On Air Now
Early Breakfast with Jenni Falconer 4am - 6:30am
4 July 2018, 16:56
Becky Viera is so determined to breastfeed her son as much as possible that she never stops him from latching on… even when she’s doing housework.
Instagrammer Becky Viera has opened up about the reality of ‘extended breastfeeding’ - and it sounds like hard work.
Becky started breastfeeding Archer, who is nearly 2, after he developed acid reflux as a baby.
She struggled at first, admitting that it was painful and left her nipples feeling “like they had been rubbed with sandpaper and put in a pencil sharpener”, but now she is delighted to be a role model for other mums who want to breastfeed their own babies for as long as possible.
Voting like a mom. I call this warrior pose: civic edition. I could focus on the things here that send my anxiety soaring. The messy kitchen. The dirty hair. The roll over my waist that doesn’t want to disappear. Instead, I push past that and see a mother kicking a*s. Breastfeeding while voting. My mom always took me with her to vote. I remember I’d get stickers or pencils, and I thought it was so neat to go into the booth and pull back the curtain. She never missed an election and taught us how important it was to vote. Now that I’m a mom I’m trying to do the same. It just looked a little different this year. I did an absentee ballot because... toddler unpredictability. I explained what I was doing. Showed him the ballot. And held him as I began to fill it in. About 46 seconds in he decided to nurse. He slid down me like a koala descending a Eucalyptus tree, stopping at my boobs to latch on. I don’t even have to think anymore; I lifted my knee to support him and kept going. Because that’s what moms do. Everyday is different for me. Yesterday I cried twice. Today I feel strong. Like the warrior I know I am. I voted. While breastfeeding. An amazing thing that only a mom can do. Let’s not forget how strong we are. And to teach our kids the importance of our voices by voting! You’re a warrior too, mama. Don’t forget. Tag you favorite warrior and remind her also!
The 42-year-old, who posts regular photos on her IG page @WittyOtter, said: “In many ways it's easier because we've been doing it for so long that we've perfected things.
“I can do other things while I breastfeed, like vacuuming or go to the toilet.
“But he will grab my breasts which isn't fun. Some people say they could never breastfeed a child with teeth and he has bitten me a handful of times if he's been falling asleep.
“Of course, there are trolls who offer unsolicited opinions and tell me I'm wrong for nursing still and that I'm enabling bad behaviour on my son's part.
When someone asks: -What do you do all day? -Don’t you get bored? -You must have so much free time. What I do all day is this — times 10,000. Making him dinner. Holding him because no one else but mom will do at this stage. It’s an honor that he wants me and only me. It’s also frustrating and makes me cranky sometimes, if I’m being honest. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Extended breastfeeding was never my plan. It’s what happened. He’s almost 21 months-old. I’m like a nursing ninja. Yes, I’m breastfeeding here while cooking dinner. I’m also playing, talking, teaching, loving and putting it all together to try and raise a good human. So to answer the question, no. I don’t get bored. Who has time to be bored? Anyone else’s day look like this? This beautiful chaos? What’s some of the craziest/funniest things you’ve done while still tending to your children and being an amazing mom?
“There are even some men who find it sexual and send me graphic photos.
“I've had people call me a 'freak' and had men say it's 'sexy' and that my son is 'lucky’.”
She said: “I breastfed my son at first because I knew it was good for him, but it was painful and awkward at first.
“I saw how healthy he was and how he was growing.
“'Like everyone tells you, it gets better with time, patience and practice.
“We take it day by day, and as long as it works for both of us we'll continue to breastfeed. But it is getting more uncomfortable as he gets older and bigger now.”
Help. This feels like crap. My husband took this photo this morning because the shirt said it perfectly. “Addicted.” It’s how he acts toward breastfeeding. I’m tired of it. And also depressed and anxious about ending our journey. I never wanted to breastfeed. I hated it. Said I’d do it for three months if I could, because I knew it was good for him. He had reflux and couldn’t take formula; I ended up having a ridiculously bountiful supply. There were bumps and pain along the way, but we found our groove. Six months. Nine. A year. Okay, just a little longer. Friends were seeing their babies self-wean. I waited for that to happen. It didn’t. Had my milk tested. It’s still insanely nutritious for him. And comfort. I’d like to nurse in the morning. Only. He has other ideas. He crawls up me, lifts my shirt, moves my bra aside. Pinches, twists, scratches. He’ll nurse while I’m standing, walking, taking a shower. We’re like some bizarre acrobatic duo. I never wanted to be a breastfeeding mom, let alone an extended breast feeder. I want to stop. I want to continue. I want him to wean on his own. That’s probably not going to happen. I’m afraid of my hormones causing a PPD relapse when I stop. Afraid of my baby getting bigger. I know we’re lucky. Some moms never are able to nurse. But I hate being here now. Did you wean? Breast or bottle. Tips, please! And if you have friends who went through this/are going through it please tag them. We need ALL the input we can get.
Another issue Becky has encountered is other people's reaction to her extended breastfeeding, and added that some women have criticised her for keeping it up this long.
She said: "Mums are told that we must breastfeed our babies, but it's considered wrong if we breastfeed for more than a year or so.
"I try to remind myself that no one besides myself, my husband and our paediatrician know what is best for Archer."