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Breastfeeding 101 from a Mum to a Mum
We spoke with the lovely Maeve from MumMe, which is an online boutique providing stylish maternity and nursing wear at an affordable price! Maeve is passionate about making the breastfeeding journey as happy and rewarding as possible for both Mum and Baby. read below to find out about her journey, how she copes with family being in a different country and her top breastfeeding tips for Mums..
Maeve’s experience with Breastfeeding
Hi I’m Maeve – Mum to 3 wee ones, 3 babies in 3 years (no twins…just 3 years between them all…fun!) I always knew that I wanted to breastfeed but I never felt that I was pressured to. The more I heard about the breastfeeding benefits though, the more I knew that it was the right decision for me. It wasn’t an easy journey, but looking back, I’m glad I kept going with it. When I started my breastfeeding journey almost 5½ years ago, I was really lucky to have my sister-in-law who had just founded MumMe. She was able to gift me a couple of tops and a dress. Other than these items, I really struggled to find something that I could feel comfortable feeding in, or that was affordable.
The birth of MumMe
After the birth of my son, I joined the MumMe team. Since then I have taken over the business and I have tried to build upon it from my own experiences during pregnancy and breastfeeding journey, by thinking about what women realistically want to wear as their body changes shape. Some want to flaunt their bump, while others want to hide it, but no one wants to look pregnant when breastfeeding. Everyone, however, wants to look stylish. Just because you’re pregnant or breastfeeding it doesn’t mean that you can’t wear that little black dress or that lacy bra. I’ve tried to take all of this into consideration.
Maeve’s tips for breastfeeding
Over the past few years, I have seen more and more products come into the market that claim that they will boost your lactation. In my own self doubt of my abilities I have fallen for these. But from my own experience, and I’m no professional, only a mum; I have found that the best breastfeeding tip is eating a balance diet as much as possible and drinking plenty of water has the same results. Don’t get me wrong, I love a cold cup of tea and 5 biscuits while I’m feeding followed by water chaser, but if I’m running on empty how can I be expected to feed and support my family?
Also my next tip is: please don’t be afraid to ask for help! While I live in Scotland, I’m originally from Northern Ireland, meaning that my family aren’t on my doorstep. As many of you will soon realise thankfully there is a massive community out there to help you.
Even though I breastfed each of my children, each experience was completely different, just like the personalities of my children. We all had to get used to each other, we all had to learn a new skill. however, just like a sling or a carrier, it’s not a case of one size fits all, you have to find the position that suits you best. What works for you. I had one child that would prefer nursery hold on one side and rugby ball on the other. She also had a boob preference so I would start her on one side and move her over. I only started doing this because the health visitor I had at this particular place was amazing. She specialized in breastfeeding and was always there to encourage me. I also had 3 c-sections, so I wasn’t able to drive to my local breastfeeding support group. By the time I had my 3rd child the funding had been cut for lactation support workers, but the online support had grown and was available day and night. But like all advice, some of this has to be taken with a pinch of salt and what works for one person won’t necessarily work for everyone.
I would advise that you try and relax as much as possible (often easier said that done!) like I said I had my own hurdles go overcome. Breathe through the pain at the start it usually only lasts 10 seconds or so, but don’t ignore it. It shouldn’t hurt the whole way though. It could be easily fixed with change of position. Listen for any clicking sounds when feeding. Or if baby is drooling when feeding or are you bleeding. These are all signs that you need to get checked. Never anything to worry about, but can be easily fixed making your breastfeeding experience more comfortable and extending your journey. Breastfed babies still need to be burped, they can suffer from colic, reflux and silent reflux.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help…
And ask for help. How hurt would you be if you later found out that your friend was struggling and you never realised. Sometimes it just takes someone to stick a load of washing on, or heat up that soup, or watch the kids for an hour while you try and catch up on a bit of sleep (this used to hit me like a tonne of bricks every 6 weeks). It took me till I had my third and was recovering from MRSA before I had the confidence to ask for help. If your friend asked for help would you think any less of them and their abilities as a parent? I doubt it, if anything, I suspect that it’ll make your friendship stronger. It certainly has in my case!
“You’re doing an amazing job”
I’m so lucky that live l in Scotland, I knew that by law I was protected by Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Act 2005. This allowed me the right to feed my child anywhere, including in public or on a licensed without being asked to move on or to somewhere more discreet. Although the only comments I ever received where from the more mature generation and were always filled with compliments and praise.
Whatever you do, it will always be the best for you and your baby and with this in mind, you’re doing an amazing job. But please remember to look after yourself and drink plenty of water.
But of course, I want your input too. I’d love to hear from you, and what you’d love to see me stock for your breastfeeding journey; I’m always open to ideas. I’m a mum who’s here for you. At MumMe we’re always on the look out for brand reps too, so if you are interested please drop me a line!