Every woman has her own distinctive relationship with breastfeeding. Each mother has her own story and her own emotions attached with it.
As if dealing with the emotional turmoil herself wasn’t enough, a breastfeeding mom is often subject to opinions and judgements of others. The world around her can either be a wonderful support system or a place of terrible judgements about the choices she makes.
When my son was born, I did not know anyone who had breastfed successfully. No, I am not saying this to brag about how I still managed to go the breast way, against all odds. I say it to express that heading left when every other person said right, wasn’t easy.
With tears of pain and joy, I decided I would breastfeed my son for a year. During the first few months, it felt like an unattainable dreams. The long nursing hours, the growth spurts, the cracked nipples, the colic and everything else had me shaken. But within a few months, breastfeeding became a way of life for us.
By the time we reached one, my son would laugh in excitement before nursing. While he nursed, I would look into his twinkling eyes and I knew we were not done yet. I continued to breastfeed way past my goal of one year. At two now, breastmilk continues to be his source of nourishment, comfort, and his exclusive sleep-inducing magic potion.
World Health Organisation suggests breastfeeding for two years and beyond. Now that he is two and the ‘beyond’ phase has begun, the thought of weaning hasn’t still occurred to me. Most mothers who breastfeed for this long may choose to keep it their own little secret for the fear of being judged, fear of rejection and the fear of being humiliated and shamed.
A mom made her own choice and the least she deserves is respect for her choices.
These are some comments that I have heard and I am sure I will continue to hear, but rest assured they won’t budge this mamma’s decision to breastfeed as long as her baby wants. One could use this as a list of things NEVER to say to a breastfeeding toddler mom
1) “Still breastfeeding”
With the eyes of a frog.
2) “how old is he?”
Old enough to still snuggle in my arms
3) “does he really need it?”
Then who does?
4) “have you tried chilly powder”
5) “for how long do you plan to continue”
6) “doesn’t it hurt”
well, it does sometimes!
7) “doesn’t he bite?”
do you bite a straw while sucking your mocktail?
8) “shouldn’t he be eating real food”
he likes this not-so-real food as much!
9) “he will never drink cow’s milk”
Calves could have that 😉
10) “you are spoiling your baby”
yes, I have read a theory that states too much love spoils a child
11) “are you not worried about your boobs sagging”
Just like I was worried having a baby would lead to a saggy tummy forever?
12) “if you don’t do it now, it’s going to get tougher later”
I love challenges 😉
13) “he will grow up to be a dependent boy”
His girlfriend is going to complain you mean?
14) “how will he go to school?”
15) “you’re obviously not filling him up anyway”
May I argue it makes a quick snack though?
16) “I am sure you don’t produce milk anymore”
I definitely know my body better
17) “breastfeeding is pointless at this age”
18) “you should give him water instead”
he has had water too
19) “you are being used as a dummy”
20) “don’t you want your life back?”
I know exactly what I want in life.
I may have made a joke of these remarks, but in the true sense they are derogatory and have the potential to put down a breastfeeding mother.
I know this journey is going to end someday, but it’s for me and my baby to decide when!
Read my breastfeeding journey here