View Full Version : Breastfeeding is Normal.
Is that message that is out there? Do people believe that breastfeeding is normal.
I'm not trying to say that it's natural as that is setting new mums up to fail.
But it is normal.
I wonder if kids think it's normal.. I mean the babies that come from the toy-shelves all have bottles, there are toddler formula ads on TV, just general ads about babies (regardless of the product) show a bubby being lovingly fed with a bottle, and there are more choices in bottles on the shelves than there are breastpads.
I'm not saying there's anything wrong with formula feeding, but I do often wonder if we proud breastfeeders keep to ourselves, afraid of the backlash that happens when we do talk about breastfeeding being normal. We stir motherguilt up (without intending to) which normally leads to our normal way of life to be attacked.. or it just starts a debate which no one wins.
I was thinking about it last night after a friend said something about the previous post I'd made in this section, about how my joy about a breastfeeding friendly article will make those who can't breastfeed feel bad.
I think I just want breastfeeding to be recognised as something as normal as going to the shops for a loaf of bread.
Lots of people thinks its normal, boys from the country lol like my dh think its the most natural thing in the world they grow up seeing animals do it all the time hahahaha
My son also thinks its completely normal and has just started bfing his batman doll imitating me bfing his baby sister
BUT alot of people still think its a subject better left covered up so to speak,
My mum doesnt mind me bfing infront of her BUT always tells me to cover up when other people are around.
When I had my son and was bfing around my sisters they would cringe and look away like i was picking a scab or something lol:eek: :laughing:
Now though with me bfing my dd they dont even flinch, exposure is a good thing the more we put it out there the less stigma is attached imo
My nephew (just turned two) who wasnt bfing freaked out when he first saw me bfing my bub he cried out "bitey bitey sore!" BUt now after seeing me do it often he doesnt get so upset, he still says bitey but he realises it doesnt hurt me etc
Good thread seek:thumbsup:
I see it as normal & it doesnt faze me in the slightest. I think there will always be those who find it strange but then thats their association with breasts.
DP has even commented it doesnt worry him ( some guys freak out ) he would only take offence if boobs were being flashed at him lol but then he is funny like that. He has never been into girlies flashing boobies hehe strange man ;)
Boof doesnt even care he actually loves it when he sees a bub being b/f. He is in love with RB's little girl MJ & when she gets a b/f he says " awww dink ni, nighs " which is " drink nite nite " lol cause he associates milk with sleeping lol. He also still grabs my boobs which is hilarious considering he was only b/f for what a week all up lmao !
My mum heard a great story the other nite by a volunteer for the Royal Flying Doctors. Her daughter was a teacher in a rural community b/f her baby & would go home throughout the day inbetween lessons to b/f. Anyways they were holding a teachers meeting one nite & she said she would be bringing in bubs to feed & if anyone had an issue could they please speak to her about it !
WELLLLL ! The very rough & tumble country school principal stood up hands on hips saying " Bugger that if any of you have a problem with her feeding her baby you will bl00dy well come see me !!!! ".
Lets just hope this sort of attitude can keep going all around the country :thumbsup:
ETA : I also forgot to say that its been very normal in both mine & DP's family to b/f its only been my mum who was unable to. My aunty b/f all 5 of her boys all through up until they were older with my youngest cousin who is a month younger than me being b/f till 6yrs of age ! So its also very very normal in my family which i guess is what helps overall in the acceptance scheme of things !
i was bought up in a household where BF'eeding was the norm... same with my mum (my grandmother BF her 5 children). as a consequence my family have no issues with me whipping out the booby!! :D
it is interesting though that when i was in hospital after having DD, and she'd cry for a feed, some visitors got all squirmy and made their excuses to leave - even if they had only just arrived!! that was a little disappointing. :(
Breastfeeding is certainly normal in our circle but not so much in society in general. My kids have grown up with being breastfed themselves, seeing their siblings breastfed, friends breastfeeding their babies. Even their wee baby uncle is breastfed :D (it still weirds me out to say that!)
Shine breastfeeds her doll, sometimes she gets over it and makes me wetnurse for her :p
I think we need to really make sure that we do normalise breastfeeding. Rather than hiding away in baby rooms or rushing home to feed her, I make sure I feed Shine in public if she wants a feed. Sometimes I feel hideously uncomfortable but that's what we need to challenge.
Breastfeeding is normal. It's not a shameful secret.
B(@Y@)bs rule, ok?!
Ive never been one to hide away to breastfeed my babies. I make sure if my bub is hungry when out at the shops that I dont run away and hide in the stinky parents room to feed him but sit wherever and get the girls out for him to feed him. I dont feel uncomfortable at all and I actually sit there waiting for someone to come up and comment to me about where I should be feeding him.
My family all think b/f is normal thanks to those of us that have never hidden away or tried to keep it a secret thing to do.
