Breastfeeding a child is such an emotional journey. Those first few weeks are often wrought with figuring out to get your baby properly latched, finding what positions work best, and just generally getting used to feeding an infant with your body. Once you and your baby find that rhythm, nursing can be both a unique bonding experience and an around-the-clock job. What no one quite prepares nursing moms for, however, is what the end of the journey can be like. Well, recently Nikki Reed got candid about breastfeeding her 19-month-old — and it's so refreshing.
In case you haven't kept up with the Twilight star through the years, she's currently a mom of one. As E! Online reported, Reed welcomed her first child with husband Ian Somerhalder — a baby girl they named Bodhi Soleil Reed Somerhalder — in July 2017.
Reed took to Instagram on Tuesday, March 5 to share a photo of herself nursing her toddler, People reported. She also offered insight into where they're currently at in their journey. "As we transition from four feedings a day down to two, I am remembering how important it is to stop what I am doing and enjoy every second of this bonding time,” Reed wrote. "I am remding [sic] myself that my hormones are shifting, and that it’s normal to feel weepy as your body regulates through the transition. It goes so fast."
Reed also opened up about the juggling act that is working motherhood. And while multitasking is key to pulling it all off, she expressed a desire to truly soak in this stage of life with her daughter.
"Today I am reminding myself to slow down and separate the two," she added. "Today working and bonding are going to have their own time, so I can try my hardest to soak up every moment, and smile at every detail. Even if it’s just the nighttime feeding, people can wait and emails will be answered...when she’s finished." Reed continued:
The sounds, the swallows, where she puts her hand, watching her daydream, because before I know it we will have turned the page...💕🌸
Although plenty of babies continue nursing well past age 1, it's still not something that's often talked about. (In fact, it's fairly common to deal with dirty looks or comments like, "Oh, you're still nursing?" when it comes to toddlers.) Except, here's the thing: "Extended breastfeeding" is actually normal and completely healthy. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first six months of life, and breastfeeding with along with solid food until at least age 1 — with continued breastfeeding, as long as mom and baby both desire.
Even so, as little ones gradually drop feedings and head toward being weaned, it can be difficult transitioning — for both children and their moms. Because as much as nursing mamas might crave more independence (and to not constantly be "touched out") knowing that their breastfeeding journey is coming to an end can be bittersweet. Hang in there, Nikki! And thanks for sharing your experience with us.