OUR FOUNDER, ERIN DEGER.
"Pregnancy is a time for nesting, preparation and learning, yet only few expectant mama's tend to explore beyond the birth itself. "
HOW DAILY RITUAL BECAME HER SOULFUL EMBRACE
Developed by, clean beauty expert and mother, Founder Erin Deger describes her signature collection as “an embodiment of everything I believe in; it is pure, therapeutic, sustainable, and considered.
The philosophy behind Mammae’s ritual-inspired breastfeeding collection exists through the fractures of my personal journey into breastfeeding and early motherhood, sharing in its many early adversities.
Learning and understanding the remarkable intelligence of how the maternal breastfeeding body functions and the interconnectedness of how the emotional psyche cultivates such a significant role in this new process, can truly make a profound difference when it comes to those early days, weeks and months postpartum.
The more I researched and channelled how the synergy of mindfulness, breathwork, natural ingredients, energetics, hormones and the lactating bosoms function, the more compelled I was to create a breastfeeding collection that was harmonious for women, children and the environment - setting a new holistic standard in the care for breastfeeding mothers.
Across the world, mothers are urged to breastfeed, however, in modern Western society, many postpartum mothers find breastfeeding to be more challenging than they had anticipated. In fact, it's rare to find a mother who hasn't experienced some form of adversity on her breastfeeding journey, whether personally or through someone she knows.
Personally, I had always envisioned breastfeeding to be a joyful and instinctive skill that my baby and I would easily navigate together with unparalleled joy and ease. However, the reality was far from my expectations. Like many other mothers, I faced a multitude of challenges that left me feeling overwhelmed and discouraged.
Throughout my own journey, I found the intensity and totality of the breastfeeding relationship to be a truly transformative experience that requires an integrative and holistic approach. It involves a deep physical and emotional investment that is unparalleled in any other relationship.
While it is a 'natural' process, it is not always easy or straightforward, and each mother's experience is unique. Yes, breastfeeding is biologically normal. However, that doesn’t mean it is straightforward or a “one size fits all” experience.
Within the very early days, I had experienced a complexity of breastfeeding adversities; oversupply, low supply, cracked, blistered and bleeding nipples, nipple vasospasm, nipple thrush, engorgement, recurring mastitis, anatomical challenges (flat nipples) and painful blocked ducts. Merely the thought of latching my baby again would send my knuckles white and put me to tears. This raw and vulnerable reality was not what I had envisioned for myself and my baby, I felt completely misguided and failed by society, the system and my own body.
A NOTE FROM OUR FOUNDER
'We are committed to empowering mothers and helping them to feel
confident and supported on their breastfeeding journey.'
INTUITIVELY DESIGNED BY A MUM FOR MUMS
The common challenges of stress in relation to nursing had a tremendous and defining impact on my season as a mother, leaving me to question my ability and desire to persevere.
As a new mother, little did I know in the early weeks, there was a crucial piece of information that was missing; noting the connection between a mother's nervous system and the hormones (oxytocin and prolactin) that are critical to optimal lactation and positive breastfeeding outcomes.
Oxytocin is a catalyst for bonding, healing, and feeling the love, all of which forms the essence of what keeps us alive. As bub latches to mama’s breast, the chemical hormone release of oxytocin signals the flow and let down reflex of golden colostrum and eventually an established supply of wholesome breast milk.
However, when a mother experiences stress and anxiety, it is known to inhibit the secretion of these vital lactation hormones, making it important for her to receive the necessary biological signals to initiate milk production and release. So much so, by understanding and effectively eliciting these hormones, it can make all the difference on a mother's breastfeeding journey.
As Ina May aptly put it, "merely acquiring knowledge on the right 'equipment' is not enough to produce milk. For a mother to successfully produce and release milk, it is crucial that she receives the biological signal that initiates lactation. This is the role of two known lactation hormones that are produced in the body which are subject to an increase or decrease according to a mother’s environment, care and overall mind-body connection to stress."
