PDA

View Full Version : How old is too old...(breastfeeding)



DragonLove
October 29th, 2003, 12:46 PM
I was reading another thread and thought of this. How old do you think is too old for a child to be breastfed?

Jenne
October 29th, 2003, 12:49 PM
I'd probably wean a child from the breast same time as a bottle--1 year. I know there are others out there that see more benefits for longer (there are plenty of child advocacy and child health groups out there who do so--up to like 2 or 3 years I guess), but for me personally, and since you asked, IMO, if you wean from a bottle at 1, it would stand to reason weaning from breast at 1 is called for as well. JMO

Course, my own kids dumped my breast as soon as "real" food came along, lmao! Couldn't get more than 6 mos out of both of them...*sigh*

~*Ginger*~
October 29th, 2003, 12:51 PM
of course, the decision is up to the breastfeeding mother.

Mine were 31 months and 27 months old when they weaned themselves.
That process is much easier on the mother as far as engorgement goes.

I have the time to give my children, to be able to do that.
other's may not.

the age of the child for weaning is a personal decision.
my decision of self weaning is excellent for me and my children.

Weaning at any other age is excellent for whoever is making that decision...

Biinasu
October 29th, 2003, 12:55 PM
Some kids naturally breastfeed up to ten. At least two is what people normally suggest (people that know a little bit -about- breastfeeding that is *edit* should mention, I mean people that don't tell you that breastfeeding will 'cause the sky to fall, not people that just don't think that choice is right for them). Some mothers get in trouble for nursing their kids at ages like 6 and 10, but these cases have never ended in anything permanent happening to the mother - usually the charges have to be dropped. I supposed if they're 23 and still nursing, you might wanna think about starting to wean 'em even if they're not ready, cause..yeah. But for me, if they're not ready to stop yet, it's still too young. It's pretty much different for each kid I've learned -- and if my kids are anything like me, trying what works for 'everyone else' on them is probably going to backfire like madness.

DragonLove
October 29th, 2003, 12:58 PM
JMO but breastfeeding a child at the ages of 6 and 10 is not natural.

MoonDust
October 29th, 2003, 12:58 PM
if they can drink from a sipy cup I think they're too old.

Lanna
October 29th, 2003, 12:58 PM
well my son kinda weaned himself off at about 10 months, but i dont think we truely stopped until he was just over 1. To be honest if i had another child i dont think i would do it for so long, maybe six months. But it truely is a personal thing and what works for one doesn't always work for another! to me its something that mother and child decide together! :D

Biinasu
October 29th, 2003, 12:59 PM
I wouldn't say it's not natural...maybe a bit..too natural? *shrugs*

MoonDust
October 29th, 2003, 01:00 PM
the longest my mom breast fed any of us was 9 months. I was 6 months I think, but that was because she had to go right back to work after a few weeks

Lanna
October 29th, 2003, 01:00 PM
JMO but breastfeeding a child at the ages of 6 and 10 is not natural.

i personally agree with that.

Biinasu
October 29th, 2003, 01:00 PM
I should mention, that for all my talk of doing what the baby wants, if any of my kids decided they wanted to breastfeed for ten years, I'd probably...well, they probably wouldn't get that long into it. ._.;

Lanna
October 29th, 2003, 01:02 PM
I wouldn't say it's not natural...maybe a bit..too natural? *shrugs*


well IMO it is not natural, the mothers milk is not needed for the child anymore, the natural process of mother feeding the child is over and something else is holding them to the process, be it comfort or be it laziness is ending the process. you dont see fully grown animals still suckling to the mothers breast ten years later! *shrug*

Rockprincess
October 29th, 2003, 01:06 PM
My mom nursed myself and my three sisters until we were old enough that we started coming over and pulling up her shirt ourselves - she was like "Sorry baby, that's MY body, not yours!" :lol:

( I think we were somewhere over 2 years old in each case)

Biinasu
October 29th, 2003, 01:06 PM
True, but then again, we don't (usually) eat our young. ^^; I'm not saying *I'd* do it, or even that it's common - I'm just saying, it happens. I'm hesitant to lable it unnatural...even if that's what it is. To some people, breastfeeding period is unnatural, or doing it for more than a few months or a year. It's uncommon, but I won't refer to it as anything but that.

DragonLove
October 29th, 2003, 01:08 PM
Keyword here is "Baby". I personally couldnt even imagine a pre-school child coming home from her class and reaching for the breast for a snack. I actually saw this recently and I truly believe is was more for the Mothers security than for the 4 year olds health.

Biinasu
October 29th, 2003, 01:10 PM
I can see that happening in some cases myself, but I don't know if I could apply that to everyone that does it.

MoonDust
October 29th, 2003, 01:12 PM
Keyword here is "Baby". I personally couldnt even imagine a pre-school child coming home from her class and reaching for the breast for a snack. I actually saw this recently and I truly believe is was more for the Mothers security than for the 4 year olds health.
yeah. it's time to stop when they can do that.

~*Ginger*~
October 29th, 2003, 01:14 PM
hmmm...
It being natural would have alot to do with how your raised and where your raised also.
In India some women naturally 'tandem nurse' (http://websearch.cs.com/wm/search?query=tandem%20nursing&fromPage=WMTRoll) so to them it would not be unnatural...

Sylvan
October 29th, 2003, 01:16 PM
My cousin breast fed her boy until he was 4, I think. But by that time it was more of a bedtime comfort get-him-to-sleep thing and not so much for nourishment. They were going through a divorce with the father and a very rocky living situation and they probably needed that close time together.

It definitely seemed weird at the time though.

DragonLove
October 29th, 2003, 01:16 PM
hmmm...
It being natural would have alot to do with how your raised and where your raised also.
In India some women naturally 'tandem nurse' (http://websearch.cs.com/wm/search?query=tandem%20nursing&fromPage=WMTRoll) so to them it would not be unnatural...

We arent in India though.

kcrys
October 29th, 2003, 01:18 PM
myself, if I am able to breastfeed (am expecting my first child in about a month...health issues might end up making us use the bottle instead when the time comes)... I am not allowing my child to do so longer than a year or so; 6 months only breastfed, then for the rest of the time breastfed only at night and bottle rest of time.... Personally, anything beyond 2 years to me just doesn't feel right. As someone else said earlier, if the kid can drink from a sippy cup there shouldn't be a need for the breast.

Kcrys
(Jordyn due december 3rd - boy)

~*Ginger*~
October 29th, 2003, 01:23 PM
No, but does that make it totally 'unnatural'?

I personally, would not care to nurse an older child.
But, I do not see anything wrong with someone else doing so, and thinking it to be natural.

To tell you the truth, things have been really hard as far as $ goes, and I told my mother that if things got really bad, as far as not having anything to feed my children, that if I had to I would go back to nursing them to keep them alive.

That may sound 'unnatural' to some and maybe even crazy, but if it came to my children starving, I'd whip em out quick!

And not care what anyone else thought.

Lanna
October 29th, 2003, 01:28 PM
No, but does that make it totally 'unnatural'?

I personally, would not care to nurse an older child.
But, I do not see anything wrong with someone else doing so, and thinking it to be natural.

To tell you the truth, things have been really hard as far as $ goes, and I told my mother that if things got really bad, as far as not having anything to feed my children, that if I had to I would go back to nursing them to keep them alive.

That may sound 'unnatural' to some and maybe even crazy, but if it came to my children starving, I'd whip em out quick!

And not care what anyone else thought.

i think thats a different matter tho, id do pretty much anything to make sure my son didn't starve. Thats more a desperation thing or doing what is needed. Hell i'd kill to save my son if the situation called for it, but that doesn't mean i want to or ever intended too.

i personally belive the breastfeeding is a natural process of feeding a baby, when the child begins to feed itself, the natural process is over. and to me it then becomes something different, i dont know if calling it un natural sounds right, but to my mind its definately a natural process that has run its course and is no longer needed!

DragonLove
October 29th, 2003, 01:29 PM
No, but does that make it totally 'unnatural'?

I personally, would not care to nurse an older child.
But, I do not see anything wrong with someone else doing so, and thinking it to be natural.

To tell you the truth, things have been really hard as far as $ goes, and I told my mother that if things got really bad, as far as not having anything to feed my children, that if I had to I would go back to nursing them to keep them alive.

That may sound 'unnatural' to some and maybe even crazy, but if it came to my children starving, I'd whip em out quick!

And not care what anyone else thought.

I didnt say it was totally unnatural to include the entire planet. I said breastfeeding a 6 or 10 year old was not natural and I assumed we were talking about the Western Hemisphere :D

Biinasu
October 29th, 2003, 01:32 PM
Well, there's a difference between them being able to feed themselves, and learning. Just thought I should point that out, cause I know of a few mothers that completely stopped breastfeeding the moment their kid took their first sip from a cup. And just from watching the others, I don't think that was the best approach...

~*Ginger*~
October 29th, 2003, 01:38 PM
i personally belive the breastfeeding is a natural process of feeding a baby, when the child begins to feed itself, the natural process is over. and to me it then becomes something different, i dont know if calling it un natural sounds right, but to my mind its definately a natural process that has run its course and is no longer needed!
I agree.
Natural weaning, is when you let the child nurse, till it stops. Most are around 2/3 yrs old.
You get to the point in the nursing where you do not offer, if they ask you do not withhold. You just stop offering and eventually they stop asking.

Both mine had weaned themselves, and about 1 1/2 to 2 months later, they remember, come back to see if they can get milk and it's gone.
No big deal.

It's all good DragonLove, I'm not being onery, just giving a little more info on the breastfeeding subject.

I'd think it kinda akward to be nursing an older child, by older i mean 6-10 or even older.

My 9 yr old is still a baby as far as I'm concerned...

Semele
October 29th, 2003, 07:14 PM
Personaly I wouldn't feel comfortable nursing an older child, but I see nothing wrong with people who choose to do so. It does rather annoy me to hear people condem them for it like they are in some way abusing the child. Would it be preferable for them to not feed the child at all?

Oddly enough working on a pediatric floor where we deal with many new parents each day, some of my coworkers are very antibreastfeeding as a general rule. they take the attitude that formula is just as good and easier for everyone. Translation: We can do our I&O's better when we can see how much the kid took. Makes me angry. Some of them even make comments about nursing being gross... very immature and nonprofessional stance as I see it. Oh well..I have drifted a little. Sorry.

fahawk
October 29th, 2003, 08:35 PM
Think most pediatricians and lactation consultants recomend at least 1 year as the ideal.

I feel it is pretty much a natural process, when foods are introduced, nursing gradually slows down, as well as once the baby/ toddler is being more independent..they become interested in other things, and sometimes even forget a nursing etc..

Every family is different..and what is natural to one family, may not feel that way for another...most of mine nursed about 2 years, one child only for 1 year, but she was eating foods pretty much, and it was a smooth transition..
Ive heard many people say, "I would never nurse my child that long",..and then feel differently once they are nursing... every one is different/different situations.. I tfeel whether we nurse longer or shorter, we are still benifiting our babes, and so we should just cut each other slack as moms/be supportive..
(a nice mag..is Compleat Mother :)

DebLipp
October 29th, 2003, 11:12 PM
The enormous benefits of immunity, lifelong protection against disease (including cancer) and the dental benefits are all measured at two years. Two years is optimal for health.

I nursed for 19 months. At that point my hyperactive child was simply too aggressive; it became uncomfortable in the extreme. I was sorry I didn't continue.

It is "natural" to nurse up to six or later. A famous autobiography of a Native American -- probably Black Elk Speaks but I may be mistaken -- includes a statement similar to 'by the time I was six I was acting like a man, and hardly ever ran back to my mother to suckle anymore.' (This was quoted in Mothering magazine, where I read it.)

But just because it is natural, doesn't make it culturally acceptable. I watched a woman nurse her four year old and it definitely felt "off." I personally wouldn't go much past three.

Ravens_Tears
October 29th, 2003, 11:36 PM
Black Elk Speaks... a wonderful book! :D

Anyway... I nursed both my boys until they were 3 years old. Neither of my children had health problems UNTIL I quit nursing. My youngest is now 8 and I still make breastmilk, which is annoying but not much I can do about it. The doctor says if it hasn't stopped naturally after all this time he honestly doesn't know what would stop it... I don't see anything unnatural about nursing that long or longer. It's the best food for a human baby, and the best "brain food" there is. Funny how people overall don't find drinking other milk over their lifetime offensive because it comes in nice neat containers instead of having to crouch under a cow or goat and suck on a teat :| Just my 2 cents....

DebLipp
October 29th, 2003, 11:46 PM
My youngest is now 8 and I still make breastmilk, which is annoying but not much I can do about it. The doctor says if it hasn't stopped naturally after all this time he honestly doesn't know what would stop it...
Mine dried up when he was about four or so -- 3 years after weaning. I've heard women go five or more years.

If it really bothers you, make your husband STOP stimulating the breasts for a while. ;)

Ravens_Tears
October 29th, 2003, 11:56 PM
Mine dried up when he was about four or so -- 3 years after weaning. I've heard women go five or more years.

