Photography: Roxana B Photography
Tank and Tee c /o: Deck and Oar
**Disclaimer: This post is for the breastfeeding mama's out there. It is not meant in anyway to shame any mother of any child. If you have chosen to not breastfeed that is a ok. If you have chosen to wean your baby after a year, wow you did an amazing thing for an entire year! If you are a pumping mother, I am beyond proud of you because pumping is hard work and very time consuming….because of that I have only done it four times ever, so I seriously applaud you. I actually applaud all mama's who are doing what is best for their babes! This is what I feel is best for Hudson, so this is our story!**
When Hudson and I first started our nursing journey I wasn't sure how long we would have a nursing relationship for. However, what was most important to me was making it ONE full year. I wanted to skip out on formula all together, save money, and beyond anything else, I so badly just wanted this nursing relationship and journey to keep going! During our first year I was asked many times "When are you going to stop nursing and give him a bottle?" Or "Don't you think its time for a bottle?" Also "Oh he has teeth now so time to stop nursing." With every comment I grew more and more confused. Why would we stop nursing??? So we didn't.
We made it one whole year! We definitely had our struggles, we had bumps, I had times where I told my husband with tears streaming down my face "I don't know if I can keep doing this but I don't want to give up." However, those hard times seemed to pass almost as quickly as they came and now here we are with no end near in sight. So now the questions are coming again..."He's a year old so why are you still nursing?", "Can't he just have cows milk now?" "When are you going to wean?"
I am grateful every day for our quiet moments together. Hudson always stares at me while we cuddle and he nurses and I love to touch his soft face and fluffy hair. I want to soak in every moment like this that we have because I don't know when it will be the last time.
For those who are wondering what the benefits are of nursing passed ONE year here are a few!
Nutritionally, breast milk in the second year provides 29% of energy requirement, 43% of protein requirements, 36% of calcium, 75% of vitamin A, 76% of folate, 94% of B12, and 60% of vitamin C requirements. Isn't that amazing!? I know that a common misconception is that after a year or even earlier, that breastmilk has no nutritional value. Well, that is simply not true!
How does breastfeeding benefit mom? The more consecutive months you nurse your child, the lower your risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Isn't that amazing?! Like we are talking in the ninety percentile if you nurse your baby after a year and more. This also adds up the more children you have and nurse for a certain amount of time. I find this fact to be so incredible. Nursing Hudson is not only benefiting him so much but it's also benefiting me and my own body.
Last but not absolutely not least. Hudson simply is no where near ready to wean from nursing. I know the day will come when he will be. I don't know if that will be next week, next month or in 6 months. I know my heart will break just a little when that last nursing session comes but I know it will be the right time for both of us. Right now nursing is not only how Hudson gets a lot of nutrients and protection it is also is main source of comfort. For me, I believe, it is best to wean when Hudson is ready to self wean and I can follow his lead.
So if you are a nursing mama and you are wondering if weaning at ONE has to happen then the answer is no! If you and your baby want to continue your nursing journey then nurse on mama, nurse on.