Sunday, December 21, 2008

public nursing

This is a huge art display at the American History Museum in Washington DC. I thought it was great to see of all the displays they could have put up for early American immigrants, they chose one of a mother nursing her infant. Hurray for public nursing!

Monday, December 8, 2008

breast feeding a toddler

We are quickly approaching my daughters second birthday and subsequently our two year anniversary for breastfeeding. For some strange reason I assumed the longer we nursed the easier it would get. In some ways it has, my daughter and I are pros and reading each others signals and communicating. I have found though that it is a constant re-dedication and commitment I have to make each day.

Here’s a few thought about making the continued commitment, if you chose to do so, and some things to expect.

Raised eyebrows – expect people will ask you how old your little one is when carting around your breast pump at work – expect they will give you a second glance and perhaps and raised eye brow when you say “two years old” or older.
New problems – I’ve found that nipples crack just as easily after two years as they did after two days – lanolin cream is still a good friend – I’ve also encountered some new problems such as blisters – ¼ teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and soak for three minutes (please don’t laugh, although the picture you are thinking of is pretty close to how it was, windows closed of course)
Self doubt – I find myself still enjoying our moments and then at other times wanting to postpone nursing requests– sometimes my daughter will go all day without wanting to nurse and I think she is done and get sad and other nights I am an all night buffet (very infrequent now, but with the occasional cold comes a less that restful night). The self weaning process takes time and I find that if I trust my daughter will know when she is done nursing for good then I feel I am actually building a trust relationship with her that will last for her whole life (that probably only makes sense to other mom’s of nursing toddlers).
Good doctors are harder to come by – when you find a good gynecologist (in my opinion every woman should have one she is comfortable with) you go out of your way to keep that doctor. Right now a good doctor is one who does not tell me to stop nursing. For whatever reason I feel it is important to continue until we are both ready to quit and my daughter is certainly not ready (at least most days) to quit. I was very lucky and found a doctor out here that thinks my decision is great and told me I’m amazing for working and still nursing (A+ in my book of doctors), so now I have someone to call and ask what to do about blisters and new cracks and re-occurrences of thrush, etc.
Make some friends – I think making friends with other nursing mom’s (big plus if they are believers in toddler nursing) is important for the support, especially with the increase of raised eye brow syndrome you will suffer from. La Leche League is a great way, I haven’t found a group yet, but I am making friends in the buildings lactation room, it is always nice to run into another mom carting around a breast pump (it’s like an instant bond).

I hope that this proves helpful for someone. Nursing is great and nursing a toddler is not only great, but also a fun adventure (most of the time). I suggest any mom considering it to at least give it a try for a couple of months, you might find you really like it.