Why I Still Breastfeed my 7-Year-Old. {April Fools’ edition}

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I’m not ashamed to admit it.

There’s obviously no sexual connection between my child and myself. Sensual, yes. What’s not sensual about two humans with skin-to-skin contact, one sucking the others breast? But young children are sensual by nature. They love to be held close, rocked, diapered bottoms patted to sleep, hair stroked after every boo-boo.

First let me say, I have compassion for all mothers, no matter what…

Breastfeeding has always been near and dear to my heart. I attended my first birth at the age of 22 and became a Certified Professional Midwife, named “Best Midwife” by Dallas Child Magazine. I taught three-hour breastfeeding classes to couples at prestigious hospitals across Texas, yet I’d never breastfed a baby or even had a baby for that matter.

Something stirred in my soul while in grad school in Boston in my early twenties when I learned about the benefits of eco-friendly nursing and natural birth. At the very least, the right to choose resonated with me, as homebirth midwifery is still illegal 12 states and alegal (not regulated either way) in 13 states.

A published, well-respected midwife was arrested this very morning in Indiana, taken from her home in her pajamas, and charged with a felony for delivering a baby at home with a normal, healthy outcome.

The right to choose to breastfeed may not be so obvious. Breastfeeding is free and infant formula is an eight-billion-dollar a year industry, which amounts to two-million-dollars a day!

With that kind of advertising budget, how could Nestle not convince third world countries to use their well needed resources on formula, which are inevitably mixed with contaminated water and stretched thin to last, killing thousands of babies? I signed the Nestle Boycott 10 years ago and to this day refrain from their products, including my formerly beloved, Nestle’s Crunch Bar.

Quick and easy biology lesson:

However much milk comes out, your body knows to produce exactly that much more for the next feeding.

How the formula companies prey on your motherly biology:

If I can convince her she should supplement with formula, her body won’t know she did it and will make less milk each feeding.

This leads to the common, “I just didn’t produce enough milk” syndrome. Clinically, less than 3% of women don’t produce enough milk. So where are all these dry, milk-less mothers in droves coming from?

The hospitals, which have formula readily available and seemingly doctor condoned in to-go bags! What you don’t know is formula is donated free to hospitals. Formula companies know the best chance they’ve got to secure a year-long, repeat customer is the first few days, when lactation is being established in its delicate dance with nature.

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative was developed by the World Health Organization and UNICEF to assist US hospitals to stop their practices harmful to breastfeeding. To get this designation, the hospital could no longer accept free formula. It’s the number one reason most of them can’t get this highly sought after recognition. They can’t afford to let go of the financial assistance.

At six months, my daughter and I reached the milestone set by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which states a baby should be exclusively breastfed until six months of age. This means for the first six months of life, a baby can and should live off breastmilk alone; no juice, no formula, no cereal, no water.

By one year, we had, painstakingly at times, reached the AAP’s conservative recommendation to breastfeed at least one year, then as long as it’s mutually agreed upon.

By year two, we had reached the World Health Organization’s recommendation of nursing for at least two years, then as long as it’s mutually agreed upon.

By year seven, well, the rest is history.

I chose extended breastfeeding because the health benefits to mom and baby are directly related to the duration of nursing. The natural age a child will self wean when cultural persuasion is avoided is age three to seven.

UNICEF claims that 1.5 million babies die each year because they are not adequately breastfed, stemming from unethical marketing practices.

We as an American culture have succumbed to the “sex sells” way of advertising. It psychologically works on us. Formula companies have been known to partner with and fund many companies that objectify our breasts as sex objects to subconsciously deter us from putting our baby’s mouths there. The most blatant I’ve seen are formula reps giving Victoria Secrets bras to nurses on maternity floors as incentive gifts.

So maybe I am the urban legendary La Leche League Nazi, but I stand by my research based opinions and motherly gut instinct. If nursing reduces my child’s chance of getting childhood leukemia, no amount of mainstream advertising will stand in my way.

And, April Fools. My nursing daughter is only 2 and mostly weaned (Thank goodness!). All the other information in this article is factual.

 

Relephant: 

Weaned: A Reluctant Requiem for Breastfeeding.

