How long should one breastfeed for?

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33  Answers

5 7

My daughter turns 2 on Saturday and I still breastfeed her . I will continue to do so until she weans herself. As long as you and your LO are happy, keep nursing!

19
7 36

breastfeeding moms ROCK!!! I'm glad there are so many. i didn't get to nurse my daughter this long. my son lets me know when he wants to nurse.

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0 0

I'm 55 years old and I breast feed both of my children. One was born in 1974 when breas tfeeding was not the thing to do, but I knew it was the best for me and my child. He weened him self at 15 month old. My second child was born in 1981 and he weened himelf at 12 months old. Every child is different and yes they will let you know when they are ready to stop..

I'm so proud of this generation to stand up for what they know is right for their self and children!!!

Keep it going Women!!!!!

16
71 10

breastfeeding rocks, you should do it as long as you want to and the baby shows interest. Rather its comfort or food. Its the way our bodies are made and what breasts are for!! GO YOU! 21 months

12
7 36

thanks. no one has said anything negative to me yet. and a breastfeeding mom has the same rights to be anywhere a non-breastfeeding mom has to be.

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16 14

I'm still breastfeeding my daughter & she's 26 1/2 months old.

11
7 36

that's awesome! my son has only bit me once, but that was 6 months ago. he hasn't done it since

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26 10

Until they wean themselves at a natural weaning age (between 2.5 and 7) or at least to the recommended 2 year minimum as per the World health Organization/ Canadian Health Org. and many other recommendations.

There are many stigmas around breastfeeding, especially when it come to older children, but it society that has the problem and it is children that are suffering from the lack of their biological need. Developmentally there are only positive aspects. Breastfed children are not only as independent as their non-breastfeeding peers, but are often more independent as all of their emotional needs are met and they feel confident to explore. Moreover, there is nothing that feels better then to be able to keep a child hydrated and nourished when they are sick and can't keep anything down. Breast feeding gives a piece of mind that is unequal to anything else.

Do it for as long as you can... I have nursed 3 children until the self-weaned and will do the same for my daughter who is now 17m... Everyone in my social circle breastfeeds and I have never met one person that has shown regret about nursing for a longer period, but I have met countless people that have regretting weaning their children prematurely.

10
10 17

I couldn't agree more Melissa! The children know when they are ready to stop having that comfort from mommy, we don't. I have nursed 3 boys, the 1st one was 2 1/2 when he stopped and that was only because I was in a car accident, my 2nd son was about 1 but I went back to work a little early and I think he got mad at me, and currently I have a 3 year old boy that still nurses when he is tired or gets hurt. It is never for very long, but just long enough to give him that security and comfort he has come to depend on.

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0 2

I nursed my son until he was 3 years old.......despite the negative feedback from family and friends. My doctor and the WIC person both commended me for letting him nurse as long as he was interested, and said it was the BEST GIFT I could ever give him! My son has been so healthy, despite being born almost 2 months early!!!!! The nurses in the NICU called breastmilk the Golden Serum!! It is true! All my friends who bottle fed their kids, are constantly sick. Not my boy!! Breastfeeding him has been one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done! I miss nursing him, he is now almost 5. There is nothing like it, the comfort and bonding that happens! Keep going Moms!!!!!! Sooooo, to those naysayers, keep your negative thought to yourselves! It should always be whats best for the children FIRST, not what society thinks!!!!!

9
2 4

Well said,True , BF is the most fulfilling things I have ever done! I dont know why my Ob-Gyn is India says, stop nursing as my DD is 24 months now. She says its normal to not have menses after 24 months of childs birth. She has give me some hormonal medicines to get into menses process. If that doesnt happen is 2 weeks, she will recommend blood test (for hypo thyroid).I feel everything is ok with me. :) I am enjoying nursing my baby.

7 36

I'm still nursing my son and he's almost 21 months old. the nurse at the WIC office said it's a comfort issue, but as long as he wants to nurse, just let him do it. he only wants it late at night or early in the morning. I've lost 40 lbs in the last 6 months.

9
2 6

I agree with the loosing weight.. i dropped pound quicklybecause of nursing..

16 1

I'm so happy to see all the great well informed answers!! "As long as mom and baby are both happy" is my answer. The WHO recommends a minimum of 2 years!!

8
13 0

At least 2 years, then as long as both child and mother are happy with it! My 15- month-old still LOVES to nurse, day and night! I could see him nursing until he's at least 3 years old.

8
0 15

I am still breastfeeding my almost 17month old son and he is definately not ready to stop. I will let him decide when to stop as I am a stay at home mom and he is my last baby. I have had some doubt but not anymore. I am really happy that I am still breastfeeding him and he is a really healthy little boy.

4 8

Breastfeeding is the BEST for Mommy and Baby so nurse for as long as both of you mutually desire to. Each year you breastfeed for decreases your chances of getting Breast Cancer... and keeps your kid healthy and boosts his/her immune system. So far we are a few days from 23 months with my oldest daughter, and 11 weeks with my younger daughter.

