how long did you nurse?

Annaleigh - posted on 01/20/2009 ( 52 moms have responded )

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my son just turned 2, and he's still nursing....i don't have a problem with it. i was just wondering how many people have made it that far, and how did you field questions from rude heartless people who critisized you for it?

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Michelle - posted on 01/20/2010

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My older two sons were 4 edging on 5 and my youngest was three and I think he weaned early due to the divorce situation. (visited dad for a week and came home deciding he was done.) I nursed my older two throughout pregnancy.

To me, I didn't want there to be any jealousy. "baby gets it, why can't I."

When my middle son weaned, it was pretty much "Can I nurse?" and I responded "sure." He smiled as he was about to latch on and then stood up and walked away saying "nahhhhhh." I think he just wanted to see if I would LET him. It wasn't an issue, so no jealousy. They all weaned when ready.

WORLD average for weaning is around 4. Older if you take away all of the 2 month olds weaned in the US. (Information is old...but I got it from World Health Organization)

[deleted account]

Um... if a child never wanted to stop on their own then all the 'self weaning mothers' would still be nursing their adult children......

Now, I don't care about studies and links and stuff and granted, the extent of my personal experience isn't even quite 2 years yet, but if you only nursed your daughter til she turned one then I really don't see how you have any expertise to be giving advice to extended breastfeeders......

Jan - posted on 01/14/2010

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Mine have a 4 year limit. And that was by accident. When my now 7 year old turned 4, he was still nursing. I just hadn't stopped him and didn't see much reason to. Until I got pregnant again, again. lol. I had him and when he was about 2 1/2, I got pregnant with my next, and nursed thru pregnancy, and tandem nursed them both after he was born. Then I was nursing the 2 of them, when I got pregnant again. 3rd breastfeeding child. So, I decided it was time for him to stop nursing so that I would only have 2 at a time. The nursling, and the baby in the belly. Then I nursed my (at the time) 2 year old while I was pregnant with the 3rd, and then tandemed until the 2nd boy was almost 4. I kept telling him that when he turned 4 he had to stop. I figured it was a fair thing to do. And he stopped on his own a few weeks before. He knew he had to eventually and just said ok. I think I gave him enough forwarning that he came to terms with it. And I am still nursing the baby who is 2 1/2 almost. A total of 7+ years nursing non stop.
I haven't had too many problems with people saying things. My family, yes, but it doesn't bother me that much cause I just tell them to deal with it. And they have. My mom likes to throw her little comments out. Or she used to. Not so much anymore. I have had a lot of people say, I wish I could have breastfed but blah blah blah I couldn't for some reason or another. The worst was my Aunt. She got mad at me and sent me to some nasty room to sit on a bed with holes in it that was tossed on the floor to breastfeed in the dark because 1, I should not have tried to breastfeed in front of her husband and 2, once he is old enough to ask for it, he is too old to nurse and you need to stop giving it to him already. And that was for my (at the time) almost 2 year old.
I did go off on her about it and told her it was body and my child and that I respect it being her house and wasn't going to say anything about having to hide in the other room, but it's my body and my child and she doesn't get a say about what I do. But I did choose to not tell her I was still breastfeeding the 4 year old at the time. lol

Linda - posted on 01/13/2010

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I'm so happy to see so many moms content to let their kids nurse as long as possible! Everyone deserves a huge pat on the back! My son will be 3 next month and he's showing no signs of letting up yet. He's not really into a wide variety of foods no matter how I try, so I know he's getting decent nutrition through me. I do try to talk him out of it sometimes, but I'm not ready to force the issue.... and let's face it, when we are both too tired to argue, it's the perfect remedy. I couldn't dream of calming him any other way.

I really enjoy that he's old enough to offer up commentary on the nursing. It's really adorable. Sometimes a little odd. :) lol

Annaleigh- it's hard to hear other people's opinions that differ from your own about something so personal and important to you. Hearing it from one person can throw off your instinct to continue doing what's best for your family. Surround yourself with positive people who share your feelings on raising families. I read some La Leche League books when my son turned one and I was thinking about weaning..... all of a sudden I realized it's perfectly ok to listen to my heart and keep going with it.
Good luck with your own family-raising adventure!

