Yes. I am Still breastfeeding.

some hints and tips for enjoying a night out or few hours away from your baby as a breastfeeding mum

And do I apologise? Well yes most of the time I do.

I didn’t realise that was what I was doing  until I read Stop with the still and thought why am I saying it apologetically? At what age does breastfeeding becoming unacceptable or taboo?

In a long-standing battle between the boob and the bottle, there’s always going to be opinions that divide the masses. I’ve breastfed all my babies, I know the benefits but I have never judged another mum for their choice.

It’s their choice how they feed, no one elses.

Feeding your baby is a deeply personal thing, and yet over the years  I’ve seen both breastfeeding and bottle feeding mums acting uneasy with their choice. I would never push my opinion onto another mum, I don’t know why they made that choice. But it’s their decision they made and I respect that.

So why am I so apologetic about still feeding my 12 month old?

Is it because he’s able to lift up my top when he’s thirsty?

Is it because he prefers to nurse to sleep?

Or maybe it’s because he’s walking so technically a toddler? He’s an early walker, so would it still be ok if he still crawled?

Who knows?

But despite the World Health Organisation recommending you breastfeed until 2 years, I can’t help feeling like I’m slipping into the controversial world of extended breastfeeding. The one where society thinks that babies should be fully weaned by 1 and when they can ask for it it’s wrong.
I wonder how I’m going to stop and what will replace the comfort he so desperately craves when he’s sad, poorly or tired. But until that time comes I won’t be apologising for feeding my toddler anymore, I’ll just nonchalantly say,

“yes, I am breastfeeding.”

And I’ll stop with the still. 

Still breastfeeding? Yes, yes I am. How to respond when asked about extended breastfeeding past 12 months

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72 Comments

  1. 16th June 2015 / 8:59 am

    The “are you still doing that?” Comments used to bother me too. I fed one til 18 months and one til 27months so I’m with you. People are funny about it, I had to just ignore and know I wasn’t weird and doing the best for my babies, that I could.

    • 16th June 2015 / 10:19 am

      My latest comeback is, yes. I can still eat extra cake. It’s all I can say with feeling I must justify it any further. I need to come up with a better one

  2. 16th June 2015 / 9:12 am

    Well done for breastfeeding your babies. I think that whatever we do as parents there will be somebody to criticise. It’s funny how women are pressured to breastfeed but then once their babies start to become older and *shock, horror* show signs of independently accessing their mother’s breast it is frowned upon. I breastfed my babies for 15 months, 20 months and 2 years. I remember the feeling of shame of feeding in public or even in front of some family members once they had reached a year Old. I am so glad I carried on though, it was such a lovely time and I have three healthy, strong, loving cuddly children. I know it is hard but try to feel proud of your achievements and keep going until you and your baby are ready to stop. I always try to smile (hopefully without looking freaky) if I see anyone feeding an older baby. We all need support and solidarity!

  3. 16th June 2015 / 9:22 am

    “Still” is a difficult word to miss out of a sentence when you are doing what so few other mothers achieve and what many in our society perceive as “wrong” … despite the fact it is so “right” at birth to a few months old. I was desperate to carry on feeding my boys but had to give to due to illness with No 1 and major biting with no2 (I honestly thought he was going to take my nipple off) – I made 8 months and 11 months and even then was frequently asked if I was”still” breastfeeding? In fact, as you point out – no, I was simply breastfeeding.

    • 18th June 2015 / 9:44 pm

      owwww! makes me shudder at the thought. It soon switches from encouragement to how long ae you carrying on for! Well don’t for getting to 8 & 11 months though. Must have been a tough decision by then?

  4. 16th June 2015 / 9:58 am

    I have also breastfeed all my children, but number five has been the longest as I’m still feeding at 16months. He has self weened during the day but still feeds a night.
    I get the odd comment but we are both happy with it and that’s all that matters #TwinklyTuesdays

  5. MummyOnMyMind
    16th June 2015 / 10:06 am

    You have read my mind! I am in the exact same position, and totally needed to hear this! Thank you!! YES I AM BREASTFEEDING MY ONE YEAR OLD! Feels good to say that! #twinklytuesday

  6. 16th June 2015 / 11:55 am

    Hiya! I love this. I am breastfeeding and feel I am always justifying it. Why? My girl is a lot bigger htan yours, but she still needs it and so I will continue to give it. For now!

    • 16th June 2015 / 7:57 pm

      I’m loving reading s these comments about people feeding older babies, it makes me realise I’m not doing the wrong thing by keeping going.

  7. 16th June 2015 / 2:05 pm

    I could have written this myself Ali! I sense that people I talk to about our dreadful sleep are thinking ‘well what do you expect when you’re still breastfeeding’…

    • 16th June 2015 / 7:55 pm

      It’s a shame people have opinions on it, I planned to give up at 12 months when I went back to work, but now we’re there I’m just not ready to stop.

