giving up breastfeeding after 13 years

(80 Posts)
JanH Wed 20-Apr-05 09:33:15

yes, 13 years, not 13 months (more than one child though ): Guardian article.

JulieF Wed 20-Apr-05 09:49:12

Wow!! Credit to the woman!!!!

flamesparrow Wed 20-Apr-05 10:24:05

Wow! Wonder what they look like.....

yoyo Wed 20-Apr-05 10:32:45

Just totted up how long in total I have fed mine and it is over 7 years and ongoing (eldest DD is 9). Rather shocked when I saw it in black and white. I'd rather not say how they look but the opposite of pert would be a fair description.

bobbybob Wed 20-Apr-05 10:33:51

Woman in NZ has 15 children and breastfed for 30 years in total. Respect to that woman.

cellogirl Wed 20-Apr-05 10:34:04

Spaniels ears no doubt!!!!

Fair play to her though, I don't see why people have such a problem with extended bf.

Dophus Wed 20-Apr-05 13:52:19

Sorry - but I still find seeing a toddler feeding slightly disturbing. I know it shouldn't be and I'm not judgemenatal about it. It just doesn't look right!

mogwai Wed 20-Apr-05 14:18:14

reminds me of that sketch in little britain....bitty anyone? eeew

cellogirl Wed 20-Apr-05 17:19:36

My DP always says "Will wants some Bitty" when ds wants a feed. I could sock him one for it!!!

hoxtonchick Wed 20-Apr-05 17:25:17

i thought it was an excellent article.

morningpaper Wed 20-Apr-05 17:26:30

I thought it was a great article too.

Passion Wed 20-Apr-05 17:56:07

Sorry - I know I'm going to be lambasted for this but I think it's slightly gross to be feeding a toddler who can say 'that side is empty now'. Makes my stomach churn. Can't help thinking he will be a nightmare boyfriend later on with a mother fixation. I await all your cries of outrage...

ggglimpopo Wed 20-Apr-05 18:08:57

Message withdrawn

dropinthe Wed 20-Apr-05 18:16:21

Frizbe Wed 20-Apr-05 18:20:48


crazyandconfused Wed 20-Apr-05 18:26:40

Great job! what an article!Well done to all of the mums who can and do breast feed! you all do a great job!

bobbybob Wed 20-Apr-05 20:06:57

It's a shame really that Little Britain has been more informative about extended feeding than a well written and unemotional article in The Guardian.

Why is it so terrible that your kids can thank you, tell you you are empty on one side, remember being fed etc?

I'm sure the people that say "normal" actually mean "usual" - I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

whatsername Wed 20-Apr-05 20:23:16

Wow, very impressive, sad that her husband isn't supportive.

30 years is quite an achievement too! The woman deserves a sainthood!

zebraX Wed 20-Apr-05 20:36:05

She's a mumsnetter, you guys should know. Although she told me she tries not to log on, because she can't get herself off again!

zebraX Wed 20-Apr-05 20:36:56

oops, didn't read all the messages properly, the 13 year woman is a MNetter, don't know about the New Zealander!

bobbybob Wed 20-Apr-05 21:49:24

Passion - my ds is 26 months and still

sleeps in a cot
cannot dress himself
wears nappies
needs his food cut up for him

BUT just because he can say "thank you" after a breastfeed and walk away afterwards he is too old?

He is still a baby in more ways than he isn't, I'll have to wait a few years and get back to you on whether he becomes a pervert.

pixiefish Wed 20-Apr-05 22:11:47

Very impressed with Joanna Moorhead. Very well done.

marthamoo Wed 20-Apr-05 22:19:40

Jan, I wish you would stop beating me to putting up Guardian links - that's the second time

I buy it in the morning but don't get to read the damn thing 'til the kids have gone to bed - I don't stand a chance!

stitch Wed 20-Apr-05 22:44:29

passion, im very pro breastfeeding, but i agree with you.

JanH Wed 20-Apr-05 22:51:14

Sorry, moo...I don't buy it at all, I read it online and have no little darlings to stop me doing it first thing, could this be where you are going wrong?

emkana Wed 20-Apr-05 23:13:58

Sorry, passion, but comments like yours really really p**ss me off.
If I came on here and said anything like that about a bottlefed child, or about a child who has been through controlled crying, I would get shot down in flames one thousand times over. Where on earth do you take the belief from that a child who has been breastfed long term will end up a problem boyfriend with a mother fixation? Do you know any adults whatsoever who have been b/fed for over a year? Or even for over six months?
I do actually know a man who was b/fed for four years. He is a lovely, considerate, kind husband and father, an absolute pleasure. Don't know if it's anything to do with b/feeding though!
But for "theories" like yours there is absolutely no proof or evidence whatsoever.

emkana Wed 20-Apr-05 23:19:08

Michael Jordan (basketball star) was breastfed for 3 years.
Pele (Brazilian football star) was breastfed for five years.

