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Breastfeeding Through The Toddler Years and Beyond

Why do babies love breast milk and why is it hard to wean a fully breastfed child? My 6-years-old clued me in.
Mishca turned six last May, but she still wants to drink mommy’s milk. When my milk production is particularly abundant and the baby has had his fill, I let her have some. It never fails to bring a twinkle in her eyes.

After drinking from me one morning, she hurried to the dining room, her mouth still filled with milk. She came in a few minutes later with a cup in hand.
“I want to show you this,” she beamed.
Inside the cup was my freshly expressed milk.

She was delighted at how plenty she had gotten.
“It tastes like melted Chupachups (lollipop)!” she enthused.
Having been formula fed as a baby and being lactose intolerant all my life, I will never really understand her passion for breast milk, but I am happy that she is obsessed with something that’s good for her.

Some of our friends tried to convince me to stop nursing when Mishca turned one. They coached me well. Put coffee, chilli or something bitter on nipples. Well, it did not work for us. Someone told me she drew a caricature on her chest to scare the daylight out of her child. It worked for her. I didn’t dare.
A lot of people think it strange that I continued to nurse her throughout the toddler years. It was not a deliberate decision. I just could not say no.
Instead of ridiculing me, I am glad her pediatrician applauded when I continued way beyond the prescribed age for breastfeeding. Mishca was only weaned at four when I got pregnant and she was old enough to understand that she had to stop.
In hindsight, I think her demand to nurse was justified.
I believe the milk helped detoxify her from the heavy metals and preservatives in the 29 vaccine shots she received before age 2.
I also think that the antioxidants in breast milk helped heal the atopic dermatitis that made her cheeks bleed at 9 months. A dermatologist said this was a life long condition but it cleared up on its own at 18 months, even if we hardly used the steroidal ointment prescribed to her.
My milk kept her platelets high when she had dengue at 4. The wise doctor who attended to her told me to nurse her round the clock. When she was admitted to the hospital her platelet count was 105. It dipped to 104 before going up to 110. We were sent home after 3 days, while the child who was confined ahead of her had to stay on as his platelets continued to plummet.
Truly God works in mysterious ways. Let other people laugh and ridicule all they want. I am going to do what’s best for my child.
So my advice to new moms is continue nursing as long as time and circumstance permit. I have friends who continued to breastfeed even while pregnant with the next child and I salute their efforts. It is the best health investment you can make not just for your child but for you, too, as we now know that the risks of developing breast cancer goes down the longer you breastfeed.
written July 25, 2017. Thurs afternoon

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