THE BLOG

It's Time to Take Our Breasts Back

01/09/2015 17:21 BST | Updated 01/09/2016 10:59 BST

I feel it's important to start this piece by explaining that as an ex-Ibiza baby (yes I was young once) and a mother of two children, despite being on the wrong side of 35, I don't have anything against sex. Occasionally I still even have time to have the urge...occasionally. But I digress. My point is I fully appreciate the role that sex has played in the lives of the majority of parents when it comes to bringing their children into this world. However, the continual sexualisation of the female body, namely our breasts, when it comes to pregnancy, birth, babies and breastfeeding is something so infuriatingly damaging. I have to say on behalf of women, mothers and children for the love of all things good, it's time to take our breasts back.

While this call to arms was triggered by a seemingly tame piece of journalism by Daily Mail standards, Dacre gets it so wrong running with the headline 'Helen Flanagan cradles baby Matilda in her arms as she poses topless.' I get it she's topless and she knows she is having the picture taken so is arguably posing. But Helen even uses the caption #skintoskin with this picture when it was originally posted on Instagram. Why when it comes to women, babies, pregnancy and birth can we not just put the sex aside for one moment...maybe even six months of moments? It's just a thought.

At The Calm Birth School, it is my job to teach women and their partners what they can do to create the most positive experience for birth, easing themselves into the transition to parenthood. One of the key times that is highlighted in the course is the magical hour just after birth, when mother and baby should be given the opportunity to enjoy skin-to-skin contact. This has so many benefits for both parent and child:

• Increasing the chances of easier breastfeeding.

Reducing stress of the baby.

• Enables mother's friendly bacteria to colonize with baby helping to prevent infection.

• Reduces crying from baby.

• Keeps the baby warm.

• Increases bonding.

And babies can benefit from this close contact with Mum in the days, weeks and even months after birth with many coining the phrase the Fourth Trimester for this period. Source.

The recent whirlwind about Katie Fehlinger was about sex and her body not looking aesthetically pleasing enough to be on TV. How can this walking miracle of a woman be anything but totally captivating to look at? She's growing two babies at the same time!

A huge thank you to the BBC for recently suspending Alex Dyke after his comments about not wanting to see 'librarian-type, moustached' women breastfeeding in public.The only reason people like Dyke think it's acceptable to think and say things like this, is because we lost our breasts to the rise and rise of the Playboy and Page 3 mentality a long time ago.

If you get your breasts out in public, unless you're wearing a bikini and even sometimes when you are wearing a bikini apparently your saying, 'hello boys, look at me'. Or you're inviting unsolicited critique or disdain from people who feel they have the right to comment on your body because it's in their field of vision.

It's ridiculous.

Of course I totally support women who prefer to wear breastfeeding bibs to cover up when they are feeding. But it still begs the question, why do they feel the need to hide their breasts when they are simply keeping their child alive by feeding it?

It's because of comments like Dyke's.

It's because of the body shaming that we see from even respected media outlets.

It's because we're made to feel like losing the baby weight is the be all and end all two and a half seconds after giving birth.

It's time to take our bodies and our breasts back.

We need very little beyond what nature has blessed us with for our baby's to have the warmth, safety and the nutrition they need to thrive during pregnancy, birth and beyond. Our bodies do all of that.

Let's own that.

Let's celebrate it.

We are bloody amazing.

For all women and particularly the pregnant and mothers of newborns.

It's time to take our bodies and our breasts back.

#itsnotaboutthesex