Yes, I'm still breastfeeding the twins. They are nearly 18 months old, and I'm still nursing. Extended breastfeeding is gaining more and more acceptance as time goes by, and I actually receive very few negative comments from well-meaning friends, aquaintances, and those in the medical profession. In fact, as I've been taking care of a few minor medical problems over the past two weeks and have had the opportunity to interact with various capable medical doctors, 100 percent of them have applauded my decision to continue breastfeeding this long. Truly, times are changing.
The twins have decreased their nursing sessions to only at night and right before they take their naps. During the middle-of-the night feedings, they often like to linger long after they have had their nutritional needs fulfilled. And sometimes, just sometimes, I need them to stop and try to get back to sleep. So....I've been trying to find a way to communicate to them that the session is completed. I've come up with...ready for this?... "All done." Ground-breaking, I know.
What's interesting is that they have learned, as, in the beginning, I'd unlatched them each time I said "All done", to unlatch themselves when the hear those words. It's actually an amazing thing to witness, that they will willingly finish their breastfeeding session just because I ask them to.
Last night, at about 3:00 in the morning, Joseph woke up for a feeding. After I knew he had had his fill, I said, "All done", and he released, rolled over, leaned his back against my chest and instantly went back to sleep. As I lay in the still of the night with my cheek against his soft hair, and my arm around his warm little body, I was so happy I'd made the decision to continue to breastfeed this long. It's a new experience for me, to be able to interact with my baby about the process and I'm finding it's a wonderful way to continue to bond into the toddler year. I can now understand why the world average for breastfeeding is 4.2 years. Why offer my babies another animal's milk when I can continue to provide nourishment and love in this manner myself, for many months to come? True, I can no longer nurse in public anymore, as the twins insist on playing with my shirt and pulling it as high up on my chest as possible, but for now, we are all going to continue this most intimate of mother/child interactions as long as we both feel comfortable.
Some say, "If a kid is old enough to ask for it, he's too old to breastfeed." I say, what a wonderful way to connect with your child by interacting and communicating about this special bond God has created for mothers and children. I say...bring it on.
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