help!! rude comments about bfeeding past 1 yr... - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-30-2003, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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help! how do you deal with rude comments about your decision to breastfeed esp. past the 1 year mark? I'm at 8 mos with my twin babies, and have no plans to stop, but haven't told anyone yet. I came up with a list of potential things people may say to me, and aside from 'it's none of your business" or lecturing them on the benefits of my decision, what kinds of things should I say?

Here's some remarks I'm anticipating, so I'd love your feedback on snappy or smart comebacks and if you have any other comments / comebacks to add, please do!! thanks!!

"are you STILL breastfeeding"?
"shouldn't they be drinking from a cup by now"
"that's gross (weird... etc)"
"once they're crawling and walking, shouldn't you stop?"
"can't they have cows milk now?"
"aren't they done getting all the antibodies?"
"aren't they strong enough to resist colds?"
"can't they get their nutrition from foods now?"

what other comments should I anticipate and how should I respond? People can be so opinionated so I want to be prepared!

thanks!!!
susan

twin girls 7.20.02
charlotte & else

twins 7.02 ⢠DS 10.06 ⢠OMG #4 1.08 ⢠ebf + tandem nursing!
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Old 03-30-2003, 04:26 PM
 
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I've found that very few people comment & when they do, I find that quick honest answers are best. I've also found that when I don't make a big deal about it, no one else does either.

If they ask if you're still bfding, say yes. You don't need to add anything else or justify your actions to anyone.
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Old 03-30-2003, 04:35 PM
 
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we're at almost 18 months now, and not one person has said anything nasty to me or told me i should stop. and i nurse EVERYWHERE! walking around walmart, disneyworld, church, restaurants, bookstores, the park, whatever.
all this time i have been ready to kick a$$ if someone bothered me, and never gotten to.
i hope you won't either.

and BTW, congrats on nursing your twins!
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Old 03-30-2003, 04:53 PM
 
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Here's LLL's FAQ on how to handle criticism:
http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/criticism.html

Not particularly witty or snappy.... but it may help.

My tactic was always to get on my soapbox... "oh no, let ME tell YOU about all the marvelous benefits of Breastfeeding past a year...."

I would turn into the bore and make them look for the nearest exit. Always cheery and positive of course.

I would use it as an opportunity to educate the uninformed.

10 - boy
5.5 - girl
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Old 03-30-2003, 04:56 PM
 
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DS is 2yrs., I'm 38 weeks pregnant and the worst I've had to deal with were some raised eyebrows to which I responded with a big smile. I've been waiting for someone to say something though, because I really want to tell someone "If you're jelous, I could pump some for you after DS is finished."

fizzymom and the clan
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Old 03-30-2003, 05:36 PM
 
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Have you read...

http://mothering.com/12-0-0/html/12-...ree-side.shtml

-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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Old 03-30-2003, 06:44 PM
 
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DD is just 13 months, but I've gotten no comments yet. I purposely let everyone (family, coworkers) know of my plans to EBF well before dd's first birthday. Not like I sent out a press release or something , I just would say in casual conversation something like, "oh Ellie's all about the nursing. There's no way she'll be ready to stop at a year."

I think by bringing it up, I exert some contol over these interactions. Some people may express surprise that you are still nursing, not because they disappove, but because they have no experience with EBFing, and are just honestly surprised. I agree with above posts: if you are upbeat and casual about it, most people will take your lead.

I think most people who disapprove are too wussy to say anything, especially if you seem confident.

I personally think anyone nursing twins is a goddess!!!

Trying to get my bearings...
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Old 03-30-2003, 07:24 PM
 
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A lot of people who disapprove are not too wussy to say anything, as many EBFers can testify. My MIL always used to say "she just wants attention" or "she just needs solid food." I think by now she has given up on me forcefully weaning.

A lot of people say even worse things like "If they're old enough to ask for it they're too old to get it" or even "that's child abuse." I don't know what we can say to those people -- I guess just tell them how wrong they are and explain why... -- educate them--... the norm for our species is 2.5 - 7 years, WHO recommends at least 2 yrs, the world-wide average is 4.2 yrs, kids' immune systems aren't developed until they're six, this is what breasts are for and they are not sex organs, cow milk is for little cows, etc, etc, etc.

-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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Old 03-30-2003, 07:34 PM
 
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"are you STILL breastfeeding"?

yep, isn't it great?

