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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Breastfeeding Factories

My sons become aware of nursing in public around 3 years old. After 4 they don't want me to tell other people they still nurse. David has stopped calling breastfeeding "night-nights." When he is feeling like a big boy, he call them "factories." I guess its easier for a 4 year old to deal with a factory. Friday morning he popped his eyes open. Instead of rooting around in a daze, he asked if he can go play a video game.

"You don't want to nurse? You want to play a game?" I asked in disbelief. He did decide to nursed before leaving the bed. When he finished, he told me to close the factories (put the flap on my bra up) and don't tell Nate (his teen friend, buddy, sitter), who was coming over soon, that he still does this. This is his way of verbalizing that breastfeeding is an intimate, personal, and important.

As I was writing PTM, I found it a delicate balance to talk about the duration of time my children nurse and give them their privacy. For the most part, either they stayed "4" or I told the story in a non-specific way that can relate to any age.

3 comments:

Ann Marie said...

Interesting. My mother nursed me until I was 3. I don't think it was because she had strong feelings on BF, it just made her life easier. I was her 4th and last baby, I had night terrors and she says that I cried more than any baby and toddler that shes ever seen still til this day. Nursing was the only thing that soothed me. It wasn't until I was almost 30 that I felt completely comfortable telling others that I was breastfeed for 3 years. I'm not sure why. Maybe because people had such strong reactions to it. I'm not sure if society's views have changed or if the people I am around have changed, but it doesn't seem to shock people anymore. Hopefully the day will come when your boys will share their stories and feel proud to have had such a wonderful and intimate relationship with their mother like I do.

turtlewomyn said...

Awww, your little boy is growing up!
I recently told a coworker that Savannah is still nursing and I got a shocked look and a "She's three!" (well no, technically she won't be three until October, so there, she is only two!). Savannah however, has no problems letting people know she nurses, when we recently picked her up after five days at Grammy's house (daycare crisis, long story) she patted my chest and said "Num nums!" Of course my MIL had to say "Are you still doing THAT??!?!?!" I proudly said "Yes, we are."

Anonymous said...

Wow. I heard that the emperors of China were breastfed for a long time (I think 7 years old.) I have never heard of that in the American culture. What are the benefits? ::Sigh:: Our culture is so messed up when women can't breastfeed in public and are asked to cover up. By the way, I love the pictures in the back patient rooms. Breastfeeding is beautiful.
C and M

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