Wednesday, 11th June 2014
Breastfeeding, to put it briefly, is a taboo topic that we don’t talk enough about. There’s a lot of research out there on how long you should breastfeed for and why a mother’s milk is always better than formula, but there’s this whole other side of breastfeeding that remains pretty controversial.
Every so often, I see the same type of article or picture that goes viral on social media. The most recent one pictured a mother breastfeeding her toddler – not infant, mind – in public. Now I’m not sure what people were more outraged by – the fact that the mother was breastfeeding in public, or the fact that the child was older than one would expect.
As mothers, we always want what’s best for our children. Sometimes that makes us feel entitled to a certain opinion – I think something is right just because I have children – and that pits us against each other as mothers. I think it’s important to recognize that just because one mother stops breastfeeding her child at six months and another stops at two years old doesn’t make one way of parenting bad and one good.
My personal philosophy about breastfeeding is that mums should do it for as long as they can. But this is my own philosophy and not something I want to impose on everyone else. I am still breastfeeding my three year olds.
Do I get funny looks? Sure. And did I ever feel defensive? Of course. But what I feel is that the provision of a mother’s milk is such a natural thing – our bodies automatically produce it – that it doesn’t make sense to deprive children of it. (That, and the fact that formula is outrageously expensive!)
So mums, whatever you choose – remember there is no right or wrong. Listen to your child, your body, and trust your instincts. And when it doubt – stay away from the Internet.