Bart’s company has the lactation consultation program where any employees or spouses of employees who have a baby get a pre-birth call about nursing and then periodic phone calls to answer questions, give advice, and offer support. (This is a very lovely program).
The LC assigned to me is located in Vermont, so I’ve never met her, although I’ve talked to her on the phone about a dozen times.
From what I can tell, the consultant assigned to me, Margaret, has a temperament very similar to mine.
For instance, when Ella was nearly four months old, Margaret called and asked if I’d taken her to the pediatrician for her four month appointment yet. I said, no, that it was coming up in a few days.
Margaret said, “The official recommendation by the APA is to not start solids until six months old. So if your pediatrician says you should start her on solids at four months without any specific reason, you can say, ‘Why are you telling me this when your own association recommends waiting another two months?’ Or you can just smile and then come home and not start her on solids until six months. That’s what I would do because I don’t like confrontation.”
That? A woman after my own heart. Confrontation makes me want to die.
Margaret’s last official call to me was a week ago just after Ella’s six month mark. We talked about how long you ought to nurse a baby and she said, “I’ll tell you what APA says, what WHO says, and what I say.”
“APA says a year minimum. WHO says two years minimum. I say until it’s not right for you or your baby any more. If that’s six months, fine, if that’s until your baby is four, that’s fine too.”
She went on to mention that the average age of weaning worldwide is four years old because so many other countries nurse their babies so much longer. It’s mainly in the US where nursing past a year or so is considered unusual.
She told me, “If you do choose to continue nursing your child for several years, the good thing is that you can tell a three or four year old, ‘We only nurse at home’ and thus avoid the wrath of the American Public.”
Oh yes, I am all about avoiding the wrath of anyone. This woman speaks to my soul.
(Also, for the record, it is highly highly unlikely that I will still be nursing Ella when she’s three years old).