Breastfeeding was something I was determined to do with Bennie. I won’t pretend for a minute that it was easy and although it was me putting in the hard yards, I was never alone in it. I had my husband and some wonderful friends to support, encourage and advise me. Marissa is a mum of three and breastfeeding has never come easily but this time around, things are different…

I was going to write about my previous struggles with breastfeeding. I was going to write about poor advice, scary nurses and mummy guilt. I was going to write about how, three babies in, I have overcome my struggles and am now breastfeeding my third baby. I was going to explain how proud I am, how great it feels to have finally succeeded at something that has been so difficult for me.


I was going to write a lot of things, and then I realised one important thing: I could never have made it this far without my village.

As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. For me it has taken a village to feed a child. From the obvious people in my village like my husband and my parents, to the less obvious ones like strangers on the internet, this village has been behind me every step of the way.

Before I had Jared, I started thinking about how I was going to breastfeed him. I have two other kids, one of whom is in primary school, and at times the logistics of adding the 24 hour requirement of my mammary glands into the equation just seemed impossible. I considered formula feeding from birth. I considered giving him colostrum and expressing a few times a day for as long as I could. How would I do it all? How would I care for a five year old and a two year old, at the same time as feeding an infant? How would I manage school run? Cleaning? Cooking? Eating?

My village came to my rescue. When I was tired after a night with a constantly feeding my son, my parents picked up the slack and took my daughter to school. My husband took extra time off work, and cooked and cleaned while I sat and fed. My brother and best friends entertained my children.

My village was varied. The ladies I talk to in my Facebook mother’s group supported me through long feeds at 2am and crazy sleep deprivation. They offered loads of practical advice and support, empathised with me in hard times and celebrated the good. One of my best friends is a breastfeeding advocate, and the other is a midwife. Both were on hand with emotional and practical support. When Jared didn’t gain “enough” weight, they encouraged me to keep trying. When he was hospitalised with various health issues, they researched and helped me understand the issues.

I recently read this article. The author laments the loss of the traditional village and yearns for a time when we supported and helped each other through hard times. I don’t think the village is lost, I think it has evolved. We may not be washing clothes together at the riverbank while our children play; however we are still offering laughs and kind words to our fellow mothers through blogs, forums and social media.

If the concept of breastfeeding your child is daunting, prepare you village now. Prepare it even if you are not considering children or breastfeeding. Gather it around you in whatever form it may happen to come. Ask your village for help and receive it gratefully when it inevitably is provided. Breastfeeding is a beautiful, natural and amazing thing to do. We are biologically designed to breastfeed. This I know, I have been told hundreds of times and seen on many information handouts. But we are not designed to do it all alone.

Don’t forget to link up your blog post for #WBW2014 here

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Breastfeeding. It’s a serious issue, right?

Many of us struggle to do it. We struggle with advice that often ranges from inconsistent to inaccurate. We sometimes face discrimination and ignorance. I get all that. I’ve struggled with it, I’ve worked hard at it, cried when it frustrated me, stood up and advocated for the right to do it anywhere and also written about the right to NOT do it. You don’t have to tell me it’s a serious issue- no way! That’d be preaching to the choir! As serious as it is, it can also be ridiculously funny. Like the time Bennie decided she would only breastfeed while wearing my sunglasses.


A friend of mine breastfed both her sons and still giggles about managing to spray herself in the eye with breastmilk, among other things. The same friend would also forget to do her shirt up and walk around for ages with a nipple out! I can totally relate on both counts there- especially the wardrobe malfunctions. In the early days, sleep deprived, more than once I found myself at the shops or chatting to the parcel delivery man out the front of my house, not realising my breastfeeding singlet was still pulled up, showing off an attractive expanse of industrial-strength, “flesh” coloured maternity bra. Actually, I did the same thing just last week while talking to my neighbour over the fence and funnily enough, I was telling her about my new breastfeeding top at the time.

There have been lots of little chuckles throughout this breastfeeding gig- from milk-drunk smiles to the opportunistic latch-on from the seat of the shopping trolley when I unthinkingly leaned forward to shove something into the cart. One story that stands out wasn’t so much the breastfeeding but someone else’s response to it. I was visiting in a nursing home and feeding Bennie in the lounge area when one of the elderly residents sat down with me for a chat. After admiring Bennie’s curls and watching her feed for a few minutes, she asked if she was my child, or perhaps my grandchild?! 

It’s funny seeing Bennie with her dolls and stuffed toys. She’ll hold them up to my chest for some milk or decide to “breastfeed” them herself. Recently, she discovered Barbie dolls. She likes undressing them then redressing them and making them hug while saying “Awww, that’s luffly!” but recently she was having a good look at a naked Barbie when she suddenly said “Oh! Milk!” and then this happened…


How about you- have you got a funny breastfeeding story? Comment below!

**Thanks to the incredibly talented Courtney at C Holmes Photography, today we have a breastfeeding mini-shoot plus valued at $250 to give away – and the prize includes your three favourite images delivered as digital files. To enter, simply follow the prompts in the competition widget below. Standard terms and conditions apply, and in addition, you must confirm that you live in Sydney and/or are prepared to travel to Rouse Hill for the photo shoot.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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This gallery consists of photos kindly shared with us by some proud mamas to kick off our World Breastfeeding Week Blog Carnival, hosted here at HandbagMafia and also at Five Degrees of Chaos! Enjoy!
If you want to submit your photo get in touch via facebook


Linking with With Some Grace for FYBF

Linking with Dagmar Bleasdale for Wordless Wednesday

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