MUSE MAMA | @birthwithbeth

MUSE MAMA | @birthwithbeth

Meet Beth... A midwife, a mama to be, and the INCREDIBLE woman behind @birthwithbeth 💛⁠

Beth started @birthwithbeth a year ago in the height of COVID panic when maternity services were quickly changing and there we so many unknowns for pregnant people.⁠
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If you haven't discovered her Instagram, we highly recommend that you do!!⁠ @birthwithbeth is an absolutely GOLD MINE of information for all things pregnancy and motherhood, delivered with compassion and confidence. ⁠
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Beth is our latest Pea in a Pod MUSE MAMA and we're honoured to be able to collaborate. ⁠

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What's the most common information requested from you as a midwife? 
Why do you think that is? What's your response? 

Recently I have found a huge influx of questions about induction of labour.

Honestly, I think the influx of questions relating to this topic is a reflection of Australia’s really high induction rate, so many people are facing discussions with their care provider about being induced and there is a lack of un-biased information available to help people navigate the decision.

When I chat to people about induction, I always encourage them to consider risk vs. benefit and ask, is this intervention going to greatly reduce risk of harm to me and my baby? It’s super tricky because each pregnancy is unique, what is the right decision for one person may not be for the other.


This is your first pregnancy, how do you feel being a midwife has affected your journey?

While there are challenges to knowing lots about the process I think it’s a huge privilege to have so much knowledge as it’s allowed me to feel confident and really enjoy the process. For the most part I’ve felt incredibly calm. There has of course been times when it’s been difficult to leave work behind and focus on me, but ultimately I’ve loved experiencing something that I’ve supported others in for so many years.

 

Is there anything that you have learnt unexpectedly about pregnancy that you have never been 'taught'. 

Absolutely. I have always empathised with women about their various pregnancy experiences, however experiencing pregnancy for myself that empathy has deepened. As a midwife I focus predominately on the clinical care. As a woman growing a baby, I now realise that even a “normal” or “low risk” pregnancy (while hugely joyful) can still be incredibly challenging. No matter what your pregnancy has been like, it really is a transformative time… not just in the sense that your body is changing but you are thinking about, and adapting to, so many changes.

 

What’s your “must-have” piece of maternity clothing?

Soft but snug over-the-bump black exercise tights. On days when nothing else feels right, the active wear look has been a real go-to. I say “look” because I can’t say I’ve been as active as the outfit suggests.

 

What will be the first thing you enjoy post-partum that you couldn’t have while you were pregnant?

A glass of prosecco.

Do you feel self-conscious of your body while pregnant? 

For sure! As amazing as the pregnant body is – it’s different and the physical change is rapid (at least it was for me). Starting the day to find most my wardrobe no longer fitted made me pretty self-conscious, as did the sudden increase in cup size. That said, I have loved watching my bump grow so have tried to lean into it.




What’s the most awkward thing about being pregnant?

Hands down the most awkward part of pregnancy is people who wouldn’t usually touch or comment on your body… touching and commenting on your body. I think all pregnant women can relate, but I’ve had people say the strangest things to me.

 

Do you have education packages that you offer? 
Talk us through how they might benefit a new mother? 

I do! Through my small business ‘Birth With Beth’ I offer birth & postpartum preparation classes via Zoom in both private and group settings. Very soon, I am releasing an online course made up of pre-recorded modules, meaning couples can work their way through a wealth of knowledge in their own time. My courses combine current evidence with industry experience and are designed to make people feel safe, supported and confident heading into birth and new parenthood.  

 

 

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Beth wears (from top to bottom)  Olivia Nursing Top & Hudson Ponte Leggings; Raina Nursing Dress; Jade Nursing Top & Aya Knitted Track Pants; Selah Nursing Sweat in Pink & Maxine Track Pants; Perla Merino Nursing Dress and Livia Longline Cardi. 

Children's Ground Spotlight

Children's Ground Spotlight

National Reconciliation Week
27 May to 3 June

To shine a light on the importance of National Reconciliation Week, we have partnered up with Children's Ground, a bold not-for-profit organisation creating a different future with First Nations children, families and communities experiencing the greatest levels of disadvantage.

