What is your difinition of Extended Nursing? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: At what age do you consider nursing you baby as Extended Nursing?
Nursing a baby over 12 months old. 115 100.00%
Nursing a baby over 2 years old. 123 100.00%
Nursing a child over 3 years old. 35 100.00%
Nursing a child over 5 years old. 15 100.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 4. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-19-2002, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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In our culture most people seem to feel that nursing over a year old is strange and a baby who is 12 mo or older is two "big" to be nursing.

But in your mind what do you see as "extended nursing". To me a toddler is still a baby and has baby needs yet. I would consider nursing a preschooler as extended nursing. Nursing preschoolers still have needs that only nursing could fulfill but the are no longer babies. Do I even make sense? Or is this confusing? :

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Old 05-19-2002, 12:52 PM
 
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I think in our society, nursing past a year qualifies as 'extended nursing' - you certainly start having to put up with all of 'those' comments.

For me, though, I think once a child is being nursed past the age of 2, that is when I start thinking about it as 'extended nursing'. A 14-15 month old still seems like a total baby to me, you know? It amazes me that society considers it strange to nurse a baby of that age.

Interesting question. My perception of what constitutes extended nursing has definitely changed as my own children have gotten older!

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Old 05-19-2002, 01:31 PM
 
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I also feel like "extended" nursing refers to nursing past the point where most of your society is comfortable with it. That'd be 12 months here in the U.S.

If you think about it, if the world average length of breastfeeding is over 4 years, and if you believe the very compelling evidence that humans are biologically made to nurse that long, then there's really nothing biologically "extended" about nursing for 3 or 4 years. You'd have to get into nursing past 7 years or something for it to be extended, I would think.

But sociologically (is that the right word?) I think the term should have to do with your particular society's comfort level with it.
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Old 05-19-2002, 01:33 PM
 
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My ds is 13 months and I don't consider our nursing to be "extended nursing" (although I might have thought so 6 or 7 months ago). He still depends so much on nursing to meet many different needs (although less now then even a month ago). I figure past 2 will be considered extented breastfeeding (for me anyway) because it is so far past what our society considers 'normal'. {did that make any sense, I need more coffee before I become coherent LOL }


 

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Old 05-19-2002, 08:42 PM
 
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At 1 year. Of course I see all nursing no matter how old as normal for a child. But here in the U.S. most people do not nurse past 6 months some not even to 3 months.
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Old 05-20-2002, 02:33 AM
 
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Extended Nursing, to me, is when people start asking "are you still nursing?" and you may start feeling like you're the only one left. For some people this can be as early as 6 months (unfortunately), for others it can be years later depending on the community/society they live in, friends and family, and what the "norm" is.
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Old 05-20-2002, 07:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by bigcats
I also feel like "extended" nursing refers to nursing past the point where most of your society is comfortable with it. That'd be 12 months here in the U.S.


That's exactly why I voted 12 months.

Analisa, Mama to Meg 12/12/01, Patrick 12/24/03, Catherine 12/24/03, Ben 2/26/06
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Old 05-20-2002, 10:37 PM
 
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I voted for 'over 2 years'. I believe that ideally children should nurse for a minimum of 2 years. Anything beyond that, I think of as extended (and great!) I agree that our society considers nursing past 12 months as extended breastfeeding - but I don't.
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Old 05-20-2002, 10:47 PM
 
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I said over 5. Nursing your 2 or three year old isn't really extended, except in our culture. It's what natured intended.
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Old 05-21-2002, 02:33 AM
 
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I believe for society it would be over a year, but for me two felt like the time when our nursing relationship changed the most. I guess at about that point I felt like I was nursing a toddler, and my milk wasn't necessarily needed in the same ways. I don't know if I said that the way I intended but it's getting late.
BTW, I nursed Alex til' four and his sister Maddy all the while(she's three and still nursing, and I'm expecting in Dec.).

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Old 05-22-2002, 02:49 AM
 
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I voted anything over 1 year because of what I learned from talking to people. One of my daughter's daycare teachers breastfed, on demand, for 3 years! She was from the Phillipines and very good with the babies. I know there are people who go beyond a year but there's a few people I've talked to who don't think there's any benefit or that it's disgusting and sick (I ask how informed their decision was.. but am usually met with an icy stare or indifference).