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Brooke Kochel

Brooke Kochel is a Tadasana Festival Ambassador and student of Shiva Rea. Her baby yoga mat, bendibaby, debuts this summer. I’m a lover of two soul mates: husband and babe. Jet-setting citizen of the world, foodie and cultural junkie: I’ll try anything twice. She is currently on a farm in Arkansas living off wild game, fish and fowl. Rantings of her satisfied soul can be found on her Yoga/Food/Travel blog, Yogastronomy and Facebook.

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anonymous Apr 1, 2015 1:43pm

But, no.

As a social worker, I’m gonna have to opine that breastfeeding past one is fairly creepy and probably more for the mother than the child, and breastfeeding after two borders on child abuse.

    anonymous Apr 1, 2015 7:53pm

    I think my two year old would consider me forcing her to stop breastfeeding more abusive than letting her continue. I wish she was weaned. It's exhausting, physically uncomfortable at times, and definitely not being continued for me. Also, her pediatrician is thrilled I'm still breastfeeding her and her one year old sister.

    Fortunately, as a social worker, your ignorant opinion holds no weight on the matter and the scientific community, both social and biological, all say that breastfeeding past one and two are nothing but beneficial. Which is based on observed facts. So thanks for sharing your thoughts (and pointlessly sharing your profession , but they're completely wrong.

anonymous Apr 1, 2014 2:43am

While I appreciate the accurate knowledge in this article, as an extended breastfeeding mom, I felt the sting of covert judgement of those who truly extended breastfeed (past 2 years if age) and felt the April Fool’s content a jab and attempt to side with those who continue to judge moms who do nurse until a child is older. It seems the “not judging mothers” attitude is not afforded to all mothers after all. That’s disappointing, especiallycoming from a midwife. I also detest the use of the word “Nazi” with anything less than WWII. It is disrespectful and dismissive to those truly affected, hurt and killed by Nazis and to those who are members of LLL.

    anonymous Apr 1, 2015 3:09pm

    DL Moore, you strike me as someone who takes offense to many things just for the sake of being offended. Relax, it’s a blog, not the State of the Union Address. She wanted click bait and what better excuse than April Fools Day. You clicked, I clicked in fact many people who wanted to be shocked and appalled that she was breast feeding a 7 yo clicked and are now better informed because of it. It did it’s job. If Seinfeld, a Jewish man, can call a man withholding soup a Soup Nazi, than surely this woman can be afforded the same use of a colloquialism that has connotations of strictly aggressive in ones belief or manner.

    While it’s important we nourish our children properly, perhaps we can lead by example not to be so thin skinned. The world won’t do us such favors my dear.

anonymous Apr 1, 2013 11:42am

What a clever way to bring attention to the issue! There's a typo in paragraph 3 "breastfeed" for "breastfed."

anonymous Apr 1, 2013 9:56am

This has to be a joke. No animal, human or otherwise, needs mothers milk beyond toddlerhood.

anonymous Apr 1, 2013 3:46am

What about the mothers who struggle mentally and emotionally with breastfeeding? I have Bipolar and managed to breastfeed my baby for 8 weeks before having to go back on my medication. It was a traumatic and painful decision to stop feeding my baby, I had a natural drug free birth and wanted to raise my child as naturally as possible, however breastfeeding was not an option when I was too depressed to get myself out of bed.

I accepted that I needed to stop breastfeeding to become a better mother to my daughter, but I have continually come up against people such as yourself who tout the huge benefits (ie reducing chances of childhood leukemia) without recognising that there are many reasons woman give up breastfeeding their children. Every mother wants the absolute best for their babies and before putting it out there that your way is the right way you must consider how this makes the rest of us feel.

anonymous Jun 7, 2012 6:34pm

I really DOUBT that anyone is still "Breastfeeding" at 7 years of age. At that point, one is offering suckling for non-nutriative reasons. At 7 NO child survives on breast milk alone! – If mom is not home schooling, what gets packed in the lunchbox? – On what occasions does the 7 year old need the breast? – A quick snack when s/he's too tired to go get something out of the cupboard or frig?

anonymous Jun 7, 2012 6:33pm

OK, I was April fooled. A good information packed article and I totally support the Nestle boycott in which I have been participating for the past 37 years! First as a breastfeeding mother and La Leche League Leader and then as a nurse, midwife and midwifery educationalist. I stand by what I said about good mothering helping children to have the confidence to move to the next stage of development.

