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Are there any positive portrayals of extended/natural term breastfeeding in fiction?

(12 Posts)
Nondescriptsuburbanhousewife Thu 08-May-14 15:53:18

Listening to Radio 4's book club atm, about The Slap - struck me that that book contained the only fictional representation of extended breastfeeding that I've ever encountered, and it was pretty negative - it struck me that he was portraying a parenting style that was basically too lazy to discipline, too lazy to wean - it was, I thought, about extended breastfeeding as a reflection of that mother's inadequacy.

Got me wondering about more positive images of breastfeeding toddlers/preschoolers in fiction - are there any?! Just curious.

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs Thu 08-May-14 15:58:46

Emma Donoghue's Room. The 5yo boy is still BFing and I thought it was a really positive thing. Although it's a very strange situation - the mother and child are being held as hostages. And the mother does stop BFing by the end of the book. It's still not put across as weird/horrible in any way. It's a nice part of their relationship.

Sorry I've just re-read and it sounds like the exact opposite of what you want... Maybe you have to read the book!

Nondescriptsuburbanhousewife Thu 08-May-14 16:07:28

Interesting, thanks! I'll look it up.

OnaPromise Thu 08-May-14 16:12:10

I jdidn't get past the firs couple of chapters of 'the Slap' for that very reason. I was also going to say the Room, it's the only one I can think of where it even features, let alone in a positive light. Although, no, it isn't exactly an ordinary situation.

Iamnotachewtoy Thu 08-May-14 16:14:30

The Song of Solomon has a main character who was extended breast fed, but it's portrayed as something shameful and hidden if I remember rightly.

tiktok Thu 08-May-14 16:42:54

The Room is very good on this. The little boy calls it 'some' eg 'I got a bit scared and then Mum gave me some and I felt better.'

In Bertolucci's film The Last Emporer (not fiction, but fictionalised) the Emporer is still breastfeeding from his wet nurse aged about 13. It stops when he gets married smile Presumably this is based on a book.

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs Thu 08-May-14 18:55:41

It features in Games of Thrones, with Robin Arryn, a five year old boy. Apparently it caused quite a stir when it was shown on the TV adaptation. It's a negative thing though - weak, clingy, self-centred child and mentally ill, delusional mother.

OnaPromise Fri 09-May-14 13:53:31

I won't be watching Game of Thrones then. Arrggh, pushing that hackneyed stereotype is so lazy and crap!

drivenfromdistraction Fri 09-May-14 14:02:52

I'm pretty sure someone is bf in 'Mrs Dalloway'. It's just a fleeting moment as Clarissa walks through the park. Very ordinary and natural.

jaggythistle Fri 09-May-14 22:37:06

In the Game of Thrones books I got the impression that bf at least into toddlerhood was normal. It is mentioned a lot along with the wet nurses looking after the young lordlings. smile

The young Robert Arryn is very much a product of his mother's overprotective nature and the bf is only a small part of it. It was pretty much the only bf mentioned in the TV show I think.

NooMamma Sat 10-May-14 03:51:13

This is something i've wondered about too. I read Room recently and i liked the way full term breastfeeding was portrayed (although, as mentioned above, the mother and child are in an awful situation). The only other books i can think of are historical fiction type books. These often have references to 2 year olds being breastfed. I can't think of specific examples but i think it is mentioned in passing in a lot of Philippa Gregory books.

Seatedhere Sat 10-May-14 06:41:27

If you read or rather listen to the end of The Slap you might find your view of the motivation behind her parenting and, by extension, the extended breast feeding changes. I know mine did.

I thought it a very, very clever book. We all judge on the small bit we know of a persons life - but if we are privy to the complicated circumstances and secrets that bought them to that place then our view could change. (This isn't a plot spoiler - I think all the characters had behaviours/incidents we judged in certain ways that when their personal perspective was examined may or may not have altered our initial view of that behaviour).

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