  8. Betty and the Bumps
    16th June 2015 / 2:28 pm

    I did wonder when I saw the title of your post if you’d seen Georgina’s post, and obviously you have!!

    I wanted to breastfeed until a year, but I stopped at 10 months when I went back to work. I regret that now but I’m okay with it.

    When Gwenn was about 9 months-ish I went to get her weighed and the health visitor was practically over-the-moon when I mentioned I was feeding her. Where I lived then, breastfeeding rates are probably through the floor but I was still quite surprised that she was so surprised to have actually met somebody who was “still” breastfeeding.

    I’m not sure breastfeeding will ever be the norm, I really don’t.

    xx

    #thetruthabout

    • 22nd June 2015 / 10:58 pm

      It’s a strange one isn’t it. We’re encouraged to do it but then passively encouraged when to stop. I hate being told what to do at the best of times so loving being so rebellious at the moment.

  9. 16th June 2015 / 9:12 pm

    It works for you and it work’s for your child so you’re absolutely right not to apologise. It’s not for everyone but it’s for you and that’s all that matters. Thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout X

  10. 16th June 2015 / 10:36 pm

    Well done, you’ve done amazing to still be feeding. I’m still feeding my little one who is 15 months. I think we are coming to an end now but love doing it and will definitely miss it. We have reduced down to just nap time but she just doesn’t feed like she used to. I think people forget they are still babies and they need their comfort. You wouldn’t take a dummy away or a soft toy so why would we take their feeding comfort away.

    #BreastfeedingandI
    http://www.twinkletwinklehereyouare.weebly.com

  11. 16th June 2015 / 11:10 pm

    Yes good for you! I breastfed my son will he was 17 months and it was the best desicion I ever made. It will be a memory and experience I will Forever hold Close to my heart. You just keep going until you feel it is right for both of you to stop. I agree with everything you said in regards to each mum having a choice and that there shouldn’t be any judgement on how a mother chooses to feed her baby. X

    • 17th June 2015 / 9:36 am

      Thanks Tanita, I’m so pleased with the response to this post. I stopped at 12 months with my second baby but I’m just not ready to stop with my third and neither is he.

  12. 17th June 2015 / 4:09 pm

    I am breastfeeding my toddler and he’s just turned two! I replied on another post about the use of *still*. Our society really does have some strange views about breastfeeding & quite confusing views too. I don’t know anyone who breastfeeds their two year old, all my friends stopped so I guess I am very much in the minority. I’m writing a blog post on it soon though and it’s good to hear about other women that *still* breastfeed. Here’s a good stat – the WHO states that the average age of weaning a child worldwide is 4.2 years! Don’t think I’ll be breastfeeding for quite that long but interesting fact 🙂

    • 17th June 2015 / 10:04 pm

      That’s so interesting, 4 years! I really don’t think I’ll make that but really encouraging to read that so many more people go to 2, it seems more acceptable now or is it just we’re more open?

  13. 17th June 2015 / 7:51 pm

    Good for you pet — if it works for you and your family — then do it! No-one else’s opinion should matter at all. People are SO judgemental aren’t they? Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday — hope to see you again next week! x

    Caro | http://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

    • 22nd June 2015 / 10:59 pm

      Thanks Caro, I’m probably being more sensitive to what other people could be thinking.

  14. Olga
    17th June 2015 / 8:58 pm

    Well done, Ali, and carry on! You are lucky to have the milk and the energy to breastfeed, so why care what people think! It’s rather strange that dummies and milk in a bottle are acceptable till 3-4 years and breastfeeding should stop by one! We are designed to breastfeed for years!

    • 17th June 2015 / 9:15 pm

      Thanks Olga! I was set to stop at 12 months but now it’s passed in no where near ready. Plus I’ll have to stop eating so much cake & Osbourne’s Caramel Lattes

  15. 17th June 2015 / 10:47 pm

    Good for you! We breastfed for two years and I felt all the same things you describe. I was worried about how/ when we’d stop too, but it just kind of happened naturally and felt right so we went with it. It’s a lovely thing 🙂 x

    • 22nd June 2015 / 10:55 pm

      I think if it’s a slow natural stop then I won’t feel so sad. I don’t think I could consciously make the decision to stop doing something my son finds so much comfort from.