If it really bothers you, make your husband STOP stimulating the breasts for a while. ;)
Not sure whether to :lol: or :wah: ....
Been single for a VERY long time... that's not the problem! LOL
Doc actually thinks it could be partly due to my coffee intake... But I love my coffee.. so if that's the reason... I'll put up with it :)

Thanks for the tip though.. I know you meant well:)

schadenfreude
October 31st, 2003, 10:52 AM
*smiles* .. I think too old is when a child can logically comprehend that he's sucking on his momma's titty .. but that's just my crude opionion on this thread.

DebLipp
October 31st, 2003, 10:57 AM
*smiles* .. I think too old is when a child can logically comprehend that he's sucking on his momma's titty .. but that's just my crude opionion on this thread.
Very crude indeed.

There is nothing like the moment of joy when a child makes the cognitive leap that the breast is what's providing the milk. It happens around 9 months -- at least it did in my case. And it is part of the baby's experience of mastery of his world. It's part of his becoming more than a creature of instinct; the excitement and delight is similar to his first word; suddenly he is not a helpless victim of adults, he can reach into their world and ask for what he needs. It is quite beautiful and I wouldn't have missed it for anything.

~*Ginger*~
October 31st, 2003, 11:19 AM
*nods*
me either...

As far as women who keep their milk flow long after the child has weaned, make for good wet nurses.
And it's good to know that there are women who do.
Some children are not able to get their own mother's milk and some of these ladies are real hero's!

La Leche League (http://www.lalecheleague.org/)
A good place for anwers if anyone's interested.

They were a real life saver for me and mine!

FaerieGothMommy
October 31st, 2003, 12:15 PM
I breastfed for 9 months, and that was because at 9 months my daughter was ready to be taken off the breast, i did originally plan 1 year, but she didn't want to feed for that long.
I believe a baby should be weaned off, when they are ready, but in an appropraite age group. I was watching a documentry where a 3yr old little girl was still breastfeeding, i think that is disgusting! And that is just OTT! I believe around 1 year, because my GP & MIdwife said, after 1 year you have given them all the nurtrients you can, and they don't really need any after that age. But at 9 months, my daughter was ready to come off.

fahawk
October 31st, 2003, 12:17 PM
Well, everyone has their own comfort 'zone"...but isn't it nice for children to grow up seeing nursing and breast as something normal..seeing siblings being nursed, and make
the connection a woman's breast isn't just the standard "sex" symbol it has become in this mainstream culture??!

FaerieGothMommy
October 31st, 2003, 12:17 PM
*nods*
me either...

As far as women who keep their milk flow long after the child has weaned, make for good wet nurses.
And it's good to know that there are women who do.
Some children are not able to get their own mother's milk and some of these ladies are real hero's!

La Leche League (http://www.lalecheleague.org/)
A good place for anwers if anyone's interested.

They were a real life saver for me and mine!

I love the idea of mothers doing this, i wanted to donate my milk, but by the time i stopped breastfeeding my milk flow was little, and while i was breastfeeding, i did not have a clue where to go to donate milk.

I do know that La Leche League is a great place!!!

FaerieGothMommy
October 31st, 2003, 12:24 PM
JMO but breastfeeding a child at the ages of 6 and 10 is not natural.

I totally AGREE!!!!

Now, i am not saying i am an expert, because i'm not :lol: but i have seen a few programmes on this, and like i said in my other post, i've heard many times (and even from my GP & Midwife) that after 1 year, they don't really get anymore nourishment, because they can get that from food at this age. Because they should no longer be eating baby foods.
Breastfeeding at the ages 6 & 10 is ridicolous in my books!!!!!

schadenfreude
October 31st, 2003, 12:38 PM
As beautiful and eye opening as a child understanding that his / her mother has provided the essentials for his/her growing up in a healthy manner .. that's fine ..

From a psychological point of view .. it can become something that effects a child in not so positive ways.

The only reason that I stress that is because I'm a major in psych / child development. I have a daughter that is 7 years old. I understand the processes .. and it just seems to me that anything after 10 months or so is excessive.

Lunacie
October 31st, 2003, 01:10 PM
My daughter is 30 now. I nursed her until she was 14 months and I got a lot of raised eyebrows and worse for doing it that long. I agreed that they will wean themselves when they are ready, and momma can do it sooner if she needs to.

My daughter has been nursing non-stop for almost six years now. She nursed her first daughter until she was 3+ which is when the second baby was born, and has been nursing the little one for 2 years next month. Babies and children get much more from the experience of nursing than just "nourishment". It is a close bonding with the mother and often a source of comfort. When our little one is sick she practically sleeps attached to her mommy's breast.

In some cultures it's acceptable to nurse children until they are five or six. In our culture only 30-40 years ago it was practically unacceptable to nurse at all. When I was a child the mothers who did nurse did so for about 9 months. These days it seems like 1 year is the norm. But as you can see, it changes from place to place and over time as well. Just as the decision on whether to nurse or bottle feed is up to the mother, she should also be able to make the decision on how long to nurse without being judged by others for doing something so natural and good.


*edited for typo*

bluglass
October 31st, 2003, 01:10 PM
As beautiful and eye opening as a child understanding that his / her mother has provided the essentials for his/her growing up in a healthy manner .. that's fine ..

From a psychological point of view .. it can become something that effects a child in not so positive ways.

The only reason that I stress that is because I'm a major in psych / child development. I have a daughter that is 7 years old. I understand the processes .. and it just seems to me that anything after 10 months or so is excessive.

You should do some more reading. There are a number of excelent studies done by reputable persons that discuss this topic. You can best find them by visiting the LLLI website.

The worldwide average for breastfeeding is about 5 years. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding to about 24 months as ideal. The American Academy of Pediatrics, in only the last year, has come into the 20th century and changed its recommndation that breastfeeding should continue to 12 months. The health benefits still far outweigh the risks except possibly with HIV transmission according to some research I read the other day.

My children nursed to 24 months and 37 months. By the time my daughter was 3yrs old we really weren't nursing much in public anymore and in the US culturally it is not ideal. This should change. The US is the exception in what is acceptible. We have the lowest rates of breastfeeding success in the world and I don't think it is anything to brag about. If the rest of the world is doing it and we aren't something is wrong. We are NOT leading the way to anything good but have given it up.

Breastfeeding is far easier, once you get the hang of it than forumla -- I've done that too! No tools, no mixing, no need to keep cold or heat up. No forgetting bottles, nipples or any equipment. Just lift shirt and feed -- no attachments needed with the possible exception of a nursing neckless for the distractible child. Formula -- as good as it currently is simply does not contain all the chemical components that breatmilk does. Nor is formula specifically designed to meet the immune needs of the individual child as breastmilk does. Mom's body will even make milk that has more caloric content for the premature infant's needs.

