Long term nursing article!

Lilliana - posted on 07/01/2011 ( 42 moms have responded )

214

11

20

Wanted to share this with all of you mama's.

There are countless article out there on nursing, when to do it, when to stop, how to do it, pro's and cons! But personally- this article hits home.

When it comes to being a Mother whenever I seem to run into an obstacle I ask my self this "what would happen if we were animals and this happened?"

I'll never forget the day an MD told me I should stop nursing my son. He was 14 months at the time and my husband was in hospital for a broken arm- we were all in the waiting room and my son, Jonah, started getting fussy and reaching into my shirt, I was in a hospital, I didnt think twice. I pulled down my shirt and let my baby nurse. I did what was natural to me- my baby was hungry so I fed him. The MD came out to see my husband and I saw his eyes flicker to Jonah humming while nursing happily on Mama's boobie. His eyes instantly grew wide, he point my husband in the right direction to get an X-ray and then proceeded to sit next to me. He turned to towards me said these words "I'm not sure if you're pediatrician knows you're still nursing, the AHA suggests one year is enough. Any extra isn't beneficial." and he walked away. Leaving me shell shocked and taking with him any remaining faith I had in western medical beliefs.

I left the hospital that day questioning everything. Am I doing the right thing? Am damaging my child? Who was this man? What does he know?

And that's when I asked myself "if we were animals would I still be nursing?"....this article answered my question.
http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detwean.ht...


Yes I continued to nurse my son knowing he could only benefit from it. I am still nursing my son and he turned three in may!


I would love to hear what you think about the article!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Tania - posted on 07/05/2011

108

17

5

What's funny with some responses is that it doesn't matter if anyone is "uncomfortable" with or finds nursing a child over a certain age "unacceptable". How long I nurse my child is no one else's business.

Humans are primates. We, in fact, ARE animals.

Ruth - posted on 07/07/2011

1

0

0

I nursed my boys till they were 3 - and past. My daughter-in-law, a lactation consultant, nurses well past three, and now my daughter is nursing her two-and-a half year old, and will continue to do so until her son decides he's had enough.
We are doing what mothers did for thousands of years (if not millions) - before the invention of baby bottles, and the industrialized milk racket.

Minnie - posted on 07/06/2011

7,076

9

786

Humans are primates. We, in fact, ARE animals



Yes. We may not do some things because of culture or morals but we still have the same biology. We're not made of pixie dust. And human children, just based on their biology- those animal cells that make up their bodies- are made to breastfeed for years, not months.



Animals don't stop breastfeeding when their young begin to take adult foods. They nurse their babies along with those foods until they are ready to wean. Chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans breastfeed for about 4-5 years.

Minnie - posted on 07/06/2011

7,076

9

786

The American Academy of Pediatrics also states that there is no evidence of negative effects of breastfeeding a child older than three years or more. :)

Pam - posted on 07/05/2011

21

7

1

I don't need to read the article, but I do need to tell you that this doctor was WAY out of line, and either had his own issues and agenda OR was badly misinformed.

For starters, I'm a mom who has nursed 3 healthy children well past one year of age (the last one til she was almost 3), and my doctor, who is very mainstream, never had a negative thing to say about it.

Since my youngest is now 10, I thought I'd do my homework and try to update my knowledge. Here's what I found: The worldwide average of age to wean children is about 4 years of age. This is thought to save many lives from malnutrition and bad water in places that are impoverished.
The World Health Organization recommends nursing to 2 years and beyond, as does the Canadian Academy of Pediatrics. The American Association recommends one year and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and baby, and says specifically that breastfeeding "Should be supported by your physician for as long as it is the right choice for you and your baby." (Emphasis on the mom and baby, not on any outside opinion.) The American Association of Family Physicians recommends that breastfeeding beyond the first year be encouraged as it "offers considerable benefits to both mother and child." They go on to say that a child weaned before age 2 is at more risk of illness.