8
0 0

With my first daughter I breastfed until she was about 18 months. After that she just weaned herself. I plan on doing it as long as possible with my second as well. Breastfeeding is great for the baby and for the mom!

6
37 18

I breastfed my first until she was a year. I think you should do it for as long as you are comfortable with it.

5
6 26

My son is 15 months old and still breastfeeding, mainly first thing in the morning and then at night. It really is a great bonding experience!

5
7 36

yep. that's the only time my son wants it.

1,890 18

At least one year. Longer if you want.

4
210 12

I have a 4 mo old that I plan on nursing as long as I can. I was not able to nurse my son who will be 3 in sept. He would not latch and I was not making enough with pumping. When you baby is ready to quit they will let you know. You should not be told by anyone that you need to quit feeding. I really really wish that I could have nursed my son because I missed the bonding with him that I am getting with my daughter. It is wonderful and natural. People may look at you funny but I don't even use a cover anymore. I did use one for a while but in the last week or so I just kinda quit because my daughter pulls it off anyway. I have figured out how to feed her without pulling out all my breast for everyone to see. I even nursed my daughter while I was getting my hair cut the other day.

4
147 31

as long as you both like not matter what anyone else says.

2
4 9

I weened my daughter when she was well past 3 and started day care. Although the teachers allowed me to come in and breastfeed her for nap time, when I would show up she wanted to tell me all about her day instead of settling down so we tried just having her teachers rock her to sleep but we found she would snuggle up to her teachers breasts looking to be fed so it was time to ween and teach her a new way to fall asleep. It was tough but whatever works for your family is the right thing to do. Good luck to all the mama's weening out there. Its definitely not easy

2
16 4

For as long as your babies ( or child's) need to nurse is greater than your need to wean or until they stop on their own.

1
3,046 30

Breastfeed for as long as mom and child feel comfortable with. No one should decide for that nursing duo.

1
129 23

As long as you can. :) WHO says three. Stem cells, stem cells, stem cells... :)

1
236 440

No upper age limit has yet been found for health benefits for either mother or baby, and so far the limit studies have looked at is 36 months. There are still measurable differences in health for breastfed babies at 36 months.

However, if you get to the point where the child wants to quit, let him. No point in forcing something he's done with.

Some toddlers will get into this thing where they want to "sip n' run". I found this to be tremendously irritating when my second child would do it. She would literally take one suck, and then be gone. And in the meantime, she'd have started a cascade of events resulting in a let-down--and no child there to drink it. It got to the point where I would cringe when she would approach me, and that's not good. So she was around 2 1/2 when I finally told her no more. I gradually quit the normal times so the last time left was bedtime, and then one night I took her on my lap and gave her a sippy cup of milk and told her she was a big girl now, and no more.

I really wish I would have handled it somehow differently. This one has to have something in her mouth *all the time*, and she's nearly 13! She started chewing on books right after I told her no more, and she'd never done that before. Then toys. Now it's pencils and chewing gum. The other two don't have that problem!

1
28 36

You should breastfeed your child/children for as long as you can!!! At LEAST 12 months! As long as both you and your bubby are happy with it - bugger what anyone else says! I was uterly distraught because after my ex and I broke up when my daughter had just turned one he did a runner with her for a month and my milk dried up, even though I was trying to keep it going. After the month when I finally got her back she wanted it so much (imagine being weened like that, its no wonder!!!) that we managed to get a bit of milk back, but not enough to keep going, and after a few more months, despite both of us wanting to continue, we were forced to give it up :'(

1
129 23

I'm so sorry that it ended before you were ready! :(

26 34

For as long as both of you want to. I fed #1 16mths weaned self, #2 weaned at 11mths, #3 weaned at 16mths, #4 was weaned at 3.5yrs (tandem fed for 12mths I had had enough), #5 still feeding at 22mths.

My friend is still feeding her 5yr old.

1
11 0

That's nice . My daughter. Is going. To 20months older and I still nursing her. I am happy and my husband too.

1
0 8

well i think u should breastfeed intil at least 12 month that how i did my son and im going to do my baby girl the same way

1
4 12

My son is 21 months and still going strong at the boob. I'm a stay at home all day everyday mommy, I see that access plays a large role in the breastfeeding dynamic. My issue with it is my energy levels. I eat well, get enough sleep,and excercise regularly. I am low energy most of the time, and especially during and after feeding, which is not tapering off like I kind of thought it would. He eats a balanced diet, also, and he is teething the past few weeks pretty hard core, so he seems to be nursing even more frequently. Should I start limiting it to naps and morning and bedtime? He still nurses thrue the night, too. He sleeps next to me on the bed. (It is low to the ground so he won't fall.) I'd like feedback. Thanks.

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123 3

At least first 6 months, and when solids starts to be introduced then, can still continue with breast milk remaining as the ideal nutrition source. Starting solids then is to get the baby to be used to the different swallowing movements, see more from parenting expert Heidi Murkoff!

