Mother lifts the lid on the reality of extended breastfeeding

Mother who breastfeeds her son, nearly two, while vacuuming, cooking and even sitting on the TOILET says she plans to keep nursing the little boy as long as she can

  • Becky Vieira, 42, from San Francisco, is practicing extended breastfeeding 
  • Writer and stay-at-home mother wants to nurse son Archer as long as possible
  • She even breastfeeds while on the toilet and shares her journey on Instagram
  • The nearly two-year-old has thrived on breastmilk but does occasionally bite his mother when he falls asleep while feeding 

A mother has revealed the realities of extended breastfeeding including how she copes with her two-year-old son’s teeth and juggling nursing with household chores and even going to the toilet. 

Writer and stay-at-home mum, Becky Vieira, 42, from San Francisco, has become an Instagram heroine for many other mums practising extended feeding after posting regularly about her life including photos of Archer, nearly two, attached to her breast as she cleans the house.

Becky was overjoyed when her dream of becoming a mother was finally answered at the age of 40.

However, she says she also felt pressured as a new mother to raise Archer in the way society deems ‘right’.

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San Francisco mother Becky Viera opens up to her Instagram followers about the realities of extended breastfeeding including juggling household chores – and even going to the toilet

Son Archer, nearly two, is regularly breastfed despite Becky facing criticism from people commenting on the photos she posts on social medai

The little boy has thrived on his mother’s breast milk and Becky hopes her story

Becky has been breastfeeding Archer for 22 months, and she shows no sign of weaning him off her milk, despite criticism .

She explains: ‘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 breastfed my son at first because I knew it was good for him, but it was painful and awkward at first.

‘It was uncomfortable initially, it felt like someone rubbed sandpaper on my nipple and put it into a pencil sharpener. But I saw how healthy he was and how he was growing.

‘Like everyone tells you, it gets better with time, patience and practice.

‘Archer was diagnosed with acid reflux, so his paediatrician was worried formula would aggravate his situation. So originally, I just wanted to get my son passed his reflux – but look at us now!

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‘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.

‘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.’

Archer had acid reflux in his first few months and doctors recommended breastfeeding because they thought formula milk might aggravate the condition – and the mother and son haven’t looked back  

Becky admits that there have been a few painful moments when Little Archer has bitten her while nodding off on the breast

Archer started eating solid food at the age of six months, but he still has breast milk every day on top of this. Usually, Archer will be breastfed in the morning and then have two feedings later in the day.

Many people believe there are lots of benefits to extended breastfeeding, and Becky has even had her breast milk analysed for its nutritional value which showed it was still full of vitamins and healthy fats.

‘Other mums have said I made them feel less alone and helped normalise extended breastfeeding,’ Becky explained.

‘Many mums who were unable to breastfeed are incredibly supportive and encourage me to continue.

‘I’ve had mums tell me how much they miss it themselves and wish me well – it’s amazing, it feels like a true community.

‘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. 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’.

Praise: Other mums have said that Becky’s honest updates have helped to normalise breastfeeding

Downside: There has also been criticism of Becky’s extended breastfeeding and even some men who sexualise nursing and have asked her for photos 

However, the mother-of-one says she ignores the critics and knows ‘no-one besides myself, my husband and our pediatrician know what is best for Archer’

‘It’s funny, with all the mums in the world you’d think we’d be more supportive and open about things. There’s still pressure to present an image that everything is neat and tidy at all times.’

Following Archer’s birth, Becky faced severe postpartum depression and she felt incredibly lonely as she had no other mums she felt like she could relate to. Becky hopes to make mothers like her feel less alone and to normalise extended breastfeeding, which is so often looked down on.

‘I try to remind myself that no one besides myself, my husband and our paediatrician know what is best for Archer,’ added Becky.

Becky is also very happy to breastfeed in public although she does use a shawl to cover her son

‘Sometimes those nagging voices do creep in, but I follow my gut and trust my instincts. That is what has led me to continue breastfeeding.

‘When I began to tell my motherhood story on Instagram, from the breastfeeding to the postpartum depression and the nappies, I was able to connect and build a network of online support.’

Becky looks to continue breastfeeding her son for the near future, and she will continue to encourage other mothers to speak openly about breastfeeding, feeding in public and extended breastfeeding.

You can find out more by visiting Becky’s Instagram, @wittyotter. 

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