Even The American Heart Association, which this doctor appeared to be using as his "authority" has nothing negative (as far as I can tell) to say about breastfeeding, and it does encourage exclusive breastfeeding until the age of 6 months. I think this guy has some real hang-ups if he's willing to sit down with someone who is not his patient and make such inappropriate and inaccurate comments. If you know his name, I would be writing to his practice and to the hospital at which you encountered him. He is outrageous and not in a good way.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

42 Comments

View replies by

Dawnika - posted on 08/13/2012

6

0

1

the "Dr. " was a ignoramus ".....my twins,boy and girl are breastfeeding at 3 years,( nearly 4 )..I will stop when THEY wish

April - posted on 09/12/2011

3,420

16

263

nursing my son for 34 months now and will continue until he decides to wean!

Merry - posted on 09/12/2011

9,274

169

248

Delia, google search 'Kathy dettwyler' and in her site it's the article called 'a natural age of weaning'

Delia - posted on 09/11/2011

110

0

4

I couldn't open up the article. I would love to read it. What is the title, and perhaps I can look it up?

Your experience is far too common! Very few physicians are taught anything about breastfeeding let alone the CHANGING contents of breast milk. Given how little they really know, it's always amazing how comfortable they feel dispensing misinformation!

He should be forced to memorize the numbers on nutritional content in terms of % of necessary daily nutritional values, along with the immune factors contained in breastmilk on average for an 18 month old child before he's deemed qualified to speak about the subject with any authority (or false authority as in this case)!

Amanda - posted on 09/10/2011

2,559

3

365

I was watching a documentary on raccons, which stated the longer a mammal breastfeeds their child the smarter that child is. Breastfeeding in the wild is actually directly connected to the intellance of the animal. My hubby then says our next child (if there is one) will be breastfeed until he/she is at least six years old, so he/she can rule the world.

Stifler's - posted on 09/10/2011

15,141

154

597

i think whatever. do it until you don't want to anymore, don't let ignorance influence you.

Jasmine - posted on 07/06/2011

3

0

0

The AAP promotes extended breastfeeding. They acknowledge that it is healthy physically & emotionally "as long as mutually desired by mother and child." I have been blessed with professional support from my doctor. I was recently told that nursing is an excellent source of pain relief for my toddler, who sustained a second degree burn. You know what's right for your child. As long as it works for you too, keep at it.

[deleted account]

That doctor is an asshole. I respect doctors, but what gives them the right to comment on everything in our lives? He was there to see your husband's broken arm. He's not a breastfeeding expert. Not even a pediatrician. Nor did you ask him for his opinion on anything but your husband's condition.



The World Health Organization recommends nursing to 2 years and beyond, as does the Canadian Academy of Pediatrics. The American Association recommends one year and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and baby...



He's got his own issues if he interprets that as "one year is enough... ewwww!"

Merry - posted on 07/06/2011

9,274

169

248

Lol I want to echo that sentiment as well Lilliana! Yesi enjoy being able to bf my 2 yr old, but.......it sure is annoying alot!
I'm nursing my new baby and Eric demands to nurse alot, well I'd be happy to nurse him like three times a day or so but he's asking 8-9 times a day! So yeah, I allow him to nurse because it's important to him. And I believe it's hus right to continue until he's old enough to decide he's done.
For me, I'd rather he be content to stop" but that's not the case so we continue!

Lilliana - posted on 07/05/2011

214

11

20

Hi Dee, I appreciate your input! And I believe you come from an extremely knowledgable background!

I agree that yes, maybe MAYBE there are mothers that breastfeed longer for their own comfort, is that a bad thing? I don't think so!
Personally I breastfeed my son still because I believe he gets huge benefits from breastfeeding, health benefits, and emotional benefits!
Trust me, I would love to sleep me a bed just my husband and I, and not have my nipples used as pacifiers, I would love to be able to drink whenever I want- but I put my family before myself. And I know in strong confidence I can say that I'm still breastfeeding him for his sake.

This isn't defensive in anyway! ICANN see why a mother would want to continue breastfeeding for her confidence, I'm just letting you know that I don't believe that's always the case. I'm 30 weeks pregnant with twins, I'm sore, I'm tired. I want me son to be a big boy and not want boobie anymore, but I refuse to force that upon him.

:-) hope this helps!

