Meet Angela Medina
Meet Angela Medina. Angela is a Product Designer from Miami, Florida and a first time first time mom to baby boy, Oliver, who is now 3 months old. In our Meet The Mamas Series, Angela shares some of her must-have items that helped her with her postpartum recovery and a several amazing advice that helped her overcome the baby blues.
Mama Angela Medina and Baby Boy, Oliver
How long was your recovery after giving birth? Did you run into any challenges? What helped your recovery the most?
I somewhat started feeling like myself again after one month but my body is still going through a lot of change. My breasts, my back and my fingers are still adjusting to my now day to day baby related activities—breastfeeding, pumping, lifting and carrying him around the house. My pelvic floor also needs some strengthening. I was recommended to continue doing kegels because a little pee when you sneeze, cough or exercise is not cool at all.
I definitely ran into challenges, who doesn’t!? The biggest one of them all has been learning how to breastfeed, and increasing my milk supply while going through postpartum recovery. It’s a lot to take in at once.
What are some products or support you wish you had when you got home that first week after giving birth? What was really helpful in making your life easier as a new mom?
I wish I knew about Legendairy Milk’s herbal supplements earlier.
I had a vaginal birth and Frida Mom’s products mentioned above were key in the healing process.
Since the beginning of my pregnancy I’ve used Maven Health (a telemedicine app for women) and it’s been a game changer. I’ve been able to get in touch with health practitioners who offer advice and support 24/7 and it really has come in handy in the middle of a pandemic!
What are some of your favorite self care rituals to do postpartum
A long hot bath, exfoliating my face, taking my time to dress and putting makeup on, getting my nails done. I'm still trying to find time to do more uninterrupted yoga sessions.
I would love to hear your thoughts/experiences with getting help from family or friends. Did you have help, and what was it like? What would you have done differently in terms of getting help from family or friends?
We did get help from my mom and mother in law. Unfortunately, the pandemic has put a limit on visits from friends and that has been a little frustrating. My partner and I felt a bit isolated the first weeks and definitely missed introducing Oliver to close friends. We’re a little more relaxed now that he got his first round of vaccine shots but still being extremely cautious when people are around him.
Did you experience any baby blues or postpartum anxiety or depression? Do you have any advice for new mothers struggling with postpartum anxiety or depression?
Yes, I had baby blues in the first couple of weeks. The self doubt took over and I had a couple of episodes where I cried uncontrollably. I mainly leaned on my partner for support and luckily got through it but it was an incredibly rough time.
My advice to new moms is what you hear often but maybe don’t believe or practice much in those early days:
- Trust that you are enough for that baby. Yes, you’re a parenting rookie but slowly you’ll get the hang of it. It’s a process in which you are getting to know your baby just as much as they're getting to know you, it takes some time but before you know it you’ll start understanding what they’re all about and it will get more fun!
- Look and accept help from family and friends.
- Take a shower every day, exercise, watch a show, order in your favorite food. Do one thing that takes your mind away from feeling overwhelmed at least once a week.
- Spend time alone with your partner. It’s easy to shift your focus completely to the baby, but your relationship is also important. Again, look for help, have a family member take care of the baby while you go away on a date for a few hours.
What's the worst advice you've gotten for postpartum & early motherhood?
Use a pillow to let the baby sleep sideways. Pillows, blankets or toys are not safe in a newborn’s bassinet!
What's the best advice you've gotten for postpartum & early motherhood?
Ah, it came from a college friend, mom of two and it really stuck after I heard it from her:
“You don’t NEED a schedule if you don’t want it. You don’t HAVE to breastfeed if it doesn’t work out. There’s other alternatives. Don’t freak out! It hurts like a biiiiiitttccchhh and it may not be for you. My point: do you. YOU ARE HIS MOM. Give yourself breaks, grace and love. You are as new as this as Oli is but you and only you were meant to be his mama. Relish in that. But know YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHAT TO DO OR HOW TO DO IT.
But you get to choose what you think is best for you and your son. Listen to the doctors and friends and parents but you get to call the shots. Which is the most empowering yet terrifying thing. But you’ll get the hang of it. I promise. You are already a fantastic mother. 💗💗💗
And yes...Motherhood... It’s brutal+beautiful = brutiful.”
Any closing advice for someone who's just about to be a new mom?
Be prepared for lots of ups and downs but know that the love for your little one and some patience will get you through the early days of parenthood.