04 | Being open – with Jeannie van Zyl


Principal Civil Engineer and my lovely friend Jeannie van Zyl shares her pregnancy to postpartum experience as a South African expat in Australia. Birthing in a different country during a pandemic was not without its challenges but Jeannie’s personality (which I would describe as determinedly optimistic) shone through as she remained open to new opportunities and possibilities – consistently making lemonade every time she was handed a lemon.

Jeannie’s top tips for expats looking to ‘Postpartum like a boss’ are:

  • Join a virtual expat community that’s relevant to you as a new parent (there are many on Facebook) as a reference point/ sounding board for your experience.
  • Be open to making connections with other expat parents you meet. Even if they’re not from the same country, they have very likely shared many of the same experiences.

Jeannie also operates an Afrikaans children’s literature Instagram account @afrikinners and online store so other South African expats in Australia have a place to find bits of “home” to share with their growing families and each-other.

Please read my disclaimer before listening to the episode.