Note: I’ve not used the full word in an effort to try and eliminate people stumbling upon my blog when looking for certain mother and baby images.
These days Arlo doesn’t often have more than a morning and bedtime feed (I’ve stopped counting night feeds), but there are still times when he will want a feed during the day, and if he asks I oblige him. It’s also pretty handy if he has hurt himself, all is forgotten in seconds.
Recently, in what feels like a backstep to the very early days before I got used to whacking a boob out on demand, I’ve started to get a little uncomfortable about public displays. Is it my imagination that notices the palpable pause for thought when Arlo paws at me and I unclip my bra? ‘Oh, she’s still doing that…OK’.
It’s no coincidence that this paranoia has coincided with Arlo’s first birthday. I know that people think it’s about time. There were more than a few comments made at his party along the lines of ‘Oh, so you’ve not stopped that then?’, and ‘You know if you stopped, he would get used to it pretty quickly’.
I feel like the odd one out now. I know this is probably partly because feeds can decrease a lot at this age (there are many times when Arlo won’t ask for a feed during the day now), but I hardly ever see anyone with babies Arlo’s age or older feeding. Feeding talk amongst my friends has suddenly decreased to almost nothing. I haven’t seen anyone get a boob out at one of our NCT meet ups for at least four months (there is one other mum still feeding, but she’s also working full-time so we don’t get to see her a lot).
I have no plans to stop feeding Arlo yet. I’m hoping to plough through these uncomfortable feelings and keep on feeding Arlo in public when he asks. If I saw someone feeding their toddler in a public place it would make me feel a whole lot better, so maybe Arlo and I can do the same for another breastfeeding mother.
Meanwhile, I will try to remember that it is perfectly normal to be feeding a toddler. It’s good for him and it’s right for us.