How wonderful that August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month and my little Kaiju is turning 18 months old?
There’s tons of research and literature out there proving the benefits of breastfeeding. But, while I’m over here in Japan where nursing is a given, it’s so so so weird to see #freethenipple, #normalizebreastfeeding, and #blackwomendobreastfeed campaigns all over social media. Even more shocking is all the celebrities voicing their opinions, too.
I am so fortunate that I had a steady supply since the monster’s birth, and I’m even more fortunate to live in an environment that actively encourages breastfeeding. Seeing posts of moms being shamed, or posts by moms struggling to find adequate rooms for nursing just doesn’t make sense to me, especially when you can see way more skin on tv or at the beach.
Yet, while the monster and I have reached an incredible milestone, that we’re still boobin’ on 18 months later, with no signs of stopping,, if I have to be honest, I’d like to get off this ride, please!
Baby-mommy bonding photos look so magical, but sometimes… the struggle is real. These are moment we’ll never experience again, but am I wrong for just being done and fed up at times?
Little Kaiju eats solids 3 times a day, and nurses 3-4 times a day, but it seems more like comfort nursing than anything else to me. When she’s in daycare, she doesn’t drink expressed milk, nor do I nurse her. (Under Japanese labor laws, moms get two 30 minute periods a day for nursing/pumping.)
Particularly when she’s stressed, or when I’m stressed (and there’s been a lot of that lately) she’ll climb all over me and want to nurse, except she’s not nursing. I’d love to give her a pacifier, but she still won’t accept one. She doesn’t even suck her fingers (though I know I should be very grateful so that I don’t have to wean her out of those habits later).
The hardest part of nursing at this stage is that at 18 months old, little Kaiju has so much control over her movements, and so much strength, too!
I’ve experienced everything from karate chops to the face and kicks to the tummy, and scratches. Oh, and hair pulling, too. The clasp on one of my favorite necklaces is broken from her yanking on my chain while nursing.
Another weird (and annoying) thing is acrobatic nursing. This happens mainly when I’m (trying) to nurse her to sleep. Little Kaiju literally goes all over the place – upside down, laying on my chest, feet in my face. It gets crazy at times! Times like those are when I really miss the newborn stage!
(Biting, unfortunately, happens too, but if you’re a new mom worried about bites, I assure you that most of the bites happen when babies are latching on or right at the end of nursing.)
Boobin’ On To Two and Beyond?!
Working in a Japanese childcare center for babies and kids up to elementary school, I know that many of the little ones in the 2 and 3 year old classes still nurse. Already we’ve reached a pretty impressive milestone, but I have no idea how much longer little Kaiju and I will be boobin’ on, though. I guess I should take some more photos and videos just as a reminder of these final moments!