punk phd / feminism / motherhood

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

feed them any/everywhere // extended breastfeeding

I quite like the challenge of seeing how many different places/situations I can breastfeed*. So much so I did at one point create a poster listing a variety of places to tick off when done. If my primary reason for this is that because if my baby is hungry then she's eating regardless of where I am as that's my priority, then my desire to contribute to the #normalizebreastfeeding movement is the second. Whilst I was never particularly bothered about breastfeeding in public after the first few fumbling weeks, I now however catch myself wondering what other mums might be thinking - not because I am breastfeeding my baby, but because I have continued to breastfeed beyond six months. It's disappointing to read that the UK is the world's worst when it comes to breastfeeding and the knowledge that if we make it to 12 months I might be in the 0.5% of women who are still breastfeeding does little to ease such thoughts. Islay will be nine months in a week and it is my intention to continue breastfeeding her for as long as it works for us both, mainly her. In all honesty, I'm pretty fucking chuffed that not only did we make it past the first six weeks but that my body is actually still managing to sustain her beyond six months and continuing to produce enough milk. I've had comments along the lines of 'you might as well just switch entirely to formula now' as if there's a time limit on breastfeeding. Perhaps the nutritional upper-hand breastmilk has over formula might even out after the first six months but there's all the other benefits to consider as well. First of all, I enjoy cuddling up with my girl for her feed, it's time we have to share something special and as long as she seems happy with that I'm not going to voluntarily give that up! Secondly the pure convenience. I don't have to think about bottles when I go out or making up formula...plus why pay for something I can provide for free? (though there is the cost of keeping me supplied with chocolate...boob fuel of course...) So I know I need to stop those little niggly thoughts when they emerge and continue to cherish our breastfeeding journey whilst we have it. And keep ticking off that list...

*I guess it's similar to my challenge to see how many different pubs our baby can experience. See other blog.

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