What do other breastfeeding/nursing mothers think of this common comment? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 52 Old 08-13-2008, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was wondering what other mothers who practice Child led weaning think of comments like this,

"I am pro breastfeeding/nursing, but when they get to/can do/become X age, that is time to stop."

I have heard this comment several times and I think it is laughable.:

Ahem So, let me know what you think?
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#2 of 52 Old 08-13-2008, 06:56 PM
 
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I find it frustrating to hear, but change takes time. My sil feels that way and bf until 1 and that is it. I try to find the positive and think at least her children are getting some bm. Hopefully, someday people will not think of it as just nutrition or that it is on a timetable. Mothering through breastfeeding is completely natural and what our children need to be balanced, secure and independent human beings.

Mindfully parenting DD 8/04 & DS 11/08, Human beings are the only mammals who do not nurse their offspring to full term.
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#3 of 52 Old 08-13-2008, 07:32 PM
 
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DH was that way for a while. He used to say by age 2 they should be done. Well, that came and went with DDs without so much as a word from him about it. It wasn't weird once we reached that age or after. I think it is just really difficult for a lot of people to imagine nursing a child for any extended length of time. I love it when people reach those time frames, though, and change their thinking.

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#4 of 52 Old 08-13-2008, 07:38 PM
 
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That comment is ridiculous..
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#5 of 52 Old 08-13-2008, 08:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by doriansmummy View Post
That comment is ridiculous..
Yes, but, in defense of them, many people just really have NO IDEA what it is even like to nurse before they had any children and/or what a kid is really like at age 2 or 3 or whatever.

Waaaay back in the day (like when i was in highschool), i always thought i'd bf for 6 months. Then when i started thinking about TTC i thought one year. Then i had my ds and thought omg bfeeidng is so painful/hard etc. how will i make passed six WEEKS?! THEN, it magically got easier, and better, and suddenly i LOVED IT. So now he's almost 12 months and I plan to let him lead the way (probably child led weaning).

I think the biggest thing is it's hard for people to imagine if they've never had kids before. They can't picture a four year old walking up to them wanting to nurse kwim?

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#6 of 52 Old 08-13-2008, 08:24 PM
 
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I usually say something like, "Well, I have already made arrangements with their teachers, so I think I am all set. Thanks for the concern, though."

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#7 of 52 Old 08-13-2008, 08:26 PM
 
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I think they probably haven't read enough on the topic of breastfeeding, and should better inform themselves!
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#8 of 52 Old 08-13-2008, 09:30 PM
 
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I used to say comments like this and I keep finding myself pushing the "weaning" deadline back further and further--pretty much going towards DD's terms vs. mine (as mine just evaporate with each milestone LOL).

When I hear them now, I just smile and nod. I was there once and when I actually started nursing, things changed. And for those who do not change their minds at least they are willing to try breastfeeding to a certain point Change has to start somewhere.

LOL, perhaps I am just too much of an optimist.

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#9 of 52 Old 08-13-2008, 10:05 PM
 
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My mother, regarding 20 mo dd:

"She's asking to nurse?!! OMG, she's too old to nurse!! Once they can ask for it you have to wean them!"

Me: "The WHO recommends breastfeeding until at least 2 years of age, and then for as long as both the mother and child want to."

Mother: "Well, that's for kids in Africa who don't have safe food and water and would die if their moms don't breastfeed them! You can give her cow's milk, it's just as good for her!"

Me: "Cow's milk is for baby cows. Human milk is for human babies."

Mother: "Once they're over one year old, breastmilk has no advantage over cow's milk."

Me: "Why would milk made for a baby cow be just as good as MY milk, made for MY child?"

???

It always amazes me how the first 12 months of a baby's life, friends and family will ask, "You're still nursing! That's so great!" But something happens on after the 1st birthday and it becomes, "You're *still* nursing? That's weird."

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#10 of 52 Old 08-13-2008, 11:13 PM
 
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well... when I was pregnant with DD#1 I was one of those "I'll try to nurse for 12 months"

I honestly didn't know better. at first I honestly thought you were supposed to nurse for 6 months only... I know, I know...

