we live in the digital age, it's important to remember to ask the parent's permission before posting any images of their newborn on social media. This is the parent's decision and their wishes should be respected.
6. Don't Create More Work
Having a newborn at home, especially for the first time is a tough gig, so try and avoid any unnecessary tasks for parents to complete while you visit. If you're just popping in, make sure you offer to make yourself a coffee and then wash your dishes before you leave. If you have food, make sure you do all the prep and cleaning up.
7. Don't Overstay your Welcome
You know that your family and friends love you and they are so appreciative that you've come to see their little bub, but a quick visit is generally a good visit. Extended visits may interrupt scheduled naps or feeds and more often than not, they will be to polite to ask you to leave. Aim to stay the length of one coffee and a biccy!
8. Don't be Offended
Having a newborn is amazing, and everything, but boy is it hard work! Please don't be offended if Mama is short, grumpy or tired when you visit; we guarantee she's probably had a tough day or night with bub and all she needs right now is an outlet.
9. Bring Mama Something!
How can we forget the beautiful Mama that just gave birth to this super cute bubba!? Take along her favourite snack, a new mug or even just some new comfy undies - you will get bonus points in the friend department. Another great thing to bring a Mama is a Tiny Hearts course voucher, that means they can book in and learn some life-saving skills once things have settled with bub.
If you've got any top tips for visiting newborns, make sure you leave them in the comments below! ❤️
Are you expecting in 2019? Here is a list of celebrities who will be joining you in welcoming bub's this year!
Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West
Kimye announced earlier this year that they were expecting their fourth child via surrogate in 2019. The couple already have three kids: North (5), Saint (3) and Chicago (1). Chicago was also born via surrogate.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
The newly wed Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expected to welcome their first child around April 2019.
Teresa Palmer and Mark Webber
Aussie-born Actress Teresa Palmer and former Formula One Race Car driver are expecting their third child and first baby girl later in the year. The couple have two boys named Bodhi (4) and Forest (2).
Amy Schumer and Chris Fischer
Your favourite funny gal Amy Schumer and husband Chris Fischer are due to welcome their first child in 2019. There is still speculation as to when their little one is set to arrive.
Lily Aldridge and Caleb Followill
Victoria Secret Model Lily Aldridge and husband Caleb Followill from Kings of Leon are set to welcome their second bubba any day now! Their new child will be welcomed by big sister Dixie (6).
Kayla Itsines and Tobi Pearce
Australian fitness trainer and owner of Sweat, Kayla Itsines and partner Tobi Pearce will welcome their first child and baby girl in May this year.
Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson
Jessica Simpson is expanding her family of four to five, when her and husband Eric welcome their third child in early 2019. The pair already have two children named Maxwell (6) and Ace (5).
Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Jionni LaValle
One for the Jersey Shore fans! Snooki and her husband Jionni are expecting their third child. Snooki gave birth to Lorenzo (6) in 2012 and Giovanna (4) in 2014. Their little one is due to arrive in June or July.
Kobe and Vanessa Bryant
Last month, retired NBA player Kobe Bryant and wife Vanessa announced they will be welcoming a fourth baby to their family of five. The pair already share three daughters, Natalia (16), Gianna (12) and Bianka (2) who without a doubt will be thrilled to add a little one to the family.
Gordon and Tana Ramsey
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey and wife Tana are expecting their fifth child in 2019. The couple annouced their pregnancy on New Year's Day with a cheeky New Years message from the entire family. Check it out here.
Laura Bryne and Matty J
Closer to home, The Bachelor Australia couple Laura Byrne and Matty J announced in December that they would be expecting their first child in June.
There's nothing more exciting or nerve-wrecking than finding out the gender of your baby. Gender reveal parties became all the rage a couple of years ago and were designed to allow expectant parents to share the big news with all their loved ones.
From balloons to flares, parents have come up with all sorts of super crazy ideas to help the reveal their child's gender. But, despite the lengthy planning not all of them go to plan...
So, cause it's Fri-yay, we've put together a list of our top 5 gender reveal FAILS!
This Mum was en-route to her gender reveal party when her son just couldn't wait to find out if he'd be getting a new baby sister or baby brother.
This sports-themed reveal went all kinds of wrong when the balloon decided to fly away, leaving the parent's with no gender.
These car loving parents wanted to create the ultimate 'burn out' experience when they found their baby's gender, but their car had other plans.
Telling your kids your pregnant or telling them their gender of their new sibling can always be met with mixed emotions. It's safe to say that these kids were definitely NOT impressed!
And finally, the gender of this bubba was revealed right in front of an unsuspecting loved one. Ouch!
...and just in case you haven't gotten enough of these hilarious fails, check out this compilation video!
