Being a first time mum to be, everything about the world of pregnancy is new to me! However, I have found myself making some observations about pregnancy in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs that i thought i’d share.
Older first-time mum’s
Back in the UK in my home town in Oxfordshire I would say 60-70% of my friends I went to school with have had their first child. At 26 years old Dan and I are the youngest couple in our antenatal classes held in Randwick, Sydney. It was highlighted to us that the average age for first time mum’s at the Randwick hospital was 35 compared to hospitals such as Westmead in western Sydney where the average was much closer to 25. While it is a trending statistic nationally that women are having babies later in life, it’s easy to see why it’s happening in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs. Soaring, unaffordable house prices and living costs mean people are concentrating far more on careers and saving money. The Eastern suburbs is also highly populated with expats from New Zealand, Britain and Ireland in particular, who have committed to travel and lifestyle choices before settling down and starting a family.
Co-ed baby showers are totally a thing!
At first the thought of a baby shower made me cringe, it was an American custom I wasn’t too keen on adopting for a number of reasons. Mostly though, it was because I had only ever seen traditional baby showers posted on social media where pregnant women celebrated with their closest female friends and family members. My circumstances were different, I have no family here and none of the girlfriend’s I grew up with. In fact, most of my friends here are male and/or my partner’s friends. I also hated the idea of gift registry’s and people feeling the pressure to bring presents because you have chosen to have a baby. However, the awesome, enthusiastic girlfriends I do have here encouraged me to do something and I decided I wanted to share the day with Dan and all of our friend’s together. As my due date loomed closer, other first time mum’s started discussing their baby showers on my Baby Centre app and I realised I was not alone, there was a whole world of co-ed baby showers and Baby-Q’s going on out there. Even on the day of my Baby-Q there was another one going on right next to us.
HOW MUCH!?!?!…. That was my first reaction when I read the price tag on the ridiculously overpriced (beautiful but overpriced) all black Bugaboo pram. Perfectly staged amongst various other models in the corner of the shop with women cooing all over them. They are quite literally everywhere, parked next to a cutesy little picnic in the local park, hanging out in the outdoor café’s and gliding down the beachfront with a content jogging mother in her active wear. But I get it. People in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs can afford them so why not have one? I’m not complaining it means I can bag a bloody good bargain when they upgrade a year or two later and put it on Gumtree or social media selling sites… along with all their other awesome baby stuff.
Say yes to breastfeeding!
There is no getting out of it. Coming from the UK, where apparently we have the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world, I know very few people who were breastfed or breastfed their own babies. I myself was exclusively bottle fed and initially had a strong desire to bottle-feed my own baby. Admittedly this was mostly for practicality rather than health reasons and for my own sanity as I had done my research and knew how tough it could be! I found midwives here pushy and the ‘breast is best’ slogan was thrown around so much it made me more resistant to it. Randwick hospital is very pro breast feeding to the point where they actually don’t give advice on bottle feeding in any antenatal classes. A lot about this situation does not sit well with me and I feel formula is treated like a poison, terrifying women into continuing with breastfeeding even when it’s just not working. However, I have come to the conclusion I would be a fool not to at least give it a try, regardless of how long I stick it out for.
Mum’s groups look so much fun!
The best thing about Sydney’s eastern suburbs are the beaches so it’s no wonder that the mum’s group meet-up’s look so appealing! I remember when I used to do shift work, I would drive past the beaches during the day and see groups of new mum’s and tiny babies sprawled out over the beach and grassy areas – it’s like the ultimate teddy bears picnic!! The Women’s and Children’s baths at Coogee is always busy with mum’s and babies too and even one of Coogee’s best social hubs The Pavillion is well equipped for kids! I can’t wait for 6 months off… even if it is in winter!
Pregnancy has been a blast so far and it’s definitely helped that I have experienced it in one of the best cities in the world!