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Motherhood and reaching out to the online world

This post is supported by Medela AU

Since having little baby Mabel, life has slowed down. I mean, we’re still busy, really busy, but I feel like I have slowed down in a good way. Even though we’re still rushing from place to place to get where we need to go as you do when you have 3 kids, I feel like my head is less busy and I have slowed down just enough to appreciate simple things so much more. Life in general is good, really good and I’m absolutely loving having a new baby in the house. When I had my first baby, I had just turned 24 and as much as I really wanted a baby, I wasn’t really ready. Second time around threw me totally off my block with the shock of caring for a newborn and entertaining a crazy toddler, it was hard. I feel like this time around, I know what to do and I can really relax and enjoy motherhood, it’s my time to really enjoy my little tribe of children. 
I have felt really supported through this time from family, friends, acquaintances and online support networks. It’s incredible how the internet has really brought mums together that in the past, may not of had much support at all. I feel like these online communities of mums groups and alike, weren’t around when I had my first child like they are now. This time around, I have been able to draw on information and help from the great amounts of parenting information and support networks online.  
Recently, Medela Australia conducted a survey with 4000 Australian Mums to discover how online parenting information and support networks support them in their role as parents. Results debunked the perception that there was an overload of information available online for mums and the assumption that most mums would depend on advice from their own mothers. The survey reveals that while most respondents (61 per cent), including myself, agree there is a lot of online information and advice available to mothers, they still feel satisfied with the access to information and advice required. Only a small proportion (10 per cent) feel extremely overwhelmed and confused by the amount of information available online. See here for the full infographic.
Of course, as a mum, we want to look for information first and foremost from our midwife and/or doctor, which is the most popular point of contact. But this is closely followed by our reach out to online communities and use of websites, Apps and downloadable tools. We are really lucky now as mums to have such a huge resource, the internet, with it’s 24/7 convenience, we can chat with other like minded mums and feel supported as well as be directed to places where we can seek help when needed. It seems we’re even reaching out to the online world over asking questions to our own mothers. 

Jarrod Percy, the Managing Director of Medela Australia explains, “This generation of mums want instantly available information, tools and support they can customise to suit their own needs and online support networks provide this solution. Parenting styles evolve over the years and new mums are searching for current parenting solutions. It’s important that as a community, we provide mums with resources, flexibility and options that support mums in their journey.”

What I’ve found most interesting about the Medela research, is that the results also revealed that having negative feelings and/ or mood swings is very common with new mums, with half the respondents having experienced the ‘baby blues’. I personally have experienced this at times of being a mum, in the mix of sleep deprivation, feeding babies and nagging toddlers, it can be hard to stay above water and feel 100%. During these times, I have spoken with friends for support and also researched online and sort out others who may of felt this way to know I am not going crazy and am just experiencing normal mum feelings. 

The medela research shows that to overcome these periods, talking to family/ friends/ partner is the most popular coping mechanism (*72 per cent), followed by reading other peoples’ experience on online support groups, forums, websites (*45 per cent) which was even more popular than consulting a doctor/midwife.

Over the past 6 weeks as I’m working out motherhood as a mum of 3 little people, I’ve really leaned on my only community as well as making use of helpful apps, my favourite being the MyMedela app. The new app, MyMedela, by Medela Australia is a personal digital companion that provides practical advice, tips and tricks from experts on pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding, whilst post birth, acts as an efficient tracking tool to monitor babies progress in key areas such as breastfeeding and sleep to suit the needs of mums’ today. I feel it really supports new mums and that what we need when making our way through this crazy but awesome time in our lives.