Come to the Ca-boob-ray

“Thank you, Heather, thank you so much”

That is what you will be saying at the end of this post, because you will realise that if you have been breast feeding in public – you’ve probably been doing it all wrong. This handy guide will help you sort that out and avoid any further embarrassment.

If you’re not breast feeding, but see someone in public without the following kit, this guide is to help you show them where they are going wrong – every mother likes to be told how wrong they are doing something by strangers and family-members alike, so she will welcome your comments.

For instance, some mothers may think that the needs of their baby – like feeding – are the most important thing when it comes to breast feeding in public, but WOW are they wrong.

Your Guide to Ostentatious Breast Feeding

Step 1
Before you leave the house, be sure that you are wearing attire similar to this:

carnival costumeI

If you don’t own an outfit like the one above, it’s clear that you have your priorities wrong, and clearly need this guide. If you own something equally flamboyant, or if you are able to transfigure yourself into a peacock with boobs, that’s also very helpful.
Keep this outfit in your bag, then before starting to feed, go to the toilet and change into it – that’s what people mean when they say women should “go to the bathroom” when they see them feeding their babies in public – it’s because you haven’t changed into your carnival attire and everyone around you is embarrassed for you. Seriously, will you never think of others?

Step 2
Did you put “Fanfare” on your baby shower wish list? NO?! Goodness this is worse than I thought.

Ok, Google some musicians forthwith so that you can employ them to play this just before you begin the feed.

This will alert the entire venue you have chosen for your display to the fact you are about to begin. It will usually command a short period of silence – during this time you can ask each and every person present for permission to feed your baby – if anyone objects, well pack up your bags and move along.
Don’t worry if the noise startles your baby or if they begin to scream with hunger as you move to a more suitable place – a corner perhaps, he or she will soon get used to it. Please, stop being concerned over this child’s needs – you’re going to ruin them with love if you’re not too careful.

Step 3
Ask a nearby person if they would mind holding one of these for you:

portable spotlight

They should point it directly at you and make sure that everyone has heard the fanfare and given permission for you to feed your child. If the light is glaring and baby squints uncomfortably, consider getting a blanket for baby’s face. It’s often what people mean when they say “Use a cover, no one wants to see that” they mean that baby’s mug is getting in the way of the breast show. This display is all about you anyway, that baby is just distracting people from your clear efforts to show off your breasts.

Of course, it’s more helpful to bring one of these with you:

neon arrow

but if you’re one of those terrible women who are single mothers, you might not be able to lug it around on your own, or install it, because let’s face it, you’re only a female, aren’t you, dear?

Step 4

Once baby has finished breast feeding, you can probably expect a round of applause, possibly flowers being thrown at you, certainly an Olivier nomination.

Yes, of course I’m joking, this is not a serious post and should not be inferred as such. If you think I’m serious, you’re being silly.

Breast feeding is a choice mothers make for themselves and their children – so is artificial feeding. If the person complaining did not grow the child inside their own body, they don’t get to be on the list of people for consideration of that decision.

Nigel Farage had one thing right about using the word “ostentatious” – the definition reads:
“characterized by pretentious or showy display; designed to impress.”

and guess what? When someone is breast feeding you should be impressed – they are making food with their body and using that food to feed the child they grew inside them.

What’s your super power?

Media links used in this post:
Carnival Outfit

Farage Story (don’t worry, it’s a link to The Independent)

Heather xx


Sex With Strangers…walking in.

During the past week there was a momentary blip across the news desks of the nation; something happened in Bristol that shook the prudes among us to their very cores. Was it a giant, inflatable butt plug being passed off as a Christmas decoration? No.

The news was that a domestic at St Michael’s Hospital, Bristol, has walked in on a couple having sex in a private room on the maternity ward. The woman having sex was heavily pregnant and she was waiting to be induced.

mrs overallJulie Walters as Mrs Overall in Acorn Antiques.
Image from BFI

While it was in discussion for a few minutes at uni over coffee, the usual phrases came out that we all talk about when trying to give advice to women about non-pharmacological ways of inducing labour:

  • Orgasms stimulating uterine muscle contractions
  • Relaxing helps the flow of oxytocin – responsible for uterine contractions
  • Semen being rich in prostaglandin (a synthetic version of this being used as a pessary for induction otherwise)

Unfortunately there is no hard and fast evidence that sex itself leads to the onset of labour – but the reasons above are all true. As Ina May Gaskin says:

“Breast stimulation is especially effective in starting labor at term when it is combined with sexual intercourse. Unless your partner is an abysmally poor lover, this combination is by far the most enjoyable method of induction.” 

The one other point that was brought up was the lack of the domestic’s common courtesy; now the story says that she had heard complaints from other women…then walked in on the couple and was offended not only by what they were doing, but the fact that everyone else (midwives MSWs etc) pretty much told her that it’s fine for couples to get down to it. They are, however, asked to put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, which apparently hadn’t been done.

First: massive round of applause to St Mike’s for standing up for women against prudishness. How someone can work in a maternity ward and be offended by sex, I’ll never know. Perhaps she thought a midwife’s duties involved waiting for storks and pruning the cabbage patch.

Second: I was at St Mike’s a few weeks ago (not as a student midwife!) and the other sign that is up all over the place is about knocking and waiting for a reply; signs about dignity and privacy.

Maybe she did knock and thought someone yelled “COME IN”? *ahem* 😉

Evidently I must have missed the signs about talking to a newspaper regarding people’s personal business.

The way that it has been phrased in the press is “a hospital source”; so has this domestic reported it herself, or has she gossiped to someone else (who comments “Amazing” read somewhat sarcastically) who then goes to the paper? Either way it’s tasteless behaviour by anyone involved in bringing it to the attention of the press, but I must also applaud the vast majority of commenters on al the stories saying that sex is a way to achieve childbirth and everyone needs to get over themselves. Well done, people!

As for the domestic, I’m not sure where she’ll end up, but it looks like she started here as the child in the blue baseball cap 🙂