I don't have an end date in mind, just going along and doing what comes naturally.

Been quietly hanging around here for over 10 years.  

 

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Old 05-22-2002, 09:13 AM
 
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my vote is: "The phrase 'extended nursing' should be stricken from the language, so that there is simply...nursing."

How's that?

"Extended" implies a "stretching out" of something--I haven't stretched out my children's nursing time, I've just met their needs.

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Old 05-22-2002, 03:49 PM
 
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Just wanted to say I love that!! I second the motion to remove extended from breastfeeding. If my children need to nurse until they are 4 or 5 it doesn't mean it's extended, that's just how long they need the benifits. Every child is different. Thank you for that phenominal(sp?) idea!!

Single mama to Alex(13), Maddy(12), Sam(8), Violet(6), and Ruby(3). fly-by-nursing1.gif
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Old 05-23-2002, 12:32 PM
 
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I think extended nursing is when the child can say "I want the other one now, Mommy." Just kidding. I'm so glad I'm nursing my 2 year old. He says things about nursing that just warm my heart, like:

"It's my favorite."
"It makes me all better."
"This tastes so good, Mommy."
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Old 05-27-2002, 10:00 AM
 
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my defenition of extended nursing changes about every six months. my daughter is moving on four and still has a great need to nurse. with another baby in the mix now it gives hannah and i special time together. extended to me means
longer than the norm, and for our family our nusing groove is completely normal .
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Old 05-28-2002, 11:32 PM
 
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I clicked 12 months, because I feel like society defines it. Plus, dd#1 actually weaned herself at 13 mos. I was ready to go for a while yet. I was trying to track down MYNT, etc.
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Old 05-31-2002, 06:52 PM
 
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Quote:
"Extended" implies a "stretching out" of something
Do my stretched out nipples from four years of nursing (two children) count as extended?:LOL
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Old 06-01-2002, 02:23 PM
 
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LMAO!!!!:LOL :LOL :LOL :LOL

Single mama to Alex(13), Maddy(12), Sam(8), Violet(6), and Ruby(3). fly-by-nursing1.gif
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Old 06-01-2002, 03:31 PM
 
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HA! I didn't even realize the pun when I wrote that! I'll have to change my answer to the poll if that's the definition of "extended!"

Single Mom to 3 (12, 17 & 21)  luxlove.gif and dog2.gif.

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Old 06-01-2002, 05:02 PM
 
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I think you need a 18 month option. I voted 2, because 12 definately wasn't for me but sometime after 18 months was. Although at 31 months we both still love our nursing time. What will get difficult is if/when her12 month cousin isweaned before my dd chooses to wean. I will really start to hear about it then I suspect.
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Old 06-10-2002, 12:28 AM
 
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I put over 2 because I think that's when I really started thinking about this as a long-term relationship. It began getting a little tricky socially b/w 1 and 2 years but this last year I have really felt like the only one in my ZIP code nursing a kid over 2. Still lovin' it though! well, most of the time.....
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Old 06-10-2002, 03:38 AM
 
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I feel like someone else here who said that it becomes extended nursing when it is no longer easily accepted socially. I think this is different in different communities. Some women are unfortunate enough to be in communities where they have absolutely no support for nursing from the very beginning, and in their cases I would say every day they manage to nurse their baby, even if it is less than a week, is extended nursing.

In my community, disapproval kicked in around 2 years.

I do think we need to be careful in this discussion though as in some communities, how long one nurses one's baby actually becomes a competition.
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Old 06-11-2002, 10:27 PM
 
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Gee, what lucky babies to live in a community where length of nursing becomes a competition! If a child continues to nurse, he/she is not ready or willing to wean....for anyone who has suffered through a "nursing strike" if they don't want to it's pretty much impossible to get them to!

I voted for 3+ years as qualifying for an extended nursing relationship. From reading the preceeding posts, I guess alot of
mom's feel pressured from society/family etc and consider 1 year extended or whatever their culture dictates. I'm actually quite surprised that such a mainstream group like the AAP recommends at least 1 year with 2 years being best (or something to that effect). Oh, I've felt the pressures too.....felt the eyes on me!
I refuse to care!