So when DD#1 was 4 months old, I was desperate for adult conversation, I went to a breastfeeding support group. I met this fabulous woman who I completely interviewed/interrogated. She had a 2 1/2 yo DD, potty learned and still being worn in a sling and nursing. She told me all about AP, she even gave me my first copy of Mothering. I was always really info BF, but I really didn't know where to find the resources... I was getting all of my info from formula company handouts about BF...

now, here I am... I have actually run the group myself a few times when the LC couldn't make it, I make my own baby carriers. I walk up to people who are wearing slings incorrectly and fix them for them so they'll be more comfortable.

you can't take those comments too seriously, they are quite often made by someone who has no clue what they are talking about.
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#11 of 52 Old 08-13-2008, 11:21 PM
 
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i find it amusing. then i get MAD. mad that our society has raised generations to believe that comment.
i hear "when they are too old to ask for it, then its time to stop" well, Addy asks for snacks, should i not give her snacks because she can ask for it? my husband will ask me to snuggle with him, should i stop that too because he can ask for it?! how asinine!!!
mt response is usually "why would i stop giving my child her favorite food and source of comfort just because she can tell me when she wants it? i think its GREAT that she can let me know she wants to nurse, way easier than following her around with my tits hanging out waiting for her to latch on "

i really do hate that comment tho.

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#12 of 52 Old 08-14-2008, 12:16 AM
 
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I just smile and nod. Thankfully I don't hear it much because all my IRL mama friends nurse their kids until 2 and well beyond. Now that I'm nursing a 2 year old, I'm amazed at how much Henri is still just a tiny baby that needs his mama for everything. I know that if other people could see what I see, they would agree that a child needs to be breastfed beyond 2 years old.
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#13 of 52 Old 08-14-2008, 03:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SleepyMamaBear View Post
i hear "when they are too old to ask for it, then its time to stop" well, Addy asks for snacks, should i not give her snacks because she can ask for it? my husband will ask me to snuggle with him, should i stop that too because he can ask for it?! how asinine!!!
I actually got into it with my MIL about this very topic. Her reasoning was that breastmilk was different somehow than other foods. Her and my ex- SIL were very opposed to CLW, but my MIL did end the conversation with "well I BF-ed (her DD) till she was 16 months ..." like it was okay still, since my DD was only 14 months at the time. Like i still had a few months to get her to stop or whatever. Yea, 20 months, and 10 weeks prego and still going.....

If it is someone who I really don't know, or who I am not vested with very much, I usually kinda giggle at them. Their ignorance is not my problem. I usually say something to get them to think about what they just said (like "so I shouldn't give her her baby when she asks for it then?") then move on with my life......

W (26) and C (27) parenting G (11/06 ) and D (2/09 ) plus a new one (3/11)
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#14 of 52 Old 08-14-2008, 04:58 PM
 
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If someone puts a restriction on nursing like that, then they are pro-nursing to a certain age. I wouldn't say that they're against nursing, just against a certain age. I understand that everyone's comfort level is different. Before I had my first child, I had planned on weaning at a year. I wasn't against other people nursing a 3 year old, but I "knew" it wasn't for me. My first weaned a month shy of 5 years btw! Things change!
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#15 of 52 Old 08-14-2008, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone who has so far posted!

I have been very interested in other breastfeeding mothers opinions on this as it is one of those common comments I often hear/read and so forth. I often think well how can you really truly be pro breastfeeding if you think it should stop after X age?

I do not see what "damage" could be done by doing something so natural.
I don't see the issue with the fact that milk comes from breasts.

We are humans and that is how our young feed.
The human immune system is not fully developed until the age of seven.

I consider my self pro breastfeeding and I honestly wouldn't care if a nine year old was still being breastfed, I wouldn't care if a mother expressed milk and a human adult drank it, I wouldn't care if a man drank his partners milk straight from her breast. I wouldn't care if a mother breastfed in public without "being discreet", I wouldn't care is a mother breastfed her baby while naked and her baby was also naked. I would not care is a mother crossed fed or gave her milk to another human baby.

I think breastfeeding is wonderful and something worth celebrating. It was a wonderful part of my childhood and I am so proud of my mother for breastfeeding me. Breastfeeding is not sexual. Breastfeeding a child will not cause trauma, weaning can however (I know from personal experience).

Our culture is terrible! what is wrong with the world why is there so many myths about breastfeeding, why do so many people have problems with it. There is such a huge stigma attached to breastfeeding a that needs to change.

I read the comments on you tube on the video with Veronika Sophia Robinson & Bethany and Eliza, a doco on breastfeeding full term. You should see the comments. I have read things like "that mother is incest" "those girls are going to be traumatized for life", "those girls are going to be lesbians" etc etc.

