Nursing beyond a year

With my son, I had a heck of a time with nursing.  Part of it had to do with me not being mindful of how he was being bottlefed when he was not in my care.  His feedings were rigidly scheduled, and he received more in one sitting from the bottle than he would normally get while nursing.

To keep myself motivated, I kept setting targets for how long I would nurse.  What started as 3 months, turned to 6 months, and then 12.  By the time we hit 9 months the bottles won, and I was left to sort through my conflicting emotions regarding the experience and failure to meet my final target.
 

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I decided to take a more natural approach.  To keep a healthy perspective, I didn’t set any expectations or goals.  I decided to simply nurse when appropriate, and for as long as needed.

Now that my daughter is approaching her first birthday, I’m starting to get a bit uneasy as we chart into unknown territory.  I have been noticing that my usually confident manner is a bit shaky when people ask about when we are going to stop.  Even though I fully intended to nurse beyond a year all along, I have not been able to articulate clearly why I feel convicted to do so.  Whenever this happens, I know it is time to arm myself with knowledge. Fortunately, I purchased The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding for my lending library a while back.  I am finding it to be a wonderfully written book that encourages nursing, all while respecting the autonomy of women.  The other night when I was contemplating the issue at length, I picked up the book and turned to the chapters dealing with extended nursing and weaning to learn more. Benefits of extended nursing

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