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Thread: Pressure to Stop Nursing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    S.C.
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    Default Pressure to Stop Nursing

    I have been feeling pressure to stop nursing (from some family, friends, and well society in general) and wondered if anyone else is - and how ya'll are handling it? I nursed my daughter until 2 y/o and my son is 16 mos. and going strong. In fact my son has NO desire to stop nursing and pitches a fit if I even appear to be with holding the breast. I could use some advice and support.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    middle of IA
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    Default Re: Pressure to Stop Nursing

    keep nursing as long as you both want to! look to WHO recommendations, if that helps you in talking wtih your friends and family - they rec. nursing til at least 2 years. my son's doc just told us that the longer i nurse the less the risk of food allergies, and i've read that all the breastfeeding benefits (for you and for him - protection against breast cancer in you, immune system, etc for him) are more beneficial the longer you do it. good luck!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    4,007

    Default Re: Pressure to Stop Nursing

    What sort of advice are you looking for mama? Do YOU want to wean? If you don't then keep going! The WHO recommends nursing for 2 years, and most other literature recommends nursing for at least one year and until it is no longer desired by both mother and child.

    It's a very personal decision and one that you need to make for YOU and your baby. Don't let family, friends, and/or society dictate when you end this nursing relationship. If you're done, then by all means start the weaning process, but don't feel pressured to do so because that pressure may turn into regret in a year when you look back. It's all about choices and you have to be happy with your choices - and own them. When you wean, you really want to be okay with the decision so that you can look back and know you made the right choice for you.

    My youngest son self weaned 4 days before his 3rd birthday and looking back I wouldn't have done it any other way. I think it's one of my prouder moments as a mother, allowing HIM to end the nursing relationship. There were many times when it was draining (literally ) and when I felt judged, but this forum is a great place to come for some reassurance. This place encourages extended nursing, it doesn't judge it. It's nice to pop in here after a hard day because it gives you that added bit of motivation.
    ~Jenn~


    mother of 2 boys!
    08/14/98~~03/20/08

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Where they keep it weird
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    Default Re: Pressure to Stop Nursing

    I totally agree with the posts above. Do you at least have a supportive significant other?
    I am Lea (middle name)
    Mama to Dominic born on 3/23/09
    Wife to G 4/27/07
    We're blessed to have been for 3 years and counting! Proud to with our squirmy worm

    "My home is not a place, it is people."
    -Lois McMaster Bujold

  5. #5
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: Pressure to Stop Nursing

    I appreciate the support and advice. The WHO recommendations were edifying as well. My spouse feels it may be time to wean but is willing to support whichever decision I make...to wean or continue nursing. I would like to continue nursing. As you all know, that is special time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: Pressure to Stop Nursing

    While I am not nursing toddlers (yet), I hope I can add something. My husband was not excited about me continuing to nurse (my original goal was to see how things went for 3 months before I returned to work)-10.5 months and we are still going.
    Occasionally, DH would ask me how long I plan to nurse and I told him (honestly) I had no goal in mind, it was going well, and I wanted to keep it going (plus it has helped me lose a lot of weight). He would ask every month or two, and lately he hasn't asked. He has accepted that it is my decision and leave it.
    It may work for you NOT to set a goal or volcalize one. If you say 18 months, when that time comes you may feel pressure to wean.
    Full time working Mom to 3, DH is my hero as a SAHD:
    DS July'09, nursed for 12 weeks
    DD1 & DD2 April'11, tandem nursed for 16 months

  7. #7
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Pressure to Stop Nursing

    When to wean is up to you (and, if you like, your child.) I have talked to many moms who gave into outside pressure and weaned before they were ready and they regret it everytime.

    There is NO evidence that nursing into toddlerhood and even beyond causes any harm and lots of evidence it has benefits. Nursing duration expectations are cultural and have little to do with science or with any health aspects.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Pressure to Stop Nursing

    Have you read this by Katherine Dettwyler, PhD? she is a professor of anthropology. http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detwean.html

    When I encounter doubters I like to note that not one reputable child health organization that I am aware of suggests an age by which a child 'should' wean. It’s always “at least” such and such amount of time. Wouldn't they put a limit on it if there was any evidence that there was any recognized general age at which nursing became counter-productive?

    I also find it helpful to discover what other people's objections are. Sometimes, they are just curious because they have never seen or heard of a child nursed longer than a few months. Sometimes their objections stem from baseless fears, such as "if you don't wean by such and such age, the kid will NEVER wean." That kind of thing. When it's the child’s other parent, their concerns may be more personal and individual to the family's situation.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Missouri
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    Default Re: Pressure to Stop Nursing

    I felt the same way when I decided to keep nursing my 1 year old. LLL really helped me through it. My family thought I was crazy and didn't mind telling me often. However, I knew I was doing the best for my baby. He is pretty much weaned at 3.5 and I can't help but think how different our relationship would be if I would have weaned pressured to do so. It made our bond so strong and truthfully made my life easier. I wouldn't have traded the last 2 years nursing a toddler for anything.
    Did this for 9months with Kailey and Hailey
    who are now 8.

    weaned Dane somewhere around 3.5 no longer he likes to sleep with his sisters He's now 5

    Now I am , , My baby Cruz who is almost 6 months and my last baby

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Pressure to Stop Nursing

    I remember reading a story in "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" in the early months that has haunted me for a full year. A mother was talking about how her entire community had pressured her to stop nursing, well before she was ready. She finally weaned her child with some difficulty on both of their parts, and when she was done, she looked around, waiting for the fanfare, the congratulations, the approval of those who had pressured her to stop. There was none. All she had left was her grief for weaning before she and her child were ready.

    It sounds like you are still very much enjoying this special bond and time with your son. I know that cultural pressure is real and has its impact, but you and your son are the only ones who will have to go through the weaning process, so it might as well be on your own timeline.

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