The current recommendation on starting solids is between 6 and 9 months depending on the immune system of the child. For those who are allergic or come from highly allergic families later can be better. But, if you start formula solids are there from the getgo.

As to too old -- it is up to mom and child. The opinions stated her well show the diversity and individuality each woman brings to motherhood and/or womanhood. So long as the relationship is mutually beneficial and both are inclined to continue it should/can continue. Many moms who are extended breastfeeders follow child-led weaning. As previously stated many moms use the "don't ask don't offer" method. Cold turkey is not recommended under any circumstance. It is traumatic for child and leads to a wicked case of engorgement for mom often blowing up into nasty mastitis (and if you thought your breasts ached during your period multiply that by 100 and add in a raging 103 or highter fever and you are in for a nasty delerious time. Then add in the havoc that antibiotics wreaks i.e., yeast infection and you are not a happy camper who still has diapers to change and care of another to take when you just want to curl up and die. And that doesn't include the rollercoaster effect to the sudden, dramatic shift in hormones.) Rather, gradually adding time between feedings so they become less frequent allows the body to reduce milk production over time -- say a couple of weeks to months -- so that mom doesn't get sick and child adjusts.

I never thought I would nurse so long as I did. I started out simply needing to feed a child who couldn't tollerate formula of any kind and with an interest to boost I.Q. which it does do according to research. But, I found my children recovered quickly from illness and didn't get what every one had or got it with less severity. And I stayed much healthier too. My daughter and I got several very bad illnesses at 37 months when she was hardly nursing any more which led to my getting dehydrated and my milk never came back. Now 10 months later she is still sad about the loss. At first she asked me if she behaved better would I make milk again and why didn't I lover her any more? I had to explain that my body decided that since she got better from being sick without milk that her body was big and strong enough to take care of itself and so it stopped making milk. My child had a need I was unable to fulfil until she grew out of the need and she suffered for it. How good can that be?

In closing now that she is almost 4 she is able to articulate her understanding of and respond to my explanation of why she doesn't nurse anymore. She herself says she is just too big now. If we had continued she would, in all probability, have stopped nursing completely by just about now as it should have been. Instead we have endured months of trauma till she caught up with circumstances.

blu

Ravens_Tears
October 31st, 2003, 01:54 PM
Quoth schadenfreude
*smiles* .. I think too old is when a child can logically comprehend that he's sucking on his momma's titty .. but that's just my crude opionion on this thread.

** raises an eyebrow **
By that logic, I guess we should be cutting off bottle-fed babies when they logically comprehend that they're sucking on an artificial nipple? What's wrong with a child understanding that the breast is a part of their mother and a source of nourishment? Breasts are designed/intended for producing milk... not to be "toys" :|.



Quoth schadenfreude
As beautiful and eye opening as a child understanding that his / her mother has provided the essentials for his/her growing up in a healthy manner .. that's fine ..

From a psychological point of view .. it can become something that effects a child in not so positive ways.

The only reason that I stress that is because I'm a major in psych / child development. I have a daughter that is 7 years old. I understand the processes .. and it just seems to me that anything after 10 months or so is excessive.

Strange.... I was majoring in Psych/Child Development in university 10 years ago.... at no time have I ever in the course of my studies and research encountered such theories or attitudes from the Psychology or Sociology perspectives. Perhaps you might want to persue some cross cultural psych/soc courses as well as including some sociology courses in your program. I personally would be very interested to know what this negative theory is based upon. Particularly what ages and in what negative ways nursing beyond 10 months would be detrimental to a child.

FaerieGothMommy
October 31st, 2003, 02:20 PM
The only reason that I stress that is because I'm a major in psych / child development. I have a daughter that is 7 years old. I understand the processes .. and it just seems to me that anything after 10 months or so is excessive.

Okay, yeh i partially agree! After thinking about this, i changed my mind a little. I think a child can be happily breastfed for over a year. Which is what i wanted to do, as i said before, it just so happened my daughter was ready to be weaned off at 9 months.

Autumn
October 31st, 2003, 03:18 PM
Yeah Bluglass!

You got the stats up I was going to post. I additionally wish to state that many mother isn the US and Canada tandem nurse. I nursed my first till she was 30 months old and my second till she was 22 months and weaned herself. I did cut them both off public nursing when the squirm factor feft me kind of exposed. (a little older than a year).

Two peices of info for you, number one part of our problem with the lousy rate of breastfeeding is the doctors and nurses who know so little about the process that they offer mothers suboptimal help when there is a problem. Ideally less then 10 percent of women should have problems producing enough milk, that so many women are told the are not producing enough milk is a travesty, there are ways to up milk production, there are ways to turn a pokey feeder around and the fact that pediatricians (generally) allow things to fall apart is a damn shame.

Culturally we do not really support breastfeeding, I cringe every time I hear La Leche league potrayed as a bunch of whackos, They know what works, they care enough to keep helping. I also cringe evry single time I hear that someone stopped breastfeeding for lack of enough milk. (((HUGS TO AR, I know you tried))) when the lack really is of the right supportive and knowlegable help!!

Babies who stop breastfeeding prior to 12 months generally holiday weaned...life got so busy and they were happy for the sippy cup and after a week or two, well there isn't much milk being made anymore so baby looses interest. I place this here so people learn in the future that babies under a year do not self wean, we wean them inadvertantly.

Formula has its place and its uses. I am not ranting against it. It is truly a lifesaver. However breastfeeding is the gold standard and as a culture we need to think about getting our rates up in the 75% and above range. Those protrusians on women's chests are not decorations they are babyfeeders! Do you know that in many parts of the Islamic world where women are obliged to cover their hair and faces it is perfectly normal to be seen in the streets with a breastfeeding baby!! they do not have to take special care to cover the breast!!!

Sorry rant over!

schadenfreude
October 31st, 2003, 04:02 PM
Actually .. it doesn't really matter who agrees and who doesn't. I read more than the average 50 people put together .. but take your suggestion t heart, thank you. Perhaps .. the 10 years of studying the same subject that I currently am .. would be the reason why there is a difference in opinion. Facts change with time .. sad but cold truth.

I didn't really come here to argue with anyone .. so I'm not going to. I merely stated my opinion. I think it's digusting to see a child above the age of 1 breastfeeding. If you guys are bonding and enjoy that sort of thing then fine .. good for you and your healthy child .. more power to you. I'm merely stating my opinion.

Ravens_Tears
October 31st, 2003, 04:34 PM
What is disgusting about it?

Biinasu
October 31st, 2003, 06:12 PM
I think it's digusting to see a child above the age of 1 breastfeeding.

