Jana Pittman – Top Tips for Caring for Her Brood Of Six
For former top athlete and now doctor Jana Pittman, the cluckiness of wanting another baby never quite went away – until now.
Having given birth to twins 10 weeks ago, the now mum of six kids under 15, says she’s finally done. “I’d always think oh wow, am I ever going to feel complete,” she says. “Well now I can honestly say that my family of six kids is complete!”
Jana admits that one thing she’s always struggled with was breastfeeding. “It’s always been up and down – sometimes it would go well, other times I’d only breast feed for six weeks. It’s taken a while, but I’ve finally found a solution.”
Here the super-mum lets us in on her busy life – and how she manages the juggle;
You’re currently working with The Breast Feeding Tea Co. as an ambassador for their Lactation Tea – why do you love the product?
So, breast feeding Charlie, who’s now 18 months old, wasn’t going great and was exhausting. You can try medication to promote your milk supply, but you can only take it short term and it doesn’t always work. I read up on galactagogues – herbs and food which may promote breast feeding supply. That’s when I came across the Lactation Tea on The Breast Feeding Tea Co website. It contains some amazing galactagogues such as Blessed Thistle, Nettle and Goats Rue which has been shown to increase milk supply by up to 50 per cent in some studies. I make a big pot of tea and drink cups during the day. After I drink a cup, about three hours I have a letdown. It also tastes great and uses organic products.
As a doctor, why is it good for new mums to have a good breastfeeding milk supply?
If breastfeeding is important to you then having a good supply is going to make the experience, go so much better and take the worry out of it. I am pro breast feeding and believe in the health benefits for baby and for how it can strengthen the mum and child bonding relationship. However, you need to do whatever works best for you – don’t be hard on yourself.
What is your advice to mums who are having trouble with breast feeding?
Firstly, relax and don’t get too down, it’s a very common thing to go through. Then just try some different things. Perhaps that’s pumping more or seeing if the medication works. Perhaps that’s trying something like the lactation tea and also lactation cookies such as the ones from Franjos. I know it’s a challenge hunting down what may work for you, so be open minded. I’ll be appearing at the 2022 Naturally Good Expo – on June 6-7 – encouraging more retailers to stock the tea so it’s available in more chemists and stores, as I want women to just have more options.
As a mum of six what are your top tips for getting your kids ready for school?
Organise everything the night before! I make sure all the bags are packed, the uniforms are laid out on the floor and lunch boxes are all done. Two days a week they get a lunch order and if I need assistance in the afternoon, I organise it. There are no heroes in motherhood just those that get on with it!
How do you manage dinner time and meal prep?
We have two fridges and freeze pre-prepared meals. Once a week I’ll do meal prep cooking up dishes, so I always have meals on hand.
What about your husband Paul – how does he pitch in?
He works hard as the main breadwinner in family, so that really helps in that aspect. He is also really good at cleaning and keeps our house immaculate!
How do you keep sane?
Exercise. Although I got caned on social media for posting a pic soon after the twins were born of me hiking up Mount Kosciusko. People were saying it wasn’t a good message for other mums, to be doing such things. I said if anyone is trying to compare themselves to an ex-Olympian that’s a problem – for me a walk up a hill is minimal effort! I just wanted women to see me doing something different. Sometimes it’s really tough to just be feeding babies around the clock in a room. There’s something to be said for doing something for yourself to help you recover.
Is there anything that you have outsourced, that has made your life easier?
Yes, my wonderful mum does my washing, she comes and picks it up at the end of the day. I also have a couple of friends who have cooked meals for us and dropped off them off. People want to help. I’ve learnt not to be afraid to ask.
Your best piece of parenting advice?
Motherhood is going to be there whether you like it or not, find ways to cope with it.
Find out more on how Jana Pittman juggle’s work and mum-life on instagram.