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Old 07-31-2008, 12:43 PM   #31
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Re: Extended breastfeeding and the benefits

I'm just lurking here right now (Just started actually looking on DS) and I'm glad there is a lot of support from the ladies here!! My second DD just weaned about a month ago at 33 months and I also nursed through out my pregnancy with DD number 3 who is now 13 months old and still nursing. I got a lot of comments about still nursing my second dd for so long not to mention throughout pregnancy plus tandem nursing too and it's nice to see there's somewhere to be reasurred about my decisions to self wean and why!


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Old 07-31-2008, 08:50 PM   #32
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Re: Extended breastfeeding and the benefits

I wanted to nurse my first dd way past infancy, but had to supplement her within her first month after birth--I'm thinking my supply was affected by an EXCRUCIATINGLY painful Thrush infection, which I was told I did NOT have until I diagnosed myself over five weeks later after reading Dr. Jack Newman's book. So I was sure to do everything possible to keep my dd#2 exclusively breastfed, inc. taking handfuls of nettle, goats rue, fenugreek, and other herbal supplements daily and even taking Reglan, aka Metoclopramide, (when I lost my ability to get a let down upon contracting a curious and unexplained staf infection in my knee) to increase my milk supply.

DD#2 is now 27mos old and is still breastfeeding, along with my nb dd#3, who is just over 3 weeks old. This was hard for everyone--including myself, who became very protective of my newborn and slightly resentful of my toddler, as I amsure she was of her new rival, and her incessant demand to "nur-nur". Tandem nursing is now going so well and dd#3 had been gaining up to an ounce a day--so guess what?--No annoying demands for weight checks and hints that my supply may be inadequate!!!

I have to thank my dh for his understanding and acceptance. "who cares what anyone else thinks?!", he says. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law (from diff sides) who both visited after the baby was born, however, both made comments like, "you'll have to wean this one before your next one is born" as if I was being lazy or il-prepared by not weaning my toddler before dd#3's birth. It was hard for me to explain that I had done research on tandem nursing and had made an informed decision based on this, and that it wasn't suppose to be hard because they could see me struggling with the annoyance I had toward my toddler--this was probably because I developed Thrush AGAIN!!!, which was then followed by either a clogged duct (fever, aches, and painful nursing) or a mild case of Mastitis. This is the third time that this happened to me--why God, why?

Thanx for the refrences, I will e-mail it to my mother-in-law, etc.
Jenny, Catholic, tandem nursing, SAHM. I do NFP* & EC and am a tad ADD & OCD. My kiddies:
Avanelle Rose (5), Jacob Allen (b. premature in '05 at 23wks. Lived 70min),
Shelby Claire
(3) Charlotte Julia (14m), Two 150# English Mastiffs, Oh yeah and a super DH!!

*NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING: no cost, no hormones, no surprises! Check it out!
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Old 08-09-2008, 02:02 PM   #33
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Re: Extended breastfeeding and the benefits

Go Mamas! how great to see everyone nursing for so long.
I nursed my first until he was 5 years old and my second until she was 3.
She was born when he was just under 3 years old so that was 2 years and 3 months....yes I counted them!!...of tandem nursing. He nursed with his sister almost as long as he nursed on his own.

It was and is very important to me that my kids self wean.
They are both healthy, healthy, healthy and I really notice a difference when "bugs" are going around. I also enjoy, what I see, as the impact on their relationship. They are very close and spent lots of time at the breast holding hands.

My third is too little to even have me thinking about weaning! I think that I may just want to put my lactating years on my resume.
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:04 PM   #34
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Re: Extended breastfeeding and the benefits

I might need to print this out and take it to my daughter's dentist. He saw her at 14 months and told me that I should stop nursing immediately, there are no benefits past one year of age, and it will destroy her teeth... She's 22.5 months now and still nursing, but man would I like to get it to only a few times a day without HUGE meltdowns. She was cutting down but then I started watching a small baby and she thought she needed to nurse every time he ate (every two hours) and even though I don't watch him any longer she still thinks it's an all day every day event. Feel free to PM me/SPAM me with advice. Like with the dentist, if it's not right for us I just won't follow it.
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Old 09-16-2008, 05:14 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by crunchymamaNY View Post
You hear of the benefits of breastfeeding. You've read it in books. You know that breastfeeding a baby until the first birthday is very beneficial, but do you know much about the benefits of extended breastfeeding?

