I plan on breastfeeding my daughter until she self-weans.
This really shouldn’t be earth shattering news considering the World Health Organization recommends nursing until at least two-years-old and considering the fact we are mammals, the minimum predicted age of weaning is about 2.5 years old.
But, it is a big deal to me.
It is an even bigger deal considering my attitude towards breastfeeding when my son was a nursling. I never questioned the fact of exclusively breastfeeding him. I knew a bottle of formula would never touch his lips as surely as I knew I would wean him promptly at 12 months old. It seemed as natural to me as walking into our local hospital as soon as labor pains were unbearable in order to request my epidural.
It was just what I was supposed to do and I didn’t really give it much thought.
It was a grand plan and it went off without a hitch. I was proud to have nursed for a year and fulfilled that important duty for my baby boy.
So, what changed?
My attitude towards birth and breastfeeding.
No longer do I see a hospital as the only place to give birth and no longer do I view breastfeeding as simply a means of feeding my baby the food nature intends.
Since the homebirth of our daughter, I view birth as a spiritual and sacred experience in which I can bring my children gently into this world as my body was so perfectly designed to do.
Now, I view breastfeeding as a special bond between mama and nursling. A way to nourish, protect from illness, comfort and snuggle all wrapped up in a neat, cheap and convenient package.
On the practical side, I appreciate not worrying about my daughter’s sensitivity to dairy and inability to drink cow’s milk. There is no worry about her not eating enough table food via BLW because my milk gives her everything her growing body needs. It is also good to know she is protected from illnesses due to the special antibodies my milk provides just for her.
And, of course, I love knowing that she is mine and I am the only one who can provide the love and comfort of her mother’s breast.
Why would I even consider weaning her in two short months when she turns a year old?
I can’t think of a single good reason.
Laura is a homebirthing, breastfeeding, cloth diaper washing mama to two small children. She blogs all about it at Our Messy Messy Life.