You may be completely out of the loop on this issue depending on who you follow on Facebook and which blogs you read, but I don’t think the conversation will end any time soon, so I’ll chime in.
Yesterday, the new issue of TIME magazine hit the newsstands with a photo of a mom breastfeeding her toddler on the cover. I haven’t read the article yet, just looked at lots of reviews and the inside photos.
A local mom (Dionna Ford), who was a wonderful help to me when I was pregnant with Aidan, was featured in the article including a GORGEOUS photo of her tandem nursing her two children. From what I hear, the article wasn’t especially complimentary toward extended breastfeeding, and lots of negative things have been said in response.
Not that I’m an authority for any reason other than experience, but here’s my official position: breastfeeding is normal, healthy, beautiful, and a gift from our Creator. Women have been nourishing their children this way from the beginning of human time, and there’s ample evidence that nursing well beyond infancy is a good thing and completely normal in the scope of history.
So there you go.
For the record, we helped Aidan wean on his THIRD birthday. Cora just asked to nurse this morning and I let her. The last time was about a month ago, and the time before that a month earlier. We’ve encouraged her to move away from nursing for baby Alex’s sake (since I struggle with nutritional deficiencies), and we feel good about that, but I wouldn’t bat an eye if I saw someone nursing a little one much older than her.
Here’s the article in the Kansas City Star about Dionna.
And another good article about extended breastfeeding from USA Today.
It’s not hard to find the photos from TIME if you want to see them. Google “Time Magazine Breastfeeding” and you’ll find all of the photos pretty quickly.