Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bursting Bubbles

Last month we had our Third Annual Breastival of Nurslings photography event. It was a huge success and we had 41 mamas come to get their portraits taken while nursing their children. It was so wonderful to be surrounded by like-minded mamas and just chat the afternoon away.

During the photo shoot we realized just how many of us were tandem nursing mamas, so we took the opportunity to do a group shot of all of us nursing!


Allison Kuznia Photography - http://www.facebook.com/allisonkuzniaphotography
Age of Nurslings from left to right; 3, 1, 1, 3, 2, 0, 0, and 1

The four of us are regulars at playdates, and this sight is actually a pretty common one in my backyard. The only usual thing about it really is that we are in a line instead of in a circle. This is our norm. We often spend playdates nursing our babies (and by babies, we mean the children under the age of 2) frequently with the older ones occasionally coming in for a quick nurse, before they run off to play. We have been so immersed in a breastfeeding friendly culture like this that we kind of forgot that we aren't "normal." We posted the photo on our FB fan page... and quickly thereafter came some negative comments of how "gross" we are and how our children are "too old." I will say, 99% of the comments were gushing over how we are the most awesome women on the planet and how they wished they had friends like this in their community. The handful of negative ones were kind of a shock as we have been living in this little happy bubble of absolute acceptance and love for our full term breastfeeding.

The natural age of weaning is between ages 2 and 7, with the average being between 3 and 5 years of age. These children are all well within the normal breastfeeding age for humans. It is only our society and myths that are leaving people to feel like this is somehow wrong. News flash... breasts are not sexual organs! If you are someone that has a foot fetish... does that suddenly make feet sexual organs? Breasts can be used during a sexual act... but their main purpose in life is to supply breastmilk to children. Surprise!!! There is nothing sexual about breastfeeding children. Breastfeeding does not suddenly become inappropriate or no longer beneficial at 366 days of age (or whatever you think the cut off should be.) 


Here are some great resources about full term breastfeeding and the benefits of nursing older children.

http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detwean.html

http://www.llli.org/ba/aug94.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2720507/

http://kellymom.com/ages/older-infant/ebf-benefits/

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