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11 YR old BF - Page 5

post #81 of 160
Sadean-very interesting points. Well presented and valid
post #82 of 160
Quote:
Originally posted by pumpkinhead
But we're not saying this about a 3, 4, 5 or 6 year old. We're referring to an eleven year old
I'm just saying, if we draw the line somewhere between age 7 and age 11, then who's to say that other people can't draw the line much lower, say between age 2 and age 3? Either it's other people's business to decide when a mother should wean, or it isn't. We can't be hypocrites. If there is something inappropriate behind a child's breastfeeding, that can only be determined on an individual, case-by-case evaluation. It cannot be determined by age alone. It's like trying to determine when someone is ready for sex. Some people are ready at 13. Others aren't ready at 30! There's a WIDE age range for a lot of things.

I personally feel that only the individual knows when he is ready to wean, just as only the individual knows when he is ready for sex. Everyone is different.

Quote:
Originally posted by pumpkinhead
a pre-adolescent as opposed to a child
Most people in this country would say about a 3 or 4 year old "this isn't a baby we're talking about any more, it's a child. It's no longer appropriate."

Quote:
Originally posted by pumpkinhead
The point I tried to make earlier was that most kids left to self wean do just that by the age of 2-6
The key word in that sentence is "most."

Quote:
Originally posted by pumpkinhead
IMO it would be better to just make an effort to spend more one on one time with the child. There are other ways to nuture!
Yes there are, but I still don't see anything wrong with this way.

Quote:
Originally posted by sadean
sexually deviate activity
Breastfeeding is not a sexual activity!

Quote:
Originally posted by sadean
breasts are complex in their phsiological make-up and breast-feeding by it evolutionary and biological nature is usually an enjoyable and often sensual experience. It feels good.
It feels good to have my earlobes sucked on, too. That does not make ears sex organs.

Quote:
Originally posted by sadean
there comes a natural end to this developmental stage of childrearing and IMO, this pair is LONG past their "expiration" date.
I do not think breastfeeding has an expiration date. Yes, there is a natural end to the breastfeeding stage, and it is at a different age for every child!

Quote:
Originally posted by sadean
I certainly am able to get sexual enjoyment from breast stimulation by my partner that I just don't get from getting my feet rubbed (without getting to graphic, yes it can take me all the way). And I don't think it is "all in my head" (i.e. that because our brains are our primary sexual organ that I can convince myself that it is pleasurable and therefore can "preform").
Nerves run all through our bodies. I can get just as aroused having my ears sucked on as I can by having my breasts sucked on.

Quote:
Originally posted by sadean
IMO, like anything else that involves sensuality and intamacy, breastfeeding/nurturing CAN be sexual and CAN be used as a form of abuse
If a child is being coerced to stimulate his mother's breasts/nipples the way a sexual lover does (and I would not call it breastfeeding/nurturing, I would call it whatever you call it when a sexual lover stimulates a woman's breasts/nipples orally), then obviously that is wrong. However, there is absolutely no evidence that such a thing is going on in this case. You should not suspect the mother of such a thing just based on the fact that the child is older than usual. The most likely thing is that a healthy breastfeeding relationship has continued longer than usual.

It is the same as assuming that a mother is "getting off" by giving her child a massage. We all know massages can be sexual! And my goodness, when a mother changes a boy's diaper, she touches his penis! Now that's definitely a sexual organ!

I just don't think we should be jumping to conclusions. There is a whole lot of perfectly innocent contact between mother's and children's bodies. (Including kissing on the lips, which can certainly stimulate me sexually when my partner/lover and I do it -- but it's *completely* different when it's between a mother and child.)

I don't think we should get paranoid about it when there is no evidence of wrongdoing.

I think a lot of people here are letting themselves be influenced by this country's obsession with breasts, and by the way this society has completely inaccurately and inappropriately equated breasts with sex.

Quote:
Originally posted by sadean
I do not view it as a healthy and age/developmentally appropriate activity and could potentially be very harmful...
I still don't see any evidence of that.
post #83 of 160
This is a very thought-provoking discussion.

Devrock, you have made valid points. I don't agree with everything you've said, but you do make a very convincing argument.

To the rest of you ladies , I just want to commend you all on your intelligent arguments. I've visited forums where people have been snide and snotty about issues such as these when there isn't any need. You can have an argument without getting angry about it and everyone here has been very respectful.

