Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mothering your nursing toddler

I just bought the book "Mothering Your Nursing Toddler".
Ok, So, Luke isn't a toddler yet. I am sure this question is going to come up as his 1st birthday gets closer. Am I going to breastfeed past 1 year? Yes I am.
When I was pregnant, I just assumed that I would wean my baby at one. The more research I do, the more I'm wondering why 1 year is some magical time everyone has decided on. The AAP recommends breastfeeding for at least one year and then as long as the child and mother want to. The the World Health Organization recommends at least 2 years! They say the milk changes after one to a milk that is better for a toddler. From the website Kelly Mom there are so many wonderful benefits. Nursing toddlers benefit nutritionally, they are sick less often, they have fewer allergies, they are smart, more independence, and it's NORMAL. I thought it was normal to begin with considering no one in my mothers group has weaned at one, even though the statistics say not many mothers do. Also, benefits for the mother are delay in the return of fertility (which, if you must know, I am enjoying right now), reduces the risk of cancer(breast, ovarian, endometrial), protects against arthritis, osteoporosis, decreases insulin doses in diabetic women, AND breastfeeding women lose weight easier (I've even heard that even more comes off the second year of breastfeeding, I'll let you know). So my question is, why would I wean at one?
Looking past the 'recommendations' from others (which I feel like the more and more I do with parenting) I see my baby not ready yet. That is more important to me than the list of stuff above. I can see that weaning early would destroy this wonderful relationship that I have with Luke. I know when one year comes along, he won't be ready. I think that is more important for me to take into consideration than all the great facts and all the knowledge about it. That's how I want to be. I don't care what other people are doing with their own children, I want to do what's best for Luke for him. I don't think anyone, whether it's a well meaning friend or family member, or the AAP, I am Luke's Mom, and I know instinctively what is best for him. Too often mothers don't follow their instinct about their own children because of what they are 'supposed to do'. I am not that way. I want to have a sacrificial love for my son.


Lisa C said...

I found out after Michael turned one that nursing was more important to him than it was before he turned one. He nurses much more for comfort now. And even though he eats a healthy variety of foods, he's still not a perfect eater and the milk fills in the gaps. And every time he is sick I am so so grateful he is nursing. It's seriously the best thing for a sick baby. It's so wonderful, in fact, that sometimes I feel like I never want him to wean...I just don't know what I'd do without the milk!

Pickle said...

yeah I'm so glad I know you... Someone nursing past one and really happy and open about it, I always hope when I get to the phase you are at now I'm as confident as you.
I cried when we first gave Luke food because I knew eventually would mean less milk :(

Lisa C said...

Aw...I didn't cry but I was sad. I'm sad every time he starts nursing a little less.