I’m writing to you again! You are having sleepytime milky as I type, and I thought I would tell you what an honour and a privilege it has been to breastfeed you.
Although my turn of phrase would suggest that this relationship is coming to an end, you are still feeding at sleep times and when you feel you need to ‘reconnect’ with Mummy-it’s clear to me you still love to feed and need to feed.
But there are some people out there that don’t think I should have fed you for this long, or at all. Some think it’s shocking or ‘gross’ or ‘weird’. Some people are cross that I feed you when we’re out and about. But that doesn’t stop me. You are more important.
I want you to know that I trust you, and I want you to trust me, and because of that I won’t force you to stop feeding before you are ready. I’m the Mummy, so what I say goes, but I won’t abuse this privilege by imposing false deadlines on you just because some people think that breastfeeding a toddler is wrong.
I don’t care what they think. And it’s them that need to change their minds, not us. We can hardly blame them, they must be afraid of how breastfeeding makes them feel, or perhaps they are overwhelmed with advice telling them it’s wrong, and by messages from the powerful formula milk companies. There are even boxes of powdered cow’s milk with ‘Breastmilk substitute’ on them. So it isn’t surprising that they think that boxes of milk from another animal are just as good as milk from their own perfectly designed mothering bodies.
But it isn’t. I won’t ever tell a bottle feeder their decision is wrong- that isn’t my place- although lots of them go out of their way to tell breastfeeding mums how weird, indulgent, exhibitionist or plain stupid they are for doing this simple, normal, natural act…
But breastmilk IS better for our babies than formula. That is just a fact- but I’m glad in a way that women have the strength and the choice in this country to stand by their decisions. If only they applied that determination to breastfeeding- we would have the healthiest children in the world, instead of some of the fattest and most poorly nourished.
I’m not sure ‘breast is best’ is really the right slogan. It is too subjective, ‘best’ is a very spongy term, after all, don’t we all have to have the same standards in order to determine the ‘best’ and ‘worst’?
Although if the slogan was ‘Formula milk is the worst choice for your baby’ you can be sure that it wouldn’t be as popular. And that the milk companies would try so hard to suppress it it wouldn’t be up long.
I want you to know that I have no negative feelings at all about our breastfeeding journey together- it hasn’t always been a picnic, but the joy by far outweighs the minor hiccups we’ve encountered.
I am so busy thinking about ME and my relationship with breastfeeding I have forgotten how you must feel about it. I’m so glad your tiny tummy hasn’t had to learn how to digest another animal’s milk, I suppose that’s why you’ve only ever had one tummy upset. I’ve had more than that in the past two years! You’ve had probably five colds, and they get shorter and shorter each time. Your skin is clear and your eyes are bright. You are exactly the right weight.
I am delighted that you are my child, and I am so so proud to be your mummy… And I’m more than happy to feed you with my liquid love everyday.
Even if you are a greedy little piglet, hogging that milk down whilst casually watching ‘TreeFu Tom’, occasionally latching off and saying “Tom. Hahahaha!”
Love, Mummy xx