I'm Danielle, founder of The Breastfeeding Mentor. I am a passionate advocate of breastfeeding wellness and a qualified yoga & meditation teacher with an MSc in Psychology. I became a mother in May 2019 & my experiences left me struggling to take care of myself as a nursing mother. Fast forward to today & I support breastfeeding mothers around the world to thrive on their nursing and pumping journeys. Subscribe to my breastfeeding wellness blog, here or get support to stop breastfeeding gently, here.
It all began with the birth of my rainbow baby boy in May 2019. I knew that I wanted to try to breastfeed him and after a few latching issues and a bleeding nipple, we found our stride. I loved the unique connection that breastfeeding gave us, but I was completely unprepared for what I now know is normal, natural & healthy nursing behaviour. My son was an incredibly wakeful and sensitive baby. He would only contact nap, after being rocked or nursed to sleep and woke at even the shadow of a whisper 10 miles away, day or night. Sleeping no longer than 45 minutes at a time during the day and in 1-2 hour bursts overnight, he was a voracious feeder, which did wonders for his weight gain, but left me completely drained. I kept thinking to myself, "breast may well be 'best', but it might kill me in the process..."
I needed help and as the first mother in my immediate family to breastfeed, I struggled to find breastfeeding-specific advice from my nearest and dearest. Determined not to end our nursing journey before either of us was ready to do so, I turned to what I did best as a teacher and recent MSc in Psychology graduate - I read and researched every book, study and article that I could get my hands on. Armed with a wealth of knowledge from the incredible mothers, researchers & scientists who had paved the way for me, I made small but significant changes to my life and began to feel human again. As a qualified yoga teacher I knew the transformative power of yoga and meditation, but it took me longer than I expected to figure out how to apply the principles that had served me so well in the past, to the breastfeeding edition of me.
I began blogging and journaling my thoughts during lockdown 1.0, on my phone, as my chunky babe dozed in my arms, nestled in my bosom. Not only did this do wonders for my mental health, but blogging connected me with a community of mothers with whom I could share the rollercoaster of motherhood, tackling those issues that are unique to breastfeeding & pumping mamas. It brought me peace of mind by helping me to understand that there was nothing wrong with my beautiful, wakeful boy, but that my expectations needed some serious work. A shift in perspective allowed me to embrace what I now feel to be the best ever version of myself. Armed with a new assured sense of self, I began to feel angry at society for having left me feeling so lost and unsupported. I am determined to do all that I can to normalise normal breastfeeding infant behaviour so that mothers everywhere feel empowered to make informed choices for themselves and their families.