With the breastfeeding community going from strength to strength I see more and more beautiful videos of mothers who are breastfeeding shared on social media! Unfortunately they are almost always plagued by hundreds of comments, full of vicious debate. This is especially he case with the videos where the child is no longer an infant! What happened to live and let live…
The comments vary between stating how “unnatural” it is to feed a toddler with milk from the mothers breast, and sure, it could probably be considered unnatural in a country where formula has become the norm! However, that doesn’t mean it’s biologically incorrect.
How brave is that!!!!
I am a huge supporter and advocate for breastfeeding. If you’ve followed my blog you’ll know this. I have written about my heartbrake over not being able to breastfeed my daughter and I’ve written about my pride in persevering in breastfeeding my son.
I have vaguely brushed over how my son is now a toddler, but I’ve done so carefully and discreetly.
I share that I feel pride in that I’ve breastfeed my son, but what I don’t say is that I feel weary of the fact that I still am. My son was 3 in March and he is not ready to move on from the breast. I am, at this point conflicted. I would like him to feel ready to move on but I won’t force him.
I can’t even make my kids cleans their rooms! I’m not really the enforcing kind of mother!
Removing comfort and love in the shape of a breast, before a child is ready, is traumatic on a whole other level so regardless of my feelings, I continue. Not for me, but for him!
Don’t get me wrong, I love cuddling up with my blonde haired boy after a busy day. I love how my breastmilk still make his eyes flutter and his entire body relax in my arms. Tonight I looked down at him as he slipped away, this little boy of mine. He stretched his arm out and he stroked my belly, the place where he once lived.
He is just this little bundle of love. I smell him and he smells the same as he did 3 years ago. I try to almost inhale this moment as I know it won’t last forever.
To you he may look big but to me he is only just a day older then yesterday.
As I listen to his calming breathing, I cry quietly.
Last night I made the unfortunate mistake of reading the comments left under a video of a mother breastfeeding her 3 year old.
Reading the comments made me feel angry and hurt at once. My son is 3- this could be me they we’re talking about!
“That’s disturbing”, “she’s abusing that kid”, “he is going to get bullied for what that sick woman is doing to him” and the worst one “she obviously just enjoy having her tits sucked”
I tried to argue how we are biologically meant to feed for so much longer then we do. I argued that my child isn’t even near biological weaning age- I linked research and information but it was ignored. Anecdotal comments in the form of ignorance prevailed.
I was told that I abuse my son.
As I’m lying here with tears running down my cheeks, I think about how awful we are to each other. How cruel and horrible we can be to absolute strangers whilst hiding behind a keyboard and taking no responsibility for the very real people, that we hurt.
Here is the thing that is starting to really infuriate me and confuse me at the same time!
Breastfeeding mothers feel judged by formula feeding mothers. The “breastapo” “or sanctimonious” are common insults thrown at breastfeeding mums who are eager to help other mums breatfeed.
Formula feeding mothers feel judged by breastfeeding mothers, many argue that “fedisbest” and want to support those who are struggling with guilt over bottle feeding.
But neither of these groups have ever felt the judgment that come down on someone who breastfeeds a baby past his first year of life. When we pass two years we are reaching the milestone for what many consider “disgusting“. At the age of 3 breastfeeding is “unnatural and wrong“, and at the age of 4 it’s “abuse and sick”- breastfeed past this and society deem you a pervert!
So many are quick to condem breastfeeding yet no one condemns the abuse of mothers who are breastfeeding until natural term.
I was a formula feeding mother and I never passed judgement on a breastfeeding mother!
I was a breastfeeding mother and not once did I criticise or attack a formula feeding mother.
Now I am a natural term, breastfeeding mother and I have to tolerate judgement from both communities? Suddenly you get told “this is why I bottle fed” or “I breastfed for a year but that’s just wrong”
Here’s the thing- feeling judged over decisions we believe to be the absolute best choices for our children, is awful and the only way we can step away from this horrid circle of criticism is by deciding to accept that everyone is different and that we all lead different lives with different challenges!
We make decisions which suit us and as long as we make sure these decisions are well informed then they are justified.
Tonight I will go to sleep anxious that I’ve shared this. Anxious that I will receive more abuse. Yet I feel pride that I’ve spoken up for my son and his needs.
Should something that is so natural really have to be hidden? Who am I hurting by breastfeeding my young child?
My children are my world, unfortunately this cruel world do not deserve them
The only way to stop this ongoing abuse towards each other is by taking a step back and choosing to accept that we are not all the same and we do not make the same choices but as long as the choices we make are informed, no one else has a right to complain.
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Much love x