When I was asked this question I knew deep down, setting a plan was never going to be a good idea. I’m a qualified paediatric nurse, so I knew that giving birth usually doesn’t go to plan; so, I planned to deliver my baby in the safest way possible. Little did I know that my delivery would be one of the most traumatic experiences of my life.
In the lead up to my due date, I was feeling great! My pregnancy had progressed as it should - except for fatigue and restless nights, there were no signs of complications. On my due date, I saw the midwife, and she asked how I had been feeling, I generally said good, but I was starting to feel uncomfortable and had noticed I was becoming swollen in my hands and feet. My blood pressure was taken, and they found that I had high blood pressure and that there was protein in my urine.
Panic immediately set in - I was showing all three signs of pre-eclampsia. Despite freaking out on the inside, they placed foetal heart monitor on me, and I called my husband calmly to let him know we had to visit the hospital for extra monitoring. After waiting at the hospital with my husband James for a couple of hours, my blood pressure remained stable, my blood results weren’t overly concerning and the foetal heart rate monitoring was within its normal limits - so we were told to head home and come back the next morning to check on bub again.
Everything the next day went well, and I was starting to feel the panic lift off my shoulders. However, it would seem I became relaxed too quickly. At about 3 am, I woke up suddenly with a throbbing headache - a pain I had never experienced in my life. The hospital told me to come in straight away. My blood pressure had elevated again, and after hours of monitoring, we were told I was to be induced that night. I had heard people say how unpleasant inductions were but I continued to remind myself that I needed to do what was safe for myself and my baby.
After heading home for a brief period, we arrived at the hospital to discuss my induction process with the doctor. They inserted an Atards catheter into my cervix (I had no idea this was even an option for induction), which is a silicon tube that contains a balloon on the end which inflates with saline to apply pressure on your cervix, helping it to both soften and open. This stayed in place for twelve hours.
Over the course of the night, I frequently woke up in pain and was given pain relief when needed. It was a restless night and by 7 am the next day I was feeling exhausted! After twelve hours, the next step in the induction process was to break my waters, so they removed the catheter, and my cervix was measuring at 3cm. The sensation of having my waters broken was strange. It was nothing like the typical movie portrayal of a sudden deluge of fluid - it was much more gradual, and I went to the toilet multiple times because it just felt like I was continually wetting my pants. They then inserted an IV where they applied the syntocinon (a synthetic version of the natural hormone oxytocin which helps to induce labour).
Usually, this drug is meant to be increased in routine stages to help progress the labour but every time the midwife tried to raised the level of hormone, the baby and I would become distressed. It felt like a continuous contraction. After hours of being in intense pain, I was becoming more and more fatigued and was given nitrous gas to help ease the pain. Initially, this was a massive help as I had to focus on my breathing, so it was a welcomed distraction from the pain.
The midwife returned, and it was time to reassess my cervix - I thought surely all of this pain had been worth it. I was bitterly disappointed to learn that my cervix had only dilated by 1cm. My midwife was very supportive and encouraging and set another goal for me to keep going. It was decided that at 6 pm I would be assessed again by a doctor. I was so grateful to have my mum and husband by my side encouraging me along. There were many times when it got overwhelming for my husband to see me so distressed, so having my Mum there meant that he was able to step out of the room every now and again - I was so grateful for their presence.
While I waited eagerly for the 6 pm deadline, I experienced frequent and prolonged contractions. During this time, a new midwife came along and decided to turn up the hormone again to see if we could push the labour along. 6 pm came and went, and my body was struggling, and there was no sign of the doctor. Having worked in the public system for years, I shouldn’t have been shocked by this, but when that doctor walked in an hour later, I broke down. I had never felt this exhausted and in this much pain. I started to sob and beg the doctor to help me I remember distinctly saying “please, please can you help me? I cannot do this, can you please help me? I beg you, please!”
The doctor assessed my cervix, and it was still at 4cm. I felt utterly deflated and defeated all in one exhausted package. At this point, my labour was considered to be a failure to progress, and I was instructed that I would need an emergency caesarian. An Epidural was inserted, and I felt instant relief. I was wheeled into theatre and started to feel intense sharp neck pain and was uncontrollably trembling. I couldn’t get my neck comfortable, and I began to feel very anxious. I was so thankful for my anaesthetist at this point - he was so lovely and calming.
Then my baby was welcomed into the world and it suddenly all felt worth it. My husband burst into tears as he told me we had a little girl.
I briefly had a cuddle before she was whisked away back to the ward. My husband was informed that I’d only be about 20 minutes away as they needed to sew me back up, so off he went with our new bub. Then all of a sudden I had this intense feeling come over me. I experienced a massive wave of nausea and felt as though I was going to pass out. I glanced over at the monitor and noticed that my blood pressure had dropped dramatically. I had haemorrhaged and lost over a litre of blood. This took some time to resolve in theatre and then I experienced a prolonged period of time in recovery as I was still trembling (a common side effect of epidurals). My husband was informed of what had occurred and panic immediately set in.
