Breastfeeding in Mongolia

You may not agree with everything in here, and I daresay that most of you will cringe at least once when you read through this, but it is a great read! Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan — very well worth reading. Here’s a snippet:

In 2005, according to UNICEF1, 82 percent of children in Mongolia continued to breastfeed at 12 to 15 months, and 65 percent were still doing so at 20 to 23 months.

Yeah, baby! That’s what I’m talking about! I don’t think the US gets those sorts of breastfeeding rates when mothers and babies are discharged from the hospital, much less at 6 months! At the very least, this article will show you some cultural differences in Mongolia that help promote the culture of breastfeeding they have. And you can have something to show those people who think you’re crazy for “still” breastfeeding at 3, 6, 12, 18, or 24 months. I don’t know that I would necessarily be completely comfortable with everything mentioned in this article, but I would like at least a cup-full of Mongolian attitude mixed into the American mix. We could start slowly, and at least quit the looking down our noses at women who are nursing in public or nursing their child past a certain age. Let’s celebrate breastfeeding, not look at it as some sort of necessary evil!

6 Responses

  1. I saw that article a while back and really enjoyed it. I’m posting to say, though, that you just cracked me up with “cup-full of Mongolian attitude mixed in”. It reminded me of the part of the article that I don’t think I will ever forget. The part related to a bowl in the fridge. Ha.

    • 😀

      A friend of a friend told me a story of a woman who had pumped her own breastmilk since her children were small (they were then in college), and that is what they used in her house for cooking and drinking. I must say that I’ve never tasted my own breastmilk (and my husband turns green at the thought of it); but articles like this force me to expand my mind.🙂

  2. What a coincidence, I was telling someone about that article just today! (I read it a while back.) 😉

  3. My 24mo is on the verge of weaning (mostly because I’m 12w pregnant), and I’m experiencing very mixed feelings on the subject. I wish every mother could experience what I have!

  4. A very impressive article, I admit. Once I’ve been to Mongolia, and yes – their breastfeeding traditions differ from ours. Still I believe that the Mom’s mission all over the world is quite the same – not only to give birth to a child but to ensure that it lives a healthy life in a caring world. We all should stop gazing at Mammies nursing there children in public places. And we should say No to breastfeeding infants in untidy rooms. My second child is on its way out and I am planning to nurse it for a long time. When I gave birth to my little Susie, I was not experienced enough and stopped breastfeeding at her 6. Thanks to blogs like yours, I became nursing literate and I’ll do my best to implement my theoretical knowledge into practice.

  5. I read this article last week and asked my Mongolian neighbors about it. The wife grew up in a ger (her word for the yurt), and was one of 9 kids. Her mom breastfed all of them for around 2-3 years, but the youngest, a girl, breastfed till she was 7 or 8. My neighbor said she knew a girl in her school growing up that would sometimes even breastfeed when she was a teenager! My neighbors are here in the US because the husband is going to seminary (as is my husband), and they said they are trying to combine the best of Mongolian culture and Western culture in raising their three children. Anyway, thanks for posting this article–I really enjoyed reading it! 🙂

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