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Is breastfeeding “weird”

(115 Posts)
Sunnyx Tue 24-Oct-17 19:42:15

I totally don’t think it is and I ebf my 5 month old but apparently only 1% of women breastfeed by 6 months.

I guess I just worry what people think too much. Apart from breastfeeding groups, I kind of feel like the odd one one and a bit awkward when breastfeeding around other bottle feeding mums.

I never really know what to do...when I’m in the company of my family/extended family I feel awkward feeding in their presence but then I think why should I go to another room. I worry that people think it’s ‘odd’ to breastfeed as it feels quite rare to find other mums who do.

What are people’s opinions?

Misspollyhadadollie Tue 24-Oct-17 19:44:46

Isn't it 1% ebf as in never had formula or food by 6 months? Which most have. I wonder where they get the statistics from as I've ebf all mine till 6 months then bf with food till over 2 that's all 4 of mine. Never had formula.

Extua Tue 24-Oct-17 19:45:58

I always worry that the act of breastfeeding my baby will cause nearby bottle feeders to think I am shaming them. I just see this so much online. I don't know if people feel that way in real life.

PickAChew Tue 24-Oct-17 19:47:45

Of course it's not weird. it's the standard way that mammals feed their babies.

SolemnlyFarts Tue 24-Oct-17 19:49:29

I see it the opposite way - by being open about breastfeeding, I contribute to normalising it. Flying the flag, if you will.

CurlyBlueberry Tue 24-Oct-17 19:50:11

I think it's only 1% who are exclusively breastfeeding until 6 months (as recommended). The others may be giving the occasional bottle of formula or solid food by then. I ebf my first until 6 months totally, no formula or solids but no-one asked me. My second had a bit of formula early on and I was more relaxed about letting her explore solids when she wanted, so wouldn't be included in the 1%, but I did breastfeed her until she was 2.5yo including in public.

I guess it depends where you live and the people you meet? I feel like I met a fair number who breastfed for a long time (until 2 and beyond) perhaps because I went to things like sling meets and some "gentle parenting" groups (hate the name gentle parenting but the people in there had similar views to me!)

Minxmumma Tue 24-Oct-17 19:50:32

My LO is 11 months and showing no desire to give up her boob time yet.

Both my parents and the ILs have asked when I will stop as they think it's selfish (they can't give her bedtime feed etc) and surely it isn't necessary now.

Dp fortunately told them that she will stop when she and/or I am ready and they can lump it.
I do tend to sit in a quieter room at the ILs as LO gets super distracted and tends to turn her head while still attached shock

This is my last chance (4th child) and first bf baby - I'm in no mad panic and am making the most of those long snuggles and time with her.

Each to their own though and if you are happy then carry on.

Mermaid36 Tue 24-Oct-17 19:51:22

I've been breastfeeding my twins for 18 months and I can say that I honestly don't give a shiny shit what other people think about it.
I don't care if they think it's weird. Not their body, or their babies.
I've fed in front of family/extended family, at birthdays, meals out etc.
My girls have never had formula or a bottle despite being born 14 weeks early.

How you feed your baby is entirely up to you.

FittonTower Tue 24-Oct-17 19:52:00

I don't like calling it weird. It's not the most common way of feeding a baby tho, breastfeeding rates in this country are very low.
There are "clusters" tho, I live in a breast-feedy area and most of my friends did.

Bambamber Tue 24-Oct-17 19:52:30

It's not weird, And I've breastfed at baby groups many a time where the majority bottle feed, and no one has ever appeared to have had an issue with it. I was just feeding my baby like they was feeding theirs. I find most mums aren't really interested in how you feed your baby as long as you don't look down your nose at how they feed theirs.

Pengggwn Tue 24-Oct-17 19:53:03

No, it's not weird. It's unusual to ebf past 6 months because a) it's bloody hard work and b) lots of women are back at work and ebf becomes even harder then.

jimijack Tue 24-Oct-17 19:53:14

I think that you are thinking too much about this.
But then I'm very meh about it.

I bf until my son's 3rd birthday, yes I was odd, yes people probably thought I was a freak, but quite honestly it didn't even cross my mind to explain, cover up, feel awkward, I didn't even consider what anyone else thought.

After waiting for 10 years, years and years of fertility issues and multiple miscarriages, I just did what the fuck I wanted with my body and my baby.

Seriously, don't give it another thought.

EvilRinguBitch Tue 24-Oct-17 19:53:17

Well biologically it’s weird as hell - the whole process of turning food into a new food for a separate human being is deeply bizarre when you think about it.

But is it a socially weird thing to do? No. And bear in mind that although very few women ebf to 6 months, loads will mix feed to that age, so you won’t be doing anything odd by bfing a 5 month old.

HornyTortoise Tue 24-Oct-17 19:53:38

Of course its not, and I think the 1% figure has to be wrong, most of my mates BF, though some do supplement a few feeds with formula or will pump rather than feed directly from boob.

