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11 YR old BF

post #1 of 160
Thread Starter 
Tonight while discussing with my family how long I was going to BF my DS, someone mentioned that they work with a lady who does EBF. This lady brags about EBF her 10 or 11 YEAR old son. She is a member of LLL, but does the LLL really support BF for that long? I have an 11yr old neice and they are already taking sex ed. classes and going through puberty. Boys that age are starting to see women in a whole new way.

What are your thoughts on how long EBF should be continued. Do you think BF for that long could create social problems for the child? Her other kids were also EBF for just as long i think. I have interacted with them on a few different occasions and them don't seem to fit in with the other kids, but try harder to find approval from the adults.


SO what do you think?....
post #2 of 160
I think that it is not up to me to judge other women for how long they breastfeed. I do not know her individual situation, nor do I know if my child will have weaned herself by age ten. I once thought age 4 or 5 was a ripe old age for a nursling. I knon now that every situation is unique, and it is not my place to say when a child weans.
Lauren
post #3 of 160
Well, like Lauren said I hate to tell other people how to do things since I don't want anyone telling me what to do.

While I can't imagine nursing until that age, I know it's different when it's your own child. I used to think 2-3 years old was too old (and sorta gross) until I had my own children. I nursed my dd until she weaned at 20 months (I was prepared to tandem nurse, but she weaned when I was 2mo pg) and will allow ds to wean when he is ready.

I can't really picture my siblings or myself nursing that long!
post #4 of 160
I think bf'ing an 11 yr old would probably be out of my comfort level. But who knows. I havent walked in those shoes.
post #5 of 160
It is definitely out of my comfort level as well.

But, I don't think it has anything to do with sex. The breasts (in most cultures) are only seen as mechanisms for feeding, not sex. Unless someone is taught that they are sexual, they aren't.

Personally, I feel that there are developmental windows for behavior and an 11 year old nursing does not fit in with my conception of what is developmentally appropriate. But I don't know that situation or that family, and I'm sure there are relevant factors that haven't been mentioned here.
post #6 of 160
I'm with the other posters. I used to think that a three year old was Waaayy too olf to be nursing, but my ds will be three next week and says he has no plans to stop.
post #7 of 160
I personally know for sure that I would not be comfortable nursing taht long. I don't think I would be comfortable seeing someone nurse a child of that age either.
That said yoru friend may have been exagerating too get a point across about extended BF. I say this because I know someone who does this all the time. She thinks that BF beyond a year is gross and will say things like " well tina Bf her daughter till she was in kindergarten" which someone may have been like whoa but I know tina and she bF until she started preschool at the age of three not six like she is portraying. Just though I'd point that out.
It also would not be in me if it was true to tell her she is wrong.
post #8 of 160
I would say that nursing to 11 years of age is definitely way out of the norm. Some girls are already going thru puberty at that age.

I don't even know if I really beleive this woman, but I guess it is possible for it to happen.
post #9 of 160
Quote:
I have interacted with them on a few different occasions and them don't seem to fit in with the other kids, but try harder to find approval from the adults.
Gee that describes how I was as a kid and I wasn't nursed for more than 8-9 months.:

Maybe that's just their personality types?

I think 11 is beyond my comfort range too, and it's rather outside the range of biologically "normal" weaning ages found in K. Dettwyler's research, but I try to not look askance at others who do things differently than I do. It'd be too tiring for one thing; most people in this country do things differently than we do.
post #10 of 160
Quote:
But, I don't think it has anything to do with sex. The breasts (in most cultures) are only seen as mechanisms for feeding, not sex. Unless someone is taught that they are sexual, they aren't.
I agree in principle, but in *this* culture, breasts are highly sexualized. : I would find it hard to believe that a boy could be totally sheltered from that. Even if he were still sheltered at age 11, how will he feel when he is 16 or 17 and thinks back on the experience of BF as a pre-teen? Whatever the range of normal may be in the "natural" world, I would have to wonder if this is truely best for a boy in this culture. BUT, like others have said, I haven't BTDT (and don't plan to! ), and there may be some extenuating circumstance in this case. (This is assuming it's even true. There *are* those who would say something like that just for the shock value! ) Anyway, that's my 2 pennies!
post #11 of 160
Thread Starter 
More info I found out about this lady.

I talked to the person again who works with her, and asked some more ?'s. I asked "Could it be that she just said that she did EBF, and now mentioned her son is 11?" He said "no, she told us that she still BF him. Except that she doesn't produce milk anymore, and she calls it "nubbing". She says she does it just to give him comfort and to have a bonding experience with her son."

