Before I became a breastfeeding mom, I had no idea what extended breastfeeding even was. In case you are like me, extended breastfeeding is simply a term some use to describe nursing past the age of 1.
I never thought much about how long I would breastfeed before I became pregnant. Once I became pregnant I thought "Oh I'll breastfeed until baby is a year old" because that's what I had heard most often. The thought of nursing my baby past a year didn't occur to me. I just thought very few people did that. Once I joined La Leche League and became more immersed in the breastfeeding world, I realized that nursing past one is REALLY common.
Initially, when breastfeeding was incredibly difficult and painful, I thought I'd be lucky if I could make it to 6 months. As that mark approached and breastfeeding was finally going well, I thought, "Ok I can definitely make it to a year." Now at 9 months going strong, I really have no deadline on when I plan to stop breastfeeding my daughter. I get asked when I will stop nursing her all too frequently and I'm just not entirely sure why anyone cares. When I tell them I'm not sure when we will stop, they look at me like I've just told them I plan on giving her cyanide in a sippy cup.
Why do I need a deadline on something that is working great for both of us and it hugely beneficial for her? In fact, the World Health Organization actually recommends breastfeeding until the age of 2. My daughter is just 9 months, so 2 is a long way off, but for some reason people think I should be planning to wean her soon. Well sorry for ya, but that ain't happen'. She needs it, I love it (most of the time haha), so we are going to keep going until it no longer works for us both and I have no idea when that will be.
I almost feel like 'extended breastfeeding' shouldn't even be a term. Isn't is just breastfeeding no matter what age you do it at?
How long did you breastfeed your babies or how long do you plan to?