My Medela Breastfeeding Cafe in June

A  few months ago, I was really thrilled to receive the email that I’d been selected to become one of Medela’s Breastfeeding Cafe Ambassadors.

I came across Medela’s Facebook Breastfeeding Cafe whilst I was on maternity leave; I really wished I had known about it before I had my baby! I was very pleased when I applied and was selected to attend one of their face to face cafe last Summer. So, when I saw their advert for their Breastfeeding Cafe Ambassador programme, I went for it.

You see, I found breastfeeding really hard for months after I gave birth. Breastfeeding was a battle for me, and I wouldn’t have made it without the vital support I got along the way. So, I’m drawn towards supporting others on their infant feeding / breastfeeding journey in whatever capacity.

1st Cafe

My first Medela Breastfeeding Cafe happened against all the odds at the start of June. I met up with some of my breastfeeding mummy friends at a park for a morning picnic. The sunshine, open space, and thriving bird life gave us a toddler-friendly environment to meet up  for a chat about breastfeeding. The croissants, brioches, strawberries, grapes, carrots, and bananas were also lovely to munch on.

On our first meeting, we discussed our breastfeeding journeys at length.

We had a range of breastfeeding contexts and cultures between us. We found out that not all our own mums were keen on breastfeeding, and we reflected on the possible impact of this on our desire to breastfeed. My mum tried to breastfeed me but I wasn’t keen on it. I found it interesting to learn that breastfeeding is more common in rural Brazil than in its cities.

Our attitude to pre-birth breastfeeding sessions was also different; my friends took it more seriously than I did. I couldn’t see how practising the ‘stuffing’ of a knitted breast into a really ugly look doll’s mouth was relevant to me.

Those who led our breastfeeding sessions seemed to emphasis different things about breastfeeding too. We felt there wasn’t enough said about how difficult it could be at the beginning.

The breastfeeding sessions we attended pre-birth seemed to have played a significant role in how prepared we were for our breastfeeding journey. Our conversation once again highlighted how vital it is for mums to have the right breastfeeding support before and after birth.

The breastfeeding Q & A sheets that Medela sent to me to support my leading of the session also came in handy. We thought their picture of how much milk a baby needs at the beginning was very helpful. I wish I had this picture by my hospital bed when I had my baby.

One of us shared about how dads can help with expressing milk with gentle massages. It was also lovely to be reminded about how to make gravity work for us when struggling with expressing. This technique came in very handy for me a few weeks ago, when I experienced some unexpected (don’t know if it’s ever expected) lumpiness.

We also talked about pumping at work, and the importance of getting the right pump to take some of the stress out of it; and there was the usual sharing of our experiences of breastfeeding at night.

I was super impressed with one of my mummy friends who breastfed whilst standing and moving. There was I thinking that Precious Sparkle and I had explored all the breastfeeding positions that are possible. 🙂

What a lovely time talking about breastfeeding; we were surprised about how quickly time passed.

Medela Cafe Jun15 t2nd Cafe

My second Medela Breastfeeding Cafe was at the end of June, and we mainly discussed how mums can continue breastfeeding when admitted to the hospital. Of course, the extent to which one can do this will depend on the reason for one’s admission. We felt it was very important for all the relevant medical personnel to know the mum’s breastfeeding preferences in the situation.

Our toddlers were more on the move during this meet-up and this limited the amount of time we could spend chatting about breastfeeding.

I’m looking forward to involving more mums in the cafe, especially those in the earlier stages of their journey. Breastfeeding can be quite isolating and it’s helpful for breastfeeding mums to know they’re not alone.

Massive thanks to Medela for the samples – nipple cream, breast milk storage bags, breast pads, and magazine – they sent to me for my cafe; and majority of our picnic was also on them. 🙂

Linkup: #BreastfeedinganIAdventures of a Novice Mum
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aNoviceMum

Founder | Writer I Editor I Manager
First-time Mum / Freelance Writer / Thinker / Educator / Business graduate / Improving Photographer / so much more. \\ Recording my mu-m-sings from the South East of England | Sharing lessons from my life's journey to encourage and inspire | Filled with gratitude for my faith, family, and friends.

