(Hmm, that's a catchy name. I think I'll pitch that for Breastfeeding Awareness Week next May...)
Anyway, a Nurse-In was organised for today in the town centre as a part of World Breastfeeding Week. I think there was some Guiness World Record breaking attempt of getting as many people together at the same time to breastfeed or something. Anyway, we did our part in Inverclyde by arranging a Nurse-In. We were rather unprepared really, not realising it was about to be World Breastfeeding Week until right before it began, but we got an article in the local paper advertising it and encouraging nursing mums to show up, in an effort to change the stigma of nursing in public.
I didn't know how many to expect. I just expected the unexpected. Yet would the unexpected be tons? Very few? I prepared myself for a range of 10 to - dare I say it? - one hundred.
You know how many showed up?
Four nursing mums in the whole of Inverclyde showed up for the Nurse-In.
The paper was there again to cover the very disappointing story. The four of us were photographed nursing our babies together. They took a few quotes, and then, would you believe the timing? A huge group of matching-T-shirt-and-cowboy-hat-wearing Cystic Fibrosis fundraising volunteers marched past, collecting donations in shiny buckets, and the Telegraph finally had a story worth telling.
It was very disappointing, but Mhairu, one of the nursing mums who we all decided had the perfect gift of gab when it comes to publicity, gave our poor turn-out a good angle. She felt that the lack of nursing mums participating in the Nurse-In just goes to show how poor the breastfeeding rates in our area are, thus highlighting the need for more breastfeeding support. Inverclyde has some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in all of Europe, and we also have some of the highest rates for multiple health issues.
I tried to get a picture of the four of us, but for some reason my camera wasn't working for the health visitor who was there supporting us. However, when the article comes out tomorrow, I'll post it for you.
(I suppose it would be remiss of me not to mention that while only four breastfeeding mums showed up, two mums with weaned children came, along with the two health visitors who are the local Infant Feeding Coordinators. So in total, there were really eight breastfeeding supporters present.)