Mum Matters - Part 1

Dear wonderful mum,

We are here working diligently to craft clothing solutions for you, to help you feel comfortable and confident while you nourish and comfort your children. We see that the Covid-19 Pandemic had been and still is such a difficult time for real life interaction and for the community based services/initiatives that may have been available to mum pre Pandemic. Coming from a place of understanding and compassion, we thought of what else could be done to support you in a larger, even more meaningful way.  

To assure you that you are not alone and hoping to inform your perspective, each week, we are asking a breastfeeding mum to share her experience.

This initiative was compiled to highlight the many aspects that determine or influence mum’s decision to breastfeed.  We look into perceptions, knowledge, services and supports available, challenges, social circle, feelings, thoughts and reflections. You can choose to write to us or chat about whatever aspects have been significant to you.

You are unique, and so is your family and social context, you know best what matters to you! Through the experiences you share, you may just give another mum some much needed insight and reassurance!

Our first guest is a dear mum friend that lovingly accepted our invitation to share her struggles and triumphs.  Carmen is a fountain of kindness and every interaction with her is sure to recharge you and equip you with just the tools you needed to be the parent of your dreams. Here she goes!

What was your perception of breastfeeding before children?

Before having my little boy, I didn’t know so much about breastfeeding. Still, seeing other mums feed their babies was always a joyous feeling. This is not to say I was judging the mums who were not breastfeeding.

Before continuing, I would like to tell you about an encounter I had when my son was 2 months old. We were out for a walk in our neighbourhood, when he started to cry a little. At the same time, we came across a little girl and her granny, they too lived nearby. The girl must have been around 5 years old, and as soon as she heard my baby cry, she rushed to help and asked me to give him his bottle. To me, this story tells a lot about how we see breastfeeding and what we pass on to our children, without even realising.

What influenced your decision to breastfeed?

As a parent, the knowledge and the wish to offer what’s best to my child were the two aspects that backed my decision.

What was your breastfeeding experience in the hospital? Did breastfeeding work for you? If not, could you share why not?

Yes, I could breastfeed from the very beginning. I must say the help and advice received in hospital contributed to this. The breastfeeding specialist there supported me with all the gentleness of the world.

Did you breastfeed for the first time, second, third, fourth, fifth time?

As a first time mum and breastfeeding experience, I must admit I was apprehensive at first, but also overjoyed by the success of it. The other thing that helped besides the knowledge, the classes and the support received in hospital, was also the positive mindset I built for myself during pregnancy.

What did you find useful during your journey? What worked best for you?

If it started well, it doesn’t necessarily mean things were easy. As any new beginning, it also had its challenges. However, what really kept me going was to stay motivated in the knowledge that I’m doing what’s best for my child and to focus on each month at a time. And then I realized that time flew by, the baby was one, and then two and then all was well.

What challenges did you come across? How did you overcome them?

All sorts: from physical discomfort initially, to other people’s preconceived ideas, to clothing and lack of mother and baby facilities. I went through them supported by my husband, with great imagination and a good sense of humour. I used to cut dresses and alter clothes, and when my baby was just a few months old and we were going out, again my husband came along frequently.

How did you manage breastfeeding and returning to work?

For me, returning to work coincided with the start of two projects that I’m very fond of. They are dedicated to young children, 0-3 years and their parents.  My little boy was always with me, and breastfeeding him was our saving grace while also working. I also enjoyed serving as an example while guiding and motivating other mums at the start of their journey.  Due to lack of information and support they were at risk of giving up.

If you could go back in time what would you tell yourself?

If I could turn back the time, first, I would give that mum a hug at the start of her parenting road. After that I would bathe her in the deepest gratitude for her courage and unconditional love, and I would commend her for the wonderful work she’d done.

What would you recommend to a new mum, at the beginning of her breastfeeding journey?

I would ask her to be gentle on herself. Everything starts with us, and if we are well, our children will be well too.

 

As we reflect on Carmen’s wisdom of remembering to be kind to ourselves and to prepare mentally for breastfeeding before the baby arrives, we thank her for her time and willingness to share her experiences.

What about you, mamma? How are things for you? Other mums may find a bit of themselves in your very own story, and your experience may inform their decisions! If you would like to contribute, you can just reach out to us at contact@mumandabout.com

 

***The original piece is in Romanian, and we have interpreted it into English with the greatest care, to preserve nuances and meanings!

 

Draga mamica minunata,

Suntem aici si lucram sustinut la crearea de solutii vestimentare care sa te ajute sa te simti confortabila si increzatoare in timp ce iti hranesti si alini copiii. Observam ca Pandemia de Coronavirus inca  reprezinta o perioada dificila pentru intalnirile in persoana , dar si pentru serviciile sau initiativele comunitatii care poate au fost disponibile inainte de Pandemie.Venind dintr-un unghi al intelegerii si compasiunii, ne-am gandit ce altceva am mai putea face sa te sprijinim intr-un sens si mai larg, poate mai profund.

Pentru a te asigura ca nu esti singura si cu speranta ca poate imbogatim perspective, in fiecare saptamana, invitam o mamica care alapteaza sau a alaptat sa isi impartaseasca experienta.

Aceasta initiativa a fost gandita sa scoata in evidenta multele aspecte  care determina sau influenteaza decizia mamei de a alapta. Ne-am propus sa observam perceptii, servicii si surse de sprijin disponibile, provocari, cercul social, sentimente, ganduri si reflectii. Poti alege sa ne scrii sau sa stam de vorba despre oricare aspecte semnificative pentru tine.

