Why Take Part?

The UK has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the world so it is not surprising that breastfeeding beyond infancy isn't something we are used to seeing all the time. Although it is something that could and should be seen as absolutely normal!  Awareness and knowledge of the biological norm is severely lacking which is why it is so important to help normalise natural term breastfeeding.

I feel it is important to honour and celebrate our journeys truthfully. By sharing our stories through words and images we empower ourselves and others. To know you are not alone and a part of a larger community is incredibly empowering & healing. 

  • I wanted to take part in Ann’s project because I believe we shift the narrative of breastfeeding when we speak and share openly about it. Natural term breastfeeding is still often hidden away and yet it is a hugely powerful and beneficial thing for both mothers and tiny humans.

    Our blueprint for mothering is often founded on generational trauma, the disconnect that came with the ‘children must be seen and not heard’ era. Controlled crying, feeding schedules, withheld affection, physical punishment. Natural term breastfeeding is the opposite, part of a blueprint for warmth and co-regulation - something which many mothers and parents (those breastfeeding and not) are striving for.

    I hope sharing our story helps others feel less alone, helps others consider continuing their journey for as long as feels right, and helps shift the conversation around breastfeeding.

    Lucy Rose Thomas
  • I want to be a part of this project as its aims in celebrating and normalising breastfeeding older babies and children, are aligned with my own wishes and beliefs. It can feel isolating to be on the cusp of what is deemed to be 'normal' as in our western society we have grown distant from understanding the mother/child dyad.

    The UK in particular is generally unsupportive in assisting parents starting and continuing to breastfeed - to the point where almost all will fall short of their goals. Where something so natural should become so unobtainable for so many and viewed as 'unnormal' in general by society, I believe serious changes need to be made.

    I hope that by taking part in this project, some other person who feels alone in their breastfeeding journey, someone who does not have the same wonderful support system that I am lucky to have, may see this and feel seen and understood. And have the confidence to celebrate themselves for the love and devotion they have continued to offer to their child. 

    Madeleine Thurley
  • I feel that normalising breastfeeding is really important in helping to support mums who want to breastfeed. It also helps the people around them, be they close family such as partners and parents, friends or even people you meet out and about, to accept breastfeeding as a totally natural, normal thing to do for your child.

    In terms of raising awareness of natural term breastfeeding, this really is an area that is not generally understood and so even people like myself, who are passionate advocates of breastfeeding, can be made to feel self-conscious and cautious about being open with feeding older nurslings.

    It would be so good if attitudes could be changed through education and familiarisation with this wonderful natural gift we can give our children, so anything that this project can do to work towards this would be most valuable.

    Elizabeth Ellis
  • Breastfeeding older children needs to be visible and accessible to inspire and support women to feel seen and feel normalised. There is such an uphill struggle to keep breastfeeding through family and cultural norms, work, and accessing healthcare everyone has an opinion or a reason to not breastfeed and it's so destabilising to carry on regardless and it can feel isolating.

    I feel like formula feeding is much more visible in advertising, bottle emojis this perceived need to have bottles and sterilisers and "emergency formula" at home to prepare for having a baby, dolls being supplied with bottle accessories as toys, it all undermines the power of breastfeeding and breastfeeding is so vital for maternal health, child health and development, the environment and fighting climate change....

    We need to make breastfeeding more visible and shift the balance. We need to show women yes you can and you should breastfeed for as long as you choose. Yes you can breastfeed and work, yes you can breastfeed and access healthcare, yes you can breastfeed and drink alcohol, go out for the night, go away for a weekend.

    I want to be part of the change I want to see in the world and champion breastfeeding to natural term because it is just the best for my little girl. I can help when she's poorly or upset or very tired and help her to calm and who doesn't want that in their parenting arsenal?

    Clare Brice-Taylor
  • For me, it is hugely important to raise awareness of natural term breastfeeding. It really saddens me that it is still looked upon negatively by some, and, as a mother, I struggle to understand why that is. Natural term breastfeeding is as normal as being ready to sit, stand, walk, or talk.

    The western world has developed some very warped views of it which is disappointing. The more it is normalised, the more common it will become. There also needs to be suitable support in place and further education and training for workers in the health care sector who may be unfamiliar with the concept of natural term breastfeeding.

    Steph Reggioli