5 New Trends in Breastfeeding

 

Let’s be real, breastfeeding takes over you life as a new Mum!

Especially, if you’re trying to do it exclusively – that is offering baby ONLY breastmilk and no formula at all. I remember going through those first weeks of breastfeeding and understanding why Mums say you feel like a cow. Milk was literarily everywhere – breast pad, baby’s clothes, your clothes. I spent the early days carrying my breastfeeding pillow around with me in the house, because positioning baby on my lap was still awkward. My breasts were heavy (painfully heavy when the milk first came in) and I cannot forget trying not to cry from the pain on first latch by baby.

Like many women, I persevered because  – bonding, and the thought of baby getting milk made perfectly for them with antibodies etc was very satisfying.

The trends below are a salute to Women’s resilience. What I see is Women making breastfeeding work for them and professionals doing more to support women going through the process. And I love that! You want to do what’s right of baby, but that shouldn’t come as a sacrifice to your health, sanity and happiness entirely.

Check out these new trends in Breastfeeding:

1. Exclusive pumping

This involves only feeding your baby breastmilk from the bottle ONLY and not putting them directly to the breast. Reasons why you might do this:

  • you cannot get baby to latch on,
  • you suffer from breastfeeding aversion (see point 2),
  • your baby gets used to the bottle and refuses to breastfeed on the breast continuously or
  • just out of choice – thats what you want to do!

2.  Breastfeeding Aversion and Agitation (BAA) is REAL.

BAA is described as having negative feelings when your baby is latched on and sucking on the breast.

This is something that affects mums, that they may be shy to share about. There may be a feeling of guilt or shame attached, since we are told breastfeeding should be a natural and thats the opposite of what they are feeling in that moment. It might be temporary or only happen when you’re on your period or on certain days. For some, you just cannot breastfeed at all because of the feeling and might choose instead to go for exclusive pumping.

It’s so important that this feeling is labelled because it is something women are experiencing. Someone close to you may be going through it and not even know there’s a name for it. The more of us who know, the more we can support our sisters, wives and friends or show them where to get support, if they experience these feelings. There is a dedicated website for women experiencing Breastfeeding Aversion & Agitation (BAA), please visit: breastfeedingaversion.com.

3. Adoptive Mums can breastfeed

Induced lactation involves teaching your body to produce milk for a baby, in this case, a baby you have adopted.  You do it by putting your baby to the breast to suckle. If baby is willing and does it, then you repeat this un till milk flows.

I found this very fascinating, but I do wonder why it would be of top importance to have this particular bonding experience with your adoptive baby. In any case, I cannot speak on it much since I haven’t been in the position. What do you guys think – did you or someone you know achieve this successfully?

4. Sadness and Depression during weaning

This usually happens when a mum is forced to wean before she is ready. Some Mums still cannot pump at work comfortably or travel and come back and baby is not interested. This sadness is also more common in mums who have a history of depression. It is believed to be caused by changes in hormone levels. When you’re breastfeeding, the hormones prolactin (brings wellness, calmness, relaxation) and oxytocin (increases positive attitudes like bonding)  are released. So stopping can cause a big drop in these hormones and that may in turn lead to sadness and possibly depression.

As usual, if you suspect a friend or family member is experiencing this, please advise them to talk to you and  a Doctor, who can offer advice and professional help. No one who is suffering these feelings should have to do it on their own.

5. Lactation cookies, muffins and teas

I would say that this is a trend that is new for Nigeria in particular. Two Mums operating as Milky Express and The Milk Booster, are offering breastfeeding advice on Instagram, alongside selling home made cookies and muffins. These snacks can help Mums maintain or increase they supply of milk.

With many Nigerians mums returning to work after a three month maternity leave, these products are helpful to those who want to achieve at least six months of exclusively breastfeeding, especially. New Mums, Funto Ibuoye and Anita Okoye – who is a twin mama, have endorsed the products, sharing that they have found them helpful. If you’re that Mum who has been thinking a lot about your milk supply and returning to work or just boosting your supply, these products could be for you! Find them on Instagram @milkyexpress and @themilkbooster.

….

Alright Mums, let me know what you think. Are you exclusively pumping? Are you currently using lactation snacks and do you find them helpful? Share below, please. Let’s do this together, I am personally preparing to get into breastfeeding very shortly again!

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Ps: I will be running my first detailed & paid course:

 The Biggies’ – all the key considerations for your first year with baby.

There will be webinars that cover breastfeeding, weaning, sleep, play & early learning, TV & screen time, Nanny vs Creche (and handouts to help choose either), transitioning older sibling when baby arrives and more. All those big topics you’re thinking about as a new Mum or second time Mum who wants to do things differently this time.

I am very excited, because for once I will be able to give full information, tying all the topics I have been sharing for two years now on Instagram, together.  You will put forward your personal questions, which we will answer. It will act as a small, closed support group of mums with children of similar age.

I will also at this point have a new baby and toddler. Everything is just as REAL for me, as it is for you. If you are interested, please fill this form (it asks for your name, email, subject & message). In the subject put ‘The Biggies’. In message tell me your baby’s date of birth. I’m exciteddddddddd. 

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Mummy Blogger or Back-to-work for a New Mum?

Let’s start from 2014, the old blog…

When I started writing a mummy blog (the old and now deleted one), it was different. As a new Mum, I was trying to avoid a situation where I could potentially be annoying my friends with daily updates about my baby.

I was obsessed, like any new mum, and seemed to have so many stories to share about my new adventure.

Admittedly, these were not stories about war and bravery, but to me, they were far from boring.

Every little smile was exciting; every new day survived on 3 hours of sleep with multiple feeds and nappy changes in between, was a mountain climbed, every shower – an achievement.

