Mama Chat Monday With - Kelly Shaw
1. Tell us the first word that comes to mind when you think of your feeding journey?
Demanding. It's been quite a journey breastfeeding three babies! It has been physically demanding and also emotionally. We have had so many ups and downs along the way. I've been through mastitis with the middle of the night trips to hospital and A&E, low supply, feeling like I just didn't have what it takes to exclusively breastfeed my baby, and feeling like a failure as a mum! But don't get me wrong, much of our journey has been wonderful. Having that one on one bond while feeding is just the best!
2. What best describes the way you feed your child/children?
I've breastfed my three children. Leo until 15 months, Lana until 26 months and Koby currently 4 months. I had a lot of trouble with Leo, he was my first baby and I got mastitis 9 times! I ended up in hospital on IV antibiotics. We found out months later that he had a significant upper lip tie. For Lana, we got her upper lip tie released at 2 days old and she fed great, though I still got mastitis a couple times. For Koby, we decided not to release his ties. Him being my third baby I feel that I am more aware of the signs of mastitis so can act on them sooner, plus he is making great gains!
3. Did you ever feel embarrassed bottle-feeding or breastfeeding in public?
On my third baby now I decided I's try wearing breastfeeding clothes this time. They have definitely helped boost my confidence feeding Koby in public. With Leo and Lana, I'd try to feed them at home, in the car or in a quiet place away from others. My babies are such squirmy feeders and it can be so awkward at times soI still avoid feeding in public if possible.
4. Are there any products that made your feeding journey easier?
Yes, definitely my Medela electric pump! I use it mainly to help unclog blocked ducts as I'm prone to getting mastitis. The Addison breastfeeding dresses and tops are so good at feeding discretely and have given me more courage to feed outside of the home.
5. What was the funniest thing that happened during your feeding journey?
We were on the way to my parent's house and I was in the back of the car sitting next to Leo who was in his capsule. I was using my electric pump and a car with some older kids in it drove past and the boy saw everything and pointed at me while excitedly telling the other kids. Luckily we were going around a roundabout so we were gone by the time the others turned to look!
6. If you could give a new mum one piece of advice what would it be?
Follow your instincts. Don't feel pressured to breastfeed, bottle feed, have your baby sleeping through the night etc, just do what you think is best for you and your baby!
7. Do you think mothers feel pressure from society regarding feeding? Yes/No If yes why?
I do feel that there is a lot of encouragement towards breastfeeding as opposed to bottle feeding. I mix fed my first baby, Leo, and I felt a little guilty topping him up with formula. But now when I look back I find that so silly, fed is best!
8. What do mums need to do more of to support other mums?
I think it's importnant to help each other. If you see a mim with her screaming baby or toddler, think about hpw you have felt before in a similar situation. Ask to help her, hold her baby, entertain her toddler.