Mum claims she gets treated like a ‘straight up weirdo’ and is made to feel ‘embarrassment and shame’ for continuing to breastfeed her toddler.
Natalie Hoflin, former Neighbours star who played Carmella Cammeniti on the hit drama between 2003 and 2011 – is now mother to 19 mth old son, Finn.
She took to Instagram to share a powerful photo of herself feeding her son in an effort to push for more ‘respect’ for breastfeeding choices.
In the caption, Natalie shared comments she had received from strangers about her decision to continue breastfeeding Finn.
“‘Oh, you’re still breastfeeding?!?! Shouldn’t you be done by now? You’ll cut him off by his second birthday right?” In the early days questions like these didn’t bother me, they felt innocent. But lately the tone feels different. Judgment, disapproval. Like I’m a straight up weirdo, (sic)’ Natalie wrote.
‘Oh, you’re still breastfeeding?!?! Shouldn’t you be done by now? You’ll cut him off by his second birthday right?’ In the early days questions like these didn’t bother me, they felt innocent. But lately the tone feels different. Judgment, disapproval. Like I’m a straight up weirdo. I’m finding that breastfeeding proud part of myself starting to want to hide. Be more discreet with feeding, or wait until nobody is around. Even though I’m proud of my breastfeeding journey and don’t intend to stop anytime soon (Finn is almost 20 months) the above questions still bring up feelings of embarrassment and shame. It’s nuts, why on earth should anyone feel shame for connecting, nourishing, comforting, bonding with their child? I understand what an absolute privilege it has been, for me to be a stay at home mum and have the luxury of building our breastfeeding relationship. I am well aware that it’s not always that easy. But the truth of the matter is, this is my path, my truth, my journey and I shouldn’t have to be embarrassed or hide it. This is me. Breast fed, bottle fed, formula fed, it’s all good…we are all doing our best to raise these little humans. But let’s show a little respect to ALL paths travelled ❤
‘It’s nuts, why on earth should anyone feel shame for connecting, nourishing, comforting, bonding with their child?’ Natalie wrote to her Instagram followers.
‘The truth of the matter is, this is my path, my truth, my journey and I shouldn’t have to be embarrassed or hide it,’ Natalie wrote.
‘Breast fed, bottle fed, formula fed, it’s all good…we are all doing our best to raise these little humans. But let’s show a little respect to ALL paths travelled,’ Natalie wrote in the caption.
11 months today ???? A special month worth acknowledging, not just for the little mans growth…but mine as well. This month has brought about great realizations and opportunities to heal. I’ve spent the past 11 months so focussed on getting back to the ‘old me’. I look in the mirror and feel shame and disgust, how do I not look like my pre baby self? How do i still not fit into my clothes? I should by now, its been 11 months right? But then a post I recently read struck a chord in me. How mothers have got to stop holding their bodies to look like maidens bodies. It suddenly hit me, I am a mother. I will never be a maiden again. And in that moment I felt sad. Not because I am a mother, but because I felt I never got to say goodbye to that maiden. When my body was firm, my breasts were perky…I still had no love, respect or appreciation for her. I wanted to go back in time and hug her and tell her she was so loved. So I sent her love and in a sense mourned her. After 11 months of motherhood my breasts are soft and definitely not perky, my belly plump and i have cellulite everywhere. All of it really, its like wearing a badge of honour. What a privilege to bring life into this world. How fortunate I feel to still be breastfeeding my son. Ladies, go easy on yourself no matter where you are in life – maiden, mother or crone. I know, its not that easy. I know we live in a society where so much emphasis is held on obtaining and maintaining the maiden, but there is great beauty and joy in the mother…and no doubt the crone! All are magic. They don’t call it the triple goddess for nothing ???????????? And so much gratitude to @intheflowrsss for her inspiring words that lead me here ????????????
Last year we shared It’s not “ick”! Benefits of extended breastfeeding toddler and beyond
Breastfeeding has long been associated with positive outcomes for children, such as higher intelligence, better gut health, and stronger immune systems.
What are the benefits of extended breastfeeding?
•Your milk will still give your child the benefits of your antibodies and pass on immunity to bugs you have been exposed to.
•Feeding your older child can give them a lot of comfort and reassurance, and will allow you to continue with all the lovely physical bonding that breastfeeding can provide.
•Weaning when your child is older may make the whole process a lot easier and let it come to a natural close rather than an arbitrary and abrupt end.
•Feeding can be used to calm your child down and give some instant comfort and security.
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