Jessica - posted on 01/10/2010

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My daughter is 22 months old. I am 7 months pregnant. My milk dried up 3 months ago, not a drop. She still wants to nurse several times a day despite there being no milk. I am desperately trying to wean at nap time but let her have a few minutes before bed and in the morning. She can cry for 20-45 minutes with me next to her at nap time because she wants to have the booboo to sleep. I plan to not enforce the suck to sleep instinct so much with the new baby.

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[deleted account]

my daughter just turned 1 and i am still breastfeeding her. she drinks milk and all but we have our special times in the morning and at night before bed that i nurse. i love the bonding time and i feel good that she is getting the best nutrition first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. As to when i will stop i do not know, probablly when she is two.

Rebecca - posted on 10/21/2011

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Further to Jodie's comment on children never wanting to wean. Children do self wean as they grow older. They are hard to wean around the 1 year as they still need feeding and will be while they still physically and emotionally need the benefits of breastfeeding. This is how we are biologically wired. My eldest self weaned just shy of 4 years and my youngest is still feeding at 3 years. My eldest is 20 years now and as expected has moved onto other interests and into adulthood. As will all children as they finish each stage in their development. It is the same with breastfeeding, children will move on as it becomes irrelevant to their development.

Laura - posted on 01/24/2010

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I am still nursing my 13.5month old daughter 3x a day but she seems a little dis interested lately and pulls on and off alot and looks up at me and giggles and i end up laughing at her! I think maybe she is ready to wean? She seems to be sucking and getting milk still in the first couple minutes and then plays around abit. Was thinking i would start weaning her around 1 year old but continued as i didn't want to stop but now that she is playing around and sometimes ends up biting me maybe she is ready? Any suggestions? Welldone to all that have continued to breastfeed, it is such and amazing bond that u develop, we both love it!

Eden - posted on 01/21/2010

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it's so wonderful to hear all these mom's talking about prolonged nursing!!! i nursed my son for 3 years and 2 months. am now 22 weeks pregnant with #2 and will nurse this baby as long is it works for both of us. hooray to all you mom's who ignore the social pressure to wean by 1! as for the rude people - i just stopped talking about it to those i knew wouldn't understand. it wasn't worth my energy to fight people about why i was nursing my 3 year old. each woman has to make the right choices for her and her family.

Chloie - posted on 01/21/2010

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my son was 16 months when i stopped feeding him only cause i was preg. with my second and my milk went now my second is 4 months old and feeding well. I will feed him as long as i can. I felt people where very critical when i was still feeding my first son when he was one.

Casondra - posted on 01/20/2010

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my little girl just turned 18 months and i still nurse here,i tried to wean her but it's so hard.i don't know what to do ,she never took a bottle so it's so hard and when i tell people what should i do they look at we weird,and want to know why i still let her nurse. so i am glad that their are others out there that are still doing it.

Annaleigh - posted on 01/20/2010

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wow, yeah i'm with Teresa on this one. not to mention did you know how hard cow's milk is on anyone's digestive system? it is made for bovine comsumption, not sensitive little babies. (i'm even more against it since my entire family is lactose intolerant, including both my children) because of that my mom has done her research, and there are many better choices than cow milk.

but how can one critisize or condemn nursing past a point where they have NO experience. I have had 2 kids, nursed both of them, only weaned my daughter because it was killing me while pregnant. and by the way there are worse things than jealousy over baby getting to nurse. i weaned my son and then potty trained him. he said he wanted to wear diapers so he could be a baby and nurse. had to have my sis-in-law and her husband green break him the first week we potty trained. lol

Jane - posted on 01/20/2010

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My first son nursed until her was nearly 3 and the only reason I weaned him then was because I was pregnant and it was killing me! My younger son was 5 when I finally said, "no more!"

Faith - posted on 01/20/2010

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I should add that the nurse at the developmental said we needed to send Teddy to the feeding clinic because he still nurses

Jodie - posted on 01/20/2010

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I nursed my daughter until she turned 1 and she was able to drink cow's milk. The nutrition of the breastmilk is so important in that first year. I am not opposed to nursing longer, but it is not as necessary. The thing about nursing is it is an awesome, natural way for a mother to bond with her child. Because of this, I think that the longer you nurse, the harder it will be for both you and your child to wean. Just be aware of that.

I know a lot of people say that they will stop when their child wants to stop, but for the most part, a child will never want to stop on their own. And as your child gets older, he will be more capable of demanding what he wants. So just be warned that the longer your child has nursing as a part of his lifestyle, the more radical the change will be to him (and you!).

