Breastfeeding is one of the hottest parenting topics on social media. Our feeds are packed full of proud warrior mamas fearlessly nursing their babies in public. There’s even murmurs of a breastfeeding emoji coming to smartphones. But part of the conversation that’s missing, is the challenge moms face when nursing past the infancy stage.
I’m on board with the “breast is best” rally cry. Whether it’s on a train, in a plane, in a house, or with a – well, you get the drift. It’s a wonderful bond to share with your child, but once baby turns toddler, there’s a few things that make you want to close the milk shop for good.
Nipples turned chew toys
Funny, right? Well, if you’re a mom whose been bit before, you’re not laughing. Once those toddler teeth come in, breastfeeding begins to feel like a game of Operation. You just never know when your kid is going to chomp down.
Now that baby is grown, their motor skills have also advanced and those little fingers now land with pinpoint accuracy. Turn your attention away for a second while breastfeeding, and like clockwork, your kid is fishing around in your nostril with merciless vigor.
In baby world, breast milk is a highly sought after commodity, especially for an addict. As baby grows, expressing desire for the breast comes in many embarrassing forms. Pounding on mama’s chest like an irate Gorilla, or plunging elbow-deep down the front of her sweater. And the ultimate cheek blusher: literally being asked for some milk with their cookies.
Long gone are the days of the football breastfeeding hold. Now you need a pillow to prop up your small person. All the while fighting off squirms, playful kicks and the stares of curious and horrified onlookers.
Hungry baby wails turn into piercing screams, jolting you awake every two hours, every single night of the week. Unable to lift your eyelids to Google tips on breaking the breastfeeding chain, you tell yourself tomorrow is the day, and continue rocking your little one in a chair you just want to fall asleep in.
Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing, and we should erect statues for moms who go the distance. As for myself, after finally ending my 16-month stint with my son Jack, I’m trading my saggy nursing bra in for a push-up and officially flipping over my store’s open sign to closed.