Elijah is 17 months old now. Yes he still loves to nurse, and I love that he 'needs' and loves my comfort! I've never nursed this long. Honestly, I'd always thought I would hate to be 'needed' or 'confined' (as I referred to it) for so long. Now I believe that was my flesh yelling louder than the Spirit within me.
In Isaiah 66:10-13 God is talking about Jerusalem, but he likens her to a nursing mother. When you read this passage, you can see God's understanding of a nursing mother.
"Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her; that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast; that you may drink deeply with delight from her glorious abundance." For thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip, and bounced upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem." (emphesis mine)
Modern trend is to nurse your baby (if you want to; if it's not too inconvenient for you) for the first few months because it's the best nurishment for your newborn, but after that point, well you should just do whatever suites you and your lifestyle. I can see that (maybe) for an unbeliever, but if you say you are a follower of Christ, you should be seeking to do things His way. And yes, He does have a few things to say about what He created you for... including breastfeeding.
I bought into the lie of popular trend with my first baby. I told myself it was inconvenient to go anywhere because then I'd have to 'expose' myself for his sake or go out of my way to go find some place private to nurse my baby. I took formula supplements with me when we went out in public, and by 5 1/2 months, he no longer desired nourishment and comfort from me. In fact, he didn't even want me to hold him to rock him to sleep. I resented the nights I was disturbed of precious sleep, and wished away so much of his first year of life because of my own selfishness.
Thankfully, the Lord sent some godly women my way to show me, through Scripture, what the Lord created my body for and how much He delighted in me when I chose His way instead of my own! I've also learned that, while breast milk is the best nourishment for my baby, it also brings them great comfort to suckle. God designed our body so amazingly! When our baby nurses, our bodies release the hormone prolactin which is a very strong 'love hormone'. It helps us bond with our baby. Our bodies also release the hormone oxytocin, which is what stimulates the milk's let-down. This wonderful hormone has a calming affect on Mommy which is generally why we always get sleepy when we're nursing. This hormone is also effective in helping to keep postpartum depression at bay.
In addition to these immediate benefits to Mommy, nursing also has long-term health benefits for her, as well. Studies show that prolonged breastfeding can be a preventative measure again breast cancer. I won't give all that information here, but if you're interested in learning about the findings, I'd be happy to point you in the right direction! :)
Now, I understand there are times when a mother strongly desires to nurse her baby, and for some reason, they can't get their baby to latch on, their milk never comes in, etc. I don't have all the answers to those unknown issues, but I know that the Lord is in control. If you find yourself in that situation and still can't successfully nurse your newborn, seek out a trusted source who knows many tricks to stimulate either your baby or your body. La Leche League International is a great source as well as any lactation consultant or midwife. Sometimes it takes a lot of diligence, but please don't be quick to give up hope so easily. There will be times when you aren't successful in nursing your baby. In which case, the Lord has graciously made a way for us to still nourish our baby using other forms of food which are designed to be as close to mother's milk as they can possibly get it.
I am abundantly thankful for this time I've had to nurture and comfort my sweet Elijah! I try to cherish every moment together while I have it. You never know, there may come a time when I myself will be unable to nurse my baby for some unknown reason.
Blessings today to all you Mommies... whatever it is you have to do, do it all for the glory of the Lord! :)