Nursing a baby not a drink over Christmas
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Nursing a baby not a drink over Christmas

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As published in 'Can I Breastfeed In It' 

This week, the wonderful community 'Can I breastfeed in it'  asked Sarka London founder Jules to guest blog about the perils of Christmas with a new baby. White Russians may never taste the same...

When you ask a two-year-old who helps Santa deliver the presents, only to be met with a considered ‘John Lewis’, you realise that Christmas with children is a balance between the magical and the commercial.

But there will always be a special place in my heart for those embarking upon Christmas with a new baby. Not only do you have to contend with being in constant thrall to the needs of a tiny shouty being – whilst on your literal and figurative knees with exhaustion - you now have to suffer the unsolicited parenting opinions of people you scarcely know but who share a gene pool. When you feel like you’re a contender in a Japanese gameshow based upon sleep deprivation, the last thing you need to hear during a tricky feed -as I did- is an auntie poking a finger at your baby’s red snotty face muttering ‘there’s something wrong with that child.’

It's bad enough, after all, that you will either miss all the Christmas parties this year, or are waddling along to one, lukewarm apple juice in hand, watching your mate snog Kevin in accounts. People eye you warily in the full knowledge that you are the Sober Person; she of presumed judgement and full recall of their mishaps. Hard to tell which is worse; attending one as persona non grata or getting to grips with perhaps the biggest life change in the smallest package you will ever face in your entire adult life. Somewhat of a Hobson’s choice, some might say.

Breastfeeding at Christmas can add a whole new dimension to the stress. At Sarka London we call the surge of sales of our breastfeeding dresses and tops in December the ‘Uncle Rush’; as women realise they’re likely to be locked in extended-family homes for long periods (let’s be honest; the heating will also be fully turned up so your ever-fluctuating body temperature makes arguments so much harder to bear). We may for this year rename this the ‘in-law rush’, following our research which found 44% of our mums citing in-laws – swiftly followed by uncles – the people they felt least comfortable breastfeeding in front of.

Our Sarka London postnatal clothing collection is designed to address discreet feeding, changing body shapes and heat fluctuations – our fully sustainable fabrics are naturally breathable and antibacterial, which go some way to easing the physical side of Christmas nursing challenges – but let’s be honest, no brand can stop a Brexit argument happening over Monopoly (‘Nobody want to buy Westminster?’) or a drunk auntie using your fridge-based expressed milk for a white Russian.

The best present anyone can give a nursing mother is space, sleep, comfort and support. And ZERO judgement. OK, and maybe a pillow. And a slice of cake. Me? I’m asking for a massive pot of Rodial anti-ageing cream and a few hours in a dark room on my own. After all, I’ll need it when we’re up at 4.30 am opening presents, perfect or otherwise. Cheers for that Santa.