I believe that breastfeeding is best for babies but know that it isn't always best for moms. It isn't always possible or even what mom wants. And that's okay. Breastfeeding isn't the norm in our culture and because of that I think that doing things to promote breastfeeding is good. A lot of women will never see a baby breastfeeding before having her own, I know I hadn't.
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) coordinates World Breastfeeding Week August 1-7 every year. Each year has a theme, this year's being Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life. All across the world breastfeeding has been talked about, promoted, and celebrated this week.
Last year I was two and a half years into my breastfeeding relationship with my daughter and this year I'm done nursing her. Little K nursed until she was 3 years and 4 months. I had only one goal regarding nursing when she was born, and that was to get her latched and nursing so I could breastfeed her for longer than 3 months. With Little J, my first, things didn't go well and I ended up pumping and giving him my milk in a bottle. That lasted 3 months (though he got milk until he was 4 months) until I gave up. I wanted to do better.
It was weird nursing past a year. It was weird nursing a toddler. She had teeth and could bite - and did bite me every time she nursed for 6 months. She could walk and talk and tell me how much she loved drinking milk. She still talks about it. But extended nursing, nursing past a year, is probably more common that you know because it doesn't always happen in public.
|The last picture I have of Little K nursing.|
Nursing a toddler has its advantages. Toddlers can be distracted, put off until later when it's more convenient, or be told no, not right now. They can be reasoned with. The nursing relationship matures from a very basic need to a give and take. While we were both ready to be done with nursing, I find I miss the physical closeness that came with it. I don't miss my curfew or the stress of having to be away, especially at bedtime or first thing in the morning, that would happen when I had to be at a birth.
All that to say that breastfeeding is great and I hope that if you choose to breastfeed you are able to. There are so many resources out there and I would be more than happy to help you find them. Happy World Breastfeeding Week!