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#121 of 160 Old 10-08-2003, 10:22 PM
 
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Greaseball, I am so sorry if I offended you. I didn't mean that I thought only a single mother would do that. I just can't imagine everyone involved in the childs upbringing being okay with bf an 11yr old.
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#122 of 160 Old 10-08-2003, 10:24 PM
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Kirsten -
I probably am comfortable nursing longer than 18 mos, but just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for bravely saying all the things I wanted to but was afraid I would not be able to control my frustration.
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#123 of 160 Old 10-08-2003, 11:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kirsten
If I knew personally a woman nursing an 11 year old, I would call the police to report it.
How would you feel if one of the many people in this country who think that breastfeeding beyond six months, or six weeks, or at all, is disgusting, called the police and reported you for breastfeeding your 18 month old? How would you feel if the police were unenlightened and agreed that it was abuse and arrested you? This is the kind of threat that sends mothers who practice sustained breastfeeding into the closet in fear, keeping our culture in the dark ages. Since you are only comfortable with SBF up to age 3, even mothers breastfeeding four year olds are going to have to be afraid that you are their next door neighbor.

Quote:
Originally posted by Kirsten
I can't understand how we can say there is no line - of course there is a line. There are lines for everything!
Okay, in that case, I'm going to pass a law that no one over 40 can kiss in public. Why? Because I personally find it gross and disgusting. It makes me uncomfortable. They should be ashamed of themselves at that age. I think there are phychologically healthier ways for them to spend their time. What do you think of that?

Quote:
Originally posted by Kirsten
We are not allowed to do anything imaginable just because we think it is our right.
Breastfeeding my child is one thing I do have a fundamental right to do, and it is no one's business how old my child is.

Quote:
Originally posted by Kirsten
I feel so badly for that boy
And I feel bad for you. Your intolerance is very sad. Here is the evidence that those of us who advocate SBF certainly have our work cut out for us.

Quote:
Originally posted by Kirsten
he has absolutely zero chance of ever growing up to have a healthy relationship IMO.
Actually, children who are breastfed until they self-wean have the very best chance of growing up to have a healthy relationship. (As well as a healthy heart, a healthy liver, a healthy brain, a healthy stomach....)

Quote:
Originally posted by Kirsten
That mother is not helping him. For whatever odd reason, probably abuse in her own childhood, she is trying to connect with her son in an unhealthy way.
Ah. Nothing like blind, paranoid speculation. (Sorry, but this is really pushing my buttons. I think I was pretty good with people up until the threat to call the police.)

Quote:
Originally posted by Kirsten
There are appropriate ages for things.
And naturally you are the person to determine the proper age for everyone else's children. (12-18 months, apparently. Up to age 3 if you're feeling generous.)

Quote:
Originally posted by Kirsten
If people really are nursing 10, 11, 12 year olds, we should not support that with "they can decide" as that will lead to laws (which I believe would be appropriate for those cases) but could filter down to us. My personal comfort level is 12 to 18 months - am ok in general with up to 3 I suppose. ... do you want the vote to come down to 12 months?
It is *your* attitude -- that lines should be drawn at all -- that will lead to laws that will filter down to us! If we don't want laws passed that will affect those of us nursing 2-4 year olds, then we *have* to support *all* women practicing SBF -- even the ones nursing 10-12 year olds -- I might even say *especially* the ones nursing 10-12 year olds. The only way to keep the law out of it is for us to agree that it is no one else's business! It's not for the law or anyone else to decide where a "line" should be drawn.

Quote:
Originally posted by Kirsten
But I support breastfeeding in all my friends, and everyone I come in contact with.
As long as they stay within your "personal comfort level" of 12-18 months... *maybe* up to 3 years...

-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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#124 of 160 Old 10-08-2003, 11:18 PM
 
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If I knew personally a woman nursing an 11 year old, I would call the police to report it.
You would be reporting something that is not a crime. I was recently given a handbook published by DHS on how to recognize and report child abuse, and it listed several specific things that were child abuse, such as "Giving other children nice things for their rooms and keeping one child's room as empty as a cell." Nowhere did it say anything about breastfeeding up to a certain age.

Some girls are going through puberty at very early ages. The youngest age of menstruation was 2.5! Was she too old to nurse? Boys will get erections while nursing, since they can get erections from doing darn near anything, and women sometimes even have orgasms. Some women even have orgasms during childbirth. (Not me, I'm sorry to say!) Are they using their children sexually? Some women say that it's not even ok to breastfeed newborn boys (though newborn girls, it's not as bad). What if this child were a girl? Is that somehow different?

I know that between 1 and 10%, depending on whom you believe, of all child sexual abuse cases are those of women abusing their children. How many of these cases involved forced breastfeeding? It's just not something I've heard of.

