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So perhaps we should be breastfeeding for 7 years?

(193 Posts)
ThomasTankEngine Mon 06-Aug-07 21:06:48

See here

TheQueenOfQuotes Mon 06-Aug-07 21:08:54

eeek - I'm all for extended BF'ing - but 7yrs........

Kathyis6incheshigh Mon 06-Aug-07 21:10:55

I will do it if they will give me 7 years maternity leave.

Mercy Mon 06-Aug-07 21:16:51

Haven't read the link yet but I'm sure I read somewhere that children were routinely breastfed until abut 5 or so up until a couple of hundred years ago

MerlinsBeard Mon 06-Aug-07 21:18:18

thats too long imo

Jojay Mon 06-Aug-07 21:18:46

Thought it was very interesting that there are people out there who believe that breast feeding may not be the 'wonder milk' that we are all led to believe and it may have its drawbacks.The theory about the speed of evolution is thought provoking too.

Would like to read those studies in more detail, as we are all told that breast milk is the nectar from the Gods.

And before I get shouted at, I KNOW it's still a million times better than formula.

I read somewhere that one day it may be possible to produce a formula ^even better^ than breast milk.


Roskva Mon 06-Aug-07 21:18:52


Just how does that work when they start school? Do all the mums have to come in at break time and lunch time?

terramum Mon 06-Aug-07 21:19:02

I'd be quite happy to feed DS for as long as he wants to. He is 3 now so 7 seems very far off...but then so did 3 when he was 6 months odd

TheQueenOfQuotes Mon 06-Aug-07 21:24:18

"Some point out that rates of heart disease are low in developing countries where breast feeding for two years or more is common" - duh! perhaps that's because a) they don't eat as much cr*p as we do here in the "developed" world and b} they're not as lazy as most people in the "west" partly because most don't drive - so have to walk, and because "luxuries" which make houseowkr easy, such as washing machines, hoovers and dishwashers are almost unheard off (and yes dishwashers is relevant - you should trying cleaning one of those big black pots they use for cooking......flipping hard work ).

terramum Mon 06-Aug-07 21:24:27

Roskva - We are going to Home educate so no issue there...but DS only feeds a couple of times during the day now & if I am not around he simply does without & has a feed when I get back. So school wouldn't be an issue even if he did go & was still bfing. Doubt he would still be bfing that often that far down the line. Of the few women I know who have bf older children, they rarely fed more than once a day, sometimes even less than that - once a week, every so often etc

ThomasTankEngine Mon 06-Aug-07 21:27:10

The "formula even better than BM" is an interesting thought.
Obviously they can calculate ingredients to the nth degree.
But I understand if baby is thirsty, more dilute BM is produced, and if hungry, more rich milk produced. It'd be hard to beat that system.

Rantmum Mon 06-Aug-07 21:29:39

Hmmm, I can see why it might be necessary in countries where it is not possible to fulfil a child's nutritional requirements from other sources, but we have access to so much good quality fresh food here in the UK all year long, it would strike me as a bit OTT (as well as completely incompatable with most peoples modern lifestyles) to keep at it for 7 long years. And I am in favour of breast feeding infants.

terramum Mon 06-Aug-07 21:37:52

Isn't a child immune system supposed to be immature until around age 7 though? So giving BM (which contains lots of immunity stuff) for as long as possible has to be a good thing. Good quality food is excellent for nutrition...but you cant get immunity from disease from it can you?

CHOCOLATEPEANUT Mon 06-Aug-07 21:42:49

bf at 7???

no really they cannot be serious?

It just is not right, think 'bitty' from Little Britain.You need to draw the line somewhere.

Rantmum Mon 06-Aug-07 21:43:28

Well, we probably can't create total immunity to everything in a human being, anyway - and a child's immune system is strengthened by a lot of different factors, diet being one of them. It is probably close to impossible to guage exactly what the impact of prolonged bfing is from a health perspective because so many other things come into play as a child is exposed to more of the world - both environmental and genetic factors must play a part in susceptibility to disease. But I am not an expert.

potoroo Mon 06-Aug-07 21:57:04

I don't think breastmilk ingredients can (currently) be calculated to the nth degree though because breastmilk changes for each child/age/time of day etc. I thought that there were still a lot of unknowns?

For example some recent research indicates that when a BF LO is sick, the 'germs' are transferred to the mother when BFing. In turn the mother produces antibodies specific to that illness to pass back to the baby in subsequent feeds.

Now that is an impressive system

Maybe science will produce a formula better than breastmilk one day... but they haven't done so well at synthesizing other foods yet (aspartemine anyone?)...

fishie Mon 06-Aug-07 21:57:15

baby whisperer book postulates that it may be possible to create formula milk superior to people milk. i think it is a load of bollocks.

terramum Mon 06-Aug-07 22:00:14

How predictable that the "bitty" libe would be brought out! ...Comedy sketch (that I thought was absolutely hilarious btw) about a 20-30 yr old still being bfed of course that's the same as a mother still providing closeness, nutrition and valuable antibodies to her 7 yr old

beansprout Mon 06-Aug-07 22:00:54

Yep, terramum, am with you there!!

harpsichordcarrier Mon 06-Aug-07 22:04:21

there are iirc 15,000 studies demonstrating the benefits of bm over formula.
anyway what you are failing to appreciate is that the duration of bf in determined by the desire of the child (or otherwise). most children will selfwean between 2 and 5.

CHOCOLATEPEANUT Mon 06-Aug-07 22:06:19

i dont think bf a 7 year old defines closeness.

Sorry I am all for giving a child what it needs but to consider this is very very odd.

I watched a programme on this same subject a while ago. Very strange.

oliveoil Mon 06-Aug-07 22:06:46

"you have to draw the line somewhere"

says who?

personally I would rather eat my own arm than feed till 7, but each to their own

and most people that do extended b/f stop at around 4ish at the most anyway

FrannyandZooey Mon 06-Aug-07 22:07:07

I would draw the line when either the mother or the child are no longer wishing to continue

drawing the line for another parent at some arbitrary age, because it makes you feel uncomfortable, is rather egocentric IMO

beansprout Mon 06-Aug-07 22:07:19

If anyone can demonstrate any harm done to children who b/feed on an extended basis that is based on evidence rather than their own views/prejudices, I would be very interested to hear about it.

NB Citing Little Britain sketches does not constitute evidence.

beansprout Mon 06-Aug-07 22:08:01

Ah yes, that programme that was designed to leave you thinking. "that's a bit strange".

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