Kelly Rutherford on Nursing While Pregnant

12/17/2008 at 12:00 PM ET
Sara Jaye Weiss/StarTraks

Kelly Rutherford is pulling double duty! The 40-year-old actress tells the Dec. 29 issue of US Weekly that as she awaits the birth of her second child with husband Daniel Giersch, she’s still nursing the couple’s 2-year-old son Hermès Gustaf Daniel. Citing the “amazing bond” created by breastfeeding, Kelly is letting Hermès dictate when it is time to wean. “Some cultures do it up to five years, normally,” she explains. “I thought, ‘Well, I’ll just do it as long as it feels right for my son.'”

Bonding aside — like many moms — Kelly believes that breastfeeding played a big part in her postpartum weightloss, and hopes it will again after baby-on-the-way makes his or her debut in June.

“I was thinner after my pregnancy than before, and I think a lot of it was the nursing. They say it helps get your body back to shape in a natural way.”

Source: US Weekly

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Heather on

I love Kelly even more now. Child led weaning is what worked for us, my son self weaned at 21 months. I love that celebrities are coming out of the woodwork in terms of attachment parenting.

Nicole on

Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I had always heard that you couldn’t nurse while pregnant? Like your body would stop producing breast milk?

Nicola on

I love that she is so open, honest, and public about this. The more women who see extended nursing as the natural way to nurse a child, the more they might consider it in their own lives. For us, it never made sense to do anything else. I am a scientist by profession and tend to evaluate things based on “the way that we were meant to be — nature’s plan”. I also couldn’t think of any reason to deny my son something that he loved and needed so much. He nursed until just before his 4th birthday. I’ll always be a bit bummed that we didn’t quite hit the 5 year (ie 4th birthday) mark…

Nicola on

Nicole, absolutely not. You can nurse while pregnant and then tandem nurse the toddler and baby both. I know many brave women who have done this (I only have one, so never had to consider it!). Breastmilk does change while you are pregnant and when the new baby is born, so some toddlers will give it up at that point of their own choosing.

Kristin on

2 years is way too long…well, for me anyway!

beth on

fabulous story. we just weaned at 26 months, and its just lovely to hear more and more stories of others who choose this way of weaning. fab fab fab!

Lisa Santana on

I nursed my daughter through my second pregnancy. The milk does change–back to colostrum, I think. She tapered off towards the end (she turned 2), but when my son was born, she stepped it up again. Part of it was jealousy, but it seemed to give her comfort during the anxious time of “not being the baby anymore.” She nursed at night until she was 4. My son stopped when he turned 3 because he thought he was “too old.” This was also when he asked me if when he grew up and moved out, I would give him some recipes so he could cook food. (He’s a little precocious!)

gianna on

Kristin 2 yrs is way too long for me too. For me personally up to 1yr olds is more than enough. I know someone with 3 kids who has been nursing for 9 yrs, between each kid she kept nursing even while pregnant and than nursed each other for about 3-4yrs.

stacy on

Didn’t you guys leak all the time? And loose sleep because of always having to nurse? Didn’t your lives revolve around your boobs schedule, when they were full and whatnot??

El on

According to the World Health Organization, the age of weaning is holding steady — world wide — at an average of 4.2 years.

Long-term breastfeeding is a fantastic choice for those families who are comfortable with it.

The health benefits of breastfeeding carry on for as long as a woman nurses, too. I breastfed during pregnancy, and tandem nursed; breastfeeding my children until they weaned themselves (so, between 3.5 and 5 years). There was just a nice, gradual tapering off over time. Very peaceful.

bc on

I once knew a woman whose 4 year old was still breastfeeding. I gotta say, I thought it looked weird. But, not my kid, so it didn’t really matter. When she got pregnant again, she said that right after birth, the milk would taste different, strong and quite bad, and that she was planning for that to be the thing that would wean the 4-year-old off….allowing her to taste that. I don’t know if this is normal or not. Does this make sense, or is it something other mothers do?

Megan on

I’m so glad to hear about this. I am pregnant with #2 and still nursing my 16 month old. I was so happy to still be nursing when he came down with the stomach flu and the only thing he could keep down was breast milk.

Bren on

My bestfriend said she would breastfeed till her son turned one or he got teeth, whichever came first and guess what? They came just about the sametime lol. She loved it but her Mom I think kind of scarred her because she would let her younger brother breastfeed for a long time but it was more for her then her brother and it just didn’t seem right for her I guess to do it longer. I think whatever is right for the parent and child but I have a feel with me I will do the same teeth or one year because I have always had this weird perception of seeing a kid going up to his mom and being able to feed himself in a sense, I was probably scarred from her mother too lol but I do think its great for those want to do it longer so I hope no one takes offense.

jaclyn on

stacy, that stuff usually only happens at the beginning when you are nursing. by the time you have been nursing past six months, the leaking usually is minimal and the fullness is much less. you are much more flexible with feedings.

Shawna on

Bren – that is a ridiculous assumption. How could it be “for the mother” and not the child? Are you insinuating that a woman gets sexual gratification or something like that? I can guarantee you, it is impossible to make a child nurse. They will not nurse unless they want to, so if they are still nursing it is because they want to.

I nursed my first daughter throughout my second daughter’s pregnancy and after that until the new one was 22 months old. My oldest daughter weaned at 5 and my youngest is still nursing at almost 3. There is nothing weird nor perverse about it.

asa on

Hooray for Kelly! Nursing a two-year-old is hard enough, and I really commend everyone who keeps going through pregnancy, as I know it can be very uncomfortable. It’s terrific that she is open about it. My daughter is almost three, and we continue to nurse for sleep and emergencies. Nursing is still very important to her, so I am willing to continue to meet her needs. Plus her diet is very lacking in the vegetable department, so I feel glad that she still gets a lot of my milk.

jess on

i have to say, i am really happy that kelly is being public with this. I admire anyone who can breastfeed through a pregnancy, and can plan on tandem nursing as well. it’s natural, normal, and beautiful, and it’s nice to read about “the beautiful people” doing it… gives more credence to the practices.

JM on

I am just one of those people that think it’s very unnatural to nurse beyond 2 years of age. I mean I can’t stand 2 year olds with bottles let alone one still attached to a breast. It’s just too old but that’s just me and my opinion. I also read that no child actually benefits from breastmilk beyond 2 yrs of age after that it’s all about personal choices. So if the milk really isn’t providing a greater benefit to your child then regular milk why continue to do it?? (and no need to answer I am just questioning my own reasons).

Erin on

I’m currently nursing my 4 month old and find it very rewarding. I have friends that have stopped at 6 months and switched to formula and I can’t even imagine stopping in less than 2 months! Especially if there is no reason for it! My current goal is at least 1 year, but I would love to go to 2 years and beyond.

P.S. I have a friend with a 4 month old who just got her first tooth, and my brother in law also had teeth at 16 weeks according to my MIL. A year or first tooth isn’t always reasonable.

Heather on

for the record, your boobs dont leak all the time, you CAN take time away from your child, your life does not revolve around breastfeeding when you breastfeed past a year. Nursing a toddler is way different than nursing a newborn. For me, I was only nursing my son once at night the last few weeks, and just twice before that. We were still nursing, it just changes as with everything else in your childs life.
and for those 21 months that my son was nursed, he was never sick. not once. So the health benefits DO carry on past a year. The benefits dont suddenly stop because your baby is a year.

momtotwo on

So glad to hear more and more celebrities discussing things like this that aren’t quite “mainstream”. Women who nurse past a year, co-sleep, homebirth, etc. tend to not talk about it as much because it’s so taboo. The more it’s talked about, the more “normal” it will become (again), and babies and children will reap the benefits from it all!

It’s a personal decision when to wean…. a decision between the mother and child. A child won’t nurse if they don’t want to. I can’t even get my 6 month old to nurse if he doesn’t want to! I try to “top him off” before going to daycare, but if he’s not starving, he won’t nurse. It’s more than just milk, it’s a great bonding experience I wouldn’t trade for the world. I wasn’t raised in a breastfeeding household, but luckily my mother-in-law nursed all three of her children and I had some help and advice from her. My mother is very supportive, she just can’t help me out with it. I wish it weren’t such a big deal to breastfeed, and that it was the norm. When people hear I’m breastfeeding, they’re shocked. It’s so common to bottle feed. Mothers avoid all sorts of bad things while pregnant for the sake of the child, but then when it comes to feeding, they take “standard” formula feeding. I wonder why that is?

I know we were told we didn’t have to answer, but YES, breastmilk is still “good” once the baby turns 2. Why would it all of a sudden be without value to the baby? It’s still got antibodies and nutrients that can’t be reproduced.

SweetDiva on

Shawna – I think Bren meant that the decision to breastfeed longer was more for that particular mother’s comfort than for the child’s comfort. Interesting that you jumped to that conclusion though…

UggaMugga.com on

I nursed my first two children until 15 months (triple fed my first for three months…not fun). They both decided one day that they were finished and I was happy that they went as long as they wanted to. I’m currently nursing my third who is 1 month old and can’t wait to see how long she’ll nurse for. But I do know that it’ll be up to her to decide after a year.

I firmly believe in the benefits to both baby and mother…and never have felt closer to my children than watching them nurse in the middle of the night in our quiet and dark house (now lit with only the Christmas tree). It’s just magnificent! So much so that in between children when I’m not nursing and am having a stressful day, I’ll go to the computer and open the file of photos of me nursing and it instantly calms me down.

grace on

In my opinion, we have breasts to feed our children and you should be able to do it as long as you and your child would like without judgement from others. I get sad when I hear women say they don’t want to nurse because of sleepless nights, or their breasts might sag, or it’s just too weird. If more women like Kelly would speak out I honestly think it would become more acceptable. I wish I found this site when I was nursing, definitely would’ve motivated me to keep going, it’s just sad that we have worry if we’re offending others when we FEED OUR BABIES.

LP on

JM- There are many, many benefits to nursing past 2 years.

I breastfed my first daughter through my second pregnancy and then tandem nursed my 2 girls until my oldest was a little over 3. My youngest, now is 16 months and going strong. We will go until at least 2 and then beyond if she still wants to, which I’m sure she will. I think it’s fantastic that Kelly is sharing this, it helps to normalize extended and tandem breastfeeding as it should be. :)

Rachel on

Although I don’t have kids right now, but in the process of conceiving. I really hope to breastfeed when I have kids. However, my cut off, would be 1 years old. I don’t think I could go for longer. To each their own, I guess.
We have a story of my dad, when my family were migrants (we are Latino and my family would go up north to work) he would be all fussy and crying for my grandmother. So in the middle of the cucumber field, she would plop out her boob and breastfeed him and he was 5 !!!
He always gets embarrassed when he hears that story. Oh well, I am sure he wasn’t emabarrassed when he got what he wanted out there in the field. LOL

ann on

When I was without children I was grossed out and said I was only nursing for one year or when they got teeth. Yeah that didn’t happen! I nursed for 18 months with all three, and #3 had to be weaned because I needed to go on medication or he would have gone longer! So it’s really easy to say you won’t do it when you haven’t been there yet! LOL

Ashley on

I’m looking forward to attempting breastfeeding when I have kids, but I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself about it lol. My mom only lasted a few weeks breastfeeding me because she said she leaked so much, she couldn’t even leave the house. She would completely soak through her bra, her shirt, etc. Being that she worked in a bank (where she had to abide by a certain dress code), it started to create a serious problem. I think that’s something that probably varies among women (some might experience it worse than others).

And that brings up another good point… Many women can’t continue to breastfeed solely because of their jobs which I find really sad. I wish companies were more supportive. I’ve read numerous stories on the internet about women who had to stop because they had nowhere at work to pump or they couldn’t get enough break time, etc. Most working mothers only get 6-8 weeks of maternity leave so I wonder how they deal with the breastfeeding issue when they go back to their jobs?

marla on

to those who’ve tandem nursed, i’m curious about when the new baby arrives when a mom is still breastfeeding an older child. is it less painful, meaning, is there the same discomfort from the milk coming in? or, is the older child better able to help with it. and, do your nipples hurt less? i found nursing to be VERY painful at first, but i persevered and found it wonderful and easy after a few weeks. i BF mine until he was 13 or 14 months old. i just had this epiphany that it may make the first few weeks easier.

anyway, interesting article. great topic.

Rachel on

I got pregnant when my first daughter was 14 months. She nursed throughout the whole pregnancy and is still nursing once or twice a day. She is 2.5 years old. I don’t know when she will wean but, I am sure she will one day. She is VERY independent; nursing her does not make her overly attatched to me at all. Kudos to Kelly for putting her child’s needs over society’s comfort.

MB on

Ashley: I’m a public health practitioner and when I was in school, I had to do a project on breastfeeding. The sad truth is many women have to stop breastfeeding because of work, or never start because of work. If a woman is upper middle class and works at a company that provides a room for pumping (and has the $ for a pump), great. But women who work for smaller companies, or in fast food, or any manner of other jobs tend to be out of luck. It’s really unfortunate.

Crystal on

I do not have children but I don’t think I would ever breastfeed past one. I know people breastfeed well past that and to each his own. I do not understand people that breastfeed their school aged children? What’s the point? I’m not judging just curious.

April on

Congrats to her! That’s wonderful. I nursed during my pregnancy too. It helps so much when you need to rest and helps those toddlers feel so much better.

Beverley on

I don’t like the term attachment parenting. It suggests that you are more bonded to your kids than other parents are. I disagree. I breastfed my oldest child and was unable to breastfeed my youngest because of complications and my prolonged hospitalization. Am I more attached to my older son because he was breastfed and less attached to my younger son because he wasn’t? Heck no. And to suggest that kids who aren’t breastfed aren’t as bonded with their parents is insulting. Is a child who is adopted less bonded with its parents? No. The act of breastfeeding is awesome when it can happen but it does not make you a better parent than someone who doesn’t do it, for whatever reason.

JM on

Well besides the nutrional factor (which can certainly be argued) I hear alot of this from parents:

“well when he’s upset breastfeeding soothes him!”

My question is all children get upset and all children experience sadness but many children get over it and become independent enough to deal with the emotions of the situation without needing a crutch to rely on.

I’m fine with breastfeeding and hope that one day I can atleast try it but I def. and I do say this with confidence will not go beyond a year…and in all honesty probably wouldn’t make it that long!! I want my child to learn that when he/she is upset that we have to deal with the situation at hand and not rely on a paci, bottle or mommy’s breast for comfort. I know it sounds harsh but that’s just how I feel about raising my child. And let me clarify I’m speaking of children beyond two.

At age three or even for there are other ways to bond with your child (cuddling, reading a book, talking etc).

Like anything a child will continue to use objects for comfort if you let them. You take a paci or bottle away from a baby before one years of age they learn to get over it (and quickly) and usually don’t have any memory of having it. It’s when you continue to allow them to have things that they feel the need or should I say a “want” to use them. I’m not saying you have things to comfort you but there has to be a point where you cut it off. I’ve never met a traumatized early weaned breastfed, pacifier, bottle fed child!! lol

Like I said it’s just my personal view and everyone’s different and I respect that. I guess the extended breastfeeding thing is an area I’ll never truly understand ;)

Lilybett on

My stepmum was nursing my little brother for a couple of years and then a few extra months before she realised she was pregnant again. My little brother is healthy as an Ox but the next little one catches every illness known to man. My stepmum thinks because it sapped so much of her energy breastfeeding the first during that time there wasn’t a whole lot left to put into the 2nd during his early months of gestation.

