Breastfeeding, Parenting

Parenting: It’s official. Breastmilk is yummier than ice cream.

15 December, 2015

Fresh out of Yurt University comes a rigorous* research project that can formally confirm that breastmilk is yummier than ice cream. The study surveyed a range of breastfeeding children** and posed the academically approved*** survey question;

“What is yummier?
A- Booboo
B- ice cream”

100% of the participants responded that booboo was yummier than ice cream.

*by rigorous I mean “enthusiastic”
**two participants, age 2.5 and 5
***by “academically approved” I mean “I thought it was fine, and I did a whole paper on research methods when I was 19, y’know”
  

Mobile milk bar on the beach

Ah, the laughter and simple joy involved in breastfeeding older children! They don’t tell you this bit, it’s all either “GROSSS WHO WOULD BREASTFEED A TODDLER EWWWW THAT’S ABUSE” or “EVERYONE SHOULD BREASTFEED OLDER CHILDREN THE AVERAGE WEANING AGE IS 7” – both of which are fairly extreme positions and, well, untrue.

Cos here is the thing about most breastfeeding experiences… It can be just a simple, happy part of family life. No capital letters required, mostly.

Remember the days when I was blogging about breastfeeding all the time? They were great days. But now it has been a YEAR, a YEAR! Since I did a breastfeedy post. (It’s here – with some tandem breastfeeding where I look like a fierce Victorian.) And I guess that is just because instead of feeling like I’m out there, breastfeeding like a badass in a hostile environment, it just happens day in day out, with little fuss.

I wonder if this is because Juno looks so much like a baby still, with her fuzz of hair and freckled face. By this time with Ramona, she had a long shock of blonde hair and was wearing converse and people would STARE as I breastfed her… Seriously. Eyes for Christmas. I was also pregnant, so perhaps that required extra staring. Or maybe there are just enough hippies around us these days to help us feel that breastfeeding older children is perfectly fine in every way.

When hostility is felt, positions are polarised. The capitals come out and wild facts make an appearance.

And little stuff gets swept away. We have to storm the media with breastfeeding sit-ins and argue about the objectification of women’s bodies and the vital biological role of breastfeeding in children’s health.

It’s all so important. And we have to go on and on and on about it, we need to, it is how things change. (Please mamas, keep getting your boobs out. And sitting in and going on one.)

But we can miss out on describing the heart-swelling fullness of the breastfeeding gaze. When your kid is just drinking, and staring tenderly, but with a fierce focus, right in to your eyeballs.

And the way it seems to restore a busy child’s emotions, smoothing out enfrazzlement and giving a boost of happy.

And the loveliness of having children who talk describe what breastfeeding is like. And say it is yummier than ice cream. The other day Juno had almost had her fill, but not quite, but I was all out of juice. She squeezed my boob and said, frustrated, “Run out of batteries, mama!”

(Do we all love the iPad much, or what?!)

It’s a super privileged position I have right now, to feel so accepted in our breastfeeding older children thing, and to be able spend a few minutes being thankful for those small, quietely-felt ways that breastfeeding brings joy into our family life.

Whatever environment you’re in, city or hippy, welcoming or hostile, I hope your breastfeeding journey can be full of these beautiful, gentle moments.

And if your life is full of breastfeeding angst, and you find yourself having to come up with smart retorts for busy-bodies who have something to say, at least you can now pull out this robust research and declare that breastmilk is officially the yummiest foodstuff in the whole world which makes you the most awesome mum in the universe, as announced by the very best (and, um, most Not Real) university of all universities. So there. 

 

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7 Comments

  • Reply Emma 16 December, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Ooh, first! I must have caught this hot off the press.

    I’m breastfeeding right now, too! As I write. My baby also calls it “booboo”. I never tought her this (I went for the neutral ‘milky’) but she totally insisted. Must be programmed into them.

