Poll: When is it ok for you to mother-lead wean? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: when is it ok to mother-lead wean?
at anytime that the mother wants to wean (from birth on) 35 15.84%
from 12 months on 72 32.58%
from 24 months on 81 36.65%
from 3 years on 12 5.43%
from 4 years on 10 4.52%
never, it's not ok to mother-lead wean 11 4.98%
Voters: 221. You may not vote on this poll

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#61 of 145 Old 09-14-2004, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
Except, for some people, breastfeeding is not something you try to do, but something you owe your child.


breastfeeding is not being perfect, it's the most natural thing there is. sure, it's hard sometimes. but to have a child is hard, so I don't understand the attitude of "breastfeeding a little is better than nothing", sure, a little CIO is better than a lot of it, but are we going to start advocating that?
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#62 of 145 Old 09-14-2004, 11:44 PM
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I've been struggling with this question recently, myself. I didn't feel comfortable voting because of it. I think so much depends on the individual situation and the individual baby. I have a 3.5 year old who is still nursing. She will wean herself, without question. If it is this year or next, or even the one after that, it will be up to her.

My first is not the problem. I am pumping for my second. She has a cleft palate and can't nurse. It is not physically possible for her. She is fast approaching her surgery date in early October. As soon as she has recovered from that, she will be physically capable of nursing.

I am definitely going to try to get her back on the breast. But, I am realistic enough to realize that this may not happen. She might not do it. She'll be over 10 months old at this point. This then leaves me in a place that I would rather not be.

Pumping until I wean her. If I was really committed to CLW, I guess I would pump until she weaned herself from bottles. I know I will pump for at least a year for her. But I honestly don't know if I can do this for another year. I would love for her to get breastmilk for 2 years at least, but I am so at the end of my rope. I am at my absolute limit. I can't take on even one more thing. So, that's my bind. And that's why I can't vote. Because I just don't know anymore. Life has been reduced to pumping, pumping, feeding, pumping. Weaning is seeming like a beautiful light at the end of a very dark tunnel. I am not enjoying this time, and can only wait for it to be done.


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#63 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 12:17 AM
 
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bec, 2

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#64 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 12:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
Except, for some people, breastfeeding is not something you try to do, but something you owe your child.
In my view, we owe our children *many* things, both in infancy and at every other step along the way. As important as bf is, I see it as only one aspect of optimal parenting. It seems for some people to be the sole litmus test that determines, in their mind, whether someone is a "good" parent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanie Mama
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaydeesac
Support, guidance, and information are good advocacy tools; shaming, judgment, and hyperbole are not.

Where did I do that?
Actually, it was "loving-my-babies"'s earlier post that I was referring to (as I noted in my PP). Your quote about educating mamas (which I very much agree with ) was what made me think of the different ways people advocate about bf. There's a welcoming, supportive way, and then there's heaping judgment on and making sweeping statements about people. I probably should have quoted differently or elaborated more--sorry for any confusion!
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#65 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 01:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kaydeesac
As important as bf is, I see it as only one aspect of optimal parenting.
I don't understand this. IMO breastfeeding is not optimal parenting. its natural, "the-least-I-can-do-for-my-child" kind of parenting. it's not an extreme effort (except for breastfeeding when having different kinds of problems) and its not something I expect to be patted on the back for. It's just what you do when you have kids. that's all it is to me. not optimal parenting. just responsible parenting and the LEAST I can do for my kids.
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#66 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 01:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaydeesac
As important as bf is, I see it as only one aspect of optimal parenting.
I have a problem with breastfeeding being referred to as "optimal," as if formula feeding is the standard, against which breastfeeding is judged to be "above and beyond" or "going the extra mile."

Breastfeeding is the standard feeding method. Formula feeding is a sub-standard feeding method.

This way of thinking of breastfeeding as the optimum instead of as the standard is one of the major reasons for the breastfeeding rate being as low as it is.

