Monday, 3 August 2009

The Great Boob Controversy... Part 2

You may or may not have read my first post on The Great Breast Feeding Debate, where I reflected on my own boob related trials and tribulations.

If not, the long and short of it, is that I am neither pro or anti breast feeding, I am, as with most things in life, pro choice.

And I thought that was it, got my little rant out of my system, contributed my 2p to the worldwide discussion, job done.

Until today.

Here are the events that led to my need for a little vent-age part deux:

This morning, we had no milk. Arg. Cannot function without morning coffee, cannot bear my caffeine black. So, scooped the little man into the pram (having failed to locate babasling - told you I can't function without the beans!!), and scooted round the corner to the supermarket.

I was casually browsing the biscuit aisle (well, I'd made the effort to go out all early, I deserved a reward :P), when a little old lady clutching a packet of rich teas peered into the pram & came out with the usual 'aaah, what a lovely baby - how old?', I smiled, said 15 weeks, blah blah blah - you know the drill, new baby = attention = polite chit chat with strangers, usually of the older female variety, all very pleasant.

Until out of nowhere, Mrs Rich Tea asks "and are you managing to feed him yourself?"
Random stranger making small talk about how sweet my baby is: fine.
Random stranger enquiring as to my boobs & their functionality? Not fine.

But, she totaly blindsided me, so rather than reply 'um, none of yer business actually!', I kept up the flawless British politeness & said 'yes, I am thanks, struggled to start with but got there in the end!' (remember - caffeine gauge is at zero, I had respect for my elders bread into me from an early age, and at least didn't go into the whole 'actually, i'm mixing boobs & bottles' palava!)

She replies "Oh thank goodness - too many girls your age take the easy route because they're so worried about losing their figures - I mean really, do they love their breasts more than their baby? It's so silly."

Again: WTF???!!!

Rather than launch myself at her and point out that
a. women of ALL ages struggle with and/or decide against breast feeding,
b. bottle feeding is by no means an 'easy route', particuarly not with idiots around who make new mums feel unfit & selfish for doing so,
c. not one bottle feeding mum I know is doing so to preserve the perfect cleavage, or
d. having just had a baby, my figure is already pretty much trashed - so breast feeding is the least of my worries!!!
I nodded politely, smiled through griited teeth & bitten tongue & said we'd best be off as the little dude was actually due a feed any minute.
(A lie, he'd had a hefty portion of boob juice before we left, but a white lie is better than an old lady with a black eye, right?)

Seriously though, what are people like Mrs Rich Tea looking to achieve?!
I silently fumed to myself the whole way home, partly because of her complete ignorance, but mostly because of my own lameness in not telling her off.

Not that it would have made any difference I suppose, she obviously knew best - having probably succesfully breast fed a dozen children fifty-odd years ago, clearly making her an expert in infant nutrition.
Choose your battles Leslieanne, choose your battles!!

Okay, that's definitely rant over. For now at least ;)


  1. Ok I'll admit I haven't read your first post but I would have a totally different take on that. Here in Ireland we have such a lack of support for breast feeding and I often found myself annoyed at the assumption that my baby was screaming for her bottle. I guess I'd be pleasantly surprised to find a elderly lady here who wasn't afraid to suggest breast it best.

  2. Holy moly! Deep breaths, count to ten.
    As far as I can see there are two morals to this story:
    1) Never run out of milk!
    2) Stay away from the biscuit aisle!

  3. How F-ing rude! Why are pregnant women and babies public property!!?? In what other situation would you EVER talk about your breasts with a STRANGER??? or, in my case, have a stranger rub your tummy??? Just because we have children does not mean we have no shame and would love to discuss our boobs and sore lady bits (happened to me) with strangers in public.I agree it's nice to see a pro-breast feeder out and about (not as in professional, but as in not anti)(she probably though she was being supportive), but keep your views to yourself! You're so right, none of her business, and I certainly didn't give up breastfeeding for the sake of my "perky" breasts. They have NEVER been perky since I was12 yrs old!

  4. miss leslieanne4 August 2009 at 09:15

    @artyfeminist: it's not that I object to her approving of breastfeeding - had I actually been feeding at the time & she offered a supportive comment, fair enough, but for a random stranger to ask about something I consider quite personal, completely out of the blue, I thought was a little pushy!

    @sandycalico: 2 good points! I really need to find an oldfashioned milk man to deliver to my door everyday!

    @allgrownup: exactly! and grr, don't even get me started on the bump thing - i lost count of how many people ended up looking at me like I was mad just because I asked them to please remove their hands before I lost my temper! arg!

  5. zooarchaeologist4 August 2009 at 21:06

    Grrrrr! She is lucky she didn't get me or I would have told her where to stick here rich teas