Excusez-moi Madame? Where are you from?

breastfeeding in franceToday BiP had an appointment at the pediatricians. It was just a general check up.

In France there are a number of required check ups and this was BiP’s 16 month check up (she’s 17 months old now).

We saw a different pediatrician from our usual one because I’d discovered he was possibly more pro-breastfeeding than my regular pediatrician. As I’ve written before, breast isn’t always best if you live in France. So it’s important for me to find someone supportive.

Everything was going great until the subject of vitamins came up. He said it was time BiP took some different vitamins which were to be dissolved in a bottle of juice or milk.

The following conversation is translated from French (obviously) –

Me: “But BiP doesn’t drink juice or milk”

Pediatrician: “WHAT? What does she drink then?”

Me: “Water?”

Pediatrician: “But what does she drink for MILK?”

Me: “Umm, she drinks my milk”

Pediatrician: “STILL?!?” He shrieks, almost falling off his chair.

Me: “Yes, I have no good reason to stop, she loves it.”

Pediatrician: rubs his forehead “What about yogurt?”

Me: “No, she doesn’t eat yogurt.”

Pediatrician: “Why?”

Me: “Well, I believe that cows milk is for baby cows” (I couldn’t find the word for calf in French) “AND my milk is for MY baby”

Pediatrician: SIGHS Loudly “Excuse me Madame? Where are you from?”

Me: “I’m half English, half Egyptian”

Pediatrician: Nods knowingly “Ok, good. See you next time!”

I guess my ridiculous answers come from the fact that I am OBVIOUSLY not French!

The experience reminded me of a clip from the movie Grown Ups … Check it out …

12 Responses to Excusez-moi Madame? Where are you from?

  1. excelent article!i just discovered your blog and it’s very nice to read it. my sun is 16 months old (alomst), breastfed and we started blw at 6 months and a half and going with it. i live in romania and here everyone says it’s the best to breastfed but less and less mothers do it. thank you for your wonderful blog

    • Ameena Falchetto says:

      Thanks Rebeca! Glad you enjoyed it. Sounds like you are doing the same things I am! Great to have you here! Hope to see you again!

  2. Bravo for BF, I’m planning to BF as long as I can too. Despite the real pressure from my mother in law who keeps saying that I should introduce formula. I’m thinking it’s because she wants to keep her. I mean, i’d love my baby spent time with her sometimes, but not to live with her. We live in Nord and she is in Avignon. Besides, it’s kinda selfish of her to try to make me give formula to baby just so baby can stay with her.

    • Ameena Falchetto says:

      Your baby, your choice. Stick by your decisions! You are doing a great job mama!

  3. Plus my in laws think that I still BF (baby is only 5 months old!!!) because dont want to work and want to stay at home. Crazy

  4. As you said – your baby, your decision! I just can’t get why so many people seem to have an opinion and feel they have a veto right when it comes to breastfeeding. Or not breastfeeding. For whatever reason a woman decides to go down whatever road, can’t we just be supportive of her decision? Really!

    PS: Let me make that your boobs, your baby, your decision! 🙂

    • Ameena Falchetto says:

      I’m with you!!

  5. Okay, but I saw Grown Ups and that kid is like 5 years old. I’m all for extended breastfeeding, except when your kid is a walking, talking, fully functional child he should probably move onto regular milk and drinks.

    16 months is completely reasonable to be breastfeeding and you shoudl keep doing it and perhaps switch back to your other pediatrician =)

  6. I am learning quite a bit about my home country here, fantastic blog! I can’t believe France is this bad with breastfeeding. I’ve just had my first baby in the UK and have lived there since I was 18 so I’m not so up to date with the french behaviour on this. I feel quite lucky! My sister who is in France is still breastfeeding her 3 year old (not a lot, obviously) but she’s got to be in the 0.01% of the female population, I hadn’t realised she was going so much against the norm…

    • Ameena Falchetto says:

      Thanks Pauline! So excited to have you as part of the series!

  7. Hey Hun!! We have spoken a few times on twitter ( your husband is a coach right?) Thank you for this post, as I grew up in Antibes and I was wondering how breastfeeding is now viewed in France. I am still nursing our 4 year old, and she is almost never sick. It is incredibly how much prejudice is everywhere against extended breastfeeding.

    • Ameena Falchetto says:

      Hey Elizabeth! Thanks for coming over! Yes, you found me 🙂

      Well done you for extended bfing – yes – everyone seems to have an opinion on it that’s for sure!

      France has the highest birth rate but lowest breastfeeding rate – Given the way it’s viewed I can’t say I’m not surprised.

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