I was interested to read the following excerpt from the American Academy of Family Physicians’ 2008 Position Paper[1. Thank you, peaceful parenting]:
“Note that breastfeeding at least until the second year of a child’s life is not considered ‘extended’ breastfeeding. Rather, breastfeeding until the bare minimum age of 2 years is the norm and anything less brings about detrimental consequences.
Human milk for growing human babies is expected (physiologically) by the baby’s body in order to receive all that is needed (and only found in human milk) for this important period of rapid brain, body, and immune system development.”
Where only 22% of babies in the United States are still nursing at one year, how can we encourage women to keep nursing for an additional year?
I’m interested in your thoughts:
If your child(ren) weaned before the age of two, why? What factors played into your decision? (Family/friend pressure? Advice from your doctor? Lack of information in favor of nursing past infancy?)
What would have encouraged you to keep nursing to two years? Be as specific as possible – if you think information would have helped, from who? Your doctor? Online? Friends? If societal pressure was your main reason for weaning, what would have helped you feel better – breastfeeding friends? An online forum?