It's interesting isn't it. I think it's one of those things where everyone knows and expects that it's done, and SAYS that it's 'normal', but culturally it's still not as socially normal, the way it is in other cultures. For instance people still cringe and look away, BFing mothers still feel like they need to cover up or go somewhere private etc. And yeah there's very few messages out there about BFing, as Seekrit pointed out - no BFing dolls, you rarely see it on movies or TV.
I was surprised how many people asked me while I was pregnant with DS if I was 'planning to BF' - if it was so totally normal then people wouldn't even need to ask, would they?
Plus, I definitely think BFing past 6 months isn't seen as 'normal' yet - now that I'm back at work people are shocked when I say that I'm still BFing (well, trying to :rolleyes:). Or when I tell my friends and family that I'm a bit down because my supply has all but dried up now that I'm working, they say 'but he's over 6 months now anyway' as if that's when you 'should' stop.
I think it's normal, I look at it like a thousand years ago, what else were babies eating?
I know they were to have something if it weren't breastmilk but I definitely do consider it normal.
Formula is really comercialised and a lot of modern parents will think it's normal.
It feels so normal to me.
I just wanted to share that I am currently breastfeeding and loving it! It has been nearly 4 months so far and i feel so proud, and I can't even bare the thought of stopping. Here I was expecting it to be a difficult process but luckily bub and i have breezed straight through. no sore/ cracked nipples etc.
anyway I just wanted to share my achievement, thanks for listening.
I don't think it is seen as normal, no, but it needs to be! I think bottle feeding and formula are more normalised than breastfeeding. On 'Congrats' cards for new babies, we see bottles... motifs on baby clothes, on Baby Shower invitations, bottles bottles and bottles. You very rarely see images of mothers breastfeeding their babies on greeting cards or invitations.
I think people need to stop considering breasts purely as sexual objects and accept them as tools for nourishment and parenting. It's not 'rude' to breastfeed in public- we are feeding our hungry child, what could be more normal than that. It really irks me when people have issues with women breastfeeding in public, but not with women bottle feeding in public. I have been discriminated against as a breastfeeding mother before.
I agree that I think it's unfair we are expected to breastfeed our babies in smelly change rooms. I know I wouldn't like to eat my lunch in a toilet cubicle! It's not like I have ever flashed my boobs around deliberately, you can hardly see anything anyway with the baby's head against the breast, so people should get over whatever issues they have with seeing breastfeeding in action. This will then help mums to feel more confident, relaxed and comfortable about feeding in public.
I know in the early days I was nervous about feeding in public, because I had heard of other women being approached, told to cover up or go somewhere private. It's so unfair that this is happening. We should all be able to feed our children without feeling like we're offending anyone. There also needs to be more support for breastfeeding mums, more information about the benefits etc so that more mums actually have incentives to breastfeed in the firstplace.
I think it's normal, but I don't think it's seen that way in society.
We seem to live in a world where we believe that 'fake' is better (for lack of a better word). You know... fake boobs are better than real ones, veges are grown with lots of chemicals, caesareans are seen as "quick and efficient" by a lot of people (often non-mothers). I think society likes man-made things... rather than natural things... and for that reason, I don't think breastfeeding is seen as normal in the general public.
I guess the only way change can happen is by women contributing to it... so when I next have a baby I'm happy to hang my boobs out wherever I am to do my part in normalising it a bit.
It's unfortunate that a lot of people would prefer to see a baby sucking on a bottle than seeing it enjoy a nutritious breast-snack.
As for bottle-feeding dolls... I'm sure I bottle-fed my dolls, but I also breastfed them! :D
I guess its about making it more visible so to speak.
I think it helped me a great deal when I had my first to see others breastfeeding.
I don't think I see it so much now.
When we went to visit my sil who had her baby almost a month ago, I was feeding my bub (18mths) as he was asking (he was getting tired and restless I think). I thought it would be good example but my sil seemed upset. She said "You put me to shame" That was not my intention at all:o. I told her "It takes time to learn and I have had 4 years experience" I still learnt something with every baby.
I heard on another forum someone say you can't breastfeed around children. :confused: Umm I have no choice! Its nice to think my kids think its completely normal to breastfeed. And even if my girl has troubles feeding when she has a baby I will not say she failed. You can only do your best.
I totally agree with you and often wonder this myself.
I will definitely be teaching my daughter that breastfeeding is normal and that it is very rewarding if you persist and will support her 100% and even help her bf if thats what it takes,i know in the early days thats the help i needed and am so greatful that i had my mum to help me and show me the way.
Dd always breat-feeds her dolls and i think its so cute,she does have a bottle for her dolls but more often than not she pretends to feed her doll and she told me she had milk haha.
