extended breastfeeding

Jen - posted on 03/09/2012 ( 374 moms have responded )

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And i'm talking about going past the age of 3. What are your feelings of say an 8 year old still doing it?

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MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/13/2012

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My point is, even though a great thing to maintain extended breastfeeding, it is NOT a common practice, except to those that are poverty stricken. For very obvious reasons... ;)

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/13/2012

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Yes, I wasn't saying that now was I.



I was saying the rate of extended breastfeeding is higher in some Countrie's because poverty is a HUGE factor...



I am not trying to state that breastfeeding for a longer length of time is against human nature. Where have I said such a thing?



I am all for breastfeeding. I am just not sold on many things you are trying to say. I am all for breastfeeding to age 3 (4 at the most). So, how am I trying to say that it is not a natural thing??



Actually, no, it isn't poverty that is a factor in extended breastfeeding in other countries, it is actually the other way around - that wealthy developed nations have found a way to replace it because it is often inconvenient.



Actually, no. It is not the other way around. Yes, we have developed ways to unnaturally feed our young in 1st world Countrie's. However, in other Countrie's (2nd and 3rd world) that also have formula, prolonged breastfeeding is often because they are poverty stricken. They could 1. Not afford formula 2. Not use their water to make the formula eat ready. If they could afford it and use their water, I guarentee they would be using it. So, it is somewhat a biased insight since these other Countrie's cannot USE formula anyhow.



ETA: When someone gives information and it is reputed with NO, that is incorrect and is the other way around. Tells me, it is believed I am wrong, so the info I am reading and providing must be inaccurate, thus being pulled out of my arse.

Jodi - posted on 03/13/2012

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MeMe, I actually never suggested you pulled anything out of your arse. Seems to be a common theme, you accusing me of that.



But what you have just quoted there in no way suggests that the length of time of breastfeeding in impoverished nations is against human nature. The fact is, developed nations, BECAUSE they are sufficiently wealthy, have developed formula as a replacement. It really isn't because it is beyond what families can afford in impoverished nations that they don't use it. It is because, in our nations that we CAN afford it that we DO use it.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/13/2012

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For many nations, this is an economical and nutritional lifesaver for the family as water is often polluted, formula is way beyond what a family can afford and refrigeration is scarce.



Really?? I must have pulled that out of my arse...

Aleks - posted on 03/13/2012

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You have certainly hit the nail on the head, Jodi, when you said: "it isn't poverty that is a factor in extended breastfeeding in other countries, it is actually the other way around - that wealthy developed nations have found a way to replace it because it is often inconvenient."



And to add to that, we have been lead to believe that IT IS in fact, and should be felt, that it is inconvenient. But I guess thats a whole other topic...lol

Jodi - posted on 03/13/2012

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"200 survey's per Country is a far cry from legitimate data... Seriuosly.... There are 200 people that live between my street and the two behind me"



I'm confused as to how you think they only surveyed 200 people per country. Do you know what a MICS survey is? Basically, when it says "nearly 200 MICS surveys" It means that 200 Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys were conducted, not that 200 people from each country were surveyed.

Jodi - posted on 03/13/2012

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"Anyhow, I know it is higher in some Countrie's for many reasons. Poverty being a LARGE factor.... "



Actually, no, it isn't poverty that is a factor in extended breastfeeding in other countries, it is actually the other way around - that wealthy developed nations have found a way to replace it because it is often inconvenient.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/13/2012

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Altogether, nearly 200 MICS surveys in approximately 100 countries have been implemented.



200 survey's per Country is a far cry from legitimate data... Seriuosly.... There are 200 people that live between my street and the two behind me.



The stats I gave for Canada and the States was from 2600 mothers... ;)



Anyhow, I know it is higher in some Countrie's for many reasons. Poverty being a LARGE factor....



I am also not disagreeing that extended breastfeeding is good. I know it is. I am a pretty smart cookie. However, it is not all that common after the age of 2, especially the age of 3.



Anywho...time to get my lil' man up.

Jodi - posted on 03/13/2012

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Sally, MeMe was trying to use those stats to prove the EBF is not common. That's all. But really, we shouldn't use the term "around the world" if we are giving stats for US and Canada.

Sally - posted on 03/13/2012

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I really can't see what stats and % have to do with ebf. To breast fed or not is a personnel choice a mother makes when she has her baby and to efb is another personnel choice she makes when the time comes, after all it is in no way damaging to the child. Im pretty such the mums who decide to ebf don't start checking up on stats and % .

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/13/2012

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Laura, the majority of people DON't make it past 6 months...



