Great post, thanks so much for replying!
Honestly I can't imagine breast feeding a toddler either. What changed for you?
First, the extreme trauma it was to have had to have hospitalized him for the second week of his life due to his blood being too thick as a side effect (I was told) of our difficult delivery. The symptoms were blood pooling here and there on his left leg, including the big toe of that foot turning almost completely black-blue. There was talk of amputating that toe.
I am a pretty tough broad. Really. But I spent that week feeling pretty poorly myself due to the physical effects of that delivery combined with the emotional upset you can imagine at the situation, and the uphill hike to the NICU every three hours, skipping one feeding overnight, and pumping for that feeding in between the others.... I never, never
wanted to see another breast pump after that week. (Kudos to the hospital, which did provide a nice, electric breast pump for my use.)
I was told he had a congenital heart defect; a coarctation (narrowing) of the aorta (mild, on the continuum of potential heart defects). I was told he might require surgery somewhere between age 7 and age 12. I was told, after they took two units of whole blood out of him and replaced them with two units of plasma, that he might become anemic as a result of the lowered red blood volume. But he kept his toe.
Was there anything I would not do if it might, even might
enhance his health? No.
He would not take a bottle at nine months, which was generally considered weaning time then. Well, he would take it; and pull off the nipple and pour out the contents.
And I really, really
did not like the idea of giving him either formula or cows' milk. So, you know; a little longer won't hurt. (I still think cows' milk is dubious as a food for humans.)
Next thing you know, I look up and it's been a couple of days since he's asked. It was not inconvenient the last year or so, when he really was only wanting to nurse at bedtime at night.
Oh, and he's grown to be a fine, healthy hunk of a man with only his father's asthma as a health issue, and even that milder than his dad's asthma was. He developed femoral pulses at about six months of age and has been fine since, though I continued seeing the pediatric cardiologist for a long while after that.
Between the lines you should be able to guess that we were heavily into health foods and supplements even then. And I was surrounded by professionals and laypeople with similar views; our childbirth coaches (also La Leche members), our MD, his nurse and midwives, our pediatrician.
You can Google "dangers of homogenized milk" and/or "nursing toddler" and see a lot of the very same stuff I saw wayyyyyy back then.