‘Extended Breast feeding’ or breastfeeding over one year old has been proven to have so many benefits and is the norm in many cultures but it is still considered a bit of a taboo topic among many people. I have breastfed both my daughters past one (Grace until about 13 months and Everly is still going at 18 months) and during this time I have been asked some questions that have shown there are some misconceptions about it all. I’m mostly met with positive comments when I tell people ‘Yes, I’m still breastfeeding’. I thought other toddler-feeding mums would be able to relate to these questions and I have given some answers to them.
1.When are you going to stop?
When we are ready to. We have no certain date set.
2. Don’t they have teeth?
Yes, a mouth full. Although feeding a teething baby is a bit of a scary thought it doesn’t mean you’re going to become a chew toy or that you have to stop breastfeeding. Both of my daughters had teeth at five months old and we were not ready to wean then. I have been bitten a few times and just took them off and they seemed to learn that they can’t bite.
3. Can’t you stop now that they’re eating proper meals?
We could, but breastfeeding provides so much more than just a food source. Not only is it also a comforter, breast milk is also packed with so many nutrients that are beneficial for growing toddlers and antibodies to help them fight sicknesses.
4. Isn’t he/she a bit too old?
I find the different views on this one interesting. How old is ‘too old’? Should we wean our babies because they’re too old when they take their first steps? Turn one? The World Health Organisation recommends, if possible, continuing to breastfeed until two years old and beyond. I was asked this question when my baby had only recently turned one. Personally, I don’t think that is ‘too old’ to be breastfed but others may disagree. It surprises me that it is thought to be ‘normal’ for babies and toddlers to have bottles and dummies until much older why is breast feeding (something serving its natural purpose) so controversial? We all have different perceptions on when is appropriate to stop, let each mum take their own journey.
5. Are you still making milk?
Yes, I am. If you have no issues with supply, your baby or toddler is continuing to feed and you’re drinking plenty of water and eating well you will keep you producing milk.
6. There is no nutritional value to breast milk after one
I don’t think I’ve been asked this one directly but have seen in going around on Facebook a lot and it couldn’t be more incorrect. I think most of the time this comment is stemmed from the argument that they should be eating a complete diet and that should meet all of their needs. Even though this is true, any mum would agree that it isn’t always that easy to get toddlers to eat everything they need to so extra nutrients through breast milk definitely can’t hurt.
7. Is your toddler really attached to you because you breastfeed?
When I’ve been asked this or it has been implied it has been in a clearly negative way. My girls have been ‘clingy’ at times but I think most toddlers breastfed or not, can be. Whether they are breast or bottle fed I think its normal for toddlers to go through phases of separation anxiety and actually healthy to have a secure emotional attachment and bond to their mum.
I hope this post gave some insight and some of you could relate! Breast fed for a day, a month or three years we’re all doing what we feel is right for our children, don’t be so quick to judge others.
Kaylah is a wife, a mum to two amazing little girls and is obsessed with design and styling.
To read more visit her website www.little-finch.com
Whether you choose to breastfeed, bottle feed or a mixture of both. Whether breastfeeding was easy for you, hard or somewhere in between. It is always important to share your journey, to feel confident and to encourage, support and admire breastfeeding Mamas. If you do feel like your milk supply could use a natural boost, our MAMA'S MILKblend can help. Organic, caffeine free and delicious. Visit www.mamabodytea.com.aufor more details or to order now.