I haven’t written a breastfeeding diary here since I took on Hanna Rosin two months ago, but the Iowa blogger at Fat Single Mom Takes on the World informed me that there was some kind of “online carnival” last week about nursing toddlers. (Here are some links.)
I figured now is as good a time as any to compile information about breastfeeding beyond a child’s first birthday.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, continued breastfeeding until a baby is at least 12 months old, and after that as long as it is mutually desirable for mother and baby to keep nursing.
The World Health Organization recommends nursing at least to age two, and beyond that age if mother and child wish to keep nursing.
This power point presentation by Dr. Jack Newman, author of the Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers, contains lots of information about nursing toddlers. Dr. Newman also provides various views on what should be considered the “normal” age for weaning in humans.
Resources for women who are nursing beyond 12 months of age:
*This page at KellyMom lists numerous advantages of extended nursing, for mothers as well as for children. (Links to references are provided.)
*Mothering Your Nursing Toddler by Norma Jane Bumgarner is a must-read book.
*The Attachment Parenting International site includes interactive forums for your own questions as well as these answers to frequently-asked questions about nursing toddlers.
Speaking of breastfeeding, at Mother Talkers prgrsvmama26 brings us the news that Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York will reintroduce the Breastfeeding Promotion Act in June. Click the link for more details about this bill and what you can do to support it.
Here is some information about the economic benefits (for employers as well as employees) of helping working mothers to breastfeed.
According to this page on the National Conference of State Legislatures site, 23 states have adopted laws related to breastfeeding in the workplace, but Iowa is not one of them. On the plus side, Iowa is among 43 states with laws allowing women to breastfeed in any public or private location. Iowa is also one of 12 states that exempt nursing mothers from jury duty. La Leche League has compiled more detailed information on breastfeeding and the law in the U.S. and around the world.