I have a confession to make: I have a 17-month-old that I still breastfeed, and I can't remember a time anymore when I gave a damn what people think about it.
I'm looking at you, unnamed family member.
Anywho, there it is. I'm an extended breastfeeder. And while my fifteen-year-old self cringes at the thought, my mature, 27-year-old self (yeah, I recently turned 27...woot woot!) says, "Don't be a judgmental b, girl!"
I made this proclamation on Twitter the other day, and was met with a few responses. Of course, there are some lovely ladies I know who are in the same boat who tweeted something along the lines of, "Way to go, B!" in response. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are those I know are still breastfeeding also who said nothing for one reason or another, as well as those who either voiced or kept silent their disapproval for whatever reason. But the most discouraging response of all was the one woman who said, "Me too, but only because of (insert reason here), and we're going to wean soon, and I only do it (x amount) per day and NEVER in public."
I don't mean at all to belittle her, as I'm proud to say I know her and that she is still giving her little one what's best for him in their particular situation. I just felt sad that we live in a society where you automatically feel the need to take the defensive for something as healthy and natural as breastfeeding.
Lord, have mercy. Who ever would've thought when I begrudgingly posted that I was going to breastfeed since it was the best thing but that I didn't "want" to, that I'd turn into such a lactivist?!
Anyhow, this is my way of standing in support of all those who breastfeed, whether for six months, or nine months, or a year or longer. In fact, I may very well continue to nurse Ava until she's two, as I'm allowing her to self-wean, and she's still very much attached to nursing. It's not hurting her, her physical and emotional development are exceptional and she's as healthy as can be, and mama has been to the gym a total of three times (for yoga class!) in the past two years, and weighs less than before I was pregnant. I'm really in no hurry to stop :)
So if you're feeling like you're alone in breastfeeding a toddler, or ashamed by it, DON'T! I respect you! I admire you! Me, your pediatrician, your baby, the health care system of the US - we all thank you!