Articles published on this blog are my opinion only, and may not necessarily reflect the views of any organisations with which I am associated. Please be aware that articles posted on this blog are not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have a medical problem relating to breastfeeding, please seek further advice from a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) or trained Breastfeeding Counsellor.

About the funny-shaped woman

The cars slow down as they drive by
Peering through windows, there’s that look in their eye
I know what they’re thinking as they goggle and gape
It’s: “Isn’t that woman a funny shape?!”

Back in 2007, I was blessed with a peaceful, happy home birth. Just a heartbeat away from me in my sling, my beautiful baby boy and I embarked on a journey which completely changed my life.

I'd struggled through a failed breastfeeding relationship and undiagnosed depression after the birth of my first child in 2001, so this marked our little family's much-needed fresh start, our re-birth. And thus began our days of home birthing, breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth-nappying, eco-consciousness, and healthier, happier parenting... Life is by no means perfect, but we muddle along, doing our best.

I began to walk everywhere, and my baby came along for the ride too, snuggled up close in a sling. After a while, I started to notice that cars were actually slowing down to look at me. Babywearing hadn’t quite caught on where I lived yet; my sling gave me an odd-looking bump and attracted a lot of stares and hillarious comments, from the little old lady who exclaimed, “My goodness, that bump is high! When are you due?” to the 4-year-old schoolchild who informed me with a worried look on her face, “Excuse me, but I can see the baby in your tummy,” and the delighted applause from a toddler when I took my baby out of his sling: "Hooray, the baby's been born!" And then a friend of mine took great delight in telling me that she’d been to a party where someone had said: “Have you seen that woman walking around? Isn’t she a funny shape?!” Quite by accident, I’d become The Funny-Shaped Woman. Four years of pretty much constant babywearing later, I think the title has stuck.

Being so proactive about changing our lives has led to some unexpected results: I never really intended to become a breastfeeding peer supporter, it just sort of happened. Yet breastfeeding support is now such a huge part of my life and I love what I do. Along the way, I've met some wonderful, inspirational people, and learnt a few things too. And now I'd like to share these hours of research, ideas and experiences with you.

The funny-shaped woman