I'm watching Big Brother nominations - OK it's my eye candy hour gimme a break! But about half a dozen of the beautiful women on this show have had breast augmentations. Their little poached eggs, perfectly rounded and pert are protruding from their bikini tops like small puppies with wet noses. This makes me wonder and I haven't researched the issue, but can they breast feed when the time comes?
Then again (must be the hormones this week) I reminisced about the wonderful experience of breast feeding. I work with a guy who shamelessly has "Breast is Best" emblazoned on his car bumper. His wife fed their first born till he was three. That's a bit over the top in my book - Christ, they have teeth at that age. However, the experience for me was one of the most intimate of my life. Beaten in the intimach stakes only by romantic love-making. To have that little bundle that you've successfully delivered squirm around and finally embrace what boobs were intended for is overwhelming if not a little painful in the first few weeks of life. I remember my obstetrician advising lots of topless sun bathing to toughen the nipples - it sort of worked. And now as my young adults pull the apron strings to bungy levels, I reflect often on how little and dependent and safe they felt whilst being breastfed and how rewarded, needed and special I felt as their only source of sustenance. It's not for eveyone. My sister in law had dreadful trouble and after weeks of perseverence resorted to the bottle and that was the best solution for a hungry and restless baby but I was lucky. Once my other sister-in-law who was also breast feeding at the time actually fed my baby whilst I enjoyed a long lunch by the harbour because the baby wouldn't settle. I fed both babies, one to 10 months which was the perfect time to wean and the other to 5 months because the little bastard would bite with glee when he realised it initiated a wince and a small scream on my behalf. But as newborns, I didn't mind waking up at 2 in the morning and nestling the little buttons. It was MY time. Ray was asleep, it was private, intimate, warming and connecting. But don't believe what you're told. Breast feeding does not preserve the shape and texture of your bosom. Indeed, if you're small, they'll get smaller, if you're normal, they'll get bigger . . . it's not the panacea for preserving your body shape. But it was an exceptional experience and one that I am glad I was able to take part in. I don't think breast is best. Whatever suits at the time to have a happy, sleepy and comforted baby is most important. But I wish these young things would acknowledge that this part of their anatomy has far deeper implications than looking like a swimsuit model. Looks fade but the memory lingers on.