"shouldn't they be drinking from a cup by now"

They drink a little water form a cup, but juice is too sugary, not nurtitious, and fills them up too much.
"that's gross (weird... etc)"

No, actually it is normal.


"once they're crawling and walking, shouldn't you stop?"

Why?

"can't they have cows milk now?"

Cow's milk is great--for calves. Human milk is for humans.


"aren't they done getting all the antibodies?"

No, they continue to benefit from the immunities for as long as they nurse. Their immune systems won't be fully functional til age 6 yrs.

"aren't they strong enough to resist colds?"

Not yet (see above).

"can't they get their nutrition from foods now?"

They aren't ready for much solids yet. Milk is meant to be a large part of their diet til age 2.
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Old 03-30-2003, 11:39 PM
 
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The World Health Organization and UNICEF (in a joint statement) recommend nursing for at LEAST two years.

The American Academy of Family Physicians also recomends AT LEAST two years. (not to be confused with the American Academy of Pediatrics who recommend at least one year.)

I would quote these during that time between the first and second year. After the second year there are other good quotes.

Dr. Antonio Novello, surgeon general under the first President Bush, was a female pediatrician who said babies who nurse two years are "LUCKY."

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Old 03-31-2003, 11:16 AM
 
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Hi there! Boo is 17 mo. and a very accomplished nursing acrobat - she can pull my shirt up, unbutton buttons herself, etc and go right to the "nay nay"

The rare times I've had someone say anything to me, I've tried to match my response to the nature of their question. For example, when relatives ask and I can tell it is with kindness and just out of curiosity it opens the door for great discussions about the benefits of bf'ing past the first year, how great my bond with my child is, etc.

When someone I know gives me a rude comments, such as my college friends' "aren't you EVER going to quit?" I'll give an equally rude "nope, not ever, ever,ever" - probably not the best way to handle this, but I don't ask her when she is going to quit living at home and get a job (she's 32) so I guess immaturity begets immaturity. On second thought, don't do this one

I've only gotten one comment from a stranger and I just shot them a dirty look, sat up a little straighter, and kept on giving my baby what she needed. Sometimes a thick skin is your best defense.

Good luck and congratulations on bf'ing twins and for being willing to keep it going past the first year! you won't regret it!

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Old 03-31-2003, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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you guys are great. thanks for all the links and support and ways to handle questions... bringing it up to family members in advance is a really good idea and educating them as well makes alot of sense. I remember before the babies were born, telling my family things I "didn't" want to hear from them as I learned about breastfeeding (such as "well, you gave it your best shot..." or "why don't you give them a little formula") By telling them in advance of my goals, it made a HUGE difference - so now that I've made the decision to continue on past 1 year, telling them of this new goal only makes sense.

thanks for all the tools and advice!!!
susan

twin girls
charlotte + else
7.20.02

twins 7.02 ⢠DS 10.06 ⢠OMG #4 1.08 ⢠ebf + tandem nursing!
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Old 03-31-2003, 12:29 PM
 
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I really admire your commitment to bfing your babies! Those little beauties are lucky to have you for a mama!
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Old 04-01-2003, 08:57 PM
 
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I've found that just remaining quietly confident goes a very long way. If people make comments, I answer them honestly and as shortly as I can. If they ask questions nicely and really want to know, I educate them on the benefits of EN!!

Best of luck!

Em

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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Old 04-01-2003, 09:33 PM
 
