‘Why don’t you wear a button down shirt or a maternity bra?’ my mother asks for the zillionth time as we board a bus and head for home following a mornings shopping in town. We have already partaken of the pre-planned coffee/tea break whereupon I discreetly settled Boo on my lap and fed her, now two hours later she is hungry ‘AGAIN’. I have no back-up bottle only mother nature to quench her thirst. We board the bus my mother with shopping trolley in one hand and baby bits in the other, me attempting to safely navigate a pram that is rebelliously moving sideways with a wriggling baby glued to my hip
I get a grip (literally) and coax the pram into the space allocated for buggies before slipping into a seat by the window, my mother joins me
I turn to her , ‘What do you think?’ I ask a tad hesitantly,
‘Do it’ She replies affirmatively ‘she’s hungry’
Now having faced numerous obstacles on my quest to provide milk for my daughter wherever, whenever and breastfeed, I am a champion of the right for a mother to feed her baby wherever it may be. When little one is hungry she is hungry and any attempt to console and placate usually prove futile until milk is provided.
but hey on a bus?
well yes….. I think there is something distinctly primal about feeding ones offspring in the great outdoors, mothers in the stone age no doubt roamed bare-chested nurturing their young as and when required and whilst I am not suggesting we all don loin cloths, and present that part of our anatomy at the drop of a hat, neither do I believe we should have to perform the sort of contortionist moves I have on occasion felt compelled to enact in order to not ‘offend’.
I glance down at Boo’s tearful face, tired and impatient she lets out another hungry cry…. I decide her welfare her need is more important than the fear of being seen, as it happens I am wearing a very long top that I can easily slip to the end of my breast, expertly protecting my modesty. Boo drinks her milk fix and settles into a snooze in the crook of my arm. The passengers are none the wiser and I have a happier more contented baby for the entire journey.
All we need now is a new campaign for the allocation of seats for breastfeeding mothers, not just the elderly or women who are pregnant. I jest but really isn’t it about time the act itself became less debatable and more normal.