What it's like breastfeeding for the first time, from an IBCLC herself.

What it's like breastfeeding for the first time, from an IBCLC herself.

"Even Lactation consultants need Lactation consultants" -Joelleen Winduss-Paye, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Endorsed Midwife, Naturopath and Educator chats to us at M. Magazine about what it's like with the shoe on the other foot and breastfeeding her newborn.

What's it like being on the other side and being the breastfeeding mom with your newest arrival, Mali?


I’ve learned that finding and accepting the right help just makes you more relaxed. That you don't have to do it all by yourself even though you ‘know’ a lot. I have a lot of people saying to me “Oh you’ll be fine!” When it comes to caring for a new baby and breastfeeding. And although I am very well supported, confident and capable, I am still entering a new phase of my life, where doing is different to observing. 


Mali and I have had a beautiful breastfeeding journey so far, that I am exceptionally grateful for. In the first 2 weeks I did experience nipple pain that i just couldn't get on top of by myself. I sought expert help, and it felt so good to be held and encouraged during a time of struggle. A previous client said to me, “its important you receive the love and care that you always give”, which was a beautiful way to frame things, rather than looking at myself like I should have known or done better. 

What are some of the valuable tips that you have taught mums about breastfeeding that you have found invaluable for you and Mali.


Being really diligent with my nutrition. For me, eating protein-rich meals, and never skipping or being really late with meal times keeps my hormones balanced, and has a positive effect on my energy, mood and milk supply. 

I have also really surprised myself just how much I have surrendered to on demand feeding. The newborn phase feels a little crazy with how unpredictable the feeding times can be, but I feel good when I just lean into it, it feels really organic and natural listening to my baby and my body. 

The other thing that is helping me feel great is making moments for self care. Ideally this looks like some mat pilates before Mali wakes. Other days when he needs me more, its a feel good movie and remembering to take my supplements. 


What did you do for those first few hours when Mali was born, did you let natural instincts come into play?


Our birth was so magical! We were so fortunate to have a beautiful home-birth, once I was in bed with him after my placenta was birth, I was just floating! We were skin to skin, and I offered him a feed in the side lying position which felt right in the moment. I was really careful to get his latch nice and deep. Mali was a big health strong baby when he was first born and took to the breast well. 


Products that you have loved for your breastfeeding journey so far.

My MUMMA MILLA night bralettes have come in handy for all those days at home. I have a generous supply, so find the inbuilt leakage support great. I also love the Bare Mum breast pads, they are soft and look nice under bras for when I am out and about. My MilkBar and SleepBelly pillow give my body great support during feeds, which helps reduce the overall physicalness of breastfeeding. My silverettes are great to pop on if my nipples are feeling a bit sore from frequent feeding. And my Youha Embody breastpump for when I needed to rest my sore nipples in those first few days, and also now that I am wanting to introduce a few bottles. 

Joelleen wears our leakproof night bralette during her pregnancy.

Your favourite positions for breastfeeding Mali?

During the day I love to recline in my Nuage Jolie chair, and at night its side-lying all the way!

Anything that has surprised you about breastfeeding?

I think I was surprised just how bad my nipple pain was. I naively thought I would get away with minimal pain. I am so relieved I had good support in place I could turn to immediately. 

The intimacy and bond is something I have witnessed between mums and babies for many years, and its just so so beautiful to get to experience it for myself now! 


Being a mother, what does it mean to you?

It is such a gift and a privilege. It means my life is not my own anymore, and I want to pour my energy into my little man, while also keeping my own cup filled. 


Tips for any other mums about to give birth and what they can do to prepare for breastfeeding?

Preparing for breastfeeding is so important, and there is so much you can do! I would say learn about the support available to you, ideally book a one-to-one consultant with an IBCLC, or at very least some private breastfeeding education.

Take your learning into your own hands, have a breastfeeding plan if things don't come easy, and learn how to hand express from 36 weeks to have colostrum on hand - you never know if you'll need it.

I created a Breastfeeding eGuide and digital Preparing for Breastfeeding workshop for this very purpose when I would see clients time and time again who said they wish they had done more to prepare. 


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