Note from Naomi: Today's post is an interview with Laura from Life With Baby Kicks about her experience of continuing to breastfeed beyond the average age of weaning. Make sure you check out her blog over at Life With Baby Kicks.
How old is your child?
What would you consider to be, 'extended breastfeeding'?
Anything over 12 months.
If you had to choose one word to describe your experience of extended breastfeeding, what would it be?
Why did you decide to continue breastfeeding beyond the UK average of 6 months?
I always had a goal of a year in mind after breastfeeding until 11 months with my eldest, we got to a year and it was just easy so I carried on. And on. Not it's not really so much of a choice as a demand.
Has extended breastfeeding affected your relationship with your partner?
Not at all, he sometimes thinks we should wean him off but doesn't complain too much during the night feeds.
Has extended breastfeeding affected your relationship with any other children you have?
My eldest understands that the "Baby" needs feeding and is non-plussed by it, occasionally he said he wanted "mummy milk" but it was a short-lived phase.
Does it hurt when your child feeds and they have teeth?
The way they feed is so that their lips and tongue covers the teeth, it only hurts when he bites and he only bites on purpose....that hurts.
Does it really help you lose weight?
It did to begin with, but my love of cake has kept me steady at the "I still want to lose a bit" stage.
What do you do when you go to work; or your child is with a family member or babysitter and you're not around?
Now it doesn't matter, he eats plenty, drinks cows milk from a bottle. When he was younger I expressed milk and whoever had him had to battle with him to take it. I used to go out if he was asleep and pray he wouldn't wake up!
Do you have a set routine for breastfeeding (for example only at nap time or bed time) or do you still breastfeed 'on demand'?
I was very much on demand until fairly recently, now I only feed at nap time if I really have to and in the middle of the night. I'm trying to break the feed to sleep association, so bedtime is a no go for me!
Does extended breastfeeding affect your child's eating habits?
He still eats like a horse, though he is getting fussy. I think that is less to do with breastfeeding and more to do with watching his big brother refuse everything.= though.
Do you ever feel self-conscious about the fact you decided to extend breastfeeding when people ask you about it?
It was never a conscious decision, I just started feeding a newborn and haven't stopped yet. As its been a day by day change to me it seems as normal as you feeding a newborn. No one has said anything to me (other than about his teeth!)
There is a lot of people who think that it is strange to breastfeed beyond the first year (despite the world wide average being 2.5 years in age). How do you respond to these judgements?
Let them wash over me, I've not really been on the receiving end to be honest.
When do you think you will stop breastfeeding?
I'm done now, I'm ready for my body back. He just isn't ready to give it back. I'm hoping as he starts sleeping through the night he naturally stops but until then it's just a go with the flow kind of attitude.
Would you do it again?
In a heartbeat.