How long do you think apes breastfeed for?

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  • I know someone who thought of herself as a hippy and she was still breastfeeding the daughter at the age of 8...was funny because she never fitted with any of our true hippy mates, it was like she saw it as trendy she was a complete ott snobby pushy mum too, but we all felt sorry for the kid.

  • The lifespan of a great ape is half that of the typical human....so you might want to bare that in mind. Also, the Apes dont have an identical psychology or social situation to humans and so may be less prone to neurosis... :)

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • The lifespan of a great ape is half that of the typical human....so you might want to bare that in mind. Also, the Apes dont have an identical psychology or social situation to humans and so may be less prone to neurosis... :)


    :faint:


    Coyote is citing psychology... wtf!! I thought "life holds more majesty than can be found within a psychology text book" or have you started reading research papers like I do... :p


    Anyhoo swiftly back on topic... :o


    I breast fed my own child for almost the first year of her life, tbh she was already eating and was more than ready to come off the boob... I would have breast fed until she was two... but it was clear that she no longer wanted the boob when she was nearly one...


    As far as 'we' (by that I mean scientific study) know there are no dietary health benefits from extended breast feeding... Also encouraging a child to suckle for that long could cause future dental problems (a bottle fed child is encouraged to stop sucking at age one)... Human physiology and psychology as Coyote correctly pointed out is not the same as a great ape.... closely related we may be but in biological/behavioural terms there is a world of difference... I also believe (I have not read any papers on this subject, so it is just what I believe) that there is very little difference when it comes to mother-child attachment...


    So why would you choose to breast feed for an extended time... what is your child going to gain from this... what are you going to gain from this... ;)

  • with me it wasent that anybody gained anything i just couldnt get em too stop and having 7 all under 11 i was tired a lot of the time so it was just easier if im honest
    but i did enjoy the closeness
    i say i fed them all till age 2 it wasent dead on 2 thats just the average
    daniel was murder to stop and it was around his first birthday i started bieng ill so i found it hard too start with

    i remember my dad coming and saying"you still feeding him,his legs are dangling on the floor"
    he was almost 3 when i managed too wean him off

  • I'll feed aslong as Henry wants to - am totally gonna go with baby led weaning but if he's still wanting titty by the time he's 3 then i'd be encouraging him to get that comfort in other ways.

  • i was breastfed til i was 2 and a half :) if i'm successful this time i shall feed as long as baby wants to - my mum was saying all 4 of us decided to wean at different times - my sister took herself off the breast at 10 months - mum had had very little to do with the decision so maybe your princess will decide for herself when she's ready :)


    my son was bottle fed and still has a bottle in the morning and at bedtime (he's 2 and a half) i think there is pressure to get kids off bottles far too soon (ggrrr at the health visitor who told me he shouldn't still have one!) he's got beautiful teeth and all the times he's poorly the comfort it brings him (plus being able to get fluids in him) is priceless :D


    his bottles will be going to the baby reindeers next christmas :D

  • I intend to feed as long as Izzy wants to ~ I am hoping she'll want to 'til she's two, so that she'll have a really strong and healthy start, but if she wants to carry on a bit longer then I am fine with that. I am always very surprised to hear of eight-year-olds breast feeding, as children generally choose to be independant from their mothers on that respect much, much earlier than that.

  • Here we go on the merry go round of breast feeding and when to stop etc etc and what are you getting from it etc etc.

    This will drive us all mad if we do this again,
    I did it and loved it, it was one of the best experiences of my life.
    I did all the 3 children for approximately 2 years and i refused to be told by others, that i did or did not do the right thing for my children and myself.

    How long you do or do not feed for is *no-ones bloody business* and the scientist who say this is the cut off period can bugger off as well, feed for as long as you and your child want, one of mine stopped dead overnight and another would have gone on forever.

    To ask a mother, "what do you get out of it," is way out of line IMHO, no-one has the right to ask you that question, except you yourself. I would tell anyone who asked me that to fuck off, quite frankly.

    There is an enormous bond between mother and child and only they can decide individually when they want to stop, either mum will be ready or baby will indicated when ready, either way, it's between them and not for us to sit here and pontificate over the exact time.

