Farnham Natural Birth And Beyond Breastfeeding Picnic

Today, Natural Birth and Beyond hosted a breastfeeding awareness week picnic in Farnham’s Gostrey Meadows. The event was arranged by Wendy Wood from Relax For Birth, and saw a group of around 50 mothers and nurslings join together to celebrate the beauty of breastfeeding in honour of the UK’s National Breastfeeding Awareness Week.

The best thing about a breastfeeding meetup is that by it’s very nature, it’s a peaceful event, filled with smiley, happy mamas and babies.

At the Breast Debate I went to last week, one of the things that was mentioned was that we don’t see enough breastfeeding in public. I mentioned that it’s more likely that we don’t know when we’re seeing a mother feed her child. Here’s what I meant:

Would you have known this mama was nursing if I didn’t tell you?

One of the things I really love about breastfeeding is that it is as unique to each nursing dyad as the people in it. Looking around the picnic today, I saw some mums really nicely covered up:

I saw mamas comfortable with their company and their bodies:

I saw mamas comfortable in their layers,

And mamas comfortable without:

I saw mamas getting comfy:

And relaxed and smiling:

There were people chatting:

And tending their babies,

Celebrating the freedom, and the right, that we have to feed our nurselings wherever we have a legal right to be.

Mothers, being mothers, relaxing on a glorious sunny day, 

Doing our bit to normalise breastfeeding for the people that walked by, smiling at all the babies, and for the next generation

All the while, just being mamas, sharing a picnic lunch.

*if you see a picture of yourself here you’d like removed, please let me know!

See more pictures:

***************************************************

For more from Keep Britain Breastfeeding read these blog posts:

The Mummy Adventure 
Smiling Like Sunshine 
Simply Hayley Hayley
The Secret Life of Kate
Respectable Breast Spectable

and support these businesses

Feed Me Mummy 
Snoob
Thrupenny Bits 
Ardo Claire 
Mumba
BigBoxLittleBoxCardboardBox

and don’t forget to visit this post to enter to win:

  • Breastmilk Keepsake
  • £15 Boobie Milk Voucher
  • Breastfeeding Pillow from Theraline
  • Breastpads from Theraline
  • Adjustable Drop Cup Feeding Bras  from Cantaloop
  • Baby-Proof Jewellery and Teething Necklace from Mama Jewels
  • Electric breastpump and accessories
  • Maternity Raspberry or Black Feeding Tops from Melba London
  • And over £1000 in prizes from Keep Britain Breastfeeding

Perth Nurse In 2013 – Normalising Breastfeeding In Public

Whether you call it a nurse-in, a breastfeeding protest or lactivism, I love a good session of breastfeeding in public with a bunch of other women also breastfeeding in public. The beauty of breastfeeding activism is that it can’t be an angry event – by it’s very nature, breastfeeding releases oxytocin, the love hormone, and there’s something so powerful about a group of women channeling their passion and their energy into a united cause.

If you’ve ever met me, you’ll probably know I’m not really a feminist. I believe that men and women have roles in this world, and I don’t necessarily believe that we are supposed to be equals in everything, but rather that we are supposed to be leaders and followers in different things, making up a full and beautiful circle of strength and weakness, vulnerability and power. I also am not big on the concept of ‘women’s rights’. I am a human. To me, by definition, I am covered by human rights. I understand, in an imperfect world, the need for women’s rights, children’s rights, but in an ideal situation, we wouldn’t need to defend ourselves as women – we could just be human and therefor judged by the samestandards, regardless of our sexuality, our orientation, our colour or our gender. (I love this clip from the West Wing. It’s exactly how I feel, in an ideal world[from 4:40])

While I do think that breastfeeding mothers should respect their environment – I also feel that you should dress appropriately whether you go to church, a dinner or ice skating, and I feel you should consider others wherever you are, whatever you’re doing – I take exception to being told where I can and cannot breastfeed, and I take exception to being told to cover up. I don’t pop my boobs out when I breastfeed anyway, because I dont want to but I also don’t use a cover, because I don’t want to. When I first started breastfeeding, I used a cover because I wanted to and when I became more confident I stopped because I wanted to.  The law protected me, yes, but the encouragement I received from a stranger on a bus gave me the courage that led me to where I am today.  If the law didn’t protect mothers, then where does it stop? When it is okay to tell a woman how much cleavage she can show, it will be okay to tell her how much skin she can show. If it’s okay to tell her where she can feed her child, then it’s okay to tell her where she may or may not be. We can’t have it both ways. Either we are ‘equals’ or we are not.  There shouldn’t be a further subclass: men or women, breastfeeding women or non-breastfeeding women.

And today I participated in another breastfeeding protest, not because I want my boobs out on the street, but because if ONE mother or future mother saw women nursing in a public place and saw that it was okay and that it was normal, then it was worth it. If it gives one mother the courage she needs, then today was a job well done.

