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Thread: Extended Breastfeeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default Extended Breastfeeding

    Hi
    I am new to this forum.
    Is there any other mom out there who does extended breastfeeding with a 6 year old?
    My child only nurses briefly at night and in the morning and may ask to nurse briefly one time during the day.
    I really feel alone out there and have noone to talk to about this.
    I have read Veronika Sophia Robinson's extended breastfeeding story of her two older daughters.
    Has anyone else read it? Or does anyone else nurse older children?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    213

    Default Re: Extended Breastfeeding

    My nursling turned 3 in February!
    Not quite as old as yours,but still extended.
    She nurses to fall asleep, in the middle of the night and morning and sometimes during the day.
    I long for the briefly at night and in the morning!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: Extended Breastfeeding

    You are not alone, and good for you for recognizing your child's continued need!
    My dd nursed until age 6.5 yrs, and ds still nurses at 5.5 yrs. This was certainly not my original plan (I thought I'd nurse dd for 4-6 months!). Weaning was very gradual with my dd-- for some time "nursing" meant about 15 seconds every three months. I did notice that dd developed hayfever allergies the spring after she weaned completely...I think that even the tiny amount of breastmilk she received in the last year or so of nursing was enough to strengthen her immune system.
    Ds was nursing pretty regularly once a day up until about 3 months ago. Now he often skips one or several days. Having already had a long-term nursling, I know that most of the need now is emotional reconnect, and that he'll wean when he's ready.

    Do you have any specific questions about nursing this long, or do you just want to know that you are not alone? Most children tend to wean on their own between 2-4 years, but longer is normal and is even encouraged in some cultures. LLL is here to give you info and support no matter how long you and your child choose to nurse.

    Dawn

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,393

    Default Re: Extended Breastfeeding

    alot of mamas on here nurse for what our culture considers to be "extended" periods of time. You are not alone, and will find lots of support on here

    Kathryn,
    Mama to my sweet blueberry eyed boy Joshua
    born on 11/2/2006

    and my blueberry eyed baby Jonah Henry...my water birth baby!
    born on 6/15/09



    MOBY WRAPS ROCK

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Extended Breastfeeding

    Not me, but I just wanted to extend a hand and tell you that you mamas are awesome. I also wondered about references to information on other cultures for whom nursing to older ages is the "norm". I'd love to read more.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,393

    Default Re: Extended Breastfeeding

    THe cultural context of breastfeeding

    http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detcontext.html

    "Everyone, from doctors and lactation consultants down to the youngest school children, needs to know that breastfeeding is not only for newborn infants. All of the evidence from our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom, the non-human primates, suggests a natural weaning age between two and seven years of age. Cross-cultural evidence from around the world suggests that two to four years of breastfeeding is typical of modern humans. The question "Is that child still nursing?" needs to be stricken from our conversations. Parents and health professionals need to recognize that the benefits of breastfeeding (nutritional, immunological, cognitive, emotional) continue as long as breastfeeding itself does, and that there never comes a point when you can replace breast milk with infant formula or cows' milk, or breastfeeding with a pacifier or teddy bear, without some costs to the child"
    Last edited by KathrynK; April 16th, 2008 at 08:36 AM.

    Kathryn,
    Mama to my sweet blueberry eyed boy Joshua
    born on 11/2/2006

    and my blueberry eyed baby Jonah Henry...my water birth baby!
    born on 6/15/09



    MOBY WRAPS ROCK

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Extended Breastfeeding

    My 3.5 year old son still nurses at night, usually just very briefly, occasionally for a more extended period of, say, 3-4 minutes per side. He asks to nurse at other times, but I have made a point of saying no because I am utterly exhausted most of the time. However, he was recently diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and now I'm glad that I've nursed him for so long--it has helped him stay connected to at least me and not just to doors and lids, his preferred play objects, which he finds, at this stage anyway, more interesting than peers and adults.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Extended Breastfeeding

    you are not alone.
    while my son is now 2 i plan to nurse him as long as he wants too.
    and i can tell you that had i been breastfed by my mother
    i would have wanted to until i was six!
    my mother is so loving and even now in times of stress or illness
    her arms is one of the most comforting place to be.

    your doing a wonderful thing for your child.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Extended Breastfeeding

    Wow, that's amazing mama! Good job and I'm sure your LOs will appreciate you for it!

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