It's funny how with all the disapproving voices here, many of us hear that kind of stuff all the time in regards to their parenting practices but somehow, althought "they" are "wrong about us" we are right about this woman?

I saw a lot of support here for the woman on our board who was nursing an 8-yr-old, even though she was no longer lactating. Is 8 ok and 11 not ok? How do we draw these lines? Don't the lines depend on the child, in this case whom we don't know?
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#125 of 160 Old 10-08-2003, 11:22 PM
 
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I have been reading this thread with great interest. I think a tremendous amount of thought has gone into many of the posts here, and I appreciate being educated about sustained breastfeeding. When I first read that an 11 year old was still nursing, my eyebrows went up. I admit that I wondered what the mother was thinking, and if it was a healthy relationship. After reading all the points made, I tend to agree with Devrock. Without having more information about the mother-son relationship, I can't say that nursing at age 11 is unhealthy. I don't think that I would have the patience to nurse for 11 years, but I'm going to make an effort to hold off on judging someone else for nursing so long. I do think that sustained breastfeeding needs to be made more public, so that it is considered normal in our society. While I doubt that I would be willing to risk CPS involvement in my life, and my child's life, by making SBF known after my child's a certain age, I appreciate those who do take the risk. If not for other people (like many here at MDC) letting me know about SBF, I may very well have weaned my son before he was a year old. I hope that my son is able to wean himself in his own time. While I hope that it won't take 11 years for him to do so, I can appreciate that each child has his own timetable for weaning.

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#126 of 160 Old 10-08-2003, 11:28 PM
 
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Thank you, Greaseball -- I admire the way you were able to keep cool better than I was.

And thank you, Lotusdebi -- you have restored my faith in humanity.

-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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#127 of 160 Old 10-08-2003, 11:46 PM
 
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Devrock, I have a sincere question. You seem to be insisting that those of us who have a problem with the 11 year old should understand that most people think the same thing about nursing a 3 year old. I just flat-out don't agree with that. I agree that most people are uncomfortable with it, some even disgusted by it, but I have to say that my experience has *not* been that most people view it as potential child abuse. I think the fact that it is accepted in other cultures is a factor in this.

As an example, there was a piece on our local news about EBF which featured a local mother whose 4 year old dd is still nursing. The girl's face was not shown on camera (mother's choice, I bet) but they did interview her. She was very well spoken about how nursing made her feel calmer when she was upset about something. The piece mentioned the controversial nature of this practice, but it was sympathetic to the mother and child. They came off as very normal and loving. At the time I saw it, I was not yet a mother myself and EBF seemed very strange to me (although not psychologically damaging). The piece went a long way toward opening my mind.

So I guess my question is this: why do you believe that a lack of acceptance toward bf a toddler or preschooler will lead to legal action? I don't know anyone who would call CPS on a an otherwise good mother just for nursing a 3 year old, even if they didn't like the practice. And I can't imagine an overburdened social worker spending much time and effort on such a case. Just curious if you have some experience to the contrary.

Stephanie mom to Brianna (6/00) , Alexander (6/02) , and Ethan (9/07) .
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#128 of 160 Old 10-08-2003, 11:58 PM
 
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That's true. We agree that hips attract and arouse men, and yet they are not considered genitals. It is not indecent to carry a child on your hip. Hips are not inherently sex organs, in the sense that there must be sexual implications whenever you do anything with them.
Very well said, and a great point, ITA.

Quote:
If I knew personally a woman nursing an 11 year old, I would call the police to report it.
Who are you to draw the line? Not only would you be reporting something that is not illegal, as greaseball said, but you would be taking resources away from children who are beaten and raped by their families! CPS doesn't have the resources to go after crankball reports of SBF. The reason I am afraid to parent my child the way I see fit in the public eye is b/c people say things like that. There was a thread in TAO recently where women were discussing their horror strories of CPS- most calls were b/c of something AP or natural they did in their family. I actually keep a civil right s lawyer on retainer, b/c of statements like this. What a frightening thing to say.



Quote:
My personal comfort level is 12 to 18 months - am ok in general with up to 3 I suppose.
I am glad it isn't you drawing the line! I was forcibly weaned by my parents divorce at almost 3 and I remember it, I was very hurt at the loss of the relationship, and there was nothing wrong or sexual about it. Do you plan to give your child cow's milk as a replacement for your human milk? Do you think that your comfort level is based on society's issues or your own knowledge of physical anthropology? Just curious what you base it on.

