Monday, June 6, 2011
Welcome, Carnival of Breastfeeding readers! I've linked up with the June Carnival of Breastfeeding at Blacktating.
I wrote an article a few years ago for Associated Content about toddler nursing. I've been reading various articles around the internet about the much lower percentage of African American women compared to other races that breastfeed their babies, and I was sad to hear that news.
I have enjoyed breastfeeding for the past almost four years. I related in a previous post about how much I have loved breastfeeding, and I do! My son is three and my daughter is 2 now, so I don't really nurse that much now. My three year old weaned himself around 2 years old, and my daughter occasionally nurses now.
When I first had my daughter, my son was 11 months old, about to turn one in three weeks. He nursed throughout my entire pregnancy, much to the chagrin of various family members, who felt that nursing him would somehow deprive the baby I was carrying of nutrients.
When I had my daughter I couldn't bear the thought of refusing him if he wanted to nurse. I already felt kind of guilty that I had another baby so quickly after having him, so I definitely wasn't going to stop nursing him if he wanted to.
It proved to work out just fine. Nursing pretty much works along the lines of supply and demand. If there is a lot of demand, the milk supply goes up. This explains why mothers of twins and even triplets are able to successfully breastfeed their children.
I allowed my daughter to breastfeed as much as she wanted, and only allowed my toddler to nurse after she was finished eating. I did not want to deprive her. Sometimes my son would whimper and whine to nurse, but he adjusted and he was able to nurse pretty much as much as he wanted, which wasn't a lot by that time. He basically wanted to nurse before naptime and bedtime and sometimes in the morning.
It worked out just fine. I enjoyed nursing my daughter just as much as I enjoyed nursing my son. Breastfeeding makes newborn motherhood SO MUCH EASIER in my opinion. To me it seemed to cure everything for babies; tiredness, hunger, comfort, if they hurt themselves and I nursed them, they IMMEDIATELY stopped crying. I was actually astounded at the powers of nursing. I even wondered why some mothers didn't even try to breastfeed. It's definitely worth trying, and even continuing for at least a year.
If I have another baby, I will definitely breastfeed again, and I look forward to the special bond that is created by doing so. Breastfeeding my first two children was one of the most special and awe-inspiring times in my life. Their sweet little eyes looking up at you with such trust and love.
Other mothers sharing their breastfeeding story:
Caramel Chica: Breastfeeding the Second Time Around
Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Reasons why breastfeeding is usually easier the second time around.Takisha:
Takisha: Lessons Learned