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Please No Bashing!

post #1 of 91
Thread Starter 
I came across this website searching for information on fasting while breastfeeding. As I went threw the various forums I was taken back on how many still let their older children nurse. Now, I have no right to judge, and I'm not here to do that. I have a 4 month old that I'm nursing. I've just never heard of this. I thought everyone stopped at 1 year of age. Call it ignorance if you would like. I'm interested in knowing why? I mean, is there evidence that its good for our children? Again, please no bashing. I'm not here to bash you, I honestly would like to know. I'm here to learn, I have a very open mind. I also want to do whats best for my son.

Thank you,
post #2 of 91

No bashing from me

There's lots of evidence that nursing past a year old is very good for child's emotional, immunological and physical health. One year is a minimum suggested by the AAP, and they recommend going longer, for as long as is mutually satisfactory for both mother and child. The world health organization recomends two years as a minimum.

There's lots of moms here who would be willing to tell you more. As you can tell from my sig this is all pretty theoretical for me. I'm posting what I know from medical organizationrecs as that's all I know and becuase no one else has posted yet.

I'm glad you're open to learning about extended breastfeeding and child led weaning, and I think it's wonderful that you want to give your baby the best.

Read the boards, and ask more questions and you'll learn tons here.

Hope this helped.
post #3 of 91
I am definately no expert, my first two were weaned at 1, but this little guy is now 1 and still going string, so i would love the info on the benefits to tell my very amazed family- si i'm subbing to see what they come up with.
post #4 of 91
I don't think anyone will flame you for trying to educate yourself!!

Yes, there are documented health benefits for both you and your baby for nursing well beyond 12 months!

The American Academy of Pediatrics and many other organizations recommend nursing for AT LEAST one year, and as long as desired by both mother and baby.

The American Academy of Family Physicians suggests that doctors support mothers who are nursing beyond infancy b/c of the increased risk of health issues if the child is weaned before two.

The World Health Organization recommends nursing for at least two years.
(I can provide references for these if anyone wants them, I just don't have the time right now to scare them up.)

Check out these articles on nursing beyond a year:
Kellymom: Nursing beyond a year

A great book is "Mothering Your Nursing Toddler."

Hope this helps!
post #5 of 91
Thread Starter 
Thank you for not bashing, I was worried I would get bombarded with hate replys. I have a 3 year old that I formula fed, I think I was too young when I had him to be comfortable with myself and breastfeeding. Breastfeeding my 4 month old has be such a great experience. Hes just started to stop sucking, and then looking up at me to smile, then proceed to start sucking again. Its the best feeling!
I also dont know what some of the abrv. words on here mean.. If anyone would be willing to help, I would greatly appreciate it.
I'm not sure what "tandem" (I hope I spelled it right) means. Also I see alot of "DD" in the threads and I'm not sure what that means as well.

Thank you guys once again.
post #6 of 91
I for one appreciate your thoughtful question. My goal when ds (dear son) was born was to nurse him for one year. As he grew, nursing was such a huge part of our relationship, it didn't make sense to me to "cut him off" at one year. I started doing research and learned there are myriad health benefits to both mother and child when breastfeeding beyond one year.

In addition to the breastfeeding resources other posters have mentioned, you might be interested in reading some work by Kathryn Dettwyler, an anthropologist that has studied the natural weaning age of humans. She has determined it to be between the ages of 2.5 and 7 years. Consider that everyone (it seems) encourages us to give our children cow's "breast" milk after they turn one. Cow's milk is intended to grow calves; human milk is intended to grow children! Also, I believe the average age of weaning worldwide is 4.2 years (the U.S. must really bring the average down).

This forum in particular is to support mothers that plan to let their child lead the way in the weaning process (you'll notice there is also a forum for "breastfeeding beyond infancy"), but everyone is welcome to come here and learn. Good luck with your journey!
post #7 of 91
A good place to start IMO is to compare us to other similar mammals. In comparison with other large and long-lived mammals (like larger apes) we should nurse a lot longer than 1 year. Also, look to tribal societies to see how humans SHOULD live- they show that the natural weaning age is somewhere between 4 and 7 years old. You know how picky toddlers can be about what they eat? Wouldn't it be great if you didn't have to worry because you knew they were still getting the perfect food? Do you give your children cow's milk starting at a year? Doesn't it seem pretty silly to take away their HUMAN milk and replace it with COW'S milk?

The more you think on it the more obvious it is that we should nurse our babies and children a LOT longer than society tells us to.

post #8 of 91
Just to add one more thing... I just heard a breast cancer specialist say that the best thing a woman can do to lower her risk of breast cancer is nurse for two years.... so, not only am I growing a healthy babe- I am taking good care of me.
post #9 of 91
Thread Starter 
Thank you guys for being patient with me! As I think about it more, it is silly to take our milk away and replace it with a cows. Do you get bad looks or comments? I'm sure if I decided to nurse longer then a year my family would drive me crazy with hurtful remarks. At the same time I understand its my choice, and my son, but I dont know if I'm a strong enough person to handle that. How do you girls handle it? If married, or dating, how did your other half feel about it?

Thanks again you girls have been great!
post #10 of 91
DD is 2.75 years and nurses very frequently, I consider us to have years left in our nursing realtionship, anyway we nurse in public all the time and yes we do get stares. I do consider myself to be a modest person, and sometimes feel a little uncomfortable with the looks but I just remind myself of how much dd and I love nursing, and all those feelings go away. My family makes comments often, I've found humor to be the best way to diffuse the situation, I say something funny like,"she'll be weaned when she goes to college, because I'm not coming along!". DH wasn't quite sure about "extended" bfing at first but when dd got to a year he couldn't imagine her being weaned, and now he still can't imagine it. He's become a huge supporter of bfing and dishes out bfing advice to all the women at work. Besides, it's my body, and my choice.
post #11 of 91
Originally Posted by MotherOf2Boys
Thank you guys for being patient with me! As I think about it more, it is silly to take our milk away and replace it with a cows. Do you get bad looks or comments? I'm sure if I decided to nurse longer then a year my family would drive me crazy with hurtful remarks. At the same time I understand its my choice, and my son, but I dont know if I'm a strong enough person to handle that. How do you girls handle it? If married, or dating, how did your other half feel about it?

Thanks again you girls have been great!
My son, who is 19 months, is still nursing like a mad man. Although not much when we are out bc he is off having lots of fun, at night it's constant. My husand and family don't say anything negaitive. Before when he was still a baby baybeeee, they would ask "how much longer?" I would just spit the facts, being the expert that I am(lol) they don't know what to say afterwards. When they see how healthy, well-behaved, and well-adjusted my son is and they compliment I just chalk it up to breastfeeding and practicing AP. Thankfully I have a really supportive open-minded family.
In public no one has given me grief(sp?). That may be bc I put off the 'dont talk to me' vibe and look like a mad chola. lol jk or bc I am in southern california and FFers feel like the victims around here.
In the end it's YOUR baby and body. A remark or stare isnt the end of the world. KWIM?
post #12 of 91
I have actually never had a comment or even a look- I have a "don't mess with me aura" and no one does.

I nurse my daughter anywhere I am- it is great for heading off toddler-tantrums in the store.

My husband thinks it's great

post #13 of 91
My husband is our biggest supporter. I started slowing down on nursing in public (NIP) sometime after ds turned 3. My concern was that he was old enough to understand negative comments if we should encounter any (although we never did), plus he was pretty interested in what was going on around him then! But we certainly didn't slow down at home. He nursed throughout the 3's, slowed down to bedtime during the 4's, and now in his 5's, he skips weeks between nursing sessions. For all I know, he's weaned now. I'm ok with it either way.

