did you 'dry nurse' your child? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 22 Old 03-18-2014, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,755
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)

by dry nurse I mean continue to nurse your child after your milk had dried up.

 

did ur milk drying up have an impact on your baby/child or even you?

 

when your milk dried up did you start the weaning process or did your child?. 

 

the reason i ask is because i think for some kids, breastfeeding is beyond nutrition. there is a psychological element to it perhaps. where the child needs that extra skin time. 

 

would you stop nursing if your milk dried up? would you continue if your child wanted to continue?


 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is online now  
#2 of 22 Old 03-18-2014, 11:10 AM
 
MeepyCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 3,671
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)

Both of my kids weaned before my milk dried up - DS kept wanting to nurse, but I was pregnant, and nursing was putting my teeth on edge.  DD self-weaned at 13 months.

 

I know that nursing has psychological as well as nutritional aspects, but it feels very invasive to me to "nurse" when there is no milk.  We have a wide variety of ways to express affection and meet a child's psychological needs.  I think it's important to a child's growth and independence that parents help guide the transition from physical dependence on mom to independent maturity, so that as the child grows, s/he has avenues for comfort and emotional support that aren't infantilizing. 

 

DS (almost 7) had a total meltdown at the movies yesterday - a PG-rated children's film had a plot element that I wasn't expecting, and which he just couldn't handle.  He was a wreck for a little bit, and we needed to get him out of the theater, to a place where he could calm down, and we could reassure him.  That has a higher challenge factor then comforting him by nursing, but it would be intensely problematic for my approach to problems like this to be that we're going home so we can act like his emotional needs haven't changed since he was two.

LTurtle likes this.
MeepyCat is online now  
#3 of 22 Old 03-18-2014, 09:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,755
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
 

I know that nursing has psychological as well as nutritional aspects, but it feels very invasive to me to "nurse" when there is no milk. 

But what if your child wanted to nurse even though your milk dried up? Would you still allow them. 

 

i wonder in cultures where families nurse their kids till they are 6 or 7 are they dry nursing or do they have milk till the end. i cant imagine keeping your milk supply up while drive-by nursing. 

 

i wonder if this a taboo subject  one does not want to admit that they dry nurse. 


 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is online now  
#4 of 22 Old 03-18-2014, 10:15 PM
 
LTurtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have not dry nursed, and can't imagine why I would. Not because of any taboo though. I nursed my DD until she was 3 and had milk the whole time. DS is only 9 months and still EBF.
My aunt nursed her daughter til age 7, and I'm pretty sure she had milk the whole time too. Neither of us really practiced "drive by" nursing. We had a special cuddle/nursing session first thing every morning. I still start my day with both kids cuddling in my bed, only now I'm nursing DS. smile.gif

Me treehugger.gif + DH reading.gif= DD faint.gif (1/2004) & DS babyf.gif (6/2013)
homeschool.gifnovaxnocirc.gifbfinfant.giffemalesling.GIFfamilybed1.gifwaterbirth.jpg
LTurtle is offline  
#5 of 22 Old 03-19-2014, 03:55 AM
 
MeepyCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 3,671
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

But what if your child wanted to nurse even though your milk dried up? Would you still allow them. 

Me? No. I wouldn't. I weaned ds because I was finding nursing extremely unpleasant and I needed to restrict access to my breasts in order to be comfortable. With dd, it was her call (and happened earlier then I'd expected), but once it happened I appreciated the change.

I'm not convinced there are cultures where families commonly nurse past 6 or 7.
One_Girl likes this.
MeepyCat is online now  
#6 of 22 Old 03-19-2014, 08:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,755
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post

I'm not convinced there are cultures where families commonly nurse past 6 or 7.

commonly? no. does it happen. yes. 

 

neither do i think it is as uncommon as we think it is. 


 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is online now  
#7 of 22 Old 03-19-2014, 09:14 AM
 
4evermom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 8,928
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

My ds nursed past my milk drying up... He was very attached to nursing, especially nursing to fall asleep. I think he 7 when he "confessed" that there hadn't been any milk for a long time but he still wanted to nurse. He was very emotional about the idea of not nursing so I didn't push weaning. He was obviously still getting emotional benefits from nursing even though he was no longer getting nutritional ones. But he didn't nurse much longer. Probably his telling me I hadn't had any milk in a while was due to his approaching readiness to wean.


Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
4evermom is offline  
#8 of 22 Old 03-19-2014, 09:28 AM
 
LTurtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just want to put in that I don't think there is any reason to not "admit" to dry nursing. However, any kind of nursing with an older child is illegal in many places so that could be considered taboo.
This is just supposition, but I expect that places where women more routinely nurse beyond age 3 or 4 they are also tandem nursing. It is possible to maintain a supply of milk for a long time, even nursing infrequently, but it's far more likely if you are also nursing a newborn or toddler.
And my thinking is that the psychological benefits of breastfeeding can be provided in other ways quite easily beyond the ages of 2-4 or so when children are more mobile, verbal and independent.
If you are wanting to dry nurse a child, I am curious about why? My understanding is that it is quite uncomfortable.

Me treehugger.gif + DH reading.gif= DD faint.gif (1/2004) & DS babyf.gif (6/2013)
homeschool.gifnovaxnocirc.gifbfinfant.giffemalesling.GIFfamilybed1.gifwaterbirth.jpg
LTurtle is offline  
#9 of 22 Old 03-19-2014, 09:41 AM
 
4evermom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 8,928
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LTurtle View Post

If you are wanting to dry nurse a child, I am curious about why? My understanding is that it is quite uncomfortable.

It isn't about "wanting" so much as it is about the child expressing a need and your meeting it. I'm quite happy ds stopped nursing! It's only uncomfortable if they are nursing hard because they are hungry which is less of an issue when an older child is nursing for comfort rather than food.


Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
4evermom is offline  
#10 of 22 Old 03-19-2014, 10:02 AM
 
Angelorum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,037
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

My milk dried up sometime before ds1 weaned.  He was a few months shy of turning 3 when he weaned.  I'm not entirely sure when I stopped making milk, it happened so gradually.  I just remember realizing one day that it had been a long time since I had heard him swallow while he was nursing.  I could still squeeze a drop or two out if I tried, but there didn't seem to be any more let-down during nursing.  It certainly didn't feel any different nursing without milk (it's not any different than any nursing that happens pre let-down), until I got pregnant and then my nipples were sore, so I started encouraging other comfort measures for falling asleep and pretty soon he wasn't nursing anymore. 

 

I'm sure other women's bodies keep a milk supply up nursing a 2 yo once or twice a day, but mine didn't.  I'm also sure it would discourage some 2 yo's to not have any milk available anymore, but it didn't mine.   *shrug*

 

LTurtle, where is it illegal to nurse an older child?


Mommy to DS1 bouncy.gifJuly '09 and DS2 baby.gif Oct '12

 

Angelorum is online now  
#11 of 22 Old 03-19-2014, 10:03 AM
 
LTurtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks 4ever, thats helpful. smile.gif my question regarding wanting to was more directed at the op. My impression was that she might want to since she started the thread.

ETA: Angelorum, in Oregon and Washington it is illegal to breastfeed beyond age 7. I'm sure there are laws about it in other places too.

Me treehugger.gif + DH reading.gif= DD faint.gif (1/2004) & DS babyf.gif (6/2013)
homeschool.gifnovaxnocirc.gifbfinfant.giffemalesling.GIFfamilybed1.gifwaterbirth.jpg
LTurtle is offline  
#12 of 22 Old 03-19-2014, 10:07 AM
 
4evermom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 8,928
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LTurtle View Post

Thanks 4ever, thats helpful. smile.gif my question regarding wanting to was more directed at the op. My impression was that she might want to since she started the thread.

No, her baby is about as big as mine, in middle school. Probably not nursing anymore:-) I'm guessing it is just anthropological pondering.


Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
4evermom is offline  
#13 of 22 Old 03-19-2014, 10:10 AM
 
4evermom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 8,928
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelorum View Post

LTurtle, where is it illegal to nurse an older child?

It may not be illegal, as such. But past a certain age, people in this society might wonder if it is actually sexual abuse. Making it public that you nurse a 6 year old puts you at risk for CPS involvement.


Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
4evermom is offline  
#14 of 22 Old 03-19-2014, 10:33 AM
 
chickabiddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,472
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
 

But what if your child wanted to nurse even though your milk dried up? Would you still allow them. 

 

i wonder in cultures where families nurse their kids till they are 6 or 7 are they dry nursing or do they have milk till the end. i cant imagine keeping your milk supply up while drive-by nursing. 

 

i wonder if this a taboo subject  one does not want to admit that they dry nurse. 


I nursed to age 6 and I had milk.  I obviously believe that super-sustained-nursing is okay, but I would not dry nurse.  If there's no milk, it's not nursing.


Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
chickabiddy is online now  
#15 of 22 Old 03-20-2014, 03:51 PM
 
stormborn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,689
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
My milk never dried up between children (7 yr gap) even though both were "drive-bys" for the last few months before weaning (as in going days without).
I doubt I would, but then again I never would have expected to nurse past a year or two either, so who knows?
stormborn is offline  
#16 of 22 Old 03-20-2014, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,755
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)

you nailed it 4evermom. its more about curiosity.

 

i was curious about dry nursing. i did it. i wonder if its something other moms did. how taboo it is in society. 

 

nursing an older child is SOOOO different than nursing a toddler. if you would even call it nursing as it is so short and rare. 


 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is online now  
#17 of 22 Old 04-04-2014, 09:03 AM
 
lilitchka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 225
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

yes, I would dry nurse without hesitation. Milk is not the reason why I breastfeed, but it is a good side effect of breastfeeding. I only breastfeed to sooth my children. They also end-up growing on it!

In a lot of cultures, dry-nursing is very common. It is common with not your own children.

Say I would be babysitting an 18 months old, and I am not lactating. In most of the world, it would be normal to put him to sleep by offering my empty non-lactating breast. Grand mothers do it all the time, all over the world. I wouldn't mind dry nursing any child if his parents asked me (and he is usually breastfed by his mother and mom is not there). 

We wouldn't think twice to give  a soother to a toddler that needs it. Soothers where ment to replace confort-nursing. 

lilitchka is offline  
#18 of 22 Old 04-06-2014, 02:13 AM
 
uzra_hashmi@rediff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 369
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I am a biological mother of four living children and breastfed them all with periods of tandem and once even triandum nursing. I have had milk for a little over 12 years with small breaks before deliveries.  In the realm of breastfeeding, whatever aspect is considered one is confronted with a vast variety of experiences and differences in practices and attitudes. My take is that while as women we must have knowledge about them, one should have her own approach suiting her  situation and attitude. Personally I have had occasionally experienced demand for dry nursing since I have gone dry finally from my youngest child, now a little over three years, who had self-weaned about four months ago as my supply had been dwindling. I allow her knowing that it is a passing phase. 

 But I may narrate an interesting but problematic happening with a friend of mine - a divorcee -  that came to my notice only recently and may have relevance for the discussion here. She is about 36 and has a five year old son. She had weaned him on her initiative about two years ago as she is required to travel frequently in her job, had a low milk supply and had been finding it difficult to continue with nursing. She has not been producing milk for the past one and a half year now. Being the only child, the boy is very much attached to her and had been intermittently insisting for dry-nursing, but my friend stoutly denied him. Her DS had almost adjusted to the situation and had been taking interest in his school activities. But last winter the whole thing was disturbed. My friend visited Kolkata at her parents' place  for about a week for taking up a professional examination and took her DS along. The boy was very happy to be with the grand parents who would shower a  lot of love and care on him and as my friend would be away to a coaching institute and/or go to write her papers. He would even sleep with the grand parents at night as they had innumerable stories to narrate. But the day my friend was through with her exams and had to take up the return journey, she had the shock of her life. Her parents accused her of not taking adequate care of the boy - emotionally - because of which they said  that he sometimes stammered and behaved like a shrinker ( things which my friend had not noticed till then). Her mother, who is in mid-sixties,  even told her that her DS was keen on being breastfed and that she had been dry-nursing him in the last few days then that he readily accepted. After returning, the DS of my friend has again began insisting on dry-nursing to which she has condescended unhappily. Fortunately, it is not on a regular basis and she hopes that this phase would be over after some time, she has been getting him treated by a psychiatrist though.

