We Need to Talk About The Impact Infant Feeding Has on Aussie Mums - Women's Health

We Need to Talk About The Impact Infant Feeding Has on Aussie Mums

One in two Australian mums say that feeding has impacted their self confidence.

by | Jun 16, 2021

Shutterstock

Becoming a parent, whether for the first time or the fifth time, is incredible – it’s indescribable and a moment that will change your life for the better. But it’s hardly ever going to be an easy task. It pulls you in every direction and has you working a double shift from the moment your bundle of joy gets its first breath of fresh, womb-free air.

And aside from dealing with being sleep-deprived, trying to fight through postpartum depression and just generally freaking out about everything to do with your baby (it’s not all that bad, we promise), feeding your child is one of the most intense and unique experiences you might ever experience.

While some mums have great feeding journeys, whether with breastfeeding, pumping, formula-feeding or a combination of all three, for majority of women the process is one of the hardest things they will come to experience: filled with confusion, guilt and raging hormones. And if you fall in to that category, just know that the impact – even once you’ve settled into your feeding journey – can continue, and that there are an overwhelming amount of women experiencing the exact same thing as you.

In some newly-released research, taken out by infant feeding brand Tommee Tippee, it turns out that Australian women are more likely than their US or UK counterparts to say they have struggled with infant feeding as well as their confidence and sense of self-postpartum.

The research found that a staggering one in two Aussie mums say that feeding has impacted their self confidence, while more than one in three Australian women say it has affected their body image and identity.

What’s more is that 61% of women surveyed said they find the label of ‘mum’ restricting, three in four (74%) feel overlooked, and 66% think that society talks down to them as a new mum.

Those numbers, which make complete sense, are huge, and they highlight the focus we need to start putting on helping mums with their feeding journey – and supporting them well after the birth itself.

“The reality is that most pregnant women want to breastfeed. While it comes very naturally for many and is a very positive experience, for some women, it can be really challenging both physically and emotionally which can have a bit of a domino effect on their confidence and sense of self” says Tommee Tippee Australia’s Marketing Manager Vanessa Gonzalez.

“Women go through a lot that’s not talked about enough when they have a baby; their body changes and so much emphasis is placed on the birth when in actual fact it’s just one miraculous moment within the journey to motherhood. While it’s very important that we keep the baby’s needs in mind, we need to remember to stop and ask about her and how she is doing too — especially if she’s a first time mum who is no doubt feeling very overwhelmed. It’s no surprise to me that three in four women (76%) feel like the way society talks to pregnant women and mums needs to change.”

Recognising that mums rarely get a moment to themselves while caring for a baby, Tommee Tippee has released a limited edition look of its Double Breast Pump called Pump Empowered. The designs aim to encourage women to not feel guilty about having a bit of ‘me’ time when they’re ready to get back to doing some of the things they loved to before having a baby.

So to put the new release to the test, we had one WH mum try it out.

Pump Empowered: Review

“My introduction to breastfeeding was an interesting one – my sister, who gave birth 11 months ago had a really tough time: blocked ducks, cracked nipples and a fussy baby which saw her breastfeeding journey stop around six months. From then, she exclusively pumped for another two, but found it incredible difficult and time-consuming, so she shifted completely to formula feeding.

What her journey did give me was insight, and it allowed us to look back and try pick out the positives and create a game-plan for my introduction to infant feeding. But like any good plan, life happened, and it was my turn to tackle the setbacks.

Breastfeeding was hard. My breasts got sore fast: they were bruised, a good latch only lasted a minute, and I started fearing the clock. I felt defeated, I didn’t have confidence in myself, and I was starting to struggle mentally.

That was when my sister handed me the Tommee Tippee Made for Me Breast pump. While it was my first experience with a pump, it was almost like a golden ticket. I used it to give me space between feeds and let my breasts heal. The double pump meant I could get it done quick, and the small size didn’t make me feel like I was a cow being milked.

The multiple massage and express modes meant I could change the intensity to soft when I was super sore, and intense when I was ready to get it done. The soft silicone cups make it feel less freaky and the timer was super helpful in understanding my supply.

I’m still pumping. I’m not sure how long it will last but knowing how many women went through the same situation as I did was reassuring. You’d be surprised how much one inspiring message can help” 

The limited edition Pump Empowered range is available for sale now via the Tommee Tippee website while stocks last and comes in four designs: My me time, My workout time, My catchup with the girls and My date night.

By Nikolina Ilic

Nikolina is the web-obsessed Digital Editor at Men's and Women's Health, responsible for all things social media and .com. A lover of boxing, she spends most of the time in the gym or with her husband and daughter. She was previously a Digital Editor at GQ and Vogue magazine.

Recommended to you

More From