Great job for nursing as long as you have! It shows that you understand how important it is to your child. Way to go! :)

Jennifer - posted on 01/20/2010

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I'm still nursing my 2 1/2 yr old , will be 3 end of May, just like Emily Frogley's little one! hehe
I nursed my first to 19 months and only weaned then because I got sick (not a well-informed decision in hindsight, but oh well)
I am in a rural area where most people think I'm either nuts or perverted, but I usually laugh it off with a quick summary like, WHO and Pediatric Academies all over recommend AT LEAST 2 yrs, and if you go across the board for all mammals, humans would/should nurse between 3 and 7 years! The shock of that suggestion usually makes them think 2 is just fine by comparison! lol
I don't plan on going to 7 by the way, but am following the lead of my little sweety at the moment. It means a LOT to her emotionally, so I'm not ready to put her through something that would be traumatic for her, simply because I impose some arbitrary and unnecessary deadline on her.

Jen - posted on 01/20/2010

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Jessica, it's nice to hear someone in the same shoes as me!! I planned to bf my son for 2 years (or beyond), and he's now 16 months and going strong. But I'm 5 months pregnant, and seem to have dried up as well over the past couple of weeks. I see no swallowing. Yet, like you, he won't stop, Desperate for it at naps and bedtime especially, and at times throughout the day, despite the fact I'm empty. He even asks for water during 'feeds' then resumes! lol. And he hates homo milk. I don't feel ready to wean him, and it's much earlier than I planned, but I find the dry sucking uncomfortable after a time.

I've had lots of people start pressuring me to stop, asking 'how will he like sharing with the new baby' and 'you better stop before the next one comes' and all that. Even from my dr. I just say- he's not ready, nor am I. Screw 'em, it's not their life or their choice.

[deleted account]

My son just turned two as well. So many people are asking when I'm weaning him. Originally, I thought that two was a good age, but he LOVES it still. I would love to let him self-wean, but his dad and I split up a couple of months ago and he wants to take him for the night. I am having issues with weaning because of that, but I'm not sure what else to do. I am not sure why it's anybody else's choice but you and your child. Good luck!

Rory - posted on 01/20/2010

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My daughter is 14 months, and I'm thinking about weaning her soon. I breastfed my son until he was 16 months. Now, I have to set out to do it...its going to be a challenge too.

Ethel Rina - posted on 01/20/2010

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my daughter shes 1 year and 6 months still breastfeed nd no milk bottles at all but she eat so much of solid foods

Faith - posted on 01/19/2010

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I gave birth to my daughter in 2005. I nursed her until just a month before her 3rd birthday when her brother was born. I have been non-stop breastfeeding him right through and he turned 2 last month. I have a lot of people telling me to stop but I don;t really plan to until either he is ready to stop or they tell me I need to go back on some meds for my bipolar depression... Even there they do have meds that a woman can take when she's pregnant or breastfeeding. a big reason I'm still nursing him is I can't stand listening to him cry and head-but every thing when I tell him no

Emily - posted on 01/19/2010

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Still nursing my 3-year-old and also my 4-month-old. I rarely get comments, but mostly because I don't tell people unless they ask. But invariably the question is, "How long do you plan to keep doing that?" as if it's horrible that I'm still nursing. I do wish our society was more accepting of extended breastfeeding (though I don't think of it as "extended," I think of it as NORMAL and biologically appropriate!)

Victoria - posted on 01/19/2010

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Nursed #1 til 27 months, he weaned himself. Nursed #2 til about 29 months, she weaned herself too. Still nursing #3 at almost 22 months....though she seems close to being done. By 18 months, most of my nursing is done at bedtime, or when the babies are sick, so no one really sees or knows unless I talk about it. Most people are impressed we are still nursing. And to the others, well, I just don't care about their opinions!! I know what's best for my babies and me. And I really like setting an example for my older kids, hopefully will influence them to breastfeed (or be a supportive husband for a breastfeeding wife)!

Tanya - posted on 01/18/2010

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My daughter turned 2 right before Christmas and is showing no signs of quitting any time soon. Still nurses several times a day, even in public at times. Not sure how long we will go, but don't really want to force the issue with her. Would like to let her stop on her own. I do get commnents, but from friends/family out of state that we dont see much. So not a big issue.

