Are you still nursing? {Breastfeeding after the first year}

 

Are you still nursing? {Breastfeeding after the first year}

danielboy

Are you still nursing?

Are you still nursing?

Are you still nursing?

Are you still nursing?

I’ve been hearing that question since the day my sweet Daniel was born. I heard it through the whole 13 months Lilliana nursed. I thought I was over people’s judgements about nursing my babies. I thought I was armed with enough research and prayer and media support to just shrug off the stares. To raise my eyebrows back at the raised eyebrows. To keep my cheeks from burning hot when I overhear the judging comments. To kindly decline a “more private place to do that.

Maybe not though. Ever since Daniel was coming up on a year, people have been feeling the need to ask this question more frequently. Like my time was running out and their acceptance would soon expire. I have to be honest, I have felt really defensive about it. Would it be okay to still give him a bottle? How about a pacifier? How about diapers, can he still have any of those things? Yes? Because he is still a baby? Well then, yes, my baby still nurses. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics says this: 

“Pediatricians and parents should be aware that exclusive breastfeeding is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months of life and provides continuing protection against diarrhea and respiratory tract infection. Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child.”

At least the first year of life. My time is not running out. Our “and beyond” time is going to be determined by this mother and her baby. And I fully support and respect whatever that meant for you. If you couldn’t nurse, didn’t want to, nursed for a day, nurse for a month, year, or more, I bet you did the absolute best you could for your babies and that’s all I’m doing with mine. 

I think there is this stigma with nursing moms. I feel like people think I’m nursing at them. That I’m being self righteous or judgmental. But in my heart I’m really not. I promise.  I’m just feeding my baby. I’m not super mom. I’m just a regular mom trying super hard just like you. 

Supermom

To my truly well meaning (and very pretty) friends and family, I’m obviously a little touchy about this. So can I ask for your sensitivity? I would much rather be asked, “How are you and Daniel doing together?” “What is mothering a one-year-old Daniel like?” “How has your nursing relationship been going?” “How is he different from Lilliana?” “What are your most cherished moments?”  “What are your most challenging moments?” “Do you want me to bring you a latte?” “Did you lose weight? You look amazing.” 

Just some suggestions. 

Chances are, I’d share the status and struggles of our nursing relationship and much more meaningful parts of my heart in response to any or all of those questions and I’d be happy to let you in instead of going on the defense. I know you love me, I know you care, but I want to know you support me in this hard thing called motherhood whatever our similarities and differences are. Girl, I’ll do the same for you. We’re on the same team.  And I appreciate your support. 

-Darla 

 

Looking for some more information about the basics of nursing? Here is an excellent book that I recommend to any mother or expecting mother to read. It would a great read if you know someone who is nursing and want to understand more about it.  Link here: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

Looking for information about nursing an older baby? My Le Leche League Leader suggested this read and it has already helped me understand and work through some of my emotions. Here is the link: Mothering Your Nursing Toddler
 

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5 comments

  1. Jessica M says:

    You go girl! I nursed for 2+ years, so I got ALL the comments as well. You keep doing what’s best for you guys 🙂

  2. Abby says:

    Love this post :). I get asked ALL the time too about how long I will continue to nurse our almost 12 month old, why I am still nursing etc. etc. It all boils down to were all doing the best we can as Moms. And not really other peoples business IMO. Honestly… Nursing and attachment parenting is one of the best things I have done since becoming a Momma.

  3. Angela/Parisienne Farmgirl says:

    Are you still nursing? I’ve been meaning to ask you.
    I for one am still nursing (at 21 months) and nursed all my kids til about 2.5 years old when they just… stopped. Funny – you know never know when you “last time” will be.
    Why is everyone always in such a hurry to rush if for you?

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