Breastfeeding Custom

Rosa - posted on 03/21/2010 ( 50 moms have responded )

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Can anyone tell me what are the breastfeed customs in other countries such as in Africa? At what age do they consider her child to be too old for breastfeeding? Do they feed anything else beside breast milk? What? And add whatever you think might be interesting to know.

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Krystal - posted on 03/24/2010

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I know breastfeeding can be hard, my aunt bled and needed nipple shields the whole works but at the end of the day no one can not notice the bond between her and my cousins. I wouldn't trade it for the world that's for sure.

So do you ladies cover when you nurse in public? I think that our society's general minds are too stuck on materialistic objects and can't get past the fact that boobs "were made for men," and that is a reason why breastfeeding is so looked down on here.

Has anyone heard that breast milk cures anything? I cut my finger once really bad while I was in a doctor's office and a lady told me to just put some BM in it and it totally healed two days later. That only happens to when I'm pregnant! It also cures pink eye, diaper rash, and other things. I think that's awesome!

Beck - posted on 03/22/2010

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The info re Norway was from my latest Practical Parenting magazine in Australia. Should have quoted that I supose!

Beck - posted on 03/22/2010

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Norway has the best breast feeding rate in the world. 99% leave hospital feeding and 80% still are after 6mths. Most Mums take a year maternity leave at 80% pay!!! Breastfeeding mums at work can take up to two hours off a day to breastfeed at home or at the office. Flexible, part time hours are available two months after giving birth with income suplimented from maternity benefits.

Lucky them!

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Katrina - posted on 03/31/2010

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I think it says something when the prevailing question after which formula you're using is which one doesn't make the baby vomit. A baby's natural reflex it to vomit the formula out of it's system..doesn't that clue you in to it not belonging there in the first place? Wow!

I know some babies would die without formula, There are some circumstances when the baby wouldn't get fed any other way and for that I am thankful it is around but still. It should be the exception and not the norm.

Sorry...read the last post and...well..I had to vent slightly.

Anneke - posted on 03/31/2010

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I read that Ireland had lower breastfeeding rates than America so there. And it shows here. Its not even considered breastfeeding when someone is pregnant, my mates asked me what formula I was going to use and which one made the baby not vomit. :( Its appalling here and its under education.

Dani - posted on 03/31/2010

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Moms In canada can take up to a year off paid leave. Or they can split it between the Dad and moms. Pretty great. :)

Danielle - posted on 03/31/2010

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Last I read, the world average is 4 yrs old. My son is turning 3 in May and we still happily breastfeed 3-5 times a day. And here is another odd fact; Winston Churchill nursed with his wet nurse (not his mother, his nanny) until he was 11 yrs old. Little old for me thank you, but interesting factoid none the less. As we all know, breastfeeding is more than just supplying food. I feel like, and have seen in other cultures (lived in Europe for years), breastfeeding ends when the child is emotionally ready to do so or mom needs to go back to work. Being of Scandanavian decent, my relatives modeled breastfeeding as something to stop when the child is ready. Now that didn't mean giving a little push (that is mothering too), but, but, ultimately it was the childs ready-ness.

[deleted account]

I have read that the worldwide average weaning time is 4 and a half years old, with the length of time lasting even up to age 7. The World Wide Health Organization encourages breastfeeding at least through age 2 and beyond as well. Of course, children have a full diet besides the breast milk. But breast feeding is a normal state of affairs throughout the preschool years throughout the world. I have also read that children's immune systems are not fully developed until they are 6 years old, and breast milk antibodies bolsters immunity. My 4 year old still nurses, especially at night or when stressed, and has never had an ear infection. He also absolutely does not want to stop. In this culture it's not something you announce but it's becoming more and more common even if people don't talk about it. The more attachment parenting is embraced, the more sensitive parents become to their children, and what follows is understanding the need for nursing throughout early childhood. My son doesn't suck his thumb, need a pacifier or have a security blanket or stuffed toy. I attribute that in part to the fact that I've been sensitive to his continued need to nurse.

