I've blogged about this before, and I'll blog about it again... what am I talking about? BREASTFEEDING! My son is 19 months, and yes he is still breastfeeding. At this point, society calls it "extended breastfeeding", a term that I hate using, but that is how it is. I've actually had questions from people in my surroundings, and even from a doctor why I am still breastfeeding, and if it isn't time for me to stop! I even heard of one doctor tell another breastfeeding mother that COWS MILK is better. LIKE EXCUSE ME!? To me, that is an extremely uneducated thing to tell a mother with a young child. I've done a lot of research, talked to a lot of professionals and there is so much I can throw back in the face of those who judge because I KNOW that no matter what other mothers decide to do, I know that breastfeeding is whats best for MY KID. I'm extremely lucky to be able to breastfeed because I know not all women are that fortunate, and I am not about to stop because it isn't common anymore in the western civilisation to breastfeed past the age of 1.
I don't have to mention that breastfeeding is natural and the most healthy thing on this planet, that goes without saying, but the fact is that the natural age to stop weaning at is actually between ages of 4 and 7. Yes, that is right. SEVEN. After that, it doesn't have the same beneficial needs anymore, but it certainly gives nutrition before then. It also boosts the immune system and even the brain development on the baby or toddler. For those who don't believe that, well there are several studies on the subject that proves it to be true, just take a minute to look it up. It also happens to be extremely beneficial to the mother herself for that matter. It reduces the risks of breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer, and yes, this has been proven. It calms both the baby and mother down during stressful situations.
I hate to come off as sounding judgemental, but I am myself sick of getting weird looks and shocked reactions to the fact that I still breastfeed my son, and the reason I still am, are based on these facts. I'm sure any mother who has chosen formula, or stopped breastfeeding earlier had her reasons for that to. And for those who worry about extended breastfeeding, let me tell you, that other people's judgement mean absolutely nothing, for only you know what is best for your child. There is no evidence that weaning will be more difficult to face. I've decided to self wean my child. The meaning of this is that he decides himself when he wants to get off the breast. That's a decision I've recently come to terms with and my reasons why are because I really feel no rush to stop at any time soon when he is not willing nor ready. After doing my research on the matter, it turns out that children often lose interest anyway between ages 2 and 5. Noah is now 19 months, and is already not as hooked on the boob like he once was, and I'm sure he could go days without it if I weren't around. I feel very happy and confident in my decision to take it as it comes rather than build up a time line. My son eats other foods as well, very good and regularly, just like any other average kid in his age group, and is extremely healthy since breastmilk is more of a comfort than anything else these days. There are great support groups on Facebook that any breastfeeding mother with thoughts and ideas are welcome to join!!