Friday, 30 March 2012

Diagram of a Breastfed Toddler

Click for a larger view


Though it is clear that the majority of women worldwide and throughout history have nursed their children into toddlerhood and beyond, women who choose to do so today may face an uninformed and frequently critical audience. Click ‘Like’ to spread the word on Facebook.

16 comments:

Jessica Shuler said...

I'm not pregnant yet, but this is really interesting stuff! When you breastfeed into toddlerhood, is it ok to pump and feed them via bottle, or do they need to still nurse directly on the nipple?

roxy said...

Jessica, I am currently bf a child who will be three in a week (well, not literally right now!) and I cannot imagine a more unnecessary faff than expressing and handing him a cup when it's all there ready to go in my boob. I know it seems weird because we don't see toddlers nursed in our culture (unlike African women I have talked to), but you won't *start* by feeding a toddler. You will start by breast feeding a newborn baby and every day s/he will get a teeny bit bigger and a teeny bit bigger again. It really doesn't feel uncomfortable or strange for this reason.

By toddlerhood they aren't usually feeding as often during the day. My son mostly feeds early morning (when he comes and gets in bed with us so I don't have to move anywhere) and he feeds to sleep. He now rarely asks for feeds during the day, but if he does I oblige as often as I can as it may turn out to be because he is fighting a viral infection or having a growth spurt or tired etc

HTH

Roxy

Alpha Parent said...

What Roxy said.

You must nurse in the way you are most comfortable. If that is via expressing then do it. However bear in mind that some of the comfort-related benefits will be lost (e.g. skin to skin, satisfying dependence needs, etc)

Kitty said...

I can say this is all true in my 3 year olds case, never had ear infection, eyes like a hawk, eats anything, lean and strong and very independent and secure. When she caught a serious virus she was only keeping breastmilk down, at hospital the doctor smiled and said take her home, had she not been breast fed still she'd have been in hospital 3 days on a drip.

I think once you have breast fed you'll then wonder why you would then want to express and use bottles, it's a simple natural progression that they grow, they still need milk and you can still give them that milk :-) As Roxy said - you don't notice them growing every day, it is a slow progression :-)

annaica said...

Love this!!!

Heidi-Ho said...

Ditto all the above. currently breast feeding my third...literally. the only reason i can see you would need to express is if you had to return to work. other than that there's no real need. it becomes so natural most people don't even realise what you're doing.

faith said...

Agreed and it is so true! Breast milk is a like a miracle milk :)
I breastfed my daughter since birth and she is now 20 months, she never had any ear infection or flu (she never even had a flu shots since birth) and she started to use the potty at 15 months,her language developed so early,very independent and confident,not a picky eater.
thank you for this diagram,love it a lot!

lovinlife said...

I, too, can attest to the fact that my little girl is reaping all of the benefits (still) of my choice to extendedly nurse her. She was 3 1/2 when we stopped. I miss it! She is reading and writing, has a memory for music that amazes me... also, I found the taste bud portion of the diagram really interesting. She is the healthiest eater. Beets, asparagus, mushrooms, okra, plums, etc etc. There's not a vegetable or fruit she will turn down. THAT alone makes me so happy. I'm telling you, when you nurse your child into toddlerhood, you start to notice the ways they are different (excellingly different) than their peers. She was signing at 9 months old, potty trained at 15 months, reciting poetry at 2! Its such an easy choice to breastfeed... and once you get past the initial obstacles, its an easy road to follow.

excitementontheside.com said...

Great post!! I nursed my first daughter for four years.

Boobyboutique said...

Great post!! My daughter is 26 months old and still breastfeeding. Until recently, i'd not experienced any adverse opinions. My daughter was admitted to the children's ward a few weeks ago and a night staff nurse decided that the timing was right to debate breastfeeding, commenting that breastfeeding past 1 year was of no nutritional benefit - gah! Culturally our society isn't very accepting of breastfeeding older children as it is, so it's so sad when a children's nurse is so poorly educated in this area too. Love posts like this!

Ansley Marguerite Walker-Pina said...

I have to say that I am a mother of almost 2 year old son and this is my first of 5 children I have nursed past 1 year. Looking back I wish I would have toddler nursed my other chilren as well. I am currently a college student preparing a presentation for a class and I choose Toddler Nursing. It has been a rewarding learning experience. I have learned so many reasons to back up my choice to toddler nurse and not put a limit or timeframe on stopping. Thank you for this wonderful chart!

allie. said...

the difference between breastfeeding and bottle-feeding breast milk is not as large as most people make it out to be. as long as you are making a connection with your infant---holding them, talking to them, having some skin to skin interaction---there really is no major difference. don't take it from me or anyone else on this blog, by the way. go read some of the studies that have been done on it.

Asher's Mom said...

what some of the others said...immunologically yes the benefits are the same for expressed milk vs. direct nursing, but the comfort meaures and attachment measures are not the same. but I can say that when my son was an infant i couldnt IMAGINE nursing a 2 year old, let alone a 3 or 4 or 5 year old...Now, I'm still nursing my very large, 43 lb 3 year old daughter, and i can't imagine expressing milk to feed her. WAY too much work. Plus, if you don't regularly pump, it's very common that your breasts will stop responding to the pump, and you won't get any milk out that way, even if your child gets plenty of milk from directly nursing. Once you've been doing it all along, pumping is just way too much work, and nursing a toddler doesn't suddenly feel "weird" one day the moment they turn 1, or 2, or 3...

Alpha Parent said...

Anther 'benefit' of direct breastfeeding that is lost when bottle feeding expressed milk is the jaw movements that protect from ear infections. These jaw movements are specific to suckling at the breast and are not replicated when bottle feeding.

aristobird said...

so much agree with you. Was thinking for awhile to stop (he is 20 month now/also my third), but he loves it so much. We went away for a week as we thought we will wean him off, in a weeks time the first thing he told me was "mimi" directing at his favourite spot :) was expressing also only in the beginning, now my breasts feel empty, but he gets what he needs :)

Meandiyebah said...

Great post thanks everyone! I'm currently breastfeeding my 16 month old daughter:) I'm a full time nursing student, I returned when she was 3months old. I pumped once a day until 6 months and was able to have my sister drive to meet me in the parking lot at school on my lunch break for another feed each day. I didn't plan on feeding her past two but now I can't imagine weening her until she's ready to do it herself. It's such a natural thing and she loves it. It's amazing how different you feel about it once you're actually doing it. Good luck to all the other new Moms:) My daughter still wakes to feed every 2-3hrs, but she eats lots, loves every food, sleeps well, and is extremely active, out spoken and independent. I'm Canadian and am very lucky to have the support of my partner whose from West Africa. He finds it very natural for a Mom to feed as much and as long as the baby needs. Our society has a strange approach to it, just this week I'm training to work on maternity floor as a nurse, they have an instructor whose never had kids instruct us on how to help moms breast feed, for most of her lecture she played a DVD of a male Dr explaining how to breastfeed, seems ironic and backwards doesn't it. Anyways, good luck and thanks to everyone who's posted about feeding older toddlers/children, it's been great support!

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