Breastfeeding Class

{A poem in which I momentarily feel sorry for myself after breastfeeding class} 

‘What are the benefits of breastfeeding?’
Our irish teacher asked
Laughing at dad’s lack of involvement
In baby’s primary nourishment plans
‘Can we all list the benefits of breastfeeding?’
She handed out the pens
An impromptu brainstorm session
In a room with no ventilation

We all picked off the basics
‘It helps mum to lose weight’
‘It’s a great way to bond with your newborn child’
‘Just think of the money you’ll save’
‘The risk of SIDs is lowered’
‘The risk of asthma, too’
‘And did you know, and this one’s the best
‘Breastfed babies have so fewer poos’
‘You bring down your chances of cancer
(‘Ovarian and breast, they say, too’)
‘It’s a meal that’s there on demand all the time’
‘It’s so good for both baby and you’

As the lessen progresses we move on to
Teaching our babies to latch
Holding a doll with a blue lazy eye
I move myself this way and that
We’re sold on the benefits of breastfeeding
Holding tiny woollen boobs in our hands
Stroking and pulling we learn what to do
If our supply comes too slow or too fast

Through all of this, I feel uplifted
Until, out of nowhere, I don’t
The realisation hits like a train to the face
That to breastfeed is to be in it alone
If I am supplying the milk source
I’m supplying all of my time too
And though dad will be supportive, I know
There’s not much more for him to do

And I know breastmilk is the best option
And I know it is something I choose
But also, wouldn’t it be rather quite nice
To discuss all other forms of food
Can we not share the facts on mixed feeding?
Or have a class that talks formula too?
So I know how hot to heat bottles of milk
If my babe isn’t stuck on the boob?
Because, see, I don’t know how to sterilise
I don’t even know which brand is best
I don’t really know anything much at all, guys
Outside of latching him straight to my chest

The thing is, and I don’t mean to sound selfish
But sometimes it has to be said
What about my own sanity? And when will I get myself back?
Nine long months I will have spent just to grow you
And now at least six months more, sweet, to feed
Why has no-one made a formula so good
I can keep my body just for me?


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