There are so many opinions about how we feed our babies, you could be forgiven for thinking it's the defining issue of early parenting. Despite a lack of honest education prior to birth, women still often have the expectation that breastfeeding will be straightforward and, when this is not the case it can cause immense stress. Even when breastfeeding is straightforward, the frequency with which babies feed and the adjustments you make in order to feed take some getting used to. And if you choose to bottle feed there's a whole host of new issues around the 'best' formula, the right bottle, getting your head around sterilising (and if you wanted to breast feed there's also coming to terms with things not going to plan) - often in solitude as health professionals can be reluctant to discuss formula.
Which is why Rosie and Kate set up MilkMade, to support you in all the challenges of any type of feeding. Their Just One Thing? "There is no right way, just your way"
Infant feeding can be a messy business but don't let it mess with your mind! An evoking subject where everyone has their tuppence worth to add. From criticising formula companies to bashing breastfeeding in public, people have opinions on what is best and how best to do it. The reality is there are no right answers, no perfect way to raise your mini......just your way. Some new mama's feel comfortable from the get go, confident in paving their own way, others, like me, are riddled with guilt at every turn. Mama guilt can be an all consuming, most unhelpful emotion and yet it is often the one that we listen to the most. Don't let it take over this precious time. Your milk can be substituted, but your love can't; to thrive your mini needs your connection, the comfort you offer and that doesn't flow from a tit, a teat or a tube instead it flows from your heart. Hold on to that, trust your instinct, you are this minis mama, their whole world for now, and damn it you know best! Our minis are all #milkmade so take comfort in the fact that whether you boob, tube, bottle or combination feed what matters most is that you feed with heart, that you fill that babe up with all your love.
A thriving mini needs a mama in the moment. A mama who is healthy in both body and mind. A mama who can give the present of presence. Then watch your mini grow both body and mind.
So our top tips for Infant feeding:
- Feed with heart is the most important part.
- Spend as much time preparing for feeding, as you do for the birth, if not more! At worst your birth will hopefully only last days but you'll be feeding that mini for years to come!
- Feeding support is inconsistent. So don’t rely on others being good eggs, but put the leg work in yourself. Forewarned is forearmed
- However, support is out there, the best will LISTEN, give you practical advice and not tell you what is BEST.
- Mentally prepare. Don't be disappointed if plan A doesn't work out but celebrate in smashing plan B.
- And finally remember…You’ve got this mama.
Rosie and Kate, MilkMade
Rosie and Kate, two mums who believe we should be Frank about Feeding, set up MilkMade to encourage women to share their stories of feeding and offer support to all mums no matter how they feed. You can find them here, on Instagram and Facebook- and feel free to share your feeding journey with them.