I have felt progressively more awkward feeding my lg since she was about 18 months. She is now 3.75 years old. I don’t avoid feeding her in public and thankfully she asks a bit less now than she did even a year ago. I really, really wish I didn’t feel the way I do but here I am. Little Britain and ‘bitty’ have a lot to answer for!
My husband and I went for lunch at our friends house. We had a lovely afternoon unfortunately it wasn’t very exciting for my lg who decided she wanted milk after about an hour. When we were getting comfortable on the sofa I heard the familiar *sighs* and throat clearings of faint disapproval and felt self-conscious for me and my supportive husband. I don’t blame them in the slightest – I am 99 % sure I would have been the same had I not been on this breastfeeding journey with my daughter.
I read an article on terminology and now see how powerful these terms are and how much they can influence the way we think and feel about what should ideally be a personal choice. It pointed out that the term ‘Extended Breastfeeding’ was actually quite damaging and that ‘Natural Term Breastfeeding’ should be used instead. ‘Extended’ makes it sound like ‘beyond the norm’. Considering the average age for natural weaning is 4.5 years of age, there should be so many babies, toddlers and children being breastfed in public as a matter of course that nobody would bat an eyelid!
Aside from ease of use and that I liked the look, it’s part of the reason why we designed our nursing tops the way we have. We need to subtly increase the visibility of breastfeeding without being confrontational. A conversation starter or even a conversation replacement.