Wednesday, July 7, 2010

nursing conversations

family friend at a recent gathering: You're still nursing there, Mama?!
me, nursing Zoralee under a blanket: Yep.
friend: [semi-disapproving silence]

I didn't bother explaining that I'm in no hurry to lose our precious bonding time or that I'm happy Zoralee's still getting good antibodies, or that I think it's weird that Americans are uniquely concerned about what we call "extended" nursing, though a lot of the world considers it normal to let a child wean naturally anytime between 18 months and three years. I didn't say anything more. Nope. I just sat there feeling like part of a really cool club of informed people who do things the way they think is best, despite other people's opinions. Because, honestly, I haven't gotten much grief up to this point, and she's a really nice lady.

I do wish, however, that I would have thought to tell her about the following recurring conversations I get to have with my little nursling. But maybe it wouldn't have helped my cause, since a common line I hear among Hurry-Up-And-Quit-Nursing proponents is that "If a kid can ask for milk, they're too old for it." And of course, to that I say, "hogwash." If you had your baby peeing in the toilet at three weeks of age, you can lecture me on nursing. Shazaaam!

Okay, here are the best conversations:

1.    Zoralee: Milk, milk, milk, milk!
       me: You want some milk?
       Zoralee: oh-kaaaay!

2.    Zoralee: Milk, milk, milk, milk!
       me: Okay, let's have milk.
       Zoralee: Good boy, Mama! Good boy, Mama! Good boy!

3.    Zoralee, reaching into my shirt: Come on, boobie. Come on, boobie. Come on, boobie.

P.S. You guys know I'm not judging those who nurse for three months or six - or none at all, if they can't! There are a lot of factors to consider, especially nowadays when we have a choice about it. My point here is that I like to see mothers (and be one myself) making decisions based on knowledge/insight rather than public opinion, especially modern-day public opinion.

The End.


Anonymous said...

Lori lori lori! So proud of you. I nursed Chloe for 18 months and it was so good for her and me. Then she was just done and didn't ask for it anymore. Plus seriously she almost was talking out of the womb can you imagine if I didn't nurse because she asked? Sheesh. Way to keep trucking my friend. Every one has an opinion, same as everyone has boogers in their noses...

Rachel Clear said...

This is one of my very favorite posts EVER of yours!! I love the line, "If you had your baby peeing in a toilet at 3 weeks, you can lecture me on nursing. Shazaam!" That was awesome, and so NOT you, which is what makes it awesome. It's awesome to see you act so confidently on something you feel passionate about, because I know that at heart, you are a people pleaser and it isn't easy to do things that you know others will scoff at. I mean, it just isn't. So the fact that you DO it because you truly believe it's best, and you don't let others thoughts stop you is what I think is so damn admirable.


I love the Zor quotes too. I think there should be more of those in this blog, especially now that she's putting sentences together!

Rachel Clear said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luke and Daphne said...

I always think it is interesting peoples takes on nursing. Some cultures only nurse on one side, others until they are 5 years old, some think that Mama's milk is not enough to sustain life past a certain age (say 3-4 months). Even others say that nursing promotes: waking at night time, over-attachment to parents, or my least favorite-that it is the Mama's emotional problem not wanting the child to grow up. Very interesting.

But now the blessings! That the skin-to-skin contact creates folds in the brain that help the child develop, and the eye-to-eye contact teaches the child to comunicate, That nursing can delay or prevent alltogether disease in the colon, it promotes good bacteria in the intestines that stay there for the childs entire life, etc... And that is just the child!
The Mama benefits with a lower rate of breast cancer. Also, when the relaxin hormone is produced, over time, it actually becomes an automatic behavior to the mother. Studies have shown the longer a women nurses, the more relaxed she will be in stressful situations in the future. Maybe this is God's way of helping Mama's with bigger families!

Keep on and smile! Can you imagine if you ever decided to ask a women giving a bottle if she was still using formula!?! What a hoot!

Luke and Daphne said...

One side note. You may regret teaching her the word "Booby". My kids both looked at another mom at some point and pointed and said "Milk". BUT, if they knew the word booby, I would have been mortified!

Amy said...

I love this post! (Obviously I'm a little behind on my reading lately.) Good for you for trusting your mama instincts about matter what anyone says (or doesn't say) to you!

kranberrys said...

HAH! Love the "come on boobie" that's my favorite... I wished I could have nursed longer...they all quit on me around 6-8 months =( As long as she's not nursing at graduation I'll never look at you weird... ;)