Breast Feeding and Hispanic/Spanish culture - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 02-20-2009, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I dislike generalizations, but...

How open is Hispanic culture (particularly Spanish/Basque and Peruvian) to extended BFing?

2 reasons:
1) Purely selfish - when I am BFing my toddler - I would love to be able to use my culture/background as an excuse for my "eccentric behavior." My mom BFed because my dad (who is from Peru), said his mom BFed all 9 of her children and she should try too. That may explain BFing, but not necessarily extended BFing - I think she made it to 14 mo with me.

2) My aunt (my father's SIL) is coming to visit when my mom is visiting. She is a friendly woman - I think she would be enthusiastic to support my mothering to my son - especially as she just lost her youngest son 2 years ago to cancer. But I admit, I am a bit nervous that she might say something. And I know I can't predict anyone's reaction to such an intimate decision between baby and mama, but it would help me feel more relaxed knowing that the odds were in my favor. She married into my Peruvian family, but her family is Spanish Basque.

I saw a beautiful puertarriquense ad on breastfeeding, but IDK how open that attitude is in general.

will xpost in BFing - tried to post on mothering espanol, but cannot register due to an improperly functioning image verification key??

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#2 of 25 Old 02-20-2009, 03:15 PM
 
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My husband is spanish and has never commented in any way on the time spent breast feeding a baby.
What do you mean by extended - 3years or just 12 months and then slowling cutting down to "no more milk bar for you on my chest"
I think it should not be a problem, and why are you worried about it? You provide for the baby, you spend time with it, make it feel loved and you are passing antibodies to it - could it be any better?
Spanish people in general dote a lot on their children, breast feeding would be included. (It is amazing to see all these salas de lactancia in spanish shopping centres.)
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#3 of 25 Old 02-20-2009, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know why I am worried - I just want to be a good hostess for her as this is her first visit. And I admit she is the type that went she agrees, she is supportive, and when she doesn't she lets you know it LOL.

Oh and as far as our BFing relationship, well - we are still quite strong at 19 mo now - I'd say 4 times/day during the week and much more on the weekend. I will have vacation while they are here, so I am expecting to BFed in front of her quite often

But that is what I wanted to know thank you!. Sometimes, I wonder if I am fooled into thinking that other cultures are more BFing friendly than ours by some "grass is always greener" syndrome. It makes me feel much more relaxed to know that Spanish culture is BFing friendly. The last times I was there it was before DS and I admit, I did not take the time to notice nor did I care!!

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#4 of 25 Old 02-20-2009, 07:44 PM
 
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It really depends, my family (Central American) was open to it until I hit the 19 month mark...then I started getting "warnings". I wonder though if that's because they've lived in Canada for over 30 years and have been influenced by North American attitudes towards BF...

Just my two cents!
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#5 of 25 Old 02-20-2009, 07:54 PM
 
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It's really more depend of the people than the cultural background. I'm from Chile, and formula it's hitting hard as well.

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#6 of 25 Old 02-21-2009, 12:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess I am thinking about the present day US hispanic communities then or the Hispanic countries 50 years ago...

Well I guess there is a lot of variation - I was hoping the Puerto Rican ad I saw was more indicative...

~ Professor Mama to Gabito (July '07) & Danita (April '10) ~
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#7 of 25 Old 02-21-2009, 01:07 AM
 
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I hate generalizations as well, but I've read breastfeeding rates (like early, <6 months) among Mexican women is extremely low...very sad (again, probably an exacerbated American attitude). South America though, I'd imagine it probably varies considerably from one country to another.

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#8 of 25 Old 02-21-2009, 04:13 AM
 
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I can't say by country. But in my family (Puerto Rican) breastfeeding was totally the norm. My grandma, my mom, my aunts... all living, child bearing women in my family breastfed for a variety of time -- from nil to 3 years. However, whatever amount of time a mother did was a moot point. The fact was, they did it. However, my mom tells me that had we had a socially higher family, (aka less from the country born stock) the more likely it would have been that bfing would not have been a norm.

Take my anecedote as you will.
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#9 of 25 Old 02-21-2009, 09:32 AM
 
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My limited experince is that older Mexicans(can't speak for anyone else) seem very happy to see and support BF. But the younger women, atleast the immigrants, see formula as "modern" , "American" and a status symbol. They aren't openly discouraging of BF, but see it as "beneath them".

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#10 of 25 Old 02-21-2009, 10:53 AM
 
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In Venezuela, the majority of people bf for the first 6 months wich is the lenght of maternity leave, after that moms usually suplement but bf when they are at home, its not shocking to see a toddler breastfeeding, all of our advertising for baby food and formula has to say, breastmilk is best for at least the first 2 years of life. But not a lot of people pump and we don't really have SAHMS.

