While I know extended breastfeeding is not for everyone, I couldn't imagine anything else. Now nine months, our little guy is getting some teeth. He got his first just two weeks ago, and the second one came through a few days later. Now, I can see the top two are ready to come through. He really is handling it pretty well. Thanks to his Inspired by Finn baltic amber teething necklace, we barely noticed - until the little razors were coming through! We were nursing and he was almost done when he clenched down. (Thinking back - his gums were probably very tender.) BUT, Yowzers!!!!!! I didn't realize until later - that he had actually put a very small slice in the underside of my nipple. It probably would have healed much faster - but I had to work for a few days - and the pumping really irritated it. Now - I noticed the upper two front teeth - are coming down under the gum tissue - and today, he did it again. So I am anticipating some new razors pretty soon.
This started me thinking.... I know that there are many mothers out there who wouldn't consider even continuing to nurse through this. Fortunately, there are many mothers who consider this just another stage of nursing. Just like the "learning to latch" stage, or the "cluster feeding marathon" stages. We accept these different stages as part of the game; par for course.
For us, nursing is not just optimal nutrition, it is part of mothering. There are moms, myself obviously included, out there who view nursing as part of nurturing a growing child, a continuation of what started in the womb.
For us, it is another tool in our mommy tool box. It has many uses. For which, my tool box, would not be complete - without it. Obviously - the first is it's nutritional value. (And all of the intended benefits for their growing body.) It also a great "boo-boo fixer," a "tantrum tamer," and a "courage booster." It helps sick babies stay hydrated, get needed rest & get better sooner. (Oh - and not to mention - get sick less often.) It is a wonderful connection for mommies & their babies. For each of my children, when I had to return to work, it was the one thing I could count on to keep us close - despite our separation. The first thing they wanted to do when I got home.
There are thousands of reasons (yes - thousands) I choose to breastfeed for at least two years. I can not list them all. Everyday I encounter something that makes me think, "This, I know I have done right." And I couldn't imagine anything else!