Do you have a LLL group in your area? That would probably be a good place to find a few people that choose to nurse beyond one year (although not all do). They have some wonderful books about breastfeeding too.

The following quotes are from the American Academy of Pediatrics policy on breastfeeding and human milk, http://aappolicy.aappublications.org...rics;115/2/496

"Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother, especially in delaying return of fertility (thereby promoting optimal intervals between births).196

There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer.197"
post #14 of 91
When dd#1 was about 4 months I told the ped that I aimed to nurse to 1 year. She smiled at me and told me not to set goals, but to wait and see how I felt when it came to it.

Dd nursed to 3 years. I tandem nursed her with dd#2 (tandem means you are nursing a new baby plus older child). She was not ready to wean, and once I got to that stage, I saw no earthly reason to do so.

My advice is to wait until you get to that stage. Hang out here, and you're likely to find that once your son is 12 months old, you'll wonder how on earth you had imagined weaning him.

Congratulations on your baby, and for looking out for the best for him.
post #15 of 91
Thread Starter 
Thanks alot you girls, you sure have been helpful! I am aiming at a year, it seems so long away! I'll take my fiance to a few sites that you guys referred when he gets home. I'm sure he'll think I'm a goon, but whats new, lol. I believe we have a LLL about an hour away. But they have a phone number listed so that works too. Thanks for explaning some of the abbrv. that I didn't understand before.
I'm really amazed at how you girls are there with open arms, its very reassuring.

Thanks again!!
post #16 of 91
Glad to have you around. I think it's sad how abnormal the most normal of things has become in our society.

My personal goal is at least 2 years then probably as long as my daughter (dd for dear daughter) wants.

post #17 of 91
thanks for coming in and asking questions, motherof2boys! feel free to stick around and check out the other forums. my ds is 20 m and still nursing strong. its so funny, he has been talking for probably 6 months now, but it was only a couple days ago that he started to say "nurse'! now he says it a hundred times a day.
post #18 of 91
I am planning to CLW. When I started I planned on one year and that was it. Now that she is almost 10 months I know that there is no way I could wean her. I guess your attitude changes when you realize that bf'ing is such a joy. Before I actually experienced it myself I always thought of it as a sacrifice. Now it is the best time of the day.
post #19 of 91
I remember when I was pregnant with my first, we were going to a Bradley childbirth class and the instructor was nursing her 19 month old and I said to dh (dear hubby!) on the way home "Wow! I just thought that was really odd, didn't you?"

I nursed my first until he was almost 2.5 years. And I am tandem nursing (I think that was explained by a pp) my 3yr old and 2 yr old! : The things I thought and said.

There are many benefits for nursing past a year, read the links you've been provided with and I promise, it will open your . But for us, for our family, this works. I can't see weaning my girls when they so verbally tell me they still need it!

Good luck with your search, I hope you find the answers!!
post #20 of 91
C.R., education is important, but trusting your heart is also important. 4 mos is great! just knowing that going beyond a year is not just possible, but beneficial is powerful. now you can concentrate on enjoying nursing your little guy and take each day as it comes. some days will be more demanding then others, but the rewards are even better. before you know it, you'll be into the 2nd year and nursing will become a part of who you are as a mother. and your family will evolve with you. just trust that you are giving your child the best as well as yourself and you'll be setting a great example to others around you.
5 yrs ago when i was nursing a nearly 6 mos old, i never would have guessed that five years later he'd still be nursing along with a brother and a sister. but, i'm trusting that he will be know when he's done. somewhere in that first year i quit thinking about goals and just kept going what i felt was right.
my dh, dad, and MIL are my strongest supporters; but they had no clue like i had no clue that nursing would be such an important part of my children's lives
glad you stumbled in and hope you gain some valueable insight from all these wonderful mama's that come from such diverse backgrounds but have such a great thing in common. i'm starting to get really cheesy so i'm going to quit.
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