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Hi Ali,

I have a fear of judgment about when to stop nursing? How do I stop without people judging me for cutting him off too soon/too late, or the wrong way?

I am so very sorry you are in a position where feel like you have to make a decision this personal based on what other people think and say.

Unfortunately, you are right, EVERYONE has an opinion on this! People judge. You’re either nursing too long, or not long enough. But what people think of you is none of your business. There are really only two people that get a vote – you, and your baby. Every situation is different. You can talk to a hundred different nursing moms and get 100 different stories. But only you know what’s best for you and your baby! Listen to that little voice inside you. You’ll never win if you parent based on someone else’s opinion. Do what is right for your family.

I can tell you that the World Health Organization recommends nursing a minimum of six months, and two years or more, if you can and want to. The worldwide average is 4.2 years.

If you can nurse for six months, that’s six months of awesome! If you were only able to nurse for three weeks, hooray! If you are breastfeeding an older child, wonderful! If whatever you are doing is working for you both, fabulous! That’s all that matters.

Talk to a lactation consultant, your doctor, La Leche League, a local breastfeeding support group, ask a ton of moms. Get some support! When you are among mamas who are more like-minded than not, no one will bat an eye about continuing to give your child perfect nutrition in the nurturing way your child needs, and they will help and support you when you are ready to wean.

Regarding weaning, ask other moms how they did it. What worked and what they wish they had done. There is no right answer. You need to listen to and trust YOUR body and your baby. I know it may not feel like it, but you are the expert.

As someone who went through this twice – with a load of loving and educated support, I’m sending a nurturing hug through this magazine as you navigate your way…

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