Thursday, October 1, 2015

Why We'll Nurse On

You guys, it's October! OH MY GOSH. My baby girl was born a year ago this month. Excuse me for a second...


Anyway, okay. There's more to this post than my mini my-baby-is-growing-up-too-fast freak out.

As we get closer to Edie's first birthday, I find myself hearing, "So you're almost done nursing!" fairly often. It has definitely caught me off guard a time or two, especially when it comes from someone I don't know well, because I've never had any intention of weaning at a year. If I'm being honest, the fact that nursing past a year is so unusual in our culture actually makes me very sad.

Just straight up factually speaking, the World Health Organization recommends nursing until a child is at least two years old. You can read through their breastfeeding statement HERE. The immunological benefits of breast milk exceed any and all other foods a baby or toddler might consume, and nursing has health benefits for the mother as well. Mama's milk is amazing stuff!

All science aside, I can't emotionally handle the thought of taking our nursing relationship away from Edie all of a sudden. She boobs for comfort just as often as she does for food. Any time she's feeling afraid, hurt, cuddly, grumpy, etc., she yanks down my shirt. Sometimes it's only for a few seconds, like she just needs her needs validated so she can get back to playing--and she plays hard! She's an extremely curious and brave girl--continuing to make my breasts available to her is not holding her back from learning to explore the world on her own. As she grows, I'm realizing it's actually encouraging her to be fearless and independent, as I am able to calm her down incredibly quickly in a way that meets her needs instead of fighting her to settle down or leaving her alone in her pain or fear.

So, long story short, we'll nurse on. I know there will come a day she no longer needs to, but today is not that day.

Boob on, mamas!

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