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Old 05-30-2006, 12:36 PM   #1
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Extended nursing mamas read please...

I plan to let my DD self wean. However, my family (especially my DH) keep telling me how disgusting it is to nurse past a year. DD is 9 months now and I can't imagine cutting her off in 3 months. DH says he is cutting me off at a year and I keep telling him it's not his body. Everyone keeps telling me she'll be in kindergarten and nursing when I really doubt she'll go that long. DH says I'm going to scar her for life if I nurse her until she's ready to quit because she may remember it. I'm just frustrated I guess. Any other mamas go through this?

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Old 05-30-2006, 12:42 PM   #2
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Re: Extended nursing mamas read please...

wow! thankfully my dh is very supportive of me. i'm so sorry that you're having to deal with this. honestly i think it sounds like your dh has some issues that don't really have anything to do with breastfeeding. i'm not really sure what to tell you. but

i guess i would ask him what makes 12 months a magical cut-off number. what's different about that day than the day before? i think i would probably also try and get him to articulate what exactly it is that's "gross" about it to him. i don't know that i would argue with him about how he feels, b/c honestly what exactly is he going to do to cut you off? refuse to let you hold your baby, take over all the feedings, etc.? that's an insane ultimatum imo...
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Old 05-30-2006, 01:28 PM   #3
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Re: Extended nursing mamas read please...

Have you tried educating them on the benefits of extended breastfeeding? Here is a link

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/ebf-benefits.html

If you think educating them will help, then try that approach. If it doesn't, I would personally tell your family to take a hike. Tell them this is your child and they can just minds their own business. They can disagree all they want but they can just keep it to themsleves!!!

Your dh is a different story. The last thing you need is him badgering you all the time about it. I am lucky in that my dh is pretty relaxed about everything. I told him we would bf at least 12 mos. As 12 mos passed I told him we would just see how things go. I never made a huge deal out of going past 12 mos and neither did he. At the end of the day it is your body!

Good luck!
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Old 05-30-2006, 02:37 PM   #4
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Re: Extended nursing mamas read please...

I think for your DH, education would be very important. For the IL's and others -- honestly, once you're past a year most people ASSUME you have weaned and oddly enough it's less pressure than from 9 months to a year, when "everybody" thinks you should.

Maybe try talking to your DH about why he thinks you need to wean -- is he feeling deprived of time with you? Maybe you could make arrangements for him to have more "wifely attention" and that would help? Or arrange for an evening out now and then? Could be he just wants more of your attention.

"Mothering Your Nursing Toddler" by Karen Bumgarner is excellent, has year-by-year looks into nursing a toddler/preschooler, tips on weaning, and even a chapter specifically for dads of nursing toddlers.
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Old 05-30-2006, 02:59 PM   #5
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Re: Extended nursing mamas read please...

Here's one link that may give you some helpful ammunition: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/index.html

And another one that you probably don't want to show the naysayers (they'll really think you're a freak!) but may give you some good information: http://www.kathydettwyler.org/dettwyler.html

Like the others said, sometimes you just have to grin and bear it. The pressure really does drop off after a year because assume that you've weaned so there's nothing more to say. You can get nasty if you have to and let them know that it's your decision and you're not willing to discuss it any further. That's what I finally had to do with my mom. As for your dh, you know him better than anyone else. Mine was not in favor of extended breastfeeding but there came a point where I just quit arguing with him about it and went on with my life and he did too. DJ weaned himself at 19 months (when I was 4 months pregnant).

Good luck!
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Old 05-30-2006, 03:22 PM   #6
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Re: Extended nursing mamas read please...

I don't know what to do about DH, I supppose I'll just have to ignore him when he tries to pick a fight about it. He's such a butt, lol. He's very supportive of bf, just not extended bf. I'm also not actively giving DD any solids either. She gets just teeny tiny tastes from my plate when I put a little on my finger, so it's very likely that she wouldn't even be able to stop bf at a year because she'd starve to death.
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Old 05-30-2006, 03:58 PM   #7
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Re: Extended nursing mamas read please...

I gave my DH this handout, and that was enough for him...I think in a lot of ways he was saying what he heard everybody else say, kwim? Once he knew a few reasons why EBF was normal, he was cool with it. This is a simple, non-emotional, very guy-oriented article. Short. LOL Worked for me, anyway...
http://www.kellymom.com/newman/21bf_toddler.html
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Old 05-30-2006, 08:51 PM   #8
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Re: Extended nursing mamas read please...

My dh is a little like yours about ebf (although I've been working on him for a while). He is a little uncomfortable with bf even for a baby, and still thinks that the idea of bf a 2-3 year old is insane, but as our ds approaches 1 yr, and I continue to talk about continuing nursing, he gets less and less testy about it. I would imagine that if ds isn't done nursing when he gets up to the 2-3 yr age range, we will do the same thing. My dh just really takes some time to get used to my crunchy notions. I had to work him slowly into a water birth with midwives, cd-ing and co-sleeping, too.
As for everyone else in the world, they don't really have a say as to whether ds nurses or not, so they can go whisper about me behind my back if they want, but I'm really not about to engage naysayers in a long discussion, other than to tell them that it is very healthy, and not unusual at all - babies all over the world are bf through toddlerhood.
As for scaring your child if they remember it, at my local LLL meeting, one of the moms there said that she knew someone who was bf until he was 5 or 6, and he remembered. When she had her ds, she asked him what he remembered, if he was bothered by remembering, etc. He said that honestly, all that he remembered was how warm and safe and loved he felt. No nightmares about his mom's breasts, or scary-weird attachments, just love.
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Old 05-31-2006, 12:10 AM   #9
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Re: Extended nursing mamas read please...

Do you have a good bf friendly pediatrician? I had a great one, but he moved to Phili. Anyhow, he made a point during one visit that my DH was present at, to point out that the worldwide average for breastfeeding was to 4 years. My DH was pretty shocked and asked some questions (psychological damage, etc) which my ped answered quite nicely. His point, he explained, was to let Mothers know that it was perfectly acceptable to continue past 12 months if they desired.

You could even look up the American Academy of Pediatrics policy, it says "It is recommended that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mutually desired" Read the entire policy at: http://aappolicy.aappublications.org...s%3b100/6/1035 It's quite interesting!

Also, check your local LLL. Ours has a quarterly toddler meeting and some offer enrichment meetings that may cover this topic. Some are open to Mothers and Fathers, or you might find some other Moms who have had similar issues.

As for the in laws, I'd come up w/ some quick brief reply like, "I appreciate your concern." or maybe add "DH and I will make the decision we feel is best for our family." PERIOD. Don't let them push you into feeling like you have to defend your decisions.

I echo PP in that until I HAD a toddler I wouldn't have considered extended nursing per se. But your baby doesn't go from infant to little boy in a day. I really didn't see that until it was my little one I was watching.

Good luck to you!
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Old 05-31-2006, 08:29 AM   #10
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Re: Extended nursing mamas read please...

Just wanted to comment on them remembering nursing or not -- my son weaned at 3.5 yrs, and he remembers it still - he'll tell me that "Nahnah tastes really good, and little babies and little boys need it lots and lots. But big boy's don't, and I'm big now." Definitely all positive memories, and nothing that would "scar" him. It's as normal to him as hugs and kisses, kwim?
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