Anyway, I am sure you can understand why I decided to write posts, rather than send messages to my whatsapp groups, about baby. It can be hard to judge clearly, what is adorable versus what is simply ‘adorable to-you’ because, you know, it’s your baby.

Another reason I was writing? I am that person who’s always found it cathartic to write.

Being a new mum can be overwhelming, and that’s an understatement. The weight of the responsibility, the sleeplessness (is that even a word?), the steep learning curve as you’re getting to know baby. In this new world of parenting, I found writing gave me a sense of pride, joy, and achievement (outside of mummy life). Plus the posts were a reminder about all the wonderful things my baby and I were doing.

I was quite content, then this happened…

 

A light bulb moment for me

I was at the bank and that day, the guy at the bank wanted to update all my information. Since, I had nowhere else to be urgently – I think baby was fast asleep being watched by my Mum and I was good for another hour or so, before it was milking time again. I said OK.

He asked questions and I answered, then he got to the part about what I do.

I said I was on maternity leave – in my head this was correct, but he was not satisfied.

“When are you returning to work?” said Mr Banker clerk.

“I’m not sure”.

“Ok, so right now you don’t have a job.”

“No”.

I kept thinking, mummy blogger, I blog. I had been spending hours documenting my journey through motherhood so others can learn and not make the same mistakes I made. Maybe even just one person? But the word refused to come out.

He then said: “would it be fair to say you’re unemployed?”

I found myself nodding. Even though a big voice in me said “No, I reject it”. Haha – it’s the Nigerian ex-Redeemer in me.

“So I’ll put unemployed down here”. The banking clerk was still talking.

I managed a low, almost whispered ‘yes’.

What am I doing – I thought to myself. And so there it was. The man at the bank confirmed what I had struggled to admit to myself at the time. I was unemployed and I needed to decide if I was actually going back to the financial world or really, seriously try my hand at Blogging as a career.

 

Time to do some thinking – looking back at finance

It was time to face the reality and start thinking about my future career.

I had been interviewing in my old industry – finance, but did I really want to change the wheels and do something radical, different? What was stopping me? Beyond the job interviews (I am coming back to talk about this!), where was I going to lay the roots of my next career?

Twelve months before that, I had left my old job, complete with clear career progression path. I left out of sheer arrogance (I see that now) and determination to find myself something that I was passionate about and loved to do. I remember meeting the Head of HR to explain my decision to go. ‘Nothing lined up yet – very unusual’, so she asked me time and time again…

‘what are you doing, what are you doing, take unpaid leave?’ (a learning point – I should have taken the unpaid leave option, just to have. Or maybe not?).

I wanted to go somewhere I fitted in. Somewhere I could do my job and not feel like I had to wear a mask. I did not like smart casual clothes,  hated heels (not compulsory, but when you’re young and managing people, meeting top Executives, it helps). It seemed like was time to go somewhere I could see people who I could aspire to. People who looked like me.

I said a firm ‘no’ to Ms HR.

Decision time – mummy blogger or no?

Now back to reality, I really had a chance to do all I had said I wanted to do. Something really different.

The bank clerk probably just thought he was doing his job, filling a form, but he forced me to admit something. I needed to make a decision to either do the professional job or take seriously the new route. The new could mean being: unrecognised, unrewarded, unpaid (initially at least) and possibly unsatisfied.

That was how over the next few days, I gave myself permission**, to put everything I can, into an area that is so important but the world has become accustomed to telling us is a side-job.

It’s seen as something to do and quickly return to life and work as you know it. Something to fit into your ‘real’ life. But many of us in it know that once you become a Mother, your world changes forever, and navigating that journey becomes a whole new WORLD of its own. You put in support, you delegate where you can, but even when your child is sleeping well, you don’t sleep the same ever again. And if you’re like me, you have this quest, this fire in you, to parent the best way you can. You need tools, you need other Mums (and they need you too), you need clear reliable information. Could I build something?

That day , I somehow decided I was going to mother and I was going to empower other mums too, in their parenting journey.

Mummyfix – the new blog

It’s two and a half years later.  This blog is about doing what I described above. I do have a lot to share (built up from my days of writing) and a lot to learn from you. I’m hoping we will talk and share honestly, our experiences on the parenting hot topics and other topics, too.

There’s other Mummy bloggers and websites, what is different about Mummyfix? It is a community for young Nigerian (and African) Mums at home in Nigeria or abroad.

At first, I thought I was going to just be giving out information. 500 posts on Instagram later, I realised I was gaining a lot of insights from other mums – helpful tips, profound stories. I was gaining friends and online friends. I figured out that Mummyfix is really a collective sharing space for talking about all the difficult, fun, fulfilling, tiring, rewarding days of parenting and life.

 

More from me?

Apart from the regular blog posts, there’s:

(for direct links, hover over parts in italics)

free downloadable guides  – I carefully prepare these based on my experience and official research (click the link for baby shopping list, weaning guide etc)

mummyfix Instagram page – I share videos, other mum stories and ask questions about parenting.

mummyfix circle Facebook page –  A closed page for you to ask parenting questions and we solve them together.

New parent pro course – I prepared a free course with key information on 7 hot topics for new mums. Please email me if you want to join the course.

I will also put in a new tab for early learning, because I talk about it a lot! In the meantime, if that interests you too, check out PoPP Lagos.

I’m glad you’re still here.. I promise, my regular posts are shorter!

I hope you spend some time discovering, reading & sharing  your own nuggets of wisdom too!

If you enjoyed my story or specific posts, share with friends using the button below.

ps: Please share with me below, where in the world you are and the type of posts you’ll be looking out for on the blog. Welcome friends :).

 

 

** with the support & permission of my family, of course! But initially I slept over it, prayed over it etc.

***I ended up going back to work in a new field- early education, but that’s a topic for another day.