I’ve created a pretty supportive community when it comes to breastfeeding. Our “parent friends” are all totally on board with breastfeeding as normal and, even if they don’t breastfeed beyond a year, so far everyone has been really accepting of my breastfeeding my toddler.
Now that my first born is three and in preschool, he’s a talkative guy and in hearing his conversations, I’m so proud of the way breastfeeding is normal to him and to his peers. I’ll share a few of my very favorite examples.
1. This summer, we were out riding bikes and as we passed his friend E’s house, my son said, “Hey, E! Where’s your mom?”
E said, “She’s inside pumping her milk,” without missing a beat.
My son replied, “Oh! Does she have boobs?”
“Ok. See ya!” And we pedaled on into sunset.
2. A few weeks ago, when I picked my son up from preschool toting my baby along, a swarm of other preschoolers surrounded us at the door to touch my baby and squeeze his giraffe. One classmate, M, asked me, “Does he drink breastmilk?”
I said, “Yep. He does.”
M replied, “I did, too, and so does my baby sister.” Other preschoolers nodded or blurted out that the same was true at their house. Then they all went back to their work.
3. In his pretend play, my older son will talk to his dolls/action figures/animals and say, “Ok, I’m going to give you some breastmilk before I tuck you in for your nap.” Then he’ll sit beside me on the sofa and nurse his frogs/doll/book, switching sides when I do with my baby.
These kids have grown up seeing breastfeeding as no big deal, just the way that babies get fed. Nursing happens around them, very present in their lives. It makes me feel hopeful that when they grow up, neither they, nor their partners will feel any stigmatization for simply, naturally feeding their baby in a way that’s physiologically normal.
Do your kids have similar experiences? What ways have you seen breastfeeding normalized? Leave us a comment to share your experiences.