What is Extreme Breastfeeding?

You may have heard the term “extreme breastfeeding” banded about in the media lately. So, what exactly do they mean by “extreme breastfeeding”? I must admit, the first time I heard it, I had visions of mums throwing themselves out of planes or bungee jumping with a little one latched on, but no, apparently it means breastfeeding a child up until and after he has reached two years of age.

I take issue with the use of the word extreme—why all the judgement? There is certainly nothing extreme about it; using this term grabs headlines but it also makes people feel that they are doing something abnormal or shameful, when that is simply not the case. There are lots of reasons the World Health Organisation and the NHS recommend breastfeeding up until two years of age and beyond—there are many benefits both to mother and child.

Here are just a few of the benefits of breastfeeding:

My first child is coming up to six months and she is still breastfed exclusively. I love nursing her and both my husband and I can see the benefits it brings to her, both nutritionally and emotionally. I will stop when my child is naturally ready to stop, not when society or the media tell me I should stop.