Why I Am (Still) Breastfeeding Simon

I don’t need to write a lengthy post about why I am breastfeeding Simon.  There are hundreds of articles on breastfeeding and its benefits to both mom and baby.  I also have no intention of bashing formula, because I was raised on formula, and I like to think I turned out just fine.  But as Simon nears the 1 year mark – I’m preparing myself for the look of surprise from some people when they hear I am “still” breastfeeding him.

What seems to be the norm, is that when a baby hits 12 months, they are weaned from either breastmilk or formula to cow milk, usually whole.  I want to stress, that I am not judging other people for doing this. In fact, it is what the American Acacdemy of Pediatrics recommends.  If doing this makes mom and baby happy, then all is right with their world.  For me though, the idea of switching to whole milk definitely does not make me happy.

My personal opinion of cow’s milk is very influential in my decision to keep nursing.  While it is obvious from my most recent food related posts that we aren’t vegan anymore, I do generally try to keep my diet as free of animal product as possible. I am more successful at this at some times than others.  But one thing I don’t buy is cow milk, for any of our family to drink.  It is my opinion that cow’s milk is made for baby cows and human milk, is made for baby humans. Since I haven’t had any problem yet with providing him with human milk, I would prefer to continue that.

Additionally, Simon appears to enjoy nursing.  When he is hungry, it fills him up. He doesn’t need to wait for it, and it is easily accessible. And nothing makes me happier than a well fed baby, except maybe a well fed and well rested baby.  Nursing puts Simon to sleep easily and quickly, and I attribute his being such a good sleeper to that. On a cold day, it is nice to snuggle up in bed and giggle and cuddle together after nursing.  When he is very upset, nursing soothes him. As far as I can see, there is no reason to stop.  And just to prove that I’m not the only one who feels that way, the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding until age 2 or longer, if possible.  Regardless, it is obviously not the most popular choice, but I’m willing to go against societal norms for my little guy.

Some other facts on the benefits of extended breastfeeding, via:
Kellymom and Dr. Sears.

Basically though, I am just doing what I think is best for my baby. Isn’t that what we all do? You’d think that mothers would be more supportive of each other’s choices. After all, we want to same thing; happy, healthy babies. I don’t really encounter it much in my personal life, but especially on the internet, judgements fly.

I’ve been wavering on posting about this: For fear of offending someone, for fear of being too public about something personal, for that fear of being judged. But I feel proud, and maybe even a little bit lucky, that I have been able to continue breastfeeding for this long.  I want to be able to stand up for myself and say that I am proud, and I figured there is no better place to start than here!

So as long as Simon and I are both happy with it, nursing will be the norm in our house.


11 thoughts on “Why I Am (Still) Breastfeeding Simon

  1. I say “Go Gina!” I obviously have no experience with babies, but I think it’s great that you are confident in your choices for Simon and acknowledge that different options work for different moms 🙂

  2. Yay, it’s like you said it for me. Thanks!

    I laugh out loud and make the WTF-face when I see comments like, “You’re *still* breastfeeding that kid?” on fellow mamas’ personal Facebooks. Like our milk magically shuts off and all nutrients are lost right on their first birthday.

    If I wasn’t *still* nursing, I’d be going crazier than I already am with this ear infection. Ugh, I can’t imagine how my life would be more nuts if my boobs and my kid werent BFFs.

  3. Gina:
    it’s great that you breastfeed Simon until when the milk is no longer nutritive.
    I have 5 kids, and I breastfed them all, up to one year. One of my son was being breastfed to 2 years old, then when I look at my milk, I realized that the color was not so milky, so I decided to stop.
    There is a special mom/baby bonding quality time while breastfeeding.
    I am very proud of you.

  4. I think you know my point of view on this subject and I am right there with you! So many people are asking me when we are going to introduce cows milk and I simply respond “When my milk is not plentiful anymore, or he no longer wants it, I will decide what will be our next move”

    I was also raised on formula and I believe I turned out normal, but in my opinion, I can produce the milk for my baby, why should he get something different.

  5. Well Gina, I’m an old lady with no opinion on this, but I will say that I have a woman I worked with who had 4 kids (they’re all 20 and older now) and she breastfed some of her kids until they were almost 3.

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  7. I think it’s awesome you’re still breastfeeding Gina. I struggled with a low supply and quit after 6 months, because I was still having to pump every three hours. I was hoping to make it a year, but at the 6-month mark, I decided it was time to stop.

    I think as long as both baby and mama are happy, then keep going. It’s the best milk for our wee ones!

    • Thanks Heather! I hope that you are proud you gave Summer her mama’s milk for as long as you did! Pumping doesn’t sound like my idea of fun, so kudos to you for sticking to it for the time you did 🙂 You’re totally right, both parties being happy is key.

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