My son kicks off the covers and starts to rouse from his slumber. It is about 2 am and he has a bad vision.When hugs fail to soothe his soul, as he tugs at my pajama top, I honor his plea, allowing him to nurse and find the comfort he needs. Relaxation and lightening are immediate.Flooded with thoughts of appreciation for this motherly strength, I’m overwhelmed that our journey has taken us so far.
I’m transported back in time to the early days of motherhood; sitting upright in bed with a nursing pillow around my neck, a lamp on, a convenient snack and a feeling intrigued by the newborn spirit that easily nestled in my heart. As a new mother, I remember being asked how long I had for curious family members to anticipate B-feeding: the truth was that I had no idea, but I would respond with ‘two years’ confidence, qualifying my unconventional response by saying that the World Health Organization is recommending it. Yet, we were far from done on my son’s second birthday.
In this way, each day I can nourish my son feels like a blessing, perhaps an exceptional encore, we are both cheering for more. At dawn and dusk, we nurse; a natural bridge between our mellow slumber and our day’s electric energy. Occasionally my son nurses to relieve a bump and bruise, both physical and mental, and it’s spiritual gold dust for me as well when he does. A few moments of contemplation, when the world is stopped and it is just my son and me. A few slowness moments which gives me the space to ponder the speed and direction of our lives.
Our western culture views B-feeding after infancy as unnatural and sabotages the custom. Whether and how long a woman chooses to B-feed is a personal decision and one that needs support, not judgment. I firmly believe that ‘ the best is told ‘and only a mother knows how to make the right decision for her and her children. This post is not intended to be divisive, but rather to share and remind mothers (and those who matter about them) of my unexpected experience.
Because Humans Are Designed To B-feed Beyond Babyhood
Dr Katherine A. Dettwyler, anthropologist and advocate for B-feeding, suggests that evolution dictates that our children expect three to seven years of B-feeding. To assess what a ‘natural’ weaning age can be, Dr. Katherine cites various anthropological studies. Chimpanzees and gorillas provide nursing more than six times the gestation length. In humans this means weaning at the age of four to seven.
No expiry date of milk
Vicki Greene, a student of biosciences at South Devon College in the UK, posted pictures of nine petri dishes containing the M bacteria. Luteus: Luteus. Where milk had been put. A 2010 study found milk contains a material called HAMLET that has been shown. A 2015 study found that B-feeding had been associated with a 19 per cent reduced risk of infant leukemia for six months or longer. Children who have ever been b-fed have low childhoodukemia risk of 11 per cent.
Extensive research suggests that children that B-feed the longest have higher levels of academic achievement (IQ ratings, school grades), with a positive association being shown between longer period of B-feeding and social growth. In Extended B-feeding and the Rule, Elizabeth Baldwin says, ‘The secret to helping the child gain independence is to satisfy the attachment needs of an infant. And according to their own unique timetable, children outgrow these needs. We feel less confident in their freedom when we seek to force them into premature freedom than those who have accomplished it at their own rate.
Nourishes the health of mother
Recent research has shown that extended B-feeding is associated with reducing the risk of premenopausal can-cer by 30 per cent. However, there are even more benefits to health including:
• Delaying fertility return by suppressing ovulation which helps to achieve natural child spacing
• Increasing the risk of uterine, ovarian and endometrial can-cer
• Ward off osteoporosis
B–feeding Protects Kids
B-milk is a special, unreplicable material that protects babies and children from disease. The short-chain fatty acids present in milk are exceptionally capable of lineing the intestines of an infant and stimulating the colon cells. B-fed children are considered to be more likely to experience lower rates of asthma and allergies. The World Health Organization notes that B-feeding plays a crucial role in managing and preventing childhood disease.
Before I became a mother, I thought I wouldn’t B-feed at all, but when we yield to motherhood, it has a way to smash our preconceived values and disempower cultural norms. If on this trip there is one thing I’ve noticed, it’s that fitting in is overrated. The secret to true belonging is honesty, and trusting our instincts. If the right choice for you is to nurse beyond babyhood then I encourage you to follow your heart. Find comfort in the fact that while we might be trailblazers by modern standards, women throughout human history have been B-feeding their children past babyhood. The research is in: B-feeding is NORMAL