anonymous Jun 7, 2012 6:32pm

I would say that baby led weaning is totally appropriate, and children will be ready to do this at different ages, but part of good mothering is also about equipping and supporting a child to move onto the next life stage.Physical comfort does not have to include non-nutritive suckling. If you watch other mammals, there comes a time when the immature animal is encouraged to relinquish the teat, in other words it is denied (this denial might come in the form of moving away, a gentle nip or kick). Think of what your response might be if the question was 'My child is still wearing nappies at age 7, but isn't this OK because she doesn't like the toilet?'…………

anonymous Jun 7, 2012 6:30pm

Would you say there is a difference between breastFEEDING and sucking a breast? I think we don't talk about caregiving with food at this age.

    anonymous Feb 4, 2014 8:32am

    Actually, all of nursing is a combination of suckling and actually drinking milk. Even now as I'm nursing my 10 month old who clearly needs the milk, just last night she waasn't hungry but needed the comfort of suckling to fall asleep. The nursing relationship is a balance of both providing sustenance and emotional support for security and attachment. The benefits for both are clearly outlined in research. Also, the milk an older child receives can give nutrition but its more about the immunological boost it continues to give their immune system. I like to nurse my older child when she's sick, sometimes as its the only thing she can keep down. And theoretically, when I'm sick I try to nurse her, because it gives her my immunity so she can't get what I have. Hope this clarifies.

anonymous Jun 6, 2012 9:00pm

[…] […]

anonymous May 10, 2012 2:48pm

[…] The age at which you stop nursing your child—by his choice or by your own—is not what makes or breaks your value as a parent. […]

anonymous May 1, 2012 9:26am

I am triandem nursing my 5 1/2 year old, 3 year old and 6 month old. The benefits just go on and on. I do have to say that other peoples sexualization of breasts does come into my mind even though I know these are not my beliefs. It is amazing how much cultural influences do affect us even if it is not within our own belief system. I have always been a public nurser and never had any problems with it until my second was born and I became self conscious of nursing my older one. I still nurse in public because I feel it is important for others to see breastfeeding as normal.

    anonymous Feb 4, 2014 8:24am

    Thanks Nancy. Sorry for the last reponse. Now my daughter is 4.5 and she still likes to nurse with her little sister, 10 months. I turned out to be me that wanted to wean the older child, but those few moments that I tandem nurse them still are precious. I'm interested to know if you are still nursing all three or how the weaning process went for you.

anonymous Apr 4, 2012 11:44am

great article! Thanks!
~Christina via Facebook

anonymous Apr 4, 2012 11:33am

[…] Read full article here to find out the real scoop… Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Filed under Uncategorized and tagged babies, birth, breast, breastfeeding, breastmilk, childbirth, homebirth, midwifery, midwives, moms, nursing, sex | Leave a comment […]

anonymous Apr 3, 2012 10:25pm

I have a question ladies. My wife is a breast cancer survivor – she lost one breast and due to reconstruction, had the other, healthy breast reduced so her body could be symmetrical. The issue is that because of the reduction of the healthy breast, that breast's nipple was removed and then reattached – does anyone know if breastfeeding from that side would be possible after all this? She's really passionate about being able to do that – thank you!

    anonymous Apr 4, 2012 9:48am

    Thank you so much for sharing Mansoor! Having men and husbands involved, knowledgable and supportive plays a huge role in the success of breastfeeding. The first thing I would do is contact a Lactation Consultant in your area. They are licensed medical professionals specifically trained to deal with simple to complicated breastfeeding issues. Most major hospitals will have on staff. They are officially called International Board Certified Lactation Consultants. IBCLC will be after their name. What city are you in and I'll try to connect you with one. You can google this too and find one in your area.