I just wanted to point that out and


post #84 of 160
I have read this thread with interest, and am so happy it hasn't turned into a flame fest!

This discussion reminded me of something I read recently, in Geisha, A Life by Mineko Iwasaki. Iwasaki, at age 12, was the victim of attempted rape by her older sister's son and, as a result, ended up moving in with a woman outside of her okiya. Here is what she says about that:

Quote:
The move changed where I slept, but not what I did...By this time I was so entwined with the larger community of Gion Kobu that I hardly noticed the difference, except that I finally had to give up my life-long habit of suckling on Kuniko or Auntie Oima's breast until I fell asleep.
So, she weaned from breast nurturing at age 12, and continued onto being a healthy, productive adult.

ITA that, as long as both parties agree to the breast nurturing, that it is productive and healthy.
post #85 of 160
Quote:
What if this 11 yo wasn't 'nubbing' but sucking his thumb instead, or drinking from a bottle? Could he or she not be using this as an emotional crutch to avoid deeper issues?
If a child is using breastfeeding as an emotional crutch, he's probably picked the healthiest one out there. Other kids use drugs, TV, or overeating. I sucked my thumb until I was 10 and have yet to see how this is harmful. (I have perfectly straight teeth, and am the only one of my siblings who did not need braces!)

As for the child not really needing to...if he didn't need to, wouldn't he quit? I sure got a lot of dirty looks for bfing my 7 month old, since people thought she didn't "need to." (Some of these same people thought she didn't need to when she was 2 months old either.)

I don't know what is best for this woman and her child, and I bet none of us do either. All we know is what works for our own families.
post #86 of 160
Both sides of this arguement have brought up that we don't know the entire family story. With that in mind, I think it's safe to say that while this could be a very happy, healthy relationship, red flags do come up because it is so very far beyond normal, and I feel that someone should look closely at this relationship. In a perfect world we could call up an EBF-friendly therapist who could meet with the family and try to determine what's going on. However, since this world is not perfect, regarding an earlier post:

"I firmly belive that it is essential to a child's physical and emotional health to allow the child to self-wean. If society's attitude is going to cause phychological problems, then it is *society* that needs to change! Not me and not my child!"

While ITA that society is what needs to change, I am not willing to risk my daughter's having future psychological problems while waiting for society to change. Yes, I can help society change, but I can only do so much in my little corner of America.

On a lighter note, the very first thing I thought when I came to this post... Dr. Phil would have a field day!

Thanks for this discussion! Very interesting, good arguements all around.
post #87 of 160
Quote:
I don't know what is best for this woman and her child, and I bet none of us do either. All we know is what works for our own families.
Perhaps, (although I still think that bf an 11 year old in this society is playing fast and loose with a child's emotional health), but at this point the discussion has become theoretical, hasn't it? I think many of us question whether the scenario is even true. That said, it makes for a fascinating debate! I, too, appreciate the tone in which it has been conducted.
post #88 of 160
I really believe in my heart that that is child abuse. Nubbing??? I have never heard of such a thing. I think that there are so many ways of expressing love for our children. I still bf my 20 month old, and it is getting old, lol. I wonder if this woman is married, my dh would have called 911 for a psyc evaluation.
post #89 of 160
Quote:
Originally posted by rachdoll
In a perfect world we could call up an EBF-friendly therapist who could meet with the family and try to determine what's going on.
I think that a truly SBF-friendly therapist would never dream of intruding in a SBF relationship to "determine what's going on," unless there was some evidence that there really was 'something' going on.

Quote:
Originally posted by rachdoll
While ITA that society is what needs to change, I am not willing to risk my daughter's having future psychological problems while waiting for society to change. Yes, I can help society change, but I can only do so much in my little corner of America.
If you carry that attitude to its logical conclusion, then you'd better not SBF at all -- you'd better force your child to wean at six months. Any continuation after that point guarantees disapproval from some segment of society, and that segment grows rapidly as the child ages, so that by the time the child is 13 months old, I would guess that more than half of our unenlightened society would disapprove, and by the time the child is 3, I'll bet practically the whole country would accuse you of child abuse. A child that breastfed to age 3 and a child that breastfed to age 11 are both going to be mocked and told that their bf relationship was inappropriate and/or abusive. The only way to change this situation is for MORE mothers to breastfeed their older children openly. I think it is more psychologically damaging to wean a child before his time than it is to risk society's disapproval.

