Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Negative Society Influences Self Wean Age? More?

Disclaimer- First I want to say that this post is NOT related to the debate about breastfeeding. This post is not talking about when a parent chooses to wean a child or whether a parent chooses to breastfeed at all. I am only referring to when the child chooses to self wean. Nothing else. Whether a parent chooses to breastfeed or not is a personal decision and a rather hot topic debate that I was very careful to leave it and anything related to that actual debate entirely out of this post. This post is just talking about the effects a societal view obviously has on personal choices and the self-weaning age was the topic that sparked the idea for me, so that's the main demonstrative topic of the post.

Now that little disclaimer is out of the way....

Continuously in the research I've done I've found it interesting how much the negativity towards breastfeeding in our society seems to effect the age children wean either because they are truly self weaning for some reason or because the parent thinks they are during a prolonged nursing strike and offers the breast less and less instead of continuing to offer the breast multiple times a day regardless of whether the child feeds or not until the feedings pick back up (through no fault of the parent, but because breastfeeding for the human normal range of time is so abnormal in our society the parent is unaware of what to do, even if they have support for general breastfeeding).

I personally don't think it's any coincidence that natural self weaning age, the age of immune system maturity, and the age of realisation of true self (instead of associated self with the main care giver) all coincide and are between 3 & 6 years of age depending on the child. those three things coincide in such a way that for humans naturally a child truly begins to become independent as a person at the exact same age as their immune system finishes developing and the exact same age most children decide to naturally self wean (at the age they nolonger need the immune system support).

The average age of self weaning in most countries where breastfeeding is seen as the normal is around 4 years old. However, you can just read through posts all over US based forum sites and see even that for some reason in our country it's years (plural) earlier. We are all human, so why is the age difference so pronounced between countries where breastfeeding is the norm and our own? The only real difference is the acceptance as a society that's lacking. Yet, look at what a huge difference that has! It's incredible and sad all at the same time. It shows what a large influence social attitude has on our lives even in areas where we may strive to be as natural as possible, without us even realising the influence is so pronounced on our personal decisions.

Just imagine too. If a negative attitude has this HUGE of an effect in then what sort of an effect would a social wide positive one would have in other areas, like preserving our earth or changing our health system to be more beneficial (think about our live fetal mortality rate going from the 6+ it is now down to 2 like Singapore and Japan or even lower).

Just food for thought.

About Me

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I'm a semi crunchy stay at home wife and mama of two boys. Extend Breastfeed, Cloth diaper, Cosleep, Babywear, Homeschool, Homebirth. My sons and I have some serious health concerns (allergies, growth hormone, kidney, lung, spine, etc...). We didn't realize they were genetic (or I had) until after Trace's birth. Tristian had some big medical and possibly/probably autism related delays in early childhood but also taught himself to read at 2yrs and started on math equations at 4yrs. Trace is bit delayed across the board by about 6 months, but as he's 1yr+ behind in height... it's not very noticable ;-) Trace is very musical and hands on. With plenty of common sense, love, good doctors and faith we are doing wonderfully!

This wonderful chapter in my life of discovering the green subculture has (mostly) ended. Living green on a budget has changed from the thrill of discovery to habit. This blog remains in rememberance- with occasionally crossover posting. I hope you join me- the same green mama on a budget, in a new blog celebrating life's daily experiences- LIFE O'KAY Still lots of crafts & crunchiness- with even more sweet family moments.

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