Monday, May 12, 2008

Thoughts about Breastfeeding

I've been thinking a lot about breastfeeding lately. Why is there this supposed "cutoff" at one year old? Nothing changes on her first birthday. Why is it considered "extended" if you go beyond one year? Let's face it, Beans is a boobie baby and there is no way she is going to self-wean anytime close to 12months old. Its not like I can tell her, "Oh, you're a year old. No more boobie." And, I'm not ready for that relationship to be over with either. My plan is to just go with the flow and see what happens. Even now I can see that as she is getting more curious about the world around her that she wants to nurse a little less often, but she still nurses to sleep for both naps and bedtime (at least the majority of the time). I don't know why people (loosely here, no one in particular) try to make nursing to sleep out to be a bad thing, something I shouldn't do. If I don't have a problem with it, then how is it problematic? She would much rather nurse than eat any sort of solid food. Most of the time I feel like her self-feeding is a futile attempt. More food ends up on the ground or crumbled up in little pieces on her high chair than ever makes it to her mouth. I guess that is how it goes though.

Anyways, I've just been pondering where this one-year cutoff comes from. It seems completely arbitrary. I know people have other cutoffs in their own mind, saying they want to breastfeed for 6months or 9 months or whatever, but somehow (at least to me) this one year cutoff feels different. As if its not imposed by me, as her mother, but by other people and society itself. She's one, so she can drink cow's milk, she doesn't need breastmilk or formula, etc etc. I guess I have another six weeks to get to that cutoff. The day will come and go, and I'm positive Beanie will want the boobie just as much as ever. And, maybe no one else will raise their eyebrows or say anything anyways. We'll see.

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