Posts Tagged ‘natural-term breastfeeding’

Oh, You’re STILL Nursing?

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

oh, you're still nursing?Breastfeeding is a beautiful, amazing gift. It’s not always easy. It can come with pain. I’ve gone through thrush, mastitis, nipple shields, and bite marks. Many moms desire to nurse but it doesn’t work out. So, I don’t take a moment I nurse my son for granted.

But lately, friends, family, and even medical professionals have asked me, “Oh, you’re still nursing?” It’s almost as like once your baby approaches age 1, they expect you to be done. It is normal to not be done, mommas.

For me, I am getting closer. Levi is almost 16 months old, and he is only nursing in the mornings. Is it a habit? Maybe. Do I care? No. I relish in the wee-morning hours when it’s just the two of us awake and he just wants mommy. He smacks his lips and looks up at me and says, “more” in his sweet little baby boy voice.

There are many benefits to nursing past one year for a toddler. Some of them are:

  • Nutrition and disease-fighting goodness
  • Great gains in cognitive development for toddlers who breastfed
  • Aids in social development of older infants and toddlers

And don’t forget about mom! Here are some of the benefits for us, ladies:

  • Delayed return of fertility
  • Decreased risks of certain cancers (breast and ovarian)
  • Aids in weight loss (for some)
  • Can reduce the likelihood you develop cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis

For me, those benefits are worth sticking it out for a little while longer. Some moms nurse babies well into toddlerhood, and I say, “You go girl!” While I wish I could do that with my Levi, I have a feeling we will be done in the next few months. I am just not sure he is my last baby.

So if someone gives you a hard time for nursing an older infant or toddler, just remember they aren’t your boss. Educate them on the benefits, if you feel up to it. Share the amazing stories of bonding and love you get to experience with your child. If some people in your life aren’t supportive of this choice, it’s your choice whether to engage with them on the subject or begin enforcing a boundary. You don’t owe anyone anything.

Remember, you are supermom. You decide what is best for you and your baby, and if “boobie milk” is part of your toddler plan, then let it be.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana where she lives, writes, and nurses a 15 month old little boy with lots of teeth.