So, here are a few pictures from our Perth Nurse In today, and here’s my message: Breastfeeding is beautiful. It is normal. My breastfeeding isn’t a judgement on your feeding choices. Breastfeeding is the normal thing for babies, and it should be normal in our society. You don’t eat in a toilet or facing a wall – neither should my child. You don’t eat with a cover over your head, neither should my child have to. Breastfeeding is to bonding what a candle lit dinner is to romance, it’s lovely, but sometimes you just have to eat to stay alive – not every meal is an intimate experience, nor is every breastfeed. The only way to normalise breastfeeding, is to breastfeed where people can see it. 

I loved the fact that there were young people behind us doing street dance and skateboarding stuff, right next to a bunch of breastfeeding mothers. How much more normal can it be?

Other posts you may enjoy:


These guys were behind us - how much more normal could we want?

*If you see an image of yourself or your child that you would like blurred out or removed, please contact me!
Here’s some news coverage from the day too:

Free* Breastfeeding Cover – To Cover Or Not To Cover Really Isn’t A Question

One of the most annoying “politics of breastfeeding” I came across when I started breastfeeding was the ‘To Cover or Not To Cover‘ question. Some breastfeeding activists are vehemently against mothers using breastfeeding covers. Their view is something along the lines that mothers shouldn’t have to hide the fact that they’re breastfeeding. Which, of course, I agree with.

The problem is, I don’t agree that using a nursing cover has to be a statement. To me, it’s more a matter of this: If using a nursing cover makes a mother happier to nurse in public, or nurse at all, I’m all for it.

I bought a nice expensive poncho style cover during the last few weeks of my pregnancy, and used it for the first few weeks, but it was difficult to see my beautiful newborn, and there was a lot of ‘exposure’ while I was trying to ‘get it right’, and that really bothered me.

I came across UdderCovers – which is really not a name I particularly like, but I absolutely adore their nursing cover. I have the ‘Porter’ cover, and although I only used it for about four months, until I was confident nursing in public without a cover, I still highly recommend it. The UdderCovers cover has a rigid neckline which allows easy eye-contact with your baby – and this alone made it indispensable to me in those early months. It is light as it is made of 100% cotton, and folds up really small so it doesn’t take up much room in your bag. Stainless steel d-rings make the neckline fully adjustable, and it is machine washable.

So, here’s the * in the FREE breastfeeding cover: The cover itself is free, but postage still needs to be paid on the item. They also post only to the US, but if you have a friend there, or US postal address, it’s a really good deal.

So, what to do?

1.  Go to UdderCovers.com.
2.  Click on “Shop Now” and select any nursing cover you like.
3.  Once you have made your selection, you’ll automatically be directed to the shopping bag. Enter the promo code “ VALENTINE ” and they’ll deduct 100% of the cost of the cover.

You can also use the code more than once. Just open a new browser window each time you do. I believe the offer is valid while stocks last.

The UdderCovers breastfeeding cover is $32.00/£19.97 normally, which you don’t pay with above code, and the postage is $9.95/£6.21. If you’re having it posted on to the UK, you’ll have to add to the postage, but it’s not a lot, and definitely less than a new cover would cost locally.

Happy discreet nursing, should you so desire!

Breastfeeding in Public: Through Daddy’s Eyes

Author: Martin
So, breastfeeding. It occurs to me that a man writing about breastfeeding is probably either very brave or very stupid. Well, I don’t count myself to be unusually brave, so I’m hoping there’s an option C I’ve overlooked.

As a new father I’ve been asked several times – invariably by women – for my opinions on breastfeeding “from a man’s point of view”, and in particular my thoughts on the sometimes delicate (and at all times controversial) subject of breastfeeding in public.
Read more: Breastfeeding in Public: Through Daddy’s Eyes

Nursing in Public or Just Nursing?

Welcome to the July 2010 Carnival of Nursing in Public This post was written for inclusion in the NursingFreedom.org. All week, July 5-9, we will be featuring articles and posts about nursing in public (“NIP”). See the bottom of this post for more information. ***

People say your life changes when you have a baby and I guess they’re right. The way I see it, though, your perceptions change and because of that, your life changes. I must admit I never thought about breastfeeding much. Why would you, really? Looking back, however, I can’t remember if I ever thought I would or wouldn’t breastfeed, in public or otherwise.

Read more: Nursing in Public or Just Nursing?

Carnival of Nursing in Public – A Guest Post

Welcome to the July 2010 Carnival of Nursing in Public This post was written for inclusion in the NursingFreedom.org. All week, July 5-9, we will be featuring articles and posts about nursing in public (“NIP”). See the bottom of this post for more information. ***
Amber is a labour and delivery nurse in the U.S. Navy. She has three little girls, all breastfed, and wrote the following. She does not have a blog and as such has asked me to host it for her during the Carnival of Nursing in Public. Please leave a comment and make her feel welcome.
Read more: Carnival of Nursing in Public – A Guest Post