[deleted account]

One of the things I've noted in this communities is a lack of confidence, probably due to lack of information. I'm from Australia, and this was the situation way back when I was breastfeeding and lobbying for better training about breastfeeding, more public awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding.



So many mums feel that their supply is dropping. It takes a lot of confidence to be able to tell yourself that your supply is not dropping. Why would it? Our breasts are made for breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is part of the reproductive process. As long as your baby is sucking correctly and often, the supply will keep up with your baby's needs. That's one of the fundamentals of breastfeeding.



But so many mums question themselves about this. Why? Because they don't have the knowledge of how breastfeding works, and the people who should have the knowledge, just don't. Yes, there are factors, such as medical conditions, stress etc, that could result in a drop in supply, but in the normal situation, your supply does not dry up out of the blue. Mums need to know how to tell if their baby is getting enough and what to do if she's not. This is where breastfeeding education comes in. And it has to come from the grass roots level. There's no point saying "they should do this, that or the other" because politicians won't. Health officials won't. It has to come from the mums. That's how we did it in Australia. We had breastfeeding support groups, we had education days at schools, we wrote to politicians and health officials, we made sure to breastfeed in public so people got used to the sight, we refused to buy baby cards with bottles on them etc. We've had some success. The government has a pro-breastfeeding strategy now.



Australian initiation rates of breastfeeding are high, (about 90%) but they drop down rapidly (about 56% at about 4-6 months). So we've come a long way, baby, but we still need to do more.



So you've identified major barriers - and they're huge. But action can only come from mums. As well as information providers, you need activists.



Oops, now I sould like I'm telling you what to do! Sorry, didn't mean to come over that way!



Another comment, if I sound like I'm proud of the work I and my friends did back in the 80s to promote breastfeeding, I am. And if I'm sounding smug, it's because it's not often Australia is ahead of the US. Let me gloat!

Katrina - posted on 03/29/2010

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I have 3 children-9,6 & 9 1/2 months. I nursed my first through my pregnancy with #2 and for 2 more months until he turned 3. He cut back himself, I think he was down to once a week the last couple months, as he did not like the change in milk that comes in the second trimester and his brother kicking him as he grew. I nursed both my first and second for 2 months, although my first was only a few times total. I continued to nurse my second until 2 months before he turned 5. He might have nursed longer but I got pregnant with my third and the morning sickness was really bad with that one (I didn't get it anything like that with my first 2!) I am now nursing my daughter who is nearing 10 months and I have no plans to wean her before we're both ready to, however long that may be. I have nursed my children anywhere and everywhere that we go and we're a very active family! I wear tops that I can lift from the bottom so as to not flash any more skin than I need to. I can't remember the last time I wore a button down shirt LOL I never drape blankets over us or anything. I have a sling (not the hobo sling bag types that are rightfully getting recalled!) and have walked around Target doing my shopping and nursing my baby all at the same time. I always have time for my other kids. I homeschool them. We all sit on the couch together and go about our day, no biggie. I've had my share of nasty people being negative and I just ignore them. The rate of nursing in the US is one of the lowest and one of the shortest. WHO has long recommended at least until 2 whereas the AAP only *just recently* changed it from only a year. I know it was only just changed since my first was born because it was only a year when he was born 9 years ago. I know it's worth it. Last September my family got swine flu. My daughter was only a little over 3 months old at best. While it was a very mild illness overall anyway she barely got a stuffy nose if that and I know it was from breastfeeding.

Erin - posted on 03/29/2010

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They just nurse whenever they want, when they get home, in the evening or at bedtime. It's a very natural, easy going thing to nurse a school-going child. :)

Mabyn - posted on 03/29/2010

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Back in the olden days before formula, I was once told that when wealthier women would have babies they wouldn't nurse them. That was the job of the nurse maid and if the nurse maid wasn't lactating at the time then she could go on a liquid diet to bring back her breast milk (that is, if she had breastfed previously). Why wouldn't you want to breastfeed your baby? Especially where it's a) free, b) already prepared by your body at the right time for when your baby is born, c) it's best for them, d) it's sterile, e) the list goes on and on. I mean, you already have it when the baby is born! You don't even have to do anything...why wouldn't you want to use it?

