Sunday, September 30, 2007

Zoo Pillow

Today, I'm featuring the breastfeeding story of Darnelle and also information about her brilliant breastfeeding product - Zoo Pillow! I used this pillow myself - mum brought it into the hopsital when I was having breastfeeding difficulties and I'm sure it had lots to do with my success!! Thanks for sharing Darnelle...

My wonderful bundle of joy, Fletcher Thomas arrived on the 9th of Feb 2001 after a relatively easy uncomplicated 5 hour labour - yes I know I know "just 5 hours for a first baby," I should count myself very lucky - no stictches, no tears, not even a graze, no epidural, no drugs, not even gas.... but frankly when I think back about the breastfeeding challange that presented itself soon after I think I'd swap with any one of my girlfriends who had a 30+ hour labour!

As far as I'm concerned the real pain and discomfort associated with the arrival of a baby, started when I tried to breastfeed.

As a 1st time Mum you only have your instinct and the miriad of advice thrown at you by well meaning friends and family to draw from... oh yes and the advice from healthcare professionals that changes as each new shift starts. We all start with the one goal - to do the abolute best for our child, regardless of what it takes or how difficult and daunting it feels to achieve that goal. I was no different - so 5 minutes after he was born Fletch was on the breast wolfing down his first mouthfuls...... well that's what I thought he was doing!

I was later to discover he was actually making it his little life's mission to remove my nipples one layer of skin at a time!

I left hospital 2hrs after Fletch was born and went to a birthing clinic, where I ate and slept well and was given the all clear to go home the next morning literally 24hrs after he was born - Fletch was sleeping for 4 hours like clock work, attaching to the breast, weeing and pooing as designed.

By the end of the first 24hours at home Fletch was getting hungry as my milk hadn't come in and I was running out of colustrum. My nipples were raw from following the well intentioned advice from the lactation consultant "just keep putting him on dear it'll get better".

By then end of the first 48hrs at home he was really hungry and letting everyone within a 25km radius know about it. During that time Fletch had choked up a yukky glob that on closer inspection I realised was the scap off my left nipple - "just keep putting him on dear...." So I did - every time I put him on my left breast I was tensing before he latched in anticipation of the pain. It was at about this stage that I thought breastfeeding was the punishment for an easy birth.... can you get an epidural to help with feeding???

Physically I was feeling fine - emotionally I was starting to feel like a complete failure because I couldn't feed my baby.

I had been given every piece of well meaning advice from every concieveable source - the problem was each piece of new advice given seemed to conflict with the previous peice of advice given....

At this point I was wondering why was it I needed to pay to get a licence to have a dog or sit through 10 lessons and a written exam to get a licence to drive a car but not one scrap of proof was required to prove I was ready to take my son home from hospital? I obtained this gorgeous but clearly unhappy offspring without a written exam, without proof I knew what I was doing or that I was properly skilled to "drive" him safely..... Fletch came without a glovebox and certainly without a manual in the non exsistant glovebox!

A very dear friend, nurse and mother of 4 came to visit on day 3.... she listened to him wail and said he's hungry - at which point I sobbed. She had guessed from the sound of his cry when we spoke earlier on the phone..... she boiled up water, produced a bottle and formula, fed him 20ml - at which point he promptly fell asleep and she said "right - let's get this breastfeeding sorted!".

The upshot of it all was that although Fletch was latching beautifully I was not producing milk. I was sitting badly, I was tense and I am sure my fears and concerns about trying to produce milk were all working against me.

Most women will tell you that to feed comfortably they will use cusions, pillows, the arm rest of the couch almost anything to support the arm that is holding the baby while they are feeding at the breast. What most of us don't realise is that while we are doing this we are sitting with exceptionally poor posture.

Poor posture puts tremendous strain on the muscles in your neck, back and shoulders.

We all know you should sit straight all the time, but hours in front of a computer or just to be comfortable in front of the telly teaches us to lean forward and hunch our shoulders. Add to this the weight of the baby and the added weight of full breasts and we are virtually bent over.

