My Daughter Is Five…And I Am Still Breastfeeding

Photo Credit: Yeyo Photography

For me, breastfeeding has always been about doing what I felt was in the best interest of my daughter, myself and our relationship. She is five…and we are still breastfeeding. She is also self weaning. Children can self wean despite those that say they don’t, so our breastfeeding relationship will be coming to a conclusion soon.

I am an advocate for parents choosing what they feel is best, trusting their intuition and feeling supported and empowered in their decisions. If you choose to breastfeed I am here to be your ally – to show that we can and do breastfeed. That we can do so beyond what is socially deemed as acceptable or necessary. 

I am an advocate for parents choosing what they feel is best.

Choosing to be a Black mother that practices full-term breastfeeding or “extended breastfeeding” was an easy decision for me. I knew that I did not want to disrupt the natural progression of our relationship or her needs and breastfeeding is about so much more than nutrition.  It is much needed time for us to bond, connect, and nurture, time to slow down and be present with ourselves and our needs. I trusted myself, my body and my daughter and I was making a conscious decision to be what she needed for however long she needed it. People think breastfeeding a five year old is extreme, but reflecting back on our journey, my breastmilk has helped sooth and nurture her. It has also helped her to heal and be prepared for the world.

Photo Credit: Yeyo Photography

My family was very supportive of our nursing relationship up to a certain point. While the international average for breastfeeding is between 5 to 7 years of age, here in the U.S., it is quite uncommon to see anyone nursing beyond the first year. Then came year two, three, four and five. People were more shocked and concerned than supportive. I divested from the idea that I needed anyone else’s permission to raise my child the way I saw fit. 

People think breastfeeding a five year old is extreme but my breastmilk has helped sooth and nurture her.

Choosing to nurse at all requires confidence, commitment and perseverance. Choosing to nurse beyond the first year requires a whole other set of skills. There are levels to my petty and I have to exercise that often! Rather it be with family, friends or random strangers that think their way of parenting is the only right way. 

Photo Credit: Yeyo Photography

Don’t be afraid to listen to yourself, trust yourself and your intuition. Don’t be afraid to tell people what they can do with their reductive opinions and live in your freedom. Nursing full term has taught me so much about myself, what I am capable of, and what my body can do.

Choosing to nurse at all requires confidence, commitment and perseverance. 

This body birthed, nourishes and supports the mental, physical and emotional wellness for a whole person beyond myself and that to me is the epitome of Black Womanhood/Motherhood Magic!

Jamillah Richmond

I am a curator of intentional self care and wellness fusing my skills as a Aesthetician, Massage Therapist, Aromatherapist, Herbalist & PostPartum Doula to create and offer custom products, experiences, classes and retreats for women at vibrantalchemyco.com @vibrantalchemy. I am also a homeschooler who promotes and teaches educational freedom and learning through play @starseedkids

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