Mama Chat Monday With - Alice Brooking
Meet Alice, Mother to Thomas and the mum behind Wool Mother Maternity. We can't wait to stock your reusable, odour resistant, NZ merino wool breast pads once your open. Go check them out @woolmothermaternity
1.Tell us the first word that comes to mind when you think of your feeding journey?
2.What best describes the way you feed your child/children?
Intuitively. I breast-feed on demand still with my 15 month old, although naturally he is slowly weaning and I do offer food first, but if he is refusing solids I will offer the breast because he may just need it, who knows, he may need an immune system boost! Myself and son eat a plant-based diet and he is thriving and healthy, this is a intuitive decision and one I stick by, obviously I am aware of the nutritional needs and make sure I meet those needs with whole plant based foods. It works for us!
3.Did you ever feel embarrassed bottle-feeding or breastfeeding in public?
I am naturally a shy person and so breast-feeding in public does bring up anxiety, not because I am ashamed or embarrassed as such, but just that I am private. Breast-feeding in public is great and I am all for it, however, I personally would choose a private room over public but that is just me and my shyness, but I will feed in public if I have too.
4.Are there any products that made your feeding journey easier?
Yes! When Thomas was about a week old, breast-feeding was incredibly painful, his latch was great but my nipples were just so sensitive and raw, I'm sure many mums know all about that! Anyway, nipple shields saved my breast-feeding journey, I wore them on and off at the start until my nipples healed and got used to it, then I no longer needed them.
I had read the pros and cons but felt the pros outweighed the cons and I gave them a go. They are the reason I'm still breast-feeding my boy, 15 months on!
Also, the Haakaa silicone pump is AMAZING for catching the let down while baby is feeding. This saved a lot of mess!
5.What was the funniest thing that happened during your feeding journey?
I have been pretty lucky to not have many embarrassing moments, I have had a laugh at myself though in the early months when I would be sitting in bed with a shield on, a baby on and the silicone pump on all at once, oh and messy mum bun hair, no make up and possibly not showered for a day or two. It must be a funny sight to say the least and one so many mums will have been through!
6.If you could give a new mum one piece of advice what would it be?
Don't give up on your breast-feeding journey too early! It takes a day or so for your milk to properly come in, so don't panic and think you have low supply, it will get there! Use nipple shields if you have to, they may be the difference between persevering and giving up. Also, when I first started, I had an app where it would time each feed and what side I used last, while this was super useful, I found once I stopped using it I became so much more in tune with my baby and my instincts kicked in more, I felt closer to him and I relaxed... that's a big one, just relax!
7.Do you think mothers feel pressure from society regarding feeding? Yes/No If yes why?
Yes, I feel there is so much judgement between breast and formula feeding. I breast-feed but my baby has had formula on the odd occasion if we went out somewhere, I remember buying the tin of formula and feeling so guilty, I wanted to hide it in the trolley! But really, fed is best, and while I do feel nutritionally breast milk is the ultimate food that nature provides, formula is second best and there shouldn't be judgement around what a mother decides to feed. There are many reasons someone may choose to formula feed and it is impossible to know everyone's story, someone may have desperately wanted to breastfeed but it didn't work out for them, they may be incredibly upset about it, they don't need any fingers pointing at them making them feel worse than they already do.
8.What do mums need to do more of to support other mums?
Be open to giving AND receiving advice, and know when to keep your mouth shut!