Sunday, December 30, 2007

I need a BFF

No, not a best friend forever. I have Jesus for that.

I'm talking about a breast feeding friend. Cause y'all, all the people I know seem to think I'm some kind of alien life form because I'm still breastfeeding. He's only 14 months old (15 next week). But didn't women in the Bible nurse their babies till they were 2? I'm sure I'm not the only one.

When he was a newborn it seemed like everyone was so supportive, but now not so much. I guess all this aggression is stemming from the very ugly looks I got at the airport and from the flight attendants on our recent adventure back to Tennessee coupled with a few not-so-understanding friends (although, I know they mean well). The way people were looking at me, it was like he's 10 years old or something. Why is it that nobody seems to care when women are dressed so minimally that there is little left to the imagination, yet when I use my body to nourish my son (covered, might I add) as God intended I get looks like I'm some kind of two headed monster???

Okay peeps. Thanks for letting me vent. I'm over it for now. Anybody else ever have a similar experience?

9 Thoughts from friends:

Jennifer James said...

Breastfeeding for fourteen months is not too long at all! Don't let anyone make you feel weird because you're doing the best for your child. I breastfed both of my children for two years each. It's perfectly normal.

Amanda said...

Hey, I found your blog via another blog.

My son is nearly 13 months and I'm still nursing. My sister in law over Christmas said, "You're still nursing?!" I took it in stride. :) Aside from both my son and me still enjoying nursing, I'm hoping to keep my son from getting many sicknesses this winter because of my antibodies in my milk.

Keep up the good work! :)

Lone Star Ma said...

This probably sounds just scary but the biologically normal range for human weaning is like 2.5(young extreme) to seven(old extreme) years, with the wide part of the curve being the year that a kid is four. Most Americans wouldn't consider nursing that long,in a culture so unfriendly to it,but it is perfectly normal and very good for your fourteen-month-old to be nursing. You are welcome to stop by my blog anytime you need any support. If you need real-local-people support, La Leche League groups are everywhere and they are chock full of nursing one-year-olds. Congrats on being such a devoted mom!

Alycia said...

My goodness, if you're weird, what does that make me? I'm pregnant and nursing an almost 20-month old! Be secure in the knowledge that you are doing something wonderful for your child's health. After all, even the AAP says that weaning a child before the age of 2 increases the child's chances of contracting various illnesses. I agree with what lone star ma said - check out your local La Leche League. The good friends I have met through the LLL all consider nursing a child until 2 or 3 perfectly normal, and it is so refreshing to be able to feel like I don't have to hide around them. Check out Dr. Kathy Dettwyler's website for more info on "extended" nursing: You're doing great, mama!

Cairo Mama said...

My son will be 16 months on January 6th and we are still nursing. Nursing toddlers is great and completely normal.

My advice:

1. Nurse your child until either you or your child wants to stop. If my son gets hurt or frustrated or bored or hungry, he signs "milk", I nurse him and his problems are solved. I just went to Jamaica a few weeks ago and he was teething. Medicine did not help, but nursing did. People would much rather see you nursing then hear your toddler screaming, especially on the airplane. I nursed him in the ocean when we got there and on a sailboat and in the restaurant. We had a great trip. If I wasn't nursing, he would have been screaming the whole time because of his teeth.

2. Don't look for negative reactions because you will see them even where they don't exist if you are looking. I've nursed my son all over the Middle East and in airports from Cairo to the Caribbean and have not had negative reactions, but I also do not look for them.

3. When people (usually the same people over and over) ask you the same question,"How long are you going to nurse?" Answer them as if they have never asked the question before,"We are going to nurse as long as we both want to. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 2 years, the World Health Organization recommends 2 years and the average worldwide weaning age is 3 years. You can launch into a list of the many benefits of toddler breastfeeding, but do so in a positive, non-defensive tone as if you are educating them and sharing really important information with them (even if you have shared the info many times before). You will feel better at the end then if you make a snarky or defensive comment and they might learn something. They probably won't, but it usually works to end the conversation politely.

liz said...

Thanks for all the kind words of support ladies. And thank you for stopping by my blog. I will try to get around to visit all of your blogs soon. Please stop back by anytime.

Elizabeth F. said...

I agree with what all the otehr moms said. I think it's important to be confident in your decision, arm yourself with the AAP and WHO statements for naysayers, and to let it roll off your shoulders. I know it's hard, but eventually you get used to the comments and ignore it or save your frustration and vent to your BFF's! I agree to find a local LLL group. I have made many life-time friends through LLL and I wouldn't have survived breastfeeding without them.

I have 3 kids, 7,5 and my youngest who is still nursing is almost 2.5! You are awesome. Keep your chin up!

Gramms said...

Wow! These moms are very smart. You should listen to them and ignore any ignorance or negativity you encounter. sounds like you are on tract for what is best for you and Ty.

Holly said...

Aw, ((HUGS))! My son is 13 months old and I'm also starting to get raised eyebrows about still breastfeeding him. My mother made a comment over Christmas about how 'babies should be weaned by the time they're walking'. Whatever. I plan to breastfeed forever :) Seriously though, bf'ing has been the best part of parenting for me so far!

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