    From what I understand, if the nipple's intricate vessels that help milk come out are cut during a surgery, it's more unlikely that milk will be able to come out, but its very individual. Their are other options for if that's the case. Their are milk banks all over the US where mother donate extra breast milk, which is sterilized and made available for mothers who can't produce. You can put this milk in a contraption that hangs around the mom's neck and tape a small tube to the breast. The baby latches on to the breast, gets breast milk which allows it to get the benefits. It also allows for skin to skin contact and bonding of mother and baby and she's get the experience.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions. I'm happy to help or clarify.

anonymous Apr 3, 2012 5:26pm

Im not a momma…yet, but I loved this blog.
~Susan via Facebook

anonymous Apr 3, 2012 5:08pm

Great article. I love the April fools part
~Andi via Facebook

anonymous Apr 3, 2012 4:57pm

UMMMMMM? WOW!
~Saundra via Facebook

anonymous Apr 3, 2012 4:54pm

Seriously after age 2 it's child porn.
~Evan via America's Sexuality Day Facebook page

anonymous Apr 3, 2012 4:52pm

I knew boobs were for sex at four. this would be gross and what i would consider abuse.dang 7?
~Merritt via America's Sexuality Day Facebook page

anonymous Apr 3, 2012 3:16pm

Great article!

~Kim J. via Email

anonymous Apr 3, 2012 3:03pm

Good writing, it fooled me for a minute. I thought that baby is not & did not think about the breastfeeding statement – just the age.
However, the days do fly by and it could have been 7 years !!
Love gail
I sent it out to share
~via email

anonymous Apr 3, 2012 3:00pm

I read your article on April 1 and talked to several friends about it. I did appreciate the sentiment of your article, and I am always thankful for people speaking out about normalizing nursing, especially nursing past infancy. That being said, my friends and I were disappointed with the April Fool's aspect of the article, and I'd like to share with you why privately.

When I read the title of your piece, I was fairly shocked. This comes from the mama of a four year old who occasionally nurses. The information in your article was good, but I feel like the readers who may have really benefited from that info might have missed it – they were too busy waiting for the punchline.

I don't want to come off as *that woman who nurses forever,* (because honestly, I'm ready to be done with my 4yo who still nurses once every week or two), but I feel like this was a loss for the *nursing past infancy* movement. What really disheartened my friends and I was this at the end: "My nursing daughter is only 2 and mostly weaned (Thank goodness!)." That "thank goodness" just affirms what many people already think – that nursing so long is unnatural, uncomfortable, unnecessary, etc.

Having written several pieces online about nursing past infancy, I can personally attest to the awful comments mothers receive from readers who do not agree with this decision. Having a woman – a midwife! – poke fun at breastfeeding past infancy does not seem constructive to me, and to be honest, it hurts. Mothers who nurse past infancy feel enough shame without one of our own making a joke of this normal and healthy practice.

I want to reiterate that I appreciate your intentions. It takes voices from all over – using different angles – to reach out to those who are outside of the breastfeeding community. I know that not everyone shares my gut reaction, and that you probably did reach some people who may think differently about nursing past infancy after reading your article.

Thank you for taking time to read, and I hope that you can get a feel for where I'm coming from without feeling attacked. I welcome a dialogue with you, I do feel it is important for breastfeeding advocates to take time to communicate.

Warmly,

~Concerned Breasffeeding Advocate via Email

    anonymous Apr 3, 2012 3:46pm

    I understand. And my daughter is almost 3 with no end in site. There is always a delicate balance when advocating nursing in the mainstream public. I mainly put the the last comment for validation from the masses so they would not discount my information. The article has been read 4000 times and shared 3000 on Facebook. I feel that even to normalize breastfeeding to age two would be a huge accomplishment in the US on a macro level. Over 50 people took time to comment on the article, sharing experiences, many extended nursers. Which I feel we need. To start a conversation. Give people a safe open forum for conversation so nursing moms don't feel isolated and have the facts, which aren't generally given by their OBs and Peds. Certainly not their friends or older generations who were encouraged not to nurse. I feel like I got the WHO 2 year + recommendation across effectively. That arms women with information to defend their choice to others and probably introduced an idea that many were unaware of. I also had some backlash from the other side, saying the article make mothers who "can't" nurse feel guilty, which I tried to avoid by my intro on compassion to all mothers no matter what. The nursing rates in the US just past 6 weeks is even so low! I'm looking at it from a macro public health issue. I think on a statistics level, normalizing breastfeeding past 6 weeks, 6 months, 1 year would affect a larger number of babies. We're both on the same side for sure! And I appreciate you taking time to respond.
    Warmly,
    Brooke

