Friday, August 9, 2013

Breastfeeding at 15 months

One day old, 15 months old.

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month, I'd like to write a little post on our nursing story. I'm definitely passionate about nursing and try to encourage new mothers to breastfeed. Unfortunately (like with any parenting choice), there is much drama surrounding nursing. Everyone seems to have something to say about another parent's ways. Nursing too much, too little, too long, weaning too soon, in public, not in public, etc. It seems to me that if we were all to mind our own business a little more and accept each other's choices, then we, as mothers, could support one another more readily. Not to say that there aren't specific points of view that annoy me. Recently, a friend had a baby and when reading through her Instagram comments I read that she chose not to breastfeed because she thought it was "creepy." This sort of uneducated decision makes my stomach turn and makes me feel a little sad for the state of humanity. We're so far from our roots that some women consider breastfeeding to be creepy. That truly frightens me.

As a mother who is passionate about nursing and doing what's best, I try to educate as I learn of a friend's pregnancy but at that point it is the other mother's choice to act on the information I've shared. It's the other mother's choice to do some research of their own. Some of my mumma friends truly tried to nurse and things didn't quite work out. I sympathize with that and wish that I had maybe done more to help. Many times I feel that a breastfeeding relationship falls through because of the support system around that mother. My mom was a LLL leader when I was a little and I remember nursing my dolls. I had a 2 inch wide binder filled with bits of paper and brochures on nursing when I was about 5. I was formula fed because of things the hospital did beyond my mother's consent after I was born, but as a young girl I knew I wanted to breastfeed because my mother became so passionate about it.

When Odin was born, I said I would nurse for the first year. Odin turned one 3 months ago and he's actually nursing as I type this. I'm not sure how much longer we will go, but I know we'll both stop when we're ready. We'll keep nursing until it is no longer working for our family or until Odin decides he's through. I love breastfeeding and I love the relationship it's created. Don't get me wrong, there are weak moments. Often. Sometimes I'd like to be able to go out on the town with Zak, but Odin nurses to sleep and through the night. That drives me pretty crazy, honestly. The work it would take to transition him away from that seems to be more trouble than it's worth. For every frustrated night I have, there are twenty nights where there's no other place I'd rather be.

Odin was born ten pounds, was an eager nurser, and had gained two pounds by his one week check up. I am very fortunate in the fact that I have never had an issue with breastfeeding. Teething was a breeze because we nursed right through it. He bit once or twice and that was that. Odin and I seem to have a very gentle breastfeeding relationship and I'm very grateful. This is what we chose and I am very happy with that choice.


  1. This is so great, Michelle. I couldn't agree more with you- we mamas really need to more readily support other mamas and encourage them rather than be quick to judge or point a finger. Breastfeeding didn't work our for my baby and I and it is something that I am sad about even now (she is 17 months old). It is what it is though and all I can do is hope that things work out better for us the next time around because I so SO badly want a nursing relationship. After countless weeks of failed nursing attempts, chiropractic appointments, visits with lactation consultants etc. I ended up exclusively pumping for a year and she is currently on soy formula due to lactose issues. I've been judged for each decision I've made... and its exhausting. I've had people assume I didn't try hard enough to make nursing work, people judge me for trying to hard to make it work, judgement for being "crazy" for pumping for a year, and finally, judgment for formula feeding. Every decision I made was always in the better interest of my baby and our family...and sure I had support from Chris, but it would've been nice for others to support my decisions as well. {Sigh.} Well, theres my ramble... sometimes I just have to get it off my chest, you know? Your breastfeeding relationship with Odin is just beautiful, thank you so very much for so readily sharing, encouraging and inspiring :)

    1. You are AMAZING mama! I love that story! I'm so glad you tried and that you were able to pump! I usually have no issues avoiding being judgmental but there are certain instances where I can't help it (yours definitely not being one of them!). I know of mamas who just don't care or don't seem educated enough about the topic to know the benefits of nursing. Some mummas are proud to admit that they care more about their mom time than they do about a breastfed baby. You know the benefits and you made the right decisions. I hope you have that beautiful nursing relationship that you're envisioning the next time around! It truly is magical, but you should really have no regrets. <3

  2. Loved reading your thoughts during World Breastfeeding Week :) It is so nice to be able to connect with another mama who is doing things the way I am when it comes to feeding babies! I agree that it is frightening that in our culture someone would truly think that breastfeeding is creepy. It seems that in our culture, we just have the whole motherhood/parenthood/raising children thing all backwards. One thing just leads to another thing and it all just drives me crazy to think about!
    I think that if I remember correctly, I also started out with the "one year goal" when I was breastfeeding Roman and then I just fell in love with it and really started learning about all the things that made me happy as a mother and he ended up weaning when he was 3 years + 2 months old during my pregnancy with Asher! I too have my moments of weakness. Sometimes I just want some space :)
    And yes, we do live in Colorado now! You'll have to keep me updated on your travel plans!

    1. 3 years and 2 months! That's amazing! I feel like that's how it will be with Odin and I. As much as I think I would like to be done sooner, I don't feel as though it'll happen like I imagine. It's also just so simple to latch him on after a tumble or tantrum of any sort. Instant silence! I'm not ready to give that bit up. haha!

  3. It's amazing how it becomes your normal! I remember being at six months and thinking, I'll stop at nine months. Then at nine months, I'll stop at one year.... Though I did stop shortly after because I wanted to get pregnant again. Now I'm beginning again, and it's not my normal yet. I'm looking forward to when it feels like second nature again.

  4. Dear Michelle,
    I'm a mom of a half year old boy,in a small europian country,Hungary. Here most of the mothers are highly supported in breastfeeding,that is obvious for hungarian moms. It's actually really good but it can be very frustrating as well.
    I was in labour for two days in hospital,and it ended in emergency cesario. I didn't see my boy just for one minute and then,just after 7 long hours. My milk came in just the 5. day,the nurses told me that my baby's starving and I felt myself like a horrible mother. It was so frustrating,and even if my milk finally had came in,when we left the hospital (7 days!) I only had a few drops. The horrific labour,cesario,cracked nipples,always crying baby,pumping...I felt that this whole thing is a failure.

    I had postpartum depression,it was horrible. For 2.5 months,my baby was on formula and a littlebit of pumped breastmilk (in Hungary we say:mothermilk),and he comfort-nursed a lot.
    He was a cranky little one. He was not happy.. One night,I was so tired,he woke up at night,and I could not get up from bed and my husband took the baby between us. That night he did not cry for formula. He nursed the whole night. And at that point I knew inside that I can't give up breastfeeding,I can feed him without formula,I called LLL and we were in bed for almost two weeks,constantly nursing. And it finally worked. Now he is exlusively breastfeeding and I'm so happy beacuse of that.
    I do think that the pressuring system,society was not helpful at all. I felt I was a terrible mom,who couldn't give birth naturally,and didn't got enough milk...everybody asked me about giving birth,breastfeeding...
    Now we sleep together,he nurses a lot,I weat him in ring sling,he is a content,happy,curious,strong baby. We are happy. This country supports breastfeeding,but not the attachment parenting.It is interesting,a paradox situation.
    I find your blog really inspiring,(I really think we could be great friends,we have lots of things in common),you have such a wonderful family.

    I wish you the best!:)
    P.s.:Sorry for the long story,it just came out.:)