Sunday, January 20, 2008

Beware of the breast

The family has had a very active weekend, taking Eve to the two major rowing centres in Hong Kong. Yesterday to the main rowing centre in the New Territories to watch the Boy row and then today to the ocean rowing centre on the South of the Island to meet some friends for lunch.

It is nice to get Eve out once a day, and people seem amazed that we are taking a 2 week old out at all. Aside from the vast amounts of stuff required each time, it is actually surprisingly easy and she is quite portable. It also keeps me sane and reminds me that there is life outside of my little three hourly feed, change, sleep cycle and is nice to see friends.

The easiest option for me would be to breast feed while we are out. No need to find mugs of boiling water to warm the express milk, no need to worry about keeping the bottle at the right temperature in transit. However, Hong Kong does not seem to be a place where breast feeding in public is very common, in fact I have never seen anyone feeding in public. It was, therefore, with some hesitation that I decided to head up to the rowing centre yesterday without a bottle. The rowing centre has both a women's changing room and a club room. The club room has sofas and usually has nobody in it, and I refuse to nurse my child in a toilet ("nobody puts baby in a corner").

So I settled down yesterday with my friend L, at the appointed feeding time, in the club room. Just as a men's eight from one of the Universities decided to warm up in the same room. There is something about the leaking, icky-ness of the whole child experience that means I am less bashful than I once was, but even then I was pretty discrete, and turned a chair out towards the window. At which point they all decided to warm up on the balcony right in front of me. I think it took about five minutes for them to realise what I was doing, and a further five seconds to flee to the safe confines of the rowing shed downstairs to finish their warm up. If you want to scare eight 19 year old men, whopping out a tit and attaching a small child seems to be a very effective way to do it.

At lunch today, in slightly more polite company (i.e. people I know) I took a bottle with me.

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