Interviews with parents about the highs and challenges they have faced when feeding their babies.Instagram: @thefeedingdiaries_pod
Episode 16: Adrianna (our first latch at 4 weeks old, low supply & raynauds)
In this episode Adrianna shares her story of feeding her daughter Eloise.
From the first feed Adrianna felt as though something wasn’t quite right. Eloise had trouble latching, and so Adrianna and her partner Jeroen bottle fed Eloise while they found help. After many weeks of trying Eloise at the breast, getting second opinions, pumping around the clock and having a tongue tie snipped, Adrianna and Eloise achieved their breastfeeding goal and are still breastfeeding now with Eloise being a year old.
Adrianna also speaks about her low supply as well as Raynauds syndrome and how incredibly painful that was for her.
I love that Adrianna doesn’t shy away from the fact that breastfeeding her baby was something that was really important to her - you can hear it in her voice how much it means to her.
Thank you so much for sharing your story Adrianna.
For more info on Raynauds check out this page (half way down): https://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/nipple-blanching/
Episode 15: Wendy (breastfeeding aversion and exclusively pumping)
Wendy shares her story of breastfeeding then exclusively pumping for both of her children - Anderson (3) and Amelia (1).
After the birth of her son Anderson, Wendy noticed that the feelings she was having around breastfeeding were not typical. A conversation with a friend led Wendy to realise that she had breastfeeding aversion. Wendy and her husband Andrew made the decision to exclusively pump and bottle feed Anderson until he was around 1 year old.
When Amelia was born, Wendy wasn’t sure if the same aversion would exist. It did, but this time around Wendy and Andrew knew what their plan was if feeding at the breast wasn’t possible.
Through all of this Wendy continually had to work on keeping her supply up. Wendy’s low supply challenges led to her starting a new business which she launched a couple of months ago. Mammas Milk Bar sells lactation blends and protein blends for pregnant mums, breastfeeding mums, and mums generally. You can check her business out at www.mammasmilkbar.com or on instagram @mammasmilkbar .
I could have talked to Wendy for ages, she had so much to share - we talked about practicing confinement, the importance of support networks, the benefits of exclusively pumping and more .
Thank you Wendy for sharing your experience!
If you’d like to read more about breastfeeding aversion there is some interesting information on the Kelly Mom website.
Episode 14: Bec (reflections on feeding two under two)
In this episode Bec reflects on feeding her two children George (who has just turned 4) and Sadie (who was 2 earlier this year).
Bec and I don’t get into the nitty gritty of each and every challenge of hers, instead we talk about the bigger picture. How feeding made her feel, how it impacted her mental health, how she reflects on it now, and how it is okay to look back and say you didn’t love it regardless of the types of challenges you faced. This is a great episode if you want to glimpse into what lies on the ‘other side’ of breastfeeding for some mamas - hindsight can be beautiful for some, but for others the rose tinting glasses aren’t always strong enough.
Bec’s reflects on how challenging breastfeeding George was (tongue tie, painful latch, nipple shields, mastitis and anxiety). She talks about the lonely times of feeding, how breastfeeding wasn’t this picture perfect image that she had in mind, and how it added another thing to be anxious about in early motherhood.
With Sadie, things were different. Bec talks about how the lack of tongue tie meant feeding was far more natural the second time around and it was easier for her. She shares how Sadie weaned earlier, and that her and her husband Ben decided it was best for all to wean at that point rather than ‘battle through’.
We also talk about feeding two under two and the back to back pregnancy and breastfeeding journeys with no breaks in between.
Thank you Bec for sharing this story with us.
Episode 13: World Breastfeeding Week
This episode is for World Breastfeeding Week and as The Feeding Diaries supports the ‘fed is best’ message it is suitable for all listeners, regardless of how you feed your bub.
Caitlyn (@_caitlyn_jane_), Jordyn (Kiwi Birth Tales Podcast @kiwibirthtales) and Renata (Lila Jasmine and Little Mash @lilajasminenutrition) join us to share their thoughts and reflections on breastfeeding.
I also share a sneak peek of some up coming episodes, and share some thoughts of mine on World Breastfeeding Week.
Episode 12: Cree (on difficulty breastfeeding with baby #2)
In this episode Cree shares her experience of feeding her two sons Te Ariki and Ruairidh (Rory).
Cree had her first son at 19 years old, back in 2011 (2 days before the Christchurch Earthquakes) and talks about the beautiful breastfeeding experience she had with him. This period wasn’t without challenge, as Te Ariki had to return to hospital on the same day as the Christchurch earthquakes to be admitted to NICU. Cree takes us through the challenges with feeding in NICU and during aftershocks, and fitting in as a 19 year old mama.
Last year, Cree had her second son Ruairidh and breastfeeding was really difficult. She openly admits that she went into birth feeling confident, and didn’t really question whether she would be able to breastfeed. Cree takes us through the shock of finding that feeding Ruairidh was not as simple as she had imagined it would be. She also talks about the difficulties she had due to not being able to walk during the postpartum period (following a medical mishap that occurred a few weeks before Ruairidh’s birth). She also shares the support she had from her family and husband Jarren.
Cree openly talks about the fact that, as a second time mum, there was an expectation (from both her and others) that she would simply be able to breastfeed without issue. This was made even more difficult by the fact that Cree is a midwife and has a strong breastfeeding support practice as part of that, so the expectations were high.
Cree is an amazing story teller, she is so upbeat and you can’t help but smile even as she talks about the really difficult parts of feeding and the postpartum period.
**Trigger warning: this episode mentions the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes and we also briefly discuss miscarriage and fertility issues at one point in the episode.
Episode 11: Sarah H (on feeling let down by the health system)
In this episode Sarah tells us about feeding her son Hunter. Hunter is now 6 years old, so I was quite intrigued when Sarah reached out saying she would like to share her story!
Sarah explains how throughout her feeding journey she felt let down by the health system. When you hear her story you’ll hear so many moments where people could have stepped in to help Sarah when she was struggling to breastfeed, but instead she often got the advice to ‘keep trying, it will get better’. Sarah started out breastfeeding Hunter and also expressed milk to bottle feed him, then ultimately transitioned fully to formula. You can tell from Sarah’s story that she really wanted to breastfeed Hunter, but she also shares how special she found feeding Hunter whether it was by breast or bottle and how that was a special little bonding time for the two of them.
Sarah and her partner Sean have reflected on their feeding experience, as well as Sarah’s traumatic birth, and Sarah says they have now come to terms with how it all went and are looking to grow their family.
Sarah, you are an incredible women and mama. Thank you so much for openly sharing your story with us all.
** Trigger warning: This episode mentions traumatic birth.
Resources mentioned in the intro: