The perils of breasts, bottles, and babies
So, radio personality Jackie O crossed a quiet, leafy, Double Bay pedestrian crossing while bottle-feeding her six-week-old daughter and made the mistake of being photographed.
Mothercraft and Nannies director, Jenni Waldron, tut-tutted in the Daily Telegraph that “it would be best to sit comfortably in a chair and hold your baby correctly while feeding”. She was probably caught off guard too.
Jackie felt compelled to explain herself on air: ‘I was running late and Kitty was screaming…’. Yes. I feel like doing that myself when I read stories like this.
A mother’s place is in the wrong. Especially if you’re a celebrity. Even when you’re not doing something totally outrageous like dangling your baby over a balcony rail or driving a car with your child in your lap.
Everyone knows that we non-famous mums are all sitting up comfortably at home in our chairs, feeding properly, like the paragons of maternal virtue that we are.
Jackie can at least be thankful, I suppose, that she wasn’t also chastised in the national media for formula feeding - if indeed it is formula in the bottle she was pictured with, and not expressed breast milk, and who cares either way?
Perfect People, I’m guessing. They roam amongst us, getting their knickers in a knot over other women’s choices.
I was on Facebook last night discussing a breastfeeding doll that Mia Freedman had brought to the attention of her website readers (yes, you heard right, Mark Zuckerberg).
It is accessorised with detachable boobs in the form of a bib with two strategically-placed plastic flowers.
Some people find it offensive, including one commentator, responding to a story in the American Chronicle, who said: ‘The Breast Milk Baby is totally inappropriate for young girls; breastfeeding is a skill that comes naturally to a mature woman’.
Maybe if she sits comfortably in a chair and holds the baby correctly? Or if she has fake, detachable nipples that will allow her ‘to experience the magic of motherhood’, as makers of the doll boast.
Do these imitation nipples crack and bleed while you cry and feel like a failure? Does the set come with a bonus pack of bottles and unprompted judgmental comments from perfect strangers if the plastic flowers don’t work properly?
If not, I’m not buying it. It doesn’t really sound like the full authentic breastfeeding experience…
I’m not anti-breastfeeding. I’ve breastfed. I’ve bottle fed. I’m anti it being anyone else’s business but your baby’s.
I’ve said it before – with every baby step that a new mum takes, there’s a fork in the road and a knife at her back. Sometimes there’s also a camera and a journalist.
After the horrific death of four-year-old Darcey - dropped off a bridge by her father Arthur Freeman - we’re reminded that there are some truly sad stories about parenting gone wrong.
This beat-up over crossing the road isn’t one of them.
New mums should be left to get on with the ‘magic of motherhood’ in peace. Goodness knows - it’s hard enough.
I can’t type any more. I’m writing this article one-handed while feeding my baby at a sloppy angle in my PJs at 2.30pm.
Just waiting for the paparazzi to arrive and make the mother of all fusses about it…
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