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Motherhood Can Be Lonely


Sometimes motherhood can be a lonely journey.

But it doesn’t have to be.

When my kids were born I felt a bit isolated, as most of my friends had their kids earlier, and they were at different places in their parenting journeys.

So I started putting myself out there. I went to ABA meetings. I met with babywearing groups. I went on “blind dates” with mums I met on Facebook. When a mum at a playgroup or park said “our kids play well together, we should catch up again”, I’d say “How about next Tuesday? Come to my place”.

There are women everywhere and I promise you have things in common with most of them. And if you have absolutely nothing in common, maybe that’s even better! You may have the most fascinating conversations with a person who’s life and experience are completely different to yours. You don’t need to look for differences between you and other people – that can drive you apart. Why not look for the similarities instead, and let those bring you together?

There’s probably even an acquaintance or distant cousin’s girlfriend who has already been trying to befriend you, but you’ve either been oblivious or keep letting life get in the way. In that case, all you need to do is start accepting invitations and saying yes.


I went on a picnic yesterday with 3 awesome mamas – I didn’t know 2 of them before my kids were born, and the other I knew but wasn’t close to. If I allowed my kids undesirable behaviour, messy house, scheduled naps or eye bags hold me back, I wouldn’t have spent most of yesterday lying on a blanket in the sun watching my kids play with their friends while us mums talked about zumba classes, flushable wipes and baby daddies. We laughed over biscuits and mandarins and it was priceless.

I’m not saying it was easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is. Will you feel awkward? Probably. Will your life be better for having some girlfriends in it? Absolutely!

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Breastfed Babies and Bottles


There’s nothing like the fear of a mum who can’t get her baby to take a bottle.  She’s then faced with the choice between staying in close proximity to her baby until baby weans OR go out at the cost of leaving baby starving and distraught.

Or are there more choices than that?

There are alternatives to bottles.

If your baby won’t take a bottle, have you considered using a syringe or cup?  Even brand new newborns can drink effectively from a cup.  Your caregiver may need to take some extra time and care with a syringe or cup, but the bonus is that there is no risk of nipple confusion or bottle preference.

Your baby won’t die of starvation.

When we were at home, as babies my kids would easily feed eleventeen billion times a day.  So I can understand the fear of your baby being hungry without you.  You need to keep it in perspective though.  How many hours could your baby sleep in a row at night?  Would you panic about hunger if your baby slept, say, 8 hours in a row?  If your baby can sleep for 8 hours in a row at night, then there’s no reason to panic about them being without boob for 3 hours while you get your hair and nails done.images 2

Your baby doesn’t need to learn to use a bottle.  A bottle is ridiculously easy to use, especially in comparison to drawing milk from a breast.  And no bottle in the world adequately replicates a breast, no matter how the nipple is shaped, how many “endorsements” it has or how many dollars you spent on it.  Your baby knows your boobs are attached to you.  Don’t fall for a con.


Society makes us pin a lot of hangups on breastfeeding.  We are convinced that breastfeeding must make our babies clingy.  We’ve created a rod for our own backs by making it so that no one else is able to share the burden of responsibility because they can’t breastfeed our baby.  This is incorrect.  Our babies get upset when we leave them because we are their Number One.  We’ve been their primary (sometimes sole) carer since before they were even born!  If your baby is upset, it’s because they miss mummy, not her boobs.

If you’re convinced your baby is devastated because your breasts are gone, you’ve set your child’s caregiver up for failure before you’ve even left the house, and you’ve also sabotaged your ability to enjoy your outing.  Accepting that your baby is upset over a new experience with a person who is not mummy is going to be easier for you to swallow. Most kids get upset the first few times mum leaves them, not just the breastfed ones.  A good caregiver may even calm your baby enough to get them to take that bottle you’ve been panicking about!

