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My daughter just turned three on the 16th and she is still breastfeeding. She feds two times a day, morning and night. I always said I would never breastfed past two but here we are and she is three. I tried weaning but she would cry when I said she couldn't fed. My husbands family and my family both think I should stop and thinks it's "gross" that she is still breastfeding. What should I do?
 

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I think that you need to listen to YOUR heart and your DAUGHTER. What your extended family thinks should <b>NOT</b> be a factor in what you do with your child. She sounds like she's happy, healthy, and secure. THAT's what they need to worry about, not wether or not she's still breastfeeding.<br><br>
I personally think that there is NO problem with this, as long as YOU and DD are comfortable with the situation. Congrats on nursing for 3 yrs! That's wonderful.
 

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Inform them that no one breastfeeds into high school, and your daughter will know when it is the right time to stop. I forget where I read this, but a mix of anthropological and scientific data suggest that without interference, weaning of humans would naturally occur anywhere between ages 4 and 7.<br><br>
I thought I would "try" breastfeeding for 6 months. 2 years and 3 months, later, we're still at it, and will be so as long as DS wants, as long as that stops before he is off to prom!
 

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I just wanted to say "awesome" to you moms who are still nursing three year olds and older. I just totally admire all of you and I admire your confidence and sticking with it no matter what other people think.<br><br>
Kristy<br>
Mom to Rebecca (13) and David (3)
 

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My ILs don't know. DS is 4-1/2yo. He nurses when he wakes, when he goes to bed for the night, and when he's sick he picks up a nurse or two during the day--but then we're not really out when he's sick.<br><br>
I found that from nearly 3 to 3-1/2, my ILs would actually point-blank ask as it was a matter of incredible issue for them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> At some point, they gave up asking and so I have no clue if they know now. I should go ask dh if they've asked HIM!<br><br>
I was worried it was going to come up recently because DS patted MILs chest and said "You have milk!". <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> They realize that he nursed old enough to know what they are (as milk providers) but thankfully did not ask "So how old was he when he completely stopped?" because they would NOT understand.<br><br>
These are people who told me my son's developmental issues were because I was nursing him past 9mo--and now my milk was sour. Yeah... not people you can explain or reason with.<br><br>
Inlaws, outlaws... what's the difference?
 

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FWIW we found out from a family member that FIL nursed until he was 7 <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
Each kid nursed until the next kid came along and then the baby nursed until they went to school. He was the baby and they didn't go to school until 7.<br><br>
This was in rural Louisiana.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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That is so cool Angela! Thanks for sharing that information. I am so glad that I have the support system on here to keep on nursing my three year old. I plan on doing CLW with him too. I only wish I could find some moms in real life who were still breastfeeding their older children. That would be awesome!<br><br>
Kristy<br>
Mom to Rebecca (13) and David (3)
 

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For support from others moms nursing toddlers and preschoolers try looking for a local La Leche League meeting:<br><a href="http://www.lalecheleague.net/public" target="_blank">http://www.lalecheleague.net/public</a><br>
Kids, even older nursing kids, are welcome at the meetings.<br><br>
My IL's think it's crazy to still be nursing my 11 month old (I'm keeping her from being independent), so I have a long road ahead. I think, since she is eating a lot more solids (her choice) and usually only nursing to sleep (night and naps, also her choice), we can technically say she is weaning. Hopefully after her 1st birthday they will just assume she does not nurse anymore and stop asking.<br><br>
To the OP, congratulations for having the courage to continue with what feels right to you and your daughter! That is exactly what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends. (Not that they should make ANY decision for you, but maybe that might sway family members?)<br><br>
Are there any 'key' members of your or your husband's family that might be interested in learning more about the benefits of nursing? [the parent-child relationship, immunity & fewer toddler illnesses, child's security, lower cancer incidence for you, etc...] Maybe you could share a fact sheet or something else short?<br>
I printed things like the following for some family members that seemed interested in knowing more, but not interested enough to read whole books about 'extended breast feeding':<br><a href="http://parenting.ivillage.com/tp/tpweaning/0,,3x5j,00.html" target="_blank">http://parenting.ivillage.com/tp/tpw...,,3x5j,00.html</a><br><a href="http://www.breastfeed-essentials.com/nursetoddler.html" target="_blank">http://www.breastfeed-essentials.com/nursetoddler.html</a><br><br>
Good luck! Keep doing what's best for your family!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>GuppysMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11586967"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My IL's think it's crazy to still be nursing my 11 month old (I'm keeping her from being independent), so I have a long road ahead. I think, since she is eating a lot more solids (her choice) and usually only nursing to sleep (night and naps, also her choice), we can technically say she is weaning. Hopefully after her 1st birthday they will just assume she does not nurse anymore and stop asking.</div>
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An aside- but at 11 months a couple of nursings a day is really not enough. At that age she should be getting about 75% of her nutrition from breastmilk.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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Angela. Thanks. I believe that to be correct. I offer more often than she actually nurses. During the day she chooses food at the table. At night she still nurses every 2 or 3 hours. (I think because I work some during the day, not at home, she gets most of her nourishment at night when she has me all to herself). A thriving, happy child, choosing her schedule.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>GuppysMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11587529"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Angela. Thanks. I believe that to be correct. I offer more often than she actually nurses. During the day she chooses food at the table. At night she still nurses every 2 or 3 hours. (I think because I work some during the day, not at home, she gets most of her nourishment at night when she has me all to herself). A thriving, happy child, choosing her schedule.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"></div>
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Ah, if she's nursing through the night, that's where she's making it up <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
Also, for many kids spoon feeding puts more solids in than they're ready for- not saying that's in play in your situation, just putting it out there for others reading <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
-Angela
 

