The other day, I was having tea with my friend Sandrine, who had her baby boy a month after I had Léonie. Just as we sat down with our steaming cups and fiddley pancakes (just when you really need two hands to eat something…) both babies woke up and wanted feeding. Plop, out popped one milk-laden breast, boing, out popped another, lighter-skinned English one. Two little mouths latched onto their respective booby and for fifteen minutes or so the two babies were in warm, milky paradise. This gave us time to juggle a bit of pancake into our mouths and to check out each others’ breasts. Pretty much the same size and roundness, we agreed. But mine were enveloped in a simple, white, boring, cotton affair, whearas Sandrine’s “balcony” (I got that from the French) was framed in pretty lace with strappy straps, a low-cut, hello-boys number which wouldn’t seem out of place in a Moulin Rouge striptease. I stared at her cleavage. “A sexy breastfeeding bra?!” She smiled and replied, “yes, I know, I decided to treat myself. They cost a bomb but they’re pretty AND comfortable… and they help me to feel sexy again.” What a concept. Feeling sexy just 3 weeks after giving birth. Why? I thought. Surely she must be too exhausted? And her birth experience was a rough, ripping one, she couldn’t even walk for a week afterwards. How did she manage to even think about having sex so soon afterwards? And then I realised there’s a difference between having sex and feeling sexy. And I suddenly wanted to feel sexy too. So I got the name of the website and the next morning ordered 2 bras, a sort of camisole and a pair of knickers (to match one of the bras – I thought I might feel doubly sexy with a whole silky underwear outfit on, plus it was the sales, which makes it so much easier to go click, click, click, validate order, type in credit card number, click, wahaay!)
My goodies arrived two days later and I greedily ripped the parcel open and adorned myself in silk and lace, standing in front of our bathroom mirror to see just how sexy I looked. Well, they do a pretty good job, it has to be said. The knickers are really well cut, the camisole is very flattering and practical too, with little magnets replacing the little fiddly catches that allow you to pop a boob out, and the bras boost your breasts up, up, up and away. They’re all very pretty. So pretty in fact, that I couldn’t wait to breastfeed in public, flashing my upstairs-undies at all and sundry.
The next day I tried my “nude” bra out. “Nude” because you can supposedly wear a white t-shirt and no-one will guess you’ve got a bra on underneath… they forget the fact that your bra will be loaded with breastpads to catch the milk that flows out every time you think of your baby, which means people can see you’re wearing a bra a mile off. But never mind. I was feeling quite good about my new buy, about my new daring, racy outlook on life as a breastfeeding mummy, about my decision to feel “like a woman”, as the blurb stated (although when breastfeeding it’s very difficult to forget you’re a woman anyway – I wonder what they mean by that), and then I bent over to pick Léonie up and … POW! … PING! … my boobs popped out of the top of the very-low-cut bra, projected at high-speed by the high-tech underwiring system. Whoops. I squeezed them back in and readjusted the pads, lay Léonie down on her changing mat and … POP! … PAWOW! … out they popped again. I changed her nappy and threw the dirty one in the bin, missed, bent over to pick it up and … PAPOOM! … PA-TWING! … boobs ahoy. I lay Léonie down on her playmat on the living room floor … BOING! … BADOING!! … freedom! I realised the postman was out the front parping on his horn, so I ran downstairs and through the garden, took his clipboard and pen to sign for a parcel, bent over to lean on the post van window … BAJINGO!! … BABOOOM! … hello Mr. Postman! Hmm. I piled my now well-aired breasts back into what was supposed to be holding them and wondered if there might be a slight design fault somewhere. In wanting to create sexy breastfeeding bras they had cut daringly low, as if you would be wearing an evening gown over the top and tottering about all day eating canapés served to you by young Brazilian waiters, thus remaining stiffly vertical. They had forgotten that as a mummy you spend most of your day leaning over, bending down, picking up, putting down, in an eternal, maternal, horizontally-pulled disco jive.
I have sent one bra back but am keeping the other one as I remember that milk-laden breasts become a little less full around the 4 month mark. I continue to wear the pretty camisole as that does its job. The silky knickers too. But now I’m telling you what I wear as underwear, which means my blog is verging on the titillatingly erotic and could end up being listed in the porn pages. I was even going to take a photo but I think I shall decline. Especially seeing as most of my family members will be reading this in the next 48 hours. Just imagine the plain, cotton, practical bras and suckling babies latched on and your horns should stop parping illico presto.