Karen - posted on 01/15/2010

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hi my name is karen. my son is 3 and still breastfeeding mainly at night now but i would say carry on as long as he wants to and u are happy to. Dont let anyone put you off. I have had negative comments, mainly from my family, but have stuck with it and ignored them and am really glad that i have. I also know of lots of other people who have done the same. I find it quite sad that our society is only supportive about breastfeeding up to the age of 6 months when its perfectly natural in other societies. stick with it.

Kristine - posted on 01/15/2010

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I nursed both my babies until they were 2 and they pretty much stopped themselves, my son got gastro and that got him off cause he spent a few days just drinking water on his second birthday so he just never went back, i say go for as long as you can but don't feed them just for comfort, other than at bedtime, breastfeeding was part of our settling process for bed time so that was the only time they had it for the final 6 months and as I was a working mum from 9 months old I found it very hard to let go of this last feed as this was our special time, everyone thought it was a bit funny that i still did it but I just didnt care, no one else has any say over my babies, if they are happy that is all that matters

[deleted account]

still nursing my 2 year old, with no end in sight. we both cherish the time. When people have something to say I remind them of the WHO recommendation- breastfeed for AT LEAST 2 years and then however long is mutually desired by mother and child. and a firm mind ya business!!! lol

Julie - posted on 01/13/2010

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I just stopped bf my 27mo last week. I have a 6 mo old. While pregnant with DD2, I decided it might help DD1 to transition and was not really ready to stop. While we started out fine, last month it became an issue with both her asking when the other needed me and my husband not understanding why I would not nurse her to sleep when she would ask.
Being away from home over New Years provided a time to stop.
Before we stopped I began to tell her at home in preparation for being out that other people did not understand and so we only nursed at home. She always accepted this with out questions.

Karen - posted on 01/13/2010

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I started a group Saturday re: "Nevermind bra color! How long did you breastfeed to reduce your risk (of breast cancer)?" There are now more than 1850 members. The best part is reading all the comments re: how long? It's great to realize how many make the decision to BF into toddlerhood or a child's preschool years!

Annaleigh - posted on 01/13/2010

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Linda,
I love the kids commentary on nursing! my kids spend a few days with friends and their youngest (she is 2 and a half, my son just turned 3) is obsessed with boos, she just discovered them or something. my son walks in the room and hears her talking about boobs, and goes "me no get moos now" very matter of fact. cracked my friend up! he also gets in bed and snuggles with them and tells daddy the are his moos...too funny!

Janet - posted on 01/13/2010

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Nursed my 1st til just over 2yrs. Nursed at night only last 6 months or so. Had gone back to work part time, so she was used to less nursing. She stopped nursing in public by 1 yr old. Only nursed at home. She only stopped when we went overseas for 3 wks. I gave her a cup of milk at bedtime and due to time change etc...she forgot about nursing til we came home. When she asked I told her she was a big girl now and didn't need to nurse anymore. She was fine and happily took a cup of milk instead.

Would of been much harder if I didn't do it while on holiday. Whatever works best for your family is best. I never encountered any negativity except from my mother - in - law
who just thought it strange I nursed past the first few months.

Natalie - posted on 01/13/2010

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Im breastfeeding my 23mnth old and 11mnth old daughters!Hoping to feed them both until they are at leats 3 years.Not sure how I feel about going longer than that,but thats probably just because of everyones comments about needing to stop before then!We'll see anyway.Its so nice to see other mums who are breastfeeding for longe as well :)

Stephanie - posted on 01/13/2010

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I have three kids, a set of twins and a singleton. I nursed all my kids for about 13 months. some time after their first birthdays, they just sort of stopped.
I'm preg. with my 4th, and I'll nurse this one for a year as well, after that, it's up to the kidlet.

[deleted account]

I weaned my twins at 15 months.

I'm currently nursing my 21.5 month old son (NAK now, in fact). We are kind of night weaning. I have no plan yet of when we will day wean or if I will let him self wean. I'm just taking it as it comes for now. A couple of months after he turned a year I got a few comments (from my dad and cousin-in-law) just asking me if I had a plan to wean. I simply replied 'no plan yet' and that was the end of the conversations. :) I'm sure they think I'm a bit weird. Especially since my cousin-in-law has day weaned her son (turns one tomorrow), but oh well. Doesn't bother me. I'm doing what is best for MY family and they do what is best for theirs. :)

Erin - posted on 01/13/2010

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I'm still nursing my son. He turned 2 in this month. I plan to continue nursing him as long as he wants to.

