Monday, April 10, 2006

Breast is best

Depending upon your views on breasts, or more specifically extended breastfeeding, you may be advised to read no further…!


I read on a friend’s blog a while ago (I’d do a link if I was clever – but I’m not) that you know you’ve been breastfeeding too long if your ‘baby’ says “The other side Mummy” and you hear “The Udder side”.

In relaying this anecdote to another friend, she laughed and assumed I’d reached the end as I said “The other side, Mummy”. I assume she felt babies were too old to breastfeed once they could speak.

Ellie is 2 next week. Initially I wanted to feed her for 6 months – because I’d read that had lots of health benefits. By 6 months we both enjoyed the feeds – and I’d learnt by then that the WHO believe there are health benefits in feeding up to 2 years – so we carried on. Although I’ve kept the idea in the back of my mind that I’ll stop feeding Ellie when she’s 2. Which, as I’ve just said, is next week.

I’ve got mixed feelings though. It’s just so lovely having her feed and snuggle against me when she’s just woken and I’m still half asleep (after all, if I don’t feed her I’ve have to properly get up at 5.30am!). And being able to use a feed as instant paracetamol substitute if she’s had a bad fall, or is ill, and needs more comfort than a ‘kiss better’. And having that quiet time together at the end of a long day at nursery/work.

On the other hand, not only does she demand “other side, mummy”, but she’s also told me “I got snot on mummy-milk. Tissue, mummy”.

And yet I’m having a hard time preparing to stop feeding her – sometimes I amaze myself!!!

1 comment:

Stuntmother said...

I SOOOOO bond with this. Daniel was weaned mostly because Helena was nearly here. With Helena there has been no such deadline and so the feeding has been drifting on. At two, I didn't feel the moment was right. I hoped she would wean herself. LaLeche suggests that children will, but that they might not wean themselves until they're five. FIVE!!!!! That is more than I or my poor drained breasts can take. Yet, I have not wanted to push it. They are so small. And need us and the comfort we provide so much. What is the harm after a spill or a tummy bug to feed the bad feelings away?

Anyway, if you need any solidarity, know that I always thought I'd feed until the children were about 1. Daniel was weaned at 2 and a few months. Helena is not yet weaned (at over three) although it has dropped from every nap and every bedtime to just once every other day or every few days. I am now warring with myself not to look at her in amazement when she demands a feed -- because I think, after being pregnant and breastfeeding now for about seven years that I might be done.

And how cool that you found that story. I would hesitate to post the same thing now that she's so much older. Ooooh, my secret shame.