“Hooray for boobies!”

By the Bloodhound Gang, probably my favourite song  intro… ever.

Breasts, boobies, baps, chesticles, bazoomas, norks (maybe it’s gnorks?! Love a silent ‘g’)… what ever you call them… I think they’re incredible.

Whether a woman has tiny, petite,  ample, large or gigantuan mammaries, she is born with two,  which she will hopefully carry with her  for the duration of her life.  These wonderful chest adornments get carried around inside decorative hulsters (some more structurally robust than others,) minding their own business until the very moment a woman has her baby.

As soon as the placenta is delivered and her body can no longer nourish her baby from the inside, a mother’s  magnificent boobies take one for the team and selflessly volunteer to do the job.  Just like magic,  the glands; stimulated by a sea of hormones, get their ninja on and begin to make milk.

Just to clarify:

ACTUAL MILK… comes out of your boobs!!!

I don’t know if you’ve heard comedian Micky Flanagan talk about the difference between going out and going OUT out (if you haven’t; you must YouTube- Hilarious!) Well, I think I always knew that breasts made milk but I don’t think I actually KNEW knew this until I had a baby. In fact, it feels very similar to the way the fact that; ‘having sex creates  life’…  seems a lot  like a rumour… until it happens to you.

Now, I’m aware that as my blog ventures into the topic of ‘breastfeeding’ it needs to tread with a similar gait to that of a bomb disposal expert.  Whatever I write next; I would just like to clarify that I am NOT in anyway speaking badly of mums who choose not  to or are unable to breastfeed their babies. I do not think  I am superior to any other mother because I choose to breastfeed my babies that’s just not how I roll. The truth is, that at this point in my life, making  milk come out of my boobs is as close as I think I’ll ever get to having a super power.  In short, my own breasts amaze me.

Pre-children I never really over-thought  about how I would feed any future babies.  I assumed I would breastfeed because for me, choosing not to breastfeed would be a lot like having a pen strapped to my person at all times, yet when it came to actually writing- I got up and went and found an alternative to use.

Human beings are weird.  I am definitely no exception.  We love to make alternatives to things and make extraordinary technological advances to try and improve absolutely everything… including nature.  I tend to see the Breastmilk Vs Formula debate, in a very similar light to a battle between Chicken and Quorn.

If you like, you can make the choice to not eat chicken and substitute your chicken with Quorn.   Quorn looks a bit like chicken, it tastes a bit like chicken, but at the end of the day… it is not chicken. Unfortunately, Quorn can never contain all the good stuff that chicken meat contains, no matter how hard the manufacturers try.  Choosing Quorn doesn’t make you a bad person, it’s a great alternative, it’s healthy and people shouldn’t sneer at you for eating it.  Some people like to mix it up; eating both chicken and Quorn.  For me it’s all about the chicken.  For my babies it’s all about the breastmilk.

My passion for breastfeeding started shortly after the birth of my first child.  Caring for a premature baby in the early days involves an awful lot of watching, waiting, hoping and praying.  I couldn’t hold him and make everything o.k, but there was one thing I could do for him, that nobody else could…give him my milk.  He was too small, too weak and unable to physically breastfeed, so for the first 6 weeks I exclusively expressed milk…  freezing and saving it in little plastic pots.  He was fed a tiny amount from a little syringe via a tube that went down his nose and into his tummy. I sat and I watched and I waited. Over the coming weeks I physically witnessed my milk fix him.   He grew, he learned to breathe by himself and he learned to breastfeed. I breastfed him until he was 2 years old, when he self weaned a few weeks before his sister’s birth.

My little diva was breastfed from minutes after birth, an entirely new and wonderful experience although in it’s own way difficult and tiring.. it’s natural but it is not easy to establish. (Maybe I’ll blog about that sometime?) She continues to feed beautifully as we embark on the messy journey of eating solids, and I hope to feed her until she no longer needs or wants to.  A natural, gradual and gentle process.

