Link is just about 11 months old, and is still nursing as often as possible (depending on my work schedule). He has been exclusively fed breast milk since his 1st week of life. He had some formula right when he was born due to his traumatic birth, and had some the first couple days of life because of his extreme trouble latching and I decided my very hungry, weak baby needed food.
Together, Link and I worked incredibly hard to make sure he had breastmilk. Starting with me pumping and him drinking from a bottle, to us using a nipple shield to get him to latch, to finally him latching after a few weeks of life and them continuing to be a rockstar nurser ever since.
Once we figured out Link’s allergies to soy and dairy, I went off those proteins completely so that I could give Link the source of nourishment that I felt was best for him – breastmilk. I started this breastfeeding journey with a goal of nursing him for a year, and that was before we had all of the issues. I have continued to hold that goal despite how “easy” it would be to stop. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends “exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant.” Link’s doctor thinks it’s great that he gets breastmilk for a year.
So it really makes me mad when I look for sources on weaning to help us with the transition once he turns one, and they make me feel like a loser mom. Continually I find sources that say “if you MUST wean him for your own reasons”, “if you have to wean him before he’s ready”, blah blah blah. I feel like I have done an incredible job providing a healthy start for my son, and if I decide that it’s best for me, my son, and my family to stop after he hits one, I shouldn’t be made to feel like I’m being a bad mom. It’s not like I’m going to stop and say, “no more mommy milk, have a Happy Meal”! I will continue to feed him the healthiest choices for meals, and will work with his doctor to make sure he is getting the nutrients he needs.
Yes, I understand that if I breastfeed him until he’s “ready” to wean, that he will be getting a great source of nourishment, and a great source of comfort. But I believe that I can provide him with comfort, nourishment, and everything else he needs without the use of my boobs.