I wish it was seen as normal, but it isn't in a lot of places... certainly not past 3 months anyway :eek: which seriously disturbs me.
In biblical times, babies were fed until they either self-weaned or until their 3rd birthday. Their 3rd birthday was often a 'weaning ceremony' type thing, from memory.
I think that I'm really lucky, where I live Breastfeeding is really and truly seen as the norm. Our kids all have their dolls "on the boob" at playgroup and you see mums feeding at sport (at half time even, lol) at the club, in the main street, in church! Our cafe and roadhouse both proudly display pro-bf signs. I think it's great that the girls here grow up being surrounded by it.
That's so wonderful to hear misskittyfantstico I breastfeed my DS for 12 months and i really felt pressure from others to stop. I had people buying me bottles and leaving behind articles on how to wean to a bottle. I'm lucky thou that those close to me were very supportive.
I was the only one in my mothers group that breastfed most gave up after a couple of months.
I'd do the same over again and certainly encourage others to.
My ds is 20 months and is yet to get sick even a cold (touch wood) I put that down to our breastfeeding.
I'm glad that this thread has been taken so positively (considering what I was saying in the beginning)
I see Breastfeeding as normal - but only now that I am breastfeeding myself. Pre-breastfeeding I thought I'd be expressing for when we went out so I wouldn't have to do it.
Admittedly, I still scurry to parents rooms, but I have body-image issues to deal with as well (and a husband whose only wish is that I do go to the parents room) but.. wouldn't it be nice.
I agree with the sentiment about cards and motifs. Maybe that's a niche market someone would like to address.
I should note, in my family I am supported wonderfully about my decision to continue to breastfeed until child-weaning. My MIL often expresses to me how she felt upset to wean her bubbies at 12 months as she felt unable to comfort them at night, my dad's DW is a big boob-nazi so she's very supportive of me. It's wonderful to have such support around.
I wonder if the whole breast/bottle issue is cyclical? (does that make sense)
I mean, when most of us were kids - formula and bottles were promoted and people were encouraged to wean their babies onto solids earlier.
Now, we are encouraged (but only gently) to b/feed if possible but not made to feel bad for going with a bottle.
I'm just wondering if this is a generational thing where not us, but OUR KIDS will see b/feeding as normal - where we are the ones that encourage them to b/feed their babies. I think it takes time for this whole turn around to take place where b/feeding will hopefully be more common.
However in saying that, so many of us have to combine working, pumping and b/feeding so it is no wonder people switch to bottles.
I say this as a proud b/feeding mum (DS for 2 years and DD for 4 months so far).
I have had tremendous support from my mum (a proud b/feeder) and hope to give that support to my children when the time comes so maybe there will be a natural shift over the years to come...
Its normal to 'try' but not normal to actually succeed and keep going.
my kid has never had a drop of formula in his ten months of life, but I feel I can't be proud of that without appearing to denigrate formula feeding and that other people think I am trying to make them feel guilty.
child led weaning is definitely not normal. I had never even heard of such a concept till I joined bubhub. It would never have occurred to me to do this, but now we are going to do it. NO ONE has heard of it. They all think I am a hippy freak but I am past caring. Mostly I keep it to myself anyway.
so, no, its not normal, its shameful and weird and Over The Top and should be stopped at six months. Thats the impression I am starting to get.
Stats in the M&B mag...
80% of Mothers start breastfeeding.
Of those, 50% have stop at or before 6 months.
At one year, only 20% are still breastfeeding and by age two only 1% of bubbies.
Only 1% at 2 are bfing, I believe that. I have yet to reach that with any of my kids.
The longest I have fed is almost 19mths. Bub will be 19 months soon. I didn't even know you could self wean with my first.
I think breastfeeding is very normal. I watched my mum breastfeed my little sister until she was 19 months and always thought when I have a baby, I'm going to breastfeed.
Although before having kids I thought you only breastfed until 6 months- I thought for some strange reason babies didn't want it anymore and they moved onto the bottle.
I've never been one to hide away in the parents room when wanting to breastfeed one of my children, why should I? I consider my boobs to be feeding objects- just like bottles! I don't often feed my 2 yr old out in public anymore though because of the strange looks that I get- they look at me like I am discusting and forcing it into her mouth.
So yes, I think it's normal. I want my children to consider it normal also when they get old enough to understand.
I think its normal too. DD1 self weaned at 9 mths:crying: woke up one day and just refused so I expressed for her till she turned 1yr old.
DD2 im proud to say feed till she was 2yrs old, she is now 2.5 yrs old and when she has been playing and eating certain foods, like mac cheese, she keeps saying bitty! bitty! Bitty boobie! (thats what we used to call it). I find it quite funny I often wonder if shell ask to have some when she sees me feed the new bubba in 6mths time.