Rosa - posted on 03/28/2010

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When the child who still take milk from the breasts start school what happens? How does it work?

Erin - posted on 03/28/2010

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I am an American, still nursing my 4 1/2 year old. She will wean when she is ready. :)

Carrie - posted on 03/27/2010

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I think it doesn't matter really what age they are I mean my aunt breastfeed her daughter till she was 3 and her husband is Morrocan and he wanted her to breasfeed until she was tired of it!! I myself breastfeed my oldest untill she was 2 and I am still breasfeeding my 15 month old!!!! I speak in classes for the local health unit where I live on breastfeeding !! I love breastfeeding I feel that it's very rewarding for both me and my daughters we are verry close and they are mostly very healthy besides the genetic problems like asthma and eczema!! Alot of people think I am weird but I really could care less what people think it like they can't understand it but I tell them what do you think they did before bottles!!!

Katrina - posted on 03/27/2010

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The U.S. is the biggest prude when it comes to breastfeeding! A lot of moms have issues getting started and give up, but that is due to lack of support/education in most cases. By lack of education, I am referring to having knowledge about proper latching, schedules, pumping, foods to avoid, etc... Lactation consultants are not taking their jobs very seriously and educating new moms about the benefits of breast milk.

Every other country that I have been to sees it at a perfectly natural thing... And after six months you can start to supplement the baby's diet with solids (stage 1 stuff: mush, and cereals). When you stop breastfeeding is a decision that you make. Some countries breastfeed the babies right up to when the next baby is born. (Yes, you can get pregant while nursing). I nursed my daughter until my milk wasn't sufficient to sustain her, at which point it started to dry up on its own... At which point we supplemented her diet with formula...

The Leche League has been on a full scale campaign here in the states to increase awareness and education about breastfeeding. The biggest obstacle is getting women to be OK with breastfeeding in public places. They have a website if you haven't been on it yet, and they operate worldwide. They also take breast milk donations if you have too much!

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In South Africa, the average mom breasstfeeds for three months if she has to go back to work, or 1 year if not - I breastfed my child until 2 and a half years, and have never touched formula to her lips in her entire life. Boob is cheaper, healthier, and the bond formed is spectacularly amazing! I am eight months pregnant and plan to do the same with this little one! I have heard some mothers feed their babies Goat's milk or even cow's milk diluted. There is a trend of moms that also feed their children raw (unpastuerised) milk, but to me that is a little scary as the tendency for infections is higher. BREAST IS BEST in all situations with the baby in mind!

Danielle - posted on 03/26/2010

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thanks, we like unusual names. she still takes the breast,( there are times i am nursing both at the same time, can be a challenge) she isn't even interested in weaning, there are times i wish she would, but i have really enjoyed the bonding relationship it has created.

Kate - posted on 03/26/2010

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My daughter is 15 months and still nursing. She does not nurse exclusively, but she is very attached to the bonding. It is great because when I pick her up in the afternoons @ my M-I-L's we sit down and she nurses then or when we get home. It calms her and me after a long day. She doesn't always nurse at night but she always nurses every morning. She still wakes up and nurses with me co-sleeping sometimes. I am going to let her go as long as she wants. I feel everyone would want to BF if they could just feel how it feels to have that wonderful feeling when you nurse. People did ask (now they have stopped) when are you going to wean her? I say I am letting her decide when she i ready. I brought her into this world, so it is up to me too do the best by her. I am doing the best by her, by letting her decide when she is ready to stop. I can see how far ahead oh so many other children she is: developmentally, emotionally, and physically. I believe this directly relates to breastfeeding her. She is 15 months and walking/running and has been for a long while. She climbs everything. She says(very clearly) like 15-20 words. She has almost all of her teeth already. She is 26 pounds. and 32 inches tall. She loves people and animals, and she has a very definate opinion about how things are supposed to go. Anyways I am rambling, but anyone who knew what they were missing would hate that they never tried.

