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Nursing a micromachine: breastfeeding at 16 months

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As winter turns to spring, and spring turns to summer, I realise I am in my second cycle of seasons nursing Ramona. You know how you don’t really massively plan to breastfeed a toddler, and then all of a sudden you look down one day and you’re like “LOOK AT THE GIANT BABY! I AM BREASTFEEDING A TODDLER!!!”

I really love it though.

  • Coming home from work and spending the first half an hour snuggled up on the sofa while she nurses and Tim tells me what they have been up to. Ramona occasionally pauses to shout “DUCK!” or “HAT”  and her other favourite words, and Tim confirms, yes, they did feed the ducks, they did wear their hats. But he can never confirm the presense of Gok Wan.
  • Ramona has me sharing my breast milk with her Iggle Piggle, her tiny cat, her micro machine. I like her generous spirit.
  • I go to work two and a half days a week while Ramona hangs with Tim. I have been so surprised at how both Ramona and my supply hasn’t been impacted at all. When I am home Ramona nurses 5 or 6 times but doesn’t seem bothered when she can’t even come and meet me on my lunch break. My boobs have coped splendidly too, maybe just looking a touch Dolly Parton-y towards the end of the day. I have also had to work a few late nights and Ramona just drifts off to sleep with a book read by Tim. Another myth busted- if you nurse to sleep you won’t be locked in to nursing your 9 year old!
  • Ramona has the sign language for milk down. We haven’t been very committed to baby sign, but she has picked up and run with a handful of them. Her having the milk sign is so brilliant- it has replaced her frantically climbing up and sticking her whole head down my neckline. Although I wish the sign was different – it is way too reminiscent of milking a cow, or a dirty boozy man air groping.
  • Something about nursing a baby beyond the normal time frame bizarrely means you aren’t in the running for conversations about breast vs bottle, demand vs routine. Of course, I am ALL FOR breastfeeding on demand and do feel that we have societal issues with sexualising breasts but I really dislike the implicit judgement that is felt by mothers on either side of the decision. (I truly do reckon that every mother wakes up in the morning wanting to do their very best for their little one.) It is a shame as I could talk all day long about breastfeeding but it doesn’t tend to happen to me anymore.
  • Although I have been stopped on the bus a couple of times by people exclaiming WELL DONE! For the most part I have been genuinely shocked by the general lack of interest by members of the public. Particularly after some early encounters with rapscallion teens. Have you found it this way? Part of me wonders if there is an element of confidence breeding normality- does that fact that I don’t even think twice when I nurse Ramona come across? That people who thought this was mad suddenly go “Ooh, I thought that was mad but this lady here doesn’t seem bothered by it, maybe everyone does it these days?” And then it becomes the new normal?!

I am currently blogging this on a quick late lunchbreak. My boss’s boss just came over and chatted to me, I quickly tried to shut my screen with it’s huge title in bold but it didn’t shut and now he thinks I spend all day blogging about breasts ARGGGHHHHHH.

I. Am. So. Embarrassed. I have to go now and die under my desk.

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17 responses »

  1. Haha at your boss’s boss!

    But also, Samson is exactly the same – BFs on cue when we’re together but isn’t bothered when we’re not, will happily go to sleep for others and uses & abuses the sign for milk (sometimes it just means ‘get me something now – but you have to guess what I want’); although he also enjoys the ‘hand down the top’ method of communication. I even went away recently for three days & two nights and we just picked up where we left off, no problems, no engorgement.

    I do have strong political views about it and can drone on for hours, (probably in quite an alienating way), but mainly I think the most powerful thing you can do is get on with it.

    I’ve been waiting for someone to criticise so I can pull out an awesome, witty & cutting response along the lines of ‘why don’t you go and eat your lunch in the toilet’ or ‘would you prefer to sit on this bus listening to a screaming child?’ (yeah, my 20s and my babies have pretty much killed off my awesome, witty, cutting brain cells) but so far all those conversations have been in my head…

    Have you read ‘the politics of breastfeeding’ by the way?

    Reply
    • Haha ha oh hilarious. Ramona also uses the milk sign as a “general something” sign too. Or when she wants Twinkle Twinkle.
      Haven’t read it but mean too, although feel I need less armoury not more!

      Reply
  2. Haha, oh well there are worse things to write about. I had surgery on my breasts which meant I was rightly or wrongly advised that my supply would not be sufficient for breastfeeding and its a big regret. I get annoyed on behalf of mama’s made to feel bad about A. breastfeeding in (relative) public and B. prolonged breastfeeding. My sister fed her daughter until she was 2 1/2 and had to stop for dental reasons, but I was sick of hearing family members saying ‘she is still breastfeeding’ with undisguised distaste. If I had breastfed I would have done it for as long as we both wanted. I hope your journey with Ramona is a long and enjoyable one.
    V
    xxx

    Reply
  3. Lovely!It’s good to hear other positive comments and stories about nursing into toddler years.I love it and am so blessed to have been given a good milk supply and a hungry baby!!Xx

    Reply
  4. I was also totally shocked when I had J in the sling (in your neck of the woods) and two young lads walked past me commenting on how he was getting a good suck! I wasn’t feeding him and didn’t know whether to be embarrassed, angry or just plain surprised that teenage boys even knew that women could BF in slings!!

    Reply
  5. =) Excellent post! I was just whining about breastfeeding on my blog yesterday and while my boss didn’t catch me writing my post, I did entitle the post “Some days I just want my boobs back” and promptly shared it on Facebook where my father has recently joined the modern world and I can just hear him dying of mortification/embarrassment on my behalf because he absolutely doesn’t understand why people need to “share such personal things on the whole of the Internet” needless to say I may be avoiding my phone right now…

    Reply
    • Thanks. I enjoyed your post too. Gosh if you can’t chat about boobs on tinternet where can you?!
      🙂

      Reply
    • Haha, ah well Dad’s are tougher than you think, I accidentally text a saucy text to my Dad instead of my husband (Dad was under Dad and my husbands name begins with a D so they were beside each other in the directory). My old Dad had the good manners to NEVER mention it, even though I know it was received.
      V
      xxx

      Reply
  6. I am just getting ready to write a very similar post. I love nursing an 18-month old! I particularly love how much she loves my breasts! 🙂

    Reply
    • He he he so funny, they do LOVE them eh, she gets so excited when I’m in shower or something. It is a good reminder of their function and a prompt about the sadness of their sexualisation, that even your comment seems a bit shocking!

      Reply
      • I know – I shocked myself when I typed it and almost deleted it. And then reminded myself that there’s nothing to be ashamed of in that sentiment so I left it! And don’t even get me started about my frustration with the sexualization of breasts!!

      • Good on you keeping it in despite self shock! Small acts, incremental change, eh?

  7. Pingback: Breastfeeding my Toddler – Me! Eat! Your boobies! « Lulastic and the Hippyshake

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