This Moment in Nursing a Child

Many wonder why a mother would choose to breastfeed past infancy. Let’s face it – there are some who wonder why a woman would choose to breastfeed at all. I want to share the following scenario to give a little perspective into how term-breastfeeding fosters trust and amplifies a loving mother/child relationship in many families (including mine).

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Photo Credit: Author

My toddler is bawling. She runs toward me, and I grab her up in a spider/monkey hug, and she snuggles into my chest and shoulder, sniffling

“What’s wrong, darling girl?” I ask.

“Oh, mommy. I’m SO sad.”

“Why are you sad?”

“I’m angry! My heart hurts. My daddy is too far away. I real miss my daddy. He real real real needs to come home to me!!!!” 

(My husband is in the US Coast Guard and is on 60-day deployments.)

I don’t say anything, but just snuggle her close and breathe into her little body.

She pops her head up a bit.

“Oh! May I have Mamas to make my daddy come home?” 

(that’s how she asks to nurse)

“Oh, sweet girl, you may have Mamas, but I can’t promise that that will make daddy come home. It doesn’t work like that.”

“But my daddy is too far away in the water!”

“I agree. He is too far away from us. But he is on his way back.”

“But he’s not here! He needs to be here!”

“Hm. Let’s think about this. Daddy is on a big boat – and those big boats, they move very slowly. We have to wait for him.”

“And the little boats go fast!? Zoom!”

. . . as she shoots off running around the room.

“Yes, that’s right. Little boats go fast, but daddy’s big boat, it moves pretty slowly. So we must be patient.”

Abbey sighs.

“OOOOKKKAAAAAAY. But may I have Mamas while I wait? That will make me feel happy! May I feel them, and smell them, and drink them . . . together????”

She points to her bed, smiles, and closes her eyes, as if imagining how nursing would make her feel.

“Yes sweetheart. You may have Mamas whenever you need to.”

“Yay! Mamas, Mamas, Mamas!!!!!! 

Her pout turns into a big grin, and rejoices about nursing, clapping her little hands, and then she throws herself on her bed and gives one dramatic sob over daddy being MIA. She sighs.

“I miss my daddy.”

A little bit more dramatic sniffling as she nurses, and then she puts her hand on my heart, smiles and sighs.

Despite the disappointment of mommy being incapable of making daddy magically reappear, everything is OK.

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Photo Credit: Lauren Wayne

This moment in nursing my child is so special to me. I feel like there’s not a purer or more comforting expression of love than to continue a nursing relationship to term. Obviously, it’s been extremely helpful in the twists and turns of Abbey’s life so far as a military child. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

How do you feel about term-breastfeeding?

Have you had any memorable child nursing moments?


About The Author: Amy W.

Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work Amy_willa My NPN Posts

Military spouse, breastfeeding advocate, natural parent, and seamstress, Amy ran into natural parenting by accident, and now blogs at Amy Willa: Me Mothering, and Making it All Work and Natural Parents Network, in order to share her experience and inspire others to live an authentic life and seek peace in parenting. Amy enjoys sewing, selling Silly Bear Handmade cloth diapers and eco friendly home goods at her Etsy shop, and is a passionate and compassionate breastfeeding advocate. She is active in La Leche League International, and pursuing a Public Health Degree and certification as an IBCLC.

7 Responses to This Moment in Nursing a Child

  1. Carrie

    Such a beautiful moment of connection and support. I loved reading this!

    Breastfeeding in our family too allows for extra support and closeness and a “time out” from the world to just breathe together. It’s what I’ve come to love most about extended breastfeeding.

  2. Emily

    I remember being breastfed by my mom. She said I nursed till I was 3. When I decided to give it up, she said she was sad and missed the connection we had while I was nursing. It was our little time together, and I remember the same thing. It was quiet, sweet, and so comforting that the world would dissapear. I now have that with my son. When people ask me when I am going to wean him I say “when he wants to.” there is no rush. I made a year commitment to nurse, and he gets to decide after that when he is done….I expect to be nursing for a long time though, as it is his very favorite thing in the whole world. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  3. Ciwi  

    I’m a FTM and this is so so encouraging to me! I already knew I want to nurse until my son is ready to wean, but reading stories like these just reassures my plans and helps me stick up to those nay-sayers out there. Thank you!

  4. Amy  

    Thanks, Carrie! It’s one of my favorite memories. . . a close second to when Abbey first said “I love you” and “Thank you” (both at the breast as well)

  5. Momma Jorje

    “continue a nursing relationship to term.”

    What a great way to word it!

    term-breastfeeding… I like it!

  6. mommas

    i am a military brat whose father deployed for long periods of time and i am nursing a preschooler. this story touched me, because i think that nursing helps connect and comfort your child in a way nothing else can sometimes.

  7. Camille  

    Aww, that was so sweet…

    My 3 year old still nurses, but is mostly self-weaned. I expected her to go longer because I was breastfed until I was 7!

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