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Breast/Chest Feeding After a Year

I breastfed my son until he was 33 months old! Woah. Yes, I pat myself on the back for this feat, as you should for any amount of time breastfeeding, because breastfeeding is hard work! I would be lying to you if I said I loved every minute of my breastfeeding journey, especially at the end. I want that to be clear because I had many moments where I was ready to stop, and that happens for lactating parents at all different times of the journey.

I thought after a year we would be done. Maybe it was just me as a new mom, but I totally thought that when you brought your newborn home they just did things like sleep through the night, so naturally I had a different idea about the end of breastfeeding. I thought that he would just wake up one morning and say “Hey mom, pour me some coffee, I like it black." That is not what all. As I started doing research on it, it turns out kids getting human milk don't likely wean themselves (scientifically) until about 18 months old. WOAH. Talk about changing your expectations on breastfeeding.

We all have different goals in mind when it comes to how long we want to breast/chest feed our babies for, but if your goal is over a year there are some things to be prepared for.

  • Your kid can get a little handsy when they get hungry

  • People will ask you daily when you are going to stop breast/chest feeding

  • In public, people will stare more than when your child was an infant

  • Your pediatrician may get judgey along with other parents and friends/family

  • Your child will likely still want to nurse to sleep (you will miss this when it is no longer their kryptonite)

  • You will be surprised about how often you say "stop playing with my nipples"

The WHO says there are benefits of breast/chest feeding after 1 year old, so keep it going if you are ok with it and if your child continues to be interested in it. There are benefits and human milk is ALWAYS changing its makeup to meet the needs of your kid, it is phenomenal. They have even done studies on COVID through looking at lactating people's milk, read about it here.



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