by Niyati Mehta
Breastfeeding – the first touch between a mother and her newborn which soon takes on the form of an irreplaceable bond between the two. It is a ritual as old as time. Haven’t so many of us heard that in some cultures around the world, mothers breastfeed their children up to the age of 5 and 6!
Be it parenting groups, forums or online resources such as blogs, the benefits of breastfeeding a child are well known to the world today. From EBF (exclusively breastfeeding) mothers and children to mothers who are up in arms against formulas, breastfeeding is finally enjoying its time under the spotlight. In fact this week, August 1-7, 2019 is when we officially celebrate World Breastfeeding Week and if this isn’t a testament to the popularity of BF, we don’t know what is!
And yet, the shadow of taboo hasn’t entirely faded away from this natural phenomenon. It is perfectly natural for parents, mothers, children and families to be open about feeding till a child is of a certain age. But as children get older, parents often have a hard time explaining breastfeeding to them. From creative stories to avoidance tactics- parents use all sorts of tricks to explain this phenomenon to their toddlers.
And if you want to feed your toddler, especially if he/she is older than 2, the shadow takes on the form of embarrassment. The shame associated with feeding grown toddlers is immense and it is still not something normal for mothers to do, even when all the research, scientific and health facts state otherwise.
Today we urge parents to think about how they can and should work towards normalizing breastfeeding for children. We nudge parents to speak up, have an open dialogue and slowly but surely take small steps that will help normalize breastfeeding.
Here’s a quick question for your parents. How would you normalize breastfeeding for older children? (choose any 1)
- Create a story and explain the process to your child creatively rather than factually.
- Use real-life examples of mammals such as cows, showing them visuals, etc. of what breastfeeding is.
- Explain breastfeeding very scientifically – clearly stating all the facts, body parts and benefits involved.
Write in your answers
share your thoughts,
Tips on breastfeeding stories and experiences to tell us how we can nudge parents, children, and communities to be more accepting, more open about breastfeeding.
Let’s Nudge, Share & Learn this World Breastfeeding Week