Follow on Human Milk. Why Everyone Needs to Calm Down When Children Breastfeed.

“OMG! Did you see that woman? She was breastfeeding her kid! He was at least 3!”

Somebody call the police! 

Shock, horror! 

  

Tits. They’re great, aren’t they? Everyone loves them! So much so, they’re put on a huge pedestal and worshipped by all. Women spend billions of pounds, each year, on underwear to make them look pretty, perk them up a bit, give them a bit more bounce, or deceive the men on the town into thinking they’re a cup or two bigger. Men spend a good penny or two to see them unleashed, when they’re having trouble getting a real person to let them have a peak. 

Everyone loves tits!

So, why do we find it so surprising, when our children love them too?

Currently recoiling in horror, at the thought? 

Ah, ok! I see. That’s because you’re still assuming tits are sexual, even where children are involved. 

Let’s get one thing straight. 

BREASTS WERE MADE TO FEED CHILDREN

That is LITERALLY what they are for! 

Oh, and this…

A CHILD IS NOT A TEENAGER!

There’s nothing ‘bitty’ about it. And by giving women a hard time about it, you do nothing but contribute to ruining a great breastfeeding relationship that was not ready to end yet AND you kind of look like a bit of a bully. Sorry! 

Because of people, who don’t know a thing about breastfeeding, giving women who breastfeed until natural-term a bad name, women feel they must force early weaning from the breast. This can cause upset, tears, long, hard nights, feelings of guilt, stress and anxiety!! Doing it because the mother doesn’t want to do it anymore is fine but doing it because society doesn’t think she should, is just messed up.

Here’s a thought, lay off mums who are trying to do the best job they possibly can for their kids, who are giving up all their time and energy, to take care of them and make sure they are meeting their nutritional and emotional needs. 

Want to question this? Fine. Go do some research, read a book, look up attachment theory but DO NOT slag off the breastfeeding mother!

Whether or not a child can be “put on a bottle” or milk can be “just put in a cup” is irrelevant, because guess what, breastfeeding isn’t just about the food. 
Children get great comfort from breastfeeding. It gives them a sense of security, it helps them to feel loved, accepted, cared for and protected. If they fall, they need boob, if they’re sick, they need boob, if they’re having teething or growing pains, yep, they need boob. And as it happens, it’s a great parenting tool. In most cases it stops them crying, almost, instantly! How’s that for reducing parental stress?

Here’s something else I bet you didn’t know. The natural weaning age of humans is 4-7. Our MILK TEETH fall out at around age 7. Coincidence? Not at all. 

In Mongolia, when a mother has breastfed her child until age 7, she is congratulated and expected to have grown a good wrestler. 

So, why do us Westerners stop breastfeeding so early?? 

How do so many others cultures manage to breastfeed for so long?

There are many reasons, really. Lack of breastfeeding support being a big one, but no, it’s largely down to bottle culture. Our consumeristic society has spent many years advertising and pushing products on us that will make them a few quid, and well, wasn’t someone clever when they realised they could *create* a gap in breastfeeding market?

Formula companies have been playing dirty tricks for many years. Word on the grapevine, tells us they used to be so aggressive with their marketing tactics that they would go into hospitals, give out lots of free stuff, set up training sessions, with our health care professionals, and teach them how to get women to formula feed. In order to do so, they had to convince the woman that formula was better or that her milk wouldn’t be good enough. 

This exact thing happened to my mother, when my sisters and I were born. A midwife told her not to bother trying to breastfeed because it wouldn’t be good enough and that was that! Of course, my mother believed her. Why wouldn’t she? Don’t we all trust our doctors, midwives, health visitors and so on? 

The big problem we have today, however, is that this was done for so long that all that bad information is still floating around. It’s been passed down generation, after generation, as absolutely gospel! And trying to convince anyone, otherwise, is very difficult.

So, we live in a society that over-sexualises breasts, where a majority of parents bottle feed their babies milk from a completely different animal, and who can’t separate sexuality from biological purpose. 

If anyone is messed up, it’s the clown who thinks he knows it all, when he decides to shoot down the well-educated, hard working mum, sat breastfeeding her 3 year old.

Give it a rest, put down your derogatory newspaper and go read a book!

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Follow on Human Milk. Why Everyone Needs to Calm Down When Children Breastfeed.

  
“OMG! Did you see that woman? She was breastfeeding her kid! He was at least 3!”
Somebody call the police! 

Shock, horror! 

Tits. They’re great, aren’t they? Everyone loves them! So much so, they’re put on a huge pedestal and worshipped by all. Women spend billions of pounds, each year, on underwear to make them look pretty, perk them up a bit, give them a bit more bounce, or deceive the men on the town into thinking they’re a cup or two bigger. Men spend a good penny or two to see them unleashed, when they’re having trouble getting a real person to let them have a peak. 

Everyone loves tits!

So, why do we find it so surprising, when our children love them too? 

Currently recoiling in horror, at the thought? 

Ah, ok! I see. That’s because you’re still assuming tits are sexual, even where children are involved. 

Let’s get one thing straight. 

