as a mother of an 8 month old, this is something i am seriously passionate about. i am so happy this brave and eloquent woman has spoken up about this issue that is honestly quite shocking that it's even an issue in this modern country. the way she speaks is so moving and stirs something in me to write about how i can relate to this.
for the first 6 weeks of Corben's life, i too, didn't leave the house through fear and awkwardness of breastfeeding in public. it was something that was very natural to me, i didn't for a minute doubt that i was going to breastfeed. unfortunately it wasn't as comfortable for me as i hoped, prematurely ending my breast feeding journey out of sheer hopelessness and exhaustion. Corben, in his first couple of months, was a very unhappy baby, many would call it colick or wind.. whatever it was, it was a difficult first few months. combined with his constant feeding, it was emotionally and physically draining. perhaps it was this combination of things that lead me to consider formula, it wasn't an easy decision or an easy transition to make, i felt i was failing him and dissapointing those around me, who too think breast is best. just as she says in the video, it is agreed unanimously that breast milk is the best, by not only parents but the public. yet it's something that people don't want to be faced with in their local coffee shop.
breastfeeding is something a mother and child share, it's a way to bond, comfort and protect your baby, it gives you that special time that no-one else can experience with your little one, and therefore it is a cherished time in motherhood. this time on the scale of parenthood passes ever so quickly and so should not be something that we as mothers should ever be ashamed about.
continuing from my point earlier, i too, felt very awkward about leaving the house in those first few months due to the thought of getting my boob out in public. i daren't venture too far in case he'd be in need of a feed. consequently this isolated me as a new mother, it only took a few weeks until i felt trapped within four walls. even then, my escape would be to and from the park for some fresh air, even this at first was out of my comfort zone, being more public than my living room but at least not as busy as the town. even months after i got over this fear, as the time between feeds lengthened and i slowly made the transition to the powdered stuff, i have conversations with friends, ignorant friends, who cringe at the thought of me exposing my breast in public to nourish my child. let's just say they'll see for themselves one day.
now whether you're a parent or not, don't you think that the fear of judgement should have subjected me to isolation?
looking back now i wish i had the confidence to march down to starbucks regardless when the next feed was due and sip on my chai tea, batting eyelids at anyone who was foolish enough to smirk or snear at the sight of a piece of flesh. i have that confidence now, but not all mothers will. so thank you Hollie McNish for speaking up in such a creative way, even if it only changes the minds of a few.
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Labels: breast, breast is best, breast milk, breastfeeding, british culture, embarrassed, formula, hollie mcnish, lad mags, milk, modern culture, mother, motherhood, poet, poetry, spoken word, uk