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Thread: How do you respond when people say you should be weaning?

  1. #1
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    Default How do you respond when people say you should be weaning?

    Now that ds is 9 mos old, I get a lot of "you're still bfing?" and "so how longa re you going to bf?" I find myself biting my tongue to keep from giving a smart a** response. How do you diplomatically respond to these probes?
    Kristie L.
    LLL Leader
    (the poster formerly known as fezzik812)
    Wife to Brett, Mommy to Seamus (5.1.05), and Emelie (1.18.08)
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."- Ghandi

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How do you respond when people say you should be weaning?

    I'm usually very matter-of-fact about it and repeat the AAP, WHO and Unicef recommendations on breastfeeding -- "Well, the AAP recommends nursing for at least one year and both the WHO and Unicef recommend 2 years so I plan on nursing for at least that long." Most people respond with, "Wow, really? I had no idea..." I love it when I'm given such an opportunity to educate others

    Or I often simply reply with a "I don't know, whenever she's ready to stop." although I am eagerly awaiting the opportunity to tell someone that we're hoping she'll go to college nearby so that she can come home to nurse

    Of course once baby is older than 2 the above may not be so effective. I'm sure that the ladies here will have lots of good ideas on how to respond

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How do you respond when people say you should be weaning?

    I remember reading a response once that a mother used for the "when will you stop nursing?" question. She responded everytime..."in about 10 minutes." Loved it!

    That works for acquaintences or strangers, but usually family and friends ask in the middle of a discussion. I usually respond with 'we don't know when we'll wean. We'll probably wean when we're ready, but until then the AAP says... and the WHO says... or my pediatrician says..." You can also throw in that the average age of weaning for humans worldwide is 2-7 years, not months. Sometimes just answering 'yes we're still breastfeeding and at this age we're just taking it one day at a time' is enough. Most people are genuinely curious and not trying to be hurtful. But it's kind of annoying like those "you're still pregnant?" comments you get when you are 39 weeks pregnant.
    Tanya, LLL Leader and Mama to three wonderful kids

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How do you respond when people say you should be weaning?

    What a wonderful opportunity to educate all of America that does not know about ebfeeding. I think through all of us that plan on letting our children wean when they are ready is such a testimony to ebfeeding. I also use the allergy line with Thomas, " oh the Ped said that he may never be able to have Cow's milk, so he needs to breastfeed as long as possible"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How do you respond when people say you should be weaning?

    This is a real hot button for me. How long you and your baby nurse is nobody else's business. I mean, if you asked those nosy people personal questions like how often they have sex, they'd be pretty offended, right? For those who are genuinely curious and not trying to be critical, I would cite the AAP and WHO recommendations, and then if the person asks why they reccomend 12-24+ months, you could probably explain ad infinitum the benefits of nursing for at least a couple of years.

    My own story is that my mother-in-law, who developed a breast abscess when her first ds was only 2 weeks old and never nursed again, was very interested and supportive of what I was doing, even though she did tell my husband I should just give dd a bottle when we had some hospital-induced difficulties in the beginning. She saw me overcome the initial problems to develop a very happy nursing relationship, and she saw how happy and healthy dd was, so she became very interested and supportive.

    My own mother, on the other hand, who nursed my younger sister and brother, and my sister, who nursed her ds, were aghast that I nursed past a year and that I nursed openly in public. My sister was especially critical. I didn't bother going past the AAP/WHO recommendations with them, because they are set in their ways. (They are also masters of denial and would view any information I gave as some sort of "boob nazi" propaganda.)

    If you are explaining your decision to a family member of a previous generation who did not breastfeed, perhaps you could point out that many of the advantages of bf/ebf have been discovered and publicized in recent years. Maybe that way it won't seem like you're being critical in any way.

    Sorry for the long post. Hope this helps!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How do you respond when people say you should be weaning?

    I know that some mothers do use "doctor's orders" as an answer to why they are still nursing. Most people cannot argue with that, especially if they have a very mainstream mindset (doctor is always right).

    I also know that at some point, many mothers refuse the get into the conversation and will change the subject to avoid feeling like they have to justify themselves. What people don't know...is usually none of their business

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How do you respond when people say you should be weaning?

    A while ago there was a post on replies to "Are you still nursing?" and one of my favorite replies would also work for the weaning question.

    "Yes she's still nursing; her pediatrician thinks it's awesome since so many women end up weaning early because of pressure from friends and family."

    I love that because it answers the question and also politely asks the questioner to drop the topic or risk looking like a heel. I haven't had to use it yet but I'm just waiting for someone to ask me

    Sabrina
    Mom to Alex: 12/08/04

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How do you respond when people say you should be weaning?

    I guess it's the same as your response to the question about "when are you going to have kids?" or "when are you going to get married?"

    People do sometimes ask these questions just to make conversation and not realize that it's annoying. But if the question is asked in a rude way, I don't feel the need to be polite back.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How do you respond when people say you should be weaning?

    My response was 'He'll wean before college.' My 1st ds weaned at 3 years, 1 week. My 2nd is still going strong at 14 months. I also give out the doc, WHO, AAP and Dr. Detwiller info.
    Jennifer
    Wife to my Marine
    Crunchy mom to my wonderful boys
    Michael 6/02 c-sec
    Willem 1/05 c-sec
    Gavin 6/07 amazing water homebirth VBAC

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How do you respond when people say you should be weaning?

    Yes she's still nursing; her pediatrician thinks it's awesome since so many women end up weaning early because of pressure from friends and family.
    What a great response!

    Jacqui

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