BREASTS WERE MADE TO FEED CHILDREN

That is LITERALLY what they are for! 

Oh, and this…

A CHILD IS NOT A TEENAGER!

There’s nothing ‘bitty’ about it. And by giving women a hard time about it, you do nothing but contribute to ruining a great breastfeeding relationship that was not ready to end yet AND you kind of look like a bit of a bully. Sorry! 

Because of people, who don’t know a thing about breastfeeding, giving women who breastfeed until natural-term a bad name, women feel they must force early weaning from the breast. This can cause upset, tears, long, hard nights, feelings of guilt, stress and anxiety!! Doing it because the mother doesn’t want to do it anymore is fine but doing it because society doesn’t think she should, is just messed up.

Here’s a thought, lay off mums who are trying to do the best job they possibly can for their kids, who are giving up all their time and energy, to take care of them and make sure they are meeting their nutritional and emotional needs. 

Want to question this? Fine. Go do some research, read a book, look up attachment theory but DO NOT slag off the breastfeeding mother!

Whether or not a child can be “put on a bottle” or milk can be “just put in a cup” is irrelevant, because guess what, breastfeeding isn’t just about the food. 

Children get great comfort from breastfeeding. It gives them a sense of security, it helps them to feel loved, accepted, cared for and protected. If they fall, they need boob, if they’re sick, they need boob, if they’re having teething or growing pains, yep, they need boob. And as it happens, it’s a great parenting tool. In most cases it stops them crying, almost, instantly! How’s that for reducing parental stress?

Here’s something else I bet you didn’t know. The natural weaning age of humans is 4-7. Our MILK TEETH fall out at around age 7. Coincidence? Not at all. 

In Mongolia, when a mother has breastfed her child until age 7, she is congratulated and expected to have grown a good wrestler. 

So, why do us Westerners stop breastfeeding so early?? 

How do so many others cultures manage to breastfeed for so long?

There are many reasons, really. Lack of breastfeeding support being a big one, but no, it’s largely down to bottle culture. Our consumeristic society has spent many years advertising and pushing products on us that will make them a few quid, and well, wasn’t someone clever when they realised they could *create* a gap in breastfeeding market?

Formula companies have been playing dirty tricks for many years. Word on the grapevine, tells us they used to be so aggressive with their marketing tactics that they would go into hospitals, give out lots of free stuff, set up training sessions, with our health care professionals, and teach them how to get women to formula feed. In order to do so, they had to convince the woman that formula was better or that her milk wouldn’t be good enough. 

This exact thing happened to my mother, when my sisters and I were born. A midwife told her not to bother trying to breastfeed because it wouldn’t be good enough and that was that! Of course, my mother believed her. Why wouldn’t she? Don’t we all trust our doctors, midwives, health visitors and so on? 

The big problem we have today, however, is that this was done for so long that all that bad information is still floating around. It’s been passed down generation, after generation, as absolutely gospel! And trying to convince anyone, otherwise, is very difficult.

So, we live in a society that over-sexualises breasts, where a majority of parents bottle feed their babies milk from a completely different animal, and who can’t separate sexuality from biological purpose. 

If anyone is messed up, it’s the clown who thinks he knows it all, when he decides to shoot down the well-educated, hard working mum, sat breastfeeding her 3 year old.

Give it a rest, put down your derogatory newspaper and go read a book!

Connect with me on Facebook to stay updated on my posts!

Attachment Parenting is Not ‘Just Another Parenting Fad’

 
If you want to be an attachment parent, you have to breastfeed, babywear or carry your baby constantly, sleep with your baby, never have a life and shit baby pink unicorns, right?

Wrong! 

In fact, it has absolutely nothing to do with how you feed your child and has a lot to do with how you respond to your child’s needs. 

Do you play with your child? Hug them when they cry? Feed them when they’re hungry? Always keep them nearby during their first 6 months of life? Guess what? You’re an attachment parent! 

I first learnt about attachment theory when I was studying my Early Years diploma, many moons ago, and it’s the kind of thing that once you understand, just makes a lot of sense.  Since then, I guess I never really gave it much thought, other than, that’s probably how I will parent.

I was reacquainted with attachment theory, once again, when I became pregnant and a friend mentioned this ‘new trend’ called co-sleeping. Co-sleeping? What’s THAT all about? 

It was explained to me that co-sleeping means you either sleep with your baby or baby sleeps by your bed, meaning when baby cries, they are never far from comfort and food, two very essential things for this early stage of life. Well, yeah that makes sense. So, I did my research. This is when I met my old friend Attachment Theory, again. Only she’d changed a bit. Got older, got some new jeans, changed her hair, got married and changed her name to Attachment Parenting. Oh and it turned out, we had a lot more in common than I ever realised. 

