This week is National Breastfeeding Awareness week and has me thinking...I know, uh ohh! Anyway, I'm currently breastfeeding my third child. My first two were both weaned before 6 months of age due to returning to work when they were three months old. My career in Michigan required countless hours in court and full days in the field. I just really struggled with sitting on the side of Michigan Avenue pumping breastmilk. I felt I had done my duty and didn't mind the weaning.
Then came my third, little Beaner. We had since moved to Lexington which was a much more liberal town than any we lived in Michigan. Most of my close friends make eco friendly choices, utilize organic food for their children and well, breastfeed. I'm not talking a few months either. It's not uncommon to be at a playgroup and see a two year old nurse. When I decided to quit my career and stay home with my kiddos, I also decided there was no reason I couldn't successfully breastfeed for as long as desired by both me and my daughter. By now, the recommendation was at least one year and if possible, two years. I was bound and determined. I even took my first breastfeeding class. The first time I breastfed in public at Sam's club, three different women approached me and commended me for breastfeeding. My mouth dropped open! Especially since in Michigan I was given dirty looks for breastfeeding in public on more than one occasion. So what is my current beef?
Well, here it is. My little Beaner is 15 months old and happily breastfeeding. She is my largest child (I raise twigs for kids) which I attribute to breastmilk. She is a very independent, healthy and happy toddler. Yet, my support group outside of Lexington often asks me when I'll be done breastfeeding? It's not uncommon for them to say to my husband, "Is she stilllll nursing?" My Beaner still co-sleeps and breastfeeds but is so happy! I personally would like my body to my self at times but I really love the intimacy breastfeeding gives you with your baby. It has truly bonded us so much more than my other two and I only regret that I didn't breastfeed them longer. I think I was really expecting when I talked to family and friends an applause for my continuing efforts to give my Beaner the best milk possible rather than being asked when we plan to stop breastfeeding. My own husband, I love him dearly, but I know he would be glad to see an end to the breastfeeding. I don't blame him for wanting his wife back but in the end, they are only babies and toddlers for a short time. Why not give them the best in life?
So this week, I encourage you to say a word to those breastfeeding moms in your life who might just need that extra applause to keep up their good work. Just imagine the diseases we could fight with an increased use of human milk?