August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month!
So this year, I want to reach out to all those moms that have or are breastfeeding past infancy. This one is for you.
Maybe this was always your plan or maybe it just happened, like it did to me, but if you are breastfeeding past infancy, and breastfeeding your toddler, I want you to know something very important. I support you. Please, read that again if you have to.
I got mastitis nine times within the first three months, people told me to stop. I told myself I’d stop when he got teeth. Told myself I’d stop at a year. Two years. I tried to make decisions based on what I’d been told, based on people’s opinions, and then, I realized I didn’t need to. Neither do you. I support you.
I know what it’s like to get the questions, the stares, the judging eyes. “When are you going to stop?” Or maybe even a simple, “Still!?” There you are, staring back at the person, not wondering what you’re supposed to really say. “We’ll stop when the time is right,” you may politely respond. Maybe you laugh it off and say, “Before college!” But I know, inside it stings. I want you to remember, I support you.
You may look at your toddler and think, does anyone else do this? Am I the only one?
You are not alone breastfeeding past infancy…
Remember, there are tons of us out there. You need not feel ashamed and alone.
I know you might feel torn. You may feel as if you want to stop but can’t. As if you never want breastfeeding to end, but not really. Maybe you want the freedom but you also fear it. You are proud of your decisions, you are strong, but you’re also so self-conscious. Maybe you question yourself. You do not have to defend your actions but you feel like you should. You may feel all of the feelings. Remember, I have met other women like us, there will be other women like us, and I support you.
Most importantly, you are mothering your child. You are not creating a bad habit. You are creating a bond, you are sharing a part of yourself with your child, just because that child may not be an infant anymore doesn’t mean they don’t want to be held, to be close, to be breastfed. Yes, it may be about comfort, whether it’s yours or your child’s, you are not alone. I support you.
In the end…
When the time comes, you will find the right moment, and it will still be hard. Your journey will end and it will end on your terms. You and your toddler will do what you both feel is right. So, breastfeeding past infancy does not make you strange, you are not wrong, you are following your motherly instincts. Above all, you’ve made the right decision for your family, and I support you.
A mother that breastfed her boy 28 months and is extremely proud of it.