Today we have the lovely Emily from @sebtheseries, sharing her experience with extended breastfeeding! As someone who breastfed their oldest until they were almost 3, I am a huge advocate for extended breastfeeding and would love to help stop the stigma around it!
After working out the initial logistics of getting my breasts out in public, I was never too bothered about what anyone else thought. When my baby needed feeding, I fed him, and there was no way I was going to do it in a toilet, thank you very much! I did find it immensely helpful living in Switzerland; having only a passable working knowledge of the language meant I was oblivious to any negative comments if there were any. In fact, other than some run-ins with old ladies who seemed to think it was appropriate to say hello to the baby with their heads a little too close to my nipples for comfort, I grew in confidence as there was nothing to deter me.
And then he turned one.
Comments started flying in from all angles. Family members, friends, colleagues. I had been given the use of a private room to pump and additional time when I returned to the school where I worked, but when my son turned one that was no longer on offer.
‘You’re still feeding him?’
‘You must be exhausted!’
‘Isn’t it more for you than it is for him now?’
Somehow there seemed to be a stigma attached to feeding a child who could walk, talk, and had teeth, but things were going so well, and I didn’t see any need to stop. Instead, I armed myself with some blistering comebacks and went underground with feeding, becoming a little more discreet when we were out and about, silently resenting the perceived judgement.
Eventually at two and a half, it felt like time to stop. Unlike starting, however, there wasn’t that much in the way of support! I was advised to try picture books but couldn’t find any that appealed to our situation. In the end I decided to write my own and now my mission is to help other mums in a similar position!
‘Big change for Seb: a breastfed toddler’s weaning story’, contains gentle weaning tips that are respectful to the child whilst also exploring some of the emotions they may feel. Change can be scary and unsettling, and the narrative explores positives about growing up and becoming more independent that can give parents a starting point to prompt conversations with their own child.
You can order a copy from www.sebtheseries.com and make sure to follow me @sebtheseries on Facebook and Instagram for more breastfeeding related content!