After an hour, I finally arrived back in the ward and was relieved to see my husband, my parents but most importantly my baby girl. I just sobbed. It was an elated, happy sob and at the same time a cry for what I had just endured. In the end, I had just received the ultimate prize - a healthy baby.
Flash forward three years and my baby girl Maysie is now attending kindergarten. The traumatic birth now seems like a lifetime ago. I’m now challenged by a little “threenager” who is bursting with personality and growing rapidly. Becoming a Mum has been my greatest achievement, and all the bumps along the way have made the journey worth it.
Asthma is a common lung condition that affects 1 in 9 Australians. Essentially, people who suffer from asthma have sensitive airways that narrow because their small airways become swollen and inflamed. As you can imagine, this makes it super tricky for oxygen to get through which results in breathing difficulties, coughing and wheezing.
So what is the difference between regular asthma and thunderstorm asthma?
Most of you will remember the term thunderstorm asthma from the 2016epidemic, where nine people sadly lost their lives due to complications caused by severe symptoms. Thunderstorm asthma is a specific form of asthma which is triggered by an unusual combination of pollen and certain types of thunderstorms. It’s important to note that any child can be affected by thunderstorm asthma symptoms, not just suffers of asthma. For a lot of parents, this can be a scary thought!
Thunderstorm asthma is most likely to occur in spring and early summer when the pollen count is high, but it can happen at any time.
Luckily, there are a lot of ways parents can prepare for thunderstorm asthma weather events and your pals at Tiny Hearts are here to help you out!
What triggers thunderstorm asthma?
Thunderstorm asthma is caused by an uncommon type of thunderstorm that causes grass pollen grains to be swept up into the clouds as the storm forms. When these grains absorb moisture, they can burst open and create massive amounts of smaller particles. One pollen grain can release up to 700 allergen particles. During the storm, these grains are blown to ground level which creates a mass wind full of potential asthma triggers.
Due to their small size, these particles can be unknowingly inhaled deeply into a child’s lungs resulting in irritation that can cause swelling, narrowing and excessive mucus production in the small airways. This, therefore, makes it difficult to breathe and may result in the typical symptoms of asthma such as wheezing and coughing. Unlike regular asthma, these symptoms can turn severe at a rapid rate.
Who is most at risk?
As mentioned previously, anyone can be susceptible to thunderstorm asthma symptoms; there are, however, groups of children who may be at a higher risk of irritation.
There is an increased risk for little ones who suffer from asthma, eczema, hay fever or are allergic to grass pollen. There are also risks for children with undiagnosed asthma; some children may not present any asthmatic symptoms before a thunderstorm asthma weather event.
How can I be prepared?
How you prepare for thunderstorm asthma will depend on your child’s current medical history.
If your child has asthma:
Discuss thunderstorm asthma with your doctor and include steps addressing this in your asthma action planIf pollens trigger your child's asthma, it’s vital to ensure your action plan is updated continuously and active during spring and summer when pollen counts are high. If your child uses a preventer, make sure it’s on them or with their regular medication at all timesIf a thunderstorm is forecast during the pollen season, avoid all possible interaction with allergens blown in the wind by keeping your bub indoors with doors and windows closed until the storm has passedEnsure their reliever medication is with them at all times If your child begins to develop asthmatic symptoms during a thunderstorm, monitor them carefully and refer to asthma action plan for treatment steps. If their symptoms start to worsen, call 000 immediately
If your child suffers from hay fever:
Before grass pollen season, talk to your child’s doctor to discuss appropriate medications to use to manage their symptomsTalk to your doctor as well about the possibility of having asthma reliever on hand for your child in case of thunderstorm asthma weather events. They may recommend this as an excellent preventive measureIf a thunderstorm is forecast during pollen season, avoid all possible interaction with allergens blown in the wind by keeping your bub indoors with doors and windows closed until the storm has passedIf during a weather event, your child starts showing asthmatic symptoms, either use their emergency reliever medication prescribed by their doctor or call 000 if their condition begins to deteriorate
“But my child doesn’t suffer from asthma or hay fever. How can I be prepared?”
We totally get it, and while thunderstorm asthma is rare, it is highly unlikely for your child to suffer severe symptoms. The best thing to do during a thunderstorm asthma weather event is to be aware of the signs and to call 000 if you are worried at any point. To learn more about common asthmatic symptoms, click here.
It’s also essential for all parents to take notice of announcements regarding potential thunderstorm asthma weather events. National news outlets will often report warnings, or you can get weather updates and alerts from the Bureau of Meteorology or AusPollen.
We recognise as parents ourselves, that thunderstorm asthma is scary. But if you’re a proactive parent, it doesn’t have to be. It’s crucial to stay informed and be aware of the symptoms that may present during these freak weather events.
