One woman is confused as to why people feel the need to comment on her decision to continue to breastfeed her 11 month old baby.
In an age where opinions on parenting can be a contentious issue, one mom has found herself under pressure from her non-parent colleagues to end breastfeeding her 11-month-old. In an attempt to explain why she feels breastfeeding for two years is beneficial for both mother and child, she faces judgement and intrusive questioning.
“I tell them WHO and AAP state benefits of breastfeeding until age 2, so if it continues to work for us, maybe sometime around then” she says. But her colleagues are not convinced and provide the following comments:
“Yikes that’s such a long time.”
“If I was a mom I’d stop when they have the language skills to ask for it.”
“Please promise me you’ll stop by 2.”
“Why don’t you just switch to formula so you can stop pumping?”
“If I was a mom I’d stop when they start walking.”
The mother finds her coworkers’ opinions “weary” and wonders what it is about breastfeeding toddlers that makes people so uncomfortable. “Is there something wrong with society, or is there something wrong with me?”
With the World Health Organisation recommending six months of exclusive breastfeeding, and “up to two years of age or beyond” for a mother and child, it is clear that opinions on parenting should remain just that – opinions. The mother in question can make her own informed decision on weaning, and should not be subject to the judgement of her non-parent peers.
Others Weigh In
Despite being met with judgement from her non-parent colleagues, with comments such as “Yikes that’s such a long time”, “Please promise me you’ll stop by 2”, and “If I was a mom I’d stop when they start walking”, the mother remains resolute in her decision and is undeterred.
One of the commenters shared a sentiment that “There’s nothing wrong with you and it’s strange to be so assertive when [they] don’t even have kids or the experience of nursing at all.” Another added that “do what is best for you and your baby”, before sharing her own experience of being met with similar pressures to end breastfeeding her child.
Another commenter said that next time they offer their own comments, she should reply with: “Hopefully by the time you have kids, you’ll learn how to keep unwanted opinions and thoughts to yourself”.
One mother, who had been in the same situation before having children, shared her experience: “Before I was a parent I always thought it was a bit weird to carry on past a year at most, why would you breastfeed when they were eating actual meals? Just give them a bottle at bed time! I kept that secret judgement to myself though, because while I was naive, I still had manners. And thank goodness I did, my boy self weaned at 2 years 4 months.”