The other end of the spectrum has us holding the baby up to the breast and taking the baby's weight for ten to thirty minutes on one, then the other arm. When you consider that we need to do this 6 to 8 (PLUS) times a day and the pain and discomfort that results from muscle tension, is it really any wonder we complain, give up and feel that breastfeeding just isn't the comfortable, natural experience it is proported to be.

After meeting a wonderful physiotherapists and the hours of discussion that resulted I learned that it was my posture not the breatsfeeding was what was causing the horrendous burning pain in my neck and shoulders.

The ZOOPILLOW was created to support feeding mothers. It fits around your waist creating a support for baby that holds him to exactly the right breast height. It supports your arms and eliminates the need to take any of the baby's weight while they are at the breast. It allows you to sit comfortably, shoulders relaxed and spine straight... in essense you are cradling baby to your breast instead of taking the baby's weight in your arms or lifting a shoulder and creating the muscle tension that incorrect posture causes.

Within 2 feeds with the first prototype of Zoo pillow I had learned to relax, the burning pain in my shoulders was gone and importantly Fletch was not picking up on my tension and fear - he was relaxed in himself and feeding well. My milk, while not over abundant (I was never one of those lucky women who could hit the wall from a seated position on the couch if the breast pad was not on quickly enough) had come in once I relaxed and was now flowing well.

Happy Mum and happy baby :-)

So to be really clear, the Zoopillow is designed to support MUM while feeding, it eliminates any stress or strain on your neck, back or shoulders while feeding and it promotes correct feeding posture. I personally found it helped with milk flow and have been told by many many other Mum's that it also assisted them in this regard.

Because of the shape of a Zoopillow it can also be used as a sitting support and tummy time support for your baby as they grow and develop. The Zoopillow also has a waterproof inner and a removable and washable cover if you should be lucky enough to have so much milk that there is an overflow at the end of a feed or if you are lucky enough to have a 'chucky' baby like Fletcher was.

The Zoopillow is now used by many maternity hospitals, NICU wards and birthing units in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The Zoopillow is also available for sale through the Australian Breastfeeding Association, Multiple Birth Association and baby retail stores throughout the country. For more information you are welcome to visit my website or email me at

Happy COMFORTABLE feeding to you all.

Warm regards,
Darnelle Christian

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mum Knows Breast

Hi Folks - today I have another guest blogger in the form of Kelly from Nuvo Maternity and online Mum's space Mum Knows Breast. Welcome Kelly and thanks for sharing your story...

I breastfed both my boys and found the experience to be totally different with each which surprised me a little at the time. However, both times in the first few weeks I had sore nipples and had to learn to attach properly.
I remember the first night home from the hospital with my first son Ryan was terrible. He screamed all night and I just couldn’t attach as my nipples were cracked and sore. I remember being in tears the next day when the midwife from the hospital visited. The midwife was fantastic and really got me on the right track and I was able to successfully feed him for 7 months.

I remember the first 6 weeks as being the hardest and then things really did settle down. I returned to work one day a week when Ryan was 8 weeks old and expressed while at work for 6 months. He then weaned at 7 months, as I was one of those women who lose a lot of weight while breastfeeding and was unable to maintain my supply or a healthy weight range.

Two years later son number two, William, was a whole new ball game! It was easier to get my head around breastfeeding second time but at 3 weeks I was hospitalised for a week with Mastitis. I have never been so sick in my life but continued breastfeeding with a lot of support from a fantastic nurse and lactation consultants at my local child health centre.

Breastfeeding while caring for a two year old was difficult at times as my second son was a distracted feeder who often had his best feed at night! I also fed him until 7 and 1/2 months when my increased weight loss again kicked in and I was unable to keep up my milk supply.

Even though I fed both boys for 7 months I still felt guilty when they were weaned before 12 months and it is one of the reasons I like to support other mums to do the best they can and congratulate themselves for breastfeeding for however long they are able.
I found breastfeeding a rewarding yet challenging experience and it really did change my life in the form of a career change! As a breastfeeding mum, I found it hard to find clothes to nurse in that were both fashionable, high quality and comfortable so decided to design my own range and my business Nuvo Maternity was born while on leave from primary school teaching.

