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When is it extended breastfeeding?

(11 Posts)
madscimum Sun 23-Sep-12 14:14:39

I admit to knowing very little about BF before I had my baby. I had heard that WHO recommended 6 mo EBF, and I kinda thought that BF must end relatively soon after that. I now know that WHO actually recommends continued BF until 2 years or later.

I hear a lot about "being an extended breastfeeder", but I don't really know what that means. Of my friends with whom I've spoken about it, they've reported BF until 42 mo, 13 mo, 22 mo, 26 mo, 18 mo, and 24 mo. So now I've reassessed my plans to expect to end BF somewhere between 1-2 yrs. Would that make me an extended breastfeeder, or does it refer to past 2 yrs?

No real issue here, just curious...

TerrariaMum Sun 23-Sep-12 14:22:29

Well, really, it depends on the person you're talking to I think. For example, I personally dislike the term because it implies that there is or should be a definitive end and if you go beyond that, it's weird. I prefer the phrase natural-term breastfeeding because to me it implies that every baby is an individual and will wean when they are ready whether that be at 6 months, 12 months, whatever. That is, breastfeeding ends at the natural time for that particular child or mother.

FWIW, I'm still bfing DD at nearly 22 mo. Hope that's some sort of answer.

MigGril Sun 23-Sep-12 16:01:44

I think it's a modem term made up by the media. as op says it really doesn't have any meaning young children and naturally meant to breastfeed well into there sexiness year and weaning before about 18 months wouldn't beclassed as weaning but as a nursing strick.

weaning I'd a very gradual process and would see a child feeding one day and missing several days then going back to feeding. Until they finally stopped.

It just goes to show how short a time we breastfeed for in this country when you see the world average weaning age is around 4 1/2 years. So there must be a lot feeding past that age in order to make up for all the babies who are only feed for a very short time.

shuckleberryfinn Sun 23-Sep-12 16:04:46

No, I don't think there is such a thing as extended breastfeeding. There's just breastfeeding or weaned. My first child was weaned at 6 months and this one is still going.

Teapot13 Sun 23-Sep-12 18:11:11

There's also the phrase "natural-term breastfeeding," which probably corresponds to the age MigGril mentions above (past 4 years).

I think to be "extended", you'd have to surpass the 4.5 year average, at least. Or maybe when the child has his second set of teeth? That would be extended in my book. grin

EauRouge Sun 23-Sep-12 19:29:27

Extended breastfeeding is when it takes too long to BF them to sleep and you miss the start of your favourite TV show grin

purplehouse Sun 23-Sep-12 19:33:12

I think that the term generally is taken to mean after 1yr. Or that's how I take it anyway!

messtins Sun 23-Sep-12 19:40:15

I don't like the term, it implies feeding beyond some arbitrary "norm". Given how early people start asking if you are "still" BF, extended could be anything beyond about six weeks! Why call it anything - it's just Breastfeeding for as long as you are both happy with it. For us that has been 15 and 25m.

mawbroon Sun 23-Sep-12 20:19:00

The average age of weaning is 4-7 years. So, in my book, anything over 7 is extended grin

madscimum Sun 23-Sep-12 20:46:34

Oo, I like "natural term". Wouldn't it be interesting if the media used that one?

SeventhEverything Sun 23-Sep-12 20:55:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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