MEET THE FOUNDER:
Aliza Carr of Bumpnbub
We recently had the pleasure of meeting with Midwife Aliza Carr from Bumpnbub. The platform is an inspiring and educational space where experiences can be shared as a way of connecting new parents in a supportive environment. At Retykle we are always looking for ways to empower our readers and audiences so we sat down with Aliza to hear all about her top tips for preparing for a new baby as well as what inspired her to launch Bumpnbub.
Tell us a bit about Bumpnbub and how it all started?
I was 15 when I experienced my first birth, a family friend knew I was extremely interested in pregnancy/birth and invited me to join her experience - from that day forward, I was hooked! It was her fourth baby, and her labour was all of 45 minutes (and she walked out of the hospital after 4 hours with a baby in her arms), so I assumed this must be how birth is, natural, amazing and so empowering. I was obsessed! Fast forward and I’m just as intrigued and passionate about pregnancy, birth and motherhood as ever.
When I became a midwife, I watched so many women coming in for care, feeling overwhelmed, anxious and completely lost on where to start. Some women seemed to adopt the idea of ‘ignorance is bliss’, which can make the experience extremely overwhelming and/or traumatising, as when it comes to pregnancy, birth and the postpartum, I believe the only way to be ‘prepared’ mentally and physically is to be as educated as possible.
So I set out to do just that, to create an inviting online space where I could share my midwifery knowledge with women who were wanting to learn more about the journey ahead. Bumpnbub has now grown into something I am so proud of, a community where women support and encourage each other and a way of letting women know that they are never truly alone, no matter how isolating it may all feel. Bumpnbub started with an Instagram account and grew to include a Youtube Channel & a blog and web platform. I also have a small team that works with like-minded motherhood or baby focused brands who share similar values to me, to help educate and support their audience through social media management and other mediums. The focus is to truly make a difference to their customers through valuable connection and education, with midwifery advice and support.
What do you enjoy most about meeting mums-to-be and new mums?
It does not matter how different people are, pregnancy and motherhood is something that provides common ground and a connection between other mothers. I think there is something so beautiful in knowing that there is another mother, not too far from you, who has experienced a very similar thing to you.
Before having children women tend to have limited knowledge or exposure to topics like breastfeeding, sleep deprivation, angst about childbirth, etc. One of the most fulfilling parts of working as a midwife, is being able to talk to women about all of their worries and concerns and helping them in any way I can. A common feeling that new mums experience is isolation and loneliness, and so one of my greatest missions is to provide support to that new mum and remind her that she is not alone in this motherhood journey.
What has been one of your most memorable experiences since launching Bumpnbub?
Meeting women that I have connected with through my online platforms, in real life! What an amazing feeling that is! Women who have trusted me with their stories, sometimes incredibly hard life-changing stories that will often move me to tears. I have had the privilege of meeting some of these mums and their bubs in person, and these very memorable meetings are what I will continue to cherish in my life-long quest to educate and support.
What advice do you have for women becoming mothers as expats in Hong Kong?
For many of us, living in Hong Kong as expats means family or a support network from home may be far away. If possible, I would suggest talking with your partner on who will be of support to your new little family, especially in the early weeks when it is very important for mums to recover and rest. They say “it takes a village” to raise a child so think about who that could be for you. If you’re new to the city, join a mums group or connect with a healthcare professional that you feel comfortable to turn to if you ever need.
Hong Kong is the kind of place where all expats are in the same position, and meeting your support group can be as simple as going to a local coffee shop and connecting with other women who have babies there. I see this happening all the time within my own friend circle, thats certainly something unique and beautiful about Hong Kong.
A lot of your communication with mums is via your social media page, do you find social media to be a unifying and educating tool for reaching new mums?
Definitely! As a digital platform, I am able to connect with women from all over the world on a daily basis. I can be sitting in Hong Kong, having a conversation and supporting a new mother in South Africa, the digital world certainly is an incredible way to reach and help many more women. However, as we all know, social media can be an overwhelming and distracting place, which can in turn affect positive mental health. I do believe in managing your time spent on social media and ensuring you are working on a little self-care everyday (I personally love a cup of mint tea and 10 minutes of quiet time with a good book!).
What are your top 5 tips for mums to be about how they can prepare for the arrival of their little one?
Not just books, but talk to women who have had babies before you. Ask them what it is really like, what their tips are for those early days as a new mother. Spend the time educating yourself on all the possibilities of pregnancy - antenatal classes can also be a great way to educate yourself and meet new mum friends.
Move those muscles, nourish that body! Stay as healthy and active as possible to increase your chances of a natural birth and quicker / easier recovery after birth. Exercising for 30 minutes per day HUGELY benefits you and baby. Remember to nourish your body during pregnancy, it’s working so hard to grow a beautiful healthy baby for you.
Take the time to know and understand your emotions, pregnancy and birth can bring up a huge amount of emotional turbulence for you. Sit with it, acknowledge it and work through it without dismissal. Stress can have a major impact on both your mentality and your physical well being. Try meditation, calming music or yoga to calm your body and mind at least a few times a week.
We all know the quote “It takes a village to raise a child…” Nothing could be more true that that. Build your community during pregnancy, if not before. Knowing other pregnant mamas or women who have babies is so valuable and important. Having someone to message at 3am when baby is nursing and you are exhausted and overwhelmed can be a life saver.
If you can, take a fun couples-only vacation to enjoy special time together doing the things you love. This will be a fond memory to look back on once baby is here and vacations are a bit more difficult to come by. Also take this time to ask each other those hard questions such as - will we co-sleep? How do we make time for our relationship?