And if being breastfed does mean suffering psychological harm from a disapproving society, then we need to focus our attention on the people inflicting the harm: not on the mothers, who are doing nothing wrong, but on the society, which is making the child *think* that something wrong was done to him. If we convince mothers to stop breastfeeding, we validate the society's attitude and perpetuate its ability to do harm.

Quote:
Originally posted by luv my 2 sweeties
luv my 2 sweeties
I still think that bf an 11 year old in this society is playing fast and loose with a child's emotional health
Since it is THIS society we're talking about, you might as well say the same thing about breastfeeding a 3 year old.

Quote:
Originally posted by luv my 2 sweeties
at this point the discussion has become theoretical, hasn't it? I think many of us question whether the scenario is even true.
I think it's been theoretical from the beginning, since we know nothing about the individual case -- it has always been just a discussion of "would it be appropriate to bf an 11 yr old" -- it shouldn't really matter whether it's real or theoretical in order for us to discuss that question.

Quote:
Mutherluv
I really believe in my heart that that is child abuse
I say this with all due respect, but there it is again. The "belief in one's heart." The "feeling." With no argument to back it up. WHY is it abusive? WHAT makes it abusive? HOW is it harmful? And I don't mean indirect harm from a disapproving culture, but the direct harm that is required for something to be termed abusive? (Is it abusive to allow a boy to wear his hair long, knowing he's going to be called a "girl"?)

Quote:
Mutherluv
I have never heard of such a thing.
I really think that this is what's behind "the feeling." It's a new idea. You're not used to it yet. I think it's a knee-jerk reaction.
post #90 of 160
Quote:
If you carry that attitude to its logical conclusion, then you'd better not SBF at all -- you'd better force your child to wean at six months. Any continuation after that point guarantees disapproval from some segment of society, and that segment grows rapidly as the child ages, so that by the time the child is 13 months old, I would guess that more than half of our unenlightened society would disapprove, and by the time the child is 3, I'll bet practically the whole country would accuse you of child abuse. A child that breastfed to age 3 and a child that breastfed to age 11 are both going to be mocked and told that their bf relationship was inappropriate and/or abusive.
Quote:
Since it is THIS society we're talking about, you might as well say the same thing about breastfeeding a 3 year old.
With all due respect, Devrock, this arguement is facetious. A baby or toddler (even a preschooler) is not going to suffer psycological damage from SBF. They are unaware of society's norms at early ages. (Look at how many young children undress in public! ) I suppose *some* damage could be caused if a mother constantly talked about nursing her 3 year old in front of disapproving people and in the child's presence, (thus subjecting the child to public disapproval) but otherwise the child would be mostly unaware that anything is out of the ordinary. Plus, the "sexual" controversies involved would be over a pre-schooler's head. There is no reason that a child nursed into early childhood should be mocked, since their peers are unlikely to even know about it. An 11 year old is so much more aware of societies norms (or will be soon if he's not now) and impending puberty threatens to create problems with his emotional and sexual health. MUST it create those problems? Maybe not, but it's not a risk I'd be willing to take with *my* child.
post #91 of 160
Quote:
you might as well say the same thing about breastfeeding a 3 year old.
Devrock, that is simply not true. Breastfeeding a three year old is in no way anything like an 11yr old. at all. How could you say that? i have had an 11 yr old, (twice!), and i can assure you they were nothing like a three year old, thats for sure. for one thing, my daughter had pubic hair, and my son did too. thats just the start of how hugely different 11 yr olds are from a 3 yr old. I am not disputing the fact that some people think that a nursing 3 yr old is weird, but come on, a 3 yr old the same as an 11 yr old? you lost me there.

Something is not right if the only way an 11 yr old middle schooler can be nurtured is by nubbing.
post #92 of 160
Devrock:

I really don't think societally MOST people look at it the same as nursing a 2 or 3 or even 4 year old. Any preschool age for that matter. At that age I think people may not LIKE it, or think it's weird or gross, but I think it still falls in the "to each his own" category for most people. Regardless of whether or not THEY approve of it. I've told alot of people I'm nursing a 2yr 10mos old and while they seem shocked, I don't think they think too much of it.

11 goes WAY beyond that. It's just not within the norms of almost ANY culture. Especially not ours. And while I believe deviation from the norm is fine to a degree. Even deviation WAY off center. 11 deviates way off the scale. I don't think it even fits anywhere under the bell curve of global standards.

