Breastfeeding toddlers is once again in the spotlight (remember the Time breastfeeding cover in May?).
Collins Avenue, the production company behind “Dance Moms” and “American Stuffers,” has a reality series in development based on mothers who breastfeed their older children, and mothers in the area where the show is filming are speaking up about the issue.
“I didn’t set out to nurse a 3-year-old,” Jessica Cary of Park Slope, whose daughter Olive is still breastfeeding, told the New York Post. “But two years came and went. Now breastfeeding and mothering are so intertwined for me.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breastfeeding for the first 12 months of life and, surprisingly, government agencies don't track breastfeeding past then, which means there isn't a way to know how many mothers continue to breastfeed beyond that.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding until at least 2 years of age, and neither the WHO or the AAP set an upper age limit on nursing. “Experienced pediatricians realize that the benefits of breastfeeding don’t just magically disappear after one year,” Karen McGratty, a lactation consultant in Midwood who is nursing her 3-year-old son, told the Post.
So, when is the right time to wean? Personally, I feel that breastfeeding is a personal choice and what another woman does or does not do with her breasts is none of my business. I breastfed both of my children past their first birthday, but I certainly don't think it's a decision that works for every single family.