So, judging by yesterday’s news, milky boobs are back in the headlines. Partially thanks to models Gisele and Miranda Kerr, “Brelfie’s” are now on the rise as women decide to share photos of themselves via social media breastfeeding their babies.
As a breastfeeding mum myself, I am obviously an advocate and I applaud anyone who tries to normalise the act of feeding a baby in public. Believe it or not, I have often been subjected to the odd “look” when feeding my babies out and about, and this “look” could range from pure disgust to plain embarrassment. “It’s just a pair of tits people. Move on!”
When pregnant with Coco, I even had a close friend tell me it would be revolting to breastfeed my baby in public, and I know it is this kind of attitude that makes a lot of new mums nervous. Nonetheless, at no point have I found it necessary to share my own sagging pair feeding my baby via social media.
As my neighbours will no doubt testify, modesty is not a strong point of mine. If I’m tired at night and the blinds are still open, I won’t hide in a corner to change into my PJs. I have also breastfeed my babies everywhere…NCP car parks, playgrounds, restaurants, train stations, airports..you name it, I’ve whipped them out there. Because I particularly wanted to show passers by the puppies? No, because the baby was hungry so I bloody had to! If I didn’t have to share my boobs with the world, I wouldn’t, but if it’s an option of staying in for however many weeks/months or braving it out, out wins every time.
Do I think women are sharing these photos to be smug? Probably not. If I was Gisele or Miranda Kerr I would definitely feel smug, but that would be nothing to do with breastfeeding. However, I absolutely agree there is a crazy amount of unnecessary pressure put on mums to breastfeed from birth and this needs to stop. I was incredibly lucky both times with my babies, who just seemed to know what they were doing, but many mums aren’t so fortunate. My mantra, happy mum equals happy baby. If breastfeeding isn’t working out, there shouldn’t be huge amounts of pressure put upon you, the switch to bottle should be a natural one without any guilt (easier said than done I know) or judgment attached.
As with all selfies, it’s rare these “brelfies” show the most natural poses. Done in the best light with an extra slathering of mascara/bronzer/poly filler, they hardly depict a real sleep deprived mother breastfeeding her bundle of joy. Should I share a photo of Raffy and I, it would be less Miranda Kerr and more mum on the edge as I try to prize his sharp monkey claws from the end of my nose and stop his hard gums from biting down on my nipple. Breastfeeding is blimin’ hard work, but news flash…so is being a mum in general and this is something we all have in common, whether we bottle feed or otherwise. Let’s be kind to ourselves and one another, after all it’s a tough enough gig as it is.