For those of us who breastfeed our babies, we do it because we want to give them our milk, plain and simple. Some new moms are more intense than others but we all have good intentions, because let's face it, those first few weeks with a baby on the boob suck! Some of us set timelines for how long we'll nurse our babies, or sometimes the milk dries up and you simply have to stop. Other times the baby just doesn't want to nurse and that's the end of that. In my case, with all three of my kids, I just wanted to make it to a year. I never sought out to still be breastfeeding an almost two year old. But hey, it's not all bad. I mean, I'd be lying if I said the reasons behind why I'm still breastfeeding my son were purely for his benefit.
This brings me to my current situation of nursing a huge 22 month old toddler, not baby. He can talk -kind of- and walk and sing and feed himself and do all those things that 'big boys' do. Only, every day, about three times a day, he's asks me for milk from my breasts. And you know what, I let him because I'm doing it just as much for me as I am for him. I'm still nursing for selfish reasons... and here they are.
Reason #1: As mentioned above, I don't have a period, which is totally awesome. Now before you say it could be because of my birth control, it's not. With my first two pregnancies, I didn't get my period back until about 6 weeks after all my milk had completely dried up.
Reason #2: I burn more calories throughout the day. I work out 2 hours a day, 5 days a week and really enjoy food. I work hard at staying healthy, so breastfeeding gives me a little bonus. When I'm not working out, I'm making milk.
Reason #3: It's the only time he gives me affection. It's true, Jakob is not the cuddliest of toddlers. He doesn't kiss often and he's not big on hugs and cuddles. I'm lucky if he'll sit on my lap and let me read him a book. He's just very independent already. So when he asks me for milk and lets me hold him, run my fingers through his hair and hold his hand, I eat that up. I'm afraid once I stop nursing him, I'll never get that affection from him.
Reason #4: It makes life so much easier. You'd think having to stop and nurse a toddler would cause for more work throughout my day, when really it makes my life so easy. Especially when he's having a hard time sleeping or he just won't stop crying.
Reason #5: I don't want to say goodbye to babyhood. Let me explain. Jakob is my last baby and the last opportunity I have to be a nursing mother. Once he's done breastfeeding, that's it for me, and I'm just not ready to give that up yet.
Now, I'm not forcing Jakob to breastfeed, and trust me, I've tried to wean him a time or two because I thought I had to. But he likes it and keeps asking for my milk -he can be quite persistent about it- and I've come to accept that. If he didn't want it anymore, I'd happily obliged and that would be that, chapter closed. But for now, I see no problem with giving him what he wants while reaping some of the benefits, too.