Contribution

Nick Wilkie (NCT CEO) tweeted a photograph of himself with Prunella Briance yesterday…

and it reminded me of May 2010 when Gwen Rankin one of those who responded to Prunella’s advert placed in The Times to form a Natural Childbirth Association who spoke at The Big Weekend (NCT’s annual conference) in Telford. I’m sure others wrote about the weekend at the time but I remember as I sat there listening I realised that the enormity of the founders achievements was dawning on Gwen – all these people were there in that room listening to her because she with a small group of others had made such a massive contribution and it was amazing – the small advert to find other women who were interested in natural childbirth had grown to a movement of thousands of people across the UK influencing maternity services and supporting parents (both mums and dads) through those first years as a new parent – I was involved in forming a new little branch and the pride I felt about that and the measurable difference locally to new parents from when there wasn’t a local branch was one thing but for this to have then grown to a national scale – well just WOW…

At the same conference I was lucky enough to hear Davina McCall interview Ina May Gaskin – and you can see some of that here…

Amazing amazing amazing women – my contribution so far is tiny by comparison but who knows what the future holds.

Bare Reality

So afterbarereality listening to the Confident Mother introductory session and setting myself the goal of listening to more of the feminine and wellness sessions I signed up and listened to Laura Dodsworth author of the book Bare Reality: 100 Women, Their Breasts, Their Stories. This wasn’t one of the sessions that I’d originally signed up to listen to as I’d stayed in my comfort zone and signed up to the sessions that were family and work based but having listened I’m glad I did as it was inspiring. In the project of completing this book Laura has shared (un-airbrushed) photographs and the stories about their breasts and their lives of  100 women. Laura shared how she got women from all backgrounds to take part – aged from 19 to 101, sized AAA to K, from a Buddhist nun to burlesque dancer – certainly something different.  I am definitely going to ask around and see if any of my friends in the breastfeeding world have a copy I can borrow and if not maybe I’ll put it on my wishlist as it sounds like it has some interesting stories in it.

Having listened to Sherry interviewing Laura I thought it would be worth sharing  the story of my boobs. I don’t think I’m brave enough to share photos of my boobs but I do think that they are quite fabulous… They are pretty normal on the grand scheme of boobs – they aren’t particularly big or particularly small, not overly pert or saggy and I pretty much took them for granted until I had my first baby and then they got ‘their story’ and became fabulous. My boobs are fabulous because they have fed, nourished and comforted my four babies (and an unknown number of special ones too as after baby two I expressed for the Milk Bank at Birmingham Women’s Hospital). The breastfeeding journey wasn’t always easy, some of them took a while to get the hang of it, we had lots of sleepless nights and wanting to feed at the most inconvenient moments but we did it. I was lucky enough not to have ever been on the receiving end of negative comments about feeding in public (or about feeding toddlers) which is how it should be.