I mean, if a child resisted potty training until 10, would we be OK with that just cause the kid didn't want to. No, it's not developmentally age appropriate at all. It's WAY WAY WAY off. Where at 4 or five, people tsk, but it's still not a major major issue

I just think at this point an 11 year old nursing would point to the mother not giving the child other tools to cope. Not substituting with hugs or verbal communication. Not giving the child AGE APPROPRIATE skills that will help him with both other children and adults when mom isn't around.

i think the MOM doesn't want to let go, the kid could have a long time ago.

That being said, I'm not totally appalled, nor would I go as far as to say "child abuse", but I do think it isn't smart or necessary no matter how you looked at it, UNLESS the child was developmentally delayed.
post #93 of 160
all i will say is that breastfeeding an 11 year old is no where close to my comfort level. and, i have no doubt that this would cause psychological harm to the child. unless the child spent the rest of their life sheltered in their own world where that is acceptable and was not exposed to the general population. bucking the norm is one thing, but this is certainly going to become an issue for the child at some point when you are talking about a society where 11 year olds are having sex themselves.
post #94 of 160
I believe in self-weaning, but IMO if a child of this age is not ready to wean, there are other issues involved. Somewhere along the line the beautiful mother/child nursing relationship must have gotten distorted, and the needs of the child are no longer being met. A child of 11 has new and different needs of his mother and the mother needs to find more effective ways to relate to her child as the child grows.
post #95 of 160
Quote:
I wonder if this woman is married, my dh would have called 911 for a psyc evaluation.
Ever notice how it's usually the single mothers who get in trouble for things like ebf and co-sleeping, even with children as young as 3? Somehow when you're married it's OK, because then people know you're not doing it for sexual gratification.

If I were single I would not even nurse my almost-2-yr-old in public because I would probably be arrested.

BTW, there is no law that I know of anywhere in the US that says breastfeeding must end by a certain age. For those who say "An 11-yr-old is not like a 3-yr-old" there are people who say "A 1-yr-old is not like a baby."

I think LLL's philosophy is more towards child-led weaning, am I right? Individuial LLL members may differ, but maybe more of them would rather hear of an 11 yr old "still nursing" than being forced to wean?
post #96 of 160
Quote:
Originally posted by luv my 2 sweeties
A baby or toddler (even a preschooler) is not going to suffer psycological damage from SBF. They are unaware of society's norms at early ages. ... I suppose *some* damage could be caused if a mother constantly talked about nursing her 3 year old in front of disapproving people and in the child's presence, (thus subjecting the child to public disapproval) but otherwise the child would be mostly unaware that anything is out of the ordinary. Plus, the "sexual" controversies involved would be over a pre-schooler's head. There is no reason that a child nursed into early childhood should be mocked, since their peers are unlikely to even know about it. An 11 year old is so much more aware of societies norms (or will be soon if he's not now) and impending puberty threatens to create problems with his emotional and sexual health.
It is my opinion that NO child of ANY age suffers psychological damage from SBF, but they might suffer psychological damage from society's attitude toward SBF. I think that 3 year olds understand more than you think. If I were breastfeeding my 2 year old and someone said over my shoulder "She's too old/big to breastfeed!" I'm sure she would understand perfectly, and I would be very upset with the person. However, I was mostly referring to after-the-fact: my mother breastfed me until I was 3, and when I was in Elementary school she told me so, and even as an elementary school student I immediately knew that that was a lot older than usual (what I didn't know is that it is only unusual in this country), and I immediately started telling all the kids at school what a freak I was ("Yeah! She says I would just walk up to her and ask for it!!") and they certainly were shocked. If I had gotten much older and allowed myself to be indoctrinated with society's breasts=sex message, I might have started to think that what she did was sexually perverted. Luckily, I learned about how natural child-led weaning is, and what the health benefits are. I am now very very glad that my mother breastfed me until I was 3, even though I spent quite a few years shocked by my past and feeling like a freak.

Quote:
Originally posted by sweetbaby3
Breastfeeding a three year old is in no way anything like an 11yr old. at all. How could you say that? i have had an 11 yr old, (twice!), and i can assure you they were nothing like a three year old, thats for sure. ... I am not disputing the fact that some people think that a nursing 3 yr old is weird, but come on, a 3 yr old the same as an 11 yr old? you lost me there.
I know that there is a difference between a 3 yr old and an 11 yr old. What I meant was *in society's eyes*. Many people in this forum seem to draw a line somewhere between 7 yrs old and 11 yrs old. But society draws its line much lower: under 3 yrs old (many people draw it even lower than that, but practically everyone draws it under 3 yrs old). My point what that if your goal is to avoid society's disapproval, you would have to wean before age 3.