Please don’t envision yourself as a jersey cow, who’s only purpose in life is to provide milk.  You are valued so much more than that, and you need to see that value for yourself.  The woman that you were before you had kids is still there, but now she’s more than that.  She’s a mother.  But she’s still a woman with needs beyond emptying her boobs.  So go.  Enjoy your yoga class.  And when you come back home, enjoy the fact that you were missed.

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What My Kids Learn From “Sleep Training”


11041715_10205381370309992_3249545212844836092_nI’m a big advocate for “sleep training”.  Not the kind where you leave your kids alone or crying, or anything like that.  My husband and I have shunned conventional sleep training methods and are doing things differently.

  • We acknowledge that each day is different, and in any event, babies can’t tell the time. Bedtime starts when we’re ready to sleep.  Our kids have learned that we sleep when we’re tired, and as a result we rarely have resistance at bedtime
  • We bedshare. It’s what the cavemen did, and it feels right.  Anthropologist Dr James McKenna agrees.  Our kids have learned to trust us – we are there to feed, care for and protect them 24/7
  • They have no fear of missing out on secret fun things that happen when they’re sleeping, because they know I’m sleeping too. Barring illness, teething or other special situations, our kids aren’t partying in the middle of the night.  Our kids have learned that night time is for sleeping and daytime is for being awake
  • Bedsharing with breastfed babies is protective against SIDS. Being in physical contact with an infant affects their breathing, body temperature, blood pressure, stress levels and fundamental ability to grow.  An infant’s body doesn’t do these things effectively on its own –these controls develop over time.  Our kids learned to stay alive during their sleep
  • Sleeping together has allowed our sleep cycles to synchronise. My babies nearly never woke me when we slept together – I always roused just before they stirred.  It was very easy to settle them before they got worked up.   My kids have learned that they don’t need to become distressed in order to have their needs met
  • If we’ve had a busy day or if I’ve been distracted and haven’t given my kids the attention they crave, they know they will have me at night. There are none of the “one more drink of water” or “one more story” antics in my house because goodnight doesn’t mean goodbye.  My kids have learned they are loved throughout the night.181164_4929605074216_1485040370_n

Our “sleep training” methods do not focus on independent sleep or ability to self soothe.  I trust that my kids will seek independence when they are physically and emotionally ready.  When my son was 3 he decided he wanted to sleep in his own bedroom.

I won’t pretend to think that our way would work for everyone; I just know it works really well for us.  Other parents doing the same thing should not fret that they are teaching dependency or creating bad habits – your children are learning valuable lessons about healthy attitudes towards relationships and sleep.



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Today I wanted to take a few moments to have a chat about galactagogues. The admin team of the Breastfeeders in Australia Facebook group has noticed a strengthening trend in the recommendation and reliance on galactagogues – both perceived and proven – over the past couple of years. So I thought I would take a little time to look at the trend.


A galactagogue is a food or drug which increases mother’s milk.


There are synthetic pharmaceutical galactagogues such as domperidone and metoclopramide which increase the production of prolactin. These are generally used as a last resort when every other option has been tried and failed with the mother still experiencing chronic low supply. As with any synthetic drug the decision to use them is a serious one as the risks (dependence, cost and side effects) and benefits need to be weighed by each individual in their particular circumstance with their medical professional.


There are also herbal galactagogues such as fenugreek, blessed thistle, torbangun, chasteberry moringa and goat’s rue. As with many natural alternatives research is limited and preparation, purity and dosage may compromise their effectiveness. Just because herbs are natural doesn’t automatically mean they are safe. While they may have a lactogenic effect they may also have negative side effects and contradictions. Please consult an experienced herbalist before choosing to use any herbal remedies. Also remember to tell your doctor, especially if you are using any prescription medication. It is also important to note that depending on the claims made, or not, herbal supplements, vitamins, minerals, aromatherapy and homoeopathic product do not necessarily need to be register with the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) and may contain fillers or ingredients not listed on the packaging.


Then there are the perceived but unproven galactagogues. These are generally passed by word of mouth because one woman has experienced effect she may attribute to one particular food. Some of these we have seen purported recently are –



Brewers yeast


Sports drinks

Leafy green vegetables


While consuming these foods in the quantity suggested can result in an increase in breast milk supply it is more likely that it is a result of extra calories than any lactogenic effect.