[deleted account]

I nursed my first two until they were about ten months they weaned themselves I had nothing to say in the matter lol they just wanted a cup instead. But my third son I nursed until he was about two when I weaned him as I felt he was getting too old to be treated like a baby.

Camilla - posted on 01/12/2010

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Im still feeding my 2 year old and my 7 month old baby - i will feed them and any other child of mine until they wean themselves!! I LOVE IT, THEY LOVE IT!

Julia - posted on 01/11/2010

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my daughter is three months old and had a lot of problems intially with breastfeeding. She was tongue tied and we had it corrected at a month old then had to retrain her sucking activity. She and I are finally nursing with out supplementation of pumped milk and nipple shields! I am thrilled and never want to stop nursing her! The first few months I was having to pump about 10 times a day to keep my milk supply up since she was unable to draw from me effectively at first...but we stuck with it and it's the most amazing thing I have ever done. We will nurse as long as she wants!

Brittany - posted on 01/10/2010

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Annalise is still nursing at 15 mos. I'll nurse her until she's ready to stop...or until kindergarten starts..whichever comes first.

Danielle - posted on 01/10/2010

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My Logan is still nursing and he's nearly 3 1/2. I'm 38 (oh gosh almost 39!!) weeks pregnant and still have plenty of milk for him which is just amazing to me! I plan on letting both him and his new little brother nurse until they're ready to wean unless of course I become uncomfortable due to their ages.

Naomi - posted on 01/10/2010

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still nursing, he's currently 19 months old. My original plan was 2 yrs, but I plan on letting him wean on his own.
I'm glad that the WHO (world health organization) recommends AT LEAST 2 YEARS and the aap at least 1 yr. so I usually mention that plus, "why give him milk from a cow instead of his own mommy [species]?"

Tessa - posted on 01/10/2010

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I nursed until 11 mos, 14 mos (he weaned himself and I found out I was pregnant), 13 mos, and I'm currently nursing a 10 month old and plan to go atleast till a year.

Christy - posted on 01/20/2009

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It will be 15 months tomorrow! I don't think she will be stopping anytime soon. She doesn't eat a lot of regular food and HATES milk.

Alisande - posted on 01/20/2009

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My son is just two weeks old at this point, but I have every intention of breastfeeding for at least a year. I haven't considered how long we'll really keep going -- but that's my minimum time frame.

Amy - posted on 01/20/2009

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I made it to 8 1/2 months.  I wanted to go at least a year and continue to give him pumped milk for at least 2.  due to a really low supply (and doing wrong things in the begening, and being away from him for 11 hours a day M-F) I was forced to stop.  Next time I'll bf till he's a year then give him pumped milk as long as I can.



I think it's really great that many mom's are able to BF for so long.

Mona - posted on 01/20/2009

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My daughter just got weaned at 4 1/2 years. I only weaned her cause I got a pneumonia and went on anti-biotic, which could have harmed her.



 



I did not feel like I had to defend myself. When people asked, I simply responded that it is better for me as well as for my daughter and that our family is fine with this arrangement. Like her pediatrician told me ... people will always find something wrong with the way you raise your kid, it is better when it's about something that is actually good for your kid.



 



Good Luck



Mona

Annaleigh - posted on 01/20/2009

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thanks....i commend you, i was too tired to keep nursing my daughter while pregnant, although i was about 4 months along before she told me i'd dried up. lol.

Emily - posted on 01/20/2009

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I nursed my first for 4 1/2 months... so I didn't get any rude comments for that one. I'm currently nursing my 2 1/2 year old (she'll be three the end of May) and my 12 month old. I plan to nurse all my current and future children until at least 2 years.

Most of the comments I've received have been positive or questioning, as in they can't understand why I'm still doing that. I just assume they're mostly ignorant to breastfeeding in general and take the opportunity to educated them slightly. I rarely go into speeches, but I normally just say something like, "Yes! We're still nursing and we love it, isn't it wonderful!" Many moms just didn't realize nursing that long was an option and are quite intrigued by it... others who truly don't approve just don't have a response to that and usually just shut up.

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