    I really think that one of the reasons i am so close to all of my children is because of the breast feeding, even for years afterwards, they would snuggle into my bosom area when being cuddled, especially when they needed comfort if upset. Would it have been different if I hadn't breast-fed or if i'd bottle fed i don't know, i only know what i did and for me it worked out well, feeding my children beyond the so called recommended time.

    So to any of you mum's out there who are wondering about this and that and the other of breast-feeding, I'd like to say, do what feels right for you and your child. If you are happy and baby is thriving, no matter their age, tell others who stick their nose in to fuck off. Just do what feels right for you.

  • well said lulu
    i feel therre is lots of pressure out there
    if you want to breast feed and you can go for it
    if you cant for whatever reason dont beat your self up
    and baby will guide you
    and remember everyone is different

  • To ask a mother, "what do you get out of it," is way out of line IMHO, no-one has the right to ask you that question, except you yourself. I would tell anyone who asked me that to fuck off, quite frankly.
    .


    Really? Seeing as I did ask that question, I'm interested in knowing why you would say that. It is not like I haven't any experience of breast feeding.... or that I was intending to criticise the choice any mother makes. I just think that at times it is good for us (myself included) to question the motives behind our actions...


    and seeing as the question was not directed to you I can't see why you are getting so worked up about it. Ffs this is a discussion forum is it not.... is it so wrong to question? :rolleyes:

  • I agree Tekno - I would question the woman who was still feeding her 8 year old what she was getting out of it in all honesty... breastfeeding is how we nurture our babies until they are able to feed themselves and obviously there is an overlap on that spectrum which can last for a greater or lesser extent of time - but still breastfeeding at 8 years old?! I just find that Odd and excessive quite frankly.

  • Having read that article now I am struck by the obvious comment that apes feed their babies longer because they are wild animals and its harder for baby apes and chimps to get their food so easier for the mother to continue feeding until the infant is stronger and more independant and can get their own food - its a survival thing. If we as humans had to go back to a hunter/gatherer existance then i guess we too would naturally feed our babies longer ourselves until they are of an age they can exhibit strength and stamina to help source and prepare food themselves...

  • I agree Tekno - I would question the woman who was still feeding her 8 year old what she was getting out of it in all honesty... breastfeeding is how we nurture our babies until they are able to feed themselves and obviously there is an overlap on that spectrum which can last for a greater or lesser extent of time - but still breastfeeding at 8 years old?! I just find that Odd and excessive quite frankly.


    Which is the point I was making in my first post, I *do* understand the benefits of breastfeeding for the first two years of a child's life, I know it helps with developing a secure attachment between mother and child, I also understand the health benefits.... but going over two/three years... when do you stop when they are ... four.. what about if your child decides they want to continue being breast fed when they start school. ;)


    There are no studies (that I am aware of) that have provided any evidence that breastfeding beyong two years has extra health benefits... sorry Lulu... but science can matter... And also by age two the bond between mother and child is pretty concrete...


    And as yourself and PTM have quite rightly said most kids decide when they have had enough of the boob... my own daughter certainly did! :D

  • Really? Seeing as I did ask that question, I'm interested in knowing why you would say that. It is not like I haven't any experience of breast feeding.... or that I was intending to criticise the choice any mother makes. I just think that at times it is good for us (myself included) to question the motives behind our actions...

    and seeing as the question was not directed to you I can't see why you are getting so worked up about it. Ffs this is a discussion forum is it not.... is it so wrong to question? :rolleyes:



    Your question was not directed at anyone as far as i can tell, I didn't accuse you of critising anyone or say that you have no experience, but like you i am allowed to voice my opinion, i make no apologies for the fact that i have a differing opion to you or that i feel so passionate about the subject of breast feeding.

    I have worked with women who want and feel the need to breast feed, but have so many people questioning their motives or methods that it actually puts them off, i will, have and always, support any woman who wants to feed her child, for as long as she sees fit, even if i do think that maybe it's gone a little too far, it isn't for me or anyone else to tell someone when to stop and question their motives as to why they are doing it for such a long time as in the case of the woman with the 8yr old.After all it's not my child or my life.

