No More Milk // An Ode to Breastfeeding

Dearest, darling Daisy,

We reached another milestone together recently. After 20 months of breastfeeding, you have had your final breastfeed. This time, it’s incredibly bittersweet because you will probably be my last baby and the last little love that I ever have the pleasure of breastfeeding.

As soon as you were born, you easily latched on and breastfed within your first hour. Unlike your brother, after those first few early weeks, you rarely fell asleep breastfeeding. I was really surprised about that and felt that made things harder as I then had to walk/rock you to sleep after a feed!

You continued to breastfeed on demand until after your first birthday. I wondered whether you would breastfeed longer than Blake had (he weaned at 26 months), but I could see you were already beginning to slow down the feeds, and you were not demanding them as often as he did.

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We only hit one hiccup in our journey; when you were about 8 months old you had your first cold. Your nose was so blocked you couldn’t breastfeed. I tried everything I could think of to help you, but you went on a breastfeeding strike for almost 48 hours!

To make matters worse, we had my uncle and cousin visiting from Croatia and we had already planned to take them to the Gold Coast for the day. I spent that day so sore, engorged and uncomfortable, desperately trying to get you to feed, and eventually having to express milk in a public bathroom just to relieve some pressure! Oh that was an experience!

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After growing, birthing and feeding 3 little ones in less than 5 years, my body was getting tired. I could feel that I really needed to begin to sleep better at night in order to get more energy back. So when you were around 15 months, I moved into the spare room so that you wouldn’t have access to milk overnight, and we could have a smoother transition to night-weaning. At this point you were waking every 2/3 hours overnight for a feed which was similar to your brothers pattern as a toddler.

Night-weaning in this way worked pretty well, and daddy offered you water and cuddles when you woke up in the night. Because I wasn’t there, you settled more easily and I felt it was a more gentle transition for you.

After a few months I decided I was ready to completely wean you. I really thought about this long and hard, and I was scared that I was making the wrong decision. But when I observed that you easily moved into having less and less milk during the day, I felt like you were on board too.

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These photos are actually of our very last feed. You hadn’t had milk for a few days at that point but it had happened sooner than I expected, and I was disappointed we hadn’t taken any photos. So we quickly took these few and although you happily latched on and had some milk, you took off to play with your siblings after just a couple of minutes.

So we now say goodbye to our breastfeeding journey. My darling, thank you for making our breastfeeding relationship so wonderful. I love you.

Love Always,

Mama

P.S. I wrote this little poem for you, in late April, a couple of weeks after our last breastfeed.

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An Ode to Breastfeeding

You are born and I lift you to my chest
You snuggle in and suckle from my breast
Your little face breathes in all of me
And I can’t help but feel deliriously happy

The months go on and you grow tall
But still your warm milk calls
You feed here and you feed there
You feed at home and everywhere

You breastfeed at nap-time and at night
You have your milk and you’re alright
You eat other food and drink of-course
But still you prefer your milk from the source

Then one day the milk is no more
Mama said it’s hard and she’s sore
Although breastfeeding is over, the memory is sweet
Cuddles and kisses are now our treat