To be honest,  breastfeeding feels a bit of a taboo subject to talk about.  If I am in a public place and I need to feed my baby, I am careful to be discreet; not because I personally feel  uncomfortable, (after pretty much 2.5 years of breastfeeding I am as self conscious of my boob as I am of my elbow) but to avoid embarrassing or offending people around us.  I try to face away from people, use a scarf to cover any exposed flesh, my baby’s head covers my actual nipple so there is literally nothing to see.

Despite this, people often behave in one of three ways.

  1. Stare
  2. Catch sight of what I’m doing and ‘overly’ look away (just like sales people do when they ask you to put in your pin number)
  3. Either a) or b) combined with a  remark, facial contortion or tut.

Don’t get me wrong, there are the smilers and the people who genuinely don’t notice or if they do- don’t care… but they are definitely in the minority. I appreciate that given how men quite like breasts, it might be difficult for them to gauge what to do when they see a woman using a boob to feed a baby. A man might worry that if he smiled he might look a bit of a perv.  Unless you do a creepy smile, dribble, or make a joke about ‘bitty’ this is quite unlikely. But in my book, even if you do deliver a bit of a frightening grin… better to appear a pervert than a total douche.

At some point in the evolution of man it became socially awkward for a woman to breastfeed her baby in public.  At what point did this happen? Something seriously embarrassing  and rude must have occured in order for it to have such a long lasting effect on society?!  Yes, breasts are probably over sexualised, but is there any hope of that ever changing?

In Victorian Britain if a woman displayed her ankles she was being a right little hussy. Today, if I wore a knee length skirt with my ridiculously skinny ankles protuding graphically from the top of my flip-flops… no one would notice. I bet I could jiggle them around and lick my lips suggestively and not a single person would batt an eyelid.  Something, somewhere along the line, changed.  So, maybe for our great, great great granddaughters (love a spot o’Busted) there is hope.   Perhaps they’ll be able to freely wap out their magnificent bosoms for the only purpose they actually have and feed their babies in public with out anyone giving two hoots.

For now, I’m going to use my breast-friendly little space ont’internet to pay homage to boobies everywhere. Magnificent mammaries, beautiful bazoomas; thank you for being there when we need you and for feeding our babies with such tremendous attention to detail.  You are all truly awesome.

To my own boobies;  I’m eternally grateful for all your hard work and I promise to treat you well in your retirement even if I am tucking you into an elasticated waist band.

♥♥♥

Please feel free to share and comment, maybe you just want to write another name for boobs…  I’m cool with that…

We can be breast friends.

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15 thoughts on ““Hooray for boobies!”

  1. Loving your work Kelly!
    I never thought I would feed for over 2 years but I loved every minute…I also love helping my scbu mummies get the hang of it, hand expressing, pumping, then actually feeding!
    I was always waiting for a frown or tut or comment but never had one bad reaction in public. If I had…hell hath no fury like a breast feeding mummy
    tiger!
    Big booby love, xx

    • Chudders, you wonderful woman! So glad you’ve enjoyed reading! The job you do is just incredible; there will be mums everywhere who will remember you for the rest of their lives because of the care and support you gave to them as well as their babies. .. I feel eternally grateful to the scbu nurses that looked after wee man. I often feel like ‘thank you’ doesn’t quite cover it!!

      Hope your new booby adventure had gotten off to a magnificent start with the new ‘mini chudders’… love a cheese biscuit…
      Would love to catch up some time. ..
      big love ♥

  2. Wow love your blog Kelly, literally made me laugh and cry! (Am putting the tears down to mummy hormones).
    Couldn’t agree more with you about boobies, my little girl is nearly 3 months old now and I look at her growing every day and feel so proud that it’s my milk making her grow before my eyes:)
    I totally agree with you on the feeding in public debate. I do it because hey, I’m not gonna let my daughter starve nor am I gonna lock myself away in a toilet to feed her in shame. There’s more cleavage in most high street windows or on MTV (before the watershed) so I WILL continue to breastfeed in public in spite of tutting onlookers who quite frankly seem exactly the kind of people who would tut if I put a bottle in her mouth instead! Darned if you do…
    Can’t wait to read your next blog.
    Big hugs to your kiddies xxx

    • Thanks so much for your lovely comment and congratulations on the birth of your beautiful baby girl. So glad you’re enjoying your breastfeeding journey so far too, I love breastfeeding-it’s so lovely. .. it means you physically have to stop what you’re doing and just admire the gorgeousness of your baby. There’ll come a day when they aren’t babies anymore, so the harder we can etch that baby face in to our brains. .. the easier it will be to recall and remind ourselves!