anonymous Apr 2, 2012 10:35pm

Primitive cultures seem more advanced in some ways/ late weaning for example
~Needle via Elephant Facebook

anonymous Apr 2, 2012 10:34pm

April Fools!
~Jenny via Elephant Facebook

anonymous Apr 2, 2012 10:33pm

Nursed all of my babies for over a year and cried like a baby when they were done. Wonderful article.
~Debbie via Elephant Facebook

anonymous Apr 2, 2012 10:32pm

Yes, but eventually won't his beard kind of scratch?…
~Stephen via Elephant Facebook

anonymous Apr 2, 2012 10:31pm

great article.
~Monica via Facebook

anonymous Apr 2, 2012 10:31pm

Mine nursed until 18 months, and she weaned herself… My first I bottle fed, and was an awful experience!
~Angie via Facebook

anonymous Apr 2, 2012 10:15pm

interesting fact – God created breastfeeding. Man created formula.
~Guy via Facebook

anonymous Apr 2, 2012 10:03pm

Great article Brooke, it's something everyone needs to read, so take a moment and educate yourself on birth, breastfeeding and midwiferey.
CK via Facebook

anonymous Apr 2, 2012 9:58pm

Love that piece! Will share with our readers in tomorrows newsletter. 🙂
~Chloe via Twitter

anonymous Apr 2, 2012 3:46pm

those years have long gone in our family but good sound advice…..Next how to deal with disconnected Teenagers or shall we say disconnected Parents….?
~Robert via Facebook

anonymous Apr 2, 2012 3:30pm

Informative and hilarious article by activist-yogini Brooke Kochel!
~Ina via Facebook

anonymous Apr 2, 2012 2:39pm

Thank you Brooke Kochel for sharing the facts and your knowledge. Breastfeeding truly is one of God's "out of the box" creations…In my opinion, God has wit. Well done.
~Charles via Facebook

anonymous Apr 2, 2012 2:38pm

I'm glad I read this through to the last line…I was thoroughly confused.
~Jay via Facebook

Thanks for reading Jay. I bet your armed now with more knowledge about breastfeeding than any man you know!
~Brooke

anonymous Apr 2, 2012 2:35pm

Go Brooke!! You go girl! x
~Evolution Parenting Facebook Page

anonymous Apr 2, 2012 12:55am

I breastfed to nearly five years and it started feeling wierd so I stopped then (even though I would have preferred that it was my child's choice). I'm pretty sure our western sexualised culture had a lot to do with my feelings…plus not seeing anyone else breastfeeding little boys instead of babies

    anonymous Apr 2, 2012 2:32pm

    Thank your for sharing your experience Joanna. Many women are ridiculed for extended breastfeeding even when they are going by the top medical professionals recommendation. I applaud you for going with your natural instincts.

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 11:42pm

First, Thank you for teaching an ignorant person (me) not only the basics of all aspects of nursing and midwifery, but also your experitse and facts on the subject.

Second, I feel most individuals, not affected directly by breastfeeding and midwifery (home birth, birth centers, field eithics – as some cultures are subject to the labor process being the mother, by herself, in a field, giving birth and catching the babe herself…amazing) are ignorant to both subjects, so I appreciate you sharing with individuals, not in the know.

Third, about the midwife in Indiana. I'm ashamed to call myself an American because of this act of ignorance of the law. My belief is it should be a women's right to choose how and where she gives birth, not the state, but the fact that the state of Indiana arrested a legal practicing midwife is wrong. This should be brought to the attention of the masses and decision makers.

Thank you again Brooke, wonderful article (but you did not get me on the April Fool's) -much love, namaste

    anonymous Apr 2, 2012 2:30pm

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts Charles. It takes a lot of support from men and fathers to make breastfeeding successful. It's the tribe/family support that helps moms and babies reach those important milestones. Please pass along to other fathers you know.

    And the legal issue with the Midwife in Indiana is a very serious one. The right to choose how and where to have a child, even with a safe licensed birth attendant, has been stripped of millions of American women. Her name is Ireena Keeslar. Their is a group on Facebook now that is keeping everyone informed of court dates and details. Please support the cause if you feel passionate about the subject.

