Women's Health: Postpartum Community
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Avatar universal

Breast Feeding an older child

I breast fed my daughter until she was 4 years old. I am very proud of this although I felt I had to do it in relative secrecy for the last 2 years as family and friends frowned upon what I was doing and thought it to be rather abnormal.
My daughter is now 7 and still has a very fond affection for my breasts.  She likes to hug and kiss them as much as possible.  Could you please let me know if you think that this is ok and acceptable or should I try to discourage.  She loves to talk about her breast feeding experience and seems to have a fondness for the subject.  I think that it is nice for her to be one of the few children in our society that has warm memories of this.  Is there anyone out there who has children with this kind of attachment.
164 Responses
210400 tn?1325384170
Nope can't say I do...

121828 tn?1333468091
My opinion and I'm sure of any pediatrician, 4 is too old to have breastfed. I think if you wanted her to have the milk you could have pumped.
Avatar universal
No, I don't think this is okay and acceptable. I would definitely discourage it. Her actions should tell you that you went way overboard by breast feeding her until the age of 4.
Avatar universal
I just couldn't imagine this.  I'm sorry, I know no one who breastfed this long.  To me, that isn't appropriate behavior for a 7 year old.. but times change daily.  
126454 tn?1328022622
What was the reason for breastfeeding until she was 4?  Friends of mine have a 3 year old who has been off the bottle for a couple years now and he eats adult food at the table.  I think 4 is pretty old for breastfeeding and, as wannabenana said, I would also discourage her from touching and kissing your breasts.  
13167 tn?1327197724
I think this indicates kind of an abnormal attachment on your part,  honestly.  I'm 100% for breastfeeding - it's great to nurture,  and usually breastmilk quality is superb.

In the same way that you wouldn't have offered her a bottle at age 4,  or bathe a 12 year old mainstream child,  or wipe the bottom of a 10 year old - she wasn't allowed to mature out of breastfeeding at the appropriate time - by 2 or so.

I don't think I would allow her to play with your breasts,  and I think she really needs to be told that most of society would be kind of put off by seeing her play with you the way a 10 month old might.

She needs to know what other people's expectations and reactions will be.
365571 tn?1219601346
Diddo ladies, should pumped if you wanted her to have it that bad.  I think you need consiling for whatever insecurites your having causeing you to do this.  Thats not an attack, but it is something you may want to think about.
441462 tn?1207954814
we had the same thing happen in a town close to me and the mother got arrested for sexual abuse to her daughter,she didnt do anything but breast feed at  the age of 4 and a friend/family turned her in and they got her for sexually abusing her child.i too feel that 4 yrs old is going way too far.my opinion is when the child can drink out of a sippy,6 months,to maybe 9 months then breast feeding should be done.when they are walking around it just doesnt look right to see a toddler on a breast.i think that this woman needs to see a psych doctor,its very unhealthy for her and her daughter and when she starts school she will be talking about her moms breast all the time and they will really cause trouble for her with the other parents when they come home and tell them about what their classmate told them.
93532 tn?1349374050
My boys all walked by 9 mos, so does that mean I should have weaned them and started stuffing them full of formula? Yet you think it is okay to see a 1,  2 or 3 year old with a bottle I suppose. That is ridiculous! While I agree that nursing beyond a certain age (even the World Health Organization recommends 2 years, AAP recommends at least a year) can be an issue, as we have seen here, it is not up to any of use to tell her she has sexually abused her child as a result.

I do agree that her behavior now needs to be addressed. She is 3 years removed from nursing and she should be occupying herself with playing, reading, and writing, not your breasts.

167 tn?1374177417
6 to 9 months is not too old to still be breastfeeding. My son is 8.5 months old and will not be weaned from the breast anytime soon. 4 years old, yes that is pushing it but in other countries this is more acceptable than it is here. I stick with the cut off around the time a child would be weaned from the bottle. To OP, what was your reasoning for continuing to nurse until age 4? Do you think there may have been a reason people frowned upon it? It is one thing to be proud of nursing your child when they need it but beyond about 12-18 months it is really not necessary. Something tells me this is not a real post. Where is the OP?
431894 tn?1216659546
Umm, ewww!!   I thought breastfeeding at one was already a lot, but 4, dang...  You need to let her not touch or kiss your breast, you may think it's okay because she's your daughter and you breastfed her til she was 4 but that is a little too weird of her to be feeling such affection towards them.  You should have pumped.   I don't even like seeing women breast feeding their children in public when their small, muchless at 4 years.  No wonder your friends didn't like it too much.
167 tn?1374177417
Andi, I think we posted at the same time. I can't believe anyone thinks a child should be weaned at 6 to 9 months!
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