Saturday, June 07, 2008

Isn't He a Bit Old for That?

There are many changes we are anticipating as Linus moves from being a helpless infant to a demanding (and mobile) toddler. One change that will not be happening though is weaning. I have been doing a lot of reading about the benefits of extended breastfeeding. Benefits for both baby and mommy. As a matter of fact, substantial enough benefits for the World Health Organization (WHO) to recommend that mothers nurse their babies until at least two years of age.

Of course, there are those critics who will say we are not weaning because of some emotional need on my part. That I just don't want to end it. To this, I can confidently say that is NOT true. There is a huge part of me that would definitely like to be done. As I have never been very secure with my voluptuous figure and, although I hoped it might, breastfeeding has done nothing to improve this, I would actually like to stop acting as a human cow. It would be nice to not have to focus on my boobs numerous times a day. Plus, I absolutely abhor nursing bras.

However, with so many benefits, I just can't deny Linus.

  • Nutritional Value - The nutritional needs of nursing toddlers are better met when breastmilk is a part of their diets. Breastmilk provides high amounts of protein and vitamins which are essential to growing children.
  • Emotional Bonds - The bond that is developed between a breastfeeding mother and baby is further strengthened the longer the child nurses.
  • Better Health - The longer a child breastfeeds, the more immunities he will build up against diseases. Additionally, breastfeeding babies and toddlers are less likely to suffer from allergies and asthma.
  • Benefits for Mom - Nursing burns extra calories*, resulting in easier weight management. Additionally, studies show that extended breastfeeding reduces the risk of several cancers in women.
That is not to say I don't understand or negatively judge mothers who are counting the days until they can wean. I completely understand. Breastfeeding is burdensome, but for now it's a burden I will try to continue to bear.

One burden I refuse to continue to bear though is pumping. As of Wednesday, I have pumped my last bottle. And that is an indescribable joy.

(*Okay, so this one might be a bit of a selfish reason. I need to counterbalance all those pies.)


7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congrats on being pump-free! Yay!

Amy said...

oops... I didn't mean to post my previous comment anonymously.

Susan said...

Yeah!! Linus will be so happy for you to continue!! I remember worrying about what people thought about Jeremy still nursing when he approached 1, but I got over it. :-) Way over it!

~Susan

loving green said...

Abby ~ Congrats on being pump free!!! And easier said than done, I am sure, but don't worry about what others think about continuing to breast feed. Being a Mom means you make the best decisions for you and your baby & that is the bottom line. P.S. I LOVE Linus punk rock faux mohawk in the Rock Star post!
Sam :)

abbyjess said...

Got the address Sam. I'll send the info about making the onesies soon.

Nichols Family said...

Abby,

Never worry about what others say. We made it 19 months, a bittersweet end. I knew it was time to wean when I was being kicked in the chest and/or face daily at each nursing session, even though she wouldn't detach herself! I wish we'd made it a bit longer, but the way I see it is that we were successful! I had been counting down to 12 months, but as it approached I realized neither of us was ready to give up...I knew it would happen on "our" time. As for pumping, I'm amazed you made it this long! I think I quit pumping at about 5 months and that's when the bowling balls started deflating...so I wish you luck in that department! It's an amazing thing what we nursing mothers can do, fully nurishing our children. You are an amazing mother!

corrie said...

Although I had planned (pre-baby) to breastfeed for a year, and although we had a very rocky nursing history, I found that once we hit 12 months, there seemed no logical reason to wean. Unfortunately, Mother Nature may have other plans, as my supply seems to be declining daily. I think what makes me saddest is that it is not within my control -- I wanted the decision to be Lily's and mine, not just circumstantial. We're still going for now, but I can't say how long it will last. Sniff.