To see more of the great Nuvo range got to

Kelly also runs the fantastic online resource Mum Knows Breast - check it out at

Breastfeeders Anonymous is Good Reading!

Yesterday I saw my FIRST review in a magazine! It's a magazine I love so it's very exciting to see my book's pic in there and a few lovely words... see below.
If you'd like to find out more about Good Reading Magazine - which is a fabulous read for ALL booklovers, then go to

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Molly breastfeeding... Just another gorgeous photo from the many that are published in Breastfeeders Anonymous.

If you have any breastfeeding photos, pictures or cartoons, you'd like to share please email me at as I'm always looking for contributions for Wordless Wednesday.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Something special...

Breastfeeding is special at every stage, at least I think so, but I think there's something magical about feeding beyond a year. It's a milestone that sadly many people don't ever reach and breastfeeding a little person is so very different to breastfeeding a tiny baby.

Little people decide when and where they want to breastfeed.
Little people ask for milk in the most wonderful ways - whether verbal or non-verbal, they get to the stage when they love milk so much and can't contain the excitment when it's on the menu.
Little people know that breastmilk can fix any injury or discomfort.

Despite Lachlan still sucking with his teeth a lot of the time (meaning I'm sometimes in pain while feeding), I'm absolutely adoring feeding him at the moment. We've sort of got our own feeding routine, but there's something so magical about breaking it. Generally he feeds early in the morning, once in the night, before naps and before bed, but occasionally, he'll sit in my lap and tap enthusiastically on my breasts, his eyes lighting up at the thought of what's to come... now, who can resist that???

It's enough to make me contemplate another - but shh... I didn't say that!

I'd love to hear about your experiences feedind an older baby or toddler. In my book there's a page about the different things toddlers call breastmilk, mine doesn't have a word for milk yet, but if yours does, please share...

Also, don't forget, I'm always on the lookout for photos or stories, or if you hear about a new breastfeeding product or see breastfeeding in the media, please let me know at

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Making Breastfeeding Mamas Sexy...

My breastfeeding experience was pretty mild in comparison to what many mothers go through, but it was still very tough the first time around. I really do wish mothers could still stay in hospital for a good week after birth, in their own room, and were cared for by compassionate staff, that would be my dream. Going home on the day your child is born is atrocious.

Breastfeeding with my first child was ok for the first couple of days, but day 4 was torture. My breasts hurt so much and I’d cry when my baby was hungry because of the pain I knew I was about to feel. I almost gave up that day, but by the next day it was a tiny bit better, the next a little more. It still took till 6wks before the pain had completely gone.

If we were able to stay in hospital, this experience would’ve been a lot better as people should help you latch on and talk you through it all. I get really upset that a mother’s role in childbirth is undermined as not as important and major as it is. What a woman goes through is so tough, yet she is not cared for as a woman and appreciated for all that she has endured.

My 2nd child didn’t hurt anywhere near as much, a little scratching, but nothing major. I only was able to breastfeed until 10mths with both children, and I do feel sad that I couldn’t make the 1yr mark as I had wanted to. But then I realise we as women set goals sometimes and then feel like a failure for not reaching them. My two girls are wonderful and I need to learn to love the fact that I breastfed as long as I possibly could.

HOTmilk came about by me not being able to find any pretty or sexy breastfeeding lingerie, yet knowing that having that lingerie, something for me, would help brighten a tough day. I felt that everyone spoils the newborn baby, but very few people spoil the mum and appreciate all her hard work over the past 9mths, and that dreaded labour day. Being able to spoil new mums and help them to feel fabulous is what HOTmilk is all about. I get such joy reading emails we get from mums who are just so grateful, it feels like we’ve done a good deed and we’re very proud of that.

Thanks Lisa for sharing your breastfeeding story. Lisa, mum of two girls, is the brain child behind HOTmilk Lingerie. You can visit her website and learn more about the fab HOTmilk range at

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: What The?

