Friday, June 24, 2011

So Extreme!

So....are you still?

When will you stop?

Isn't he getting too old for that?

It's just for comfort, right?

I guess 12 months is the magical age for weaning here in the US. People have been asking me when I'm going to stop doing THAT (nursing, breastfeeding, AHHHH...why are breasts so sexualized - I'm feeding my baby!). When are we going to stop doing that. This is so much more complicated than I imagined. Just like I thought that my baby would WANT to sleep in a crib, that's what babies do, right? Also, nursing a toddler is different than nursing a newborn, and Eliot wants/needs to nurse a lot less than he used to, which is great! I am enjoying having my body back more of the time, enjoying not pumping at work. Sometimes it's like holding a distracted squirrel. He's twitching and grabbing and climbing and twirling and hitting, and often driving me crazy. But when he wants to nurse - that is all he wants. Sometimes there are no sippy cups or distractions that work otherwise. And I don't mind. I love the cuddle time with my increasingly mobile little boy, and I feel like it's a bit of nutritional insurance if he hasn't eaten the best that day....just because he's 1 doesn't mean my milk suddenly has no nutritional value.

Did you know that the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding until at least 2 years of age?

Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding until 1, and then as long as mutually desireable between the mother and child?

Former Surgeon General Dr. Antonia Novello: "It's the lucky baby, I feel, who continues to nurse until he's two."

I have grandmas and mothers admitting to me that they breastfed until their child was 2, even 3. They concede their confessions to me in low voices. They miss it. They loved it. They hid it. They don't regret it.

I remember before I had Eliot that I was one of those people who thought "extended" breastfeeding was weird. I would whisper to my friend behing my hand, "They're walking and talking - what are they doing still breastfeeding?" Here I am eating my words.

The other day I locked Eli and myself out of the house for 3 hours and I was so thankful that he was still nursing because it was lunch time and he was hungry. I always have a snack with me.

I sometimes feel uncomfortable nursing in public though, and I'm sad I feel like that. I wish it was more accepted....I hope if Eliot ever has children his wife never has to think twice. And if she ends up feeding her child formula that nobody judges them for that either. While nursing he no longer tolerates a blanket over his head and he unlatches about every 2 seconds from some distraction - I'm sure I've flashed people. He rarely wants to nurse in public anymore though - that's too distracting for him too - but I wouldn't deny him in an emergency. I've had to grow a backbone, put up with stares of people who think it's weird or unnecessary. I'm an inactive activist - "It's normal! It's society who's wrong!" I want to shout. But I don't.

I guess I'm growing my mama backbone. I will put up with anyone's judgement/crap to do what I believe is in the best interest of my child. And if anyone EVER makes Eliot feel like what he's doing is wrong or weird they will be sorry. Mama bear says ROAR!

1 comment:

  1. I am so with you on pretty much every aspect of this post! Totally didn't see myself nursing a 1+ year old but now I can't see myself stopping until he is ready. Good on ya, Mama!