We would like to announce the beginning of a new project, jointly run by Tracy from Evolutionary Parenting, Abby from The Badass Breastfeeder, Kayla from Baby’s Breastie, and Kendall and me here on I Am Not the Babysitter – The Extended Breastfeeding Project (www.TheExtendedBreastfeedingProject.com – site coming soon).
The overarching goal of this project is to help normalize and put an end to the common misconceptions surrounding “extended” breastfeeding (we use this term simply because it has become the accepted term in research and public discourse, though in no way do we believe breastfeeding past infancy is at all “extended”). Specifically, we would like to begin by addressing the misguided notions surrounding the people (parents and children) involved in breastfeeding beyond infancy.
We received an overwhelmingly positive response after posting the side-by-side breastfeeding photographs. Many of you were also breastfed past infancy and have similar side-by-side breastfeeding photos. This confirms for us that the act of breastfeeding beyond infancy is done by, and leads to, normally well-adjusted individuals and families, despite not being socially normative.
The argument against breastfeeding past infancy in Western culture is based on speculation. The people opposed to it imagine specific scenarios that could potentially ostracize any child who is allowed to self-wean. Although there is the obvious issue of conforming to social norms, even if it is not in the best interest of the child, we are going to put that aside for this project. Instead, we are going to focus on the fact that even with the antagonistic social and cultural norms of the moment, breastfeeding past infancy does not inhibit the normal healthy growth of a child who is allowed to self-wean in modern Western culture.
To start The Extended Breastfeeding Project, we would like to collect and share biographies of adults who were breastfed past infancy to show the world that these individuals grow up to become productive, sane, normal members of society. This is where you come in- we need submissions! If you were breastfed past infancy, we would love for you to share your story.
1. Write your bio. This should include childhood experiences (do you remember breastfeeding?) as well as any information you think would be beneficial to the reader (educational background, career path) and finally, any personal information on family and home life.
2. Photos. Not required, but very helpful. This will help tell your story. Obviously, if you have breastfeeding photos these would be ideal. However, any photos work. We would like to use one photo of you (with or without) your family in your childhood, and a current photo of you today (with or without children or family).
Send submissions to any of the following addresses: