However, it is still practiced everywhere around the globe, and some nursing mothers continue to breastfeed even when their children are four or five years old and beyond. Breast feeding support groups argue that it is nobody's but the mother and child's decision on the appropriate time to discontinue breast feeding, although they don't take a firm line on when it is okay to stop breast feeding a child.
It is agreed by general consensus that infants benefit greatly from breast feeding. The same can be applied to older children too ; they benefit both from the nutritional elements of breast milk and the close contact with their mothers.
A lot of people have objections with breast feeding because of a number of reasons. One reason is that breasts have sexual connotation in society, and people feel that this kind of contact with children is not very healthy. Also, many claim that this practice could lead to the social ostracism of children and their families because is it so uncommon in nature. Women continue to face discrimination for breast feeding in public and breast feeding older children in spite of the enhancement of women's rights movements. Nursing mothers who breastfeed their older children need to be proactive in this regard, and associate with people and organizations that can facilitate coping with the stigma attached to this practice.
Here are some simple tips on how to breast feed your baby :
1. Sit in a position you feel comfortable in, with a straight back and a flat lap. You could also put a pillow on your lap to make it more comfortable for your little one.
2. Put the baby on your lap and turn the baby towards your stomach. The baby's bottom lying on your elbow and the baby's shoulders, neck and head supported by your arm and hand is the ideal position to take.
3. Put your baby's face in front of your nipple. Let the baby's head tip back a little, very slowly and carefully. Gently put the baby's mouth on the nipple and rub back and forth until the baby opens his or her mouth wide.
4. Bring the baby's chin against your chest. This will facilitate easier breathing for the little one. You're doing it right if you feel a large part of breast covered by your baby's mouth. If you can hear the baby swallowing, then you're doing it properly.
5. You might need to support your breast or change positions in order to make the process more comfortable. It's okay to start over if you're not comfortable or if the baby's having problems.
Additional information is accessible in the form of breast feeding support groups.
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