Māmā Muse: Hannah Barrett

Hannah Barrett pregnancy

With over 92k followers on Instagram, you’re probably familiar with Hannah Barrett. We spoke to the mum-of-one and wife of All Black, Beauden Barrett, about the fourth trimester with their daughter, Billie, what it was like having a baby with colic, and how her relationship has been with her postpartum body.

You’ve shared your birth story on the Kiwi Birth Tales podcast before, but for those who haven’t listened to your episode, can you give as an overview of your birth?

I was induced at 39 weeks as I wanted my husband, Beauden to be there for the birth and he was due to go on tour shortly after. The induction went smoothly, I then had an epidural and I pushed Billie out in 25 minutes with no complications. I loved my birth and know I am extremely fortunate for having such a positive birth experience.

 

How was your fourth trimester experience with Billie?

I wish the fourth trimester was as straight forward as my birth! But I believe that everyone faces hardships, whether it be during pregnancy, in birth or during the fourth trimester. I realised at about three weeks that Billie wasn’t like other babies. She cried a lot more and was harder to settle. When she was awake she was usually screaming and I spent the first three months walking around like a miserable zombie. I felt depleted and helpless. Everyone else seemed to be loving “mum life” and were able to leave the house/resume normality but I felt like life, as I knew it, was over.

 

 

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A post shared by HANNAH BARRETT (@hannahlaity)

How did you find the adjustment to motherhood emotionally and mentally? Who or what was your saving grace during that time?

My husband was only home for the first two weeks of the first 10 weeks of Billie’s life so I felt as if I was navigating motherhood solo. He would always FaceTime and call but it wasn’t the same as having an extra pair of hands or a big hug on the bad days. I relied heavily on my parents, they would both come over after work – one would cook dinner and the other would hold Billie as she couldn’t be put down and would scream constantly from 3-8pm.

 

What advice would you give to other mums who have unsettled or colicy babies?

I wish I could tell them there was a simple ‘cure’ but in most cases you just have to ride the wave. Billie’s colic settled when she was around 14 weeks, after we literally tried anything and everything to help her. She is now a very happy and social bub who sleeps like a dream! A few things that did slightly help us was spacing out the feeds (as opposed to feeding on demand), sleeping her on her side facing her left, and infacol before feeds. I would encourage other mums to accept all the help they can get. People offer because they genuinely want to help, let them!

 

You’re an active person and continued to be so during your pregnancy. Tell us about your relationship with your postpartum body.

If I am brutally honest it hasn’t been easy accepting this new body. I wish I was one of those people who could say, “I am proud of this body because it gave me my baby,” and in a way I guess I am but I do love being active and when I look good, I feel good. So it’s very much a work in progress and I am learning not to put too much pressure on myself.

 

 

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A post shared by HANNAH BARRETT (@hannahlaity)

What does self-care look like for you now that you’re a māmā?

A massage, sitting in a café and having a coffee by myself, popcorn and Netflix with my husband or a wine with friends on a Friday night.

 

You’re very driven and accomplished in your career. How has your outlook on work changed or evolved since having Billie?

That’s very kind of you. Since having Billie I have learnt that work isn’t the most important thing in my life and I am conscious of managing my time so I am with her for most of the week. They are only young for a short time and I want to be there for as much of it as I can.

 

In the context of motherhood, how has being in the spotlight of social media been for you? And within that, how have you balanced being honest about your experience of becoming a māmā whilst also maintaining privacy for your family?

I think it’s really important to be your authentic self, regardless of who you are or what you do. Being true to myself is something I have always been, so I wasn’t going to share all the good times and hide the bad times. If I could make one new mum feel as though she wasn’t alone then I was happy with that. The more people I talked to, the more I realised that despite being the most incredible experience, motherhood is bloody hard! And it doesn’t mean we don’t love our baby any less. We don’t share Billie’s face on social media because we believe it’s her choice, which she can make when she’s old enough to do so.

 

 

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A post shared by HANNAH BARRETT (@hannahlaity)

What do you have a new appreciation for now that you’re a mum?

My mum! She has sacrificed so much for me and my siblings and has always set a great example.

 

What has motherhood taught you about yourself?

That I can get through anything!! And it has also put things into perspective for me – I used to worry about such trivial matters, it’s showed me what really is important.

 

Tell us about a māmā who is your muse.

My mother in law, Robyn. She is an incredible mother. When I find things tough (with my one child haha) I always think of her and how she managed to run a farm and raise all eight kids.

Follow Hannah Barrett on Instagram @hannahlaity.

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