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Let me start by saying you are doing such a wonderful job.I am nursing Littlebit that turned 3 the 6th of this month.
I have been one that has gotten lots of comments.Most of them were before he turned a year though.
Before Littlebit was 1 my mom was down and Littlebit got sleepy and was asking for his Night Night Nynee.My mom told me you know he is getting older and you usually try and take a bottle away at a year and now that he is asking for it are you going to wean him.I told her Well NO.I said he was asking for it when I first had him and he started rooting around was he to old then.Or when my older DS ask for a cookie do I tell him no he is to old??? I told her I have no plans on weaning him anytime soon.When he is ready then we will stop.My uncle was there at that time to.HE said real rudely.Why don't you just nurse him til he is 18.When he comes in from school just take him to his room and nurse him.I told him Well if I did that he would probably think he was the luckist boy around getting Nynee everyday.I know that might not have been the best thing to say.But they have left me alone.DH has made comments when they are around.That he loves the nursing relationship me and Littlebit have.He says he hopes he nurses til he is 5.I am so glad that DH and my older kids and my dad support me so much.But I know even if they didn't support me I would still be breastfeeding.
I have also had a doctor tell me how bad of a mom I was because I was still BF at 18 months.I very nicely told him I did not come here because I was BF.He then kept on .Then I told him.I had done enough research on BF to know I was doing the very best for my baby.And that it was helping me to fight breast cancer.I told him I was really getting tired of having to defend my self and my rights to BF my baby to all the ignorant people out here.I was told the next week that I could no longer be seen in his office.
I know I have not always handled or maybe said the right things.But I know I am doing the best for me and my LIttlebit.Everyone now that knows me knows that I am still nursing and that it is probably in there best intrest not to say much unless it is possitive.We still nurse everywhere.I still feel if he is hungry and wants me to feed him then I am going to feed him.
You will probably not have any comments,but if you do.Just always remember that you are doing what is the very best,You are breastfeeding your Littleones.
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Old 04-01-2003, 10:03 PM
 
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Little Bit's Mom I feel so ANGRY for you!
Good riddance to that doctor!

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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Old 04-02-2003, 12:10 AM
 
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I'm really bad at remembering facts and figures about things when people disagree with me, so I've started putting together a little paper on breastfeeding and extended breastfeeding of WHY its so good. Quotes, statistics, ect, and sources. If that might be something you're interested in (or anyone else) I wouldn't mind sharing... my extended breastfeeding page is only like 1/2 page long so far... but I'm working on it (doing a lot more on my homebirth page for those who argue with me lately)... but I plan on having those papers in my diaper bag or something.. if someone asks about any of my choices, I can whip out the info if I feel it would help!

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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Old 04-02-2003, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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hi lisa- I would love to see your list. sounds great!!

I'm looking forward to my 10m appt with the babies dr. to tell him my plans. He told me at 4m that 'well, you've done a great job with the b.feeding' (as if it's time to stop now and get some real food into them. HA!) and at 6m - he said it's ok to switch now from formula to cows milk (formula? when did he think we were doing formula?). so our 10m should be interesting! stay tuned...

thanks everyone!!!
susan

twins 7.02 ⢠DS 10.06 ⢠OMG #4 1.08 ⢠ebf + tandem nursing!
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Old 04-02-2003, 05:05 PM
 
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You can also buy "Breastfeeding at a Glance: Facts, Figures,
and Trivia About Lactation" pamphlets from http://www.attachmentscatalog.com/gifts/advocacy.html

-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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Old 04-02-2003, 05:54 PM
 
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Susan! You need a new ped. I read your last post and am doing this now:
:
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Old 04-04-2003, 02:28 PM
 
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Hi Susan,

Congrats on nursing your twins for this long.

I'm trying to get info on nursing twins for my acquaintance who is having twins any day now. She's pretty nervous about nursing them. I keep telling her I think that will be easier than washing forty-eleven bottles every day.

What resources helped you get started and keep going nursing twins??? I'd love to forward them to her.

TIA,
Nichole

Nichole
wife to Sasha, mom to Marlena, nursed for 3.5 years, aunt to 3 adorable nephews
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Old 04-04-2003, 03:54 PM
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Old 04-05-2003, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
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hi nicole,

I can tell you that nursing my babies has been probably the most amazing thing I've ever done in my life (aside from childbirth, and a few other minor but notable moments in my years on the planet...)

Initially, I made the decision that breastfeeding them was what I was going to do. I wasn't totally informed prior to their birth and spent 4 months on bedrest so I couldn't get out and see what was out there. I didn't have friends/family who bfed so it was all me trying to figure it out. I ended up having a c so I was in the hospital for 5 days and met with LCs every day - make sure your friend schedules 2 different appointments - one for each baby. It really made a difference to focus the LCs attention on one baby at a time during those first few days.

The best place of support I found is La Leche meetings. We have a multiples group in my area. See if there's one in your friend's neighborhood too. If no, the regular meetings would be great. I also read a bunch of books - and still re-read them even at 8 mos - Mothering Multiples is a good one to start with.

I hope your friend finds the strength and encouragement to go full steam ahead. Feel free to pass along my email address if she wants someone to talk with.

susan

twins 7.02 ⢠DS 10.06 ⢠OMG #4 1.08 ⢠ebf + tandem nursing!
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Old 04-05-2003, 12:30 AM
 
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Momtwice, I'd love the 2+ ebf info you have. Dd2 will be 3 in July.
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Old 04-05-2003, 08:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Irishmommy: Momtwice, I'd love the 2+ ebf info you have. Dd2 will be 3 in July.
Quote:
Given that...humans living in non industrial circumstances...nurse for several years, says Dr. Gartner, researchers should be asking, what are the ill effects of early weaning?...

"The question is, are you doing any harm?" asks Gartner. Until you answer it, he says, "there truly is no basis for any upper limit," says Gartner.

(From "Breast-Feeding Beyond Babyhood, Melissa Healy, http://www.latimes.com Feb. 5, 2001)
Dr. Lawrence Gartner, quoted above, is chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics executive committee on breastfeeding who oversaw the 1997 recommendations that recommend nursing at least one year and as long afterwards as mutually desired: http://www.aap.org/policy/re9729.html

Quote:
"We have a tendency to look down on breast-feeding past a certain age in this country (USA), and it's misguided," says Dr. William Sears, a well-known pediatrician and co-author of THE BREASTFEEDING BOOK. He sees nothing wrong with a mother breast-feeding a 5 year old who wants to. "We act surprised when a woman's still breast-feeding her child, when really it should be the opposite. We should be saying:'What? You've stopped breastfeeding?' "

...Sears remains adamant that debates over how much nutritional value an older child gets from breast-feeding are pointless. The real value, he says, is cultural. "These days, you open up a paper and read about kids shooting up schools," Sears says. "In a nutshell, these are disconnected kids. But children who breast-feed a long time time, are, above all, connected. And our society could use a whole lot more connected kids."

("Breast-Feeding: How Old is Too Old? " Sara Corbett, New York Times, Feb. 18, 2001. Note: Dr. Sears mentions 5 years because he was specifically asked about a particular 5 year old at that time.)
Juliet was three years old when she was weaned, see Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare, Act I, scene 3 (according to Dr. Jack Newman at http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/28.html

Quote:
"You have so many women in the U.S. nursing past infancy that two books written on the subject have chapters on nursing past 4. "

(Elizabeth Baldwin, attorney, legal advisor for La Leche League quoted in "In Defense of Breast-Feeding," Newsweek on www.msnbc.com, Dec. 15, 2000. The books are Mothering Your Nursing Toddler and The Nursing Mother's Guide To Weaning. Sadly Ms. Baldwin died recently.)

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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Old 04-05-2003, 09:21 PM
 
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http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/ebf-benefits.html
(pages and pages of links of nursing past the first year, many among them refer to nursing past two, three and beyond)


http://www.breastfeedingonline.com
see link at top of page to Dr. Jack Newman's articles...."Breastfeed a Toddler, Why On Earth?" and in the article called "How Breastfeeding Protects Newborns" he says the human immune system is immature until about 5 years.

http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleade...ebMar98p3.html

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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Old 04-06-2003, 12:09 AM
 
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Congratulations Susan! What lucky girls you have.

Here is one more fun link to add to the other wonderful links that have been posted. It is a list of favorite (and funny) comebacks...

http://pages.ivillage.com/extendednu...album/id7.html


When asked if I was "still nursing" I have always just smiled and said "yes".

Good luck. Enjoy this wonderful journey.
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Old 04-06-2003, 12:48 AM
 
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Momtwice, thanks!
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Old 04-06-2003, 11:49 AM
 
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mother_sunshine--

that's a great link of sassy comebacks!
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Old 04-07-2003, 01:00 AM
 
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I am bfding my 12 month old dd and have gotten lots of comments. I just flew in to visit my parents 2 wks ago and i have gotten all kinds of comments from "jow much longer are you going to nurse?" to "she is not eating she is just using you as a pacifier". On the airplane and old man sitting accross from us muttered (quite loudly) under his breath "disgusting". But I kniw he was happy my baby was quite the whole 12 hr. flight. I am truly siclk of answering and explaining what I am doing all the time. I am just doing what I feel comfortable with and what feels right for my dd. I only wish i had done the same with my ds (only bf him for 4.5 months). I have decided to just ignore remarks and continue on with my business.

Rock on!!!
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