Thanks to Amanda for sending me this Wordless Wednesday ( image. If you have any breastfeeding photos, pics or cartoons (funny or real life), please email me at

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Precious Bundle

It's official! Really soon Breastfeeders Anonymous will be available in the UK. So, all those European contributors who've been holding off on getting yourself a copy... watch this space. I've just sealed the deal with Precious Bundle ( for them to sell Breastfeeders Anonymous. They are an online store but as the book will be being sent from within the UK, postage will be far more do-able!

Sarah from Precious Bundle loved my blog so much that she's decided to start her own. She'll update her customers about new products and also include information that will be useful pregnant women and mums of young children. You can check out her blog at

My other HUGE news is that I've recently signed with book distributors Denis Jones and Associates. This means that soon Breastfeeders Anonymous will be available for bookshops to order. Hopefully they'll all stock up on a few copies, but even if you don't find it in stores, you will be able to ask them to order it in.

Finally, as tomorrow is Wednesday, I've decided to begin taking part in Wordless Wednesday ( This basically means busy bloggers get a day of rest and the permission to simply post a photo/picture. I'm going to start featuring one breastfeeding photo, picture or cartoon each Wednesday. I'll post some of the pics from the book but would love to have some new photos to share, so if you have a photo, pic or cartoon you'd like to share about breastfeeding, please email it to

Well, I've chatted enough tonight, so till tomorrow...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Breast Buddies

Upon announcing my pregnancy I was met with "congrats we're so happy for you" and immediately after "so are you going to breast feed?" Hmmm was I? Why not? Being a first time mum I figured I'd give it a try. 9 months later we welcomed Julia into our lives, what an amazing time. She was such a good baby right from the get go so I figured we'd sail right through breast feeding with no trouble at all. Boy was I WRONG! Two weeks into it we were both frustrated and ready to give up and that is just what I did. I felt extremely guilty, especially when I would see other mums breastfeeding their babies. Why was it so easy for them? Why werent their babies fussing and losing interest.

A few years later I became pregnant with our second child. Again "congrats so happy for you" and then "so are you going to breast feed" This time I was determined! We wanted to stay as "natural" with things as we could (homemade baby food, baby wearing, co sleeping etc) 9 months later we welcomed our second daughter Fayth into the world. She seemed to have an easier time with feeding than Julia but yet again after a few months, she was fussy and uninterested. I didnt want to just give up this time so I went searching on the internet for information and ultimately a solution and boy did I find one! A nursing necklace! I didnt want to buy one so I made one myself...after a few "demos" I finally got it right. Fayth LOVED it, it was an immediate success! The necklace generated tons of interests from others and soon people were sharing their stories with me and asking me to make them one. I did so, here and there and then one day I thought hey why not make this a business? So I launched The Breast Buddy website and it was a hit right from the start. I have made this my life, my work and have never looked back!

Happy Breastfeeding can do it, let The Breast Buddy help you!
Thanks Dana for telling us all about your gorgeous necklaces... makes me wanna have another baby just so I can buy one. Hey, might just buy one anyway. You can order Breast Buddies at

Friday, September 14, 2007

International Breastfeeding Symbol...

Today my guest blogger is Mama Bear from ''The International Breastfeeding Symbol'', telling us about how the International Breastfeeding Symbol came about.

The International Breastfeeding Symbol was created due to a contest hosted by Mothering magazine. Mothering magazine is a natural living magazine here in the US, and it has fans all over the world. It hosted a contest to come up with an International Breastfeeding Symbol, and in November2006, Matt Daigle's symbol beat out all the others.

I personally voted for Daigle's design, as I thought it was by far the best, in terms of representing without words a mother breastfeeding her infant, while being in keeping with the simple style of other international symbols. I do not know Matt Daigle personally, but I have corresponded with him about his symbol, which is why you see his quote on my homepage.

I decided to create a website devoted to breastfeeding education because I've felt passionate about breastfeeding since I was a little girl (believe it or not)... It just so happened that no one had created a website devoted to the new symbol yet... I figured I'd do it, so I did.:)

I made a store to go with it because I couldn't find a store at the time that sold any of that stuff (now I notice there are a bunch, but most of them appeared after my site was up and running)...

