Soprano Sarah Corp is staging a breastfeeding concert in her former home town, at St Mary’s Church, Goring on August 2 from 7-9pm.
She will be joined by Jenny Samuel (mezzo soprano) and Adrian West (piano) for an evening celebrating all the benefits of breastfeeding.
“I wanted to mark breastfeeding week which is every August,” says Sarah. “For the last few years there have been mummy wars, like formula feeding versus breastfeeding, driven by marketing by the formula companies trying to say that breastfeeding mothers are trying to make non-breastfeeding mothers feel bad. ”But that’s absolutely not the case, says Sarah who is far more interested in talking about the benefits of breastfeeding: “It is brilliant! It has got great health benefits, but because of the controversy, I wanted to do something positive, to put it forward in a positive way. It’s really healthy for the child, but in the UK we have got one of the lowest breastfeeding rates certainly in Europe, possibly in the world. There are lots of reasons. I think there is a lack of understanding between the healthcare professionals. We have had years of formula milk and I think we have become a very bottle-centric culture. If you want to buy a card for a new baby, it will have a bottle on there. And I think there is just a lot of misinformation, and there is also this idea that babies should be on a really strict feeding and sleeping routine.
“But really the more I read about the wonders of human milk and what it does to the body, the more I am fascinated by it and the science behind it. I have got two children, aged five and two, and they are both still breastfeeding. I think the average worldwide weaning age is about three years. My oldest wouldn’t really want to do it in public any more, but we live in Germany and they are so much more open about their bodies over here.”
As for the concert: “I wanted to celebrate breastfeeding through music, and I am a singer, so it seemed a natural thing to do. I thought why don’t I actually sing songs about breastfeeding, but there are not that many! But I did find a couple and I commissioned some new ones as much as my budget would allow. I paid for two and somebody has written another one for free.
“One of the songs is about the theme of breastfeeding grief, about when people can’t breastfeed or when it goes wrong. They can feel really sad. Part of it is hormonally driven, and I think in the UK we have got a lot of people feeling sad because breastfeeding didn’t work out for them or went wrong.
“I am from Worthing originally, but we live in Germany. I have been here for nine years. I came here to teach at the international school, and then I met my husband who is Mexican and was working in software.