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Thread: Pediatrician said nursing after 18 months is not good nutrition

  1. #11
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    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: Pediatrician said nursing after 18 months is not good nutrition

    Thanks everyone for your views, which I think make a lot more sense than Murkoff's book. (I'm still a little worried about the ped's comment.)

    LLLMary P this is what I get from my nursing relationship:
    I worked super-hard to pump at work two to three times a day just to make it past the first year. I love breastfeeding,love it, love it, love it! (did I say that enough?) My lo loves it too! We are both very happy in our bfing relationship- no quitting from either one of us yet.
    I agree that going mainstream is not always the answer but sometimes I do feel peer pressure to quit bfing. My mother-in-law was in-shock when I told her I wanted to bf until 2 or 3 years of age.
    As I told a good friend: I feel like the greatest contribution I made to society was bfing my two los. Seriously. This is what I am most proud of...I feel a little fanatical about it at times...

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Pediatrician said nursing after 18 months is not good nutrition

    Quote Originally Posted by bel4fan View Post
    I would just like to say, that BM is bad for teeth? IF you don't take care of your child's teeth and teach them how to take care of them, then ANYTHING but water is going to be bad for their teeth. Thats just reaching to far if you ask me.
    I think bel4fan is trying to say that it's silly to single out breastmilk as bad for teeth, b/c when compared to water, anything would be "bad" for teeth w/o proper care. At least that's how I interpreted this post.

    FYI, I'll pull this quote from a 2002 New Beginnings article,
    "First, they found that human milk does not significantly lower the pH in the mouth, while almost all brands of artificial baby milk did. The bacteria that is thought to significantly contribute to decay, Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) thrives in a low pH. Second, most formulas supported significant bacterial growth, while human milk supported only moderate bacterial growth. Third, formulas were found to dissolve tooth enamel (the outer layer of teeth), while human milk actually deposited calcium and phosphorus into enamel (a process known as remineralization). Researchers also concluded that human milk is not cariogenic (does not cause cavities) unless another source of carbohydrates is available for bacteria to feed on. Most artificial baby milk formulas tested were cariogenic (Erickson 1999)."

    Mary

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Pediatrician said nursing after 18 months is not good nutrition

    The immune benefits were mentioned above, but I'd like to elaborate on what that means experientially. Active toddlers get out and explore the world, and they pick up germs! Still breastfeeding is like an extra insurance policy. A stomach virus that could put a toddler at risk for dehydration is more likely to pass without complications if that child can still nurse.

    Within the first 3 months after my son's 1st birthday, he weathered a bout of influenza -- a week of high fever and no appetite for solids but LOTS of nursing in my arms -- as well as a croupy cough that rapidly became pneumonia and landed him in the hospital -- during which we co-slept and nursed almost constantly, which let him avoid the trauma of an IV.

    Breastfeeding during my son's illnesses is all the justification I needed for extended nursing. It was an invaluable mothering tool during such times.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Pediatrician said nursing after 18 months is not good nutrition

    J & L's Mama,
    It sounds your nursing relationship is great and going strong. (It's OK to be a little fanatical, LOL!) You've invested a lot and it's important to both of you. But you are still worried about what the pediatrician said about nursing being bad somehow nutritionally after a certain time. What concerns your pedi the most? Do you or your pedi have any specific concerns when it comes to your lo's nutrition?
    Sometimes it does take friends and family a little while to adjust to the idea of extended nursing. Here is a great article about different ways to respond to criticism. Do you have a nearby LLL Group that might let you meet up with other mothers and get some support?
    Mary

  5. #15
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    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: Pediatrician said nursing after 18 months is not good nutrition

    LLLMaryP and LLL Rebecca:

    I need to tell you that I think my pediatrician may have blamed my bfing on my los dipping a little lower on the growth chart. He was in the 40th percentile most recently so he dipped a little lower since his 9month visit when he was in the 50th percentile. For head circumference he was in the 90th percentile and in height, the 80th. I was a little disappointed when I looked at the curve. I am the kind of mother who feels personally gratified to have chubby babies so when I was told he wasn't gaining much, I did freak out a little. He is eating solids better now... likes to eat red meat, chicken, lentils, black beans, eggs, veggies, fruits.
    The point is:you are right. I need to probe further on what the ped meant. I will ask other peds in the practice as well.
    LLL Rebecca's point about bfing as a "mothering tool" is true. I will bring up my concerns at the next wellness visit. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with me.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Pediatrician said nursing after 18 months is not good nutrition

    This maybe way off subject but if your doctor is giving parenting advise and not medical then its realy ok to let it go in one ear and then out the other....
    My one doctor was good at the parenting advise , it go to the point that I had to switch. She was a good medical doctor, but we go to somebody else now!
    it went something like this at 4 months..
    Does the baby sleep in a crib?
    me "WEll she has one"
    Does the baby have cereal?
    me "WEll she could"
    Does she nurse at night?
    me "Yes and we are not going to stop"
    Well how many times in a day?
    me "I don't know she nurses on demand"

    I'm not going to take parenting advise from somebody who
    doesn't know me or my kids. What worked for her family would not work for mine.
    Sorry this is sort of like a rant but doctors just bug me to no end!

