8 Things Not To Say To An Extended Breastfeeding Mom

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When it comes to breastfeeding versus formula feeding, it seems we’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t. I’ve seen that the most criticism for extended breastfeeding comes from people who are extremely misinformed and misguided by a prudish culture.

Just about everyone I know showered me with praise for breastfeeding my newborn. But those same people who were such serious nursing advocates turned into fire-breathing dragons of judgment when they learned that I’m still nursing my nearly 2-year-old daughter. Whether you’re child-free, a parent, a grandparent, an extended breastfeeder or a formula-feeder, here are eight things you should avoid saying to people like me.

1. “You’re still nursing?” 

This one’s usually hurled with the same tone you’d say, “you still have that cold sore/foot growth/second head growing out of your elbow?” The answer is yes, I’m still providing my daughter with brain-building, immune and nervous system-boosting, dental-health guarding breastmilk. I’m still doing this natural thing that helps guard against uterine and breast cancer. I’m still utilizing this helpful calming tool for when she gets hurt or scared or upset. So…yeah. I’m still nursing. Now go away and watch soap operas or “The Bachelor” or whatever you do all day.

2. “But she has teeth!” 

Here’s where I see an opportunity to educate. If my toddler bites my nipple, she breaks the milkflow. It’s impossible to suckle and bite at the same time. Yes, she’s gone through a couple of phases where she’ll bite me briefly — either to signify that she’s done or maybe that her teeth are hurting her. Yes, it frakking hurts. But she doesn’t just sit there and mutilate my nipples, so her teeth generally have no impact on my comfort during nursing.

3. “Is she eating solid food yet?” 

No, my nearly 2-year-old child ONLY drinks milk all day, every day. We use food for fingerpainting and deep scalp conditioning, and when we sit down to dinner for a half hour we just stare at each other and play “Who Can Fit The Most Beans In Their Nose?” No, jesus, my daughter has been feeding herself since she was six months old. Some may call it liquid gold, but I have no delusions–my breastmilk is now a supplement, not a main food source. Only nursing her would be like expecting my kid to live on vitamins. However, to be fair, sometimes this comment comes from a non-parent, or a new parent who isn’t sure how the timeline works for feeding. In this case I don’t fault you at all, and please return to your television programming and I won’t judge you this time.

4. “When are you going to wean?” 

When we’re both good and ready. In the right company I’ll say, “hmm, I think she’ll probably wean before she goes to college.” Honestly, when breastfeeding becomes too frustrating or inconvenient for either party, that’s when we’ll wean. But frankly, it’s none of your business. Tip for extended breastfeeding moms: tell your critics “my pediatrician recommends I continue breastfeeding for now.” People are much quicker to trust the advice of a doctor than your personal opinion or the advice of your La Leche League buddies.

5. “She doesn’t need that anymore.” 

Sure. She also doesn’t need hugs, toys, books, a relationship with her extended family, weekend trips to the zoo or Nature Center or library. But these things, like breastfeeding, enrich her body and mind. Why would I deny her something that strengthens her?

6. “That’s gross.” 

You’re gross.

7. “Is she going to remember it? Won’t that mess her up?” 

This one breaks my heart on a variety of levels. Though this hasn’t been said to me, I know of people who honestly believe extended-breastfed children are going to have some kind of an Oedipus complex because of nursing. I blame a culture that sees breasts foremost as sexual playthings rather than feeding tools for babies. I think breasts are beautiful, and can play a fun role in sex just like bellies or necks or hips or feet.

But culturally isolating breasts as purely sexual is what causes Oedipal confusion, not the breasts themselves. So what if my daughter remembers it? If anything, I think that will help her understand the inherent strength and purpose of the female body, which will shift her focus away from thinking of her body as merely a toy for a man’s use. You may wonder if it’s different for a toddler boy, and although I don’t have a son, my point remains. If your son remembers his nursing experience, and his first introduction to breasts involves nurturing and feeding rather than perceiving them as sexual, I think he’ll also grow up with a greater respect for women.

8. “If she can ask for it, she’s too old.”

That’s funny, because she’s been “asking” for it since she was a newborn. At first it was her cry, and as she got older she learned sign language for “milk,” which is exactly how she still asks for it. She does her “milk” sign as we walk out of daycare, and I’m to the point now where I don’t even try to hide what I’m doing when I nurse her in the car. So far, I’ve been fortunate — some people glance away to give me privacy, while one older woman actually saw, realized what she was looking at, and smiled warmly while touching her heart. Truth is, my daughter is going to be in kindergarten in a few short years. I am in no rush to push her away or miss out on the kind of cuddles and closeness that comes with extended breastfeeding. As long as I’m still comfortable, and she still asks for it, she is not too old for nursing.

(photo:  wakeupslowly)


  1. AugustW

    August 6, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Looking forward to “8 things not to say to a formula mom”.

    • Amanda Low

      August 6, 2013 at 11:22 am

      Yes! Somebody needs to write that!

    • Cee

      August 6, 2013 at 11:34 am

      1. “Did you try (insert breastfeeding tip here)”
      2. “Only 2% of moms truly have valid medical excuses not to breastfeed”

    • AugustW

      August 6, 2013 at 11:55 am

      “Don’t you care about her future health and brain development?”

      “Formula makes babies fat, you know.”

      And a personal favorite:

      “With such big boobs, you should have an extra big milk supply!”

    • Cee

      August 6, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      Haha, I’m sorry, Wut?! Do people really say the big boob one? Wtf humans?!

    • Amber

      August 6, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      Yep, I heard that one a lot. People said there was no way I didn’t produce milk with my large breasts when their A cup niece/sister/daughter/cousin made more than enough.

    • Cee

      August 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      But by this crazy size logic, wouldn’t A cups not produce enough? Who needs science, right? *eyeroll* Oh people

    • AugustW

      August 6, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      Yeah….the whole “well I did it so everyone should be able to” logic. Drives me bonkers. It happens often with mombies.

    • AugustW

      August 6, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      I’ve heard all three, multiple times in fact. Not formula related, but I also heard “wow, she doesn’t miss any meals, does she?”
      I finally started replying “nope, I feed her every day”.

    • Sara Butler

      February 10, 2014 at 12:12 am

      Hehe, my kid said his aunt had really big nursies, and “do you think she would share them?”

    • Christine

      August 6, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      Do people really say that to you?? OMG. that is awful.

    • k_milt

      August 7, 2013 at 9:30 am

      My personal favourite was “You might as well feed her McDonald’s french fries. Formula is just junk food for babies”. Great. My breast milk would have contained a cocktail of psychiatric medications, so I’m pretty sure I’m gonna go the “french fry” route.

      I also enjoyed the presumptive “How long did you breast feed?” I didn’t. “….Oh. Well, how long did you try to?” Zero minutes. Literally zero minutes. My son was breastfed, my daughter was not. Both are still living. Imagine.

    • AugustW

      August 6, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      Oh, oh, I forgot about this one “How are you going to bond with her if you use a bottle?”
      Considering we would bottle feed in essentially the same position as someone would breastfeed…we got all the same bonding, all the same eye contact and touching and loving. I seriously don’t think my infant daughter cared if that nipple was made of latex or my own.

    • k_milt

      August 7, 2013 at 9:33 am

      My husband really enjoyed that he could do 50% of the baby feeding and feel just as bonded as I did. That guy was born to be a dad (which is funny because he’d never even held a newborn before we had one) and I’m glad he got the experience of having his new little sweetie looking up at his face while he fed her.

    • Janine Fowler

      August 10, 2013 at 2:53 am

      It’s true that only about 2% of moms can’t *physically* breastfeed, and is offering advice to a new mom really such a bad thing?

      Yes, people say rude things about formula feeding. The difference is, the shit people say about extended breastfeeding is not only rude but also largely UNTRUE.

    • Cee

      August 10, 2013 at 5:24 am

      While you may feel you are offering advice to a new mom, she may feel you are being intrusive and rude. Also no matter how researched you are about breast feeding and prepared to give advice to a woman that has stated she can’t for whatever reason, you are not her doctor and you are not her.

      On the same token, you feel that people say rude and untrue things about breastfeeding to you, but they may feel that they are offering you advice. See what i did there? When you are about to give what you feel is advice to a formula feeding mom, pause for a moment and think about the times you get shit for your choices. Live and let live.

    • Amy

      February 9, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Thank you, Cee. I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I breastfed my eldest daughter for 3 1/2 years. My last two kids have been severely tongue tied and it is HARD. I’m still nursing my son who’s a few months shy of two and my 5 month old daughter. And most of the time, I hate it. It hurts, and I know it isn’t supposed to hurt.

