Saturday, June 17, 2006

Adventures in nursing a two year old

I knew that when my daughter was born that I was 100% committed to breastfeeding her. I feel lucky that the two of us encountered few hurdles along the way to the goal of exclusively nursing. She hasn't had a sip of formula in her life. I'm pretty proud of that. The latest thing I'm extremely proud of us is that we are still nursing strong at two years old, despite the slight set-back of my pregnancy throwing my milk supply for a loop. Luckily, Iris LOVES to "nursey booby" so there is no end in sight of this incredible bond we share. I just realized this morning that my colostrum has come in and strongly suspect that is the reason Iris has been demanding to nurse several times a day. She would also nurse for an hour, if I let her, but unfortunately the extreme sensitivity I've been feeling lately makes it pretty tough for me to nurse for longer than about ten minutes. Most of the time she throws a huge fit when I un-latch her. It makes me really sad :(

This milestone makes me think alot about the future. About nursing my two children at the same time, Iris eventually weaning, nursing only my second daughter and then having her eventually wean. Part of me thinks, whew!, what a long nursing trip I have ahead of me, and part of me feels sad just thinking about the end of it. The only thing I'm truly looking forward to is buying some nice bras that don't flip open in the front.

I've become quite surprised at my, um, exuberance, about breastfeeding. Before my daughter was born I couldn't have cared less what other people choose to do and all I knew was that breastmilk was cheaper and healthier than formula, so I was sold. Now that I have learned so much about breastfeeding and experienced the intense joy and satisfaction of feeding my daughter this way, I'm much more passionate about the topic.

I am also very fortunate to live in a community of people who support the decisions I have made about breastfeeding. My mother breastfed me, all of my nieces and nephews were breastfed, I actually know very few children who were never breastfed. Everyone around me supports (okay, at least they don't openly NOT support) breastfeeding and extended breastfeeding. I've nursed in public numerous times, without so much as a stray glance in my direction. I pumped every day I worked in a special room with a supplied pump, set up by the company I worked for. The city I live in has an amazing amount of resources available for breastfeeding mamas, as well. Again, I feel lucky, as I know this is a sort of breastfeeding utopia that many, many women don't have in their own communities. I just think, this is how it SHOULD be. EVERY woman should live in such a community as mine. Who knows, if every woman did, then maybe every baby would be breastfed. What an amazing thing to imagine.

1 comment:

  1. I wasn't breastfed because my mom didn't produce enough milk and had other health issues. But she *wanted* me to be breastfed so that helped her be supportive of it for me and EJ.

    And I hate to inform you but Iris has had sips of formula. Back in the day she got a hold of EJ's bottles here and there and drank some :)

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