It’s hard to argue that Jenni Rivera, the Australian mother who took the world by storm last year after a photograph of her newborn daughter’s face in a toilet was widely shared on social media, is the most famous breastfeeding mother in Australia.
Jenni was a bit of a celebrity, but that’s not the only reason she was recognised as a baby boomer: her fame came from the fact that she’s the first baby to have been born on her own.
But her career is also a testament to the power of the internet.
“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and I have an entrepreneurial mind,” she told Al Jazeera.
“And I love making a difference.
So when I was little, I thought, well, I’ll go to school, make money, and if I do that, then I’ll be a millionaire.”
Born on July 6, 1996, Jenni began breastfeeding as a toddler and began giving her daughter a bottle when she was four months old.
At the age of six, Jennis’ family moved to Australia to look after her and started taking her to a breastfeeding class every week.
Jennis would always have her own private space in her apartment.
But, she said, when she moved to the capital Canberra for a baby shower in 2000, she decided to be more adventurous and open with her baby.
“The baby was about three years old,” she recalled.
“It was about a year old, and we were trying to get the baby to go to sleep, and then I realised I wasn’t really doing that.”
Jenni and her husband Chris were so busy looking after their family, she says, that they didn’t notice that she had been breastfeeding.
“We’d come to bed every night and go and watch TV,” she said.
“You know, just having a few hours to sleep a little bit.
And we’d get up and I’d be really tired and I was really hungry, and it’s like I’d just given birth.”
Jennis says she didn’t think much about breastfeeding until she started breast-feeding her daughter.
“As soon as I noticed, I just thought, ‘Oh my god, what’s wrong?’ and it just got bigger and bigger,” she says.
Jennies first bottle was about two months old, when the family was living in Canberra, and the next one came a year later. “
But as it was happening, I realised that I could do it too.”
Jennies first bottle was about two months old, when the family was living in Canberra, and the next one came a year later.
She took her first one with her two-year-old son at the age to give him a new one, she told ABC Radio Canberra.
Jennies experience was different from most of her peers in Australia, she added.
“People who were younger, like I was, were just looking for a bit more space and a bit less fuss.
And so they weren’t as open about it, or they were very secretive about it.”
Jennie says she had always been a bit shy and timid.
But in high school, she started to see a difference in herself and she had a bit change in her personality.
“There was a little more confidence, a little less shyness, a bit gentler,” she recalls.
Jennie’s first baby was born in 2006, and she said she was already thinking about how to continue breastfeeding her baby as she grew older.
“A lot of times, the first time I breastfeed, I’m not sure what’s going to happen.
And I’m like, well if it’s going really well, then what are you going to do with the bottle?”
She says she would take the bottle with her everywhere, because it made her feel more confident.
“My confidence and my confidence in myself is really important to me.”
Jennys first baby is now nine years old, but she still breastfeeds as if she is still a baby.
Jenns has continued to breastfeed as a child, even going so far as to use a breast pump as a toy to stimulate her breasts, but said she wanted to get back to normal before giving birth again.
“To get back, I don’t think I’ll ever do that again,” she explained.
Jennys hopes her new baby will give her the confidence to breast-feed again, as well as help her find a new outlet.
“Breastfeeding has been something I’ve been thinking about for so long,” she added, “and so it was really important for me to find a way to breast feed.”
What is breast feeding?
Breastfeeding involves feeding your baby breast milk in order to help him develop and grow.
“When a baby starts to get breastfed, there’s a big change in him, he will have the opportunity to develop a new set of muscles,” Jennys explained.
“They start to start to build the muscles that are needed to help them grow.”