Is it just me, or anyone else not understand?

Okay, I've been reading a lot of baby posts with moms that are very into the breastfeeding thing. Many of them (there are several) breastfeed until 2 years or more and a lot of them are breastfeeding multiple children at once. I think its absolutely crazy but was starting to think that maybe I am a little biased because I never even tried it. I think once they have teeth, or worse, can ask for it, then its time to stop. These aren't poor people that do not have any choice, these moms want to do it this long. I don't want to be judgmental, I just don't understand why someone would do it that long. Most parents of formula fed babies even stop that after 12 months. Can someone tell me their personal experiences and why they chose to breastfeed for an extended period of time?

Update:

Just wanted to add a few facts about myself and my son in here. I am very for parents doing what they feel is best for their child. I after much consideration decided to not breastfeed and I am very happy with my decision. A lot of moms that I knew that tried breastfeeding had several issues with it, including horrible post partum depression and very colicky babies. I was not keen on the idea to begin with and knew it would take complete devotion, something I wasn't sure I was able to give in that aspect. Most of my immediate family members were exclusively bottle fed and none of us had any major health issues. I love the fact I never had to struggle with feeding my son. My son never had colic or any other stomach issues. Feeding time could be something shared by other loving members of the family. My son is still very attached to me and we have a special intimate bond despite not breastfeeding.

Update 2:

My son has been sick minimally.. actually just with roseola which is a very normal childhood virus. He has never had an ear infection either, which two of my friend's babies had and they were breastfed. I am very happy with my decision as a whole and I do plan on bottle feeding my next child. I respect people's desire to breastfeed, even if it is for an extended time. I just wish that people wouldn't push the breastfeeding issue so hard with people that chose not to. It is a very personal decision and is not always an option for a mother. I feel that I am sometimes harassed for not breastfeeding, but again, I am completely happy with my decision and wish others could respect that.

Update 3:

I am quite disappointed in the people that keep putting me down for bottle feeding, which is the only reason I added the details to begin with. I am not by any means saying that breastfed babies will get sick, I am just saying that I know a few close hand that have been even more sick than my son and have been breastfed, to me discredits the thoughts that breastfeeding keeps your child from being sick. I just believe some babies tend to become more sick than others. I also do not believe that breastfed babies will automatically be smarter. I was considered "gifted" in school and have always had a higher IQ compared to my peers. (No I am not saying I am smarter than you, please do not take it that way) I feel that there are some breastfeeding "nazis" out there that jump on mothers of bottle fed babies. I wish we all as mothers could be nicer and more understanding of everyone around us. Isn't that what we should be teaching our children especially through example? That's why I asked.

31 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It is recommended to breastfeed for a minimum of one year by the AAP, and a minimum of 2 years by the WHO. A child will still receive nutritional benefits for the entire time they are feeding. Do you think that once a child gets teeth, turns one, starts to talk, or whatever you set as the limitation, it will no longer receive nutrients from breastmilk? Once a child is walking around, it is even more beneficial because the make-up of breastmilk changes to include more immunities.

    Extended breastfeeding isn't a money issue. I have NEVER heard of someone breastfeeding because they were 'poor' - actually, the opposite is true. Families in lower income brackets have lower rates of breastfeeding (I don't mean extended breastfeeding, but breastfeeding at all).

    My son nursed until he was 2.5 years old. Once he was 2 or so, he only nursed at night. He still received nutrients, and it comforted him, so why not? Why set an arbitrary limit on breastfeeding if it beneficial to your child?

    Formula stops at 12 months because there are no nutritional benefits to continuing, and it is very expensive. Formula doesn't contain the immunities and different components found in breastmilk, and doesn't offer the same comfort. There is no need to formula feed beyond that point. Contrary to popular belief, formula does not = breastmilk, no matter what marketing campaigns try to tell you.

    * In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:

    o 29% of energy requirements

    o 43% of protein requirements

    o 36% of calcium requirements

    o 75% of vitamin A requirements

    o 76% of folate requirements

    o 94% of vitamin B12 requirements

    o 60% of vitamin C requirements

    Edit: The WHO recommendation is not just for areas with poor water quality, as the health benefits are there no matter where you live. Why would I give my toddler cows milk when I can provide breastmilk that contains antibodies?

    Edit: Ebey, a mother consuming cows milk has nothing to do with the content of her breastmilk. A woman can have a diet consisting primarily of junk food, and her breastmilk will still be nutritious and contain antibodies. Yes, a well-rounded healthy diet is ideal, but not necessary. Cows milk does not contain the things that breastmilk does. No immunities. No stem cells. It isn't tailored for the child.