During National Reconciliation week 2021, we will be donating $1 from every style sold to Children's Ground and help to raise awareness for this all important organisation. 

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Chloe from Children's Ground spoke with Lorelle, a mother of 9 and also a grandmother.


What was it like becoming a mother? 

Wow. It was a big step for me. Really life-changing, I was really young, turning from a teenager into mummyhood. I grew up from childhood into a really big family - I had aunties doing the cooking and cleaning, so when I became a mum, I just automatically knew what to do. 

When the kids get bigger, school is the most prioritised and important thing — and looking after their health. They are just like my little workers too... they help me clean, and we do things together. We learn to help each other out, and they make it easier for me. Sometimes it can be very stressful, but I just have to take it easy. I just be normal and don't show it... my grandmother taught me to be calm. I knew if she was angry, she was very serious. She's a very powerful old girl, my grandmother. 

 

What's the importance of community? 

Important for them to learn about culture and land, fishing, cooking and gathering. It's important to know the families here; it's the best times, I love those days when we get together. It heals you, you know? Lifts your spirits. All these houses, we help each other out, clinic, food... I give them my leftover food and might get them a power card. We are all very kind-hearted together. 

 


 

 

Is there a word, or saying that has stuck with you as you parent? 

Always show respect for your elders. There could be so many!
Show love and care. 

 

Last question: what does reconciliation mean to you and your family? 

For Aboriginal people to be recognised, and to become one. Like one whole Australia.
 

 

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Wear it Yellow

Reconciliation Australia’s theme for 2021 ‘More than a word. Reconciliation takes action’, urges people to focus on what action is required on the journey to achieving equality between First Nations and non-First Nations people. Reconciliation is just another word, unless we all take practical steps to put it into action.

Let us start a new chapter in the future of Australia, where we walk as equals. Where reconciliation is not just a word and a day in the calendar, but where we reconcile the trauma and atrocities of the past and celebrate our shared future and knowledge.

- William Tilmouth
Arrernte man and Founding Chair of Children’s Ground




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Not just a Tee

We have designed a tee that celebrates the fact that you're not just a mama, and we are donating $5 from every PIAP MAMA Tee sold to Children's Ground.

Shop the Tee


Children's Ground is a not-for-profit organisation creating a different future with First Nations children, families and communities experiencing the greatest levels of disadvantage.

From infants to Elders, they work with entire communities over a 25-year period to make real and lasting change.
Celebrating culture, recognising talent, inspiring hope, delivering excellence and creating opportunity, Children's Ground is an evidenced-based approach, designed with First Nations leaders to achieve radical reform.

Read more about Children's Ground HERE and the noble work that they are doing.

We also encourage you to follow Children's Ground on Instagram / Facebook so you can follow their journey, learn more about the approach and find out more ways to donate.

 

xoxo

Not just a MAMA | LIZ LIM

Not just a MAMA | LIZ LIM

You're not just a mama. You are still YOU. Just a new & better version

Introducing Liz Lim: 
Mama of 2 boys, Eli & Sunny, also studying and working as a dental assistant.

When she’s not busy raising 2 little ones, she is undergoing a self-love journey and connecting with other mums on her Instagram, encouraging them to embrace their beautiful postpartum figures.

We chat to Liz about what "Not just a MAMA" means to her, battling the baby blues, honour your body and trusting your instincts.

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What does motherhood mean to you?

Motherhood to me means a journey into a new self. Breaking, just to come together again. It’s messy, exhausting, challenging but also the most rewarding! It’s unconditional love, it’s family, and it’s happiness. A real life rollercoaster. 

 

 

What comes to mind when you hear "not just a mama" and what are those other identities inside you that you want to honour?

After becoming a mother I feel like I kind of lost my identity. But it was more about becoming more myself than I ever was before I’m still navigating this new self, this new identity. And through navigating I’m also reminded that I’m “not just a mama”. I’m a lover. A friend. A human being. And honouring these things takes a lot of work but I’m learning everyday.
My relationships have changed, with myself, my partner and people in my life.
I try to do things for myself each week to make myself feel good, to feel like “me” and not just a mama. Whether that be going to the gym or putting some music on and dancing.
I like spending quality time with my man and honouring the “lover” in me.
I make time for my friendships because it’s so important for my mental health & happiness to spent time with my friends and be able to take my mum badge off & relax.. and have a conversation with another adult.
I always have so many tabs open I remind myself daily that I’m a human being and not a super human. That I need to take time off to switch off from everything and just breathe.

