This is late but I while I was on the East Coast I received comments and looks while I nursed my toddler son in public. Nothing was rude just curious. Some asked why I still do it after 12 months. One said her pediatrician told her she could stop at the year mark. I'm guessing most think there is no more benefit to the mother or the child after twelve months. I'm thankful that I live in California (being that there are many attachment parents here, holistic families, natural ways of living) and there are plenty of resources and people who say shoot for 12 months minimum and stop when you and the child want after that.
My recommendation: Link arms with like minded families so that you don't feel alone in your decision to nurse past a certain time.
I'm enjoying the ability to nurse my son because I understand the health benefits for both of us. Breast cancer runs in my family and I know extended nursing helps decrease the risk that I will develop it. I also know that my son will have less ear infections, will get sick less, will fight many infections, will reduce childhood obesity because of the antibodies found in the milk - yes... even now. My son will be 23 months old in a week or so. We are happy. He is "easy like Sunday morning" most of the time. His cool, calm and collected personality I trace back primarily to his dad but also to the amount of bonding we have done because of the breast feeding relationship. I have no idea when we'll stop. I've always said that I'll let him decide. I'm sticking with that for now.
Breastfeeding comes in handy on the days he doesn't want to eat much other than drink cow's milk. At least I know that he's getting more nutrients through my milk because I eat healthy. I hope that this post will offer you some encouragement as you make the decision to breast feed or not and how long you will nurse. I applaud you for trying. I am happy for your little one if all you decided to do was offer your baby the colostrum that comes right after you deliver your bundle of joy. That's liquid gold. Lastly, don't let someone else help you make the decision to no longer nurse. There are many families that aren't supportive... I can say that I didn't have 100% support from many people around me but I knew in my heart it was the best thing for my son.
Edit: After I posted this I logged into Facebook and saw a dear friend post a thread about World Breastfeeding Week - Virtual Celebration. Belly Laughs Doula & Baby Services owner, Maggie Jennings, wrote the following: "Breastfeeding gives babies all the nutrients for the best physical & mental development. The AAP recommends babies be exclusively breastfed for 6 months, then continue (w/food) for 12 months minimum whereas the WHO recommends babies 2 years minimum! Both organizations say breastfeeding should continue for as long as mom & baby want."
If you want to see what else Maggie is talking about visit her Facebook fan page or her personal website.
Subscribe to my blog here to never miss a post.