Fairhaven Health has partnered with accomplished designer, educator, and star of Bravo's Pregnant in Heels, Rosie Pope! Like us, she believes education plays such an important role in conception, pregnancy, and breastfeeding success. We had the chance to sit down with her and learn about how she keeps her cool, is preparing for baby #4, and more!
Fairhaven Health: We know you're nearing the home stretch with your fourth pregnancy - congrats! With just a couple weeks to go, what are you doing to prepare? You must be a pro by now!
Rosie: I am trying to spend as much quality time with my other three little ones as possible as the transition of having another baby is not always easy on them. This being my 4th baby I have almost all the gear I probably will ever need but I am busy checking we have enough clothes, bouncers, diapers and that type of thing. I find the more prepared I am the less I worry and the more I can enjoy my baby so I like to be as prepared as possible.
Fairhaven Health: What products/tools/support do you have in place to help you succeed with breastfeeding?
Rosie: I have found the experience of breastfeeding to be very different with each child and so even with my 4th I am fully expecting there may be some surprises or difficulties I may not have encountered before. I believe in having the help of a great lactation consultant to help me identify any issues I may be having early before they become so painful that they are hard to overcome. I also believe in great nutrition during breastfeeding so I am planning ahead and getting meals ready so that it will be easy once the baby comes and I won't have to worry too much about cooking. Most importantly though, I am going to be flexible and learn about my baby so I can figure out the best way to make feeding work for both of us.
Fairhaven Health: We know you've got a busy work life (designer, educator, TV personality!) and probably even a busier home life (husband and soon to be four kiddos!). . . how to do you keep it together so well? Any tricks you want to share with us?
Rosie: First of all I want everyone to know that I don't have it together all the time! I can cry at the drop of a hat!!! But what keeps me going is remembering that I can't possibly be everything in one day. I can how try and do everything that is important to me over longer periods of time, a week for example. So I try to plan out making sure I have quality time with the kids, work, with my husband and myself so that over time I feel like I am juggling everything. It is also so important to be in the moment and not distracted otherwise the time is not quality time. If I tried to fit this all in one day I wouldn't do anyone any justice. It is not easy though and I have accepted that things are a little crazy right now. They won't always be this way, my kids won't always want me to read them a bed time story for example and so I try and cherish every moment because things are constantly changing... see now I am going to cry again at the thought of them not always wanting a bedtime story!
Fairhaven Health: Did you personally experience any struggles conceiving? If so, how did you overcome it? What do you recommend to others in similar situation?
Rosie: Yes. Between my first and second child it was very difficult. I didn't know much about infertility at the time but I decided to be proactive about my health care and sort out a reproductive endocrinologist so we could figure out what was going on. Conceiving can often feel like such a powerless process it is important to try and regain the control that you need in order to manage it. For me that was going to see an expert physician and learning about what was wrong.
Fairhaven Health: For couples who are trying-to-conceive, what is your #1 recommendation for them?
Rosie: To get educated about conception. Many don't actually need the help of a specialist like I did but instead need to learn about increasing their chances of conception by better understanding ovulation. It is amazing how much we are not taught about this at school and it is important to know as much as possible so you have the best chance of success. It is also important to know that everyone has a different journey and to stop comparing your timeline to someone else's. Your journey is all your own.
Fairhaven Health: We talk to hundreds of women each day who are trying-to-conceive their first child. For many, it can take a long time to finally see that BFP (Big Fat Positive Pregnancy Test!). Once they find out they're pregnant, it can be a difficult adjustment full of nerves and worry. Do you have any words of wisdom for these first time moms?
Rosie: Learning to manage your anxiety is key. As parents and we become parents emotionally speaking the moment we find out we have a BFP, we will always feel anxiety about our children because we want the very best for them. We have to make sure we do everything within our power to keep them safe by educating ourselves but we also have to learn to relax just a little so we can enjoy the process otherwise it will pass us by. Our children need us to be present, to be confident and not consumed by anxiety.
Fairhaven Health: There always seems to be some debate in the media about the latest parenting trend! How do you talk to couples wondering about extended breastfeeding or co-sleeping?
Rosie: Firstly parents need to be armed with the correct information about what is safe and their doctors both Obstetricians and pediatricians can help them with this. And secondly it is important to know that the right thing or the best thing for one family is not necessarily the best for another. You have to look at your own situation and make the right choices for you and be confident in them and not swayed by someone else who's situation is entirely different to your own. These types of decisions, if they are safe decisions, need to be made for you and your baby, not because someone else thinks it's a good idea.
Fairhaven Health: What surprised you most about becoming a parent?
Rosie: I am not sure if it was completely a surprise or more just the level of intensity I felt in both love for my children and of course worry. Having children is simply the most amazing thing in the world and every day I am reminded of that.
Fairhaven Health: How do you find time to connect with your husband? What's your idea of a great date now that you're a parent?
Rosie: I think it so important to find time to connect with my husband because we are a parenting team and our kids need us and so it is important that we have a really healthy relationship. To be honest though, I don't need anything fancy I just love it when all our little ones are in bed and we can sit by the fire and catch up with some good wine.
Fairhaven Health: It's a small world. . . Dr. Grunebaum is your OB, and we've worked with him for years formulating products! How did you two meet and how would you rate his bedside manner on a scale of 1 to 10?
Rosie: We met in the operating theater (my doctor has gone off duty I had been in labor so long)! I was about to have an emergency C-section after being in labor for 26 hours with my first child. He came in and cupped down next to me, looked in my eyes and said we have one more chance, one more push to try and get your baby out before we have to open you up. You can do it! And we did! I never forget the confidence he had and confidence he had in me and so when I got pregnant again I looked him up and basically insisted he be my doctor! Dr. G (as I like to call him) has helped me through a lot, not all my pregnancies were so easy. I know my baby and I are in the safest hands when we are with him and so for me that shines through in his bedside manner and I'll give him a 10!