Can you flat pack breasts?

Today we went to Ikea. I love Ikea and its tantalising dreams of tidy, clean homes with minimalist furniture and lots of light. I always want to be living in that catalog, really. Okay, I get that is quite a confession, as some people hate admitting they even own anything from their mass production plants, but there you have it. I am lucky, my tastes naturally run to the cheap and flat-packed, when it comes to furniture. What can I say – K got lucky with that!

Anyway, we got a bed for Anya (more on that later, perhaps). As we were arriving Anya had a mini but loud meltdown. Solution? Breastfeed her to sleep (we knew she was really needing a nap but rocking wasn’t settling her). So, I sat and nursed her in a cozy living room set as shoppers walked by.

I am a very comfortable and open breastfeeder, I have found. I don’t tend to cover up with one of those huge sheets (hooter-hiders?). I think ‘these are working breasts’ (a bit like a seeing-eye dog is a ‘working dog’ and you are not allowed to play with them…). I hope I am also not brazen or inconsiderate of others feelings toward public breastfeeding. I know the law is on my side (California law protects our right to breastfeed in public places); I feel it is a completely natural thing to do and yet I see no need to be pushy or loud about it either. We are just doing what we need to do.

Yet somehow it struck me as funny that I was sitting there in this mock living room nursing my little darling to sleep as passers-by went about their days. They are probably mostly parents themselves, though, Ikea being like Mecca to young couples.

Anya fell asleep almost instantly. She was that tired. We got back to taking down Swedish names and aisle numbers. All is well that ends well, in suburbia.

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2 thoughts on “Can you flat pack breasts?

  1. When I first saw the photo, before reading your post, I thought, “OMG Gauri has the most beautiful home!” I too am drawn to Ikea and that clean, modern but comfy, simple look.

    Now when it comes to public breast-feeding, when I see someone feeding their baby, mentally I say, “MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT” so I don’t gawk. But the truth is, you do want to check it out. It is hidden and private and we don’t get much exposure to it so the reaction is to check it out…

    • Yeah, clean and modern, love that. Tidy and spacious… love that idea! But for us it is an ideal hard to maintain. I cycle between having an uber-clean house and then it deteriorates until it gets on my nerves too much and I must tidy-tidy again. The cycle can be interrupted (and the tiding wave hastened) by having guests over. Anyway, I digress…

      Yes, I remember being fascinated by breastfeeding. I still am but in a different way now. When I was travelling in Central America (many years ago) I used to oggle at the Mayan women breastfeeding their babies and often quite big kids. I took loads of photos (my travelling companion thought I had a fetish). I also have this postcard with a photo of a female-guerrilla smiling, breastfeeding her baby with her machine gun on her shoulder. Striking.

      I agree that breastfeeding is still very ‘hidden and private’. Perhaps as more women do it out there, in the world, naturally (not in a confrontational, exhibitionist or ‘in your face’ way) awareness of the importance and everyday normality of it will increase. It is just part of life – a good one, at that.

      Hugs to you,
      Gauri
      xx

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