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Nursing On Demand or Nursing By Desire?

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I love this recent blog post from Nurshable. It resonates so very deeply. As I move toward nursing my third child (while still nursing my second) I am still stunned by the look in my daughter’s eyes when she gazes at me while we nurse. There is so much love and trust there. I would not trade that for anything.

Me and my kids – tandem nursing on Sister-Bug’s first day. Brother on the bottom, Sister on the top.

I’ve been thinking about the term “On Demand Nursing” and I don’t like it. A Google search defines demand as:


An insistent and peremptory request, made as if by right.
Ask authoritatively or brusquely

Certainly as a nursing mom I’ve experienced demands from both my children, but our nursing relationship is much deeper than that. “On Demand” implies that I am held to the whims of a tiny tyrant, that I have little choice in the matter. But we need a new phrase – one that connotates the positive action of meeting our baby/toddler/child’s needs because we have the desire to be the best mother we can be. A similar Google search defines desire as:


A strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.
Strongly wish for or want (something).

That’s more the kind of word I’m looking for.

Desire is a good thing. Desire motivates us to seek out satiation. Often we share our desires with others, especially those we love deeply. I chose to nurse this way because I desired this amazing closeness with my children. I chose this because my understanding and experience led me to the decision that this is best for both of us and, like all parents, I desire to do what is best for my family.

Sometimes, as babies grow to toddlers, I say “No. I can’t nurse this minute.” And we discuss when we will settle and nurse. There are two (sometimes more) people in the equation, with unique needs, demands, and desires. I honor the building and unfolding of that nursing relationship. My desire is to aid and support it to the best of my ability.

Much as I reject the designation of “Human Pacifier”, I will no longer practice “On Demand Nursing”. I’m changing it. My kids and I will Nurse By Desire.

One response »

  1. Pingback: Nursing For A Friend | Another Day - Another Mom

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