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 10:33pm

I'm definately a fan of breastfeeding and value it immensely but I can see that some Mum's are made to feel very guilty when they just can't make it work for them. First bub weaned at 18 months and my second at around 8 months. I went back to work when she was 5 months old and pumped everyday. I had loads of milk available fro her to drink while i wasn't home but she refused to take it. Initially she refused to take a bottle at all and we struggled. Finally we tried formula (at the advice of a child health nurse) and she took it no problems at all. She still fed from me intially, everytime it was offered but she wouldnot touch EBM out of a bottle. Eventually I gave up pumping as it was heartbreaking to keep throwing it away. At around 8 months she refused to drink from me but heartily gulped down bottles. I still had plenty of milk supply but she wouldn't take it. I feel good that she got as much from me as she did, because it is so valuable, but feel awful that she didn't get more.

    anonymous Apr 2, 2012 2:20pm

    You're time spent breastfeeding should be celebrated Karli! You've done a wonderful service for your children, BOTH of them!! 8 months is a tremendous amount of protection from immunity and benefits. And it's so much longer the the average mother nurses. Don't forget the benefits you have received as well! A double dose of protection from osteoperosis, breast and ovarian cancers. You're babes are lucky to have such a compassionate, persistent mama. Thank you for sharing your experience. It helps moms everywhere to hear from other moms so they aren't so isolated.

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 9:41pm

thanks, I really liked the article. However, I still feel bad for the mothers who can't breastfeed (for whatever reason, medical or work-related) I think all those breastfeeding advocates should be considerate of other peoples situation and not make them feel guilty. Yes breastfeeding is best but sometimes it's just not feasible…

    anonymous Apr 2, 2012 2:13pm

    Yes, promoting breastfeeding is always a delicate subject because all mothers should be celebrated, no matter their choices. Motherhood is hard enough. That's what my intention was in the opening of the article when I mentioned that I had compassion for all mothers, no matter what. But with so many babies lives at stake, it's become a world public health issue that needs attention and education. I've never judged a mother, especially when she makes a well informed decision, either way.

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 7:20pm

April Fools! Although, I can’t imagine breastfeeding my 6yr old, he is 4ft 5in and 63lbs…that would be a little awkward and strange. He says “eew” about boobs, and girls in general.

    anonymous Apr 1, 2012 7:47pm

    Sounds like he would have been one of those early self weaners!

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 7:05pm

Brooke, great way to bring awareness to a serious issue!

    anonymous Apr 1, 2012 7:45pm

    Thanks! It took a little guts to pull this one off. If people didn't take time to read the article they'll think I'm nuts 🙂

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 6:53pm

Brooke – that was a fantastic article. I nursed both of my children my son to 14 months, he weaned when I started traveling for work frequently. He still had to cuddle for an hour at night on the rocker. My daughter and I had a rough start to nursing, she was 3 lb 14 oz at birth and spent a week in the NICU. She left on the breast and the bottle. We met with a lactation consultant, used nipple shields, etc but she was a happy healthy baby. She loved her “nursies” and was forced to wean when I was hospitalized for 2 two-week hospitalizations. However, she still swore there was milky there and would try once in a while. If fact she asked last week. I was hospitalized in August when she was 25 months. I would have gladly let her self wean, but this worked out ok too. I met my milestone of 2, even though most people thought I was crazy. She didn’t and that’s all that matters!

Shared it on facebook.

    anonymous Apr 1, 2012 7:44pm

    I've been on many two week "weaning" trips. And she swears theirs still "milkies" in there! I guess we adults are more easily fooled than these sweet babes with their natural instincts. Thanks for sharing!
    Brooke K

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 6:13pm

Great article Brooke, and such a great way to grab attention and promote a good cause. As you can see, our views are very liberal in the UK…….(ok this link is a comedy sketch from a popular, if a little dark at times show called Little Britain) http://youtu.be/DuPBbFOiygo
~Claire via Facebook

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 6:03pm

Funny one! You had me going!
~Heather via Facebook

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 3:18pm

my son, even after his 7th bday would from time to time…come and ask for "tété"…we would both laugh a lot as i was highly skeptical about having milk while he would swear the opposite…*precious*! I do believe that the hypersexualisation of modern societies comes from the lack of this first, fulfiling mothering relationship.

    anonymous Apr 1, 2012 3:38pm

    Thanks for sharing Jeanine! After multiple weaning attempts, and long periods apart "weaning trips", my daughter swears I've still got "Milkies" 🙂
    Brooke Kochel

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 3:15pm

Great aricle, you got me!
~Lauren via Facebook

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 3:08pm

Just posted to "Featured Today" on the brand new Elephant Health & Wellness Homepage.