The best thing a breastfeeding mother can do to ensure a good supply, barring any diagnosed medical issues, is make sure she is drinking enough water and eating enough food. While there is no recommended daily water intake a good tip to remember is to drink a glass of water each time you feed as well as enough to quench your thirst through the day. A breastfeeding mother usually needs around 500 extra calories per day than usual to maintain her health. A balanced and varied diet packed with plenty of vitamin and mineral rich foods is essential for a healthy mum and baby. For specific guidelines the best course of action is to see a dietician to set out your personal macronutrient ratios.


When considering consuming galactagogues ask yourself first –

Am I experiencing low supply? (is baby having enough wet and dirty nappies, gaining weight etc)

Why do I feel like I need to increase my supply?

Can I improve my water intake and diet?


Please consult your medical professional if you have any concerns about your or your baby’s health. Genuine low supply is a serious issue and should not be ignored.

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Breastfeeding A Demanding Toddler – Part 2

Elisha from My Life is a Beach

If you’re moving away from demand feeding, the gentle mama in me wants to remind you that breastfeeding is about more than food.  If you take away breastfeeds, be sure to give extra cuddles, affection and reassurance.  You have used breastfeeding since your child’s birth to show them you are there for them – be conscious that in this time of transition, your child may need extra attention to their emotional needs.

  • Get out of house! My kids would be all over me like a rash if they had the chance!  My kids are much less interested in breastfeeding when we’re running around at the park or playing with our friends.
  • Get busy! Make an effort to keep them stimulated.  This means different things for different families.  Digging in the dirt, building with our blocks, finger painting – keep those minds off the boobie and onto something fun or interesting.
  • Delay feeds. If my kids ask for milk and I am not prepared to give it at that time, I delay them or offer a compromise.  “You can have milk when I’ve put this washing away/finished my sandwich/made my cup of tea”.  Besides the obvious lessons about patience, this helped me find the balance in our relationships, instead of feeling my kids held all the power.

If they forget, I still remind them.  It’s very important to maintain trust throughout this process.  My son regularly outsmarts me, and if he felt like he’d been “tricked” out of a breastfeed, I am certain that the next time I tried to compromise he would resist.

  • Move away from pacifying with your breasts. If your child is upset/hurt/angry/stressed/bored, start finding other ways to explore those feelings. Talk about it, hug it out, count to ten – whatever works for you.  Save the breastfeed for afterwards when your child is calm again.


Some other really excellent articles that may help you along this part of your journey are here, here and here.  These are strategies that have worked for me and my kids.  Ceasing to breastfeed on demand hasn’t spelled an automatic end to our breastfeeding journeys.  I started making these changes with my son at around 2.5 years old, and he still has 2 breastfeeds a day at 4 years of age.  These tips didn’t make the process easy, but with some gentle persistence, it was worthwhile.

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Breastfeeding A Demanding Toddler – Part 1


So my babies grew into toddlers, and the whole breastfeeding on demand thing started to wear thin.  Why?  My kids demanded SO MUCH!  And it felt like if I didn’t comply, they punished me.  Kicking, scratching, slapping, squirming,  pinching and twisting my skin became common.

You are in charge of your body.  No one has the right to hurt you or do things that upset you.  You don’t have to tolerate this from anyone.  Not even your breastfed toddler.

There’s this misconception that breastfeeding requires constant sacrifice, and that you must make it all about your child’s demands.  This is not true.  Breastfeeding is a relationship.  It involves two people.  Like any relationship, if you make it all about one party and ignore the second person’s feelings and desires, resentment will inevitably build.

Creating boundaries is a big part of parenting.  If parental submission was a good thing, then my kids would have eaten chocolate biscuits for breakfast this morning.  Miss 15mo would have thrown all of our toilet paper into the toilet and Mr 4yo would have cut every shred of paper in the house into ribbons.


