The Joys of Breastfeeding Past Infancy #31

February 4th, 2011 by Dionna | 31 Comments
Posted in Breastfeeding/Lactivism, Feed with Love and Respect, Guest Posts, Joys of Breastfeeding Past Infancy

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Today I am happy to host a guest post by Rebecca. Rebecca is a 20 year old stay at home mama to her little girl Bailey. She enjoys spending her days with her husband and Bailey, sewing, and being outdoors. She hopes to one day find a way to make an impact on teen mothers and help them to breastfeed, since it seems to be even less common among younger moms. You can usually find Rebecca on Twitter: @SpiffyBex . Here is her breastfeeding guest post:
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Rebecca and Bailey, cuddled up

I always knew I wanted to breastfeed my children. I don’t know how, I just did. When I found out I was pregnant at 17 (I am 19 now) it was one of the first things to come out of my mouth to my husband (well, after I announced the big news of course). He agreed entirely and supported me, thankfully.

It was hard in the early days, as it is for everyone, but just being able to snuggle up with my daughter was amazing. To be able to feed her when no one else could allowed me to nurture and strengthen a unique bond. She would just lay there nursing, slowly drifting into sleep so peaceful and calm.

Ever since she was very tiny I would help hold my breast up for her, and she would rub and pat my hand as she drifted off. If I forgot, she would grunt at me until I would place my hand where it should be.

Now, at 16 months, it’s like I am her personal jungle gym. Nursing her has become kind of like a gymnastics class. She’s twisting all around, giggling the best giggles, trying to lay all over me and snuggle up to me in all sorts of weird positions.

I get a lot of questions like “Are you really still nursing her?” and “Shouldn’t she be on Cow’s Milk?,” but I know what we are doing is best for her! Mama’s Milk is what she needs.

I know that for a lot of people, it’s hard to imagine nursing a toddler, but it isn’t like a toddler magically appears at your breast one day. It’s a gradual process of growth that gets our children to that point, and learning how to walk doesn’t mean they need us any less.

My daughter still nurses during the day as well as down for naps and at bedtime. Those moments are the best. Her heavy eyes staring up at me as she dozes off. If I’ve lost track of time and she’s getting sleepy she’ll stick her hand down my shirt with that cute little whimper of hers to let me know that she needs me, and only me will do!

To this day, even at 16 months, she still grunts if I forget to put my hand next to her for her to rub, pat, and hold as she drifts off to sleep.

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Breastfeeding past infancy is full of laughter, joys, and heartbreaking tenderness. I am publishing a series of posts dedicated to the beauty of nursing toddlers in an effort to normalize this healthy and beneficial nursing relationship. But this isn’t just about me – I want to hear YOUR joys. If you are nursing a child who is older than one year, please contact me and tell me about your favorite moments. I will include them in the series and credit you, your site, or post it anonymously if you so desire. (This series was formerly called “The Joys of Breastfeeding a Toddler.” I changed the name to reflect the fact that we are celebrating women who breastfeed past infancy, regardless of the age of the nursling.)

31 Responses to:
"The Joys of Breastfeeding Past Infancy #31"

  1. katie m

    Thank you for pointing out that younger mothers opt to not breastfeed. When did we get to the point where mothers aren’t breastfeeding their children from birth. Crazy!

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