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To ask this about breastfeeding?

(99 Posts)
Iloverichtea Sat 27-May-17 21:34:09

Just curious as to what people's opinions are really.

In the last few weeks I saw a guest on This Morning who was still breastfeeding her 5yo son. It got me thinking about bfeeding older children.

What do you wise MNetters think about this? Are there benefits health-wise as children get older? Is it more about Mum than baby? Or does it just come down to to what feels right for each family. I imagine it becomes a bit hazardous when they cut teeth grin

I have a 9mo DS who was/is formula fed, but I have an open mind as to what to do with any future DCs.

AlbusPercival Sat 27-May-17 21:35:14

The cutting teeth comment is slightly odd. My 6 mo is cutting teeth. Should I stop feeding him?

WellErrr Sat 27-May-17 21:36:56

There are benefits. Immune system boosting ingredients for example increase as the child gets older. The benefits are not really up for discussion unless you don't believe in science.

Really though, it's no one else's business except the mother and child.

museumum Sat 27-May-17 21:36:58

My ds had teeth at 6mo and I bf to 13mo which isn't even natural term so teeth have nothing to do with it.

WellErrr Sat 27-May-17 21:37:35

Is it more about Mum than baby?

hmm

Iloverichtea Sat 27-May-17 21:39:56

Ok I retract the teeth comment - like I said I haven't breastfed so I have no idea, just my clearly crap attempt at humour!

None of the views on my OP above are mine by the way, they were comments on social media afterwards and just wondered what people thought about it. I don't really have an opinion on it at the moment.

PetalMettle Sat 27-May-17 21:40:47

It's not essential for life as they get older in the same way either formula or bm is initially, but immunity benefits continue and the nutrition benefits have been proven between 1 and 2 (no ones really done studies beyond that).
Mothers don't do it for themselves. Feeding a toddler doesn't send you into paroxysms of joy.
It's fine with teeth, they mostly work out how to do it without getting their teeth in the way. My 22 mo has about 14 now

Sexstarvedredhead Sat 27-May-17 21:41:29

Many children are breastfed with teeth. That's not exactly secret knowledge. Which begs the question. WTF does it matter to your readers what families choose works for them?
Health benefits. Definitely searchable online you don't need "opinions" to review evidence.

isupposeitsverynice Sat 27-May-17 21:42:19

The thing about natural term breast feeding being about mothers rather than children always baffles me. Have these people never met a toddler? How on earth would you make one breastfeed against its will? Ridiculous.

CloudPerson Sat 27-May-17 21:43:18

Don't babies start teething on average at 6 months? So the teeth issue isn't really one.
My DC gave an occasional nip, but nothing spectacular.
Natural weaning age is when the child is ready to stop, some stop before they're two, some stop when they're older. Of course this doesn't mean the mother has to continue, that's her choice.
I fed one of mine to an older age, mainly because our homelife is tricky, and a feed at bedtime was part of his routine, and gave him a chance to have me alone. It wasn't about me, it was more about the fact that trying to forcably wean him was beyond my energy levels at the time!

TBH, it's a bit of a crappy/goady subject to come into AIBU with, and I expect it'll descend into comments about it being abusive and weird, by mothers who believe that what they do and the way they do it is automatically right, and anything else is wrong.

CloudPerson Sat 27-May-17 21:43:23

Don't babies start teething on average at 6 months? So the teeth issue isn't really one.
My DC gave an occasional nip, but nothing spectacular.
Natural weaning age is when the child is ready to stop, some stop before they're two, some stop when they're older. Of course this doesn't mean the mother has to continue, that's her choice.
I fed one of mine to an older age, mainly because our homelife is tricky, and a feed at bedtime was part of his routine, and gave him a chance to have me alone. It wasn't about me, it was more about the fact that trying to forcably wean him was beyond my energy levels at the time!

TBH, it's a bit of a crappy/goady subject to come into AIBU with, and I expect it'll descend into comments about it being abusive and weird, by mothers who believe that what they do and the way they do it is automatically right, and anything else is wrong.

rightsofwomen Sat 27-May-17 21:43:31

Both my sons weaned themselves off the breast - DS1 at 3 and DS2 at well over 4.
I never imagined I would BF for so long but it just felt right (for both of us). For about 2 years it was just down to nursing in the morning.
I didn't encourage it and I didn't stop it. I was able to travel abroad for work and still pick up with the BF - but as they got older I would have been fine if they didn't pick it up again.
I do believe it benefitted them, emotionally and of course breast milk is good for any child. I liked it, but followed their lead.