As your child grows, you will teach them about bodily autonomy.  Now is the time to lead by example.  You are in charge of your body.  Not your toddler.

Forget “breastfeeding on demand” and instead “feed to need”.  Your toddler doesn’t need to nurse eleventy billion times a day.  You are not selfish.  Saying “no” sometimes has saved our breastfeeding relationships.  Compromising with how and when my kids can breastfeed has allowed me to continue breastfeeding them for longer than I thought I would.  Creating some healthy boundaries within a breastfeeding relationship can benefit both mum and her baby.13620268_10153833339576902_4565532451880075144_n

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The N Word – Why It Has No Place Here

This morning I read something that really hurt the lactivist in me. The “N” word. And I’m not talking about that awful word that some slack-jawed yokels use to describe those beautiful ebony-skinned people of African heritage.

My motives for promoting breastfeeding stem from a desire to see mums like me feel happy with the way they feed their babies. I know too many mums that suffer guilt, jealousy and depression when they aren’t able to meet their breastfeeding goals. We have a lifetime of emotional baggage to shape the way we parent our children. Breastfeeding doesn’t need to be another one.

Some people think the way to help women avoid the traps of disappointment when they aren’t able to breastfeed the way that they want to, is to get them to aim lower. As a mum, I find that insulting. “Don’t aim for the best option, because you’ll be disappointed if you can’t make it. Aim lower, it’s more achievable for you”. Women deserve better support than that. If you want to help them, encourage them. Help them find the tools they need to get through their struggles. Find a professional who can support them. But don’t just tell them to chuck in the towel.

Sometimes it can be hard to work out what a mum needs. If she says she is thinking about giving up, she might need:
a) A hug
b) A sleep
c) A sandwich
d) To be reminded of why breastfeeding was important to her in the first place
e) To hear that you will support her whichever way she goes
f) To hear that breastfeeding is the pits, and who cares anyway, and you’re the mum and you know what’s best and to hell with everything else

Support means different things to different women, and a tired, hormonal, sore and possibly hungry mum may not always be forgiving if her would-be supporter picks the wrong option. I remember being furiously upset when I was looking for help and so many people went with option “F”. It was not what I wanted or needed. But I never ever lashed out at someone trying to help me with petty, hurtful name-calling.

I can’t speak for other lactivists, but I don’t put people with different beliefs to mine into a concentration camp. I don’t jam them into open train carriages with 200 other bodies in them with no roof or protection from the elements for weeks on end. I don’t brand people as if they’re cattle on a farm. I don’t starve people. I don’t mutilate people. I’m not committing acts of genocide. I’m not a Nazi.

The atrocities committed by Nazis are not comparable to even the most aggressive lactivist. They aren’t in the same ballpark. Hell, they aren’t even in the same league. This post isn’t exclusively about breastfeeding or “lactivism”. It really comes down to the decency of a human being. If you’re prepared to call someone a Nazi because they have misjudged your needs, then that says more about you then it does about them.

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Breastfeeding After An Early Return to Work

BF at work

I had always planned to return to work fairly soon after my first child. I earned more than my husband, and his industry (home building) was in a huge slump. I held an administration management position with a local company that only had a small administration team. The owners of the business wanted me back and were prepared to do anything and everything necessary to get me back at work. As I was working in a male-dominated company, there were no protocols for what to do when an employee had a baby, and how to support their return to work. So while my employer wanted to support me, they actually had no idea how to.

