Noone Puts Baby in the Corner

Yes Mr Farrage.  I only feed my child for the attention.  Its so rude of me making everyone else feel so uncomfortable.  Next time I get my breasts out I’ll be more considerate and make sure it’s only once I’m dressed in a bikini, posing like I want a bloke to give me one and splashed all over a billboard, newspaper or TV ad.  That way everyone can feel more comfortable.

image

I have mixed feelings about the recent media storm following the a breastfeeding mum being made to cover up at Clarrdges hotel, the response from everyone’s favorite joke politician Nigel Farrage and the consequent “nurse in” at Claridges.

On the one hand I think its important that people who shame nursing women should be challenged and made to understand the harm their actions have. With that in mind I was totally behind the nurse-in and had hoped to join them.

fr ted

However I’m not sure the media storm that comes with this challenge is helpful. It just gives a platform for a minority of ill-informed muppets to mouth off on radio phone-ins about how they believe nursing mothers should behave and this can only make breastfeeding mothers feel uncomfortable when nursing in public.  I’m not sure Nigel Farage has ever made a sensible comment on any topic so why should we expect him to be sensitive to the needs of a nursing mums and why should any of us care what he thinks any way.

In short, I don’t give a crap what Nigel thinks about breastfeeding and I hate that this story has become platform for UKIP’s uninformed views.

All this publicity given to the views of prats like Nigelle and previously the practices of employees at sports direct just create an impression of an unfriendly world out there ready to attack nursing mums.

This isn’t encouraging for nervous new mums and its not actually that accurate.  Over the past 4 months I’ve had only positive interactions when feeding out and about and I’ve fed in some crazy places from dodgy old man pubs, packed commuter trains and even in the middle of Deptford high street. Yes, actually on the street, well, on a bench on the street but Deptford high street is what an estate agent would probably call a “vibrant” market street.

I’m pretty passionate about breastfeeding for many reasons. Of course as you might expect I love the zero waste aspect of feeding without plastic bottles, packets of milk powder and the faff of sterilisation. In addition its free, less crap to lug about in the nappy bag, great for bonding with Bubba and protects against ill health. Even better it stops lining the pockets of greedy corporations like Nestle which can only be a good thing.

The problem is that even when everything goes well breastfeeding can be pretty tough on us mums, especially at first. And my heart goes out to any mum who faces problems such as tongue tie and reflux.

I never realised that we are such a bottlecentric society and how it affects women’s relationship with breastfeeding. For example, before I had Arlo I thought babies fed every 3 hours. Easy, I thought.  It turns out that breastfeeding babes can feed constantly…
for hours at a time….
Especially at the start!
And that’s normal!

Cluster feeding is basically how babies tell your body to make more milk – its their way of putting a note out for the milkman to leave an extra bottle.  Its definitely not a sign that you haven’t enough milk and supplementing with formula or trying to force a baby  into a strict routine can stop that note reaching the milkman and so reduce your milk supply. (Something some heathworkers,  bought up on bottle routines, scarily still don’t understand and so risk misinforming unsuspecting mums.

Its a bit of a shocker to find yourself in cluster feeding prison if you don’t expect it. However once I got my head round feeding on demand and all its challenges I quickly realised that unless I wanted to go stir crazy trapped on my sofa Arlo and I were going to have to get used to feeding out and about.

image

Judging by the comments floating round the radio phone-ins and internet last week it seems that there are a lot of bottlecentric people out there who still believe breastfeeding mums can time feeds and subsequently can and should do all their feeding out of sight. These people should not be given the chance to soapbox their uninformed views on shows that vulnerable, stressed nursing mums might be listening to.

When a woman gets shamed in one of our poshest hotels for feeding her child in the best way she can then lets shame that hotel back explain why they are wrong and move on. Let’s not start inviting people who don’t have the first idea of the challenges facing nursing mums to debate their crazy views on national media outlets.

And please God don’t ask Nigel Farrage anything at all.

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “Noone Puts Baby in the Corner

  1. I nursed my two until they gave it up on their own (about three years each); the last two years were more for comfort and calming than anything, but I still felt it was important. It wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t come across a La Leche book called “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding”. My Mum nursed all of us (nine), but only to six months, as her doctor told her she should wean us then. I would never have questioned that myself until I read the book. How lucky I was! And Arlo is lucky to have you, and so are any nursing mothers who are following you. The world needs to stop thinking that anyone except a baby can eat in public, and constantly, too! You are so right aobut cluster feeding, too. I’ve heard of so many young Mums being told they didn’t have enough milk and should switch to bottles, instead of being encouraged to allow their milk to come in and match the infant’s needs. Anyway, thanks for a great post! ~ Linne

    • Ah thanks Linne. I have been lucky myself with an amazing midwife team – The Riverside Team at Guys – and incredibly supportive husband. His mantra is “this is how I feed my baby” as he cooks cleans and basically does every drudgy thing that needs doing while Arlo and I sit on the sofa nursing.