I've been told that if I didn't/don't wean ds he never will, by his pediatrician, no less. It just made me more bound and determined not to listen and allow ds to wean at his pace. Slowly but surely he has/is. He'll be 4 in August and he nurses before naptime and bedtime and before getting up in the morning. 3 times a day for about 10 minutes. It was once every 10 minutes for 30 minutes! I had my baby a little late in life, I guess I'm too stubborn and bull headed to let family or culture influence my choices. Over time as ds has given up nursing times, he has yet to go back and request them again.....I know when he decides it's time to quit, that'll be it. And what a bittersweet day that'll be! Marilyn.
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Old 06-12-2002, 06:06 AM
 
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My daughter is 23 months and still nursing. I voted after three years is extended nursing. I nursed my son until age 4. There are some days where I can't imagine nursing the next day, and then the next day comes and I can't imagine the day when my daughter doesn't want to nurse again. I just can't imagine it.

She will be two soon, and I feel like I can nurse her for one more year. I still remember watching her nurse for the first time, and how amazing and powerful those first nursings were. In many ways I wish I could go back to that place. But there is some of me that would love to be able to wear a long dress, and a regular bra!

I will nurse her until she self weans.

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Old 06-29-2002, 01:25 PM
 
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In my mind, over two is extended nursing. I mean, even the WHO recommends AT LEAST two years' worth of nursing. I nursed my DD for two years, and I guess I would have agreed being labeled an "extended nurser" after that point... although, quite honestly, I don't give a flying crap WHAT other people might label me...:
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Old 07-02-2002, 06:22 PM
 
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I said past 2yrs. only because WHO recommends breastfeeding for at least 2 years. My ds is 21/2 and personally I don't feel like an "extended breastfeeding mom" but we like to label things and 2yrs minimum and after that considered extended sounds good to me.
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Old 07-04-2002, 10:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by hydrangea
I do think we need to be careful in this discussion though as in some communities, how long one nurses one's baby actually becomes a competition. [/B]
Anything and everything can be a competition but you just can't MAKE a baby nurse, so that would be a strange one.

Anyhoo - I think of over 2 years as extended because of the WHO recommendation and because the 1st year just flew by.

Part of me doesn't mind nursing a little longer and part of me really doesn't want to go another year. Of course when DD needs some comfort I pray she will nurse so that she will calm down (tantrums aren't fun) so I will miss it when she decides to wean.

I am also so grateful to have nursed a baby into toddlerhood and so grateful to have my beautiful child! Of course, I'm not just talking about breastfeeding.
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Old 07-21-2002, 11:22 PM
 
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I said over 3, though after reading the reasons others have said about why they chose 12 months (based on society's views of nursing) I can see why some chose that answer.

I am very active in my LLL toddler group. I first started going to it when DS (2/21/1998) was 13 months. Hestillseemedvery much like a baby to me. Right up until the day I had my DD (1/19/00), I saw my Ds a a tiny baby. But then when he walked in the room after I had my newborn he suddenly looked like an adult in comparison. But still I saw my ds as a baby/toddler. It wasn't until he turned three that I noticed that Ds was the oldest by several months in the toddler group. By 3.5 I knew very few people still nursing. At 4 I knew 5 people (at least three who were out of the closet nursers). By 4.5 I know a few people. Ds has recently weaned on his own. Well at least weaned IMO, he hasn't nursed in over three weeks and yesterday he asked to nurse, but got on for a minute, and said he was checking to see if it worked still. It does. DD is 2.5 and is now the oldest in the toddler group.
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Old 08-01-2002, 11:23 AM
 
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I voted past 12 months, but on reconsideration, would change that to past 2 years. Up until 2 years they're really babies still, so to me that's not "extended" in the sense that nursing babies is how it should be.

But according to societal norms, in the USA nursing past 6 months is "extended nursing."

Sad, ain't it.

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Old 08-01-2002, 12:11 PM
 
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My son is soon to be 2 1/2 and shows no signs of slowing down. I don't mind most of the time, but there are occassions where it is just not what I really want or need to do at that time. We have tried weaning him, but that just makes his demand skyrocket. We are now taking the position that if he will take something else, fine, if not, that is fine also. We aren't pressuring and are letting him be the guide.
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