Attachment parenting, Breastfeeding, Parenting

A Breastfeeding Poem (also- I need your help!)

19 February, 2015

I wrote a little breastfeeding poem. Forgive my indulgence for publishing it!


“BOOBOO!” You shout
Less crass than “BAPS!”
– the milk-cry of your sister.

Entangled elsewhere,
Hands dirty, arms full,
You dissolve;

Sometimes, instead of “Mama!”
You try “Booboo?”
My sense, that milk is all I am to you,

Then you call “Booboo!”
When you mean “Weewee!”
And I know it simply
Drips from your lips.

As natural as breathing;
Oxygen in/ “Booboo” out.
Sung through the day
Hummed in the night.

Our own home’s cuckoo;
Your heart-burst for Booboo.

breastfeeding poem

(Despite having written poetry since being able to scrawl letters, I’ve only one other time shared a poem with others and that was moons ago. So yeah, yikes. There it was.

My Grandad Harry, who is ninety, is a prolific poet, writing several verses every single day. He has had books of his beautiful poetry published and each Monday he shares a new poem on Facebook. How cool is that?

I’m not imagining emulating my Grandad, but when poet Natalie Goldberg wrote that writing doesn’t exist until it’s been heard or read, I felt that if I was going to give in to the urge of writing poetry then I must give fully to it, and hit publish every now and then.)

And now, I’d love your help

As I finished this poem I wondered about all the other milk-crys out there and thought I might like to make an anthology of them.

Ramona loves to hear the story of her own word, BAPS! (Always yelled.) She asks how I knew she meant Mama Milk and I tell her how it was always accompanied by her extending her arms, pumping her hands like she was milking a cow, and then climbing on to my lap and stuffing her head down the neck of my jumper.

What have your little ones called breastfeeding? Is there a story about it? If you don’t mind me sharing it on this blog, please do leave a comment with your own kiddo’s milk-cry.

Thank you!

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  • rachael 19 February, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Ning – it was a sound word he used at about 9/10m so we started using it too and it stuck. (also used baby signing so knew it related to breastfeeding).

  • Siobhan 19 February, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Beautiful! You capture those special memories perfectly as a love letter to your littles.

    My babies all called mama milk ‘moooook’ and made the same noise for cows! My last baby said ‘gung gung gung’ from a tiny tiny age as her siblings all said ‘mummy, the baby is hungry every time she so much as whimpered!

  • Lynsey h 19 February, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    “me-me” as named by my second child, the name has stuck!

  • Natalie 19 February, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    Lovely poem! My oldest called it “ni-ni”, short for night-night. My youngest – who was breastfed longer – simply demanded, “I’s wants MILT!!!!” (She couldn’t pronounce her K’s)

  • Natalie @ Little Jam Pot Life Blog 19 February, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Lovely poem! My girls used “boobie-milk” or “milk milk”, so cute, they would also occasionally sign for it too. *or just punch my boobs with passion!* xx

  • jessie 19 February, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Eldest called me ‘Mumboob’ since he could first talk 🙂

  • Kate 19 February, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    My little boy does not have words yet, but he has been able to sign milk for a few months. He wiggles his fingers like a wafting sea anemone, he doesn’t seem to be able to coordinate a pump! But it is always always accompanied by him putting his face square in front of mine, staring intently, and raising one eyebrow as if he is asking a question. It would be impossible to refuse, even if I wanted to!

  • Emma 19 February, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    My 2 year old son calls it ‘the other one’! At some point when he was smaller I must have asked him when feeding from one side of he would also like the other one -and it has stuck! It’s quite funny, he’ll shout it out in the middle of the night too

    • ThaliaKR 19 February, 2015 at 11:24 pm

      I read a Facebook thread where a whole bunch of mums had similar stories – heaps of kids who said something like ‘other side’. It’s a lovely phenomenon!

  • ThaliaKR 19 February, 2015 at 11:22 pm


    As his language developed, it went from






    which is now being handed down to the next milker. She just does air-suck (like air-guitar) until I wake up. A lovely gentle alarm clock!

  • Claire 19 February, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    My little one, nearly 4, has called it “Mill” for ages and more lately she’ll say “Mill mill millie mill milllllll”.
    Lots of “other mill” too.