I guess another co-worker told her that was child abuse, and she got really upset. But now that makes it seem even weirder to me. I don't know what she is thinking, but I don't think this is good for the boy.
post #12 of 160
Yesterday I was talking to my neighboor's daughter, she's 11 years old, and she was telling me about this kid, also 11, who was spreading the word in her school that she was a bisexual... I was amazed of such a situation at their age (I'm 33 years old and when I was 11 I still was playing with dolls ) , she also told me that many of her classmates had already had some kind of sexual intimacy with others so certainly it is an age in which kids become so aware of sexuality, even morbid about it. Would be interesting to hear how this mom handles her boy's adolescence. Haven't heard about any case like this before. For sure it is uncommon.
post #13 of 160
Quote:
I talked to the person again who works with her, and asked some more ?'s. I asked "Could it be that she just said that she did EBF, and now mentioned her son is 11?" He said "no, she told us that she still BF him. Except that she doesn't produce milk anymore, and she calls it "nubbing". She says she does it just to give him comfort and to have a bonding experience with her son."
Okay, I'm going to say it... that's weird. I know, I know--I shouldn't throw stones, but c'mon... 11 YEARS OLD?! I agree that kids that age are very aware of sexuality. He must be at least starting to be aware of the girls in his class, and what kind of questions would that raise in his mind, comparing his mother's "nubbing" with his curiosity about girls? Sorry, maybe it's not ideal that breasts are sexualized in our society, but it's the truth, and a child cannot grow up in our culture without knowing that (through advertising, magazines, etc.).

I don't think I'd go so far as to call it abuse, but I think this woman should find a new way to bond with her son.
post #14 of 160
Smittenmom, I'm with you. Of course we don't want to judge other people's choices. But I personally have a problem with that.

First of all, I find it highly unlikely that it's even true. Second of all, I find it highly unlikely that it will NOT cause a problem in this woman's relationship with her son.
post #15 of 160
Um, that bothers me a lot. I understand the big "Political Correctness" urge to shut our mouths and let people do whatever the heck they want, which is usually the best thing to do, but I think that at the very least, someone should talk to this woman. Surely she can find more age appropriate ways to snuggle/comfort/bond with her child.
post #16 of 160
When I was reading the OP and the update, I was thinking that maybe the 11 year old is not developmentally normal so perhaps that is why the mother continues to nurse.
post #17 of 160
The next relevent question for me then is what is the developmental age of the child?

I would think by 11 that there are other ways to provide comfort: hugs being the easiest and best one IMO.
post #18 of 160
11yrs is, for me, too old to BF. There family could be totally legit but it seems sketchy to me. I didn't date at age 11, but there were kids going on group dates. A 13yr girl in my sisters class was pregnant, and it she was not raped.

Also, I agree breasts are 1st for nursing, but I happen to like my breasts in a sexual way and when my youngest is 11yrs old by goodness my breasts will be for me and my husband only I cherish every (okay most) nursing moments, but I remember when feeling touched out wasn't an issue!
post #19 of 160
Wow! That would be one healthy kid! I don't know about LLL, but I would support it. If EBF doesn't fit into our culture, then it is the culture that needs to change, not the EBF.

If a kid finds out that foot-rubbing is sometimes used as foreplay, it shouldn't make him feel weird about his mother rubbing his feet. Neither breasts nor feet "become" sexual when a child reaches puberty and realizes that feet and breasts (along with every other body part) are sometimes incorporated in foreplay.

Breasts are for making milk and feeding children. Breastfeeding never becomes unhealthy.
post #20 of 160
Quote:
Originally posted by smittenmom
Okay, I'm going to say it... that's weird. I know, I know--I shouldn't throw stones, but c'mon... 11 YEARS OLD?! I agree that kids that age are very aware of sexuality. He must be at least starting to be aware of the girls in his class, and what kind of questions would that raise in his mind, comparing his mother's "nubbing" with his curiosity about girls? Sorry, maybe it's not ideal that breasts are sexualized in our society, but it's the truth, and a child cannot grow up in our culture without knowing that (through advertising, magazines, etc.).

I don't think I'd go so far as to call it abuse, but I think this woman should find a new way to bond with her son.

I hate to say it, but I agree. She's not even producing milk anymore so technically it is NOT breastfeeding.
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