Do you speak up or bite your lip when people bash extended BF? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 34 Old 04-28-2011, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know I am a statistical anomaly in the US population because I choose to BF my kids until they are walking, talking, solid food eating, preschool attending children.  But the simple fact is that since I don't wear a shirt stating this fact, most people don't know that about me, and to be honest we kept it pretty quiet since after age 2 DD fed mostly at night, and so it was easier to let most people assume we had weaned her.  (She weaned at age 4).  

 

Today at work, I was talking with some colleges about an upcoming baby shower, and I was commenting on how I never know how to encourage a pregnant mom to BF and pump after returning to work (I pump at work currently.)  This led to a conversation about BF, and one woman commenting about how after 6 months you should just give water after bedtime to encourage them to STTN :(  Then another one told this SHOCKING story about a friend of hers that had her TWO YEAR OLD at a party and was still breastfeeding him!  And the child could eat!  FOOD!  <GASP>...I sort of quietly commented that I fed my child after she was old enough to ask for it, and that the BM is still good for them, but I felt like I was crawling out on a limb.  I didn't want to let them know that I had BF my DD for twice that long.  I can only imagine how horrified they would have been.  If nothing else it would have been a conversation killer.

 

So now I'm wondering.  For all you extended BF moms out there, when conversations turn to BF are you all out there with your choice to extended BF or do you sort of bite your lip and go with the flow?  I'm already the hippy weirdo at my fairly conservative workplace, but even so I don't want to be seen as too far "out there", if you know what I mean.  Go along to get along?  Speak out and rock the boat?  Where do you fall?  What do you do?


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#2 of 34 Old 04-28-2011, 01:55 PM
 
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I do. I just say, "Oh, huh, yea I did that." And when they say for how long I just say, "Still." It doesn't come up often, but from time to time it does. I figure it's helpful for people to realize that they don't see me as a weirdo, so maybe it's not so weird? And people generally love my kids cause they're fun and polite and very verbose. It's quite obvious that extended nursing didn't stunt their development. 

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#3 of 34 Old 04-28-2011, 01:57 PM
 
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I'm a boat rocker Sheepish.gif. An evidence based boat rocker.

 

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#4 of 34 Old 04-29-2011, 09:31 AM
 
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Whether or not I rock the boat, and how hard I'm willing to rock depend on the boat I'm in at the time.

 

If I'm confident the people I'm talking to respect me then I'll rock harder than if I'm likely to be dismissed.  Also I'll be more bold if there are women there, especially younger women, who are of child bearing age or younger.  If I can plant a seed or influence a future mom, good. 

 

I usually don't let people bash on extended BF without some comment, even if it's small.


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#5 of 34 Old 04-29-2011, 09:52 AM
 
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I am the type of person to always say something. It is not usually subtle either lol

 

Just do what you feel comfortable with. If someone did bash it like that other woman I would have just said something supporting that woman nursing the 2 y/o.


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#6 of 34 Old 04-30-2011, 05:27 PM
 
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My PEDIATRICIAN said he thinks if nursing goes on much past two there's something wrong with the mother. I just said I disagree. But I am currenly looking for a new pediatrician

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#7 of 34 Old 04-30-2011, 05:43 PM
 
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I would have said something.. probably that the recommendation is to nurse til 2 years at minimum and that nursing around the world often goes on much longer, even in developed first world countries.


 

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#8 of 34 Old 05-02-2011, 09:05 PM
 
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I rock the boat. This got brought up at work the other weekend. I was told that I am weird like that (about nursing a toddler) and I asked good weird or bad weird. I don't announce that I still nurse so was kinda intrigued that people knew. ( I haven't had to pump at work since she was 2yo or so). She was like good weird. to which I smiled.

 

When brought up I usually give some data about it just because it is near and dear to my heart and honestly don't care what people think about it. I am proud to still be nursing and getting to have that part of my relationship with DD2 (and previously ds).


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#9 of 34 Old 05-02-2011, 11:47 PM
 
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It depends on who for me as well. I'm nursing a 1 year old so I haven't gotten many comments yet. My future sister in law was just telling me about a tv show she saw that had a nursing 5 year old. I didn't bother saying anything. But when new moms ask when I'm going to stop I make sure and tell them about the 2 year minimum recommendation. I think if a mom can be encouraged to go that long it won't seem weird to go longer!

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#10 of 34 Old 05-03-2011, 05:03 AM
 
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Well I am really open about my plan to CLW and I do get a ton of ridicule, but I am used to it since everything else I do is ridiculed too.


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#11 of 34 Old 05-06-2011, 03:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KristyDi View Post

Whether or not I rock the boat, and how hard I'm willing to rock depend on the boat I'm in at the time.

