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Extended Breastfeeding


Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding beyond infancy, extended breastfeeding

This is my father-in-law. I’ve posted about him before because he has an interesting breastfeeding story. I’m posting again because he died a couple of weeks ago at 92 years old. And I’d like to share his story again.

His parents immigrated here from what is now Poland and he was born in New York City in 1925. He was breastfed for 3 or 4 years. He remembers breastfeeding from his mother. He never thought that this was strange. His memories of breastfeeding were just like any other memory he had of his mother nurturing him.

Grandpa Lou was always supportive of my work here. Whenever I saw him he asked about this community and all of you. He talked about breastfeeding openly. I breastfed openly and comfortably in front of him. He talked passionately and constantly of social justice issues. He made connections between the breastfeeding movement and women’s issues such as the sexualizing of the female body and women’s role in society.

I have heard too many times over the years that I need to stop breastfeeding my sons because they are getting older and will remember it. People tell me that if they can remember it later they will be traumatized and psychologically damaged. I know this to be utter garbage because I knew an adult who remembered breastfeeding. He was intelligent, gentle, kind, an influential sociologist and researcher, a veteran of the United States Navy, a lover of music and art and a loving father and husband.

Which of these do I not want to pass onto my children exactly?

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