I am an Icelandic mother of three, the oldest one is 4 years old and the youngest one will be one year old in August. I have breastfed everyone and I am still breastfeeding the youngest child.
In the last 52 months I have been breastfeeding infants for a total of 33 months. That means that for more than four years I have been breastfeeding continuously. I decided to stop breastfeed the first one when she was one year old, the middle one when she was 10 months old (because I was pregnant, though I wanted to do it longer) and I am still breastfeeding my youngest son who will turn one year old in next month.
I will stop breastfeeding after few days. It will be hard because I feel so connected with my children while breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding in Iceland is an Icebreaker
I love how it is normal here in Iceland to give your child this important meal every where you choose. I would never ever feed my child in locket room or at the toilet.
When my baby is hungry, I breastfed it, whenever wherever. It is that simple for me. I have breastfed restaurants, at the mall, waiting in line for my printed photos.
The reaction when I breastfeed in public are beautiful. People smile at me, strangers come and talk to me with this pure smile when people see this brand new little person getting food from their mother. People share their stories with me and talk about when there children where so little. They advise me on how this time is so special! They ask me if I have more children and so on. I can say that breastfeeding in public places in Iceland is one special kind of an icebreaker.
Me and my husband got a great photographer Tinna Schram to come home and take pictures when our children where 10 days old. Because of how natural and beautiful breastfeeding is, the photographer took pictures of me breastfeeding the children. We cherish those pictures so much.[bctt tweet=”Breastfeeding in Iceland is a totally unique experience indeed. ” username=”contactrwc”]
The people in Iceland are so fond of breastfeeding that it is really hard for mothers that are not able to breastfeed their lovely infants. If they need to give their babies bottle, they would try to not do it in public. They try to avoid as many eyes as they can.
The older generation would say, how do you not have enough or you did not try hard enough or your generation is too soft. Not everybody of course but too many by my opinion. Few of my friends have cried a lot because of these comments. I think these responses come only because 100 years ago people really needed to struggle to survive. Icelanders lived in farm building with turf walls and also in caves. Their hard lives maybe make them believe in natural ways and tough stances.
Looking forward to write again about the culture in Iceland in parenting. What has your breastfeeding experience been like ?