On “extended” breastfeeding


24.01.14 - Button
My sweet little Button having his supper
I wouldn’t trade this for the world!

I read an interesting article today entitled Breastfeeding: Who Are You Really Doing It For? Go take a look then come back here.

Off you go.

Did you read it? Good. Then let us continue.

So, the article asks why is it that it’s a bit taboo for a mother to admit she actually enjoys breastfeeding her child, and why people in western cultures get a little freaked out by anything other than the very smallest babies being fed at the breast (and sometimes even finding newborn nursing a little weird). It seems to be a particularly western thing too, as the worldwide norm is to feed until the child stops of their own accord, which is sometimes several years, not just months. It’s not even “extended” breastfeeding – as the article says, it’s just breastfeeding.

I breastfed Tadpole for almost 15 months when he quit of his own accord. I was sad when it was over – I had planned on a minimum of 18 months and letting him self-wean at whatever age he wanted. It just happened that he wanted that at 15 months. I’m currently feeding my almost 5 month old second son (who you all know as Button) and cherishing every moment, because I know full well that even if he nursed for several years, it would be over too soon for me.

I love nursing my children. It’s a comfort to both of us and it’s lovely feeling so needed. Even if we nurse to full term and it’s a few years, those years are so very short. They are little for so short an amount of time and they don’t need us quite as much as they used to.

So I’ll enjoy it while I can. I’ll enjoy those quiet, snuggly moments when my son and I cuddle up together and we are, for a brief period in time, the only people in the world.

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One thought on “On “extended” breastfeeding

  1. In the USA, while there are soo many that claim to be advocates for family, really everyone is about getting their kids as independent as soon as possible. This includes getting a baby off the bottle, or boob and into their own rooms and cribs and whatnot and not “need” a parent anymore.
    I am not sure if this is because most mothers and fathers HAVE to work here, so they actually do need their kids not to be attached to them so much so they can go back to work or if it has more to do with the sexualization of boobs…or maybe a little bit of both.
    I also think some of it is the Mommy War mentality…some people feel jealous or even inadequate for not be able (or willing) to breastfeed for longer and so have to demonize those that do. (For the record for anyone reading, I tried to BF, I didn’t produce any milk with either of my kids and so they had to go on formula).
    With all that said, there are some moms who do take it to an extreme, I read something a long time ago (my oldest is 9 now so it was when he was tiny) where a mom wanted to keep breastfeeding her 7 yr old kid. The kid didn’t want to anymore, but the mom didn’t want to stop (think of that Game of Thrones mom). Granted, I am sure those cases are few and far between and are probably rooted in a mental issue when you are forcing your kids to breastfeed. I think it is those cases (as few as they may be) that skeeve people out and feel like the younger you wean the better to keep that feeling of incest out of it and draw and strong line against it.
    With all of that said, I get sick of hearing others bash moms for doing the best they know to do. Breast is best for most people and society needs to stay out of women’s bras (among other things). Many of us choose formula, which isn’t as bad as it is made out to be either. We are all just parents trying to do the best thing for our families and no one solution is going to be the end all be all. As long as your kids and family are happy and healthy, everyone else needs to just chill.

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