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Breastfeeding beyond a year

Submitted by Petra on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:23
The blog expresses my personal opinion. often not something women imagined during their pregnancy. It often goes

.......I'll give it a try

......I'll do it for a few days

.......I'll do it for a few weeks

......I would like to breastfeed for 6 month, start weaning and by 1 year the child will be fully on solids.

Occasionally that is how it happens. And often women find themselves in a situation where they have gone past the 1 year mark and they are still feeding.

If all parties concerned (Mum, Baby and Partner) are happy with this -> no problem :-)

And then you talk to other family members, friends, colleagues and strangers and all of a sudden you find yourself in a position having to justify why you are breastfeeding beyond a year.

Yes there are plenty of good reasons you can give: Health Benefits, emotional support for the child, having food when your baby is ill and can't eat anything else, good reason to sit down - slow down and connect with your child, wonderful parenting tool, etc, etc....

But - this for me is the second step. The first one is: What makes people think they have the right to tell you what you can feed your baby and how to raise your child?

I know it happens in a lot of child related areas and it seems particular bad when it comes to breastfeeding. So I would suggest don't defend your choice of going with what is 

a) normal    and

b) the right choice for your family

Often people make the suggestions from a place of caring and wanting to be supportive and sadly most of the time it is not what you need. Either ask them to explain what it is that makes them think that their choices are better for you and/or your child or thank them for the information given and leave it at that.

There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding beyond a year (there are blogs who cover the benefits of it) as long as it is the right choice for you and your family :-)



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Excellently put.  My ususal response is to reply with "you know there's research showing the natural age of weaning is between 2 and 7."

However that's getting more difficult given that DS1 is 34 months and I'm finding it harder and harder to not dislike his nursing.  I'm 7 months into tandem nursing, which is probably the cause, but whenever I'm not feeding I feel like I want to wait and let him wean himself when he's ready (although I'm apprehensive as he's never voluntarily dropped a feed and has been asking more often and more insistently and for longer over the last couple of months), and whenever I am feeding I feel a lot of agitation and end up feeling like I can't do it for much longer.  It's currently hard balancing his needs and mine.  And my head and my emotions.  I'd really like to like it again :(

Thank you for your honesty Gwennifer. 

I think it is normal to have days where you don't enjoy it and struggle. Whenever I went through a patch like that I went to La Leche League meetings and met with other breastfeeding mums, or called another breastfeeding counsellor - just to be able to talk things through without being judged.

I think sometimes it can get harder when you are tandem feeding, as you feel so protective of the baby (I sometimes wonder if that is a response nature has intended to make sure the baby gets enough - but, then as breastfeeding is supply and demand it isn't really necessary...most probably just me trying to make sense out of my emotions).

Your older child is most probably struggling with the changes a new baby brings and maybe feeding this often is his way of making sure his world is still o.k. and safe.

If you like to read , maybe 'Mothering your nursing toddler' ( can offer some helpful ideas. Feel free to email me if you would like to discuss things in detail smiley.


I breastfed my daughter till she was 19 months, my son is currently 19 months and we're not stopping yet. hopefully we'll stop when we are both ready to.

I was one of those mums, oh breast feeding is good for your baby, oh ok 6 months you say, alright. 6 months later, I will feed up to a year. 5 months later (more experience/knowledge) I will let baby decide to when he is ready/ definitely give up by 3! 

(Ask me in 3 years and the answer may of changed!)