How a Doula, and Mum of 3, Would Redo Her Registry

How a Doula, and Mum of 3, Would Redo Her Registry

By Gabrielle Nancarrow   |  

Setting up for parenting from a NYC studio apartment meant seriously streamlined shopping.

I had three babyshowers when I was pregnant with my first (I have three babies, Camille, born in 2014, Audrey in 2017 and Freddie in 2020). I received lots of lovely gifts (books, toys and clothes). Some very helpful: a stroller from my parents and a cot from my mother-in-law. Some not so much: One of those giant giraffes —it was meant a joke and I said I'd keep it a week but we named him Harold and he’s still happily with us today. We were living in New York, and didn't know many people with babies so there weren't many hand-me-downs (other than my own baby clothes from the '80s that my mum sent), so everything else we bought ourselves. There was a lot of research and debate — I wanted to buy all the things, and my husband thought a cot and some onesies would do. The reality was, we lived in a studion apartment so we had to be really considered.

I dreamed of setting up a nursery but honestly, we were lucky to fit a cot in. A friend emailed me a very detailed spreadsheet of all the things we needed for a New York City baby and I remember feeling so overwhelmed. We went through it and prioritised what we absolutely needed and then did our research online, reading reviews and editing the list down. We had some fails — including a strange baby bath contraption that would fits every size sink, apparently just not ours — but through three babies, we've found out MVPs, and made the best investment of my life, hiring a doula.

Medela Swing Flex Electric Breast Pump

I returned to work full time when my daughter was four months old and pumped for her every day until she was 15 months. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done but my Medela honestly never let me down and was the perfect size to take to work every day and when I had to travel.

Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier Harmony

All our babies have loved being carried. A big win for us was our Baby Bjorn carrier. We got so much use out of it.

Oh how I wish I’d had Silverettes for all three of my breastfeeding journeys. The nipple pain in the first weeks took my breath away and other than walking around topless all day I really didn’t know how to help them heal.

I have always had an oversupply (which comes with its own challenges) and was soaking everything — clothes, wraps, the couch — with milk every feed. I’m so thankful to my lactation consultant who suggested the Haakaa, it really helped ease engorgement in the first few weeks and, while I had to be careful not to further increase my supply, it was such a great tool to help me through the first six or so weeks — and I had a literal freezer full of milk as a result.

We also have a white noise machine now for our son after just using apps on the iPad for our two girls and it’s a game changer.

We also love our Baby Bjorn bouncer. It saved me in the early days when I couldn’t work out how to shower and mother at the same time.

For my postpartum care, I used a peri bottle and snap to freeze maternity pads which are so worth the investment. Also, a nourishing nipple balm is so important and I was lucky to have discovered the beautiful Being brand for my third breastfeeding journey. These were the things I did to prepare for postpartum, as well as spending big on food and support. It made the world of difference.

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