Did you know, that somewhere on the bosom of a nursing/lactating mother is a sticker that says “Expires: blank day and time” or “Best if used by?” It’s right next to the full or out of milk gauge we come installed with too.
Did you find it?
You know I searched high and low for mine and couldn’t for the life of me find it. Apparently though according to random strangers, family members, and every one else who feels they can pipe in on my parenting choices, now that Little Miss is one year old my breast milk has “expired.”
According to them apparently I’ve missed – the human billboard I am for when milk goes bad and I should stop nursing.
Gone are the days when a child decides when they are done getting the best milk they can ever have, instead we force to wean, spend hours painfully engorged because our baby and our body were not ready. A milk that helps them fight disease, the is a cure-all for so many ailments. Have an ear-ache? Squirt of breast milk and it’s gone. What about a cruddy eye? Yup breast milk will get ride of that too. Have a fever, here have some breast milk. There is a reason babies/toddlers/little people have breast milk, it’s made FOR them, and there is no expiration date on that. In fact the longer a baby of a type 1 diabetic receives breast milk the less chance they have of they themselves becoming diabetic.
The pressure to wean can be overwhelming. From the nasty glares and rude comments, to the unsolicited advice about your parenting, to the sly remarks that you realize hours later were digs at the fact that you had a toddler on your breast. But stay strong, your body, your milk, you baby know best!
No matter what your pediatrician might say, or your mother, or your mother-in-law, or the random nosy lady at the supermarket there is, and never will be an expiration date for your breast milk. It will stop when your child needs it/wants it to stop. When your body is ready. Trust your body to do what it was born/built to do, your child will be happier and healthier for it and so will you.
So the next time someone tells you
They are too old for that.
If they can ask, they can have a cup.
When are you going to stop nursing?
Or anything of the sort have a ready bucket of answers for them.
When someone makes the comment “If they can ask for it then they shouldn’t still be nursing” I politely as I can point out that we strive to teach our children to “ask for what they want” but in the matter of breast feeding we turn around and say that once they can ask for it, it means we tell them NO. That logically makes zero sense. If they can ask for it, it means they are developing and appropriately learning how to communicate their needs. Why punish that by then saying, “well no you actually CAN’T have what you ask for.”
Most of the time this leads people to stare blankly at me followed by an, “Oh”.
If I get told they are “too old” I normally retort with, “What makes them too old?” Normally they either have no answer or it’s the above answer in which I already have a response to.
If the last, I simply say “When she decides.” Normally that elicits an eye roll or two but I have learn to laugh about it. Which normally makes people feel awkward enough to walk away.
Sometimes it is hard to remember when people are on your back, but you have no expiration date! It is one of the many many things that makes breast milk so wonderful. Never expires. Never is too warm or too cold. So trust your body, You have this!
Someone sent this to me and I had to add it because it is PERFECT!
What are some answers you’ve found work well for you when met with those nosy about nursing people?