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Call me a Freak. I Don’t Care: Extended Breastfeeding

Extended Breastfeeding Mother and Baby

We’ve only gone a month past the “acceptable” one-year mark, and the teasing has already begun.

Friends and family crack jokes at my expense, predicting my son will turn into a needy, dependent serial killer with mother issues. Perhaps, he’ll even develop a sexual fetish, costing him $500 a week for a standing appointment with a large-breasted tranny named Ralph.

Most people, however, are satisfied with just asking me the simple question: “How long do you plan to breastfeed?”

Extended Breastfeeding

Even before Alden was born, I knew not breastfeeding him wasn’t an option. Barring any medical issues, we were going to do it. I read. I prepped. I even took a class. However, I always figured myself to be a one year-and-done kind of girl.

Thirteen months have passed and I now feed a toddler who walks, and climbs, and hits, and tweaks, and claws, and kisses, and won’t stay put for anything. He laughs and claps at “meal” time, pulling himself right up into my lap. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t take that source of contentment away from him right now.

Hopefully, a Healthy Child

I think we’re lucky. I have friends and family who wanted to breastfeed but couldn’t, and others who could but chose to use formula. Breastfeeding simply wasn’t right for their family dynamic. I respect all of their decisions. Hopefully, they can respect mine as I turn my back on U.S. convention and continue to breastfeed into Alden’s second year.

Aside from loving and guiding him, I believe it is the most important thing I can do for his future health. I’m not going to bore you with the science that backs me up. It’s easy enough to find.

I know seeing a toddler on the breast makes most Americans feel uncomfortable. I used to feel the same way. However, the stares, mockery and even others’ disdain are small prices to pay for a healthy child.

A Growing Family

Despite our desire to grow our family (breastfeeding can suppress your fertility), the thought of stopping anytime soon has been a source of great anxiety. I know enough about the science that stopping before the two-year mark really tears at me.

I constantly ask myself the question: Do I “take” from him in order to “give” to a child who hasn’t even been conceived?

At this point, we decided to keep breastfeeding and reevaluate the situation in a few months. I’m just praying the question will be answered for me. It’s a decision I don’t want to have to make.

Comments 3

  1. I’m truly greatful for the opportunities you have afforded me to contribute to your angst. Mwah!

    P.S. I’ll be happy to contribute towards bail when the need arises. 😀

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