Yay to celebs for normalising breastfeeding, says Caroline Corcoran. But boo to the massive, giant disconnect between their pretty reality and the real world one, where the postman just got a flash of chafed nipple...
Of all the recent celeb zeitgeists, the one where they post pictures of them breastfeeding is our favourite. Normalising nursing is way overdue and whoop whoop to anyone who does it. Except... there is a small, niggling part of our brains that’s thinking ‘But it looks a tiny bit different to when I do it, what is it?’ Well here’s the answer. It’s the silk shirts. It’s the immaculate white linen. It’s the fact they have used a professional photographer and had 14 filters applied and spent the same amount of time we were doing the shush-pat in the nursery having their hair carefully curled. Here are the other main differences...
Celebs: Daintily unbuttoning a perfectly-ironed dress, like Olivia Wilde in her shoot for Glamour.
You: Unless you count your ear with your straighteners, not ironed anything since 2014. Are attempting to do the ‘double layer, one up, one down’ but have realised that you can’t work this new nursing bra and now there is basically a ball of fabric, all tangled together and your baby thinks it is a nipple and is threatening to ingest it.
Celebs: Sure! They can do it at work!
You: Even aside from the fact that work is not a TV set like Sam Faiers’ and you are not legally allowed to turn up with your baby, the idea of whipping them out in morning conference in front of Ned the old guy in accounts who’s been there since the sixties is not your favourite.
State Of Breasts
Celebs: Still perky like Tamara Eccestone’s, baby attached to tiny nipple.
You: Breasts are on fire. Breasts possibly have mastitis again. Breasts are so very, very swollen. Breasts certainly are rashy. Nipples are oddly cold. Breasts have two heat pads on that you put on three hours ago and forgot to take off. Breasts also have the remains of your latest application of thrush cream. Breasts are certainly not at their best.
The Bra Situation
Celebs: No bra needed for the likes of Miranda Kerr. See above re perk.
You: Bra needed so, so badly but not badly enough to encase these swollen, painful boobs and… oh s**t. Bra could have helped you not flash the postman again.
Celebs: Latch? Celebs like Gisele barely seem to notice the child latch-on since this is all so natural and joyous and effortless and Instagrammable.
You: Currently attempting to heave your breast into something called ‘the rugby ball’ while holding your phone in place to check you’re doing it right on Google images.
You: Yesterday’s - possibly the day before’s - coffee cup, a bottle of formula top-up because you have been feeding all day and your supply still isn’t enough, an empty bag of giant chocolate buttons, a bra you thought you may put on today but since it’s 3pm that’s not looking likely and a towel underneath you to stop you bleeding onto the sofa post-labour. Oh and that woman? That’s the breastfeeding support woman. Yeah she’s here again.