 

If I'm confident the people I'm talking to respect me then I'll rock harder than if I'm likely to be dismissed.  Also I'll be more bold if there are women there, especially younger women, who are of child bearing age or younger.  If I can plant a seed or influence a future mom, good. 

 

I usually don't let people bash on extended BF without some comment, even if it's small.



This kind of sums it up for me too.

 

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#12 of 34 Old 05-06-2011, 03:57 PM
 
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I probably wouldn't rock the boat. Maybe I would say something about extended nursing in general, but I would not volunteer that I am still nursing my 3 year old. I'm a sensitive person and prefer to protect myself. People close to me know that DS is still nursing and I have not had negative comments. Just neutral comments. In our neck of the woods, the B.C. government recommends nursing to at least 36 months as per the toddler guide.

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#13 of 34 Old 05-06-2011, 04:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Picard View Post

 In our neck of the woods, the B.C. government recommends nursing to at least 36 months as per the toddler guide.



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#14 of 34 Old 05-06-2011, 06:07 PM
 
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My son isn't even a year yet, and I already find myself having to defend EBF almost constantly. My go-to line is that the WHO recommends nursing until at least two, emphasis on "at least." I never hear about WHO in any other context, but it sounds authoritative enough and normally shuts people up.

 

But PLEASE tell me I'm not the only mother who's constantly (I swear, for a while it was weekly, seems to have slowed down to once or twice a month now) asked... "Have you ever seen the movie 'Grownups?'" and then told all about the scene (I haven't seen the movie, but could probably recite this part by heart now) where the child walks up to the woman and lifts her shirt to nurse, and then when asked how old the kid is, the mother replies "48 months..."

 

People are always shocked when I see nothing wrong with that. If I'm really annoyed, I'll tell people we're hoping to make it to 60 :)


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YES we get that a lot lol The movie wasn't bashing it at all though, surprisingly there was a lot about BFing in it and at least there was exposure of BFing an older kid. he mom was a hottie too and not made out as a weirdo or anything. I thought the movie was really funny.

 

We have ALWAYS been ridiculed for BFing past a few WEEKS. It is absolutely ridiculous. I had a grown woman walk past us sitting on a bench nursing in a mall once and she said "That's disgusting" and DD was only 6 m/o! She was a grown woman! ERRR

Quote:
Originally Posted by holz View Post

My son isn't even a year yet, and I already find myself having to defend EBF almost constantly. My go-to line is that the WHO recommends nursing until at least two, emphasis on "at least." I never hear about WHO in any other context, but it sounds authoritative enough and normally shuts people up.

 

But PLEASE tell me I'm not the only mother who's constantly (I swear, for a while it was weekly, seems to have slowed down to once or twice a month now) asked... "Have you ever seen the movie 'Grownups?'" and then told all about the scene (I haven't seen the movie, but could probably recite this part by heart now) where the child walks up to the woman and lifts her shirt to nurse, and then when asked how old the kid is, the mother replies "48 months..."

 

People are always shocked when I see nothing wrong with that. If I'm really annoyed, I'll tell people we're hoping to make it to 60 :)



 


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#16 of 34 Old 05-07-2011, 05:53 AM
 
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Wel, dd is 6 and I am no longer bf. However, I actually kind of get a kick out of shocking people these days when this topic comes up. (Dd self-weaned a bit before her 4th birthday.) However, it is easier to be light about it now that I am no longer nursing a 2.5 yo in public or something. Anyway, yes, I would speak up. I used to say something like how all humans used to be breastfed for a long time, stuff like that. I sometimes also used to say that dd and I both find it such a wonderful thing that we don't see any reason to stop or something like " I could never do that to dd" when people talked about weaning -often in not so gentle ways. Depends on the situation what I would say... I don't mind being the odd one out in just about any situation, though.


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#17 of 34 Old 05-07-2011, 09:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KristyDi View Post

Whether or not I rock the boat, and how hard I'm willing to rock depend on the boat I'm in at the time.

 

If I'm confident the people I'm talking to respect me then I'll rock harder than if I'm likely to be dismissed.  Also I'll be more bold if there are women there, especially younger women, who are of child bearing age or younger.  If I can plant a seed or influence a future mom, good. 

 

I usually don't let people bash on extended BF without some comment, even if it's small.

 

I generally base it on the audience although to be honest, my 3.5 year old and 1 year old still nurse so much during the day that it tends to happen in public.  So once they see it, most people are too appalled to talk to me about it.  Easier just to talk about it behind my back.  lol.gif

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#18 of 34 Old 05-08-2011, 09:18 AM
 
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Me and my circle of friends are all still childless, so I've never heard this kind of bashing offline and therefore haven't had a chance to respond.

