The Funny Reality of Breastfeeding
My 2-year-and-3-month-old recently weaned from breastfeeding. Now looking back, I feel that breastfeeding can be emotional, challenging, rewarding, and also funny! In light of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, I’d like to share some semi-funny moments of my breastfeeding journey.
- When nursing, I feel there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. I quit my job because the company didn’t support pumping at work. It’s been two years and I still think it’s worth of it.
- Like all the other breastfeeding mothers, I’ve been told to cover up when nursing in public. Last time when I was asked to do so, I told my 2-year-old: “This auntie wants you to hide under the blanket while eating.” And he shouted out loudly, “NO!”
- Even when we were covered up, I’d still be told to go to somewhere else to breastfeed. Last time when I was asked to do so, I told my 2-year-old: “This uncle wants you to eat in the restroom.” And he replied, “Uncle go away.”
- For sleep training purposes, the books told us, “as baby drifts off, gently remove breast.” But my baby always wakes up immediately when I tried to remove the breast.
- My mom told me that the size of my boobs will never be the same again—they’ll get bigger. But she didn’t tell me that the shape of my boobs will never be the same, either.
- Whenever trying to “nurse down” my sleepy baby, I was always the one who was “down” first.
- Soon I learned to keep my smart phone close by, so that I can watch “Case Closed” and stay awake while breastfeeding.
- I even learned to pick up my smart phone with my toes when it’s not possible to move my upper body and breastfeed at the same time.
- As long as I give him his bed-time nursing session, my child can sleep straight a nine hours. It’s nice, but in the morning I had to beg him to get up and eat because my boobs were engorged.
- It hurt so badly to breastfeed when my baby was teething that I swore numerous times to myself, “I will wean him tomorrow.” But I never really carried out the plan. Now we are done with breastfeeding, it actually feels weird not to have hydrogel pads on my nipples.
My little one was only breastfed once a day as part of his bedtime routine by the time he turned two years old. To wean him naturally, after his second birthday, every night I just asked him, “Do you want mama’s milk or cow’s milk?” He always chose mama’s milk. After three months, one night he finally chose cow’s milk. Several days later he tried to switch back to mama’s milk, only he realized there was no more milk in my breasts.
The last scene of our breastfeeding journey was like this: he latched on, sucked for a few minutes, and then he opened his month, looked up to me and said, “there’s no milk.” I said, “that’s because you’re a big boy now, and mama’s milk is only for babies.” He hugged me (my breasts actually) and said, “bye bye booboos.”
I’ll remember all of these moments.
TO-WEN TSENG 曾多聞