We both recognised that when babies cry, they are communicating a need. Be that hunger, pain relief or simply comfort. We both felt that it was always a safer option to keep baby close-by, during those early months, so that you can better regulate silly things like breathing, temperature, heart rate, hunger and so on. We also both agreed, it was kind of ridiculous to think a baby, whose brain does not yet have the tools to create manipulating behaviour, could cry just to ‘get their own way’. Have you seen the size of a baby’s head? Their brains are so small, they only have room to work completely off their basic human needs. There’s no room for negotiation. If they cry, they are literally just communicating one of their basic needs. Simple! It is literally, physically impossible for a baby to attempt any form manipulation or negotiation. 

I think attachment parenting has recently been getting a bit of bad press, through what I believe to be a little misunderstanding and I think it’s about time we cleared this up. Attachment parenting isn’t a fad, it is just parenting, without all the, ‘Don’t pick the baby up too much, you’ll spoil him’, crap. I think most people assume, because a lot of parents who identify as an attachment parent tend to breastfeed, co sleep or babywear, that you have to do one or more of these activities in order to join the club. In fact, the problem is simply that not enough people, and most specifically, those who don’t breastfeed, co sleep or baby wear, are identifying themselves as attachment parents. 

The other problem we have is that many people view attachment parenting as if it is something really demanding and difficult, when it’s the exact opposite. In fact, it’s kind of lazy parenting! By answering your baby’s cries with a hug or a feed, guess what? They cry less! Not constantly trying to put your baby down for a sleep, when they’re not tired, actually makes your life a lot easier. Understanding that babies don’t respond well to sleep training, prevents you from going through the heart-ache that comes with leaving them to cry and more importantly, the disappointment that comes with them waking and crying every time you try to put them down.

Studies show that when a baby cries, both the mother’s and baby’s cortisol levels in the brain, are raised. This means mother and baby are stressed! This goes against what nature expects you to do. It is your body’s way of telling you something is not right. 

So what do we do? We follow our instincts to pick baby up and hold or feed him. And as if by magic, those cortisol levels are immediately reduced and are replaced with the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin, also know as the love hormone, acts as a natural anti-depressant. So, in essence, attachment parenting can reduce a mother’s risk of Post Natal Depressiom (PND).

Being a parent that responds sensitively to your baby’s needs, I think, deserves some recognition. If you do this, well done! You have learnt that following your instincts and listening to your child works better than following the surrounding rules and opinions of others.

It’s easy to lose track but I have found that the less I listen to the advice of others and the more I simply watch and listen to my baby, the smoother things go. 

So, in summary, trust your instincts. They know best. Attachment parenting is NOT just another parenting fad. It IS just parenting. Exactly how it was meant to be, which is why when parents practice it, they find they are less stressed and that their babies cry less. This in turn makes it easier to understand exactly why your baby is crying, upset, grumpy, and also recognise everything that makes them happy. 

It’s like I always say, Happy Baby, Happy Mammy! 😉

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Why I Will Always Give My Girl A Choice

 Ever since Maya was born, I have always asked her permission for almost everything. Most people have probably thought I was mad, or just a babbling idiot, but I’ve done it for good reason and that is because I want her to have choice. 

Our post-Victorian culture seems to really value controlling our children, like they will never figure anything out on there own, so much so, they learn to rely on their elders for the answer to almost every important life decision, be it, ‘Should I go to the toilet?’, or, ‘Should I go to college?’

Most of us don’t even realise it or think to question it, as it’s engrained deep into the veins of society, running through each generation, granted, adapting slightly as time goes on but still, the same values remain. 

I’ve seen it so many times! A small child drawing a picture and her parents constantly chanting, in the background, as she works, ‘No, darling, cars don’t look like that, you need to put another wheel on!’ Or, ‘No, the sky is blue! That’s not right, is it?’ 

Little by little, we crush our children’s creative exploration of the world and of choice by forcing our own ideas onto them and telling them how they should see the world. 

Children aren’t stupid. They just need to learn about the world in their own way, in their own good time. Telling them they are wrong, will do nothing but crush their spirit and enthusiasm. 

In the art world, it is accepted that a portrait doesn’t have to look anything like the subject, as it is the artists perception, which is important. People spend billions of pounds to own work like this, spectators will spend whole days observing fascinating peices in galleries, pondering over what it all means and praising the artist for his intelligent way of expressing the subject. So, why can’t we put the same value on our children’s work? 

It doesn’t have to be a drawing or a painting. Everything our children do, is an expression of how they see the world. It’s their way of figuring it out and this is the only way they will learn about the world. 

Think about some of the biggest epiphanies you ever experienced, those moments when it all suddenly became clear and you understood. Did that ever happen after someone had just told you that you were wrong and to see it from their point of view? Or did it unravel in your own good time? 

This morning, I took out two dresses from the wardrobe, and asked my 1 year old which one she would like to wear today. Without hesitation, she ran to the silver and white one, with a big smile on her face and hugged it. I’ve absolutely no idea why she prefers that one. All I know is that it was her choice. And I respect that. 

I know my little girl will grow to have a mind of her own, to be confident in her choices, to hopefully never second guess herself and own her decisions.

It’s a very important lesson to learn and something I didn’t learn until I was in my teens. Why wait to exercise choice? What better way to help develop independence in our children than to put them in charge of their own life’s decisions, today? 

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