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Chipmunk
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Chipmunk
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My son breastfed until he was about 9 months old. I started working at a day care center around that time in the baby room, he got to go with me. I would try to nurse him at the center but he was to interested in what everyone around him was doing lol so he would have a cup at the center then nurse at home. He did that for about a month then stopped nursin on his own. I was heartbroken over it. I didn't think I would have any more kids. Then my daughter came along. I nursed her until she was about 2 1/2 but she took a bottle during the time I was in college classes and nursed. I had to make her stop because her frequency of nursing tapered off and it was getting painful because after the let down of the milk it would take forever to build back up. My breasts ached and ached. I didn't want to have to make her stop but I was in too much pain.


Jeanette Stingley - Women's Lit
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I completely agree with JanZeiger that any breastfeeding is better than none. But I think everything should be within reasonable limits. For me it's maximum two years.

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Chipmunk
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I was thinking maybe an imbalance of fore and hind milk. When you have too much foremilk and not enough fatty milk the kid can eat round the clock and gain like mad but will still complain of being hungry because they don't have the fatty milk to fill them up.

My have been nursed 3 wks, 2 years, 3 years, 10 months respectively and I have a nursing 4 month old now.

meg

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A year is plenty. Neither of my children went a year but then again they starved the first five months. Not sure what was going on. I had plenty of milk and they nursed constantly, they gained weight but they were always screaming........ until they started on solids at 5 months.

We didn't think they were starving at the time but as I look back I can't think why else they were screaming non stop.
[/quote]


Meg
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Jess your scope of interesting data is quite intriguing. I do not know where I stand exactly on "norms", I can argue either side. I agree parent and baby led weaning are best left up to the parties involved. But there are some instances where I would question the reasoning for 3, 4 and 5 years olds still nursing. Is this just for the comfort of the child? Probably, and a child must be encouraged to seek solace in other age appropriate forms. What is age appropriate? I defer to our current cultural norms on this one, with the understanding that there are exceptions to every rule and norm. Is there a nutritional component to late nursing? Possibly, but I think we live in a nation quite filled with nutrious foods and supplements - if it were a matter of survival I say go ahead nurse until they graduate high school.

I think the samples you highlighted were of great interest and it begs the question "will we look back at our current cultural norms and gasp at the barbaric nature of weaning a three year old child when they should've nursed until 6?" Only time will tell.

For now we are educated and quite intuitive and questions like these can only be answered by those it affects, and each answer may be different for each person and that is OK. It is good to know there are so many people in the world with good information, good suggestions and the power to share.

Child #1 weaned at 18 months - going thru a divorce, too stressed out to keep nursing although I would have until he was a 2.
Child #2 weaned at 11 months - I was 6 months pregnant with #3 and way too tired.
Child #3 partially weaned at 6 Months then entirely at 10 months - I planned to go back to work, went back to work and still hate the fact that I jipped him out of a longer nursing period
Child #4 9.5 months now trying to gradually wean, to be complete at 12 months - going overseas this summer and I am not taking any children. If she is not gently weaned by then I will not go, but my husband will (which demonstrates the difficulty of weaning when the infant is not ready).

Interesting forum, interesting insights.

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It's been a long time since I've gotten involved with the weaning banter but see no reason to not toss my 2 cents out there.
If I've learned anything as a parent it is to never say never. I never thought I'd bf...but a great pamphlet I found while expecting my first had too many pros in it to not 100% throw myself into the success of it. That said

dd#1 nursed for 3+ years (during that time for her 1st 15 mo I also pumped milk and donated to a local milk bank running in MA at the time) I also tandem nursed her with her younger sister for 1 year prior to weaning. We agreed mutually to wean, she picked the day on the calendar and we did a big celebration of the fact.

dd#2 nursed for about 2 1/2 years weaning when I was pregnant with my 3rd

dd#3 nursed for a bit over 3 years, weaning when I found out I was pregnant with #4

ds nursed for 3 years 2 months, weaning (mommy led) on Xmas morning 2005. His weaning was a bit harder as it was his mommy time since I had returned to work outside the house. But not being home 24/7 left ME with things that needed to be done besides sitting on my arse with 3 yo plugged in. He has no ill effects from nursing till 3 or from mommy led weaning

Health benefits are tops. Nutritionally it's the perfect food for growing babies. Illnesses are fewer and farther between. If they do get sick it's not nearly as bad as when they were not nursing (great case in point would be comparisons of my kids with chicken pox while nursing vs the one that was not when she came down with them)
I never weaned during the winter cold/flu months as it more often then not prevented dehydration at least once a season when the tummy bug would hit.
I can see where people who haven't done it, aren't use to and see breasts as sexual getting in knots over nursing past the baby stage because it makes them uncomfortable. It's the viewers perception of the culteral norm more so then the greater good and the personal info of each individual mommy/baby dyad

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Im quite a young mum at 17 when i had my son, i breast fed him for just over a year and my main reason for weining him off was mainly because of peoples negative attitutes, i feel the best time for a child to stop breastfeeding is when the child itself is ready, don't make the mistake i did and stop due to other people presuring you, also breast is always best, for mothers not sure whether or not to breastfeed i feel it gives a close bond that a bottle just doesn't, keep with the highs and lows as its totally worth it, i found lasinoh products the best help while breastfeeding! they includes nipple creams and really great breast pads!

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And it reduces mothers chances of breast and ovarian cancers...and if you bf a daughter also reduces her risks of breast cancers
And it is better for the environment because of less [censored] in land fills, less polution in the ozone because of trucking etc, healthier babies, less time missed from work, $ savings, $ savings in wic and welfare subsities
List goes on and on. We all know full well what the medical advantages are to baby but the global implications, and the health benefits to mom are every bit as important.

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Chipmunk
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hugclub, those are a lot of reasons I don't usually think of when I think of the benefits of nursing smile


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You can put me in the extended breastfeeding camp. If you step back and look at historical patterns, the modern day practice of weaning at or before one year is what's aberrant. Humans are designed to nurse children for years, not just months. Premature weaning leads to closely spaced children, which put a strain on the family unit and the community, not to mention the mother's body.

Lorel


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Chipmunk
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My son weaned himself at around 9 months. He was too bussy to be up on Mommy nursing. Now my daughter, I weaned her a bout a month before she turned 3. For about 6 months she was only nursing at night mostly to go to sleep. It was getting painful because I really didn't have the supply that she wanted/needed. She hated me for awhile because of it. She even started rubbing my husbands nipples when she was tired lol I say nurse as long as you can/the child wants.


Jeanette Stingley - Women's Lit
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