And what disgusting pervs they are...

bobbybob Thu 21-Apr-05 00:28:19

Oh and Michael Jackson wasn't...

bobbybob Thu 21-Apr-05 00:28:49

State your source Passion...

suzywong Thu 21-Apr-05 00:32:51

has this thng kicked off yet?

bobbybob Thu 21-Apr-05 02:11:00

Nah, mostly because Passion hasn't come back and I can't be bothered.

suzywong Thu 21-Apr-05 07:48:39


cellogirl Thu 21-Apr-05 08:39:11

I was bf for 18 months, and I am not a perv, thank you very much.

I don't have the sporting prowess, or money, of Pele sadly .......

Ameriscot2005 Thu 21-Apr-05 08:54:49

I've been breastfeeding continuously, except for periods of 5 months during 3 of my pregnancies, for 13.5 years and expect to continue another year. That will take my continuous PG/BF to 15 years - not particularly amazing historically.

bobbybob Thu 21-Apr-05 08:56:59

A genuine question for the "it makes me feel sick" people.

Is it less nausea inducing if we talk about girls being fed past talking/walking age?

tex111 Thu 21-Apr-05 09:13:20

I do have a genuine question and I'm not trying to stir things up. Honestly! I was wondering what are the benefits to the child with long-term breastfeeding. Once they're eating solids and have a varied diet are there any nutritional benefits to breast milk? I understand closeness to mother is always a benefit but they don't necessarily need to be breastfeeding in order to be have physical contact.

I'm pregnant with my second and last baby and am very curious to know more about this. Books generally don't go past the point of about age one or two so I would be grateful for any info you ladies can pass on.

SkiBunnyFlummy Thu 21-Apr-05 09:27:48

If I was her I'd be treating myself and my husband to a well deserved spa weekend (praps with a cheeky little breast augmentation thrown in for good luck)

ggglimpopo Thu 21-Apr-05 09:30:17

Message withdrawn

Tessiebear Thu 21-Apr-05 09:32:58

That is a very good question Tex (Congrats on your pregnancy btw). I B/F DS2 for 2 years and towards the end i did it for HIS comfort reasons and getting him to sleep etc - i would assume that past about a year there wasnt that mant additional health benefits but i really am not sure

Tessiebear Thu 21-Apr-05 09:33:34

That is a very good question Tex (Congrats on your pregnancy btw). I B/F DS2 for 2 years and towards the end i did it for HIS comfort reasons and getting him to sleep etc - i would assume that past about a year there wasnt that many additional health benefits but i really am not sure

Tessiebear Thu 21-Apr-05 09:33:37

That is a very good question Tex (Congrats on your pregnancy btw). I B/F DS2 for 2 years and towards the end i did it for HIS comfort reasons and getting him to sleep etc - i would assume that past about a year there wasnt that many additional health benefits but i really am not sure

Ameriscot2005 Thu 21-Apr-05 09:38:01

Breastmilk is more nutritious than solid food, so it is always going to be good for the diet, whatever the age of the child.

Ameriscot2005 Thu 21-Apr-05 09:38:31

Breastmilk is more nutritious than solid food, so it is always going to be good for the diet, whatever the age of the child.

Ameriscot2005 Thu 21-Apr-05 09:39:10

Breastmilk is more nutritious than solid food, so it is always going to be good for the diet, whatever the age of the child.

Ameriscot2005 Thu 21-Apr-05 09:39:18

Breastmilk is more nutritious than solid food, so it is always going to be good for the diet, whatever the age of the child.

Ameriscot2005 Thu 21-Apr-05 09:40:23

Got it?

JoolsToo Thu 21-Apr-05 09:44:11


I have never questioned the nutritional value of breast milk but I would have thought age 2 and upwards toddlers are quite capable of using a cup so why not express and give it that way?

bobbybob Thu 21-Apr-05 09:44:53

ggg - yes but where would the child have learnt to call it a "tit, tit, tit"? Mother or Father must have thought it was cute once.

Lots of long term bfed babies ask to "nurse" or my ds says "mummy drink". Totally unembarrassing, and they don't say it all time, only when they want to nurse.

Tex - antibodies still work whatever the age of the child. The immune system isn't fully developed until about 5, so extended feeding makes sense from that point of view.

