New mothers ask me all the time (by which I mean never), “Jody Reale, what’s your take on breastfeeding?” I usually tell them that, whether you decide to breastfeed or not, it’s your choice. Don’t be bullied; weigh the benefits against your personality, your own happiness.
They then usually ask me, “That sounds good, but how long should I breastfeed?” I like to say that, again, it’s totally up to you. Of course, you should do what you want, but if you’re looking for some guidelines, here are a few that have helped thousands of imaginary women everywhere understand when it’s time to dry up.
- If you have to ask your son to shave first, or to put out his cigarette before nursing, you’ve been breastfeeding too long.
- If you nurse your child while you help her with her trigonometry homework, you’ve breastfed too long.
- If your child asks you to ride shotgun to the drive-thru because she doesn’t have enough money for both a drink and a Big Mac, you’ve breastfed too long.
- If your breast pump is coal-powered, you’ve been breastfeeding for too long.
- If your son invites you to a frat party called “I drink your milkshake,” RUN AWAY. Also, you’ve been breastfeeding too long.
- If your child’s idea of mixing a White Russian involves having you stand between a bottle of vodka and a bottle of Kahlua, you’ve definitely breastfed too long.
- If you’re wearing breast pads and a Depends undergarment, you’ve probably breastfed for too long.
- If your favorite nursing bra is also your daughter's favorite nursing bra, you've breastfed for too long.
- And if your child prepares his cappuccino by putting you in the steam room for 15 minutes first, you've most definitely breastfed for too long.
Moms, I hope this helps.