When I was pregnant with Isabel, and I started looking into what was out there in the way of breastfeeding support etc, I read tale after tale of mums who’d been removed from buildings, asked to leave buses, told to cover up and so on, just for breastfeeding in public. I’ve read horrific stories of abuse aimed at mums who choose to breastfeed past 6 months, let alone past a year.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve never had any of that. Shropshire seems quite pro-breastfeeding, despite the seemingly low rates in and around Telford. Bar the stares from teenagers in Shrewsbury once (which, quite frankly could have been because of what I was wearing or eating, never mind anything else) I’ve been fortunate to avoid criticism. Still, I sense that as Isabel gets older — she’s currently fast approaching 17 months — the likelihood that I will hear the oft-repeated “she’s only doing it for herself” increases.
Which brings me to what inspired my post tonight. I am lounging in bed, nursing Isabel down to sleep. She’s kicking me in the leg, her sharp toenails (anyone know how to trim the nails of a toddler? please share) digging into my skin. She’s pinching my boob with her left hand, shoving a teddy in my mouth with her right hand and all whilst arsing about and generally fidgeting which means her latch — already uncomfortable because I’m ovulating — is slipping about all over the place.
It’s not until I slip slowly down the bed, bringing Isabel to a comfortable lying-down position, and she falls asleep that I can breathe a sigh of relief. Peace and quiet at last.
So should I get the words “she’s only doing it for herself” rasped at me by some barmy old bat, or tutted at by an old perv’ who things boobs are for the men in your life, well… I can’t wait to have a chuckle at that one.