I wasn't quite sure what to expect after my last post. It was a subject that I had so far chosen not to go into, for fear of opening a can of worms. To be honest, until recently, I had not really given it too much thought. Breastfeeding was just a natural part of everyday life and babies grow up very quickly. Before I knew it here I was feeding a two and half year old (the other two were weaned by me at around the 18 month mark, which was no easy process). But I had started to notice the occasional raised eyebrow and a changing attitude over the past year, most of which I choose to ignore or laugh off. I try to avoid feeding when out if possible because I have been made to feel a little self conscious in the past, but I don't avoid the subject in conversation. Which is why I chose to write about it here in the first place. It is not something you see very often, and seems to carry with it a certain social stigma. Most of us are aware of the uproar that was caused by The Slap. I wondered how many other mothers were also in the closet about breastfeeding past the usual year or so. It felt right to raise the topic here, and put it out there (so to speak).
There were many wonderfully supportive comments and experiences shared. Just as there were also those that did admit to finding it uncomfortable, and I kind of expected that. Each to their own. I am okay with the honesty of the comments. But I do have to say that nobody knows your situation and your child's temperament quite like you do. There is often the preconceived idea of spoiling your child by extended breastfeeding, but I feel that this bears little reflection on other boundaries in the child's life. Some little ones are extremely attached to the experience, just as others become attached to their bottles or a particular toy. It is really a short, but precious time in the scheme of things.
In a positive light I thought I would share a few encouraging articles :
Breastfeeding your Toddler (ABA)
Breastfeeding Past Infancy : Fact Sheet
What are the Benefits of Breastfeeding a Toddler? (Thank you Christina, for this and the next link)
Suggested Responses to Still Nursing
*By no means am I saying that this is the only or right way, as many choose or have no choice but to wean. But I am hoping this may help someone who is struggling with whether or not to continue feeding.