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'We are not 'still' breastfeeding, we're just breastfeeding,' say mums who feed past 12 months

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The Honest Body Project
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There's been an awful lot in the press lately about extended breastfeeding. Turns out it gets a bit of a bad rep.

 

Extended breastfeeding - that's past 12 months - is something many mothers choose to do. There are all sorts of theories as to when to stop breastfeeding, some stop after about a year, whereas some may continue until their child is a toddler and some even longer.

 

For some, the concept of breastfeeding a child who isn't a baby anymore
may seem a little strange, but these women say that there shouldn't be a
limit on breastfeeding, and that feeding past 12 months shouldn't be
considered 'extended' it should still just be, breastfeeding.

 

'I am a full time working mom. I spend my evenings snuggling and nursing. It's a unique bond that we have and it helps make up for the time spent apart.'

 

The series of 36 black and white photos features American women feeding their children,
some as old as five, and sharing the stories of their breastfeeding journey.

 

'I'm proud to say we full term nurse, we don't have a time frame we are looking to stop, and I am proud and comfortable with my choice!'

 

Natalie McCain, who took the photos as part of her series, The Honest Body Project, says she hopes the pictures will inspire people to open their eyes and not pass judgement on women who choose to breastfeed for longer. 

 

'When the twins were getting close to 2 years old, I remember baby A nursing with me then all of a sudden he unlatched, babbled something I couldn't understand to his brother, and then latched back on.  Seconds later baby B came over and latched on.  I know he must have been telling his brother to come and nurse!' 

 

Natalie, who's a mother herself, says: 'No mother deserves to be judged for how she chooses to feed her child.  I personally nursed my children while they were toddlers and I can speak from experience when I say it is a very natural, beautiful thing.

 

More: The Honest Body project shows true mum bods in all their bumpy glory

 

'It's time we support one another. What works for one family,  may not work for yours, but that does not mean it is wrong.'

 

'There will be a day when he will no longer choose to nurse and I trust my son enough to tell me when that will be.'

 

Most of the women pictured state that they will only stop breastfeeding when their child is ready, or asks to stop, no matter what age that might be.

 

'My goal has been to nurse my kids until they are done. I'm so fulfilled that we've been successful so far. Never in a million years did I think I'd be nursing three though, with having twins shortly!'

 

Extended breastfeeding is something that often attracts negative attention. Most recently, an Australian mother who chose to speak out about breastfeeding her six-year-old daughter revealed she'd suffered all sorts of abusive comments, including being called a paedophile, online. You can read more about her story, here

 

Mum-of-three Maha Al Musa came under fire for still breastfeeding her six-year-old daughter recently.

 

When did you choose to stop breastfeeding? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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Your comments

Tara

We're at 16 months and still feeding regularly. It's just feeding my child naturally, it's not 'extended'.

Karli

Almost all giving lie to that old wives' tale that breastfeeding makes weight drop off after having a baby....

Susan Foyle

Sorry if this is un pc of me but if a child is attending school it is too old to be breastfeeding in my opinion.. Are you not in danger of impeding development and independence?

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