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Children still breastfed at seven

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by fLIP, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

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    SOME Australian women are breastfeeding their children until they are seven years old, a new study has found.

    Children enjoy the taste of the milk, the comfort it brings and the closeness to their mother, according to research about to be published from the University of Western Sydney.

    Their call: Breastfeeding mothers have their say

    In the first study of its kind in Australia, academic Karlene Gribble studied 107 women who breastfed their babies from age two to seven.

    Some were feeding up to a dozen times a day and one of the women was feeding three children at a time.

    Older kids say they love it

    "Most women don't set out to feed this long but they enjoy it, especially when their children get old enough to express how much they love it," Ms Gribble said.

    She reports several thousand children at any one time are breastfed past two years.

    Children this age let their mothers know when they want to feed by asking directly or by seeking access to the breast on their own, Ms Gribble reports.

    "My daughter is very articulate. 'Mummy, I'd like a breastfeed please'," one mother of a three-year-old said.

    Another mother of a three-year-old said her son would "climb on my lap, when sitting, lift up my shirt, pull down my bra and attach himself".

    One mother who fed a five-year-old said he fed upon waking in the morning, if he was sick or hungry, and sometimes had a "quick suck" at bedtime.

    For many children, breastfeeding was connected with sleep and comfort.

    Only seven per cent of women intended to feed this long but others kept going primarily because of the enjoyment of their toddler.

    Some mothers said they did not like rough breastfeeding, acrobatics, nipple twiddling and inconvenient requests.

    Totally inappropriate, says pychologist

    Psychologist Michael Burge, a specialist in relationships and development, said there should be a cut-off line.

    "The concern would be creating too much physical or emotional dependence. I would be very worried about that," Mr Burge said.

    Psychologist Evelyn Field said she found breastfeeding for a child over three was "totally inappropriate".

    "It's not normal, the umbilical cord needs to be broken," Ms Field said.

    "You have to wonder if it's for the child or the mother - I bet it's for the mother."

    Australian Breastfeeding Association spokeswoman Kate Mortensen said extensive breastfeeding allowed children to "maximise their genetic potential".

    "Babies who are part breast-fed have twice the risk of being hospitalised by four months," Ms Mortensen said.

    She said anthropologists had previously identified that it was natural for women to breast feed from anywhere from two to seven years.
     
  2. Guest

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    At age 7 it is called foreplay.
     
  3. Narcissus

    Narcissus Member

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    Yeah, screw that. If I were the father / husband I would be pretty pissed...

    Not just because of the fact that that kid is in there playing: the longer they are 'played' with, the longer they have a tendency to leak...

    Don't get me wrong, I loved them when they were fuller (not that they weren't awesome to begin with) but Amy never breastfed and when either of the kids so much as look at her chest, we both remind them that "they're daddy's" :)
     

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