It has respired my desire to normalise breastfeeding for the hundreds of thousands of women who every day whip out a boob to feed their babies.
Breasts, mammary glands, boobs, tits, norks, jubblies, chesticals, masoomies, chebs, jugs, whaps, baps, bosoms, pillows, melons, personalities. (Thank you Daddy Morkus for sharing this list)
Boobs are talked about, felt, pictured and campaigned about but the big unmentionable is feeding. In all of the listed slang terms for boobs only one is vaguely related to feeding, jugs, and even then it's not a nice term. I don't want to say I feed my baby from my jugs.
We all know the science and that breast feeding is the ultimatum in baby nutrition. It is balanced, it is calorie controlled, it helps immune systems, it is a comfort, it protects mothers from breast and ovarian cancer, it is free and it is always the right temperature. Every advert from baby formula milks has to state that breast is best for baby and mother.
However, dare a women to try and publicly feed and she can come under fire. Labelled a tramp, stared at, asked to leave, asked to cover up, asked to sit in a toilet. It is something I hadn't really thought about before L arrived, but once she had I didn't feed publically until L was 3 weeks plus. And this was on a pub bench outside of all places.
A friend who has just had a baby said she was finding it tricky. And it is. Getting positioning right, feeling comfortable having a happy baby. My advice, to keep trying. To take time. To try and ignore everyone else.
The other thing is to remember that lots of mothers have been there, many women. have gone before us and fed publically and lots of women, when we are out and about, will sympathise. If I had a pound for every knowing smile passed my way while I rustled a baby under my Loveyush with one hand while also trying to remain discrete I would be able to buy my lusted after new Joules dress!!
Breasts are made for feeding. And for us women lucky enough to be able to feed we need to be proud and public. We need to show that you can feed discreetly if you want. Or that you can feed on the town steps. We need it to be in the media. Who can remember any TV shows where a new mum is seen breastfeeding? Only in Friends has it been done. And yes it could be tricky to set up but if they can CGI a massive troll to chase after hobbits they can do some filming magic to show a nursing mother and baby. It also needs to be in books. Show babies and children the two ways a baby is fed. Bottle or breast.
We need more public women breast feeding their babies and showing the world what is natural. Let us women and babies claim back the boobs, norks, jugs and jubblies.