Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Breastfeeding On My Terms

I recall with fondness and a little wincing my early days of nursing Nee-Nee. The very first time I did it I was filled with this wonderous sense that I was a strong woman who could feed her baby. It was like I was fulfilling my feminine calling. As the weeks passed I became sore, dealing with blisters, cracks, and a boob addicted child who wouldn't settle for pacifier. I would get nervous when I knew I had to nurse her but I worked through those hard times and before long she and I were settled into a routine.

With the older two I got a lot of questions about when I was going to wean. That was often followed by much criticism about how they were too old to be nursing. To be honest I only planned to nurse Nee Nee for one year. When one year came and went I pushed the limit to 15 months, then to 18 months. I finally realized that I didn't want to wean...there was no reason to! So what if she could ask for it? It made us happy and it was beneficial for the both of us. I learned to let negative comments and opinions roll off my back. With Bear I made it to over two years and it was just perfect. I don't have any regrets in regards to how long we nursed. In fact, we even did some modeling for First 5 of California (see pic).

Now that I am still nursing Midge I don't get a single comment. He is 17 months old and still needs mommy's "nunnies" to get him through the tough toddler years. I think my family has learned that I nurse on my own terms and that their opinions about my choices will fall on deaf ears. In fact, my mom suggests I nurse my baby when he is fussy or tired. I don't get looks from people, or maybe I just don't care to notice. Now that I have been nursing for over five out of the last seven years it seems so normal and natural to me to just do what works and what feels right. I don't know when we will wean, and I am glad that we aren't restricting ourselves to a certain age or date. I just know that we are happy now and that is all that matters.

I would encourage all breastfeeding moms to take each day as it comes and not restrict your nursing relationship due to pressure or the baby's age. Do what feels right for both you and the baby. When it is time to wean, you will know. Don't let the opinions of others take away the beautiful bond between you and your little one if you aren't ready to give it up.

I can proudly say that all three of my kiddos are so sweet, loving, and still very close to me. I attribute much of that to breastfeeding them. I love my boobie babies!


{sara} said...

I love that you are still breastfeeding! My nursing days were a nightmare. I succeeded to nurse Darbi for a year - after lots of nasty infections for about he 1st 3 months. I quit with Maci after 5 months due to the infections. With both of them, I had ample milk. With Kennedi, I didn't have enough milk & was starving her. After so long, she wanted nothing to do with my boobs! I was determined, with her, to nurse as long as I wanted to no matter what. I was devastated when I had to stop. It truly is a beautiful experience to nurse your baby. One I feel I got seriously jipped on! (sorry for the long story!)

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

I agree, and I think it's great that you breastfeed, (I had a difficult time doing so!) but I can say the last paragraph that you wrote with just a small change:

"I can proudly say that all three of MY kiddos are so sweet, loving, and still very close to me. I attribute much of that to my loving and caring for them. I love my bottlefed babies!"


Love your blog!