Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Cash Cows

So the news that they are starting to offer mothers vouchers to encourage them to breastfeed their babies has caused quite a stir. You can read about it here
I'm not going to preach.
I do not believe in boastful breastfeeding, shaming, or bullying anybody into doing something they can't do, or don't want to do.
But if breast really is best, and the need to encourage it is so great, then...
You know all these companies that contact bloggers asking them to promote their products?
Well, how about the government ask social media peeps to promote breastfeeding? Or even mothers in communities get encouraged to go out and feed in public. A cash incentive might be better placed in these directions?
The more it is seen, the more "normal" it will be.
The more people will want to do it?
Like a breastfeeding flash mob! But then that goes back to aggressive breastfeeding, which can be annoying.

Anyway, I am guessing that a lot of people choose not to breast feed because they haven't seen it done by people they know, or perhaps anybody.
I know that I felt awkward and very shy about it and hid myself away when I was around certain company when I was feeding my babes. I certainly didn't want to make anyone uncomfortable. None of my friends at the time were having/feeding kids, but luckily, I met other mothers in the baby groups to share those experiences with. By my third child, I was more comfortable, but still a shy feeder.
Anyway, there have been a lot of theories thrown back and forth today over the news. And this is just one of mine; the more that breastfeeding is seen as normal and accepted in society and actively promoted; the more mothers are going to want to do it.
So let's talk about why breastfeeding is awesome.

SOME OF YOU MAY WANT TO STOP READING NOW BECAUSE I WILL BE POSTING PICTURES OF MY BOOB- and we may or may not be that comfortable with each other and you may not want to go there with me.
And that is fair enough.

Here is a random picture to give you a chance to turn back before it's too late.
It is a detail on a shutter in Antwerp.

Now back to boobs.
And hairy little babies. Look at his shoulder! 
I didn't think I was broody anymore, but looking back at these pictures gives me quite a twinge.

This still cracks me up.
Yeah, I got mastitis every time, and it wasn't always easy, but this is a promotion thing here so let's not dwell on the (slightly) uncomfortable bits.
Despite the mastitis and the huge, heavy and hard boob thing, I remember taking these pictures for something to remember and also because from the angle I was taking it at, I could make my boobs appear even larger.
My boob was bigger than my baby's head. 
(My boobs are normally average size, not big.)
I got quite giggly and he was getting a bit annoyed that he was getting a milkshake and not his usual blend.
In the first pic, it looks like he may have been trying to give me a message to stop taking pics and disrupting his feeding time.
Taking deep breaths sharing these shots because as I said, I was a shy breastfeeder, and posting pictures of my boobs on the internet seems weird.
But that is just what we are trying to avoid here right?!
Breastfeeding is not weird.

Breastfeeding is Awesome Because:
1.Look at the snuggles. I'm so glad I took this picture because it really brings back warm memories.  I know that I worried about keeping these pics; scared about what someone would think if they stumbled across them.  But now I am brushing aside my insecurities and fears to share.
Because this is ok.
This is natural.
This was an honour to be able to feed my kids.
And I shouldn't feel ashamed, or feel that I should hide this.
2. It is funny having super big boobies for a while.  Funnyfunnyfunfun. It's hard not to prance about actually.  And with super big boobies, they can distract from the post baby belly.
3.Breastfeeding can help you lose weight. Like seriously. I was the skinniest ever after my first born.  I lingered breastfeeding my last because I wanted to keep gorging on food and not pay the price on my thighs.
4. As I mentioned, I had mastitis and total overproduction. I couldn't imagine not feeding my babies and coping with the pressure and pain of the milk coming in. I needed to feed my babies.
5. The bond is amazing.  
6. No faffing about sterilising bottles. I did use shields and bottles to collect overflow, but when out and about, less to carry and stress about. And for the night feeds, no need to go to the kitchen, you can just reach over and pull them into bed with you for a feed.
We did a fair amount of camping around the times when I was feeding my babies.  I couldn't imagine sterilising bottles on a campsite.
Of course it could be done.
But I'm lazy and I preferred to sit and feed in fields with peaceful views rather than spending time doing the washing up.
7. When out and about, it's always the perfect temperature.  No need to mess about with bottle warmers.
8. When travelling, you have the same brand of milk wherever you go. 
9. When travelling on an aeroplane with formula, they make you taste it at security. This is annoying because it opens the milk and it's a waste, and it is SO SUPER GROSS.  I'm not saying that my breast milk was better because I don't know, but one time when we were travelling, we were supplementing feeds with formula (in case I baby needed a feed in public and I was too shy) and I had to taste the Hipp Organic ready mixed milk.  I will never forget the horrible taste. 
They can't really ask you to check the milk straight from your boobs.
I don't know about expressed milk, but I think it's treated in the same way as formula...
Wasn't there a movie with a scene like this?
10. When breastfeeding, you have an excuse to sit on your backside and watch tv/read, whatever. For hours at a time.
11. It's free. Apart from the bras and the breast pads... it's free:-)
12. There is some research that shows that women who breastfeed before their thirties lower their chances of having breast cancer later in life.
13. Because I was breastfeeding, I didn't have my monthly for about nine months I think. Total BONUS.
13. You can use breastfeeding as an excuse to step away from certain social situations, and have a break.
14.It's local. You know, eat locally and all that:-) No air miles and recycling to account for.
14. It is so good for your baby.

I'm not wishing to pressure anyone into doing something they are not comfortable with, nor do I wish to boast, or to be an aggressive breastfeeding advocate, but for me, successfully breastfeeding my babies was far more rewarding than any cash incentive could have been, and if the option of breastfeeding is there, I couldn't recommend it more.

I fed this.

For some inspirational shots of celebrity mums breastfeeding in public have a look here
I am sure seeing these shots would have helped me in my shy breastfeeding days.


  1. What beautiful pictures you posted and a fabulous post! :-)


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