I realize breastfeeding is, sadly, something a lot of people don't know anything about, some people have not even seen a mother feed her baby. People don't know any better. But none the less it makes me feel really really sad.

I was breastfed for five years and remember it, so I have a different view on breastfeeding then most mainstream people would.
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#16 of 52 Old 08-14-2008, 06:34 PM
 
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n defense of them, many people just really have NO IDEA what it is even like to nurse before they had any children and/or what a kid is really like at age 2 or 3 or whatever.
pretty much.

I used to make snide comments about kids who could ask for cookies with their milk.. oops! look at me now. He can not only ask for cookies but bake them.
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#17 of 52 Old 08-14-2008, 07:21 PM
 
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pretty much.

I used to make snide comments about kids who could ask for cookies with their milk.. oops! look at me now. He can not only ask for cookies but bake them.

Wife to geek.gif (08/03), Mom to energy.gif (10/05) and babyboy.gif (11/09).

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#18 of 52 Old 08-14-2008, 09:58 PM
 
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The words "when they're old enough to ask for it, then it's probably time to stop" actually came out of my mouth. Based on no logic, no experience, no nothing other than internalizing some off comment I heard somewhere in our society.

Then I became I mother.

...my mom, a former LLL leader who has CLW all 6 of us (which I didn't know at the time), let those words come out of my mouth with nothing more than a nod.

Laurie, wife to guitar.gifDH (Aug/04), mom tobikenew.gifDS1 (Nov/05) and bfinfant.gifDS2 (June/12).

 

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#19 of 52 Old 08-14-2008, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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lol, that is priceless! your mother is wicked! I bet she has been great support for you during breastfeeding.
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#20 of 52 Old 08-14-2008, 11:35 PM
 
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I utterly hate that, "if they are old enough to ask for it, its time to stop"

I say, "Soooo....when they are old enough to verbalize thier needs, it's time to stop meeting them?"

That ususally just draws a blank stare.

~Me, mama to soapbox boy (1991), photo girl (1997), gadget girl (2003), jungle boy (2005), fan boy (2003) and twirly girl (2011). Twenty years of tree hugging, breastfeeding, cosleeping, unschooling, craziness
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#21 of 52 Old 08-15-2008, 12:50 PM
 
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That comment doesn't bother me much because it is usually made in ignorance. I try to use it as a great time to educate the public about the benefits of BFing beyond a certain time frame. Since DS's birth I have educated my ILs about BFing and I have only had one comment made by them and it was quickly taken back. Prior to DS they had NEVER been around a BFed baby, so I think this has been a great success.

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#22 of 52 Old 08-15-2008, 02:20 PM
 
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heck, mine's old enough to express in a little song how much she loves her nummies. which are apparently hers, btw, and not mine.

when people ask me when I am going to wean, I say that I suspect she'll wean some time before age 25. In a friendly way, of course. They can think what they want, but they don't usually say it to me.

If people say "When they're old enough to ask for it...." I either give a little smile and shrug or I say "Why?"

I am not ok bfing in public because I don't want people to make comments to dd. Because she might remember those comments, and I want her interactions around nursing to be positive.

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#23 of 52 Old 08-15-2008, 02:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by neostudded View Post
I was wondering what other mothers who practice Child led weaning think of comments like this,

"I am pro breastfeeding/nursing, but when they get to/can do/become X age, that is time to stop."

I have heard this comment several times and I think it is laughable.:

Ahem So, let me know what you think?
Nothing. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
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#24 of 52 Old 08-15-2008, 03:18 PM
 
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I am so sick of hearing,: Lately I let them go on an on and then spring on "Well Ds is still nursing and WE have no plans on weaning anytime soon" boy do the noses hit the ceiling. I have lost amny friends over CLW and frankly I do not care.
Then there is teh other camp who thinks CLW is mama toture you can hear them whisper "oh the poor thing he just won't give it up" or "oh hei sso cute and smart , but you kow she STILL has to nurse him" like it is a crime

Once in a great while I will get the half hearted "Well you will know when enough is enough" Meaning it is okay until next month but after lady you better quit.

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#25 of 52 Old 08-15-2008, 03:25 PM
 
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Comment: "Once they can ask for it, they're too old."

My answer: DD was born asking for milk - that's what crying usually is all about as an infant, you know? Needing to be held, fed, comforted. Now that she's a bit older, she has a much nicer way to ask for it, but she's still a baby!

