I don’t get why people get so wound up about breastfeeding. If it suits you, do it until the kid’s seven. If it’s not for you, don’t do it at all.
I breastfed my three kids for six months. Pretty much on the knocker. Sorry.
I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it, but I was blessed with big, healthy babies. So when I was ready to wind down supply, I spoke to the local clinic sister about the best way to go about it. Her reaction couldn’t have been more dramatic if I’d decided to put my son on eBay.
‘But why would you want to deny bubby your magical milk?’ she said.
‘Well,’ I replied, ‘Because I would like to drink wine again and stop wearing bras designed by NASA.’
‘Right.’ Her lips became not dissimilar to a cat’s bum and she handed me some leaflets. I was on my own, clearly.
At the other end of the spectrum is Tracy Moore, who’s rarely alone. She’s still breastfeeding her toddler, for the most part happily, but sometimes she feels weird. And she feels weird for feeling weird. This is what Tracy wrote for Jezebel:
“The other morning after I finished nursing my 21-month-old baby, she sat up and smiled, looked me in the eye and said in a tiny little happy baby voice: “Tink you, mommy.” Awww, you’r e welcome, sweets — wait, what did you say? Uh, is this weird?
Maybe I should already know the answer, but like certain holidays and The Oscars, instead I’m just confused about whether I’m supposed to care. It reminds me of this story my friend told me a few years back about her son she’d nursed. After seeing a baby being breastfed in public, he remarked to her later at home that day that she had fed him that way, too.
“Sure,” she said. “But you don’t remember that, do you?”
“Yes, Mommy,” he said matter-of-factly, pointing to a blue recliner. “We sat right there in that chair and I would drink from your boobs.”
We both laughed at his word choice, but it made me uneasy. Was it weird for him to remember? Wasn’t nursing the stuff of early infancy, lost to infant amnesia like accidental falls, bad holiday outfits and pureed asparagus?
Strangely, now that I’m the one with the toddler who’s drinking from my still-open-for-business boobs, it is the uneasiness that seems absurd. I started out figuring I’d nurse for a year, but that year blew right by, and it was obvious baby very much still needed and wanted the comfort. And with all the research pointing to sustained benefits the longer you do it, before you know it, boom — you’re nursing a toddler, two years and counting. Hang on, I think I hear The Lifestyle Channel calling.
Not like you didn’t already have enough weird, judgy parenting shit to deal with, but yay, now it’s not just whether you nurse and whether you like it but how long you do it for — and don’t forget to feel bad about where, you human gargoyle.”
Kate Hunter is an advertising copywriter with 20 years experience and hundreds of ads under her belt. She’s also written two novels for young readers: Mosquito Advertising, The Parfizz Pitch and Mosquito Advertising, The Blade Brief. You can visit Kate’s website here or follow her on twitter here.
How did you make the decision to stop breastfeeding? Or did someone else decide for you?