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Extended Breastfeeding- 3 reasons I chose to continue breastfeeding after 1 year
Are you an extended breastfeeding mom?
When I went to the doctor for my yearly check-up, after I had my daughter I wasnʼt feeling all that great, tired and just run down. I was sure it was from being a mom but the doctor said that he sees it a lot with moms who are extended breastfeeders.
I just sat there and smiled. I didnʼt know that was a term until I got home and googled it. I just thought I was doing what I felt was RIGHT at the time and season of life I was in.
I never thought I would say that I am breastfeeding a 2-year-old.
But, here I am with a 26-month-old who still loves her “mulk” before she falls asleep.
Breastfeeding is an amazing feeling that I wish every mom had a chance to understand because no matter how hard I try to explain it, I could never come close to what it truly is.
I’m going to back up to say that I have 2 daughters. The first was never breastfed, ever. The second is absolutely and ridiculously in love with her “mulk”. She has never in her life had a bottle in her mouth because she refuses it like crazy.
So, since I never breastfed my first child I never thought that I would still be nursing my second past 12 months. Although, my breastfed baby has only been on antibiotics 1 time in her 2 years of life and I call that a win because my first child who was not breastfed was on antibiotics constantly as a baby.
I believe that every child is different and that means that every child must be fed differently.
3 reasons I chose to continue breastfeeding after 1 year.
1. It felt right. I didnʼt feel like my picky eater was drinking or eating enough. I couldnʼt get her to drink regular milk from a cup or eat baby food of any kind at 1 year. She still is a picky eater and most of her disliking foods is a texture thing. She never liked baby food and I tried them all. I even made homemade baby food with our Baby Bullet from fresh veggies from our garden. She was not having it. With my first child, she ate baby food fine and by 10 months was eating what I made for dinner, just smashed a bit. Not my second child.
2. Health benefits of breastmilk don’t just disappear after 1 year. Not to mention the meltdowns. My daughter would have crying fits if I refused to allow her to nurse. Like lay on the floor, and withhold from eating kind of meltdown fits. It stressed me out beyond measure and she was definitely stressed out.
3. I realized that not every child is the same and that 1 year of breastfeeding is just a SUGGESTION. I guess I felt pressured from people around me to stop breastfeeding at 1 year because they thought thatʼs what you are supposed to do.
But, I forgot that as her mother I knew what was best for her. After all, Iʼm the one who fed her every meal she has had to nourish her growing and healthy body while in my arms since the day she was born.
How could anyone else know her and our breastfeeding relationship any better?
I know that a lot of people have different views on nursing their children and that is totally okay. Because as moms we more often than we recognize, know what is best for our children.
Every child is different and requires different approaches to parenting. No one knows that my daughter is still nursing because I donʼt allow her to nurse in public. Not because Iʼm afraid of what people will say, but simply because that is not my thing.
So, we will continue with extended breastfeeding until I feel the time has come to stop or she tells me. And. I feel it coming very soon.
I will try to savor these last times as much as possible.