Extended Breastfeeding

Today my mother and I began discussing the latest cover of Time magazine featuring a photo of a woman Breastfeeding her 3 year old son. In case you have not heard about this issue of Time let me fill you in. The article is on attachment parenting anit’s basic principles. I am waiting to read the article and will at that time write my opinion on it. For now I am simply going to discuss what my mother and I discussed. My mother does not believe in long term Breastfeeding. She thinks that two years is the absolute maximum and between one and two is best. I feel that there is no set time to wean. It is up to mother and child. I explained that the world norm was between 4 and 7. To this she insisted that was because of poverty in third world nations only. Another ridiculous assumption. She mocked my aunt saying it was weird when my cousin could ask to be nursed in full sentences. I currently nurse my 7 month old full time and my two year old on occasion though she seems to not care much either way anymore and rarely asks anymore. I intend to nurse my son a minimum of two years and will follow his cues from there. I know that anytime passed that will be source of controversy. until then I will just avoid the subject with her.

Right after our discussion i found a post on Birth Without Fear’s facebook that asked how long is too long to Breastfeed? Most responses were “until the mother and child want to stop” some suggested an age, usually 6 years old. Some ventured to say it was not their business or place to answer that question in regards to anyone else’s life. I agree with that. Every study shows that there are only benefits to extended Breastfeeding and no negative effects. Therefore it is up to the individual involved and no one else. It confuses me that people (myself included sometimes) won’t step in when they see or hear about an adult hitting (call it spanking or whatever else) a child but condem a mother nursing her three year old. One has known negative consequences and the other has only benefits. I think something is off here!

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