Regardless, the fact is extended breastfeeding is defined as being anything AFTER 12 months... ;)

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/13/2012

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Jodi, you missed my poimt too.



Yes, I gave a percentage for across the world BUT I was only defining those in Canada and the States. If you take the Canadian and US stats I presented, I bet you will come up with a total percentage higher than 3%. So, it is fairly apparent I was speaking of two different things... ;) Sorry I didn't make it clearer for you.



" Some places it is higher but, as an average across the world, 3% is the approximation. Those over age 2, varies from Country to Country."



So I DID state that it is higher in some Countries? Yes, I did. Then I went on to provide stats for Canada and US.... So, you providing the stats you did were just agreeing with what I had said. Alrighty then. Thanks.

Sally - posted on 03/13/2012

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surely if the cut of time for breast feeding was 1/2 years our bodys would stop producing milk,like it stops producing eggs when we reach menopause. Mother nature is a wonderful thing.

I think breast feeding after4/5 and older is more a social problem because people feel that children should be more independant and capable of getting what they need from the food they eat

Its the same with co-sleeping ,people frown on it after a certain age.

As iv'e said before i can see nothing wrong with a mother feeding her baby but do feel that by the time they start school it should stop but having never ebf who am i to say if i had i may feel different.

Jodi - posted on 03/13/2012

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"In addition all those Countrie's you listed have many customs that we would never employ in North America. So, to say well they believe in extended breasfeeding so so should all other Countrie's, is an over statement. Do you think we should also have arranged marriages? Do you think that woman should have no say or not be allowed to work? Do you think daughter's should be left to waste side because they are not boys and will not carry the father's name on? Should we eat dogs? Should we all cover our faces as women? "



And again, you are entirely missing the point. I was making the point that it is actually VERY common to breastfeed past the age of 2, and even as old as 3 or 4, and that self weaning at much older than 2 is perfectly normal and very common. Again, you totally missed my point. There were arguments in this thread that most infants self wean at 2, and this is not actually the case.



Breastfeeding is not a 'custom'. It is a natural phenomenon.



Carrying on father's names, arranged marriages, eating dogs, covering faces, they are all human inventions. THEY are customs. Breastfeeding is not.

Jodi - posted on 03/13/2012

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"Jodi, I only took the stats for Canada and the US because that is where the most of us here live. You can post whatever you want from all the other Countrie's it wasn't what I was getting at. If I was looking at 2nd or 3rd world Countrie's, yeah, the rate is higher. "



Um, not, that is NOT what you said. Allow me to quote:

" Some places it is higher but, as an average across the world, 3% is the approximation. Those over age 2, varies from Country to Country."



Given the context of your original post, you did actually talk about *the world* twice, so if you were only trying to use Canadian and US statistics to prove your point that breastfeeding was not common, don't try to pretend that it isn't common *across the world*. I'm sorry, but if you were trying to make the point that it was only the US and Canada that you meant, your point was totally lost.

Johnny - posted on 03/12/2012

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All I can say is I weaned my daughter at two. I was so ready to be done. It was a long haul, I had serious supply issues compounded by other problems throughout. My daughter handled it like a champ and I think it was right for us. Honestly, I can not see going much past 3 if I was to have another child and nursing went well. If it was as hard as the last time, I'd be proud of myself for making it to 2 again.



I felt guilty about it at the time, because people were telling me that anything other than child-led weaning was wrong. Well, they were wrong. My daughter had no issues adjusting and I was WAY happier after. She's still my little snuggle bug at 3 1/2 but if she was still sucking on my boob, I'd need to be locked up by now. I would have lost it.

Aleks - posted on 03/12/2012

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@ Mother Bacher,

Yes I have heard of older... in another culture. I did not say I agreed with or that I did not find it weird, etc.

Just stated that I have heard older.



@MeMe

"Jodi, I only took the stats for Canada and the US because that is where the most of us here live. You can post whatever you want from all the other Countrie's it wasn't what I was getting at. If I was looking at 2nd or 3rd world Countrie's, yeah, the rate is higher. They are much poorer and are not able to afford what a 1st world Country can.



What you are trying to prove to counteract what I posted is void."



Acutally it is not void. She was stating that it wasn't unusual or that rare for PEOPLE to breastfeed passed 1yo. And showed the stats for it. Just because SOME countries (even though they happen to be the ones WE live in) don't do this does not make it UNUSUAL or UNCOMMON. It just makes it so in THOSE countries.

In fact, for most of the world's history this was the exact case, humans breastfed for a lot longer than what is now COMMON, in western cultures. For whatever reasons, this is what they did. And just becaue here in the west we can AFFORD or even have access to other food groups that give similar nutrients as breastmilk does not neccessarily make them a BETTER CHOICE. There are things in breastmilk (as we all know) that are not found anywhere else in another food.



