Wednesday 13 June 2012

Mum to Mum Over Sharing

This post is part of the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt. The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness of breastfeeding and provide and online platform for people to share their experiences, in order to allow new mums to make an informed decision about how to feed their babies.
The theme this week is Mum-to-Mum sharing. I was going to write a list of tips for breastfeeding in public, but I figured there will be lots of those posts so instead I’m going to do a post of Mum-to-Mum over sharing. Here are my top 5 most embarrassing breastfeeding moments:
1. The sweaty flasher
When Ebony was about six weeks old, I started taking her for long walks in the hope of burning some calories. One day we walked along the canal to the next village. This was the first time I’d been on the canal, so I hadn’t realised how unsuitable it was for prams. It was a hot day and I was pushing with all my might to get the pram through mud, across tree roots and up steep hills. By the time I reached my destination I was sweating cobs. I took Ebony into co-op to change her nappy, cue the screaming. She was hungry, so I sat down in the cafe to feed her. She was hungry and hot and cranky, so she continued to scream. And, because I had a screaming baby, everybody was staring at me. I tried waiting for things to calm down but Ebony would not stop screaming, the elderly would not stop staring, my pits would not stop sweating and Ebony wouldn’t latch on because she was agitated. In the end I had to give up on feeding discretely and just whip my whole boob out to get her to latch on. One of the old ladies at the next table looked particularly surprised but at least it stopped people staring.
2. The cover up fail:
The first time I breastfed in public I used a scarf to cover myself so that I would feel less self conscious. I was in a cafe in a small Northern town, what did I learn from this experience? Scarves with holes in don’t actually cover anything. Especially if the holes are nipple sized.
3. The one I hope won’t put you off breastfeeding:
I was in my overtly breastfeeding-friendly doctor's surgery, discretely feeding my daughter, when a man said: "Can I have a drink too?" This is horrific, rather than embarrassing. But I wanted to share it anyway - although I must point out this is the only time anything so awful has happened so don’t let it put you off! Full story here.
4. The awkward moment:
This one isn’t strictly a breastfeeding moment, but it is relevant. One of the leaders at my local baby group seemed particularly supportive of breastfeeding mothers. One day, while she was commenting on how well my daughter was developing she said, in a baby voice: “Is it because you love your Mummy’s milk? Is it tasty, that lovely Mummy milk?” Unsurprisingly Ebony didn’t answer her, neither did I. An awkward silence ensued.
5. Upstaging the bride:
My good friend recently got married in Edinburgh. I had been looking forward to the wedding for ages, and was really excited about seeing her and her loved one exchange their vows. Unfortunately Ebony was less enthusiastic. She was hungry and fussy. I had a moral panic, is it ok to breastfeed in a church?? Surely Jesus was breastfed, was he? I don’t know. It’s natural though so surely if you believe in God, God created breastfeeding and therefore it’s ok... is it? In the end I decided I’d have to feed her. I was sat at the back so I don’t think anyone noticed, and all was going well until the music started. Everyone stood up, including me with babe on breast, and as the bride walked in Ebony pulled off and started to scream. So not only did she wail as the bride walked down the aisle, she also left me exposed about a metre away from the bride as she walked into the church. Thanks for that Ebony. I ended up listening to the service from some steps at the back of the church, secretly breastfeeding and hoping that, if there is a God, he didn’t think this totally inappropriate.
LogoIn summary, breastfeeding can lead to many an embarrassed moment, but it’s definitely worth it.
For advice on how to avoid embarrassing breastfeeding moments, check out Tea with FelicityPlus 2.4Ponderings of a DoulaLife happens so smile and Mummy is a gadget geek.
To be in with the chance of winning over £500 of breastfeeding goodies, all you need to do is comment on this blog! So please leave a comment below and you'll be entered into a raffle as part of the Scavenger Hunt's grand competition.

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