Following on from my last blog about my breastfeeding story of feeding my four girls…I said I have always been an advocate for breastfeeding and know the importance first hand of feeling comfortable breastfeeding in public.
I also realise how lucky I was to have such a fab breastfeeding support lady in Donna at Angram Bank Children’s centre. Donna and her group were totally responsible for me continuing to feed on so many occasions and compared with my breastfeeding experience of feeding my first baby, where I had no such support… I went from feeding one baby for around a month, to managing to feed my twins until the were a whole year! (See photos below of their last ever feed!)
I think this speaks volumes… They say it takes a village to raise a child, (I’m not sure who ‘they’ are but I think they are right!), and I think the same can be said of breastfeeding successfully. A village’s support can make the world of difference. Especially when it comes to breastfeeding in public.
That’s why I jumped at the chance to get involved with this campaign when I was approached by Sarah at Stylish Mum. We both are so passionate about supporting other Mum’s in all ways and we really felt and feel that we can do something positive for breastfeeding Mums. We are initially concentrating on helping Mums to feel confident enough to breastfeed their babies in public.
Both breastfeeding Mum’s ourselves, we know how difficult it can be breastfeeding in public, especially in those early days when it can be really tough for Mum’s and babies as you are both learning the ropes. I remember my first outing with my twin girls, we got as far as Costa and I ended up feeding my twins with what can only be described as a single bed sheet sized muslin over them, trying to keep everything covered! (See main photograph above.)
Don’t get me wrong 4 children down the line I was not bothered what anyone thought… however, with only about 2 hours of consecutive sleep in that whole first week, I was also aware that one wrong comment could quite possibly send me into either floods of tears or a shouting match. I was not sure which way it would go, but I was trying to avoid either!
For me, feeding your baby is totally something to embrace and I champion all Mums who can do it, and I too have been championed myself – in Las Iguanas, Meadowhall. A lovely lady came over to me mid-feed and congratulated me on feeding my girls, which was lovely and overwhelming all at the same time. However, shamefully on my part, as the lady approached I was totally mentally preparing for war. My immediate thought was she was going to complain. How wrong is that?!
This is what I would love to try and change… To help give ALL Mum’s the confidence to feed in public, without fear of what people will say or do. We need to remind people that breastfeeding is NORMAL, there is nothing weird or wrong about it. I often wonder if milk came out of our fingers rather than our boobs would people still have an issue? I think not!
So whether people’s misconceptions come from ignorance, issues with nudity, or even fear of boobs, or fear of their husbands looking at boobs – we need this to change. We need to make public perception of breastfeeding normal again and for that to happen, our breastfeeding mums need to feel able to do such a normal thing like feeding their baby wherever their baby needs feeding.
So we’ve enlisted the help of some gorgeous Mums and bubbas and we’ve been out and about around Sheffield Peace Gardens breastfeeding their babies – normally and publicly. By getting this campaign out there we hope it helps other Mums and Mums to be, to feel that they can do it too. Feed their babies, wherever, whenever and how-ever they choose. That is normal …that is being a Mum.
Together we can make breastfeeding in public normal again… Help us to normalise normal!
With World Breastfeeding Week Starting on 1st August, we will be launching our first wave of super breastfeeding Mums from our campaign, please support us by sharing and tagging #normailisenormal.
You can also book your own breastfeeding shoot … just let me know your requirements via my contact form.
Together we can do this xx