Today is quite a special day — I have been breastfeeding my son for 3 years, 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days. Yay for extended breastfeeding!
When I started breastfeeding, I didn’t have a goal in mind of how long I wanted to do it. I had such breastfeeding problems during the first two weeks with sore nipples, all I was concerned with was learning how to breastfeed correctly so it would stop hurting so much. Thinking about how long I was going to do it was furthest from my mind, all I knew was I wanted to shoot for one year.
The first year went by with me getting to know my baby and loving nursing him so much that I became a breastfeeding advocate. The second year went by and I became a La Leche League member. I also started my blog Dagmar’s momsense because I wanted to share my story and become a resource for breastfeeding moms.
And around that time the questions started — I was still breastfeeding my son? Yes, I would beam, he has no intention of weaning, and I am so glad. I was secure in my decision to let him self-wean, and he showed no intention to do so. Of course his feedings became less frequent once he started solids at nine months, but he still got a large amount of his calories from breast milk.
To my surprise, I surpassed breastfeeding him for three years a few months ago, and L has no intention to stop. I still nurse him to sleep every night, and depending on the day we have, he either nurses just a couple of times during the day or many times. He can go a whole day without breast milk when he is out and about with his daddy, and he really doesn’t ask to be nursed anymore in public. Not because he feels it’s inappropriate — I have never made that suggestion — but he is just too busy exploring the world. Only when he gets hurt in public does he sometimes ask to be comforted by being held and getting a few sips of warm, sweet milk. Wmart kid!
Breastfeeding my son is one of my proudest accomplishments in life. It was such a struggle in the beginning, yet I stuck it out, and I am so glad I did. I gave him the best start health-wise and thankfully L is a very healthy child so far.
Compared to other moms, I don’t have to worry when L doesn’t eat his vegetables, because I know that he still gets all the vitamins and other important nutrients he needs from breast milk. He seems to be the one who is sick the least in his preschool class. And as I always point out — because it is still not widely known by many — by breastfeeding my son I also give myself a huge gift of health. There are so many health benefits for mothers who breastfeed their children — the longer I breastfeed L, the lesser the chance of me getting many illnesses like cancer, diabetes, or hypertension.
I wonder how much longer my son is going to want to breastfeed. Will he continue to gradually self-wean or is he just going to tell me one day that he doesn’t want to breastfeed anymore? Motherhood is such an neat adventure every day, and I am looking forward to many more surprises down the road.
Landon — you are 3 years, 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days old today. I love, love, LOVE you so!
How long did you breastfeed your child? Do you know of someone else who breastfed for a long time? I’d love to hear from you!
You might also be interested in this article:
La Leche League: Extended Breastfeeding and the Law