It's the hash tag coined by OMM Label and forms part of the brand ethos. In fact, this phrase was the only ‘briefing’ that was given to all the model-mamas in the beautiful images adorning the OMM Label social media pages and website. It got us curious - if just this one phrase could inspire so many beautiful, but different photographical interpretations - what does it actually mean to Mamas? We wanted to find out.
First, let's unpack the phrase a little.
'Confidence' in the Oxford Dictionary is "a feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities". If we take breastfeeding to be the ability or quality, then to feed with confidence is to be self-assured because we appreciate our own capacity to nourish our babies. That's some pretty special stuff.
But what does feeding with confidence look and feel like?
Well, we discovered that it looks and feels different for each and every one of the Mamas who choose OMM Label to help them find their feeding confidence.
We asked you and loved hearing your answers. Here's a few:
"Celebrate your journey without shame and be the Mum you want to be".
"Feeding easily whenever, wherever - while also feeling confident and proud about it".
For some, to feed with confidence means feeding anywhere, anytime - the Mamas who feel fully empowered and wholly comfortable with public breastfeeding. These are the Mums who will unzip, pull up or pull down their shirt without hesitation, and can expertly breastfeed one handed while doing life, wherever they may be - yes, even in Aisle 5 while grabbing pasta sauce for tonight’s dinner! We see you and we salute you!
Rosie in our Mamahood hoodie, pictured feeding Scout.
For others, to #feedwithconfidence means feeling comfortable, and even proud, to feed in public, but still preferring not to feel physically exposed. We feel you! Thanks to the rise of functional feeding wear, you no longer need to hide under a muslin cloth to find yourself a little privacy. This is really important to us - clothing that makes feeding fuss-free and discrete means these beautiful Mamas might no longer feel the need to shield the act and art of breastfeeding from view. We need breastfeeding to be seen, because that is the only way it can become a normal and accepted part of the social scenery (Pssst! Keep reading. There’s more on this a little further on!).
But, what if you just prefer to feed on your own, and don't often feed around others? Do you still feed with confidence? We think so! For some Mamas, breastfeeding is a sacred time of reconnection, and, for some babies, feeding is associated with a safe, quiet, sleepy place. Protecting that preference and choosing to unapologetically step away from company when you and your little one are craving connection or emotional regulation, is another type of confidence. You know what's best, Mama!
"Love love love what this label is all about! The moment I put on my Milk Bar tee I felt invincible! Able to feed my bubs with confidence anytime, anywhere! Customer service is spot on too! Love what OMM Label is doing for breastfeeding Mummas"
We already touched on our quest towards making breastfeeding visible in society, so let’s talk about what other people think. Do others impact what it might mean for us to 'feed with confidence'?
Disappointingly, some in society (and maybe even in our own families) still hold critical or disparaging views around breastfeeding, particularly breastfeeding beyond the first year.
Depending on our own levels of exposure to these sorts of negative views, some of us have unconsciously internalised them and may battle with feelings of shame or self-consciousness when breastfeeding. If it has ever been a struggle for you to push past these kinds of feelings, or, if you’ve had to actively ignore the ongoing, unhelpful commentary from certain people around you - well, that is an entirely different level of feeding with confidence, Mama. To continue to feed your baby, in the face of criticism or judgement, is something to be so, so proud of. We see you!
Sophie in our Mamaccino T-shirt, with "distracted" Goldie
The truth is that it really does not matter where we all fall on the spectrum of confidence – whether we're loud and proud, nothing and no-one stopping us from flopping a breast out, or, whether we're quietly proud, preferring the beautiful ritual of feeding in private, instead of with an audience – it's all confidence and it's all to be celebrated.
So, feed how you want, where you want and just get to 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.
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.
We couldn't find a better way to end a post that celebrates breastfeeding confidence than this perfect answer from one of the Mamas in the OMM Label community:
"Embrace this stage of motherhood and feel the milky goddess you are".