Lucky for us, there are plenty of free resources available online which explains asthma, what to do if your child is having difficulty breathing and how to recognise early signs and symptoms. We’ve created a page over on our information hub dedicated to the ins and out of Asthma. We’ve also provided some links below to reputable organisations such as Asthma Australia and ASCIA.
Feeling like it’s time for a getaway? Holidays can be blissful escapes that do all sorts of good things for the soul. However, the thought of travelling with a little one for some can seem more like a chore than an exciting idea.
Parents often have a lot of questions when it comes to travelling with their bubs such as where is best to sit on the plane, how can I stop their ears from hurting, should I visit the GP before a trip and how on earth do I bring their pram with me!?
Because we know peak holiday season is coming up, we’ve come up with some of our top tips for travelling with little ones.
We’re not going to sugar-coat it, flying with children can be challenging. The most important thing you can do is ensure that your little one is comfortable and relaxed, especially on long-haul flights. So, here are some of our top flying tips:
Plan Your Seat Ahead of Time
If possible, book your seats near a bulkhead or towards the front of the plane, where there is less noise. Sitting at a bulkhead will also allow you to get up and move about the plane freely without disturbing other flyers. If you are travelling with an infant, check with the airline to ensure that they have appropriate safety restraints for take-off and landing. The airline may also provide you with a bassinet for the duration of the flight.
Organise Your Luggage
Every parent knows that a trip away with their little one practically involves moving their entire nursery out of the house and into accommodation. If possible, arrange to use prams, bassinets or cots at the airport and at your travel destination - this will limit your luggage and stop you having to pay hundreds in extra baggage.
In regards to your everyday baby bag, dedicate your hand luggage to this and bring extra supplies! Airlines can encounter unforeseen delays, and you may be required to spend hours at airports or do unplanned stop offs; and more often than not, you won't have access to your check-in luggage. We’re talking extra nappies, bottles, breast pumps, wipes, first aid items, food and snacks.
Protect their Ears
One of the worst things about flying can be ear pressure that our little one’s feeling during landing and take off. Try and have something on hand to keep your little one sucking during these periods such as a bottle or a dummy. The sucking will hopefully help to relieve any pain or pressure that they may be feeling or at least distract them.
If your child takes regular medications or uses medical equipment daily, take them with you on the flight and administer as required. If you are on a long-haul flight, touch base with your GP about potentially adjusting the times of these medications.
Entertain your Kids!
Try and keep your kids entertained on the flight as much as possible, here are some quick and easy options:
Bring an iPad or tablet for them to watch a moviePack their favourite toys and blanketsHave snacks at the readyIf they’re old enough, keep them occupied with books, pencils and puzzles
Touch Base With Your Doctor
If your little one suffers from any sort of medical condition, book an appointment with their doctor at least 8 weeks before jetting off. You should request a letter from the doctor that outlines you bub’s situation, any medication they take or any equipment they need. This letter should accompany you on the plane in case of any questions or emergencies.
If your child doesn’t have any medical conditions and you have concerns about travelling with your little one, it is best to book an appointment with your GP for advice and peace of mind. This is especially useful for parents who are travelling with their child for the first time.
What About Immunisations?
Your GP will be able to inform you if any immunisations are required before your trip (e.g. typhoid), however, these are generally only needed if you are travelling overseas into rural or tropical areas.
Okay, I’ve arrived. Is there anything else I need to know?
So, you’ve made it to your destination, left the airport and arrived at your accommodation after what seemed like a lifetime.
This is the fun part parents! It’s time to unwind and enjoy yourself!
If you’re in a sunny location, protect your little one’s skin by keeping them in the shade, use sunscreen and dress them in protective clothing (e.g. hats, light long pants and tops and rashies).
Before you leave the house, make sure you tick all of these off your list:
Visit your child's doctor at least 8 eight weeks before your trip if your little one has a medical conditionIf your bub has medical conditions, get a letter from your doctor outlining any conditions or medicationsGet travel insurance (this a non-negotiable!)Bring a car seat or organise to have one at your destinationPack sunscreen, loose light clothing and hats (because we assume you’re jetting off somewhere where the sun shines all day!)Pack rehydration solutions (in case of traveller’s diarrhoea or gastro)Pack insect repellent (please consult your GP if you have any concerns about placing new products on your child's skin)Research local healthcare facilities near your accommodation for peace of mind in case of emergency
Travelling with little ones can most definitely be challenging but trust us when we say it gets easier. And hey, you may just be one of the lucky few who has their bub sleep throughout the entire flight!
Remember, be prepared for plane travel, organise prams and cots at airports and your accommodation, touch base with your doctor before travelling, ALWAYS have plenty of snacks and last but not least, enjoy yourself - it’s a holiday remember!?
