Breastfeed in front of 9 y old son? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am expecting #2 in a few month. I have a 9 year old son who is well rounded, nevertheless I was wandering if I should breastfeed in front of him without cover? If my oldest was a girl I whould not be concerned. I whould not be concerned if he was 6 y old, but 9 1/2? I also whould not be concerned if we had other kids in between and he gotten use to it.
It is hard to figure out what is in the pre-teen head. I do know that before coming into my bathroom if the door is open and but am in there putting make up or changing or whatever he ask loudly if he can come in.
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#2 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 08:23 PM
 
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I would talk openly to him about breastfeeding and show him pictures of mothers breastfeeding. Tell him all about it and tell him you will do this with the new baby. He may feel uncomfortable in the beginnning but he will soon become so used to it that it will mean just what it is-breastfeeding.
This is a wonderful oppurtunity for him to understand just how perfect breastfeeding is for a baby and he might not look in the beginning, then he will covertly look, then it will be like nothing to him.
It is so natural and it would be so inconvenient for you or him to have to leave the room everytime you nurse the baby.
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#3 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 08:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 5thAttempt
I am expecting #2 in a few month. I have a 9 year old son who is well rounded, nevertheless I was wandering if I should breastfeed in front of him without cover? If my oldest was a girl I whould not be concerned. I whould not be concerned if he was 6 y old, but 9 1/2? I also whould not be concerned if we had other kids in between and he gotten use to it.
It is hard to figure out what is in the pre-teen head. I do know that before coming into my bathroom if the door is open and but am in there putting make up or changing or whatever he ask loudly if he can come in.

For the life of me I cannot see why nursing in front of your child (or anyone...) would be a concern at all. Breasts are not bad, wrong, or inappropriate. It does not make a bit of difference that it's a boy instead of a girl. Turning breastfeeding into a shameful thing that shouldn't be viewed just furthers the idea that it's sexual and dirty IMO.

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#4 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 08:26 PM
 
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OF COURSE you should nurse in front of him!!! regardless of whether he is 6, 9 or 16, what better way to teach him the primary function of breasts. i dont know your son- he might be wierded out at first, but if you are nonchalant and open about it, he will become open too. i think its so important to expose men/boys to breastfeeding. i wouldnt cover up either. dont forget- nursing is not sexual. it is a normal everyday parenting act and you have a great opportunity to teach that to your son!

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#5 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 08:28 PM
 
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ITA with the others. By nursing in front of your 9yo son you'll be showing him that BF is normal, not sexual, and "no big deal to watch." Ditto for nursing in front of his friends.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#6 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 08:56 PM
 
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my 8yo does not remember a time (there was not one) where i wasn't nursing him or one or two of his brothers in his entire life.....
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#7 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 08:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla
ITA with the others. By nursing in front of your 9yo son you'll be showing him that BF is normal, not sexual, and "no big deal to watch." Ditto for nursing in front of his friends.
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#8 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 09:08 PM
 
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I would not think twice about BF in front of my son, regardless of his age!
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#9 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 09:13 PM
 
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Why would it be different for you to nurse in front of a daughter than a son?

Breastfeeding is not a sexual act. Choosing not to nurse in front of your son or covering yourself conveys the message that you are doing something that should not be seen.
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#10 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 09:20 PM
 
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I breastfeed in front of my 14 year old brother! Of course you should. At this age is is likely to remember it and hopefully encourage his future partner to breastfeed!

Dawn, mama to D (3.06) & N (9.07) C (11.09) & Still-in-shock surprise due in Aug!
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#11 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 09:31 PM
 
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I agree. You shouldn't have any concerns about breastfeeding infront of him. I would talk to him so that he knows what to expect and give him a chance to ask questions. I think that give him a week and he will be far more concerned with other things to notice the baby eating. This is a great time to educate him and make and impression. If he has children one day this may help him to be very supportive of breastfeeding.
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#12 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 09:31 PM
 
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I nurse anywhere and everywhere. Why on earth would you feel like you shouldn't nurse in front of your son?