Here are just some of the facts occuring with extended breastfeeding.

Although there has been little research done on children who breastfeed beyond the age of two, the available information indicates that breastfeeding continues to be a valuable source of nutrition and disease protection for as long as breastfeeding continues.
"Human milk expressed by mothers who have been lactating for >1 year has significantly increased fat and energy contents, compared with milk expressed by women who have been lactating for shorter periods. During prolonged lactation, the fat energy contribution of breast milk to the infant diet might be significant."
-- Mandel 2005
"Breast milk continues to provide substantial amounts of key nutrients well beyond the first year of life, especially protein, fat, and most vitamins."
-- Dewey 2001
In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
29% of energy requirements
43% of protein requirements
36% of calcium requirements
75% of vitamin A requirements
76% of folate requirements
94% of vitamin B12 requirements
60% of vitamin C requirements
-- Dewey 2001
Studies done in rural Bangladesh have shown that breastmilk continues to be an important source of vitamin A in the second and third year of life.
-- Persson 1998
It's not uncommon for weaning to be recommended for toddlers who are eating few solids. However, this recommendation is not supported by research. According to Sally Kneidel in "Nursing Beyond One Year" (New Beginnings, Vol. 6 No. 4, July-August 1990, pp. 99-103.):
Some doctors may feel that nursing will interfere with a child's appetite for other foods. Yet there has been no documentation that nursing children are more likely than weaned children to refuse supplementary foods. In fact, most researchers in Third World countries, where a malnourished toddler's appetite may be of critical importance, recommend continued nursing for even the severely malnourished (Briend et al, 1988; Rhode, 1988; Shattock and Stephens, 1975; Whitehead, 1985). Most suggest helping the malnourished older nursing child not by weaning but by supplementing the mother's diet to improve the nutritional quality of her milk (Ahn and MacLean. 1980; Jelliffe and Jelliffe, 1978) and by offering the child more varied and more palatable foods to improve his or her appetite (Rohde, 1988; Tangermann, 1988; Underwood, 1985).


Nursing toddlers are SICK LESS OFTEN
The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that children weaned before two years of age are at increased risk of illness (AAFP 2001).
Nursing toddlers between the ages of 16 and 30 months have been found to have fewer illnesses and illnesses of shorter duration than their non-nursing peers (Gulick 1986).
"Antibodies are abundant in human milk throughout lactation" (Nutrition During Lactation 1991; p. 134). In fact, some of the immune factors in breastmilk increase in concentration during the second year and also during the weaning process. (Goldman 1983, Goldman & Goldblum 1983, Institute of Medicine 1991).
Per the World Health Organization, "a modest increase in breastfeeding rates could prevent up to 10% of all deaths of children under five: Breastfeeding plays an essential and sometimes underestimated role in the treatment and prevention of childhood illness." [emphasis added]

Nursing toddlers have FEWER ALLERGIES
Many studies have shown that one of the best ways to prevent allergies and asthma is to breastfeed exclusively for at least 6 months and continue breastfeeding long-term after that point.

Breastfeeding can be helpful for preventing allergy by:
reducing exposure to potential allergens (the later baby is exposed, the less likely that there will be an allergic reaction),
speeding maturation of the protective intestinal barrier in baby's gut,
coating the gut and providing a barrier to potentially allergenic molecules,
providing anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the risk of infections (which can act as allergy triggers).

Nursing toddlers are SMART
Extensive research on the relationship between cognitive achievement (IQ scores, grades in school) and breastfeeding has shown the greatest gains for those children breastfed the longest.

Nursing toddlers are WELL ADJUSTED SOCIALLY
According to Sally Kneidel in "Nursing Beyond One Year" (New Beginnings, Vol. 6 No. 4, July-August 1990, pp. 99-103.):

"Research reports on the psychological aspects of nursing are scarce. One study that dealt specifically with babies nursed longer than a year showed a significant link between the duration of nursing and mothers' and teachers' ratings of social adjustment in six- to eight-year-old children (Ferguson et al, 1987). In the words of the researchers, 'There are statistically significant tendencies for conduct disorder scores to decline with increasing duration of breastfeeding.'"
According to Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq. in "Extended Breastfeeding and the Law":
"Breastfeeding is a warm and loving way to meet the needs of toddlers and young children. It not only perks them up and energizes them; it also soothes the frustrations, bumps and bruises, and daily stresses of early childhood. In addition, nursing past infancy helps little ones make a gradual transition to childhood."
Baldwin continues: "Meeting a child's dependency needs is the key to helping that child achieve independence. And children outgrow these needs according to their own unique timetable." Children who achieve independence at their own pace are more secure in that independence then children forced into independence prematurely.

