Sunday, 27 March 2011

Breast feeding

Marty & Aunty Nicky
In the run up to Marty’s arrival, Leanne and I went to a few antenatal clinics... and to be honest they didn’t meet my expectations.
This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing in that I had expected umpteen large events, where we all sat down on the floor, tried to breathe properly, and shouted “push” at inopportune moments. Whilst that sounded like a a different way of spending an afternoon it didn’t sound exactly riveting.
These days “umpteen” sessions has been replaced with “two” and they were fairly small and snug affairs, where we chatted about the joys of child birth and the sleepless nights that would ensue. One of the more bizarre aspects of these events was that we were all given lovely colourful, crocheted breasts, complete with multi coloured nipples. The idea was that we’d all learn about breastfeeding using these woolly boobs and a tiny tears doll. I guess it might have helped some people but I just felt like I was trying to smother a plastic doll with a Rastafarians bobble hat, which rather put me off the whole thing.
They do go on and on about breastfeeding and most of the information you receive runs pretty much like this “It’s not essential to breastfeed and you shouldn’t feel guilty if you can’t... BUT...” The thing is, this isn't an ordinary "but", this particular "but" is about 40 foot high, written in florescent yellow, with an array of flashing lights around it. This is the sort of “BUT” you are unlikely to overlook and, whilst it’s not stated, the implication is that if you don’t at least try to breastfeed you will be condemned to a fiery hell for all eternity.
I can see their point in that, whilst it can be uncomfortable for the mother, it’s much, much better for the baby. On the other hand, I read one of those “baby” magazines which had an article where the lady in question was telling everyone that she was not going to breastfeed because she wanted her body back and she wanted to retain her nice boobs. Whilst I can understand why a mother might be somewhat reluctant to breastfeed, especially when it’s painful, I couldn’t help but feel that I was reading the rants of an astonishingly self obsessed person who hadn’t quite grasped the idea of parenthood.
Fortunately for us Leanne and Marty took to breastfeeding straight away. Leanne was fully expecting it to be painful, so she wasn’t surprised when it was, and apparently it got easier over time. God knows what Marty was expecting but when you’re a young chap and you suddenly find yourself confronted by a boob roughly the same size as yourself I think it’s safe to say that he wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity.
Mind you, you do hear horror stories of boobs rent asunder by marauding babies; nipples split and mauled beyond hope in that eternal quest for free milk. I got an idea of what the ladies where talking about recently when Leanne started expressing and I got a chance to bottle-feed Marty. He took to the plastic nipple like a limpet that’s been spending a lot of time down the gym. I’m fairly sure that I could actually stick Marty to the ceiling just by the power of his suck alone.
Sadly, Leanne is reluctant to test this theory.

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