Krystal - posted on 03/26/2010

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This is to Danielle Bork-

Wow kudos to you mom for still breastfeeding your 2 1/2 yo! Does she still take the breast or do you give her a cup, and leave the breast to your LO? PS I really like your daughter's names :)

Danielle - posted on 03/26/2010

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i nursed one of my daughters till she was 4 1/2. and am currently nursing my 7mo, old and 2 1/2 yo. and loving it. back in the day when there wasn't any formula, if a mother was sick or unable to nurse they usually had another mother who would nurse the baby for her until she was able to nurse again. usually a relative or friend.

[deleted account]

Yeah for some reason mine just never catches up! My 5 month old daughter was losing weight. She lost over a pound in 2 days, she was irritable and was always trying to nurse. Then she'd pull off screaming because there wasn't any more there. And it never caught up! SO after like 2 or 3 weeks of this I finally went to the Lactation Consultant and they did a weigh feed weigh. Only to find out that she was only getting 2 ounces from me. Which obviously wasn't enough for her. And that was a GOOD feeding! That was at 3 months and now she is 5 months and doing well.
My first daughter was only 11 pounds at 6 months and she was 9 pounds when she was born! But the Dr's didn't pick up on it until 6 months! and she had lost weight because she was 14 pounds at 3 months! She is doing very well now though. She is 5 years old and taller than most in her class!

Rosa - posted on 03/25/2010

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They just don't want to have to figure out how to increase breast milk supply for moms who are having low supply. Shame on them.... We moms have to figure out & learn how to do it ourselves. I guess we should anyway because we know ourselves and our baby better than anyone else. :-D
By the way, it happened to me when I thought my milk supply was low but then I learned somewhere that it meant that my baby was just growing and needed more. The "breast brain" learns to produce more after several times the baby feeds. Give it time and it will produce just enough for your baby.
How is your first daughter though? Is she doing good? I'm concerned mom. Concerned about you and your baby!

[deleted account]

I just had to comment about WIC. I am currently on WIC and I have been having a lot of breastmilk supply issues. I had these problems with my first daughter too. Both times WIC has immediatly told me "Just start giving her formula and she will thrive!" I was so sad with my first daughter but she was so sick that her liver was shutting down. With my new baby my supply started going down at the same time (3 1/2months) and again they tell me to give her formula! This time though I was smart and got a lot of other help. Even though I still only produce about 3 ounes,if I'm lucky, I BF her as much as possible! I even started taking Reglan to up my supply. It was a last resort but it had to be done because nothing else worked! But Dr's, WIC and even the LC's at the hospital, They all PUSH formula! It drives me crazy! My LC was the first one to give my youngest her first bottle of formula! There is a huge problem here in the US....Us breastfeeding moms need so much more support!! Formula is NOT better than breastmilk!

Rosa - posted on 03/25/2010

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It should not be an elective to learn about bf but a part of requirements to graduate college. I wonder how did the mothers back in the olden days breastfeed if she was hospitalized or incapable of doing it?

April - posted on 03/25/2010

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Another good question is: what did women do back in the day when there wasn't any formula? If they were to just give up their baby would not survive. I really think it has a lot to do with not only the formula companies but also the lack of knowledge of Dr. Did you know that while in college there is an elective class on breastfeeding that is about 1 or 2 hour in length. (I learned that through the La Leche league). So, most of the time when a Dr. tells a woman that she must stop nursing she in fact does not. I encourage everyone I know that is pregnant or will be pregnant in the future to get educated and attend La Leche League meetings. They LLL leaders know FAR more than Drs. about breastfeeding!!! That's my piece ;)

Becky - posted on 03/24/2010

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I grew up in Mali, West Africa. (Not from there, I`m Canadian, but my parents worked there) Everyone breastfed there. I mean everyone. I don`t think I ever saw a baby being bottlefed. Okay, maybe some of the wealthier families bottlefed, but like I said, I never saw it. I don`t even think formula was available, not in the villages at least. And with the quality of the water there, it wasn`t safe. I would say most people breastfed to at least 2, if not beyond.
I think actually, that was a big factor in me breastfeeding my children. Yes, I knew all the `breast is best` stuff too, but for me, there was really never even any decision to be made. Breastfeeding was just normal, it was pretty much all I`d seen as a child (although I myself was only breastfed to 4 months), so the idea of bottlefeeding didn`t really even enter into my mind.

Melanie - posted on 03/24/2010

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by the by formula came about in the US to start along with suffrage and womens rights so that a woman with a baby can work if she sees fit. in my opinion it back fired. besided i worked a full time job and not one drop of formula ever touched my babies lips. i will admitt that after 3 weeks in the nicu drinking my breastmilk from a bottle my first (about to be 17) just would not take to the breast. if i knew more then i probably could have but no one breastfed then i was so different from everyone else. so it really has gotten much better and is continuing to do so.

Melanie - posted on 03/24/2010

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the truth is that here in the states there are several things that get in the way of BF. one being formula companies. they cant make money if they we dont use it so they come up with creative ways to convince us we just have to use formula. like the diaper bags with formula, bottles and coupons they give you to take home from the hospital. as well as a lot of older womens (now becoming grammas) stigma over it. my mother was taught it was unsanitary. and now we know its not. of course theres the fact that its a learned skill not instinctual. gorillas raised in captivity have proven they have to see it done to know how to do it too. if youve never seen it done and dont know anyone whos done it, its really hard and can really shatter a new moms confidence. even those of us that are seasoned vets can have our confidence shaken in the beginning and to be taught youre a failure if you cant figure it out is enough to scare some young moms into not even trying. then theres the fact that a large amount of people here are just embarrassed by breasts. even if you cover in a public place there is still gonna be someone (in TX usually some older woman with too much hairspray) who has to comment and tell you cant do that just because they are uncomfortable with just the idea of breasts. i personally nursed my 10 yo and 8 yo til they were 2. i read a study that recommended that babies be breast fed at least once a week til they are 2 so i did. i loved every minute of it. now i get to nurse my 4 mo old. and i am so happy especially since i thought my 8 yo was the last id get to do of that. i feel so bad for those who bottle feed instead. i dont think they understand that they are missing out on something really special.

Rosa - posted on 03/24/2010

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"Not saying that being on WIC is a bad thing, I just think that as advocates of breastfeeding they should make it a little more strict on who they supply their formula checks to." ~Krystal Smith. I agree with u on that! WIC should provide formulas only to moms who, with doctor's order, can't breastfeed. That will give more moms reason to breastfeed. Good thinking, Krystal. :-D

Krystal - posted on 03/24/2010

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I definitely agree that there is a fine line between the lazy american and a series of unfortunate events for a breastfeeding mother. I am a young mother who breastfed my daughter until she was a year old and then she didn't want anything to do with when we introduced the sippy cup, even if the breast milk was in the cup. I cried a lot during those few months. However, out of all the ladies I knew pregnant before, during and after me (and there was quite a few) I was the only one who even tried to breastfeed. None of them even considered it and depended on WIC to supply them with the formula. Not saying that being on WIC is a bad thing, I just think that as advocates of breastfeeding they should make it a little more strict on who they supply their formula checks to.

Rosa - posted on 03/24/2010

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You're right on! I appreciate you teaching other moms about bf. If people like you and I unite to encourage, to teach, and to give support to each other then breastfeeders will increase threefold. Circle of Moms is one of excellent examples of that! :-D

Rebecca - posted on 03/24/2010

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If American women were treated like women in Norway BF wouldn't be such a problem here but the sad truth is American women are lucky if they can even get 6 weeks off after the baby is born and that is WITHOUT pay! I am an AMERICAN woman that was lucky enough after my last child was born to find a wonderful job that let me work from home teaching other women about breastfeeding and I am proud to say that the number of breastfeeding women in America is on the rise. I would like to think I had something to do with that along side the other women doing my same job. The more we get the word out that this is a normal natural thing to do for our children the more it will be done! I breastfed my last child 4 years and 5 months! Without support from other knowledgable women I would not have made it more than the 2 weeks I made with my oldest two children but you know what... at least I tried with them & whatthey did get gave them a better start on life than if I had not. ANY BF is better than no BF!

