Your Impact

October 15th, 2010 by Dionna | 8 Comments
Posted in Breastfeeding/Lactivism, Feed with Love and Respect, Joys of Breastfeeding Past Infancy

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Usually I run a “Joys of Breastfeeding Past Infancy” post on Fridays, but today I wanted to share something different. I get emails every so often from mamas who have read something here, something that has touched them or encouraged them. Many times, the stories that have touched them are the ones from you – the stories of the mamas who breastfeed past that magic one year mark.

Recently, I got an email from Lauren. Lauren wrote:

Thank you so much for doing this series! I have a six month old daughter, and before she was born and I didn’t know how breastfeeding would go, I was committed to making it six months – I hoped for a year. Until recently, my mom was the only person I knew who breastfed, and she didn’t nurse past nine months. Many of my family members have commented (negatively) about extended breastfeeding.

As I have grown to love nursing my daughter, I’d started thinking about when our nursing relationship would be over. I thought about when I might like to try for another child and how that would impact my current nursling. I worried about the things my family might say as my daughter got older.

Now I’m thinking we’ll wait longer than we’d thought initially, just so she can wean in her own time (though I’m open to tandem nursing).  I’m thinking, no way will we wean at one.  I hope to make it to two, or even longer if she wants to keep going.

My family’s thoughts on the matter can go hang.

I don’t know if I’d have the courage to come to this decision if not for the “Joys of Breastfeeding Past Infancy” series.

I’m new the the AP blogging community, and I am so grateful to have found you all.  It’s hard to choose things that are different from the norm, and even though I’m completely sure I’m choosing the right things, it helps so much to know I’m not the only one.  Thank you so much for helping to legitimize such a wonderful thing. I hope that if you repeat this series next year, or the year after, I’ll have my own post to submit.

___________________________

Lauren – I hope you’ll have your own post to submit next year too! Thank you so much for writing. You are the reason we are sharing our stories!

Who has encouraged you on your parenting journey? And have you told her thank you?

8 Responses to:
"Your Impact"

  1. kristina   heytherered

    Thank you so much for sharing Lauren’s story! She is inspiring, I hope that she and her daughter enjoy nursing for a long, loving time :)
    My husband and I were very lucky to be completely surrounded by supportive friends, family and caregivers. Our midwives and doula set us up with a lactation consultant at the end of my pregnancy. Several of our close friends had their babies before us and were very open about nursing around us, so it became something normal. My cousin – and neighbour! – was very involved with La Leche and passed along her wisdom and support, at all hours of the day and night. Most important, my husband and I were completely committed to breastfeeding and continue to support each other. We are at 11 months and counting now and have no plans to wean anytime soon.
    We’ve also done our part to pay it forward, helping our friends with their new babies and becoming involved with a local mentoring program that partners new mothers with women that have been nursing for at least 6 months.

  2. Melissa   vibreantwanderer

    How wonderful! It is always to know you’re not alone, no matter how secure you feel in your decisions. Thank you for sharing this!

  3. Fiona

    This series has been wodnerful for me too. My 13 month old daughter has been sick this past week – lots of vomiting and a fever. I’ve nursed her through the whole thing knowing that she was being rehydrated and getting some nutrients when she refused to eat or drink anything else. I don’t know what non-nursing mothers do in those situations. I’m sure they have their solutions too, but it’s so reassuring when my daughter frantically shakes her head when I offer food or water that I know she will always eagerly take the breast.

  4. Go for it Lauren!

    I have never ever heard a single mother wish she’d weaned her kid earlier — but I’ve heard plenty say they’d wished they’d had the courage to nurse longer despite pressure from others to wean.

  5. Christina

    BEAUUUUTIFULLY said Betsy! If you don’t mind, I would love to share that comment and post it in my FB status. I think more people should hear and understand things like that!!!

    Lauren, thank you so much for sharing your experience. I’m so glad it has had such a positive impact on you.

    • Acrophile

      Definitely getting in line for permission to repost that comment! :D I have no trouble keeping the BFing going past 2, except the physical irritation that happens as they get older and more wiggly (and less sensitive to what we need). I do believe, however, that even Mom-Led Weaning should be gradual and not really noticeable. I don’t wish I had weaned my first any earlier, but I am glad I didn’t wait longer than I did. It was starting to drive me insane, and as I set limits I felt better. So our nursing relationship ended on an appropriately gentle but bittersweet note. I miss it, but not *too* much. I miss the infant and early-toddler days, indeed. But the later times let me know it was the right time. And the lack of trauma lets me know it was in the right way. I am hoping the process with the second is so smooth and gentle and gradual.

  6. lisa

    this is so great. i also enjoy reading all the post about bf past infancy. i have a 4 month old and we went through a lot in the beginning. i had bad latch (and all the goods that come along w/ that) then thrush that lasted a month. without the help of a good friend (who bf her daughter til 5)incouraging me to stick to it and a community like this, i can’t say i would have continued. my mom didn’t bf and the rest of my family is in support of it, but doesn’t want to see it, that too was less incouraging to continue. reading these stories puts into perspective what my goals are now. i too in the beginning had set a goal of 6 months, then a year if that went well. now im all about my baby (soon to be toddler) choice. i feel so much more confident to continue and am proud of my decission with a community as supportive as this one! thanks for creating a safe and nurturing place for us mothers to feel free to be ourselves and share our experiences with incouragement and love!! everyday feels like mothers day when i read a post on here and it warms my heart!! thanks to those who share!! lisa

  7. Laurie

    It was a shock to me when my daughter turned one year old and my family started making comments about “you need to wean that baby” – I would ask them if they realized the contradiction in that statement? Babies are supposed to nurse! Why then would I take that away from her? It took several months of badgering from my sisters (I have 3 of them) and my dad, not so much my mom, before they quit saying anything and just accepted it. Secretly I think my mom wishes she could have nursed each of us longer – we each nursed for 9-10 months and “weaned ourselves” according to her, which I gently explained to her that that wasn’t possible so as not to hurt her feelings. My daughter is 20 months old now and weaning herself due to my pregnancy and my gentle encouragement. I’ve been wrestling with the thought of tandem nursing, though with 3 kids and a full time job I’m not sure I have it in me. Reading the posts on this blog about tandem nursing though has given some normalcy to the idea and I am more willing to give it a shot if my daughter doesn’t fully wean by the time the new baby arrives. I am thankful for this series also for that reason.

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