I am breastfeeding a ten month old baby who is proving extemely difficult to wean. I think there are alot of harsh judgements being passed. I canassure you at this point there is no emotional high with feeding as she bites at times in frustration and I look as though I have an eating disorder as it has drained me. However, when I do not get more than two hours straight sleep, I parent alone and have another child, a degree and work I am too exhausted to fight my LO only to have to wean from a bottle later.
My other child had a bottle for naps until she was three and noone made any comment about it so why is there such a fixation on breastfeeding?
My fear with the judgement being passed is that nursing mothers will just keep quiet about it and feed in private. Even at ten months I am able to put feeds off until I get home and when I am gone to work she holds off on fluids completely until I return (this is called reverse cycling).
In addition, breast milk prevents many illnesses the longer it goes on (many cancers, its an accumilative thing), supports a toddlers immune system until they get to school among many many other benefits all of which are health related. You should also be aware that kids nursed into toddler years turn out to be more self assured and independent than their peers who weaned early or were bottle fed and above all, there is an emotional comfort the child gets from feeding and this ensures all their needs are met (that is mother nature in action).
I know mothers, myself included who had intended on breast milk feeding that is feeding breastmilk in a cup for as long as it is sustainable into toddlerdom but not direct at the breast as it is as bad for the teeth as bottle feeding post twelve months.
The WHO recommends breastfeeding to two years for maximum health benefits if you look it up.