Rosa - posted on 03/23/2010

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To Jacky, I agree with you 100 percent that if you are taking prescription that could adversely affect your baby you should not breastfeed. BUT, if you can handle to live without prescription then choose to breastfeed instead. :-D

Rosa - posted on 03/23/2010

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The reply above from me was meant to be replied to Anneka Dragonfly Temmink's last comment.

Rosa - posted on 03/23/2010

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That would be fun to find out. I wonder if anyone has researched to compare the health between breastfed america and other breastfed countries??? If you know of a research that was done then please, if possible, tell me where to look for it.
Thanks!

Jacky - posted on 03/23/2010

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i too live in the US and I nursed my oldest 6 times a day for 11 months. I only stopped when my OB made me as I was pregnant, am considered high risk and was put on Progesterone Supplements. I would have kept going......My youngest just turned 4 months and I plan to nurse past one year.
But I am sad at our low low LOW rates. Seems some women feel that once it gets hard or too time consuming they just go to 100% formula. very sad.

Jacky
FaceBook Group Mummies Nummies

Anneke - posted on 03/23/2010

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whats the health system like in Norway? They always look healthy over there anyway. I would like to see what 99% breastfeeding people all look like instead of the other way around here where everyone even me has something wrong with them. I think the government here should push it more as its the NHS who has to pay at the end of it. If bf helps cut sick people down that saves money and happier people.

Rosa - posted on 03/23/2010

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Of course you're right. Those mothers who have given the best effort to breast feed but then can't for GOOD REASON aren't part of being judged. Actually, I wouldn't call it being JUDGED... I call it positive criticism. Keep pushing those mothers to breastfeed instead of formula if they can. I know a mother who didn't want to breastfeed because she has 2 other small kids to care at home. THAT is not a good excuse. I have 3 small kids not yet in school along with 2 older kids who are in school. I breastfeed my 11 months old baby. I have little problems but not enough to not want to breastfeed. I am not judging anyone. I don't want to be judged either. LOL I am willing to take positive criticism on anything. Everybody needs it if they want to be better person. :-D

Misti - posted on 03/22/2010

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Please don't judge all of America for the choices of some mothers. I am from America and breastfed my daughter for over a year and the only reason I stopped when I did was because my Dr. was putting me on medication that wasn't safe for her. I also know a lot of other moms that have nursed for over a year and some that have tried but were unable to keep up with their baby's needs so they had to supplement with formula. I too think that all moms should nurse and not skip giving their babies the vital nutrients they get from breastmilk simply because it is easier. The best thing you can do for your baby is give them the best start possible, even if it is uncomfortable, time consuming, or whatever. It is for your BABY!! Please don't judge all of us though...I know there are a lot of women in the USA that agree that nursing is best, and although none of us expect praise for what we are doing, we don't want to be included in the criticism of the American women that choose not to give their babies the best nutrition they can. Regardless of our country, all of us breastfeeding mothers need to stick together and keep sharing what a wonderful experience it is for both mother and child, and hopefully by spreading the word, more mothers will choose to do the same! Thank you ladies! :0)

Rosa - posted on 03/22/2010

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If only America cared as much about her babies as Norway.
Where did u get that info anyway?

Jocelyn - posted on 03/21/2010

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I heard one that in some places of Africa the mother puts the baby in a little crib, and then leans over the crib to breast feed!

Rosa - posted on 03/21/2010

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If only all moms breastfeed! Formula is like... chemical formula! Formula are missing the most vital ingredients that only breast milk has. To be honest, I am ashamed of america's custom on breastfeeding and how america is feeding their babies. Yes any more info on breastfeed customs in different countries are most welcome.

Anneke - posted on 03/21/2010

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I do know in most them countries that they do not use formula because of the risks of not bresatfeeding, I am learning about it now in a book "politics of breastfeeding", sorry i do not know what age they do it at . Brazil however where astonished when told about formula as all mothers breastfeed there. Ireland where I am has a really low rate, And America i believe is the worst. Would like to know more if anyone else has info.

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