Thursday, September 18, 2008

How long were you breastfed?

It has always been a source of pride for me that I was breastfed until I was 18 months old. Over the years, whenever I have told people, their reactions have been a mixture of surprise and awe. People have always found it surprising that my mother nursed me until I was a toddler.

With the recent resurgence of breastfeeding rates and the AAP and WHO recommendations, I'm always a little surprised that people are still grossed out by nursing toddlers. Maybe if you don't have children it's hard to picture nursing a 2-year-old, but a 2-year-old is still very much a baby in many ways. I plan to allow my son to self-wean and since we don't plan on having any more children for a few years, I don't see that being a problem. I don't think I could ever tandem nurse, but I give props to the women who do. I'd like to have my body totally back to myself for a while before committing to another pregnancy and nursling.

How long is too long to nurse? I don't know, but I am just as skeeved as the next person by that British lady who is still breastfeeding her 8 and 12-year-old daughters. The clips from a documentary have made their way around the internet and if you're interested, you can watch it on YouTube. I think up until age 5 is appropriate and that appears to be about the average age children wean in places where societal pressures, social mores and work constraints don't force moms to wean.
I am just curious how long my readers were breastfed and if you believe that has had an impact on how long you plan to breastfeed your own kids?

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