There’s no shortage to tasks that need accomplishing to prepare for a new baby when you’re pregnant. Breastfeeding preparation can get pushed aside as seemingly unneccessary as a priority (it comes natural, right?) but doing so can harm your chances of sticking with one the most important decisions you can make for your child. As the long used adage goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. Be ready to breastfeed by answering (and acting upon the answers) of the following breastfeeding questions, and breathe a sigh of relief about getting some very big steps out of the way for preparing for your baby.
I've just been reading an intriguing article (see below) about extended breastfeeding in today's Daily Mail.
Considering I breastfed all three of my children beyond a year, and one of them for almost two and a half years, it was fascinating to read about the opinions and obstacles breastfeeding mothers face from others regarding the issue.
Oh boy, does this harmful story about extended breastfeeding I've just come across make my blood boil... but the fact it came from the mouth of a so-called expert makes me even angrier:
So the big news is Nell McAndrew still breastfeeds her almost-three year old... Well done, Nell :) Of course not everyone approves and there'll always be plenty of mothers and not-yet-mothers willing to pounce and criticise her decision and the decisions many of us breastfeeding mums take.
Not many mums breastfeed their children for this length of time, but for those that do it appears to be an extremely rewarding experience.
At one time, I too looked upon mothers who breastfed for extended periods of time as somewhat strange; it was only when I had children of my own that I realised just how special the breastfeeding bond is... and found myself wanting to breastfeed for as long as I possibly could.
Since weaning my son a few months back, at the age of 25 months, I still have many days when I miss the special times we had; the moments when he looked up at me during one of his breastfeeds and smiled a truly beautiful smile; a smile that said, "You're all mine and I'm all yours"!
I thought he'd have forgotten all about breastfeeding almost three months on, but in the last week he has whispered to me on two occasions that he wanted "mama juice", bringing tears to my eyes.
I will always treasure the fact that each of my children was breastfed for more than what many people assume to be the norm. I only wish I had been able to continue for longer.
However, I stopped breastfeeding only when I felt the time was right to stop with each... and so fortunately I have no real regrets.
Let's all try to show more support for breastfeeding mothers. They aren't out there breastfeeding just to raise eyebrows. They're helping to ensure that their babies have the best possible start in life.
Surely it's only to be applauded if they choose to breastfeed above and beyond what society considers acceptable?
As a mum who breastfed my last baby for just over two years, I'm always interested to read stories from other mothers who've breastfed for an extended period of time. So I was delighted to read the following wonderful story which Corey at Living and Loving Every Minute Of It kindly allowed me to share with my visitors.
Corey's story caught my attention because she is so positive about the bond she shares with her daughter and she doesn't mind what other people think about her decision to extend breastfeeding.
I think she is a true inspiration to all of us breastfeeding mothers who believe our children's needs always come before what other people think.
Extended Breastfeeding - A Mother's Thoughts
One of my favorite lines from a movie is: "He can call me a flower if he wants to!" For those not familiar with the movie "Bambi", I will explain that the speaker of this line is a Skunk. The cutest little skunk ever...but truly a skunk....a stinky smelly skunk.
Bambi is learning to identify things, and when the little skunk pops up amongst the flowers, Bambi calls him a flower. I have loved this line since the first time I heard it. I love how the skunk seemed to present itself as a flower, when in fact it is so much the opposite.
At this point in time...I find myself in much the same position. To many people I am presenting myself as a FREAK, when in truth...I am much the opposite. The best part in all this is....I don't care. You can call me a FREAK if you want to!
Extended Breast Feeding.....what does that mean to you? If you are like many....you might think, "breastfeeding WAY too long!" If you are like me, you think, "A blessing to both the mother and child!"
On October 10th, Sugar Bear and I celebrated our 33rd month in our breastfeeding journey. When I first decided to breastfeed, my goal was to make it 6 months, then....9 months...then a year. I most certainly never imagined making it this far. I honestly, thought it was strange, odd, and actually quite freakish for a person to breastfeed a child past a year. I didn't get it.....and didn't know that I didn't get it.
Now I do....I look at Sugar Bear and I get it. She is my baby, and she always will be. I don't see an independent toddler. I see the child that completes me. I firmly believe in the mother/child bond, and that our nursing relationship has only strengthened it. Before I experienced Breastfeeding, I looked at it strictly as a means to feed your child. I didn't realize that it was so much more. I cherish those close, tender, quiet moments. This is the journey that only Sugar Bear and I will travel together. It was meant for us.
So you can call me a FREAK if you want to. I'll just smile, and know that if this makes me a freak, then I want to be the main attraction at the "Mama Freak Show", because I wouldn't change a thing!
Visit Corey's website at http://LivingandLovingEveryMinuteOfIt.blogspot.com
Have you breastfed for longer than what your friends and family found acceptable? Do you wish you'd breastfed for longer than you did? What are your own thoughts on extended breastfeeding? Share your thoughts below!