Mama Chat Monday With - Claire Shannon
Meet Claire, Mama and the proud owner of the Dough Queen https://www.doughqueen.co.nz/shop/ who makes and sells the most amazing Natural Play dough. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your journey.
1. Tell us the first word that comes to mind when you think of your feeding journey?
Rewarding - with my first baby I was nervous that I would be able to successfully breastfeed, especially with the pressure out there that 'breast is best'. Luckily my genetics were on my side and I proved to be quite a successful cow!
2. What best describes the way you feed your children?
In regards to how I have breastfed all of my children, I ascribe to baby led routines and feeding. Breastfeeding makes this easier as I've always had enough supply to feed them and my body responded when they wanted more.
3. Did you ever feel embarrassed bottle-feeding or breastfeeding in public?
I'm quite a shy person naturally so breastfeeding in public hasn't been something I've done a lot of. However, I find that it was a good exercise in not caring what everyone else thinks (that's their business) and focusing on what I was doing. No one has ever confronted me about it, however, if they had I think I would have asked them if they would prefer my baby screaming instead of feeding?
4. Are there any products that made your feeding journey easier?
I've always had pumps which allowed me some freedom from my babies, while also ensuring they stayed breastfed. My latest pump is a Hakaa pump and I'm a HUGE fan. It allows me to pump at every feed at the same time I'm feeding, its design means its easy to clean and sterilise and it's not expensive to buy. You can't go past a piece of equipment that saves you on time and money!
5. If you could give a new mum one piece of advice what would it be?
I fell into quite a few traps because I was desperately trying to do everything right. So if I could go back and give myself advice I would say this: Trust your maternal instincts, don't compare yourself to any other mum and baby (they are all VERY different), ignore advice that doesn't fit with you taking care of your baby and be kind to yourself.
6. Do you think mothers feel pressure from society regarding feeding? Yes/No If yes why?
I think mums feel huge pressure to get it 'right' - I know several friends of mine really wanted to breastfeed and went to extreme lengths to do so. Ultimately they couldn't, which meant formula feeding. This didn't stop them being fantastic mothers and their children being happy. Fed is definitely best!
7. What do mums need to do more of to support other mums?
Try your best not to judge, instead support and try to understand. We are all very different and have different stresses in our lives, most people can't see the full story. Be kind, caring and if you're ever visiting a new mum - take food!
Thanks so much for sharing Claire,
We sell the amazing HaaKaa pumps that Claire mentioned above, so check them out!