I was inspired to write this post after speaking to a mother whilst at my day job. When discussing breastfeeding her child (almost 1 years old) I told I too was breastfeeding my daughter who is 14 months. She exclaimed “I thought I was the only one breastfeeding up to a year!”. I didn’t quite know how to take this reaction. Part of me felt judged (I’m sensitive!) as if this couple was shocked I was breastfeeding and part of me felt sad that this mother felt “alone”. As a breastfeeding mother and peer supporter I strive to do what I can to support other mothers no matter how far along they are in their breastfeeding journeys!
I decided to reach out to other blogging mothers to see how they feel/felt whilst breastfeeding their children over the age of 1 (which in our culture seems to be the mainstream cut off point, ha!) I had an overwhelming response but unfortunately couldn’t include them all!
Here are some of the things they had to say:
“I breastfed my middle child until the month before his second birthday (and I was 8 months pregnant with baby number 3). I only had one negative comment, from an old man, who thought it was disgusting I fed a walking and talking toddler. Other than that, no one seemed to bat an eyelid and no one said anything to me.” Rachel @ Coffee, Cake, Kids
“I am currently breastfeeding my youngest who is now 19 months old (breastfed my eldest for 12 months) and friends and family are just as supportive as they were before. Thankfully, only ever had positive experiences from strangers when feeding out and about, either positive comments or they have just not been bothered. Only people I’ve had that seem surprised or seem to question that we are still breastfeeding is, ironically, the health visitor.” Elizabeth @ Where Roots and Wings Entwine
“I fed my son for around 2.5 years. The only negativity I ever experienced was from late, middle-aged women (usually with a man at the time) who moved away in cafes. Also, my brother, when Moose was about a year (ish), made some quite ignorant comments about another breastfeeding mum in front of me not realising that I was still at it and he was about to have his arse handed to him. Luckily, I had a lot of positive experiences.” Natasha @ Mummy and Moose
“I breastfed my first until he self weaned at 18 months, when I was 6 months pregnant with my second. I am still breastfeeding my second and he’s 16 months now. Family and friends are supportive and don’t even think twice about it. I haven’t really had any negative experiences but when out and about breastfeeding I usually get stares and disapproving looks from older people more than anyone else.” Jade @ Raw Childhood
“I breastfed until my son was 15 months – I’d returned to work full time and it just came to a gradual end through his choice. On the whole, I only had positive comments – I think I was so vocal about not caring what people thought, friends and family didn’t dare say anything to my face. I did get a couple of “What, still?” comments when I said I was breastfeeding past one, and I got the impression that some people thought it was “weird” but wouldn’t tell me to my face. It wasn’t something I spoke a lot as generally I only did it at home. I did have one extended family member come and speak to me at a family event when I was feeding who said she was so please to see me still feeding and being so open about it, as she’d always been uncomfortable doing it in front of people for fear of judgement. I simply didn’t care what other people thought and knew my husband would defend me in an instant if he needed to!” Abi @ Something About Baby
“Personally I haven’t had any negative reactions but I am definitely getting “vibes” from family now that it’s time to be stopping. Lu is 20 months and it’s just little comments – nothing major. Things like she’ll be restless and I’ll say “oh she’s hungry” (code for my toddler wants boob hand her over now) so they’ll grab her a snack and she’ll get angry. I think, to be honest, they know better than to step to far.” Hannah @ Hi Baby Blog
“I’m feeding my 2 year old and 3.5 year old. My nanny has been telling me they are too old and will get bullied, from 6 months. However, my husband, mother, sister and all my friends are all highly supportive and although it wasn’t something they were originally on board with, they can now see the benefits and have decided to learn about it themselves.” Jade @ Mummies Waiting
“I found that it is apparently completely acceptable for friends and family to ridicule and demean my decision to breastfeed my toddler. Despite the World Health Organisation advocating breastfeeding up until the age of two or beyond, I found that in our society, once a baby grows out of the “cute, babe in arms” stage then it is no longer seen as “right” or “natural” to think of them at their mother’s breast. Instead, many are happy to stand in judgement and make sweeping generalisations that nursing a toddler is “just not right” or that it could be harming the child’s development. As my daughter started to loose her “baby like” looks, I was told many times by both family members and friends that she is too old to still be feeding and I was accused of holding onto it for selfish reasons and not wanting to let go.” Jennifer @ My Mummys Pennies
“I breastfed my daughter until she was 4.5 years old. I found the reactions very mixed. Some friends who I thought would be critical were actually very supportive, while I got comments about it being weird from someone I didn’t expect. There were also comments directed at my daughter about her being “a bit old for that” which really upset me. But for the most part, people just didn’t comment on it – I think they knew I wouldn’t pay attention anyway!” Rebecca @ The Ish Mother
and last but not least…
“I fed T until he self weaned around 20 months. I’m lucky in the fact that I didn’t have any negativity around me, although it was clear people didn’t really know WHY I was still feeding T after a year (as if it was my choice).” Kate @ Les Be Mums
For me feeding Aoife past a year is no different to when I was feeding her 6 months ago. She is still my baby and she still very much uses me for comfort as well as feeding. I am happy to keep going as long as she needs. I see no cut off point in the near future from my side but will go along with what Aoife needs, as I have always done!
A throwback to when Aoife was younger (12 weeks). Excuse my mum tum!
Thanks for reading.