I decided to breastfeed my baby for a number of reasons:
i) The obvious benefits which we all know and so I will not repeat here
ii) I thought it would make me skinny
iii) Because it would help my MS
Yes, in most cases exclusive breastfeeding continues the improvement in MS symptoms seen by many women during pregnancy. I guess it stands to reason – if the primary focus of my body and most notably my immune system is making milk (or indeed a baby) and all that entails, the resources left for attacking my nervous system are pretty limited. In other words if Lucy Lui and the other cat-suited, glossy-haired angels were preoccupied with passing on important immunity to my baby then they wouldn’t have much time or energy left for raging a war on my nerves…
And so following the birth of my baby I set about doing what is said to be the most natural thing in the world. What followed is a very long story with which I will not bore you afterall this is an MS blog and not a ‘Trials and Tribulations of Breastfeeding’ blog. But put it this way; after four weeks had passed by he was the only one getting skinny which, when it comes to newborn babies, is a very bad thing indeed.
During this time I was introduced to a piece of NHS kit which I had never come across before … the ‘Lactina Electric Plus’ Breastpump. Yes, this was the ‘Plus’ model. I’m not sure what the additional features were but I’m pretty glad they didn’t give me the ‘Basic’ version …
What you can’t see in this photograph are the two clear plastic tubes which plug in at the back and the two funnel-topped-bottles which attach to the tubes and sucker on to your boobs whilst the yellow piston on the machine moves back and forth making a ‘swoosh suck’ sound.
Glamorous just isn’t the word.
All that was missing was the rest of the herd and a big stinking pile of manure.
The Lactina Electric Plus Breastpump reminded me of something. It seemed familiar somehow despite the fact that I had never had reason to pump my boobs previously. And then it hit me …
The utilitarian yet clumsy design. The use of gaudy yet hardwearing plastic. The hard yet straight lines. The indiscretion of the thing. Yes, it reminded me of the bingo dabber.
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, both items being NHS issue and all. They had clearly both been designed by the same person. A person who had taken their brief literally and suceeded in making something functional, fit for purpose, that did the job for which it was intended. But a person who had never had reason to use the items themselves. For if they had they’d have made them a little, well, prettier. More discrete. More user friendly. To make unpleasant yet necessary activities a little more bearable.
It was somewhat ironic that I had traded use of the dreaded bingo dabber for use of the Lactina Electric Plus, after all that was arguably worse … at least the bingo dabber worked instantly and didn’t necessitate prolonged periods of sitting with my boobs out. At least I only had to use it once a day. And at least it was easily set up and so could be hidden away in a cupboard when visitors arrived unexpectedly.
By this point I was by no means breastfeeding exclusively, leaving Lucy Lui and the other Angels with time on their hands. Time to get up to no good, afterall the devil makes work for idle hands and all that.
And so I have traded the Lactina Electric Plus Breastpump back for the bingo dabber and have started my daily Copaxone injections once again. Hopefully I’ll get some armour plating back on my nervous system before Lucy Lui and her pals wise up.
And maybe the bingo dabber wasn’t soooo bad after all.