One of the first things I did after becoming pregnant was sign up on www.whattoexpect.com (based on the best-selling book, What to Expect When You Are Expecting).
After you create a screen name, you are directed to your “home board,” a group of expectant mothers who are due around the same month. The purpose of the board is to ask questions and offer support throughout the ups and downs of pregnancy and motherhood.
Now, don’t get me wrong, all of the moms on the August 2013 board are lovely and helpful; however, all of the same “mommy” topics can get a little monotonous. If you want something a little more stimulating to read, head over to the Hot Topics board.
The Hot Topics Board celebrates the “good, old fashioned debate” with topics that range from gun control and immigration laws to whether or not it’s okay to spank your child. It’s a fairly diverse group of people that are brought together because they are either trying to get pregnant, are pregnant, have a baby or are just a weirdo who likes to frequent parenting websites for no apparent reason. Whatever the case, it’s a great board to read when you are straining to keep your eyes open while up nursing in the middle of the night.
I thought it would be fun to introduce a hot topic at the end of each month to “spice” things up on The Good Mama blog. This will be a test run…
When W was just a newborn, I was frequently asked whether or not I was breastfeeding. I was almost always met with support and praise when I answered, yes.
I remember thinking to myself at the hospital,
I wonder what they would have said if I answered no? Probably just nodded and given me a judging look.
I’m not going to lie. It felt pretty good being the recipient of so many “pats on the back.” I definitely soaked it up.
Yet, as W’s first birthday rapidly approaches I have noticed a change in many people’s tunes.
All of a sudden the “good for you’s” have become “wait, you’re still doing that?”
It is considered extended breastfeeding when the mother continues to breastfeed her child after the age of 1. Here are some arguments against extended breastfeeding that I recently have come across…
- Breast milk is no longer needed after 12 months.
- That may be true, but it certainly isn’t going to hurt the child. What’s the big difference between 11 months and 12 months anyway? It’s not like my milk magically loses all of it’s nutrients at 11:46 PM on August 4th. In fact, breast milk is great for “filling in the gaps” if your child is sick or not eating a variety of healthy solid food. The World Health Organization actually recommends breastfeeding until 2 (www.who.int)
- It gets “weird” when the baby can “ask” for it.
- Some babies talk early. Do they have to stop breastfeeding just because they are early talkers? W has been using the “milk” sign for awhile now. I think the only person making it “weird” is the person saying it’s “weird.”
- Once the baby is a year old, it’s only for the mother
- Breastfeeding is definitely a source of comfort and bonding between a mother and her child (though W likes to practice his gymnastics while nursing). I don’t really see anything wrong with that fact. W also sucks his thumb. I’m not going to abruptly cut him off once he hits one just because he technically doesn’t need it anymore.
For me, I am fairly laid-back when it comes to most things. We followed W’s lead when it came to solids (check out my previous post on Baby Led Weaning), so I don’t think breast-feeding should be any different. I’d rather follow his lead. I know I may hit a point where I think,
Ah! I just want my body back!
If/When that time comes, I will really focus on weaning. Until then, we’ll just play it by ear.
Check out some more information!
- KellyMom has a lot of great information on extended breastfeeding.
- It took A LOT of digging, but I finally found one article at www.livestrong.com that listed the cons of extended breast-feeding. I find it interesting that all of the “cons” listed are actually disadvantages for the mother, not the child.
Okay, readers. Now, it’s your turn! What do you think of extended breastfeeding? Should there be a “cut-off” age? If so, what age do you think that should be and why? Happy debating!
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