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.
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.