 

But if their idea of "extended" breastfeeding is up to two years, I'll probably just quote WHO derisively and roll my eyes. (Under one year, I'll add the CDC and throw in artificial milk's "21% higher post-neonatal mortality rate.")

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#19 of 34 Old 05-08-2011, 09:58 AM
 
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Well, OP, that sounds like an awkward exchange, no matter what.  Usually, depending on my energy level and my investment in the people/relationships involved, I'll go to bat  for extended breastfeeding. 

I usually say something like, "It's proven that it's a significant health benefit for at least two years, and the average age around the world is closer to four, so we're nowhere near average." 

DD is almost 28 months, and is as into nursing now as she every was.  I'm pregnant with our second, so it should be interesting to tackle the tandem questions too.  DD doesn't often nurse in public anymore, unless she's hurt or scared or feeling anxious, so it is usually a case of 'outing' myself in a conversation similar to yours. 

 


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#20 of 34 Old 05-22-2011, 09:00 PM
 
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I tend to speak out. My youngest weaned two years ago and so I am much bolder about it now. If in a situation like that, I might have brought up statistics, but now I'm more likely to throw in that I nursed for way longer than that. Of course if I was talking to someone where my personal life is very irrelevant, I would still leave it at statistics.

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#21 of 34 Old 05-22-2011, 09:46 PM
 
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everybody knows that i nurse the almost 2 year old. b/c they see me doing it.


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#22 of 34 Old 05-23-2011, 01:51 PM
 
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I at least try to not leave the possibility open for people to think I agree with their bashing. I have said things like "oh, good for her, it's so healthy for the mom and child to nurse" when someone expects me to bash the mom with them.

 

When supporting breastfeeding, I avoid using "baby" and say things about how it is so good for the child.

 

I try to neither hide nor forced-bringing-up-for-the-sake-of-bringing-it-up the fact that I'm still nursing my 23 month old. For example, I took a trip recently and was pregnant but not ready to share the pregnancy news with traveling companions. I justified my ridiculously HUGE appetite on the fact that I was nursing, and walking so much during tours of the city, when in fact a large part of it was pregnancy-related. "Nursing mom's gotta eat!" I would smile as I finished off 3rds and 4ths of dinner!

 

It IS normal, so whenever possible I just talk about it like it's normal. If you expect harsh criticism, don't feel bad if you don't want to give specific information about yourself though. It's your responsibility to do what's best for your child, not to single-handedly change the culture at the expense of your dignity in the workplace or wherever people are bashing.


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#23 of 34 Old 05-24-2011, 08:59 PM
 
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i admit, i have my own personal hang-ups with much older nurslings, but, i always make a comment suggesting we not gossip about other people's personal lives, and gently suggest it's not really that strange. 

 

anyway, i find that people tend to respond well to my approach... or at least back off a bit. most of the time, i find that people just weren't sure HOW to react, so they brought up the topic in an incredulous way. once you let them lightly know that you're not up for bashing whatever it is, they sometimes are even open to actually discussing the issue. i've had great conversations about extended breastfeeding... i happily admit what seems strange to me, but we can talk about why some people might do things differently, and whether or not it's really that wrong or weird after all. 

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#24 of 34 Old 05-24-2011, 09:22 PM
 
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I actually love taking the opportunity to tell people that humans are technically considered infants until they are 7 years old, so a nursing 2, 3, 4, 5 year old is still a baby.  I also love reminding them that nursing for 5 or even 8 years of an 80 year long life is a blip on the map.

 

I just told a mom that yesterday, actually.  She is still nursing her 13 month old and told me it's nice to see another mom nursing her 15 month old.  When I said the blip thing (I just said nursing 2, 3, or 4 years), she actually looked a little turned off.  Oh, well. 

 

I don't like the term "breastfeeding" and I really don't like the term "extended breastfeeding".  Language has a huge impact on how we frame things in our minds and cultures.  I nurse my babies.  And, will through their 3rd birthdays.  I've never gone beyond 3 yo and can't imagine myself nursing anyone older than 4 yo.  But, that's my choice to make.  I think women should be encouraged to nurse as long as they (and the child) want to and also women should be encouraged to understand childhood development so that they can truly understand the choices they're making. 

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#25 of 34 Old 05-24-2011, 09:35 PM
 
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I don't think anyone's ever said anything to me other than when talking about me. I suppose they will someday when my youngest weans at last! I would just say "I believe a woman should nurse for as long, or as short, a time as she wants to. After all, WHO says 2 years and up is great for the kid's immune system. I'm sure when she wants to stop, she'll stop."

