The recent trend of celebrity breastfeeding selfies bothers me. I fully support the intention behind these images, to raise awareness of breastfeeding's benefits and normalise breastfeeding in public... Many mums, despite heroic efforts, just cannot breastfeed their children... I felt ashamed I couldn't breastfeed.
Feeling slightly inadequate or left out is normal. You may sense that you are missing something special, by not being able to feed the baby. You might experience a perceived (or real) loss of intimacy, as your lover's role is reframed... So, it is helpful to know there are many ways you can 'breastfeed' the baby!
When I was pregnant with my second child, I thought about perfect and good. So this time around, I called three friends and made them promise: when my daughter was three months old, they were to call and ask me if she'd had any formula. I would not lie. If the answer was no, they had to come over and give it to her themselves.
I have a very hungry baby who drinks every single ounce of milk I feed him. So when I saw the reduction in the amount of milk after cutting back on my calories, I quickly realised I had to focus on weight loss after he wasn't solely reliant on milk. It wasn't fair on him. I now get why people formula feed their babies to get their bodies back.
Like a kid playing whack-a-mole at Time Zone, the nurse slammed Archie's newborn mouth at your nipple several times over, and that's when it first dawned on me that breastfeeding was not as easy as I'd imagined. But I learned about 'attachment' and that it was a matter of practice and felt we'd be high-fiving our way down milky street in no time.
I am a mum of two whose ethos, I would say, is pretty sympathetic to "attachment parenting". In my view, we are basically mammals, and natural birth, breastfeeding, co-sleeping and baby-wearing are all normal and natural things for mothers and babies. Here's the thing, I am also a qualified paediatric nurse.
I hope there never comes a time when my daughter suffers from self doubt due to her appearance or feels the need to surgically 'enhance' her incredibly perfect self. There is much more pressure in the world she's growing up in than I had to deal with, and I will do what I can to equip her to have confidence in herself, as she is
I'm extremely blessed to be the mother of a wonderful, exuberant and thriving two-year-old and (in common with mothers everywhere) I'm doing the best I can for my daughter to ensure she has a happy childhood, and a safe and secure future. Sometimes that's OK, but often the journalist will prod, looking for an angle, "How do you deal with the negative view of older parents?"