There are in fact cultures that drink breastmilk (where available) in adulthood as well (expressed of course). And actually it is considered quite a treat to have access to it

:-) (breastmilk that is, I am not sure how this culture views breasts, noting however, that there are many cultures that DO NOT SEE BREASTS AS SEXUAL objects!!!)



On a personal note.

I envisage that my girl will most likely go on breastfeeding till around 5 (I am suspecting), I hope its sooner though. She, as a recent 3yo, is still typically breastfeeding 4-5 times a day (mostly around sleep time, whether in middle of the night/early morning - I counted 4 times last night, sigh - or while going to bed). No, I am not doing this for ME!!!! I was ready to wean at 15mths!!! I definitively am NOT enjoying the fact that I have NOT SLEPT THROUGH the whole night for over 3years now. THIS IS NOT FUN OR DONE FOR THE MOTHER'S BENEFIT.

I am not sure I would be able to night wean her as there are others in the household that need to sleep to get to work and school in the morning- a crying toddler is something one doesn't need at night, ( I don't know how many nights it would be if I did wish to nightwean her) as she is extremely determined little girl and knows what she wants and will turn high heaven and earth to get what she wants and if not then WOE be onto you if you get in her way, to put it mildly.

However, she also sufferes dairy and soy intollerance. SHE HAS NO OTHER OPTION milk wise. I am her one and only source of milk. She does drink almond, rice or oat milk with her cereal or breakfast generally, however these are not complete milk food for a child under the age of 5. These milks, even though most are fortified, do not have all the right fats and other nutrients for children (under 5) to make them complete source of a food group.



She also is a lot more attached to her father than she is to me (sad but true... She really is a daddy's little girl, or should that be that she has daddy around her little finger...lol). I find her quite challenging while her and daddy get along really well. So, may be this "extended" breastfeeding is a real blessing for her relationship with me.

So anyone who uses the excuse to quit or not even breastfeed as reason for bonding with daddy seriously needs to adjust their thinking, to put it nicely IMO. It is time with the baby/child that grows a bond - NOT method of FEEDING, however, becasue breastfeeding by its very nature espouses close one-on-one physical contact (even if it is at times upside down and over the shoulder...lol) it does FACILITATE the ability to bond, with the mother, more so than other type of milk feeding. However, other types of contact and times spent together is needed as well.... breastfeeding alone (with no other contact/time spent together) will not help to build a healthy and strong bond. However, it does help to "increase it" or "deepen it", etc on top of other together time and parenting.

Does that make sense? I hope...lol

Merry - posted on 03/12/2012

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American academy of family physicians states that weaning a child before two years puts the child at increased risk of illness.

The aap says one year cuz they don't want to scare off the American public cuz they don't think the majority will even make it a year. They think so little of our country.

Sherri - posted on 03/12/2012

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According La Leche and the American Academy of Pediatrics extending breastfeeding is beyond 1 yr.

Merry - posted on 03/12/2012

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Extended is implying beyond normal. So IMO extended breastfeeding should mean beyond 4yrs.

Sorry, quitting at a year is not the norm. 2yrs is the recommended minimum and 4 yrs the world wide average.

Extended is not beyond one year lol

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/12/2012

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Thank you Celeste and Teresa. I really appreciate your answers and insight to your own life around breastfeeding.

Celeste - posted on 03/12/2012

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MeMe, if mom is ready to wean before her child is, I think that's a fine time to wean. Like I've said before, some moms let their children self wean, others wean when mom feels ready, and that's perfectly fine.



In my own experience, I was ready before my son was. I was getting touched out so I placed limits on my boys. One weaned on his own. The other nursed a year after the other one weaned. He was nursing only once a day so I decided to actively wean him (it took a few weeks).

[deleted account]

I'm not sure my input would help you understand or not, Jackie.. since I wouldn't nurse an almost 6 year old... but I can share what input I DO have by sharing my story...again.



My son really wasn't even eating solids on a daily basis til around a year and still had some breast milk only days til 1.5... (mostly while sick or teething). Pretty much the only limit I set on him under 1.5 was if I was doing something else that HAD to be done (like driving or making dinner... though dinner was put on hold on more than one occasion). He also pretty much never went longer than 4 hours w/out nursing up to 1.5... which is when he started the occasional 3 hour visitation w/ his father.



