An Exclusive Interview with the Founder, Erin Deger
Breastfeeding, as remarkable as it is, brings its own ensemble of emotional, mental, and physical intricacies. It’s this complex landscape that Erin Deger sought to address with the creation of Mammae’s award-winning Bosom Reflections – Breastfeeding Affirmation Cards.
As modern mothers increasingly search for authentic, innovative and nurturing breastfeeding support, Mammae’s ‘Bosom Reflections’ Affirmation Ritual has emerged as an essential companion.
Join me in an intimate conversation with Erin as we explore the inspiration and impact of Mammae’s highly coveted Bosom Reflections.
Q) What inspired you to create Mammae’s Breastfeeding Affirmation Cards?
- My journey into motherhood was truly the catalyst for all of this. The philosophy that underpins Mammae’s Breastfeeding Affirmation Ritual and our entire collection, finds its roots in the trials and tribulations of my own initial breastfeeding journey. Like many new mothers, I encountered a multitude of challenges, particularly the stress and uncertainties associated with nursing. These early adversities left an indelible mark on my experience as a mother, causing me to question both my capability and determination to persevere.
As a first-time mum, 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 lactation and positive breastfeeding outcomes. 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.
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 ritualistic breastfeeding collection that was harmonious for women, children and the environment – setting a new holistic standard in the care for breastfeeding mothers.
The breastfeeding affirmation cards serve as an emotional anchor for mama’s, blending my personal wisdom with universal maternal sentiments inside. I wanted to create something empowering and tangible outside of this digital world we live in and visually appealing to offer support and encouragement when breastfeeding mothers need it most. While affirmations for pregnancy and birth are prevalent, there seemed to be a glaring void when it came to addressing the unique nuances of breastfeeding.
Q) Your brand name “Mammae” is quite unique. Can you elaborate on its significance?
- Mammae is the Latin word for mammary, which of course, naturally connects with the art of breastfeeding. This choice of name is not merely literal but also metaphorical, serving as an ode to the remarkable complexity of the lactating bosom and its anatomical form and function; the eternal source of life, love and abundance. Honestly, it was quite intuitive. The name just surfaced one day while I was feeding Poppy. When I delved deeper into its meaning and significance, it just clicked.
Q) How would you recommend mothers integrate these cards into their daily routine?
- These Affirmations were designed to effortlessly fit into any mama’s daily routine and self-care rituals. Be it a morning mindfulness practice, a source of positivity before each feeding session, to call upon during times of worry and pain, or even as decorative pieces in a nursing room, each curated card serves as a constant reminder of a mother’s innate wisdom, strength and resilience to persevere. Given the increasing search for breastfeeding support by modern mothers, our cards are a unique daily touchpoint of encouragement.
Q) What sentiments and affirmations can mothers expect to find in this deck of cards?
- The affirmations you’ll find in this deck are not just words by default; they exist as a very personal and heartfelt journey. They began as little handwritten notes, adorning the full-length mirror that stood beside my breastfeeding chair. Every time I nursed Poppy, I intentionally avoided the mindless scrolling on my phone or dwelling on the discomfort. Instead, I immersed my mind in these personalised breastfeeding affirmations, visualising the milk flowing effortlessly, embracing every letdown sensation, and savouring the profound nourishment within each droplet of milk.
To truly encapsulate the multifaceted experience of breastfeeding, which I very much endured, I curated affirmations like “I slow down and breathe, for this season is golden and magic,” and “All my baby needs, is already within me.” These cards are designed to not just acknowledge but to honour every facet of this vulnerable journey, reminding mothers that they are capable, supported and resilient.
Q) How do you hope these cards influence the global community of breastfeeding mothers?
- My deepest hope is that these cards offer solace, empowerment, and a sense of belonging. I want mothers to feel recognised, validated, and reminded of their incredible capability to reach their breastfeeding goals. Beyond this, I aim to heighten awareness about the profound interconnectedness between a mother’s emotional well-being and her body’s innate ability to nurture and sustain milk production.
As Ina May Gaskin, an iconic author and American Midwife 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.”
Q) To all the mothers who are currently navigating the depths of breastfeeding and to the mums-to-be eagerly anticipating this incredible journey ahead, Erin, what heartfelt message or invaluable piece of advice would you like to share with our readers?
- To every mother wading through the depths of breastfeeding and every expectant mum filled with a mix of excitement and apprehension, I’d say this: Trust yourself. Each magical drop of milk, every long wakeful night, every tender moment, and even every challenge is a testament to your love, strength, and resilience. You are enough mama, and you are doing more than enough. Embrace the journey with all its ebbs and flows, and know that with Mammae and a community of mothers worldwide, you are never alone on this monumental journey. Embrace your instincts without hesitation, and trust them implicitly. Take joy in the small triumphs along the way. Remember, this journey, with all its beauty and complexities, is a dance only you and your baby share. Cherish it.
Thank you to Erin of Mammae for walking us through the intricacies and realities of the mind-body connection when it comes to the breastfeeding mother/parent. I am a huge believer in the power of affirmations and am so proud to recommend a tool that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also limitless in its potential to create a higher vibration during times of both the challenge and joy that breastfeeding brings.
©Mammae | Interviewed by Joelleen Winduss Paye with contributions by Mammae Founder, Erin Deger.