Can extended breastfeeding lead to this? Surely not.
While there’s definitely NOT a correlation between the two, some recent articles I read on the Internet did make my mind wonder about this and a lot of things. While surfing the internet recently, I came across a few articles about “extended breastfeeding” and was amazed to find that many people are still breastfeeding well past the age I expected. The information that I had read up until now suggests that the age most mothers stop breastfeeding is about one year old. The World Health Organization extends that time to about two years old. But what happens when a child goes well beyond that? As I read stories of children who were breastfed until they were four, eight and even 11, my imagination (as wild as it may be) just started to race! Is there a need to go on that long? Do these children later become thumbsuckers like the man in this picture? If a mother produces milk based on supply and demand, could a woman nurse into her 90’s if she wanted to? (Ouch, that’s gotta hurt!)
All of that aside, I did also come across some very valid nutritional and bonding reasons why some mothers continue to nurse past one year old. It’s said to help build a stronger immune system, and that breast-fed children seem to have less ear infections and health complications. But on the other hand, I’m left wondering, “how old is too old?” The answer varies, and I guess it’s also relative. That’s why I’ll leave that final decision up to you and your family (or should I say, your “relatives.”)
In the meantime, however, I would like to offer another option. Since most of us would probably look twice at a 10 year-old boy standing to nurse from his mother, I thought, “why not simply express the essential breast milk for older kids!” Eureka! What a novel idea (not really, but I do wish I had invented the breast pump!) The Mom who wants her older child to still receive the nutrients from her breast milk can continue to provide it (as long as her breast does) without having to go to the school every day at lunchtime. It’s extended breastfeeding, expressly served. It can even be served in a beautiful silver-plated sippy cup. How elegant!
In fact, there are lots of ways to serve up this milky treat! Check out these adorable bib and bottle sets with a NASCAR theme from www.cornerstorkbabygifts.com. No matter what age you are breastfeeding your child, these mealtime baby gifts are a great way to get them racing to the “table!”