Comment: Once they get teeth, they're too old

My answer: I just read about a baby being born with 2 teeth! Isn't that crazy?! But really, when they get teeth, it's the bottoms first, and their tongue just covers those up. It's really no different nursing ababy with teeth than without.

But, usually, I smile and nod, or ask for a source for that "information."
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#26 of 52 Old 08-15-2008, 04:37 PM
 
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Well ~ I guess I have little more compassion for those of us who, in our ignorance, put limits around this wonderful process. I was asked about this while pregnant with DS1, & vaguely remember saying something like: "I can't imagine nursing once he has teeth. I can't imagine nursing when he can talk". Note that this was after I'd read the LLL literature & was no reflection on what I though other people should do, I just literally couldn't imagine it for myself. Silly me. DS1 self-weaned at 3 1/2. LOL.

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#27 of 52 Old 08-15-2008, 05:26 PM
 
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I'm very lucky in that most of my friends and even acquaintances know that I myself was nursed until I was 4. My brother and 2 half brothers nursed until they were 2 (self-weaned all three of them...I myself was forcibly weaned, for a second time, when my brother stopped nursing). And my half sister went beyond 4, despite her mother having major surgery then being in nursing school full time!

And for those who do NOT know that, they quickly learn.

But I have one persistent friend who says the "if they can ask for it they are too old". But that doesn't even work, b/c when DS was mere hours old I noticed a difference in his hungry cry. When he was hungry, his cry would sound like "laaaaa, laaaaa, laaaaa". You could see his tongue making the L-sound shape.

His cry for anything else was more "waaaa", no L-sound shape with the tongue.

So he was asking for it since he was hours old. But he still needed mama's milk. Nothing much has changed, except he can ask in English instead of saying "laaaa".
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#28 of 52 Old 08-15-2008, 07:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hollytheteacher View Post
Yes, but, in defense of them, many people just really have NO IDEA what it is even like to nurse before they had any children and/or what a kid is really like at age 2 or 3 or whatever.

Waaaay back in the day (like when i was in highschool), i always thought i'd bf for 6 months. Then when i started thinking about TTC i thought one year. Then i had my ds and thought omg bfeeidng is so painful/hard etc. how will i make passed six WEEKS?! THEN, it magically got easier, and better, and suddenly i LOVED IT. So now he's almost 12 months and I plan to let him lead the way (probably child led weaning).

I think the biggest thing is it's hard for people to imagine if they've never had kids before. They can't picture a four year old walking up to them wanting to nurse kwim?
This. When I was pg my sis was nursing my then 17 month old niece and due to medical reasons had to wean her. I remember thinking that my niece looked old enough that she didn't need to be breastfed any longer. Now I have a 15 month old who is a very avid nurser and it seems so right and so natural now that I am a mom and I plan on CLW. So my views have really changed.

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#29 of 52 Old 08-15-2008, 10:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by widemouthedfrog View Post

I am not ok bfing in public because I don't want people to make comments to dd. Because she might remember those comments, and I want her interactions around nursing to be positive.
I have found myself limiting where I will NIP also. If I am around strangers that I will never see again and most likely would never say anything to me or where I could hear them, I have no problem with it. However, I have told DD2 to wait until we are home when we are at places like DD1's ballet class.

I am just so thankful to have a great playgroup with moms that are CLWing, too. DD2 is right in the middle of the age range for BFing kiddos. It is such a positive environment.

Mama to Ava (12/03) , Leila (4/06) , Violet (11/08) , and bonus mama to Madison (7/98)
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#30 of 52 Old 08-16-2008, 09:55 AM
 
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Yep. I honestly find these comments funny. Especially when they come from women who've never had children yet .... as they frequently do! I was nursing my 13-mo-old around the new (ridiculously young) girlfriend of a divorced colleague who's really old enough to know better. The colleague was talking about how his ex-wife nursed their son for the first year and then stopped. Anyway, the girlfriend chimed in with: "Yeah! Once they're old enough to ask, that's IT!" I just smiled and nodded. I guess she felt she had to contribute something. I hope for her sake that she develops the self-confidence to have her own opinions on the matter instead of just parroting whatever she thinks will make her more attractive to the boyfriend of the moment! I also hope she dumps the colleague and finds a nice guy her own age ... but that's a whole other story!!
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