We’re all about breastfeeding anytime and anywhere with confidence. In this article, we will talk about how to feel good when you feed, in private and especially in public.
Before we start, we want to acknowledge that feeding your baby comes in many forms. This could be everything from feeding at the breast, feeding through pumping milk, using top-ups, and any combination between (mixed feeding).
So let’s start from the beginning.
When our babies are born and we’re told to “feed on demand” – and quickly we come to learn that demand is high!
For the first few months, breastfeeding takes up most of your time and it can be hard to do much else of anything. In fact, if you do the math, a year of breastfeeding equates to a conservative estimate of 1,800 hours of a mother's time. This isn't far off a full-time job, considering that a 40-hour work week with three weeks of holidays comes in at 1,960 hours a year.
And you also quickly figure out that a hungry baby can’t wait (and shouldn't be expected to!), and as mothers we are biologically hardwired to respond immediately to the needs of our babies.
In fact, feeding wherever and whenever you want or need to is protected by law. The Australian breastfeeding association has a page explaining your legal rights:
“Breastfeeding your baby is a normal and natural thing to do. Babies have a right to be breastfed and mothers have the right to breastfeed. Most mothers can work out where and how to comfortably feed their babies when they are out. Although our society acknowledges that breastfeeding is important for mothers and babies, some people make critical remarks or confront mothers with unnecessary and illegal ‘rules’. In Australian Federal Law breastfeeding is a right, not a privilege.”
Breastfeeding is your baby's antidote.
Some may see breastfeeding as a private thing, belonging behind closed doors. I see it as the reason the human race has survived. Breastmilk is a magic potion made by the female body that can wholly sustain and nourish a baby to grow, develop, and is nature’s protective shield against illness.
From coughs and colds to tummy bugs, breastmilk is a custom made daily antidote to every germ your baby comes into contact with: it is a living fluid containing healthy bacteria, antibodies, white blood cells, antimicrobials, cell wall protectors and proteins that all offer protection against bacteria and viruses. If you yourself catch a bug, specialised white blood cells will appear in your breast milk to protect your baby.
Conversely, if your baby becomes sick, the transfer of germs from baby to your breast will trigger the production of specific antibodies. These antibodies will be deposited into your milk to boost your baby’s immunity and help her fight off illness.
You are your baby's super-heroine.
When you’re breastfeeding, the only thing that is allowing your child to survive – and even to thrive – is you, and you’ll realise that’s a superpower. When your breasts are so engorged you’re in pain, or when you swoop into a room and soothe your screaming baby with your body, that natural ability to produce milk from your breasts will seem so simple, yet also extraordinary.
Celebrating this extraordinary superpower is at the centre of every Omm Label design.
Our range of staple t-shirts each have a slogan or phrase intended to remind you (and anyone you meet!) of the magic, in a subtle yet fun way. Whether it’s “Milk Bar – Open 24/7”, “Mamaccino”, “Drink Local”, “Liquid Gold Maker”, “It’s Raining Milk”, “Milky”.
For some, to #feedwithconfidence means feeling comfortable and even proud to feed in public – but many of us still prefer not to feel physically exposed. We get you!
Fret not, there are solutions out there.
Thanks to the rise of functional feeding wear, you no longer need to hide under a muslin cloth to find yourself a little privacy wherever you are. This is really important to us – clothing that makes feeding fuss-free and discrete means more mamas might no longer feel the need to shield the act and art of breastfeeding from view.
Let's normalise breastfeeding. After all, it's the very thing that provides life and growth to newborns.
We need breastfeeding to be seen, because that is the only way it can become a normal and accepted part of the social scenery. Breastfeeding can be isolating enough as it is – we want mamas to feel they can go out as they wish and stay as socially present as they want to be.
When reflecting on my own journeys, feeding can be the most natural thing and yet the most unnatural! Three billion things can go wrong when you breastfeed. But even having been through a bad latch, tongue tie, thrush, a clogged duct, and a crazy oversupply I still think that nursing a tiny little human is the most amazing magic that I've ever felt in my life.
So, feed how you want, where you want and just be YOU Mama.
There is nothing more freeing than allowing yourself to just be YOU, to not have to fit the identity of who you were before motherhood nor the identity of who you should be in motherhood. To just be you right now.
And if you're ever feeling low on confidence, remember to tap into that appreciation of knowing you have the natural, yet oh-so-magical capacity to nourish your child from your very own body.
As a fellow breastfeeding mama, I’d encourage every mama-to-be to educate and prepare themselves for breastfeeding, just as they would for giving birth. Education is key and the right support is essential.
Ophi, founder of OMM Label
OMM Label is not your average breastfeeding brand and is like nothing else on the market. This is quality ethical clothing for damn cool mums. We like our messaging relatable, and our mothers empowered! Motherhood is hard enough, so we're here to make getting dressed the easy part. We want you to feel comfortable to breastfeed wherever, whenever and to feel amazing within yourself.