Breastfeeding, Guest Writers

Nursing Love

1 Comment 11 January 2011

a guest post by Sarah Mahar

I never set out to be an attachment parent.

My husband and I simply decided to follow our instincts about parenting instead of trying to be “textbook” parents.

There are many things that have surprised me about parenting. Some have been minimal surprises, while others are things I never would have predicted. One such surprise has been my journey into extended breastfeeding.

Whenever I thought about motherhood, I always knew I would breastfeed my babies.

During pregnancy I did some reading and research about breastfeeding basics, but nothing extensive. When my daughter was born, she had trouble latching because my nipples were fairly flat. After a stressful night where she wailed because she was hungry and I did everything I knew how to do (which wasn’t much) the lactation consultant at the hospital suggested I use a contact nipple shield.

Suddenly my baby loved nursing and she chubbed right up.

We used the shield for 3 months until I decided that it was time to ditch the shield and learn how to nurse together without “interference.” Ditch it we did—and never looked back.

Some moms have a date in mind for when they will wean their babies.

I never really thought about it much—mostly because the thought of weaning filled me with dread.

I loved nursing my little girl. Why would I want to give that up? I kept pushing the thought of weaning off. Eventually I learned about baby-led weaning and it resonated with me. My beloved girl could decide when she was ready to move on from nursing without the trauma that weaning might cause for either of us.

I made the decision to follow my daughter’s lead in the weaning process when she was 8 months old.

She is now a few months shy of three—and still nursing joyfully. I would not trade any of our nursing time together for all the money in the world. Besides the joy that it brings both of us, her continued breastfeeding has had its distinct moments of glory.

When she had a serious infection and refused to eat or drink anything, I’m positive that breastfeeding kept her out of the hospital. If she hadn’t been nursing, she surely would have become dehydrated. There are also the many times that she has hurt herself (being the adventurous soul that she is) and nursing has quickly soothed and calmed her. When she is tired or cranky or sad or hurt, breastfeeding makes the world right again for her.

We have also in the last year added a new element to our breastfeeding relationship.

I found out that I was pregnant (with a son!) last February.

My daughter was nowhere near ready to give up nursing, so we plunged ahead into the new uncharted world of tandem nursing. Tandeming has had its ups and downs, and every day is a new adventure. But every time I look into the eyes of one of my darling nurslings, I know that breastfeeding is one of the most precious gifts that we can give each other.

Extended (and tandem) breastfeeding may not be for everyone, but I love every minute of it and I know that my children do too.

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I am a SAHM to two amazing kids. I am passionate about education parents about their choices in pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. Both of my children were born naturally; the first in a wonderful hospital environment and the second at home in the water. I seek to learn more about my children and myself every day in order to be a better mother, wife, and human being.

Your Comments

1 comment

  1. Shauna says:

    i have a 10 month old who is still exclusively nursing. i had a homebirth, and through this journey i have learned that if you listen to your body, it will tell you what it needs. i am confident that my daughter will wean herself when she’s ready. i dont care how long that is or if i have to tandem between then. nursing is so desperately beneficial for both of us. why put a time constraint on it? who’s benefiting there?


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