Friday, August 7, 2009

The new taboo

Now that Louis is 14 months old, admitting that he's still being breastfed is somehow the new taboo. I don't know why, but once a baby (toddler?) passes that 12-month milestone, breast milk changes from being the elixir of life to a sort of secret moonshine best drunk under the cover of darkness and preferably in your own home. That's if you choose to keep the fact you're still breastfeeding under wraps. If you - shock, horror - choose to advertise the fact that you haven't yet weaned your probably-by-now toddler, then you'd better be prepared to swap your earth Mom status for that of a raving lactivist. (Somehow, they always seem to be raving. And not in a good, all-night party sort of way.)

As a working Mum who's still breastfeeding her baby (there, I admitted it, shoot me now), I know I'm in the minority. The very, very small minority. It's tough. Especially when I don't make it back for bedtime. Which is most of the time. I can, however, draw some solace from the fact that since being back at work, I've managed to write two articles on breastfeeding. The latest, last Sunday, was particularly pleasing as it righted some serious wrongs that had been propagated by a rival newspaper the previous week. Namely that one of the world's leading paediatricians, Dr Michael Kramer, had apparently said there was "very little evidence" that breastfeeding helps prevent a range of illnesses. Disturbing stuff for anyone pro nursing.

Only, the thing is, he didn't say that. As he told me. And as I got to write about. You can read it here if you like. Now that's got to make it almost worth going back to work and leaving Louis. I said almost.


Julie Kubal said...

Nice work. I'll be passing your article around on this end.

dulwichmum said...

I adore that word "lactivism". You are probably right with regard to the assumptions that people make. I must admit, I was never alarmed by people breastfeeding bigger little people, until my son's chum who is six, asked his mummy for it at a party...OHMYGOD!

Coding Mamma (Tasha) said...

Great article. I breastfed my daughter until just after her second birthday, though she did have cow's milk as well after she was one. I did get comments about it, too. People seemed to find it particularly disturbing that I should keep breastfeeding after she was able to ask for 'Muilk' >> 'Mummy Milk', which I thought was especially odd. I loved it when her speech enabled her to actually tell me what she wanted, so I could give it to her, instead of guess; and if what she wanted was Mummy Milk, all the better and easier, thank you!

Bush Mummy said...

Hi - great blog!

I am about to have my third and last baby and am really keen to feed him/her for as long as possible this time.. hope I can. I am a big fan and think it's fabulous, if you can do it.

Good for you!

BM x