Friday, July 27, 2007

Natural Nutrition for Babies

At my daughter’s one-year checkup, my pediatrician asked me if I had started my daughter on whole milk yet. I answered no, that she seemed to be getting enough milk from me. He seemed pleasantly surprised that I was still nursing at 12 months.

It seems to be popular in America to wean by one year. However, in other nations women commonly nurse until ages 4 to 7. And in America, more and more mothers are secretly feeding their babies until two to three years of age. It is so difficult to obtain statistics on this, as they are reluctant to admit this practice.

I came across a lovely piece of research, which gives the actual statistics on weaning ages of those who practiced extended breastfeeding. You can see it at:

La Leche League encourages mothers to nurse as long as their baby seems to want to continue, and to lovingly wean them, very gradually, if possible. We all know the benefits of nursing to both baby and mother. Doctors say these benefits are directly proportional to the number of months spent nursing.
You can download a twenty-page report from The Breast Cancer Prevention Institute that states, among many other factors, that the incidence of breast cancer in women is lowered with each month spent nursing.

Kelly Mom Breastfeeding and Parenting is filled with great, well-researched information on such topics as tandem nursing and which herbal supplements are safe to use. She offers links to primary sources so you can see the actual research behind her recommendations.

If more mothers let others, including their doctors, know that they are practicing extended breastfeeding, new mothers would feel encouraged that it is a normal practice and not one to be ashamed of.

On a related topic, Gerber fell more than a notch in my estimation tonight. Normally I don’t even give a glance to the toddler foods. As soon as my babies have teeth, they are eating the same table food as the rest of the family. They compare the contents of the table to what is on their trays. If they notice something is missing, they holler and point to it. I do supplement with jarred food, to ensure the baby is getting a nice “rainbow” of foods. How easy is it to obtain such exotic foods as “apple mango kiwi” except in the baby food aisle? Well, tonight my eye was drawn to a “sale” sign in front of the Gerber Graduates for Toddlers. When I looked at the ingredients of the “popped corn chips” and other offerings, it was clear that they were creating junk food for babies! I was so revolted by this. With all the current research about the dangers of preservatives, added starches, and empty calories, what kind of introduction are they offering to our babies to the world of food?

“What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?”
Luke 11:11-12

1 comment:

Leticia said...

You brought back such happy memories for me, Elizabeth. I nursed my three girls 3 1/2, 2 1/2 and 2 years respectively, and would have nursed longer, if recurrent miscarriages and Christina's self weaning not shortened our nursing relationships. How I loved giving them God' own nutrition and Momma's love at the same time!