I just think, Kirsten that your kneejerk reaction is based in some ingrained belief system. I hope that the time you spend here at MDC opens your mind a little.
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#129 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 12:00 AM
 
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i was thinking about this thread and my emotions about nursing.

it might be slightly OT, but i thought about how when i first became pregnant i had never seen a woman nurse. I met a woman nursing a 9month old boy in my first trimester. I remember reading about the AAP guiline '1 year' and thinking, oh thats easy, but i had no real opinon on it. I was sure i would nurse because i wanted to do the best for my child. But i had no idea how long.

Before my son was born people were asking me when i would wean him.

But weaning never made sense to me. If nursing is soo great, why would a baby 364 days old need it but not one 365 days old? How could you give your child a gift and take it away before they were done with it? What is the rush to wean- from the breast, bed, everything? Even then i had no glimpse into the swiftness of my sons childhood. He is 14 months old and it seems he was born just the other day...

Anyway, i remember by the time that 9mo finally was weaned (mother led) at 2 1/2, i had evolved from a person with no opinion on SN to someone really sad to see him weaned. He was just a baby, still. And when i saw my first 3 year old nurse i remember thinking, she is still just a little baby. She needs her mother.

Who knows where my opinions will lead me in the future! I hope that many more close minded or simply unopinionated people will begin to see what i did, that it is no ones business but the nursing couple, and mostly it should be a child's decision, it is the child's birth right.

And 12-18 months? Ahhh! My son would be weaned or nearly so! He still nurses like a newborn, and he loves it, and so do i. He needs to nurse! I cant even imagine saying 'no more of your favorite thing in the world!' . I would never do that. I see tristan nursing beyond the age of 3.

Thanks for letting me ramble some more.

Tabitha

Hi, I'm Tabitha. I'm a homeschooling mother of four: ds (11) dd (9) ds (7) ds (5) And I'm expecting a fifth in 2014! Find me at http://www.omelay.blogspot.com
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#130 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 12:01 AM
 
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I think it's important to recognize that some of us that don't think it's a good idea, didn't say it was abuse either. I just think it's not the best choice given the facts as I see them. I simply don't see things as all or nothing.

Therefore, I'm not condemning the hypothetical mother, but seriously questioning the logic.

...and Devrock, i do have one thing left that's confounding me, we could go round and round on the rest but this:

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by gaffa
I think rubbing hands, feet, backs, is different because it is also acceptable in friendly settings amongst adults. Touching someone's breasts is not
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It should be. Breasts should not be taboo.
Is cut and dry for me. My breasts are almost as sexually sensitive as my sexual organs. They are a HIGHLY erogenous zone. It would therefore be as inappropriate for anyone to touch them besides my husband or child, or someone I wanted to be aroused with should I not be married. I'm sure that's the case for many women.

Kind of off otpic...but that kind of had me going
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#131 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 12:02 AM
 
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Tabitha- we posted at the same time! And fwiw, I agree with you in both your posts.
L
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#132 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 12:11 AM
 
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um, hello, my son has had continuous erections every single time he has nursed since the day he was born. Once he was 5 months old or so, he began to play with his erect penis while nursing. He will just sit and play with it now, he knows where and what it is and it is his body.
My dear Tabitha, I nurse a 17 month old boy who sometimes gets erections from the simplest things... a diaper change, a nursing session, whatever. There is a major difference between an 11 year old getting SEXUAL erections and discovering his mature sexual nature and a little boy unaware of sex and breasts used as stimulation for the act of making love. If this 11 yo. was shielded from our society for the rest of his life, he probably would, in the absence of abuse or manipulation (assuming it is a healthy BF relationship, of course), remember his nursing days fondly for the rest of his life. But, most likely, he will not be sheilded from all the movies and pictures and internet sites that perpetuate the breasts as sexual body parts. Therefore, the chances of his ending up on a therapist's couch or feeling like a total outcast for most of his life are pretty high.

I am sorry, but I would never use my 11 year old child to prove a point to society. There is absolutely no argument that there are TREMENDOUS differences between a small child and a "young adult" reaching puberty, if they have not already. That is not "society" speaking for me; I did not have a "desexualized" labor and birth... I had two very sensual homebirths, breastfed/am breastfeeding, and am extremely liberal in most of my thoughts and actions. I do believe that children need lines drawn. This child is either emotionally damaged in some way that requires the "nubbing" to take place, or the mother is.

Comparing a foot rub or a massage to sucking a breast is extreme. Following that logic, maybe the 11 year old can play with his mother's vagina because it is simply there for making and having babies? I don't mean to sound vulgar.... but, really, why is any part of us sexualized then? All of our parts have totally anatomical functions unrelated to sex.
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#133 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 12:13 AM
 
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Originally posted by gaffa

Is cut and dry for me. My breasts are almost as sexually sensitive as my sexual organs. They are a HIGHLY erogenous zone. It would therefore be as inappropriate for anyone to touch them besides my husband or child, or someone I wanted to be aroused with should I not be married. I'm sure that's the case for many women.
Kind of off otpic...but that kind of had me going
An interesting thing to mention here is that in many less.... ahem... civilized cultures, breasts and penises are not taboo. I remember reading about one, where little boys would pass by the grandmas and the grandmas would affectionately 'tug' the little boy's penises, like you or i would pat a baby's hair.

we are socialized to believe in 'private parts'- they do not actually exist from birth. And while i used to be a stickler about personal space i certainly am over that now as the mamma of a toddler!

for example, 'naughtiness' and taboo in sex is so cultivated in our society and porn is hugely centered around, if not entirely inspired by 'being naughty' - the people who create and hand down judgements on what is naughty and what is 'pure' are usually also condemning porn. hmmm? its true that we can liberate ourselves from taboo and societal 'norms' and just live happy lives. do what you want with your body! teach your children to be free in that same way. really, there is no other way to overcome.

tabitha

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#134 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 12:20 AM
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I was discussing this with dh, and Devrock, he has a couple questions for you regarding breasts not being sexual:
If not, do you actually not allow your partner to stimulate your breasts sexually?! What a crying shame, if you don't. ALso, if breasts are not inherently sexual, and if you don't care about societal boundaries, why not go around topless, so your nurslings may have access to your breasts whenever they like? And because my breasts are only meant for nursing children, I can let my children and other people touch my breasts at will, as if they didn't belong to me? I hardly think so.
I truly don't mean to be ugly in asking these questions, merely want you to see that it is ludicrous to say that breasts are solely meant as instruments of feeding/nurturing. As far as the other points you have raised, well, whatever. I can't get my head around it at all. We do have to live in the world, and not turn people off sbf (a phrase I like, btw) by refusing to have any boundaries whatsoever when it comes to how we utilize our bodies, i.e. breastfeeding. More flies with honey than vinegar, ykwim? I don't really expect this to get through to you, but feel masochistically compelled to point this all out.
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#135 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 12:21 AM
 
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Sexual problems??!!!

If breastfeeding until 11 causes a child to be sexually deviant from the standard American model, let's take the new governor of California for a role model perhaps, well...then let's breastfeed
until 12 or 16!!!

People saying they would call the police or offering any form of judgement on this really set off my prudish-morality-police-bigot
alarms.

Nobody has the right to interfer in the mutual affections between a mother and child. Period.

Junk food. Teaching sons that women are sexual toys. Preaching hate against some distant country. Physical discipline. This is abuse.

What this woman might have been doing is a matter for her and her quite-able-to-pull-himself-off-the-nipple-if-he-wishes-to child to decide. It isn't abuse.

I doubt she even exists. I imagine she is just a red herring and fantasy witch set up by anti-breastfeeders.

If she does exist, then I hope she goes on doing what she knows is right...and keeps her life very secret from all of those who think they know better and are so full of moral superiority that they are ready to call in the shock troops against one woman.

I gave up being into consensus and having a civil discussion. I just want to protect myself from the likes of those who have a direct line to John Ashcroft.
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#136 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 12:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by chemigogo
ALso, if breasts are not inherently sexual, and if you don't care about societal boundaries, why not go around topless, so your nurslings may have access to your breasts whenever they like?
We do just exactly that. Quick!!! Someone call the police over to our house!
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#137 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 01:54 AM
 
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We do too, zevulon!
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#138 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 02:12 AM
 
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"I think that a thousand women bfing 2, 3 & 4 year olds need to go public, and a hundred women bfing 5-10 yr olds need to go public, as well as one woman bfing an 11 year old. The one woman bfing the 11 year old did her part. The 1100 women bfing 2-10 year olds need to do their part."

Devrock, I agree with you that women need to go public. But my point was that going public with an 11 year old is not going to help the cause, but hinder it. It is just toooo radical for most people to handle (even ebf's here are disagreeing, so the general public would use it as proof that ebf is wrong, period.)

In fact, I am one of those women who go public about ebf and about tandem nursing. I never, ever cover up my nursing, wherever I am. I am proud to tandem nurse my children. I answer questions about weaning and nursing honestly (except to my 85 year old neighbour, LOL, but I figure there's not a lot to gain by educating her). But having said that, I am careful about my audience, and if my children continued to nurse to 11, I would not go public about it. I'm honestly not sure at what age I'd become more careful about talking or nursing in public, but it would certainly be well before 11.

Maybe this doesn't make me the radical that I should be, but I do feel that by publicly tandem nursing my children and educating new mothers and mothers-to-be about nursing, I do my bit to change the world. (In fact, today I heard that a new mum that I gave info to during her pregnancy is now determined to exclusively nurse 'at least to one year', regardless of the pressures of her family to wean already - her baby is 2 months old : )

I just don't happen to think that if my children are still nursing at eleven, it will help the breastfeeding cause if I talk about it in public. It would take thousands of women doing that to make a positive impact, and I seriously doubt that this is going to happen. This sort of story sets the breastfeeding cause back, it doesnt help it seem normal - instead, it reinforces the idea that it is the woman doing it for 'herself'.

Otherwise, ITA with your posts. I was not disagreeing, just questioning this mother's wisdom.
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#139 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 02:33 AM
 
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Originally posted by luv my 2 sweeties
I agree that most people are uncomfortable with it, some even disgusted by it, but I have to say that my experience has *not* been that most people view it as potential child abuse.
Your experience obviously differs from my own. I hope I am wrong about most people thinking that breastfeeding a three year old is abuse.

Quote:
Originally posted by luv my 2 sweeties
As an example, there was a piece on our local news about EBF which featured a local mother whose 4 year old dd is still nursing. The girl's face was not shown on camera (mother's choice, I bet) but they did interview her. She was very well spoken about how nursing made her feel calmer when she was upset about something. The piece mentioned the controversial nature of this practice, but it was sympathetic to the mother and child. They came off as very normal and loving. At the time I saw it, I was not yet a mother myself and EBF seemed very strange to me (although not psychologically damaging). The piece went a long way toward opening my mind.
I'll bet that after the story ran, a hundred people wrote in condemning the practice and calling it sick, disgusting, abusive, etc., and condemning the newspaper for running such a story.

Quote:
Originally posted by luv my 2 sweeties
why do you believe that a lack of acceptance toward bf a toddler or preschooler will lead to legal action? I don't know anyone who would call CPS on a an otherwise good mother just for nursing a 3 year old, even if they didn't like the practice.
You're lucky. I wish I could say the same.

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Originally posted by luv my 2 sweeties
I can't imagine an overburdened social worker spending much time and effort on such a case.
Let's hope not.

Quote:
Originally posted by luv my 2 sweeties
Just curious if you have some experience to the contrary.
Unfortunately yes.

Quote:
Originally posted by gaffa
My breasts are almost as sexually sensitive as my sexual organs. They are a HIGHLY erogenous zone. It would therefore be as inappropriate for anyone to touch them besides my husband or child, or someone I wanted to be aroused with should I not be married.
Really? Do you find it is difficult to allow breast exams to be performed? Yet your child does touch your breast and your child does breastfeed, and that doesn't stimulate you sexually, right? I do have sensitive nerve endings in my nipples, but nowhere else in my breasts. And my child manages to actually take my nipple into her mouth and suckle, without stimulating the nerves. It seems like someone should at least be able to pat the side of my breast without it bothering me. Of course, everyone sets their own personal boundaries, which other people should respect. I just don't think that breasts specifically should automatically be taboo for everyone. Personally, the only time my breast is "activated" as an erogenous zone is when I am in a romantic situation.

Quote:
Originally posted by candiland
most likely, he will not be sheilded from all the movies and pictures and internet sites that perpetuate the breasts as sexual body parts. Therefore, the chances of his ending up on a therapist's couch or feeling like a total outcast for most of his life are pretty high.
And we must be careful to lay the blame for that on the guilty party: on the movies, and the pictures and the internet sites that perpetuate the breasts as sexual body parts. Not on the healthy breastfeeding relationship. Let's fight the enemy, not the victim.

Quote:
Originally posted by candiland
I would never use my 11 year old child to prove a point to society.
I'm certain no one is asking you to. In fact, I don't know of anyone who would SBF for the sole purpose of proving a point to society. We SBF because we believe it is the right thing to do for our children. Proving a point to society is a perk.

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Originally posted by candiland
This child is either emotionally damaged in some way that requires the "nubbing" to take place, or the mother is.
Again, you are engaging in sheer speculation. I am aware of absolutely no evidence to support such a contention.

Quote:
Originally posted by candiland
Comparing a foot rub or a massage to sucking a breast is extreme. Following that logic, maybe the 11 year old can play with his mother's vagina because it is simply there for making and having babies?
Now, the vagina actually IS a genital. You cannot put feet and breasts in the same sexual category with the vagina. You said it, it is there for making babies. Its purpose is inherently sexual.

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Originally posted by candiland
why is any part of us sexualized then? All of our parts have totally anatomical functions unrelated to sex.
Intercourse actually is a primary function of the vagina.

Quote:
Originally posted by chemigogo
If not, do you actually not allow your partner to stimulate your breasts sexually?! What a crying shame, if you don't.
Yes, I allow my partner to stimulate my breasts, along with every other part of my body, during sex. Yes, it would be a shame if I had a hang up about using the same organ sexually that I use to feed my child.

Quote:
Originally posted by chemigogo
ALso, if breasts are not inherently sexual, and if you don't care about societal boundaries, why not go around topless, so your nurslings may have access to your breasts whenever they like?
That's a good idea. Why not? If we all went around topless, it would go a long way toward curing people of their hang-ups regarding breasts.

Quote:
Originally posted by chemigogo
And because my breasts are only meant for nursing children, I can let my children and other people touch my breasts at will, as if they didn't belong to me?
Certainly they belong to you, along with every other part of your body. It is entirely up to you which parts of your body you allow people to touch.

Quote:
Originally posted by chemigogo
it is ludicrous to say that breasts are solely meant as instruments of feeding/nurturing.
If you still think it's ludicrous then I guess I haven't gotten through to you.

Quote:
Originally posted by chemigogo
We do have to live in the world, and not turn people off sbf (a phrase I like, btw) by refusing to have any boundaries whatsoever when it comes to how we utilize our bodies, i.e. breastfeeding.
The whole point of SBF is that you don't set a boundary (assuming you mean an age limit?) for breastfeeding.

-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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#140 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 02:40 AM
 
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Originally posted by Britishmum
going public with an 11 year old is not going to help the cause, but hinder it. It is just toooo radical for most people to handle
But it wouldn't be radical in the context of 100 other women going public about bfing 5-10 yr olds and 1000 other women going public about bfing 2-4 yr olds. It isn't this woman's fault that the not-as-extreme women haven't gone public, softening the way for her.

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#141 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 04:15 AM
 
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I don't know anyone who would call CPS on a an otherwise good mother just for nursing a 3 year old, even if they didn't like the practice.
But it has happened...there was a woman whose 2-yr-old was taken away because the woman had called a hotline to ask if it was normal to have an orgasm while nursing. And there have been mothers on this board who were nursing children under 5, and had been threatened with legal action.

I wonder what happens if a woman has an orgasm while giving birth...does her child get taken? Some women even masturbate during labor...I had sex long after contractions had started! I sure hope that's not illegal, and I don't see how it reflects on me as a parent.

I am another one who rarely wears shirts around the house. Easy access is great! It's always a mad dash to find clothes whenever someone knocks on the door.

If we are to say that breastfeeding can be abusive at a certain age, why don't we say that lack of breastfeeding is also abuse, especially since nearly all women are able to bf but just choose not to? Lack of breastfeeding causes far more serious problems - sometimes life threatening, and yes even in the USA - than ebf does.
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#142 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 10:55 AM
 
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This thread seems to be nearly played out, but I'll put in one more word. I can agree to disagree. I do NOT think there should be a law against breast feeding at any age since it does get into privacy issues, and the legal bar would likely be set much too low (IMO). If someone wants to bring a complaint of abuse against this woman, it should be based on more than the simple act of SBF. I also see the merit of Devrock's (and others') argument that if we disagree with a cultural norm, we should define the norm as the problem rather than those who refuse to conform to it. Ultimately, I guess I'm not ready to disagree with the cultural norm in this case, though. (I am also not ready to say that BF an 11 year old is *always* wrong in every place and time, since I can't know every possible circumstance, but I have grave reservations. In this case, I am very troubled by the fact that the mother "brags" about it at work. That indicates to me that she may not have her child's best interest at heart.)

The one argument I've heard that I really don't agree with at all is that if a child wants to do something, he must have a legitimate and normal need. With regard to BF, this is certainly true of babies and toddlers. (Studies of biology and anthropology back this up.) Preschoolers and slightly older children may have a need as well, although sometimes their request to nurse may have as much to do with boredom as anything else. (I have heard this at many LLL meetings, so it *must* be true! ) But there *are* limits for everything, and in a few cases, the mother may need to take a more active role to help her child find ways to replace nursing as a coping strategy. Even in the animal world, you can see mothers taking a role in weaning. They will cut nursing sessions short, or refuse to nurse all together as their young approach or exceed the normal age for weaning. I'm not arguing against child-led weaning per se, I'm just saying that a mother's instinct and experience is as important and natural as a child's. A mother brings to the relationship her experience and wisdom. Not all children develop normally; physical, mental, and emotional problems *do* occur. They are usually not anyone's fault, but it's the parent's job to prevent these problems where possible and seek treatment for them when prevention is not possible. For example, a child's desire to wash her hands when they are dirty is normal and healthy, but if she starts "needing" to wash her hands 20 times a day, something is wrong. As a parent, I would be remiss if I simply gave in to this "need" without exploring what might be causing such unusual behavior. (This is an imperfect example, since excessive hand washing is *never* normal, whereas breastfeeding is *always* normal for infants. Someone earlier mentioned toileting, which may be a better example. I think the point is still valid.)

I stand by my opinion that BF and 11 year old boy in this (or any?) culture is unhealthy. Criminal? No. Bad or lazy parenting? Probably. Risky? Yes.

Oy. I've spent too much time on this debate - my house is a mess!

Stephanie mom to Brianna (6/00) , Alexander (6/02) , and Ethan (9/07) .
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#143 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 10:59 AM
 
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Once again, I'm nursing a 3 year old, haven't worn a shirt for 3 years now around the house for the most part. Have no body issues, am certainly not modest about nudity etc, am not conservative by any stretch of the imagination.

i just don't want the image of all those dissenting to be that of conservative, not comfortable with breasts people. Everyone I know has seen mine by now! Hunter pushed my shirt practically over my head to nurse for the most part.

So I am perfectly comfortable with breasts. Perfectly comfortable with other people's nudity, completely, but I still don't agree with the proposed scenario.

Once again just because I don't agree doesn't mean I demonize it either. Just don't really agree.
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#144 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 12:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Devrock



It should be. Breasts should not be taboo.

Quote:
Originally posted by gaffa
It would therefore be as inappropriate for anyone to touch them besides my husband or child, or someone I wanted to be aroused with should I not be married. I'm sure that's the case for many women.

Kind of off otpic...but that kind of had me going
Yeah, I am thinking the same thing. I think that it would fall under the definition of harassment (to say the least), if just anyone felt it was appropriate to handle my breasts when they felt like being friendly to me.

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#145 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 12:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by candiland
If this 11 yo. was shielded from our society for the rest of his life, he probably would, in the absence of abuse or manipulation (assuming it is a healthy BF relationship, of course), remember his nursing days fondly for the rest of his life. But, most likely, he will not be sheilded from all the movies and pictures and internet sites that perpetuate the breasts as sexual body parts. Therefore, the chances of his ending up on a therapist's couch or feeling like a total outcast for most of his life are pretty high.

I am sorry, but I would never use my 11 year old child to prove a point to society.

Comparing a foot rub or a massage to sucking a breast is extreme. Following that logic, maybe the 11 year old can play with his mother's vagina because it is simply there for making and having babies? I don't mean to sound vulgar.... but, really, why is any part of us sexualized then? All of our parts have totally anatomical functions unrelated to sex.
Well said.

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#146 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 12:52 PM
 
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Reading through the first 5 pages of posts did not convince me that nursing an 11 year old was acceptable behavior. Sure, it was said over and over (devrock) that if you draw the line at 11, then someone else might draw it at 2. I was like, oh no, *I'm* totally normal (DD weaned at 50 months, DS is nursing at 25 months). No one would think that about such a little child.

THEN a MDC momma came and said she thought 12-18 was good, maybe up to three. Whoa! Jump off the high horse (me).

I'm glad I kept reading, because I realized that I actually do think this could be a healthy behavior from a healthy child that will grow up to be a healthy adult. We need to remember that not everyone will fit within the average or norm.

Now, I personally would be worried in the situation if the mom seems to talk about it to everyone. If she mentions it at a LLL meeting? No, that seems appropriate. If she finds a way to bring it up in non related conversations at work? Makes me wonder why. Even if the child wasn't sexually mature at all, unless they are living in a cave, they probably know that nursing at 11 is not "normal." That doesn't mean they need to stop, but that *THEY* might want their privacy. When DD was nursing past 4 I didn't hide it, but I didn't bring it up either. I *knew* that people would view her differently (at preschool and such) if they knew that one tiny thing about her.

So, I guess in this situation that is my actual concern. If I had an 11 year old who sucked their thumb, used a pacifier, etc... I WOULD NOT make that public information. Sure, I think a lot of kids probably do suck their thumbs past "normal" ages, but I would be afraid of my child being embarrassed if other people knew. Like if I mentioned that at work and it got back to his school that he sucked his thumb he might be made fun of. Do I think that sucking his thumb *itself* will make him be a freak adult? No, but the public ridicule might.

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#147 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 12:56 PM
 
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OT (slightly), but I just wanted to add:

Breasts are not inheirantly sexual. This is a biological fact. They are actually no more sexual than the ears, elbow, whatever. They don't have extra nerve endings, nothing like that. There are many cultures that have *no* sexual attachment to breasts, and even some that do consider breasts sexually attractive don't use them in sex play. It is a western construct that has traveled, but still completely cultural.

Now, I personally enjoy the enjoyment of breasts in sex. BUT, I would also be happy being able to walk around without a shirt (in situations where men walk around without shirts) if it were physically comfortable (I think I might actually want a *little* support).

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#148 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 01:10 PM
 
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I too am rather "shameless" when nursing children. As I said before, I nurse anywhere and everywhere, and I know few toddlers/children who are discreet about it EVERYONE in my life has seen my breasts at one time or another.

But more on point, I find the concept of pre-teens nursing questionable at the least. Would I "report" a situation like that on its merits alone (I.e. nursing, but otherwise relatively "normal" dynamics), No. Would I give that situation more scrutiny and be more curious and watchful of that child (assume I have some sort of relationship with them)? Absolutely.

I can say that if I was nursing an older child (say over the age of 5 or 6), I certainly would not tell casual aquaintences (like co-workers and friends/family outside my intimate circle) about it. It would be a private decision between me and my child and family and I would never want to give anyone a way to shame, ridicule, or otherwise hurt my baby because we share a practice that is drastically outside the cultural norm...doesn't mean I would stop doing it to conform, but I certainly would advertise in a way that could bring harm to my child and our relationship,

If this situation is true, that that is what is most disturbing to me... She is not only putting herself up for scrutiny, but she is also putting her child up. And whose to say the guy she told doesn't have like aged children who will pass last night's dinner conversation on about "Bobby" nursing to his peers at school.

I guess that means I am not a crusader, and that is o.k. with me... I will not crusade at the potential expense of my children.

Mama to three small people; wife to one big person; pet-person to cats and dogs..."Be the change you want to see in the world"-- Gandhi
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#149 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 01:56 PM
 
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Chemigogo - thank you.

Just because my own personal comfort level is lower than most on this board does not mean anyone nursing a 3,4, 5 year old needs to worry I would report them to CPS. To me, there are reasons (because we live in the society we do) that it could have negative consequences (as well as the positive ones). I am not personally comfortable seeing an older child nursed but of course am free to not look.

I went to a "breastfeeding the older child" support group at a local hospital once years ago - it was advertised for moms with children over 6 months! Mine was about 10 months at the time and I was not sure when we would wean. A woman there nursed her 5 1/2 year old daughter (no, it doesn't make any difference in my thoughts on this if the child is a girl or a boy) multiple times during the one hour meeting - I never saw a "reason" (got hurt, tired, etc.) that was obvious to those of us at the meeting. No one said anything negative to her. I did not call anyone about it. But it did make me uncomfortable and I didn't go back. That is fine. Both her right to do it and mine to be uncomfortable I suppose.

But I agree with whomever said that we can support, find acceptable, whatever, a three year old nursing but find an 11 year old nursing to be unacceptable. It is not all or nothing. I am anti-drug and cannot imagine any circumstance that doing heroin would be ok but even though I would not smoke pot and find smoking pot to be a negative thing in general, I do know those who do for recreation and are perfectly wonderful people who are making that choice. I also can find it acceptable, even supported, to use pot during chemo treatments. I don't think you have to say pot is ok for everyone at any age/circumstance OR pot is never ok. I don't understand the "no lines" thing.

Devrock, you are obviously very skilled at debate. You have brought up some examples and analogies that did make me think/wonder about some of my views. So even though my opinions are radically different from your own, thank you for making some thought-provoking points.
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#150 of 160 Old 10-09-2003, 02:02 PM
 
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Chemigogo - thank you.

Just because my own personal comfort level is lower than most on this board does not mean anyone nursing a 3,4, 5 year old needs to worry I would report them to CPS. To me, there are reasons (because we live in the society we do) that it could have negative consequences (as well as the positive ones). I am not personally comfortable seeing an older child nursed but of course am free to not look.

I went to a "breastfeeding the older child" support group at a local hospital once years ago - it was advertised for moms with children over 6 months! Mine was about 10 months at the time and I was not sure when we would wean. A woman there nursed her 5 1/2 year old daughter (no, it doesn't make any difference in my thoughts on this if the child is a girl or a boy) multiple times during the one hour meeting - I never saw a "reason" (got hurt, tired, etc.) that was obvious to those of us at the meeting. No one said anything negative to her. I did not call anyone about it. But it did make me uncomfortable and I didn't go back. That is fine. Both her right to do it and mine to be uncomfortable I suppose.

But I agree with whomever said that we can support, find acceptable, whatever, a three year old nursing but find an 11 year old nursing to be unacceptable. It is not all or nothing. I am anti-drug and cannot imagine any circumstance that doing heroin would be ok but even though I would not smoke pot and find smoking pot to be a negative thing in general, I do know those who do for recreation and are perfectly wonderful people who are making that choice. I also can find it acceptable, even supported, to use pot during chemo treatments. I don't think you have to say pot is ok for everyone at any age/circumstance OR pot is never ok. I don't understand the "no lines" thing.

Devrock, you are obviously very skilled at debate. You have brought up some examples and analogies that did make me think/wonder about some of my views. So even though my opinions are radically different from your own, thank you for making some thought-provoking points.
Kirsten
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