Renee has been a long-term friend and supporter of the brand from the very beginning. When we launched iamibu late last year, as serendipity would have it, Renee was pregnant with her first baby boy.  

We are constantly moved and inspired by Renee’s compassion, generosity, candidness, and ability to light up any room she enters. It’s no surprise that her talent has seen her build a successful career over the years as a highly sought-after TV presenter and receive an Emmy award for her work in the US. 

Recently we have had the privilege of witnessing her transformation as she stepped into her favourite role yet: mother. It is difficult now to imagine her role as anything else, as she glows and grows with such grace as the mother of 7-month-old, Tide. 

 

We are flooded with information about pregnancy and birth and often the struggles and changes in our bodies during the postpartum period are not talked about. Can you touch on your experience with Tide?


It is one hundred percent not talked about enough and I had no idea what to expect in the postpartum period and how different my body would be and still is. It has completely changed. I felt so incredibly vulnerable after giving birth and extremely raw. Bleeding, swollen, aching… my body was unrecognisable. But on the other hand, I was in awe of what my body was capable of. I was really gentle with myself and have felt no pressure to ‘ bounce back’, but I didn’t think it would take me this long to heal or feel like myself again. I’d never really had boobs before and even that alone has been a new journey for me in figuring out how to dress and feel like myself in my body. But mostly I feel so incredibly grateful to my body for growing Tide and birthing him. I’m blown away by what our bodies are capable of and how strong we are but also birth is like the most insane marathon you can’t entirely prepare for and you don’t get a chance to recover from it because you’ve got this little human depending on you. I didn’t really think about that and how exhausted I’d feel post-birth. Thankfully the hormones and adrenaline get you through!

 

 

Any advice on what helped you and your healing process for other expecting mums?

Moving slow and honouring the process. A friend had advised me to really focus on my postpartum care and I’m so glad I did. I had this beautiful treatment called jamu jamu and closing of the bones that involved massage and belly binding for a week after I gave birth and it felt so healing and nurturing. It’s so important to mother the mother. Everyone focuses on buying gifts for the baby but I think it’s so much more important to make sure the mum is taken care of postpartum. Making sure I had enough food in the freezer and was organised prior so I could be nourished and taken care of in that way without having to think about it was so helpful. I’m constantly reminding myself when I look at my soft squishy belly - this was Tides first home and for that I’m so grateful and proud. 




You worked as an esteemed presenter in LA for 10 years, and now in Australia. What has it been like to lean into this time and really slow down?

It’s been exactly what I needed. My life couldn’t be more different from that of an entertainment reporter living in LA - out on red carpets and events every other night.
My world now revolves around Tide and being his mum and I have never been happier. I’m so thankful for my time in the States but I truly feel like I’m now living out my purpose. Children force us to be so present and it’s such a beautiful thing. I really think it’s true that not only do you give birth to your child but you also give birth to yourself. A new you. Changed forever. 




As mothers, we are often expected and praised for ‘doing it all’, taking on the ‘mother-load’ and working. What are your thoughts on this? 

I found this really frustrating during my pregnancy and postpartum- the notion that we celebrate and praise women for doing it all but we don’t encourage or celebrate women who take a step back for themselves or prioritise rest & being present with their families instead. 
What is crazy is that mothers can and do it all. They are superhero’s in my eyes. Children used to be raised by the village but in this society we are expected to do it alone and it’s not normal or easy. Community and support is essential. 
Caring for yourself and your little human/ humans is the hardest and most important job of all. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and set boundaries when needed. Remind yourself that your health and well-being is paramount. As I said before the village doesn’t exist like it used to- so create your village, reach out for help and know when you need a break. You’re doing amazing. 




Is there a particular moment you can recall growing up that has impacted your parenting style or influenced your outlook as a mother?

There were so many moments growing up where I’m not sure if I was super aware at the time but In retrospect I definitely am. I remember many times walking in on my mum in the middle of the night sewing our dance costumes/ hand sewing sequins one at a time- after a long day working and after preparing us a nutritious meal. I knew I was lucky but I was also very aware of how selfless my parents were and how they supported our dreams and believed in us. They always put us first and I hope Tide will feel that way too. 

What kind of world do you wish for Tide?

In this moment in time- mostly a world where he feels safe. A world less divided and a world where he feels completely comfortable being his authentic self and expressing himself. I hope to provide a world in which he feels unconditional love. 




How have your priorities changed since becoming a mother?

They’ve changed completely. My number one priority is Tide. He is my world and comes first. Nothing else feels as important anymore. Every decision I make takes him into account first. I’m also super aware of protecting my energy and making sure I can show up best for him.


Finally, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Trust  the timing of your life and that everything will unfold exactly as it should. Enjoy the ride. Every heart ache and disappointment will lead you to exactly where you’re meant to be. Don't sweat the small stuff.  Practice presence, meditate more and stop caring about what people think. 


 

Renee wears the Mawar ruched shirt, Mawar skirt, Spiral silk wrap and Sprial silk pant.