Shay Dewey
Please "like" Elephant Health & Wellness on Facebook.

    anonymous Apr 1, 2012 3:14pm

    Thanks for sharing Shay! I'll pass the word about your Facebook page 🙂
    Brooke Kochel

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 2:41pm

Omg!!! I had to read this!! I had to know why this 7 year old was still in the titty!! Thanks I needed the laugh!
~Kyli via Facebook

    anonymous Apr 1, 2015 4:09pm

    I agree, there is no reason for a seven year old who is in 2nd grade to be nursing. I don't care what nut case breastfeeding feeding militia people are out there, there is no nutritional or nurturing need that can't be provided in healthier ways. First, beyond 2 years old, a child develops thought process, by 7 how does a child explain to their friends "excuse me, I need a drink, mom lift up your shirt", not too mention, the child can be picked on at this point by not only other kids but parents, too. They are playing T-ball, soccer, going to birthday parties, ect… in the U.S. no matter how much one wants to push their views, this is not fair to a child that can cause repercussions for them. This mother is selfish. Life is not just about mothering but slso letting a child be a normal child with normal friendships. This child will go out into society soon and be labeled as the kid that drinks from the tit. I breastfeeding fed my children, but only the recommended time, when they wanted a soppy cup and started modeling like others to drink formula, and juice, water ect, breastfeeding feeding was out the window.

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 2:41pm

Mine had his last nursing on the night before his 6th birthday. It was a lovely period in both our lives, and I highly recommend child lead weaning!

    anonymous Apr 1, 2012 2:55pm

    Thanks for sharing! I honesty don't see how people wean any other way. Maybe their kiddos aren't as persistent as mine! I've been on 2 "weaning trips" overseas for 2 weeks at a time. Still didn't work!
    Brooke

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 2:03pm

Love all the facts and landmarks in timeline for breastfeeding. So glad that our generation can feel empowered and knowledgeable and make such healthy, life-affirming choices–always with love compassion, and tolerance mixed in for those who have different experiences or choose another path. Nothing about nurturing and raising kids is ever completely easy, and breastfeeding has its ins and outs, but I looooved that time with my kids, and still remember the innocence and carefree moments of sitting down to nurture–and relax. With my first, I never tried to multi-task while breastfeeding, and I think that was best. Another interesting article, Brooke. Kudos!

    anonymous Apr 1, 2012 2:21pm

    Thanks Mandy! The best advice I ever got on parenting was "Do whatever works for you" That's why I prefaced the article with a remark about compassion and non-judgment. I just wish our culture and industry supported nursing mothers and gave them a fighting chance 🙂
    Brooke Kochel

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 2:02pm

Thank you for sharing Sheri! Nursing is no easy task at times. I've had my fair share of road bumps…tube feeding and nipple shields in the beginning, a three month round of painful thrush, and an all night nurser that left me delirious for the first year but the benefits and sheer joy of the relationship and confidence I see in her was worth it all!
Also, I am from Texas and there was a law then that stated wherever the mother has a legal right to be, she has the legal right to breastfeed. For example, someone cannot ask you to leave a store or go the bathroom in a restaurant, which happens frequently!
Brooke Kochel

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 1:55pm

Thank you for sharing! I am HUGE breastfeeding advocate. I have been nursing for 8.5yrs straight… three daughters, nursing through pregnancies, tandem nursing, my older two weaning at ages 3 and 5. With my first, I really took things day by day and found that it really became so simple and convenient. That just continued as our family grew. My youngest is 3.5yo, and I can tell that her nursing days are in the final stages as she is only nursing in the evening for a very short amount of time. I am cherishing each nursing session because my nursing days are numbered.