-Angela
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#13 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 10:17 PM
 
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Breastfeeding is NATURAL and nothing to be ashamed about. I think that you should BF in front of your son so that he can see that this is how babies are meant to be nurished. It is important for him to learn that breasts are not soley a sexual object and what the true purpose of them is. Also, seeing breastfeeding as normal and just how mom cares for baby will increase the probability that he will encourage his own wife some day to breastfeed his children.
That said, he may be uncomfortable with it at first - simply due to the whole preteen emotions. But maybe talking to him first, showing him some discreet pics of nursing moms, and even a trip to a LLL meeting may help him (if that is okay with him of course). ANd if *he* chooses to leave the room when you nurse the new baby - that is okay too. But I would not force him to leave - that sends the message that breasts and breastfeeding are sexual and dirty. Which is so not the case!! Go slow, talk to him, and give it time - Hopefully he will eventually feel comfortable with it.
I have breastfeed in front of my husband, my father, my brother, my FIL, my BIL - becuase *I* don't have a problem with it and *I* don't view it as anything sexual, and honestly if they do they can leave the room. Not one has - although my FIL raised some interesting questions about size and color differences of nipples!
That said - I dont' strip down to BF DS - I am discreet, it is hard not to be - no cover up needed cuz nursing bras and shirts cover it all. The only time a nipple is ever really exposed is getting DS latched on or when he pulls off and wants to play around. While DS is latched on, you can't see anything - while NIP people have thought he was sleepign in my arms, but he was wide awake and nursing like a fiend!
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#14 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 10:35 PM
 
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My 1st was 8 1/2 yos when his lil' sis was born. I did nurse in front of him alllll the time and usually topless. But our family wasn't squemish about nudity. He is now 13 and proudly wears a lavander bracelet to schoool (along with about 10 other rubber band bracelets like the "livestrong" kind) engraved with the words, "Protect, Encourage, Support Breastfeeding" and proudly tells anyone who asks about it....

I also nursed in front of my ds's best friend who came from a very covered up family (the boys all wore undershirts, even when swimming). I let his mom know that I would be nursing in front of her son - with my shirt on, and all was good. In fact great.......
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#15 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 10:45 PM
 
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Absolutely. My almost 8 yr DS loves to tell people that Abi doesn't need a bottle & all she needs is Mommy. I dont have a problem nursing in front of him, but we do have a rule that he must knock or ask before entering our bathroom area (open masterbath) and I think that is just teaching common courtesy and respect for privacy of others.
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#16 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 10:46 PM
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Uhhh, what response did you think you'd get from a bunch of moms that hang out on MCD!?!?!


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#17 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 10:56 PM
 
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lol, my 9 and 11yo sons have seen a LOT of boob in the last 5 weeks. When I'm at home I'm not discreet and I don't think it makes them a bit uncomfortable, based on the fact that they come up and kiss his head while he's nursing. I think they are learning to see breasts for what they are. Kitchens!
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#18 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 10:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PancakeGoddess
I think they are learning to see breasts for what they are. Kitchens!

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#19 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 11:10 PM
 
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I totally agree. HOWEVER these things are not so true (or practiced) in our society. Regardless of the fact that breasts (and breastfeeding) are totally natural and functional; they DO serve two purposes. : Not in all cases, but in most of our lives. I have them.... and I happen to think they are very sexual. I also feel very strongly that they are there for a reason (feeding my baby)...but why can't the opposite sex find them attractive as well? UNFORTUNATELY...our society is one-dimensional on this, and even more tragically...sexuality is being put out there at younger and younger ages and yet, at the same time, the details of it are being kept secret. Boys are learning from the older "boys" that breasts serve one purpose. I lament this fact, and yet pride myself in educating people as well. I do think it bears teaching and educating young boys about it, but not taking the sexuality away from it either. Don't flame me, people, can't we just talk about it honestly and openly? (not intended for the OP)...but seriously....if you're having sex, you probably know that they CAN BE sexual. It's just our society makes too much of it. Hiding, though, and covering up I think can make a mysterious thing (for a 9 year old boy) even more mysterious and "seemingly naughty". We've had this issue in my own family with my nephew who is currently 15. When my sister and I have breastfed, we have found it helpful to inform him and tell him that we won't cover up and we don't mind if he stays, but won't think him silly to leave either. He has, at times, acted embarassed, made comments...other times he's asked LEGITIMATE questions. Therefore, making him sort of an ambassador. I've heard him tell his friends, "My auntie breastfeeds...don't worry, it's good for the baby!!" YIPEEE!!!
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#20 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 11:20 PM
 
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Just wanted to let the OP know my situation.