Any views, mamas? 

uzra_hashmi@rediff is offline  
#19 of 22 Old 05-13-2014, 07:18 PM
 
here we are's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 768
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by uzra_hashmi@rediff View Post

I am a biological mother of four living children and breastfed them all with periods of tandem and once even triandum nursing. I have had milk for a little over 12 years with small breaks before deliveries.  In the realm of breastfeeding, whatever aspect is considered one is confronted with a vast variety of experiences and differences in practices and attitudes. My take is that while as women we must have knowledge about them, one should have her own approach suiting her  situation and attitude. Personally I have had occasionally experienced demand for dry nursing since I have gone dry finally from my youngest child, now a little over three years, who had self-weaned about four months ago as my supply had been dwindling. I allow her knowing that it is a passing phase. 
 But I may narrate an interesting but problematic happening with a friend of mine - a divorcee -  that came to my notice only recently and may have relevance for the discussion here. She is about 36 and has a five year old son. She had weaned him on her initiative about two years ago as she is required to travel frequently in her job, had a low milk supply and had been finding it difficult to continue with nursing. She has not been producing milk for the past one and a half year now. Being the only child, the boy is very much attached to her and had been intermittently insisting for dry-nursing, but my friend stoutly denied him. Her DS had almost adjusted to the situation and had been taking interest in his school activities. But last winter the whole thing was disturbed. My friend visited Kolkata at her parents' place  for about a week for taking up a professional examination and took her DS along. The boy was very happy to be with the grand parents who would shower a  lot of love and care on him and as my friend would be away to a coaching institute and/or go to write her papers. He would even sleep with the grand parents at night as they had innumerable stories to narrate. But the day my friend was through with her exams and had to take up the return journey, she had the shock of her life. Her parents accused her of not taking adequate care of the boy - emotionally - because of which they said  that he sometimes stammered and behaved like a shrinker ( things which my friend had not noticed till then). Her mother, who is in mid-sixties,  even told her that her DS was keen on being breastfed and that she had been dry-nursing him in the last few days then that he readily accepted. After returning, the DS of my friend has again began insisting on dry-nursing to which she has condescended unhappily. Fortunately, it is not on a regular basis and she hopes that this phase would be over after some time, she has been getting him treated by a psychiatrist though.
Any views, mamas? 

What do you mean or what did they mean by stammering and behavior as a shrinker?
here we are is offline  
#20 of 22 Old 05-14-2014, 05:48 AM
 
MeepyCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 3,671
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
I think it was a massive case of grandparent overreaching. Your friend made a reasonable decision for her family and her situation, and her parents had no right to demand a change. Her mom dry nursing the boy made things harder for everyone - no one should nurse or dry nurse a child without the mother's permission (and there are limited situations in which I think it's even okay to ask).

The concern about stammering isn't going to be addressed by nursing. My kids stammer when they get excited - we wait it out. If it was constant, we'd seek speech therapy, but stammers frequently arise in children, and every piece of advice I've ever heard about them is just wait. Wait for the child to get the words out. Be patient and receptive.

As for shirking, which I assume is what you mean by "shrinking" - this is annoying, develpmentally normal behavior. Prodding kids out of laziness is part of parenting.

Neither stammering nor shirking is a sign of parental failure.
MeepyCat is online now  
#21 of 22 Old 05-19-2014, 04:11 AM
 
uzra_hashmi@rediff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 369
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Thanks for your observations on my post. They are sound and reasonable. Incidentally, I used the word 'shrinker' in the sense of 'being withdrawn'. After reading your post I consulted the Oxford Concise Dictionary and found my usage to be correct. Interestingly, both the words 'shirker' and 'shrinker' seem to have a lot in common. Small thing. Thanks again. 

uzra_hashmi@rediff is offline  
#22 of 22 Old 05-19-2014, 06:44 AM
 
tblower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My son is almost 3 and I am 20 weeks pregnant. My milk is completely dried up and he still nurses a couple times a day.

tblower is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off