This is a question that has been debated among mothers for years: How long should you breastfeed for?
Some women think that 2 months is long enough for the baby to get the initial benefits, while others believe that when the baby gets teeth it’s time to stop.
Many moms I know use the 1st birthday as a reason to wean.
Earlier this year I posted a video about a mom who was still breastfeeding her 8 year old.
Apparently this is not unusual because a new study found that some Australian women are breastfeeding their children until they are seven years old. They say that “Children enjoy the taste of the milk, the comfort it brings and the closeness to their mother”.
In the first study of its kind in Australia, academic Karlene Gribble studied 107 women who breastfed their babies from age two to seven. Some were feeding up to a dozen times a day and one of the women was feeding three children at a time.
“Most women don’t set out to feed this long but they enjoy it, especially when their children get old enough to express how much they love it,” Ms Gribble said.
She reports several thousand children at any one time are breastfed past two years.
Children this age let their mothers know when they want to feed by asking directly or by seeking access to the breast on their own, Ms Gribble reports.
“My daughter is very articulate. ‘Mummy, I’d like a breastfeed please’,” one mother of a three-year-old said.
Another mother of a three-year-old said her son would “climb on my lap, when sitting, lift up my shirt, pull down my bra and attach himself”.
One mother who fed a five-year-old said he fed upon waking in the morning, if he was sick or hungry, and sometimes had a “quick suck” at bedtime.
For many children, breastfeeding was connected with sleep and comfort.
Only seven per cent of women intended to feed this long but others kept going primarily because of the enjoyment of their toddler.
Psychologists felt that there should be a cut off at the age of 3 and that breastfeeding a 5, 6 or 7 year old was “totally inappropriate”.
I will have to agree. Watching the ‘Extraordinary Breastfeeding’ video was a little disturbing to me. I breastfed my son and loved it, but I think that a child that is in grade 2 should get his/her milk from a jug.
These moms need to know that there many ways that you can bond with your children. Having a one on one movie night, taking a class together or just setting aside time to read could work.
- Choosing A Breast Pump
- Benefits Of Initiating Breastfeeding Within The First Hour After Birth
- Study: Breast Feeding Doesn’t Cause Saggy Breasts
- Breastmilk For Sale: Would You Buy?