Parents: How to talk to your Child about Breasts?

Talking about Breasts and Breastfeeding should not be a taboo:

Breastfeeding is beautiful and not only does it nourish a newborn effectively but also strengthens the bond between a mother and a baby. Some mothers are quite comfortable feeding in public while others prefer to use feeding rooms or nursing blankets. Whatever your approach, sooner or later your curious little ones will want to know what breasts are. They may either see a mother feeding her baby or simply notice that their chest is different from their mamma’s.

Some parents might have a more difficult time, as many of us grew up in households where you just didn’t talk about certain body parts and, if you did, were shamed and criticized (which is why teaching your children the proper names for body parts is so important).

3 Things Parents Should Do:

  1. Their questions must be answered: It is important to tell the children right names for all body parts. That is not just a way to effectively explain the anatomy of the human body but also bring them up as aware individuals who know that their Body Belongs to Them. Do read our post about Safe and Unsafe touch to know more.
  2. Be Upfront: The best way to approach the question about breasts and breastfeeding is to be upfront with the children. I am pretty sure all mothers will find a way to explain this to their children however what worked for me was simply drawing up an analogy with mammals. Take your child for a walk and try and spot mother dog / cow / sow. In case you don’t have any animals in your neighborhood show them pictures. The internet is abundant in pictures/videos of baby animals suckling to their mothers.
  3. Explain the need for Breastfeeding: Then tell them that when babies are born they cannot eat. They need milk to grow and become healthy. That’s when all mothers feed their babies. ‘Like mamma cow is feeding her calves, mamma dog her puppies and mamma sow her piglets, I too fed you using my breasts when you were a newborn baby. It’s just the way babies eat.’

This explanation is simple, straightforward and true. Sometimes the most direct answers are the simplest ones. Isn’t it?

If you would, however, rather not inform children about breastfeeding and would prefer to hand down issues, simply act like breastfeeding is shameful.  With a reaction like that you can continue to be a part of a society that pressures women to breastfeed yet sends confusing messages that doing so is somehow shameful and perverted.  Such a reaction will go a long way in helping absolutely nobody.

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Rohini Vij

Rohini is a professional storyteller, educator, listed & certified Jolly Phonics UK trainer, curriculum developer, parenting coach, founder of NutSpace. She is on a mission to raise readers and is actively engaged with curriculum development for schools and her own ed-tech platform - Nutspace Edtech.

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