View Full Version : Breastfeeding older children
08-08-2002, 02:37 AM
Okay, my mom told me last night that someone she knows adopted a child who was about 2y/o. She (believing in breastfeeding) began to breastfeed the baby. Some people told her that this wasn't right, because of the child being 2y/o. So she pumped to give the baby breastmilk instead of soymilk, as she is vegan.
What are your opinions on this? Is it alright? Should she go back to breastfeeding? Is it to late in the child's life to begin breastfeeding? Will the child still get the benefits of breastfeeding?
08-08-2002, 04:23 AM
I think it's great! Babies don't naturally wean until between age 2.5 and 7, so a 2 year old still has a biological need to breastfeed. Frankly, I'm surprised the baby would nurse (since she hasn't nursed in so long if ever), but if she does, it's wonderful and it certainly will help the bonding experience between mother and baby above and beyond the health benefits to the baby.
In this country, it's rare to see a baby nursed past 1 year. But the World Health Organization recommends two years as a minimum, and as I mentioned, babies won't naturally wean until at least age 2.5, usually older. Feeding at the breast is best, but pumping is great too. Breastmilk is, after all, human milk. It's the food human children are biologically designed to eat. It's really pretty bizarre if you think about it - these people who are telling this mother that breastmilk is useless for her child are probably also howling because she won't give the baby cow's milk!
At age 2, she has a biological need for milk - human milk, and no other kind. It's wonderful that her mother has decided to meet this need in her daughter.
08-12-2002, 04:09 PM
My ds will be 2 at the end of the month and is still nursing. I plan to let him decide when he is ready to wean. A great book I have is Mothering Your Nursing Toddler by Norma Jane Bumgarner. It says that as children nurse less often when they get older, the nutrients and antibodies are condensed so the child is still getting lots of good stuff from nursing.
Plus, I think it would be great for bonding with an adopted child.:)
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