When you are feeling overwhelmed by breastfeeding

My daughter has just turned two. Breastfeeding is still going strong here and we have no plans to stop yet. However, when your child turns two, you expect them to be more independent and breastfeed less. At least that was my expectation.

In January we were away visiting my sister. Believe me, my daughter was feeding much more than her 3 month old cousin! I started to feel overwhelmed but thought this was because we were away from home and she is missing daddy.

Once we returned home, to my surprise nothing changed.

I started to question whether this was normal or not. Was it normal to breastfeed so much at this age or was she just trying to get my attention? Was she feeding just because she was bored or was I not able to meet some of her needs and was she resorting to breastfeeding? For the first time in my breastfeeding career, I felt overwhelmed and tired about it.

Thanks to the internet, I turned to my online community.

I have learned that while some two year olds are happy to breastfeed just a few times during the day, some increase the time they spent at mama’s breast (especially around 2.5 years old as they go through a major development and they need the omega 3 in breastmilk). When I talked about this with our local LLL leader,she kindly brought Nursing Your Toddler to our next meeting. This book is great as it has a section about what to expect past infancy. Kellymom also has a good article about dealing with these “velcro days“.

I have recently read Veronika Robinson’s book, The Drinks are On Me (She is the editor of The Mother magazine). What she wrote really spoke to me.

Breastfeeding in toddlerhood can make the terrible twos, the terrific twos. Breastfeeding allows the child to have comfort during the time in their life when they are discovering they are actually a separate being to mother. They come and go, from us, the matrix, back and forward, back and forward. We provide them with so many things when we breastfeed. Security in a mother’s unconditionally loving arms, drinking liquid love, is something which lives within every cell of a child’s being, and journeys with them through the rest of their life.

Learning my daughter was just going through a stage; I wasn’t doing anything wrong and “this too shall pass” gave a such a relief to me that I started enjoying breastfeeding again. She went back to normal in a few weeks. This made me  realise that although she doesn’t look like a baby anymore, she is still my baby who may need to breastfeed quite frequently. Knowing what to expect made all the difference for me.

Isil writes about vegan cooking and attachment parenting at Veggie Way.

Author: API Blog

APtly Said, Formerly API Speaks launched in April of 2008 as part of Attachment Parenting International's larger effort to offer interactive content through their newly-redesigned web site: http://www.attachmentparenting.org. All contributors to APtly Said, as with so many of API's staff, are volunteers who donate their time and energy to promote Attachment Parenting world wide.

7 thoughts on “When you are feeling overwhelmed by breastfeeding”

  1. Hi Isil,
    Its Laura from TM yahoo group (who spoke to you about this very issue). Just wanted to say Phoebe is now doing this too. Feeding sometimes every hour (at 25 months). I’m learning to relax about it and just use it as quiet time but it is hard work at times!
    Just added your blog to my list. 🙂
    Laura x

  2. Thanks for writing this. My 19 month old sometimes breastfeeds more often than he did as a baby and I was wondering a little about it myself. It’s good to hear that it’s normal and it comes and goes 🙂

  3. Hello – found your blog via Laura’s blog. This post could have been written for me – my 27 month old is constantly asking for “moremilkmummy” just now. Reading this has made me feel better about the whole thing. Thanks very much – and you too Laura.

  4. Thank you for this post. My 23 month old is nursing every 2 hours, at the most. We have days when it’s been every hour! It’s seems to have started when she was around 20 months, so I hope it doesn’t last much longer!

  5. Hi Isil 🙂

    My husband and I are vegan and trying/not trying to conceive (letting things happen as they are meant to and not putting pressure on ourselves) and I would very much so love to read anything you have about being vegan parents! I clicked your link but it says you have to be invited to read it. May I please be invited? 🙂 thank you!

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