BREASTFEEDING: HOW OLD IS TOO OLD? – BCK

Breastfeeding is a natural and special occurrence between mother and child. The act creates an immediate special bond between the two. However, recently, the question has surfaced how old is too old to continue breastfeeding? Coco Austin, wife of Ice T and mother to four-year-old Chanel, went viral when she posted a picture of herself still breastfeeding her child.

“I’m so blessed to have this unbelievable experience in this thing called Nursing,” she wrote. “I hung in there, and now almost four years later Chanel still wants the boob. It’s more of a comfort thing now, and of course she eats regular, but nap time and nighttime are our time, and I’m lucky she hasn’t grown out of it yet because when that moment comes I will be so sad. It’s the best feeling, and ALL mothers that nurse know.”

Many people have weighed in on the subject, in general, and one of those is mother Shanna Garvey, who breastfeed her child until he was three-years-old, in an interview with Foxnews.com.

“It would be his way of coping with situations that weren’t comfortable for him,” Garvey said. “He became a fixture on my hip.” In many other countries, it is common for nursing mothers to breastfeed beyond the first year. In the US, according to the CDC, 49 percent of mothers breastfeed for six months and 27 percent are doing it up to a year. The WHO, World Health Organization, recommends breastfeeding up to two years and beyond.

Everyone knows that breastfeeding has amazing and immense health benefits for infants, but those same benefits extend to toddlers.

“There’s no point at which you can’t say, ‘There’s no value to this,’” Dr. Joan Meek, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ section on breast-feeding and a professor of clinical sciences for the Florida State University College of Medicine, said in the same interview with Foxnews.com. “The more total months of breast-feeding that a mother does throughout her lifetime, the greater the protection.”

So, when is it time to stop? Well, according to the experts, most mothers stop breastfeeding between two-and three-years-old. While others continue well beyond. But, they also ultimately say that it is up to the mother and family as a whole to make the transition.

“Mommy should not be pressuring herself one way or the other or having a rigid idea of what ‘right’ looks like,” Dr. Shoshana Bennett, a clinical psychologist, a perinatal specialist in Orange County, Calif. and author of “Postpartum Depression for Dummies, told Foxnews.com. “Whatever is right for that particular mom, that dad and that family will be the right way to go.”

What do you think? Sound-off! We want to hear from moms on both sides of the issue!

Photo: MommasVillagefay

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