This month we chat to Bec Conforti, Business Owner, Wife and New Mother. Founder of Prae Stores, a boutique retail store offering luxurious, coveted essentials within the active, beauty, wellness and lifestyle space; Bec has created an online wellness destination with a loyal following Australia wide. Bec's personal experience with chemical sensitivity inspired an interest in natural, organic products, and a holistic approach to health. Fusing her newfound passion with her love of fashion and design, and her desire to educate and inform others, is what influenced Bec to create Prae.
We sat down and chatted virtually to Bec about all things Motherhood, Birth, Postpartum and running a Business with a new baby.
Hi Bec, thank you so much for chatting to us, firstly how are you? And for those who don’t know you, can you tell us a little about you, your family and your journey into motherhood?
Thank you so much for having me!
I’m 31 - married to my husband Luke, and new mama to my beautiful boy Bobby who is 6 months old. We just finished building our home out in Currumbin Valley.
I am the founder of Prae - your go-to destination for sustainable wellness, beauty, active and lifestyle. We have two boutique retail stores (Gold Coast And Byron) and an online wellness community and online store.
My journey into motherhood has been such a beautiful transition for me - It obviously comes with its challenges but I’m absolutely loving being a mama and stepping back into that more feminine energy, as I usually live quite a busy life with work.
I always listen to my intuition and as soon as I fell pregnant, I was drawn to having a home-birth. I really wanted to feel as calm as possible with minimal intervention during my birth and for me being at home is where I could really envision that being possible. I had some friends who had birthed at home, so I spoke to them all first about their experiences and also met with a few midwives before we chose ours, and asked them a million questions and came out feeling more confident and empowered than ever.
I prepared for my birth with Hypnobirthing and also with meditation, visualization and manifestation techniques, and affirmations that I did every day. My husband and I absolutely loved the Hypnobirthing course and both felt so educated and empowered for our birth. I also had a great birth and support team (my midwife, doula and husband).
We know that the postpartum time is both physically and mentally demanding as you transform into your new role as a mother, and life with a newborn. You chose to honour the ritual of spending the first 40 days at home to bond with your baby Bobby and give him a slow welcome to the world. How was this period for you? And why did you decide to do the 40 days at home?
I honestly didn’t realise how physcially and mentally demanding it would be!
In the past I had struggled with a chronic illness and it took me years of having chronic fatigue until I had my health and vitality back, so going through something like this I understand how important health is and I would never take that for granted anymore. I also know my limits and know when not to push myself. I read the First 40 Days book and it really resonated with me about how physically demanding labour and birth is and also how open you are energetically afterwards. I loved the idea of staying at home and nourishing my body and giving Bobby a slow welcome to the world, to reduce my chances of illness or Post-natal depression or anxiety after birth. I just wanted to get to know Bobby and learn to become a mum with no outside pressures or stresses and cherish that time together, instead of trying to pretend like I had it all together and push myself even more physically. I absolutely loved it (I know it’s not for everyone) but for me it was such a beautiful time, not feeling any pressure or stress. We had minimal visitors (just immediate family during that time) and I wouldn’t change it.
Reflecting on your homebirth and 40 days at home, would you recommend this to other mother’s and what advice do you have for woman wanting this experience?
I feel very grateful that I can speak about my birth in such a positive light . It honestly was the most beautiful, intense and empowering experience. If you are wanting a home birth I would recommend it to anyone. The advice I would give is to make sure you have a really good support system, as that is everything. My husband was so positive and had my back no matter what and was educated from hypnobirthing to be able to support me through labour. Also being on the same page as your midwife and/or doula and making sure you feel really safe and comfortable with them as well. I couldn’t speak more highly enough about my birth team and how they all made me feel so calm and confident. I would also recommend the First 40 Days - my advice for this would be to make sure you have a big supply of meals made. You could make big batches of nourishing meals and freeze them when you are in your nesting stage or get your family and friends to help you with this as well. It was so helpful having all of my meals ready to go for me and not having the stress of cooking and grocery shopping during that period.
You’re still in the throes of the postpartum period with gorgeous Bobby only four months old, so far, what does motherhood mean to you?
(He's 6 months now)**
I didn’t realise how much motherhood would mean to me and really flip my goals and aspirations in life on its head.
Motherhood to me is just the greatest love, biggest responsibility and most important job that you will ever experience in your life . I feel like everything I do and every choice I make now I put Bobby first as I feel like I have the greatest opportunity to shape Bobby into the person he will be when he grows up and give him a solid foundation of love, trust and support and that is such a honour for me.
You’re a very successful business owner, running Prae Stores, along with building a new house, being a mother, partner and all the roles that we as woman wear – how do you juggle it all?
I’ve really had a busy year! My husband and I are always doing different projects along with running our own businesses, and that has always been fun and exciting, but now being a mum I’m being more drawn to slow down and not want to have such a crazy schedule and just spend as much quality time with Bobby as I can. I really don’t want to miss those special moments of him growing up and I want to be mindful of being present with him, so currently I am trying to simplify my life and put the brakes on a little for the time being. It is definitely challenging owning a business and being a new mama. Before Bobby I made sure that I had my business in a position that I could take a step back and I felt really confident in my team to step up while I am not there as much. Now at the 6 month mark - I have had to call on some help to get back to work and that for me was hiring a nanny for a day and a half so I can go to work those days and be there for my business and team again. It definitely has been challenging trying to juggle that, but I am so much more efficient with my time now and I just really prioritise the most important things for me to action while I am at work those days.
Who do you look too for inspiration, motivation and advice in both business and motherhood?
There’s so many people out there especially via social media these days that you could get caught up in looking for inspiration or motivation from highlight reels of people that you don’t actually know if thats genuine or not, so for me now I like to draw my inspiration and advice on motherhood and business from friends and family who are in similar positions. It’s been so lovely to have a few girlfriends having babies the same time as me and having that support and shoulder to lean on together and share our experiences with each other. I also am grateful to have a lot of friends and mentors in the business world to be able to do the same as well.
What part of becoming a parent did you find most challenging or unexpected?
Oh my gosh the sleep deprivation and broken sleep. No one can really prepare you for that. I’ve always really cared about my health and how well I slept was a big part of my wellness routine. I was a good 8-9 hours sleep a night kind of person, so I really have and still am struggling with that, but you do adjust and get used to it.
You have a beautifully minimal aesthetic, what Bubba Cloud did you choose and what do you most love about it?
Thank you so much. I chose the pinstripe bubba cloud, because I loved how simple and versatile it was to style in any room. The bubba cloud saved us especially the first two months. We would just put Bobby in it wherever we were around the house and he was so comfy and would lounge away easily! He now loves just laying it on the table when we are eating so he can be apart of it with us and also if we take him to a friends house, it’s the first thing to come with us!
Lastly, we’d love to know if you could give one piece of advice to a new/expecting mother, what would it be?
Be easy on yourself and don’t compare! It’s something I have to remind myself daily as well. Giving birth and becoming a mother is such a huge life changing transition. Go slow and don’t feel like you have to prove yourself to anyone.