Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Extraordinary Breastfeeding

*WARNING* If you are offended by breastfeeding you should not watch this video.

While I am pro-breastfeeding I have mixed feelings about this video. It seems that at 8 years old, children are on their way to puberty and are forming ideas about sexuality, their bodies, and families. Is this in some way going to harm their well being? Or are my thoughts based on this biased since this is not typical? It just doesn't seem healthy that the girls seek out the breast for comfort and what about those detailed drawings of breasts? What does that represent?

On the other hand-a mother's milk is the best nourishment. Will this extraordinary breastfeeding give them a greater appreciation for women, their bodies, and bonding with their own children? Will they see their bodies in a healthy light and not as sexual objects?


Jessica said...


ranter said...

Ummm. Right. You might have mixed feelings about this but I don't. I think it is outrageous. Sorry. I am very Pro-breastfeeding but there is a limit just like there is a limit with everything in life. I love the way they say that it is no ones' business yet here they are doing this interview. Maks you wonder.
P.s I like your new picture.

Jessica said...

As you recall, I was speechless last night. And horrified. But I didn't want to say anything based on those emotions. I wanted to think about it for a bit.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends: "Pediatricians and parents should be aware that exclusive breastfeeding is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months of life and provides continuing protection against diarrhea and respiratory tract infection. Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child."

There's no mention of breastfeeding too long. Is it because it's not possible to breastfeed too long? Of course not. At a certain point, every child needs to begin the painful process of establishing independence from his/her parents. It almost seems like that's what the teen years are for! :)

The child in the video wasn't a teenager yet, so I'd say if she wants to breastfeed and her mother is willing, then go for it. But any child who shows signs puberty but doesn't seem to want to begin the process of distancing herself from her parents and becoming independent -- then there's cause for concern about his/her psychological development.

I'd be interested in hearing what child-development experts say. When is a child really too old to breastfeed? When does a child's desire to continue breastfeeding signify a problem in his/her emotional or psychological development?

I did read once that children who are allowed to self-wean usually do so between the ages of two and four. But if that's true, why do women and children regularly breastfeed until age 5 and beyond in unindustrialized parts of the world?

That Blue Girl said...

I totally agree with all you said. At first when I saw the video, my jaw dropped and I thought Oh My God! Then I thought about it and wondred, is it really so wrong? It's just not customary, so that's why there's that shock factor...but the more I thougth about it, I also wondered what implications there would be emotionally or psychologicaly later. It's great that they are all comfortable doing it, and there is good nourishment, but it really bothered me when the mother talked about her daughter feeding for comfort. Don't the "experts" talk about how you're supposed to help your children get over their attachment to comfort items like "stuffies" or "blankies" isn't this a similar idea?

I don't know. I still feel mixed emotions about the whole thing. My mind is telling me it's not right, but I am not sure if it's just because of society and what is considered "normal" or if really there is something more to it. I feel like I can't even accurately articulate what I am trying to say.

Jessica said...

Same here. All I know is that I'm not going to be breastfeeding an eight year old. These rest is up in the air.

Janie Hickok Siess, Esq. said...

Well, I don't have any mixed feelings about it. I doubt seriously that anyone associated with the Am. Acad. of Pediatrics seriously thought they were talking about eight year-olds.

It's really very simple: If your kids are big enough to be nicknaming your boobs, they are too big to be drinking from them.

I have never seen anything so ridiculous in my life. And I can assure you that BigBob would not have been so "supportive." He would have had me committed, as that poor woman's husband should do for her. They ALL need some serious psychological help.

That Blue Girl said...

"It's really very simple: If your kids are big enough to be nicknaming your boobs, they are too big to be drinking from them." I TOTALLY agree with that. :-) After thinking about it-it just seems wrong on so many levels. If she was serious about giving her children breastmilk for nutritional purposes, she should have pumped.

Mom101 said...


Okay, now that that's out of my system...

What bugs me most is that she believes her children should determine when they stop. I think that's giving them too much responsibility. Children are generally not capable of making decisions that are best for them, which is why they have us. Not that I can say definitively that this isn't "best" -- but as you said, children need to separate from their parents as a healthy stage in their development.