After my son was born but before I returned to work, I sent my employer an email outlining the following:
– My commitment to breastfeed to at least 12 months. I said I was very grateful that they were willing to work with me to make my transition back to work as smooth as possible, and their support meant that I would be less distracted and more able to work productively in the office
– I would need to express or breastfeed several times each day while I was at work, in my office with the door closed. I would essentially be unavailable during these times
– As my son would only be 6 weeks old when I returned to work, I planned to pump each day at 10am and 3pm, and my husband would also bring my son in on my lunchbreak (around 12pm)
 – I would need to store my breastpump and milk in the fridge and freezer in the office kitchen. Everything would be appropriately labelled and stored (bagged)
– I would inform my coworkers so that they would not be surprised to see breastmilk or my pump in the fridge or freezer, and that they would expect me to be unavailable during pump/feeds
– As I was returning to work 4 days per week instead of 5, I would use my day off to catch up on emails and phone calls as required. I would also read and respond to emails from home in the evenings while my son was asleep (a huge part of my job involved communication through emails). I was available to be called on the phone when I was not at work (this was important, as our site operated 24/7)
I used some of my management experience in the email I drafted. I took the lead and planned what I wanted to do, instead of asking what they wanted me to do. This is because a manager does not want his worker to bring him problems – he wants solutions. I planned everything without speaking to my employer so that all they had to do was say yes. Or no, if they didn’t approve. But since they didn’t have experience with breastfeeding mums at work, and it was in their best interests to have me back at work, I knew that they had to rely on me to set the benchmark. And that was that.
They agreed to my plan and I went back to work.
Initially it was very important that I stuck closely to my pumping schedule, because I got engorged if I was late at all. I had a medela freestyle pump, which is a double electric. I bought it because of the hands-free attachment, but unfortunately I found it too finicky, and by the time I had it on and correctly fitted, it didn’t feel very stable. So I pumped using my forearm and hand of one arm to hold the flanges and bottles in place, and used my other hand to use the phone. In the early days I used my phone to look at photos of my son to help my letdown, then gradually I was able to use it to facebook and “zone out”. As I got more confident and my employer was more comfortable with the situation, my morning pumping session actually turned into my daily brief with the Managing Director – I would talk to him about what was happening at our site and how our production figures were while I was pumping.
As time went by, occasionally my husband and son came for the lunch visit while I was in a meeting with other workers. I only breastfed in these meetings a handful of times. It generally wasn’t necessary as my husband came at lunchtime anyway, and the meetings were usually wrapping up when he arrived. Some coworkers openly expressed their comfort if I wanted to breastfeed, which felt very supportive, even if I didn’t take them up on the offer. I knew from some practice sessions at home that I needed to pump for 12 minutes before the flow slowed to a stop from my breasts. However after being at work for only a few weeks, my breasts got better at letting down quickly and my pumping sessions decreased to 10 minutes, and over time I was expressing around 150-200ml in only 7 minutes.
I expressed far more milk than my son would drink at home. He loved to breastfeed and was not a fan of the bottle. Although he did reluctantly drink from the bottle when I was at work, he only ever drank enough to keep his hunger at bay. Even when he was 6 months or so, he still never drank more than 70ml. So I donated the excess to another mum who was unable to produce enough breastmilk for her son due to a lack of breast tissue after reduction surgery. It was an absolute privilege to be able to give my breastmilk to another child, and I have always loved seeing photos of him from his mum on Facebook – it’s really lovely to know that I have contributed in a small way to his chubby little body and cheeky smile.
Before returning to work we had two practice runs with a bottle. The Closer to Nature bottle was the one that was recommended most highly at the time, so that’s what we bought. I gave my husband the bottle and left the house each time, and each time was an absolute disaster. The first time I came back inside after hearing my sons distressed cries. The second time after waiting about 20 minutes I came back thinking we had success only to find my husband had given up and was making our son giggle instead. I was worried that my son was too much of a boob lover and would never take a bottle, and it was very nerve racking the first day I went back to work. But I trusted my husband to handle the situation, and our son was too distressed and still wouldn’t take the bottle, well my husband would be able to bring our son to work for a breastfeed in the morning instead of waiting til lunch. Luckily that was not necessary. He found that when I was well and truly out of the house, my son would take the bottle when he was tired and hungry.
If I could give one piece of advice to any mum going back to work, it’s to trust your child’s carer.
I know lots of women who really worry that their child’s care provider (especially if it’s their husband, like mine) won’t be able to cope with a baby who’s been exclusively breastfed and is only used to settling for mum. You need someone you can trust to handle the situation, and to only contact you if it’s really urgent. I’m very lucky that (although he was often nervous and a bit insecure about his parenting skills), my husband kept a cool head and kept the situation in perspective at all times. Yes, it was a worry when our son didn’t have milk for many hours. Yes, it was distressing to hear him cry. But we just as we wouldn’t panic if our son went many hours without a breastfeed through the night because he was sleeping, we didn’t need to panic if he didn’t take a bottle and didn’t have any milk until he saw me at work. Our son did cry, which we hated. But he always cried in the arms of someone who loved him and tried their best to calm him down.  Over time our son got very used to his time at home with his dad. I could only ever breastfeed my son to sleep, but my husband found his own way using some jigging around (that some men may refer to as dancing haha) with our son on his shoulder to an old Sepultura album (heavy metal).
The hardest thing about returning to work was that our son did something called reverse cycling. This is where a baby wakes frequently to feed during the night because he is missing quality time with mum during the day. It’s common with babies where the mother returns to work, but can also happen where mum is distracted by other kids during the day, and other scenarios. It was incredibly hard going to work when I’d been woken every 40 min-2 hours throughout the night.
At one point I sought help from a social worker. Although she made me feel very validated in my concerns and stress, I opted not to go ahead with the sleep solution she offered me (which was very gentle but not gentle enough for me). I had a lightbulb moment when I read Pinky McKay’s Sleeping Like A Baby book. This book helped me so much. It made me feel so much more confident in what I was doing, and reaffirmed to me that this would pass. So I continued bedsharing and breastfeeding whenever my son would take it. And do you know what? When I stopped stressing about the lack of sleep, I wasn’t as tired! I firmly believe now that stress is WAY more exhausting than a lack of sleep! So anyway, back to my work situation.
I continued working, breastfeeding and pumping until I decided I was no longer enjoying work and decided to quit to be a stay at home mum instead. I did this when my son was 18 months and my employer continued to be fairly supportive the whole time, although towards the end of my employment I felt they were wondering why on earth I was still breastfeeding my toddler who was walking and talking. But that’s a whole other story 😉
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Milk Sharing Networks – When things just work!

