Thursday, January 3

Why I Extend Breastfeed

Trace and I nursing
a few days ago.
I get a lot of comments from family, friends and strangers alike as to why I am still breastfeeding my two year old. So here's why...

My oldest, Tristian nursed til about 6 months, I got really ill with a bad chest infection and was very out if it, bad fever, meds that are meant to dry out ur lungs.... Lost all supply by time it was said and done. Tried to unsuccessfully relactate several times. I wish I'd been able to nurse him until he weaned because his brother, who probably has the same genetic disorder, is so much healthier and his labs are much better- like where Tris' growth hormone was at 1/4 minimum at 2years Trace's was at 1/2. We've had some er visits with Trace and other scares, but not the multiple times a week like it was with Tris still at this age. Part of that's understanding better how to treat and keep them healthy, but I'm positive part is the breastmilk giving immune support.

Trace is 29 months and still nursing strong. No signs of wanting to stop.

I'm not gonna say breastfeeding is my favorite thing. In fact, I've only rarely had those 'this is so nice' moments with either baby nursing that I hear so many other lucky mama's gushing about. I've always spent most my time during the day when we are nursing thinking of how I'm gonna get everything else I need to do. Breastfeeding makes it hard to sleep at night because of him pushing on my chest and making it harder to get a breath. I probably have the same disorder (misdiagnosed as other things my whole life) as the boys and when I'm not doing so well it's really hard. When I can't breathe putting a child up to my chest is an awful feeling, and frankly, at 2.5 years straight I'm tired of breastfeeding, just drained by it. -.-

No pun intended by the drained comment, but that's sorta hehe anyways ;-)

I'm sure I'll miss nursing him a little when he does wean. But mostly I think I'll be relieved. I don't do it for me though.

I didn't decide out of the blue to do extended breastfeeding. I did a lot (lot lot lot) of research on both sides of it before I came to this decision. I was blessed to have a wonderful mother in law that extended breastfed all her children, so I had wonderful family support. It also helped that for my husband, Trevor this is the norm- not the exception. He has memories of breastfeeding and he grew up to be an amazing  man (in fact all of his adult siblings grew up to be wonderful people, and his youngest brother is well on the way to doing the same). So I had a first hand basis to knowing that, despite many rumors and scare stories you'll find on the web, extended breastfeeding is not bad for a child psychologically.

I do it because I know it's helping my son, and that's where I get the feel good feeling from breastfeeding that so many other breastfeeding moms talk about getting from the bonding. I get that feeling from knowing I'm doing what I can to help my baby, regardless of social judgement or misinformation.

In the end I do it because it's what I feel is best for my son. It's giving him immune support he can not get otherwise, there is no way to artificially substitute that. It's my choice and the only one I ended up feeling I could responsibly make as a mother. I don't really care what anyone else chooses as long as they don't bash me for my choice. In the end it's my choice because I came to feel it was the best way.

That's why I extend breastfeed.

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