Extended breastfeeding, yay or nay?
Fri, 11 May 2012 23:47:22 GMT —
The Time Magazine cover featuring a mother breastfeeding her three-old-son has sparked controversy on attachment parenting.
Especially when it comes to extended breast feeding.
"And the fact that it was a preschooler opposed to an infant that's a little disturbing," Peggy Litt, the lactation consultant at Blessing Hospital said. "Some people have a hard time with the concept of breastfeeding an infant in public."
But more mom's are doing it.
"We are seeing that as breastfeeding in general has become more culturally accepted that we are continuing for longer and longer periods of time," Litt said.
The Time's cover may have been a little shocking but Litt says the message behind it is normal and not all about nutrition.
"Breastfeeding is not just about food," Litt said. "It is about a relationship between mother and child and a lot of it is the nurturing, sometimes it's a comfort aspect for the child but it's a psychologically a close relationship with the mother so there's nothing wrong with that at all."
"Breast milk is best for babies," Dr. Dennis Go, pediatrician at Quincy Medical Group said. "The argument is when do you stop and there's no real scientific method to say either way you have to stop."
That's why some moms are trying out extended breastfeeding which is one part of attachment parenting, a practice that also incorporates co-sleeping and "baby wearing," in which infants are physically attached to their parents by slings. Some people may think extended breastfeeding is extreme but pediatricians say it's not a problem.
"No, there is no psychological harm as I could tell," Dr.Go said. "There's no physical harm, it's all cultural."
Extended breastfeeding may make some Americans uncomfortable but it wasn't always like that and the trend is coming back.
"It was actually very common at the turn of the century for children to nurse well into toddlerhood and preschool," Litt said. "But it changed culturally there for a while but now we're going back to really what it use to be."