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Sunday, 10 June 2007


I know I will regret raising this issue, as I am no doubt destined to be wrong. I am prepared to be corrected for my insensitivity and lack of insight. Afterall, I have been wrong so many times in the past...

Before I was blessed with the munchkins, I considered those electric swing thingies to be a sign of completely lazy parenting. Why put a baby in an appliance to settle - when the poppet clearly prefers the motion in her mothers arms?

My darling Freya cried her eyes out for the first two years of her life. The tiny buttercup was accustomed to the sound of machines when she eventually came home from hospital - she had spent so many weeks in an incubator after all, and I doubt my womb had been that quiet to begin with. There was the sound of all of the Haagen Dazs ice cream sloshing about in my tummy for a start, then there were the endless nursery tunes and 'Monkey Music' tapes I had been playing to my fair haired boy Max.

Freya required noise (lots of it) and motion to fall asleep. I jiggled perfect Freya about for months, all night every night, and when eventually I could take no more, Brenda turned up one evening off the train from Bromley South with an enormous ugly electric swing (and a bottle of holy water). The unsightly contraption had loud music and a revolving mobile. Suddenly the storm had passed. I was wrong, I admit it. The person who invented this machine should be on the New Years Honours list.

I have concluded that one baby is an exhausting hobby, but two ... well that is a completely full-time job and a half. A mother should accept all the help she can get. The bouncer suspended from the doorway, battery operated revolving mobile, vibrating baby bouncer, rotating sit in play centre - every gimmick money can buy should be issued with the birth certificate.

I have noticed of late, advertisements in the local free mummy type magazines for 'nursing necklaces'. Please enlighten me? I enjoyed breastfeeding, it was wonderful, intimate and special. But accessorising for this most natural of functions seems to me to be wholly unnecessary. I have scoffed in the past at the thought of nipple creams, shells, pumps, enormous bra's with cups like sails, and ended up buying them all. But why would one need now to purchase a 'nursing necklace' in order to feed successfully? Surely you have your baby, you have your breasts, everything else is frippery?

Isn't a 'nursing necklace - the ideal way to occupy tiny hands' just a step too far? Isn't it just a hop and a skip away from hanging a bell around your neck while feeding and calling yourself a fresian? I think it has all the charm of a bovine cow bell...

NO, no, no.

Please correct me if I am wrong.


beta mum said...

You are not wrong.
It sounds vile. I loved it when my "munchkins" fiddled with my shirt, my skin, my hair... it's one of the things I miss about them being babies, that intimate connection while breastfeeding.
That and the chubby legs.

Omega Mum said...

And there was I thinking tiny handcuffs (padded and in adorable designer fabric, natch) were essential anti-groping wear.....Oh, is that the social workers at the door again?

debio said...

The pain I experienced when breast feeding was so excruciating that I required a gag to clench tightly between my teeth as baby clamped on!

Having said that, the joy in watching here little hands moving and witnessing her comfort and serenity was priceless.

This nursing necklace - puts me in mind of worry beads. hmmph.

Drunk Mummy said...

Ha! A Nursing Necklace? Good grief! Is it a chain with a little pendant saying 'United Dairies'?
I agree with you about the cow bell, analogy. Maybe some enterprising mum will come up with a nursing necklace that has flash cards or times tables attached, so the babies can study them while they are feeding.

I Beatrice said...

I'm sure you're right about the nursing necklace DM - or I would be sure if I knew what it was!

As for the electric swing thing - well I can't even begin to ponder that one.

The only thing I wonder is... how did we all manage, we Mummies of the Sixties and Seventies, before all these wonders were invented?

How did we manage at all, come to that - since it wasn't even fashionable to be a Mummy then!

You Mummies of today - you just don't know what a privileged group you are!

Babysteps said...

I just assumed a nursing necklace would be some kind of bauble covered in sparkly gems that Banker Boy would buy me to thank me for me selfless devotion to the needs of his offspring.

Motheratlarge said...

Good grief! Why don't we have nursing necklaces up here in the provinces? That's what I'd like to know. I did have a breastfeeding bracelet from the NCT. Can that count?

I don't really know what these necklaces are. But I don't think I approve anyway. I miss breastfeeding my 'munchkin' - sigh. But she's 14 months now. All good things come to an end, and all that.

Frog in the Field said...

DM, you are, of course, so right.
I think there's a very good marketing campaign behind this one, first time Mum's will think it's essential, when let's face it all you need is a baggy shirt to stuff your baby inside while he/she feeds.
I've had three beautiful children, breastfed them all, a wonderful experience (if not a very cluttered and scarily messy house).
But DM, I also agree with you that let's get most gadgets if they'll help us. I had a swingy chair thing, it was fab.

My 3 year old is obsessed with the cat's 'spots'...must have chilcken pox mummy!
She doesn't believe me when I say they are her nibbles (!) to feed her babies.

dulwichmum said...

Oh Beta mum,

I just loved the chubby legs! When the munchkins were tiny and new (more munchkinettes really), the very small fingers as thin as spiders legs - I loved those too...

Omega Mum dear,

You are a scream. Those handcuffs you describe should be standard issue on all child car seats in order to rule out the possibility of flying raisin boxes and rice cakes!

Ha, ha, sweet Debio!

A nursing Gag!!! The accessory they would not dare to sell - the one we all needed!

Drunk Mummy dear heart,

That is exactly what I was thinking!

I Beatrice,

I do know how lucky we are - really. All the mothers who had their families before the eighties should be given great stacks of cash as compensation. My own dear Grandma had fourteen children. I am a lazy bum.

Lovely Baby Steps,

You have given me an idea. I just thought of it too late! Any excuse for trinkets! But diamonds darling, clearly, none of your colourful bead rubbish!

Oh Mother at large my lovely!

You have been spared! London is getting right up my nose!

Perfect Frog in the field!

I love that story about cats spots! I do so love to accessorize!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

I clearly have too much time on my hands and have just googled the nursing necklace. At first glance I thougth it could be a rather trendy accessory for a boho like me...then a zoomed in glance showed me that each necklace has '' written out in beads. So it's a filthy, cynical marketing ploy aimed at sleep-deprived, temporarily insane, breast-feeding mothers.
I am disgusted and offended!

dulwichmum said...

Poor, poor you! Dear Pig in the Kitchen, Isn't it dreadful to exploit the vulnerable in such a cynical way!

I despise the exploitation in all its forms. Was the necklace a good colour though?

mutterings and meanderings said...

LOL, from a childfree and happy M&M..