To Wean or Not to Wean…That is the Question
Is it the best time?
The American Pediatric Association recommends breastfeeding for at least the first year of your child’s life and the World Health Organization recommends at least 2 years. That’s because breast milk boosts immunity, increases IQ, wards of diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s later in life, protects your child against obesity and a host of other amazing benefits. Do what you can to get the support necessary to breastfeed your baby! It really does make a difference.
Are you ready?
It’s your body and your choice. If you’re ready to wean, that is an important consideration. Just be sure you address the reasons you’re feeling ready to wean. Are you uncomfortable with breastfeeding an older baby? Is baby’s latch not working? Are you not getting enough sleep? Are you not getting enough nutrients? If any of these are factors in wanting to wean, address the underlying issue first to see if it may affect how you feel before weaning.
Is baby ready?
Baby’s are on their own timelines when it comes to weaning. Some make clear they’re done with breastfeeding as soon as they can walk, while others want and need to breastfeed well into toddlerhood.
Are your family and friends ready?…oh wait…
Unfortunately, we still live in a time when family and friends think that if your choice to provide the healthiest, most nourishing food on earth to your baby makes them uncomfortable they get a say in how long you continue to do it. They don’t. The pressure you may feel to live up to expectations from friends and family, though, is very real. Remind yourself that your decision to breastfeed is what’s best for your baby and that doing it openly, publicly, and without shame paves the way for other moms to do the same.