Breastfeeding older children is a controversial topic. Many women and society in general believe that breastfeeding should be discontinued when the baby reaches one to two years of age or older.
Still, breastfeeding older children is something that is done all over the world today. Some women breastfeed their children until they are four or five years of age or older.
Breastfeeding support groups haven’t taken a firm line on how long it is okay to keep breastfeeding older children, however they do say that this is a decision to be made between a mother and her child.
Just as breastfeeding infants has great benefits, so does breastfeeding older children. Children receive the nutrients they need and also derive comfort from the close and intimate contact they have with their mother.
However, not all people believe the breastfeeding older children is acceptable. Because in mature society, breasts are sexual in nature, many people believe that it is inappropriate for older children to have this type of intimate contact with a woman’s breasts. Other people believe that older children who are breastfed will be ostracized from other children and families, because of how unusual the practice is.
Even though women have made strides when it comes to breastfeeding, the public still fails to accept breastfeeding in public and breastfeeding older children.
Women who are interested in breastfeeding and breastfeeding older children should be proactive. There are many people and organizations that can help you with the stigma related to breastfeeding.
For now, here are some simple instructions on how to breastfeed your baby.
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First, sit in a comfortable position with your back straight and your lap flat. If you wish, you can position a pillow on your lap to support your baby during breastfeeding.
Now to position your baby properly during breastfeeding, turn your baby’s body toward your stomach. In this position, your baby’s bottom should be resting on your elbow and your baby’s head, neck and shoulders should be supported by your forearm and hand.
To begin breastfeeding, position your baby’s nose directly in front of your nipple. Allow your baby’s head to tip back gently and slightly. Then gently rub your baby’s lips against your nipple until his or her mouth opens very wide.
At this point during breastfeeding you should quickly bring your baby’s bottom lip and chin against your breast. In this position, your baby can breathe easily. You should be able to feel the baby’s mouth on a large portion of your breast.
You may need to support your breast to make your baby more comfortable during breastfeeding. It is also important that you are comfortable. You should be relaxed and you should be able to hear your baby swallowing softly.
If it doesn’t feel right, you should stop and start over. You may need to adjust the position depending on the size of your baby.
Breastfeeding support groups may be able to provide additional information about breastfeeding older children.