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Thread: How long to breastfeed?

  1. #1

    Default How long to breastfeed?

    I ran across this question on a different forum about how long to breastfeed:

    http://parenting.stackexchange.com/q/799/96

    The question asks for scientific research that shows when breastmilk might no longer provide enough benefit to make it worth while. Has anybody on here seen any such statistics? How do I decide whether its not worth doing anymore?

    - MemphisChick

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How long to breastfeed?

    breastmilks some pretty cool stuff. They even use it with adult cancer patients so...

    http://www.llli.org/nb/nbbenefits.html

    check out thoose pod casts on that link you should find some helpful info there.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How long to breastfeed?

    The answer is that breastmilk never becomes valueless. It always provides nutritional and immunological benefits.

    When breastfeeding becomes "not worth doing" is more of a mothering and social issue than a scientific one, and it's very personal. Many moms get tired of nursing, want their bodies back, or feel uncomfortable nursing an older child. Those things often happen long before the baby is really ready to wean him or herself (and yes, babies do self-wean!).
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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    Default Re: How long to breastfeed?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*memphischick View Post
    The question asks for scientific research that shows when breastmilk might no longer provide enough benefit to make it worth while.
    I don't think you're going to find any scientific research to answer that particular question. It's pretty much impossible to design a scientific study to answer a subjective emotional question. Breastmilk continues to be made of the same components for the duration of its production. The ratios change a bit, but the components are still there, because that's what breastmilk fundamentally IS. And the question of whether it is still "worth it" is completely up to the woman who owns the breasts.
    Teal

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

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    Default Re: How long to breastfeed?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*duckpond View Post
    I don't think you're going to find any scientific research to answer that particular question. It's pretty much impossible to design a scientific study to answer a subjective emotional question. Breastmilk continues to be made of the same components for the duration of its production. The ratios change a bit, but the components are still there, because that's what breastmilk fundamentally IS. And the question of whether it is still "worth it" is completely up to the woman who owns the breasts.
    But there are actual studies that talk about milk at the year point and what the percentage breakdown of fat, energy ect are at the year point.
    One thing to know is that right around a year the immunities in milk actually shoot WAY UP. Because around a year is when a child gets moving and is usually around a bunch of other children, and it's also when children start to get less of it in favor of solids. So that coupled with the pain your child is either already in or will begin in a few weeks with the first year molars, and I think the resounding answer is NOT YET. Remember that the AAP recommendation of at least a year is a MINIMUM recommendation and that is when weaning should BEGIN. Not where a child should be cut off. Just the year point is when some solids may begin to actually replace some BM.

    Way too lazy for formula

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    Default Re: How long to breastfeed?

    Here's the issue...there is little to no scientific research for extended breastfeeding. All the research stops around the two year mark and that is why all the recs say something like "at least two years"

    Breastmilk changes throughout the baby/toddler's life. Toddlers get a higher amount of immunological benefits per ounce because they take in less milk that an infant. A child's immune system isn't fully delevoped until well into adolescence so they need Mommy's milk to supplement thier own premature immune system.

    Logically, a baby/toddler/child will wean when they are ready and no longer need to nurse. I have never met a child that goes to college still breastfeeding or sleeping with mommy and daddy. My thought on it is...why cut breastfeeding short when in the grand scheme of things the few years that a child is breastfed is such a short amount of time in thier life.
    Michelle

    Wife to Donnie , my best friend
    Mom to Trenton 1/9/97, Dillan 11/22/01, Ashton 6/19/09

    All boys, weaned at 15 months, at home with Ashton

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How long to breastfeed?

    Keep in mind, its not all about the breastmilk itself. Its the act of nursing that can be important to a child and Mom. A lot of kids continue nursing when their Mother is pregnant with a sibling. At that point there is little to no milk at all. Is it not important anymore? Like Teal said, you simply can't put an age on it.
    Lyn
    Nursing the girl with kaleidoscope eyes


    Mama to Daniel (12/3/06) and Lucy Jane (8/28/08)

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    Default Re: How long to breastfeed?

    This seems like the appropriate time to post A Natural Age of Weaning, by Katherine Dettwyler, PhD.
    Teal

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

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    Default Re: How long to breastfeed?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sixyearplan View Post
    Given that there is data to suggest that breast milk has stem cells and may fight cancer cells, one could argue that breast milk always has a value and benefit.
    Michelle

    Wife to Donnie , my best friend
    Mom to Trenton 1/9/97, Dillan 11/22/01, Ashton 6/19/09

    All boys, weaned at 15 months, at home with Ashton

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How long to breastfeed?

    The child seems to know when they are ready. It's so natural the way it all works.
    Mother - Wife - Artist - Cook - Writer - EnvironMENTAList - Cloth Diaperer (but we are soooo done with diapers) - Organic Health Nut...I'm sure there's more.

    DD1 - 12/15/05 Breastfed for 16.5 months
    DD2 - 8/6/07 Breastfed for 3 whole years and 3 little, extra days.

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