I am nursing my 2-year-old and have been having confused feelings about continuing to nurse her. My story is somewhat complicated but here goes. Erika had a severe allergy to dairy products right from when we introduced solids at 6 mths old, and up until recently her only milk was breastmilk and we avoided any dairy products in her diet (her dr thought the allergy was to the casein part of cow's milk). Now, she has a bit of formula milk in a cup when her older brother drinks it before bed and in the mornings, mostly because she wants it. She has been handling it well, it is a low-lactose milk, with only some casein in it. She still breastfeeds when she's tired/sleepy and also to fall asleep and often through the night, although her night breastfeeds are getting less frequent. She is pretty close to me and when tired/sleepy/distressed, she clings onto the neck of my t-shirt or to my skin (I have been trying to re-direct her little fingers to the neck of my t-shirt because this is the less painful and more acceptable option).
Lately, when I nurse her or when she clings on, I feel resentful. I feel tired and think that I have given her so much for so long and maybe it is time to cut down. I had bad breastfeeding agitation (feeling annoyed, irritable and just going mad) when I nursed my older one through my pregnancy with Erika, yet these feelings I have now are not the same. I feel like cutting down breastfeeds (eventually, weaning her off the breast, maybe in some months) yet I see that she needs this, mostly on an emotional level. Also, of course, since she's 2, breastfeeding is my one way to cope with her spirited little tantrums and when she's upset her by own emotions.
So although I know that breastfeeding is the best thing for her, I've always wanted to let her nurse for as long as she wants to and I'm sold on all the good things about breastfeeding, I feel like slowly weaning her. I'm confused by my own thoughts. I nursed my first one up until he turned 2, so nursing up til this age is unknown territory for me.
I know this might be related to my own needs being unmet eg interacting, a life outside the home etc. yet this has always been so and I have tried to do all this while looking after the kids (am a stay-at-home mom). I guess I'm just confused. Can anyone out there help? Any thoughts that might help? Anita