Mama Chat Monday With - Melanie Vink
Meet Melanie. Mama to three super gorgeous kids. Cory, Skyla and Anker. Living life to the full, in Raglan. If you're on Instagram give them a follow. Thanks so much Mel for sharing your joruney.
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 children?
I breastfed all my babies for as long as I could ( still exclusively breastfeeding Anker now and he's nearly 11 months). What made me start to introduce a pre-night time bottle of formula before bed with Cory and Skyla at approx 10 months was because I fell pregs both times so my milk must have changed or wasn't quite enough (kids screaming in hunger at bedtime ) then naturally they preferred the bottle over mummy milk. Guess that was an easy way to wean before next babe came along. Also with Cory, I got really sick and he went off my milk a lot faster - I tried to pump but it never came back and I didn't want to take meds as pregnant with Skyla at the time.
3. Did you ever feel embarrassed bottle-feeding or breastfeeding in public?
You know what I have never felt embarrassed to feed in public except for this one time I went to a baby sensory class and I was literally one of the only mums that breastfed, the rest bottle fed! I was taken by complete surprise and felt not judged at all but just so aware I was having my boobs out and no-one else was haha. oh, there was this one other time hubby and I thought we would go to a movie and take along Cory my 1st, though I would feed him to sleep during the movie easy as. Well... we had the best seats in the house in the corner on their own but it just so happened when I was trying to feed Cory off to sleep, the movie had a quiet part and the sucking noises Cory made was so loud and embarrassing sounded like hubby and I were going for it. Needless to say, I left the premises followed by hubby - got our tickers refunded and never took a baby to a movie again.
4. Are there any products that made your feeding journey easier?
I would always have a sterilised set of nipple shields on hand from day one (in your hospital bag) and a decent breast pump and bottles. Reason being my 1st time breastfeeding experience with Cory was hell. I suspect he had a tongue tie that was hard to pick up. I would cry in pain at every feed and ended up mixing between using nipple shields, expressing and feeding off the broken bleeding nipples. I still remember checking into a lactation plunket group at 6 weeks as the pain was still there but not as bad as the first few weeks. Skyla was the easiest feeder in fact so easy I was not just feeding her as a newborn but expressing for a friend whose baby was born few days after and needed initial assistance till her milk supply came through. Rhuger is the best natural product for wind colic - best one out. It helps get the wind out so much easier. One other product I recommend is the Weleda nipple cream - amazing!
5. What was the funniest thing that happened during your feeding journey?
Apart from my movie experience - it was the unique things the kids did too well I am not sure maybe make my milk come out faster as they grew bigger and needier - Cory would beat my chest, Skyla would pinch my arms and chest NO IDEA WHY just hurt so much almost made me give up - I ended up holding down her arms and she oneway grew out of it. Anker grips my nips with his teeth and pulls outwards with his are like a press-up OUCH again hurts but this is usually late in the day so I suspect he's trying to get the milk flowing faster.
6. If you could give a new mum one piece of advice what would it be?
Don't give up on breastfeeding - it does get easier! If you are at birth care or hospital don't be afraid to ring the bell at every feed so they can help you latch or check your latch (birth care I can't rate enough, they have so much time for you and the care is incredible) and also TONGUE AND LIP TIE....get that checked straight away and if diagnosed then dealt with immediately. Anker at 4 days old only got his tongue tie cut and should have had his lip tie done .... its caused teething problems such as 4 weeks for top teeth to come through. Was super painful day ad night as the skin was so thick and he had these horrid awful cysts, serious wind/colic as a newborn and now grates my nips when feeding as he has a gap in his front top teeth. And lastly, I never fed on demand. The best advice I was given was starting each day from day 1 well maybe day 2 haha with a routine of 3 hourly feeds and then in the evening if babe cluster feeds roll with it. I just found they slept longer through the night and had less wind build up because it has a chance to work its way out if you can't get it up with technique. Also, one other thing I notice is if you put the baby down and they are restless or making grunting noises, that's highly likely trapped wind. I moved Cory out of my room because he was too noisy having no clue that he was noisy because he was still had a wind bubble stuck somewhere haha. I learnt that using the Rhuger pre feeds helped so much to get most of it out and if I put him down to sleep and he was grunting or fidgeting, then to pick baby back straight back up and keep winding that last bit so when a burp did roll up and pop out it meant when I put them back down to sleep, they were silent, happy and slept longer stretches. This was for all my kids.
7. Do you think mothers feel pressure from society regarding feeding? Yes/No If yes why?
I think the pressure has relaxed since the fed is best movement really has united mothers and made them aware we are all on a journey and trying our best. We all love our babies just as much as the next and doing what we can to ensure they are happy, healthy and thriving. Just from my observations I feel there need to be more hands-on support for new mums learning the breastfeeding skill because many give up due to lack of (many times its due to undiagnosed tongue tie don't get me started), and then if there are situations where breastfeeding is just not working so support around formula feeding.
8. What do mums need to do more of to support other mums?
All mums are so passionate about THEIR successful way of navigating the motherhood journey so I don't think they "judge" but more just try to offer you their BEST advice from their own personal journey - but sometimes we just need to stop, put that aside and just purely listen and encourage each other. I know I have had to learn this.
Thanks so much for sharing your journey Mel. Interested in any of the products Melanie would recommend?
Buy them online now and use MELVINK to get 15% off .