Dee - posted on 07/05/2011

1

18

0

Wow, there are some interesting views on here. This'll be my first opinion ever made public. Here goes...
I have four Breast fed babies and I help out others with breast feeding thier bubs if they feel confused or stuck by it. First and formost the most settled breast feeding mums or bottle feeding mums are those that have 'chosen' to or not to, breastfeed. I am an advocate for longer breast feeding, although I have not fed past 14.5 months. (when I realised that the comfort feeding was about my comfort and not my daughters). I have friends and clients that have fed for longer and for shorter. My career is in antenatal, birthing and postnatal support with a passion for lactation. My continued observations into breatsfed weaning are, that its more about the mothers decision for thier child with the 'excuse' and rarely a 'reason' (I know, I'm out on a limb, please bear in mind that these are only my personal observations, conversations, reaserch and non conclusive conclusions) being 'i'll wean when the child is ready". It is more comfort to mum than to the child. Security for children comes more from a parent who makes the decisions for their child until the child is of mature age. 18yo is Aussies adult age, with youth services continuing until they are 25. Children can have a much stronger bond when they know thier parents have thier best interests at heart and can make a solid secure decision about thier well being.
Being that my observations are only over the past 15 years, I have many years ahead. I don't push my opinions onto anyone. I just observe, read, listen an encourage each person to be in control of what is the best for them, thier family and lifestyle. What's best for mum is best for bub. If you feel secure in you decisions you won't need reassurance from others. If breastfeeding until 6 months is enough for you and you have made a well researched informed decision then so be it. I don't personally agree with it as for me, its not about whether the baby is well now, but how thier organs stand up into thier adult life. If you feed until they are past 2 then again its the same, but probably more about the emotional security in the adult years. I am open to more experential feedback, as that will help me in providing a wider variety of information to those who seek counsel in this opinionated society.

Lilliana - posted on 07/05/2011

214

11

20

Pam- I can't tell you how many times I have thought the same thing!

Tania- agreed we are animals. I like my cubs close and well fed. You're right it's noone elses business. And I continue to nurse my son at home and out in public and he is over 3. I'm not stopping anytime soon!

Honestly I'm so so pleased everything said on here has been so positive!

Beverly - posted on 07/05/2011

30

8

0

I would have said, sir, I don't care if my pediarician knows if I'm still nursing and frankly I don't care and neither do I care to hear your opinion that, by the way I didn't ask for! Now you go do what it is you do and I will continue to do what it is I do, feed my child and continue to be a mom!

Elsie - posted on 07/05/2011

8

6

0

GOOD FOR YOU!! I think it`s up to you and your child on how long is good for you. I have 3 and each one was different. My first was for almost 3 years, my 2nd for 2 and my little one now is 6 months and he breast feeds and is on the bottle (I can`t seem to produce enough).
For me each was different but I think I would have kept on as long as they needed me to.
Please don`t let anyone else dictate to you on how you should raise your child, only you really know what`s best.
Good luck and good job!

[deleted account]

I am not able to see the article, but I believe in long term or extended breastfeeding. I breastfed my 6 year old son till he was 4 years old he stopped on his own. I am currently breastfeeding my 3 year old and 8 month old son. I believe in the benefits it has and don't care at all what others think.

Sherri - posted on 07/04/2011

9,593

15

387

Article won't come up for me. I am fine with woman bf'ing but for me I would never breastfeed past 6mo's that is the limit for me personally that would be acceptable.

Elizabeth - posted on 07/04/2011

78

12

12

That doctor does not know what he is talking about. Nursing is more than the nutrition of the milk it is a bonding experience too. I stopped nursing my son when he was close to three because I was pregnant and was not to keen on the prospect of tandem nursing. I had heard of natural weaning too and was fine with letting my son decide, when I weened him he was only night nursing so 'i think he was close to self weaning anyway. I plan on nursing baby number two until he naturally weans.

Freston - posted on 07/04/2011

4

0

0

I loved this article so much! I currently am breastfeeding my daughter and we enjoy it so much together! I do pump for when I will go to work so she can still seek the benefits. I don't know how I feel about nursing a 7 year old BUT I'm all for a natural weaning if possible...I think it is also a good idea to continue to pump even if it is going to be digested in a sippy cup. My aunt nursed my cousin or a long time (3 years old at least) and although my goal was 18 months after reading this would definitely go longer. Thank you for the contribution!

Merry - posted on 07/03/2011

9,274

169

248

Lorna, it's not actually illegal to bf in public past a year in Tennessee, it's just not protected.
So it's not that it's illegal, but just that the law only protects those under a year.
Still sucks, and that's the only state with an age limit on the law. I guess I'm never visiting there!
My sons breastfeeding still at 2yrs, sometimes I wish he would wean, but over all I'm committed to letting him decide when he's done, be it 3 or 5. Unless things drastically change I won't consider forcing him to wean.

