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Could someone come and talk to me about extended BF?

(13 Posts)
ChooksAway Thu 16-Sep-10 13:47:53

I'm pg with #4. I BF all my others, 1st to 12 weeks as I had to go back to work, and couldn't express at all. 2nd to 14 months, 3rd to 18 months.

With my 2nd and 3rd, there was pressure from family to stop, and eventually, the pressure worked, I felt I was doing the wrong thing for the baby and I stopped.

This time, I've read more about carrying on feeding, and I intend to feed at least to 2 years old, and then see how it goes from there.

I've been told in no uncertain terms (as part of a general discussion, I haven't spoken to family about my intentions) that BFing beyond a year is wrong.
"The child does not learn to be independant, they don't learn to eat proper food, and will end up seeing dieticians/nutritionists to sort out their eating problems.
The child doesn't get any benefits from BFing beyond 6 months, so therefore it's all about the mother keeping the baby to herself for as long as she can."

I'm not trying to start an argument, or a debate about EBF, I'd just like someone who knows more about this than I do to tell me how I can do this without falling out with my family (we are very close, and the last thing I need is a fallout!), or if anyone knows a website that can give me facts, rather than negative opinions?

StealthPolarBear Thu 16-Sep-10 13:49:36

Well the WHO and the NHS recommend beastfeeding until at least 2 years

StealthPolarBear Thu 16-Sep-10 13:50:21

so can you phrase it in a "just doing what I've been told by the MW/HV"

bluecardi Thu 16-Sep-10 13:52:50

Agree with stealthpolarbear - say you're been told by the medics that you have to keep bf as your baby/child needs the benefits of bf.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Thu 16-Sep-10 13:52:51

Tbh I would tell them that it is none of their business and that their views and opinions are incorrect. End of discussion. is a great site for information.

Good luck smile

ThatDamnDog Thu 16-Sep-10 13:55:24

Yep, WHO and NHS, both organisations whose knowledge of infant nutrition is likely to be considerably greater than your family's, advise feeding until 2.

I just told anyone who would listen that I was aiming to feed until 2 years with a "case closed" smile. He self-weaned at around 2.3 and I just ignored anything I didn't want to hear. He's healthy, happy, eats well and "I was only following best practice guidelines".

ThatDamnDog Thu 16-Sep-10 13:57:06

grin at Stealth's "beastfeeding" - by 2 it can be quite an apt description!

elvisgirl Thu 16-Sep-10 14:03:16

Why do you have to justify your decision to your family? Surely if they are decent people they should leave it up to you & respect your decision even if they would personally not do the same thing themselves.
La Leche League website will have info, as will Association of Breastfeeing Mothers and I would guess KellyMom. It doesn't hurt to have a thorough knowledge of all the facts & evidence but a shame you have to go through the hoops whereas I don't expect they would bother to research their reason for being anti (& there wouldn't be any evidence for those views anyway).

ChooksAway Thu 16-Sep-10 14:14:48

Thanks for nice replies

Unfortunately, my HV and GP (share the same ones as family, and backed them up when I was told I was doing the wrong thing!) think BFing beyond 6 months is pointless.

elvisgirl - my family (and me, actually when it comes to it!) are very opinionated, and whilst I know it has nothing to do with them, without facts at hand, they will not be fobbed off, and I don't want to fall out with them.

Thanks for the website suggestions

StealthPolarBear Thu 16-Sep-10 15:36:41

lol at beastfeeding -oops!
Your HV and GP need reporting then - they should NOT be contradicting the NHS advice which is to feed your beast for at LEAST 2 years

If you get any snidey comments just say you know someone who is feeding both a 3 1/2 yo and a 1 yo and then any comments will be directed towards her

GruffaloMama Thu 16-Sep-10 21:35:21

Hiya - would recommend finding out if there are local bfing cafe or LLL group or peer supporters. Your HV might know of a local scheme - even if they're not pro-bfing then they might be willing to refer you to the group. Just knowing there's someone else in real life that also feeds beyond 6 mo is great. I felt pretty 'freaky' for a while and have found a small local network of other mums bfing toddlers makes me feel lots more normal and a lot less sensitive to occasional unsupportive comments.

theboobmeister Fri 17-Sep-10 14:11:23

Don't forget, it's not just health benefits to the baby but also to you. e.g. every year of breastfeeding reduces your risk of breast cancer by an additional 4.3%.

There is a brilliant summary of the health benefits of extended BF here Some good quotes:

'The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that "Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child... Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother... There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer." (AAP 2005)

The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that breastfeeding continue throughout the first year of life and that "As recommended by the WHO, breastfeeding should ideally continue beyond infancy, but this is not the cultural norm in the United States and requires ongoing support and encouragement. It has been estimated that a natural weaning age for humans is between two and seven years. Family physicians should be knowledgeable regarding the ongoing benefits to the child of extended breastfeeding, including continued immune protection, better social adjustment, and having a sustainable food source in times of emergency. The longer women breastfeed, the greater the decrease in their risk of breast cancer." They also note that "If the child is younger than two years of age, the child is at increased risk of illness if weaned." (AAFP 2008)'

ColdCottage Fri 11-Jul-14 03:03:21

Chooks Away, so how did you get on?? Are you still BFing?

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