Quote:
Originally posted by sweetbaby3
Something is not right if the only way an 11 yr old middle schooler can be nurtured is by nubbing.
It is not the only way. It is just one way.

Quote:
Originally posted by gaffa
I really don't think societally MOST people look at it the same as nursing a 2 or 3 or even 4 year old. Any preschool age for that matter. At that age I think people may not LIKE it, or think it's weird or gross, but I think it still falls in the "to each his own" category for most people.
I think you're wrong about that. I think most people in this country would say it's child abuse.

Quote:
Originally posted by gaffa
11 goes WAY beyond that. ... 11 deviates way off the scale.
I think most people in this country would say the exact same thing about a 3 yr old. And they would be right -- 3 years old is way off the scale for this country. Most people in this country have forced their child to wean by the time the child is six months old. Three years is six times as long as that!

Quote:
Originally posted by gaffa
No, it's not developmentally age appropriate at all. ... I just think at this point an 11 year old nursing would point to the mother not giving the child other tools to cope. Not substituting with hugs or verbal communication. Not giving the child AGE APPROPRIATE skills that will help him with both other children and adults when mom isn't around. i think the MOM doesn't want to let go, the kid could have a long time ago.
I hate to keep harping along this same theme, but it's just that the argument above is so familiar to me. I have heard it over and over again. Not about an 11 yr old, but about a 3 yr old. It is the exact same argument that most people in this country give about a 3 yr old.

Quote:
Originally posted by andriagirlie
i have no doubt that this would cause psychological harm to the child. unless the child spent the rest of their life sheltered in their own world where that is acceptable and was not exposed to the general population.
Again, the general population does not draw their line between age 7 and age 11 the way we do in here. They draw it under age 3. There is simply no way to do what is right for your child and please society both at the same time. The answer is not to wean our children early. The answer is to change society. Again, let's focus our attention on the people who are actually inflicting the psycholigical harm: not on the breastfeeding mothers, but on society. If we support every mother's right to practice child-led weaning, then eventually society will accept it. But why on earth should society accept it if we don't even accept/support it ourselves? When we allow society's outdated mores to dictate our actions, we surrender our ability to change society for the better. It's like admitting, "you're right, society, it is harmful." If you listen, you can hear society answer: "glad you agree that you would be harming your child - now sit down and shut up and stop trying to change things." We need to call them on the fact that it is their attitudes that are causing the harm.

Quote:
Originally posted by andriagirlie
this is certainly going to become an issue for the child at some point when you are talking about a society where 11 year olds are having sex themselves.
"having sex themselves"? What does having sex have to do with anything? Breastfeeding and having sex are two entirely different things. We need to get our heads out of breast = sex mode. Breast does not equal sex. Breastfeeding is not a sexual activity. Let's break our minds free of our sex-obsessed, "breasts-are-sex-toys-for-men" culture. Society is WRONG. Breastfeeding is right. Don't say "this is the world we have to live in" -- because it ISN'T. We can change the world. We must. It is our duty. Join the fight. Anyone going with the flow is hindering progress.
post #97 of 160
Quote:
I know that there is a difference between a 3 yr old and an 11 yr old. What I meant was *in society's eyes*. Many people in this forum seem to draw a line somewhere between 7 yrs old and 11 yrs old. But society draws its line much lower: under 3 yrs old (many people draw it even lower than that, but practically everyone draws it under 3 yrs old). My point what that if your goal is to avoid society's disapproval, you would have to wean before age 3.
Yeah, but there is global standards to back this up. It isn't common anywhere for an 11 year old to be nursing. At three you still have breastmilk to offer.

Quote:
I think you're wrong about that. I think most people in this country would say it's child abuse.
that's debateable, but with groups like LLL and more awareness of across the board about global practices you certainly can't get busted for it, whether some people think it's abuse or not. You bust out the fact that the mean age for global weaning is 4 and people generally back down.

