- All the benefits of human milk—including nutritional and health—continue for as long as your baby receives your milk. In fact, as your baby takes less human milk, these advantages are condensed into what milk is produced. Many of the health benefits of human milk are dose related, that is, the longer the baby receives human milk, the greater are the benefits. Some fear that continuing to breastfeed until a child weans on his own will make him more dependent on his mother. Instead of viewing extended nursing as something to question, perhaps the real query should be, "What is there to be gained by abruptly putting an end to the breastfeeding relationship?" It's interesting that some people think that a child won't grow out of breastfeeding unless he is forced. In reality, it's a natural process for children to outgrow breastfeeding on their own. Independence, not dependence, is one outstanding trait that breastfed children who self-wean have in common.Natural weaning allows for differences in children by letting them grow at their own pace. Independence can't be forced upon a child before he is ready to assume it. A child who weans gradually is able to maintain his emotional attachment to his mother, rather than being forced to switch to an inanimate object such as a cuddly toy or blanket. I can vouch for this; I speak from personal experience.
Plus don't think that breastfeeding a toddler is the same as an infant. First of all, it's not as often, mostly just mornings and/or evenings, when they are in distress or in pain. And all it takes is a minute at most (at least with mine).
Believe me I have tried to wean her off, twice, both times lasted for four! months. At the age of 3, and then 4. But she kept asking, very politely and kind of gently. I could see that she was not ready, she needed it, so I gave it back to her. And what a help it is. When she is sick, or in pain, instead of spending a lot of time and nerves (and a-lot-of-side-effects-painkillers) to calm her, get rid of the pain(like toothache,she likes her candies) and e.t.c all it takes is 30 seconds on a breast and off she's playing happily around. Yea, I KNOW!, you'd say " there are many other ways to calm your child"...BUT, nothing works as good and FAST as THE BREAST!
- Handling Criticism
- Advantages for Mother
Even after the time during which nursing alone is a reliable contraceptive has passed, many mothers continue to enjoy freedom from menstruation and from the physical and emotional effects of ovulation and menstruation" (Bumgarner 2000).
Myth: Prolonged nursing is too fatiguing for a mother.
Myth: The longer you wait to wean, the harder it will be.
Myth: It's better to wean suddenly and get it over with.
Myth: A mother who nurses an older child is doing it to fill some need in herself.