Pressure to stop breastfeeding
Pressure to stop breastfeeding
, Aug 11 2004 10:19 PM
30 replies to this topic
Posted 11 August 2004 - 10:19 PM
sigh, where do I start. I am still breastfeeding my 18 month old. Why do so many people have a problem with this? It seems that these days everywhere I turn people are shocked/negative about me still feeding my son. Today for example at the chemist the pharmacist (female 30's) was initially shocked then told me on the quiet that "it was only good for the baby for the first 6 months" (I have had this comment often) and gave me a look. I felt like a weirdo/hippy/nipple nazi standing there.
Tonight I went to visit my mum & dad, they have just returned from a trip o/s to see all our relatives. I asked them who of my cousins were/had breast fed their babies, none. I asked whether ma & pa had told them about me still feeding Nic. Without looking at me my mum said they (auntys, uncles, grandparents, cousins) apparently said 'hope she'll be giving that up soon'.
Whenever I feed now Nic likes to choose the boob he starts with then alternates back and forth till he's finished. This is of course difficult in public, so I try to minimise this, which is sometimes difficult. I even feel awkward in front of my parents, inlaws etc. It would be easier for me if I didn't get negative comments, looks etc from people including strangers.
It upsets me that I feel that I have to hide it from everyone, as though I have a drug habit or am a prostitute. It makes me think seriously about weaning. It makes me sad, the way things are going Nic will probably be my last bub. Also he loves his boobie.
DS1 Isaac (Zac) 20/01/2001
DS2 Nicholas (Nic) 24/02/2003
Posted 11 August 2004 - 10:51 PM
Oh how awful!!
I feel so sad for you but also angry...
Hold your head up high and be proud that you are giving something to your son that he obviously loves and enjoys.
I would either try to ignore all the negative stuff, or arm yourself with all sorts of information to throw at people when they give their unasked for opinions :mad: Better still, just write up and print out all the info and just hand it out to whoever you think needs it
Both my sons weaned themselves at around 12 months, and I was sad as I really wanted to go a bit longer, especially with DS2 as I knew he would be my last baby.
YOU'RE DOING GREAT!!!!!!!!! Stuff them
Proud mummy to Rowan and Callan-both born by elective caesarean ~*~Just because you can, doesn't mean you should....~*~
Posted 11 August 2004 - 11:15 PM
I really feel for you. People are so insensitive. What it comes down to is that it is your child and you can feed him for ever how long you want! He is still enjoying it and you are still enjoying it, so why let the attitudes of others get you so down? I would have said to the pharmacist that it is not doing any harm and it is none of her business (well I probably wouldn't have said it but I would have thought it lol).
I know it would be getting harder for you in public as he is getting older. And of course you would want your parents support...but in the end, it really boils down to you do what is best for you and your child. If you do wean, make sure it is for the right reasons and not because you feel pressured in doing so.
My son weaned himself off at 14 months and I was disappointed as I enjoyed it and was happy to keep going. So enjoy the special bond you are sharing with your son and as Nic will probably be your last bub, makes it even more special for you.
Stay positive and do what you feel is right.
XX SN XX
Married: 4 years<BR>Me: 25 yo<BR>DH: 28 yo<P>DS Born on Due Date 31/01/2003<P>TTC#2 Apr 04<BR>http://www.fertility...m/home/4aac7<P>
Posted 11 August 2004 - 11:26 PM
Just wanted to say good on you
and to second what Dee has said, even though it is hurtful that your family don't support extended b/feeding, if you and your DS both feel that continuing is right for you then stuff what they think !
I'm currently 23 weeks pregnant with bub #2 and still b/feeding DS who's 20 months old. I've had all sorts of comments (mainly from my family but also from my GP) about how I should be weaning DS as he's "not getting anything out of it anymore". In the end, I decided to ignore them and do what I think is best for both of us which is to continue b/feeding until one or both of us is ready to stop.
*DS Matteo Jasper 3/12/2002
* 'Chou' EDD 3/12/2004 !
Posted 11 August 2004 - 11:26 PM
Amanda, you are a champion! I weaned Adam 3 months ago on paed's advice (reason why is a long story but I did agree with him and it's turned out for the best).
Even now I get quite sad that I'm not feeding him anymore. My breastfeeding goal was a minimum of 18 months and I was 4 months short. I think the hardest part for me was that it wasn't mine or Adam's decision to wean. Somebody else made the decision for us. Now in my case it was for medical reasons and even knowing that I hate that I'm not breastfeeding now. So I think if you gave up (when it's not yours or Nic's decision) you'll really regret it a few months down the track.
Oh and about the pharmacist, maybe you should track down some brochures from the ABA on extended breastfeeding and pass them on to her. I worry about her giving advice when she obviously doesn't have a clue what she's on about.
Proud SAHM to Joshua (3) and Adam (17 mths)
Hoping for #3 in 2005!
Posted 12 August 2004 - 07:00 AM
Good on you for still feeding despite the negativity around you!!!
I would always say 'Well the WHO recommended minimum is 2 yrs' or 'Well both of us are happy at them moment' or 'If you can give me a really good reason to stop i will consider it' or 'its just your preconceived ill informed ideas about when to wean that make you think that.... did you know... (and then spout off some WHO stuff).
for whats its worth my DS only weaned last week i was 16 weeks pregnant and he is 25 mths old.
So i say while you are both happy keep going and stuff everyone else.
DH Milton 40
DD Taylor 6/9/93
DS Ethan 30/6/02
Junior Due 20/01/05
Posted 12 August 2004 - 08:54 AM
Oh, I get it all the time, Jacob is 16 months in a few days but is starting to day wean so I really dont feed him when out unless he is really unsettled, but I go to 2 different playgroups where heaps of mums are still feeding their 18 months to 2 year olds so it is very comforting to go there.
Just tell them how sorry your are for them that they are so misinformed.
By the way, when my other 2 hit 12 months and were still bottle fed I was getting the 'oh they should be having cups now' and when they were littel it was why arent they breast fed, and then it was they are too big, and this one is too skinny, so people will always find something to comment on.
Sorry your having a rough time.
Posted 12 August 2004 - 08:57 AM
I also cop flack about feeding my one year old ds, even moreso now because I'm pregnant.
The question I put to people who ask me the 'what on earth are you doing - when are you going to stop' line of questions is -
What is so weird about a human baby having human milk which just happens to be <i>designed specifically for his needs</i> when if I followed the rest of society, he'd be drinking milk from the udder of a COW!?
I am pretty certain my days of breastfeeding him are numbered as my supply is really diminishing due to my ds's lack of interest atm - and while I feel a little sad about the thought of not feeding him, I also understand that he is self weaning, and it's not something I'm imposing on him for the sake of keeping everyone else happy!
Isn't it a bizarre world where cow's milk is considered normal for human consumption, but milk that a mother makes for her child is seen as gross and even perverse after a certain age?
Keep going if you can - while there may not be the same level of nutritional value nowadays as there was in your early breastmilk, you're still passing on vital antibodies and having the one on one time with your babe that should never be underestimated.
Good luck fighting the masses!! He..he...
"I'm CRAZY about cloth nappies!"
<a href="http://lilypie.com"><img src="http://lilypie.com/days/050122/4/28/1/+10" alt="Lilypie Baby Days" border="0" /></a>
Posted 12 August 2004 - 09:53 AM
I know exactly what you mean!I have almost stopped completely feeding my 32 month old only because i have finally dried up
But everyone had negative nasty comments from 12 months on.
I think its wonderful you are still feeding,to me its the most natural thing in the world to do.
Posted 12 August 2004 - 10:05 AM
Congratulations on doing such a great job! Definitely quote WHO to the masses - especially pharmicists (sp?) who should know better!
Check out www.kellymom.com also for some more tips on extended bfing.
I think part of the problem is that people forget that bfing is more than just food.
Keep strong, and know you are not a weirdo/hippy/nipple nazi - just a mother trying to do the best for her child.
DD Lucy (17/08/03)
We love cloth!
Posted 12 August 2004 - 10:07 AM
You know as mothers we just cannot win!!!
If we don't BF we are bad mothers..(in the eyes of some) If we do then we are feeding them too much. Stuff them all and do what is right for you! After all you are the mother of your child and are doing a fantatic job!
Posted 12 August 2004 - 11:16 AM
Amanda, just wanted to say I'm sorry to hear you are being treated this way. Why oh why in our society does pregnancy/parenthood have the same effect as tatooing on your forehead "please give me advice, the sillier the better"??
Posted 12 August 2004 - 11:32 AM
Can't really add anything innovative to the support here, except I totally agree with you and congratulate you on such a wonderful feeding relationship with your son thus far!
Definitely tell the pharmacist that WHO recommends BF for 2 years - it's exclusive
BF for 6 months, that must be where he was confused
And in the fact the worldwide average is 4 years.
I'm starting to get people ask when I'm going to finish - geez, my son was 2 months prem and isn't even 9 months yet! Give the poor little guy a chance!! I always just smile sweetly and say your priorities in feeding become very focussed when your baby is born under 3lb! I've never had anyone game to argue back at me with that one!
I know that I will start to get this more and more, especially living in Hong Kong where BF is not the done thing (they'd rather formula feed their babies, and then you get scandals, China being China, where dodgy people make fake formula with virtually no nutritive value and babies die. Yep, we had that here just a few months ago.)
So thank you for posting and sharing. It's a glimpse of what might lie ahead but you've helped me to rehe*rs* my defiant stance!!
Finnian, 21/11/2003, 32wks, 1295gI think my life began with waking up & loving my mother's face
Posted 12 August 2004 - 12:08 PM
Don't worry Amanda. 18 months is not really that old, I fed my 2nd and 3rd baby until 14 months. Compared to my next two it seems like a very short time. I haven't read all the posts, but during this winter you would be giving him a huge advantage over colds and stomach bugs. My 4th was weaned at 4 1/2 years and I am still feeding my 2 1/2 year old. The trick is eventually it is done at night or nap time where no one sees and they can have normal drinks when out. I actually had an ultrasound for breast lumps and the radiologist said that my breast didn't look like a lactating breast. Sorry, unless my daughter liked drinking air or nothing.
I am still angry about some people's attitudes especially how many children people have, but it really shows that they have limited life experience IMO, who knows, but we have to get to a point of getting over the anger, even if it takes ages, and not let them influence our choices.
Posted 12 August 2004 - 12:09 PM
I am starting to get funny looks from people in public and my DD is only 7mts old. Before I gave birth I thought that I would probably start weaning after 6 mts, definatelly by 12. Now I am happy to continue until she self weans. Thakks for your comments, now I can arm myself with replies before I start really getting comments!
Keep up the good work and politly tell the negative commenters to Stuff Off!
Posted 12 August 2004 - 12:10 PM
Take it from someone whose child was toilet trained well before they were weaned...tell them to mind their own business and continue doing what's best for you and your child.
Be right by your side, come hell or water high, down any road you choose to roam
Posted 12 August 2004 - 03:19 PM
More support here.
Do you ever go to ABA meetings?
You will find that there are lots of like minded mums who think it's perfectly NORMAL to feed until your child self weans. It can be a really nice environment.
Follow your intuition. You are doing what is best for your baby and you.
I fed my now 2 y/o through my second PG... imagine the comments! I had to print out info from the internet for my MIL as she was certain I was malnourishing the growing baby by feeding my toddler. As a friend of mine says..." I don't care what people say, I'm educating the world"
Keep on educating those ignorant people about BF.
Posted 12 August 2004 - 07:33 PM
I posted this for someone else's vent when their Father thought it was about time for her to wean her child. As I said to her next time you get hassled quote from the World Health Organisations - Innocenti Declaration. Or better yet print it out and tell them where to stick it!
INNOCENTI DECLARATION - On the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding
RECOGNISING that Breastfeeding is a unique process that:
* provides ideal nutrition for infants and contributes to their healthy growth and development;
* reduces incidence and severity of infectious diseases, thereby lowering infant morbidity and mortality;
* contributes to women's health by reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and by increasing the space between pregnancies;
* provides social and economic benefits to the family and the nation;
* provides most women with a sense of satisfaction when successfully carried out;
Recent research has found that:
- these benefits increase with increased exclusiveness of breastfeeding (exclusive breastfeeding means that no other drink or food is given to the infant; the infant should feed frequently and for unrestricted periods) during the first six months of life, and thereafter with increased duration of breastfeeding with complementary foods, and program interventions can result in positive changes in breastfeeding behaviour;
WE THEREFORE DECLARE that
As a global goal for optimal maternal and child health and nutrition, all women should be enabled to practice exclusive breastfeeding and all infants should be fed exclusively on breast milk from birth to 4-6 months of age. Thereafter, children should continue to be breastfed, while receiving appropriate and adequate complementary foods, for up to two years of age or beyond.
This child-feeding ideal is to be achieved by creating an appropriate environment of awareness and support so that women can breastfeed in this manner.
Attainment of the goal requires, in many countries, the reinforcement of a "breastfeeding culture" and its vigorous defence against incursions of a "bottle-feeding culture". This requires commitment and advocacy for social mobilization, utilizing to the full the prestige and authority of acknowledged leaders of society in all walks of life.
Efforts should be made to increase women's confidence in their ability to breastfeed. Such empowerment involves the removal of constraints and influences that manipulate perceptions and behaviour towards breastfeeding, often by subtle and indirect means. This requires sensitivity, continued vigilance, and a responsive and comprehensive communications strategy involving all media and addressed to all levels of society. Furthermore, obstacles to breastfeeding within the health system, the workplace and the community must be eliminated.
Measures should be taken to ensure that women are adequately nourished for their optimal health and that of their families. Furthermore, ensuring that all women have access to family planning information and services allows them to sustain breastfeeding and avoid shortened birth intervals that may compromise their health and nutritional status, and that of their children.
All governments should develop national breastfeeding policies and set appropriate national targets for the 1990's. They should establish a national system for monitoring the attainment of their targets, and they should develop indicators such as the prevalence of exclusively breastfed infants at discharge from maternity services, and the prevalence of exclusively breastfed infants at four months of age.
National authorities are further urged to integrate their breastfeeding policies into their overall health and development policies. In so doing they should reinforce all actions that protect, promote and support breastfeeding within complementary programs such as prenatal and perinatal care, nutrition, family planning services, and prevention and treatment of common maternal and childhood diseases. All healthcare staff should be trained in the skills necessary to implement these breastfeeding policies.
All governments by the year 1995 should have:
* appointed a national breastfeeding coordinator of appropriate authority, and established a multisectoral national breastfeeding committee composed of representatives from relevant government departments, non-governmental organization, and health professional association;
* ensured that every facility providing maternity services fully practices all ten of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding set out in the joint WHO/UNICEF statement (World Health Organization, Geneva, 1989) "Protecting, promoting and supporting breast-feeding: the special role of maternity services";
* taken action to give effect to the principles and aim of all Articles of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent relevant World Health Assembly resolutions in their entirety; and enacted imaginative legislation protecting the breastfeeding rights of working women and established means for its enforcement.
We also call upon international organizations to:
- draw up action strategies for protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding, including global monitoring and evaluation of their strategies;
- support national situation analyses and surveys and the development of national goals and targets for action; and encourage and support national authorities in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating their breastfeeding policies.
The Innocenti Declaration was produced and adopted by participants at the WHO/UNICEF policymakers' meeting on "Breastfeeding in the 1990s: A Global Initiative", co-sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (A.I.D.) and the Swedish International Development Authority (SIDA), held at the Spedale degli Innocenti, Florence, Italy, on 30 July - 1 August 1990. The Declaration reflects the content of the original background document for the meeting and the views expressed in group and plenary sessions.
Faith Claire 8/7/04 (5lb 10oz)
Posted 12 August 2004 - 08:56 PM
I'm sorry, but I'm going out on a whim, I think that 18 months is too old to still b/f. I think once a child can ask for it, they are too old for it. I mean, once they are over 12 months they get all the nourishment they need from food etc.... and really don't need breast milk it's just a comfort thing. I can't imagine how difficult it will be to tell a 41/2 or 5 year old that they can't breast feed anymore. I think it would be horrible. Sorry, just my opinion as a Mum. I breast fed for only the first two months, I wish I could've gone longer but definitely not that long.
