Author Topic: How long did you breastfeed?  (Read 16950 times)

Offline samjohn

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Re: How long did you breastfeed?
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2011, 12:12:06 AM »
I cannot find one shred of evidence to support the idea that having children close together is psychological traumatic. Apparently it triples the risk of autism though.

Either way, my kids will come as close together as they decide. I'll not be spacing them out on purpose.

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: How long did you breastfeed?
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2011, 08:05:48 AM »
I cannot find one shred of evidence to support the idea that having children close together is psychological traumatic. Apparently it triples the risk of autism though.

That's interesting.  I'd be interested in reading the cite if you have it.  That kind of indicates that autism isn't genetic, or isn't entirely, contrary to the currently popular view.


Offline samjohn

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Re: How long did you breastfeed?
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2011, 09:29:34 AM »
I cannot find one shred of evidence to support the idea that having children close together is psychological traumatic. Apparently it triples the risk of autism though.

That's interesting.  I'd be interested in reading the cite if you have it.  That kind of indicates that autism isn't genetic, or isn't entirely, contrary to the currently popular view.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2011/01/10/peds.2010-2371.abstract

However, as my girlfriend who is an obstetrician points out, there is a certain confounding factor here that has not been taken into account. That factor being that breastfeeding is in itself a contraceptive, meaning that the correlation could be between breast fed vs bottle fed rather than actual child spacing.

It is a confounding factor that to be honest would invalidate pretty much every single piece of research on child spacing.

FYI - her opinion is that the bottle fed part is what causes the increased autism risk.


Offline Warren Dew

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Re: How long did you breastfeed?
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2011, 10:20:11 AM »
Thanks for the link.  Breastfeeding would still be a nongenetic cause, which was what I was mainly interested in.

While breastfeeding may be an issue, I don't think it can completely explain that article's results.  In that article, when there was a short interval between pregnancies, the second born children were at increased risk relative to the first child; if the issue were bottle feeding, the risk should be the same or the first child should be at increased risk.

Unless, of course, natural human personality is more towards the autistic end of the spectrum, and today's population is skewed away from autistic traits by bottle feeding.  In that case, though, the autism rates should be lower in the first child with longer birth intervals.

Offline samjohn

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Re: How long did you breastfeed?
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2011, 08:41:12 PM »
Of course, how silly of me.


Offline Chantelle

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Re: How long did you breastfeed?
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2011, 06:57:04 AM »
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12278620

I've read these numbers a few places now. Between 3 and 4 seems to be average, with 44 months as an upper limit on natural spacing of children amongst the !Kung.

I didn't wean to get pregnant the second time, I didn't try to start my fertility cycles in any way, but when I realized I was fertile I did take advantage of it. So if as Warren suggests it is weight that triggers fertility again, maybe I will manage a different spacing this time around with such a different diet.

Offline Eric

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Re: How long did you breastfeed?
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2011, 06:48:29 PM »
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12278620

I've read these numbers a few places now. Between 3 and 4 seems to be average, with 44 months as an upper limit on natural spacing of children amongst the !Kung.

I didn't wean to get pregnant the second time, I didn't try to start my fertility cycles in any way, but when I realized I was fertile I did take advantage of it. So if as Warren suggests it is weight that triggers fertility again, maybe I will manage a different spacing this time around with such a different diet.

Great stuff, thanks.

Offline Erin Leiser

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Re: How long did you breastfeed?
« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2011, 06:23:42 PM »
I nursed my oldest daughter till she was 2.5. When she weaned, I was 10 weeks pregnant with my second. I've heard from both my midwife and my LL leader that returning fertility has to do with how often the baby nurses at night. I haven't looked up any research that supports that, but I can say that my daughter was night weaned by the time I got pregnant again. My girls are 8 days shy of being exactly 3 years apart. I think that 3 is the minimum number of years that I would wait between children. Both for my peace of mind and physical health, and the well-being of my child.

Offline Arual

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Re: How long did you breastfeed?
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2011, 05:24:43 PM »
My menstrual cycle started back up after only three or four months.  I was devastated, because my older sister staved hers off for 13!  I blame the pacifier and having to pump for the first three months, but some women just naturally have their cycle come back sooner than others. 

Once it's back, nursing shouldn't cause any problems with fertility, unless, maybe, the woman is prone to miscarriage. I just got pregnant with my second and I am DEFINITELY still nursing the first at 21 months (sometimes I wish I weren't, but this is only in passing).  I've heard that some doctors are concerned that the nursing hormones will cause contractions that could lead to miscarriage, but I know many mothers who have nursed all through pregnancy.  It isn't always pleasant for everyone, and some wean because of nipple tenderness, but it's possible if the woman (and baby/toddler) is willing.

As for the !kung, is it possible they have a taboo against sex with a woman nursing a young baby?  Clearly if they nurse through pregnancy on occasion it isn't a permanent taboo, but I've heard that it IS a common taboo in more primitive cultures that would definitely lead to greater spacing between children.

Offline Chantelle

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Re: How long did you breastfeed?
« Reply #24 on: July 18, 2011, 02:27:34 PM »
That's a good question. I found one site that said there was a postpartum sex taboo, but not how long it lasted. For example here we have a 6 week 'postpartum sex taboo' as a standard.

http://drleannawolfe.com/kung.html

There was a reference I found in another online article, that looks like it should have the information. I just haven't found the book itself yet. My library does not carry it.

An M Konner does an article called Hunter-gatherer infancy and childhood: The !Kung and others.

in

Hunter-gatherer childhoods: Evolutionary, developmental and cultural perpectives. BS Hewlett and ME Lamb (eds). New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.

If you find this book, or find the answer somewhere else I would be interested to hear it.
 

Offline hannyB

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Re: How long did you breastfeed?
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2011, 01:10:45 AM »
Breastfeeding is advisable for babies up to 2 years of age. But in my case, I just breastfed foe 9 months.

Offline SarahQ

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Re: How long did you breastfeed?
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2011, 11:14:53 AM »
In answer to the OP, I have 4 children and breast fed them as follows
Boy 1 -  fed for 15months.  one month after weaning, my period returned and I had one cycle before falling pregnant with
Boy 2: was 18months at weaning (enforced by unfortunate separation from me while I accompanied son 1 to hospital)

after a gap of 7yrs
Girl : weaned at 3.5yrs!  My period returned on her 2nd birthday and I fell pregnant one month later with

Boy 3 : still breast feeding at 2.5yrs.

I tandem fed my last two children for 9months.  It helped massively with their bonding and they have no competitive or jealousy issues to date  :).  Again my cycle returned after 2 yrs but this time we are being very careful as I am feeling little too old to have any more children!  All of my children co-slept and night-fed through-out their bfing stages, but I guess after 2 yrs they are eating and drinking enough other food to lift the contraceptive effect that breast-feeding had on my body.