I was born in the late 70’s in a small, very liberal community where mothers are encouraged to breastfeed their babies until they are at least two years old. I think that my mother nursed me until I was 2 1/2, and only stopped while she was pregnant with my sister. I have enormous amounts of respect for women that are pregnant and breastfeeding – not something I personally could have done. Because of where I was raised, I have learned that I have a unique perspective on breastfeeding. This perspective was realized only as I became a mom and later as I became involved in the baby business and specifically within the mommysphere.
When I found out I was pregnant with my first daughter, there was no question that I would breastfeed. My midwife suggested that I nurse for the first two years but recommend at a minimum for the first year. I figured I could do it for a year and we would see how it went after that. Fortunately, the only easy aspect of pregnancy and labor for me was breastfeeding. Don’t be misled, it hurt and I had scabs and bleeding nipples for the first couple of weeks but she latched on right away and it seemed to be the perfect match for both of us. (A little tip – iceberg lettuce leaves are the perfect size to soothe sore breasts and nipples… just chill in the fridge and add a leaf to each breast). I recognize that since my daughter and I were both “naturals” it made breastfeeding a lot easier but I was also dedicated because I knew the benefits it brought to her. My husband and I traveled overseas when she turned one and I decided to extend breastfeeding until our return… She weaned herself two months later at 14 months.
This week I find myself contemplating the weaning of my second daughter as she is nearing the one year mark at the end of September. The year has gone by so fast and breastfeeding was second nature to me this time around — it seems everything is easier with the second baby. I am not sure how it will be with her since she is my last baby and I wonder if I won’t prolong it longer than with the first. Will she wean herself? For now and for the next month or so I am not going to worry about it; time will tell and my daughter will, too. This week and the weeks to come I will proudly breastfeed my daughter anywhere and I know where I can find fantastic nursing covers to get me through it.
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