Breast-Feeding Past Infancy?


Said1
#1
I'm all for breast feeding and the benefits that go with it. BUT, when your child gets to the age where you're having conversations about what it tastes like, shouldn;t it be time to stop?


Quote:

Breast-Feeding Past Infancy: 'I'm Comforting Him'


A Mom Talks About Her Decision to Continue Breast-Feeding Her Older Children


By GWEN GOWEN
Jan. 2, 2009




Robyn Paul, her husband and their three children look like the classic American family -- until you find out that Tiernan, their kindergartner, is still breast-feeding.

Women talk about their decision to breastfeed their children past infancy.


Many people are shocked by the idea of nursing a child who is nearly 6 years old, but Paul remains determined to do what she says is best for her child.
Watch the story tonight on "20/20" at 10 p.m. ET
"In this culture, breasts are viewed as sexual," Paul said. "We use breasts to sell everything from beer to motorcycles, then a toddler is in mom's arms nursing for what they're supposed to be used for and everybody freaks out (external - login to view)."
No one is sure how many women in the United States are breast-feeding older children, but Paul said she suspects the number is higher than you might think. Most won't admit it, she said, because of the stigma. (external - login to view)
"There are those women that do nurse that keep it under wraps because they're afraid of what others are going to say about it," she said.
Related
WATCH: Extreme Breastfeeding: When to Stop? (external - login to view)


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Paul said she usually breast-feeds Tiernan at home when he needs comforting.
"They're running around and playing," she said. "Once they get beyond 3 years old they're not nursing but a couple of times a day."
Although some might consider a pacifier a more socially acceptable way to comfort their child, Paul said she would prefer that her child receive comfort at her breast.
When Tiernan needs comforting, he will ask his mother for "nummies," his word for breast-feeding, Paul said. "We've had conversations about what it tastes like and he says it's very sweet," like vanilla ice cream, Paul said.
She is happy with the choice she made, she said, but she would never force it on somebody else. (external - login to view)

"All I'm trying to do is let people know that it does happen, that it is perfectly normal," she said.

How Old Is Too Old?

She has a point. The average age of weaning around the world is 4 years old and there are no studies saying it is harmful. But child psychologist Will Braun said he isn't so sure and he wonders whether it's appropriate from a developmental standpoint.
"I think a child really needs to learn to develop the capacity to soothe oneself, the capacity to tolerate frustration," he said. "When a child is constantly given a breast, it might thwart that from happening."

Continued Here: ABC News: Breast-Feeding Past Infancy: 'I'm Comforting Him' (external - login to view)
 
talloola
#2
I didn't go past 6 mos., that was it for me, and it did them lots of good, as we
do know the advantage of breast feeding over bottle feeding.
Even three months, gives a baby a much better start.

I can't relate to the story at all, just not for me, that's for sure.
 
Said1
#3
I didn't breast feed at all, I probably couldn't have even if I wanted too, I was to freaked out.
 
Tyr
#4
Many people are shocked by the idea of nursing a child who is nearly 6 years old

6, 16, 26... My roomate in university......
 
Kreskin
#5
What does he order at McDonalds, or does he get breast fed while his friends chow down on Big Macs? Hopefully she gives him a bottle soon.
 
Nuggler
#6
Think he'll be a "leg man" when he grows up?

Doubt it.
 
tracy
#7
I'm a staunch supporter of breastfeeding. I have helped countless babies latch to their mothers. This does creep me out. I realize it's normal in some cultures, but ours isn't one of them. Still, it's really no ones business I suppose.
 
Nuggler
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by tracyView Post

I'm a staunch supporter of breastfeeding. I have helped countless babies latch to their mothers. This does creep me out. I realize it's normal in some cultures, but ours isn't one of them. Still, it's really no ones business I suppose.


Eggg zaktely!!! How did we find out about it? She must have reported it. I didn't read the blurb. sorry. just don't care..........non empathetic......