      I cop shit from *everyone*. From fellow mums who can’t understand why we’ve gone to the lengths we have (LCs, tongue tie revisions). From my FIL who thinks I should have given up feeding them both at around three months. From other breastfeeding advocates who are posting about the warm, fluffy side of breastfeeding all the time. I’ve spent the last year absolutely and utterly alone – even fellow tongue tie mothers have found relief after their kids’ revisions.

      I don’t want to wean and I don’t want a medal. I just don’t want my experiences glossed over and minimised. I’m doing what I’m doing because I believe it’s right. I don’t have to enjoy it. I’m still a huge advocate of breastfeeding. Can we start respecting each other as women, and as human beings yet?

    • The2%

      October 12, 2013 at 2:25 pm

      Well hello I’m one of the 2%. Thanks for being the type of rude bitch this article was talking about. I have a medical problem where i actually do not produce breastmilk and i will gladly place my 2 formula fed children against yours any day of the week when i comes to all the “true” points of breast feeding. My children are healthy (only had 1 ear infection in 7yrs btwn 2 of them), my children are a normal weight, my children are intelligent, and trust me my children are bonded to me (which is quite honestly the most offensive thing that is said about formula fed babies).Other points: they have healthy skin, hair, teeth, social skills, they are independent, they do not have developmental delays, they do not have cancer, and yes they do actually love to cuddle with their terrible formula feeding mother. Here’s a tip, just because you could produce milk and I couldn’t does not make you a better/more knowledgeable mother. We don’t need your advice, better yet we don’t want it. Keep your your advice to yourself.

    • Janine Fowler

      October 12, 2013 at 5:56 pm

      So, because a small percentage cannot breastfeed, we shouldn’t offer breastfeeding advice to ANYONE? That is absurd.

      I’m sure your children are perfectly healthy. Many formula fed children are. And many breastfed children get sick. The point is not comparing individual kids but looking at TRENDS. Breastfed kids are less likely to have certain problems than formula babies. Not true in every single case, but true in general. Your amazing children (and I’m sure that they are! Not slamming them or you) do not cancel out decades of studies.

    • Kristina

      February 9, 2014 at 9:33 am

      Unless the mother ASKS you for advice on breastfeeding. ..then no you shouldn’t just offer it to her. How she feeds her child is none of your business

    • momanddoula

      February 11, 2014 at 5:08 am

      Maybe you can offer a lot of advise whenever you’re asked… But maybe if you give advice to a mother that may be feeling guilty, or fed up, or insecure, or just angry, you may sound imposing to her and your advice won’t be advice anymore… She may feel you are judging her…
      Oops, Kristina, I just saw your comment, I agree…

    • Ptownsteveschick

      August 6, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      If you really wanted to try and breastfeed, you could make yourself relactate. No joke, a cashier at safeway told me this when my daughter was 6 months old and I was buying formula, since my milk dried up totally when she was 3 weeks old.

    • AugustW

      August 6, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      I took a prescription (Reglan) meant to bring my supply back…it worked but I was physically and mentally destroyed. I ended up deciding I could either be a mother who formula fed or a psych patient who lactated.

    • jenpen

      August 9, 2013 at 12:09 pm

      Oh man! I get peeved when cashiers comment on anything that I am buying. I would have gotten all sorts of ragey on how that was none of her business. Its almost hard to read all of these stories, and know that there are people out there that actually say these things.

    • Ptownsteveschick

      August 9, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      I guess it was partly my fault? Since I made a comment like, oh this formula is so expensive, too bad I have to buy it. And then she opened the flood gates.

    • jenpen

      August 9, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      Not your fault at all. She could have said, i know right, that stuff is crazy expensive, we do what we gotta do though! I think that was totally over the line to suggest something like that to a stranger. You’re sweet and its nice that you did not completely condemn her. You are sweeter than I for sure 🙂

    • Rachel Budzichowski

      February 9, 2014 at 4:36 am

      So exactly why would you get upset? I do not get why you would be upset at this comment she made, MOST people have no idea that re-lactation is possible. That is like you commenting that the diaper brand you are buying is so expensive, and the cashier responding, “Oh yeah I know. We switched to cloth. You know the new cloth diapers are just as easy to use as disposables and so much cheaper.” The whole concept of Breastfeeding being this huge personal thing is another symptom of over sexualization of breast,

    • Amy

      February 9, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      In context, that makes sense. It sounds to an outsider like you were either apologetic and trying to justify your situation (unnecessary!) or seeking advice, and I guess she wrongly presumed the latter.

    • Elizabeth Wakefield

      August 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      You must not have tried hard enough to nurse.

      That’s probably why your baby is sick.

      Is it hard to bond with your baby since you’re not nursing?

      Why have a baby if you’re not going to give it the best?

    • Simone

      August 7, 2013 at 5:26 am

      ‘Oh, your baby’s clingy and upset because he doesn’t get time to physically bond with you since you don’t breastfeed.’

      Oh my god, my infant literally hangs off my body for five hours a day. Please, continue to describe my failure to produce attachment.

    • nic

      August 6, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      How about “I guess your husband doesn’t like to share, huh?” Ick!

    • disqus_RcnfTzAghr

      August 6, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      “Mama-milk is better for their immune systems”
      “Well I guess YOU must have had a reason, but most formula feeders are just selfish”
      “Why don’t you breastfeed?” (why do so many people feel they are entitled to my medical information? I bet they wouldn’t appreciate a long story about infected cysts in my milk ducts)
      “Have you read kellymom? The best breastfeeding tips are on there, you can totally do it”
      “I have a recipe for lactation cookies”

      And the one that made me want to scream, off a forum and aimed at me,
      “I can’t believe you went through all the trouble of IVF and won’t go through the trouble of breastfeeding. Isn’t that hypocritical?”
      No. Because it’s not the same thing.

    • Mitsie

      August 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      I had a lady that I used to see after every prenatal visit and she would ask me every time if I was going to BF, to which I replied No, everytime. Seriously about the 8th time she asked “do you mind if I ask why not?” And I said “yes I do mind, next question!” I think she wrote it in my form that time and never asked again. This topic is a hot one…I don’t discuss with many people.

    • Janine Fowler

      August 10, 2013 at 2:57 am

      Was this a medical professional? Because breastfeeding is a medical issue (Formula does have many risks whether you acknowledge it or not) and I’d say doctors etc. have every right to ask.

    • osofine

      August 12, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      If it was a medical professional then she was probably asking so that she could help you with breastfeeding by giving you information and setting up things like a lactation consultant. Doctors have to recommend breastfeeding. Doctors/Science has recognized that breastfeeding provides so many benefits for babies and mothers and they need to get that information out to women who have been influenced by a century of propaganda by formula makers. For years doctors told mothers to feed their babies formula (they were going off biased studies funded by the formula companies and were flooded with marketing materials… kind of the way they are now with the drug companies) and our grandmother and great grandmothers (or even further back) did what the doctors told them because like all mothers they wanted what was best for their children. Even after doctors started recognizing that breastmilk is healthier than formula, there was an enormous cultural bias toward formula that had been passed down through generations. The damage done by these ruthless companies must be undone and the best way is through education and the best way to reach new mothers is through obstetrical practices. If you haven’t already, please research the sordid history of formula. Things like babies dying is poor areas because mothers have been told that breastmilk is bad and they end up feeding their infants with powdered formula mixed with dirty water… and that is an extreme example. Read about the history of formula in the U.S. To this day women leave U.S. hospitals with fancy packages of “free” formula (it’s not free, it’s criminally expensive once your milk dries up and you have to pay for formula to feed your child). The formula companies have a lot in common with the tobacco industry. They get you hooked on their product and line their pockets with your money at the expense of people’s heath.

      I’m sorry this woman rubbed you the wrong way, but it is imperative that doctors (and their staff) educate women and make up for years of harm.

    • r c lowe

      August 9, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      It amazes me what people think is ok to say to a woman … especially when she’s pregnant or has kids. Perfect strangers, old men, know it all relatives.. there is no snapshot of who to look out for. Stuff they’d never dream saying to a man

    • Heather James

      February 9, 2014 at 2:06 am

      Way to highjack a thread, all of you! Has it ever occurred to ANY of you that many of us are all too well aware of just exactly how tragically, horribly, misinformed and UNhelpful many doctors, nurses, and hospital lactation people are…and how VERY many mothers that DID want to breastfeed ended up not doing so, simply because those they trusted for help and info let them down? That we are assuming someone let you down that way, because that. is. what. usually. happens. (Admittedly, the boob size comments are no better than the misinformation referred to above–I actually know someone whose OB told her her breasts were too small for the job!). Personally, had I not been VERY well-informed about breastfeeding before my eldest was born, AND very determined about it, AND had the midwife who would have delivered her, had I not gotten into a car wreck at 35 weeks, on tap for help, well, we sure wouldn’t have made it through the first month on the “Here’s a nipple shield “help” I got in the NICU, or the arithmetic errors and outright sabotage I got from the first ped we saw. We offer advice because we KNOW it ain’t always easy, because many of us HAVE been there. We also know that many women don’t have any basis on which to realize that the help they are being given, or were given, sucks. So we try, usually tactfully, to let them know so, that, if there is a next time, and they want to breastfeed, maybe they’ll have a better chance of success. I’m sorry if some of you have met the less than tactful, but you might consider the intention behind what people say before youdecide to take offense!

    • AugustW

      February 9, 2014 at 9:07 pm

      Way to jump on a zombie thread and make absolutely no new contribution.

      I get that breastfeeding is awesome. I get that it’s hard. I tried it. I tried everything. It didn’t work for us. It would be nice if people were more understanding of breastfeeders, and it would be nice if people were more understanding of formula feeders.

      More than that, it would be nice if we could all just stop debating. We’re all feeding our kids. That’s the bottom line.

    • Raising O

      February 26, 2014 at 4:12 pm

  2. Madame Ovaries

    August 6, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Back when I was pregnant and knew EVERYTHING I was grossed out by extended breastfeeding, but now that my son is here I totally get it and feel bad about getting judgey on EBF moms. Numbers 7 and 8 on this list were my biggest hangups, and I think they are pretty closely related: when people see a toddler reaching for breasts and articulating that they want to nurse, they are thinking of breasts in a sexual context and get skeeved out. But there is nothing like motherhood to recast your body in your own mind as something other than sexual. Other people might not get that I feel like a powerhouse that pulled life out of thin air, shot it out of my vag, and is now personally growing it into a functioning human with my wonder milk, but that’s totally what is going on.

    • Amanda Low

      August 6, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      SO true about motherhood making you rethink your body. And I, too, was judgey — when I was in my early twenties and still working as a waitress I went to my manager all indignant that a lady at one of my tables was nursing in public. I am so proud of my manager that he responded, “what? It’s completely natural.” I would have been horrified in retrospect if my ignorance had caused that woman to be kicked out of the restaurant or something.

    • osofine

      August 12, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      I totally relate to the above comments about motherhood changing one’s perspective. I’d like to add that it’s also important to educate oneself and others before motherhood. I have little patience for people that cling to ignorance, but so much respect for people that change their minds about something because they learned they had been wrong or misinformed. It reminds me of when people accuse politicians of “flip-flopping” when they change their views about a subject after learning more about it (this does not apply to politicians that change their agendas for purely partisan reasons or to get votes). I’d rather have someone in office (and in other areas of life) that is willing to learn and say “I was wrong” than someone who sticks with an opinion because of pride or what other people think. Knowledge is power and we all need to be empowered!

    • AugustW

      August 6, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      I really miss before I was a mom and I knew everything. 🙂

  3. Kara

    August 6, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I loved this article, I don’t feel so alone now! My almost 2 year old is still nursing and I wish my friends would just shut up about it! Yesterday my friend was sitting on the couch with me and my daughter walked over, crawled up onto the couch and started pulling up my shirt saying, “Booby time!” Haha I find it adorable and hilarious, but my friend just looked at us in disgust, 🙁 She then poked her and said, “You are too old to do that!” I won’t be inviting her over again any time soon. 🙁

    • Amanda Low

      August 6, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      Thank you — and wow, that’s definitely not a friend if she said something like that! I always like to bust out the whole “The World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfeeding until age two for optimum health.” That tends to shut people up, or at least bore them enough to stop fighting it 😉

    • osofine

      August 12, 2013 at 6:55 pm

      Why would someone vote that comment down?! LOL!

    • Rachel Sea

      August 6, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      Your friend was being a jerk. 2 is a good age to start learning to ask before pulling up your shirt, though.

    • AugustW

      August 6, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      Yeah, that’s no friend!
      My almost-3-year-old has been known to shove her hands down (or up) my shirt an inopportune moments…and she hasn’t breastfeed in years. So toddlers are toddlers! 🙂

  4. Jayamama

    August 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    I love this. I weaned my daughter when she was 16 months old, partially because I was growing tired of it, and partially because I found out I was pregnant again and really wanted some time in between babies to have my body to myself again. Though we probably could have gone on much longer, she didn’t put up a fight at all, so I don’t regret it. However, after she was around 8 months or so, I started feeling really weird about nursing her in public because of the perception people have about older babies nursing. I hope I can be less self-conscious with this next baby, because that was the one snag in our otherwise happy nursing relationship.

  5. Marci Yesowitch Hopkins

    August 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    I get 8 quite a bit. I’ve now decided to respond by explaining that they’re responsible for my daughter’s speech delay. Now that she’s finally talking, if she can ask for it, she can have it*.
    *within reason…no cars, ponies, or clothing with words across the butt, those skeeve me.

    • AugustW

      August 6, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      Ha! My dad made me promise when my daughter was born that I would never put pants on her that had words on them.

    • ElleJai

      August 6, 2013 at 8:28 pm

      My son wears pants with words. Is that sexist? 😉

    • Meagan

      March 7, 2014 at 4:15 am

      My son also has pants with words across the butt-“silly monkey” , “Happy Halloween!”, for example. He’s also had some with guitars and stars ont he butt. What’s wrong with pants with words on the butt? I mean, if it says ” sexy” or ” juicy”, or “hottt” or something sexual, then, yeah, I would say no (though sadly,when was the last time you saw words like that on boys pants? Sigh)

  6. Sandy

    August 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    I see where youre comming from, and 2 isnt too bad really. I once meet an almost 4 year old still nursing and I have to admit I got… uncomfortable…. watching a kindergardenready kid pull his moms shirt to nurse

    • Rachel Sea

      August 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      Four is the upper end of normal now, but it’s still normal. Back before doctors got it into their heads that breastmilk was gross, and evil, breastfeeding into the third year was average. I think it would be great if we could get back to that, but a lot of things would have to change.

    • Sandy

      August 6, 2013 at 3:51 pm

      If its so good, why not just use a pump? Im not arguing breastmilk is good, just that a 4 year old sucking on mama´s tit gives me a yucky feeling

    • Elizabeth Wakefield

      August 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      I think using the phrase “sucking on mama’s tit” is whats yucky.

    • Valeri Jones

      August 6, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      I agree completely. It’s that kind of thinking that prevents breastfeeding from being completely accepted and completely separate from sexualization.

    • Sandy

      August 6, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      It wasnt meant yucky.I used the word tit as thats the word I heard used about getting animals etc to nurse. Let me rephrase then: I get a yucky feeling when a 4 year old pull down his mothers shirt to suck on her nipple in order to get milk.

      and when is the limit? 5? 8? 15? 36?

    • Elizabeth Wakefield

      August 6, 2013 at 6:30 pm

      “Teat” is what they use for animals. “Tit” is what they use in porn movies.

    • Sandy

      August 6, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      Ah I see. >English isnt my native language, so I thought it was the same word

    • Edify

      August 6, 2013 at 7:10 pm

      It doesn’t matter if YOU get a yucky feeling. It’s got nothing to do with you

    • Sandy

      August 6, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      Oh im sorry, I forgot youre only allowed to go “yay you go sister” in the comments 😉

    • Edify

      August 6, 2013 at 7:20 pm

      Probably best to let your opinion rest with how you feed your own child rather than how someone else’s feeding choices make you feel. Kind of the point of this whole article actually!

    • Sandy

      August 6, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      Nah. I think id rather keep discussing what I want, in this case that I see where the writer comes from, and 2 isnt bad but admittet to not being a perfect being. If youre down with kindergardeners pulling mommys shirt in public thats cool. I wont forbid or look down on people just because something doesnt sit right with me.

    • sfphilli

      August 6, 2013 at 7:46 pm

      Yes! There is never anything wrong with feeling anything, we can’t really help our emotions. Personally I feel pretty similar about the pulling the shirt down thing, but (like I assume you do) i totally support that mom in doing what she’s doing.

    • Edify

      August 6, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      Again, it really only matters to if I’m that mom and that’s my child.

    • crys

      August 6, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      Baby teeth are called “milk teeth”. When they lose their baby teeth they physically cannot properly latch any more, which is why the global average weaning age is between 4-7. And pumping is difficult, time consuming, and decreases supply in most cases. It’s not as simple as you think.

    • Sandy

      March 7, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      And thats why I asked “why not pump?”. Unfortuneately most people get defensive instead of answering a simple question. Sharing knowledge and all that

    • Meagan

      March 7, 2014 at 4:05 am

      Or whenever the child is emotionally, physically and mentally ready to stop breastfeeding, just like all other cultures do and just like all humans did until medical science made it “gross” and “yucky”. Breasts are not for sex first and foremost- breasts are to feed and nurture our children. Society has made them sexualized . You need to get over yourself and keep your nose out of what other people are doing. If a child wants/needs to nurse until 5,8,15 or 36, then they will. Of course, the last couple of numbers shows your ignorance even more. How many people have you known who needed to still be breastfeed until their teen years? How many people did you go to college with who still had their mommies come by every day to nurse them? How many of your co-workers still nurse from their mom’s breasts during lunch? I mean, how ignorant can one person be? Do a bit of research,educate yourself.

    • Sandy

      March 7, 2014 at 6:22 am

      There is cases of teens and older that still breastfeed, its rare but all I ask is when is the line between healthy nutricion and bonding with a child and unhealthy interaction?

      I never said I say anything or even do anything when I encounter kids being bf. In fact I look away, be the child 4 months or 4 years. I never stick my nose into other peoples buisness unless were talking childabuse or someone obviosly needing help.

      All im trying to do is to turn the defensive sanctimommy off for sake of argument and discuss when it change from mother-child into something else. Unless you believe that its healthy for a 10 year old to suck breastmilk

    • Allyson_et_al

      August 7, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      1. Good pumps are expensive; nursing is free. 2. Pumping can be very difficult for some women. I was lucky enough never to have problems nursing, but I could pump for 20 minutes and end up with less than 2 ounces of milk. So not worth it. 3. EBF is about more than the milk for a lot of mothers/toddlers. It’s the process, not just the product.

    • Nobodi Raj

      December 28, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      Very true, and pumping doesn’t give the child the same comfort, the same closeness to mom. Also, there is a lot more going on when a child suckles than meets the eye. If mother or child is getting sick, information is passed through the suckling process that allows the other to start producing antibodies right away. If I catch something, he not only gets my immunities, his body gets the signal from my body & gets a jump start on the process. If he catches something, not only do I get that same jump start, but my milk will then be able to supplement his body’s response.

      My son is 3, he’s weaning, and he’s caught something from his cousin. He’s never been this sick before. Nursing has made us both a great deal healthier for 3 years. Its been amazing. We’ve also had no bedtime battles & now, he’s naturally ready to sleep without it, no fight, no struggle.

      I’m so incredibly grateful for the research I did into extending breastfeeding with this child. I just wish I’d had it available with my first two.

    • Meagan

      March 7, 2014 at 4:10 am

      I,too, could not pump worth anything. I’d have that thing stuck on me for 30 minutes and barely get a drop out! It’s painful,as well. Yet, I have a great supply. Also, when you suggest that a woman pumps, you’re also saying that she should spend the time that she could be spending bonding with her child, trying to pump milk so that strangers will be more comfortable when the child is hungry in public. Unless the mother needs to pump because of someone else having to care for the baby while mom is a work, or wherever, then there should be absolutely no need to a mom to have to pump unless she wishes to.

      Besides, often times, breastfeeding is about comfort for the child. My son, when he was an infant, could be on the breast for hours, but only eat a for about 30 minutes of that time. He needed to comfort nurse, still does,actually, at 25 months. 100% normal. It’s people like you who think it’s not normal and causes problems for others.

    • noelle 02

      August 9, 2013 at 10:34 am

      I never dreamed I would nurse my youngest until he was nearly three, but there wasn’t one day that he all of a sudden stopped being a baby. They grow so gradually that it just continues to be normal. I weaned my son because I was tired of being necessary for him to fall asleep and I wanted my bed back. I don’t regret one minute of the three years nursing because he is the most snuggly, cuddly, lovable four year old I have ever seen.

    • Sandy

      August 9, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      As I said, 3 isnt bad, but that kid was almost 4 (were speaking one month away) and that irked me – especially because it was a public place

    • Meagan

      March 7, 2014 at 4:12 am

      Well, that’s your issue,isn’t it? Maybe you should look into why it makes you so uncomfortable. Maybe see a therapist? Maybe there’s some deeper problems you have that you view things that way? It is fine if you feel that it made you uncomfortable. What isn’t fine is if you make your problem with it an issue for someone else. Keep your opinions to yourself and you, and your issues, won’t be a problem.

    • Sandy

      March 7, 2014 at 6:08 am

      Youre willing to pay the 500$ an hour for the therapist?

      Beside what a healthy way to debate “keep your opinions to yourself”. I hope you apreciate the irony here

    • Janine Fowler

      August 10, 2013 at 2:47 am

      Pumping is good but not as good. Milk is specifically tailored to season, the germs around, and even the time of day. Maybe if you pumped and gave them the milk immediately, but that seems very unnecessary if you could just offer the breast. Also, the breast offers bonding whereas it’s doubtful you would rock and bottle-feed a toddler the way you would an infant.

    • Meagan

      March 7, 2014 at 4:01 am

      As a vegan, I think it’s “yucky” that people drink milk from other species, or that they suck the flesh off of the bones of animals. Going on that thinking,Sandy, , maybe all of you meat-eaters shouldn’t be allowed out of your houses because it make ME sick to see it! (I don’t really think this-that you’re all gross and such,even if I don’t eat it-to each their own. I’m just trying to make a point to Sandy)

    • Sandy

      March 7, 2014 at 6:12 am

      Where did I say she shouldnt be allowed to? Where did I say I wanted to make her stop what shes doing?

    • meteor_echo

      August 7, 2013 at 4:08 am

      That is, it’s a norm for countries with a lack of clean, drinkable water, where extended breastfeeding means that the kid won’t die of dysentery or some kind of stomach bug that it caught with water.

    • Carly

      August 7, 2013 at 9:33 pm

      A lot of things can seem strange or gross to you but that doesn’t mean that they are, it could just be your perspective that is off. I pretty much had the same attitude before I had a baby and now my son is two and still nursing a little and it all seems quite wholesome and normal. The problem was that I only saw my breasts as sex object before (thanks mainstream media and over-sexualized culture). After having a chance to seem my breast have a function too that served the wellbeing of my child, my attitudes expanded and now I can see them as sexual and functional depending on the context. This is a situation where attitudes need to be challenged and expanded as with many other areas of discrimination and judgment. There was a time (and sadly some still think this) that people though inter-racial couples were “yucky” or “wrong” or same sex couples. Now, many of us are getting past those kinds of ignorant attitudes.

  7. JLH1986

    August 6, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I freely admit I see my girls as sexual. So I doubt I will ever breastfeed. No issue with moms who do…or extended. Honestly I don’t get weirded out by breastfeeding except in those extreme cases…like 8 or 9 and still nursing…the ones they profile to make people freak out about breastfeeding those…yea that gives me the heebie jeebies.

    • AugustW

      August 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      I hope we get to the point where nobody cares why someone breastfeeds, or why they don’t.

    • Sandy

      August 6, 2013 at 7:46 pm

      usually isnt it just couriosity? at least with friends and family and people around you know. What thoughts you had etc. Like the same reasoning behind why I would ask a friend why it so bad to give her kid a piece of candy or ask if someone I knew lived by the milk-is-bad teachings. No ill intend just couriosity

    • Elizabeth Wakefield

      August 6, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

      But in all seriousness, even the most innocent of questions can be taken as rude intrusions – especially when it comes to something as personal as childrearing. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their parenting choices.

    • Leigha7

      August 9, 2013 at 8:28 pm

      I’m sure most people wouldn’t mind others asking questions out of curiosity, but the problem is that you aren’t the only one asking. If every family member, friend, acquaintance, and stranger you encounter asks the same question “just out of curiosity,” it would certainly get annoying fast.

    • Jesi Harmon

      January 22, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      Right. And isn’t it funny how once formula became the norm we had all kinds of diseases that surfaced? Formula doesn’t provide immunity, and vaccinations only provide adaptive immunity; i.e. mother nature will evolve faster than we can because we’re too stupid/ignorant/selfish to let her do what she was meant to do.

  8. Christine

    August 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I wish I had this to refer to when I was nursing 🙂 hilarious and very useful!

  9. Andy

    August 6, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Along the lines of what not to say to a formula feeding or a breastfeeding mom, can we get “Things not to say to an exclusively pumping mom”? I wound up EP’ing for the health of my daughter-believe me, it was not my first choice. Some of the gems I got during that year:
    -“Why not just give her formula? It’s all the same if it’s out of a bottle.” Oy. no words.
    -“You just did’t try hard enough to nurse.” Sorry, I didn’t know that spending the first month and a half of my baby’s life trying to get a screaming baby to latch, take two sucks, then have to pump and bottle feed her anyway wasn’t trying hard enough. Not to mention seeing three different lactation consultants, all of whom said they couldn’t figure out why she didn’t latch.
    -“What are you, going out for sainthood/martyrdom?” Nope, just doing what I feel is best for my kiddo, who has a strong family history of diabetes on both sides, as well as doing what is best for myself, as I have family history of breast cancer on my mother’s side.
    I’m sure there were others, but those were the most frequent ones I heard.

    • AugustW

      August 6, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      Yeah, I went the EP route for a few weeks until I finally admitted I wasn’t making enough to sustain her.
      I felt like I had to explain to people that it was breast milk in the bottle, like they would “approve” of me more.

    • SDA

      August 6, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      I EP’d for 6 months. Low supply so supplementing formula too. I felt like I had to explain myself everywhere and had those in the BF corner that looked at me like I wasn’t trying hard enough (“Haven’t you tried Fenugreek?”) and the formula camp asking why bother if I was already using formula. I hated spending 20 min explaining how my daughter ate. I was just so nervous, sad, and new to the whole mom thing I thought I needed to!

    • val

      August 9, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      Hi. The same thing happened to me (no latch for no reason). It was awful and I don’t know if I would do it again, and I think all the breastfeeding pressure didn’t help in making me feel SO guilty that I didn’t feel capable of feeding her formula. I EP’d for 7.5 months and it felt SO GREAT to stop.

      EP’ing gets you a lot of the same rude comments as both BF and FF moms get. And so many rude stares! Ugh 🙁

      (I remember being in a lactation room bottle-feeding my breast milk to my baby with two nursing moms. The room keeper offered water to both of them and explicitly skipped me. I WAS JUST AS THIRSTY!)

    • Molly

      October 11, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      Really? As a mom who ebf’d one till 9months, another till 5 years and one still going at 18 months which all included stints using a pump and going back to work, I’d have to say that pumping is the hardest thing to do and EP moms get all my respect. No one resorts to pumping because it’s all fun and games. You must have tried everything before hand and that really must have felt like your last resort without compromising on quality. Well done.

  10. ophidic

    August 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    More lists of shit I’m not supposed to say. Well fuck you, I’m gonna do it anyway, just because of this list.

  11. Lisa

    August 6, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Sigh… I’m in the process of weaning my two year old, with very mixed emotions. He loves his “D”, his word for nursing and I love the quiet and snuggle time it gives us. I weaned his sister when she was 18 months old because I was pregnant with him and meant to wean him at 18 months as well. That deadline came and went. He turned two at the end of July and I decided it was probably time. He was only nursing right before bed through the week and first thing in the morning on weekends, so it wasn’t a huge inconvenience but I felt that as time went on, it would become harder and harder to wean him and he’d be 4 and off to kindergarten and still be nursing. I’ve cut out his nursing at night, but every night he says sadly “no D nite” and first thing in the morning, he asks “D now?” and I give in. Nursing a toddler is a wonderful thing, if both mom and toddler enjoy it and there should never be any shame associated with it. It’s not for everyone, but many of my friends also nursed for an extended time and none of them regretted it afterwards – quite the contrary. Besides, if the WHO says to do it, who am I to argue?

  12. Anonymous in Nashville

    August 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    I needed this article today! My son is 13 months and still nursing. He had been down to nursing only in the am and before bed but now he has several teeth coming in, going through separation anxiety and learning to walk so I find he is nursing much more often, though more for comfort than anything. I don’t talk about it much to anyone since all the women I know with kids stopped BF’ing long before this point or are still nursing their kindergartener. I find coworkers ask me “oh, you’re still doing that?” when they see me get up from my desk to go pump or “when do you plan to stop?” which I answer “yes, I do still do it, for my own pleasure” and “before he goes to college”. This usually shuts them up. The questions come from men or childless women. I have learned these past 13 months, when it comes to parenting, you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Everyone has an opinion and feels the need to give it to you whenever they want. When I started this journey, I didn’t expect to still be BF’ing at 13 months. I wanted to go a year, until my son arrived and had latching problems. After several lactation consults, that was resolved, with the help of a shield. At that point, I was happy to make it as long as we could. I constantly worry about what other people think about it, but I let that bother me with every aspect of my life, so it’s no different. I’m so glad I am not the only one out there who encounters all this and hope one day to not care what other’s think.
    PS- Happy Breastfeeding Week!

    • Edify

      August 6, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      Hang in there! Lots of us have been in the same place and its about what is right for the both of you.

    • osofine

      August 12, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      Don’t let anyone talk you into weaning before you and your son are ready. Seriously, just tune out (and when you have to, deal with) the negative comments and insinuations and be glad that you have this wonderful tool to provide comfort and nutrition to your son as he is going through the difficult phases and transitions of the first years of life. The extra nutrition, comfort, sleep (this is a big one – if you can get him to sleep easily by nursing he will be more rested for the next big day of walking and being on his own and will fly through those and other milestones!), immunities, and security you are providing are a huge gift that will benefit him for years to come. Good for you! (This is not a condemnation of people who can’t nurse or choose to wean early.)

  13. bshaxb

    August 6, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    So if formula moms stop asking you this, will you stop asking how formula moms/mixed feed moms bond with our kids? Thanks.

    • Amber

      August 6, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      Please stop acting like it’s formula moms against breastfeeding moms. It’s really not. I’m not on your “team” just because I used formula.

      Being rude to one person because some other random person was rude to you is moronic and accomplishes absolutely nothing.

  14. Anon for my husband

    August 6, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    #7 is the only one I take issue with. Not that anyone should say it to you (because they shouldn’t) but I wish it were as simple as your answer. My husband was breastfed until he was 3 and remembers. He has always been uncomfortable with breasts sexually. It has been a major issue in our relationship as I particularly enjoy breast-play. We have worked on it, but I don’t think to either of our great satisfaction. And it has only gotten worse as he has watched me breastfeed our son (which I stopped at 9 months). It has created an intimacy issue that we have resigned ourselves to accept but neither of us is happy with.

    • Elizabeth Wakefield

      August 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      What an interesting perspective…

    • mdnyc

      August 6, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      My husband was breastfeed beyond 3 years old and has no issues with boobs in his adulthood. There could be something else going on with your husband.

    • Sandy

      August 6, 2013 at 7:55 pm

      Or maybe kids are different? Some may feel one way some the other. Like some kids will run around nude without a care, others are shy and prefer being “covered”

    • Leigha7

      August 9, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      Not everyone reacts the same way to the same circumstances. Think about abused children–some grow up perfectly fine, some get PTSD (or have other mental side-effects), some enter relationships with abusive partners, some become abusive themselves. You can’t know how any particular child will react to things.

      Anon’s husband isn’t the only person I’ve heard of who’s been affected by memories of being breastfed. Even if it only happens to 5% of the kids who remember it, it’s still worth acknowledging. I’ve heard some people (mostly those who were breastfed well into school-age, like 7 or 8) say they felt it was borderline sexual abuse, because they felt like their mothers were deriving an inappropriate amount of pleasure from it. I can only assume most mothers would never want to make their child feel that way, so it’s definitely worth noting that some kids do.

      I have no idea what percentage of people who remember being breastfed are bothered by those memories, but I’ve heard from enough people who are to know it definitely happens.

    • Amy

      February 9, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      Oh hell, I wish I derived ANY pleasure from breastfeeding my kids. I wish it wasn’t screaming effing hell. It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

    • Sara

      April 13, 2014 at 9:32 pm

      Um… That’s a rude thing to say. Am I the only one who feels that way?!

    • Christy

      October 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm

      Sounds like your husband’s an immature idiot.

    • Mel

      February 9, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      Wow, that was incredibly rude.

    • Christy

      February 10, 2014 at 2:38 am

      Oh wow, I have been chastised now. I was being nice with calling him an immature idiot, what he really is, is a complete and utter moron who needs to grow the hell up, how about that. Pull on your big girl panties, and get over it, sweet heart, oh and shut the hell up.

    • Julie

      February 10, 2014 at 3:05 pm

      Wow Christy. Angry much? You don’t know what the situation is for Anon’s husband and to say something like that shows you are the actual immature one.

    • Sara

      April 13, 2014 at 9:34 pm

      Maybe she is breastfeeding her five year old and doesn’t like hearing that it can be potentially damaging…

  15. Hoosier in the UK

    August 6, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    You know, I never, ever can understand why some people give other people shit about their choice on how they feed their kids? I mean ffs, I’d never tell somebody any of this stuff that people are commenting on. I’ve got 3 kids, how I fed them is my business nobody else’s.

  16. Lee

    August 6, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    I had a “friend” tell me it was soooo wrong and gross that my 7 month old son was “asking” (pulling on my shirt) when he wanted to nurse. I just said to her wasn’t your son asking you for bottles at that age. She kind of sputtered and mumbled that is was different. When I asked how she just huffed away.

