11 Apr 2012

Lactation Education: Age Four

My friend Ana and her four-year-old daughter, Lucy, visit us every week. We share food, the kids play with toys, and Ana and I always end up talking about breastfeeding at some point. Usually Ana and Lucy stay long enough that eventually Jacob wants to nurse, even though these days he mostly just likes to crawl about and play when we have guests over. Still, Lucy has seen me using the supplemental nursing system fairly frequently. Her Mom told me this story the other day:
Girl nursing her doll on a red couch.
At home, Lucy found a tube somewhere-or-other, and put the end of it in a bottle. Then she placed the other end of the tube next to her nipple, and proceeded to nurse her doll. Her Mom asked, "Oh, are you feeding your baby with an SNS?"
"Yes, I don't have enough oppai, so I'm giving my baby oppai but there's pumped milk in the bottle, too, see?"
I have no doubt that if Lucy has her own children, it will be second nature to her to breastfeed them. If she turns out to be one of the very few people who truly cannot make enough milk, she'll know that by using a supplemental nursing system she can feed her baby at her breast and maintain a satisfying nursing relationship. Even that will be second nature to her, too. And, of course, she'll know to ask her nursing friends if they might be able to donate some pumped milk for her baby.
This is why we must defend not only the right to nurse in public, but also the right of our children to see all kinds of people nursing in public.
*oppai is the term Lucy uses for nursing. It comes from the Japanese.

128 comments:

  1. Hi Trevor,

    Sorry to reach out via a comment, but I can't find an e-mail address for you anywhere. I read about your blog on Bunch Family and can't believe I hadn't come across it before. I'd love to write a post introducing my readers to your blog, but wanted to see if you had a picture I could use for the post.

    Could you get in touch with me at phdinparenting at gmail dot com.

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  2. Hi Trevor,

    Similar request to the one above! My name is Jessica and I'm the assistant editor of HuffPost Parents. I've read through your blog and was wondering if you'd be interested in blogging for The Huffington Post -- we would love to have you. Please email me at jessica.samakow@huffingtonpost.com and I'd be happy to give you more information. Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing from you.

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  3. My 5 year old son nursed his teddy bear for awhile, when his little brother came home. I thought it was the sweetest thing! Teaching children that nursing in any form in natural & normal is a great lesson to teach!

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    Replies
    1. That's sweet Claire. And did your son ask YOU to nurse his teddy bear too? I've heard of people nursing their children's dinosaurs, cars, etc!

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  4. This is so very wonderful. I am beyond thrilled to have found your blog (by way of Phd in Parenting). I love to see children play breastfeeding, and I think this story adds even more of a special aspect to that. Great call to action at the end, too!

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    1. Thanks so much for reading Colleen! Glad you're enjoying it.

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  5. I have just found your blog which was shared on the Analytical Armadillo's Facebook page and I am finding it absolutely fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing your very unusual and exceptionally enlightening insight. I really have never given transgender anything any thought. I don't think I even knew what it was before now but it is so interesting and I have learnt so much just by reading your blogs. I think you are doing an amazing thing for your son and it is so clear that you and Ian are just amazing parents to Jacob. Please keep writing, I would love to read more about your lives and continue broadening my mind!

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    1. Wow! Thank you for being so open to learning about something very unfamiliar to you.

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  6. It's is so great what we can teach our children? Thanks for sharing your life with us! Kuddos for providing oppai to Jacob for so long.

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    1. Yes, and what we teach without really trying - kids absorb so much. Thanks for your kind words!

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  7. May love and tenderness surround you and your beautiful unique family! Two of my women friends had to use an sns and I know it was difficult and a bit stressful for them at times- and even as a breastfeeding woman I experienced rudeness and judgment in public so good on you for sticking with it- it is one of the best things we can do to give our children a healthy start on life so good on you for educating yourself about what is best for your child, and your family and sticking with it! So much education to be done around acceptance of each and every individual's right to choice. We each have our own lessons and journey to travel in this lifetime and our choices help us to learn what we need to. I have so much admiration for your strength and courage.

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    1. Thanks so much for your wonderful support!

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