One thing that was not lost amongst the milk hazed chaos was how at certain points during those first intrepid weeks, me and my post baby self could have done with a list of new mum home truths that cut through the inertia of new mum bullshit and instead brought me and my over active worries back down to reality.
Ellie's piece resonated with me on a lot of levels, and I am so proud of her for advocating for something that ALL women and babies, of all socio-economic levels, everywhere, need and deserve. But it also got me thinking that something continues to be missing from this conversation. (I can say this, knowing that Ellie will have my back!)
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.