Breastfeeding a toddler

Breast feeding: lessons from my experience

Breast feeding is probably one of the most fulfilling thing about motherhood. However, it was something that I never planned to do for long. When I was pregnant, my plan was to breast feed my unborn baby for only 3 months. Just like my mom did for all her children. I repeat, all her children!

Breast feeding, nutrients and your relationships

But of course, my mom would not hear of it. So to be safe, I decided to breastfeed Olanna for 9 months but when she was 5 months old, I found out that she was lactose intolerant. Basically, this meant she could not take formula or cow milk.

My pediatrician advised that I give her soy milk and breastfeed her for as long as I possibly could, to ensure that she gets the necessary vitamins. So, like the amazing mommy I am, I decided that I will breastfeed her until she was 12 months old. This did not sit well with my then-partner who believed that I was babying our baby! Can you believe that?(A story for another day). To please him, I decided that I will breastfeed her for 9 months like I had previously wanted to.

Breast feeding, weight loss and your immune system

But when I was just about to go against my pediatrician’s advise and my mom’s wishes, I noticed something totally amazing happening to my body. The pregnancy fat was just melting off my body. I was finally losing that stubborn pregnancy weight that had completely refused to go away. As it turns out, breastfeeding is the best weight loss pill ever! And I for one, was not pass on an opportunity to lose extra weight. Read more about my weight loss journey here.
 
So I continued to breastfeed my daughter. 9 months turned into 12 months then into 15 months and then we were at 24 months. It was time to get off the weight loss pill. It was making me sickly skinny and compromising my immune system. I was getting allergy attacks front, right and center.

Weaning her off

I tried everything to wean her off. I traveled for long periods of time. I put hot chilli on my breast (ouch!). I tried pleading and telling her that nyonyo (breast) is dirty but nothing worked. Then one day, I just went cold turkey, told her no and stuck with it. She cried all through the night for 2 consecutive nights. By the third night, she had gotten the message, and she would say ‘mommy, no nyonyo!’ while waving her finger.
Planning to breast feed your baby? My advice for new moms, be easy on yourself, enjoy the bonding time and the weight loss, listen to your body and do not let anyone dictate what you do with your body for your child.

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