Monday, March 14, 2016

5 Selfish Reasons I Still Breastfeed my Toddler

While I was at my doctors appointment last week, the nurse was checking my heart rate, weight and temperature. She asked me when my last menstrual cycle was and I told her I still hadn't gotten one back since I had my son. She followed up by asking if I was nursing and I simply said I was. A few minutes passed as she finished up with her tasks, and she casually asked me how old my baby was, I'm sure expecting me to answer with an age well below what he actually is. When I answered with, "he'll be two in May," she paused for a moment and then replied with, "oh." Now, this got me thinking about the fact that I am still consistently nursing my 22 month old, and how it got to be for this long.


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 #2I 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 #4It 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 #5I 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. 


21 comments:

  1. All valid reasons! I wasn't able to breastfeed my first daughter because I got a bad case of mastitis early on, but more than a month in, I'm still breastfeeding my new baby and it's been awesome (and no awesome) for a lot of reasons. Mostly, I'm just taking it day by day. But so far, I'm happy that it's working out for many of the reasons you mentioned.

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    1. Congrats on your new baby!! The first couple months are so difficult so bravo to you for sticking it out! Thank you for sharing!

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  2. This is great!! I'm breastfeeding a 14 month old and would love to continue at least until her second birthday. As hard as it can be sometimes I do love being able to share that bond, she isn't the cuddliest either but is quite attached to her "boo" and pokes me if I'm slow to oblige.

    I say go as long as you can! I love to hear others breastfeeding stories, it's so encouraging and uplifting!

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    1. Lol I love that she calls it a boo! Jake calls mine a moo! And yes, the more stories the better! Thank you for sharing!!

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  3. I nursed my daughter for 23 months! For some of the very same reasons ;) It's tone of he best things you can do for them... go on with your bad self mama!

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    1. Go you!! What made you stop.. was she ready? Thanks for sharing with me!

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  4. Man, the period thing is definitely the biggest perk for me too! I unfortunately have a really hard time losing weight while nursing though. :-(

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    1. Yeah but you look so good to begin with, you're lucky you don't need to lose the weight!

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  5. Do what makes you happy! Thanks for sharing! XO.

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  6. I think its awesome that you are doing it!

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  7. Huge fan of extended breastfeeding over here! Love all the reasons - they're not really selfish. They're great reasons! We're still going strong at 16 months here. Went 36 months with the other one too!

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    1. 36 months, yes! Did you still nurse out in public or did you only do it at home? I'm curious because as he gets older {and bigger} I definitely feel less comfortable nursing in front of others.

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  8. Good for you! Keep at it until it's over. It's a personal choice.

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  9. not selfish at all!! I was just three months shy of my daughters third birthday, a week before my son turned one. I had been tandem nursing a year. Three months later my daughter still asks for it all the time and wants to nurse. I feel bad but nursing two kids took its tool on me and my mental health. Still love doing it with my son though and plan to do it a year at least more.

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  10. Dang, even though I breastfeed I started my period about a month after having my daughter! I wish it didn't come back! Ha. I don't think these are selfish reasons. Sounds like you are a fabulous mommy. I plan on musing my daughter as long as she lets me, up to 2 years.

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  11. We have to cherish these little moments of motherhood. Soon our little ones will be all grown up!

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  12. I'm still nursing my daughter & she'll be 3 in May!

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  13. Go mama! I wish I could have nursed my daughter longer, my milk dried up around 9 months in after struggling to keep my supply up. There are definitely just as many benefits for mommies as there are for little ones!

    Thank you for sharing with us at #MommyMeetupMondays!

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  14. I love how you trust your instincts to keep going, there is nothing better than the time you have with your babies when nursing, theres nothing else in the world like it!!

    So glad to have you CO-Host on #OMHGWW each week, you bring a lot of great information with your blog!!
    Wishing you and your family a Happy Easter!!
    Karren
    Hugs

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  15. I say...good for you!...whatever your reasons. It works for you, your baby and family and that's what matters most. I nursed my youngest son until he was 3-1/2 years old, almost exactly 42 months. It was a wonderful experience for both of us. It's been a year and I still miss it. :)

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  16. I concur with all the reasons you have mentioned and indeed, breastfeeding has all its perks. I miss those moments :)

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