I nuse my daughter in front of my 6 1/2 yo step-son. His mother never nursed him or his siblings and was totally freaked out by it at first which in turn made him a little wary of it, but now he's totally cool with it--doesn't bat an eye. He talks about it with his friends and has no idea that some people think it's strange or shameful.

I think that it is important to breastfeed in front of children, especially boys, so that it becomes normal and maybe the next generation won't have to ask these questions.

If you don't make a big deal out of it, I doubt he will.
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#21 of 72 Old 08-22-2006, 11:28 PM
 
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3happy, I totally agree. I just don't think there is any lack of sexualized breast imagery in our culture. I don't deny their sexuality; I just don't feel the need to call any more attention to it.
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#22 of 72 Old 08-23-2006, 05:23 AM
 
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Sure breasts can be sexual. I've got no problem with that at all! But breastfeeding is not sexual and one should not feel that it's a dirty or shameful thing.

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
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#23 of 72 Old 08-23-2006, 05:35 AM
 
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Lips can be sexual too. Does that mean we should not eat in front of older children?

Lots of body parts have multiple uses. Most body parts can be erogenous.


Mammaries are there first and foremost for feeding our young.
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#24 of 72 Old 08-23-2006, 05:58 AM
 
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Are you concerned about him - or you?

Would you feel uncomfortable in front of him? Did you breastfeed him? I would latch the baby on then let him ask the questions as time goes on. You don't need to explain yourself nor defend yourself. He will ask if he is interested.

I have a nine year old who is very private about his own body but he sees me naked - and hugely pregnant at the moment - and will see me breastfeed his new sibling the same way he saw me breastfeed his sister 3 years ago. He knows that I fed him the same way and that is just what happens in our family. My eldest is 13 and is a pro-bf chap already. He can't see why women would not want to use their breasts to nourish their child.

On the sexual thing at a slight tangent: you had sex to make the baby in the first place but even though you wouldn't do that in front of your child you are not about to hide the product of that from him are you? I see it all as a package deal, sex, babies, breasts, milk, feeding, pees and poops is what our bodies are for.

Showing our young men that all these things are NORMAL and POSSIBLE is part of our role as mothers I think.
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#25 of 72 Old 08-23-2006, 07:39 AM
 
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By breastfeeding in front of him, you'll be raising him to be one of the RARE young men to respect a woman's body. I imagine his wife would thank you one day.
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#26 of 72 Old 08-23-2006, 07:46 AM
 
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My oldest 3 kids are boys, and I've been BFing for over 4 years straight now. So they know what they are for. I never considered not nursing in front of them. And it would be pretty hard to do, or they'd never see me.

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#27 of 72 Old 08-23-2006, 08:48 AM
 
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Just wanted to say I am ITA with almost everyone here! You should just act like it's no big deal. I have nursed in front of my brothers who are 19 and 15(i'm 24). The 19yo sometimes says thinks in a joking way...such as " geez, whip it out why don't you?!" I just give him a look and go about nursing.

I am, lots of times, toppless in my home. My kids see it as something normal now. I wouldn't be worried at all. Just go about your business as usual and answer any questions as they come up.

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#28 of 72 Old 08-23-2006, 12:20 PM
 
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My step mom had my baby sister when I was 10 years old. She breastfed her. It really wasn't a big deal, AND my dad would at times make raunchy comments in that eyebrown waving way. She did it in front of my brother who was 11, adopted, and I dont' know if he'd ever seen anyone breastfeed before that.

It's a problem if you make it a problem. Otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it. It won't warp him to see breasts used as nature/god/goddess/what-have-you intended them to be.

It's lonely being the only XX in a house of XYs.
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#29 of 72 Old 08-23-2006, 01:02 PM
 
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Of course, I agree. It's not only okay to nurse in front of him, it is okay for him to LOOK too! Did you nurse him when he was young? He may enjoy hearing stories about what it was like to nurse him and how he would tickle your side or play with your hair and how special it was.

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#30 of 72 Old 08-23-2006, 02:40 PM
 
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I BF my youngest in front of my 9yo and his friends all the time! I agree with the other posters that it's impt. for pre-teens and teens to see that breasts serve a more important purpose than simply being a sexual object.

Mama to three wonderful boys and a fabulous baby girl.
My heartfelt thanks to all those that have donated milk to others; you are amazing
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