#RealLifeMom (September)

#RealLifeMom (September)

Hi Mamas!
Every month we would like to feature our #RealLifeMom. Whether you have been through a pregnancy or birthing ordeal, or have an interesting story to share, or even if you are just experiencing the normal motions of Motherhood, we want to hear from you!
Email: hello@yaybaby.co.za and put #RealLifeMom in the subject line, and we will get back to you.
Everyone benefits from sharing their stories and hearing someone else's.


I am SO LATE this month. I cannot believe we are in OCTOBER!
This month we got to chat to this super cool Mama, who shared her amazing experiences around being pregnant and giving birth (whilst dealing with the awful PUPPP rash)!

Dennilee Harlen

Dennilee is a 27 year old #MomBoss, who runs her own Social Media Company in Blouberg, CPT. Her gorgeous little boy, Jaxson, is 7 months old, and we are so happy to Blog about her story!

Tell us a little about yourself: "I am a first time mama to baby Jaxson. I am 27 years old and have my own business. I run a social media company called Hashtagsocialeyes social media agency. We (My fiancé, Jaxson and our two furbabies) have recently moved to Cape Town as he got a job opportunity here. It’s been tough with having no family and friends here with having a baby during lockdown but other than that we really enjoying it! For us it’s more about being around people than needing help with Jaxson."

We got to chat to Dennilee about life as a Real Life Mom, and asked her a few questions.

We have had many Moms who really struggled with their pregnancy journey, but we also love to hear the flip side. Tell us more about falling and being pregnant!

"We were blessed and fell pregnant so quickly. I stopped the pill at the end of March in 2019 and I was pregnant in the May. Very grateful and very lucky. Carrying for me was easy, I had a very easy going pregnancy, no nausea, no vomiting. I literally didn’t have any typical “bad” pregnancy symptoms. The only ones I did have towards the end was swollen feet, pregnancy insomnia and that PUPPP rash which is caused by the babies hormones (I was told). I was able to dance (I do latin and ballroom dancing) till 7 months and gym till 8 months (just walking and swimming towards the end). I was one of the lucky ones! In the end I picked up 18kgs! I lost it very quickly, but during lockdown it has been tough to get rid of the last few ;)"

Do you have any advice for pregnant moms?

"If you are positive and have a good mind set during pregnancy, you will honestly enjoy it. It is a fun time and you should try enjoy the journey, of course you have your bad days, and they happen quite frequently towards the end, but you have that day and then a new mind set for a new day. It always worked for me!"

You developed a rash called PUPPP, what was this experience like for you?

PUPPP is an itchy, bumpy rash — annoying but benign — that usually develops on the abdomen in stretch marks and sometimes appears on the thighs, buttocks or arms. It’s most common in first-time mothers and those carrying multiples. Sometimes itching can become very severe and spread to the rest of the body, but never on the face (thank goodness for small miracles).
"So towards the end of my pregnancy I got that typical rash (PUPPP) caused by the babies hormones and let me tell you I was SO ITCHY ALL THE TIME, it was the worst! But that only came at about 36 weeks and became so bad at 37 and a half weeks. My plan was always to try natural if I could, but if I couldn’t it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I kept my mind very open to both because anything can happen, and I needed to be okay with both. In the end I selected a C Section because I just couldn’t deal with the rash, no sleep (I would lie awake for 2-3 hours a night) and being so uncomfortable with my feet that it became so sore to walk! So at 39.3 weeks we got to meet our healthy baby boy! Everything went well with no complications."

Do you have any advice for new moms?

"Don’t have a set schedule from day dot, it doesn’t work!

Hold your baby as much as you want, there are no associations till about 12 weeks so don’t listen to anyone telling you that you spoiling your baby, you hold them as much as you want ;)

If you need help ask! Don’t feel bad for asking for some time to yourself, you need it!

Don’t be anxious or nervous, babies pick up on that J you will be just fine!"

What has been the most difficult thing you have had to overcome, in the journey of becoming a mom/being a mom?

"Being okay with other people taking care of Jaxson when I need the help, I just felt like I needed to do everything all the time and between me and my fiancé we had it all covered. But Jaxson actually has Laryngomalacia (basically a breathing condition and its complicated and a very long story so that’s a story for another day) and since he had the op at 7 weeks old, we realised that it is okay to let others help and for us to take a breather."

What was the best advice that YOU received?

"Don’t be awake/get up together during the night! Have shifts and let one parent sleep a few solid hours then change over. Having 2 tired parents isn’t a good thing."

What was the most useful product/item that you purchased or were gifted? 

Nipple shields! I used them 2 days after leaving the hospital and still use them today! I was lucky enough to be able to breastfeed but it was very sore for me, so my sister suggested trying the shields and they have honestly been a lifesaver for me!

    5 MUST HAVE pregnancy/baby items/products:

    3 things that MUST go in your hospital bag:

    • Snacks! You get hungry at 3am (well I did hahaha) I remember eating half of a Barone after a 2am feed in hospital :p
    • Something to keep you entertained, I found I was a bit bored when Jaxson slept, I mean he slept for long periods when he did sleep and you don’t sleep every time he does so something to do/keep you entertained
    • Make sure you pack a plug for your phone charger!

    3 things that MUST go on your baby shower registry:

    • Cosy blankets
    • Nappies (not having to buy a packet of nappies 7 months into motherhood has been great)!
    • Car seat swaddle blanket- so convenient for travelling, you don’t need to take the baby out the blanket/swaddle when getting in and out the car.

    1 thing you feel that you absolutely DID NOT need:

    • So many blankets!

    Name something you wish you had bought or received. And why?

    I can’t think of anything here because whatever we had worked and whatever we didn’t have we made a plan with what we had.

      Do you have a parting thought for our other Real Life Mamas:

      Listen to everyone but use what you think will work for you and your baby. Everyone always thinks their way is right but they don’t know YOU. So listen and take it in but use what you feel will work.


      Quick Fire Challenge

      (The below aims to normalize motherhood. We get so worked up over “doing the right thing” when in actual fact there is no right thing. You are doing a great job if your baby is fed, clean, dry and happy. You got this Mama!)

      • Breast or Bottle or Both


      • Cloth Nappies or Disposables


      • Natural Birth or C-Section


      • Followed a strict schedule or went with the flow

      Went with the flow within a small routine.

      • Co-Sleep or Own Bed (from the beginning) 

      Slept in his pram next to our bed for 6 weeks, then co slept and at 12 weeks he was in his own cot.

      • Full term or Premature

      Full term   

      • Stay at Home Mom or Back to Work

      Work I work from home and look after Jaxson, so both really.

      • Nanny or Playschool/Creche

      I look after him.

      • Pureed Food or Baby Led Weaning

      Pureed Food (Snacks are Baby Led Weaning)


      Disclaimer: This blog is made available by Yay Baby for general information purposes only. By using this blog you understand that these articles are in no way a substitute for actual medical or professional advice.
      If you have any questions relating to this article, for Yay Baby or for Dennilee directly, feel free to post in the comments below!

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