This week’s Breastfeeding Blog Hop topic is Why do you breastfeed?
I always knew I would breastfeed. I knew it years before I had a baby, and the Bradley birth class I took reenforced those beliefs. It was the obvious choice. We didn’t have a smooth start, but we’re still going 19 months later.
Now that E is a toddler, I often get asked why we’re still nursing. While his nutrition comes primarily from solids, he still breastfeeds 2-3 times a day. I still nurse him to sleep occasionally. He’s night weaned, but still wants a drink first thing in the morning and as soon as I walk in the house from work.
I breastfeed my toddler because:
It’s our time together. I’m at work all day, I miss my kid. It also helps me unwind and relax after a particularly difficult day. It helps lift my mood instantly. Thanks oxytocin! E isn’t much of a cuddler, but he loves snuggling while nursing. I get to kiss and nibble on his hands and feet. Sometimes I get a milky smile that reminds me of when he was a baby.
It’s still good for both of us. Even though it’s not his primary source of food, E is still getting antibodies from me, and he’s helping me reduce my risk of certain types of cancer. Kellymom has a great list of the benefits of breastfeeding past infancy.
Haters are my motivators. If someone tells me they don’t approve of something I’m doing, that’s usually more incentive for me to do it. I guess I am stubborn that way. Pardon the cliched expression, but lately the negative comments have been fuel for me to keep going. There. I said it. I know I’m not the only one that thinks that way.
I didn’t set out to be a long-term breastfeeder. In fact, the whole idea of nursing past infancy kind of weirded me out. Then I started breastfeeding. My original goal was 6 months, and now it’s until it is no longer mutually desired. This is what works for us, why change it? Why do you breastfeed?