  16. Emma's Mamma
    17th June 2015 / 11:17 pm

    Good for you! And for your little boy! 🙂 It’s sad that breastfeeding is such a taboo subject. You’re damned if you do and damned it you don’t.. I stopped breastfeeding at 11 months but only because my milk dried up. Don’t know how I would’ve stopped otherwise.. x #brilliantblogposts

    • 18th June 2015 / 2:15 pm

      Thanks Emma, I guess there’s Keats going to be a debate about it isn’t there

  17. Mama, My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
    18th June 2015 / 3:56 am

    I’m terrible for adding those little words that add so much meaning. Let’s eliminate the ‘just’ s and the ‘still’ s and just get on with getting on.

    #brilliantblogposts

    • 22nd June 2015 / 10:54 pm

      Yes! little words that take away the important act of feeding your baby.

  18. HonestMum
    18th June 2015 / 2:36 pm

    You are amazing, it baffles me why people feel the need to comment on others’ actions, most of the world nurses their baby for longer. I never give a toot what anyone thinks about the choices I make for my babies. You are amazing. That is all. Tell them that. I’m still breastfeeding because I rock. Thanks for linking up and what a gorgeous photo too x

    • 18th June 2015 / 7:36 pm

      I love that! That’s going to be my new come back, thanks Vicky x

  19. 19th June 2015 / 7:39 am

    “Don’t worry about what others think. Most people don’t use their brain very often.” Venkat Desireddy.
    As a special needs parent I have learned to live by this fabulous quote. Mum always knows what’s best for her child. Well done you, breastfeeding can be hard.

    • 23rd June 2015 / 3:19 pm

      I love that, I’m much more better at not going with the mainstream opinion these days, that definitely comes with age.

  20. 19th June 2015 / 7:54 am

    Never apologise for feeding your little one, giving him the comfort and extra nutrients he wants and needs, breast milk is still beneficial in so many ways as they grow older! I fed my first until 2 years and 4 months and A is now 17 months and still going strong, I’ll stop when he wants to, but have no qualms feeding him both at home or in public. I’ve also never had any negative comments about breastfeeding in public, which we do a lot when we’re out all day! 🙂 xx

  21. 19th June 2015 / 9:23 am

    Good for you. I breastfed my son until he was a year old, but felt pressure from people (some relatives who felt they had the right to comment) that I didn’t need to after a few months. One particular relative kept asking me why I didn’t give him a bottle from about 6 weeks until one day, when he was five months, I screamed “He is never having a bottle!” at her. Not that there’s anything wrong with a bottle – I just wanted to breastfeed my own son!

    • 22nd June 2015 / 10:54 pm

      I had a few of those with my older children and only a very tiny amount with my last. I think people realised that I was never going to bottle feed and even if I wanted to my son had other ideas!

  22. 19th June 2015 / 11:47 am

    I had that with my first am I still feeding. I gave up at 11 months but more because I wanted to not becaise it was deemed I should.

    This time round I’m not sure where it will take me.

    It’s such a personal thing it irritates me that everyone has such an opinion on others journeys!

    Thanks for linking with #effitfriday

    • 23rd June 2015 / 3:18 pm

      I stopped at 4 months and 12 months with my first 2, the first due to hoping he’d sleep better (he didn’t) and the second because I thought everyone stopped at 12 months, I’m a little more knowledgable this time so going with flow until we’re both ready to stop.

  23. 19th June 2015 / 1:19 pm

    People are so weird about “extended feeding’ except last time I checked extended feeding wasn’t even 12 months but advisable why are people such oddballs about this? I breastfed my daughter until 15 months and it was so weird how at 12 months everyone’s eyebrows started to raise. You’re doing a great thing so screw them! #effitfriday

    • 19th June 2015 / 9:21 pm

      Thank you! Definitely more self conscious feeding now than the early days, even though I wasn’t so relaxed.

  24. Adventures of a Novice Mum
    19th June 2015 / 1:51 pm

    “I am breastfeeding” vs. “I am STILL breastfeeding” – what difference a 5 letter word makes! It’s interesting that many of us breastfeeding mamas feel compelled to cushion our biologically normal act with ‘still’ after we’ve journeyed a while on the breastfeeding road. I suppose we usually do this because the question we get tends to be, ‘are you STILL breastfeeding?’

    We owe no one an explanation or justification for how we’re currently or have chosen to feed our child. Good on you for stopping with the ‘STILL’.. You’re breastfeeding your toddler, you’re feeding your child … what a fantastic job you’re doing!

    Thanks for linking up with #BreastfeedingandI

    • 22nd June 2015 / 10:52 pm

      lovely words and very encouraging. I have made a conscious decision to stop using that 5 letter word. It’s been hard but I’m getting use to it!

  25. 19th June 2015 / 7:40 pm

    I admire any woman who can breastfeed at all let alone for 12 months. Well done! I just didn’t get on with it with my first, couldn’t take the constant feeding and with my second I was having to express all the time which was exhausting so I only managed 5 weeks with both of them.

