Baby Saucy is nearly 10.5 months old, and I am still breastfeeding him with gusto. Well maybe not "gusto," but my dedication has not waned, and I'm so very proud of my commitment and accomplishment. Since I am working full time, I do pump at work, but I nurse in the morning, at night, and over the weekends. Admittedly, pumping is a bit of a chore, and it's not nearly as easy to pump at 11 months as it was at 3 months. The days of pumping 15 oz. in a single 10 minute pumping session are long gone, and these days, I'm delighted to get 3 oz. and estatic if I can pump 4 or 5 oz. during one session. I commend women who have exclusively pumped since birth, and think those women are just amazing. My plan is continue pumping at work until he is a full 12 months and then slowly begin to reduce my pumping sessions. I will continue to nurse when I am home for as long as it is mutually desired.
For those who know me, it is no secret that I am a huge proponent of breastfeeding. I was fortunate because Baby Saucy is also a big fan, but that's not say that we never hit any bumps in the road. For mothers who want to to continue to breastfeed their children for at least 12 months (12 months is recommended per the AAP), the key, in my humble opinion, is dedication. Someone told me that 6 weeks postpartum was a magical time when breastfeeding would just click, but I would be lying if I told you that at 8 weeks postpartum I didn't sit on my couch and cry because Baby Saucy still fussed at the breast and my experience was so far from the romantic fantasy of rocking my child at the breast while we gazed into each other's eyes. But we kept going, and it got easier. Then at 6 months when Baby Saucy was still nursing 'round the clock, everyone suggested a little formula to help him sleep longer, because breastfeeding was becoming exhausting. I chose not to supplement, so we kept going, and it got easier. Now at close to 11 months, Baby Saucy still nurses at night, although not nearly as frequently. Yes, it can be hard to be jolted from sleep by hungry baby wails and maybe he doesn't "need" to nurse at night, and, yes, it may be a comfort nursing thing. But I need the comfort just as much as he does. I am away from him all day when I work, and I love to snuggle with him and nurse him to sleep in the comfort and safety of my arms, even it if may be 2:00 a.m.