  • Amber 20 February, 2015 at 12:02 am

    Mine slaps my chest yelling “THAT! Want that!”
    “That” is about all we hear these days accompanied by pointing/gestures.
    We also did sign language and after milk was going well we introduced the sign for food and now get an amalgamation – she pumps her hand in front of her mouth while smaking her lips or saying num-nums for both milk and food

  • Anna 20 February, 2015 at 12:03 am

    For ages it was juzh, my husband claimed he was trying to say jugs!
    These days (3 in July) he just asks for boobie. I have a heart tattoo on one, which he tells me is his favourite. He also requests “other one please” when he wants to swap sides 😀

  • Jess @ Along Came Cherry 20 February, 2015 at 2:04 am

    Love this! Mine both said really boring words, ‘m’ and ‘mulk’. My friend’s little girl calls it ‘bubble’, she shouts it out in public all the time and my friend is quite relieved people don’t know what it means! x

  • Mo 20 February, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Love your poem! Brought a giggle 😉

    My son calls it Booble, which caused some confusion one early Christmas when we were looking at the wreathes on the doors of our neighbours’ houses and I said “that one’s made of baubles”!!

    Now that he’s over three, he’ll often say Boobie. Usually as the sentence “want dat boobie” (as said at volume during a relative’s wedding ceremony a few months ago.

    Sometimes it’s just Mama-milk. Happy poetry-writing!x

  • Emma 20 February, 2015 at 8:47 am

    “Can I have mummy milk pweaz” in a good mood, “mummy milk!” otherwise or sometimes “Booobaaaazzz!!!!” when excited 😉 she’s 28 months now

  • Kumari Linley 20 February, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Milkyboobies! More recently Henry has given each breast it’s own name ….wait for it…” Finky and Dumper”.

  • Lluisa 20 February, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Before she could say the word she used to come with her arms reaching to me, then and because I am from Catalonia (Situted in northeast of Spain) she used to call it and still does Teta and her english version it’s milky milky 🙂

    Lluisa xoxo

  • Hanabee 20 February, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Oooooh ahhhhh. More poems please! My eldest called it Nyonya, a tradition passed down from me/my mum – I think it’s Swahili slang. Youngest prefers ‘nulkies’ which was a babyism, but now she’s FAR from a baby it conveniently distinguishes between (cow’s) ‘milk’ and the real deal. ‘Nulky, nulky nooooo’ is her own poem dedicated to the joys of (extended/never ending?) breastfeeding.

  • TLD 20 February, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    My DD called them “mah mees” my son calls them “nay nays”.

    And I think I have figured out who first used words. It was the babies. They named the boobs first then the momma because those are the most important things 🙂

  • Chrissy Chittenden 20 February, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    I included a poem in my book (that’s not a plug, just sayin’!) and even when I read my own poems back I cringe, which is probably a sign that I need to work on my own confidence in my work and expressing my inner self or whatever.

  • Alina 21 February, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Maybe it’s the near-due-date hormones but your poem gave me a little tear in my eye! Sniff! As someone else requested, more poems please 🙂
    (My little girl self-weaned around 14 months and never used words or signs to ask for milk. I wonder how we’ll refer to it with the new baby).

  • Cathy 21 February, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Violet, my 18-month-old, is very literal. She just yells EAT! and paws at my chest. She does it at night too. And if I try and unlatch her before she’s finished it’s MORE EAT!

  • vally 22 February, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    i personally find poetry hard… to write or read, gets me puzzled lol but hey! well done! and well right about pressing “publish” so that it exists.

    so my eldest now 4, bf until 2.5ish used mita (sounds like meeeta) from the portuguese word i use, mamita (breast is mama, sounding pretty much like mama yeps!). the second one, now 2 but not bf anymore (oh it’s the sad side of being pregnant to me, it dries out and HURTS like crazy, can’t do it…) started using a throat sound (unwritteble???!!!) because we used to play talking while he had it in his mouth… so that sound stuck and even now that he is able to use words he still uses that sound when he sees one 😉
    happy writtings lucy ~

  • Jen in Oz 25 February, 2015 at 10:40 am

    I trained mine to call it Mamamoo because I dreaded the idea of “boobies” being yelled at loud volume in a public space like church or a train. It got invariably shortened by the youngest at the time to moo or mama. And like other mums I do wonder if in a household of five males (thankfully never breastfed the hubby lol) if I am only appreciated for my boobs iykwim. Is supplying food at various stages of life our only value?

  • Loubelle 1 March, 2015 at 12:26 pm


    And a gorgeous photo too. My little one asks for ‘mummy milk’, signs ‘milk’ and runs to the chair or sofa to pat it where we normally feed. At 19 months it’s less often but still among the loveliest moments of our day

  • Gilly 16 March, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    My two year old calls it ‘baboo’ and asks for ‘other side’ when she wants to swap.

  • Jo 30 July, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    For our now 2.25yr old, it’s ‘Ko-ko’. Started off with me calling it milko, and he shortened it to Koko as one of his first words. My hearts melts every time <3