I was tired.
Tired beyond belief. Only weeks earlier, I’d had my first baby and I was oh-so-exhausted.
My baby had been up all night with a cold and now he was suffering the aftermath: a blocked button-nose and conjunctivitis. And I was operating on about 36 minutes sleep.
I’d been told by numerous people – professionals and not – that a few drops of breast milk into the affected areas would sort him out. After all, it was liquid gold, right? Liquid. Gold.
So, the morning after the (horrendous) night before, I spent an inordinate amount of time wrestling my baby awkwardly on my lap, with his face poised under my chest. I squeezed milk from my breast, aiming it into his eye or nose.
And do you think any milk hit the bulls eye?
Not a drop. He had it in his hair, on his cheeks, down his neck, in skin folds and creases I never knew existed. Everywhere. Except. My. Target.
Then someone said, “why don’t you just get some milk out with a dropper or syringe and then drop it straight into your baby’s eye?”
Breast milk can send us all a little batty. Especially the mothers who choose not to have anything to do with it through no fault of their own. Mothers who can’t or won’t breastfeed have often been made to feel they are worthless providers. Research has been throwing them shade for years. Their bottle-fed babies will more likely be sicker and more stupid than their small, breastfed peers.
Recently, scientists who conducted a study of 11,000 British children found no reliable association between breastfeeding and a higher IQ.
Dr Sophie von Stumm from Goldsmiths, University of London, was co-leader of the study published in online journal Public Library of Science ONE.
Mothers around the world will want to give her a big cuddle because she gives common sense a scientific spin.