Should a 6-month old baby prefer solids to milk, is it ok to provide only solids and milk at night?

Heidi: Breastmilk or formula is still the main source of nutrition for a 6-month old – and will continue to be for most of the first year. While some babies will take more, about 24 ounces per day is considered the right amount of formula (or if you were expressing your baby’s milk, breastmilk) for this age. Solids, at least in the first few months of introduction (which should happen at about 6 months) are less for the nutrition, which formula or breastmilk has covered, and more for the experience…getting used to taking different textures and tastes. But again, solids enough won’t give baby everything that he or she needs at 6 months. Sometimes babies who don’t take enough milk are drinking too many other calories in the form of juice – so skip the juice altogether, or limit to no more than 4-6 oz a day.

More of the interview with her below!
http://eczemablues.com/2013/10/rise-and-shine-feature-parenting-workshop-with-heidi-murkoff/
Mei
EczemaBlues.com

0
231 0

I plan to nurse for one full year. My daughter will decide when she wants to give up the boobie after that.

0
8 0

The American Academy of Pediatrics support mothers who continues to breastfeed their babies, as long as it is necessary, because they believe that breastfeeding can do no any damage to the child, even if they reach the 1 year mark of breastfeeding. Most mothers who breastfeeds, also says that they continue to breastfeed their babies as long as they are finished in breast milk. For detailed reading of this article, you can read it here http://www.newparent.com/baby/how-long-should-you-breastfeed-for/

0
0 2

Breastmilk reconstitutes itself to adjust to demand. An infant or toddler who nurses once a day recieves the same antibody benefits as the infant who nurses exclusively. While I began weaning to a cup after six months, all of my children nursed at least once a day for many more; from nine to 18 months, depending on their interest, and indications of possible allergies, since allergies are common in my family. Who cares how long some else nursed? Even if a mom could "only" nurse in the hospital, that child recieved innoculation from mom while in the germ fest of today's hospitals. Congratulate her. Some working moms find it a rewarding tool to nurse once a day as a means of reconnecting. The key work is TOOL. A thoughtful mother will have done a cost benefit analysis of her life and how nursing may or may not fit. What is intolerable is intolerance, in either direction.Nursing is neither gross nor mandatory.

0
40 0

you can breastfeed as long as you can..but sometimes after 2 years breas milk will may get poisonsed...so the child has to face some troubles...this happened to my cousins chind.....that time doctors suggest to stop brestfeeding.....

0
3,046 30

Breast milk does NOT become poisoned. The World Health Organization recommends "2 *OR* beyond". Unfortunately, there are many doctors who aren't trained in human lactation.

8 7

My experience- until they cut their 1st tooth!

-1
2 6

i nursed my first child for 5 months..had to go back to work. my my second 11 months..was able to stay home..I dont think u should nurse a child over 1

-4
0 0

After a year, I have not found a real benefit to the child that regular food cannot cover and cuddles and snuggles can be the "mommy me time" that so many extended nursing mothers talk about. I have yet to see a NON CHRONICALLY SICK child who needs to be nursed much passed 1. If they can eat food, then they should eat the food, if they can do a button, then they don't need to be undressing you to nurse. Nursing is awesome, but no matter how long you nurse there will be a time when you won't and then have to replace the mommy-me time with something else. It is easily done.

1 1

I think nursing is great but after 2, it just seems disturbing. When a child can pull up your shirt and ask for it, they really shouldn't be on there anymore. And between 2.5 and 7 years old the "experts" say??? Is there anyone in thier right mind that would nurse a child 4-7?? I mean at that point, they can get all the nutrition they need from food, just like the other percentage of the population. Like I said, breast feeding is great - I myself did it - however, I do not think that nursing a child past 2 will guarantee them some superior health or longer life. My grandmother was strictly nursed til she was 2.5 and has had every cancer you can imagine! Yet my grandfather was bottle fed and has been healthy as an ox his entire 85 years of life. You can give your child the best start but genetics and social influence/habits will eventually take over. I'm just soo sick of pro-breast feeding fanatics making women who bottle feed or nurse for shorter times, feel guilty and like they are less of a mother to thier child/children. Each to thier own ladies but I have never ever heard a pro-bottle feeding mom shove her style of feeding and choices down a nursing moms throat. Just saying...

-4
13 0

Yes, there are plenty of mothers who nurse older children. You don't always hear about it, because of opinions like yours. There is NOTHING wrong with it! My 16-month-old can get to my breasts all by himself. He is nowhere NEAR ready to wean! Nobody can MAKE anybody feel guilty about anything. Guilt comes from within. I wish that my first son has nursed longer, and I regret that things happened to prevent that, but I don't feel guilty, because I know I did the best I could with the information I had at the time. Women who make an informed decision to stop breastfeeding should not feel guilty about it, because they made the best choice for them and their child. But calling someone else's nursing relationship "disturbing" is a bit uncalled for...

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