Ask Amma

Amma Dudhu: A Farewell Poem

In Field Notes, Poems on 14 December 2015 at 2:42 am

The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for at least two years and beyond for as long as mother and baby wish.  The benefits of breastfeeding do not disappear at a specific age, but rather continuously prepare children physically, intellectually and emotionally to digest what the world has to offer, literally and figuratively.  Curiosity, experimentation, illness, growth spurts and adaptations to circumstances will prompt children to modulate breastfeeding and eventually outgrow it.

And how do you say goodbye?  In this guest post, Divya Singh, Amma to 3½ year-old Navya in Portland. shares her story along with a poem. 

Last week, my 3½ year-old and I said bye-bye to our breastfeeding relationship on a very happy note…wanted to share this for Ask Amma.

Here’s how it worked out-
After she turned three, every now and then I had tried talking her out of this. But she would not give up on the morning and bedtime feeds.
With a bad cold, she had been nursing a couple times at night in the week/ten days before. One of these mornings I had sore nipples and I told her I was hurting and so she should be gentle. To my surprise, she just licked both sides and called it done. The following mornings, we would just cuddle, talk and I would sing some prayers and start our day. The first two nights, she slept on the sofa while I was taking care of work emails. It was partly intentional to avoid our bedtime routine. Those two nights, she was too tired having missed her naps at daycare.. The third night, after our usual night routine, to my amazement she said she didn’t want “amma duddhu!”  I knew then that she was done.

The author and her daughter, Navya.

The author and her daughter, Navya.

And we said bye bye to amma duddhu
you didn’t cry, nor did I
one small step, one big moment,
to let go of this elixir so potent!

And we said bye bye to amma duddhu
you were ready, and so was I
a moment to pause, and celebrate,
so many to thank and dedicate!

And we said bye bye to amma duddhu
like your first walk, like your first talk
this was surely one milestone,
on this parenting voyage, a large capstone!

And we said bye bye to amma duddhu
when so many said you were too old to nurse
and questioned why I continued to nurse,
you affirmed our bond like a poem or verse!
Thanks for choosing me your mom!!

Ask Amma thanks Divya Singh for sharing her story and poem commemorating this stage of MotherChild growth.

More nursing tales:

Ups and downs, even upside down!
Weaning … and Free Learning

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