Yep, we sometimes see 6 year old kids attached to the boob, in mostly 3rd world countries like ours will be in a few years. Reason being, they probably don't have enough to eat, and a soother is better than nothing.

..........sucks eh?...............pun intended

 
Spade
#9
Breasts are for feeding infants. Our children were breastfed. I was breastfed. My parents were. And so on, back to the Spades' reptilian past.
 
Francis2004
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by Said1View Post

I'm all for breast feeding and the benefits that go with it. BUT, when your child gets to the age where you're having conversations about what it tastes like, shouldn;t it be time to stop?

When my ex left me after 7 years of marriage our son was about 2 years old.. She was still breast feeding which was fine with me but at 1, 1/2 and again further year old our family doctor repeatedly asked her to stop breastfeeding him during the night. She refused and said he was wrong and that she was right and that it was the only way to comfort him.

When she decided to leave I would not take our son during the nights because I knew she was still breastfeeding him to put him to sleep and when he woke up at night. This caused a lot of stress between us but I would not give up. She finally started giving him water during the night although I knew the breastfeeding did not stop.

She finally threatened to go to court over the fact I would not have him at night. So I gave in on the knowledge he was still breastfeeding him at night and didn't want to go to court.

To say men ( fathers ) are not in touch with children and that women are much more in tune ( mothers ) with babies is a fallacy of the furthest truth. You cannot imagine how many nights I spent rubbing his spasm stomach both at sleep time and when he would wake up for his night feeding.. God I hated to see my son in such pain and wondered if she cared when I told her what he was going thru. All she said was DEAL with IT. I feel for her it was the easy way out and she did not have to work in the mornings..

Recently he had a fever and the family Doctor asked that he not be fed milk including breast milk if that was still happening ( to which I did not answer as he did not know ) as it was obviously she is lying to him as we have kept the same doctor. My son is now 5 and had a very high fever and it was the doctors request that while he throws up not to give him ANY..

My ex told me it was ALL in my mind and that I didn't know what I was talking about or the doctor if it was really him..

In all those 5 years of our sons life I have discussed this perhaps 3 times, once when we were together and the doctor wanted her to stop at night, once when I got fed up about her asking me to take my son when I knew she was breastfeeding and the court issue, and this last time when he had a 103.8 temp and told her about the milk and fever.

I know she is still breastfeeding him at day and night ( as he still feels pain ) and sometimes wakes up and says Daddy can I have food or milk.. I tell him to have his water and go to sleep which he does and sleeps well the rest of the night..

Was it too much to ask of not breastfeed at night and during the high fever or was I asking wrong in asking my ex to do so ?

Sorry for sounding so male ...
 
#juan
#11
Both our children were breast fed until they were about five months old. During the last month and a half of breast feeding they were supplementing the breast milk with prepared formula and by roughly five months the transition to bottle was complete. The idea of continuing to breast feed until kindergarten seems a bit bent and reminds me of those old National Geographic articles showing women from some African, or Amazon tribe with breasts hanging down almost to their knees.
 
SirJosephPorter
#12
How long a woman breastfeeds a child is her business, and nobody else’s (unless there are medical issues, then it becomes the doctor’s business as well).

How long should a mother breastfeed? As long as she wants and as long as the child is comfortable with it. At a certain age, the child herself will find the whole idea of breastfeeding ‘yucky’ and ‘gross’ and will want to stop.
 
#juan
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorterView Post

How long a woman breastfeeds a child is her business, and nobody else’s (unless there are medical issues, then it becomes the doctor’s business as well).

How long should a mother breastfeed? As long as she wants and as long as the child is comfortable with it. At a certain age, the child herself will find the whole idea of breastfeeding ‘yucky’ and ‘gross’ and will want to stop.

I think at some point it becomes detrimental to the child's development. Certainly long before the child thinks it is "yucky and gross".
 
talloola
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

I think at some point it becomes detrimental to the child's development. Certainly long before the child thinks it is "yucky and gross".

Guess that's the first step in 'letting' the child have everything it wants, or nothing it wants, hence, the making of a brat.
 