In my life I now see b/f as normal (it tends to feel very normal after 17mo :p ) and there is no question in my mind that I will be b/f my next bub when the time comes.
As far as other people's opinions of what normal is I think that completely depends on their own experience and the family they grew up in. My MIL is still funny about b/f (she asks whether DD is S..T...I...L..L breastfeeding every time I speak to her :shame: ) probably because she found it very difficult with her children and gave up after a few weeks max.
In my mum's family though b/f is something normal and expected. When I was younger I saw my niece being b/f until around 3 which I thought was lovely :kiss: and not strange at all. My mum is very proud of me and tells all her friends what a great job I have done with b/f DD.
I think in order to make a difference to encourage breastfeeding the most important role model you can be is to young/teenage girls in your own family. Those girls are the ones who need to see positive images of breastfeeding because I know those memories I had really made me want to b/f my own DD.
normal is a hard word to define.
i greww up seeing breastfeeding as normal, that is that the majority of baby feeding images i saw were breastfeedign images, this was from family and friends who breastfed babies around me.
in society i think that the majority of images we see of infant feeding are of bottle feeding/formulla feeding, so in this way artificial feeding has become the societal norm.
however breastfeeding is the biological norm, in the way that it is the way babies have been designed to feed normally and as such i think it needs to be promoted and recognised as the biological norm or default setting for a human infant.
i liketo think of tha anology of the fact that walking is the biological norm for human beings to get around.
luckily we are a well developed society in that when a baby is born who has a problem with walking in the default setting (naturally using legs) we have options to offer , like wheel chairs or prosthetics, they may not be ideal or as good as the biological norm but they are a great substitute.
like this i see breastfeeding as the norm, but formula a great alternative, and a real life saver for some.
ot, i have seen a breastfeeding doll, it's made with a press stud for a nipple with the opposite being the bubba dolls mouth , so that you can attach the baby to the mummies nipples!
it's also real easy to convert a baby doll to a breastfed baby, just throw away the bottle....
my kids know those magic bottles contain ebm:laughing:
ot, i have seen a breastfeeding doll, it's made with a press stud for a nipple with the opposite being the bubba dolls mouth , so that you can attach the baby to the mummies nipples!
Ooh, I want one for Shine! Where did you see it? I could sew one myself of course....*wipes away tears of mirth* Me, sewing, bwahahaha! :laughing: :o
i actually saw it at a breastfeeding conference one year. it actually came as a kit , all cut out and with stuffing and stuff so you make it with your kids if you want to, which is prolly why i didn't get one, didn't think i could sew it together...
but i am off to another breastfeeding conference in august....HOT MILK....everyones invited:wave: ....so if you are up for it they may be there....or i'll keep a look out for some and we can work something out:D
When I was pregnant with MJ I could think of nothing worse than breastfeeding. I admit that. I wasn't breastfed, BUT my sisters bf their bubs. One sister for only 6 weeks each, but the other bf her daughter for 9months.
I gave into what I thought was pressure from the midwives to atleast give it a go, persevered through blood, sweat & tears & am still doing it 2yrs on, whilst being pregnant. NEVER EVER thought i'd be doing this, not in my wildest dreams.
But, in saying that, its the most natural thing for MJ. She looks at kids with bottles funny, she doesn't understand why they have them. If a baby is being breastfed she looks with a smile on her face, exclaiming "baby booboob, yummy booboob." Usually followed by a request for a drink for herself :p
MJ always bf her toys, from Shrek, dolls, cars & even transformers :laughing: So to her its as normal as breathing :D
I feel abnormal for breastfeeding. I am the only one in my family who has breastfed (My mother is one of two girls - neither breastfed and she went on to have four girls and I am the only who has done and my sisters each have had 3 children).
I feel abnormal when I need to feed when out and about as if I *should* just be warming up a bottle.
I feel abnormal when I am expressing at work as if it is a ridiculas notion that I have more than enough milk on tap that I would want it to dry up for the sake of what other people consider as convenience.
I feel abnormal when I explain to my mother about how I am expressing for bubs to feed while I am working and she nods her head and then asks me if I am going to take tablets to dry up my milk *aaargghj!!!*
And I feel abnormal when I discuss breastfeeding with most other mothers I know who tell me all of their breastfeeding horror stories when most of the time I can tell by what they are saying could have been solved with a little education, perserverence and support!
I just want to feel normal AND breastfeed my baby!
*sigh - sorry about the vent, gals*
On a light hearted note my children are seeing breastfeeding as VERY normal. Though when I first explained about breastfeeding to my DD she was like "the milk comes from where?" and gave me a very confused look as if I was kidding! She learnt quickly - I was expressing tonight and she wandered over looked curiously at the milk coming out and said. "Mum it is sooo amazing how that works - It's great isn't it" I won't lie and say I wasn't proud LOL
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