It has been a while since I last wrote about breastfeeding. I gave up the habit almost 16 months ago, although I am lucky enough to have a child who still crawls into my arms and lays her head on my breast for a cuddle.
But an info-graphic sent to me by Benenden made me reflect on how I felt when feeding Libby-Sue and how my own perception of breast-feeding changed as I fed a baby, to a toddler, to a three-year old.
I started my breast-feeding journey self-conscious, embarrassed to feed in public, always covering my child with a blanket when out and about. I ended my journey, carefree, happy to feed anywhere, always keen to change people’s perceptions of extended breastfeeding.
I didn’t start breastfeeding to become a campaigner, I didn’t continue feeding for three years to prove a point. I simply did it because I liked it and it was something incredibly close for my daughter and I to do together.
I think many people stop feeding because society expects it before the age of one. Peer pressure often encourages it, and lets face it, you don’t see many mothers feeding older children.
Before I birthed Libby-Sue I looked at anyone who fed their baby from their breast for over six months as a little odd, those who fed children who could walk and talk I thought were positively strange.
Then I became one of them, because I just didn’t want to give it up.
What did it teach me?
I learned some serious life lessons from breastfeeding. The main one being that I really shouldn’t knock something before I try it, and my own perceptions are there to be challenged.
I regret not trying other things with my babies that I previously dismissed as different. Nowadays I will try most things once.
Because times change, people change, and perceptions alter – if you give them a chance.
And the info-graphic that sparked this off?
Have a read, see how the patterns of motherhood have changed since 1773….
Parenthood timeline Infographic by benenden health, Post on behalf on Benenden Health