    • 19th June 2015 / 9:20 pm

      Thank you, I think any amount of time spent breastfeeding is a bonus, the first 6 weeks are pretty tough x

  26. 20th June 2015 / 2:06 pm

    I wish I’d read this when I was ‘still’ breastfeeding so I could have dropped the still too. I felt as though I had to start to justify it around 12 months onwards. Silly looking back i suppose. Thanks for sharing. Found it on #effitfriday

    • 20th June 2015 / 3:59 pm

      I wondered if it was just me being conscious of it but now I’ve read the article I’ve linked to and realised a lot of mums feed past 12 months in going to make an effort to try & stop saying it.

  27. Jenny
    21st June 2015 / 2:18 pm

    Good for you hunny I wish everyone would just not judge everyone has a different situation and choice. I really wish we all supported each other more on this. Nothing to apologize for. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    • 21st June 2015 / 6:02 pm

      Thanks Jenny, you’re right, we should all just support each other regardless

  28. 22nd June 2015 / 9:57 pm

    I had to stop bf at 4wks as I couldn’t produce the milk. I would still be feeding now if I could. Do right by your baby, who can argue with that? Good for you! x

  29. 7th July 2015 / 9:09 pm

    I have a 15 month old who still loves breastfeeding, and I’m guilty of saying ‘still’ — I never thought about itthat way before, but you’re absolutely right; I shouldn’t feel like I have to justify myself in any way. I’ve been feeling more self-conscious out and about lately as well, refusing to feed him because I don’t feel as comfortable doing so as I did when he was littler. Although having said that, he is a greedy little beggar and going without for a little bit won’t hurt him.

    It makes me immeasurably sad that there will come a day when he stops climbing into my lap and jamming his face into my boobs like a truffling pig.

    • 7th July 2015 / 9:21 pm

      Lol! I hear you! I’m trying to feed less in public purely because he just grabs my top or shoves his hand down my top do it’s more about manners. It bloomin hard though.

  30. Pingback: A Journey Extended
  31. Georgina @ Kohl Mama
    5th August 2015 / 9:37 am

    Yay! I love that you’re going to ‘stop with the still’ it really takes some getting used to but I think I’m about there now. I just say ‘I’m breastfeeding’. It IS hard, especially in certain circles but then again why should we be apologising for giving our children what nature intended 🙂 x

    • 10th August 2015 / 5:11 am

      absolutely, it does really take some getting use to thought doesn’t it. I still have to double think each time.

  32. gemma clark
    6th August 2015 / 8:44 am

    I only managed 2 weeks with my first but hoping to manage a lot longer with my second, arriving in october x

    • 6th August 2015 / 9:16 pm

      Best of luck, there’s so much support around now I’m sure if you decide to keep feeding you’ll get there

  33. Rosie
    6th August 2015 / 1:15 pm

    “Still” can be used in a good way too. Depends on the tone of voice! I’m nursing my 4 year 5 month old.

    • 6th August 2015 / 9:11 pm

      That’s so true, I should say it with more oomph instead of apology!

  34. Jodie W
    6th August 2015 / 8:55 pm

    I dont tell people that im still breastfeeding unless they directly ask, then i find i say still and make up some reasons why i still do it. Silly really, its because i believe its best for him and he still wants it. i want him to decide when to wean really.

    • 6th August 2015 / 9:09 pm

      I found I was doing that too so now I just make a conscious effort to not say still, it’s hard though isn’t it.

  35. Maria Hackett
    6th August 2015 / 11:14 pm

    im 20 weeks pregnant with twins and I cant wait to meet my babies. so looking forward to breastfeed them. exciting xx

  36. 7th August 2015 / 8:18 am

    It’s so strange isn’t it that people have different expectations of when a baby should be weaned, I am happy to let Boo self wean (now that we are down to two feeds in a day – she is 20 months) but I still get comments and those disgusted-shocked looks. most of the time I can just ignore them – just every now and again they get to me.

    • 9th August 2015 / 9:50 pm

      I’d like to thing society is getting better at letting people choose their own method of feeding, it certainly seems better now than 15 years ago.

  37. 29th August 2015 / 10:46 pm

    I’m still feeding my 13 month old and plan to continue until he wants to stop. The main comments I get are (if he doesn’t eat all his dinner) “No wonder he won’t eat with you feeding all the time!” and that old chestnut “What about when you go back to work!”

    I went back to work when he was 8 and a half months old and it was fine, and we are still feeding. As the WHO recommends 2 years, I wouldn’t even consider it “extended” until that point.

    • 1st September 2015 / 8:14 pm

      exactly, it’s not extended until then. I’m going until my boy weans off as I think it’ll be too traumatic for him to stop right now. He seems to need the comfort more while he’s teething

I'd love to know what you think?