I recently came across the Time magazine cover of a mother nursing her three-year-old, standing son (or what is known as full term breastfeeding).  The caption reads, “Are you Mom enough?  Why attachment parenting drives some mothers to extremes-And how Dr. Bill Sear’s became their guru.”

I just feel like there is so very much wrong with this before I even get to the actual full term breastfeeding article itself.

As a mother, and a breastfeeding mother of an almost two-year-old, I am quite taken aback.

The insinuation here is that you have to be some type of SUPER mom to be able to breastfeed your child past infancy.  While I am more than willing to admit extended breastfeeding can be challenging at times, I would hardly say that you must don a cape and superpower to make it happen. 

Read this: “Normalizing Breastfeeding: Why I Decided to Let Go of the Warrior in Me” 
No mom should feel like they are less of a good mom for not choosing to breastfeed full term. Click To Tweet

No mom should  feel like they are less of a good mom for not choosing to breastfeed full term.  Just as we are all very different mothers, and our Littles are all very different children, it’s only expected that our journeys are all unique.  And yes, I do know who Dr. Sears is. I have read a few of his articles. But my decision to breastfeed and/or to continue on an extended breastfeeding journey had nothing to do with him, his research, or any of his publications.

No mom should be made to feel as if they are less of a good mom for not choosing to go on a full term breastfeeding journey.

And what exactly is so extreme about full term breastfeeding?  I get to nourish and comfort my child anytime, anywhere. It feels natural to me. What’s more, it seems anything but extreme.  To me what seems extreme is making my child go without or wait until we get home to nurse, or weaning him all together when neither of us is ready for that.

What it comes down to pure and simple, is that our society sexualizes the act of breastfeeding.  If it involves breasts, it must be inappropriate.  And if the child is old enough to walk or talk, how dare you offer them your breast?

READ THIS: If you support breastfeeding, “but”, you may be a breastfeeding butter.

 Now THAT is extreme, and completely inappropriate and unnecessary.  While it is somewhat acceptable for women to nurse their infants, our society still expects them to cover up and hide the act itself even if that is anything but comfortable for the mother and baby.  And let’s not even broach the idea of a mother nursing her toddler in public, covered or not.

Extended breastfeeding - Extreme or Natural 5

Extended breastfeeding - Extreme or Natural 4

Extended breastfeeding - Extreme or Natural 6

 

 
No matter what you believe, women have breasts for one reason and one reason only.

To nurse our children. 

The end.  There is nothing wrong, nothing extreme, and nothing inappropriate about this, no matter the age of the child.

Extended breastfeeding - Extreme or Natural 7Worldwide, breastfeeding well into early childhood is the norm.

Most children aren’t weaned until they are over four years old, well exceeding the age of the child on the Time cover.  Yet these mother’s aren’t seen as being extreme or SUPER moms, they are just viewed as natural and normal. 

It is a very sad day in our country and our society that mothers who take this exact same path are shunned and ostracized.  I can only hope that through movements like this, Breastfeeding World, and mothers like us, that we can change this here at home so that our sons and daughters will be able to see the beauty and intimacy in the act and will be free to openly breastfeed their children for as long as they please with no need for labels or scrutiny.  I will write for that!

We would love to hear from you, what are your thoughts on extended breastfeeding and they way it our country views it?
Like this post? Don’t forget to Pin it! Help us “Spread the Breastfeeding Love!”

I love this post centered around the breastfeeding controversy- whether full term breastfeeding is extreme or natural. So many people are horrified or "disgusted" by the idea of a child "Stil" breastfeeding, yet what they don't realize is that not only is it beneficial, but is a worldwide norm! Toddler nursing, child breastfeeding, extrended breastfeeding, full term breastfeeding, self weaning toddler, how to wean, when should I wean my baby, breastmilk, breast milk, breastfeeding photography, allyson lux, breastfeeding world, time magazine, dr sears, attachment parenting, peaceful parenting, breastfeeding tips, breastfeeding advice, breastfeeding facts, toddler breastmilk, breast milk facts,

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Allyson Lux

Allyson Lux

I am a single mom to the most amazing little boy in the entire world. He is the light of my life! We also have the two sweetest doggies who complete our little family.I am a high school teacher and a photographer, and am very passionate about breastfeeding, babywearing, attachment parenting, and raising my son in the most natural way possible!
Allyson Lux

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2 Comments on Full Term Breastfeeding: Extreme or Natural?

  1. Jehefinner
    October 27, 2017 at 8:16 AM (3 months ago)

    It’s not extended. It’s natural term breastfeeding. Please stop using the term ‘extended’, to allow self-weaning is natural, to actively wean is premature and not the biological norm, the terminology ‘extended’ makes it sound extreme and unnatural.

    Reply
    • Lauren Lewis
      October 27, 2017 at 9:45 AM (3 months ago)

      You are absolutely right, this was an older article and we will change the title!

      Reply

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