Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Call for Stories

Would you like to contribute to this book? Your story could help other mothers looking for information on full-term breastfeeding.

I am looking for stories for the following chapters:

  • Chapter 1. Stories of Decision: How Did this Happen? (or How Did We Go from 3 Weeks to 3 Years?): The Decision to Continue Breastfeeding: This chapter will include stories that describe the decision to continue breastfeeding. Did the mother intend to practice natural or child-led weaning from Day 1, or did her feelings evolve in some way? I intend to choose stories that reflect different pathways to this decision.
  • Chapter 2. Stories of Joy: Expected and Unexpected Advantages and Moments of Joy in Long-Term Nursing: The title is pretty self-explanatory. I want to include stories here that really back up long-term nursing from a mother’s-eye view and perhaps the child’s-eye view as well.
  • Chapter 3. Stories of Challenges: Difficulties Encountered in Long-Term Nursing: This chapter might include stories of divorce, illness, grief, schooling, societal expectations, and other situations that might make long-term nursing more difficult and will be limited to situational challenges and difficulties with those outside the family.
  • Chapter 4. Stories of Family: Support and Conflict with Spouses, Partners, and Other Family Members: This chapter will include stories of how mothers and children were supported or discouraged by spouses and family members in their journey.
  • Chapter 5. Stories of Daily Living: How We Made It Work Every Day: This chapter will include stories of things such as birth order, nursing in public, nursing and working, tandem nursing, sleeping arrangements, parenting styles, and setting limits that allowed mothers and children to continue breastfeeding until they wished to stop.
  • Chapter 6. Special Stories: Long-Term Nursing when Mother or Child Has Medical Issues or Special Needs: As described, this chapter might include stories of older mothers nursing, nursing through illness, nursing a child with autism, and other challenging situations where the decision to continue breastfeeding might have been an advantage or a disadvantage.
  •  Chapter 7. Stories of Support: Resources that Helped Us Make It Through and What We Would Tell New Mothers: This chapter is meant to shine light on the great people and places that helped mothers through when they weren’t sure they were going to make it. The stories might be about a special friend, a family member, a La Leche League group or Leader, and so on. It will also include one-on-one stories such as “I’d like to tell you that these days won’t last forever...,” “It was better than I ever imagined” and so on.
  •  Chapter 8. Stories of Weaning: When the End Finally Arrives: This chapter will include personal stories of how weaning happened in different nursing twosomes. I intend to include as wide a range of different perspectives as I am able.
  • Chapter 9: Stories of How They Have Grown: This chapter will focus on first-person stories of grown nurslings (lets say, ages 16 and up). These stories might cover the following topics: How long did you nurse? Describe what memories you have of nursing and what kind of feelings you have toward that time in your life. In general, what positive or negative affects has nursing had on you as you’ve grown older? How do you feel the nursing relationship affected the relationship you have with your mother (or both parents)? Has nursing affected the way you interact or your relationship with other children and/or adults? Please describe. Do you feel nursing for as long as you did made it harder or easier for you to be independent and self-sufficient? Or did it have no affect? Please provide any stories or comments that you would like to share regarding nursing and how it has affected you as a person. (ADDED MAY 10, 2013)

Each story should be 1000 to 1500 words in length. I will be able to accept six to eight stories for each chapter, depending on their length.

When you send your story, please be sure to include your name and location exactly as you would like them to appear in the book if your story is accepted. Also, please include an email address and phone number where I can reach you.

All stories may be sent to tothreeandbeyond@gmail.com and should include the subject "Story Submission." Also, please indicate in your email the chapter for which your story is intended. You can also direct questions to this email address.

Due dates for these stories are OCTOBER 15, 2013 (UPDATED 8/12/13)

Please share this post far and wide among your friends and in breastfeeding and birth circles so that we can get as wide a sample of experiences as possible for this important book.


  1. I cannot wait to read the finished book! This is going to be an incredible resource. I am so glad that you are bringing together stories of so many moms and their nurslings. Excellent!

  2. Thanks, Lyn. I'm glad to have it moving forward as well! Will you be contributing? :)

    1. I definitely planned to, but it looks like I am behind schedule. Too many things going on! :-) Are there any chapters that are short on submissions? I need a narrow focus and may meet your deadline yet.

    2. I have many more for the first chapter than any other, but I need stories for almost every chapter at this point! You can also submit more than one. I will probably be extending the deadline to give folks a bit more time to get their stories in. Look for a post. Thanks, Lyn.

  3. Lovely idea! I actually stopped the day before my daughter's third birthday as tandem nursing was turning me into a mama-lion with the nursing aversion and it didn't feel "natural" to nurse any more. Am willing to give a positive viewpoint on why I didn't carry on if you want to mix in an alternative viewpoint.

    1. Thank you for your input, Celesse. At this point, I am really trying to provide support for those women who do decide and are able to continue on but not just from the point of view that it's all sunshine and roses. I want to include various experiences.

      Weaning happens one way or another, but I want women to feel comfortable making the choice to continue on if they feel that is best for their children. Women, of course, should feel comfortable making the choice to stop as well if that is what they feel is best. Unfortunately, in our current culture, it seems like there is more support for stopping early than for the continuing on.

  4. What a great idea for a book! We are still nursing in our house, and my son is 2.5. After really wanting to stop with the twins (made it one with a pump and no latch and a FT job - ugh) at one year I was surprised to find myself not feeling the need to stop with just one baby. I am so glad we are still bonding in this way - and it has been a totally different experience than with the twins. I do catch looks and comments from people - like our nanny, for one - and the ER doctor couldn't look at me when I nursed my LO when he was hurt and they were doing something painful ti him - it calmed him down though :) (He kept talking to the ceiling!)

    1. Thanks, Shannon! I think it's great how long you breastfed your twins. That's awesome!

      I've definitely experienced the strange looks. My favorite was having someone talk to me for a minute before realizing I was nursing and seeing the realization on their face ;)

  5. This sounds amazing. Currently feeding my 3 year and 5 month old and her 21 month old sister. Still going really strong. Newly pregnant again and will continue to feed them both as long as they want to so considering the possibility of three feeding.