Mum to Olivia Caitlin, DOB 9/10/2003 8:24am, 6lb 3oz, our "little squirt" see her at: www.babiesonline.com/babies/s/squirty
<a href="http://lilypie.com"><img src="http://lilypie.com/baby1/041009/2/13/0/+10" alt="Lilypie Baby Days" border="0" /></a>
Posted 12 August 2004 - 08:59 PM
i b/f connor till he was 16 months and only did it at night but had one friend at jess'school who insisted on telling me everytime it came up about how i should stop as it was long enough etc etc etc blah blah blah. i never cared though.. you just have to be strong and do WHAT YOU AND YOUR BABY WANT... stuff others..
and to what happened to "bodhi'smama" at the doctors, that is disgusting.. i'm sorry it upset you, you should have told him to get stuffed...
*JESSICA <I>oct 96 (c/s) age 7.9 yrs</I><BR>*RYAN<I> july 01 (c/s) age 3 yrs</I>
*CONNOR <I>dec 02 (c/s) age 1.8 yrs</I>
Posted 12 August 2004 - 09:04 PM
I breastfed to 17 months and was ever so sad when I stopped but had to in order to commence IVF treatment.
I just wanted to give my support to you. It must be hard when your nearest and dearest pressure you like this. There is a growing body of research that shows the health benefits of feeding past 12 months, so I can't believe the chemist's advice!
I can't say I've ever had any negative comments though (my MIL made some remarks early on but I wrote her a letter and she shut up after that!) Many of my friends have also breastfed to similar ages and more.
DD Amber 4/12/02
Happy cloth nappy wearer!
Posted 12 August 2004 - 09:40 PM
oh yes I hear you! I breast fed til 18 months and stopped only when I fell pregnant again..... and we just loved it! I can't wait to breastfeed again, personally its one of the most nuturing, beautiful, intimate thing I could ever give my child.
The comments are astounding, friends, family, strangers etc it was always those all-knowing males that astounded me the most pfft what would they know about it! I always just turned to them with a sweet smile and said 'I was breastfed until I was 3, is there anything wrong with me?" - they would just squirm uncomfortably much to my delight
I mean, once they are over 12 months they get all the nourishment they need from food etc.... and really don't need breast milk it's just a comfort thing
Ummmm, whats so wrong with comfort from mummy?"Babies are here to teach unconditional love, toddlers are here to test it!" - Saba from EB
Posted 12 August 2004 - 10:59 PM
I plan to wean DD around 12m to do IVF, but would be happy to feed well into toddlerhood if not for this. My 2nd child will hopefully have a longer BFing relationship.
I personally would probably discourage an 18m child of mine from shirt-lifting at whim during the day and try to stick to morning and night time cuddles - but I haven't got there yet have I? I would never presume to suggest to another mother that she is doing the "wrong thing". If it was wrong for her she wouldn't be doing it!
And if you aren't "supposed" to feed your children beyond a certain age, why do your breasts still make milk??
Posted 12 August 2004 - 11:05 PM
I think the problem here is, most people see BFing as a way to feed your babe...from a food
perspective, but it is more than that..
whats so wrong with comfort from mummy?
spot on Pixie
We all know that children can get comfort other ways, no one is disputing that, but if you choose to BF & give comfort/closness/bonding etc that way, then that is up to you, not anybody else
My babe is 8 mths on Saturday and she is a chubba & I get looks also from people when we are out, because she is chubby, they assume she is older....I would love to feed her for as long as she is happy to feed, I Bf DD1 for 9 mths when she self weaned
due to me falling pg with DD2..it stll makes me sad..it is the only reason I will put off TTC3, because I really want to BF for longer..
You are doing a wonderful job & if you are happy & your babe is happy, that is all that matters..it's your life, your babe, your choice.. Lynda Friends make life beautiful
Posted 12 August 2004 - 11:18 PM
The other thing I find really bizarre, is that it is generally accepted when a child has a bottle when they are 18 months, 2 years, over two years etc but breastfeeding is seen as wierd.....?!?!?
I've known many children who still have bottles when going to bed, and to settle for sleeps-be it during the day or at night-so I don't see anything wrong with breastfeeding at that age.
But it's true, you can't win whatever you do. So you just don't bother complying to everyone else's rules, you follow your own ideals
Edited to add-ljl211-you are entitled to your opinions
And if you don't breastfeed after 18 months because you don't like it-good for you!
But that doesn't mean other mums shouldn't if they want to
Proud mummy to Rowan and Callan-both born by elective caesarean ~*~Just because you can, doesn't mean you should....~*~
This message was edited by DeeM on Thursday, 12 August 2004 @ 11:30 PM
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