    On another note, I’ve been using the proper names for genitals since your ‘vulva’ post, and my 1 year old now (since yesterday) says ” ‘agina” and points at her veejay. Go first words!
    Emma recently posted…Christmas rituals and invented traditionMy Profile

  • Reply Anna 16 December, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Awesome. Still feeding my boy at 3.5years 🙂 just fed him to sleep… So lovely to be snuggled in bed with my boy. Love your writing xx

  • Reply Laurenne Hopkins 16 December, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Ahhh, I totally hear you on this. I only fed my first until she was 1 (mixture of inexperience / pressure to stop and complete lack of information on how to get through a nursing strike), and I feel like I missed out big time! I’m currently feeding my second at 2.5, alongside her little bro who is 5 months.

    I was saying yesterday how it’s so obviously beneficial for her – it gives a tired girl a second wind, calms her in a way nothing else can, soothes any pains and gives me the most perfect moments of bonding with her amongst the fast paced chaos of toddler life. I love the bonding experience with her baby brother when I tandem feed them too – its like she cant help but gets all gooey and stroke / snuggle him.

    I realise just how tiny she really is when she’s suckling away and looking at me with her big beautiful eyes, I often take photos of her feeding as I can’t bear the thought of forgetting those magical moments.

    Gosh, I’m going all gooey now!

    L x
    Laurenne Hopkins recently posted…Ups, Downs and A Little HolidayMy Profile

  • Reply Jenn 17 December, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    I have totally loved breastfeeding, I really have. But sometimes lately, I will admit, I don’t want to do it. There are moments when I am deep in mama land, on a creative roll, or engrossed in a great conversation, and I feel (well, let’s call it what it is)….resentful about submitting to the I’m-not-hungry-I just-want-to-suck-on-one-of-your-nipples-while twisting-the-bejeesus-out-of-the-other-one demands of my sweet 19 month old girl. We are still doing on-demand breastfeeding, and are at the point where I put her to bed and 15 minutes later (right when I start to delve into an “after bedtime” project) she wakes up and demands more booby. Again. and then AGAIN. Are other mamas doing/feeling this? Any words of wisdom to share before I put band-aids over my nipples and jump off the breast feeding train? While I know this is a short and sweet time of my/her life, there is a part of me that is really needing a bit of time to myself, and since I am a stay at home (yurt!) mama and we co-sleep, this after bed time window is really the only time. Thoughts?

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 18 December, 2015 at 11:00 am

      Oh I do hear you on this. Really, so much. I guess lots of people would have different suggestions…. Night time can often be the time they rely on boo boo cuddles the most,so although it seems like the best time it might not be – a Saturday totally off could be. Best time to have your creative time? There are options though… Like just pushing through getting her used to not feeding after a certain o clock (you have to both be ready for that though as it is tough on you both) do you have another bod (partner) who can settle her?
      Also, being aware that it doesn’t go for much longer can help- Juno just turned 2.5 and only just staying asleep ! So if that is the same for you you don’t have long to wait and then those wake ups are done for everrrr 🙁 also 🙂
      There are loads of options other than just quitting, if you are able to just try some stuff. So lovely to hear fro. You cxx

  • Reply Madeleine 17 December, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    Oh I hear you. I am feeding my son who is 3,5 years old and he loves it. It is still liked 5-8 times per day and he snuggles in and says “amma” (breastfeeding in swedish) and sometimes I got to nurse his toys aswell. It is much easier now when he is older to understand these breastfeeding emotions as he can express them.

  • Reply Janine 22 December, 2015 at 1:10 am

    Oh, this post is so EXACTLY how I’ve been feeling too! You really nailed it.

    Funny, just this week (just TODAY even) I was talking to my boys (same aged as your girls!) about “milkies” and they described it as tasting like ice cream. Sebastian still asks to nurse occasionally and sometimes I oblige but sadly he cannot even get milk out anymore unless I help express it with my hand.

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