 

 

How to be a mum but also make time for you, your dreams and passions?

It’s so easy as a mother to put your kids and everyone else’s needs above your own. And sometimes even pour from an empty cup. But so important to make sure you’re looking after yourself, as well as pursuing your dreams and passions to fill your cup up. I try and make sure I schedule time in each week to do this, even if it’s for an hour.
Also, get comfortable with asking for help! This was something I struggled with but eventually learnt that I can’t do anything for myself unless I ask for someone’s help (with the kids).

 

Can you tell us a bit about your postpartum journey, both physically and mentally?

I had baby blues BIG TIME after my first. No one had told me about it. So I didn’t understand what was going on. Plus, I was learning what this new roll as a mother meant. It was super tough coz I didn’t have many mum friends at the time. And the friends and family that were visiting were coming to see the baby. Nobody asked me how I was doing. But everyone wanted to see the baby. I know they all meant well and they were excited to meet our little bundle of joy. But little did everyone know I was battling baby blues. All I wanted to do was spend time with my new little family, bond with my baby, get comfortable in my new roll, gain confidence as a new mother, also give my body a rest to just heal. My body had been through the most traumatic thing it had ever been through, yet the most beautiful and powerful thing!

 

Meeting new mums, joining mums groups helped so much! I felt understood. I felt like I wasn’t alone. And that was the most important thing for me.
After number 2, I expected the baby blues again but it was a completely different experience. I think it had a lot to do with having the confidence has a mother. Because I wasn’t afraid to say NO VISITORS. And no I’m not ready for you to hold my baby. I was familiar what with my body was going through and the healing it still had left to do after pregnancy and giving birth. 9 months postpartum now and my body is still recovering.





Advice for other mums/ first time mums?
 

Trust your body. You were made for this.

Don’t be afraid to offend people or to say no to visitors. You know whats best for you and your baby. Give yourself and your beautiful little family time to bond. Everyone else can wait.
Honour your body. Be gentle with yourself and patient with your body. Creating and carrying a baby is one of the most amazing and magical things!
Trust your instincts as a mother. You can never love your baby too much or spoil it. Cuddle your baby, go to your baby when he cries, rock your baby, nurse your baby to sleep, sleep with your baby (safely, of course). There is nothing wrong with following your instincts and going against what’s written in the sleeping training books.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether that’s asking a family member or friends to help with the kids, so you can go do something nice for yourself. Do. Not. Feel. Guilty.
You are the most important person in your babies world. The best toys, new clothes, the cleanest house, do not matter to them at all.

 

 

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Liz Lim
Follow Liz on her motherhood
journey on Instagram HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




______________

Not just a Tee

We have designed a tee that celebrates the fact that you're not just a mama, and we are donating $5 from every PIAP MAMA Tee sold to Children's Ground.

Shop the Tee


Children's Ground is a not-for-profit organisation creating a different future with First Nations children, families and communities experiencing the greatest levels of disadvantage.

From infants to Elders, they work with entire communities over a 25-year period to make real and lasting change.
Celebrating culture, recognising talent, inspiring hope, delivering excellence and creating opportunity, Children's Ground is an evidenced-based approach, designed with First Nations leaders to achieve radical reform.

Read more about Children's Ground HERE and the noble work that they are doing.

We also encourage you to follow Children's Ground on Instagram / Facebook so you can follow their journey, learn more about the approach and find out more ways to donate.

 

xoxo

Not just a MAMA | JESS URLICHS

Not just a MAMA | JESS URLICHS

Introducing Jessica Urlichs: A Kiwi mother of two under two. 

We chat to Jess about what "Not just a MAMA" means to her, self-care and her own postpartum journey; the high, the lows and the magic in-between.

