Feeding a baby is difficult, however you choose to do it and although i am a big supporter of breastfeeding i make no judgment on the way others choose to feed their babies – whatever their reasons. Each person’s choice must be the right one for them and their family and it’s not open to inspection or judgment from anyone else. It’s for this reason that i thought everyone should mind their own business about my frequently feeding and regularly grumpy baby.

At six months my son still did not sleep through the night, in fact we had just been through about a month or so of hourly waking and only just managed to return to 3 hour sleeps at night (Woohoo!!!). It was at this point in time that people became surprised that i was still breastfeeding, and i was surprised at their surprise. He was fragile, helpless, he could not walk, talk, chew food – or even swallow more than a few spoons of puree or rice cereal without regurgitating – but he was expected to be holding his own bottle full of formula and sleeping all night on his own in his cot without any human contact…it didn’t make sense to me.

At nine months there was a definite shift. He slowed down his feeding and was eating more ‘real’ food and sometimes sleeping 6 or even 8 hours on his own but to my surprise my breastfeeding was now deemed not only inappropriate but unbelievable. My own best friend even remarked “how long are ya gonna be doin’ that for?” and the most popular one “what about when he gets teeth?”

Well, he has 2 teeth and just the same as i have taught him not to touch the oven and not to bang on the tv i have taught him not to use his teeth on me… by the power of the word NO!

Now that he is 12 months and i am still going it seems as though i begin speaking Swahili when i dare to utter the phrase “I’m still breastfeeding”. Somehow people go deaf or just simply don’t understand and i get replies of “what?” “sorry?” “STILL!” and my favourite, the ever quizzical “Ohhh…” followed by an uncomfortable silence.

It’s really a shame that breastfeeding isn’t the norm since all the evidence seems to overwhelmingly support this natural option. The World Heath Organisation even recommend breastfeeding until at least 2 and state that the worldwide average for weaning a child is 4 years but i’m not here to preach, just to share my story and hopefully discover a kindred spirit or two along my journey.

Of all the friends, family and general public opinions i have come across that are surprised and bewildered in my choice to breastfeed i can unequivocally say that there is just as much, if not more, support for me to continue and this comes in the form of The Australian Breastfeeding Association, local hospitals,  family care cottages, local midwives, early childhood centres and anywhere you see a ‘breastfeeding friendly’ sticker.

I respect a person’s right to choose and in return i make my own choices.One day i’ll stop breastfeeding… one day…