I walked in the door after a long day in the office and was met by my husband asking “Nik, when are we going to have a baby?”
It caught me completely by surprise; I hadn't even put my bags down at this point.
We always knew we were going to have a family, but we were yet to place a timeframe on it.
He had tried initiating this conversation many times over the past year, but this particular night I knew he was serious, he had reached his limit and there was no way he was letting me leave without giving him a solid answer.
His approach worked.
He asked me to list three reasons why we couldn’t start trying; I couldn’t list one. I had been so caught up in building a successful business that I had forgotten about the actual point of working so hard - to live a beautiful life, and of course, that life involved a little human.
Once I stopped for a second and imagined having a baby with my soul mate, it was all I could think about.
We started trying and fell pregnant quickly, but sadly we lost our baby at ten weeks. This was the most devastating time of our life; we went from falling madly in love and picturing our life as a family of three to experiencing grief and loss that is simply indescribable. Chris and I talk more about our miscarriage experience here.
Pregnancy after a miscarriage is tough, and Google is not your friend!
It’s true what they say; ignorance is bliss. With our first pregnancy, we were blissfully ignorant, but things were incredibly different the second time around - it’s almost like we were waiting, anticipating that something was going to happen, trying to prepare ourselves for the worst, just in case.
I didn’t feel at ease at all during my pregnancy; I was so worried that we would yet again experience the pain of falling in love with a baby we would never meet.
My medical experience and all sense of rational thinking went out the door. Every tiny niggle or symptom, I googled. I was a paranoid mess.
Did I enjoy being pregnant? In a word, no!
I had this annoying all day sickness; I was deficient in everything I was tested for, I had hyperthyroidism and gestational diabetes - not a great combination when you're a woman determined to continue working at full capacity until the baby arrived!
At about 25 weeks, she measured small, around the 10th percentile. I was told this was normal and could change quickly from week to week. I was surprised she was small, since being diagnosed with gestational diabetes I was convinced I would end up having a huge baby and on the front cover of the news with a headline that read ‘Small lady, gigantic baby’.
I reached 32 weeks and began having fortnightly scans and monitoring three times a week in the hospital, she was sitting at the 6th percentile at this stage, but everything was only precautionary, and results were all positive. My obstetrician (OB) had briefly mentioned the possibility of an induction at 37 weeks but insisted on only discussing this closer if required.
It was 9 pm on a Thursday night, we were in bed, and our little girl was extremely active - more so than usual. You could see her body parts pushing against my belly; she was rolling around and moving from side to side. We laughed about how crazy she was.
Suddenly, she went quiet. I felt nothing, no kicks, no hiccups and no tiny little feet pushing in my ribs, not a peep from her all night.
I had met a lady in the early days of my pregnancy. She had experienced abnormal movements of her baby at 40 weeks. Sadly, her baby was born into heaven. She told me movement is the only way our baby can communicate with us. Because of her, I was very aware of my baby's movements. I counted her kicks, and I knew what was normal and what was unusual. Knowing this helped keep my baby safe.
I got up, I moved around, I drank cold water but nothing, she didn't move. Hours had passed.
I felt worried. I didn’t want to overact. I hoped she was sleeping and recovering from the impromptu party she held in my belly earlier.
I didn’t sleep that night. I tossed and turned. I laid still trying to feel something, anything.
I had a routine scan booked for 8 am the following morning; this was the longest night of my life.
During the scan I could tell something wasn’t right.
I had been getting scans regularly throughout my pregnancy. I was on a first name basis with the technician - but today she was quiet. In silence she scanned, she measured and asked me to move positions. She asked if I had felt any movements today and quickly added that that baby’s heart is beating, but she was concerned as she had not moved at all during the scan.
Deep down I knew something was wrong with my baby; she had told me in her own way the night before - through movement.
She now measured at the 3rd percentile, she wasn’t growing, and her blood was being redirected to her vital organs to keep her alive.
I was sent straight to the hospital for monitoring, and we quickly found ourselves discussing induction versus caesar with our OB.
It didn’t seem real. I hadn’t reached the stage in my pregnancy yet where I had spent much time thinking about or emotionally preparing for the birth and now all of a sudden we were told that we would be having a baby in the next 24 hours - we thought we had at least another month!
It was an unusual situation as we had been told that our baby was distressed, but there also didn't seem like there was a massive sense of urgency to get her out. We were still allowed to decide whether to go down the path of induction or opt for a caesar.
We decided to try induction. In hindsight, knowing what we know now, we would have chosen the c section straight away.
She was being monitored every hour, and her heart rate was high. The nurses commented saying that she must not like the monitor being on, but I had been monitored three times per week for the past month - I knew the heart rate spike wasn’t because she didn’t like the monitor, this was abnormal for my baby, she was trying to tell us something.