Plus benefits to the mother increase with duration. If you are only having the one child (like me probably) then actually 2-3 years isn't that long.

bobbybob Thu 21-Apr-05 09:46:17

Joolstoo - why on earth would I go to all that trouble of expressing, when I can serve it instantly, at the right temparture?

Ameriscot2005 Thu 21-Apr-05 10:05:12

What's the point of expressing when the perfect amount is already there at the perfect temperature?

And not to forget the comfort aspect. Why would you deny your child comfort? It seems cruel.

tex111 Thu 21-Apr-05 10:13:33

I wondered about the antibody aspect. Have there been any studies on this angle? DS, who is 2.9 years recently started preschool and seems to bring home a different virus every week. Would continuing to breastfeed help against that kind of thing?

Bobbybob, you mentioned benefits to the mother. Other than the bonding and closeness how does longterm feeding benefit the mom? Really interested because you just never get this info anywhere else.

cellogirl Thu 21-Apr-05 10:16:08

Most children will self wean somewhere after 2 years of age anyway. Extended bf is great when they are poorly, as it is easy for the to keep down, so they continue to get nourishnment.

aloha Thu 21-Apr-05 10:17:06

the more you breastfeed, the lower your risk of breast cancer. It is also protective against osteoporosis.

tex111 Thu 21-Apr-05 10:23:45

Wow, this is so interesting. I had no idea about breast cancer or osteoperosis. As someone who has an increased chance of developing breast cancer I'm very intrigued to learn this. I wonder why this isn't better publicised. Thanks for the info.

zebraX Thu 21-Apr-05 14:25:00

Tex111 -- it's pre-menopausal breast cancer that breastfeeding protects against, jury is still out on whether it can reduce risk of post-menopausal breast cancer.

You know all these fish oils that we give our little kids nowadays (Eye-Q, etc.), full of long chain fatty acids, supposed to be good for their brains, maybe improve their behavior?

Those same long chain fatty acids are present in breastmilk... so there's another potential benefit.

tiktok Thu 21-Apr-05 14:37:06

zebra, not so.....all breast cancer increases in women who have not breastfed, and there is powerful worldwide data that confirms that. This massive study abstracted here from the Lancet shows this.

Tex, the reason you don't hear of this is simple: there is a terror of making women who do not breastfeed 'feel guilty' and therefore the risks of not breastfeeding, to mother and to child, are downplayed a lot of the time

tiktok Thu 21-Apr-05 14:38:55

tex, antibodies are dynamic. They are produced as needed. The baby (child) orders them up with the salivary contact on his mother's skin. This is another reason why it makes no sense to express and put it in a cup.

bobbybob Thu 21-Apr-05 20:05:42

Re anitibodies at preschool. Ds is the only child who goes who has not been sick since starting. He has done for 5 months now. We also get a lot of kids through our house because I teach from home, and I've had everything going! He hasn't caught any of the illnesses.

None of the staff at preschool know he is breastfed. I just said that he didn't have a bottle after lunch (which is true!) And I don't think the placebo effect can be true of one so young...

JugglingWithPossibilities Fri 30-Nov-12 07:21:07

I breastfed everyday for 8.6 yrs - only two DC's - BF DS till he was 6 and have 2.6 yrs gap between DD and DS. Tandem fed for 2 yrs until DD was 4.6 yrs old.
No gaps either ! - I noticed she had a sneaky 9 mths gap in there somewhere - lightweight grin Do I get the bronze medal ? smile

EauRouge Fri 30-Nov-12 08:54:16

This thread is about 13 years old grin and a lot of the opinions on here are rather hmm old-fashioned.

Juggling- sounds like you've had a busy 8 years! I dunno about a medal but I think it definitely warrants some kind of jewellery.

I just want to point out that contrary to several posts on this thread, it is pregnancy that makes your norks sag, not breastfeeding. I think that study has been done since this thread was started.

5madthings Fri 30-Nov-12 08:58:29

Saddened by some of the comments on here. I bfed for over nine years, my boobs are fine thanks very much and therr are numerous benefits to mother and child in continuing into toddlerhood.

JugglingWithPossibilities Fri 30-Nov-12 09:01:48

Mine are pretty perky too wink - but they were always "small but perfectly formed" - and evidently fully functional too smile

JugglingWithPossibilities Fri 30-Nov-12 09:06:57

Oh yes EauRouge - an 05 thread - I didn't notice that !

