I said at the outset of this blog that I wouldn’t be focusing on health and medical matters related to breast feeding. Although I feel sure there are many, and am firmly in support of breast feeding as a preferred approach, I feel these topics are covered widely enough in other media.
However, casting my mind back to my previous feeding experiences and chatting with other mums, it seems there’s far more in the way of alternative benefits that are worth discussing…
During a recent particularly broken night’s sleep, caused by my darling first-born, I found myself reminiscing about the power of the boob. I’d forgotten quite how powerful it can be: before you all start imagining all kinds of weird assault scenarios involving large and heavy milk-filled mammaries, I should temper my comments: those early months are so ruled by feeding and sleeping that it soon becomes apparent that your sanity and rest are closely wrapped up in filling baby up with lovely mummies milk. I think the ability to create such a warm, cuddly environment as you do when feeding so often results in baby drifting contentedly to sleep that you quickly realise the time will come one day when this ‘weapon’ of choice will no longer be available. I can remember being really nervous as my little one got older, wiser and closer to being weaned and I started to realise that the boob was no longer the be-all-and-end-all…I needed to be fully responsible for getting my little one to sleep without necessarily being able to drop a nipple over the side of the cot!
It seems other benefits invariably involve the enforced ‘down-time’ that breastfeeding creates: I know a lot of mums, at least initially, use the time to stare adoringly at their new addition, but it also seems to be the catalyst to many a social media or internet shopping addiction. With the advent of the smart phone, it’s just too easy to keep on buying lovely clothes, teddies and toys for your bundle of joy with a good breastfeeding session being the ideal time to camp out on ebay and see what’s on offer.
And why not? After all, surely this is combining two of woman-kind’s greatest innate and natural abilities: the ability to nourish and nurture our children and the ability to multi-task.