Will EBF ever be "mainstream"? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 02-21-2003, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Breastfeeding in general has come a long way over the last 30-40 years in the US, but obviously not far enough. However, I think it is safe to say that breastfeeding for at least 3 months is fairly mainstream.

My question is more to do with nursing past a year. Do you ever see it as being the normal or "mainstream" thing to do? I guess anything is possible, but I don't see that happening in the near future. With the two exceptions of attending LLL meetings or visiting this board, I always feel like I am the only one in the world nursing a two year old. When I tell people I nursed my son until he was 3 1/2, I get some really strange looks, so I don't share that too often.

Do you think efb will ever be accepted or are we actually going in the opposite direction from that ever happening?
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#2 of 15 Old 02-21-2003, 03:55 PM
 
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I think if you keep doing what you are doing and sharing your knowledge about EBF, it's a step in the right direction. Keep up the good work.
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#3 of 15 Old 02-21-2003, 04:03 PM
 
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I don't think we're going in the opposite direction.. but I don't honestly think ebf will ever be the norm here I think we're kind of stuck - more and more people are aware of the fact that "breast is best" but also more and more people look for whatever is easier --

people are more and more busy with their lives. look at all the "convenience" items around us - all aimed at letting people do things faster and more "efficiently" Kids are encouraged to grow up faster. pick up any mainstream baby magazine - it's all about how to get the baby to sleep faster, how to get them "smarter" faster, etc, etc. So many people compare when their child first crawled, walked, said their first word, sentence, etc... in a race to see who's child is more.. advanced (is that the word here?)

maybe I'm just a pessimist..
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#4 of 15 Old 02-21-2003, 04:43 PM
 
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As someone who is more mainstream then the rest of the members here, and someone who hangs around with more mainstreaming mama's, i think ebf is definitely more mainstream than you think.

Like glh said, bf's for a few months is almost the norm (alot of my friends have breastfed), and 3 of my friends right now are nursing a 2 yr old, and 18mo old, and a 20 mo old. my 2 other close friends that have never breastfed, do not bat an eye, when they see a mom nursing a 2 or 3 yr old in the mall.

this being said, what has to come a long way, is nursing in public, say a 4 yr old. alot of folks feel weird when they see a 4 yr old nip, when the child just finished their pretzel & slurpee.
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#5 of 15 Old 02-21-2003, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Connecticut must be a lot more uptight than Colorado. I have never seen a toddler nursing in public here. It is really an act of bravery to even nip with an infant here. I have only met one mom outside of LLL who was nursing past a year. I guess I am also pessimistic about it becoming the norm, but who knows maybe we are headed that way.
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#6 of 15 Old 02-21-2003, 06:46 PM
 
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I think that if we all keep doing our best to educate everyone, then it will eventually become mainstream, not in the near future, but in the far future. And I agree with sweetbaby about the importance of breastfeeding in public. The more people see EBF, the more accepting they will be of it. So try to EBF in public as often as possible! Of course, it only works if people can tell what you're doing. I get so sad when people say, proudly, "I'm so good at being discreet, people can't even tell I'm breastfeeding!" This is a *good* thing??

-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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#7 of 15 Old 02-21-2003, 07:15 PM
 
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I've met more and more moms on mainstream mb that have ebf. Most not past 18 months or so but they are still out there.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#8 of 15 Old 02-21-2003, 08:52 PM
 
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G,
the last two times i went to the mall, i saw bf'g toddlers. (1 child on one trip, 2 the next).

I do see more newborns nip, but probably because they nurse so much anyway!

however, i lived in so. florida for 23 yrs, and i swear, i think the only person i saw nip, was ME! my babies HAD TO NURSE, so not doing so was not an option.
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#9 of 15 Old 02-22-2003, 01:05 PM
 
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In our gazillion trips to the mall playground, Y nursery, Weight Watchers meetings, Kindermusik classes. . . . I have met 2 other EBF moms.

I DO feel alone! But I make a point to talk about ds's extended nursing with other moms, especially moms with small babies. I hope that someone somewhere will remember ds and myself as positive examples of extended nursing.
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#10 of 15 Old 02-22-2003, 01:11 PM
 
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I'm hopeful. My two will know this is perfectly normal, and hopefully they can educate their spouses so our grandbabies benefit. Then those grandbabies will know it's perfectly normal and educate their spouses so our greatgrandbabies will benefit................................ad infinitum

"What will you do once you know?"
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#11 of 15 Old 02-22-2003, 03:25 PM
 
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I think it gets better everyday.

I think La Leche League helps in a huge way and has for a long time.

I also think our media, such as TV talk shows and the internet ESPECIALLY go a long way toward making toddler nursing more and more normal.

It blows my mind, the grassroots power of the internet.

I have seen TV talk shows with moms nursing 4, 5 and 6 year olds fairly recently.....this was as a result of what "Respondent Mom" went through with the legal battles over nursing her son (at age 5 and up I believe.) I saw with my own eyes these moms on TV being treated with more respect than I ever dreamed (and yes we still have a long way to go, but look how far we have come!)

The simple fact that so MANY parenting websites have message boards for nursing past the first year, the simple fact that there are at least three books about it in print,
How Weaning Happens
Mothering Your Nursing Toddler
Our Babies Ourselves

and many internet articles (and other print articles)

attest to how normal it is becoming.

The habit of early weaning is a tiny little blip on the map of world breastfeeding. Mothering magazine editor once said the worldwide weaning average is 4. For most of human history and for most cultures today, toddler nursing is ordinary. May this increase. May all the moms who are criticized find support.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#12 of 15 Old 02-22-2003, 04:49 PM
 
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I think more moms are aware that women and babies nurse well past 1 but I think most of them think it's weird.

Thanks to the formula: I don't see it being mainstream to nurse for more than a few months.

I talk with so many people who breastfeed for just a few months, they truly think that this is enough and their is no reason to nurse more. Sometimes I feel like I talk until I'm blue in the face, but some women listen to me with a closed mind and have their minds made up already.

A friend of mine ff her first child, she met me when my dd was going on 3. My dd asked to nurse and I never had a problem nursing her in front of people especailly when Iwas in my own yard. My friend thought it was odd, but did ask a lot questions about nursing her next child.

So when she got pregnant I gave her so much info and she did nurse for 10 months, but gave bottles of formula right from the start, so she wouldn't have to get up at night etc. She was surprised when her dd weaned so abrubtly. at about 8 months I saw the baby with a bottle most of the time, so what could she really expect.

Now she has baby #3 and she said she didn't even want to bother nursing this one since its just so much trouble and so hard.

She is nursing once in awhile, but I see the baby weaning in the very near future (too many bottles with this one)

What could I do though, she actually said to me, I don't have a problem with formula, its a good product. Oh well, thanks for letting me vent.
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#13 of 15 Old 02-22-2003, 05:04 PM
 
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Momtwice, I don't say this a lot, but Amen.

-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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#14 of 15 Old 02-23-2003, 02:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Devrock
Momtwice, I don't say this a lot, but Amen.
no doubt.....
rock on Momtwice......

Free To Be~
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"Living is learning and when kids are living fully and energetically and happily they are learning a lot, even if we don't always know what it is."
~John Holt 

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#15 of 15 Old 02-23-2003, 02:39 AM
 
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We like to nip and we're not discrete ag
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