Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I've Been Doing it over 5 Years Straight....

It's no known secret that I am a long term nursing momma

I've nursed 6 kids and suffered with  every issue you can imagine that comes with nursing (except thrush)
Bleeding nipples, check
Cracked nipples, check
Engorgement for weeks, check
Tender to touch, check
Baby refusing one side, check
Latching issues, check
Blocked duct, check
Sick with flu, check..oh wait breast issues

Point is...Ive been sick as a dog, bone tired, multiple children to care for, but I still KNEW the benefits of how great it was to nurse my babes

I have had weeks were my nipples were cracked and healing.  You the heck am I supposed to heal my nipple if he nurses on a million times a day.  It does trust me

The pain sometimes makes you see stars, but in the end after things heal it's heaven bliss 

I will sometimes sit there in the rocker staring at this beautiful child nursing.  Her little hand will reach up to play with my hair and twirl it.  Her little eyes glaze over with sleepiness and I watch her sleep and eat.  My heart swells each time.  Yes, 5 years later I still swoon!!!

I've been nursing for over 5 years straight since September 26th.  I nursed #4 through #5 preg and then the 2 kids together.  Then I nursed #5 through #6 preg and the 2 together.  I am down to 1 baby now.  #6 turns 18m on Feb 8th and I'm not sure he is going to be weaning anytime soon.....I pray he doesn't.

The benefits outweigh the cons.

I've run across a few blogs in the past that talk about benefits

If you are on the fence about nursing....hopefully reading other blogs with nursing momma's or talking with friends will encourage you to try.  There is a huge network of women out there to help you with all your questions and problems.  Just don't be afraid to ask!!!

Thanks to Crunchy Farm Baby for sharing this

For those of you who are still breastfeeding your toddler or thinking about extended breastfeeding, here are some of the many benefits to your little one to be on mama milk as long as possible: 

~ Breast milk continues to provide rapidly growing toddlers with a great source of nutrition.  The fat and energy contents in breast milk cannot be matched in formulas or cereals found on store shelves.  As quickly as their little bodies are growing and changing and moving, breast milk is the best source of energy, vitamins, and nutrition for them!

~ Numerous studies have shown that disease and illness prevention is directly related to extended breastfeeding.  Breastfed toddlers have fewer illnesses, shorter duration when they do get sick, and an overall lower mortality rate.  Actually - some of the antibodies that are found in breast milk increase during the second year of a baby's life!  I can certainly attest to this - at 14 months, Charlie has never been sick, even when Daddy has brought a cold home from school more than once!

~ Children that are breastfed the longest show higher overall IQs than their peers who were formula fed or breastfed for a shorter duration.  With as much information as I know is being absorbed into Charlie's busy little mind, I'm very happy to know that my breast milk is helping with his intellectual development!

~ Despite social arguments that breastfeeding causes "attachment issues," quite the opposite is true.  Studies show that children who are breastfed into toddlerhood are more independent, have better social skills, and are better at coping with stressful situations.  At 14 months, most of the reason Charlie nurses throughout the day is for comfort.  It is a wonderful way for him to cope with pain or anger or frustration - it's a great bonding tool and the perfect way for me to meet his emotional needs.

Oh, did you think that there were only benefits for your baby?  Wrong!  Mamas benefit from extended breastfeeding too!  Breastfeeding has shown to protect against a myriad of diseases, including ovarian cancer, breast cancer, uterine cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and more!  

Want to learn more about the benefits of extended breastfeeding for mama and toddler?  Check out my favorite breastfeeding resource, Kelly Mom.


Erin said...

Thank you for posting this! I'm a "first-time mom" and my girl is only 3 months old so I haven't been breastfeeding that long, but I went through so much pain trying to get the correct latch, mastitis, cracked nipples, etc. and some days it was so hard to push through! But I am SO glad I did, it's one of the highlights of my day now!

Joanne said...

I have either been pregnant or nursing for almost 7 years now. I only stop breast feeding the youngest when I get pregnant (I get so sick when pregnant, it's not good for me to nurse). Right now Lucas is 13 months and still nurses 4 times a day... And I love every minute of it!

Joanne said...
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