When I said five years ago that I will breastfeed my son, I always thought that I'd stop when he turns a year old or two. However, sometimes some things do not really go as planned. So here I am, 5 years later and he still does it. A lot of people are surprised when they ask what milk does my son drink and I'd say, "my milk". I've heard reactions like, "What? You still have milk?" or "When do you plan to stop?" Most of the time I just shrug these comments off. Some days I even ask myself why I continue doing this.
So what is it like breastfeeding a 5-year old? You won't see my son attached to my breasts all the time nor will you see me whip it out in public like I used to. Kids his age eat a lot, and I mean A LOT so he gets most of nutrients from solid food with my milk as a supplement. For kids who are still breastfed over 24 months, they are able to get 30% of their caloric needs from breastmilk. It's a myth that it no longer has value when the child is older. Antibodies are still passed on to the child through the mother's milk and these help strengthen their immune system.
There are only a few times when my son would ask to nurse.
Breastfeeding is not just about nourishing a child's body but a child's emotional well-being. As for me, it is my way of comforting my child just like any parent would. Nothing compares to the feeling of being there, holding your child in your arms and him looking back at you with so much love. Each time I nurse I am reminded of why I am still doing this. For every challenges I encountered and overcame in my breastfeeding journey, this is the best reward yet. Soon he'll wean off and he will, when he's ready.
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