Monday, August 6, 2012

An Update on Breastfeeding

Malachi is 26 months old now, and we are still going strong with breastfeeding. I'm so excited we've made it this far. I can't say that I had a goal in mind as far as nursing was concerned, other than I hoped to at least make it to two years. I also have thought about child-led weaning, but I have felt more comfortable with the idea that we will continue as long as both of us want to.

We used donor milk for almost a year, to supplement the breast milk I wasn't able to provide. But since about 15 months or so, we were able to stop that altogether. We night-weaned around 21 months, but he wasn't nursing most nights anyway at that point.

When I got pregnant, I knew that it could really effect our nursing relationship. I tried to be mentally prepared for whatever might happen, including me deciding I was done at some point. It got uncomfortable right away, and has continued to be. Malachi has never given an indication that my milk changed taste, but it did dry up completely at some point in the last few weeks. Still, he nurses. Morning, naptime, and bedtime, and sometimes in between. At this point, I don't see him quitting because of pregnancy-related changes. If he weans, it will be because he is ready, and would have been ready anyway. And that makes me happy.

He has recently decided he loves cow's milk, which he previously shunned wholeheartedly. To distinguish between his two "milks", he calls one his "binka milk" (drink of milk) and the other "mama milk". Melt my heart. 

So, we have a new baby coming in 4-5 months, and I am curious and excited about the possibility of tandem nursing. I'm nervous about how he'll feel about sharing. I'm looking forward to having some help with engorgement, and giving him his fill of milk again. I'm also hoping that it will give him an extra boost of immunity through the winter with a newborn in the house. 

I'm so thankful we are still nursing. He wiggles. He flails. He bites (not on purpose). He drives his truck all over me. He caresses my face. He rests his hand on my breast. He giggles. He offers milk to his toys. I love it when he stops playing and asks to nurse. He's my big boy, but he still loves his mama's milk.

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