Mama Chat Monday With - Aleisha Rutherford
Wife to Liam and Mama to the super cute Max living life in the Manawatu!
Thanks for sharing your journey, and showing how in some cases it can get easier after a tough start.
1.Tell us the first word that comes to mind when you think of your feeding journey?
One word?? Hmmm...hardwork...(two words I know, but I removed the space so it became one!!)
We had lots of challenges in the early days - Max was actually fed by a syringe for the first week because I couldn't get him to latch. We had multiple visits to the lactation consultant, cracked nipples, pain, a tongue tie snip and used nipples shields for the first month. I had set myself a goal of breastfeeding for 6 weeks, and when we got there it still wasn't easy but we seemed to be in a good rhythm. It was the 8-week mark that everything clicked and all of a sudden breastfeeding was working for us.
2.What best describes the way you feed your child
I breastfeed Max on demand.
3.Did you ever feel embarrassed bottle-feeding or breastfeeding in public?
Not that I can recall. The first time I breastfed in public I was in a council chamber for a meeting. I remember wondering if people were going to stare but I don't think anyone noticed! After that I fed anywhere and everywhere without thinking twice.
4.Are there any products that made your feeding journey easier?
Yes! So many...Nipple shields, Weleda nipple cream, haakaa breatpump, an electric breast pump, reusable breast pads and a few staple pieces of breastfeeding friendly clothing.
5.What was the funniest thing that happened during your feeding journey?
I was in a meeting and had finished feeding Max, he had fallen asleep and I'd been having a wee cuddle. I was just putting him down to nap in the pram when a colleague came over and pulled the flap on my dress down - I'd forgotten to fix it and my bra was on full show. I'm not sure for how long!
6.If you could give a new mum one piece of advice what would it be?
Relax (as much as you can) and go with the flow. Lower your expectations a little and be flexible. Be open to advice but choose whose advice you actually take on board. If you're not after advice then be a little bold and tell people you don't want it!
7.Do you think mothers feel pressure from society regarding feeding?
Yes! There is a lot of amazing work being done to support breastfeeding mothers but little public support for those who are bottle feeding. I remember when Max was 2-3 weeks old and the intense pain I was experiencing when feeding. I ended up pumping and bottle feeding for a few days to give myself a break. I was so nervous that my midwife would question me if she saw the bottles on the bench! It was ridiculous how much it concerned me. The reality was, when my midwife came by for a visit, she told me it awesome that I was looking after myself, checked to make sure I knew how to sterilise the bottles and then offered the use of her double electric pump to make the next few days a bit easier.
8.What do mums need to do more of to support other mums?
Back each other! Remember how tough some days can be when you see another mama out and about. Share some encouragement...If another mama is feeding (however way!) in public - tell them it's great to see, offer a pair of hands if you see them baby wrangling, if they've got an upset child in the supermarket offer some sympathy and remind them when bedtime comes around to crack open a bottle of wine. Mamahood is a tough gig and there is a lot of negativity in society that's up against us, we can at least stand together and show each other some aroha.
Aleisha, thanks for sharing your story and for letting us know what products made your journey easier.
USE ALEISHA20 and get 20% off the products which made her journey easier.