Yes. I’m Still Breastfeeding. And Also, I’m Still Snarky.
I seriously cannot even tell you how many times I have been asked recently, “You’re still breastfeeding?” Yes. I’m still breastfeeding. I don’t intend to stop anytime soon, either. In fact, I’m willing to let T nurse until this time next year. Yep. He’ll be 18 months old then. If you keep saying it like that then I might let him go longer.
It’s not the question that bothers me.
If someone asked me, “Are you still breastfeeding?” I would excitedly tell them that, yes, I am still nursing… It’s going great… T has transitioned back and forth from breast to bottle to sippy cup flawlessly. He’s sleeping through the night most of the time (Hallelujah! I never thought I’d say that!). We’ve started solids. He’s really enjoying trying new foods.
If someone asked me, “Are you still breastfeeding?” I would go on and on about how wonderful the experience of exclusively breastfeeding T for the first six months of his life was, even though it was truly exhausting at times, and then I would go on and on about how wonderful the experience of continuing to breastfeed T is. It really is a wonderful and rewarding experience. I love nursing him when I get home from work and he is so happy to see me… he snuggles in my lap and nurses and pulls at my face. Lately he tries to get my glasses off and giggles when he succeeds… which makes for a milky mess, but it’s pretty funny so I usually let it slide with just a little “no, no… be gentle,” for posterity’s sake.
But people don’t usually ask that question. Instead, they make a statement using the inflection of a question. They also tend to make this statement with a tone of voice that I don’t care for. “You’re still breastfeeding?” or worse, “You’re still breastfeeding?” Yep. I sure am.
If you were in second grade and you used that tone of voice with me, I’d take away your recess.
I’m not sure why the standard weaning age of the spectators of my life is 6 months… it seems to me that by 6 months breastfeeding is super-easy. At least in our case. If I ever thought of giving up, it would have been in those first three months when exhaustion and sleep-deprivation reigned supreme. Now this whole “main source of nourishment” gig is pretty sweet. It gives me an excuse to eat pie. I like pie. Plus, if I gave up breastfeeding now, I’d still have to buy formula for the next 6 months. That would cut my savings in half.
I understand that it is logical for some people to wean around 6 months– between work and family obligations, you’re usually away from your baby more by this time, so it makes sense that formula would be the more convenient option.
What I don’t understand is why everyone seems to think a baby older than 6 months doesn’t have any need for breast milk. I mean, if you fed your baby formula, you would continue to do so until she turned one. Then you’d introduce cow’s milk. Why is breast milk any different?
Who decided that all babies should be weaned at 6 months of age? Does nursing my baby past 6 months or past a year mean I’m too attached to my baby? Or that he’ll never learn to be comforted or cope without me? Or that I’m a psycho mom?
(Side-note: I am a psycho mom… but not because I’m still nursing my 6-month old. I am a psycho mom because I wholeheartedly believe that T will honor my request that he not date. Until I’m dead.)
So, to answer your question… Yes. I’m still breastfeeding.