Yep, I've been outted, and in the mother's lounge of all places. I am officially the freaky lady with her ginormous nursing one year old. All around me babies younger, or of the same age, have weaned and are simply napping on their mother's laps. My little one squirms and squeals and grabs at my shirt trying to catch a bite of my nipple through my shirt.
A mother looks confused at me as I open my blouse. "How long are you going to nurse?" She asks seriously. "Do you really want the answer to that question?" I joke, thinking she's already heard that I am a nutjob that nurses 10 year olds. "Is it a one sentence response or is it an essay?" she volleys back. I'm worried. What do I say, do I go with seriousness and start quoting league or Dr. Sears. Nope I go from the heart. "Well, I nursed Justin until he was three. I plan to nurse Tyler while both of us are still okay with it." Now she looks nervous, and the conversation lulls. Awkward. Then I stumble on about how much I appreciated nursing when Justin was a toddler. It was seriously the only time when I enjoyed him. I could have an awful day with Justin and when he would nurse, he would calm down, cuddle, my hormones would be released and I loved him once again. I think it is as nature intended it. I don't know how mothers don't hit their children when they have non-nursing toddlers.
I think I spoke from the heart but I'm never sure which response is best: facts or feelings. And this mother is hard to read. She didn't look like she thought I was freak, but she may be the type to go home and tell her husband about the loony woman nursing her 6 toothed giant walking child in the mother's lounge.
Did you know that the world average of breastfeeding is 4.2 years? And the US is included in the average. Even mothers who nurse one time in the hospital are counted, thus the US is bringing down that average. Pitiful I know. So for those who are curious about extended breastfeeding and it's benefits I will leave you with this quote from this article in Mothering.
"The World Health Organization recommends that children be breastfed for up to two years and beyond, as do UNICEF and the Canadian Paediatric Society.1-3 The American Academy of Pediatrics advises breastfeeding for at least one year, and thereafter for as long as both mother and child desire it.4 In fact, in many parts of the world, it is normal to breastfeed for two or three years or even longer.5"
Then I will direct you to Mothering.com, LLLI.org and Mothering Your Nursing Toddler by Norma Jane Bumgarner. Do your own damn research. I'm not some freak show at the circus you can prod and pose mean questions to.
More freaky benefits of Breast milk in particular...
I love to use breast milk for bug bites. When I have a mosquito bite I go straight for my breast.
Breast milk can heal mild diaper rash, goopy eyes, goopy noses, etc.
Breast milk is soothing for a Strepth Throat. I know this from personal experience. And your damn right, I'd do it again.
If I remember correctly it is sterile and antibacterial. It's also good for ear and eye infections. It's made specifically for your baby, so why wouldn't it be the best medicine for them? Makes perfect sense to me, and I'm a brilliant outted freak show nursing mother. Now if you can't trust me, who can you trust?