How and where to access information about lactation and breastfeeding can vary greatly depending on the resources and support available in one's community. Unfortunately, this important topic is often overlooked or glossed over in traditional childbirth education classes, leaving new mothers without a clear understanding of the hormonal processes at play. It's crucial that we start including discussions of oxytocin and prolactin in prenatal care and childbirth education so that expectant mothers have the information and tools they need to establish successful breastfeeding relationships with their babies. By prioritizing this education, we can help new mothers feel empowered, informed, and supported as they navigate the joys and challenges of the postpartum period.
Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding enlightened me on the crucial role of oxytocin in fostering a strong bond between mother and baby, as well as its ability to stimulate milk ejection during nursing via the 'letdown reflex. Although I had heard this term before, I had never fully grasped it's significance and function until I delved deeper into the topic.
Oxytocin plays a critical role in lactation and mothering, just as it does during labor and birth and its essential for postpartum mothers to receive the necessary biological signals that trigger its release. This wondrous hormone is essential not only for lactation and mothering, but also for promoting a sense of ease, calm and love in both mother and baby.
Similarly, prolactin is a hormone that is closely linked with oxytocin and plays a key role in milk production and together, these two hormones can help to promote a mothers lactation and positively improve breastfeeding outcomes.
As I delved deeper into these fascinating hormones and their impact on lactation, I became increasingly aware of the critical role they play in promoting successful breastfeeding outcomes. Sadly however, many expectant mothers are not adequately informed about the importance of such hormones in the lactation process. This lack of awareness can understandably lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety for new mothers, which can negatively impact both their milk supply and their overall breastfeeding experience.
It is essential that expectant mothers have access to this knowledge as part of their preparation for birth and beyond, and that healthcare professionals prioritise its discussion and implementation within modern mother-care systems. By promoting a deeper understanding of these hormones and their impact on lactation and mothering, we can help to create a more supportive and informed environment for new mothers and their babies.
A NOTE FROM OUR FOUNDER.
'Mammae is setting a new holistic standard in the care for breastfeeding mothers.'
A THREAD WITHIN A MATERNAL BOND
As someone who has always been passionate about building strong communities, I have come to realize the incredible strength and wisdom that comes from the support of a village. During the challenging early days of life after delivery, I leaned heavily on my own support network and found their connection and help to be invaluable. Looking back on that time, I know that it would have been infinitely more difficult if I had tried to go it alone. It's true what they say, "a problem shared is a problem halved."
As women, we are inherently connected through a maternal bond, and we should not have to endure the fourth trimester alone. Breastfeeding is a unique experience that has the power to forge strong bonds and increase awareness of its importance. That's why I believe it's crucial to build a supportive community around new mothers, one that can provide the necessary encouragement and resources for successful breastfeeding outcomes.
Having emerged from the other side, I realise that I have never before devoted myself to something so entirely. I’d completely given myself to the act of breastfeeding in a way that I never had before. Nothing was more important to me than nursing my firstborn daughter.
Procrastination simply didn't exist. Nothing was put before it. Breastfeeding became my sole focus, and I made a conscious effort to prioritise it above all else, even when I was physically and emotionally drained. With the same determination that I summoned during childbirth, I channeled my energy and overcame countless obstacles. I learned to honor my body's maternal wisdom and embraced the discomfort and introspection required to deepen my connection with my child.
Despite the challenges, the journey of breastfeeding was a transformative experience, one that I will forever share and cherish.
"I am strong, I am capable and I am everything my baby needs."
These self-realisations, of course, didn’t come easily, yet such moments of profound insight rarely do.
Breastfeeding was my greatest lifeline, a journey that taught me the power of self-compassion, self forgiveness and reimagining motherhood through a holistic, nature-inspired lens.
Through this experience, I was guided to incorporate the healing principles of nature into my daily breastfeeding and postpartum care, allowing me to recalibrate my mindset and empower myself as a capable and intuitive mother through gentle yet powerful time honoured rituals.
It is my greatest ambition through Mammae to ensure that all mothers have the support, sensory and self-soothing resources to draw upon, awakening joy, abundance, ease, and closeness shared between baby and bosom.
My hope is that the Mammae reflects and inspires a set of unwavering values that will be carried on by future generations, creating a legacy of heart-centered motherhood.