I was at the park this week and had the following conversation:
Lady: “You’re still breastfeeding?”
Me: “Yep, you know, every 2-3 hours, day and night.” (Ah, so innocent and forthcoming!)
Lady: “And she is how old?”
Me: “Nearly eleven months”
Lady: “Ummm. You know there’s nothing in there right?”
Me: Chokes on a Wotsit. “They are full, bursting with milk! I could actually take your eye out with a stream of this cream or clear up your conjunctivitus from the other side of this swing if you got it one day!” (Okay, not that last bit.)
Lady: “Well, nutritionally. Nothing. Nothing from 6 months.”
Me: “Actually, it is packed with protein, all the vitamins…”
Lady: “But they need IRON!”
I gave in at this point and feebly said “Well, she does eat solids too” (although no doubt she would be appalled at the little amount Ramona does consume.) I truly wish I was armed with the fact that breastmilk is high in iron too AND one of the easiest ways for babes to absorb it.
I was just completely baffled. I had heard some of the myths surrounding breastfeeding but I didn’t actually think anyone believed them- let alone professed them in the playground.
I’d have been embaressed if I wasn’t so stoked with it all. I am so happy breastfeeding Ramona at eleven months, I absoutely LOVE it. Before having Ramona I assumed I would get to 6 months then wean, but as they say that just made an ass out of Umed.
Now I am pretty sure I will keep going until she doesn’t need it anymore, nutritionally or emotionally. And that could be some time…
Here’s why I love it:
I still get a HUGE rush of endorphins from nursing, they flood through me making me feel super relaxed and happy.
It provides a lovely rest as we snuggle down together at various points through the day.
It eases her off into dreamland calmly and consistently.
If we are out and about and late for tea I can feed her something a gazillion times more nutritous than a breadstick (though God love ’em.)
Some days she just doesn’t fancy her olives, pasta and brocoli, I don’t have to fret as I know she’ll just nurse more to make it up.
And, I’m not obsessed with weight, but it is pretty cool eating anything and still losing weight.
I am sure it makes her less fractious, a quick nurse seems to fill her love cup right up and give her a contented little peaceful glow.
Plus it provides endless giggles as she nurses and claps, nurses and sings, nurses and sucks her toes, nurses and Nipple Gripples the other (this last one- not so funny.)
There are loads of benefits to breastfeeding, for mum and baby, and it is bizarre that people seem to think these just stop at 6 months. In lots of countries, like Mongolia (this article completely rocks) and Sweden (yeah, I saw the video at the NHS breastfeeding workshop with all those nakey Swedes and their big chubby, latched on toddlers) extended nursing is the norm. Now that Ramona is getting so big I am beginning to see how abnormal it is here in the UK and how different it is feeding an older one. I really better start reading up so I can bust some myths in the playground.