      My healthworker told me Arlo “shouldn’t” be feeding so often which initially freaked me out. Luckily my midwife visited the following day and sensibly pointed at my chunky baby, outgrowing all his clothes and said ” what are you supposed to do then? let him cry when he’s obviously hungry?” I relaxed after that and decided unless my baba stopped filling his nappies or looked distressed then the healthworker could bog off with her clock watching.

      I wrote this (eventually) when one of my friends – who has had a terrible time with tongue tie, thrush and cysts told me that listening to a phone in had completely dented her newfound confidence. That made me so angry because she has enough on her plate without second guessing everyone around her’s thoughts while she feeds or being trapped in her flat day in day out.

      I’m looking forward to nursing for as long as Arlo and I still want to. Its great to hear your experience. Thanks

  2. Absolutely agree with everything you are saying, of course:) Sent my love and congratulations on the lovely Arlo’s birth post, but my comment was eaten. I’ve had this problem recently with word press blogs. If you check your spam folder you will no doubt find it, and then word press will let me out of spam jail.

    All the best for all your baby days. Enjoy:)

    • Thanks Jo,

      I’m so sorry you were sent to spamsville. I am a bit rubbish at doing anything much these days except mopping up sick and washing nappies (and some days I fail at that) I hope you are well it’s so lovely to hear from you.

  3. Kudos on this post. Breastfeeding is always going to be the best option for all of the reasons you mentioned and many more. New breastfeeding mum’s certainly don’t need anything negative to stand in the way of them doing what comes naturally and what is best for both the baby and themselves. I can’t believe that so much airplay is given to numpties with opinions who have buggery-bollocks idea about anything but who really REALLY love to hear the sound of their own angry tapping on the keyboard and to see it up in lights. We have our own stupid politicians here without me having to go look up your “nige”. The only U.K. Nige that I know is my bestie Nige Slater. I take it you are only allowed to have one good Nige a country? I will put our numpty prime minister’s head on my mental vision of your political Nige thus rendering him persona non grata to give him better context in my understanding of his part in this post. Jo from “All the blue day” just sent a pack of us over to see if we can’t get her comments from your spam folder where they have no doubt landed thanks to her laptop blowing up and her having to rely on the generosity of strangers (ones kids, once they hit the teenage years are strangers right?). Lovely to meet you and your little Arlo is gorgeous. Unspam Jo and make her day 🙂

    • Noooooo! Poor Jo! And I’ve tried and failed to comment over at ATBD several times but failed due to baby related interruptions (I’ve had to write this 3 times! Lol)
      I have heard your pm is a special sort of evil. Nigel F is more an idiot who blunders round saying blatantly racist sexist things but he’s gaining publicity and votes which says too much about the way we vote :(.

      • I think our PM IS Nige! Jo’s new family pup just ate their gorgeous Gingerbread house…hilarious stuff ;). Hope the weather over there isn’t too cold. I hope you don’t mind but I have decided to follow your blog. Stevie-boy comes from the U.K. (lived in “Sarf End” for most of his life 😉 ) and when we visited the U.K. back in Christmas 2005 we visited London. What an amazing city! Love your little 50’s kitchen by the way and feel your freecycle pain as it’s the bloody same over here! What is it with the word “free” that brings out the numpties eh?! I was always told, if you don’t want something, put it out on the road verge/sidewalk with a sign saying “$20” and it will disappear because if you put “free” on it, it will be there forever! 😉

      • you’re right! I should have sold the bloody bath. 🙂 I got rid of those doors a couple of weeks ago (yes they’ve been here that long) and I almost cried with happiness. 🙂

        I have to say the gingerbread house pic made me giggle. poor Jo

  4. Lovely post, and some interesting points. since when did babies come with a watch, their tummies say when they are hungry not some book or well meaning health worker.
    We lived in Spain for a few years, there no one pays any attention if a baby needs feeding where ever it might be, restaurant, busy bar or market, mum and baby just get on with it.
    A conversation I overheard between two Irish woman a few years ago in a busy town in Ireland where a mum was feeding baby in a doorway, ‘that is quite disgusting, she must think she’s a cow in a field’ the other woman readily agreed with her, this was said loudly, the mother was in tears.
    As for Fararg, he needs to shut up about things that are above his IQ level.

    • Thanks for your comment

      😦 what a horrible story. Perhaps because I’m in London I’ve been lucky but I am just waiting for a negative comment. I like to imagine I would be a raging yet witty Nemesis for all shamed women “let justice flow down like waters” Miss Marple style but I fear in reality I would crumble and cry. Only to rage at my mates in frustration for weeks after.

      Having said that I like the sound of being a cow in a field, its very bucolic – stupid woman for using such a lovely image as an insult, all mamas need to feed their babies whatever their species.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s