Not just a Mama

Not just a Mama

You're not just a mama; you're a superhero. You're a daughter, sister, partner, a best friend. A teacher, a rule maker, a rule breaker. A humble-being, a shoulder to cry on, a rock. A stay-at-home-mama, a business builder, a team member. You have a past; you have a future. 

Although Motherhood is a defining characteristic of your new selfhood, you are not defined by it. Because you're not just a mother. You're a daughter, sister, partner, a best friend. This series of interviews, we chat to real mums, discuss #mumguilt and the importance of self care.

MUSE MAMA | Anna Kooiman

MUSE MAMA | Anna Kooiman

Anna Kooiman is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, prenatal and postnatal corrective exercise specialist, women's fitness specialist, and international TV host.

We chatted with her about bellies, transition periods, fitness and pregnancy in the time of COVID-19.

MUSE MAMA | Sarah Newland

MUSE MAMA | Sarah Newland

At age 29 Sarah inspirationally swapped her career as a fashion stylist to pursue her passion of Nutritional Medicine. Ten years later and now pregnant with her first child we caught up with Sarah and chatted about the importance of gut heath, food-as-medicine, fertility boosting diets and post-partum weight loss. 

 

1) Could you describe yourself in one sentence?

I know best friends would say ‘fiercely loyal’ haha. I guess I would say I am a passionate person - which is reflected in my practices with my own health and that of my clients, making sure I am always updating my knowledge (which is actually not a burden for me, I love it), and my connections with the people I care about. 

 

2) This is your first time being pregnant -What is the one thing you didn’t expect that came with pregnancy?

Oh god, SO MUCH. You cannot prepare yourself for the uniqueness of experiencing your first pregnancy. I suppose the 'absolute surrender' to the processes your body is going through, and the needs of a healthy growing baby. It sounds obvious, but I have always maintained my weight and health with control over my diet and lifestyle. In pregnancy, and perhaps more so in my pregnancy as it was a surprise, you have to accept changes and literally just surrender to nature. Eg, I never used to eat as soon as I wake up, but now my body feels like I need to and so I listen to it. My appetite for sugar (by sugar I mean fruit) is like never before. I am eating red meat and pate and other iron rich foods more than I would normally like to. Plus surrendering to tiredness, I guess it’s forced ’self-care’ on a whole new level!

 

 

3) You’re a nutritionist, what are your top nutrition tips for growing a healthy baby? 

- Sleep as much as you can! Consume bone broth and kefir daily.
- If you haven’t already, switch to organic fresh produce.
- Consume oily fish like salmon a few times a week and/or supplement with EPA+DHA.
- Iron rich foods (haeme iron preferably) several times p/week.
- Mineral rich foods (eg. calcium, magnesium) daily, I’m going crazy with activated nuts, activated seeds, and tahini. 

 

4) You work with women who are struggling with infertility, how does diet play a role in this and what do you recommend for women going through this?

It’s amazing how little focus the conventional health system puts on fertility nutrition, I believe it to be so important. For example reproductive hormones require cholesterol to synthesised and active, which we get from healthy fats, so plenty of healthy fats are fundamental for reproductive health. Reducing inflammation is also absolutely necessary, and supporting gut health. And importantly, one of the most common things I see in women struggling with fertility is stress. Modern life can just put so so so much pressure on the body to over perform, our system naturally goes into fight-or-flight mode when we are busy or stressed all the time. When fight or flight mode is activated, the body can decide it’s not fit for reproduction in that state. A focus on calming the nervous system down and activating rest-and-digest or feed-and-breed mode is essential for fertility health.

 

5) Are you having any cravings? How are you managing them if they’re not the healthiest cravings?

Nothing weird! I was eating a punnet of strawberries per day for a while there. I am currently going through black tahini and goat’s milk kefir at an unbelievable rate. If you put chocolate in front of me I will eat it all, but I don’t buy it. To be honest, I am not having any weird cravings I am just hungry a lot… and I am surrendering to my body’s needs and eating lots! So it is kinda fun in a way, guilt free indulgence. It’s all healthy stuff though. Lots and lots of avocado, activated nuts and seeds, bone broth, kefir, natural yoghurt, green veg, salmon, pate, eggs from the farm and grass-fed steak. 