    It was not my intention to offend, but you are right in what you say i am very passionate about the subject of breast feeding, however i am mostly passionate about the right of any woman to feed her baby how she wishes to do so, be it breast or bottle and i will continue to defend any womans right to do so.

  • Your question was not directed at anyone as far as i can tell, I didn't accuse you of critising anyone or say that you have no experience, but like you i am allowed to voice my opinion, i make no apologies for the fact that i have a differing opion to you or that i feel so passionate about the subject of breast feeding.


    I thought seeing that as i was the first mother to reply to this thread that it would be obvious that my question was directed as the creator of this thread... You did not outwardly criticise me... But I find the term "tell them to fuck off" very confrontational and offensive, you did not outwardly say that I have no experience but you did infer that with your statement "to ask a mother"... what the fook am I a novice? Do you not think I was asked why I was breastfeeding... of course I bloody well did! I was not asking for an apology concerning our difference of opinion but rather for the tone of your post... ;)

    I have worked with women who want and feel the need to breast feed, but have so many people questioning their motives or methods that it actually puts them off, i will, have and always, support any woman who wants to feed her child, for as long as she sees fit, even if i do think that maybe it's gone a little too far, it isn't for me or anyone else to tell someone when to stop and question their motives as to why they are doing it for such a long time as in the case of the woman with the 8yr old.After all it's not my child or my life.


    Now for the most part I agree totally with what you are saying, and i fully understand the pressures and prejudices that breast feeding mothers face... But the statement in bold I will not agree with or ever agree with.. it is not the role of the mother to dictate how long she breast feeds their child for... it is up to the child! Also if my own child was wanting booby for comfort past age three I would be questioning my parenting... Also why is it so bad for us to talk about our lives with other people? Why can't we share our experiences more, exchange ideas, get perspective form outside of our own?




    It was not my intention to offend, but you are right in what you say i am very passionate about the subject of breast feeding, however i am mostly passionate about the right of any woman to feed her baby how she wishes to do so, be it breast or bottle and i will continue to defend any womans right to do so.


    Well you should choose your words more wisely, but I am not that offended. I am also passionate about the right for women to choose how they feed their child, all I was doing was asking pretty relevant questions, not attacking anyone's right to choose... I do not need to be lectured on the difficulties that women face I have experienced it first hand...



  • It would appear to me that YOU are the one being confrotational, why did you put my words in bold type, i certainly didn't do that to you.

    Any way i have a life and am not going to sit here pontificating all day with you.

    Do not accuse me of being this or that or the other or for that matter try to draw me into some long backwards and forwards row, that will achieve nothing but bad feelings, we know nothing of each other and there fore have no reason to sent this back and forth upsetting each other and other forum members, you have your opinion and i have mine, but i can tell that we are BOTH passionate about this subject, so this will be my last post here.

    I repeat.....

    I never attacked you in any way shape or form, yet you seem to be doing just that to me. Do you not think that maybe just maybe i found your posting confrontational and offensive or does that only apply to me!

    It is not mine or anyone elses place to tell a woman when to stop feeding, i do have reservations about feeding beyond say 2/3, but it is not my place to tell any one how to live their lives and as you quite rightly said this is a disccussion forum

  • Wow. Big response!! :)

    I guess I put the thread up because I live in an area where breastfeeding is encouraged, but definitely not over a year.

    So Tekno: I gain a lot out of breastfeeding now, and I don't see why that would change. Putting social taboos aside (how could anyone say that a mother should not breastfeed past a particular age becasue it is "just odd"?????) My daughter gains a close relationship with me which she can let go of when she is good and ready, and not when I decide I want my boobs back.

    Also, I don't know about all of you, but I was not allowed to leave the house when I was growing up, until I had had a mug of milk. It was "good for me". However I have worked on a dairy farm and I personally think that human breast milk could only be more healthy then cows milk. It is also more environmentally friendly, cleaner, and less processed (please don't bring up soy milk as I have already researched it and it really isn't that great).

    So while Matilda is still developing and growing, I don't feel the need to buy formula or cows milk to replace what is naturally made in my breasts.

    I gain the satisfaction in knowing that I am not giving her milk that is full of puss and poo from cows that are not necessarily organic even though the label says it is. I am saving money, and the packaging and the energy needed to process, clean, pasteurize, and transport cows milk.