That's precisely *why* breastfeeding has such a horrible success rate here. Because feeding your child is hardly disgusting. A close friend of mine who is breast feeding twins is still doing it, even as they near their third birthday, though one of them is almost weaned. It's not disgusting, and trust me, she's not doing it for -her- health. That's what her children need, and she's providing it for them. I applaud her for that, but not everyone here is well informed about breastfeeding and the benefits that come from it.


I read -somewhere- that most doctors aren't actually educated a lot about it, and what they know about feeding babies comes from the promotions that the formula people send them. Ahem. >_>; But breastfeeding a thirty year old? Disgusting. Breastfeeding a three year old? Well...I guess that's up to interpretation. But if anyone else is interested in joining me in some mass migration, feel free.

FaerieGothMommy
November 1st, 2003, 07:18 AM
Culturally we do not really support breastfeeding, I cringe every time I hear La Leche league potrayed as a bunch of whackos, They know what works, they care enough to keep helping. I also cringe evry single time I hear that someone stopped breastfeeding for lack of enough milk. (((HUGS TO AR, I know you tried))) when the lack really is of the right supportive and knowlegable help!!

I agree that alot of women are told that they have lack of milk, and therefor are unable to breastfeed. You can build up the flow of breastmilk, that is why, you produce just enough milk that our baby needs, because your breasts produce the amount of milk that your baby has.
I also hate it when people look down on companys like La Lecha League, i really did want to donate milk to this place, but unfortunatly didn't.


Babies who stop breastfeeding prior to 12 months generally holiday weaned...life got so busy and they were happy for the sippy cup and after a week or two, well there isn't much milk being made anymore so baby looses interest. I place this here so people learn in the future that babies under a year do not self wean, we wean them inadvertantly.

This i have to totally disagree with. My daughter in my eyes self weaned herself, she was only 9 months old. And, i never gave her a bottle and only gave her a sippy cup at dinner time with juice in it. Every other time she had my breast, but she became more and more disinterested because she was starting to eat more filling foods, so she was coming off the breast more & more, i did not wean her off because i was too busy doing something else, and just give her a bottle. I always offered her my breast.


Formula has its place and its uses. I am not ranting against it. It is truly a lifesaver. However breastfeeding is the gold standard and as a culture we need to think about getting our rates up in the 75% and above range. Those protrusians on women's chests are not decorations they are babyfeeders! Do you know that in many parts of the Islamic world where women are obliged to cover their hair and faces it is perfectly normal to be seen in the streets with a breastfeeding baby!! they do not have to take special care to cover the breast!!!

And this i also agree with, breasts are not decorations... they are porposly there to feed our babies. It actually upset me, when my sister had her son, and when i asked if she would breastfeed him, she said no because she doesn't want the pain or hassle!!!! this got me quiet angry.. i tryed to explain to her about breastfeeding, as i had breastfed my daughter... but she didn't want to know, her son was being bottle fed and that was that!
No one in my family had been breastfed before, my daughter is the first to be breastfed in our family (not including my mother,who was breastfed)... And i find this quiet disgusting, mothers are not giving there children the best they possibly can, and i mean the mothers who actually can. I give all credit to those who try, but later find out they can't... or for medical reason etc can't even give it a try.
It just upsets me, that some mothers won't even try breastfeeding because they can't be bothered :(


*FGM*

Autumn
November 1st, 2003, 02:52 PM
There is another reason some folks wean later, multiple food allergies. When these are present it is often easier to continue breastfeeding into the third year especially in children who are allergic to cows milk.

The note about "holiday weaning" occurs in the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding revised 6th edition on page 149 and is not my personal opinion. I am sure FGM and her baby are just fine and 9 months is a goodly time. I am just working to fight misconceptions. My attitude is that choices made in the past are in the past, the baby is healthy and frowing and that's that. I am not interested in people feeling guilty, I am interested in accurate information and success in the future.

LLLI is not a milk bank on a national level, There are milk banks in big cities and such, especially those with tertiary children's hospitals. The last quote I heard on the price of milk was....$30 an ounce. this cost covers the needed testin and processing as well as operational overhead, most milk that goes in is donated. Some critically ill neonates and infants are dependent on the stuff especially premies. Any one who has ever had a critically ill infant will tell you it can be very difficult to establish and maintain a milk supply with only an electric pump.

Oh and I suggest anyone with questions about formula companies read Milk, Money and Madness.. I am sorry I don't have the author right at hand.

~*Ginger*~
November 1st, 2003, 10:09 PM
Thank you Autumn.

DragonLove
November 3rd, 2003, 11:23 AM
Fairygothmommy,

Why does it bother you if a woman decides NOT to breastfeed? It doesnt bother me to see a baby breastfed, its natural and beautiful (up to a point of course).

I didnt breastfeed either of my girls because I didnt want to. Does that make me a bad mother? NO! I nourished my children with formula and developed a bond by having them sleep with me for the first few months and today I have 2 happy, healthy girls (one of which is starting to get breast buds!!!) OMG! lol

~*Ginger*~
November 3rd, 2003, 01:40 PM
I didnt breastfeed either of my girls because I didnt want to. Does that make me a bad mother?
Of course not... :)

Fire Spirit
November 3rd, 2003, 02:32 PM
For the "natural" question: according to Katheryn Detwyller an Anthropologist out of Taxas A&M, the natural age of weaning is 2.5 to 7 years. The American Assoc of Ped recommends at least one year and the World Health Org recommends 2 years, but saying to continue as long as Mom and child are comfortable.

There are health, financial, and mental benefits to nursing an "older" child. I am nursing a 2 and a half year old and cant believe it sometimes. Until you are there, you dont know what you will do.

Many pagan are constantly trying to get people to open their minds about different faiths and spiritual paths. It seems like many of you need to do that for extended nursing. Read up, study about it, and go to a Le Leche League meeting to be around moms of nursing toddlers and preschoolers. If you arent exposed to it, it is harder for you to be comfortable with it. How many Christians are against pagans because they dont understand it and think its about worshipping satan? Reminds me of some of you who are against extended nursing because you dont understand it either, and sounds like you dont want to.

DayDreamer
November 4th, 2003, 11:35 AM
I cannot BELIEVE some of the ignorance that is showing here. Breastfeeding is the NATURAL way to feed a baby. Bottle feeding formula is a poor substitute. There is absolutely NO formula on the planet that is better for a baby than it's mother's breastmilk. It is impossible. How could any lab create a food for an infant that contains all the immunities that a baby needs at EACH INDIVIDUAL FEEDING?? that's right, the breast milk changes to suit that individual baby's needs at every feeding. Mom gets the flu? Her milk changes to include antibodies to prevent the baby from catching it (or getting a much milder case). Did you know that the World Health Organization recommends nursing for a MINIMUM of two years? The American Medical Association recommends nursing for a MINIMUM of one year? The average weaning age in the WORLD is age 7 years. Why? Because no matter how long you nurse, there are STILL health benefits to the child!! And health benefits to the mother.

