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what is clw? - Page 2

post #21 of 37
Originally Posted by DaryLLL
I am asking out of honest curiosity. Just wondering what the parameters and perceived benefits are.
Ok, I'm guilty of being defensive

Originally Posted by DaryLLL
When you say that, do you mean CLW is not right for every mother, but is right for every child?
I can only answer for my child and me and I believe it is right for us.

Originally Posted by DaryLLL
It is natural for kids to have siblings. Most kids do. (I am certainly not saying it is wrong to have only one child!)
As an only myself and mom to an only, this probably played into my defensiveness, but you're right, if none of us used birth control, I'm sure we'd all have a lot more children! :LOL

Originally Posted by DaryLLL
I also differentiate between habit and need. My final child was nursing for 2 mins at bedtime when he was 4 1/2. Sometimes he would go to bed without nursing. When I suggested he might want to give up that feed, he agreed willingly. But it was my idea. I introduced him to the concept. So this was not child-led but respectful. Yet, as he agreed and was not traumatized, I did not see any harm arose from it. I truly believe if a child has a need, he will object strongly to having it not met. If he has a habit, he will give it up easily.
My 5yo recently went 5 days without nursing. Not wanting to let our nursing relationship go without acknowledging it, I mentioned it and told him that all children stop nursing. He told me he hadn't stopped. I told him that all children do eventually, and he say he "might not"! Then he proceeded to nurse every night for the next several days! His pattern now is to skip a few, nurse a few. I know he's continuing the weaning process at his own pace, and he's communicated in both words and actions that he is not ready to stop. Obviously a different situation than the one you had with your son.

Originally Posted by DaryLLL
I hope that was clearer.
Thanks for clarifying!
post #22 of 37
I have to say that I'm not sure what child led weaning is. It seems like it should be pretty straightforward, but maybe I just interpret it wrongly. Probably because I read the Granju AP book and I liked her interpretation. I've never claimed to use child led weaning but child respectful weaning. Sometimes when I haven't wanted to nurse my child, I haven't. I let my first child wean herself more or less, but I'm sure my reactions played a part in things, so I don't call it child led weaning.
post #23 of 37
I'd like to comment on this as well:

If a child weans herself while mom is pg b/c of lowered supply or funny taste, or b/c mom has shortened and limited feeds to the point where it is just not very attractive, does this count as a true child led weaning? The child might only be say, 18 mos. She may not be truly ready to wean and of course, an 18 mo would benefit hugely from more breastmilk.
Honestly, I would not consider it CLW for *myself* if that happened (I try not to directly question's other's personal assesments). While I frequented the CLW thread (and now this board, lol) I consider DD's natural weaning progression to have been permanently altered by my pregancy, my requests of her, my altered milk supply, etc... Because of that, I do not consider DD's to have been a "real" child led weaning (even though she nursed through pg and then tandemed 18 months) even though it was her who made the *final* weaning decision.

Really it is an issue of semantics. Some people consider CLW to mean no restrictions *ever*. Some (thought not as many here as IRL) consider it simply to mean that the child chose when to give up the last nursing (even if the mother had weaned them down to one nursing at 5 months and then the child "chose" to give it up).

For our family, it was obviously "worth" the issues we forsaw w/following a CLW path to have a second child. While CLW is a goal, it is not our only goal, and must be fit into the context of many other, sometimes conflicting, desires.
post #24 of 37
Originally Posted by mother_sunshine
Yes, ideally, I think CLW is best for every child. But because breastfeeding is a relationship between mother and child, what's best for the mother factors in also. If breastfeeding reaches a point where it is not healthy for the mother (whether it be physical, mental or emotional) then it may come to a point where CLW is not best for the child if it negatively affects the child's relationship with her mother. So then my answer would be, no I don't think CLW is right for every child.

I honestly don't think there's any point in analyzing prior weaning experiences just for the purpose of "labeling" it as CL or ML. I can't imagine CLW happening without the mother imposing SOME limits over the course of time- setting limits is a part of parenting!!

Edited because I was too much of a rush to preview my post before submitting it
post #25 of 37
It seems to me that CLW can only happen in these cases:

If the child weans herself while mom is not pg


If the mom is pg but nursing does not cause extreme nipple or breast pain


If the pg mother somehow has the fortitude and/or acting skills to allow bfing while in extreme pain for 9 mos without causing a huge resentment of bfing and the bfing child
post #26 of 37
Usually when i see "CLW" i run the other way. So i was a little dismayed that the extended nursing board was changed. But, i did lurk here today and i feel i need to add my experiences to this topic. I am currently nursing a 4 1/2 yo (he'll be 5 in 4mos), another son who is just about 3 1/2, and a dd who is almost 10 mos.
I always thought i was CLW. I never thought about it as a term, just that i was letting my child decide when they wanted to wean. Coming to these threads i strongly feel that what i do is not CLW and probably never was. Here are the grey reasons....I have been working part time ever since the birth of my 1st child. I have a great working situation where i work at home, part time in a field i love. It's also a steady, monthly paycheck in times when my dh job is feast or famine (sorry, i guess i'm justifying working). With baby's i've always NAKed, but toddlers don't always want to nak so i felt that i was gyping my child out of quality time with me (mom is trying to get work done and she won't look at me) so i've enrolled them in part time daycare for a few hours a week and they get to do fun, structured things. And then with me, they get to do fun things and nurse. My oldest is now in Pre-K and he is in his elementary school just like the other kids. So those are more restrictions.
I tandem nursed through my 2nd pregnancy, but nightweaned my boys after the 1st tri. I hate nursing on my back and since my 2nd was already 2 i decided that it was time. (plus, i was getting cramps at night and i felt a little uneasy about that). i could see down the road where nursing 3 several times during the night was going to make me a basket case. My milk was supply had pretty much dried up anyways, but somehow i knew my boys would make it through. But, they still had more limits put on them. Days when i was very nauseated (found out how independent my little guys really were..could pour there own drinks, etc), and many painful nipple pains. I really gritted teeth. And then see the boys turn around a go get a glass of water or milk after nursing because they were thirsty!! Ugh! But, thru the pregnancy i learned tricks (like drinking twice the water before bed so i could nurse in the morning without the pain associated with dehydration becuase drinking or eating anything in the morning made me puke). And i would talk to my boys about it. Explain why it hurt or why i had to stop a nursing session. My boys were so sweet. They rarely complained when i could not or did not want to nurse them. But, they still got to nurse each day thru the pregnancy even without the milk.
then i had the baby and i still don't know if the boys were more excited about getting a baby sister (especially watching her birth) or that my milk supply came back.
then came another wave of restrictions, i can't nurse 3 at once. And i had prepared them during the preg that the new baby had to get priority in order to survive!!
so, here i am 10 mos later fully adapted to nursing 3. My boys nurse at least 3 times a day (illness definitely on demand even during the night). My baby nurses on demand.
I try to let my sons end the nursing session. But, i end a lot of the sessions (baby needs to nurse, so one of them has to wait) or it's bedtime. They nurse 20-30 minutes before they go to bed. They rarely end that session. They like to stall a little before bed.
And the delayed. Pick up all your toys first, so we can have ninners. As for my chores, i'll gladly stop for ninners!!!

I can't imagine my sons weaning anytime soon, they absolutely love it. My dh or FIL will ask them if they'd like icecream (this is while they are nursing) and both will refuse. And at no time do i wonder if my kids are ever going to wean, but i do ask myself if i'm going to get a break at times.
But, i do feel i'm being fair to myself and my children. Sometimes they are more high needs, yet sometimes i am more highneeds. At this point my main goal is the special bond my chilren are forming with each other. I see it, and i see it with the baby girl. And of course, the special bond with me. I have had so many loving moments nursing, it keeps me going even when it hurts!

I recently asked my oldest what his favorite part of "ninners" was and he replied, "nursing".

I do notice now, that whenever another mom says she CLW'd, even if the baby is a few months old, i never question it in my mind. that's between her and her baby/baby's, toddler, child, children.
post #27 of 37
*edited because I give up. This website really sucks sometimes.
post #28 of 37
MAN, we all percieve pain diferently. I gave birth twice with no pain medication. I got a few fillings done without novacaine because of mind over pain.
Nursing was/is different because it was/is in my intimate space where the pain was occuring and there was an irritation factor present- almost as if my body was not being respected and it was telling me to not allow the toddler to nurse so much (during pregnancy). It was a "I want to crawl out of my own skin" feeling along with the pain and I did cut back on nursings.
post #29 of 37
FWIW, all three of my births were were 100% natural.
post #30 of 37
I have a million thoughts racing through my head...let's see if I can get a few of them down coherently! :LOL

I do believe that the definition for CLW has different definitions for different people and that there isn't one set definition. My definition includes no active interference in the nursing relationship by the mother, but also includes things like teaching nursing manners and includes setting a few limits (like no nursing while Mama is driving ). Nursing is a relationship between nursling and mama. It's important that both be committed to the relationship and that it is a working, comfortable relationship for both. I don't expect all mothers to be comfortable with clw, just as I don't expect all mothers to be comfortable with having a homebirth or with homeschooling or with eating brussel sprouts. Every mama is different (and I don't care how good brussel sprouts may be for me, I just won't eat 'em! :LOL ). I also understand mothers who agree with the concept of CLW but find it difficult in practice. Although I think CLW is ideal, it's not always best because if Mama isn't happy with the nursing relationship, then it will affect the nursling negatively (although not intentionally).

I do believe I'm practicing child-led weaning. I have nursed one through one pregnancy, tandem nursed, tandem nursed through pregnancy, triandem nursed for over 18 months, my oldest ds self-weaning on his fifth birthday as he planned for 6 months ... and one year after his weaning I'm now tandem nursing during pregnancy again.
Pregnancy doesn't interfere with CLW in my case because my supply is still there (I have oversupply issues when not pg...my LLL Leader/lactation consultant and I joke that the only way to fix my oversupply is for me to get pg!), if I experience nipple pain or a bout of extreme nausea while nursing, I just practice relaxation techniques and get through it (because it's not that bad that I can't do that), and I happen to very much enjoy pregnant nursing.
I do work 9 hours a week (3 hours, 3 days a week) away from home, but am able to bring my nurslings with me as long as they have a need to nurse during that time. When they're old enough that they don't require nursing during that time, they stay with Daddy or up the hill from my work with my parents (who upon occasion will bring a nursling to my office to nurse if they're tired, need mama comfort, etc.). I don't believe that this interferes with nursing, as they get to nurse whenever they want and it's natural for a mother to be unavailable to nurse occasionally. (I could go into detail about my kids and why it has worked especially well in our experience, but I won't bore you with details!)
My oldest ds ... my "natural weaner" ... planned his weaning for 6 months. That's just the way he is. He decided that he really didn't need to nurse anymore and was ready to wean, but wanted to ease himself into it. He's a planner. He nursed sporadically for those 6 months...really slowing down toward the end. A week before his fifth birthday, he changed his mind. He nursed every day. The day before his birthday he said he was really ready. I told him it was up to him and that I'd nurse him as long as he needed. He nursed for the last time in our bed ... just the two of us ... he asked me to tell him "his story" (his birth, nursing him as a baby, nursing through Zachary's pregnancy, tandem nursing, nursing through Haley's pregnancy, triandem nursing) and I did - for 20 minutes as he nursed for the last time. That was it. He woke up the next morning "weaned". He's asked to try a few times since then, I've let him, and he's laughed when his mouth gets near my breast. There was no pressure for him to wean. I left it totally up to him. He even said he'd un-wean on his sixth birthday ... I reminded him of that fact a few days before his 6th birthday and he thought it was funny.

Zachary is 4.5 and continues to nurse. Haley is 2.5 and continues to nurse. I'm pregnant again and haven't seen the slightest dip in my supply ... as a matter of fact, my right breast (Zachary's breast ) got a big engorged last night because he didn't nurse before bed. I once asked Zachary if he was going to wean (we were talking about Alex's weaning and a friend of his who weaned ... it was in the context of the conversation) and he said, "Yeah...probably when I'm 10 or maybe 16 like Rachel (his babysitter!)...it has to be two numbers old though, not 6 or 7 or 8 or 9." So I guess we have a ways to go!
post #31 of 37
Originally Posted by kirstie
I always thought i was CLW. I never thought about it as a term, just that i was letting my child decide when they wanted to wean. Coming to these threads i strongly feel that what i do is not CLW and probably never was.
kirstie, I am confused as to why you would think that you are not child-led weaning because of these threads?

When thinking of the entire breastfeeding journey of a child, from birth all the way to self-weaning, I don't think there is a mother out there who can say that she did not place some kind of breastfeeding limits on her child. If there are any, and this forum was reserved only for them, then I don't think this forum would have very much activity (if any at all).

I hope you will feel welcome here.
post #32 of 37

That post was *soooo* sweet. Thanks for sharing.

post #33 of 37
I just wanted to add, to everyone here.....

There will always be a variety of definitions of CLW ranging from strict to lenient. I have a feeling that it will always confuse some people because people in general seem to like to have a narrow definition of everything (maybe to classify and categorize everyone and everything??). I also have the feeling that some here are not sure if they feel welcome or not, so they are questioning and feeling their way. But child-led weaning is so subjective and personal, it is not fair to yourselves and others to expect one mother's definition to control yours, yk?

I think if mothers come here, though, wanting to have a narrow definition placed on it for them, then they should not balk when others give their own ideal definition. We shouldn't have to walk on eggshells. If a mom is asking, then she should be open to receiving what she gets (and take it or leave it as part of her own ideal).

I think the one thing that is safe to say about child-led weaning is that the child ultimately decides when to wean. (I had to stop myself from tagging on a bunch of assumptions to that because that would be putting my own subjective ideals of it onto others, yeah?)

BTW, I think it's safe to say that the word 'wean' in the context of CLW is actually a healthy word to be celebrated, not one full of anxiety, negativity and stress on either part of mother and/or child.

Over the past years of having one or two very lengthy child-led weaning threads, I have noticed one major thing. There is a tremendous amount of respect and kindness among all of us. We all vary, sometimes we disagree, but we all respect and appreciate one another. (That's why I added on the to my signature, btw). This may sound sappy but through the child-led weaning discussions I have felt a close sisterhood with the many mamas who have shared themselves with me, and who made me feel comfortable and welcome enough to share myself with them. They have supported me through everything, and in turn I support them through everything. Even just to listen and or or just make yourself 'here'. I am thrilled that this forum is here because our numbers will grow and hopefully more mothers will feel that sense of sisterhood and support.
post #34 of 37
BTW MamaAllNatural
post #35 of 37
I'm appreciating this thread. I believe in CLW and when DS recently self-weaned at 16 1/2 months, I felt tremendous guilt. I had always thought that children would be more likely be wean themselves after 2 1/2, 3 or later, but certainly not before 2. I am now 27 weeks pg, but I experienced a second drop in supply around 21/22 weeks (the first being when I was about 7/8 weeks pg.) DS is extremely active and only slowed down to nurse at naps and bedtimes. Sometimes I'd offer if he was upset or really snuggly, but rarely would be take me up on that, seemingly content to nurse at sleep times. When I hit that secondary drop, I continued to offer (ie get him in our "nursing position" and expose my breast), but he started refusing. Initially, he'd pull down my shirt to cover my breast and turn away, and then when I'd even START to offer, he'd fuss. After about a week and a half of offering to no avail, I stopped offering, and he didn't seem to care less

It's just so odd that I saw myself tandeming and having DS nurse into toddlerhood with his little sister, and he chose not too. And for some reason I feel guilty. And of course, I'm mourning the end of our nursing relationship...
post #36 of 37
mommyofone , don't feel guilty. He may want to start nursing again after the baby is born.
post #37 of 37
sorry, mother_sunshine, for the confusion. it's great to be able to come to a place and chat with other woman who love to breastfeed and don't think age is an issue (age of nursling). the people i usually come into contact with daily (neighbors, family, coworkers) don't breastfeed. they respect me for what i do, but they don't understand the joys, the bonds, etc. my dh is my biggest supporter, but there are things he doesn't understand even though he tries. seeing the labels "CLW" threw me as i just assumed i was. i see that there are CRW's, MLW's and probably more. i nightweaned 2 of my children which was my choice. so i guess i would be CRW. i'm used to dealing with people who don't nurse (i'm grateful that this nursing board exists), and i know of other mom's who nurse CLW or close to it, but rarely get a chance to see them. Since mainstream does not know what "CLW", "tandem nursing", or "extended nursing", i just tell people i nurse 3. Of course, most people don't realize nursing is breastfeeding.

i will feel welcome here and won't worry about definitions.
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