Now that Cassidy is 12 months, everyone keeps asking me when I am going to stop breastfeeding her. Breast milk or formula is supposed to be their main source of nutrition until 12 months, meaning they need a good amount until 12 months, and then they can start being weaned. Well we are at that point now. And it really snuck up on me. I knew it was coming up soon, but then all of a sudden it was here, she is 1! How did that happen??
With Alyssa I felt pressure to stop at 12 months. People know they are supposed to breastfeed for 12 months but after that I just assumed I should stop, mainly because that’s what I was told. I started weaning her at 12 months and by 14 months we were done. After I weaned her I learned of so many moms who did continue on nursing until 18 months or a little longer. And the World Health Organization recommends 2 years! After reading that I kind of felt like I weaned Alyssa too early. Why did I stop just because I felt like that’s what society wanted me to do? Well our society at least. Now don’t get me wrong, I would not want to nurse well into the toddler years, but I don’t judge moms who do. To each their own. Breastfeeding just takes a huge toll on my body and I need to give it a break before I get pregnant again (God willing). I also, personally, can not get pregnant while nursing. I did not get my cycle back until Alyssa was weaned to 1 feeding a day. Not complaining there!
So with Cassidy, I don’t feel the pressure to wean her right at 1 year. My views on breastfeeding haven’t changed, I am still a huge pro breastfeeder. But I guess whats changed is that I don’t care what others around me think. I am much more laid back in every sense with my second child. I use a nursing cover in public but if I am in my own car nursing her in a parking lot, you better not look in my windows unless you want to see some boob. If I stop nursing, I need to give cows milk instead. But cows milk is still breastmilk, just from a cow. So if I could continue giving her my breastmilk, her own species, why not? And I know some people say “well just pump it out and give it to them in a sippy cup after 1”. Yeah well those people have clearly never pumped. It is a pain in the butt to pump! Nursing directly is just SO easy and convenient. There is nothing convenient about pumping.
So where am I at now and where will I go from here?
I still nurse Cassidy 5 times a day and pump in the mornings. I have almost cut out the pumping. I have to do it slowly because I have issues with mastitis on one side. Mastitis is not fun, at all, so I really have to wean slowly and let my body fully adjust before cutting another feeding. I hope to get Cassidy down to just morning, night, and 1 feeding during the day in the next month. I will wait at least 2 weeks between dropping feedings. That will still be 3 times a day and she will be 13 months old then. From there, I would like to get it down to just morning and night. After that, I don’t have any further plans. I do foresee her being completely weaned by 18 months. It may be 16, it may be 19, we’ll see how it goes. But for now…I love it, she loves it and at 12 months she is still a baby (especially since the little stinker refuses to walk).