Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Normalizing nursing one person at a time
Tonight (Tuesday) I was sitting in the hallway of my college waiting for my Ecofeminism professor to get there and unlock the classroom. As I waited, several more students showed up and joined me in the lap of luxury seating arrangement. One girl said to me, "Hey. You're like a breastfeeding guru, right?" I laughed and said "Yeah, something like that I suppose." Then she said she wanted my opinion on what age a child should wean. I, of course, stated that I felt that weaning was appropriate whenever mom and baby were ready. Then she asked me, well what about like a 7 year old nursing?!? I said, well the average age in the world is 5 year old so there are definitely some 7 year olds nursing. Then I started giving her some facts about the natural age of weaning, I said that I was breastfeeding my 3 year old and intended on letting her self wean, etc etc.
There were a few other girls there, sitting and listening and two of them asked me a few questions. I told them that before I had kids, the idea of nursing a 3 year old was like "Whaaaaaa?" but that when you're with your kids, it's not like one day they're just *different* then they were before simply because they are 3. At least 3 (maybe more!) girls were listening, responding and asking questions. I was so excited to be able to share these things with them and break down the barriers that this country has about breastfeeding. All 3 girls have no children...and their idea's of breastfeeding were probably very different then what I was telling them my experience was.
I talk about breastfeeding a lot. It's not something I really go out of my way to do, it just happens because I'm passionate about it. ::shrug:: I just can't help myself! And I also think that talking about it like I talk about anything (and EVERYTHING) else, helps normalize breastfeeding. Who knows? Today I may have helped create a major paradigm shift for some people about breastfeeding, extended breastfeeding and child led weaning. Maybe not...maybe they thought I was a total weirdo, but I like to believe that at the very least, somewhere down the road, when they have their own babies, they'll remember the conversation and know that it's okay to breastfeed, it's okay to breastfeed past a YEAR and want to know more about breastfeeding!! <3