Cliffy
#15
Do you guys see how absurd it is for guys to even have an opinion on the subject. have there been any studies done to determine at what age breastfeeding becomes detrimental? I don't thing so, so all you are doing is showing your own prejudices and hang ups.
 
SirJosephPorter
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyView Post

Do you guys see how absurd it is for guys to even have an opinion on the subject. have there been any studies done to determine at what age breastfeeding becomes detrimental? I don't thing so, so all you are doing is showing your own prejudices and hang ups.

Exactly, you made my point, Cliffy, I was about to say that myself.

Juan, talloola, do you have any studies to support what you are saying or is it just your personal opinion (that breastfeeding a child until the child or the mother doesn’t want to any more is harmful to the child’s development?
 
talloola
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorterView Post

Exactly, you made my point, Cliffy, I was about to say that myself.

Juan, talloola, do you have any studies to support what you are saying or is it just your personal opinion (that breastfeeding a child until the child or the mother doesn’t want to any more is harmful to the child’s development?

No hang-ups no prejudices, just good parenting and common sense.
 
Cliffy
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by talloolaView Post

No hang-ups no prejudices, just good parenting and common sense.

There is so little common sense that to call it that is a misnomer.

I know a few moms who breastfed for as long as the child wanted or circumstances made it difficult. My ex breastfed our child for two years. As far as I know that was not detrimental at all. I have known women that did so for five years and did OK.

I also know moms who could not breastfeed at all and their kids were sickly and emotionally challenged, unruly and nasty. So, although not a scientific study, I will support the practice and right of women who choose a prolonged breastfeeding period.
 
Said1
#19
I would think that if a child is still breastfeeding while attending school (4 yrs+), it's probably emotion based phenomena moreso than a nutritional issue/need. Assuming that the child has teeth and can eat foods from all food groups.
 
SirJosephPorter
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by Said1View Post

I would think that if a child is still breastfeeding while attending school (4 yrs+), it's probably emotion based phenomena moreso than a nutritional issue/need. Assuming that the child has teeth and can eat foods from all food groups.

Perhaps so, Said1, but what business is it of yours if a woman wants to breastfeed a 4 year old (and the 4 year old child likes it)? Unless studies conclusively prove that it is harmful to breastfeed a child that old, leave the mother alone, to bring up her child the best she knows how.

There is still plenty of prejudice against breastfeeding (you maybe aware of the recent controversy when U tube removed all the clips about breastfeeding). Not too many years ago, the only place a woman could breastfeed in public was in the washrooms. The prejudice against breastfeeding is totally unfounded and unwarranted.
 
Said1
#21
What if it's serving the mother's interests?
 
SirJosephPorter
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by Said1View Post

What if it's serving the mother's interests?

Again, if it is not harming the child, who cares? If studies conclusively show that it is harmful to the child, something could be done about it. Failing that, I take the view that the mother knows how best to raise her child and should be left alone to do it.
 
Said1
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorterView Post

Again, if it is not harming the child, who cares? If studies conclusively show that it is harmful to the child, something could be done about it. Failing that, I take the view that the mother knows how best to raise her child and should be left alone to do it.

A mother acting out pathological impulses is harmful, even if the child is conditioned to like it. Not that I think extended breastfeeding is altogether bad, it's just that a child who could potentially be in grade one, should not need to be comforted with a breast. Studies have shown that children often stop breast feeding only to start again in stressful situations such as the birth of a sibling ie regression.
 
Francis2004
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorterView Post

Again, if it is not harming the child, who cares? If studies conclusively show that it is harmful to the child, something could be done about it. Failing that, I take the view that the mother knows how best to raise her child and should be left alone to do it.

Perhaps SirJoseph, but what in my case where I feel my son's health is being damaged ? Did you read my post below ?

Being in favour of it I am made to feel against the procedure and certainly something I cannot do for my son myself as a single father.. When does it become a useful weapon and not a child best interest ?
 
talloola
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyView Post

There is so little common sense that to call it that is a misnomer.

