What keeps us going?
With all the hubbub that the Times' piece brought about, I think most extended BFers are in agreement about one thing - there are a LOT of reasons we continue BFing into the toddler years and "showing off" isn't one of them.
As I'm sure we'll all agree, BFing a toddler can be challenging. I've definitely had days (if not weeks) when I've struggled to keep myself from just screaming "That's it, you're done!" I just keep reminding myself that there are lots of reasons to keep going.
Just to list a few ....
When DD is sick, I cherish being able to soothe her so easily while simultaneously providing her with immune boosting antibodies.
I have always been comfortable NIP and continue to do so. I love that I have a secret weapon to whip out in public situations that might require a non-nursing Mom to rush her cranky toddler out of sight.
As a working Mom, I love having an excuse to come home, snuggle with my busy girl, and put my feet up.
I really feel that nursing her at this age is teaching her to be gentle with others.
While I realize she doesn't *need* breast milk, knowing that she gets it eases my worries about nutrition because she's such a dang picky eater.
I have an excuse to duck out of certain situations. "What's that FIL? You want to talk about when we're having #2? Oh, sorry gotta run and nurse Teagan!"
Most of all, I love that she loves it. More than anything in this world, I want my child to be happy and (for me at least) BFing is an easy way to accomplish that.
What keeps you going?
For me it's the reconnection after working and also the most important reason, the immune booting antibodies. Ronin has childhood (I live in hope he will lose it as he gets older) asthma which is affected by weather changes. A cold gets him even sicker, he had one a few weeks back and required a short course of steroids to help clear his chest because his puffer just wasn't quite getting the job done.
Man I can't believe all the hub bub about this! it's insane!!!
I continue to BF Olivia because:
1. most importantly SHE wants to BF, it makes her happy, and no one can give me a reason why it's Harming her.
2. it's easy to sooth her when she's upset, sick etc
3. I believe she gets plenty of antibodies and it keeps her from getting sicker etc.
4. I feel that she can be a pickier eater and I have to worry less
1. He wants it.
2. He has better nursing manners now than he did 6 months ago!
3. The antibodies I know he's getting even now that my supply is dwindling down to practically nothing.
4. When he's hurt and screaming a boob lets me know how serious it is. If he calms down immediately, then when he's done he'll run off happily. If it's more serious the boob will calm him down just enough where I can check over whatever his injury is better. These times he tends to whimper between sucks.
1. He loves it and its important to him.
2. To reconnect and have a moment for just us despite everything else going on and other syblings.
3. For me it forces me to sit and relax, especially on days when I might otherwise never slow down for a second.
4. Health benefits for sure. Not that he needs it for a food sorce but for all the added good stuff.
5. Its an easy way to comfort a sick, needy, hurt, whiney, over tired, or otherwise out of sorts kiddo and relaxes him fast.
I had a discussion with my doctor about breast cancer. since I've got two aunts who've had it. He told me the best thing to do was to BF as long as I could.
But the biggest one in my book is lowering DD's risk of diabetes. DH has it and my two grand-mothers too. DH is also obese from a very young age. I sometimes wonder if his mother had BF him, would he be having the health issues he is having today.
It is also handy to calm her out of a tantrum. She has a bit of a temper.