 

6) For mama’s who have put on extra weight during pregnancy (because they were growing a human!!) what are some simple things they could do to help lose that weight?  

Focus on the quality of your diet. Cut out the crap. The health of you and your baby is too important to be punishing yourself with processed nasties or a lack of good nutrition. If you eat quality, real (not processed) foods, you should be satiated after meals and your body should respond well. Everyone is different and will have their own needs and preferences of course, but that is a general approach! In post partum, I plan to prioritise rest until my body has healed, but I hope to get a walk or gentle activity in each day (once I can), and then when I am able and my new lifestyle allows, to return to a mix of yoga, pilates and a run where I can to build up some cardio fitness again. And of course maintain a nutrient dense diet.

 

7) If there’s ONE message you could impart… Leave us with your golden piece of advice:

Look after your gut health. It really is true that everything begins in the gut - whether that be disease or great health. Even your mental health depends on optimal gut health, via the gut-brain-axis. Your gut health is the cornerstone of your wellbeing and is totally worth the efforts and changes you might need to make to nourish it. 

Sarah wears selected garments from our Summer Collection. 

SHOP HERE

 

Sarah has kindly offered a discount for Pea in a Pod customers...
See Sarah for an initial consult for only $150 (usually $190), or a 3-pack of consults for $400. This offer would be especially useful during pre-conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding to ensure mum and bub are getting the right nutrition.Email info@happybellynutritionalmedicine and quote ‘LOVEPEAINAPOD'
For more information on Sarah and her practice visit 
https://www.happybellynutritionalmedicine.com/

 

Muse Mama | @shethespy

Muse Mama | @shethespy

@shethespy has one of the most beautiful aesthetics going around, so it’s no surprise that she’s amassed a pretty serious social media following. Pregnant with her first baby, we sat down and chatted with the gorgeous Joey about a first time pregnancy, “influencing” and privacy & babies on instagram.

 

You’ve got a pretty serious instagram following, what tips do you have for others trying to make a successful instagram?

My instagram account started to grow a community when I began to think less about what I thought people would want to see, and think more about what I wanted to share with others. I was never going to fit into a typical fashion blogger niche - when I stopped fixating on that, and started to  share my true self online unapologetically (a freelance creative who obsesses over graphic design, interiors, style, harry potter, journalling & gilmore girls) I was able to find my community of like minded souls and truly grow.

 

What’s the most rewarding thing about being an ‘influencer?’

Having a community of lovely beings to talk to each day. Whether we're discussing 'team jess vs team logan' in the DMs or swapping book recommendations... I just love all the people I've met through my instagram account, I have so much in common with my followers/following list. 

 

What’s your stance on posting photo’s of your baby on instagram? How private / public do you plan to be?

Instagram for me, is a curation of moments of my life, a place to share my loves & a place to share creativity.

We plan to share photos & moments with our baby girl online. We will choose to share / or not share whatever feels right for our family.

 

What’s the most awkward thing about being pregnant?

Oh loads! For a first timer ... the body changes, dealing with unsolicited advice, everyone touching your bump etc.

 

What’s the most exciting things about being pregnant?

When you get past the morning sickness stage and start feeling baby kicks, putting together the nursery, daydreaming of what she'll be like and all the things you want to share with her - and eagerly awaiting to meet her.

 

Are you having any cravings?

Definitely the most commonly asked question (besides "Have you picked a name?"). Surprisingly, no cravings or aversions to anything. I eat basically the same minus all the no-go foods.

 

Who do you follow for pregnancy style tips?

I don't particularly look to one person, but I have loved using pinterest for bump style inspiration and made myself a mood board.

I've tried to keep to my style & find maternity alternatives for my pre-pregnancy staples - mixing those in with whatever fits from my exisiting wardrobe.

I am absolutely loving the Kelly Nursing Dress in duck egg blue from Pea in a Pod, I've worn it SO many times!! 

SHOP HER LOOK

Muse Mama | Louise Aldis

Muse Mama | Louise Aldis

“Kids have started to avoid playing with your little boy at kindy” were the words that shattered mum-of-three-to-be @_lifewithlou_ and started her journey with ADHD & Autism. We sat down and chatted with Louise about the highs and lows of motherhood; dealing with a diagnosis, H names and surviving having 3 under 5.

