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Today's Drive - Extended Breastfeeding

My 3 year old asked me Saturday before leaving to Latch and Link,

"Mommie, do other babies like the smell and taste of boobies?"

I looked at her with a huge smile and said,

"Olivia, of course!"

Oh she went away dancing and chattering little squeaks of happiness that children do when they are excited!

I've been breastfeeding continuously WITHOUT stopping for about 22 years.

Everyone knows the benefits of breastfeeding, but not much thought goes into the benefits of extended breastfeeding.

My children's average weaning age is from 4-6 years. You may think that's a long time, but by the age of 3 they are only nursing 1 time a day and only for a minute or two. If your nursing and you need to tend to something else, you can tell your child you need to get up and the child is old enough to understand, unlike a newborn.

Rich communication comes to mind when thinking of extended breastfeeding. Every afternoon for 22 years I have laid down on the bed and have read children's books and great literary classics to the children on my breast. 2 year olds have sat happily nursing or clasping my breast while listening to Shakespeare and 17 year olds have sat contentedly listening to Beatrix Potter.

After the little ones would fall asleep, this afternoon time would serve as an opportunity for the older ones and I to talk about life, their friends, their personal readings, their feelings, etc...

My oldest son said to me, (he says quite often, 😊)

"Mom, I don't care what anybody says! I had the best childhood! Books, boobs and bed!"

Haha...that's not all we did! We did do math and English and they self-directed their history and science. Supplemented with 50 books EOW from the library! I can't think of a better upbringing for a child!

Bekah who is 18 and recently graduated from homeschool said to me just yesterday.

"Mom can you get some Hank the Cowdog audio books...I MISS THEM SO!"

And then "HER" suggestion was that we all lay in bed and listen together.

Listen to the audio books she listened to when she was a child, listen to the windchimes hanging from my window, feeling the wind caress our bodies. ALL the while an almost 4 year old will be on the breast, curled next to a 12 year and a 7 year old and an 18 year old and if Matt gets home early enough, he is sure to join in too!

Extended breastfeeding cultivates and enriches learning skills, language skills, boosts immune system, promotes sibling relationships, and best of all it opens our heart to love another human being! ❤