Child led or mother led? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 09-23-2009, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am not sure which we did... I reduced nursing but he ultimately stopped nursing even if I offered.

More details... We nightweaned at 16 months, went down to 3x/day at 18 months, and at 20 months 2x/day. I got pg right around when we were doing 2x/day and he stopped asking. Based on my boob size I am guessing I lost my supply with the pg. If I offered he would put his mouth on my nipple but not nurse (he thinks it is hilarious to "nurse" but he doesn't even know what to do with his mouth!)

I guess I feel guilty that he only weaned because I reduced his nursing so much. I did it for my sanity and to get more sleep. But I never intended him to stop entirely- I thought he would keep going a few times a day. FWIW before I reduced him he nursed like a newborn, every hour or so.

Suzan, mama to DS 9-18-07 and #2 EDD 3/4/10 GIRL!.
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#2 of 8 Old 09-23-2009, 06:03 PM
 
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Do you feel like it was child respectful? I'm not sure what child-led weaning really is, because I think for some people it might mean letting the child decide to give up all nursing sessions with no influence from the mother one way or another. But that seems almost like a theoretical exercise than anything practical--I think the mother's feelings and attitudes are always going to come into play because it's a nursing relationship, not just a one sided thing. And I think that is good!

I would call what you did natural weaning. You weren't weaning on an artifical schedule, but you cut out particular nursing sessions as you felt you needed to, and biology definitely played a part in the duration, with losing your milk during pregnancy.

If you are feeling guilty, you can offer him the breast again once your baby is born and you are overflowing. I knew a mother whose child talked about how she would return to nursing once her sister was born, but after that event, she had no interest. My own daughters both asked to nurse once a year after they had weaned, and I let them try it, but neither wanted to return to nursing, I think they were just curious and remembering.
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#3 of 8 Old 09-23-2009, 11:54 PM
 
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Nursing is a team event, so to speak. As you needed to, you set limits, which is part of a parent's job. He nursed within those limits for as long as he wished, then stopped when he wanted to, with you respecting that decision.

Seems to me that you followed a natural and cooperative progression in your relationship with your son.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#4 of 8 Old 09-24-2009, 12:03 AM
 
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Those are significant limits for an under 2yr old. I would say mom-led. Though as mentioned, sometimes that's needed for sanity.

Really for an under-two who weans during pregnancy I never say it's CLW- it's at least situational.

-Angela
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#5 of 8 Old 09-24-2009, 12:13 AM
 
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SuzyLee, does it really matter? You did a good job IMO, and worked with your son in a way that respected both of your needs. This is the stuff family life is made of: every members' needs being respected, considered, with compromises made as needed.

And given the usual short length of nursing times for most in this society, you did very well indeed.

Don't let yourself be drawn into any perceived "mommy competition" about these things. Like the vast majority, you do your best. No one can expect more than that from anybody.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#6 of 8 Old 09-24-2009, 12:23 AM
 
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I agree with Angela.

Mom to Eoin (11/02), Eilis (09/04), Eamon (07/07), and Ellery (04/10)
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#7 of 8 Old 09-24-2009, 05:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meiri View Post
SuzyLee, does it really matter? You did a good job IMO, and worked with your son in a way that respected both of your needs. This is the stuff family life is made of: every members' needs being respected, considered, with compromises made as needed.

And given the usual short length of nursing times for most in this society, you did very well indeed.

Don't let yourself be drawn into any perceived "mommy competition" about these things. Like the vast majority, you do your best. No one can expect more than that from anybody.
ITA - this is a great post - someone I know, couldnt implement nursing restrictions on dd2 and nursed for 4 years (both dd1+2) however, she felt so used by her dds that in the end when she had dd3 she never offered the breast at all, not once, the saddest thing I have ever heard about breastfeeding, from hearing this story i think to involve restrictions to help yourself, and baby may wean a few months earlier is far more sensible, than to get to the stage that you could deprive another child completely - although this is a fairly unusual situation. to do the best you can do in any breastfeeding situation is the best you can do we don't have to turn into martyrs to be good mothers.

ewe + dh = our little lambs + we and have many just : and : life .
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#8 of 8 Old 09-24-2009, 05:09 PM
 
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[QUOTE=Viola;14426572]Do you feel like it was child respectful?...I think the mother's feelings and attitudes are always going to come into play because it's a nursing relationship, not just a one sided thing. And I think that is good!"

And Ewe+Lamb "we don't have to turn into martyrs to be good mothers. "

Thank you both for saying this. I hear a lot of pressure around "child-led" weaning that doesn't seem very fair to the mother. It *IS* a relationship, and it should be a positive and balanced one. I'm still nursing my daughter (June 2007), and will continue doing so for some time, HOWEVER, I am not comfortable letting her run me down to the extent that I become resentful and tortured trying to "stand" a nursing session. I don't think that's healthy for HER or for ME. If nursing isn't working at that moment or it isn't a time I feel I can do it, I think there are other comforts (hugs, hand holding, reassurance) that can be offered that are still appropriate and positive. While she loves the boob, I think it's important to help her understand that the boob is attached to MAMA and doesn't BELONG to her.

So to the OP, it sounds like there was a balance in how your nursing relationship was defined, and you both participated in the process. Don't feel guilty.

Co-sleeping, Breastfeeding, EC'ing, Baby-wearing, Homebirthing mama to two fabulous girls 6/2007 and 8/2010
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