Welcome to the Carnival of Breastfeeding hosted by Blacktating and The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog. The theme this month is Extended Breastfeeding. Be sure to check out the other posts in the carnival at the end of this post.
With my first child, I stopped breastfeeding at 2 1/2 months because of medication I needed to go one that was NOT safe. With my second child, I was happily able to find medication that was safer and was able to breastfeed as long as I wanted.
However my husband’s family didn’t breastfeed or get breastfed and so breastfeeding was a new idea to them. They had to get used to me nursing in front of them and in front of their friends if I was at there house. It was always them that were embarrassed or apologetic, not me.
They got used to it but by the time the baby got to 6 months, there were hushed questions to my husband as to how long I’d breastfeed. They never were directed at me. By 9 months, my husband told me of these questions and said he wasn’t sure what to say. I told him to say that I’d be breastfeeding as long as the baby and I felt like it, at least a year as it didn’t make sense to stop breastfeeding to introduce formula.
By one year, the questions kept coming, occasionally to me, and I kept getting strange looks from the family too. Needless to say it was getting annoying. Why couldn’t they just be supportive? Or just leave me alone? Did I ask them how long they were going to bottle feed for?
At 12 months I decided to start weaning, with the idea to wean slowly. It ended up taking 3 months so I breastfed for 15 months. In terms of Extended Breastfeeding, this actually isn’t that extended compared to the 2 or 3 year olds that are still being breastfed. However the family was making me feel like I was nursing a 7 year old.
|© Flickr User chispita_666|
Health Canada recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months with continued breastfeeding for 2 years and beyond. The World Health Organization (WHO) basically says the same thing. So breastfeeding up to one year is NOT really extended then but to many people, it does seem like it, which is sad.
If you are not comfortable nursing past one year, that’s fine. However I think nursing mothers should try for at least a year. Why introduce formula when you are providing breast milk for your baby?
More importantly, to everyone else, whether you breastfeed or not, please keep your thoughts and comments to yourself on when you believe breastfeeding should cease. It’s not your body or your child and it’s not your decision or your business. Thank You.
Check out the other posts in the Carnival of Breastfeeding: