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Dry nursing

Postby workingmummy on Mon May 20, 2013 10:37 am

My 22 month old daughter still wants to "breastfeed" for comfort. She does this 2-3 times per week. I breastfed her until she was 14 months old (from 7 months - just morning and night feeds) and am completely dry now. I feel uncomfortable with it like it's "wrong" somehow but don't know how to stop it.
I'm embarassed to talk to other Mums about it so don't know if others do this. My perception is that society would frown upon it.
That said, it makes my daughter very content and helps to ease pain if she's feeling under the weather.
I'd really appreciate your thoughts on whether this is "normal"? Is it detrimental to her development?
Many thanks,
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Re: Dry nursing

Postby karenacoyle on Thu May 23, 2013 1:55 pm

Hello Workingmummy

Thank you for posting on the children's health clinic.

Your 22 month old toddler still 'breastfeeds' for comfort 2-3 times a week even though you are no longer producing milk and you are are concerned that society would frown upon this practice - and you also query if it may in some way be detrimental to her development.

No one should make any judgement on this practice - it is common for mums to breastfeed well beyond this time - however I can understand you may feel some embarrassment in saying to others that you are no longer producing milk - however there is no reason to tell anyone this fact and if you wish to continue with 'breastfeeding' to give your child comfort then this is entirely up to you.

I cannot see how this would impact negatively on her development as comforting a child in distress is a natural parental response.
However, if you do want to stop this habit, it should not take long - try to offer an alternative comfort such as a cuddle, reward charts may be helpful, it may help to distract her or encourage another person to comfort her such as her dad until she 'forgets' about this form of comfort.

l hope this helps.
Best wishes
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