We night weaned around 2 and I 'think' that's about the same time that visitation w/ his father went to 8 hour days. His father didn't understand his son still nursing and thought it was all about me since my son never asked to nurse while w/ his father.. Well, DUH! My kid isn't an idiot... no Mommy, no nursing. ;)



Most of our public nursing stopped at 2. I would nurse at a friend or family members place or in the van, but RARELY anywhere else at that age.



He had to go to his dad's for a week at 2.75, so I 'tried' to wean him and we both ended up a tearful mess for 3 days. I decided I wasn't going to make his last 2 weeks w/ me into a battleground of rejection, so I just started telling him that he wouldn't be able to nurse for a week, but if he wanted to when he got home.... he could.



When he got home from his dad's he wandered around the house looking lost for about 2 minutes before he came right up to me and said 'baboo.' ♥ My milk supply wasn't so good anymore which frustrated both of us for a while, but he made it work.



By 3 he was only nursing at home, so depending on what we were doing that day he was nursing 1-5 times/day. I was getting over it by this point, but w/ how attached he was I had no clue how to initiate weaning in a way that wouldn't devastate him.



He had an upcoming 4 week visitation w/ his dad during the summer (at 3.25), so I took that opportunity to let him know that when he got home... there would be no more baboo. He did great for the 4 weeks, but came home and asked to nurse almost every day for 6 weeks! For a couple of months even after that he would sometimes crawl in my lap and sniff a random body part (usually my cheek) and say I still smelled like baboo. Yeah, he was super attached and he definitely liked the smell, taste, comfort factor, etc....

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/12/2012

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Same here, I had to stop at 3.5 months with my son too. My breasts became severely infected. I would have loved to have gone longer for sure... ;)

Toni - posted on 03/12/2012

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Honestly MeMe, I cant really say. Possibly try breast pump?

Im just saying what I would have liked to do. I had to switch to formula when my son was 3 months because I wasnt making any more milk thanks to an unnoticed medical condition.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/12/2012

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I don't delete, only "other's" do that... bahahhaaa



Jackie, I too am genuinely interested in the questions you have posed.



Toni--

What if the mother is ready before the child though? Like I was when my daughter was 18months. Just curious....

Toni - posted on 03/12/2012

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Ok, back to the original post: I think that a child should stop breast feeding when both child and mother are ready to stop. Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for a child, and it helps to build their immune system, so the longer a child is breast fed the better.

Mother - posted on 03/12/2012

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LOL......Gonna take your advice Teresa because someone is gonna be busy deleting all their non-posts from the last 3 days anyways. LOLOLOLOLOLOL

**Jackie** - posted on 03/12/2012

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I'm not going to talk about nutrients or benefits or anything about BFing after the age of 1 (which, to me, would be extended) but I will share a story (yay lol)



I was at a friend's house and my cousin and I were talking and a bunch of kids were running around. Her almost 6 year old came right up to her and jumped on her lap and pulled her shirt up and latched on. It was very hard to keep a straight face. It just looked (in my opinion) weird....and kind of wrong. A few other kids stared and I just felt bad...like where do you draw the line? How do you explain it to your child? Can they not soothe themselves? Do they genuinely like the taste?



These are real questions, I'd actually like to know. I'm not judging...just curious. :)

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/12/2012

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Actually, I have rarely been on here for the past 3 days. I am on vacation, so have much more things to do.



I know you wish you knew what you were talking about.... ;)



I would LOVE for you to go pull some posts that shows I have played on anyone's words or argued irrelevant matter. Never have done that. That's for other's to do. Sorry. I am stating fact ABOUT the topic in hand.



Anyhow, since I was out for a few days, I figured I should at least show I am standing behind my beliefs.



Sorry you could NEVER find me ever doing anything as you have accussed me of but it does show the other way, right in this thread. Go back to page 12. All your little inserts were great jabs, weren't they, you thought so. You hadn't said a darn thing on the entire page but still felt it purposeful to add little irrelevant comments. Ah, I see. Ok then. Sigh....

Mother - posted on 03/12/2012

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Innocent to what?? I've maintained I have an issue with older grade schoolers.



UGH....nevermind. I'm not playing your games. I won't be drawn into your Drama Momma episode. For 3-4 days now all you've done is play on people's words and argue about irrelevant parts of their comments. Adding absolutely nothing to the topic at hand. Have fun...

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/12/2012

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Well, it is fairly apparent that if you have an issue with age 5/6 then you would with age 8.



No, not trying to argue. I don't play that way. Only some do here. ;) I am stating the facts.



You were trying to make yourself look all innocent again. Something you do when you start seeing you are in the line of fire. I was merely pointing out that you have not only been sticking with the age of 8. *eye roll*



"Which is why we had umpteen different ages being bounced around in this thread as what constitutes as 'too old' to be breastfeeding."



