Breastfeeding can be challenging at times, even for experienced mums, but extra help is at hand via a local online support group.
Mahurangi Breastfeeding Support is a Facebook page set up by Nicky Jordan, of Matakana, after she noticed a few mothers asking questions about it on various local Facebook pages.
“I’m a midwife, though not practicing at the moment, so I knew about breastfeeding and had breastfed my own three children, but even then it was still difficult at times,” she says. “It’s really only something you learn by doing it. Lots of people struggle, and it isn’t always easy to find information and support.
“Normally, most people can breastfeed, but you have to have the right information and support. New mothers often feel like they’re failing, and a lot of them fake that they’re doing well when they’re not.”
Nicky initially thought about starting a meeting group as a support facility, but quickly realised that many mums seemed more comfortable in an online environment, where they didn’t have to ring someone up or leave the house, but could just type out a question or share a concern on social media.
“It’s turned into being a really cool, easy way for people to get information online,” she says. “You can be anonymous and just ask other mothers about their experiences.”
As well as parents sharing their stories, Caroline Hawes, who runs a mums and baby group twice a month at Warkworth Birthing Centre, regularly contributes information and advice to the page.
“It’s a busy group with lots of members and some have said that this was the only help, along with the Birthing Centre, that they could find up this way,” Nicky says.
As well as helping many local mothers to breastfeed more easily and for longer, the group has helped people to source breast pumps, milk bags and even breast milk itself. It has also resulted in some mums becoming friends or going to meetings at the birthing centre that they otherwise wouldn’t have known about.
Now, Nicky wants to spread the word to any local mums who might not be aware of the group.
“A few of the founding members are either finished or finishing breastfeeding and we would like to encourage other mothers to join our group,” she says. “We’re there for everybody and everyone is welcome.”
Info: search for Mahurangi Breastfeeding Support on Facebook