I used to scratch my head trying to figure out why more women didn't do it. It wasn't until I got heavily involved with a local LLL group that I realized how fortunate I was to avoid all the "booby traps" of breastfeeding and that I was able to be home full-time with my girls up until recent months when I started teaching yoga part-time. Not only are formula companies, like Nestle, unethical and contribute to BF'ing failure, but our country's lack of support for nursing mothers is a major factor. The comment above about not having the time or place to pump while working being an issue is part of it. A Texas (my home state) judge has ruled that federal laws allowing employees to attend to family medical needs and prohibiting sex-based discrimination don’t apply to breastfeeding women who want to pump milk during the work day. Any protection during pregnancy ends the moment a woman gives birth. It makes me want to scream.

Mothers are guilt ridden when they can't make BF'ing work, but they don't realize that they have been set up to fail by the formula industry leading women to mistrust their bodies and our country with lack of protection to allow for pumping or even an extended maternity leave. I only hope that my advocacy for BF'ing will help pave the way for my daughter's when they time comes for them to have their own children to not be set up for failure and to not have to choose between family (helping facilitate a successful BF'ing relationship) and work if that is their desire.

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 1:41pm

You are so welcome. And don't you feel guilty for one second. 6 months of breastfeeding is fantastic immunity and gives wonderful health benefits! Celebrate that 6 months. Many mamas (most mamas) don't even see that milestone!
Love and Light,
Brooke Kochel

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 1:41pm

Hello Brooke,
Thank you for your article today on Breast feeding. My sons are grown now, but one of my regrets is that I stopped breastfeeding my first born, when he was only 6 months old, based on others, including MD, opinions. It did not feel right, in my gut, and I did not follow my own instincts, being a young naive mother. With my second son, 10 years later, I followed my motherly instincts and he was a healthy, happy, well fed baby who naturally moved to sippy cups and beyond at a natural and healthy flow. I still regret the months that were short changed from my firstborn…and I wonder if his allergies and asthma in childhood were related to not getting the protective antibodies from me. THANK you for getting the word out to new mothers now, to embrace the gift of breastfeeding.
Namaste,
Imelda via Facebook

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 1:36pm

Elephant journal is soooo weird…full of strange April fools jokes that are just dull??? Must be a yankee thang methinks! Anyways….good on ya for keeping ya ankle biter on the tit for all of two years…it is truly a very rewarding, bonding experience that I can atest to.

    anonymous Apr 1, 2012 4:43pm

    Thanks Camilla! I'll take weird as a compliment 🙂 Congrats on your successful nursing experience!

      anonymous Apr 1, 2012 9:37pm

      sorry, weird is not a compliment here…

        anonymous Apr 2, 2012 2:06pm

        Then I humbly accept the criticism…
        Brooke

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 1:33pm

blessings that you've gone against the grain and done what's best for your child. They will only benefit for it. ♥ ♥ ♥
~Michelle via Elephant Facebook

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 1:32pm

lovely, sister. And had you still been nursing your child at 7, more strength and power to you both. My wife and son mutually chose to wean when he couldn't stop biting her, almost 3 years old. Now at 7 nothing but fond affection for those times.
~Frank via Elephant Facebook

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 1:29pm

Thank you for sharing your experience Caley! It's really unspeakable that a hospital/medical environment wouldn't provide a clean pumping room for you. That just goes to show you our healthcare system is a little screwy. You're right, we need compassion and tolerance for mamas our there trying to care for little ones and others at the same time!

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 1:09pm

Great article! This issue is near and dear to my heart as well. We struggled to get to the 6 month mark due to overly demanding work hours (my 36 hour shifts) as an intern in my residency. I rarely had a chance or a place to pump at work! As much as I didn’t want to supplement I had to and my daughter couldn’t tolerate ANY formula! She dropped down to the 14th percentile for weight and had to be on 3 reflux meds to hold down her formula. Breastmilk she tolerated fine, my supply just dwindled being away from her, working and not able to pump 🙁 Formula companies sure don’t help matters, but I ran into a lot of other roadblocks that I had never thought about. How about works providing quite clean breastfeeding rooms (some do, not many)? Or how about more tolerant work hours for new breastfeeding mothers? 🙂

anonymous Apr 1, 2012 1:01pm

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