My 3 Year Old Is A Breastfeeding Advocate

This was the conversation between Little Bean (age 3) and her friend (age 4) at the park earlier this week:

Little Bean: “I can’t have ice-cream.  I'm allergic to moo milk.”
Friend: “What’s moo milk?”
Little Bean: “It’s milk from a cow.”
Friend: “That’s just milk…don’t you have milk?”
Little Bean: “Oh yeah!  I have milk!  I have mama milk!”
Friend: “What’s mama milk?”
Little Bean: “It’s milk from mummy.  She makes it in her boobs.”
Friend: “Cool.”

My 3 year old is a breastfeeding advocate, and I could not be more proud.

In those first days, weeks and months of motherhood, I never dreamt that I would reach this point.  Back then, my nipples were shredded, mastitis was a regular occurrence and I was running on empty.  But somehow, through sheer stubbornness perhaps, I kept on going.

"I can do this" became my mantra.  And as time went by, my focus shifted from my own personal experience, to that of other moms around me.  Why were so many new moms experiencing the same trials that I had?  Where was the transfer of knowledge, the accessible support and open encouragement?  Why was breastfeeding treated as an inconvenient and embarrassing skill to master alone?  The answer to all of these questions, unfortunately, is that breastfeeding is not the norm in our society.  On the whole, we do not see it, few understand it and too many do not value it.

It’s time all that changed.

Slowly but surely, I became more vocal, more confident and more convinced of my position towards breastfeeding.  Armed with experience, research and heartfelt belief, I became a breastfeeding advocate.

And simultaneously, almost by magic, so did my daughter.

My 3 year old is normalizing the normal, without even trying to, because this truly is her norm.

My 3 year old is oblivious to society’s sexualisation of the female nipple.

My 3 year old is not fazed by human biology.

My 3 year old is not affected by outside judgement.

My 3 year old is not afraid to speak her truth.

My 3 year old is freakin’ brilliant.

Tomorrow, Little Bean turns 4 and while I cannot know for sure what age 4 will bring, I know one thing is certain: My 4 year old will be a breastfeeding advocate.

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  1. I love that her friend replied 'cool'!

  2. I love kid conversations!! Way too cute. Awesome parenting skills in action - thanks for normalizing the normal!! :)

    Heather @

  3. I am currently nursing my daughter who is 38 months old and shows no signs of stopping. She is the 5th child I have nursed and wouldn't change it for the world. I applaud all Mothers, we rock !

  4. Happy 4th birthday Little Bean! As always, thanks for what you do Mama Bean.

  5. The love that knows no bounds. The true Madonna spirit, whose generosity never runs dry, whose womb bears life, whose soul bears compassion, who cradles the hungry, opens her home and blesses the world with a heart, 'simple with giving, gives the primal deed, the first good world'.

  6. I adore this article - thank you. I'm also an advocate of extended breastfeeding & my son, now 2 & a bit, is very grateful. Yesterday he pretended to call his Granny & kicked off with this line: "Hello, I'm Benjamin & this is my friend, Mommy." My heart melted.

  7. I nursed for 2 years with up to 34 oz, of milk per day. I nursed for a year after this with less out put, OK declining out put, because it was a nursing relationship. It was very important on several levels, and a relaxing way to spend time together. I felt loss when it ended, but I was indeed discreet, and indeed I did not care if others were judgemental. I didn't know of any, and probably because I did not elicit anyone's opinion in the matter. I worked very hard to have enough milk. I took an herbal supplement, and up to 3TB of powdered fenugreek in water 3X a day. I don't have much body fat, 6 %, but I was motivated to give my child this perfect nourishment. It was worth it.