What is so Disturbing About Natural Term Breastfeeding?

Photography: Myrtle and May Photography

By Sofie Thomson

With the breastfeeding community going from strength to strength I see more and more beautiful videos of mothers who are breastfeeding shared on social media. Unfortunately they are almost always plagued by hundreds of comments, full of vicious debate. This is especially the case with the videos where the child is no longer an infant. What happened to live and let live…?

The comments vary between stating  how “unnatural” it is to feed a toddler with milk from the mother’s breast, and sure, it could probably be considered unnatural in a country where formula has become the norm! However, that doesn’t mean it’s biologically incorrect.

In these videos, mothers are baring it all in the hope of making another breastfeeding mother’s journey that little bit easier, that little bit more normalised.

How brave is that!

I am a huge supporter and advocate for breastfeeding. If you’ve followed my blog you’ll know this. I have written about my heartbreak over not being able to breastfeed my daughter and I’ve written about my pride in persevering in breastfeeding my son.

I have vaguely brushed over how my son is now a toddler, but I’ve done so carefully and discreetly.

I share that I feel pride in that I’ve breastfed my son, but what I don’t say is that I feel wary of the fact that I still am. My son was three in March and he is not ready to move on from the breast. I am at this point conflicted. I would like him to feel ready to move on but I won’t force him.

I can’t even make my kids cleans their rooms! I’m not really the enforcing kind of mother.

Removing comfort and love in the shape of a breast before a child is ready is traumatic on a whole other level, so regardless of my feelings, I continue. Not for me, but for him.

Don’t get me wrong, I love cuddling up with my blonde-haired boy after a busy day. I love how my breast milk still make his eyes flutter and his entire body relax in my arms. Tonight I looked down at him as he slipped away, this little boy of mine. He stretched his arm out and he stroked my belly, the place where he once lived.

He is just this little bundle of love. I smell him and he smells the same as he did three years ago. I try to almost inhale this moment as I know it won’t last forever.

To you he may look big, but to me he is only just a day older then yesterday

As I listen to his calming breathing, I cry quietly.

Last night I made the unfortunate mistake of reading the comments left under a video of a mother breastfeeding her three year old.

Reading the comments made me feel angry and hurt at once. My son is three – this could be me they we’re talking about.

“That’s disturbing”, “she’s abusing that kid”, “he is going to get bullied for what that sick woman is doing to him”, and the worst one – “she obviously just enjoy having her tits sucked”.

I tried to argue how we are biologically meant to feed for so much longer then we do. I argued that my child isn’t even near biological weaning age – I linked research and information but it was ignored. Anecdotal comments in the form of ignorance prevailed.

I was told that I abuse my son.

As I’m lying here with tears running down my cheeks, I think about how awful we are to each other. How cruel and horrible we can be to absolute strangers whilst hiding behind a keyboard and taking no responsibility for the very real people, that we hurt.

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5 Comments

  • My first was formula fed and I’m ten months breastfeeding my second. My goal is 2 years but it’s only my husband I’ve shared this with because I know there will be judgement. I also know from learning and succeeding to breastfeed this time round that it’s day to dat and there are a lot of days to 2 and I might change my mind. I might want to stop or maybe I’ll want to keep going. Good luck to you and remember to talk about what you want with your son… they are wiser than we think.

  • I’ve been both as well. I’m on child number 3 and much more informed. My current is 14 months. I will continue to breastfeed my daughter until she wants to stop. I am glad that I will be a natural term breastfeeding Mom this time around. I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
    Thank you so much for writing this. I feel the same way! Keep feeding that baby!!!

  • Thank you for writing & posting this article! I only just discovered the term “natural term weaning” and it definitely fits with my journey and what I believe is the right decision for me & my child.

  • This is so true. I only nursed my first for six weeks. I was young, uneducated, unsupported, and had no one to reach out to. Eight year later, when i had my second, I did all of the research I possibly could. I made sure I knew everything I could possibly know. My daughter will be 25 months in a few days. We just had breastfeeding pictures done a few days ago. I am SO glad i did.

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