  • 1 decade ago

    Because I am educated on the subject and know what the real use of breasts are for I am still breastfeeding my 12 month old and will let him self-wean.

    Breastfeeding decreases a babies chance of having diabetes, asthma, heart disease, ear infections, allergies, overall sickness (my son has never been sick) The benefits increase the longer you breastfeed. It is recommended to breastfeed until at least two and then as long as mutually desired.

    Breastfeeding also decreases moms chance of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and if a mom doesn't breastfeed within the first few days or decides to wean baby before he or she is ready, she may become very engorged and have clogged ducts and or mastitis.

    Breastfed babies also have higher IQ's as children.

    And last but not least- the bond. The bond a breastfeeding mother has with her child is very great. The main reason being that there is close contact during all of the babies feedings. While often bottle fed babies will have multiple people feed them or may have their bottles propped (not all bottle feeding parents do this. I do know a lot of parents who cherish the times they bottle feed, but sadly know of a lot of parents who prop bottles :( .....)

    And I think it's weird this is bothering you.... Just so you know the way you go on and on about how "fine" your son is doing makes it seems as if you are making excuses...Sounds like a personal problem?

    And last but not least. IF for some reason I REALLY couldn't breastfeed like...let's say I didn't have any milk ducts and I bottlefed, I would also allow my son to self-wean from the bottle the same way he would from the breast.

    Source(s): This is a great video a woman on YouTube made, check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdEN8nKWA4E
  • bjoy
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I have 3 children, all self weened at 16, 23 and 24 months. I choose to nurse as long as they wanted too. It is funny that you have mentioned some of the effects of nursing as depression and colick when usually it is associated with reduction of these two issues.

    I think it is great that your baby is so healthy, unfortunataley it is not always the case. Formula is not some evil poison but it is second best - and not even a close second. The benefits of breastfeeding do not end at 12 months or even after nursing ends - breastfed babies have higher IQ's and a lower incidence of obseity in adulthood.

    When people go on about how healthy they, their children and their families children are even if they are bottle fed I think about car seats. I grew up in a time when car seats were not law or even really available. I am not dead or injured and neither are any of my family members - is that reason enough to not put my children in a safely installed car seat?

  • 1 decade ago

    People choose to breastfeed for an extended time because, well that's how we're supposed to do it essentially. When woman bottle feed formula they switch to milk at a certain point because milk ( cow's breastmilk) is better than formula. But cow's milk is not better than human milk. And I just want to clear up something, breastmilk REDUCES colic and digestive problems, and PPD. So you using that to base your decision came from you obviously being misinformed. And you don't have to be poor to breastfeed. LOL. You just have to want the best for you child. But if breastfeeding doesn't work out then you have formula to fall back on.

    I just think that this has nothing to do with how you feel about breastfeeding. It seems like this Q is about you trying to justify why you chose to formula feed. Well, you don't need to feel guilty or justify it. You were obviously just misinformed and your son seems healthy, so stop fretting over it

    The AAP recommend BFing for as long as the mom and child feel comfortable

    http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/feb05breastfe...

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  • 1 decade ago

    I won't go into statistics, fact, or figures. I just want to add my 2cents.

    2 weeks ago my son was ill, he had caught a flu bug from his cousin. My son is almost 17 months and this was the first time he was sick. He refused to eat any solid foods all day, didn't want water or juice either, but since he is still nursing I wasn't worried about his lack of nutrition or fluid intake. He also had a much milder version of the flu compared to his cousin since I was exposed to it as well and making antibodies. He cousin was puking, had diarrhoea, and a fever in the 103F range that didn't break for 3 days even with medication. My son just had the fever in the 101F range that broke after 24 hours with little medication.

    I have pressure to wean from my family. They don't understand why I still nurse. Well because I can and want to, my son still wants to. So why stop because everyone else thinks it's weird? If the thing to do was jump off a bridge and you'd be weird not to, would you jump off the bridge? Just because society places an age limit on things doesn't mean everyone listens to it...look how many questions there are on here about turning the car seat around before the legal age and that's law, not a society placed idea.

