“Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (November). For this month, participants share their experiences on extended breastfeeding. This includes tips to moms with young babies, as well as barriers and myths which discourage extended nursing. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants.”
“Now, really, she still breastfeeds at 14 months? Isn’t she too old for that?”
“She must be biting you a lot with all her teeth coming out!”
“How can you sing and travel with baby in tow?”
“You should stop already, there’s formula anyway.”
“She must be beside Mommy all the time because Mommy is her food. Poor Mommy. That’s why she can’t work.”
These are just some of the many statements, questions, comments we’ve been getting lately. And I always address them with a smile.
Wow, 14 months. 14 months! To me, breastfeeding my daughter without giving her formula is the biggest achievement I have done, more than winning the Grand Prix, more than finishing a degree with honors. I just feel proud, even prouder now that I have reached the one-year mark.
And no, we’re not stopping soon. Why?
1. Because she doesn’t need formula. And we can’t afford formula. Really, we can’t. I know my husband works really hard to provide for our needs but who would want to spend on expensive formula milk when you can provide your own?
I take what the priest said in the homily during the Feast of Our Lady of La Leche Mass I attended: Kaya tayo asal hayop kasi gatas ng hayop iniinom natin (The reason why we act as animals is because we drink animal milk). That was a tough thought. Now I want to breastfeed Aria even longer, for as long as she likes!
2. Because it’s so much easier! Pop the boob out and you’re good to go. Portable (you bring just yourself and the baby–no bottles, warm water, milk containers), economical (no need to buy expensive stuff–a shawl, tube or tank top underneath a loose shirt and you’re good to go), space saver (who needs a big diaper/baby bag?).
3. Because the family can sleep longer. My husband benefits from this more, and he will be forever grateful that he didn’t learn preparing formula. Even middle of the night waking is a breeze. I just let her nurse and she goes back to dreamland. We’re co-sleeping and no fear of SIDS.
4. Because I don’t want smelly poop. Yes, I just love a breastfed baby’s poop scent, even now that she’s heavy on solids!
5. Because I don’t want to introduce a pacifier, nor a bottle teat. I’d rather nurse her when she cries for reasons aside from hunger (sleepy, bored, hurt, sick). I know she can really be talkative and loud and screams a lot at times but I still will choose that over a baby with a pacifier in her mouth.
Note: we introduced Medela Calma but unfortunately, after a couple of months and now that she’s got eight teeth, she just chews the teat. We’re cup and straw feeding now!
6. Because we don’t want to get sick. Save two or three times of having colds during the first year, both my daughter and I haven’t gotten seriously sick. And we are assured of a smarter baby and reduced cancer-risk mommy!
7. Because it’s the only exclusive thing we do together! I know I’m being selfish, but my husband, or my mom, or my sister, can play with her all day but when it comes to quenching her thirst for milk, it’s only me.
8. Because, surely, when she weans (not anytime soon, please!) I’ll truly treasure every nursing moment we had — the sleepless nights, hours of carrying to avoid reflux, two hour marathon nursings, five seconds quick thirst-quenching nursing, biting episodes, crazy nursing positions and calisthenics my baby had discovered, the sudden pulling off my shirt even in front of a priest and demanding ‘dedede’ until she gets it, the nursing to soothe aching gums, booboos, separation and stranger anxieties, and nursing to sleep. The list is endless!
I know my friends and maybe other non-breastfeeding readers, too will get dismayed, envied, or ashamed (I hope not!) that breastfeeding just didn’t work out.
The keyword: TRUST.
Trust your body that it can make milk, even if at times you don’t feel or see it.
Trust your family that they’ll support you (or if not, I, on behalf of the many breastfeeding moms, counselors, breastfeeding-friendly doctors will!).
Trust in the Lord that He prepared your body for this challenge, which is really just a kick-off from pregnancy. There is a lot more to come!
Other stories of moms who went past the first year mark:
J and the Three Boys – No more “de-de”
My Mommyology – My Extended Breastfeeding Experience
Mommyluscious – Breastfeeding for Two Beyond Two
Truly Rich Mom – On Extended Breastfeeding (a perfectly normal thing to do)
Life of a Babywearing and Breastfeeding Mommy – Still breastfeeding after 2 years
Got To Believe – Breastfeeding Room Story
Chronicles of a Nursing Mom – Barriers/Myths vs. Extended Breastfeeding
hi kitty! my olly too went straight to cup from the booby and totally skipped bottles, pacifiers and sippy stuff! so go go go! 😀 it makes for less gastos and hassle talaga 🙂
Better to feed the mommy with healthy food than spend on formula, right?
i agree!!! feed the family rather than buying formula! i also think that i allowed N to nurse as long as she wanted because i was selfish in that it was our exclusive time – especially when i went back to full time work. it allowed us to still have some quiet and bonding moments 😀
I breastfed until 14 months too (but then after we weaned my daughter for various reasons). I wanted to make it past a year, so that she would transition straight from breastmilk to cow’s milk, and not formula. And yes I hardly got sick too during that period! Amazing. 🙂
Now the transition to other milk is about to start soon! I’m nervous because my daughter isn’t showing any signs of weaning or at least nursing fewer times. She demands more of me because of separation anxiety 🙁
I just love the list!
And I agree with the poop. My nephews are both formula-fed and their poop– eww! That, and more emphatically, they are constantly constipated. Whereas my little one has had very, very few episodes of difficulty in pooping. Credit of course goes to breast milk, which is perfect for his digestive system.
Yes, extended breastfeeding is a top-notch achievement in itself! I think we all deserve a pat in the back. 🙂
Yes. And I really pray that we can encourage more moms to breastfeed. 🙂
agree! agree about the “TRUST” part. a lot of women i’ve spoken with just needed to believe that they can. kudos to you momma!
Thanks! Really got inspiration from fellow bfeeding moms like you!
Hi! We’re only on our sixth month and I really hope to reach that one-year mark or even beyond. My nanay breastfed me even for just 10 days. I hope I’m not included in the “asal-hayop,gatas ng hayop” comment made by Father. Hehe. 🙂
Haha natakot din ako actually. Sabay sabi sa sarili–sana pinabreastfeed din ako ni mommy ng matagal lalo na kapatid ko na zero colostrum 🙁
Great list!!!! And I agree with TRUST! Hay I envy you for cup and straw training na. Si Y, still on the bottle. Pag straw, she plays with water/milk. Pag cup, she’ll play din and put her hands inside the cup! Haha!
it is oh so true… the minute you completely wean… my gawsh the change in smell of your child’s poop.