BreastmilkI want to share a story about milk sharing that happened recently.  I apologise if it seems a bit disjointed – I didn’t learn about the whole story chronologically.  I have also made some creative changes to names.

Emma from far North Queensland recently gave birth to her third child, a boy named James.  She was staying with family in the Hunter Valley, NSW, while recovering from the C-Section birth of her son.

James wasn’t gaining weight.  Emma sought help from doctors, but she was left with a routine of feeding and expressing that was unachievable, given she had two young daughters to also care for.  She wasn’t getting a break between feeds/pumps and nor was she expressing enough for the top ups.  So she ended up supplementing with 20ml top ups of formula, given by a syringe.  She understood the risks of nipple confusion and did not want to jeopardise her future breastfeeding relationship.  Emma didn’t expect to experience this problem after successfully breastfeeding her two older children.  She expressed this frustration to an aunt and cousin.  Her cousin suggested Emma try to see Amanda Pauley, a local IBCLC.  Amanda had a very good reputation for helping breastfeeding women, and had saved many breastfeeding relationships with her ability to identify tongue ties.  Emma’s aunt piped up that she was a patient of Amanda’s husband Jon, who was a GP.  Emma’s aunt agreed that Amanda had a very good reputation.  While Emma continued trying to juggle everything, a few days later her aunt called. “I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve booked an appointment for you to see Amanda”.

Emma went along to the appointment.  Amanda found a tongue tie and had it corrected at the appointment.  She then addressed the top ups.  Baby James was 6 weeks old and still had not reached his birthweight, so top ups would continue to be necessary for the time being, however Emma would be switching from syringe to an SNS. SNS Emma expressed an interest in donated breastmilk, and had a cousin named Lauren who had posted on Facebook about it before.  Amanda knew a Lauren too – Amanda had attended to Lauren’s second daughter when she was a newborn, and Lauren also ran a large breastfeeding support group on Facebook and had previously worked with Amanda through an organisation called BANC (Breastmilk Advocacy for Newborns Collective).  In a town with a population of around 70,000 residents, Amanda knew Emma’s cousin Lauren (that’s me!).

