Due to difficulties with breastfeeding and a general lack of knowledge and support, I only managed to breastfeed my DD for about 2 months. By the time my DS was born 5 years later, I was better prepared and we've had a fantastic breastfeeding relationship for the past 13 months. Shortly after his birth, DD got interested in breastfeeding and started asking if she could try. I turned her down at first because we were in a DV shelter at the time with no time alone and I was terrified of how people would react. A year later, she's still asking. Honestly, as she's gotten older and lost her "babyishness" I've gotten more uncomfortable with the idea, even though now there isn't the issue of having someone around judging. However, we've had issues with bonding from the beginning, and though it's gotten a lot better in the last year, I can't help but think maybe letting her nurse with her brother could help. Any advice?
If she were my child I'd offer to let her try some milk in a cup. I don't think I would allow her to nurse directly from the breast. I don't necessarily think it is wrong, but I wouldn't be comfortable with it myself.
The longest I nursed is 60 months, but I think I would go ahead and let the child try it once. Just be forewarned that she probably won't know how to latch very well. Maybe tell her she can nurse from you just one time and then if she likes the taste of the milk you will express it for her to drink from a cup.
She won't be able to latch at this point and she hasn't been nursing right along, so functionally it's not going to work. I would be uncomfortable with it, personally, and if you are uncomfy with it I think you should honor that and not try to force yourself into that situation.
You might consider letting her pretend to nurse if she's really interested in it.
Thanks mamas. I think I'm going to try the expressed milk route and see how that goes.