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Thread: Extended breastfeeding

  1. #1

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    Default Extended breastfeeding

    OK.. I just wanted to ask peoples opinions about extended breastfeeding, but I also dont wanna start any arguments.
    What are peoples feelings about breastfeeding to 1 yrold, 2, 3.. beyond? (Although.. 1 year to many is not 'extended' breastfeeding )..
    My original reaction to the idea of long term breastfeeding was eww... but my first reaction to the idea of homebirth was NO WAY.. and now.. dont wanna do it any other way lol..
    I think my feelings are greatly influenced by this woman that I used to see at events at my brothers school.. She used to breastfeed her 2/3 (im not a good judge) yrold... and then the kid would run around saying [email protected]#k and drinking coffee out of the flask... i was just like.. arghdgfgh
    But.. the benefits are so large, and im learning this now.. and I wondered how others thought.. even experiences..
    I dont think Id ever be feeding a preschooler.. but then, I dont like the idea of weaning onto formula, so would want to go to at least a year, when you could wean to ordinary milk.. etc...
    I know at least a few of you will be interested in this..
    also.. what about tandem nursing?.. nursing through preg and then both after birth? (My first thought is.. what about if the older child steals the babies colostrum and stuff! lol.. but I dont actually know about the details of how it works)... and breastfeeding twins, what do ppl think about that? Id prob breastfeed twins.. but id be scared at triplets.. lol
    anyway,


    K

    Edit: I just remembered something else thats important to add. Breastfeeding has long been common in the world to last for 3 or 4 years, and the world average reflects that (its 3 or 4.. i cant remember).. and it is only Western countries where the age is so low.. WHO (world health org) and UNICEF recommend breastfeeding an infant for at least 2 years. Does knowing this info influence anyones thinking?


  2. #2

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    I know a 20yr old girl who was breastfed for nearly 6yrs. She would go home from school at lunchtime to be breastfed! Not sure what the benefits would be at that age? I know I wouldn't be able to do it that long.

  3. #3

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    hi kirbay, interesting topic.

    i breastfed my second son until he self weaned at 3years and 10 months. (older son self weaned at 18 months) i did not do this in public as i did not want to have to deal with people's responses to feeding a toddler/preschooler. i had alot of people tell me i was gross and there was something wrong with me but i actually didn't take it on board as i trust my maternal instincts and the literature recommends as you know you breastfeed at least into the 2 nd year of life. my children have never been on antibiotics until recently when 9 year old had his first throat infection. they have never had ear ache or infections and gastro only once 2 years ago. they are fit and healthy and very bright. i put this down to breast milk.

    i would tandem feed if i had to but my eldest son weaned (for me early) and there is 3 years between them. also i don't get a period until for elder son he completely weaned and second until he was about 3 so i wouldn't have be able to get pregnant.

    hope this is the sort of stuff you were interested in.

    love beckles

  4. #4
    Debbie Lee Guest

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    I have no opinion as to what age I think is appropriate. I think you should do it for as long as you and bubs feel comfortable with it.
    Initially I thought "Eww" too at the thought of a walking and talking child having a bit of booby. But, now that I BF, I am thinking along very different lines. It's a source of comfort and good nutrition for them so why not do it for as long as you want?

  5. #5

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    I think you should do it for however long you like & if you are both comfortable...
    Although bearing this in mind I had a good friend & her boyfriend 19 yrs at the time was a twin & one day we went to his place to pick him up & his Mum was breast feeding her 7 yr old son...
    He would eat lunch etc at school, drink water, but she woulkd express during the day & freeze it, but Breast feed him at night & first thing in morning... Except on W/ends he either had boob or expressed milk in a cup! We happened to be there at 9am (going away I think) on a Sat morning & I have to say it was really weird to see coz he was walking, talking, reading, riding a bike etc, but would walk up to Mum have a suck & just help himself! We were both pretty put off!

    If I could have brestfed maddy I would have for atleast a year, probably not much longer than that tho, but as it was she would not take a bottle after 10 months so drank cows milk from cups!

    With this one I will b/feed (if it works) until I go back to work..

    But I say if your fine, bub's is fine & your both coimfortable with it, ignore the looks/words etc!!! Just do it!

  6. #6

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    For me 18 months would be the upper limit and I'd prefer to start weaning at around 12 months.
    I'm not into the idea of really extended breastfeeding (5/6 years) because personally I would be a bit disturbed if I had any concsious memories of sucking my mothers boobs but thats just me. Whatever works for you is best.
    I would tandem feed if I had a second baby before I had weaned the previous one. It would probably be a bit of a relief when your milk came in to have an older baby to help empty your boobs. As for the colestorum I geuss that I would have a supply of EBM for when I was in hospital so it might not be an issue.

  7. #7

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    With my first 2 boys they were both fed until 9 months, Joel self weaned and Brandon came off when I had to go to hospital for an operation and I couldn't nurse him to feed him.

    I fed Noah til he was 20 months old. I had to get him off as I had another operation and was told to either express and throw out for 3 days or get him off. I think I fretted more than him about it. I so enjoyed feeding him.

    Quite often I would get those strange looks if I was out in public feeding him. Sometimes he would come up to me and ask me for "yum" that was his word for it. Mum used to joke that I would be going up to the school to feed him at recess but thats all it was - a joke. She thinks that its great that I feed my babies so well. Not sure that Icould handle feeding a 6 year old though. Thats just me. Could you imagine what your boobs would like by the time you finished

    Tehya is still going strongly atm and I plan to feed her for atleast as long as Noah.


