Hi I’m Ami, from Japan, I moved to New Zealand 3 years ago and gave birth to two boys.

My breastfeeding journey has not been an easy one, but it has been amazing with lots of learning.

For my first son, I struggled with low milk supply in the first few weeks and I had mastitis 3 times. I was desperate for help and advice so I did some online research but I found breastfeeding advice on Japanese and New Zealand websites were quite different, which was very confusing.

When I went out, I saw mums breastfeeding and it looked like they were doing it confidently and easily. I felt inferior that I couldn’t breastfeed easily. But soon I learned that many women experienced some difficulties with breastfeeding and it’s very important to share the stories and support each other.

One day I found a breastfeeding support group at Richmond cottage, a lady there, Mary, gave me so much useful information I didn’t know about preventing mastitis. She encouraged me a lot.

Another day I went to a playgroup and I told one of the mums there that I’d been struggling with mastitis many times and she introduced me to a Japanese breast massage therapist, Mariko. I made a few appointments with her, she listened to me calmly, gave me lots of advice and her massage made a big difference.

For my second son, breastfeeding has been so much easier.

Breastfeeding might not go perfectly smooth but you go through tough times and learn from it. It’s similar to parenting.  Breastfeeding taught me strength.

I love breastfeeding and I really appreciate that people around me encouraged me not to give up. 

I feel so grateful to give birth and raise children in such a beautiful and supportive community.

But if you are a mum having any problems with breastfeeding, I really recommend you go to breastfeeding support groups or talk to other mums and share your stories. This might change your breastfeeding journey. 🙂