Quote:
I think most people in this country would say the exact same thing about a 3 yr old. And they would be right -- 3 years old is way off the scale for this country. Most people in this country have forced their child to wean by the time the child is six months old. Three years is six times as long as that!
3 years old--way off for this country maybe , but not humanity in general
...and even though it's way off the scale I bet most people know SOMEONE who has done it whether they personally appoved or not. It's certainly not unheard of, even if people whisper nastily about it at times.

And with andriagirlie's comment about 11 year olds having sex themselves...he may not be using his mother's breast's sexually, but he is at an age where breast's become sexually appealing, and have been sexualized by the world around him and it's certainly been internalized by that age. Men are attacted to breasts, plain and simple. it's a differentiating female characteristic tha visually appeals to males, and could be very difficult for a developing young man to sort out.
post #98 of 160
Quote:
i have no doubt that this would cause psychological harm to the child. unless the child spent the rest of their life sheltered in their own world where that is acceptable and was not exposed to the general population.
Many people say that about homeschooling and co-sleeping...even about keeping boys intact!

Also, I have no proof for this, but I bet boys who breastfeed at an age where they are old enough to remember it probably do not have sex when they are 11, maybe because they know what women's bodies are really for! (I think it's usually 11-yr-old girls who have sex, not boys, and it's with much older boys against their will. It probably has nothing to do with breastfeeding.)

There was a poll here, "How old is too old?" Most people answered in favor of child-led weaning. Maybe the ages should have gone up to 11, and people would have answered differently.
post #99 of 160
Quote:
Originally posted by gaffa
At three you still have breastmilk to offer.
I have heard that some women still have breastmilk to offer at age 11.

Quote:
Originally posted by gaffa
with groups like LLL and more awareness of across the board about global practices you certainly can't get busted for it, whether some people think it's abuse or not.
And with LLL and more awareness, we can raise the bar even higher.

Quote:
Originally posted by gaffa
You bust out the fact that the mean age for global weaning is 4 and people generally back down.
Not with me they don't. They either don't believe me, or they say "that's over there -- this is over here" or they say it's just as disgusting and abusive for people in other countries, or they say "those natives just don't know any better -- they're like animals -- uncivilized."

Quote:
Originally posted by gaffa
3 years old--way off for this country maybe , but not humanity in general
It doesn't matter. The society that everyone has been talking about facing disapproval from, the society whose disapproval will cause SBF'd children psychological harm, is the society of this country. I doubt the rest of the world would care about a breastfed 11 yr old.

Quote:
Originally posted by gaffa
It's certainly not unheard of, even if people whisper nastily about it at times.
same is true for 11 yr old

Quote:
Originally posted by gaffa
he may not be using his mother's breast's sexually, but he is at an age where breast's become sexually appealing, and have been sexualized by the world around him and it's certainly been internalized by that age. Men are attacted to breasts, plain and simple. it's a differentiating female characteristic tha visually appeals to males, and could be very difficult for a developing young man to sort out.
Better not let him give his mother a leg rub, or kiss her, or hug her, because those things are sexualized too. Don't you see, it depends completely on the relationship. Kissing and hugging and and oral breast stimulation between sexual lovers is one thing. Kissing and hugging and breastfeeding between mother and child is completely different. I think children can easily differentiate that. They've certainly seen enough passionate kissing on tv to know it's sexualized and to internalize it. But they still shouldn't feel weird about kissing their mothers. Yes, it is wrong that the breast has been so completely sexualized by the culture around us. We need to change that aspect of our culture, so that people don't feel weird about breastfeeding. Let's focus our energies in the right direction. Instead of accepting and perpetuating the sexualization of the breast by allowing it to dictate our actions, let's desexualize the breast. And we can't say "okay, but in the mean time let's not openly bf our older children," because the only way to desexualize the breast is to openly bf our older children.
post #100 of 160
Quote:
Originally posted by Devrock

"having sex themselves"? What does having sex have to do with anything?
Yeah, that didn't come out right. I should have left the "themselves" part out. I meant, having an 11 year old breastfeeding in a society where 11 year olds are having sex seems to automatically draw the correlation that breastfeeding a child of this age will be viewed as a sexual activity. I believe that when you are talking about children who are old enough in our society that they are having sex, having their periods, beginning puberty and other signs of maturity, it is more than time to stop latching onto your mother's breast for comfort. Even if these changes are distressing to a child, hugs and talking and other substitutes for breastfeeding would seem to go a long way.

Of course, I agree that breastfeeding is not sexual.
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