Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Food" for Thought

CRAZY to think we are about to hit the 9 month mark here with Blaine and breastfeeding. I still remember in the hospital and at the pediatrician the week he was born and they all asked "how long" I was going to breastfeed for.

"HOW THE HECK DO I KNOW HOW LONG," is what I thought. I mean I didn't know if we'd make it a week, a month, 4 months, 6 months, etc. Who knew if he'd even be good at, I'd like it, or if he'd be allergic to something in my milk (I was pretty unwilling to give up eating dairy, wheat, chocolate, and go on a diet of water as I've seen some girls do).

And then there's the topic of clogged ducts, mastitis, etc. I was pretty unwilling to go through any of those horrible things numerous times (as again, I've heard about others who have). But I'm pretty proud it has been smooth sailing so far (knock on wood) and he's never even had 1 ounce of formula.

Which brings me to my next point. It is getting close to where I must decide if I will be the one to lead the weaning, or if I want to follow his lead. Most people I know who let the baby lead, the baby weaned himself (both boys) at 1 yr and 15 months respectively. I read some blogs of people who still nurse babies over 18 months but all of those are girls. I do think there is a difference in extended breastfeeding for boys and girls. However, I haven't researched it.

It is interesting though that The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends bf'ing for 2 years but even my own mother says "breastfeeding beyond 1 year isn't really for the child, it's for the mother who can't let go". I'm not sure I necessarily agree with her; nor does the research.

Thanks for Mama Em for making me think harder about this! :)


Kristin said...

Thanks for posting about this. I've had a similar experience and similar thoughts ... I want to make it until at least one year, but I'm not sure how the weaning after that point will go. I think we'll just see how things go, for both of us, and go from there. With me working, I'd really like to stop pumping, but I also know Elle often nurses for comfort, and I'm going to miss our little nursing session time. Decisions, decisions.

Kara said...

Congrats for making it so long! I hope to do that with the next baby (who hopefully won't have allergies!)

Morgan said...

People always ask this too, it's such a weird question. I still don't know, but I think he'll start to give you cues? Who knows?!?! Enjoy it for now!

Janelle said...

I'm a big fan of baby led weaning - from my one experience :) Austin weaned himself at 13 months, and it was perfect. I don't remember the last time I nursed him, which is how it is supposed to be. After he turned one, we just gradually offered him milk, and let him have the choice. I plan to do the same with Wesley...he turns one next week so I'll let you know how it goes!
I kind of think that unless you have a reason that you want to wean, you can just go with it and see what evolves. It seems like a much less stressful approach then actively deciding to wean.

Leslie said...

When I first started nursing, it was so hard for me because I was paranoid about milk supply (I guess I just wasn't ready for those early days of nursing literally around the clock). There were times when I couldn't even imagine making it another day with nursing, but I stuck with it and continue to nurse my fifteen month old. However, my body is giving up on me and my milk supply is all but depleted. Lainey is taking it in stride and I am cherishing the little time we have left. I intended to let Lainey self-wean and I'm a little bummed that my body made the decision that should have been hers. BUT selfishly, I'm so eager to reintroduce myself to my non-nursing bras. Oh, how I've missed them! Congrats on making it almost nine months with nursing! :)

Kat said...

The World Health Org also recommends 2 years - and I've heard that the average age of weaning, world-wide, is three! It's not like all the amazing health benefits go away after six months, or even one year (even tho of course milk is less and less of the kid's diet). If you're both still into it, it seems like there's no reason to stop.

Diana @ frontyardfoodie said...

Oh I am all for baby led weaning because that is a signal of how much they need/want it. I most definitely don't think that nursing over a year is more for the mom because if that was the case babies wouldn't keep going afterwards! America has the lowest rate of nursing in the world and I think it's mostly because of mom's being 'too busy' to nurse their children and so puts them on more convenient methods.

Keep at it and let him know when he's done....especially since he's not super into food yet.