“Still” Breastfeeding


This is my fourth year celebrating World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) with my daughter.

The realization of that is kind of crazy.  She was born in July. so we just made the first WBW which is held the first week in August every year. Now that she has just had her third birthday, we are here again for the fourth year in a row.

That means that , yes, I am “still” breastfeeding a three year old.

At some point that word “still” was added in there instead of just saying “Yes! I am breastfeeding a three year old”. I’m pretty sure my subconscious stuck it in there, but I have become very aware of it every time someone asks or my daughter brings it up. I feel that that tiny little word,”still”, denotes some secret shame or an end we should have reached and shouldn’t talk about, when in reality I am doing the same thing I’ve been doing day after day for the past three years.

I’ve always known that I would let my daughter self wean. It wasn’t something that just happened to us, but rather a choice I made long before her conception. I found my passion for breastfeeding very young. I worked at Motherhood Maternity and in between peddling the free formula samples and discussing breastfeeding bras, I made a choice. Breastfeeding is the biological norm and we’re mammals for a reason after all, so I chose to support breastfeeding wholeheartedly. I read books, I wrote papers, I pored over online forums about mothers struggling when I was no where near having my own child. I definitely have other interests and hobbies, but I know that breastfeeding is truly my passion. Since then, I have been working towards my BS in Lactation Consulting and earned my Certified Lactation Counselor certificate.  I was actively involved in the Chittenden County Breastfeeding Coalition, I’ve organized the Big Latch On two years in a row, and I try to attend as many local Le Leche League meetings as I can. I try to always be available when someone has a breastfeeding question.

I just love breastfeeding!

So why do I sabotage myself and say I’m “still” nursing?! The older my daughter gets, the more closeted I feel. It is not like I am the only one I know who is nursing a toddler. I actually know quite a few people! I think it is,unfortunately, a societal issue. The “Time” cover featuring the mom nursing her three year old exclaiming “Are you mom enough” is exactly what we would look like nursing on a stool. However, if I were to cradle her on my lap, she would look much smaller and therefore, I feel, most of society would find this more acceptable.

mini mi extended breastfeeding
toddler nursing, woman, toddle boy, extended breastfeeding, Mini Mi Photography
Both toddler nurslings… position makes an impact!
But none of that really matters. What matters is her nursing. She “still” nurses because that is her norm. It is a constant which she has known her entire life. Self weaning is working out wonderfully for us. She has developed a schedule that has gradually decreased the number of feedings over time. There has also been no emotional pain for her and no physical pain for me. She has learned to sleep without it, my husband can take over any time of the day, and I feel confident in our choice.
mini mi extended breastfeeding
So, you may be asking, “is she nursing for comfort/familiarity only?” I don’t think that is the “only” reason. We limit her other milk choices. When she turned a year, she never got the standard x amount of whole milk a day. I believe that species-specific milk is what is best for her so I continued to provide her with it. That was probably a huge contributor to her extended nursing. The nutritional benefits of extended nursing were pivotal in my decision to let my daughter self wean.  Kellymom.com has a wealth of breastfeeding knowledge and from their extended breastfeeding page they summarize:
“Although there has been little research done on children who breastfeed beyond the age of two, the available information indicates that breastfeeding continues to be a  valuable source of nutrition and disease protection for as long as breastfeeding continues.In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
  • 29% of energy requirements
  • 43% of protein requirements
  • 36% of calcium requirements
  • 75% of vitamin A requirements
  • 76% of folate requirements
  • 94% of vitamin B12 requirements
  • 60% of vitamin C requirements
– Dewey 2001 ” (Kellymom.com)
bfed toddler

As we continue to “still” breastfeed, I will continue to advocate for my choice. No more sabotaging our nursing relationship… just a happy and healthy mom and toddler doing what is right for us!

**Mini Mi photography offers free nursing pics with any session regardless of age!**


  1. This is awesome, Beatriz! You are an inspiration. Our journey has been difficult, but I feel very strongly that breastfeeding has saved my daughter. Thank you for sharing your story and making it the norm. LOVE.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this Beatriz! I know there are a lot of mommas out there that breastfeed past 2 and I know this is giving them a voice!


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