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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.