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#11 of 25 Old 02-21-2009, 05:22 PM
 
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Breastfeeding is very common in Ecuador, so common that moms BF everywhere without covering their breast. This took me by surprise when I was visiting my family in Ecuador last year. We were at the mall and I kept trying to find a place to nurse my daughter, I must have passed 2 or 3 moms with their boobs out in the air, so I found a seat and did the same, except that I had my "boobie hider" with me.
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#12 of 25 Old 02-22-2009, 01:49 PM
 
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my baby was born in mexico. I had a c and was pretty uncomfortable after. Not one nurse offeered any help to get us started but a male nurse who was very surprised because he said most women were FF from the very start, not even colostrum! But i was never harrased at NIP
now we are in argentina, and mamas BF, but it is expected that you are going to suplement at some point, when i talk about CLW im looked at as if i had two heads
NIPing is totally accepted everywhere i've been, gvmt buildings, buses, parks, restaurants etc.
There is even a big statue in a park of a bf mama with her children and she's exposing her two breasts, a baby nursing and a toddler kissing her...so cute!
im gonna try to post a pic
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#13 of 25 Old 02-22-2009, 04:14 PM
 
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Can't wait to see that pic Delfina!
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#14 of 25 Old 02-25-2009, 12:08 PM
 
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I too hate generalizations, BUT-
In my area they tend to use formula, so they don't appear too "poor" to have to breastfeed.


ETA: I am referring to our local Mexican population.

Mom of 3 sons and one daughter
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#15 of 25 Old 03-01-2009, 03:54 AM
 
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My husband's family is from Mexico. My MIL bf all her babies until at least one, perhaps longer. I didn't ask exact ages. My grandmother-in-law was visiting while I was breastfeeding my 19 month old and she never batted an eye.
My MIL never suggested I stop (she lived with us until he was almost 2), but she was the type to support if she agreed and not say anything (except to my SIL) if she didn't LOL.
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#16 of 25 Old 03-03-2009, 02:44 PM
 
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My husband is Puerto Rican, but we don't see my MIL much, so, I don't know what her thoughts are. His were very supportive. Our daughter weaned at 34 mos. And he pointed out that the horrible cold she had last month was the first bad cold she'd ever had probably because she'd recently stopped breastfeeding. Smart man!

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#17 of 25 Old 03-04-2009, 10:28 PM
 
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I can no longer see this video for some reason, but I think it still shows in the US
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=942FR...e=channel_page

It's a Puerto Rican breastfeeding commercial, and shows toddlers (or even bigger) nursing.

nothing more to say I guess :
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#18 of 25 Old 03-04-2009, 10:50 PM
 
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My MIL is Mexican but was born in Guam. My grandfather in law (MIL's dad) was born in Mexico and thinks we are crazy... He says babys should wean at 6 months and eat normal food. His idea of normal food consists of kool-aid, soda, and cheetos LOL. so umm, yeah... Our extended nursing drives him absolutely insane HAHA. It almost makes me to want to extended nurse even longer just to drive him nuts haha.

Oh and apparently my MIL "couldn't" breastfeed. Something about she doesn't produce milk... no one in their family does. ??? Same excuse they had for all having had c-sections. None of them dilate past 2 or 3 cm?? lol
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#19 of 25 Old 03-05-2009, 04:07 PM
 
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My Venezelan SIL nursed her youngest well-past two, and she herself nursed until she was 5. My MIL pumped/nursed 30yrs ago as long as she could, and they were nothing but 110% supportive of my nursing relationship with DD.

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#20 of 25 Old 03-07-2009, 07:45 PM
 
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Here in Mexico, only the poorer women breastfeed their kids for extended periods. The upper class think it's only necessary to b/f for a few months...if at all.
I got a lot of crap for b/fing my son for 2 years, and now that I am b/fing my 5 month old, people are still surprised that I haven't switched to formula
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#21 of 25 Old 03-13-2009, 01:36 AM
 
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Hey, I'm from Ecuador and I don't think extended BFing is well seen there. I'm still BFing my 2 year-old DS. My mom was here visiting and just left a few weeks ago...she would say joking to DS "againg nursing? have a snack better or some juice" Everytime I would ask her to please stop saying that. Or the answer to my friends' question of "How long are you going to nurse for???" usually is "it will probably be hard when he goes to college but we'll see". Last time in Ecuador I did notice babies nursing a lot in public...but not toddlers!
I think that, with respect and humor, you can let anyone know what you believe in...even if it is your own family.
Hope it goes well!
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#22 of 25 Old 03-13-2009, 02:29 AM
 
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The hospital I work at in CA is going to go for baby-friendly certification this year. The majority of patients at this hospital are bilingual or only Spanish-speaking. The hospital also has a 94% in-hospital bf rate. Actually the entire county here has over 90% in-hospital bf rates, with 3 hospitals. Part of the success is the system- the postpartum unit basically revolves around trying to create bf success; part may be the location- coastal CA, which is more liberal to begin with and more open to bf than other places I have been.
I don't know how much the culture affects it... But the vast majority of women here are eager to bf.
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#23 of 25 Old 03-19-2009, 07:03 PM
 
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Most of my Puerto Rican family assumed I would forumla feed from the start since I was a young mom. However I have Puerto Rican friends who exclusively breastfed and did child-led weaning. It really depends. Everyone is a little different.

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#24 of 25 Old 03-21-2009, 02:17 AM
 
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That said, by being pretty upfront and confident in the decision to breastfeed they've all been respectful of the decision!

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#25 of 25 Old 03-21-2009, 02:29 AM
 
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I have spent a lot of time in Mexico on extended trips (months at a time) and see a LOT of formula, but I also see a lot of older nurslings (2 and 3), and there's really no shame in NIP, pretty much everyone just does it without a thought.

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