CharcoalandInk Sat 27-May-17 21:43:36

My son is 19 months and I'm still breastfeeding him. I find it a lovely way for us to reconnect after I've been out in the day etc and it quite often it buys me ten minutes of peaceful cuddles. It also relaxes him and he'll still feed to sleep which is really handy when he's fighting sleep, he normally settles himself though. The big thing for me is that I know he will always have a feed, even if he's poorly and doesn't want his food, so that's a big part of it too. I originally only wanted to bf for six weeks and we haven't got round to stopping yet, I'm pretty sure I'll stop by 2yrs if he hasn't self weaned by then. It's definitely down to what's right for each family though, everyone is different. Oh and he had lots of teeth quite early on so I did get bitten a few times confused... He's not so bitey anymore thankfully!

OuchLegoHurts Sat 27-May-17 21:43:57

Surely, like other animals, once a child can gain adequate nutrition from a balanced solid diet, they are not in need of mother's milk?

Kokapetl Sat 27-May-17 21:44:17

I was very glad that I was still feeding my 1yr old when she got a vomiting bug. Breastmilk was the only thing she could keep down for more than a few minutes. Plus it is so easily digestible, she was still getting quite a lot of nutrition (even when it didn't all stay down) so she was able to pretty much carry on playing and was fine again the next day.

Teeth make very little difference actually. The tongue covers the lower ones while feeding and the angle is wrong for the top ones to get you.

PetalMettle Sat 27-May-17 21:45:02

This is quite good. The picture is helpful myrtlebeachbirthservices.com/13-myths-extended-breastfeeding/

countycouncil Sat 27-May-17 21:46:05

It's nutrition and immunity and sustenance but it is also a way of connecting with your child and a relationship between you and them. I'm currently breastfeeding my 1 year old with no end date. I fed my son until he was 20 months and he just kind of lost interest. It is so much more than food so while I don't ever knock people for formula feeding it really isn't the same.

JacquesHammer Sat 27-May-17 21:46:24

Surely, like other animals, once a child can gain adequate nutrition from a balanced solid diet, they are not in need of mother's milk

That is of course assuming "need" is purely for the nutritional benefits not the psychological benefits

putdownyourphone Sat 27-May-17 21:46:33

I smell a journo

BoraThirch Sat 27-May-17 21:46:48

Ouch - children past 2 don't really need milk but they still get it for free until they're in Reception class. I wonder why that is?

WellErrr Sat 27-May-17 21:46:49

Surely, like other animals, once a child can gain adequate nutrition from a balanced solid diet, they are not in need of mother's milk?

You're quite right. Spot on.

In humans, this is usually around 5 years. Until then, human infants need some form of milk. Mothers milk is the biological norm, but most people give animal milk.

Deirdresbelts Sat 27-May-17 21:48:11

Journalist I take it

Iloverichtea Sat 27-May-17 21:48:25

Not being goady at all! It's a genuine question, I wanted to chat to other mums and see what they thought. Also not a journalist hmm

When my son is ill, I sometimes feel a bit guilty that I didn't breastfeed, like he would have had a better immune system if I had.

HeteronormativeHaybales Sat 27-May-17 21:49:39

I've bf one to 4.5 years and one to 3 years, 2 years of that overlapping. Currently 20 months and counting with no. 3.

By the time we stopped, dc1 was actually forgetting how to do it (IMO). It petered out - by the end both of them were only feeding once every few days. I knew the writing was on the wall with dc1 when he was ill, feverish and grumpy, and I offered him a bf for comfort (was generally doing don't-offer-don't-refuse at that stage) and he said no. They basically moved on from it. I was ready to stop too by then, more than ready tbh, but it was absolutely a mutual decision.

Louiselouie0890 Sat 27-May-17 21:56:04

Why are people arsed what someone else does why does there have to be health benefits? There's much more too it than just health benefits. Isn't nature that they breastfeed till they loose there milk teeth which around 6/7 as they can't breastfeed after that. I honestly find it bizarre why people care.

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