Survivor and AFLW star, Moana Hope and her model wife Isabella Carlstrom welcomed their daughter, Svea Hope in November last year.

With plans to add to their growing brood, Moana reveals to Bounty Parents the couple are currently undergoing IVF and if all goes to plan the couple will one day be the proud parents of three children.

The 33-year-old who played for Collingwood and North Melbourne before her two Survivor stints says her best advice to new parents is to also “think about yourselves”.

We caught up with Moana, to chat all about motherhood, coping with Melbourne’s lockdown and her and her wife’s exciting plans for the future.

How did you cope during Melbourne’s lockdown?

We spent all of Bel’s pregnancy last year in lockdown, and that was incredibly hard. Last year, we were trapped in the daily cycle of waiting for the press conference, listening to the numbers and then coping with the disappointment afterwards.

This side of the year and this lockdown, we’ve been following the rules but not engaging with the press conferences every day because it wasn’t serving us in a positive way. To keep our sanity, we’ve been focusing on our little family and living our lives within the rules.

Without a doubt Svea has been our silver lining. I don’t know what I’d do without her, she is just such a little angel. The other silver lining that I am hoping for, is a little more freedom. We’re all fully vaccinated so hopefully things in Melbourne can start to open up a little.

Moana says her daughter, Svean has been a “silver lining” during lockdown in Melbourne.

There are so many ages and stages with babies and each has their challenges. What stage did you find challenging?

You’re so right, there are so many different stages. I just get so excited for the new stages because in every stage there is something new. Whether she is developing something new, learning something new – everything is new! The first few weeks are super exhausting, so I would say the first little bit is probably the hardest from an exhaustion point of view. I wouldn’t say challenging though because I went into it with an open mind, and I loved every minute of it.

My advice for parents for this stage is to trust your motherly instincts and your parental instincts. Svea is probably about two weeks off walking. We are letting her be herself and loving every second it while trusting our instincts when it comes to Svea – I think that’s very important.

The best tip that I can give to new parents is to remember to think about yourselves. When you’re expecting your little one any day now and those around you are asking what they can get for you and what they can do for you, the answer is food. It’s so easy to forget about yourself when your swept up in exhaustion that you often forget to eat. If you’re not taking care of yourself, how can you be expected to take care of your little one.

Sleep deprivation is a common part of new parenting. How did you cope?

For the first few months, Bel and I were absolutely exhausted. Things got easier once we got into a bit of a rhythm. Along with the early congestion Svea had, she sometimes suffers from night terrors, and when it first happened it was really frightening. We can have a good two months and then we’d be up for hours in the middle of the night nursing her back to sleep.

In terms of me coping with tiredness, I’m the best parent when I am happy and healthy. I make sure I am there to support Bel as much as I can. The two of us are a team, and that is a huge help to both of us, through the highs and the lows. As much as I make time for Bel and for Svea, I need to take care of myself physically and mentally.

How did Svea’s nasal congestion impact on her feeding and sleeping?

Nasal congestion was having a huge impact on Svea’s feeding and sleeping. When she was very congested, we noticed that she wasn’t drinking as much – she is breastfed, so we really monitor that closely. Her sleep at night was also super disturbed because she had difficulty breathing – it makes a huge difference!

Moana says both her and her wife, Bel were exhausted during the first months of new parenthood.

What helped to ease Svea’s nasal congestion?

I was actually sucking the snot out of her nose! It started in the hospital when she was a newborn, and we had no idea about the FESS Little Noses Spray and Aspirator, so we were literally sucking the snot out of her nose because she is a super congested baby – which is actually pretty normal, but easier to manage now we’ve discovered our mum-hack.

How does Svea sleep now?

Svea sleeps like a dream. She sleeps 12 hours a night, she is unbelievable. She is such a little queen.

What do you do for self-care?

The biggest part of my self-care routine is exercising, I love exercising. I run five or six kilometers every day, I love to ride my bike and I love the release you get after a good workout. FESS is a big part of my pre-workout routine and an important part of my nighttime routine too, to help me manage any nasal congestion preventing me from feeling my best.

You recently welcomed a furbaby into your family. How is Obi settling in?

Obi is so cute, he is such an amazing puppy and so gentle with Svea. People call us crazy for bringing in a puppy after a baby, but it has worked out really well. Although truthfully, Svea loves our cat and doesn’t care for the puppy as much. Every time she sees the cat she giggles; I am sure she’ll come round to Obi.

What’s coming up next for you/ your family in the future?

We have very exciting plans for the future. We are in the process of trying to get me pregnant through Monash IVF. We want three kids all together and we’re aiming to have them 1.5 to 2 years apart, fingers crossed it works out that way. In a dream world we would go through the toddler stage early, work hard for six or seven years and then support them as they grow up from there.