Breast Feeding is the strangest thing. When you are pregnant you imagine doing it all the time, you go to NCT classes and hold plastic dolls to your breast giggling. The fact is no classes, no You Tube videos, no self help books can teach you how to breast feed. This is a skill you have to learn on the job and unfortunately that job usually involves a screaming and not very helpful baby.
The baby should know what to do right? Nope! It’s got no idea, it head butts your armpit like a little woodpecker slowly getting more and more furious about the lack of milk. You direct it to the right place, you put your nipple right in it’s mouth. Nope still not happening. Breast feeding is bloody hard and nobody tells you that, nobody tells you of the terrible anxious panic of trying to get your baby to latch, of feeling eyes watching you, of feeling like a total failure because you can’t perform the simple task of feeding your child.
It took my first daughter 10 days to feed properly. 10 days of me dragging my sore shell-shocked body around breastfeeding support groups begging for help. I had the most amazing women – all volunteers who worked tirelessly to help me feed my baby and eventually to my massive relief she fed.
Not everyone is so lucky. Out of all the mum’s I know who decided to bottle feed, not one of them didn’t try to breast feed, they all wanted to desperately but sometimes no matter how hard you try it just isn’t working. I am a firm believer that a fed baby is a happy baby and it really doesn’t matter how they get fed. Yes breast is probably best but a starving baby and a mother who is spiralling into a pit of postnatal depression is not the way forward.
The weird thing about breast feeding is that it can simultaneously make you feel like a magical earth goddess and also a frumpy giant boobed milk making machine with no purpose except the nourishment of a mini dictator whose demands are frequent. You don’t have time to eat or drink let alone think about clothes and make-up and sometimes you catch a glimpse of your tired faced, tracksuit wearing self in a mirror and wonder what the hell has happened to you.
I fed both my girls for 15 months each. Not because I’m some sort of super mum but because once I had got breastfeeding established I really couldn’t be arsed to mess around with bottles and sterilisers, so I just fed them both till they wanted to stop. During the two and a half years (WTF!) of my life I have spent breastfeeding I have seen my fair share of breast feeding clothes and honestly I think they are generally overpriced and totally rank. Unfashionable no matter what era you are living in, the tops always seem to be too long and have weird ties under the boobs, flaps in strange places and weird peep-holes that make you feel like a sex doll.
My dear friend Ellie recently asked me to do a round up of breast feeding friendly clothes from the high street that she might actually like to wear in real life. I loved doing this because I remember those days of scrabbling around in my wardrobe looking for something, anything that I could breastfeed in and look vaguely presentable. So here it is Ellie just for you and I hope that it gives some other breast feeding mamas some inspiration too.
Click the highlighted words to buy.
L-R Red Asymmetrical Hem Midi Dress £65 M&S, Red Leather Strap Shoes £39.50 M&S, Wrap Over Peplum Blouse £35 La Redoute, Rose Vans Platform Trainers £64.99 Office, Bright Blue Wrap Dress £49.99 H&M, Denim Dress £69 Monsoon, Etta Changing Clutch £45 Tiba + Marl, Colour Crush Lipstick £10 The Body Shop, Floral bodysuit £29.99 Zara, Polka dot wrap front jumpsuit £22.49 (on sale now!) New Look.
Thanks for reading