Toddler wearing

Frist published in ‘Mothering’ magazine, April 4th 2012

Ewan in his Tula
Ewan in his Tula

An evening Ceilidh

It is the evening of our friend’s wedding. We dance enthusiastically at the ceilidh, a hundred bodies dressed in their finest, moving in tune to the music. Instinctively I swoop to avoid a flying arm, my free hand reassuringly touching the blonde mop nestled at my chest. As I move to the rhythms of the music my son unlatches himself from my breast, drifting contentedly into sleep. He nestles comfortably into my body, his eyes heavy, his breathing steady, as all around him people twirl to the rhythm of the music. Tummy full of milk, he is comforted by the familiar sounds of my heartbeat and voice, my smell and the touch of my hair on his face, sleeping soundly on my front for the rest of the evening. Conscious of his every movement, I am free to join in the evening’s celebrations, safe in the knowledge he is with me.
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Breastfeeding in a public place: one woman’s story. Part Two

See last week for the first installment of this story

Reaching out for support

Shocked that such judgemental Victorian attitudes still exist, Louisa opened up the issue for debate on the popular social networking site Facebook, asking;

‘Why is there so much shame involved in this subject that it has become the mother’s fault? Why should we need to apologise in advance? Why did my ‘style’ of feeding mean that lady was justified in discriminating against me? This whole situation is unnatural and unpalatable.’

In doing so she opened up a can of worms; a thorny, massively contentious issue which crosses countless personal, social, political, emotional, historical, sexual and economic lines.
Continue reading Breastfeeding in a public place: one woman’s story. Part Two

Breastfeeding in a public place: one woman’s story. Part One

These posts describe the experience of a nursing mother who was asked to leave a cafe in Devon, how she dealt with this request and the after effects, both short and longer-term.

A request to leave

Louisa is sitting feeding her three-month-old son discreetly in a small cafe in Devon, England. Unexpectedly, the cafe owner (we shall call her Karen) walks up to her in a confrontational manner and asks her to leave. Taken aback, Louisa asks why. Karen, a woman in her fifties, explains that she finds breastfeeding inappropriate and dirty, and is worried she will scare off other customers, of which at present there are none!
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Night nursing

In support of National Poetry Day 04/10/12

Night nursing

The still, dark hours of nursing,

Peaceful half waking as the stars shine

Light, this moment etched on my soul,

Precious time, it is only you and me.

We are mammals nesting, drifting through the small hours,

Warm skin to skin into ourselves.

Little fingers twirling, twiddling round my hair

Gripping, grasping and reaching, your strength to nurse,

My need to nurture, to mother, fulfilled.

Oxytocin racing through me, I am flooded with wellbeing,

Calming in the long journey of motherhood.

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Newsflash; ‘Musings on Motherings’ anthology has just been released

 

I wanted to share with you the recent publication of this beautiful anthology of poems and art about pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding, published by Mother’s Milk Books, an independent publisher producing books that normalize breastfeeding.Regrettably, there exist few books on the market which really normalise the baby-mother dyad, so this publishers is attempting to fill this gap, a worthwhile, courageous ambition, one I very much hope will be achieved.

I have been lucky enough to be a contributor to this anthology, under the first of eight sections in the book, ‘Broody to birth’, an excerpt from Ewan’s birth story, called ‘When the spell was broken’. I have learnt a lot by working with the editor of Mother’s Milk Books, Teika Bellamy, and thank her for all her support with my writing. I very much hope to have further contact with her in the future in the role as writer.
Continue reading Newsflash; ‘Musings on Motherings’ anthology has just been released