Extended Breastfeeding and Comments from the Peanut Gallery

I am not, nor have I ever been, a breastfeeding mom.  It’s not my bag.  (I’ve blogged about it already, so I’m not going to rehash here.)  Even though I’m not a breastfeeding mom, I certainly have my opinions when it comes to extended breastfeeding.

I’m not sure that I feel comfortable declaring that there’s a universal age when everyone should stop breastfeeding.  I’m not a doctor.  I’m not a psychologist.  Therefore I don’t really feel qualified to tell someone else when she should stop breastfeeding.  (Mind you, if you tell me you’re breastfeeding your college freshman, I might point out that it’s gone on far longer than is socially acceptable… but I’m not aware of any freshmen taking trips home during lunch for some mommy milk.)

unsolicited parenting advice

Ever want to say that when breastfeeding comes up?

I was reading Facebook and came across a post from Bummis in my feed.

As always, whenever extended breastfeeding comes up, I see things about how the mother receives disapproval for daring to nurse past a year.  We all know how much we just love unsolicited parenting advice, right?  The piece of unsolicited parenting advice that annoys me the most is “You should just pump it into a bottle!”

Whenever someone says that, I want to hand them a breast pump and tell them to give it a shot.  I exclusively pumped for Norton for around a month, and I did pump for a few days for Eudora.  It sucked.  I don’t care how amazing your breast pump is.  My Medela Freestyle was a fantastic pump; it was much more comfortable than the one I used at the hospital.  It’s still time consuming.  It’s still uncomfortable and unnatural feeling.  And I have to tell you, I didn’t look at my breast pump and feel this wonderful surge of love or attachment.  I looked at it like it was my lightweight ball and chain that I tucked into a diaper bag.

Seriously, if someone has a problem with extended breastfeeding, there are plenty of other areas to look.

What’s your take on extended breastfeeding?  And unsolicited parenting advice in general?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.

Comments

  1. I have 4 children and breastfeed exclusively 2 of them.

    My last child was impossible to break of breastfeeding and I say it’s nobody’s business but the mother and the child to how long you breastfeed but it should be a personal decision and not up for debate. After all people will do what they do regardless of what others say many are in it for the drama

  2. Extended breastfeeding works for us. For a number of reasons, breastfeeding is our family’s choice to feed our babes. They don’t stop being babies or deriving nutrition and comfort from nursing at midnight on day 364.

    My oldest self weaned at 37 months, about 7 weeks into my pregnancy with her sister. Little sister is 16 months and nurses on demand. Mostly, she nurses at home and accepts distraction of snack or bottle if we are on the go. Sometimes she doesn’t. For us, this is what works.

    I wish we could I’ll just admit that sometimes its hard. And we all do our best.

  3. Thank you for this article. I really don’t get why people frown upon extended breastfeeding, and even breastfeeding in general. Mostly because they either are a man/have never done it/don’t understand it. My daughter is 13 months old and I still nurse her on demand. She only wants it when she needs a bit of comfort or when she’s tired, but it works for us. My friend said it best, “It’s something you’ve been doing together her whole life. Why stop if neither of you want to?” I don’t mind people’s criticism. I think when anyone questions anything concerning your child, as a mother, you don’t back down.

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