Breastfeeding · Feminism · Literature · Music

Celebrating boobs

National Breastfeeding Celebration Week (NBCW) 2017 started on 26th June in England, with the theme of breastfeeding support. During the week, mums have been sharing pictures of their ‘breastfeeding friends’, that is the people (partners, parents, friends, relatives, midwives, doctors, lactation consultants, health visitors, fellow mums, random kind strangers!) that supported them during their breastfeeding journeys with the hashtags: #bffriend17 and #celebratebreastfeeding 

As one might be able to tell, this is a topic very close to my heart. I remember how, long before I even started considering having a baby, any news item about people opposing breastfeeding in public used to make my blood boil. In the UK, with its shocking breastfeeding rates, one third of women feel embarrassed breastfeeding in public. I plan to write a much longer post about it soon, a post I’ve been writing in my mind for a very long time, possibly since the Little One first latched on my boob.

For now I’ll just post Jake Dypka x Hollie McNish‘s ‘Embarrassed’. I saw it for the first time when I was watching Noemi Weis’s film ‘Milk’. The first time brought tears to my eyes. Then I had to rewind the film and watch it again, and again. It encompassed all those feelings and all those fleeting thoughts I had during endless sleepless nights and awkward daytime outings, between burping muslin squares and hasted bra re-adjustments, heated discussions about nursing in public, feminism and capitalism and class struggle and the redefinition of public space. But anything I’ll ever write will never be as beautiful as this poem. I’ll never be able to post it enough. Happy NBCW — Go out and #celebratebreastfeeding x

Breastfeeding · Feminism · Parenting · Politics

7 people who won’t have a say on when we will stop breastfeeding

1.
My (otherwise lovely) friend and work colleague, who begged me to say that I won’t be ‘one of those Hackney / hippie / f****** creepy women’ who breastfeed their children once they start walking and talking, completely ignoring the potential health benefits of extended breastfeeding.

2.
Our (otherwise lovely) friend, who equates breastfeeding a toddler with being an off-grid, homeschooling, anti-vaxxer, attachment parenting extremist.

3.
My Mum, who helped me immensely with latch and sleep and everything else when the Little One was a newborn, but is now looking after the Little One in the daytime, and sometimes gets frustrated because the Little One won’t eat her pureed sweet potato, broccoli and spinach (between me and you, I wouldn’t either) and go for a breastfeed (or expressed milk bottle if I’m away at a work meeting) instead.

4.
My (otherwise lovely) Father-in-Law, who is very supportive of breastfeeding as it’s something natural as long as we are not ‘one of those people’ who go to extremes and breastfeed their 5-year-old.

5.
The (otherwise lovely) friendly mum I met at the local children’s centre, who asked me ‘how long I was planning to go on for’.

6.
The (seemingly lovely) headmaster whose nursery we visited last week, who kept talking about the importance of knowing the quantity of formula feeds, schedules, routines and regular nap times for 1-year-olds (guess who sent the application form straight into the recycling bin).

7.
My (almost always lovely) BF, well, because he’s been hugely supportive of me breastfeeding and, as long as we make informed decisions about the Little One’s health, I don’t think he gives a toss really.

Because the only person that gets a say in this is the Little One. She has been very assertive when it comes to her needs since she was born so I am sure she will let me know when the time comes. 🙂

Craig-7_ddw8fw

Image credits: May Burke

PS1 I remember coming across this article a little before or after we had the Little One (it’s all a blur now). I remember finding those photos weird the first time round. But like one of these music records that takes a few listens before it starts growing on you, I came to appreciate their beauty. Maybe that will be me and Little One one day. But only if she fancies it.

PS2 Starting writing this when the Little One fell asleep, finished writing while breastfeeding to sleep. 🙂

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