Des and I are still going strong in our nursing relationship after his first birthday. I actually love breastfeeding now more than ever as it’s just become so easy these days. Desmond is a pro and we both know exactly what we’re doing at this point. The first couple months were challenging, but I guess it’s been easy for awhile now.
Because I like a few breastfeeding groups on Facebook (Breast is Best, Kellymom, and La Leche League have been invaluable resources), I’m still constantly reading articles and getting facts about nursing. I read the other day that 25% of moms in Massachusetts are still breastfeeding at the one year mark. Go Moms! Go babies! I would have guessed a smaller percentage and I’m so happy to be one of them. (If you’re into these stats like I am, check out the CDC’s breastfeeding report card here).
In fact, I’m so interested in the health benefits and bonding involved in nursing that I decided in a light bulb sort of moment the other day “That’s it! I will become a lactation consultant!” After a quick Google search, however, I learned that it takes hundreds of hours of clinical practice and that’s why most LCs start as nurses first. I guess I will stick to blog posts about it. No clinical required.
I have received a few funny reactions when people learn I’m still nursing, but mostly people just nod and smile and probably quietly wonder how long we will continue. Hint: I’m planning at least another year, should Des be on board with that.
One of my favorite (but ridiculous) follow up questions to “so, you’re still breastfeeding, huh?” is “and he has teeth now, right?!” Yes. Eight teeth now. And yes, we did experience a not-so-fun biting phase but, just like the handful of other unpleasant phases, that passed. Was it cool to be on the receiving end of some teething bites? No way. But the positive nursing dynamic between us outweighs a few painful experiences and I am so thankful that didn’t make me wean earlier than we wanted. Neither did an over active letdown early on or a recent case of thrush that was passed back and forth between the babe and me. While there have been a few bumps along the way, we’ve gotten through them all. Someone told me early on, “this too shall pass” when I was struggling with this nursing issue or that one. And it has proven to be a cliche but reliable mantra when there’s been a challenge.
Nursing is so ingrained in the way I mother, I would be devastated to have to give it up now. Beyond the obvious answer to his hunger, nursing is also my go-to when my boy is tired or hurt or in need of a recharge. It works for us now as it has throughout his first full year. We both continue to love the convenience, health benefits, and bonding time between this mama and her baby. We’ve had amazing support throughout from John and our families and I’m stoked to continue into toddlerhood. And so, we’ll nurse on!