I generally speak up - sometimes to just act surprised, "Of course I'm still nursing," or I'll joke about it, "I'm sure he'll wean by his wedding day." Or my favorite - DD "only" nursed for 18 months, with the emphasis on "only." I have a feeling that this little DS is going to be one of those 4 year olds. And I'm totally fine with it.
Me (40) DH (49) daring DD (9) and darling DS - almost THREE! (born June 25, 2010 in an amazing, unplanned
I don't like the term "breastfeeding" and I really don't like the term "extended breastfeeding". Language has a huge impact on how we frame things in our minds and cultures. I nurse my babies. And, will through their 3rd birthdays. I've never gone beyond 3 yo and can't imagine myself nursing anyone older than 4 yo. But, that's my choice to make. I think women should be encouraged to nurse as long as they (and the child) want to and also women should be encouraged to understand childhood development so that they can truly understand the choices they're making.
ITA with this - where I come from we refer to breastfeeding or nursing as feeding the baby - that's it, you would often hear that a mother is going to feed her baby - it actually means breastfeed. We don't hear it quite so much here where we live now as the english speaking community is fairly USA based so nursing is the more common word. Where I come from to nurse is to take care of and look after someone when they are ill - so nursing for me is a more difficult word to use!
Anyway, when someone commented on me nursing my 8 month old with a very clear amount of shock in her voice i looked at my baby and said but he's so small, he's a baby, that's what he's made to do. I always speak up when people make silly comments about breastfeeding, whether it be extended or otherwise - it's best to give the correct information and if folk don't like it then at least they've heard about it - maybe they won't be so shocked the next time!
imagine the looks i get when i tell others that i breastfed until i was 8.5 years old...
i get the - did you have some kind of medical issues or something type questions, and i am nope i just really enjoyed nursing and it was a very sweet special bond between my mom and i...LOL i wish i could have a camera and take pics of the looks on the mom's faces.
then i get the well i sure hope you are not going to let your daughter breastfed that long. and i tell them she is gonna nurse for as long as she chooses to and wants/needs that bond with me, then get into the whole argument of breastfeeding is only for nutrition and there is no benefit to nursing past a certain age that each person wants to create that works for them...
i fail to understand how a mom cant see the bonding benefits of nursing a child and the love and comfort it brings to them, to me its a sweet bond and benefit that is for both the mom and child, its a relationship that only a mommy can have with her child and something that is so sweet and loving no matter the age of the child.
happy nursing all!
Extended breastfeeding is my dirty little secret, sort of, because I know how people think and I know I won't change their minds. I don't waste my breath.
However, I wish those that think extended breastfeeding is weird would shut up when around children. Please don't make my child or any other child who has benefited from extended breastfeeding feel like some sort of sexual deviant. How dare you make a child and mother feel like weirdos for doing what is biological and natural.. This is especially despicable since your opinion is not based on biological fact or expert medical opinion. It's 100% cultural, and because your little gaggle of friends agrees with you doesn't mean you are right.
If people bash extended breastfeeding in front of my little one, then I will speak up. So far that hasn't come up, however.