Holly McIndoe (37) has been breastfeeding her daughter Cassia for the past two and a half years.
She said she was ready to breastfeed the baby until she was four or five years old, and would let her daughter decide she was no longer interested.
“It’s not like I have a date in mind for when I’m going to stop breastfeeding. I’ll continue the breastfeeding relationship for as long as Cassia wants to, and for as long as I feel comfortable doing it,” Ms McIndoe said.
“My understanding is that the global average for breastfeeding is three or four years (when weaning starts). So, I don’t think I’ll have to stop when she’s three or three and a half years old. I’ll just see if I can follow his lead.
“It’s so easy to be able to breastfeed a baby because they have these great feelings and they never sit still. They’re devastated if a banana breaks in half or anything. So breastfeeding is a quieter moment and more There’s a really easy way to be able to jot things down and make everything feel a little quieter again.
“I know about natural weaning and that it is biologically normal for our species to breastfeed for four or five years, through La Leche Ligue and through my sister who has three babies.
“She is still feeding her youngest daughter, who is four and a half years old at the moment. I have some other friends who have fed their children till they are three, four or sometimes five years old.”
Ms McIndoe and her two sisters are currently lactating. “It’s really cool that we can share that experience as well as share knowledge with each other. As sisters, it’s a very sweet thing for us to be breastfeeding mothers together.”
As World Breastfeeding Week ends tomorrow, it has emerged that according to UNICEF, Ireland has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world, with only 49 percent of babies being exclusively breastfed.
After Cassia’s birth, Ms. McIndoe received “amazing” care from midwives, but the mother felt she didn’t get as much breastfeeding support as she needed.
The hospital gave her a pump, which she said was good for maintaining her supply. However, she said it “needs dialogue, not a technical solution”.
La Leche League is lactating and believes in “natural weaning”. It is a process in which babies gradually wean away from breastfeeding as they are not interested in it.
“They were just so empathetic and so intelligent. They weren’t prescriptive, they weren’t telling me what I should do and they weren’t judgmental. They just help you do what you want to do, and you don’t have to. give support for decision making,” she said.
Fiona Fahy (38) and her husband Garavan have two children, Shia (5) and Sadie (3). Ms Fahy breastfed Shea for nine months and Sadie until she was two years old. The Limerick native, who now lives in Waterford, Dungarvan, said that “hands-on” help is important for new mothers.
Ms Fahy always planned to breastfeed her babies because of the “health benefits”.
However, she said she felt pressure to stop breastfeeding before she could return to work.
The mother of two, who owns Feed Me Mother, a sustainable breastfeeding clothing brand, said: “We weaned Shea off the breast and switched to formula because I thought it was going to be easy and that was my biggest regret. One is because I would have loved going on the 12 month mark.It was a lack of information.
“Then with Sadie, I didn’t go back to work, and I breastfed her until she was two years and two months old.”