regina on

MARLA,
Some tandem nursing mothers find it to be helpful. An older, “experienced” nurser can help with engorgement. I tandem nursed and still had some pain with my newborn but the toddler helped a lot.

dplev on

I think this is great! I’m glad to see more celebrities being open about breastfeeding, extended breastfeeding and even tandeming! Breastfeeding has benefits for both mother and baby for the full duration of nursing- not just until a certain age. I’m currently BFing my second child who is 5 months, and I plan to continue until he is ready to wean himself. :)

Sydney on

Do children really get their teeth through at about one year old? My little brother was born on the 27th September 1999 and got his first tooth through 1st January 2000, so that would make him 3 months old when he started getting his teeth. That’s a lot younger than a year, if you are following the one year or teeth rule of thumb.

My mum never breastfed me or my brother, she found it too weird. I am more open-minded but I don’t whether I will breastfeed yet, I will do what feels most natural to me when/if I have children

Jen on

I think it’s misleading for women to say that breast feeding makes you loose baby weight. I have been breast feeding for 4 months now and I think I’m up and down give or take 2lbs and nothings changed. It doesnt happen for everyone.

Nicola on

JM — Nursing is not a crutch, it is a natural way to comfort a distressed child. A “paci” is a crutch. A lollipop is a crutch. Nursing is a natural means of comfort. Your milk releases sugars that help to alleviate pain in a teething or an injured child. If your toddler falls down and bumps his mouth, nursing will naturally help to stop that bleeding, while comforting him and soothing the pain.

Tough love is not the way to go with babies and very small children. Teaching them to cope is a ridiculous and overly adult way of looking at things. Developmentally, a very small child requires comfort. There might be pain, fear, fatigue, or any other need that can be met through a mother’s comfort. Whether that be nursing or a cuddle, there are things about babies and small children that do not respond to an adult’s coping strategies.

Finally, a child WILL wean when they are ready. Very few of us who went all the way in our nursing relationships ever had to ask our elementary school aged child to please give it up. Unlike a pacifier or other “crutch”, nursing will naturally run its course and the child will move on to mommy’s cuddles or other means of comfort when he or she is ready. My son was almost 4. We had a lovely long nursing relationship and when he was ready to stop, he stopped.

But I’m certainly glad that he was still nursing during that first year in preschool. Strep throat, flu, and other illnesses that went around were not only less violent for him, but I also had a natural means of soothing his pain. Extended nursing is a blessing to mother and child. If only you’ll give it a chance, you’ll see how easy it is.

M on

Beverley,
Thank you for putting up your post. I once posted on this website the opinion that I didnt see anything wrong with a certain celebrity stopping breastfeeding after a few months. Someone posted back saying that my opinion showed bad parenting instincts, and said that they length of time that you breastfeed says a lot about the kind of parent you are. It was this sort of attitude that put me off posting on the website again until now. As you say, people have different reasons for their breastfeeding habits and we should not be judging others.

teenyz on

Isn’t nursing while pregnant dangerous to the fetus? My mom was still nursing me when she realized she was expecting again. Unfortunately, she didn’t realize it until she was already 4 or 5 months into the pregnancy. My little brother has been saddled with health problem after health problem – epilepsy, spinal bifida (mild form of it), chronic back pain from another ill formed disk, and thankfully, he overcame Hodgkins’s at 24. The rest of my mom’s kids have always been the picture of health…. Why is it that he keeps getting hit with everything? His diet and lifestyle is no different than the rest of ours.

Selena on

Yay! Finally celebrities are speaking up about natural, attachment parenting! I remember when Gwen Stefani mentioned that she was not on a schedule to wean Kingston, and I was so impressed. At the time she was the first celebrity that I had heard mention child-led weaning. Now Kelly openly talking about tandem nursing, wow, that is so awesome! Our culture puts so much weight and value on what celebrities do and say, I hope more women in the industry will start to come forward so that women realize that you can nurse and still be fabulous!

bren on

Sweet diva, I found it interesting she jumped to that conclusion as well. Who as a women would think a mother did it for sexual gratification? Very strange thought. I meant her mom did it almost out of attachment to her son, she had many issues and knowing her and being her older daughters friend I knew how she was and even her daughter was turned off from breastfeeding because of the way she was. I put at the end it was not meant to insult nor do I think every mother who does it for a long time is doing it for themselves. I think its sad you can’t state a situation on here without being critisized by certain people. Thanks sweet diva for being logical enough to understand what I was saying.

