Thursday, July 12, 2012

Are You Still Breastfeeding Him? Or Reasons I love Breastfeeding

This was originally a post about extended breastfeeding, but it also fits in nicely with the reasons I love breastfeeding.  I always knew I would nurse any children (or at least exclusively pump) because of all the health and bonding aspects to it.  I always felt so very close to my little man and so in awe of the wonder of this little miracle when I was nursing him.

Initially I chose to breastfeed my son because of the immune system benefits.  (Kellymom website has a great article about all the immune factors in breast milk if you are interested.)  I knew that it was truly the healthiest option for him.  I also knew that there is a lot of research that says that breastfeeding reduces the risk of allergies and asthma.  I have both of these and would much prefer Destructo to not follow in my footsteps.  (Another informative article about allergies and breastfeeding can be found here .)

There was also the mammal tie in.  I mean if breast milk is what all other mammal species feed their young, why would I go against what nature and God intended?  That is what being an animal science major gets you.  It is just the next logical choice in conceiving a child, gestating that child, and giving birth to said child.  But with that said, while I am 100% positive breast feeding was the right choice for me, I totally support other mothers finding that formula works best for them.

There were varied other reasons too.  Breastfeeding can help reduce a child's chances of obesity, it helps protect against many viruses and bacteria, it is easily digestible, and it can reduce the mothers breast cancer riskKellymom has links about all these benefits and more. But above and beyond any of these health reasons, was the emotional bonding that occurs between a breastfeeding mom and her child.  There was also the fact that formula is very expensive and breast milk is free.

Oh and did I mention I am lazy at times.  Breastfeeding is so easy.  Whip out a boob, done.  No bottles to clean, formula to buy and prepare, water to measure.  Plus even if you are out and about far longer than you planned you never have to worry about not having a bottle for baby.  You are like a walking buffet.  Or milk cow either way.

Those were all valid reasons when he was a newborn.  But now I am regularly getting the when are you going to stop nursing him?  Why are you still breastfeeding him?  He doesn't need it anymore.  Are you going to nurse him until he starts kindergarten?  And so on.  Well honestly, all the benefits I mentioned above are still there.  Plus it is a great way for us to reconnect at the end of the work day when I have spent all day missing him so.

He still has a lessened chance of allergies.  It is still a source of nutrition  and is full of vitamins and good fats.  It still reduces my chances of breast cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis, and many other conditions as well.  It still helps keep him healthy as there are still many antibodies in the milk.  Throw in the bonding aspect of it and why would I quit before Destructo is ready to self wean?  (For more info about extended breastfeeding, check out this link at Kellymom.)

Instead I have learned to deal with the questions and am trying to come up with good responses to them.  My current choice is at the rate we are going maybe when he is 20 or I guess when he no longer wants to nurse.  That typically stops those who find extended breastfeeding abnormal in their tracks.  They just don't know what to reply with.

What are your guys favorite retorts when asked about extended breastfeeding?  What were the reasons you loved breastfeeding your children?


Linked up at:
Breastfeeding Blog Hop 
Reasons to Breastfeed 

15 comments:

  1. I breastfed my middle son due to food allergies till he was 2.

    I'm your newest follower - from http://mymorningcupofcoffee.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks for following. I am going to check out your blog now.

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  2. I never understand why moms are so judgey about how/what other moms choose to feed their child. I say more power to you! I couldn't do it, but I have the utmost respect for those who can/do! :D Just stopping by to let you know I gave ya a shoutout on the 'ol blog this evening :D Hope you'll stop by and link up :)

    -Nicole @ Me + the Moon

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    1. I am on my way to link up now. I really like the blog hops you do. I linked up last week as well.

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  3. Breastfeeding is tough! It is so great, though. I agree with the other commenters...I hate when moms are too judgmental towards each other. Every child is different and you have to do what's best for YOUR child, not theirs. Glad to have found you through the Epic Mom hop. New follower. :)

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    1. I am definitely learning to not judge other mothers nowadays. Kai has quite the temper and is prone to amazingly loud tantrums. Plus he still has a paci which I swore he would not have past a year. I just can't bring myself to lose the sleep (especially during the week when I have to work) to take it away. He only uses it during naps and nighttime though. It is amazing how being a mother changes you.

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  4. Our youngest is now 27 months and is still breastfeeding, so I get it ALL THE TIME. Besides the fact that he's just not ready to wean he has Sensory Processing Disorder, so the world is unsettling to him, and nursing is his comfort. So not only does he still get all the benefits you mentioned but it helps him regroup because he is unable to self regulate. I thought educating people about both the benefits of extended breastfeeding AND educating them about his special needs would help, but no, people are still on my case all the time about weaning him (except his therapists who are appalled at the idea of people even suggesting it when he's clearly not ready!) So I just play it off now as well and make some kind of joke similar to yours! haha I'm glad I found your blog on Blessed Beyond a Doubt's weekend blog hop! :)

    http://peaofsweetness.com

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    1. I am going to check out your blog right now. I am glad you are still nursing. I think that is a big reason Kai still nurses is comfort. He eats table foods really well and has a huge appetite so I know it isn't for nutrition as this point.

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  5. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog, Melissa...I think it is totally no one's business how long you continue to breastfeed for. It's between you and your child and no one else. I am pumping exclusively (loooong story), and I am going to try to keep it up until my daughter is 1.

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    1. Good for you for making breastfeeding work (even when it didn't for whatever reason.) I hated pumping and was not sad to see it go. Now some days I kind of miss pumping at work because at least I got to sit for 30 minutes twice a day no matter how busy my day was. Thanks for checking my blog out!

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  6. I remember the flack I got for breastfeeding my daughter until she self-weaned at a little past 3 years old. If only they knew, my mom didn't wean me until I was 7 years old! 3 is nothing lol. I wrote a couple posts about it too.

    Why Are You Still Breastfeeding That Child? http://crazymamasblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/why-are-you-still-breastfeeding-that.html

    Why I'm Still Breastfeeding =) http://crazymamasblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/why-im-still-breastfeeding.html

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    1. Yep society doesn't support breastfeeding enough, let alone extended breast feeding. I am glad I have supportive friends who get it. Thanks for reading!

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  7. My older daughter breastfed until she was 30 months, and my younger daughter is 32 months and has a "snack" once or twice a day. One thing is for sure, they are almost never sick. A very occasional mild cold and neither one has ever had an earache!

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    1. I know. Isn't it amazing how healthy breastfed babies (or at least my kid) are? Kai has had a handful of minor colds and only when mommy or daddy were sick before hand. Never had an ear infection either and my pedi said it is very rare to get through the first year without at least one. Thanks for reading.

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  8. Fortunately, I don't hear that too much. My son is 30 months old and still nurses, although less often now that I am pregnant and my milk has reverted to colostrum. I am hoping he continues to nurse for another 4.5 months and tandem nurse with his new brother. I have heard that children who tandem nurse have a very special, intimate connection.

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