I believe that breastfeeding is one of the most important things you can do to feed, love, and nurture your child.
Why breastfeed? Well, breastmilk is made just for human babies--it's the superior infant food. It is the only food they need for the first six months of life up to a year. Babies on breast milk are healthy, happy, smell good, feel secure. Mommies who breastfeed lose the weight faster, get a steady supply of mothering hormones, don't have to spend a huge amount of money on Synthetic Infant Milk, and get more rest!
What about problems? The best way to avoid problems is to arm yourself beforehand. Go to a La Leche League meeting when you are still pregnant. I'm sure glad I did! I also read every book I could find in the library on breastfeeding. If you are already nursing and are experiencing problems, get help. Ask a lactation consultant, a county health nurse, a nursing mom, or you guessed it, your local La Leche League!
What about weaning? Well, I believe in child-led weaning. Meaning, I plan on letting my son nurse until he decides to quit on his own. I hope to nurse him at least two years, as this is the amount of time recommended by the World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics, former surgeon general Jocelyn Elders, UNICEF, and others. Note that they say "at least" two years...But nursing your baby any amount of time will give him or her so many benefits. Even if you nurse only 30 days, your baby will receive many immunities and you will benefit as well. You might decide to nurse just a little longer!