In case you don’t already know, I have a 15 month old baby boy. Well, actually, he’s definitely a toddler these days rather than a baby! He’s happy and healthy (well, actually, right now he’s pretty miserable as he’s got his first really bad cold – we’ve been invaded by the Great Green Snot Monster) and growing every day. He’s also still breastfeeding for about 50% of his nutritional needs.
Yup. That’s right. He eats anything and everything, as he feels like, but he still is breastfeeding anywhere from 4 to 10 times a day. At least 2 of those times is in the night. He LOVES it. I love that he loves it. But not everyone around me loves it or understands it. And that makes me wonder sometimes why we are still doing this.
Then we have days like today.
As I mentioned above, our house has been invaded by the Great Green Snot Monster x 3. All 3 kids have been down for the count for a few days now although Liam only just succumbed to the Monster late yesterday (Sunday). I don’t know if you’re supposed to feed a fever and starve a cold or starve a fever and feed a cold but either way, Liam’s appetite for food has been obliterated in the last day. I’m not worried about that though because he’s not stopped nursing at all. He’s getting the liquids he needs and the nutrition he needs at the same time and I can rest easy as he works hard to fight this virus off. Which leads me to another reason why we’re still breastfeeding – I’ve been fighting the same virus and I know that as my body fights it and produces antibodies, he’s getting those antibodies which are helping his body as it fights. He’s not fighting alone and that’s so cool!
There are other reasons why we’re still breastfeeding – Liam derives comfort from it when he’s upset or out of sorts. He finds it soothing when he’s tired and trying to sleep. He thinks it’s yummy. It’s good for him. It’s guaranteed cuddle time with Momma every day.
Then there are the more selfish benefits for me. It means I need to eat a lot more calories than I usually would have to. This allows me to freely eat anything I want. I eat the healthy stuff but honestly I can’t ingest enough good-for-me food to get the calories I need which means I get to eat candy and chocolate and chips as much as I want too! I know this is going to end when the breastfeeding ends but for now I am totally embracing and enjoying it! The other benefit is that I finally have boobs! Or rather I have bigger boobs! Silly, I know, but when you’ve spent most of your life as part of the itty bitty club it’s kinda fun to be frustrated by clothing because they are too big for once!! Again, I know this won’t last so I’m fully enjoying the experience despite it’s frustrations!
There are all kinds of technical research out there for why it’s good to keep on breastfeeding past 1 year and while I value all of that, I don’t have time to read it nor do I wish to bore people with it so when I’m asked why we’re still breastfeeding, it’s days like today that I refer to and reasons like these above that I list.
And now I need to go and feed my baby again. He’s miserable and wants his momma.