Thanks for sharing your story... you can visit Mama Bear's site at and see her great range of products boasting the Breastfeeding Symbol. You'll also find loads of information about breastfeeding and loads of other great links.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

BA Out and About

If you're in Brisbane and are heading down to the Natural Baby Expo this weekend ( then be sure to find The Product Store and take a peek (or even buy a copy) at Breastfeeders Anonymous.

The Product Store ( is an online shop for mums who want quality products from around the world. I'm chuffed that they liked Breastfeeders Anonymous enough to put it in the Aussie Creations section of their online store. The team from The Product Store will be at The Natural Baby Expo this weekend and this is the first time Breastfeeders Anonymous has been out and about!

Breastfeeders Anonymous is also one of this month's feature products at Mothers Direct (

Stay tuned as in the next few weeks I have some very exciting breastfeeding products being showcased... I'll give ya hint... we're talking pillows, jewellery and lingerie!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The WHYs of breastfeeding

I'm a frequent user of online parenting community The Bub Hub. Many Hub members were contributors of stories and photos in my book. Recently on the Hub, I noticed a thread of interest titled ''Why are breastfeeding rates so low?''

The question I want to discuss is: Why are BFing rates so low in Australia?

Current statistics state that only 10% of mothers exclusively BF until 6 months as recommended by the WHO. But the more alarming statistic is that by 6 months 70% of mothers are not BFing at all.It has been suggested that the majority of those 70% want to BF but are unable to. I believe this could be true so I ask the question: Why have we lost the ability to BF our children? Why has the art of BFing been lost?

To read the rest of the post and the replies, go to

This is a question that constantly plagues me. I WANT to help increase breastfeeding rates by helping mums-to-be and new mums become more aware and informed about what breastfeeding can be and should be like.

I truly believe the key is breastfeeding education for ALL pregnant women (whether in the form of classes or free literature) and promoting breastfeeding as IMPORTANT to the general public. I love to see breastfeeding campaigns, such as the current year long FEEL FREE TO FEED campaign ( . I'd love to get a grant and be able to give Breastfeeders Anonymous to EVERY pregnant woman in Australia.

I also believe the answer lies in our culture. Western culture does not embrace breastfeeding. We are too busy to sit and indulge in long feeds. We (and I'm talking the generic we) don't keep our babies close enough to encourage good breastfeeding.

In Breastfeeders Anonymous lactation consultant Joy Anderson wrote, ''Humans are a ‘carrying’ species of mammal, and our babies are born with an instinct to expect to have constant contact with their primary caregiver (mother) and be fed little and often.'' This unfortunately does not often sit well with our modern western culture.

Of course there's also the issue of promotion of formula. I recently went to a baby expo and was APPALLED to see a major formula company with a HUGE stand, grabbing as many pregnant women as they could and handing out formula samples. What kind of message is this giving? I would love to have a Breastfeeders Anonymous stall directly opposite this stall and get the breastfeeding message out there, and maybe one day I'll be able to afford to do so.

Anyway, I've rabbitted on for far too long, but I thought this was a really interesting discussion. Why do so many women want to breastfeed, yet so few of these actually succeed in doing so? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Breastfeeding t-shirts

I love breastfeeding t-shirts! Both my boys have been seen sporting ‘Mum’s Milk For Me’ tops at some stage during their short lives. I’m actually surprised by the number of odd-looks I get – and I have to clarify that they were both fairly young babies when wearing these great t-shirts. In some ways, this makes me wanna put them and myself in more breastfeeding clothing, but I’m also aware that some people are sad because they didn’t end up breastfeeding and these tops may rub salt in their wounds.

So, I’m interested. What do you think of breastfeeding t-shirts?

Have you worn them or put your child in them?

What are your favourite t-shirt quotes?

Below are a few of my all-time favourite quotes from breastfeeding t-shirts:

1) I make Milk… what’s your super power?

2) I’m a boob man!

3) Too lazy to bottle feed - I particularly relate to this one!

4) Breasts: not just for selling cars.

5) These breasts save lives.

If anyone’s game, I’d love to publish a few photos of mums, dads or babes wearing breastfeeding tees, so email your pics to

There are many places you can buy these t-shirts, including Mothers Direct (, The Lactivist (, and The Mothers Milk Marketing Board (

Monday, September 03, 2007

Great UK news...

