INTERVIEW WITH JENNA
Posted on July 31 2022
Heya! I’m Jenna, a 35 years old and blessed to be mama to five amazing children.
I have four Boys 15,14,11 and 5 and one little girl who is 3 and a half. I have breastfed all of them although the journey was different for each one. The first three were similar in most ways, struggled with mastitis, being misinformed, confused, overwhelmed and just feeling stuck wanting to make sure I was doing the right thing as a new and young mum. I remember with my first sitting in birth care watching a video on breastfeeding then a midwife coming in and attaching baby to my breast and being like great your good to go home. It was busy and I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum (severe morning sickness) with my second and third pregnancy then having 3 under 3 I moved to mix feeding shortly followed by full time formula feeding by 4-5 months.
Of course, there is no right or wrong and everyone’s stories are different and that’s ok. For me personally I had hoped to feed a little longer So when I fell pregnant with number 4 & 5 I knew I wanted to come in prepared. All the talk like if your breasts don’t feel full and engorged your running out of milk, Baby constantly wanting to be on the breast ‘oh you must not be making enough milk’ Baby not sleeping well (My First was a terrible sleeper) ‘oh he would sleep better if he had formula’ ‘The you won’t get pregnant if you’re breastfeeding’ ha-ha busted a few myths along the way for sure! The constant questioning and doubting myself had to go! I breastfed number 4 & 5 for 2 years each.
Don’t get me wrong even though I was fully prepared I knew there could and would be obstacles that would come at us and sure enough there was… Thrush, mastitis, Teeth Yikes teeth there was biting Ouch! But it didn’t last forever and, in those times when they were up teething and miserable it was that little bit of comfort to soothe them back to sleep or just make sure they were getting some goodness on the days they were off food. Embracing the cluster feeding and growth spurts reminding myself that they too won’t last forever. The other children had moments where they found it hard but we spoke about it a lot and sometimes It just meant waiting a little longer for your turn. My nursing pillow and feeding box x2 one for the house and one for the car was always handy and included: Drink bottle, Snacks like lactation cookies, dried fruit and muesli bars, Nipple cream, lip balm and activities for the kids.
I set short term goals. Some days this was just getting through that day or week, I made sure I was staying hydrated and nourishing my body with good food and the biggest thing I did was NOT do everything! With the older 3 I felt like I needed to have the washing done, dinner cooked and so on… Of course I knew these things needed to be done still but I didn’t put pressure on myself, I asked for help. I brought nice breastfeeding friendly bras and clothing so I could feel good and look good along the way. I had prepared meals in the freezer and I made arrangements so I could spend as long as possible at home just feeding and bonding with my new baby.
This is my little take from my journey. I’ll just say as natural as breastfeeding is, it doesn’t’ always come naturally and can require work. It takes perseverance, time and patience. The first 12 weeks were the hardest for me. Remind yourself that you do the best with what you know and everything you are going through will soon be everything you made it through. It can be an emotional roller-coaster not just breastfeeding but having a new baby so throw away the clock and just go with the flow. Enjoy the bond, the convenience, knowing that your baby is getting that absolute nutritious goodness and lastly Trust yourself! Mama knows best xx