A Mom’s Wisdom: Alexis Kristiana on Sharing Her Breastfeeding and Parenting Journey
I first learned of Alexis Kristiana via mutual friend Denise Nicole (@abrooklybabe). She did what many savvy parents do these days and introduced a group of moms to each other on Instagram. I immediately gravitated to Alexis’s fashion IG @liquidgoldvintage, where she sells curated picks for nursing and on- the-go moms.
I also love Alexis for sharing her parenting experiences, such as breastfeeding, on her platform. When I started to follow her IG (@alexiskristiana) I was on child number two and felt a bit distant from other parents as my son was being diagnosed early with Autism, and I was not meeting other moms.
It was refreshing to revisit the experiences I had with my first son and know that we moms are on a similar journey. I was not breastfeeding at the time, but I appreciated Alexis’s wisdom on breastfeeding. Along with her amazing husband, Tolu Adegoke, they have fun. Yet, they can still be frank and raw with their parenting experiences with their two children Zion, 2.5 years old, and new baby Zuri, five months.
Any seasoned mom will tell you; moms need moms- Alexis Kristiana’s wisdom and shared journey is a reminder that you are never alone.
How has your journey of breastfeeding evolved from Zion to Zuri?
When I first started my breastfeeding journey with Zion, I had no idea what I was doing. My mom did not breastfeed us because she was stationed away in the Navy and was not able to. I didn’t have any close family to look to for resources at the start of my journey. So it was a lot of learning and guesswork.
That journey is what sparked me to start sharing more of my breastfeeding experiences through social media so that other first-time moms would not feel as lost as I did as well. With Zion, I experienced extreme oversupply and this additional supply led to some problems with nursing
I would have to pump or express before every feed to make sure that he wasn’t choking while he was eating. It sounded like such a great problem, but it was a stressful time for us in our journey.
This led to him also developing a brass preference because one of my breasts had more of a slow type of flow for him to take down the milk and this caused me to have uneven breasts for the remainder of my journey. And I only fed off of that one breast up until the birth of Zuri.
With Zuri, everything is so much easier and stress-free. Our journey has been beautiful from the start. We have not had any issues this time- I know what to look for and what to do and what not to do. What’s been different the second time around is that I am tandem nursing.
Zion is starting to naturally self-wean and I feel like our journey might slowly start coming to an end with tandem nursing. We are taking it day by day and seeing where we go. He only does 1-2 feeds a day now and there have been days where he doesn’t even ask to nurse. So we’ll see where we end up.
Can you share how tandem breastfeeding works? Us mothers are being touched often, how do you know if it is for you?
With tandem nursing, you definitely can feel an overwhelming sense of being touched out. As you mentioned, we are constantly being touched as mothers, which can leave one feeling just massively overstimulated and wanting to be alone at the end of the day.
Tandem nursing can bring these feelings more to the surface and if you feel like that is something that might not be good for your mental health it might not be for you. If you feel like this is something you want to experience, go ahead and try it out, see how you feel.
I believe that you won’t know if you want to tandem nurse until you start to do it. I had a whole different idea of what tandem nursing would look like before I started and it was completely impractical.
You see all these pretty pictures online of women tandem nursing – you think it looks calm and beautiful. The reality of it is that it can be incredibly stressful, tiring on your body and your mental health.
You are feeding two children from one body, which is a lot on top of the day-to-day of motherhood. Some women choose to feed two children with both latched on.
However, you can also tandem nurse without ever latching on both your children at the same time. What has worked for me to not feel overstimulated is to nurse Zion and Zuri at different nursing sessions.
I adopted my second child, and breastfeeding wasn’t in the cards for my son and me. What about the mothers who can’t or choose not to breastfeed? How can parents not feel left out when there is so much emphasis on breastfeeding?
My heart does go out to women who strongly want to breastfeed and, unfortunately, are not able to. My mother was one of them. For those mothers who cannot experience this journey, I hope they find comfort and joy in establishing other types of bonds that they can through motherhood.
There are countless ways to bond and connect and feel one with your child, and yes, breastfeeding is one of them, but it is one in a long list of many. I know that there is a feeling that breastfed is best at times, but I firmly believe that feeding is best and that whatever way you choose to nourish your child- what matters at the end of the day is that the child is healthy, growing and loved.
Your family unit is tight; we all fell in love with your husband Tolu at the cover shoot- how do you two keep your relationship so strong?
My husband and I have known each other since we were 18, so we have grown up together- we have seen each other through so many changes and seasons in life that we truly have become best friends and life partners.
Having kids only solidified our bond and we have grown closer in parenthood. The days are long and hard, but we find solace in each other. At the end of the night, we make sure to tap in and check in with one another. It’s little things here and there that we do for you throughout the days just to remind one another that we care.
My Husband is truly unique and I would not be able to do half of the things I’m able to do if it weren’t for him. It is about us always making sure we have each other‘s back and the beauty in this is it unifies you in a special way. One of the main things that keep us strong is our faith – that right there is the foundation to it all.
You share on your platform the unsolicited advice & toxic comments as a new mom. How do you deal with these comments? Do you have a bit of a thicker skin with baby #2?
As a first-time mom comments like this got to me. And I took them all to heart, and as a result, I was always affected by things that I heard being said to me. But as you grow into yourself as a mother, you learn to push things aside that you don’t need to hear.
This is what I do. I keep moving. Someone can tell me whatever they want, give me (unsolicited ) advice they think I need to hear but I keep moving forward. I think this comes with time, as a mother as you feel more seasoned and comfortable in your role.
Being a mom of two, you definitely can’t tell me anything right now that I don’t want to hear cause I’m just not having it!
Psst… Check out Women’s History Month 2022: Fun Activities and Events Around NYC