I always felt people were judging me for FF and I did definitely get some dirty looks (mostly from females) when bottlefeeding in public. But with DD, I had to. I really wanted to BF but she just wouldn't

CatastropheKate Tue 24-Oct-17 19:53:44

According to a group of medical students it is! I was admitted to hospital with pancreatitis when ds was about 7 months and barely eating anything so he came with me. I was feeding him and one of the students commented that it was 'weird' because he was so big, and was it 'normal' to still be breastfeeding.

The consultant that they were with looked mortified - I merely suggested that he (student) went home and googled breastfeeding guidelines and had a think before talking to other breastfeeding mothers.

PinkHeart5914 Tue 24-Oct-17 19:54:53

Of course it’s not ‘weird’ it’s a completely natural way to feed a baby.

I breast fed both mine until 1 year, then they stopped drinking milk they would only have milk on breakfast stuff ( porridge, weetabix etc)

I did make a small effort to cover up if someone was in the room with me, but no way am I leaving the room to feed my baby.

OrlandoMusc Tue 24-Oct-17 19:55:36

I guess I just worry what people think too much.

Don't waste your time. Seriously. I wasted SO much time worrying with my firstborn because of this. My second was a much more relaxed experienced, mostly due to not giving a hoot.

Your baby is fed, their baby is fed. It's all good.

Kpo58 Tue 24-Oct-17 20:00:07

Breastfeeding isn't weird. The only reason so few people are still breastfeeding at 6 months is that there isn't enough support to help women breastfeed so they end up giving up.

SmileSunshine Tue 24-Oct-17 20:00:20

Stop worrying about what others think. Being branded 'weird' for feeding your baby says more about those judging than it says about you. FWIW I bf both of my dc for 2 years by which time I was forced to stop due to bad pregnancy sickness and projectile vomiting. I ignored all the comments and ignorance. Every mother had to make up her own mind on what is best for her own dc. Sometimes bf doesn't work for some, others choose to combine or ff, some choose to bf. There is no 'wrong' answer so try to relax and enjoy the bfing journey. Once you and your baby are happy, no one else matters.

repetitionrepetition Tue 24-Oct-17 20:03:11

it’s weirder not to bf and it’s weird af that ILs and GPs would take offence that they can’t put someone else’s baby to sleep!

BalloonDinosaur Tue 24-Oct-17 20:03:15

I ebf DS up until 6 months and then mixed breast feeding, ‘follow on milk’ and solids until 9 months when I stopped BF. For me it was a mixture of being back at work and him having bottom teeth and biting that lead to me stopping at that point.

I don’t think it’s weird. Most of my friends BF but not all. Like PP I went to a baby group where some BF and some didn’t. But there was never any judgement from either side. I found it difficult feeding in public, and tended to cover up with a muslin or express beforehand and bottle feed when out.

AssassinatedBeauty Tue 24-Oct-17 20:06:38

That 1% stat is for women who are exclusively breastfeeding, so no food or formula at all at 6 months. So they may well be ebf and also giving solids.

To answer your question, of course it's not weird. However lots of people think it's weird because they've had very little experience or exposure to it. Bottlefeeding is present everywhere you see babies, it's used as a shorthand for feeding a baby, a bottle is used as a symbol for that, like this emoji 🍼. You see bottlefeeding on TV shows and in magazines, films, etc etc. It's what a lot of people think is the default and breastfeeding is the "other" choice. Add in the fact that lots of people also see breasts as solely sexual, then there's a lot of panic about seeing a glimpse of breast/nipple when women are feeding their babies.

The area you live in makes a difference. Breastfeeding rates vary massively by area, where I live the rate is high compared to nationally and you see women feeding fairly often. In other parts of the country hardly anyone breastfeeds so you'll never see it when you're out and about.

I'm breastfeeding my 16 month old and everyone that mentions anything about milk feeds assumes I stopped feeding at 6 months like many women do.

AssassinatedBeauty Tue 24-Oct-17 20:09:16

Oh and don't let it take up any headspace about feeding around family. The more you do it the more normal it becomes, and also helps normalise it for any children in your wider family that see you doing it. So try not to analyse it too much and just feed your baby.

Sunnyx Tue 24-Oct-17 20:10:18

I agree with you all and need to stop worrying what people think. I guess I just worry about people thinking “can’t she go more somewhere more private” when at a meal out or “surely he can wait till you get home”. It’s when I’m out and about in public places or feeding in front of male family members.

NannyOggsKnickers Tue 24-Oct-17 20:11:33

Don’t worry about it. BF is not weird. It is totally natural and it is up to you how and when you feed your baby. You might not see a lot of people out and about doing it but it is totally fine, if you feel comfortable, to BF in pubic. But don’t feel like you have to if it is not something you would normally be comfortable about.

I can’t take a wee if someone is in the next stall to me so the thought of BF in public made get all panicky. Each to their own.

And you won’t shame FF Mother’s by BFing in front of them. In fact, I’d like to see more mixed groups. It’s nice for everyone to share their baby woes.

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