I did not think I'd be breastfeeding this long. I had several friends who hit the one year mark, and their babies just lost interest. I figured that would happen to me and I'd go with it. It didn't happen. Josie is a milkaholic, it solves all her problems, it's the fastest way to calm her down or get her to sleep or make her feel better after she bumps her little head. That's why I'm sort of addicted to it too. I no longer pump at work, and she eats tons of regular food, but when we're together she constantly (like, every hour) suddenly looks at me and realizes "there's milk there" and signs for it. If it's not bedtime, naptime, or right before/after work I usually say no, but dang, remind me why did we teach this kid to sign for milk?
The thing is when you breastfeed this long people just assume you're a hardcore lactivist. A mom at work was giving me this long explanation of why she had to wean her 7-month old because she'd had so many rounds of mastitis and I was like "Honey, it's cool. Really. Go you."
So just to clear the air, I do think breastfeeding is incredibly important, I am a bit judgmental about women who don't even want to try to breastfeed. But here's how my true feelings play out these days:
|If your baby is||I think you...|
|Less than 6 weeks old||Need to be trying very hard to breastfeed. Seek out multiple lactation consultants for issues, go to an LLL meeting, SOMETHING, it's important!|
|6 weeks - 3 months||Should at least be trying to overcome difficulty, arrange life around nursing, it's still pretty important. But of course I realize these things don't always work out.|
|3-7 months||Good to keep breastfeeding but weird schedules and problems are a reasonable excuse to consider quitting.|
|7-12 months||As long as you're thinking critically about other forms of nutrition, do whatever works for you. Good job making it this far.|
|12 months +||Want your body back? Go ahead and take it!|
See? Not hardcore. I am not on here to sing the praises of toddler breastfeeding, if you want to do it it's great, but egads ladies sometimes we have to move on with our lives!