(One of my favorite articles: "Watch Your Language" )

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#67 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 01:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sustainer
I have a problem with breastfeeding being referred to as "optimal," as if formula feeding is the standard, against which breastfeeding is judged to be "above and beyond" or "going the extra mile."

Breastfeeding is the standard feeding method. Formula feeding is a sub-standard feeding method.

This way of thinking of breastfeeding as the optimum instead of as the standard is one of the major reasons for the breastfeeding rate being as low as it is.

(One of my favorite articles: "Watch Your Language" )
I could not agree more.
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#68 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 03:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loving-my-babies
I don't understand this. IMO breastfeeding is not optimal parenting. its natural, "the-least-I-can-do-for-my-child" kind of parenting. it's not an extreme effort (except for breastfeeding when having different kinds of problems) and its not something I expect to be patted on the back for. It's just what you do when you have kids. that's all it is to me. not optimal parenting. just responsible parenting and the LEAST I can do for my kids.
The point I was making was that while you are quite firm in your personal views on this topic, the vast majority of women in the U.S. don't see it the same way, whether that's because of misinformation, "selfishness," outside pressures, genuine difficulty with bf, other health issues, or whathaveyou. If you really want to help advocate bf, do you give mamas positive support, guidance, and education, or belittle them, dismiss them, and question their very fitness as parents? I believe that the rigid, judgmental stance of some advocates drives away many women. Not tactically wise, IMO (not to mention quite unkind).

To touch on another part of this post, I think that *many* women have a lot of difficulty bf. I know that in the new mothers' group I attended after my son was born and in the playgroups I attend now, a huge number of the moms found bf exceedingly challenging in a variety of ways (and this was in a part of the country where bf is more common and more supported/expected than in other places). BF may be, for some people, "the most natural thing in the world" or "just what you do when you have kids"--but that's certainly not true across the board, as statistics clearly show. And again, ignoring or downplaying that reality won't, I believe, help further the cause.

Lastly, the word "optimal," in my mind, means "best," so I am having difficulty understanding the fuss over the term. Don't we always say, "Breast is best"? There are many "best practices" in parenting; BF is one of those practices. Alas, humans don't always do what is best, and there is a wide variety of reasons why they fall short.

ETA: Just read the "watch your language" article and so understand the "optimal" flap a bit better. It is an interesting question--how to communicate to a culture that a practice is "standard" when it isn't, in fact, the "norm" in that culture. I would be interested in seeing research comparing the outcomes of different lactation education/support programs, which use different language and information (I'm sure there are some studies like this out there?).

Also, what I take from the article, though, is a need for better *information* and *framing* of BF--not harsher attitudes towards those who don't bf, which is what I sometimes hear here....
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#69 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 03:50 AM
 
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Yes, many of us here aren't crazy about the phrase "breast is best," because it implies that formula is fine. One person even has "Breast is NOT 'best'!" in her sig line, with a link to the "Watch Your Language" article.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#70 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by loving-my-babies
It's just what you do when you have kids. that's all it is to me. not optimal parenting. just responsible parenting and the LEAST I can do for my kids.



This is the reason I'm willing to put up with the incredible pain in the a$$ to pump. It was never a question whether I would pump. It's because I have a baby, and she needs my milk. She just can't get it in the conventional manner. It's as she gets older, that things get a little murky for me.


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#71 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 09:49 AM
 
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I really think it's totally up to the mother and there are a ton of good reasons why she may have to wean and I would rather not judge. *But* with that disclaimer in mind, I choose 24 months on because in an ideal world I would like women to go with a child led approach until at least that long.

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#72 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaydeesac
The point I was making was that while you are quite firm in your personal views on this topic, the vast majority of women in the U.S. don't see it the same way, whether that's because of misinformation, "selfishness," outside pressures, genuine difficulty with bf, other health issues, or whathaveyou. If you really want to help advocate bf, do you give mamas positive support, guidance, and education, or belittle them, dismiss them, and question their very fitness as parents? I believe that the rigid, judgmental stance of some advocates drives away many women. Not tactically wise, IMO (not to mention quite unkind).
please speak for yourself. I happen to be motivated (and I was, before having my children breastfeeding) by advocates like myself. It's harsh, perhaps, but I feel we need to get out there that there should not be another "choice". breastmilk is not better, or best, it's the only thing there should be in a mother's mind under normal circumstances. if formula is needed, then that's because one has evaluated the circumstances with the doctors and decide to put baby on formula just like you put someone on meds. From where I come from pretty much everyone has this attitude and our stats are SOOO much better than stats here in the US. I have no doubts why.
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#73 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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also, thanks everyone for responding. Now I have an idea that it's mostly between 12 and 24 months what most people HERE find appropriate time for weaning, if wanted.
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#74 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 10:38 AM
 
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Well, you shouldn't wean till at least 12 months, and I believe that because it's for the child's physical health. After that, I wouldn't judge a woman if it was really stressing her out, thereby causing more harm than good to the mother-child emotional relationship. But then again, maybe she's just being selfish, meanwhile her kid is traumatized at the loss of nursing. Well, only the mother really knows why she is weaning the child, so I can't judge her because I don't know.

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#75 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 12:44 PM
 
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Why all the focus on nursing for at least a year when the WHO recommends at least 2 years?
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#76 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 12:57 PM
 
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after my son turned a year old my parnter and i made a decision that we would let him nurse as long as he wanted but only if he wanted too... my son is a great eater and a helathy kid with no food alergys... i am a sworn breastfeeding advocate... and it was weird because i always thought that my son would nurse untill he was atleast 2 but one morning he woke up at about 18 months and it was like he forgot about it... but at that point he only nursed 2 times aday... i think that the best way to wein a child is not to... let them... even if your not ready... like me.
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#77 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 01:03 PM
 
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Also, when do you consider them weaned and what do you do if they want to try a little bit long after they are done?

My oldest stopped nursing every day at the beginning of my pgcy, and she was 22 mos. But she still occasionally tries (32 mos now). Maybe every month or so she will ask to nurse, but she forgot how to suck so she just licks and only gets a drop or so. That doesn't exactly "count" to me; I would still say she doesn't nurse anymore.
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#78 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 02:37 PM
 
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wow, who'da thunk that a thread on WHEN to wean would elicit such a great discussion!!! I've really been enjoying it--thanks!!!

i was particularly affected by the article sustainer linked--it really provided a background for all my feelings of inadequacy when i was forced to supplement w/ form. Thank you for posting that. i have already sent it to my hubby, and plan to send it to my family later. i may also print it for the ped. loving-my-babies, you may remember i posted about my difficulties on another of your threads, so i won't go into that now. but i just want to remind us all that there are medical reasons for not bfing, and in the absence of a milk baank (cuz that would be the best alternative) thank goodness we have formula. *shiver* [i always hated when people would say that to me when i moaned about my bfing issues--now i know why]

anyway, i did want to ask something. when ds was born my goal was to nurse for at least a year. but once we overcame the need for formula i felt so drained but utterly relieved that i hope he doesn't wean too early. but whenever the WHO rec of 2 years comes up, someone always says, yeah but that's cuz in developing countries there's not enough REAL food so breast is best in that case (or something like that). how do you rebut that??? can someone give me some resources that show that mama milk and mothering at the breast is beneficial even important for babies past 1? even my ped. tells me there's no real reason to nurse beyond 1. ugh!

sorry if that's T respond in pm if nec.

happy nursing!!!
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#79 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 03:42 PM
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I'm sad that parts of this thread turned out to sound a little angry and judgemental towards people who wean early, or don't BF for whatever reason. And I notice no one really responded to those of us who related difficulties...is it convenient to ignore stories from real women who had trouble, and just go on with your rhetoric? I really think that if more people were understanding, and less were judgmental, society would be better off for it and maybe our BF rates would go up. I also think that people who are really militant and sounding judgemental are perhaps more concerned with telling others what to do, and with their own pride and superiority at succeeding at BFding, than with helping others.

I am TTC#2 and planning to BF. I hope and pray I am successful this time. I hope I am not going to let myself feel like a bad mom if baby # 2 won't latch. I do intend to work at it, as hard or even harder than last time, as much as I can take it. For those of you you didn't have trouble BFding, I wasn't just a little tired, or in a little discomfort. And my baby wasn't just a little fussy, or a little hungry. I was exhausted from the pumping and feeding schedule, so tired I crashed into my mom's car when I pulled into the driveway one day--now THAT was a turning point, I admit...and my son was hungry ALL the time, and crying ALL the time. And I began to feel I was spending more time with the breast pump than with him... it blew, it really did. It wasn't just an inconvenience. It was a nightmare.

I agree with the poster who said that BF is but one way to parent properly. There are so many important issues. I have friends who BF for a year or more. Then they wean and the feed their kids foods with preservatives, hydrogenated oils, artificial dyes...yes, it is a blessing they BF if they are going to feed their kids crap, but why isn't anyone all militant about that? There are so many things we could judge others on if we wanted to. I cloth diaper my son. I do it for him and for the evironment, and for the enviroment of other people's kids. So if someone BFs but doesn't CD, hmm, aren't they harming not only their own child but everyone else's, too? And what about organic foods? Or recycling? Or not buying products that are made by companies who exploit people? Do you do all those things all the time? perfectly? No exceptions? They all affect the health and well-being of not only your child, but everyone else's, as well.

Or does BDding make a woman a perfect mom, or just a more perfect mom, than the one who did everything else "right"--- who can slack off on other parenting, diet/nutrition, or environmental issues? I'm speaking hypothetically here, not talking to anyone in particular on this board. Playing devil's advocate, if you will. You probably all do all these things, or at least try to. And then there is circumcision...but I won't go there. A whole other can of worms.

To clarify: I am just making a point. We are none of us perfect, and pointing the finger gets us nowhere. We have to walk a mile in someone else's shoes before we even begin to think about judging them. BFding is more than hard for some. It is next to impossible, or even impossible. Prior to doing it, I never would have believed it. Would it have been worth it for me to continue BFding at the expense of the emotional well-being of my son, and my own? I didn't think so, and I still don't.

I realize this post probably won't make me very welcome on this board...but I have to be honest. I feel beat up on everytime I read posts about how women are harming their children or being selfish for not BFding.
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#80 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 04:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loving-my-babies
please speak for yourself.
Er, I *did*. Quote: "I believe that the rigid, judgmental stance of some advocates drives away many women. Not tactically wise, IMO (not to mention quite unkind)."

This is a question advocates for a variety of issues face: what's the most effective way to convince people of the "righteousness" of your cause? I simply stated my approach to this question. And you stated yours. Not much further to go with this, is there....
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#81 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 04:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mariah101
I'm sad that parts of this thread turned out to sound a little angry and judgemental towards people who wean early, or don't BF for whatever reason. And I notice no one really responded to those of us who related difficulties...is it convenient to ignore stories from real women who had trouble, and just go on with your rhetoric? I really think that if more people were understanding, and less were judgmental, society would be better off for it and maybe our BF rates would go up.

I am TTC#2 and planning to BF. I hope and pray I am successful this time. But you know what, I am not going to let myself feel like a bad mom if baby # 2 won't latch. I do intend to work at it, as hard or even harder than last time, as much as I can take it.

I agree with the poster who said that BF is but one way to parent properly. There are so many things we could judge others on. I cloth diaper my son. I do it for him and for the evironment, and for the enviroment of other people's kids. So if someone BFs but doesn't CD, hmm, aren't they harming not only their own child but everyone else's, too? And what about organic foods? Or recycling? Or not buying products that are made by companies who exploit people? Do you do all those things all the time? perfectly? No exceptions?

Or does BDding make you a perfect mom who can slack off on other parenting, diet/nutrition, or environmental issues? I'm speaking hypothetically here, not talking to anyone in particular on this board. Playing devil's advocate, if you will.

To clarify: that is not really my belief. I am just making a point. We are none of us perfect, and pointing the finger gets us nowhere. We have to walk a mile in someone else's shoes before we even begin to think about judging them.

I realize this post probably won't make me very welcome on this board...but I have to be honest. I feel beat up on everytime I read posts about how women are harming their children or being selfish for not BFding.
Mariah101, I, for one, welcome your perspective in this discussion. There are many of us who are committed to BF, but for whom BF was a real struggle. I think it is important that advocates hear our stories and try to understand our perspectives.

The fact is, women *do* have the choice not to BF (even if some think they *shouldn't* have this choice). Given that reality, information, not judgment, seems to me the best tool to help women BF.
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#82 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 04:31 PM
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I should have noted that. I was upset. I guess at the overall tone the threads were taking. Thank you for reminding me and for your comments. This is an emotional issue. I'm still not "over" it. Can you tell? LOL

I should probably get offline and go relax before DS wakes up!
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#83 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 04:39 PM
 
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I don't see the need for drama here. We have friends still nursing five year olds and that's fine for them. I'm not morally opposed to that, it just not for me. When as busy toddlers one day, they forgot to ask to nurse, I simply didn't offer. No biggie. The next day or two the child decided when to have a sip and when not to. I did my best to be entirely neutral. Both of my kids did this similiar thing and achieved weaning in a few days. Both of them were in the 16 months -ish sort of range.
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#84 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 05:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UUCCMom
but whenever the WHO rec of 2 years comes up, someone always says, yeah but that's cuz in developing countries there's not enough REAL food so breast is best in that case (or something like that). how do you rebut that??? can someone give me some resources that show that mama milk and mothering at the breast is beneficial even important for babies past 1? even my ped. tells me there's no real reason to nurse beyond 1. ugh!
Yet another ignorant, uneducated doctor heard from...why do these people think they're qualified to opine on breastfeeding given their total lack of education?

Jack Newman on risks of artificial feeding (studies done mostly in affluent countries)

Kellymom fact sheet on nursing past a year

Kellymom EBF references

Kellymom EBF links

An important aspect to remember is the health benefits to the mother of nursing....lower rates of breast and ovarian cancer, for example. Your risk is lowered the longer you nurse. How come doctors never think about those benefits? Oh yeah, because they're CLUELESS!

Come visit the NEW QuirkyBaby website -- earn QB Bucks rewards points for purchases, reviews, referrals, and more! Free US shipping on great brands of baby slings and carriers and FREE BabyLegs or babywearing mirror on orders of $100+. Take the QB Quiz for personalized advice!

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#85 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 05:28 PM
 
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In my experience my son weaned himself at about 22 months. We were already down to only once or twice a day and as I had just gotten tired of it I decided to not offer to nurse him unless he asked. The span of not being asked began to get longer and longer until a week went by and I dried up. Naturally, once he knew the milk was no longer there he wanted it all the time.

With DD I am weaning this October though I really don't want to. She's 19 months old and no where near ready to even slow down. However, for the sake of my marriage I am taking a long trip in November and don't want the hassle of pumping.

If we have a third baby it will nurse for as long as it wants.

As far as when other people should wean, I think it's up to them. I wish everyone nursed longer than a year but that's not realistic. In my area I know no one who has nursed longer than 12 months...I am considered a bit odd for not giving it up.

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#86 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 05:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mariah101
I'm sad that parts of this thread turned out to sound a little angry and judgemental towards people who wean early, or don't BF for whatever reason. And I notice no one really responded to those of us who related difficulties...is it convenient to ignore stories from real women who had trouble, and just go on with your rhetoric? I really think that if more people were understanding, and less were judgmental, society would be better off for it and maybe our BF rates would go up.
I am speaking for myself here, but I am sure a few others here feel the same. Bieng sad for a baby and judging the mother are two different things. As for issues, man y of us understand those issues and have had them ourselves. I had them wiht my first. Our issues led to weaning at 3 months. I feel really sad for my son. Especially since he has had some health issues that have me wondering if I could have prevented them. I choose not to deny the facts out there or hide from them. I chose to let them give me the strength and resolve to get through with the next two children I had. But, yes when a woman says she just plain wanted her body back and hated bieng attached to the baby all the time, alot of us are a bit angry at that. No, bf is not ALL the parenting there is, but when one CHOOSES not to give her child her all for selfish reasons, it bothers me.

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I also think that people who are really militant and sounding judgemental are perhaps more concerned with telling others what to do, and with their own pride and superiority at succeeding at BFding, than with helping others.
So, you think we ALL feel we are better than other moms? No, some of us TRULY do hurt for a child who does not get what they need to grow the way God intended. I still hurt for my 9 year old who had a mother who was not informed and too ignorant to know where to get help.

I have plenty of ff'er friend who are good moms and I am not sitting there all the time feeling like a better mother than them. I see them as friends. My friends will still be my friends when our kids are done nursing and ff;ing. I dont think that you are accurate about alot of us and our feelings. I can seperate the feeding method from the feeder. It does not mean that I think the choice was the best for the child though.
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#87 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 07:41 PM
 
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I am speaking for myself here, but I am sure a few others here feel the same. Bieng sad for a baby and judging the mother are two different things.
Thanks for making that distinction. I think it's an important one for people on all sides of this issue to recognize--both those who feel criticized for their actions and those who are, in fact, criticizing.

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But, yes when a woman says she just plain wanted her body back and hated bieng attached to the baby all the time, alot of us are a bit angry at that. No, bf is not ALL the parenting there is, but when one CHOOSES not to give her child her all for selfish reasons, it bothers me.
Without diminishing the importance of BF, I will say that I think there are times for most of us at times when we do not give our all as parents, in various spheres, for "selfish" reasons (i.e., when we put our own interests/needs/wants above those of our children).

It really raises my hackles is when women who do not BF are portrayed as deficient parents who will by definition be "selfish" in other aspects of their parenting role (as was said in this thread). Mamas who do not BF can still be attentive, loving, attached parents, who "give their all" in many other ways but who, for a wide variety of reasons, do not in this area. The parent/child relationship is multifaceted; we can't just use one aspect of a woman's mothering to generalize about the whole. This is true for positive generalizing as well as negative--I would venture to guess that some women who give their all in BF fall short in other ways in their parenting.)
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#88 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 08:18 PM
 
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And what about organic foods? Or recycling? Or not buying products that are made by companies who exploit people?
Those things are all important, but I think breastfeeding is by far the most important. I don't judge mothers who truly want to breastfeed and are committed to breastfeeding but who have real physical problems. I don't think anyone else here does, either. Most women who give up on breastfeeding though, or who don't even initiate breastfeeding, are not physically incapable of breastfeeding. I also agree with the pp who said that there is a difference between feeling sad for babies and judging mothers. And, no, I don't sit around feeling superior, and I'm getting a little tired of that particular acusation.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#89 of 145 Old 09-15-2004, 08:55 PM
 
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but whenever the WHO rec of 2 years comes up, someone always says, yeah but that's cuz in developing countries there's not enough REAL food so breast is best in that case (or something like that). how do you rebut that??? can someone give me some resources that show that mama milk and mothering at the breast is beneficial even important for babies past 1? even my ped. tells me there's no real reason to nurse beyond 1. ugh!

dr jack newman has an article called "breastfeed a toddler, why on earth?"

l, <>< wife to my sweetie, proud mama to 3 cubs, 2 who clw & 1 that i i ep for . baby was evicted early by induction due to severe pre-e/hellp syndrome
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I would like to reply to quite a few posts, so this could very well turn into a novel.

First, the question was, "When is ok for you to mother-led wean?" I tried to answer the question about when would *I* start feeling comfortable about mother led weaning.

I'm not the weaning police. I'm not making a list of mothers to disparage. Of the nine children my kids are closest to, five of them were weaned WELL before my personal cut-off (two years). The other four have moms who are LLL Leaders, lol (and, two of them, btw, will have been weaned before three).

I am talking about a value judgement. We make thousands of them every day.

If the question was, "What is the minimum a mother needs to bfeed to still be a good mother?" I can confidently and honestly answer, "not a nip." Bfeeding does NOT determine if you are a good mother. But that does not mean it does not have value and that does not mean that I am unwilling to estimate the very mimimum that each child is born to recieve.

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If you really want to help advocate bf, do you give mamas positive support, guidance, and education, or belittle them, dismiss them, and question their very fitness as parents?
I wasn't advocating anything. I was stating a personal belief. That given a *normal* situation, each child would be nursed a minimum of two years.

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To touch on another part of this post, I think that *many* women have a lot of difficulty bf. I know that in the new mothers' group I attended after my son was born and in the playgroups I attend now, a huge number of the moms found bf exceedingly challenging in a variety of ways (and this was in a part of the country where bf is more common and more supported/expected than in other places). BF may be, for some people, "the most natural thing in the world" or "just what you do when you have kids"--but that's certainly not true across the board, as statistics clearly show. And again, ignoring or downplaying that reality won't, I believe, help further the cause.
If you think I downplay the reality of nursing, I'm not sure we have ever spoken before, lol. With DD my midwife, two LCs, her ped, & my family practicioner all were encouraging me to wean by 9 months. Even now, with only one child nursing (and that a 3 yo) I still find bfeeding challenging much of the time (discomfort, lack of sleep, feeling touched out, etc...). IMO, discounting the necessity of bfeeding does mothers no favor. I consider bfeeding a necessity, so I do it.

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As important as bf is, I see it as only one aspect of optimal parenting. It seems for some people to be the sole litmus test that determines, in their mind, whether someone is a "good" parent.
I didn't see anyone (on this thread) apply this litmus test I could tell you my opinion on the minimum owed a child on any other number of things. It wouldn't mean that any of them are, to me, the end all, be all of parenting.

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And I notice no one really responded to those of us who related difficulties...is it convenient to ignore stories from real women who had trouble, and just go on with your rhetoric?
I, personally, don't think anything good comes of second guessing people's choices once they are made. Would it make anyone feel better to hear, "oh, well you could have done x/y/z?" I support every mother on their path (within reason), but I did not consider this a support thread as such.

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We are none of us perfect, and pointing the finger gets us nowhere. We have to walk a mile in someone else's shoes before we even begin to think about judging them. BFding is more than hard for some. It is next to impossible, or even impossible.
I can agree with that. I hope you can conceed, though, that the number of women who actually can't fully bfeed is so small to be almost negligible. Much lower than, for example, the % of woman who need c-sections, who deliver prematurely, who suffer severe PPD, etc... And yet we generally are comfortable acknowledging *those* conditions as out of the ordinary. Do you see what I mean?

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There are many of us who are committed to BF, but for whom BF was a real struggle. I think it is important that advocates hear our stories and try to understand our perspectives.
So, are you not an advocate simply because Bfeeding was hard for you? I consider myself an advocate, even though it was hard for me. I consider myself a homebirth advocate though my first was born in a hospital. Differing definitions make it hard to understand each other.

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The fact is, women *do* have the choice not to BF (even if some think they *shouldn't* have this choice). Given that reality, information, not judgment, seems to me the best tool to help women BF.
This comment really does not make sense in context to me. There are many threads targeted towards the most effective way to advocate bfeeding. This is not that thread. This thread was asking each woman to make a simple judgement. I asked myself, making the assumption, "(Assuming all is going well), when is okay for you to mother-led wean?"

 

 

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