A woman who breastfeeds her child for two years dramatically reduces her risk of breast and uterine cancer. Formula has been linked to obesity (probably because bottle fed infants are believed to "need" a certain amount and could potentially be force-fed, then not learning to recognize their body's "full" signal. A breast does not come equipped with ounces marked on it, so the baby eats until full).

You may think it is "icky" or disgusting or whatever for an older child to still be breastfeeding, be it for nutrition or comfort.... but breasts have been oversexualized in our culture. Are they used for sex? sure. But their PRIMARY function is to feed our young. They ARE mammary glands, after all.

On another note... how many of you think it is "disgusting" when a woman breastfeeds a baby in public? I've heard people comment that it's sick, she should do it in the bathroom, or whatever. WHY?? Would YOU want to eat in a bathroom? I didn't think so!! If it is acceptable for a baby to bottle-fed in a location, it is also acceptable for an infant to be breastfed. Blanket covering or not. Nursing in public is LEGAL in all 50 states, and if you go to www.breastfeeding.com you can actually find a link to the legislation involved. If someone in a public place tells a woman she has to leave or stop breastfeeding, that person is violating the law.

Autumn
November 4th, 2003, 12:19 PM
Actually Kathryn Detwyller was where I got the concept of there being a potential problem with not breastfeeding. She did a dinner lecture in my town and talked about how healthcare providers often feel like they are making women feel guilty if they push breastfeeding and she made the point that we do not feel we are doing anything bad if we push car seats or not smoking in the home. In fact we consider the non use of a car seat neglect!

However I do not want people to feel bad for what's in the past!!!

I want other people to think about their negative opinions about breastfeeding. I want to change the culture one person at a time!

I want more health care professionals to know breastfeeding. to give good information to nursing mothers who are having problems and to know how to help fix the problems and to not be so attached to knowing a baby took x amount. Jack Newman MD says that only 5-10% of women should be unable to produce enough milk to feed their babies! Women are told they don't have enough milk, generally when the doctor has no clue how to fix the problem...AR I do not mean you, but I do know that many doctors when faced with a hungry baby and a frantic mother reach first for the bottle!

DragonLove
November 4th, 2003, 12:26 PM
I dont think anyone here is anti-breastfeeding...but ignorance also lies with those who will slam those who choose to bottle feed. Everyone knows that breastfeeding is best but I disagree that formula is a poor substitute.

Autumn
November 4th, 2003, 12:55 PM
It isn't so much that formula is a poor substitute as that breastmilk is so vastly superior.

Nobody is slamming bottle feeding here, we are just trying to change cultural attitudes so folks are not made to feel wrong for feeding their babis in the way the Goddess intended. If you bottlefed from the start and are finding this makes you feel guilty remember this, Your children are healthy and growing, you simply acted on the information you had at the time. Now, knowing more about the benefits of breastfeeding I ask only one thing of you...acceptance of the information. time was when OB's told women it was ok to have a drink a day while pregnant, now we know better. Do women who followed their OB's advice at the time tie themselves in knots about it? NO, they just tell their daughters that it is unwise to drink alcohol while pregnant.

If you formula fed, when a friend has breastfeeding troubles hook her up with La Leche League and wish her love and success. Is that so hard? We know breast is best and just because formula is adequit does not mean it's the ideal choice.

Jevity is a formula that is used by adults in feeding tubes when some illness makes it impossible for them to eat in a normal way. Nobody would ever say that Jevity is as good as eating real food...and the only diffrence between Jevity and Similac is the proportion of vitamines protein and carbos.

Remember you are the only one who can make you feel guilty.

Fire Spirit
November 4th, 2003, 02:12 PM
Autumn, I read where the stats of women not being able to physically have enough milk was more like 1%. I got that from a lactation text book. Either way, it is sad how many women are told they can't produce enough milk when they really can. We do have to change this culture one person at a time. I am not anti-botle feeding as long as the mom does all the research and understands the many health risks from feeding artificial milk.

DayDreamer
November 4th, 2003, 03:32 PM
The first milk is colustrum, and there isn't much of it - but it is FULL of antibodies and other good things for a newborn. It takes several days for the milk to come in, and then it takes time for the milk supply to be established. Supplementing with formula will actually undermine the efforts to breastfeed. The more you nurse, the more milk you make - so if you are supplementing with formula, then you make LESS milk. Ultimately, this can lead to early weaning.

In addition, nipple confusion is a big problem. It doesn't happen with all babies, but it is common. Using any artificial nipple (bottle, pacifier, etc.) can cause the infant to not want to take the breast. If your child needs to suck, put him/her to the breast. Become a human pacifier for a while.

Women who TRULY are unable to produce milk are incredibly rare. There is also no such thing as a baby who is "allergic" to breastmilk (except for the ones with galactosemia, which is a condition that won't allow the infant to digest milk protein of ANY kind, including regular formulas). Babies considered to be "allergic" to breastmilk are actually sensitive to something in the MOTHER'S diet. Onions, spices, dairy products (very common), wine, caffeine, and many other things eaten by the mom can cause an infant to seem colicky or have gastrointestinal upset. It is NOT an allergy to breastmilk. The best thing to do in that situation is to do an elimination diet, and figure out what the child is sensitive to.

There are SO many myths about breastfeeding:

Bottle feeding is easier. ** How so? flip up shirt, attach baby. No sterilizing anything, no mixing formula or getting up in the middle of the night to make bottles**

Formula is just as good. **OH HELL NO it's not. Formula is linked to obesity, food allergies, and diabetes. Breastmilk provides antibodies the baby needs and adjusts to the individual infant's requirements at EVERY feeding. It also is digested easier.**

I couldn't produce milk. **very rare. Milk takes several days to come in... don't worry, baby will NOT starve!**

I have inverted nipples. **this is difficult, but with the help of a lactation consultant, it can be done.**

I had a breast reduction surgery. **this CAN be a problem, but it depends on whether the milk ducts were cut. Nursing is still possible for many.**

My boobs belong to my husband. **Actually, your breasts were created for you to nourish your young. The sexual usage is societal, not instinctive.**

Besides that... breastfeeding is FREE!! :)

DayDreamer
November 4th, 2003, 03:35 PM
Fire Spirit... check your PMs :)

fahawk
November 4th, 2003, 04:26 PM
I think breastfeeding is ideal.....but being a mom, and having children is alot of work regardless...and there seems a real lack of support as it is...
lets not beat each other up and ourselves .....its along road, and we all learn as we go...
as my children got older, they slowly nursed less, but they still needed the emotional comfort..so that was wonderful too..

