Why I’m Unapologetically Breastfeeding My Toddler Into Her Twos

By |2018-11-18T20:19:49+00:00November 18th, 2018|Parenting After Loss, The First Year|1 Comment

You might not agree . . . but I honestly don’t care. I’m still breastfeeding my toddler — and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon.

Why I'm Unapologetically Breastfeeding My Toddler Into Her Twos

My rainbow baby is weeks away from turning two.

Besides the fact that I’m in complete denial about this, as evidenced by the fact that I refuse to plan her birthday party and I still answer “one and a half” whenever anyone asks how old she is … there’s one thing about her turning two that I am constantly made aware of:

I’m still breastfeeding my toddler.

There are generally two reactions I’ve found so far to this confession.

One is a complete hurrah — we made it two years!

The other is a very uncomfortable look, sometimes accompanied by, “Oh! So, you’ll be stopping soon then?”

Here’s the thing. I’m not stopping. Not anytime soon.

And I don’t feel like either a warrior or a martyr for it.

I nurse because I want to and she wants to, and it works for us.

I nurse because she keeps dropping on the percentiles, and has slow weight gain. I want her to have every bit of extra nutrition I can give her.

I nurse because the World Health Organization says it’s a good idea.

I nurse because, oh my goodness, I have waited and waited and waited for this, and I’m in no rush to end this special bond once and for all.

RELATED: A Letter to My Rainbow Baby

I nurse because it’s easier now. The first year was significantly harder, and honestly, this second year is like a bonus year.

I nurse because it calms both of us down, and creates a built-in pause in our busy days. It means she gets my one-on-one attention, and skin-to-skin time.

I nurse because I couldn’t breastfeed my adopted daughter and I really missed having this connection with her.

I nurse because I simply want to. And she wants to.

RELATED: Our Rainbow Baby is Our Last and It’s Giving Me All The Feels

Here’s what breastfeeding my toddler DOESN’T mean …

I’m not creating a dependent child — in fact, I’ve been able to leave her for several business trips, and things fall back into place when I get home.

I don’t do it to make a statement. How anyone else chooses to feed their baby is their business and not mine.

I don’t nurse because I’m lazy, thoughtless, or am creating a monster child who will one day be 16 still wanting to nurse.

It simply means I found a way to provide for the emotional and physical needs of my child in a way that makes sense for us both.

And one day, it won’t make sense anymore.

I’m dreading that day, but I know it’s coming. And I know that I will mourn the passing of this kind of relationship we share.

RELATED: Having a Baby After Loss: 7 Feelings that Might Catch You by Surprise

But then I’ll be able to look back and be thankful I didn’t let anyone’s opinions rob either of us of the time we had. The time I fought for. The time I almost didn’t get to experience again.

So yes. I’m still breastfeeding.

And I don’t plan to stop anytime soon.

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About the Author:

Rachel Lewis
Rachel Lewis is a foster, adoptive and birth mom. After a 5-year battle with secondary infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss, she now has three children in her arms, five children in heaven and a foster son in her heart. She now considers her family complete after the adoption of her second daughter and the birth of her rainbow baby. Rachel understands what it is like when building your family is just a little complicated, and is passionate about helping women feel heard and understood in their struggles. When she’s not chauffeuring her kids around or working on her upcoming book, you can find her shopping at Trader Joes, drinking coffee, or writing about her journey as a mom at The Lewis Note or as a contributor to Still Standing Magazine. You can get her free resource,  "Your BFF Guide to Miscarriage: 5 Ways to Comfort a Friend Through Pregnancy Loss" here. Connect with Rachel on Facebook, or join her private Facebook group Brave Mamas -- a support group for anyone who had to struggle to build their family.

One Comment

  1. Melissa November 21, 2018 at 11:07 am - Reply

    Yes to all of this!

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