Thanks for suggesting that some sort of decoration is in order smile

BertieBotts Fri 30-Nov-12 13:29:02

Ha - you can see how attitudes have changed on here over the last 7 years! You'd never get these comments on this board now grin

JugglingWithPossibilities Fri 30-Nov-12 16:11:15

smile @ BB

HotheadPaisan Fri 30-Nov-12 16:37:50

I've spoken to Joanna, she's a good journalist, didn't know she'd been bfing for so long. I've done 6.5 years and have had enough now. I'm stopping DS2 in the day at weekends (I WOHM FT). Hopefully the nights will follow but not so bothered about those. I won't miss it either, the DSes got what they needed from it and that's it really.

HotheadPaisan Fri 30-Nov-12 16:39:50

2005, fantastic, well, there you go! Really do not care what anyone else thinks, I never read the comments!

midori1999 Fri 30-Nov-12 17:44:42

I'm glad this came up again as I hadn't seen the article in the OP and it made a lovely read. smile

TryDubai Fri 30-Nov-12 18:04:15

Hello there

Need to ask - am still feeding two year old - her sister stopped at 2 yrs 3 months. Am 14 weeks pregnant and her latch really hurts or my boobs are bigger or something. Am finding it really hard.

Will it continue and get worse or will it stop eventually? Any tandem feeders out there? How will I cope with the difference in latch? Thank you x

rainbowweaver Fri 30-Nov-12 18:44:59

The other benefits are if your child is ill and they ten to wake up a lot at night, they can BF at night and both of you get more sleep that way!

I have a question, DD is now nearly 3 years old, how do they stop BF? Is it a decision they take? Or jointly discussed and agreed?

EauRouge Fri 30-Nov-12 19:30:20

TryDubai- I tandem feed my DDs. I did get a bit of soreness towards the end of pregnancy but it's different for everyone. Try reading Adventures in Tandem Nursing, there's loads of info in there. LLL groups usually have a copy you can borrow or if you want to buy it get it straight from LLL, it's cheaper than Amazon.

rainbow- children gradually lose their sucking reflex as they get older and gradually stop on their own. This is known as self-weaning and research suggests it happens between the ages of 2.5 and 7 years. I don't know what the average age is but I assume it would be a bell curve so around 5 yo maybe? My DD1 is 4yo and shows no signs of stopping!

You can wean however suits you though, there are gentle ways to wean if you don't want to wait for your DD to wean herself.

I'm with you on the illness thing, we've all got horrible lurgy at the moment!

nellyjelly Fri 30-Nov-12 19:35:10

Oh for godsake, people getting upset about breastfeeding toddlers. It is not unusual, especially in other cultures. It is normal.

It is in our fucked up culture that we see a problem with it. Saying 'eww' etc is just ridiculous. Get over yourselves.

JugglingWithPossibilities Fri 30-Nov-12 19:50:11

I weaned DD from BFing at 4.6 yrs with a Christmas tree star chart followed by a choice of present from Notcutts - she chose a little fairy with air plant which was cute. I weaned DS just after his sixth birthday by going to the Lake District with a friend for a few days and leaving him at home with his DSis and DH.
There's plenty of scope for creativity with later weaning !

I was BFing DD all through my second pregnancy and did find it more uncomfortable than usual - as usually I found it completely plain sailing. Felt a bit more empty I think during pregnancy and as though DD was having to suck a little harder. But not so sore that I felt the need not to continue.


Elfontheshelfiswatchingyou Fri 30-Nov-12 20:44:37

Thanks for the link to an interesting article. The writer seemed to be an educated, grounded, sensible woman. Kudos to her I say.

nellyjelly Fri 30-Nov-12 20:57:47

Oh. Why is this thread being unearthed again?

Elfontheshelfiswatchingyou Fri 30-Nov-12 22:52:04

I hadn't realised it was such an old thread. She's probably stopped now.

JugglingWithPossibilities Fri 30-Nov-12 23:27:33

I think the title must have just caught my eye somehow - seems it was me that un-earthed it nelly. Still it may have helped a couple of people and been of interest to a couple more ?

nellyjelly Sat 01-Dec-12 13:31:06

Not complaining just curious!

leedy Sat 01-Dec-12 16:41:48

TryDubai, DS1 was around 2.5 when I was at the same stage of pregnancy with DS2, and he actually self-weaned (with a bit of a nudge) very easily - milk supply tends to drop in the second trimester and he obviously wasn't getting much, so his time on the boob at bedtime was dropping anyway, then one evening I suggested that maybe he had "drunk all the milk", he said "yes, I drank it ALL" and never really asked for it again! Very painless for all concerned. He's now very interested in DS2 having his milk but has shown no interest in it for him, if you know what I mean, other than "I had that when I was a baby".

JugglingMeYorkiesAndNutRoast Mon 10-Dec-12 15:02:19

Wow, what a grown-up little chap ! Why were mine never like that ? hmm

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