Weaning can be bittersweet, but Sarah Nicole Landry made it beautiful too

Sarah Nicole Landry, who you might know as The Birds Papaya, has spent years working to normalize the whirlwind of emotions and experiences that we have as mothers. To her audience of 2.1 million followers, she’s advocated fiercely for women’s acceptance of our ever-changing bodies, opened up about her intense fear of giving birth, and spoken candidly about experiencing the baby blues.

After giving birth to her fourth child in January of 2021—baby Lemmie, who came more than a decade after her closest sibling—Sarah experienced motherhood all over again in a completely different stage of life. This also meant breastfeeding for the fourth time. “I’ve never had a baby that fed as much as this one,” she said in a caption on Instagram last August. “‘Touched out’ was my new way of life. In the early days, I cried a lot. Hormones, overwhelmedness. Not loving breastfeeding, not hating it either. Some days I give formula, it helps me manage and have support. Most days I love the convenience of breastfeeding and well, my baby is obsessed. So it’s pretty cute too.”

Weaning after a year came with the rollercoaster of emotions so many breastfeeding people experience. To mark the milestone, Sarah turned to photographer Theresa Morphy to capture one of her last nursing sessions—and they shared some of the gorgeous shots with Today’s Parent. We’ve included Sarah’s touching sentiments about saying goodbye to breastfeeding.

Sarah Nicole Landry a.k.a The Bird's Papaya embraces her baby daughter who stares at the camera

Photo: Theresa Morphy Photography

“It’s not often we get a moment where we know things are changing, a chapter is closing, as we ready for the next.

I remember once reading a mother’s sentiments in the moment she realized she had washed her daughter’s hair for the last time, without realizing she had.

Some chapters close with the slap of a book cover while others a soft turning of the page.”

Two side by side photos of Sarah Nicole Landry a.k.a The Birds Papaya nursing her baby

Photos: Theresa Morphy Photography

“Ours has been coming for a while.
I would love to say it’s just been my milk supply or she’s weaned herself, but the reality is – we’re just ready.

But within all of our readiness, there is still a goodbye.
An unlatching.
As we latch onto new things, new bonds, new experiences.”

Sarah Nicole Landry a.k.a The Bird's Papaya's baby looks at the camera will nursing

Photo: Theresa Morphy Photography

“Feeding her this way has not always been enjoyable.
For me it has been:
Bonding, but also lonely.
Convenient, yet demanding.
Magical, and sometimes frustrating.
Closeness, yet being touched out.
There has been constant duality to it.
It is not one or the other, it is both.
Enjoyable, and not always.”

Sarah Nicole Landry a.k.a The Bird's Papaya gazes down lovingly at her baby girl while nursing her

Photo: Theresa Morphy Photography

“It’s taken me a lot to say that.

Whether ready, rushed, chosen or not, when the chapter ends I will, most likely, have feelings of both relief and sadness.

May these pictures serve to remind me of the bonding magical closeness we had through each latch. May they serve to show me how we lose none of it,
by unlatching.”

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