Breastfeeding Moms, there has been a lot of talk in the news recently on attachment parenting, baby-led weaning and prolonged breastfeeding. The question is, how long is too long to breastfeed your child? I watch this and wonder, why is there a time limit placed on it to begin with? Why is it considered so inappropriate to nurse your child past 1 year of age? Why do people who have nothing to do with parenting YOUR child care and get so emotional over it!? Personally, I can’t speak from experience…yet. My son is exclusively breast-fed on demand, but is only 8 weeks old today. I have no idea how long I will breastfeed him, but I do know that I want it to be as long as he wants. However, I do have close personal experience with a critic already…my mother-in-law, dun dun dunnnnn. She never breast-fed her 2 sons (1 being my husband of course) and neither did my mother or hers. So for them, drinking cow’s milk at 1-year-old on the day is a normal transition from formula. She has told me multiple times that she will “put her foot down!” if I continue to breastfeed him to a time she deems excessive or inappropriate. Seriously! You come pry him off my boob, I dare you! I love my mother-in-law to death, but she is just as opinionated as my husband and myself in her own ways. We all do what’s best for our babies and other people’s emotional reasons for doing this or that should not even need to be expressed. I saw a onesie on Pinterest that said “my mom does not want your advice!”, thought that was too funny. The funniest part is that those people running their mouths were all there once too and didn’t want anyone else to tell them how to raise their children either. Someone said to me this week, “well isn’t there no VALUE in breastfeeding past 1 year of age?” As in no nutritional gain or benefit after that time. No fault to her for asking because she does not have kids yet and it’s just what she was told or is “word on the street”. Seriously where does this informational rumor come from? Of course there is benefit after the age of one! There is wonderful fact based information on this on a fabulous website http://kellymom.com/ages/older-infant/ebf-benefits/
Here it is! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that “Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child… Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother… There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer.” (AAP 2012, AAP 2005)
There are soooo many benefits for both mommy and baby! The only harm is the lack of support, especially from other women around us! As women we NEED to lift each other up and support each other.
Lord, I pray for strength to stand up for what I know is right and best for my child. I pray that other woman can feel the comfort and support to do the same. I pray that I am a woman that supports others instead of criticising them. Thank you for giving me motherly instincts. Thank you for all of your blessings. Amen