Today, I decided I'd publish another extract from the book in the form of the story of one of my UK contributors. Why? Because a) I'm still waiting on my next guest bloggers to hand their contributions in, b) I love the stories in the book, and c) I had a little bit of good news today, regarding distribution in the UK.

Looks like I'll soon have a retailer selling Breastfeeders Anonymous in the UK, meaning UK contributors and anyone who wants to buy the book will be able to so much easier. I'll post the news here as it comes to hand... don't wanna say too much more yet, until it's in the bag. WATCH THIS SPACE.

And until then, enjoy reading Sue from Merseyside's breastfeeding story below. And don't forget, I'm always on the lookout for stories, photos, breastfeeding news or new breastfeeding related products - if you can help with any of these, please email me at

Over to Sue...

I had problems with breastfeeding when I had Matthew. Where those who were bottle feeding would give their babies to the midwives to keep in the nursery and feed if they woke, I was told to sit in the nursery as my baby was two days old, hadn’t latched on, and was starving. I had a cup thrown at me and was told to hand milk myself. When I finally provided 15mls of my milk, they poured it onto his face and it spilled everywhere. They had the cheek to ask for more. You really do lose your dignity when you feed your baby; some hospital staff are so matter-of-fact that they just expect you to flop yourself out and get on with it. Hard for someone who has never even been topless on holiday before!

The third day I was in tears. A midwife sat with me for 45 minutes and explained everything about the shape of the nipple, how a baby sucks, how to latch them on and it all seemed to just click into place from then on. I stayed another night to make sure we were feeding well and then came home, where it was easy and seemed to work out well.

Mathew thrived on my milk and was really healthy and happy. I was so comfortable with breastfeeding and had so much that after about two months, I began to donate milk to the local hospital for premature babies. I breastfed Matthew for nine months and only stopped following a traumatic miscarriage in which I lost quads and required emergency surgery and a blood transfusion. I intended to feed him whilst pregnant, although I didn’t know anyone who had done it – my mum didn’t even try to feed me after struggling for 10 days with my older brother. I didn’t feel pressured to continue, but I’m really lazy and the thought of washing and sterilising all those bottles horrified me.

With my second baby, Scott, I fed easily and listened to my instinct, not hospital advice.
Breastfeeding was the nicest choice I’ve ever made and is so rewarding. Knowing that you are single handedly keeping your baby alive is something to be proud of.

Sue; Merseyside, U.K.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Local Launch News!

Well, folks, apologies for the pause in blogging yesterday, but it was a BUSY one! I'd been up all night with two sick boys and then I had such a fun afternoon at my local book launch that I was just tooooooooooooooo knackered to come on and blog. But I was thinking of you all... and I so wished all of you could have been at the launch.

So, the lowdown.

The book launched was organised by three lovely friends of mine (Peta, Jen and Debbie), they organised people to bring plates of the most delicious food and we all sipped pink champagne (or juice for those pregnant and bf among us). My darling hubby who provided some of the mundane things (haha) like milk, sugar, dips, etc, was very thoughtful and even organised BRIGHT PINK serviettes to coordinate with the front cover of the book. And, the venue was simply beautiful too. Held at the Kodja Place in my local town, you can check it out online at

There were a number of dignitaries there, including the absolutely lovely Senator Judith Adams, who was so generous with ideas about how to get the book out there. My mate Peta introduced the arvo, welcoming everyone and telling them how we met three years ago (almost) on the ''boob couch'' at playgroup. She handed over to my other mate Jen (and also a contributor in the book), who spoke so many lovely words about Breastfeeders Anonymous. I'm so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life... ahhhh.

And then, I chatted for a few moments about the book, why I wrote it and what I hope it does.

So, all in all it was a great arvo.

Photo 1: Me signing books!

Photo 2: Jen, Peta and I doing our speaking bits'n'pieces

Photo 3:My baby boy playing on part of the Kodja Place display.

Photo 4: A view of part of the room and some of the attendees.