This week marks World Breastfeeding Week. During the seven days everyone related to the maternal world is sharing their experiences, videos, rigorous information, books and medical articles on breastfeeding. It's fantastic! It is the best way for information to reach everyone and to break the myths and taboos around breastfeeding (which if it is prolonged, I will not tell you!)
During this week I have thought many times about how M and I were at that moment. Since I found out she was pregnant, it was clear that I would breastfeed, but I didn't think about it much more. It was never an obsessive thought, nor something that made me nervous. I knew that was my daughter's diet and that's it.
So it was. The moment they gave me M., without haste, without excessive euphoria and in the most natural way in the world, I placed her on her chest and she began to do what she already knew. And so until today, 15 months later.
In this time we have never had any problems. I don't know if it was luck, the tranquility or the support (which I didn't need, but I also took it, because feeling accompanied helps), but everything has always gone smoothly.
And what is it that makes me write these lines today? A feeling of regret and sorrow.
About 10 years ago (approx) in my environment the first babies began to appear. I have always loved children, although I had not always wanted to have children. I loved that my friends or family let me pick them up, walk them, sleep them, give them the porridge or play. He looked at the mothers as they performed their function, how those children observed them with all the love in the world and how they established a communication. It was all so beautiful. But there was a topic that I didn't understand, it didn't seem logical to me. Why if children over one year old eat everything, they continue to breastfeed?
The phrases that sounded the most when non-moms talked about it were:
– If he already eats everything, why do you keep breastfeeding him?
– In reality it is more your dependence on it than the baby's need for that milk. Detach yourself now, woman, it has to grow!
– What he does with the tit is frolicking, he is not eating.
– You just breastfed him and he wants to eat, you see, it's useless
– You will never get rid of it if you don't start giving it a space.
- What a sacrifice! You should think a little about yourself and go out more and not be so aware of giving him the tit.
And more ridiculous how are you ...
You can imagine how I feel at this very moment when:
- I have a 15-month-old daughter who I still breastfeed and I absolutely defend my territory when someone decides to judge us.
- I have heard phrases like these, and worse, from my closest environment.
- I have been informed about breastfeeding and I have seen all its benefits (from the time the baby is born until after 6 months)
I feel "MUCH-WORSE-THAN-BAD!"
Who was I to judge those mothers? What was the basis for saying all these nonsense?
But after giving it a lot of thought I have realized that, being a part of me to blame for going where they do not call me (and I apologize to those who I have not yet been able to see in person), there is a part of this story that is given by the lack of information. How do people see breastfeeding in the "non-maternal" world?
They do not inform us about breastfeeding, but we do constantly see advertisements for prepared milk. At school we have "hatched" like most, but have never told us about something as important as breastfeeding. When the children play with babies they give the bottle and if you teach your daughter to breastfeed the doll, be careful! In the media we see totally expendable programs or news that we do not need to know, but do not talk about breastfeeding. Information about breastfeeding only comes when you are having a child (and if you are lucky it is correct information).
It is not a matter of fashion. It is not to measure who is more "hippie" or more "natural upbringing" in the world. It is not for money. It is for our children.
It is not necessary to know carefully all the benefits of breastfeeding, it is not necessary that everyone is a scholar on the subject. But we should have some notions that make us understand that if a mother feeds her child with her own milk beyond the year (both, three or whatever she wants), it is not because she wants to harm him, it is because she knows which is the best for him.
So do not do as I did (I promise you will regret it very much) and respect the decisions of each mother, she knows very well what she is doing.
If by reading the «mythical» phrases, about how not to act, you have realized that one of them has ever crossed your mind, I invite you to take a walk through:
- or a project as fun as this one father
Each mother is free to make the decision that seems appropriate, but never ever make a decision about what they will say.
And, before finishing, I would like to thank the wonderful work done by all those who research, publish, distribute articles about breastfeeding and support mothers. Although ... M. Thank you so much more! 🙂