Kudos to you for your determination to continue nursing your daughter into her toddler years. It's what I intend to do as well, since I too want to keep giving my daughter not only the nutritional benefits of breastfeeding, but I think possibly more importantly as she gets older the security, comfort and love nursing provides. It's a beautiful gift! :)
I think one of the most effective ways to deal with those who criticize our choice to breastfeed is to educate them. Here are a couple great resources detailing the benefits of nursing a toddler:
This one Extended Breastfeeding Fact Sheet details the following benefits:
Nursing toddlers benefit NUTRITIONALLY
Nursing toddlers are SICK LESS OFTEN
Nursing toddlers have FEWER ALLERGIES
Nursing toddlers are SMART
Nursing toddlers are WELL ADJUSTED SOCIALLY
Nursing a toddler is NORMAL
MOTHERS also benefit from nursing past infancy
And a long list of fantastic resources can be found here:
Extended Breastfeeding Links
For specific ideas on how to respond to criticism:
Handling criticism about breastfeeding
We have an excellent forum on LLL for Dealing with Criticism, that you might want to check out too.
Here are some additional resources from LLL that may help you deal with criticism of your breastfeeding and parenting practices:
FAQ: "How Do I Respond to and Avoid Criticism about Breastfeeding?
" Many sample responses to common questions. Choose the ones that work for you!
Coping with Criticism
: Discusses different kinds of responses for different kinds of situations; ignoring, offering information, using humor, empathizing, or agreeing to disagree.
Hope something in there helps you get through to your grandmother just how important breastfeeding is to both you and your little girl, and hopefully she will begin to understand. It is a wonderful sign that she was willing to go to a LLL meeting with you! That's great! Good luck! :D