Ep. 9 2018 - Amanda Bernstein
In this episode of the Busy Mum Podcast I speak with Amanda Bernstein of Essential Me.
Tell me a little about yourself
My name is Amanda Bernstein, I’m married with an amazing husband and am a mum of two gorgeous boys, aged 6 and 3. My first was an emergency c-section and second a drug free water birth (VBAC). I run two businesses – Essential Me: (my focus) as a Birth and Postpartum Doula, Ka Huna massage therapist and Postnatal Pilates instructor – and Pilates With Purpose: a mobile Pilates service where my team comes to your home or office to teach a private or group class on a day or time of your choice. My main focus is supporting and empowering women and couples during their pregnancy, and at the birth and in the postpartum journey, ensuring they are able to make informed decisions and truly have choices around their birthing experience.
What does your typical day look like?
Every day is different. I could be at a birth, giving a massage, helping a new mother settle her baby, with my own kids, at a Pilates class, writing a blog or handling various other admin. As a doula, there is only so much I can plan as it’s hard to tell when babies are coming – so everything in my diary has to be “cancellable” – just in case…
The best advice you have received
Just to do the best that I can with what I have on hand. I’m a perfectionist deep down, and the nature of being a doula is that birth and babies are do unpredictable. While I can plan for things, they don’t always go to plan and being able to accept sometimes things are “good enough” has been advice I’ve been given and had to learn to accept over time. Oh, and that hindsight is fabulous – learn from the past to be better in the future.
What books are you currently reading OR Netflix / Stan shows
I read a lot of birth related blogs – things like Evidence Based Birth or Midwife Thinking. I comment a lot on various FaceBook groups too – especially around birth – helping to empower women. I watch quite a bit of stuff in my “spare” time. Currently hooked on the handmaids tale on SBS on Demand (not the best show to watch as a birth support worker), Younger, Unreal, Imposters, Billions, Shadow Hunters, Designated Survivor, House of Cards – I really do enjoy a variety of genres and even though there isn’t much in that list I particularly like sci-fi. I like having the TV on in the background for some noise too.
If you cook, what recipes can you share / meal prep tips
I love making bliss balls, and if I add extra coconut oil it’s what I call “notella”. I have a recipe for this on my blog but it’s pretty easy, you just blitz almond meal, medjool dates, raw cacao, coconut oil and desiccated coconut to your desired taste and consistency. Sometimes I swap out the dates for apricots and the raw cacao for vegan vanilla protein powder. I love making a ratatouille and add chickpeas and beans for extra protein. Serve it with a mixture of basmati rice, chia seeds and quinoa.
Please see https://www.essentialme.com.au/blog
What 1 area of your life would you like to improve
I’m a little bit of a hoarder and would like to declutter. I find I push back sorting through stuff to the bottom of my “to do” list and focus on the things that need to be done today.
What’s the one thing you do each day (like a hack) that makes your life run smoother?
When I cook meals I always make an extra portion or two to freeze for when I just don’t have time to cook. It’s easy to just microwave, and helps hubby if I’m at a birth too.
What website have you signed up to that you actually find value in receiving their emails?
Source bottle – opportunities for self promotion.
Vistaprint – I love looking out for a sale to print more marketing material.
What’s one piece of advice you would give your pre baby self
Hire a private midwife for a homebirth or go with the MGP in a public hospital to birth. There are more options than private care. I would of told myself to travel more first and wait a bit longer to have kids (was 28 when I fell pregnant with my first).
What’s the most useful / useless baby/kids item you have
With a new baby I loved my baby carrier (ergo) and the infrared thermometer the most. My older son’s favourite toy was this cloth with tags sewn on to it – like the labels inside your clothes. A nosefrida was so helpful in the early days too. We were given loads of toys with heaps of small parts or pieces that get lost easily so I would say anything that’s hard to contain was less useful as pieces went missing (and I’m not great at clearing up – or throwing out). And socks… where does the other sock go all the time? We’ve starting buying only one colour…