Lauren - posted on 07/03/2011

9

5

0

If you can breastfeed go for it as long as you like. I personally hated breastfeeding so i stopped at just under 4 months. Do i regret it? Absolutely not. And the reason being it is a personal choice just as you have decided to continue as long as you have. People have called me selfish and cruel (to my face) and you know what let them. Don't worry about what everyone else thinks, I know I don't. It was the best thing for me giving it up and believe me it was the best thing for my daughter too. When i have my second child I will breastfeed again for as long as i can, i am aiming for 6 months. Best of luck.

[deleted account]

I'm not interested in reading the article at the moment.

I weaned my twins (they're 9.5 now) at 15 months and thought that nursing a kid til 2 was just wrong.

I nursed my son (who turned 3 at the end of March) til yesterday. I would still be nursing him, but he just left to spend 4 weeks w/ his father and we are done now... Well, I am at least. ;)

Lilliana - posted on 07/02/2011

214

11

20

I can't believe that Lorna! That's crazy!! Mad I would have been arrested by now!! Well you keep nursing it's a beautiful thing!

Lorna - posted on 07/02/2011

14

0

1

I live in Tennessee and it is ILLEGAL to breastfeed in public past 1 year of age. Isn't that ridiculous!
I'm only 17 years old but I love breastfeeding. It is the best possible thing you can provide your child. My daughter has never had any problems besides a cold that lasted a few days but didn't even make her fussy or anything!
I definitely plan on breastfeeding as long as she wants to. A lot of people think it's weird I'm still nursing, especially because they wouldn't expect it because of my age but I have come to not care at all what they think because the few times I've had to give her formula makes me so sad. I love the bonding and I am not sacrificing that to please everyone else!

Daphne - posted on 07/02/2011

3

0

0

I don't think that formula should be the norm and nursing taboo. In fact, I don't think that any baby should ever be fed formula (unless mom can't breastfeed for one reason or another, which I know sometimes happens and then formula is necessary. But if a mom can breast feed, she should)
I'm just uncomfortable with the idea of nursing a school age kid, that's all. :) I have no doubt that your son is the healthiest kid around. If your comfortable with it then there is nothing wrong with it.

Lilliana - posted on 07/02/2011

214

11

20

Daphne- I respect your opinion! I really do! But nursing my toddler doesn't make him or me uncomfortable, infect it feels beyond natural! If my son had naturally weaned at 2, I would have been just as happy! (2 being the recommended length of nursing by the WHO and UNICEF)

Do I plan on following him to school and nursing him? If my son is 5 and comes home from school and wants to nurse- I don't see a problem with that! And I realize society does. Alot of people agree with you! I think as Mama's we all have to sense what feels right for our families! For my family I plan on nursing my children until they naturally wean, my husband grew up in Ghana and nursed until he was 8! And maybe I'm bias but I think he's a wonderful human being. He has no memory of nursing, but he is extremely healthy he never gets sick, he has an above average IQ, sure you could put those things down to genetics but I dont! My son has been sick once in his whole life and it lasted 2 days, he has never had a fever, he has an above average intelligence level, he is well adjusted and an extremely happy and loving child. Blah blah I could go on for days!!

All I'm saying is, the idea of a 3 year old nursing might feel Weird for you, but maybe that's because you never see it because society has made formula the norm and nursing taboo!