After a night of attempting to induce labour with no success, my OB tried to break my waters. Trust my husband to need to go to the bathroom at this exact time! It was extremely painful, uncomfortable and it didn’t work.
Still at this point, although she was showing signs of distress, the professionals seemed calm, like I had options and time up my sleeve. At one point even giving me the option of going home and returning another day.
I had an overwhelming feeling, its difficult to explain but quickly my thought process about the delivery and the birth of my daughter changed. It was like a light switched on and I knew what I had to do. It was no longer about what we had planned for her birth or what we wanted in an ideal situation. It was about delivering our baby girl safely, and as soon as possible.
Some might say this was my first experience of Mother’s intuition, a six sense telling me she was in danger.
Within 15 minutes I was in the operating theatre. I was lucky enough to have both my husband and sister with me.
The staff were incredibly kind and reassuring. They were relaxed and professional, all lining up and one by one introducing themselves and what role each would play in the c section.
I was in a good place emotionally; I was confident in my decision and the team that would be delivering my baby and more ready than ever to hold our precious girl.
After the spinal block, the anaesthetist used a piece of ice and held it on the side of my face and told me to concentrate on the cold sensation, he then placed the ice on my leg and asked if I could feel the coldness. I was paranoid that I still had feeling, I made him do the test 3 times just to be sure! It’s so strange as I could feel the pressure of the ice, but I couldn’t feel the cold - it's a difficult thing to get your head around!
With a sheet in front of my face, my sister behind me holding two phones and a GoPro, determined to capture every second and holding my husband's hand, the enormity of how life was about to change hit me. I looked up at my husband. His head was down. I reassured him I was okay, tears streaming down his face and completely overwhelmed he responded: "can you believe we are about to meet our baby?".
Within seconds we heard the sweet cry of our baby girl. She was here. 2.43kg and 42cm - she was beautiful.
I held her for about a minute, but suddenly I felt really unwell. I had this sense of ‘impending doom’ rush over my body, I thought I was about to die. My baby was taken and replaced with a vomit bag, and I wouldn’t see her again for almost 7 hours.
I was taken back into my room where I started to receive updates from my sister and husband who were running between both rooms.
Initially, she was doing fine, but then she started to become more and more unwell, and her condition became serious. First, her blood sugar levels were low, then her temperature was dropping, and her oxygen levels reached an alarmingly low level - to the point where my sister was asked to hold a tiny resuscitation mask over her face to deliver oxygen, while the nursing team prepared for the worst.
I felt so far away from my baby; I felt like we didn’t get the chance to bond with her like I had imagined and I that I hadn’t been given the chance to fall in love at first sight. I was emotional, in pain and exhausted.
Finally, the paediatrician came to see me and advised that Nahla had extremely low platelet levels and required immediate transfer to another hospital for a blood transfusion.
That was my breaking point. I was a paramedic; I knew what platelets do. I knew they prevent bleeding and I knew how lucky we were to have delivered her via c section. A vaginal birth with extremely low platelet levels could have resulted in bleeding in the brain due to the pressure. I was told that Nahla would be transferred but there was no bed for me and I would need to stay. It was like a nightmare.
My sister was incredible; she was our rock. She stayed by Nahla’s side, she sang to her, held her tiny hand, she kept me informed and was amazing. I am so grateful that Rach was there, we truly needed her.
Still, at this point, I had only held my baby for one short minute. Rach saw me crying, she knew just how much I wanted to be with my baby, and she made it happen. I don’t think the nurses even realised how long it had been since I had seen Nahla, they were busy keeping her safe and healthy.
Rach demanded a wheelchair, helped me get in and pushed me into special care. In a humi-crib, with a nasal tube, a heart and oxygen monitor, drips and leads connected, was my little love.
7 hours after giving birth, but what felt like an eternity, I held my little girl, skin to skin, with my husband arms wrapped tightly around us both. I have never felt more complete in my life.
Over the next seven days, our little girl went from strength to strength and showed us all how incredibly resilient she was. We were discharged home with a healthy girl and were more in love than ever.
I had imagined my first week with our baby to be completely different. My birth was certainly not what I had expected, but I have no regrets and no guilt.
My advice to expecting mamas is to trust your instincts and trust your connection with your baby. I truly believe it saved my daughter’s life.
The wonderful woman who spoke with me about being conscious of my baby's movements is the founder of a fantastic not-for-profit organisation called Still Aware.
Still Aware is driving change and working tirelessly to reduce preventable stillbirth through awareness and education.
I highly recommendyou heading to their website and educating yourself about bonding with your bump and monitoring your bub's movements.
Did you know that pre-eclampsia affects 8% of pregnancies in Australia and is one of the more common complications of pregnancy?
Yep, crazy! Pre-eclampsia can happen at any time during the second half of pregnancy or the first few days after birth. The condition is often characterised by high blood pressure and if left untreated can lead to serious injury, organ failure or even death.
Sounds scary? To be honest, pre-eclampsia can be - which is why we’ve come up with the top 5 things you need to know about the condition!
1. Who is at risk?
Pre-eclampsia can be developed by anyone - even Kim Kardashian had it. However, there are specific groups of women that are at a higher risk of the developing the condition if:
It’s their first pregnancy They already have high blood pressureThey have a family history of the conditionThey have diabetesThey are pregnant with twins or so on
2. Signs and Symptoms
Annoyingly, pre-eclampsia has no apparent symptoms, and those who have the condition will mostly feel fine. The only way to diagnosis the condition is by checking your blood pressure regularly during antenatal checks. Some of the early symptoms include:
A sudden spike in blood pressureProtein in your urine
Advanced symptoms pre-eclampsia include:
Dizziness A headacheVisual disturbances (e.g. flashing lights)Abdominal pain below the ribsNausea and vomiting
3. How do you diagnose and treat pre-eclampsia?
As mentioned above, the warning signs of pre-eclampsia are easily missed which is why it’s critical for expecting mother’s to undergo regular antenatal blood pressure checks. Here your doctor will be able to see if you have high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is identified as being 140/90mm Hg or higher they will test for the following:
Protein in the urineSwelling or fluid in your face, feet and handsLiver function abnormalitiesKidney function abnormalitiesBlood clotting abnormalitiesHeadaches or visual disturbances If there have been any growth restrictions on your baby - this will be determined by an ultrasound
If you are diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, your doctor will advise on the best course of action for you and your baby. Generally, this will include increased antenatal check-ups to monitor your blood pressure and urine and to discuss any additional symptoms you may be facing. If your condition is severe, you may be admitted to the hospital for further monitoring and treatment. In some circumstances, this stay could be until your little one is born.
Your doctor may recommend you take extra rest, blood pressure medication or anticonvulsant medication. Unfortunately, there is no cure for pre-eclampsia, and the only way to part with the condition is to deliver your baby and placenta.
4. How will it affect my baby?
As you know, your bub’s home for nine months is in your womb, which is attached to the placenta - an organ that provides your baby with oxygen and nutrients from your blood. If you’re suffering from pre-eclampsia, your high blood pressure can limit the amount of oxygen and nutrients being delivered to your baby, which could, in turn, stunt their growth.
Affected growth can threaten the life of the baby or result in them being born early. In Australia, 8% of premature babies are delivered as a result of pre-eclampsia.
5. Will it affect future pregnancies?
It’s time for some good news! The likelihood of you suffering from pre-eclampsia in your second or future pregnancies is generally slim. However, your risk will remain high if you suffer from medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease or hypertension.
During future pregnancies, the following signs may indicate a relapse of pre-eclampsia:
Headaches that cannot be treated by over-the-counter medications (i.e. paracetamol or ibuprofen)Blurred visionUnusual or sudden swelling in your hands, feet or face
The key thing to remember is that pre-eclampsia can affect anyone, which is why regular antenatal checks are crucial throughout your pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia is common, which means it can be effectively managed by health professionals ensuring good health for both yourself and bub.
For more information on the condition, please chat to your GP, Midwife or Obstetrician for expert advice!
So you’ve made a little human - congratulations! You’re a rockstar.
If you’re anything like us, you’re either super excited about bringing bub home or scared out of your mind (let's be honest, you're probably both). Don’t stress! Taking your little one home for the first time is a major learning experience for all involved.
Sleep is crucial for your little one’s development, and many factors need to be considered such as safe sleeping, how often they need to sleep, how to know when they're tired and how to get sleep as a new parent.
Okay, we know what you’re thinking - that’s A LOT of information! But rest assure, we’ve got you.
To help all of you newbie parents out, we’ve come up with the ultimate Baby Sleep Bible to help you work out your bub’s sleep routine and needs in no time!
HOW MUCH SLEEP?
Your baby’s sleep requirements will change as they grow. So, to make it easy for you, we created a handy little guide that outlines how much sleep your child will need all the way up to age four.
You can also download and print this guide .
One of the most important things to consider when bringing home your newborn is determining where your little one is going to sleep. Implementing sleep safety dramatically reduces the risk of Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome (SUDS), so it’s essential to know all the safety tips to help give your bub the best environment for them to rest their little eyes.
In the early stages, the safest place for your bub to sleep is in the same room as their parent or parents. For the first six to twelve months, it’s highly recommended for your baby to sleep in the same room in their own safe sleeping place such as a bassinet or safety cot.
Why Room Sharing?
Red Nose Australia says the safest place for a baby to sleep is in a safe cot next to the adult caregivers’ bed.