MeandB on

I find it so refreshing to read about AP friendly celebs. To each their own, but I think to see mainstream media print stories about extended BFing and tandem nursing is so great.

My son is 25 months old now and still nursing. He has slowed down a lot, and doesn’t ask for it every day, but we both still enjoy our special time together. What an amazing bond. We are all for letting the child decide on when to wean in our house!

Jessica on

I breastfed all 3 of my kids and wouldn’t do it any other way. I have switched my 3rd child to formula recently. I can’t believe how expensive it is and how quickly it gets used. I never had to buy it with my first 2.
I always wonder why women say they “leak” on their clothing, are they not wearing breast pads? I wore them the entire time I nursed and never had problems with leaking. The day I was finally able to throw those things in the garbage was so liberating!!! LOL

brannon on

Many gung-ho breastfeeders on here but just remember that it is a personal choice! Just as you choose to breastfeed until age 5, I consider breastfeeding something for infants, not children. My opinion. Very disturbing to me past age 1. Very disturbing to you that I stopped at 8 months. to each their own…

ellen on

i nursed through my second pregnancy and continue to nurse both kids.

your milk does go through changes when you are pregnant – it changes taste, generally dries up, and then switches to colostrum towards the end. these changes in milk might be partly to encourage self-weaning in kids whose moms are pregnant. nursing while pregnant can also be difficult and moms often find themselves irritated or agitated by it.

all that said, i wanted my kids to self wean and my eldest was only 13mo when i got pregnant again and very attached to the “boos” so i kept doing it (but did decrease the frequency for my own sanity). after baby #2 was born it was very helpful for engorgement to have a toddler to nurse, and tandem nursing (nursing both at once) helped my eldest feel more secure and helped bond the two brothers.

also please do keep in mind that nursing a toddler or older child is nothing like nursing a newborn – your boobs don’t get engorged like they used to, you can nurse far less frequently, etc. right now my eldest son only nurses first thing in the morning… i think of it as his morning coffee. :)

ellen on

oh two more things i forgot – beverly – attachment parenting does not refer to whether you breastfeed or not. although generally bf’ing is more common in people who practice attachment parenting it is not a requirement and in the tenets of AP the statement about feeding is to try to feed your child w love and respect.

the seven other principles are:

Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting

Respond with Sensitivity

Use Nurturing Touch

Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally

Provide Consistent and Loving Care

Practice Positive Discipline
Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life

(from the api website:
http://www.attachmentparenting.org/principles/principles.php)

also – if people are interested in learning more about tandem nursing or nursing while pregnant, i highly recommend the book “adventures in tandem nursing” – it has a ton of information and is a very interesting read!

Nicola on

Brannon, I think that a lot of us extended nursers, rather than being offended by people who choose not to do so (any nursing at all is a good thing!), are offended by people who say that it is “disturbing” or use other pejorative language when talking about extended nursing. Words which suggest behaviour that is somehow unnatural or aberrant.

Please remember that, while your nursing relationship with your child is absolutely a personal choice, NATURE intended us to nurse our children well beyond infancy. That is how we are designed. That is how they are designed. Biologically, extended nursing is the “normal” way to do things.

You are bound by social constructs which make you view nursing as something other than a totally natural and normal act. I would only ask that you please not refer to natural mothering practices as “disturbing”.

Heather on

Wouldn’t you think it would be difficult for the 2 year old to want to keep breastfeeding even though he can’t because new baby will get priority when he comes?

Tracy on

While I am not one to breastfeed I do not have anything against it but a child who is 5 years old is too old to be breastfeeding.