    I don't believe that I would be psychologically damaging my child by breastfeeding her longer then two. Does anyone have a sound argument for why I am wrong?



  • So Tekno: I gain a lot out of breastfeeding now, and I don't see why that would change. Putting social taboos aside (how could anyone say that a mother should not breastfeed past a particular age becasue it is "just odd"?????) My daughter gains a close relationship with me which she can let go of when she is good and ready, and not when I decide I want my boobs back.


    I planned to breast feed for two year, my daughter had enough of breast feeding at one. nearly every mother I know (on and off line) have all said that their child decided to come off the breast between the ages of 1-3... which makes me think that it must be a normative part of most children's development... your daughter will gain a strong relationship with you regardless of how long you breastfeed for.. my own relationship with my daughter is testament to that...

  • Yes, but what is she does not self wean between two and tree??

    Do I force her to do it when she is not ready?


    You will probably find at that age they are more than eager to start doing things by themselves and using you as a 'safe base'... So it is probably unlikely that she won't... But if she dosen't you should *maybe* encourage her to have the boob a little bit less every day until she is ready to be weaned completely... And talk to her about why she wants it...


    How long would you really want to continue breast feeding for... do you have plans to have more children... as that could interefer with your plans...


    Look I am not judging you for your choice, it is a lovely thing to want to give your child, but I am pointing out that there are no major advantages for the child who is prolonged feeding (3+ years)...

  • Not at all! I only inteneded to try to go to 2 years anyway. I just found the original article on apes really interesting - it made me think, and I felt it would be something that the rest of the group would appreciate reading.

    The fact is that I don't really mind whether I stop now or in a few years time. I know I gave my daughter 6 months, and I went through absolute hell to do it (we didn't fin out that she was tounge tied till she was 7 weeks - 7 weeks of crying every time I fed her and her vomitting every time because she was taking in too much air and then I would have to feed her again!!).

    So anything now, I feel is a bonus. But it doesn't take away from the fact that I don't feel the need to wean her off any time soon, and I don'tlive in an area that supports that. I don't have any friends who are breastfeeding over 6 months.

  • I believe this is about personal choice.. Its really up to you Becca.. If it feels ok to carry on for longer than two, then do that.. but you wont know til you get there.. just be in the moment with her, and enjoy the bond of closeness that breast feeding brings right now, .. you have worked hard to make it so. who knows what the future will bring.. :hug:

  • hey becca you ve got a while to see how your baby feels yet. babys choice or yours will be a lot cleary then. good to know your thinking ahead. with food introduced & other drinks baby s seem to be all the munch all day good luck.

  • I planned to feed until Ash was two but he is well on the way to weaning himself. He eats like a horse and only wants a big feed in the morning. Even that is slowly less and less and is more for waking up comfort than food, as he eats his breakfast well after. We have a good bond and Ash is very confident in himself. Sometimes I offer him some milk when he is out of sorts and sometimes he will take a little and calm down, sometimes not and just wants a cuddle. I am sure that by the time he is a year he will pretty much be weaned and that is fine as by then he won't nutritionally need it.


    I feel a little sad about this as I love breastfeeding him so much, but I know that we will find other ways to show each other our mamma-babba love.

  • i breastfeed all my 6 children, and am breastfeeding my 9 month old now, i dont think theres a right or wrong time to stop it depends on the mum and the baby !!

  • just to throw another couple of points into the equation, if their is no benefit of breast feeding past 1 year why are the formula companies pushing follow on milk until the age of 2?
    it is well recognised that a child needs a pint of milk until they are 5 and why exactly would it be natural to feed milk from another animal rather than human?
    sadly breasts have been exploited and it is easy to forget what they are for.
    lizziexx


    and i breastfed my son until he was 18 months, and my daughter until 4 months (she had untreatable oral thrush :rolleyes: )
    i believe breast feeding is great for mums too because it uses the fat reserves that you built up during pregnancy to feed your baby, ie their is no need to diet or do extra exercise to return to your natural shape. added to this there is far less risk of your baby developing gastroenteritis because breast milk is completely sterile.