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Pediatrician said nursing after 18 months is not good nutrition

    Quote Originally Posted by J & L's Mama View Post
    LLLMaryP and LLL Rebecca:

    I need to tell you that I think my pediatrician may have blamed my bfing on my los dipping a little lower on the growth chart. He was in the 40th percentile most recently so he dipped a little lower since his 9month visit when he was in the 50th percentile. For head circumference he was in the 90th percentile and in height, the 80th. I was a little disappointed when I looked at the curve. I am the kind of mother who feels personally gratified to have chubby babies so when I was told he wasn't gaining much, I did freak out a little. He is eating solids better now... likes to eat red meat, chicken, lentils, black beans, eggs, veggies, fruits.
    The point is:you are right. I need to probe further on what the ped meant. I will ask other peds in the practice as well.
    LLL Rebecca's point about bfing as a "mothering tool" is true. I will bring up my concerns at the next wellness visit. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with me.
    I'd just like to mention that, statistically speaking, a drop from the 50th percentile to the 40th is miniscule and not really even significant. I know its hard to look at those charts and not see your LO following the line exactly...but they really aren't expected to follow a line exactly. Those lines are produced by averages. Individual babies go up and down in growth rate. Also, studies have shown that lean kids are actually healthier. I believe Dr. Sears has a whole book about that topic. This would be particularly true if the ped is using a growth chart which includes formula fed babies. They tend to be heavier (and that doesn't equate to healthier). Even if it is the new chart for EBF children, a drop of that much in percentile is still WELL within normal and not really a "drop" at all. Percentiles are rankings (40th percentile means that 40% of babies were smaller than yours). If weight is on a bell curve, that means that there are LOTS of babies bunched up in the middle weight range. Therefore, a very small change in weight gain rate produces a larger change in percentile when you are in the middle of the chart than if you are at the upper or lower extreme. It can make it look like a bigger change than it really is. (e.g. if a baby at the 50% percentile changes by just a few ounces it might make a drop of 10%ile points where the same number of ounces change would only make a baby at the 15%ile drop to say the 13th or 14th.) Just trying to put your mind a little more at ease. Sorry if this is making no sense or sounds lecturish--not my intention. I know I still get excited when my DS (very small) goes up on the chart and upset when he goes down. I have to keep reminding myself that that's not really rational.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Pediatrician said nursing after 18 months is not good nutrition

    Quote Originally Posted by J & L's Mama View Post
    4-bfing may limit mother-child interactions - if all you do is nurse and you don't get to the park, then you are missing out,etc.
    6- "possible overdependence"
    7- "forestalled development of self-comforting skills"
    8- the effect on your spousal relationship

    I don't have any documentation for these, only personal experience.

    I found extended breastfeeding actually INCREASED mother-child interaction. Now that my two year old has weaned himself, he's much more interested in playing with his toys and running around than sitting with me. Nursing provided some guaranteed interaction time. For example, we nursed at the park in between playing sessions; now, he just runs around the park and doesn't want me with him! Boo hoo for me!

    And that shows that extended breastfeeding does not cause overdependence. IMHO, that has nothing to do with breastfeeding but more the personality of the child and if his/her needs are met overall. If the child feels that he/she can trust her parents, then it may be more likely that the child is more independent.

    When a child can ask for nursing to comfort after a fall or whatever, that to me seems like the ultimate in self-comforting. They know what they want and they ask for it. Is it a bad thing that it's MOMMY they want? Before long, our kids won't want us with them. I just spent two days living at a friend's home (we lost our power due to an ice storm and had to leave our home). She has teens, and she hardly sees them other than their homeschooling sessions. They're busy with their lives and don't want her to "interfere." Great kids, fabulous family, but watching that made me glad for what I've got right now.

    And spousal relationship . . . Huh. We don't have any problems. We managed to make two babies while I was extended nursing! Seems to me that there's more problems at the beginning. Right now, I'm not in the mood. I leak. I get engorged, even at three months postpartum. I don't want DH even touching me, after having someone on me all day long in addition to caring for a toddler and all my other tasks. The baby needs to eat more often. That sort of stuff. But I know that when the baby is older, and particularly a toddler, things will be more settled and there's more time for the spousal relationship. It works out.

    Don't feel bad about nursing for a while
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  9. #19
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    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: Pediatrician said nursing after 18 months is not good nutrition

    Here's another thing about the growth charts....All my kids were at the high end of normal in their first 6-9 months of life. Then, when they hit 9 months, they all dropped like rocks in the weight category. They were all perfectly healthy, normal kids. The thing is that they all got active around the same time and started burning off all that baby fat!

    Not sure if this is the case with your LO, but that's what happened with us.

    Lisa

  10. #20
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    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: Pediatrician said nursing after 18 months is not good nutrition

    Quote Originally Posted by J & L's Mama View Post
    I respect my ped so when she said that nursing beyond 18 months may actually be bad nutrionally, I started to worry. Also, the What to Expect the Toddler Years by Heidi Murkoff (page 32) cites the following problems with extended bfeeders:
    1-dietary needs are not met by breastmilk
    2-bm is bad for teeth
    3-bad effect on toddler's appetite
    4-bfing may limit mother-child interactions - if all you do is nurse and you don't get to the park, then you are missing out,etc.
    5-ear infections from bfing lying down
    6- "possible overdependence"
    7- "forestalled development of self-comforting skills"
    8- the effect on your spousal relationship
    Yikes! Suddenly, I feel lousy about extended bfing. Does anyone have some strong counterarguments. Please share!

    All ridiculous. I have 3 children. I ebfed all 3 (and still am my two and a half year old). Their teeth are great, their personalities better and they are happy, healthy and the most well-adjusted kids you'll ever meet. My youngest will even eat broccoli! No, not kidding.

    As for being clingy. At certain stages, they all go through that, but if you meet their needs, it doesn't last. My children have no problem with me stepping out for a bit.

    As for my relationship with my spouse? We're wonderful. Yes, we have ups and downs, but none of the downs have to do with providing extra nourishment to our child.
    My advice? Let all that bogus information you were given go in one ear and out the other. Do what feels right to you and your lo.
    Last edited by nell79; February 16th, 2007 at 05:01 PM. Reason: added info

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