A resource to inspire, inform and empower parents.

Extended Breastfeeding


Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding beyond infancy, extended breastfeeding

This is my father-in-law. I’ve posted about him before because he has an interesting breastfeeding story. I’m posting again because he died a couple of weeks ago at 92 years old. And I’d like to share his story again.

His parents immigrated here from what is now Poland and he was born in New York City in 1925. He was breastfed for 3 or 4 years. He remembers breastfeeding from his mother. He never thought that this was strange. His memories of breastfeeding were just like any other memory he had of his mother nurturing him.

Grandpa Lou was always supportive of my work here. Whenever I saw him he asked about this community and all of you. He talked about breastfeeding openly. I breastfed openly and comfortably in front of him. He talked passionately and constantly of social justice issues. He made connections between the breastfeeding movement and women’s issues such as the sexualizing of the female body and women’s role in society.

I have heard too many times over the years that I need to stop breastfeeding my sons because they are getting older and will remember it. People tell me that if they can remember it later they will be traumatized and psychologically damaged. I know this to be utter garbage because I knew an adult who remembered breastfeeding. He was intelligent, gentle, kind, an influential sociologist and researcher, a veteran of the United States Navy, a lover of music and art and a loving father and husband.

Which of these do I not want to pass onto my children exactly?

My Weaning Story

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, weaning story

My blog is 6 years old this week. Exley was hanging out on my lap today while Jack was playing video games when I realized that by the blog’s 7th birthday I won’t be breastfeeding anymore. Jack is on his second week of not nursing. And this guy asked to nurse today, but only because I was about to post this! He goes days between asking. It won’t be long now. When he nursed he asked why there was no milk. I said he can still nurse, but that the milk is gone. I explained that as kids gets bigger and eat more food they nurse less and eventually there is no more milk. This is all part of the journey. Whether you’ve followed from the beginning or are just joining us you’re witnessing my weaning story.

Breastfeeding: You Never Know When It’s the Last Time

“I feel like Jack is going to be one of those kids that breastfeeds until 7 years old,” I said to my husband one day when Jack was around 1 year old. I had been learning a lot about breastfeeding, mostly through the moms at The Badass Breastfeeder Facebook community. I learned that kids who are not weaned early can breastfeed anywhere from 2.5 to 7 years old. Before kids it would have completely freaked me out. Now that I had celebrated my very first nursiversary, after fighting tooth and nail to save what seemed like a doomed breastfeeding relationship, I couldn’t imagine why on earth I would ever wean him. My husband took a bit longer to adjust to the idea of coloring so outside the box, but ultimately we both felt that what helps Jack is much more important than anyone else’s opinion.

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding Jack. [Read more…]

Breastfeeding Toddlers and Small Children

I recently wrote a post called Common Toddler Breastfeeding Problems. In the comment section a woman asked me to write more about breastfeeding toddlers “because it can get really lonely.” That comment really stayed with me. I breastfeed an almost 3-year-old and almost 6-year-old. I have many friends and an online community who do the same so I don’t feel lonely all the time, but I certainly feel that way when I am not within that community. And I remember what it felt like when I had no mothering community at all. I didn’t even know another mother when I had my first son, Jack. [Read more…]

Jenn’s Tandem Nursing Journey, Part 2

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Breastfeeding and being a mama of two isn’t easy, it’s something I’m still figuring out. How I talk to myself while figuring out Tandem nursing because I’ve been struggling nursing my oldest but it’s getting better.
I’m trying not to think about how she’s playing with my body. How she’s taking his milk. How she’s big and awkward and leaves teeth marks or that I can’t make it through a nursing session with her without bargaining for her to get off me. Or make it through a nursing session with him without her begging for milk.
I try to think about how she needs it too or else she wouldn’t be doing it. Whether it’s for nutrition or comfort, she needs it. Then my tension melts away slowly as if I started a Scentsy. It’s not immediate. I try to pass the time writing things like this to help. I look at my little baby and see that he is healthy and sleeping. That she’s resorted back to baby things like me changing her diaper etc. So she’s just trying to figure all this change out. It’s only been a month. Her life is completely different but nursing can at least equalize us a little bit. I think back when she was a baby and how concerned I was that she would wean too early and it makes me laugh now.
I breathe slowly in and out. I think it’s honestly my body equalizing out too because she sucks all the milk out so fast. I just get this sensation that I don’t like. Maybe this is nursing aversion? I’m being patient. I’m trying to let her stop for once. He’s full. He is fine. Even though he’s waking up. It will be OK . She has to stop eventually. She has to so be patient mama.
I’m building supply. I’m building supply. I made it through she’s happy . Her heart and mine are full and I can have a break oh wait she wants more milk. Lol she distracted herself. Time to get off the couch and do something.
***Jenn Novak just began her tandem nursing journey and will be sharing her experiences with our community.

Breastfeeding Grows With Him

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding son.

We live in a culture where we are constantly pressured to push our kids to “grow up.” This is often the argument for weaning, “They need to grow up sometime!” I’ve even got feedback for the vocabulary I use to describe my kids, “baby versus toddler versus small child.” And anyone who is not pushing their child to grow up is trying to “keep” them young. What is the big rush? They are going to grow up. Seriously, you don’t need to push them. Actually pushing too hard can cause anxiety and distrust in the world. They will just grow. It’s nature. I will not wean my child simply because he breastfeeds at an older age than makes you comfortable. It works for us, it is what I believe he needs and he likes it! I am not “keeping” him breastfeeding. He likes it, he initiates it and, even after hard work to establish boundaries to keep me sane nursing 2 kids, he keeps coming back. I do not force it to continue and I will not force it to end. He won’t breastfeed when he is in college, not that you really need to care about what my child does. Of all the things going on with kids and in the world at large, people trip about this. I don’t get it. How can anyone look at this and think it is wrong?