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What’s the most awkward thing about being pregnant?
That awkward bump stage. When it’s more then bloat but not quite an obvious bump. Mine hit over Easter, so people were not sure if I just indulged on chocolate a bit too much!
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You’ve already got two babies, Harrison & Hazel… Is your third baby’s name going to start with H? and why H?
We never planned on two H names, I just fell in love with Hazels name and that’s what she was always going to be. This time was much harder to come up with name ideas, and we had no idea where to start with other letters. So yes.. we went another H.
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How are you preparing H&H for the arrival of their new brother or sister?
They are a bit older this time so just by chatting to them they seem to understand. I think putting together a nursery has helped them understand a baby is actually coming home as well. But we will see how prepared they actually are once we bring baby home!
And, how are you preparing YOURSELF for having 3 babies under 5? 
Ummm I have NO idea to be completely honest. Life is already pretty hectic, I’m hoping Bub just fits in with our crazy life.
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You posted a few months ago about your eldest, Harrison being diagnosed with ADHD and mild ASD (autism).
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How did you feel when you got this diagnosis?
Yes! So at first I felt relieved about this diagnosis, like I have been searching for answers for years now about his differences. It felt great that there was some reasoning. However I was also a little scared of the labeling and judgement he would recieve as well. So many emotions! I also have quite severe anxiety, so a lot did run through my head at this time too.. so I definitely felt relieved, scared, terrified about the unknown.. literally every feeling possible.
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And how do you feel about the diagnosis now that you’ve had a few months for it to sink in?
So after a few weeks, and after a lot of mums contacted me in similar situations. I was told to get a second opinion. Harrison was very young, only 4. They don’t tend to diagnose ADHD so young unless it’s pretty severe, and also our diagnosis was made after such a short observation, plus she really pushed for him to be medicated right away. This made me a little uneasy!
So I did seek a few different opinions from different specialists. Which to my surprise came back very different (minimal concerns). It’s not to say he still isn’t on the ASD spectrum or have ADHD, but it doesn’t effect who he is, and we have made the call to have him properly re assessed once he starts school. Around the age of 6. I wasn’t ready to medicate my little 4 year old, and with a few simple changes at home he is honestly already a different child, plus in the last few months he has really matured. (We tried to change up his diet, took away the iPad, gave him more activities like puzzles etc, and he just loves learning new things so have given him more opportunities with that as well.)
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How does this diagnosis affect your motherhood journey?
It doesn’t! I guess as mums we just have to evolve and adapt to whatever life gives us. Harrison is Harrison. He is a beautiful bubbly sweet little bow regardless of any diagnosis he is given. If anything we just need a little more patience and understanding.

 

What is your must-have item of maternity clothing and why?

My absolute favourite is the Bailey range! I have lived in my favourite grey Bailey Dress for 3 pregnancies now and it’s still as perfect and comfy as when I purchased it 😍 the new pink crossover bailey dress is a favourite from the amazing new spring range!
Muse Mama | Hailey Moroney

Muse Mama | Hailey Moroney

Meet the gorgeous Hailey, a working mum of two with number 3 on the way. 
A master of taste and style, Hailey is renovating a stunning 20's bungalow in Adelaide. She somehow also finds the time to create the most gorgeous images of her and her bambino's on her instagram @our.happy.mess. 
We chat with Hailey about manifestation, creativity and the power of "winging it".

Muse Mama | Kelly Cartwright

Muse Mama | Kelly Cartwright

There are few women out there as inspiring as the simply beautiful Kelly Cartwright. After surviving a rare form of cancer that took her leg at just 15 years old, Kelly has gone on thrive as a gold medalist Paralympian and, as a mother. Pregnant with her second baby, we had the pleasure of meeting Kelly and chatting about optimism, diversity and of course, motherhood.
Muse Mama | Hannah Chen

Muse Mama | Hannah Chen

Our latest #musemama Hannah recently gave birth to her first baby boy. We met with Hannah and talked motherhood; what it’s like being a Chinese woman raising a baby in Australia, dealing with a bambino that won’t sleep and embracing the support of local community