Ok - Alison - here you go. I don't think you will find me arguing much here.
My mom said she stopped breastfeeding us kids when we were about 6 months, got teeth, and could bite her. Who wants their nipples bit? Ouch!
But I have talked to other mothers who have nursed past the acquisition of teeth and they said that the baby will quickly learn they don't like the response (they get scared too) from mom when she is startled from being bit and the baby learns to keep their teeth away.
I have done quite a bit of reading about the benefits of breastfeeding and I have always planned on breastfeeding (as long as my body will produce enough milk to feed my child and my child can digest it.) Although, I had always thought I would stop around 6 months, but over the last 6 months I have done a lot of reading about how they recommend feeding until the child is 1 year old and that breastfeeding that long really helps them develop a strong immune system, breastfed babies tend to not become overweight children as often, there are also studies to show that breastfeeding helps increase brain development, as well as attachment with the mother.
So, I guess between 6-12 months for me.
Now, the flip side of this, is I think there has to be a time when you call it quits. I don't want to personally knock people who breastfeed past a year, because that is their choice. My choice will be that once the child can walk up & get it or ask for it, then it's been too long for me. But if they are in school and you are still breastfeeding, then I think there is honestly something twisted going on and a mother should get some therapy to find out why she insists on getting her needs met by having a child who knows his ABC's and can tie his shoes latched on to her chest.
I am also not sure how I feel on public breastfeeding. Our society is not very accepting of it and I am not sure that I really want to whip my tit out (or even have it concealed) in front of people that I don't feel completly comfortable around & who wouldn't feel comfortable with me doing it. What drives me nuts about public breastfeeding is the women who feel they need to do it to make some kind of statement and feel they are entitled to it and that if someone is not comfortable around it then it is that person's problem. What I want to know is what is that mom's problem that she can't be considerate of others? I think you can breastfeed in public and not call attention to yourself and there are wonderful tops and dresses that disguise the breastfeeding, but when it borders on public nudity -- then there is a problem.