‘Breast is best’…sometimes. Sometimes it’s worst. When you’re pregnant with your first child everyone dresses breast feeding up to be totally and utterly magical, but conveniently forget to tell you the whole story. Don’t get me wrong I am a very grateful feeder, I know there are women out there who would love to have breastfed but for a variety of reasons were unable to do so and I know I’m lucky to have had the choice. However medical professionals fail to tell you a few home truths on the matter.
They tell you that feeding is a chance to stop what you’re doing and relax with your feet up, catching up with your favourite TV programmes. The reality is you’re in such a hurry trying to get your boob out quick enough whilst your baby is crying you forget to grab the remote that’s just out of reach. The result is you having no choice but to watch something bloody intellectual for hours on end when clearly you’d rather be watching Jeremy Kyle (unless it’s not your first child in which case you’re stuck watching Mr Tumble and Mister Maker where you end up losing your sanity in his Doodle drawer)
They tell you that you become a ‘dab hand’ at eating with one arm. The reality is you’re no better than any other bugger at it and end up dropping food all down your baby. Little B has ended up with many a dish down his side, pizza and curry to name a few. All the healthiest foods of course.
They tell you that it helps you to lose post baby weight. Maybe the tiniest, weeniest bit but the reality is that because you’re the one doing all the feeding you end up eating a constant supply of shite food that you can easily grab so still stay a fatty fatty boombyaty anyway.
They tell you to choose somewhere comfortable to sit and enjoy the bonding experience. You choose somewhere comfortable alright but you end up with your knickers so far up your arse that’s all you can think about. You don’t want to move in case your baby stops feeding so continue letting your bum eat your underwear. All you can concentrate on is how far up the material has ridden and that you now realise how much you normally take it for granted when it’s not up there. I recently promised myself that in the future I will now be eternally grateful every time I sit down with a material free crack.
They tell you that because you have to do all the feeding you bond wonderfully with your child. The bonding bit is true but the reality is because you do all the night feeds you look like complete crap on a daily basis and no longer know your arse from your elbow.
You end up having to feed in a whole host of places. Sometimes you’re really smug when your baby asks for a feed just as you are calmly passing the Mothercare feeding room with comfy chair and serene surroundings, the reality is that 99% of the time luck isn’t on your side and you end up perched on a busy public bench with Granny Nosey asking how old your baby is with her whiskered chin practically pressed against your nipple itself.
Little B was once screaming for a feed outside of B&Q. It was a little nippy (boom boom) but I found an empty bench outside the shop and promptly began to feed. A B&Q worker came out on his break and looked at me a little miffed before moving along a little and lighting up his fag. I quickly realised that I was sat on the employees smokers bench. Not only was I sitting there but actually had my boob out on it too. So there we were, me sat on the bench wishing Little B to finish up and trying not to make eye contact with B&Q man as he leant on a stack of compost smoking his cigarette. Awkward.
On a separate occasion I thought I was being discrete in Macdonalds by sitting by a window and facing towards it with my back to everyone else. This meant I could be a little more relaxed when having my boob out however I didn’t realise until the end that because it was dark outside the window acted as a mirror and the whole restaurant could see everything (I call it a restaurant to convince myself that it’s fine that it’s my children’s favourite place to dine)
It’s all fun and games, especially when the breast pads get involved. Sociable little blighters they are, popping up to see people at any given opportunity. The left is always more confident than the right for some reason, had a whole meeting with the management at Middle F’s nursery with my left breast pad sticking right out the top of my jumper. Smooth.
I do believe though that breast feeding can be a wonderful thing and accept that it does have its benefits. I particularly enjoyed the comfortable chair Debenhams supplied for me today as I sat and fed next to their nappy bins…