Nursing a toddler is NORMAL
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that "Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child... Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother... There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer." (AAP 2005)
The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that breastfeeding continue throughout the first year of life and that "Breastfeeding beyond the first year offers considerable benefits to both mother and child, and should continue as long as mutually desired." They also note that "If the child is younger than two years of age, the child is at increased risk of illness if weaned." (AAFP 2001)
A US Surgeon General has stated that it is a lucky baby who continues to nurse until age two. (Novello 1990)
The World Health Organization emphasizes the importance of nursing up to two years of age or beyond (WHO 1992, WHO 2002).
Scientific research by Katherine A. Dettwyler, PhD shows that 2.5 to 7.0 years of nursing is what our children have been designed to expect (Dettwyler 1995).
References [see also position statements supporting breastfeeding]

MOTHERS also benefit from nursing past infancy
Extended nursing delays the return of fertility in some women by suppressing ovulation (References).
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer (References). Studies have found a significant inverse association between duration of lactation and breast cancer risk.
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of ovarian cancer (References).
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of uterine cancer (References).
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of endometrial cancer (References).
Breastfeeding protects against osteoporosis. During lactation a mother may experience decreases of bone mineral. A nursing mom's bone mineral density may be reduced in the whole body by 1 to 2 percent while she is still nursing. This is gained back, and bone mineral density may actually increase, when the baby is weaned from the breast. This is not dependent on additional calcium supplementation in the mother's diet. (References).
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. (References).
Breastfeeding has been shown to decrease insulin requirements in diabetic women (References).
Breastfeeding moms tend to lose weight easier (References).

I am a mom who is still breastfeeding my 2 1/2 year old. She calls it mama's. She knows that breastfeeding for us is for nap and sleep times. She is sooo cute when it comes time to bf her. She will ask politely for mama's. She gets excited, and helps me with my shirt, and bra. She'll hold my breast like it was a bottle. When she is done, but didn't fall asleep, she will gurgle the last of the milk for a few seconds...

I hope this info helps. Don't let people convince you that bf past a year is "gross" or "perverted" or something, because it isn't! It's a bond that you and your baby share, and you shouldn't let anyone take that bond from you.

Thanks so much for this info. My oldest nursed for 13 months , second REFUSED after 6 weeks and I lost my milk cuz I didin't pump and now my youngest is still at eight months and through a nursing strike also! I hope to nurse well past a year and maybe to two but worry that baby will lose interest. I guess they're all different... Thanks!!
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:56 AM   #36
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Re: Extended breastfeeding and the benefits

thankyou so much for posting this. It makes me so happy to see this info posted somwhere where moms are actually likly to read it. My mom and I have known all of this for a very long time and I hope people actually start listening to this stuff. My daughter is only 8 months old but still for the most part exclusivly breastfed ('cept for the occasional goldfish, kix and chereos)
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:56 PM   #37
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Re: Extended breastfeeding and the benefits

Thanks so much for posting this! I'm always looking for more "ammunition" to use in the war w/MIL. She actually asked when I was going to wean DS2, who is now 17 mos, the day we came home from the hospital after he was born!
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:50 PM   #38
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Re: Extended breastfeeding and the benefits

Wow! Thanks Mama. I wish I had known all this when ODS was younger.
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:54 PM   #39
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Re: Extended breastfeeding and the benefits

fabulous! my dd is 26 months and just weaned last week due to lack of supply with this pregnancy (i vomit so much i just cant keep up the calorie intake for nursing and to sustain pregnancy) so my milk supply dwindled, she LOVES her nursies, while it makes me sad im so thrilled she weaned on her own and that she has the breast and BEST benefit for 26 very long months
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:47 PM   #40
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Re: Extended breastfeeding and the benefits

I weaned my first to have the second. Was hoping she would come back now that I am nursing again but she doesn't. So sad I didn't nurse her longer. I will come back to this post when I need encouragement.
How can bfeeding be not normal but drinking animals milk be normal?!? weird.
I remind myself daily that I don't care what other people think bc I have to look out for my family first!
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