And already I've begun to get the question, "so when are you going to stop breastfeeding?". Stop? I feel like I just started! And I even more recently just began to actually enjoy it! I'm sure these questions are well meaning. One person who asked me was a fellow member of the breastfeeding group I attend. When I go to answer this question I never feel like I'm giving the "right" answer. I'm pretty sure I'm not giving most people the one they want to hear anyway. I think some people have a hard time visualizing a walking and somewhat talking 15 month old still breastfeeding. But from four months of breastfeeding experience I've found that most people (unless they are also breastfeeding moms or their husbands) seem to be uncomfortable with it no matter what the age. Which is difficult on a new mom, it took this whole four months for me to get the confidence I now have to breastfeed comfortably in public.
I think most people are just uninformed. Nutrition is not the only reason for breastfeeding. There are very strong and important bonds that take place between mother and baby during this time. So there is a need for BF after one year. It helps the infant to develop emotionally by forming this strong attachment with its mother. And if you want to get technical, the World Health Organization recommend BF until 2 years of age. Most babies don't even begin weaning on their own before this age.
The other remark I get is, "what about when he gets teeth?!". Babies don't suck with their teeth, they suck with their tongues. <-- there! Squashed!
So what's my answer? I don't know. Thats what I tell everyone. I enjoy doing it. It's the only time my little monkey is calm and cuddly while he's awake. It's our special time to relax and connect. And the best part is it solves everything! He's tired? Nurse him. He's fussy? Nurse him. He's upset, scared, hurt, lonely, or hungry(duh)? Nurse him! The truth is (despite what some people think) I wouldn't consider extended nursing just for me, because I can't let go. This is a partnership between me and Liam. To make him stop before he's ready would be cruel. My goal is to BF for the first 12 months. Anything after that is up to Liam (and a bonus in my opinion). A little sensitivity should be called on when tackling this subject with a breastfeeding mother. Remember that when you suggest she should stop at (insert random number here) months, you are telling her she should give up that special time with her child where she holds him and comforts him and provides him with everything he needs. It's a very emotional thing you are messing with here! Plus, formula is expensive! And I'd never get to see this precious sleeping face in my lap on my boppy pillow. I've talked to grown women, women with grandchildren, who breastfed their children decades ago. The one thing they've all told me when they see me feed Liam, "oh I miss breastfeeding! I remember feeding my kids, i miss it!". And I understand, it makes me sad to know that the day when he won't BF anymore will be here soon. My heart actually aches a little when I think about it.