  17. Mdnyc

    August 6, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Cee- If only 2% of moms truly have valid medical excuses not to breastfeed, why are so many mothers fixated on formula feeding their newborns?

    • DMH

      August 6, 2013 at 6:40 pm

      Because we can. And it’s our choice to make.

    • Elizabeth Wakefield

      August 6, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      Because they were molested as a child and breastfeeding could be a trigger?

      Because they have to go back to work and know that pumping will be like living in the 9th circle of hell?

      Because they have anxiety attacks at the thought of breastfeeding a child?

      Or simply because that’s their choice to make?

    • osofine

      August 12, 2013 at 5:59 pm

      I don’t think any woman should be forced to breastfeed, but if a woman was “molested as a child and breastfeeding could be a trigger” or “have anxiety attacks at the thought of breastfeeding a child” she should be getting intense psychiatric help… hopefully before she gives birth and this becomes an issue. (Those examples made me cry… for both the mothers and the children.) Your middle example is phrased in such a way that it sounds like a women is projecting in advance that pumping while working will be “like living in the 9th circle of hell”. Until someone tries to do it (and hopefully at least nurses right after birth and for as long as she can) she shouldn’t make a decision based on other people’s negative experiences of nursing while working. Pumping at work is by no means ideal and many women find they can’t continue but that’s no reason to avoid breastfeeding *at all*.

    • Beth Shupp-George

      December 4, 2013 at 12:08 am

      All those things you listed are certainly valid reasons, but many moms are not able to meet their breastfeeding goals because of incredibly crappy and inaccurate advice that they’ve received, even from medical professionals, and societal lack of support not just for breastfeeding but for moms in general, including the fact that in this country most have to go back to work within 6 – 12 weeks.

    • Cee

      August 6, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      Oh fuck. You are here . .
      Im sure the only moms “fixated on formula” are close minded, idiotic tit zealots.

    • meteor_echo

      August 7, 2013 at 4:11 am

      I’m stealing “tit zealots”, if you don’t mind :3

    • Simone

      August 7, 2013 at 5:19 am

      Or has it all gone tits-up again? 🙂

    • Cee

      August 7, 2013 at 6:55 am

      Doo it!

    • AugustW

      August 6, 2013 at 10:13 pm

      Depends on what you define as a “valid medical excuse”. My friend had a breathing tube in her side as a kid, and for some reason breastfeeding really hurt. Does that count?
      I couldn’t keep a supply going, even with every trick in the book. Is this a medical reason or simply an excuse to be lazy (as I was told at the WIC office)?
      How about the mom’s who have to go back to work and don’t have a breastfeeding friendly employer? It’s not a medical reason, but it’s a reason.

      I could list about a thousand other reasons someone doesn’t breastfeed. They are all valid (even just “I don’t want to” is valid, because in the end, formula is still food!)

  18. TheMadTeaCup

    August 6, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    I expected something a bit more thought out. Not a bunch of gifs with defensive “arguments”. I get that this was supposed to be funny, but it came off as whiny.

  19. April Waters

    August 6, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Not trying to be an ass but if all you formula feeding moms are so sensitive to breastfeeders why read an article with breastfeeding in the title? And then completely take the focus off the subject of the article and turn it into a bitchfest for formula feeding moms? I don’t know any breastfeeding mothers who would be so rude as to make comments like that but I know 100 formula feeding moms who can’t hear the word breastfeeding without getting all pissy and defensive of their choice to bottle feed. Get over yourselves and own your choices

    • Mya

      August 6, 2013 at 7:00 pm

      No, you are trying to be an ass. Saying “not trying to be an ass, but…” doesn’t negate it.

    • April Waters

      August 6, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      Um no actually I am not. I am really wondering why you would read articles about breastfeeding if it pisses you off or hurts your feelings. Why not look up articles on formula and comment on them?

    • Mya

      August 6, 2013 at 8:45 pm

      News flash.. People can read whatever the hell they want. I’m really wondering why you give a fuck, though. The only sensitive person I’m seeing on here is you, getting your panties in a wad over a comment thread. Take a pill.

    • AugustW

      August 6, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      ^^^^^ This, a million times.

    • AugustW

      August 6, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      I personally read whatever I want. I’m not going to be put in the formula corner and told I’m not allowed to read about breastfeeding. FFS.

    • Cee

      August 7, 2013 at 7:13 am

      Because they are in a mom blog where many moms do not breastfeed and there happens to be a disparity between articles (not saying Mommyish in particular) and sites that address formula feeding as often as breast feeding.

      Formula feeding moms here are owning their choices. Nobody here is lying. They are just using an article talking about feeding a child to talk about the way they are feeding a child because they also need outlets to communicate how they nourish their child. I see comments here about people practicing extended breast feeding, formula feeding mothers and everything in between. Not much is being downvoted because almost everyone is being suppotive. It is not a bitchfest. YOU’RE the bitchfest in this thread.

    • Leigha7

      August 9, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      Go look at the comments on the article of things not to say to formula-feeding moms and rethink your claim.

  20. SusannahJoy

    August 6, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    I have to admit, something about extended breastfeeding (past like…. 2ish?) makes me feel a little weird. But! That is totally my issue, not yours, and you have every right to raise your kid however you want (barring abuse, obviously), and I would NEVER say anything, and do my best to try to not let you see my discomfort, because making you feel uncomfortable because of a problem I have is totally not ok.

    • Simone

      August 7, 2013 at 5:17 am

      Yup, basically. It’s none of my damn business what you do with your boobs and your baby. Enjoy.

      I mean, if you and I were close friends, and we discussed our childraising and boobs and stuff together over coffee, I’m sure it wouldn’t be an off-limits topic. But as strangers, I don’t give a hoot how long a woman wants to breastfeed for.

      I’m busy.

    • mewmew34

      August 11, 2013 at 1:31 am

      It should make people feel weird. Humans are the only mammals that breastfeed past a certain point of development. Human mothers just can’t bring themselves to let go of their “babies” and let the kids grow up. Every other mammal on earth instinctively knows that after a certain point their offspring needs to be weened so they can become independent. Human mothers often don’t want their children to be independent, forgetting that their entire purpose as a parent is to teach their child to be a productive member of adult society.

    • Amanda

      August 12, 2013 at 2:40 am

      So the timeline we should use to guage when to wean our human babies should be the same one used by other animals? Will we also be using animal kingdom standards to decide at what age our children should begin to live on their own, fend completely for themselves and breed? What makes you think that humans should be doing the same thing cats, elephants, chipmunks, etc do? How do you know that human mothers aren’t also following their natural instincts when they’re breast feeding their toddlers?

    • Megan

      August 12, 2013 at 8:25 am

      I’m sorry but that is incredibly ignorant. As a woman currently breastfeeding a 26 month old, I can tell you that the reason I haven’t weaned yet is that it is clearly still important and soothing for HIM. I’m going by HIS timeline that he will determine. I would gladly be done with nursing today if he was clearly not in need anymore…the route our breastfeeding relationship takes is up to him, not me. I don’t offer but don’t refuse. I see many kids his age and older who still use a pacifier to go to sleep, and what is the difference exactly? A pacifier is a breast substitute, so why not just give my child the real thing, which is nutritious as well as soothing? Children develop at their own pace, and who are you to determine where that “certain point of development” lays for any child but your own?

    • osofine

      August 12, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      @mewmew34:disqus I suggest you do some actual research about how mammals parent. A terrific book is “Our Babies, Ourselves… How Biology and Culture Shape the Way we Parent” by Meredith Small. It is not a “parenting book”. It is by a pediatric anthropologist and there are no “do’s and don’t”, just very interesting information. I wish I had read it years before I became a mom myself and found myself very judgmental about the first extended breastfeeding mom I encountered (at age 28). (I actually said, “If the kid is old enough to walk up and ask to nurse, he or she is too old.” Though not to the mother’s face, at least. I am so ashamed of myself!) I am so glad I read it when I was pregnant with my 1st. Great stuff about co-sleeping and nursing around the world as well as biology. As to mothers not wanting to let the kids grow up and be productive members of adult society – that’s ridiculous! No mother continues to nurse her child because she’s trying to hold on to them (except perhaps the aforementioned, unfortunate character on “Game of Thrones” who is fictional and written by a man… and is also totally round-the-bend insane). I would guess that *not* experiencing the rejection and abandonment of being “weaned” too early would be a good thing for an adult and reduce a lot of the issues many adults have. But that last part is just my guess – I don’t have the science to back it up… yet.

    • Rella

      October 12, 2013 at 6:27 am

      Actually, this is wrong. They have done studies on human babies vs other mammals and if we fed for as long as other mammals do, the earliest natural age of weaning would be about 2.5 and the oldest would be 7. Remember how long our life span is vs theirs, and the math adds up that humans actually wean their babies insanely early compared to most other mammals. There’s a study by Katherine A. Dettwyler PhD if you want to have an educated opinion on the matter.

    • IndyStorm

      October 12, 2013 at 9:32 am

      I agree with this. While I only nursed a year with both of mine as that felt best to me as breast feeding was not something I enjoyed. But most animals nurse until their young are close to being sexually mature and able to breed. I know with horses we usually kept the foal with the dam until 6 months and they usually have their first heat shorty after turning a year old. In the wild they nurse much longer. But turn the 12 months into years and that is the average age of puberty for humans. 6 months translates into 6 years of nursing to have the same development.

      Humans grow very slow compared to majority of other animals.

    • Beth Shupp-George

      December 3, 2013 at 11:55 pm

      Actually, if you compare us to other primates and their weaning ages in comparison to factors such as size compared to birth weight, age of maturity, length of gestation, and several other things to correct for the differences in rate of maturity, life span, etc, it works out to a natural weaning age of somewhere between 2.5 and 7 – which is pretty common among kids who are allowed to self-wean.

      And even if you compare to other mammals, I believe most naturally wean about the time they’re getting their adult teeth. That’s why baby teeth are called “milk teeth.”

      From the article “Milk teeth generally are replaced by the time of weaning….”

    • Heather James

      February 9, 2014 at 2:22 am

      The natural age of weaning for humans averages something like age 3.7. If one uses baby led weaning, as is done in most traditional cultures and is considered to be best practice here, ow would this be possible? So far, I’ve had 2 kids wean themselves, one right at 3, one a few months before. I expect my current nursling, who is 2.5, will wean about the same time. When they’re done, they’re done. The last few weeks are honestly a bit odd, because it’s almost like they are forgetting how. DD weaned at 3, even though DS1, at 17 months, was still going strong, so I had plenty of milk. DS1 weaned a few months shy of 3, a few weeks before DS2 was born. When I was engorged after DS2 was born, I asked DS1 if he wanted to nurse, but he didn’t. I don’t believe you can make a kid nurse if they are really ready to wean.

      And I hope mine remember nursing, at least a little! At the very least, they know that that is how babies are supposed to eat, and they know it is normal which will serve them well when they become parents!
      Instead, I have had to explain that some mommies have to use formula because, for whatever reason, they can’t nurse.

    • Meagan

      March 7, 2014 at 3:48 am

      Every other mammal weans on their own, the mothers don’t do it. It’s exactly the same with humans, only the time it’s normal to breastfeed for is much longer, because human beings need to develop further than just survival. Human babies need to be emotionally developed as well as mentally and physically. By allowing the CHILD to decide when they’re ready to wean, then we mothers are helping our child to become better independent. Your narrow-minded thinking is actually quite new. It used to be that every single mother who could breastfeed, breastfed until their child was between 2 and 4 years old, or until their child weaned on their own. Society was a lot more stable then because children were better grounded and more independent and confident,due to the closeness they received during their young childhood. These confident and independent children grew up to be kind, considerate, respectful, independent and confident adults. Once people began to think that breastfeeding caused the opposite, and began to force children to wean before they were ready, then we’ve had a huge epidemic of dependent, children who lack confidence. Often children will try to act as though they’re independent when they’re not because they have been shown that they can’t count on the adults around them. In reality, they are not truly independent and their behavior will eventually show this.

      One of the most important things that parents,especially mothers, need to learn/know is that the parent never pushes the child away. The child should always be the one to pull away from the parent. This happens when the child has gotten what they need in order to move on to the next phase of their development. It has nothing to do with the mother wanting to keep the child as a baby as long as possible. Most often, those of us who allow our children to wean when ready have to remind ourselves of the good things that come from extended breastfeeding, because it is not easy. I have to remind myself, everyone he wants to nurse AGAIN that I will miss this when it’s over, and that at least I get another cuddle with my active toddler. I have to tell myself these things over and over again because, at times, it can drive a person a little nutty, when LO wants to nurse at the most inconvenient times or for a long time because they’re sick.

      Maybe, people like you need to do a bit more research before opening your mouth (or typing their ignorant comments out for all to see). Educate yourself before showing how little you know and understand. Breastfeeding until the child is ready to wean is the most natural thing to do, it’s what our ancestors did until the formula industry started up and started trying to push their way in any way they could, and that started by telling moms things like it’s gross or dirty, or that breastfeeding causes children to not be independent. I always feel so sorry for people like you who haven’t a clue.

  21. Edify

    August 6, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Thanks Amanda, redressing the balance as a few of us were discussing in comments

  22. The Great Queen Spider

    August 6, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    If your kid starts acting like Robin Arryn, you should probably stop.

  23. Sarah

    August 6, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    just whinging and whining. who cares what ANYONE says, it’s what’s up to you and your child what you want.
    remember: it’s not about your right to breastfeed.. it’s about your CHILD’S right to food! what ever path you choose, breast or formula.. you shouldn’t be worried about justifying it/whinging about it/protesting about it or lording it over others. all that matters is your healthy happy CHILD.

    • AugustW

      August 6, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      In a perfect world, that would be awesome. I don’t, personally, care how someone feeds their kid as long as they do. But I spent a lot of mentally anguishing time when my daughter was younger, feeling like a complete failure as a mother because all these “experts” were telling me breastfeeding was not only best, but that formula would destroy my child.

  24. mleedoyle

    August 7, 2013 at 3:24 am

    wow thanks for warning of the vulgarity in this article and accompanying photos. had my 5 year old on my lap reading/watching. first time to this site and will be my last. plenty of other pro bf sites around without having to read/look at filth.

    • Simone

      August 7, 2013 at 5:27 am

      If it’s your first time on a site, perhaps you might be best looking it over alone first, instead of with your five year old on your lap.

    • Zettai

      August 7, 2013 at 10:46 am

      Ding ding ding, Winner!

    • Unhappy Gilmore

      August 7, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      You’re a moron. Go breastfeed your five-year-old and shut the fuck up.

  25. Anna

    August 7, 2013 at 8:18 am

    I live in Southeast Asia, and my brother-in-law nursed until he was 3. My sister-in-law nursed until she was 7, and my husband’s cousin nursed until she was 5. It really is Western culture that looks at nursing past a certain age negatively. In the village they’ll just pull their boob out over the top of their shirt and let it hang out while their child is nursing– sometimes the child is even standing up while nursing! Nobody even gives it a second thought. It’s considered your responsibility not to look.

  26. CB

    August 7, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    As someone who has worked in informal education, and who has had moms start breast feeding toddlers in the middle of an activity, I stand firmly behind this version of the “If she can ask . . . “: If your child is old enough to verbalize a desire for the boob, your child is old enough to wait until you can find somewhere less distracting. Infants? Can’t really wait. A three year old? Can deal with a sippy cup for half an hour.

    • isitsevenyet

      August 8, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      Some babies can ask as soon as 6 months or maybe a little later. Should a 6 month old have to wait?

    • Beth Shupp-George

      December 4, 2013 at 12:00 am

      Should the child also have to wait until the end of the activity for a hug or cuddle? Breastfeeding is not just about having a drink.

  27. Whitney

    August 7, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    7 and 8 were my favorite. Thanks! Great read.

  28. Unappy Gilmore

    August 7, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Methinks you are so defensive because you realize how fucked up it is to breastfeed your CHILD not your baby. Also, I’m quite certain you judge the shit out of “formula moms”

    • Mya

      August 7, 2013 at 11:15 pm

      Methinks you are a douche. Shut up. Worry about your own kid.

    • isitsevenyet

      August 8, 2013 at 11:10 pm

      The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for AT LEAST two years. This mom hasn’t gotten to that point yet.

  29. crabbycakes

    August 8, 2013 at 3:08 am

    I really like this but it honestly made me kind of dizzy to read. im being serious it would be better without the moving graphics. but i’m nursing my 1 year old daughter till she stops herself so i loved the article! thanks for posting =)

  30. disgusted

    August 8, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    How about, “Are you dating your kid.” Is your husband jealous?”

  31. Elizabetty

    August 8, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    OMG If I hear another comment about “Pulling down Mom’s shirt” I’m gonna lose it. My daughter is 14 months old, she’s been pulling my shirt since she was about 6 months old. You know what? I just may start walking around topless, that way, no offensive shirt puling!! 🙂 To all the of the formula feeding Mother’s here who are making offensive remarks about extended breastfeeding, I find bottle-feeding offensive to look at. Seeing someone pull out a bottle of GMO artificial crap and feed it to a newborn is offensive to me. I won’t say anything to you about it because that was your choice, as my choice is to nurse my daughter. So if you keep your snotty remarks to yourself, I’ll do the same.

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  33. Extended breastfeedingisgross

    August 9, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    1st of all, it is weird. And if you leave it up to self-weaning she will never wean,because she uses it as a comfort thing. So when your child is 5 years and still drinking from the tit you will know why. And I feel sorry for your hubby, he doesn’t get any tit action.

    • Beth Shupp-George

      December 4, 2013 at 12:05 am

      Children do self-wean when they are ready, just like they give up other things that are comforting to them as they find new ones. Not many adults are sucking their thumbs or carrying around blankies. And yes, I do know exactly why my five year old is still nursing: Because she still needs to. She nurses much less that she used to, of course, and is on the road toward weaning, but she will do it in her own time.

      Oh, and breast are multi-purpose. Just sayin’

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  35. Rachel M

    August 9, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! My almost 19-month old still likes to nurse and although I sometimes joke that she’ll come home from prom and ask for it, it really and truly, is not anyone else’s business. Nor is it their right to comment in the first place. I’ve been getting crap since coming back from maternity leave, however, at 16 weeks. And I work at a WOMEN’S hospital and my dept. is full of nurses!! (Very ignorant ones, might I add!)

  36. Janine Fowler

    August 10, 2013 at 2:51 am

    Why are the top comments on this post about formula? Seriously, take your issues elsewhere and let this post be about extended breastfeeding. Formula feeding is (scientifically, medically proven) less healthy than breastfeeding and yet it is much more socially accepted than extended breastfeeding.

  37. Qme

    August 10, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    I nursed my oldest until he was 2 1/2. I was only able to nurse my youngest for 6 months and I mourned the loss of those 2 years. We knew the oldest was ready to wean when he fell down, cried, came for a comfort nurse and licked my nipple and was then fine and stopped crying. I figure if they can’t remember how to latch on, they’re done! 😀 My oldest still has less colds/flues than the rest of us and him immune system’s in great form. And no, he doesn’t remember nursing but he does understand what breasts are really for and has a healthy respect for women as individuals. He’s 24.

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  39. Ryan Anderson

    August 14, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    It’s the true tragedy of western medicine that gives people the idea that they have some sort of right to tell others how to care for their child. There is nothing stronger than a mothers intuition. I get so sick of every fad that comes out due to something Dr Oz said. Do people not remember he gets paid to say those things? Any mother would trust the natural instincts within to dictate how to nurture her children.

    Kudos to you!

  40. eribra

    August 16, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    At 18, my breasts were a sexual organ and I was in no way going to feed my son with my boobs! At 37, my heart wasn’t in it but I figured I’d give it a whirl- I can not describe the feelings of absolute contentment, joy and love I felt. I eventually stopped at 5 months due to because I made too much- he never got the hind milk and was colicky- I tried EVERYTHING- it just didn’t work. My daughter in law breastfeeds my granddaughter, she is going to feed til grandbaby weans herself- I admire her resolve and support her decisions wholeheartedly ( ok- I kinda wish I could have grand daughter overnight but can’t cause she refuses any food but breastmilk straight from the source- but that’s just selfish Grandma thinking!) D-I-L shared this- take a look- it’s powerful!

  41. Sweinhardt

    August 17, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    My daughter’s 2.5 and still asking for milk. We nurse everywhere (I’ve gotten pretty casual about it) & had a doula compliment me the other day but I’ve also had friends say some pretty stupid things to me. The best was when my doctor – a mother of 4 who breastfed also – told me I should stop when my girl was 1 as it wouldn’t be fair to my husband to keep going. Uh, oh-kaayyy… We’ll stop when she wants to or we need to, thank you very much.

  42. Anna

    August 28, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    You’re my new BFF, OK? Check out my blog! I think you might like it.

  43. Truth

    October 12, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Sorry, but reality is what it is. I FULLY support breast-feeding, but when it goes on too long you just come across as a flake who is raising kids with MAJOR issues. :/

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  46. michele

    December 3, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Wow. I know this is old but this article was strictly about extended breastfeeding. How did the comments turn into offended parents who feed their babies formula. How does this article pertain to you? :s

  47. Breastfeedingmomma

    January 11, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    I breast fed my son until he was 3. I got weird looks, stupid questions and yes unfortunately made to feel like I was doing something shameful. Do not let people’s reactions deter you from breast feeding until you and the child feel it’s time to stop. By the way, my son does remember breast feeding, sometimes he asks if I still have “milks” for him. When I say no, he will lift his shirt and say I can have his. Quite humorous.

  48. Jesi Harmon

    January 22, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    I totally love you. Just saying. lol

  49. ashley

    February 7, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    I don’t think the author likes television…or people who watch it.

  50. Jaime

    February 9, 2014 at 9:53 am

    This is a great read. I get many of those comments over and boer again by the same people. NO I am not stopping till she is ready and she is not ready get at 16 months!

  51. Apologies

    February 10, 2014 at 5:48 am


    (Stop at their marriage?)

  52. momanddoula

    February 11, 2014 at 5:00 am

    Just one little thing… Extended? Why “extended breastfeeding”? =) I don’t think we are extending anything, we’re just being natural and letting our bodies and our children decide, aren’t we?
    By the way, I loved it!

    • Meagan

      March 7, 2014 at 4:22 am

      I know what you mean! It’s like calling organic produce organic,when it’s actually the most natural and the way things were before we went and messed with it! So why should we have to call it “extended breastfeeding” when it is the way every human breastfed (if they could) until the formula and medical industry started warping people’s minds on what is normal. Breastfeeding until the CHILD is ready to wean is far more natural than forcing the child to stop long before they’re ready.

  53. mich

    February 16, 2014 at 1:02 am

    Hahah! That was amazing!

  54. Mom

    February 18, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    I just wish I would no longer see moms and dads feeding babies bottles while they are sitting in their infant carriers or bottles turned so their babies aren’t even looking in their eyes. That’s what really bothers me; the lack of human connection and skin to skin contact. It isn’t a judgment; it’s what we’ve all witnessed. Breastfeeding provides an amazing connection. Propping a bottle in LOs mouth as you push along in the mall does not.

  55. Mom

    February 18, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I’m sorry that many FfMoms feel defensive. But you picked the second best way to feed your baby. Don’t be defensive. Just own it. Science doesn’t lie. It is what it is. Breast milk is best on every level. What else is there to say? It’s a losing argument.

    • Sandy

      March 7, 2014 at 6:11 am

      Riiiiiiight. “picked”. Because its always a choice

  56. Trish

    March 9, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Maybe, the people with the “Where is the one for what not to say to the formula feeder!” comments could go and complain on the just plain breastfeeding post.

    Generally you won’t have people giving you crap for giving your 2+ year old formula… because generally you don’t see 2+ (or heck, many 18 month olds) going around with a bottle of formula. If this was just a post about how breastfeeding is “way more awesome than formula” I would appreciate your comments (having been on both sides of the debate) and I would understand your frustration. However, this is a post about EXTENDED breastfeeding, something that you get non-stop crap about should you dare mention that you are doing. I’m fairly sure for every ONE comment that I ever got about formula feeding I get 3-4 for still nursing – very openly and often – my almost 2 year old.

  57. Autumn

    March 15, 2014 at 10:47 am

    I’m still nursing my soon to be 18 month old. I feel I can’t tell people because I almost always hear about why I need to stop or how I shouldn’t feel proud for nursing this long because cousin Jane couldn’t BF past two weeks. I always hear, “you know, not everyone can breastfeed and saying you still do so hurts others feelings that they didn’t.”

    BFings was not a walk in the park for us. We struggled through various issues. I worked through them by choice and never looked down upon mom’s who ultimately stopped BFing because of similar issues. It’s hard work. I also don’t look at FFing mom and think they have it any easier. I was FFed baby. I was sick a lot as a child but feel that second hand smoke caused most my health issues. Wish more people would do their homework and look at other environmental factors that cause health problems vs blaming it on the formula. Also, some kids are more intelligent than others because their care givers spend time with them on development actives vs letting them watch TV all day.

    We are all moms doing what we feel is best for our children. Why can’t we all just leave it at that?

  58. ccrit

    April 16, 2014 at 7:38 am

    Do you have an extreme breastfeeding story?

    We are casting for a new documentary television show and we are
    looking for breastfeeding women who would like to share their weird and
    wonderful stories with us.

    If you or someone you know has a remarkable or really unusual
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    Only applicants with extraordinary stories will be considered.

    Please tell us about yourselves, your story and attach a picture if you can.

    Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you.

  59. hormonaLisa

    May 24, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Wait… why did this thread turn into a formula vs. Breastfeeding debate? Girls cut each other down. Let’s be women, shall we? We all love our babies and we all feed our babies. Please stay about the rest. IT’S NOT A MOMPETITION….

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