CelebBabyLover on

Heather- She might be planning to nurse both kids once the baby comes if Hermes hasn’t self-weaned by then. The practice is actually more common than you may think, and is referred to as Tandem Nursing.

Natasha on

Thank you Beverly. You don’t have to breastfeed. Period. It’s a personal choice, just as most of you chose to breastfeed, others can easily choose not to and there’s “nothing you can do about it”.

rebecca on

While I am fine with whatever people do regarding nursing, I find it odd that extended nursers argue that child-led weaning is what nature intended. This is not nessacarily true. Consider these points:

Mothers in the animal kingdom wean thier babies on their terms when their young are able to eat food. They practice “parent-led weaning.”

Human mothers in third world countries, yes, breast-feed till 4 or 5, but that is b/c of a lack of nutritious food to give to thier kids. It’s a nessacity, and those children aren’t the picture of health because breastmilk alone is not enough to sustain a toddler.

In our Western culture, nursing past age 2 or so is considered unusual b/c people keep it up as a soothing device, not for nutritional purposes. To me, it is like a 3 year old with a bottle or paci. As a parent, it is up to you to help your child let go of their comfort objects that are meant for babies. It is not any less “natural” to wean your child at age one than it is to do it at age 5. I would argue that somewhere b/t 1 and 2 is the most natural age to wean, whether you or your child decides this.

Terri on

It’s funny, it seems like some people can’t lost weight until they stop breastfeeding and others lose weight because they are breastfeeding. I hope that I’m the latter!

Leah on

It’s always amazing to me how women jump on each other’s choices. We do this to ourselves ladies and everyone wants to be “right.”

I could care less what anyone else does, but for me personally I’m going to stop when my baby can ask for it. I knew this woman who’s three year old would walk up to her and say “Mommy, I want the boobie.” Once again, I don’t care if she does it, but it felt odd to me and I decided it wouldn’t be right for me.

Also, there are no scientific benefits to nursing past two, but many for nursing the first six months. I know many people hold up their own experiences as “proof” that nursing past two is healthier, but many studies have been done on this subject. Everyone needs to do what feels right for them and their baby, not worry so much about what other people are doing and make their own decisions without pushing them on others.

We also tend to forget the feelings of the many women who would love to breastfeed, but can’t when we have these conversations.

marie on

Kelly just filed for divorce today :( Best of luck to her and her babies

Maegs33 on

Leah,
There are significant scientific benefits to nursing beyond 2 years.

Here is a list of just some of them:
* In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
o 29% of energy requirements
o 43% of protein requirements
o 36% of calcium requirements
o 75% of vitamin A requirements
o 76% of folate requirements
o 94% of vitamin B12 requirements
o 60% of vitamin C requirements
— Dewey 2001

* Studies done in rural Bangladesh have shown that breastmilk continues to be an important source of vitamin A in the second and third year of life.
— Persson 1998
* The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that children weaned before two years of age are at increased risk of illness (AAFP 2001).
* Antibodies are abundant in human milk throughout lactation” (Nutrition During Lactation 1991; p. 134). In fact, some of the immune factors in breastmilk increase in concentration during the second year and also during the weaning process. (Goldman 1983, Goldman & Goldblum 1983, Institute of Medicine 1991).

You can read more here if you like.

But beyond merely the ‘scientific’ benefits (as if science is the only reason to justify any action) nursing a toddler just rocks. They are so appreciative, they love to snuggle up with you and play little finger games and bond, they truly love to nurse. It’s fantastic for preventing diseases and shortening the effects of illness. I’m nursing my second toddler and we absolutely love it. My first son weaned himself at 2.5 years, and I will allow my son the similar respect of weaning when he’s ready.

Lulu on

I am a doctor so I knew all the pros of breastfeeding but I am a softy one when it comes to pain so although I wanted to breastfeed my baby I did not have high expectations… It was a very difficult start as she was born by c-section… She is 10 months now and I am still nursing. She loves it and it is good for both of us. I plan to continue until she wants to!

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