This week is World Breastfeeding Week so once again I’m linking up with the rest of the Irish Parenting Bloggers to celebrate it cos if there’s one thing most of us enjoy doing it’s getting our baps out for the kids. There’s no denying that breastfeeding is hard and a largely negative attitude towards it in public makes it so much harder so anything I can do to help “normalise” this incredibly normal thing, I do so with relish .This year’s theme is Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life, which we all found a bit pants to be honest so the lovely Helen from The Busy Mamas came up with the idea of us sharing our favourite nursing pics of ourselves and our babies under the banner of A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words. As it seems I am neither capable of following instructions nor sticking 100% to the letter, this post will not only contain two pictures but also the thousand words, you know, just for good measure! I loved the recent Buzzfeed article showing snaps of celebrities breastfeeding and thought hey if it’s good enough for celebrities, it’s good enough for Irish bloggers too!
So off I went to pour over my extensive collection of nursing photos, which, eh, took all of two seconds as confession alert!-I only have one breastfeeding pic. One single, solitary little piccy in nine months of combined time spent feeding my little ones. With Mini I was so stressed out that she wasn’t latching on properly that I never felt comfortable having my pic snapped. Things went much smoother with her sister-so smooth in fact that it was nearly impossible for her to accept the bottle but for some reason I never thought to document my nursing. You think when your small baby finally arrives home to you that you have all the time in the world to take photos of them at all stages but time just races on and before you know it, you tiny little squidgy newborn suckling at your breast is a boisterous babe doing her best to crawl away from you.
So here it is-that one photo I have-a breastfeeding selfie, or brelfie if you will. No, not a word?Alright then. You’ll notice how little boob is actually on show. A few weeks before Mini Mini was due, and determined to get the hang of this breastfeeding lark, having failed so miserably with her older sister, I went on an online shopping spree. What was in the virtual basket? Nursing clothes-tops, bras, dresses, jumpers-everything I thought I needed in order to be able to nurse discreetly in public. Because if there was one thing that freaked me out, it was the cringeworthy thought of someone objecting to me feeding my baby in public. Most of the items had a wrap around feature, which allowed you to pull back the outer layer of material, exposing a strategically placed hole large enough to free a nipple while leaving enough of the inner layer of material in place to cover the rest of the boob. As demonstrated by the lovely lady in this photo.
For months afterwards, whenever I would ask of the Frenchman where my grey (nursing) dress or my blue (nursing) hoody was, he would respond by mimicking that “breastfeeding opening” action as demonstrated on the left and enquire was that the one I was looking for? Every. Single.Time. He never grew tired of it. Sigh. But apart from this incredibly annoying side effect, the clothes worked a treat. I nursed in shops, bars, cafes, on trains, at a zoo, in a doctor’s waiting room and so on and not once did anyone bring attention to the fact that-shock horror!-my nipples were being exposed to fresh air in a public place. And as I continued to breastfeed, my confidence continued to grow. So much so that I reckon if I’m ever lucky enough to get the chance to breastfeed again, I won’t be bothering with these nursing clothes and just use my own normal ones. And in terms of breastfeeding photos,I hope to one day have enough to swap the thousand words and the one picture for a thousand pictures and one word-acceptance.