My mother breastfed me for a few months but encountered many problems and lack of support as a single teen mother. She breastfed all three of my siblings for some months.
The most anyone nursed in my family was around 18 months. Both my nana and her mother never even attempted breastfeeding. To them, it seems unnatural to breastfeed once the child has teeth or is over a year.
My breastfeeding journey started in 2012 when my first daughter was born. I had this beautiful un-medicated birth planned with my midwife, but after 40 hours of labor with other complications, I needed a c-section.
I remember the first time I brought her up to my breast, still trying to comprehend all that had happened to me in my exhausted and medicated state.
She latched and all was right in the world. I needed assistance the first few days to learn how she was supposed to latch, but we did it. Little Bear was great at nursing.
In fact, she nursed around the clock for months.
She nursed every 30 min for 45min to an hour. I enjoyed all the snuggles. I didn’t have many issues with nursing like a lot of moms do. I had cracked nipples and a clogged duct a couple times, but nothing too horrible like mastitis.
My husband is a huge supporter of me nursing our children and that has been amazing.
I would be lying if I told you I was the first one Little Bear latched onto. Her first latch happened with my sweet husband, holding his new baby girl to his bare chest.
He gave her skin to skin while they finished surgery on me and she rooted around on his chest finding what she was looking for! My mom happened to catch it on camera, so I got to see him jump because of her strong latch.
It is hard to believe that was two and a half years ago. Little Bear still loves to nurse multiple times a day. I deal with a nursing aversion so we have to limit the frequency, but she nurses more than our sweet Baby Bear.
I never set out to breastfeed this long. As I learned the benefits that breast milk had to offer at any age and seeing how much it meant to Little Bear, we decided to let her self-wean.
By the time our second little girl came I had nursing in public down, I knew what helped my milk supply and what to do if I got a clogged duct.
It was quite a surprise when I nursed my Baby Bear after a failed VBAC and an emergency c section. Her latch was not as strong as Little Bear’s was, but she was also born earlier. Baby Bear was efficient at nursing and ate much faster and less frequent than her sister did at birth.
It is amazing how unique we all are from birth!
I still get looks and comments made to me about nursing, whether it is Little Bear or Baby Bear. Honestly, It is no one’s business except my children and myself how long they breastfeed for.
I can spout out the facts like the World Health Organization recommending at LEAST nursing for 2 years, but you can only educate those that want to learn.
I have learned confidence as a woman by breastfeeding. Unfortunately, in some circles (and in our sexualized culture) people are uneducated about breastfeeding.
This is why it is so important to have confidence in your decision to breastfeed, know your rights in your state, have the support of your partner and be part of a bigger community of women.
I think as women we should come together to help support each other and not tear each other down. But, that is a blog for another day.
To read more about my journey through tandem nursing check out my book on Amazon!
I would love to hear shout-outs from other nursing mamas!
How long have you been nursing? What has your experience been like?
What has been the biggest support that has helped you on your nursing journey?