30 May 2007

Random Extras on Extended Breastfeeding

My mother couldn't get over the fact that my kid was nursing and could talk - and could, therefore, ask for it. She wasn't horrified, she was amused. Although, come to think of it, she was mildly horrified when I nursed Miss M. on an airplane when the three of us were on the way home from California, about a month before the final final. I was just trying (unsuccessfully) to encourage a nap. But my mother had nursed her kids for 10 months/8 months/6 months - back in the day when not a lot of people nursed at all - and none of those little people were talking when my mom was nursing.

Doctor Mama had a great post a while ago about nursing her the two and two-thirds year old (he's since weaned himself). She mentioned that eventually people stop asking if you're doing that. I think I only lied about doing that once. The Berkeley Parents network has a nice joke about extended nursing in Berkeley:

When my son turned two, I told a friend, "Well, I guess I'm going to have to start lying now when people ask me if he's weaned." "Oh," she said, "in Berkeley, you don't have to start doing that until they're four." "You don't have to start weaning until they're four?" "No, you don't have to start LYING about it."

And if you need reasons for breastfeeding at all, Electric Boogaloo had some good ones, like #8: "Researchers have not been able to show that breastfeeding doesn't give you magical powers".


BOSSY said...

Bossy's husband believes in breast feeding. Oh wait - are you talking about babies?

Bea said...

I had to bite my tongue and stop asking a friend of mine if she was still nursing after her son turned 2. It kind of sucked, though, because I really wanted to know (I'm nosy that way) - but because the question implied judgement, I couldn't ask.

Anonymous said...

I weaned my kid at 2 and believe me, it felt like it was too soon. She sure thought so!

I was really giving in to the social pressure but after I did it I realized that there were some benefits. But also some losses. (I had been delayed on a business trip and so it was kind of like we'd already started).

In my extended family, kids have been known to nurse until the age of 5. Extended nursing seems so normal to me. It's not like I make such a big deal about bfing but I do think sexism is the main thing that makes extended nursing into a big deal.

Anonymous said...

I love that bit about Berkeley. That's wonderful.

I was poking a bit around your archives, and felt compelled to check out your breastfeeding posts. I'm still nursing my 18-month-old, and wondering how and when we're going to wean. It's nice to hear of others who keep going.

And funny thing. My early days of breastfeeding were very rocky, like yours. Exclusive breastfeeding didn't work out for us, and I beat myself up over it. I worked my ass off, too. (If that's the bit that gets worked off...) I'm glad that you've shared your story.

Anonymous said...

People really, really like to judge. It is just such a rewarding hobby.