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Hello, I was breastfed for five years!<br><br>
I am child led weaning my children,<br>
my baby is only 11 months at the moment.<br><br>
You might find this site interesting.<br><br><a href="http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/index.html" target="_blank">http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/index.html</a><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Nursing toddlers benefit NUTRITIONALLY<br>
Although there has been little research done on children who breastfeed beyond the age of two, the available information indicates that breastfeeding continues to be a valuable source of nutrition and disease protection for as long as breastfeeding continues.<br>
"Human milk expressed by mothers who have been lactating for >1 year has significantly increased fat and energy contents, compared with milk expressed by women who have been lactating for shorter periods. During prolonged lactation, the fat energy contribution of breast milk to the infant diet might be significant."<br>
-- Mandel 2005<br>
"Breast milk continues to provide substantial amounts of key nutrients well beyond the first year of life, especially protein, fat, and most vitamins."<br>
-- Dewey 2001<br>
In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:<br>
29% of energy requirements<br>
43% of protein requirements<br>
36% of calcium requirements<br>
75% of vitamin A requirements<br>
76% of folate requirements<br>
94% of vitamin B12 requirements<br>
60% of vitamin C requirements<br>
-- Dewey 2001<br>
Studies done in rural Bangladesh have shown that breastmilk continues to be an important source of vitamin A in the second and third year of life.<br>
-- Persson 1998<br>
It's not uncommon for weaning to be recommended for toddlers who are eating few solids. However, this recommendation is not supported by research. According to Sally Kneidel in "Nursing Beyond One Year" (New Beginnings, Vol. 6 No. 4, July-August 1990, pp. 99-103.):<br>
Some doctors may feel that nursing will interfere with a child's appetite for other foods. Yet there has been no documentation that nursing children are more likely than weaned children to refuse supplementary foods. In fact, most researchers in Third World countries, where a malnourished toddler's appetite may be of critical importance, recommend continued nursing for even the severely malnourished (Briend et al, 1988; Rhode, 1988; Shattock and Stephens, 1975; Whitehead, 1985). Most suggest helping the malnourished older nursing child not by weaning but by supplementing the mother's diet to improve the nutritional quality of her milk (Ahn and MacLean. 1980; Jelliffe and Jelliffe, 1978) and by offering the child more varied and more palatable foods to improve his or her appetite (Rohde, 1988; Tangermann, 1988; Underwood, 1985).<br><br>
References<br><br>
Nursing toddlers are SICK LESS OFTEN<br>
The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that children weaned before two years of age are at increased risk of illness (AAFP 2001).<br>
Nursing toddlers between the ages of 16 and 30 months have been found to have fewer illnesses and illnesses of shorter duration than their non-nursing peers (Gulick 1986).<br>
"Antibodies are abundant in human milk throughout lactation" (Nutrition During Lactation 1991; p. 134). In fact, some of the immune factors in breastmilk increase in concentration during the second year and also during the weaning process. (Goldman 1983, Goldman & Goldblum 1983, Institute of Medicine 1991).<br>
Per the World Health Organization, "a modest increase in breastfeeding rates could prevent up to 10% of all deaths of children under five: Breastfeeding plays an essential and sometimes underestimated role in the treatment and prevention of childhood illness." [emphasis added]<br>
References<br><br>
Nursing toddlers have FEWER ALLERGIES<br>
Many studies have shown that one of the best ways to prevent allergies and asthma is to breastfeed exclusively for at least 6 months and continue breastfeeding long-term after that point.<br><br>
Breastfeeding can be helpful for preventing allergy by:<br>
reducing exposure to potential allergens (the later baby is exposed, the less likely that there will be an allergic reaction),<br>
speeding maturation of the protective intestinal barrier in baby's gut,<br>
coating the gut and providing a barrier to potentially allergenic molecules,<br>