      Hope you continue to enjoy reading, keep commenting too, would love to know what you think.

      Big love mama ♥

  3. Hiya!

    I wrote a post on my blog about my breastfeeding experience too and I also felt like I had to put a disclaimer in saying that I am in no way saying anything negative about non-breastfeeding mamas by saying that I wanted to and (finally after months of hating it) enjoy breastfeeding myself. It’s a funny one isn’t it? Something that in theory should be such a natural thing that technically most women are physically capable of, can cause so much aggro!

    With regards to names to boobs, in Newcastle “chebs” is quite a popular one. As in, “He’s getting right on my chebs”.

    Looking forward to reading more!!

    Beth xxx

    • Hi Beth,
      Thank you so much for your comment! Chebs is a great word!!! In fact; I’ve used it in my latest post! ! It’s well and truly in my repertoire! !

      Motherhood is such a touchy subject and in some ways for some people I think it’s seen as almost competitive! That’s not how I feel in the slightest but I still don’t want my opinions to pee any one off!!

      Thank you for reading! Big love ♥

  4. Hooray for tatas!!! I LOVED your post! It was hilarious! When ppl ask when I’m going to stop breastfeeding my son I love to answer “Boobie milk is better than any utter milk”

    • Haha! LOVE the word ‘Tatas’!!!! Thank you for your comment mama! You keep feeding that boy too! When people used to ask me about when I would stop feeding my son; I woul always say..”Ask him..” Big Love.

  5. Let’s not forget maracas girls! We’ve all seen Dirty Dancing…
    Would just like to comment again having just spent 2 days in hospital with spectacularly naughty boobies.
    Have never felt so ill, EVER. Mastitis is the work of the devil but through it all the biggest pain was thinking that it would stop me from nourishing and holding and growing my little girl.
    It’s amazing that the treatment is to grit your teeth and keep feeding…at least she didn’t grit hers!!
    And may I just say, hats off to all expressing mummies, for whatever reason…it is so time consuming without the joy of holding your baby. A ball ache in fact. You are legends, and I’m happy to deliver it!

    • Oh Chudders you poor soul!! Thankfully, to date I have escaped the satanical onset of mastitis! I’m quite sure if I hadn’t this post may have had a different title… maybe “Just hip hip; no hooray for boobies”  or “My Mean Mastitis Maracas. ..”

      Big love to you my lovely!  I hope you are recovering well and you’re resting those ouchy orbs as best you can… 

      You need a Betty’ s brew.. word on the street…it fixes practically everything. Xxx Sent from Samsung Mobile

  6. Ha ha love this. Your funny! I have to share :).
    I also whenever I talk about BF feel I have to add a disclaimer to the beginning of the conversation.
    I had a premature baby and pumped for 5wks, it was tough but I could not have imagined saying no to this when they asked me after he was born if I planned to BF him or not. We fed up until he turned 12mths. I wanted to keep going for longer, I still to this day grieve the loss of our BF relationship, he just one day refused it and he never went back on. Not for the want of me trying though!!! 😦

    • Thank you so much for your comment and for sharing my post too! So chuffed! Great work for breastfeeding your little man too! It’s tough to establish breastfeeding with any baby, but with a prem baby there are so many obstacles to overcome! My little one self -weaned too, i’m pretty sure due to the pregnancy hormones etc. He gradually stopped feeding and asking for it until one day he just stopped altogether. About 3 weeks after his last feed we were sharing a bath. He asked for “booby” so i told him if he wanted to he could try. He put his face up really close to my nipple and made sipping noises like he was drinking from a cup! We both started to laugh as clearly, he’d forgotten how to! Amazing how something that was such a focus in his life for almost 2 years could be forgotten so easily! Hey Ho! That’s nature I guess!

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