Esti unica si tot asa este si familia si cercul tau social, tu stii cel mai bine ce conteaza mai mult pentru tine! Prin experientele impartasite de tine, ii poti oferi altei mame chiar intelegerea si incurajarea de care poate ar avea nevoie!

 

Prima noastra invitata este o mamica prietena draga, care cu multa amabilitate a raspuns chemarii noastre de a-si impartasi momentele dificile dar si pe cele triumfatoare. Carmen este o fantana de bunatate si fiecare interactiune cu ea te reincarca si te echipeaza cu uneltele necesare pentru a deveni parintele visurilor tale. Acum incepe!

 

Care era perceptia ta despre alaptare inainte de a avea copii?

Inainte de a-l avea pe baieteul meu nu cunosteam atat de multe informatii despre alaptare. Insa mereu am avut un sentiment de bucurie cand vedeam mamici care-si alaptau copilasii.  Asta nu inseamna ca judecam mamele care nu alaptau.

Inainte de a merge mai departe as dori sa povestesc o intamplare:

Baietelul meu avea 2 luni si ma plimbam cu el pe stradutele din jurul casei unde locuiam, cand la un moment dat a inceput sa planga usor. In acelasi timp ma intalnisem cu o fetita cam in jurul varstei de 5 ani care era insotita de bunica ei, ele locuiau in apropiere si ne stiam din vedere. Fetita cand l-a auzit pe bebelus plangand a venit la mine intr-un suflet si mi-a spus: Da-i repede sticla cu lapte, nu vezi ca plange!

Aceasta intamplare spune multe  despre cum vedem noi alaptarea si despre ceea ce transmitem copiilor nostri fara nici macar sa ne dam seama.

Ce a influentat decizia ta de a alapta?

Informatia si dorinta de a oferi copilului tot ce este mai bun sunt doua dintre lucrurile care stau la baza acestei decizii.

Ai putut sa alaptezi? Daca nu, de ce?

Da, am putut chiar de la inceput. A contat mult si ajutorul si sfatul primit in spital de la persoana care era specialist in alalptare si care cu toata blandetea lumii m-a indrumat si m-a sustinut.

Alaptezi pentru prima, a doua, a treia, a patra, a cincea oara?

Fiind prima data, recunosc ca a fost cu mari emotii dar si o imensa bucurie de reusita. Ce m-a ajutat pe langa informatii, cursuri si sustinerea din spital a fost si setarea mentala pe care mi-o facusem din timpul sarcinii.

Ce ai gasit folositor pe parcursul experientei tale? Ce a functionat cel mai bine pentru tine?

Daca inceputul a fost bun asta nu inseamna ca e neaprat usor totul. Ca orice e nou presupune si unele provocari. Insa ce m-a ajutot a fost sa merg inainte motivata  de faptul ca e cel mai bun lucru pentru copilul meu si sa ma concentrez pe fiecare luna de alaptare, la inceput. Iar apoi mi-am dat seamna ca timpul a trecut si s-a implinit un an, apoi doi si totul a fost o legatura.

Ce provocari ai intalnit? Cum le-ai depasit?

De tot soiul: de la disconfort fizic la inceput, la preconceptile celor din jur, la imbracaminte la lipsa spatiilor pentru mama si copiul.

Cum le-am depasit? Cu suport din partea sotului si multa imaginatie si umor. Am decupat rochii si am adaptat haine, la inceput cand ieseam cu copilasul si acesta avea doar cateva luni, sotul a fost sprijinul meu cel mai mare insotindu-ma mult.

Cum ai gestionat alaptarea si intoarcere la serviciu?

Pentru mine intoarcerea la serviciu a presupus inceperea a doua proiecte foarte dragi dedicate copiilor 0- 3 ani si parintilor acestora. Si baietelul meu era mereu cu mine iar alaptarea a fost salvarea si usurinta acestui lucru. Si in acelasi timp m-am bucurat sa fiu si un exemplu dar mai ales sprijin pentru alte mame la inceput de drum care din lipsa de informatie si sustinere voiau sa renunte.

Daca te-ai putea intoarce in timp, ce ti-ai spune?

Intoarsa in timp, in primul rand i-as da o imbratisare mamei Carmen de atunci, la inceput de drum. Si dupa ce as scalda-o intr-o profunda recunostinta pentru curaj si iubire neconditionata i-as spune ca a facut o treaba minunata.

Ce recomandare ai face unei mamici care este la inceput de drum cu alaptarea?

As indruma mama sa fie blanda cu ea. Totul incepe de la noi iar daca noi suntem bine sunt si copilasii nostri.

 

In timp ce reflectam la intelepciunea lui Carmen, de a ne aminti sa fim ingaduitoare cu noi si de a ne pregati psihologic pentru alaptare inainte de venirea pe lume a bebelusei/bebelusului, ii multumim pentru timpul ei si pentru bunavointa cu care a impartasit experienta ei.

Dar tu cum esti mama? Cum stau lucrurile pentru tine? Si alte mamici s-ar putea regasi chiar in povestea ta, iar experienta pe care o impartasesti le-ar putea ajuta in formarea propriilor decizii.

 Daca si tu iti doresti sa contribui, da-ne de stire la contact@mumandabout.com!

 

*** Piesa originala este in limba Romana, iar noi am tradus-o in Engleza cu cea mai mare grija, pentru a pastra nuante si semnificatii!