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Breastfeeding Uncovered: How I Went From An Embarrassed Young Mum To Breastfeeding Live On TV

20/10/2016 16:02 | Updated 21 October 2016

The pre-mum me could never have imagined that she would have kids young and she would've spat out her soy latte whilst choking on her gluten-free granola, if she'd seen the future of her breastfeeding... let alone breastfeeding live on national television.

I wasn't born an earth mother, I was born into plastic fantastic city life and I thought I was a career girl who was going to change the world.

Until I got pregnant.

"If I breastfeed my baby, I'd only do it in the car or on my own at home." Those were the words I uttered when I was up the duff for the first time.

I was young, the pregnancy was unplanned and I was trying to prepare myself physically and mentally.

Part of this preparation, or so I thought, was using my government-given milk and vegetable vouchers to stock up on formula milk. As well as purchasing a sterilizer, disposable nappies and bottles.

But as the story goes, when my first child arrived, there was nothing that felt more natural than to breastfeed her.

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Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a case of my baby popping out and, my newborn lovingly latching on to my boob.

It took perseverance and, us both learning how best to latch.

I also had lots of help from breastfeeding peer supporter volunteers.

Nonetheless, it felt weird that my boobs which had been tied up in society's belief that women's breasts are just there to look good, were now beautifully functional and had a huge purpose.

Yes, it was tough and tiring but having your first baby is such a life-changer anyway.

Within weeks I became a breastfeeding advocate and I was bowled over by how much easier it had become.

But I still would only feed in private or completely covered up.


I wouldn't like to eat my dinner with a blanket on my head, would you?

As the weeks passed by in a milky sleepy haze, I started to become more comfortable feeding my bearn in front of other people.

And I began feeding uncovered.

I went to breastfeeding groups where we could moan and drink coffee all whilst openly lactating.

I was settling into this whole mum-thing although I still wouldn't have predicted that almost five years down the line I'd still be breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding isn't the norm so people can't comprehend breastfeeding an "older baby"

The older my child got the more often I would get people saying: "So when you stopping?"

"Give her some cow's milk."

"She needs a bottle."

But I carried on boobing. Why?

Because it nourishes, it soothes, it bonds, it's free and most of all it's natural.

Although, society (including health professionals) dismissed it as "freakish."

I was expected to steal another mammal's milk because cow's milk is the "norm."

But what about the calves?

Tandem feeding

Talking about cows and how they feed, they are masters of tandem feeding. But again, if a human tandem feeds their kids it's... "messed up."

Within a day of giving birth to my second child, I found myself awkwardly trying to shove one boob into my newborn's gob and the other boob into my 3-year-old's mouth.

Yes, ladies and gentleman I found myself "tandem feeding."

I hadn't planned for my boobs to become like telescopes but it c'est la vie.

People already looked at me strangely for breastfeeding my three-year-old, but tandem feeding... well their eyes almost exploded out of their heads.

"But why? How?!"

It's simple. I have two breasts and I have two babies that need feeding.

By the time I had my second kid, I'd lost most of my feeding inhibitions and I had become an alumni of the breastfeeding academy.

Boobing anywhere and everywhere

So it was only natural that I went full throttle and breastfed on national TV!

I'd been invited on to BBC Two's Victoria Derbyshire Show to talk about how our family had overcome fussy eating habits, following research that indicated a lot of fussy eating is in the genes.

But my youngest daughter, aged 22 months, aka my side kick, had come with me.

And when the cameras turned to me... she pulled out my boob to get some milk.

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I have been overwhelmed with the reaction to our appearance, receiving lots of positive messages from other families who are pleased to see breastfeeding normalised.

Nobody in the TV studio blinked an eyelid either.

Of course I had a negative tweet from one lone man, but that was it!

So the odds are great.

To watch the clip of the show, go to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04c0cmx

Read more of Mama Mei's musings on her blog MamaMei.co.uk

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