Long story short, Emma was able to swing past my house on the way home from her appointment to collect 400ml of breastmilk that was stashed in my freezer.   In a society where many women are happy to supplement with formula, this feels like a miracle, but it was not complete chance that facilitated this breastmilk transaction.

  • Some professionals are informed enough to educate parents on the subject of comparative risks between formula and unpasteurised breastmilk. In this case, Amanda helped reduce the level of risk by offering to refer the donor for a variety of blood tests
  • People are sharing information about milk sharing on social media, and other people are taking notice
  • Milk sharing happens frequently around in Australia, and I am blessed to be a part of a very active milk sharing network in the Hunter/Newcastle area. If I did not have 400ml of breastmilk available to share with Emma in my freezer, it would not have been a huge feat for me to source it for her from another donor.

While I am chuffed to be involved in this particular incident of milk sharing, I can’t take credit for the ease in which it happened.  Higher powers were at work!  Sharing information about milk sharing, being vocal about participating in it and demanding our professionals are up to date with their information are making massive inroads into normalising breastfeeding, and with it, milk sharing.  Emma may not have been as open to the concept of donor milk if the term and concept were completely foreign to her.  She may not even have considered seeing an IBCLC so far away from home had it not been facilitated by two other relatives.  Thanks to this chain of events, I get to look forward to seeing James thrive, now that his medical issues have been addressed, and I feel some personal satisfaction that I have, in a very small way, helped contribute to his growth.

The current generation of mums are starting to appreciate the importance of breastmilk and want better solutions to their breastfeeding problems then to simply offer a bottle of formula instead.  Reading an article here and sharing something there may not feel like it’s going to make a big difference, but all of these small things are contributing to a big mind-shift in the way we feed our babies.  Thank you for being a part of this change!


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The Peaceful Lactivist

Hi. My name is Lauren and I’m a Peaceful Lactivist.

I can hear your surprise at my label. It almost feels like an oxymoron. Lactivists aren’t peaceful. The stereotypical lactivist is often out looking for a fight against medical professionals, formula manufacturers and anyone who doesn’t do it HER way, which is obviously the RIGHT way and the ONLY way to do things. She believes everyone should breastfeed at all costs, and if you don’t you are inferior. She is smug, aggressive and probably has hairy legs. Well actually… I do usually have hairy legs.

I am the silent majority. The silent majority of women who have successful breastfeeding journeys, and who meet (and even exceed) their personal goals are happy and proud. I don’t want to make anyone breastfeed if they don’t want to. But if you want to breastfeed and you need help, you can ask me and I’ll tell you whatever I know. If you look interested enough, you might not be able to shut me up. A woman’s body’s ability to nourish her baby amazes me and I’m always delighted with the opportunity to help someone else see that.

Breastfeeding is amazing, and I am grateful my body, in this instance, has worked the way it should. I’m thankful for people who helped me get through. I’m inspired by the way it’s made me feel as a woman and mother, and I’m blessed to see it help my babies grow. I don’t want to be on a pedestal, and I don’t want to put anyone down. I feel I am doing as I should. My body is working the way it should. Nothing more, nothing less.

I can’t get angry about breastfeeding. I’m disappointed that women are systematically let down by a society that doesn’t place enough value on the power of breastfeeding. It makes me sad that not everyone gets to feel the joy I feel about the way I feed my babies. But don’t mistake my lack of anger for apathy. I am passionate about normalising breastfeeding.

A very experienced lactivist recently scoffed at me and told me it’s because of the love hormone, oxytocin, and that when I’m finished breastfeeding, I will be angry. Maybe so. But right now, I am a peaceful lactivist.