I also got very exhausted from because all of my babes would wake countless times..and nursing was alot...but I prevailed...but wonder if hubby hadn't used a bottle occasionally my sanity would have been better..:)

Anyway.. mothering is a wonderful thing, but hard too...and we all are in different places, have different lifestyles and needs...so cheers to all of us!!

BethieRose
November 4th, 2003, 07:40 PM
How does our language about feeding babies continue a formula feeding culture?

Watch Your Language! By Diane Wiessinger, MS, IBCLC (http://www.het.brown.edu/people/kjp/stuff/watch_your_language.htm)

Like the others just before me said, I don't want any formula feeders to feel guilty. Both my children had formula at some point in their lives. My son for quite a long time, actually. But I do want to change our culture so that breastfeeding is not considered "disgusting" or "abnormal". I'm tired of defending my choice to breastfeed. I'm tired of being asked to take my breastfeeding child to a restroom to eat. Quite honestly, I'm tired of the ignorance abounding in our society about breastfeeding.

It's one thing to choose formula feeding after being FULLY informed. It's quite another to choose to formula feeding out of ignorance. When parents are making this choice, too often they are given inaccurate information by doctors and nurses, by family and friends. That has got to stop, imo. It's not fair to parents and it's certainly not fair to the children.

~*Ginger*~
November 4th, 2003, 10:06 PM
I'm tired of being asked to take my breastfeeding child to a restroom to eat.
ummm, maybe it's cause I'm older...I never ran into this or anyone acting misinformed.
My answer to someone like this would have been, "Mind your own damn business!"

Isn't it wonderful that we do have a choice and it's ours to make?

Fire Spirit
November 4th, 2003, 10:46 PM
Here are some snappy comebacks for ya:


Responses to "Are you still nursing?"

"No, I'm not, my mother lives too far away. Jacob is, though."

"Of course! Nothing but the best for your grandson!" (or nephew or whatever)

"Yes, isn't it amazing? I am so glad he's not in a hurry to grow up"

"Yes, it's really been a life-saver, it is the only liquid he'll drink when he's not feeling well"

"Absolutely, isn't love a wonderful thing?"

"Yes!" (then hold up your hand expecting the other person to high-five you)

"Right now? No, he's over there playing. I need him to do it"

"I was never a nurse. I don't like needles! I'm an Accountant, remember?"

"Yes, his doctor is so thrilled. So many moms give up due to pressures of friends and family" (hint hint)

"Yes, and he's a real pro at it. I am so proud of him"

"Everyone asks that, it must be because he's so incredibly healthy" (not really answering, but it gets the point across that you aren't planning on answering)

"I get that question all the time. It is so great that people are looking out for him!" (again, not answering)
"Yes, he deserves the very best. He's such a good baby."

(for someone who continuously asks) "It is funny how people ask that, but then they don't really want to know"

(for someone who continuously asks) "Of course, I am glad you keep asking. It shows you want the best for him"

(and another for someone who is hounding you to no end) "do you really want to know this time? You didn't seem satisfied with my answer last time."

Responses to "When are you planning on weaning?"

"I'm not. He'll wean me."

"Before he graduates"

"He hasn't told me yet."

"I haven't asked him yet. He doesn't really make plans for the future at this point. He just does things day to day"

"I don't know, I guess when my milk dries up" (confuse a person who has no clue about breastfeeding)

"I hope not for a while. We're both enjoying our time together"

"I don't know, when the puppies weaned, they were taken away from their mother. It doesn't seem like such a great thing to me"

(sometimes they ask, "when will you start giving him cow's milk?") "Not sure, maybe if he starts thinking he is a calf"

"What, and get my PMS back? are you crazy?"

"I don't know. He seems to still enjoy it and I enjoy those extra 500 calories I burn"

"It is so hard to plan anything with a baby. We're just doing things day to day."

" We're in no rush, he has time to make up his own mind"

"Thanks for asking. Everyone seems to need an answer for that except for me and my child."

(and another for someone who is hounding you to no end) "It depends, when are you planning on asking me again?"

Amethyst Rose
November 5th, 2003, 12:06 AM
Speaking from my own personal experience, ideally I would breastfeed my baby until he's a year old.... however, at 6 months I would try to bottle feed EBM (expressed breast milk) with a bottle during the day and breastfeed at night.
As things are now, my baby gets a little bit of breastmilk (no way to tell how much, but every little bit counts), and is supplemented with formula. This is because a lactation consultant determined that due to a breast reduction surgery 6 years ago, I am not producing enough for my baby. At the moment, I am taking herbs to work on increasing my supply, however, if ducts have been cut, it is possible that my supply can increase, but still not be able to get out of the breast.
My experience has shaped my opinion so that while I may have been a huge breastfeeding advocate before, now I feel that no matter how a woman chooses to feed her child, she is still nurturing, bonding with and loving her baby, and you don't need the breast to do that. (Did that make sense?)
On a side note, my mom only breastfed me for 3 months and my sister for 2 because we refused the breast at that time.

Fire Spirit
November 5th, 2003, 12:42 AM
Amethyst Rose, have you tried this? http://www.emersonecologics.com/ProductInformation.asp?BrowseBy=MOTH8 Its a tincture of herbs and one is goats rue which actually increases breast tissue. When I lost my supply this worked wonders for me.

~*Ginger*~
November 5th, 2003, 01:09 AM
Responses to "Are you still nursing?"
It's her turn, you'll have to wait in line!
:lol:

Fire Spirit
November 5th, 2003, 09:43 AM
Flora, that is too funny!

DayDreamer
November 5th, 2003, 09:53 AM
Love those come-backs!! :lol:

Fire Spirit... check your PMs again :)

fahawk
November 5th, 2003, 10:02 AM
When I started out..had my first kids...I was very "pro" breastfeeding (maybe opinionated ? :) :)
I always thought I would love to help other moms with breastfeeding. encourage,
I do feel there is a lack of support, help when a woman runs in to problems...also the handing out, encouraging formula in some hosp. is very common...
But with age, I too now realize I am not in control, I am not living someone else life, walking in their shoes...
I remember being exhausted from continuous nursing/waking in the night..
Never even thought that hubby could give a bottle...I was so into wanting to breastfeed.
Plus living in a rural place, i did not have someone to give support, ask questions of...learned as I went...sometimes the hard way..