Daphne - posted on 07/02/2011

3

0

0

I agree that the doctor was completely out of line (especially at 14 months) and how long to breastfeed is a personal decision and I am totally pro-breastfeeding, but I think that 3 is a little too old to still be nursing. Your son is not a baby, he is a toddler. Nursing is for babies. The problem with your reasoning is that we are NOT animals. There are things that animals do that humans don't and vice-versa. When your son is old enough to go to school are you going to ask yourself "what would we do if we where animals?" and not send your kid to school beacuse animals don't? But if you do want to go by that reasoning, there is a valid point that the website ignored:
Mammals wean their young when the baby is old enough to eat solid food. So shouldn't we wean when our child is eating an adult diet?
I breastfed my son until he was about 13 1/2 - 14 months. He is 3 1/2 now and I can not imagine breastfeeding him at this age. He is not a baby, he is a toddler, a pre-schooler.
I totally agree with the nutritional benefits of breastfeeding, but if I wanted to continue feeding my child breast milk after he was no longer a baby I would pump, store and give him my milk in his sippy cup instead of cows milk (not a bad idea now that I think about it beacuse I'm sure that breast milk would be so much better for him than cows milk). I just am not comfortable with the idea of nursing an older kid who is not a baby.
I am 12 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child and I plan on nursing at least one year, maybe a little longer, but no more than 1 1/2 probably. 2 would be my max. Then I think I might try to pump and feed breastmilk in a cup.
I really can not believe that website suggests nursing until a kid is 6 or 7. What are you going to do, fallow him around at school so he can nurse whenever he feels like it? Not practical, not to mention really weird and awkward. A 5 - 7 year old is WAY to old to be nursing, sorry. Just my opinion. Still, it is your decision and your right.

[deleted account]

Right lol, I saw an article last week I think it was about a woman in Spain who had her baby taken from her by social services because she refused to wean, nursed on demand and for co-sleeping! That is just insanity.

Lilliana - posted on 07/01/2011

214

11

20

Hahaha, I should start carrying fact sheets on the benefits on breast feeding and hand them out to string strangers! Makes me crazy!

[deleted account]

I got the same looks when I nursed my son , I know lol. See I have a mouth on me and when I got those looks it was a simple "you dont like it turn around" :) People are so rude these days, really nobody has the decency to keep their opinions to themselves and its a shame if you ask me.

Lilliana - posted on 07/01/2011

214

11

20

Lisa- I did realize AFTER I posted this that I had set my self up for a full on attack. But hey I respect all opinions and I'm really glad to here Kathy has books! It's so fascinating to me! It's why my baby sleeps with me, and I'll nurse him until the day he decides he has out grown it!!

Brandi- I completely agree!! Its so bizarre that nobody would say a word or shoot a loom if someone was shaking up a formula bottle for a baby, but when I nurse my son you should see the looks I get! And on occasion the nasty remarks! I'm not phased by public nursing and refuse to be a closet nurser! Last week my husband and I took our son to the beach and he fell in the freezing ocean and was terrified! He was desperate for some comfort and soothing so I nursed him we were next to a big family who all stared and whispered and the grandmother of the family said "he's a little too old don't cha think?"
I didn't say anything I continued nursing. It doesn't bother me anymore. But boy my husband was just fuming. Oh well some people are ignorant!!

[deleted account]

First off that md was an ass and second there seems to be this movement against breast feeding its so taboo these days and I dont understand why. Women produce milk for a reason. What do these people think women did in the days before formula? Its a very natural healthy thing to do. When I had my son I could fill up on demand! So he nursed for quit sometime, my daughter was'nt able to latch on right so after about two weeks of constant frustration and her not gaining any weight I had to put her on formula. My most recent (5 months) started to wean herself about a month ago and I gotta say Im a bit hurt, I was so excited that I was able to nurse her but she rarely will take it anymore. You do what you know is right for your child and damn what any md or anybody else has to say about it :)

Minnie - posted on 07/01/2011

7,076

9

786

It also seems as if that doctor was looking at breastfeeding the way many people do: something 'extra' that we can do, and that one year weaning is the standard, and that anything longer is extra. That's why I don't use the term extended breastfeeding, but natural duration.

Minnie - posted on 07/01/2011

7,076

9

786

Lilliana, if you're interested in more of Kathy Dettwyler's research into the anthropological and biological nature of human breastfeeding you might want to check out the book Breastfeeding: Biocultural Perspectives.



I've read the article you link to above, I agree, Kathy's observations are very interesting, and the book is even more eye-opening. :) Your article is actually a chapter in her book.



I am nursing my daughter who will be three soon as well, and we are still enjoying it.



This may turn into a debate though, just to letcha know, because many people have very strong opinions on when a child should wean.

[deleted account]

Sorry, the link is broken. Nursing is a very personal decision for mothers. Some do, some don't. Some find nursing to be a breeze and are a pro, some find nursing downright struggling and adds to depression. Some moms can't bond, some are just fine. So just do what is best for you & your family!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms