On Friday I went to a class on breastfeeding and weaning the toddler. "The toddler" came along, and ate everybody's snacks, thus proving how very well he is doing on solid food.
Now I love the breastfeeding center where this class was held--my initial experiences there made all the difference in our "nursing relationship"--but I left this class feeling annoyed and a little bit guilty.
Despite the drama of this post, I did not, in fact, wean. We now nurse twice a day--morning and night--and plan to continue to nurse for at least the next six months, somewhat to the dismay of Abba, who is convinced that the fact that he was weaned at 9 months made him the strong independent man that he is today.
I'm proud of the fact that Ive made it this far, and happy for the benefits I've been able to offer my baby. I'm also proud of the fact that, with some prodding, I've been helping him transition from babyhood to childhood by introducing three meals and two nutritious snacks into his daily routine.
So I walk in, expecting to find a room full of women who are heeding the APA's recommendation to nurse until 12 months. But instead, these women who are just now beginning to think about weaning are nursing their two year old children FIVE OR SIX times a day.
What more, the lactation consultant--a woman I trust and respect--then went on to say that children need--NEED--breast milk until at least 2 years. And that--from an immunological and nutritional perspective--cow milk just doesn't cut it.
Okay, to be fair, she said this to assuage the fears of those of us who were afraid that they were continuing to nurse for our own selfish reasons. But still, I'm dumfounded. To find out that more than most is not enough? Or just barely enough?
I guess that's what happens when become part of a "hard core" minority. You find out that what made you a hard-core extremist in one group is just the price of entry in another.
As much as support groups can be great, I think I'll forgo the peer support this time. I'll just go back to being a solitary extended breast feeder, proud of my accomplishments and happy with a happy medium.