“Studies have shown when a committed caregiver sleeps in the same room, but not the same bed with their baby, the chance of the baby dying suddenly and unexpectedly is reduced by up to 50%”.
Room sharing will also mean you have easy access to your bub in the middle of the night. This is especially important for breastfeeding Mamas!
Before your little one arrives, you should make room in your current bedroom for your bub to fit or move a mattress into your child’s nursery for you to sleep on. This may require some furniture rearranging, so it’s important to do this ahead of time!
If Mum is breastfeeding, we strongly recommend having the bassinet or cot set up next to their side of the bed.
Preparing the Bassinet
It’s important that your bub’s bassinet or safety cot is set up to ensure that your child has the safest sleeping environment possible. The following steps below outline how your child’s bassinet or cot should be set up to provide a safe sleeping environment:
Ensure your child’s head, and face remains uncovered during sleep.Ensure you have a firm, well-fitted mattress with a tight sheet covering. There should be no gaps between the mattress and cot.Set the bassinet or cot up on a flat surface and check to see if the cot is level.Position your child with their feet to the end of the bed.If you have any blankets, firmly tuck these no higher than their chest. No doonas or quilts should be placed in the bassinet or cot.If your bub is swaddled, ensure the swaddle is no higher than their shoulder and is firm (but not tight). Light cotton fabric is best recommended to avoid over-heating. Please be aware of your bub’s development when it comes to swaddling. It’s recommended to stop swaddling at around four months or when they begin rolling.Do not place hats on your child when they sleep.Do not place pillows in the bassinet or cot.Do not place any toys, stuffed animals or small objects in the bassinet or cot with your little one.
The same above steps apply when preparing your child’s cot in their own room or nursery.
There is no set time frame in which your bub is required to move out of your room and into their nursery. As a general rule, babies can start to make this transition between six and twelve months of age - keep in mind, every baby will be different!
To help streamline this process and to give you peace of mind that you’re bub is safe, there are a few steps you can follow to help ease this transitional period.
Familiarise Your Bub with their New Surroundings
For some babies, they move from bassinet to cot with ease while others will take some time adjusting. The best way to introduce your child to their new sleeping environment is during daytime naps - this will allow them to slowly adjust without making the transition immediate.
When your little one is awake and alert, place them in the cot and play with them or sit nearby while they play by themselves. This will allow them to associate the cot with positive and happy feelings. Remember to take any toys or objects out before they go to sleep.
Once your bub is familiar and comfortable with their nursery and new sleeping environment, you can make the transition permanent!
Purchase a Baby Monitor
A baby monitor, especially a video one, is the perfect way to get peace of mind during the night. There are plenty of options on the market that have high-quality footage and sound and some can even connect to your phone.
You can position this monitor above your child’s bed (make sure this is entirely out of reach). This way, you will know if your child requires your attention in the middle of the night.
Create a Routine
Once your bub is sleeping in their own nursery, it’s a great idea to develop a bedtime routine, so your little one begins to understand when it’s bedtime. Every baby’s routine will be different, but it may look something like this:
1. Give your bub a feed or bath (could be even both)
2. Dim the lights in the room
3. Rub your baby with some baby-safe soothing lotion
4. Pop a fresh nappy on
5. Put them in clean clothing
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME FOR BED?
As you get to know your baby, you will be able to pick up when they’re hungry, grumpy, sick and tired. In the early stages, you may not fully understand what a tired cue may look like. Here are some of the most common tired signs:
Yawning (obviously)If they grizzle or cryJerking arms or legsClosing fistsFluttering eyelids and frowningArching their back (in older babies)Staring or difficulty focussing (they may appear cross-eyed)StiffnessSucking on fingersRubbing their eyes (in older babies)Grasping at their own body or clothes
LOOKING AFTER YOURSELF
While it’s vital to ensure your bub is getting adequate amounts of safe sleep, it’s just as important to look after yourself as well! Yes, it’s normal to be a little tired, and you will be in the early days. It’s a significant adjustment to your daily routine - but your little one will need your best self to care for them.
Here are few self-care tips to keep yourself in tip-top shape:
It’s the old saying: sleep when the baby sleeps. But seriously, catch up on rest whenever you can! Your newborn will take multiple naps during the day, try to do so as well if needed.Go to bed early. Your little one has their longest sleep when they are first put to bed so try to sleep then as well.Limit your caffeine to help promote better sleep.Drink plenty of fluids and eat well-balanced meals.Keep active for a positive mental and physical state of mind.Ask for help if you need it!
Feeling overwhelmed? We’d be surprised if you weren’t! Becoming a new parent is a huge deal and the biggest learning experience of your life.
It’s important to remember that all of these steps, routines and precautions are a small chapter in a long and healthy life for your baby. As parents, you will do anything to keep your bub safe and healthy, and these sleeping tips will soon become second nature to you.