Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival: How Have My Breastfeeding Goals Changed?

breastfeedingcafecarnivalWelcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival! This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about how your breastfeeding goals have changed. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th-31st!

In 2009, when I was pregnant with my first child, my goal was to breastfeed him for a year. That’s just the thing to do, right? We know there are medical benefits to nursing, I know breastfeeding is biological, and society told me that one year was the right amount of time to do it.

I even went to a La Leche League meeting and sat there judging a woman who was nursing her 18-month old. I judged her so much!success

So then, my son had some challenges breastfeeding and I had to supplement with formula. This made me realize how very important nursing is to me. It felt important for me to exclusively breastfeed my child, and yet that wasn’t working.

The ladies at LLL (who welcomed me back, even though I had been a Judgy Judy) assured me that every drop of breastmilk I was feeding my son was valuable to him. I let go of my judgment.

He turned one, and I no longer could imagine just weaning him. Just like that? Because of some arbitrary click in the calendar? So we kept going, just a little bit longer. “Just one more day,” I told myself, each morning. After all, I didn’t start¬†out gymnastic-nursing a toddler.

When he turned 20 months old, still nursing like a champ, he got a pretty bad chest/double ear infection. All he would agree to consume was my breastmilk, and our pediatrician said, “Isn’t it wonderful you can give him just what he needs right now? He’s getting all the hydration and nutrients he needs while he’s sick.” By then, I don’t think I had nursing goals anymore. Breastfeeding had become just part of our lives together.

Breastfeeding is one of my parenting strategies. It’s shaped my life. I weaned my first son cold-turkey when he was 27 months old and down to 2 nursing sessions a day. I was in my first trimester of pregnancy with my second son, and nursing was just too painful. It didn’t feel like exceeding a goal. It just felt like I really wanted my nipples to stop hurting.¬†

But all of a sudden, I had to parent him sort of differently…like I had to get up and prepare beverages for him if he was thirsty.

I’m still nursing my second son, who just turned 26 months old, despite being 38 weeks pregnant. I’m sure I’m one of those women at the La Leche League meetings who shock the first-time moms. I’m super pregnant, nursing a child who uses full sentences to communicate.

My goal, if you can call it that, for this next stage of nursing is to let breastfeeding help me be as lazy as possible. Breastfeeding will let me lie in bed ten more minutes if I can latch on my toddler, then close my eyes. Breastfeeding will quickly stop any crying from the baby…or the toddler. Breastfeeding will put the younger 2 kids to sleep.

Really, I should just start thinking about how I can get my 5-year-old to breastfeed again so I can move my body as little as possible these next few months. I’m only sort of kidding.

Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

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