When you welcome a new baby into your life for the first time, it’s safe to say it’s a steep learning curve. That was certainly true for new mum Karley Jenkins, who went through some extreme changes in the first 48 hours of welcoming her daughter, Daisy, to quickly gaining the confidence to breastfeed her daughter in public.
So how do you go from zero to a hundred in the space of a few weeks? What’s it really like having a newborn? And how do you pluck up the confidence to breastfeed in public? Karley, who is a “SpokesMum” for baby care brand Philips Avent, answered all of Mamamia‘s burning questions about that life-changing first year.
How did you build up the confidence to breastfeed in public?
“I’m actually surprised how quickly I breastfed in public. I think it started to develop from the first few days I was in hospital.
“Every time I fed, the midwifes encouraged me to call them in so they could check Daisy was latching properly and feeding well so I got used to other people being around when I was feeding.
“I also have three sister-in-laws who have breastfed, so when guests visited it felt ‘normal’ feeding in front of them when the time came.”
What has breastfeeding in public been like?
"It's been positive and just a part of day-to-day activities. Honestly I do still cover-up and drape a muslin cloth over my front when I'm feeding in a very public place like a restaurant and I use the parents' rooms when I'm at the shops.
"I think it would be strange if someone ever approached me and told me to stop feeding my daughter. I do doubt myself from time to time thinking 'Is it okay if I feed her here?' but if she's hungry I do it."
Where is the strangest place you've breastfed?
"The most random place I have fed was when she was eight-weeks-old and I was standing in line for a book signing. The wait ended up being a lot longer than I anticipated.
"Daisy's little grizzles turned into cries and I knew she was now due for a feed. So I popped her on, draped a blanket over me and fed her while I continued to wait in line and nobody was bothered by it at all."