You are going to breastfeed a toddler?
So here I am again, talking about breastfeeding. I promise I won't always bore you with this subject, but for this stage in my life I am a self proclaimed lactavist and I want to help normalize breastfeeding and supporting mamas on their journey (whatever that may be!). Also, can we all take a second to "ooo" and "ahhh" over this adorable dress, it is not a specific nursing dress but it is nursing friendly! (you can click here to see more daily deals from jane.comhttp://bit.ly/2txNqfl )
So, back to the question I seem to be facing head on since everyone knows Brody is going to be one in less than 2 months... When do I plan to stop breastfeeding? I know that most people are not asking it with overly judgemental intentions, but they are just rather curious...especially because I let everyone know Brody won't take a bottle, doesn't sleep through the night, and this mama is due for a break. But, I know the longer we nurse the more those questions will be laced with judgement. We have this preconceived notion that breastfeeding after 1 is wrong, or even considered "extended", The average worldwide age for weaning is something closer to 4 and the World Health Organization/UNICEF both recommend babies be breastfed until 2 years of age.
So here it is, I don't plan to wean him.
Yes, you read that right, I have no plans to wean him. I know that the day will come when we end our journey and no, he will not be 5, but at this point I have no plan to wean him. I hope we will come to a mutually agreed upon decision when it is time to wean, I just don't have that in my plan yet.
So now that y'all are probably giving the all the judgey "you are going to breastfeed a toddler" eyes let me explain why I don't plan to cut him off cold turkey the day he turns one.
- I am going to start with the nutritional benefits: Breast milk can provide a toddler with a plethora of vitamins, protein, and energy. One of the big factors for me is the folate requirements breastmilk meets, in the second year of life it can provide up to 75% of folate needs! It also provides those same immunity and allergy/illness protecting benefits that it did when your baby was under 1.
- Next up, comfort: I don't know anything else in the world that is basically a cure all for toddlers/babies. I remember Carter was really miserable with a bad diaper rash/tummy ache, I couldn't get him to eat or drink and he just cried in pain for what felt like days. I remember thinking to myself that I wish we hadn't weaned. I know that would have helped comfort him as well as kept him hydrated while providing him with nutrition during a hard time.
- Benefits for me: I don't mind burning an extra 500 calories a day while sitting on the couch. While nursing itself hasn't helped me lose the baby weight, I do think it has helped me maintain it once I lost it. Toddlers are very busy tiny humans and nursing enables me to still get some one on one time with my last baby (cue the tears!) I have also read studies that breastfeeding helps lower my risk of certain cancers.
- Convenience: Yea, yea, yea I am kind of a lazy mom. I don't like to clean bottles or sippy cups if i don't have to ;) That is a half joke, but I really don't like cleaning more dishes than I already have to and my boobs are always with me!
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