providing anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the risk of infections (which can act as allergy triggers).<br>
References<br><br>
Nursing toddlers are SMART<br>
Extensive research on the relationship between cognitive achievement (IQ scores, grades in school) and breastfeeding has shown the greatest gains for those children breastfed the longest.<br>
References<br><br>
Nursing toddlers are WELL ADJUSTED SOCIALLY<br>
According to Sally Kneidel in "Nursing Beyond One Year" (New Beginnings, Vol. 6 No. 4, July-August 1990, pp. 99-103.):<br><br>
"Research reports on the psychological aspects of nursing are scarce. One study that dealt specifically with babies nursed longer than a year showed a significant link between the duration of nursing and mothers' and teachers' ratings of social adjustment in six- to eight-year-old children (Ferguson et al, 1987). In the words of the researchers, 'There are statistically significant tendencies for conduct disorder scores to decline with increasing duration of breastfeeding.'"<br>
According to Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq. in "Extended Breastfeeding and the Law":<br>
"Breastfeeding is a warm and loving way to meet the needs of toddlers and young children. It not only perks them up and energizes them; it also soothes the frustrations, bumps and bruises, and daily stresses of early childhood. In addition, nursing past infancy helps little ones make a gradual transition to childhood."<br>
Baldwin continues: "Meeting a child's dependency needs is the key to helping that child achieve independence. And children outgrow these needs according to their own unique timetable." Children who achieve independence at their own pace are more secure in that independence then children forced into independence prematurely.<br>
References<br><br>
Nursing a toddler is NORMAL<br>
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that "Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child... Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother... There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer." (AAP 2005)<br>
The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that breastfeeding continue throughout the first year of life and that "Breastfeeding beyond the first year offers considerable benefits to both mother and child, and should continue as long as mutually desired." They also note that "If the child is younger than two years of age, the child is at increased risk of illness if weaned." (AAFP 2001)<br>
A US Surgeon General has stated that it is a lucky baby who continues to nurse until age two. (Novello 1990)<br>
The World Health Organization emphasizes the importance of nursing up to two years of age or beyond (WHO 1992, WHO 2002).<br>
Scientific research by Katherine A. Dettwyler, PhD shows that 2.5 to 7.0 years of nursing is what our children have been designed to expect (Dettwyler 1995).<br>
References [see also position statements supporting breastfeeding]<br><br>
MOTHERS also benefit from nursing past infancy<br>
Extended nursing delays the return of fertility in some women by suppressing ovulation (References).<br>
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer (References). Studies have found a significant inverse association between duration of lactation and breast cancer risk.<br>
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of ovarian cancer (References).<br>
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of uterine cancer (References).<br>
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of endometrial cancer (References).<br>
Breastfeeding protects against osteoporosis. During lactation a mother may experience decreases of bone mineral. A nursing mom's bone mineral density may be reduced in the whole body by 1 to 2 percent while she is still nursing. This is gained back, and bone mineral density may actually increase, when the baby is weaned from the breast. This is not dependent on additional calcium supplementation in the mother's diet. (References).<br>
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. (References).<br>
Breastfeeding has been shown to decrease insulin requirements in diabetic women (References).<br>
Breastfeeding moms tend to lose weight easier (References).</td>
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<a href="http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/ebf-benefits.html" target="_blank">http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/ebf-benefits.html</a>
 
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