I know a few moms who breastfed for as long as the child wanted or circumstances made it difficult. My ex breastfed our child for two years. As far as I know that was not detrimental at all. I have known women that did so for five years and did OK.

I also know moms who could not breastfeed at all and their kids were sickly and emotionally challenged, unruly and nasty. So, although not a scientific study, I will support the practice and right of women who choose a prolonged breastfeeding period.

In my opinion two years, is about it, but of course that depends on individuals,
but after that, i would like to see parent consult physician, and get some help
to learn how to separate. Don't agree that it is 'normal' to continue and keep
going, a time comes when it begins to be a emotional crutch, or 'whatever',
and help is needed.
That is my stand, yours can be whatever you want it to be, that is your business.
No hangups, good parenting, good common sense.
I guess the only way those types of parents can let go, is, if they get pregnant
again, and boom, get off my breast, must make room for another, or maybe
they each get one breast.
 
SirJosephPorter
#26
Don't agree that it is 'normal' to continue and keep
going,

Talloola, ‘normal’ is relative, what is normal to you may not be normal to me. At one time, being black was not considered to be normal, woman working outside the home was not considered normal (at least in the middle class). Even today, many people think that homosexuality is not normal; it is an abomination against God.

So I don’t think ‘normal’ should be the criteria when deciding if something is beneficial or harmful.
 
Said1
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by SirFrancis2004View Post

Perhaps SirJoseph, but what in my case where I feel my son's health is being damaged ? Did you read my post below ?

Being in favour of it I am made to feel against the procedure and certainly something I cannot do for my son myself as a single father.. When does it become a useful weapon and not a child best interest ?

I'm sure your son will eventually stop on his own. If it's possible to take him for more over night visits I would since that might help the weening process. You don't want to turn something like that into a control issue between you and your wife.
 
karrie
#28
A few thoughts on the subject.

First of all. Breasts are not just for feeding infants. I am an avid supporter of breastfeeding, but, I don't kid myself about the nature and purpose of breasts. Breasts are partly sexual in nature, part of our dance of mate selection. The size and nature of human breasts is fairly unique in the animal kingdom... we have way more breast than is required to feed a child, and they never really go away once the kid's done needing them. To say that's all they're for is a bit of a lie. They are also sexual in nature. Like it or not.

Second of all. Nursing is partly a cultural concern. Different cultures have different guidelines, set according to cultural values. Because our children are often done staying at home with us by the age of 4, we start teaching them about privacy of the body at a fairly young age, and modesty is something our culture instills at a much younger age than others. Thus, nursing until 4 in other countries is only relevant if they have the same standards of modesty and parental attachment at said age.

Third. The most damaging thing you can do for your child's emotional development is to make them 'weird' in the eyes of their peers. This mother has ensured that. Whatever parenting attachment benefits there are, that'll outweigh it for sure.

Fourth. I nursed later than is socially conventional. I nursed my daughter straight through from her birth until she was about 2 years old. In that time I got pregnant again and had my son. I nursed both in tandem for months, and only quit with my son when medical issues completely unrelated made me have to quit due to medication. BUT. I acknowledged cultural norms by making it clear after about 18 mnths old that my daughter was not to nurse in public. She knew it was a quiet, at home, comfort thing.
 
Francis2004
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by Said1View Post

I'm sure your son will eventually stop on his own. If it's possible to take him for more over night visits I would since that might help the weening process. You don't want to turn something like that into a control issue between you and your wife.

I have him two days a week and have had him as long as a whole week and a half.. But it always goes back to the same thing..
 
Nuggler
#30
.......Picture a mom walking into a grade school cafeteria and yelling::

"George, get over here and latch onto this. Put that Pepsi away!!!

Yepper, instant personna non grata.

Even worse if it's a university cafeteria.............although I've been there, and I could see it happening.........

Most men I've met and consider close buddies still like to......."nurse"

 

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