in a staff meeting.
"When I had my son 4 years ago, I did not know much about breastfeeding, but I knew it was something that I wanted to do for him. I was timid and self-conscious and often felt compelled to excuse myself to a different room or cover up. I used to try and plan our outings around his feedings so that I would not have to nurse in public. I planned to breastfeed for a year. That was my goal. Life had other plans for my breastfeeding journey!!
My son Max, now 4 years old, has autism.
His diet is limited and he is still very much into breastfeeding. When he turned 2 years old, we started intensive therapy in our home. I was STILL self-conscious especially due to his age and would feel out the therapists and social workers to see who I was comfortable nursing around and who I was not.
The problem in that- If Max felt he could not nurse in front of a certain person, he would be extremely uneasy and visibly more stressed out in their presence.That is when my mindset began to change.
It was OUR home.
I went from timidly feeling people out and discretely nursing in front of them, to boldly explaining to anyone who came into our house that I will be breastfeeding my 2 year old son and that is just how it is. I was surprised with the positive response. We have had dozens of therapists and case workers in and out of our home and nobody has given me a hard time. They have all been very accepting.
The second part of my breastfeeding journey began in August of 2014. I became pregnant with my second and nursed Max throughout my entire pregnancy. I had my daughter last April, and they have been tandem nursing ever since. Nursing has also been the connecting bridge between him and his baby sister.
I am no longer shy about breastfeeding. I've gone from feeling self-conscious about breastfeeding a 2 year old, to tandem nursing a 10 month old and a 4 year old in front of others!
I now openly tandem nurse in front of our family, our therapists, and friends. I can not tell you how many people have told me how impressive it is, how I am a supermom, how amazing it is that I can continue to help my son thrive and how they've never seen anything like it before.
I believe we have opened the eyes of many and I feel like it's one of my best accomplishments in life. How many young therapists just out of highschool now look at the breast for what it is? I hope I have helped to normalize it for them so that some day when they are mothers, they will feel encouraged to do the same. I am thankful that our lifestyle has forced me to stand my ground, to be myself and to push me out of my comfort zone for the sake of what is best for my children. Stand for something, or you will fall for anything. That is my motto!
Oh and I should mention that mama, baba and milk were my son's first words." - Jamie