Nana - Te Puawaitanga ki Ōtautahi



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The beginning of our breastfeeding journey was not perfect as I imagined it would be.

I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and had to have an induced delivery at 39 weeks. Unfortunately, my colostrum supply had not been established then; however, I was fortunate to receive donor milk as a top up.

My milk supply gradually increased within few months with some help from lactation consultants in the women’s hospital and the community, and my daughter Maya has been breastfed for the last 17 months.

I enjoy breastfeeding on demand everywhere I go, thanks to the support of other breastfeeding mothers who normalise breastfeeding in public. Breastfeeding helps me to feel confident about my first-time mothering which can be overwhelmed with uncertainty at times. I have also become a breastmilk donor and a breastfeeding peer counsellor to pay it forward.

Maya started to go to a homebased care at 6 months old due to myself going back to full time study, she has expressed breastmilk while she is in the care. I was very worried about the transition at the beginning as Maya had never taken a bottle at home, but she quickly settled in and has been bottle fed perfectly while she holds a snuggly which has my scent.

I personally felt the dilemma of continuing breastfeeding when Maya was about 12 months old since most of my friends stopped breastfeeding their children by that age. However, I decided to continue as far as both Maya and I enjoy it while having supportive people and environment at home, school and work for me to continue breastfeeding and expressing. It is also a privilege to be able to hold my busy toddler and share a moment to slow down.

This whole mothering experience has taught me that what we want to do does not always mean what we can do, and it is important to accept what works the best for us. Everyone’s journey is unique.