Thursday, 08 November 2012
That's usually the first thing people say when they hear that I still nurse G. At 14 months old, she is still breastfed on demand. She eats some solids, but not much. She nurses more. Why? Because she wants to. I have no intentions of weaning her any time soon. I plan on letting her wean when she's ready. I figure she'll be ready before she walks down the aisle.
"She's too big!"
"She has teeth!"
"There's no point!"
"There's no benefit to her any more!"
"She's too old!"
None of the above reasons are good enough to wean. Who says she's too big? Who cares if she's walking?! Teeth? That doesn't mean anything at all. There's no point, or no benefit to her - since when? Did my milk turn the day she turned one? If that's true, then broccoli, peas, carrots, etc aren't good for us anymore, right? It must be true. As for her being 'too old," that's simply a matter of opinion. To me, a one year old is still very much a baby.
Why is it that in our culture, breastfeeding is seen as taboo? Why are people offended by women feeding their babies? Why is it considered gross? Why is it acceptable to scoff and make faces? To suggest we feed our babies in the bathroom? To put a blanket over their faces? Would you want to eat your lunch in the bathroom? Would you want to put a blanket over your head? Especially if it were hot out! No! You wouldn't. Why make our babies do the same?
I nurse out in public. Without a cover. If I even tried to cover up, she would make such a huge fuss that everyone would know what we were doing. 9 times out of 10, no one knows that I'm feeding her. They think she's asleep in my arms. Unless, of course, she's doing her Toddler Gymnurstics and trying to put her toes in my nose And even then, people just think she's being a toddler and crawling around.I've been fortunate to not be met with a ton of criticism. Sure, I've had my share. I've heard all of the 'reasons' above, but it doesn't impact my decision. My decision isn't going to scar my child, or impact her negatively. In fact, it will help to secure our bond, give her nutrients she can't/won't get from food, will help her immunity, and so much more. Yes, she bites me. But it doesn't happen all the time. She sticks her fingers in my mouth and nose far more than she bites. She doesn't yet talk, so she can't necessarily ask for it. She does, however, stick her hands down my shirt or try to lift it. Baby girl knows what she wants. And she knows she will get it when she wants, regardless of where we are.
I don't expect everyone to understand. I'm not asking for you to. In other cultures, women breastfeed up until their children are 7. Personally, I don't understand that, and think it's far too long. But it's not my place to judge. I don't have to understand why. But I do support them. It's their choice. Their kids, their breasts, their decisions. All I know is there is no way in hell I would say something negative to this mom:And I'm even less exposed than she is:
I don't demand you to cheer me on. We've had more struggles than most, and we're still going strong. We have used formula briefly, so I am not against formula entirely. We also use donor milk (that's an entirely different issue!). G is alive, and thriving, and the healthiest she has ever been. Of course I only want what's best for her. And for us, that means breastfeeding for as long as she wants to.
You can either support me, or stay out of my shirt.
Did any one else extended breastfeed? Did you get negative response to it?