    Take care
    Trish

  8. #8

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    Interesting....

    We were planning on bf'ing for up to 2 years. The benefits are so good! Check out this thread here Unfortunately we couldn't and Matilda was weaned around 4 1/2 months after much deliberation and emotional suffering on my part.

  9. #9

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    Kirbay, have you seen the two articles on the main site?

    Breastfeed a Toddler - Why on Earth?

    and

    Extending the Breast
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  10. #10
    katanya Guest

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    graet question and topic Kirbay, before I launch myself into a response I want to say many things you think about and plan while TTC or pregnant may end up changing I certainly did a 360 degree turnaround in many areas..

    I used to think entended breastfeeding was unappealing, this was before I breastfed. At the beginning I thought I would feed Felix for 1 year through the day and after that cut him back to night and morning feeds only and not feed while we were out.. Of course Felix has had health issues so our "plans" haven't really happened that way.

    For a start I still see him as a baby, even though he's practically a toddler. I still feed him when we are out if he asks for it, and actually enjoy that I am setting a good community service by breastfeeding an older baby openly..I find that I would never deny him a breastfeed if he wants it, stuff everyone else, we have fought too hard to continue to have narrow minded people deciding when too old is too old.

    I would like to imagine that he will continue breastfeeding for up to 2 years, but if he wants to replace it with food that is okay with me, but if he wants milk still, then I would prefer it to my milk, not cows or formula (even though right now he has supplimentry feeds) once the weight is on track, I am hoping breastfeeding and food will be enough..

    If he wants to breastfeed past 2 years this is also fine with me, not sure I will encourage feeding in public, but around friends and ABA people I would. I would definately encourage tandem feeding, unless I have twins next! I think we are just going to take it one step at a time.

    I have mentioned in the other post on feeding older babies and toddlers all the reasons I love it and the reasons I think it is benificial, health is one and comfort is the other..both these reasons are paramount since I have a child with a chronic illness, even if I didn't I would like to think my antibodies help keep as many nasties as possible away!

    Also wanted to say, I don't find the comments anyone has made offensive, because I think the wonderful thing about parenting is we all make the choices that suit us and our babies, and if the thought of entended breastfeeding your child is unappealing then it's not for you!
    But I guess I do like it when people accept what my choices are without judgement, just as I try to accept choices others make without judgement..well I guess we can't help feeling our way is best can we!

    Has anyone see Meet the Fockers..haha..MY DP and I are the fockers (without being jewish!) and without the hippy gear, we look VERY normal and boring actually! Felix will probably be in our bed till he's 10 and still breastfeeding JK!

  11. #11

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    Very interesting stuff!!

    I have to say I have the yuck factor when it comes to children above about 18months - 2 years still feeding. But I understand the benefits of it, so dont knock anyone doing it past then. But coming home from shcool for a bit is NQR in my mind. Specially with a boy. One has to think that "could" do something to the child psychologically, and I'm just not sure.

    But then - my upbringing was VERY straight, I dont ever remember seeing my mum naked, and mum never even talked to me about periods and things. I bought my own first bra with the money I made from part time work, and same with my tampons. Mum only ever bought me one packet of pads, and that was after I had had my period for 2 years!!! So whos to say I'm normal, or had a rational childhood.

    A friend was telling me about her girlfriend who breastfed until the child was about 18months - one day he bit her, and that was it. He was weaned from that day onwards!!

    Fi

  12. #12

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    I know plenty of people ( mostly because of my role within the ABA) who have breastfed children up to the age of 4 ( ithink was the oldest)

    I will happily breastfeed with out trying to wean probably up till 2 yrs then try and gently encourage weaning. But I believe that baby lead weaning is the best and easiest way. I could get to 2 yrs and be happy to continue.
    I would tandem feed, I would feed twins/triplets, in fact i would try my hardest to breastfeed how ever many babies I happend to have in one go. I think I would feel to guilty to say no I'm not breastfeeding these babies just becasue there was 2 or 3 or 4 or more at once because if I had them one at a time I would breastfeed.

    I am a HUGE breastfeeding advocate (in case no one noticed) so my thoughts aren't would you breastfeed but why wouldn't you??

  13. #13

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    Updated my post with links
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  14. #14

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    Thanks Kelly.. I was gonna go look, and you just made it so easy for me! hehe

    K

  15. #15
    Fire Fly Guest

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    I BF dd till the age of 2.
    Im glad i went that long. I intend on doing the same with the next one.

    I have to add though that at about 20 months i was really considering weaning her, but only because of comments made and society. I think its sad that BF is frowned apon when out in public. It really makes it uncomfortable at times to have constant stares and comments about whats best for YOUR child.
    This time round will be so different because ive been there before and i wont be scared to say, its my decision not yours so BACK OFF!.

    Do what makes YOU comfortable. Other wise its not worth it really is it.

    Good on you for wanting to go that far.

  16. #16

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    Default reply

    This is only my opinion, but I think anything over 18mths is yuk!

    But as i said this is my opinion only and I think if you are comfy doing it longer then do it - I don't cast judgement on anyone I just wouldn't do it.

    HOPE NO ONE IS OFFENDED-IF SO IM SORRY XX

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