For a non-mother, it is hard to genuinely simulate the feeling of knowing what it is like to experience what the woman who has children does. However, I believe there needs to be some exposure on the more nurturing aspects of society, besides beauty, exercise and body image.
Given that Sunday was Mother’s Day and we are on our way to Mother’s Day for French and Spanish speaking nations, it would be appropriate to delve into one of the more taboo subjects, as far as other countries are concerned.
As small as Sint Maarten is, there is a very progressive view on breastfeeding and childcare in general. Thus, armed with a question, I took to Facebook and asked some mothers what they thought.
Would you breastfeed your child past a year? Why, or why not? Answers needed.
Here are the responses:
Saving on Formula: Yes, I just passed the one-year mark. My babies still drank milk after they turned one. And if I still got them [breasts] hey, why not. I'm not going to spend $20 a week to buy formula. Plus it gives you bonding time. Also, though they have teeth, they can't actually bite while nursing because of the position their mouth is in. I have been bitten a couple times but it isn’t that bad. My first child I only breastfed for a month and then switched to formula. So, the second one, I really wanted to keep with it. The baby I breastfed is a lot more clingy to me than my first. Other than that, I haven't noticed any big differences. My breastfed baby completely refuses a bottle or pacifier; guess it is too hard.
Late Bloomer: Unfortunately my milk came in late and then stopped after a month. But if I could have, I would have. It's best for both mommy and baby. Mommy loses baby fat in the process and baby gets all nutrients and vitamins from the breast milk. It's living proof.
Mixing it Up: I’m still breastfeeding and my baby is one year and five months. She has teeth and it is not an issue, also she takes solids. I don’t feel there is a certain age to stop feeding. I kind of just gauged my kids and went on their demands for it. Eventually, they want it less and less. For the first that was about two years and change. The second is still very much in love with my boobies.
Determined Mommy: My baby couldn't latch on to my nipples. I tried nipple shields and different positions. The nurses at the hospital pinched my breasts so hard they turned blue, but nothing worked. So, I pumped and because I did not get enough milk, my boy alternated between breast milk and formula when I didn't have enough breast milk. He did this until he was about seven weeks, when I stopped producing milk. After that was only formula – the Frisian Flag kind because it wasn't so sugary as the others.
Going with the Flow: Yes, it's healthy for the child and cheaper than buying formula! Plus your baby smells better (just my opinion). I did up to two years, but he stopped on his own.
Still Going Strong: I supplement. I mostly breastfeed, but sometimes if I notice after I breastfeed she is still fussy or if I leave her with someone and I haven't pumped, I will leave her a bottle. People in Sint Maarten aren't as sensitive about breastfeeding in public like they are in the States, but I have encountered people who have told me that it makes them uncomfortable. I'm planning to breastfeed for as long as she wants to.
Switched to Formula: For me, I can’t really say I didn't produce enough milk, so I had to switch to formula after about two months, so I can’t say how long I would, but I imagine as long as I felt he needed it.
Breast Bond: I did it for two years and I don't regret a thing! Best thing to do if you can. He never got sick and my bond with him is amazing. And yes it did save a lot of money.
Working Mom: I would breastfeed the recommended six months, maybe up to a year if possible but not any longer. Because I had to return to work when my daughter was two months old, it became impossible to continue producing milk. This is my personal opinion, because children at six months are able to eat solids.
Refined Tastes: Growing up fast: I did for two years only because he did not drink any other milk.
Growing up Fast: I breastfed until my son refused to take my breast milk when he was nine months, then I stopped. He preferred solid foods.
Double Time: My eldest is three years and four months. He still loves it. It's very comforting for him when he's tired, in pain, sad or sick, or just before I have to leave him to go to work. I think it also boosts his immune system, as he's hardly ever sick. I also think it helps with sibling rivalry that he's also “allowed” to nurse and it's not just for the baby. And the baby, who is now 10 months, hasn't had to work for one minute of his life to get enough milk because big brother did the “work”.
Night-time Nursing: My second child just made a year and I do night feedings. It's the best food for them and makes night time a lot easier, the bonding is important as well!
These were real comments written by real women, but I chose not to use their real names, so I could maintain a level of anonymity for them. If you would like to add your own comments and/or share your experience, or if you have a question you’d like to ask other moms, don’t be afraid to reach out to us, we’d love to hear from you!