Welcome to the Baby Bag Diaries. A series where we share real stories from real mums exploring the transformational journey into motherhood, shining a spotlight on their favourite products and the pieces of advice they wish they had before having a baby. 

We chatted to new mum and veterinarian, Tracy, about her experience in becoming a mother. She opened up about her new priorities as a mum, learning to slow down and getting through the fourth trimester. She also reminds us that no-one knows your baby better than you and why you'll always be your baby's best advocate!

Tell us about yourself? When did you become a mama, how many babies do you have? 

I am a first-time mum, Finley was born in 2022. We are currently enjoying bonding time during maternity leave.


Who were you before you became a mum? 

Before being a mum, I was the veterinary manager at a vet clinic. Being a veterinarian is definitely my passion. We have two German Shepherds who we love taking to training weekly. I love travelling, music, baking sweet foods and of course anything to do with animals.


Are you still that person? How has motherhood inspired or changed you? Any light bulb moments?

I’ve definitely changed as a person since becoming a mum. It’s crazy how priorities change once a child arrives in your life. Everything revolves around your newborn – you will never be on time to events again! I was always very career based and never knew how to slow down and enjoy life outside of work. Becoming a mother has allowed me to really appreciate mums and the time I have at home. I’ve been able to spend more time walking with my baby outside and absorbing in nature and everything non work related. Lightbulb moments for me really happened the first time I saw her face after delivery – it was instant love and need to take care of and protect this new life. 


Tell us what you thought motherhood would be like before you became a mother? 

I always knew motherhood was going to be hard, but no one tells you how the 4th trimester is more difficult than pregnancy and labour altogether. The sleepless nights, questioning if you’re doing the right thing, cracked and bleeding nipples from breastfeeding and the endless tears from overactive hormones. Having said that, just watching your baby sleeping or seeing the smile that they do seeing your face makes everything worth it.


What’s in your baby bag right now?


Let’s talk looking effortlessly chic even after having a baby. We know this is an area that many women including ourselves find challenging, dressing our new postpartum bodies and reconciling our personal style with motherhood. Do you have any advice for new mums?  

I’ve worn a lot of normal clothes with a singlet (with nursing bra attached) by Bfree. Then I don’t have to worry about lifting my top up to feed and showing stomach because the singlet is there. I do have a lot of nursing clothes from Kmart and Ripe Maternity as well. I find wearing dresses or skirts can match a lot of my clothing pieces prior to pregnancy. I’ve felt better about my style when dressing with nursing clothing by adding accessories like a scarf or some jewellery or layering my clothes.

The advice for new mums I’d have is do what makes you comfortable. Every mother out there knows what it’s like to try and dress postpartum and what it's like to feel so vulnerable about your body. 


Baby shower or baby blessing? Did you have either one of these? Tell us about it! 

I didn’t have either of these, but I did have a lovely going away / baby shower surprise on my last day of work that my colleagues organised for me. It was lovely and they all made cakes and wore pink at work. I felt very loved.


We’re always on the lookout for interesting baby shower gift ideas. What were some of the best baby gifts you received? 

Riff Raff, Haakaa silicone breast pump, black and white baby books, handmade personalised scrapbook for baby 


What is your go-to baby gift that you give to others?

Glow Dreaming light


What baby products could you not live without? 

Silverette nipple covers, Snoo, B&E Nappy Change Clutch, Bunnie Caddie.


Sometimes as mums we come across the trifecta of baby products – items that are gorgeous, functional and make your life easier! What are some of your “best kept secret” baby products you’ve discovered? 

Bunnie Caddie, B&E Nappy Change Clutch, OiOi nappy backpack, Dockatot, Willow by the Sea belly products


What advice would you give to a first-time mum shopping for all the baby stuff? How do you wade through all the noise and know what you truly need? (eg just buy everything, have a baby shower, make a list, ask your mum etc)

Write down your budget, what you need then what function you want from each item. Then write a list of what you want. Always good to ask people who have the items, read reviews or even just go and see the item if possible. Write things that aren’t essential on your baby registry and when the baby is here and you feel you need it, you can get it then.


Hospital bag saviours – was there something that you wish you didn’t pack but wish you had? 

    • Breastfeeding -> ice packs for breasts, Silverette nipple covers
    • Adult diapers (asked hubby to buy after labour)


If you could go back to a pregnant you and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

    • Enjoy every date night, go to the movies, night markets, go on a babymoon
    • Love your belly and enjoy every kick you feel
    • Love yourself


What kind of mum are you now – can you describe your parenting style in three words?

Super mum (my husband answered this haha)! I’d say relaxed, informed, confident.


What is the best lesson motherhood has taught you?

Patience, patience and more patience


Any final advice or words of wisdom for pregnant or new mums reading this?

Pregnancy and the 4th trimester is totally overwhelming. Believe in yourself, surround yourself with people who support and encourage you. Mothers group is awesome. Everyone wants to give you advice and you are allowed to listen but not agree with all of it. When baby is born – remember that you know baby best and don’t be afraid to advocate for you and your baby if you feel something isn’t right. 

February 15, 2023 — Julie Rout