15 thoughts on “My Medela Breastfeeding Cafe in June

  1. This is brilliant! There’s nothing like great Breastfeeding support and it is so good when women can feel comfortable with other Breastfeeding mums and come together to give each other support. I wish I’d had this when I was Breastfeeding. I was far too much of a nervous mum and didn’t reach out enough. I breastfed for 2 years and am now a Breastfeeding peer supporter. With my next I will definitely be partaking in Breastfeeding groups!
    Louise Rodgers recently posted…Liebster AwardMy Profile

    • Mother to mother support is so helpful on the motherhood journey, and definitely handy with breastfeeding. Well done for keeping on despite the isolation you might have felt … 2 years is my goal; we’ll see what the little man has in mind. 🙂 Congratulations on being a peer supporter too, it’s something I’m interested in. Yeah, definitely go to breastfeeding groups, check your nearest La Leche League … very handy :-).

    • A lot can be said for peer to peer breastfeeding support, in helping mums on their breastfeeding journey. Thanks, I hope future cafes go well too. The Medela Breastfeeding Cafes are a recent Medela project. They also have online cafes every Tuesday on their Facebook page and I think monthly for pregnant women. 🙂

  2. What a good idea! This would be great in rural communities like mine where there is limited resources. I had a hard (and painful!) time with breastfeeding but thankfully persevered as it got better after 3 months. Turned out my girl had tongue tie which was why we were finding it so hard! Hopefully this time will be easier. 🙂
    Adele Clarke recently posted…Gender Reveal: Boy or Girl?My Profile

    • It does get better, but my, what a journey sometimes. I found it really, really, hard too. I’ll pass on your comment to Medela, you never know. It’s worth joining your local MSLC (Maternity Services Liason Committee), to push for improvements to the breastfeeding support services in your area. 🙂

  3. How wonderful to be an ambassador and sounds like your cafe is going really well! I think you are so right and it is so so impotant to get more support before and after birth and to talk about how difficult it can be. Before Monkey was born, at a breastfeeding workshop we were told that if it hurts you are doing it wrong. simple as. Then when I was feeding Monkey and it hurt, a midwife said “of course it hurts, what did you expect?” talk about mixed messages! Thanks for linking with #MaternityMondays xx
    Caroline (Becoming a SAHM) recently posted…Little Miss at 9 MonthsMy Profile

    • Shame really about the mixed messages, isn’t it. There should be an NHS Breastfeeding guideliness to help all who work with mums who breastfeed to sing from the same hymn sheet. In the mean time, like it has been before, mums have to work together and support each other in the way they can, as best as they can. 🙂

  4. What an amazing thing to hold. I am sure that lots of women would love to know that there is such a thing out there. My BF journey was good, a blip at first, but M loved the boob and I was so pleased that it was smooth sailing. I am sure that it can be so hard if you are struggling, and it would be lovely for these Cafes to be accessible to the whole of the country and widely known about! Lovely post 🙂 #maternitymondays
    Sophie @ Mum, M & More recently posted…Disney Princess Bath & Shower Bubbles; ReviewMy Profile

    • I’d love to read more about those whose breastfeeding journey was smooth sailing from the start, with perhaps only occassional blips. Mums who find breastfeeding hard really do need support, I wouldn’t have made it on my journey without quality support! 🙂

      There NHS cafes around and many La Leche League, NCT, and ABM breastfeeding support groups around; you just have to know where they are in your local area. They tend to have trained professionals too. I’m not a trained professional but I’m pleased to be working with Medela on their offline breastfeeding cafe project, supported by their inhouse lactation consultant. The fab thing is that they have an online cafe every Tuesday, and once a month especially for pregnant women.

  5. Pingback: Introducing our Medela Breastfeeding Café Ambassadors - medelamums.co.uk

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