  • 1 decade ago

    My daughter weaned last month at 2.5. I am THRILLED we made it that long! :) Full-term nursing is great for so many reasons. My child is not only extremely healthy, but she was able to come to me for comfort and to "check in" when she wanted, then run off and play again, happy. I love having bonded so closely with her! Trust me when I say she was not ever forced to nurse. LOL it's not possible to force a toddler to do much really!! ;) It seems silly and even cruel to withhold the breast (a source of nutrition and comfort) from a child just because he has had a birthday. Why the arbitrary age limit?? A child allowed to nurse until he is ready to stop will most often quit between ages 3-4 (worldwide age for self-weaning). It's really only strange in Western society, which is quite sad. We've oversexualized breasts, and forgotten their PRIMARY purpose is to nurture and feed children.

    Honestly, knowing a few people whose breastfed kids have been sick more often than your bottlefed son is not a study, so it really holds no weight. I prefer to pay attention to the countless large-scale studies that prove again and again that breastfed babies are smarter and healthier overall as compared to formula fed babies. Notice I DID say overall, since there are always a few kids who break the mold. My husband for example is pretty healthy, and quite intelligent. He was bottlefed. His sister is very smart, but has myriad health problems and allergies. It's really sad, and we often wonder how much better off she'd be now had she been breastfed.

    Say what you will about nursing and the "breastfeeding nazis" (a highly offensive term btw, since I've never heard of a lactivist sending formula feeders to the gas chambers!), but I will continue to nurse my children until they choose to stop, and spread the word about how wonderful breastfeeding is. My goal is not to put others down, but to help any mom who wants to nurse to SUCCEED at it, and to make sure all people are aware of how important breastfeeding is to the health of all people. I have never harassed someone for not breastfeeding, simply shared facts when they were asked for; surely that's okay? :)

  • 1 decade ago

    I just wanted to say kudos to all the moms' that have sacrificed so much effort, persistance and time to breastfeed extensively! Amazing I am in awe! The benefits are staggering. I myself wasn't able to do so (with PCOS) couldn't produce enough supply, it was extremely frustrating to only breastfeed for a few weeks. What I don't understand is anybody obnoxious enough to judge a mom for breastfeeding a toddler while knowing that the benefits of it can't be matched by anything else. Are people really that prudish that they don't put their child first and then judge other moms' for making such a sacrifice of love?

    Source(s): nurse
  • 1 decade ago

    Well a huge factor when breastfeeding is that it provides an immunity boost to the child, more than a boost really. Children under five still have immature immune systems and extended breastfeeding balances this. Also breastmilk is the most complete form of nutrition. That is why cow's milk is such a dietary staple for many peopleAnd their kids. Breastmilk is far superior to cow's milk for humans. Cow's milk is tailored by nature for calves, in the same way human breastmilk is tailored for young humans. It is more easily digested and completely absorbed because unique enzymes exist especially for breastmilk within the digestive tract. Pasteurized cow's milk has been treated in such a way as to destroy those enzymes. In my opinion, it seems more than common sense to breastfeed as long as possible, but many people believe it is "normal" to wean the child to solids and cows milk as soon as they can. To each his own, my child has NEVER been sick, no sniffles, no diaper rash, no earache, NOTHING! I couldn't bear it if my child got sick and was suffering when I could have done something to prevent it.

  • 1 decade ago

    My aunt breastfed her little ones to at least 2 years of age. I believe she did so for health benefits that breastfeeding offers. As others have stated, the WHO recommends breastfeeding for 2 years. I only breastfed for a short time though.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    teeth have nothing to do with breastfeeding? most babies get teeth ebfore 12 months and they NEED breastmilk ( or formula) until at least then. some babies are born with teeth it doesn't mean they should be denied breast milk. I personally don't believe in using formula for myself. after one year there is not much difference between formula and cow's milk but there is between cow's milk and human breast milk. human reastmilk still comtains antibodies and disease fighting agents and a whole lot more. The World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 2 years of breastfeeding not just for the babies health but also for mother's. Breastfeeding for at least two years dramatically reduces the mother' risk for breast and ovarian cancer. sure it's not the norm in the us or western world but it is all over other parts of the world. Children were meant to slef-wean from the breast since the beginning of time but things and views changed. I personally believe feeding time is for mothers. Why do i believe that, because we were given breasts fora reason. do i think mothers who don't breastfeed are bad? no I personally don't care about how another woman feeds her baby and nor should anyone care about how i feed my son. Motherhood requires devotion period whether you bottle feed or breastfeed

    lol i guess some people think breastmilk goes "bad" after a certain period of time. breastmilk cahnges as your baby changes. it's logic here people when my son is ready to wean he will, which he is almost done. cow's milk is jsut that and it's just not as good for him. am i completely against cow's milk ? no but why would i give him something that's not as good for him. that's like giving him soda over water to me

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