I still love the nursing/breastfeeding, and think it is a wonderful bonding time, plus nutrition wise for the baby..
But I do not know what someone elses life is..if they work..how they juggle their time..I would encouraging everyone to breastfeed, experience it..it is worth it...but I am not to judge the length of time someone choices...6 months, 1 year, 5 years, we are all moms trying to do our best... :) And if 5 years is good for one family, then they have my vote, and if someone can at least do 6 months or 1 year, then at least the baby has been given a good start... I remember saying, I would only nurse for so many months, but then I found out I did want to continue longer..so everyone has the chance to change/grow/decide/nothing is written in stone...

DragonLove
November 5th, 2003, 10:20 AM
This thread obviously went astray. This isnt about how wonderful breastfeeding is for a baby and why it should be done..its about the age issue and how old is too old.

Fire Spirit
November 5th, 2003, 10:41 AM
Well with people bashing breastfeeding, I think we all figured that some pro breastfeeding talk was in order. You have to understand why breastfeeding is the best for the child and the mother to talk about not weaning early. People need to read the facts about breastfeeding before they will understand why people nurse past 6 months, a year, toddlerhood, etc. Its easy to just say "I think moms should let their child self wean," or "I am still nursing" but the most important thing is to help people understand why this choice is being made. That means going back to the basics and starting over a bit to help people understand why nursing a toddler is not gross or sexual in any way. Opinions WILL change once this is let out of the dark and more people can see how natural it is to extended nurse a child.

Some of us are persecuted/harassed/stared at everyday because we are pagan. Some of us dont tell our friends and family that we are because they just dont understand or want to. Some of us only do spells/rituals, etc in the privacy of our own homes and dont join public rituals so people will not see what we are doing and judge/harass/fire us. Well, the same thing goes for breastfeeding, and especially breastfeeding past the age where others, including some of the pagans here, think is appropriate. Now imagine being a pagan mom of a breastfeeding toddler. I bet you would want to help educate as many (at least other pagans) as possible about breastfeeding and extended nursing.

DayDreamer
November 5th, 2003, 10:44 AM
I've noticed that those who embrace the AP (attachment parenting) or NP (natural parenting) lifestyles are more likely to breastfeed, and for longer periods. I just wonder if they tend to be mostly fundamentalist Christians as well - I've known a few.

Fire Spirit, check your PMs again :) LOL

~*Ginger*~
November 5th, 2003, 11:58 AM
This thread obviously went astray. This isnt about how wonderful breastfeeding is for a baby and why it should be done..its about the age issue and how old is too old.
Sometimes that happens to all of us.

You did a good thing by starting this topic DragonLove, even if it didn't go the way you wanted/expected.

Just think, someone may be searching for info on brestfeeding and find that pagans are pretty good people who love and care for their children.

YAY!
*for Public Relations*

DragonLove
November 5th, 2003, 12:29 PM
Sometimes that happens to all of us.

You did a good thing by starting this topic DragonLove, even if it didn't go the way you wanted/expected.

Just think, someone may be searching for info on brestfeeding and find that pagans are pretty good people who love and care for their children.

YAY!
*for Public Relations*

Hear! Hear!

Autumn
November 5th, 2003, 05:29 PM
Well I have spent time at a very AP board, AP has families from all walks of life not just the fundementalist christian (FC) community. It isn't about your religeon so much as who you are as a person and as a parent. I was more AP when my girls were babies than I am now, but I also would not call my style authoritarian...I am more pushing themto be independant thinkers and players.

I have a friend who's FC and there is a constant debate in her congregation over AP Vs Ezzo and other authortarian ways of childrearing.

The more breastfeeding and extended breastfeeding are accepted and practiced the healthier the population will be. setting a rule only invites exceptions after all!

WoolieBabieMama
November 6th, 2003, 04:19 AM
Welp this thread was really fun to read! Just as I was getting all ready to post a bf defense, someone else did..LOL

I nurse my kids..a LOT. I just do and dont really care what anyone thinks because its not about them. I do feel sad when I hear someone refer to a breast as a tit or boob or something along those lines because it is based on the breast=sex idea. I have been active in the breastfeeding advocacy movement for as long as I have been a mother. I couldnt ever put a age limit on a child's need to nurse because it is just that..a need. I wouldnt wean any of my kids because they got to be a certain age..nursing is just part of my mothering. You cant force a child to nurse and it is so much more than milk.

I have given up the arguing about why it is better in my old age...LOL..I just do it and it works so very well for us.

Warmly,

Amy atb-triandem nurser

Sekhemet
November 6th, 2003, 09:37 AM
Breast feeding should cease when the child and mother both are ready to stop - they will stop looking/asking for it - You will know.

IMHO - longer is better, but if you're still BF'ing a 4 year old, you missed the cue ... (yes, I have seen it happen)
It is not however anyone elses business.

Fire Spirit
November 6th, 2003, 10:58 AM
Did you miss the part about the average age of weaning in the world is 4.2 years? What exactly is the cue she has missed?
Are referring to, "they will stop looking/asking for it"? How many breastfed children do you have that have weaned? Do you know how weaning works? Sometimes the mother knows best that the child "needs" to nurse and so offers it to them. You cannot force a child to nurse.

You say its no one elses business, but you clearly think its yours by saying that there are cues to be missed because YOU have seen it happen. How many older children nursing do you know? How many times have you seen it happen? You sound like someone who has worked with nursing mothers by the comments you are making.

BethieRose
November 6th, 2003, 12:39 PM
There's also the fact that EVERY child, EVERY parent, and EVERY family is different. Why should an arbitrary age be chosen? Is it based on averages? If so, you'll have kids fall on either side of that. That's why it's important to remember the great range of ages at which weaning can naturally occur when a child is allowed to lead the process.

Why should any person, adult or child, HAVE to fit into some presorted, strictly formed mold that society has deemed the only way?

Storm
November 7th, 2003, 01:30 PM
I have to say this thread is awesome. I am a big proponent of breastfeeding. I would never bash anyone for bottlefeeding but I say whenever possible breatfeed. My kids weaned at 9 and 11 mos. If I lived in a third world country and food was scarse I would have considered it meerly a strike and waited for it to pass and resumed nursing again. But I let it go and they did fine. To those who say it's natural in a third world country but since we are in america passed 10 mos is excessive...what? We are still the same animal. I don't think that in a primative society a child would have been allowed to nurse till 6-10 years. The tribe would fret and wonder what was wrong with the child. But till 4 yrs seems completely reasonable considering it was a free and healthy meal. More food for everyone else. For any americans who think it is gross or crude well that is just social conditioning and need to get over it. I nursed in the bathroom before and it isn't nice, comfortable or healthy. I would never do it again, were I to have more.