--ACKKK....you're right. I went back and re-read all the posts.....it does seem everyone has put their 'too old' age in where I have been putting age 8 and older. Maybe because I'm repulsed by the thought of a mature youth BFing.




Nope, you have said age 3 and 4... Are you saying now it is age 8 and older?? I am sooo confused.

Mother - posted on 03/12/2012

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"You have not been saying age 8 the entire time... *eye roll* "

--save your juvenile eye roll for someone else. I have spoken about 8 and older the entire time. The last post said I still have a problem with 8 y/o's and included the other ages with this statement.



"So, if the men didn't find breasts arousing you'd be ok with an 8 y/o breastfeeding?? I'm sorry, I would still have a problem with it. I even find 5-6 y/o's breastfeeding to be abnormal. "



But regardless, you're just looking for something to argue about as it appears we agree on the originating issue.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/12/2012

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Ma B.

Extended BR to me is 3-4 years of age. I don't think that is popular but I still think it is acceptable.



I'm sorry, I would still have a problem with it. I even find 5-6 y/o's breastfeeding to be abnormal.



You have not been saying age 8 the entire time... *eye roll*



--ACKKK....you're right. I went back and re-read all the posts.....it does seem everyone has put their 'too old' age in where I have been putting age 8 and older. Maybe because I'm repulsed by the thought of a mature youth BFing.



Honestly, you have not said anything different than I have... ;)

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/12/2012

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Lisa, anything over age 1 IS extended breastfeeding. So, those of us that say age 3, 4 at the most (like me), do not oppose extended breastfeeding. We are saying for us, age 3 is the limit (4 is acceptable). However, we obviously support extended breastfeeding, since that is 2 years after the least, recommended age.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/12/2012

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Jodi, I only took the stats for Canada and the US because that is where the most of us here live. You can post whatever you want from all the other Countrie's it wasn't what I was getting at. If I was looking at 2nd or 3rd world Countrie's, yeah, the rate is higher. They are much poorer and are not able to afford what a 1st world Country can.



What you are trying to prove to counteract what I posted is void. Again, it isn't what I was getting at.



ETA:

In addition all those Countrie's you listed have many customs that we would never employ in North America. So, to say well they believe in extended breasfeeding so so should all other Countrie's, is an over statement. Do you think we should also have arranged marriages? Do you think that woman should have no say or not be allowed to work? Do you think daughter's should be left to waste side because they are not boys and will not carry the father's name on? Should we eat dogs? Should we all cover our faces as women?



So, you are selectively picking things these Countrie's do to fit one scenerio. That is not very helpful in my mind...

Mother - posted on 03/12/2012

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"Which is why we had umpteen different ages being bounced around in this thread as what constitutes as 'too old' to be breastfeeding."



--ACKKK....you're right. I went back and re-read all the posts.....it does seem everyone has put their 'too old' age in where I have been putting age 8 and older. Maybe because I'm repulsed by the thought of a mature youth BFing.

[deleted account]

Sexual arousal Doesn't come into it, if that mother was telling the truth than that behaviour was inappropriate, she should have explained to her son there are appropriate times to masturbate and that wouldn't be one of them. But boys do get erections and they can't necessarily control when or why, it isn't always caused by sexual arousal. They can however, control how they deal with it (ie not masturbating while bf). But that is an extreme example if it is true.



I find the thought of bf a 2yo odd, i look at my son and cannot imagine bf'ing him now, but that doesn't mean it's wrong , just that I haven't been in that situation. It's important we remember that just because something is different or odd to us it isn't always wrong or inappropriate.

Jodi - posted on 03/12/2012

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Actually, nobody in this thread has agreed that they feel an 8 year old should be still breastfeeding. Not sure where you got that from :\

[deleted account]

Yep, Lisa. 'And I'm talking about going past the age of 3.' Which many people have done and stated so... 'What are your feelings of say an 8 year old still doing it?' Which many people answered. The op is clearly about TWO issues since there are a lot of years between 3 and 8. ;)

Minnie - posted on 03/12/2012

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And the question CLEARLY says 8.



No, there were two parts to it. First she started out drawing the line at three years. Then she brought in eight years.



Which is why we had umpteen different ages being bounced around in this thread as what constitutes as 'too old' to be breastfeeding.

Julie - posted on 03/12/2012

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8 years is too long and obviously a sign of more of an emotional need than phsyical.



Read and hold them close while you do it - it may well meet that need.



Any chance you get, give them loving touches. I weaned my at 3 and she was not QUITE ready (we'd just lost her Daddy) so feel her out and figure out why they need to continue.

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