I have been Breast feeding my son for 21 months. It has been the most challenging thing I have ever done but also the most rewarding. In the beginning my son wouldn't latch and for the first few months we used a nipple shield to nurse.
When he was a year old he had a horrible accident and was in Paed ICU for 11 days, during that time I expressed and he was tube and then bottle feed my milk. Once I was able to hold him to breast feed, he refused to drink from a cup or a bottle. It has only been in the last three months that he has started drinking from a sippy cup or a glass. He refuses formula or milk and still prefers to nurse.
He is not a big eater and I worry that if I stop BF he will not get all the nutrients he needs from his diet.
I have started to get funny looks and nasty comments because I have chosen to nurse this long, my partner is also not very supportive....
I have tried a few times to stop, but my heart is never in it. My son gets really upset when I withhold myself from him, I have tried lemon juice to discourage him but that didn't stop him.
Really not sure what to do
The general think I'd consider is how long breastfeeding is mutually desired by mother and baby, and in your case you both still want to do it, so I would personally keep doing it. Think about how much of a benefit it was for him after his accident! That's so great that you were able to help him through that trauma with breastfeeding.
With toddlers, you can often delay breastfeeding until you're home and in private. I wonder if that would help you to keep the breastfeeding relationship going? It sounds like the only "problem" is that other people are uncomfortable, and my personal feeling is that other people's discomfort shouldn't decide this issue.
I hope you're able to find a way to work this out. Please keep us posted and we can keep helping you problem solve with this.
I'am guessing from what you wrote that both you and your son would say: "no, it's not time to stop yet". That's really all that matters.
I don't know how your partner is not supporting you, but at this point the kid is old enough that it shouldn't be inconvenient to nurse for his meals. By that I mean, you should have a solid idea of when he eats and be able to work around that. If your partner is just wanting you to quit breastfeeding because it is weird to nurse an older baby, maybe he/she should take time to think about your babies history and also research breastfeeding in general. 21 months is actually early to wean in many cultures.
As for the "weird looks" I have two stories.
1) I did a full on triple take a few months ago in a military complex at a woman nursing in the middle of a public eating establishment. She was using a cover, so very discreet--but I had never seen anyone other than myself nurse over here. I was so embarrassed at my reaction, and made my husband take the kids ahead and went back to apologize and commend her for nursing her baby when she needed to. We both laughed, and cried a little about how weird it is to breastfeed on a military base--but I 'am sure she would have thought I was giving her the evil eye if I hadn't gone back to explain.
2) My last baby is 1 1/2 now, and is well beyond the normal "nursing in public" age for the culture we live in. We go to a foreign play group and she was feeling sleepy and got pushed by another child and really just wanted to nurse. So we did, in the middle of song-circle with all the little boys and girls talking about it and trying to figure it out. I was really embarrassed and apologized to another mom later, but four other mothers came up and thanked me for being brave and giving my kid what she needed at that time. Sometimes we over-think these things, right?
You are going to do well, maybe just tell your partner that you'll revisit the idea of weaning in "a few months" and kill those nay-sayers will kindness--it's not their business anyway.
Jenni--it sounds like for you guys, it's too early to stop! Keep at it and he'll be ready to wean later.
You say that your son isn't into eating that much solid food, and also that you have an unsupportive partner. Well, I've just elected your husband the official Guy Who Feeds The Baby Solid Food. It sucks to coax toddlers to eat. Now he gets to do it! The more solid food he eats, the less he'll need to nurse (theoretically) so your husband should be happy about his new job and should shut up and get'er done.
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