World Breastfeeding Week: Why I'm still breastfeeding my 2-year-old
I find it astounding that breastfeeding can cause so much controversy. There are those who will act like not breastfeeding your child is akin to feeding them scum and dooming them to a life of idiocy. Then there are those who are appalled at the sight of breastfeeding in public, like it's something that should only be done in private and is shameful.
I think everyone just needs to get over it and let mothers do what they need to do. I myself have breastfed both of my daughters and breastfeeding has always been hard for me, it did not come naturally, and it was not convenient. That might lead you to believe that I breastfed briefly, but no. I'm what you would consider an extended breastfeeder. Why?
Read more ¿Qué más: 5 Things I won't miss about breastfeeding!
Okay, so with my first child breastfeeding was more like constantly pumping to try and get my milk supply up, supplementing with formula because I was never able to produce enough milk for her, crying and feeling like a failure, but also being happy that I could breastfeed some of the time and use my breasts to provide her comfort. I nursed her until she was over 2 years old and I stopped only because I stopped producing milk at a certain point because I was pregnant with my second.
Nursing my second has been easier, I knew the milk would come in and I trusted my body more. I stopped nursing her briefly this year because I went on antibiotics, but when I was done with the medication, I was still makin' milk and she still wanted it, so we went back to nursing. She is now 2 and a half and we're still nursing.
Again, why have I nursed my kids for so long when it hasn't been easy? Because I can. I work from home, I was around my kids all the time when they were infants, I had the time to devote to it and economically nursing really is the best deal in town. I also notice that if I get sick first and my kids are nursing, they tend not to get sick because of the antibodies I pass on to them through my milk.
My nursing days are coming to an end soon, I can feel it, I'm ready to stop. My littlest is still quite attached to the breast, but obviously she eats now and doesn't technically "need" it any more.
I am thrilled that I stuck it out with nursing for so long even though it was very hard for me. I also recognize that I was blessed to have the time and support to stick it out and I would never judge anyone for not nursing or for nursing for a much shorter time than I have.
Some people will go on and on about "breast is best" and while I do believe that nature intended for us to breastfeed, when have we as humans ever let nature take the lead? We've created a whole world that makes nature take a backseat and then we blame each other for not being "natural" enough. I think that support is best. I support my fellow mamás in their quest to feed their babies to the best of their abilities.
Image via Thinkstock