 


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#26 of 34 Old 05-27-2011, 05:17 PM
 
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I've always spoken out anytime some makes a negative comment about it. My DD turns 4 yrs this Fall and she's still nursing. To me, it's normal, so I tell people that. I've made polite comments and fiery comments depending on my mood at the time. I've had family and friends comment on it and at one point said, "Until you have the facts right, don't comment." Or at a work meeting, I told my manager and coworkers I couldn't use the new products on clients because they're not safe for nursing mothers, one woman said, "How old is your daughter again?" Me- "She's almost 4." A few of them looked at me wide-eyed, including the woman who asked the question. She said, "I breastfed my son and quit when he was 9 months. Breastfeeding any long is disgusting and perverted." And I laughed and said calmly, "That's what many Americans believe, but look at natural weaning habits of other cultures across the world." She didn't have much to say after that... to me, if I know the truth, I want as many people to be aware of these facts as possible. I've had many encounters like that throughout our bf'ing relationship. So be it. I'm tired of people snickering and commenting on what they think is right out of ignorance and judgement.

 

If we aren't the ones speaking out against these misconceptions, who will? If we want the best for our children and grandchildren, isn't it our responsibility as their caregivers to make these facts known to the general public? This is no time to be shy, this is a time to speak loudly and proudly about the natural course of nursing a human child. It's simple. I will always speak up, my daughter learns from me and I want her to know she has the right and the responsibility to assist others in knowing the truth and not succumbing to the hype of the masses- so we can finally push passed the paradigm of misinformation and fear-mongering... it is OUR responsibility to share our knowledge with others... that's how we evolve as a species, right?


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#27 of 34 Old 05-27-2011, 06:12 PM
 
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I speak up.  Every time.  And I've never nursed an older child.  I weaned my first waaay too early due to lack of knowledge and support, and my baby is only 10 months old.  But whenever I hear someone say anything negative about bfing, no matter what the age, I always defend the practice.  Extended nursing is the norm in my mind, even if I haven't achieved it, yet.


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#28 of 34 Old 05-27-2011, 06:36 PM
 
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I speak up and if their boat rocks, I don't mind! I like taking rides!

 

Example,

A lady- "OMG, I just saw a woman nursing a toddler, he must have been 2 year old already, how weird!"

 

Me, celebrating, " I just stopped nursing my 4 year old recently! I can't wait to buy a normal bra again. I am waiting for my milk to dry up before I go get them."

 

Lady -" What? 4 year old!??? That's just wrong!"

 

Me- "Nah, in some other countries woman nurse their babies until 5 or 6 sometimes more!"

 

Lady- "Ug, I could not do that , It was so annoying. I stopped at 6 months.."

 

Me- " Congratulations! You are amazing to do that. In this culture it is a very informed momma, and a strong person who goes against the social norm... When I found out these amazing facts about breastfeeding, I couldn't not! I was determined to stop, not because of society's pressure, but when *I* decided ( or my child decided) they were done. I am so happy I followed my instincts"

 

I will give them some amazing facts about breastfeeding that most people don't know.

 

Check out my video I made just for the love of it! I will stand on my soap box , <grin>, and sprinkle as many amazing benefits that I can into the conversation.... :)

 

 

 


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#29 of 34 Old 06-08-2011, 06:51 PM
 
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One of my friends was talking to me just after she had weened her then 16 month old.

During the conversation she mentioned how her and her husband remembered seeing a toddler asking to nurse.

He later told her that he felt a child should be weened before they are able to ask for it with words as in "I want to nurse". and she agreed.

When she said this I felt that saying anything to contradict that would be unsupportive.

She was happy with her decision to ween, and I wanted to show her that I respected her regardless of our different views in this matter.

 

I'm still glad I did not say anything at the time.

I hope that she will have the same respect for me while I'm breastfeeding my child.

She has never said anything negative about my choice, but I haven't mentioned that I plan to keep going till he is ready to give it up :)


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#30 of 34 Old 06-09-2011, 06:25 PM
 
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I'm not afraid to tell other people I still nurse my 18 month old dd and that we have no plans to stop any time soon.  nono02.gif I'm already pretty controversial in a lot of things regarding our dd so my friends kind of got used to it and respect my views. 

 

I think we absolutely should stand up to anybody that bashes extended breastfeeding or breastfeeding in general, for all other moms and future moms that will nurse their babies. I understand some people have a problem with it but hey, if it's too gross for you - don't look. wink1.gif  And I dare anyone to ever tell my child that what we're doing is gross.  FIREdevil.gif  


Mom to dd born Dec 2009 hearts.gif, our little troublemaker hide.gif . cd.gif hang.gif fly-by-nursing1.giffamilybed1.gif

boomer78 is online now  
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